Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Trip Knitting

Picture this...
I'm riding in a crowded airplane trying to knit. The big (BIG) dude next to me is trying to fall asleep and in between snuggling his head on my shoulder and twitching....... I'm trying to knit!
Those twitches of his made me jump practically out of my seat and I kept dropping stuff!  I seriously thought about jabbing him with my dpn's, but decided (safe decision) that I shouldn't. *He was over 250lbs and his head practically touched the bulkhead even when slumped over!*   It was only an hour flight, I can last, right?  He should make it to Nashville with both of his eyeballs intact.
He did. He survived. I didn't knit, but the dude survived. Wonder who won that one? 
Sigh.  I had pre-planned the flight! I pre-planned my entire trip! ~bet you wouldn't have thought that huh? 
I started thinking about what kind of knitting I would be taking about five minutes after I booked.  I knew the length of my flights and tried to pack (knitting) accordingly.  I didn't want  to have a brand new project just starting and/or a huge sweater. I wanted to travel light. Sigh. Obviously the guy next to me didn't plan as well. C'mon! He should have napped BEFORE getting into that seat. 
I really thought hard about what stuff I could do while sitting in a cramped seat knowing that there would be someone next to me that might be uncomfortable if my knitting needles jabbed them.
 Damn! Now that I think about it more.... I should have totally poked him. "Oops!" I would say ~with a totally innocent face~ "I'm sorry, did I poke you? " Then I would have to climb over him to get to the restroom because I would be laughing so hard I would need to go! aah... If only I were that brave.
Pre-planning for a trip is hard! No matter where I'm going, I have to take something to do. If I'm in a car I have to take knitting. Have to. I can't read because I get woozy. I can knit though, weird huh? I don't like being crowded on an airplane so I can't really read then either... more woozy and I always feel like the people next to me are trying to read over my shoulder, so I knit! Ha! Now I know they are looking at me, but it's different.
 I try to only take one or two things that don't take up a lot of space. Each individual project has to be pretty compact; meaning that it can't use over one or two skeins of yarn and/or use a bunch of needles. * Another thing I've discovered when flying... dpn's aren't fun on a plane. Not at all. Especially if the dude next to you thinks he paid for your seat as well as his!*
We take a lot of car trips as a family. A day trip here or there and seem to spend a lot of time driving.  Makes it a whole lot easier for 'trip knitting'.   have the entire back of the car to pack full pack the extra yarn and needles for a project and it's easy to  pull into a yarn shop and get something new what I need to finish.  * shh don't tell Big, but I have EVERY yarn shop mapped out around where we live and the route we take to go to Michigan and Tennessee!*
So let's pre-plan a little family trip. Shall we? A car trip about 9 hours and I don't have to drive much of it.  See how that works?  Hubby thinks he's the big strong man by driving and I've suddenly got time on my hands! Smart huh? He's not going to need the map anyway (snort!) so I don't even have to do that part!  Let's knit!
What to bring? Something small and compact.  I need to bring something that doesn't need a lot of yarn and that can be easily finished in a few hours.  Scarves. Yeah. That's an option. Kind of a boring one right?  How about socks?  If I'm not in a plane dpn's will probably be okay and there is enough space between me and my chauffeur to avoid (accidentally) poking him, and should only take one ball of yarn. Sounds like a viable option. Any other ideas?
Baby stuff. Maybe. Most baby stuff is small and only takes a few skeins of yarn ~but... I have the whole back of the car remember? Big doesn't need all the junk stuff he's taking right? Or the kid? Do we have to take the kid? Okay, okay... I'll think smaller. Less yarn, less stuff!
I've got a whole Christmas list of things I need to knit before then.... fingerless mitts for Gabby, teddy bear for Jax....... the list goes on. Maybe some of that stuff.  It's hard to decide on just one thing. It's really hard to pre-plan my entertainment for a road trip! Help!?
I need some more ideas here guys... we will no doubt be heading out somewhere in the next few weeks and I will need to be knitting something on the way! My family will need me to be doing something so I'm not bugging them!  Help me make sure my family is safe!!! Send me some ideas won't you please!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Process Project

 Whenever I hook up with my friend VA, we 'shop-hop'. Not just ordinary shops, but specifically YARN shops!  We try to do it every year no matter what we are doing and this year in spite of everything bad that was going on, we hit Nashville, TN!  We were pretty limited on our time, but shop we did! *   I'm sort of glad that our time was limited... it could have been very bad if there were no limits! *  It's amazing how we can dump everything that's going on in our lives for a little yarn! Okay... a lot of yarn.
It was exactly what we both needed!  So much has been going on with VA and myself that a major de-stressing was in order.  Yarn is one of the common bonds that we have and together we can do some serious damage!!  Plus.. VA seems to de-stress when she just looks at yarn, me... I'm a toucher! Gotta touch me some yarn! A little yarn and a lot of de-stressing occurs for both of us!
 I really didn't buy that much (really!) I got a few things and a couple of projects to work on while I was flying back home.
My favorite thing that I bought was this little sweater pattern.  (I even got the yarn for it!) 
I saw this knit up at a shop outside of Nashville *Second time to that store for me! Should I get a frequent shopper card?*  and me being me, I touched it.  Aww darn. That's where I went wrong. Had I stayed away from the Rowan Cotton and the lovely striped sweater I would have been safe. SAFE!  But no... had to touch it. Which then meant......I HAD TO HAVE IT! HAD TO MAKE IT!
I didn't even let it rest in the stash I bought this stuff the end of April and started knitting it up on Saturday! Less than a month in the stash is an amazing thing! 
 I  wasn't overly happy with the way the increases (raglan shoulders) were looking, there was too much of a gap so I frogged it and started over Sunday afternoon.  This is where I ended up last night (Monday in case you were having trouble following!)
 Now all I have left is the itty bitty sleeves!
How adorable is that?!
It's knit in the one piece starting at the top! No seaming! You just increase at 4 different points (each side of a sleeve) to get the raglan sleeves.  I'm almost done! I just need to put the sleeve stitches (you can't seem them, but they are sitting on stitch holders)on needles & pick up a few in the underarm area!  I think it's only going to take a couple of hours to get this completely finished!
See?? PROJECT knitting at it's finest! I bought the yarn & pattern specifically to make a project and am working on it exclusively (just ignore the other things in my basket okay!) and am almost done after just a few hours! 
Honestly..... it's a process project for me! I did something new - knit in one piece from the top down, did some new increases and knitted a ruffle! Go me! I still can't figure out which category I fit into!

The sleeves? Couple of hours? Ha! More like 15 minutes for 2 sleeves. It was only placing the stitches (on holders) back onto needles and then k2,p2 x1 row, k1,p1 rib x1 row and then bind off in rib!  I had to add a row of the green just to make sure I was in pattern, but.... wow. Super fast and super cute!  AND I lied. Remember when I said NO seams... um... yeah.. there is only one little itty bitty seam to sew the sides of the sleeves. I hate seaming, but this was a breeze.  

All that's left is finish seaming it up and adding the loops & buttons! Definitely a weekend project!

Monday, May 28, 2012

What Kind of Knitter are You?

Think about the way that you plan and work your yarn projects.  Do you have half a dozen almost finished projects around the house, just waiting for you?  *never look in boxes, bags, or under chairs at my house*  If so, you’re probably a process knitter, less motivated by the goal of the finished object.
However, if you never have more than one or two things on the needles, and you always have a specific item in mind when you buy yarn, then you’re probably a project knitter. These people are also happy to make the same pattern many times, with little or no variation.
What about those of us that almost always have more than one thing at a time on needles BUT  always have a specific item in mind when yarn is purchased?  C'mon.. stretch your imagination here... the sock yarn you just bought? Hmm? Well... it's obviously for socks!  AND what about those of us that can make the same project over and over and most often with no variations. Hmm. We fit into both categories. 
I am not really a project knitter (stop laughing!); deadlines schmedlines. I do like to finish my projects but I can survive if it's not done by the second Tuesday of next week! But.. what about when I buy yarn specifically for a project and then hustle right home and start it?   ~Really. I do this... have done this! Honest!  I enjoy completing things (sometimes) and knit things for specific reasons. I love how my kid's face lights up when I force him into a sweater I knitted!
I also really fit into the process knitting category... I enjoy (okay.. LOVE) new yarn, new stitches, techniques and definitely the rhythm of creating stitches. 
If I had to pick just one box to put myself in, it would have to be process knitter.   Obviously, it's more me. I do have some things about me that fit into the other box, but I'm trying to be honest here!  I'm definitely more of a process kind of girl!  Wallowing in yarn and stitches, and the rhythm of knitting thrills me endlessly! I can't think of a better way to spend an hour day! Sometimes it's more of the process - the actual knitting and the yarn that thrill me way more than getting something finished. I think that if I was on a deadline I would probably just not do it. Yikes.
I like yarn. I admit it. I'm addicted. I obviously have a problem, but put that aside will you? I buy it with some sort of goal in mind. Usually.  Mostly. Okay, sometimes. I know, I know... I just bought a skein of hand painted yarn because it was pretty. Just the other day. Shh.. don't tell Big. But honestly, I don't go around buying yarn (quit laughing) just because. It's always mostly bought for a reason... one of those.. "oh! Wouldn't this make a great [whatever] for so & so?" AND I have the best intentions when I purchase said yarn. I DO! So stop laughing!  I also can sit for hours with some needles and yarn and just play... trying new stitches, a new cast on and never even knit anything. I guess I'm both a process and a project knitter, but probably (really?) more of the process kind.
What kind are you?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Wild Thing's Vest

I'm done. I'm done!
I admit it... I have the attention span of a gnat. Very short, very limited bursts... you get the idea.
I started this little vest a while ago.. like over a month ago.... [LINK] and then well... I forgot about it. Not exactly forgot all about it, but it did get shoved into the bottom of my knitting bag and not finished.  I have no idea why I didn't finish it because it was really simple and all I had left was the neck ribbing. Oh well.  It's done now!
I can't wait to see how it's going to look on Mr. Wild Thing. I ended up knitting close to the pattern directions and this is somewhere between a size 2 and 4, but I don't think I will be able to wait until his birthday in October so I better give it to him soon!!
I gave it to WT on Sunday & I'm really glad I did! His cute little head barely made it through the opening. Everywhere else fits perfectly! Happy early birthday present buddy! *He said he 'loves' it! I love him so it's a win-win!