Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Knitting, My Mother and Me

My mother was a knitter. I have a vague recollection of losing a sweater my mother made me when I was about five years old. She was really angry at me but I just shrugged it off. That was the last time I remember anything handmade in our house until I was seventeen. Then my older sister got pregnant and my mother became a knitting fool. Lots of hats and sweaters. Different colors and styles. That was when she taught me to knit. My knitting phase was short since I have no memory of it. Or didn’t until I decided to pick up the sticks once again this past April.
I was Stumbling (which you can read about here when I Stumbled Upon a knitting blog. The knitter had up a pair of socks she had made. Not just an ordinary pair but a gorgeous, colorful, textured pair of socks that made me gasp. I wanna do that. And I wanna do it now!
So I went to a lys (local yarn shop for you guys not in the know) and told the gent there that I was a beginning knitter and needed supplies. He sold me two skeins of a lovely red yarn and a set of needles and I was off. I came home and looked up, on YouTube, “how to cast on“. A bunch of videos come up. I clicked one, watched and said no. Another…nope not that cast on either. Three was my lucky number. I watched the woman’s nubile hands cast on and I imitated her. I KNEW how to do this! One, two, three and I had 36 stitches on. Next was how to knit and purl. I found videos and found that knitting is like riding a bike. Once you learn, you never forget. I was thrilled to be able to do this.
Knitting has brought me a Zen like calm and thoughts of my mother who has been gone these past twenty years. I see how it probably brought her calm in a life that was riddled with disquiet and hardship. It made me understand the woman that I never got to know because she died before I got to know her as anyone other than my mother.
I started this blog to tell you about the joy I’ve found this year with knitting but it turned out to be a kind of memorial for a mother who I never got along with when she was alive but now am starting to feel a kinship with long after her death. Thanks for the knitting lessons, Mom. Those and all the others you taught me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Yay Ebay!

I won this lot of knitting needles on ebay. For about fifty dollars I got oodles of brand new needles and a few pair of not so brand new. The package came when we were having lunch. I promptly opened the box and unpacked all the needles. I was looking everything over and I may have been moaning. Just a little. My husband was looking at me with a look on his face that clearly said "What the heck?" I just smiled and said "knitting porn"

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I Have A New Love

Bet you didn't think there would be a lotta talk about love in a knitting blog, didja? Well sorry to disappoint you but when I found my new love I just could not help myself from writing about it. Noro. Just a simple lil word like that makes me smile big. I'd heard rumors about this yarn but hadn't had a chance to do anything with it till now. I love the texture of it and the colors are beyond description. I found a pink/purple blend that I'm currently working with.
I'm making a big ole slouchy beret for my big ole slouchy head. I'm savoring working with this yarn because I'm really enjoying it so much. The new thing to learn for this project is the m1 stitch which makes a stitch, seemingly, out of nowhere. I've only done about an inch of it so far, which is a ribbing, and I'm going to be doing the body of it soon.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'd Like To Thank The Academy

This is from Madam Holly Bee at Knit With Snot For You. Check her out because her talent is only surpassed by her humor. She makes me laugh and laugh.
So here's the dealio. According to Holly I must:

List six things that make you happy.
Pass the award on to 6 more Kreativ bloggers.
Link back to the person who gave you the award.
Link to the people you are passing it on to and leave them a comment to let them know.

So first. Six things that make me happy. That's gonna be difficult because I'm a bit of a curmudgeon especially before 6am and only one cuppa joe.
1. First my family. Ok I know it's sappy but it's true. When I think of happiness I think of my husband and my boyos, my sisters (whether from the same mister or others) and the people around me that I love.
2. Umm...knitting DUH! I just love the feel of making something especially after so many years of feeling very uncreative. I'm happy to now realize that I can make something beautiful and really love the process.
3. My kindle. Makes me very happy. I'm a voracious reader and I can download books from my car if I want. I'm a gadget freak too so this fits the bill.
4. Laughter. Whether it be mine or someone elses. I guess happiness makes me happy!
5. A great movie. I lost my dad this year and we always had amazing conversations about great movies. I love coming out of a theater feeling like I just watched magic. He instilled that in me and it makes me feel him with me when that happens.
6. Christmas morning. Speaking of magic! There's nothing like the feeling on Christmas morning watching my boys faces when they wake up, even though it's usually before 6 am. It'll be bittersweet this year because our family will be less one member but I'm sure full of laughs as we talk about memories of Christmas past.

Ok that's my list. Now I'm going to link to others and let them know.

Overdosing On Nostalgia - Great friend, great blog. Funny, heartwarming and a great read.
LuLusKnits - Lovely knitting blog. Sweet girl with some beautiful stuff!
Looking Glass Knits - a NYC teacher who is so very creative. Her socks are great!
As Seen On The Bathroom Wall - Beautifully written blog by an artistic friend and jewelry designer.

Ok I know it's supposed to be six but Imma be a cheater and list only four. Hope you all enjoy spreading the love. I'll be on to post some stuff soon!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Long Distance Sweet Peas

Here are pictures of my three little long distance Sweet Peas with the scarves I made them. They're the children of my bestest friend who lives far away. Aren't they just the cutest kids ever??? I think they liked their scarves almost as much as I liked making them.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lion Brand Yarn Studio

It's almost here! The Lion Brand Yarn Studio opens in less than a week BUT I was lucky enough to get a coupon for a sneak peek! My knitting buddy and I are going to go tomorrow and check things out. I'm excited to see what they have there. From what I understand it's going to be very hands on. You will be able to knit a gauge swatch to see if the yarn you want will fit the pattern you have. It will take more than a swatch station to win my affection.
I have to say's going to be hard to replace the place in my heart that The Point now resides. I LOVE The Point. We've been there several times now and I like it more and more with each visit. But hey...I'm open minded. I'll give LBYS a go. The one plus already is that it's a bit closer to me than The Point. We go this week so I'll post about it soon.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Cute Boo Boo

I LOVE this hat! I found it here I love the hats that Woolly designs and I could not wait to get one done. It was so easy but, there's always a but, I had to use dpns at the end. But I did it! It's a beanie for Patch. Now here's the boo boo part. It's too small. It's more a yarmulke than a beanie. It's ok. I have a friend with a 2 year old who can use it so it's not too bad. I've cast on a bigger one so he'll have a hat in no time.
I was really nervous about using dpns so I went to Ravelry to ask for hints from these brilliant goddesses of yarn craft. One suggested that I just get some scrap yarn and practice! How smart and easy. So easy I overlooked that idea. So that's what I did. I went to Youtube, found some dpn knitting videos and practiced! Not that I'm so proficient at dpns now but at least I'm not frightened to the point of tears.
Tomorrow is my first meet up! I'm so excited about that too. It's at the Barnes & Nobles in Union Square which is one of my favorite areas of NYC. So tomorrow will be some knitting with new knitting friends then a trip to the Green Market. I can't think of a more fun way to spend a fall day. Oh and my new friend will be going with me so I won't be nervous.
And today is Election Day! I'm taking the boys with me to vote because I truly believe this will be a historic election and probably the most important one in our lifetimes. So don't forget to get out and Barack the Vote!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I Never Knew Love Like This Before

Ok do you see the sign on that window? Knit and be happy. That's what I did! I was knitting and being happy.
So my friend and I went to The Point. We get there and the young lady who manages the store is a sweetheart. She asks if she can help and when we tell her we're just looking she says she'll be there if we need her and she goes to help someone else. Ok I have a thing about salespeople usually. It always seems that if I don't need them, they're up my wazoo and if I DO need them, they're nowhere to be found. Not this young woman. She was there but not trailing us. Ok so the stuff there is gorgeous needless to say. I mean drool worthy beautiful. Bright colors, beautifully displayed. The person who owns this knows exactly what she's doing in the way of marketing. There's a lot of room to browse or sit and knit while having a cuppa joe. Or tea if that's your preference.
We browsed and picked out a couple of things each we'd like to get. I was looking for something to make a baby hat with for one of my son's teachers. He just adopted a baby girl, 18 months old, and I want to make a hate for her. I got a skein of Debbie Bliss Rialto 4 ply 100% merino extrafine superwash. I just realized it doesn't have a color name but it's the color of rich butter. It's absolutely gorgeous! Then I got a skein of , dare I say it, sock wool! It's South West Trading Company Tofutsies yarn which is made with soysilk and chitin. What's chitin you ask? It's fiber from shrimp and crab shells and is naturally antibacterial. I thought that was so cool! The colors are a mix of pink, purple, blue and white. I can't make a pair for my husband though..he's allergic to crab. Ba dum dum!
The people there were so nice. Two women who worked there and two customers. Warm, welcoming, chatty, intelligent...everything I want in a yarn store. I have been to other stores, a couple I liked, one I really, REALLY, disliked but this one felt...homey. It was so nice there and I just can't wait to go back.
Hopefully I'll get the baby hat done this week and have it to post for you.
Oh and I'm going to my first knitting get together with my friend on Wednesday and I'm really looking forward to that! I'll let you know how it goes.