A Conversation with the Yarn Swift

Day 4 – Conversation between workers.  Today’s topic asks that we write from the perspective of one of our knitting tools and then imagine a conversation we might have with that tool.  This one is easy – I’ve had several conversations with my yarn swift/ball winder.

I’m a yarn swift and together with my friend, ball winder, I make beautiful balls from skeins of yarn.  Once in a ball the knitter can knit from both ends of the ball by pulling from the center and using the outside if double weight is necessary.  The balls make knitting so much easier as they sit on tables, in bags and on laps without rolling all over the place.  I think every yarn store has one but many knitters like to have one of me at home too, for emergency knitting!!!  I work in conjunction with the ball winder and between the two of us we make a dynamic duo!

Just the other day I had the following conversation with my knitter:

My knitter: I’ve finally decided what to do with that self patterning sock yarn I bought months ago so it’s time to make a ball!

Me: Ok, you know you always have a problem working me.  I hope you’ve improved your technique since the last disaster.

My knitter: I know this time will be different.  One of these times I will get the hang of it.  First I have to get all the ties off and now I’m ready to put spread you out and get the yarn.

Me: This is great yarn – I love the red, white and blue!  I really hope you can get through this whole ball without stopping in the middle.

My knitter: Now I just have to thread it through the ball winder and let’s get this thing going!

Me: I love spinning open and free with pretty yarn twirling around!  Keep it up!!!

My knitter: I did it!!  I did it!!  We made it through that whole skein without me losing it, or otherwise having an issue.  Great job swift and ball winder.  Look how beautiful!!!

 

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Stars and Stripes yarn by Artistic Yarns by Abi on Etsy

Me: She finally did it – I can’t believe it!!  Maybe she will get the hang of me after all!!

 

Anatomy of a Yarn Bomb

Day 3 – not the hardest post of the week for me but definitely the second hardest.  Today is the photo challenge which encourages those of us who really, really like words to play with photos and do something different.  I have a hard time taking a good, regular picture of my knitting much less to shake it up and get creative.  Slowly, an idea started forming in my head.  This past weekend I finally was able to finish installing my own personal yarn bombing.  Inspired by all the cool projects I’ve seen I wanted to do something at my own house.  This is something my knitting group has had long discussions about – different ideas have been thrown out for each person’s home and included mailboxes, trees and telephone poles.  I had none of those but I did have an ugly, decaying wrought iron gate on my front porch – perfect!  It looked like this:

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For the photo challenge I took the finished pictured and divided it into 4 pictures and then gave a very brief explanation of the yarn scraps used for each section so I broke it down and here they are:

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Some of the writing is a little hard to read but it will be a reminder to me and it was a great way to stash bust!!  I have to admit that as I neared the end and had cleared out large amounts of random bits of yarn that I had a moment of panic, as if I might run out of yarn.  I’m sure others can understand this and rest easy I will not run out of yarn any time soon!!  Here’s the final product in one picture:

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I can’t wait to check out what others have done with today’s challenge – if you see something fun be sure to share it!!

And if you want to see other posts click here!

Looking for a Mate

Day 2’s topic is to write a dating profile for something we have knit.  I had a few ideas and then checked my project page on Ravelry to see if anything really spoke to this topic and that’s when I saw her – the matryoshka doll I knit this past Christmas so this is her on-line dating profile.

Single Nesting Doll Seeks Mate

I was knit from scraps as a last minute Christmas gift last December.  I stand about 3 inches tall, have brown hair, a green cape and a red dress.  I have small black eyes and permanent smile on my face.  I can hang from your Christmas tree or anywhere else.  This photo was taken right after I came off the needles.

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I enjoy hanging around and sharing a smile with all who see me.  I also enjoy meeting other nesting dolls who are made of different materials and I love seeing how many dolls nest inside each one!  I do not like cats and other pets who are a danger to my existence. I have some wool in me so hot water is another thing I avoid.  I’m looking for another nesting doll to hang around with.  Perhaps one with a different color cape and/or dress.  Or another type of doll.  Open to any knitted dolls to want to brighten up their surroundings!

The Citron’s Tale

Today is the first day of the 2014 Knitting and Crochet Blog Week.  Eskimmi has an exciting week of topics planned and I’m hoping to be able to keep up.  The topic for Day 1 is a day in the life of a knitted object, either finished or in progress.  My citron decided to tell it’s story.  So, here is the citron’s tale.

I started as many project’s do – a new pattern in Knitty that was sweeping through my knitter’s group like the flu.  Everyone was knitting one and so I was born.  She picked me from the wide array of colors of Malabrigo Lace that was available.  All her friends chose one of the other colors.  Some chose yellow, some green, some blue and she chose me – Molly.  I guess she was going more grapefruit with her citron and not lemon or lime.  She cast me on in January, 2010 and slowly plugged away.  I’m a simple pattern but I just keep getting larger and then there is the ruffle and everyone knows ruffles take forever!

One of her friends finished hers and brought it in one Thursday night to show off.  She became concerned as the finished project was a little smaller than she had imagined.  Her friend let everyone know that she would have added one more pattern repeat but she had run out of yarn.  Immediately she went and bought my friend who was luckily still on the shelf waiting for a home.  It was at that point she decided to add another pattern repeat to make me a little longer.

She was almost finished with me and it was time for vacation so she chose me as her vacation project!  I was the perfect plane knitting because at that point she was at the ruffle so there was just a lot and a lot of knitting.  She worked and worked and finished me on the plane on the way to Key West.  For her it was a pretty quick project as I was done in April, of the same year!!!!  I looked pretty good – check me out!

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Over the next three years I was worn to all sorts of places.  I was a nice lightweight shawlette to throw on cold shoulders in the warmer summer weather.  Then, one day last year, she decided to wash all her hand knit shawls.  Don’t ask me why, we’re all terrified of water!!  I knew it wasn’t going to end well when she casually tossed me in the washer but there wasn’t anything I could do.  It was a cold, but gentle 20 minute cycle and boy was she surprised when she pulled me out and I was a 1/3 of the size I was when I went in. Everyone else who went in with me survived – I was the only casualty.  At first she didn’t know what to do with me but then she decided I would make a great chair cover and so here I am in what is probably my final resting place – still not so bad!

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I Did It!!!

Wow!  I made it through my first Knit & Crochet blog week.  I managed 7 posts in 7 days and am pretty excited by that.  I want to thank http://www.eskimimimakes.com/ for organizing this whole adventure.  I was not sure what to expect but it was great.  I loved being challenged by the daily blog topics, I loved seeing all the new people reading my blog and I loved reading the blogs of others posting.

The last topic is to look forward and set goals for the coming year.  In early January I had a few work friends.  The three of us have worked together for a long time and offer support when our jobs are just too much.  We sat around my living room and talked about our passions that we would love to turn into more than hobbies.  I talked about knitting and blogging.  After that night I made it a point to blog on a more regular basis.

Then I stumbled across a post about Knit and Crochet blog week and it seemed to be a perfect fit. So when Knit and Crochet blog week rolls around next year I hope to be more proficient with my blogging skills.  I started expanding my horizons this week and want to continue.  I have some fun adventures planned which will give me lots of stories to blog about.  Hopefully in new and creative ways!  So keep reading and keep knitting!

Tools of the Trade

Today’s post is supposed to be about our favorite knitting tool.  For the non-knitters who read this blog you may wonder how many tools are involved in knitting and the answer would be many!  Besides the needles, there are stitch markers, measuring tapes, scissors, sewing needles and my personal favorite the yarn swift.  

I say that part in jest and part in all sincerity.  I’m not a mechanical girl by nature.  I work at a job where I can have other people deal with paper jams and broken printers so learning to use the yarn swift was quite daunting for me.  And the whole process has been the source of many laughs for my knitting group.  There is just something about how to get the yarn through the eye of ball winder that mystifies me everytime.  And, inevitably, at some point there is some sort of issue.

But I do love the yarn swift.  I love how beautiful it makes the skeins of yarn.  I love how easy it makes the balls of yarn (much more efficient than me, my knees and the couch).  It saves a lot of knot frustration.  I finally got my own swift, a birthday present and have now designed an entire craft room around it and I can swift whenever I want!

Tools of the Trade

Today’s post is supposed to be about our favorite knitting tool.  For the non-knitters who read this blog you may wonder how many tools are involved in knitting and the answer would be many!  Besides the needles, there are stitch markers, measuring tapes, scissors, sewing needles and my personal favorite the yarn swift.  

I say that part in jest and part in all sincerity.  I’m not a mechanical girl by nature.  I work at a job where I can have other people deal with paper jams and broken printers so learning to use the yarn swift was quite daunting for me.  And the whole process has been the source of many laughs for my knitting group.  There is just something about how to get the yarn through the eye of ball winder that mystifies me everytime.  And, inevitably, at some point there is some sort of issue.

But I do love the yarn swift.  I love how beautiful it makes the skeins of yarn.  I love how easy it makes the balls of yarn (much more efficient than me, my knees and the couch).  It saves a lot of knot frustration.  I finally got my own swift, a birthday present and have now designed an entire craft room around it and I can swift whenever I want!

List Mania

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 or write in verse. You’ve already stretched your wings with an infographic, now it’s time to freestyle. You can post on any topic you like, but be sure to post in a style different from your usual blog presentation. 

So, that was yesterday’s assignment.  I’m a day behind but decided this would be a post of lists (I’m a huge fan of lists…).

Yarn Stores I’ve been to (and usually dragged some poor person traveling with me)

  1. Hill Country Weavers – Austin, TX
  2. Wild Yarns – Denver, CO
  3. KnitWitz – Jacksonville, FL
  4. Stitch DC – Washington, DC
  5. Purl Soho – NYC
  6. Knitty City – NYC
  7. Knit Witz – Key West, FL
  8. Avant Apres – Montpelier, France
  9. Churchmouse Yarns & Tea – Bainbridge Island, WA
  10. So Much Yarn – Seattle, WA
  11. Seaside Yarns, Juneau, AK

Fiber Festivals I’ve Attended

  1. Great Lakes Fiber Festival – Wooster, OH
  2. Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet
  3. Knitter’s Fantasy – Youngstown, OH
  4. Fiber Expo – Ann Arbor, MI

Can’t wait to add to both lists!

A Study of Color

Today’s assignment is to write about color.  What a wonderful topic!  If you were to ask me what colors of yarn I gravitate towards I would say purples, pinks, greens and I love variegated yarns of any color.  I think my love for variegated comes from my inability to commit to one whole color (and most likely my Libra trait of general indecision…).

Now, what colors have I actually knit with over the past year?  I just bought a new camera and my phone is a year old so any pictures of my knitting for the past year are on my phone so I went through and here’s what I came up with.

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Not bad!!!  There are a lot of pinks and purples in there.  I do enjoy the colors of fall and tend towards beiges and browns for neutrals.  I realized that when I went to pick out a shawl to wear with something black.  Put that on the list of things to knit…  

Now the scary part!  Compare all this to my stash.  When I moved two years ago in my home and was single I decided to devote an entire room to my stash, because why not??  It’s all my space, I don’t have to share with anyone!!  The nice (or bad) thing about this is I can see it all, all the time.  Some days it calls my name and some days it just taunts me.

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I would definitely identify this as my stash!  But I think we all tend to fall into color ruts.  I know in our knitting group who is going to choose the blue and who is going to choose the orange/red.  Maybe the next time I start a new project I will remember this and choose something new!

 

An info what???

I knew when I started Knitting and Crochet Blog week that this day was going to kill me.  I’m not a visual learner (I always use the written directions with lace and not the graph).  I do enjoy infographics – pie charts, graphs, etc. are all very fun to look at, but to create???

All day I was keeping this topic in the back of my head trying to come up with something to put into a graph form.  I scanned other blogs taking part of blog week but then that graph stuck in my head so I had to stop so I could come up with something original.

Over lunch I e-mailed my friend about setting up a time to continue working on our summer trip.  We are taking a group of young adults on a pilgrimage to Rome, Assisi and Lourdes.  There is much to do.  That’s when it hit me.  This blog combines my love for travel with my love for knitting (and if anyone out there knows how I can combine those things and make money let me know!).  My infograph would involve the process of choosing the perfect travel project!

I came home and researched some free infograph sites.  I found this site http://infogr.am/beta/.  It has tons of cool things you can create and so I did, with my very limited knowledge.  I was pleased with my final project, while I could not quite perfect the pyramid shape, it still looked cool.

So, here it is!

<div style=”width:550px;border-top:1px solid #acacac;padding-top:3px;font-family:Arial;font-size:10px;text-align:center;”><a target=”_blank” href=”//infogr.am/The-Perfect-Travel-Project” style=”color:#acacac;text-decoration:none;”>The Perfect Travel Project</a> | <a style=”color:#acacac;text-decoration:none;” href=”//infogr.am” target=”_blank”>Infographics</a></div>

Ok, so the hidden part of this challenge is trying to figure out how to link and embed images and while I know my way around a computer I’m no genius.  I did the only thing I knew how to do, I took a picture of my screen.  So, here it is for real!!

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For the last five years my travel project of choice has been the Barn Raising Quilt (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/barn-raising-quilt).  Yes, five year if you are curious read my post “This yarn is like my student loans”  It meets every requirement I have – small, portable, easily picked up/put down/requires little yarn and no need to read a pattern.  One day I will finish it and then I will need my infograph to help me chose a new project.