Where and When? #6KCBWDAY7

Knitting-Crochet-Blog-Week-6-Banner

It’s the last day of Knit & Crochet Blog Week and, as with the #LoveYourBlog challenge, Eskimimi saved the easiest for last – Your Time, Your Place.  When and where do we take time out to knit.  I’m not one of those people that takes out knitting everywhere they go. I find I don’t need to be knitting all the time, everywhere.

So, when do I knit?  The simple answer – pretty much everyday, but Thursdays are knitting days.  At this point even some of my co-workers know this.  Knit night starts with tea and pastry as the bakery next to the yarn store (River Colors) and ends at a local restaurant with a meal and an adult beverage but this might belong below in the Where section.  The more thoughtful answer – I knit when I’m bored and when I’m stressed.  My favorite saying is “Sometimes all you can do is knit in a circle”.  I recently talked to a friend who found knitting in a circle to be absolute torture so I guess it’s not for everyone but for me, having something on a set of circular needles and just knitting is very relaxing.  It requires almost no concentration so when I’ve had a long, hard work day it is all the mental power I have left in me.

Where do I knit?  At home, each night to relax from evil work days.  On Thursdays, we knit at River Colors Studio. Thursday is open knit night.  The yarn store where I learned to knit did not have open knit days/nights.  I wanted to become a better knitter and a knitter who was able to finish more than one project a year so when I found knit night I decided that would force me to dedicate two hours of my week to knitting.  Funny, now if I only knit two hours a week there is definitely something wrong!  When I started going in 2008 there was a large group that met on Thursday nights and I sort of blended into the crowd and took in the scene.  Slowly, the crowd started to trail off and I was able to actually start meeting other knitters.  I’m sure all knit groups go through an ebb and flow.  We often talk about those who have been part of the group and then mysteriously disappear, never to be seen again.  There was a small amount of time where it really was only the 5-6 of us in my group.  We’re back up in numbers now and new people trickle in and out which always makes things interesting.  I have also been known to pull out a sock at very long, very boring work meetings 🙂

This year’s blog week was especially fun as there was quite an active group over on Facebook and I “met” many new bloggers this year.  Can’t wait for next year!

Decisions, Decisions

Today’s topic is to create a poll on a knitting topic.  The first thing that popped into my head was my ever burning of question of what I’m going to do with my yarn club yarns once the year is over.  (All of my yarn club posts can be found under the category Yarn Club if you want to take a look).  My plan is to make a giant Cleveland project blending all 12 yarns into one project.  Now, I won’t use all the yarn for the project, I’ve already dived in and used some of January’s yarn for another project but I have enough left over to incorporate into the bigger project.  We all love Ravelry but I really wanted to figure out a way to search for projects that require 12 or more colors.  In the meantime, I’ve been keeping my eye out and marking any projects I think will work.  So, here’s where you can help – I’ve listed my top 3 in the poll and I’ve included Other.  If you vote Other, please leave a suggestion in the comments so I can check out some other options!

In case you are wondering – here are links for the options: 1. Dotted Rays 2. Memory Blanket and 3. All Colors Work Shawl  I’ll discuss my thought process in more detail after I get the poll results.  I don’t want to bias the voting!

Something Different – 6KCBWDAY5

Knitting-Crochet-Blog-Week-6-Banner

Day 5 (and this is always my biggest challenge):

Something A Bit Different
It’s the annual challenge to blog in a way different to how you normally blog. You may choose to create a podcast, or vlog, create a wordless post, a beautiful infographic or write in verse. You can post on any topic you like, but be sure to post in a style different from your usual blog presentation. There’s not too much guidance for this one simply because the more varied the posts are on this day, the wider the sources of information for other bloggers will be.

I came across these videos thanks to Vogue Knitting and they explain one of my favorite yarns in a very entertaining way so I will let them talk about (and if you want to see what I did with the yarn you can check out this post)

What’s in My Bag? #6KCBWDAY4

Knitting-Crochet-Blog-Week-6-Banner

First – big day as I hit 100 followers (most of whom are not related to me!!)!!  Now, on to the Day 4 prompt which is:

Day Four (Thursday 14th May): Bags Of Fun.
Time to delve into that most treasured collection of tools, notions and oddments as you are asked to spill the contents of your knitting or crochet bag, caddy or other method of organisation and put your crafting unmentionables on display.

To be honest (and I’m sure everyone will agree with me) I have many, many knitting bags.  Every project has a bag, and let’s just say I’m definitely not a monogamous knitter…  So, I needed to focus on this one so I decided to go with my notions bag which gets tossed around from bag to bag and all around my house.  I recently replaced it so let’s take a look, shall we?

wpid-20150514_094432.jpg

This is my notions bag.  I found it in a little gift store on the North Shore of Oahu last year.  I loved the colors and it has the outline of the state of Hawaii on it and the tote I had been using for my notions was a little too small and hard to really see inside if I was searching for something.  This is a great size in that I can open it up and look around and it fits more stuff!  Here’s a peek of the inside:

wpid-20150514_094405.jpg

Ok, the polka dots on the inside completely sold me!!  How fun is that???  As you can see you can get in there and root around and find the stitch marker that sank to the absolute bottom of the bag.  I took out some of the items inside and here’s what you find.

20150514_094631

Starting on the left – I have a bunch of knitting pins which were given to me and I have used on a few occasions.  My friend’s aunt bought them and knew she would not use them and so thought of me!  Your standard row counter and above that one of those TSA approved (although I think I’ve heard they are not approved any longer but I’ve flown with my as recently as this year) yarn cutters.  I went to MadTosh Crafts in January and picked up this cool triangle ruler/needle measure.  And, of course, a small crochet hook for those oops moments.  The rest are all stitch markers.  The tiny one on the measure is from Wild Yarns in Denver and was part of a set of about 8-10 markers.  I love them because they are so tiny and they don’t get in the way.  The rainbow set I just got from Simply Socks Co. when I went to order my sock ruler and could not pass them up!   The cute sheep marker is from one of my knitting friends – she picked up stitch markers for everyone on her vacation out west last year.  The candy cane and mardi gras mask are from Abbi at Abbi Grosso’s Yarns – she includes them with your order!

My bag, a little like me, is a collection of treasures that I’ve gathered over the years and I love the new polka dot home the treasures live in now!  Can’t wait to see what’s in everyone else’s bag!

Don’t forget if you want to read more posts use the hashtag in my title and put it in a search engine or social media to find more posts!

Photo Day! #6KCBWDAY3

Knitting-Crochet-Blog-Week-6-Banner

This is my third year of participating and there is always a photo day.  I want to improve my photo skills but that’s kind of far down the list of pressing things to do so I do appreciate this little challenge each year.

I recently discovered a new blog that I enjoy very much – The Desert Knitter and she wrote a blog about swatching for a new project that was going to use different colors.  In the post she talked about using the black and white filter to check contrast in her choices.  I found it so interesting and it made me think of my yarn club yarn.

My ultimate goal with the 12 skeins of yarn club yarn is to put them all in one project so I have a Colors of Cleveland finished item.  This will be interesting because we have received so many different colorways and all are variegated.  I have a few ideas of projects in mind (and I’ll share more of that later this week – big tease!).  In the meantime, I took the 9 months of colors outside this past sunny Saturday and took some photos and used my black and white filter to see what the contrast looks like in a few different line ups.  Here’s what I have so far.

2015-12-5--12-35-07 2015-12-5--12-38-42

What I noticed most was there is very little contrast when you switch to black and white, except for a few pops of very bright or very dark colors there is a pretty even gray going on throughout.  I have a great neutral to use between sections of colors so I think however they end up it will work.  We still have 3 more months to add.  I think I know which one I’m leaning towards but let me know which one you like!

All About Me (not really…) #6KCBWDAY2

Knitting-Crochet-Blog-Week-6-Banner

I had more fun with Day 1’s topic last night when I met up with my knitting crew for a movie night and told them about the prompt.  It was so interesting to see the different ways people interpreted the question.  One of my friends said what she would not be and one just focused on what color yarn she would be.  It was a great way to kick off the week!

Now, Day 2’s prompt:

Day Two (Tuesday 12th May): It’s All About You.
Cast your hooks and needles aside!

This year you are challenged with one of those tasks that some bloggers can find quite daunting: but there’s never a better time then when we’re all in it together, so let’s shift the focus and turn the attention from the things we make to the things that make us.

From the minute it was posted I knew this one would be a challenge.  My blog focuses on what I knit and where I travel, not so much on me.  I will admit to reading 6-7 other posts on this topic to see what I could write about me.  Number 1 thing about me is I hate being the center of attention (which may be why I’ve not been sad about not being married – I would probably die under all that attention!)

I had been thinking a list would be the best way to approach this post and my research shows I’m not alone in the formatting this as a list.  I’m going to focus on the last part of that prompt: “turn the attention from the things we make to the things that make us”  Here, in no particular order, are the things that make me.

  • Family – no explanation needed
  • Friends – many of whom are like family to me
  • Being the cool aunt to my friends’ kids – I love being able to spoil them and leave!
  • Knitting – it’s many times one of the first things I tell people about myself
  • Travel – I get itchy if I haven’t been somewhere, there is something about going out to explore new experiences

2015-12-5--12-14-28

Okay, enough about me!  I forgot a few housekeeping issues in yesterday’s post.  If you want to read more from others participating in Knit & Crochet Blog Week – search here and if you want more info or to check out the prompts go here.

What Yarn Are You?

This is the question posed for the first day of Knit & Crochet Blog Week 2015 hosted by Eskimimi Makes.  Before I dive in, I  must send out good vibes to Eskimimi who is unable to participate this year due to some health concerns – hope all works out for you!

Now, I did a little research to figure out which yarn I would be and I came up with Linen.  I was specifically looking for a yarn that is a little rough when you first get it but becomes softer as you wash and wear it.  At first I was thinking of some type of wool that softens as it wears but the more I searched the more linen came up.  Here are some fun facts I learned about linen yarn:

  • Linen is made from a plant called Flax which is a weed that grows in the Netherlands
  • It is durable but elegant – a rare mix of qualities
  • Produces a strong material that lasts a long time
  • It has a natural ability to cool you through evaporation
  • It is not soft & fluffy at first touch
  • Requires no special care and with each wash becomes softer

I think I’m a lot like linen yarn.  I’m a bit stiff and prickly when you first meet me but the longer you know me, the more you will find out I’m all soft on the inside.  I feel I’m quite durable, if durable were used to describe people.  Synonyms for durable include long-lasting, tough, resistant, strong, and indestructable.  I’d like to think I’m tough and strong and weather whatever is thrown at me.  Linen yarn also has many uses – looking at Ravelry under Euroflax Sport Weight (one of the more popular linen yarns) there are 5,167 projects ranging from t-shirts to totes to dishcloths and blankets.  I have many interests and I will try just about anything once!

So, what yarn would you be???

Day 7 – Wow!!

So we come to the end of the 5th Annual Knit and Crochet Blog Week!  As usual Day 7 asks that we look back and look forward.  Last year was the first time I participated and my blogging skills were still somewhat minimal.  I have improved on those skills and have been able to post on a somewhat regular basis.  I’m hoping to continue to improve my technical skills and keep up with the postings.  This year’s topics really required me to think outside of the box I usually think in so it was a great exercise for me.  I found some fun new blogs to read.  I’ve been working on some other knitting/writing related projects and I’m hoping when next rolls around I will have made some progress on those and hope to share that news with everyone!  Mostly I just hope that I’m still knitting and still writing next year!!

Day 6 – How Knitting and the Law Intersect

Day 6’s assignment is to write about a knitter or crocheter that we admire.  I have met so many amazing knitters over the years, it hard to focus on just one.  There were no knitters in my family.  My grandma and her sister would crochet when I was young and I do remember a few failed attempts trying to learn to crochet.  Crochet still is not my craft – must be the Libra in me that I feel unbalanced with only one needle!  I just woke up one day and decided I wanted to learn how to knit.

At the time I learned to knit I was working very closely with an attorney in Pittsburgh.  I must have mentioned something about my new hobby and was shocked to learn she was a life-long knitter.  I remember her asking me what I was working on and as I recall the conversation I’m sure I told her I was working on some sort of scarf or other beginner project and the standard size 9 or 10 starter needles.  And her reply has stuck with me for all these years, she told me she prefers to knit on size 1 or maybe 2 needles.  I thought she was insane, or I should say that confirmed for me that she was insane (as I said we worked very closely together).  Who would want to knit on those skinny, skinny needles???  That would be me.  I now completely understand what she was saying.  I do occasionally pull out the 10s or 11s if I need a gift quick or need some instant gratification but I’m usually at a 6 or below on anything I knit now.  She retired from her day job a number of years ago but knitting is the tie that binds.  Usually on a cold January day I get an e-mail from her asking if I will be coming to the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Show and I go every year more to see her and catch up then for any other reason.  We take a class, do some shopping and when time allows grab some lunch.  She tells me she does not keep up with most of the other people we have worked with over the years but we have our knitting and I update her on all the news with our group of colleagues.  I learned so much from her professionally and I continue to learn from her skills as a knitter, she is crazy talented.  I missed the Pittsburgh show this year for so many reasons but I sure I hope I can make our yearly catch up session next year!

The second part of today’s assignment is to write about someone who has given you feedback, negative or positive about your knitting.  This one is a little easier for me.  And, it’s another amazing woman I had the good fortune to work with for a number of years. She worked at a law firm in New York and in today’s world we communicated solely by e-mail and maybe one or two phone conversations but for whatever reason that was enough to form a friendship.  We really wanted to meet and kept hoping our mutual client would have a meeting for all their counsel.  It almost happened but she was pregnant with twins so we had to wait.  She had those twins and just when I thought she was never coming back to work I got an e-mail that she was copied on and I immediately e-mailed her!!  With the magic of Facebook I was admiring pictures of the twins just a few minutes later.  And that long awaited meeting was finally scheduled.  I decided to knit the twins hats.  They are a boy and a girl and they live in home that loves sports.  I found this cute pattern by Susan B. Anderson for little football helmets and made one in baby blue and one in pink.

Here they are on some teddy bears I had at the house!

Here they are on some teddy bears I had at the house!

There was a welcome dinner scheduled for all of the attorneys attending this meeting.  People were coming from all over the country.  We had decided to meet for a pre-dinner drink and, really, to be girls who are excited to meet before we had to act all professional.  I gave her the hats and she was so excited with them.  I was worried because as all knitters know we only see the mistakes in our work but she was genuinely thrilled.  We then headed off to dinner with about 10 other attorneys.  No sooner did we all sit down did she pull out the hats and pass them around and tell everyone that I had made them for the twins.  I thought I was going to have to hide under the table.  Everyone loved them but it was not the tough, professional attorney image I was going for, however, it was extremely flattering and we’ve been friends since.  She had a third and he got his own football hat.  She stays at home with all those kids now and we keep in touch over Facebook and she has been so supportive of my knitting work.  Lucky for us I love to visit NYC and she lives just outside the city so we get the chance to meet up every so often.  I am sure I will never forgot that business dinner!