Friday, April 30, 2010

Day 5: Location, Location, Location

Knitting is my on the go project generally. Although I knit a little bit at home (mostly in the corner of the L-shaped couch), most of my knitting is done during commuting time. Crochet is just as likely to be done at home or out and about, and just about everything else is just done at home on the couch or desk.

I spend a lot of time knitting on the buses and subways of the MBTA. And though I don't take pictures of other subway crafters like the Subway Knitter, I do keep an eye out for them. I see a lot of socks and small projects in Boston, which are generally my preference too as they are easy to pull from my purse and shove back in when I need to. Larger projects tend to stay at home on the couch.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day 4: A New Skill

I hope you will forgive the fact that this is neither a knitting nor a crochet, but hey at Omly Crafts we aren't so picky about just doing those two types of crafting. Plus this topic looks really fun. The latest skill I have been interested in acquiring is learning how to make nuno (cloth) zori (or zouri).

There is a neat series by the eco-samurai learning to make them on her blog, though you can see a pdf of full instructions here by someone else. Zenrinkan also made a good tutorial blog for making these.

These would be a great alternative to my Fibertrend clogs I wear all winter but for the summer! And it is like recycling but for fabric. Even if you didn't have anything at home to make these out of, a thrift store could be a great source of fabric.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day 3: One Great Knitter

My knitterly pick for this prompt is Amy of Stash Knit Repeat. Some of you may be familiar with her Fit to Flatter series she is doing. (Seriously even if you don't make any kind of adult garments ever, this is worth a read if you are female and at least occasionally wear clothes.)

She is (very) local to me, though we have not met. (I have met her friend Diana, though I knew of Diana first. I randomly met her on a bus when we were both knitting and we exchanged blog info.) I adore both her sense of color and style. Plus, for those of you who are littles-inclined, Amy has two of the most adorable kids on the planet.

She is both an excellent knitter as well as blogger, which makes her lots of fun to read. Some blogs I read because of a sense of community, while others are more for entertainment. Amy not only has a beautiful blog, but her notes on what she has knit are often super helpful. Sometimes they are actually compelling enough all on their own that I might consider something I might not otherwise because of her notes and modification section alone.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day 2: An Inspirational Pattern

When it comes to knitting that I aspire to there is no question as to what the topic would be for me: Latvian knitting.

I haven't done a whole lot of colorwork knitting. So far, I have no fairisle finished projects, although all my Slytherin bag has been missing for years now is technically the lining. And the poi gloves I made weren't fairisle, but rather a sort of an adhoc intasia.

A while back my mom got me both a copy of Latvian Mittens: Traditional Designs & Techniques and Latvian Dreams: Knitting Patterns from Weaving Charts to encourage my knitting interest in our heritage. I would really love to make several pairs of mittens, although to date I have only finished one wee baby mitten.

That is right, not even a proper pair. (Sorry sis!)

If I was to be completely honest, I might admit to the fact that I think some of the patterns in Latvian Dreams really are just that to me. The scale just puts them out of reach for me though. Geez, I can't even manage a second baby mitten...

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Day 1: Starting Out

I know, I know it has been ages since I posted. I have been crafting, but it has been crazy with Salvbard in China and then catching up with things around the house. (By the way, there are some really beautiful pictures of his last trip to be found there.) But I will be participating in Knit and Crochet Blog Week organized by Eskimimi Knits as a partial apology, and then I have lots of crafting stuff to share after that. Promise!

Day 1 : Starting Out
How and when did you begin knitting/crocheting? was it a skill passed down through generations of your family, or something you learned from Knitting For Dummies? What or who made you pick up the needles/hook for the first time? Was it the celebrity knitting ‘trend’ or your great aunt Hilda?

I learned to knit when I was just starting graduate school. I wanted to have a hobby to keep my hands busy since I was entering a period of such stress. I just taught myself with a combination of a copy of Stitch 'n Bitch by Debbie Stoller and Knitting Help (mostly the latter). For a long time my knit stitches were twisted until a lovely lady at The Wool Basket helped me to figure out what I was doing "wrong".

It turns out that knitting in grad school was a really fabulous thing for me in general. My thesis topic, which was selected by my adviser later, was fairly abstract and having a tangible hobby as an outlet kept my sanity sometimes. Plus, I quickly learned to knit without looking (a parlor trick I use regularly still) which was a really great way to help all the journal reading I had to do. In fact knitting, like meditation, can help induce a state of alpha brainwave activity which helps with the retention of new information!

About 2-3 years later, I decided to relearn how to crochet. I had learned the very basics from a neighbor who would let me come over for "art lessons" on Sundays as a child, but I didn't really get the idea. There was something wrong with where I was making the new stitches in the starting chain or fabric... But something clicked the first time I took a class (at the now sadly closed Knitting Room in East Arlington) on crochet. Apparently I did have some muscle memory of it after all.

Tomorrow's topic: An Inspirational Pattern

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Hot Chili Pepper socks

Periodically I feel like I should try to knit socks with some sort of pattern on them rather than just stockinette ones. But with the slight variegation in this yarn, I didn't want anything too busy either.

Pattern: Charade by Sandra Park (free Ravelry download)
Yarn: Hello Yarn Sock in "hot peppers"
Needles: US 1 / 2.25 mm

Modifications: Um, I don't think I made any, but then again I sort of didn't look at the pattern again after getting the stitch pattern started on the leg. (I used a slip stitch heel and wedge toe, continuing with the patterning from the leg on the top of the foot. All of which I am pretty sure were in the original.)

The herring bone rib stitch pattern is a smidgen fiddly because of how the yarnover sits under the stitch that was passed over, but other than that this pattern moved surprisingly quickly.

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