Monday, October 30, 2006

30th October 2006

I have to think of more imaginative titles for my posts...
OK: 'I heart Yarn, I heart Yarn Magazines, and I heart knitting' will be the title of this post.

I had a lovely Stitch n Bitch meet yesterday. One of the members brought in a magazine called "Knit n Style". It contained an article called 'Mindless Knitting' about using knitting as a form of meditation. Now I've long been telling my doctor that knitting is a form of stress-relief for me. Whilst she agrees to an extent, she argues that yoga or meditation would be more effective as knitting is still engaging my mind and hands. Therefore it is not allowing me a total 'relaxation' - which I clearly need as I am 'highly-strung' to say the least!

I believe that knitting can induce a meditating effect - once I get into it I can start to drift and become lost in a zen-like state brought about by the repetitive action of knitting.

However, I never really thought about the projects I knit. Under the Hoodie for example - whilst being a stocking stitch hoodie - cannot induce a zen-like meditative state because I must remember not to knit too far, to remember the increases every 6 rows etc. etc.

What I need to do is have a project that is knit in the round with purl stitches - my favourite stitch. Perhaps with a thinner yarn, like the Artesano Alpaca that's been in my stash forever. Then whenever I feel the need to de-stress [those that know me will know that this is very often at the moment!] I can pick this project up and use it to unwind.

No iPods, no TV, no boy - just me in my craft room purling myself calm.

I can't find the magazine anywhere so far - I had hoped that Borders would still have some copies - but none left. If anyone has access to this article (or knows where I can get a copy) I would really appreciate a photocopy of it! I just got a quick read at the meet, and it wasn't really the place to totally absorb all the info.

On another note - following Threadless dropping his design - the boy has decided to join the ranks of the indie craftsters and has his own shop - selling 'I heart Yarn' totes, messengers, hoodies etc. We are thinking of buying 3-4 of the totes and selling them at the next Miso Funky market too!

This is what happened when I fell into Borders after Sundays meet looking for "Knit n Style" ... I've been wanting to get a copy of Bust forever and always seem to miss the window that Borders stock it for - but this time I struck gold! A brilliant magazine aimed at actual women, normal women. Including features like how to make an apron, how to gore up with make-up, lots and lots of indie adverts for Christmas shopping ideas and a "Ask Aunt Betty" for 'bedroom' advice that made me blush!

And hiding behind it, my favourite knitting magazine - Vogue Knitting International - yay! Haven't read through this properly but it contains the usual mountain of patterns to add to the 'in the queue' pile.

I don't even bother to update that portion of my sidebar anymore - there are so many works in the queue that it exceeds my life expectancy already!

Under the Hoodie continues - I am now onto the sleeves. I'm knitting both sleeves at the same time to avoid second-sleeve sydrome [a sister of second sock syndrome] and to ensure an exact match.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Thursday 26th

I received my copy of Yarn Forward this week. The good: Good articles and the best idea for a needle holder that I've seen - sew a strip of rufflette from a curtain to the inside of the fabric and pop the needles in there! Genius!

They give 3 yarn substitutes for each pattern "Cheap and Cheerful (under £5 per 100g)", "Mid-range (bet. £5-£10 per 100g)" and "Spoil Yourself (over £10 per 100g)" which is a fantastic idea!

Some interesting patterns, although nothing that took my fancy at the moment. I'm having a down-sock time but I think that the sock patterns could appeal later.

The down points were a bad choice of typeface and layout which could impact negatively on anyone with visual difficulties and also some image issues.

There were many photos of the patterns from all angles, which is exactly what us knitters need! However many of the photos were stretched and looked odd, making it difficult to see the pattern in some cases.

The shiny paper chosen gave the magazine a 'tabloid freebie magazine' feel. I'm guessing that this is not the image that the magazine is aiming for and a matt paper would have been a better (although undoubtedly more expensive) choice.

These however, are picky points on a fantastic start for this magazine! I can't wait to see where it goes and will be buying more copies.

Progress on Under the Hoodie from Stitch n Bitch [I have temporarily dropped Central Park Hoodie]. The front is done! I love the look of the overlapping neck although the pattern instructions had myself and some of the Glasgow Stitch n Bitchers scratching our heads.

"With RS facing ... cont across row, pu 24 more sts by knitting into the purl bump of sts already worked along right front neckline ..." pu = pick up

We eventually decided that the instructions meant to pick up the stitches straight along the row (parallel to coloured chest stripe] for anyone doing this project. The "along the right front neckline" bit caused the confusion ...

Onwards and upwards to the hood and sleeves!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Saturday 21st Oct

I had a lovely knitty day today! I got the wristwarmers above from K1 Yarns' charity stall at the Miso Funky market. An absolute bargain at £5 - I love them! The proceeds went to Childline.

I also made some decent progress on Under the Hoodie (from the Stitch n Bitch book), getting up to the neck shaping and beyond.

And I managed to score some Angora yarn from the K1 Yarns stall - 7 skeins for £3.50!! Wooooo!

I placed an order with Lilith for one of her fabby hat kits - ice'y/winter blue merino and grey undyed and snowflake charms. I can't wait, and will blog it once it is done.

Great day! Am floating on a knitty cloud :)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Long time...

It's been a wee while since I last blogged ... The start of semester really takes it out of me, especially this year due to a temporary promotion to desk supervisor. I'm getting migraines more frequently and falling asleep on the couch at frankly ridiculously early times!

I've also been busy seeing a friend from Melbourne (originally Glasgow) and learning Japanese in preparation for next years Japanese yarn/craft fest holiday...

Above is Hot Fudge Sundae from Cupcakes Galore - it has ice cream on top and home-made hot fudge sundae sauce dribbling down it - mmm! It was a fairly easy recipe this time [no more stir in bowl over boiling pan of water nonsense!] with an unusual addition of crushed salted peanuts. The boy likes these - I think it would taste better without any nuts.

But, unlike with knitting, I fear deviating from the recipe even a tiny bit as I am still very much in novice stages.

Below [sticking firmly to the pattern] is my progress on Under the Hoodie from Stitch n Bitch. I've finished the pocket! It was a total nightmare that nearly reduced me to tears & gave me a migraine breeze. Onwards and upwards!


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Tuesday 3rd Oct

WIPs here, WIPs there.
A row here, a row there.
Everything's plodding on - nothing's reached a blogworthy stage at the moment.

Instead I'm posting about a t-shirt that the brilliant boy has designed - see below - tis fabulous isn't it?

He designed it for a site called Threadless which is like a giant t-shirt competition that anyone can submit designs for. People vote and, based on this, some tshirts get printed up by Threadless and sold from the site.

So if you would like to see the boy's design being printed by Threadless then please join and vote! It has to get quite a high score in the first 24 hours to remain up for the full seven days, so if you like it spread the word amongst knitters :)
[To vote click the box below]

I would love for the boy to get the recognition for this excellent design - plus I really want one! I thought about doing it with the iron-on transfer sheet thingys but I'd much prefer a professional printed tee.

My Submission