Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Year of Stitches will resume

Hi all,

Yes I'm going to be continuing with this project.  All my good intentions were derailed by a wedding, a vacation and a church carnival.  The bride was beautiful once she was through the ceremony.  The vacation was relaxing.  The carnival was exhausting.  Behind the scenes for these events has had me running in 20 directions at once.

Now I'm done with them.  I'm working on the posts and hopefully swatches for each.  I found the shopping bag I stored all the materials for this project in a recent clean up. 

A bunch of charted stitch patterns will be coming our way.  I love me a good chart.  In looking at the crochet charts from around the world, all the symbols are mostly the same.  But the same can't be said for the knitting charts.  A post will be following to help explain the symbols.

Enjoy your summer if you are in the northern hemisphere.  Enjoy your winter in the southern.  Seasonal changes are coming....maybe....

Monday, July 10, 2017

Knit Books & Crochet Books Or Not

This post started out being about books about knit and crochet.  But it changed its mind.  This is about what we listen to while we knit or crochet.  Or watch on TV, or perhaps read?

Do you prefer music?  What kind?  Do your hands keep time with the music as you stitch?  Mine used to.  If I listened to a fast paced music, my hands made the needles heat up,  Now not so much.  Issues with repetitive motion stresses have slowed me down.  If I listened to something swing-y, my work conducted.  What artists do you listen to?  In today's time, I like Glenn Miller and Brahms.  Yes they are very different.  But I don't really listen to much music while working.

I prefer audio books now and podcasts these days.  I like series of books so I can go from one to the next and so on.  I have a real love for the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, Harry Potter obviously, a historical/contemporary time romance mystery series by Lauren Willig and a few others.
Amazingly,  I  came across this question on a Facebook knitting group post.  I'll check out those suggestions.

I recently made a list of the podcasts I listen to since my phone went in the drink and I was afraid it wouldn't keep going.  So far so good, but it's only a matter of time.  But my podcast app of choice is podcast addict.  I put into the search bar knit, knitting, crochet, yarn.  I can specify if I  want audio, video or both.  Since I listen on the go as well, I try to keep it to audio only.  Here's a partial list.  Maybe you will find some new ones.  Post yours and maybe I will.

knitmore girls                 savvy girls                  2 knit lit chicks          90% knitting           a playful day
actually knitting              betty in the sky           bhooked                    capital yarns            cast on
close knit                         coffee knit repeat       cogknitive                 colors & cocktails   craftish
confessions of a pink haired maker                   crochet crash course   crochet cast            doubleknit
crocheter's connection    curious handmade      destined to knit         down cellar studios  f this knit electronic knitter            knit breathe relax        fiber hooligan           fiber knitche             free crochet
hand y machine knit       Hollywood knitter      house of knitting       in a sknit                  kino knits
jane and jen knit funny   keep calm and carry yarn                             kitchen stitches      knit 1 geek 2
knit actually                   knit dye read               knit picks                   knit.fm                     knit circus
knit british                      knit together               knit pug                      knit one crochet two

You should find something interesting in this list.  Sadly there seems to be a lot fewer crochet podcasts than knit.  Some are older like knit picks and cast on.  But they have a lot of useful information and are fun.  These are all English.  I can't keep up with the very limited Spanish and German I know.  So I don't listen to other languages.  It might be a great way to eventually learn a new language though....

Monday, June 26, 2017

Everyday Things

Recently I had reason to travel by plane.  This is not going to be a rant about the airlines,  planes, or the TSA.  Instead this is a positive post about what can be done  with everyday objects in your knitting and crocheting.   I knew before going that there would be limitations.   Yes knitting needles and crochet hooks are allowed on the plane.  They are allowed through security for the most part, unless the security person who is checking you is having a bad day or determines that such implements are maybe weapons. Space to work is also at a premium.

Due to a misunderstanding of the rules about what I could bring on the plane,  I knew I had to pack lightly and the things I did take needed to do double duty.   I had a very large tote bag for clothes and my knitting and crocheting as well as the normal purse stuff and stuff for designing.  So what did I take?

I was working on something for loom knitting.  But I couldn't take a loom and the yarn for the project.  I did take a very large wide toothed comb and used that as a loom.  A knitting loom uses super bulky weight yarn and is bulky to use in and of itself, especially for on a plane.  So everyday object number 1 that can do double duty is a wide toothed comb.    

I took a bunch of different colored pens along with sheets of graph paper.  Those work for designing charts.  The pens did another duty to help me with the loom knitting on the comb by pulling the loops up and over using one of the new pens that still had the plastic tip on. This prevented the ink from staining the yarn. 

I had a small make up bag with office supplies.  Paper clips held together theknitting for your  sheets of graph paper.  But they do more by being stitch markers and by marking rows on both the pattern and the project. The clips also hold on to the end of the yarn in the ball.

So with a comb and some paper clips and pens, I can knit.......

Friday, June 9, 2017

Desserted Island

A very odd title for a post on a blog about knitting and crocheting. I freely admit that.  But I recently read an article about what motivates people.  Specifically the motivation behind Gilligan's Island,  what caused it to be, Sherwood Schwartz in college was intrigued by the politics of how people get along with each other and wondered what might happen in a confined space  or on a desserted island.  This sparked a thought of naked and afraid and what I could bring to the table in a situation something along those lines.  Then the thoughts turned to.....if I was on a dessered island what would I want with me?

I suppose it would be futile to want a boat to get off said island. So if I could have only a foot locker full of yarns and tools, what might it be?  I know right now that list would change over time.

I think if the island is tropical, I would appreciate linen, cotton, hemp in dk weight and finer. 

I would want a couple of Barbara G. Walker's stitch dictionaries. I think Ann Budd's book of patterns for any size yarn would be great.  I would want a complete set of circular needles and a complete set of crochet hooks.  I would have to have 2 crochet stitch dictionaries of comparable quality.  I would also want a comparable book of crochet patterns like Ann Budd's for knitting.  I don't know if these exist. But these are what I want.   With basic pattern templates and stitch dictionaries,  you can usually create anything.

In another time I might do this with a different climate.  I know I can come up with a boatload of ideas

Friday, June 2, 2017

Sock Yarn v. Fingering weight yarn:: What are the differences? What are the similarities?

Recently when I was in a yarn shop with students, I was corrected by the owner.  We had been discussing yarns to make a lace cowl.  I had been suggesting a sock yarn could be paired with a lace weight to make the finished look desired as well as give the lace weight some heft since some were not used to working with something so fine.  What I was corrected on was the fact that the yarn she saw me pointing to was in fact fingering weight and not sock yarn.  I carried on with the lesson on yarns and the shop owner gave input where needed.  She after all should know her stock.

But besides the fact that we were both right (angle of perception has a great deal to do with what you see and think you see), it gave me pause to consider.  Am I shortchanging students in knowledge?  Better still, does anyone care?  I figure yes we do care.  Possibly this discussion is suitable for intermediate students though,

Sock yarn is yarn that is used to knit or crochet socks.  That is the base answer and while true is also untrue.  Sock yarn should be slightly stretchy.  It has very definite crimp in the fiber allowing for a lot of twist in the spin, thus allowing a lot of twist in the plying.  Sock yarn, if they are to be worn in shoes, is almost always fingering weight or a light fingering weight.  Much more and shoes won't fit over the foot and sock.  But is the goal for boot socks?  Then heavier weight yarn can be used.  Is the goal for bed socks or house socks?  Still heavier yarn can be used.

Fingering weight yarn on the other hand is any yarn that has 19 - 22 wraps per inch (how many times the yarn wraps around a ruler or pencil or any even object in an inch)  and knits up at a gauge of 7 - 8 stitches per inch.  It is fairly fine but not thread like.  The fiber may or may not have a lot of crimp.  The yarn may or may not be highly twisted.  The plying will match the twist.

On the surface, they seem to be one in the same.  But consider this.  All the sweaters, shawls, hats, scarves, you name it don't have near the friction  that a sock does inside a shoe, or even just being worn.  We don't walk on sweaters or shawls or hats.  This means that all that extra twist is more surface area for the yarn to wear evenly.   You won't get a wear hole in the sock nearly as fast as a yarn that doesn't have all that twist.  This is an important thing to consider. 

The shawl that is done in fingering weight yarn will usually have a lot of drape.  Fiber and gauge have a lot to do with this, but so does the amount of twist in the fiber as well as the amount of twist in the plying.  The shawl done in sock yarn but the same gauge and fiber won't drape as much.

So what is your preference?  Did you know there was a difference??

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Happy birthday Ravelry

May 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of Ravelry.

I know it's hard to believe. It's grown steadily from tens of members in the beginning to millions today.

Their blog post about their birthday can be found here

Do you utilize ravelry? What are your favorite parts?

I utilize it, but definitely not to its fullest.  I hunt for patterns.  I might see how yarns are used by others.  I check other people's projects.

I don't use the project page to my benefit or its fullest. I have not even used the stash section.  I try to keep my library up to date and fail.

Stash Dash by TheKnitGirllls

Ever since I heard about this event,  I have thought it was a great idea.  The basic idea is not to run thru your stash of yarn. The basic idea IS to finish wips, ufos, and things that are hibernating.   Rules for the way they run it can be found here from last year. The main rules stay the same.  

Sadly I don't get a lot of time to participate. I have a huge commitment each July that takes many, many hours for my church.  So I make my own time frame rules. I don't declare how much distance I'm working towards.  If I do, life conspires against me.  If I don't,  I have a better chance of time being available all over.

Check my list of wips from earlier this year.  I already know I have no chance of whipping through these. I started crochet dolls for my granddaughters birthday at the end of the month.  The girls are Star Wars fans and I'm doing Chewbacca and Yoda. There are also "Little Golden" books  with Star Wars themes to accompany.   And now to get to work on them.