Ravelry and Me

Yay! I am a member of Ravelry.com!

I got my invite yesterday. I am still learning the how to navigate the site, but I have already found my favorite feature -"Needles and Hooks". OMG!!! Whoever came up with this is a genius! I can now keep track of my needles and not buy any more size 7 and size 10's. I am embarrased how many of each I have. The chart is so simple, yet so effective. I could have done the same thing in Excel - if i were smart enough to think it up.
Thank you Ravelry -
I love it and you!


I Miss Knitting!!

It's been a while since I have posted anything. My wrists have been killing me and I have not been able to knit at all. I can't begin to tell you how sad I have been because of this. It's like going through withdrawal!
Since I have been unable to wield my needles and create my masterpeices, I decided to find pictures of some of my earlier work so I can have something to post. So here they are, my sad contributions until I can knit confortably again.

Grandma Grace's Socks
I used Knit Pick sock yarn for these - the color was on sale!

My 4 year old neice Gracie's Poncho and Hat

Gracie's Purple Panda Hat

Gracie's Christmas Hat, Scarf and Muff - 2006

Last years Christmas hat and scarf

Gracie's Santa Scarf with matching Hat and Mittens - 2007

Okay! I cheated and knitted this one thing for Gracie...don't tell my doctor!

She got it on Thanksgiving day and has been wearing it everyday since!


Still Incapacitated

Still unable to knit because of my CTS!
There's nothing sadder than seeing all your wip's sitting there and not being able to work on them. I'm going through withdrawl!!! I'm hoping to pick up my needles sometime next week.
Here is the last peice I finished before the pain stopped me. It's my Kiwi in her new sweater.
Made with Noro Kureyon


Arrrgh! The Pain of Too Much Knitting

My Carpal Tunnel is acting up because I have been knitting like a demon!

This is a horrible time for my wrists to act up because I have so many projects on the needles at the moment.

However, per my Dr's instructions - I need complete rest for a week or so - that means no knitting, no typing, no anything. Not that I can anyway - the pain is so intense. Last night I woke in extreme pain from my hand to my shoulder and my hand was all red and swollen. All I can do is read and watch TV.

Knitty Gritty anyone?


The Snuggle Project

For all you crafters out there with big mushy hearts like mine- I came across a great way to use your scrap yarn, felt, and/or fabric. It's called the Snuggles Project.

Basically you just make little blankets and send them to animal shelters for the lonely puppies and cats...they even have statistics that say animals are more likely to be adopted when they have a snuggle blanket! :)

The organization works with shelters worldwide and bring a little comfort and warmth to animals that really need it. You can get more info on their website at: http://www.snugglesproject.org/ They have the sizes that are needed on the website and even provide wonderful patterns for anyone unsure of what would work best.

So when you are knitting up your fall sweaters and Christmas gifts, save those bits of yarn and make a warm blankie for some sweet pup to snuggle into.


In support of the people of Burma


There is an amazing wealth of information on the Internet for new knitters like myself. I have found video tutorials on everything from different kinds of casting on to new stitches. While searching the web for information to make me a better knitter, I came across a few sites that every new knitter would find helpful. Some have video tutorials and some offer instructions and others support. I hope that someone else can find them as useful as I did. They are all free to use although some may require that you become a registered member of their site.

  1. http://www.knittinghelp.com/ -They offer video tutorials on almost everything you need to learn to knit.

  2. http://www.knitty.com/ - Great information - I learned the Kitchener stitch here - plus amazing and fun patterns - all free!

  3. http://knitting.about.com/ - More fun stuff here plus loads of info and very easy patterns for beginners.

  4. http://www.craftster.org/ - I have made quite a few online knitting friends here that I can ask for help when I need it.

  5. http://www.lionbrand.com/ - They have tons of free patterns for all level of knitters and crocheters.

I hope this info is helpful to anyone out there who feels a little intimidated by the prospect of learning to knit. I know I did when I first started and still do at times. There are quite a few things that I have still to learn - one day I will master Continental knitting and learn how to sew so I can finally make a real sweater! Until then, I just enjoy the feeling of accomplishment whenever I learn something new or finish a scarf or a hat!


Knitting in New York

Being a knitter in New York City is almost sinful! We have such a huge variety of yarn stores to choose from. If there's something you want and can't find at one store - jump on the subway uptown or down and I guarantee you'll find it at another. I have quite a few that I love to visit, but my absolute favorite two are School Products and Seaport Yarn.

Until recently, I worked 2 blocks from School Products and during lunch or after a stressful day of work I would just walk over and de-stress by enjoying the texture of the yarn. Located at 1201 Broadway - just off of 28th Street - it's easy to get to and has the most amazing selection of high quality speciality yarns. You can buy cones of yarn, designer leftovers, delicious Italian merinos, cashmere, angoras and camels. If it all sounds too rich for your blood don't worry, you can find the most amazing deals in their bargain bins. There is something here for everyone and it is defiantly worth a look.

Seaport Yarn, my other absolute favorite NYC yarn store, is a little off the beaten path - but, Oh! it's worth it! My first trip to Seaport was about 2 years ago. I had been buying yarn from small local shops and needed a specific yarn that they did not have. Nothing could have ever prepared me for what I was about to experience. As I walked in I was met in a small foyer by a very friendly staff member. She asked if you need any help - of course I said "no", as I wanted to browse. She smiled and said if I needed any help to just holler...and then she opened the doors to paradise!

Seaport Yarns is located in an office building at 135 William Street on the Fifth Floor. It is an office space. A rather large space, with many different rooms. All those rooms are filled from floor to ceiling with yarns. All types of yarns. All colors, adn variations. The hallways are lined with cubbys filled with yarn. I don't think there is a bare inch of wall or tabletop space. It's the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

I didn't know which way to turn. I was in shock and it showed. That first day, I walked out with only the yarn I went there to buy. Nothing else. I was that overwhelmed! Of course, that no longer happens. Seaport has been the main contributor to my burgeoning stash. I don't blame them. They can't help being so damned addictive! So reader - Beware! Walking into Seaport Yarns may fuel an addiction you never knew you had.

Along with School products and Seaport Yarns, I have added a list of my favorite yarn stores to visit while in NYC and a list of really great yarn websites. Although buying yarn from the Internet is sometimes convenient, it will never replace the sheer pleasure of walking into a yarn store and touching the yarn. Part of knitting for me is the texture of the yarn as it slides through my fingers. I love the experience. It's one of my absolute favorite things to do. Enjoy your kniiting and feel up a skein every once in a while. And when you are in Nwe York City, Dop by some of our "local yarn stores", but be prepared to fall in love.


Socks, Socks and more Socks

I have been getting nothing but requests for socks! I have been quite lazy and have not been knitting for the past week or so- but my friends and family have been feeling Old Man Winter nipping at their toes. They are all requesting socks. Luckily they are easy to knit up. I think it will be a Wool Sock Christmas this year. I know everyone will love them.

On a totally different note - I have been browsing some of the other knitting blogs and Oh My God - they are amazing! I feel like a rank amateur. I have added a list of my favorites. There are just a few right now, but from what I have seen so far, I'm certain that list will be growing!

Thank you all for your inspiration and motivation. If I can bring my work to half the level of some of yours, I will be one happy knitter!


Slowly and Steadily...

As fall approaches and the temperature falls my desire to knit grows. I have found myself finishing projects that have been sitting in my knitting basket for months. I finished my daughters purple lace scarf and her brown wool socks. She's happy.

I have also found a bin that I stashed in my son's closet with half finished afghans - guess what my next project is? Iam slowly going through my stash bit by bit. I plan to gift the majority of it at Christmas. Aren't you gald you're not on my list?!

I have tons of Lambs Pride worsted wool and no ideas for it. How I wished someone else read my blog to give some ideas for it. It is so itchy and uncomfortable for clothing and not really washable enough for an afghan. I guess I could make bags out of it. - Oh! my daughter has a bag she made and all it needs is a handle - hmmm... I'll have to post a pic of it when I find it. It's in a bin in her room.

Man, I would love a trip to my LYS...I need a fix!


Attack of The Scarves and Brown One Hat

Isn't it great when you can finally pick yourself out of the dumps and get your shit back together again? I went through a Picasso-ish "I'm blue" period for a week. I didn't paint though. I just felt sorry for myself. It seemed that life just wasn't going the way I wanted too; that my problems we're the biggest in the world and I just wallowed in the self pity. I actually starting despising myself for the way I was behaving.
So before I began to kick my own ass - I bought a pint of Haagen-Dazs, had a good cry while watching "An Affair to Remember" - (it always makes me cry) - and then I pulled myself together. Pity party was over.

Once I recovered from the doldrums I picked up my needles and attacked my stash! I had an "Attack of the Scarves!" I have just completed quite a few holiday gifts. I'm hoping to keep the momentum going until my stash is gone. Then I can go shopping for more yarn! Oh, I can't wait! There's still quite a lot left though. What do I do with the bits and pieces? Clothes for my nieces barbie and Biddy baby? Hmmmmm?! Sounds like a good idea!

Time to Knit!


I have not picked up my knitting in quite a few days. I've been busy, but that's not the reason why.

I am just not motivated to knit.

This time of year always gets my juices flowing - why do I feel this way? I have two projects that I need to finish and for whatever reason I just keep walking by them.

I want something exciting! Something fun. In my last post I promised not to buy any more yarn until my stash was done - I need more yarn. New yarn always lets my creative juices flowing.

I went through my old yarn and I have a lot of small amounts of yarn. Not enough of one yarn to complete a large project. How many socks can I make before I go mad?! What do I do with one skein of a yarn and half skein of another?

Aarrrgh! I'm just in a rut.

I'll give myself a couple of days more and I'm sure I'll be okay. My sisters birthday gift is one of my projects that's sitting waiting to be finished and her b-day is on the 18th of September, I need to get my ass motivated and moving!

Wish me luck.


The Stash That Ate Brooklyn!

Today I decided to organize my knitting supplies. I was very optimistic when I planned this little project for myself yesterday. I went out and bought Wicker nesting baskets - the lined ones. I got 2 sets of 5 Baskets in varying sizes. Not expensive at all and adorable. I made out a plan of attack and gave myself 3 hours tops to get my project done.

Ummm...well...I started pulling out yarn that I forgot I had from the back of almost every closet in the house. My living room floor was covered with yarn in varying fiber, textures and colors. It looked like a yarn monster threw up all over my house.

I was shocked! I stood there and couldn't believe that I had purchased so much yarn and it was all sitting in bags and boxes in the back of closets. Of course some of it was left over from projects that I had completed, but I also have a lot of yarn that I bought because I had to have it. It was too beautiful to pass up and I had to have it! I also have 2 daughters with the same compulsion of buying yarn that was just too hard to leave in the store. So try and visualize the pile I am talking about.

Bravely, I decided to press forward and complete the task I set for myself. With my son looking over my shoulder and making smart-assed comments like "Mom, I think you have enough yarn to knit the hole in the ozone layer closed", I began to organize my yarn by weights. (I can now make a lot of socks for Christmas gifts.)

Once I was done - I started the unpleasant job of untangling the yarns that got knotted in the bottom of wherever I stuck them and the ones my daughter Cris used. She's got a knack for tangling yarn. It's a special talent that only she possesses. That took a few more hours that I planned.

Once I got everything organized - I realized that those lovely wicker baskets weren't really going to help - what was I thinking?! Was I really that unaware of how much yarn I had? Not bloody likely! It was just wishful thinking.

So - I roused my husband and sent him out for storage bins. 4 1/2 hours later, I was putting my yarns in the really large zipper bags and placing them in the bins. I have four bins in total, The yarn is all sorted by weight and in some cases fiber, organized and labeled. I even got up the energy and sorted out my needles and notions and organized them in the wicker baskets and put them on top of the bins.

It took my a bit longer than planned but I accomplished my task! Yay me!!! Now I can focus on my knitting and crocheting. Oh, and i've promised not to buy anymore yarn until my stash is gone. :-( That's gonna be a challenge. Well, I guess i'll be making a lot of scarves, hats and socks for the holidays!!


To Pick or to Throw? That is the question!

I learned to knit the English /American way -
I'm a thrower! I can move at a relatively quick speed throwing my way through my knitting. And I was happy until...I saw picking, the European way..the Continental way (even the name sounds so much more sophisticated!) of knitting.

I have now become obsessed with learning how to knit this way. It is hard to teach an old dog new tricks. I have read webpage after webpage telling me that picking is faster than thowing and I believe it - if only my hands would too.

Whnever I try to do it I end up with stiff knuckles, knots in my shoulders, my jaws hurts from tightening them and my fingertips are sore. I feel like i've run a marathon! All this just to learn another way of knitting...is is really worth it? How much faster will I be able to knit? Will it really be that much more efficient? Am I having second thoughts?

No! I will press on, cramps and all, until I succeed - until I learn to pick with the best of them. But do I have to stop throwing while I do this? Christmas is right around the corner - at the rate i'm learning my gifts will never get done! Woe is me!