Before I show you where I do all of my knitting, I have to show your how awesome my window is. Look at that. I get crazy amounts of light from it, regardless of what the weather is doing, and I have a very pleasant view of the pretty brick buildings on my campus. Now I’m going to show you where I knit. Keep in mind that I live in a dorm.
I do most of my knitting while sitting at my desk in my $20 folding chair from Target. It’s pretty comfy. I like sitting there because of how awesome my window is during the day. People think it’s a bit odd that I have nothing on my walls, but my wonderful window reflects light off of my white walls. It makes my room so cheerful and pleasant, especially at my desk. Now that I don’t knit from patterns as often, working at my desk is a must because I can record info easily. I tend to take row by row notes (don’t judge my crazy) and I can do it really quickly on my computer. I also keep post it notes everywhere with knitting info. You can see the stack on my desk and a few on the wall, but there are way more directly to the left of those. My desk has my other knitting essentials like Jolly Rancher’s and a giant stack of ska and psychobilly CDs. The second photo is of my nook. That’s where I take almost all of my pictures for my blog. I sit or stand on that table so you can’t see how messy and/or cluttered my room is.
Directly behind my red chair is my tripod set up, my smaller giant bag of yarn, and bookshelf with more knitting essentials. I leave my tripod set up all of the time so I can take some quick photos whenever I need them. On my book shelf we have most (some are out by our TV) of my DVDs on the top shelf. I watch a lot of DVDs when I’m knitting. The second shelf has mostly school books and a few books that I would like to have time to read for funzies or that are my favorites. You might notice that most of my books relate to the Classics. The hilarious thing is that I’m an English major. I’ve taken two Classics courses this year and I’ve bought and read more books for those than any of my English courses. Weird, right? Anyways, the bottom shelf has my big books and those are almost all related to crafty stuff. Some are for inspiration; there’s a book on New York Fashion that covers all of the 20th century and a book of 50s advertisement. Some are reference books. Some are pattern books.
I just wanted to add a quick apology for the suck of the pictures. Those of you who regularly read my blogs have probably seen some of the top three pictures before. There was a campus wide power outage all day so I couldn’t get online and find out what today’s topic was until pretty late last night. Taking pictures of a dorm room with horrible over head lighting is never going to turn out too great. The plus side of the power outage is that I picked cleaning my room as my chosen method of procrastination so it was clean enough to be photographed.
Speaking of photographs… Those of you who liked yesterday’s arbitrary photo should check out this awesome knitting pattern.
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This picture has nothing to do with this post because I had no photos that did. It just looked too naked with only text. Plus, this thing is really cool. It’s from the Procession of Species at the Olympia Arts Walk.
After posting about my awesome egotism about knitting the other day I realized that there is one knitting technique that I truly fear. Steeking. I just can’t handle the idea of cutting my own knitting. I would love to be able to steek well so I can do it without fear. Oh! This reminds me of a somewhat related skill that I would like to have. I’d like to be able to sew zippers into my knitting well. Who knows? Maybe I can sew them in well. I’ve never tried it. I have two design ideas that I want to give a go and they both involve zippers. I’m not entirely sure how to go about attaching and finishing a zipper because my brain is caught up on how I would put a zipper in a woven garment.
There you have it. Steeks and zippers.
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Sarah and I went to Olympia pretty early in the day so we could find parking easily. We puttered around by the boats, went to the farmers market, and went shopping.
Me and my bright ass red coat. Sarah.
Here is a peek at my purchases.
I bought two dresses for a wedding that I’m going to this summer. I couldn’t decide which I liked best so I bought both. I’m leaning towards the white one because it’s an outdoor wedding in Alabama in July. Hot. I also bought two cards with art from one of the artists featured in the art walk. The pie one is for mother’s day and I just plan on sticking the arcade one on my wall because it is awesome.
I had a hard time deciding on who to write about for this topic. There are so many awesome knitters that I’m friends with on Ravelry or have blogs that I like to read for a variety of reasons. Yesterday I went to get tea from our campus cafe and my friend Lauren was working. I chatted with her a bit and as I was walking back with my tea, I decided to write about her.
She is a talented knitter. That’s only part of the reason why I picked her to write about. Lauren was my first knitter friend who was as obsessed and serious about it as I was. I actually met her on Ravelry before I met her in real life. When I found out what school I was going to, I posted in the South of the Needle group to see if there were any other Ravelers who went to the same University and I found Lauren. She’s a year ahead of me and very sweetly answered all of my dumb questions about living on campus and what not. When I finally did get to campus, Lauren came up to me when I was knitting in public to see what I was working on and we realized that we knew each other from Ravelry. Kind of awesome, right? Anyways, Lauren helps run our campus Knit Nights and was my introduction to the offline knitting community. I love my Knit Nights. Because of Lauren, I’m much more inclined to reach out to other knitters when I’m off of my safe cozy University campus.
I’m also writing about Lauren because she is an amazing knitter. She knits completely different kinds of projects from me. She makes things that are interesting, challenging to make, or with unique design features (like her Manon up top). She also does mindless knits like I enjoy but she tends to make a lot of socks. I’m not a sock knitter but her socks are always so cozy looking and very pretty. Plus, she always has the best looking sock yarn. It makes me want to knit socks just so I have a reason to buy sock yarn. Seriously. Her last pair of socks were made with yarn that looks like min chip ice cream. It was gorgeous. Anyways… Back on topic. I admire her most when she knits things just because they have something new to try. The girl has skills.
Speaking of skills… Now you see it!
And now you don’t! Fixing that rip impressed me quite a bit because you just can’t tell that it happened. I don’t think I’d be able to do that…
You can find more of Lauren’s knitting here on Ravelry. To see more posts on this topic by other bloggers, Google KnitCroBlo3 or be lazy and click this link.
These photos do not belong to me. They’re from the Lauren’s Flickr. Clicking on them will take you to her account.
Somewhere along the line I developed a laughably egotistical attitude towards knitting. I think my logic is something like I can read patterns, I can read my knitting, and I can learn (or already know) techniques therefore I can knit anything. It’s a bit silly but I can’t help it! What do I have to aspire to? Patience. I don’t like teeny tiny needles. This partially has to do with comfort in my hands but it’s also because I’m impatient. I’d like to have the patience to knit The Tea Garden Dress from A Stitch In Time. It’s a beautiful dress, though I realistically know that I should never knit that because it would look terrible on me.
Here’s a pattern to inspire me that would get worn and would be useful.
That would be Kingdom. I could always use gloves because I have a hard time finding ones that fit my hands. I have relatively long fingers and generally have extremely long nails. I’ve only found one pair of gloves that fit my hands in the past 5 years. It didn’t matter much until I came to WA where it gets cold sometimes in the winter. Next year when I’m in Lancaster, gloves would probably be handy.
Look at these things. They’re beautiful. There would be two challenges for me with this pattern. Challenge #1 would be using the teeny tiny needles. Challenge #2 would be all of those cables. I can do cables but I’m generally a mindless knit kind of person (probably because I always watch TV/movies when I knit). These cables are going to take attention. Mostly what it comes down to is that these gloves are going to take time and attention and I’m not the most patient person ever.
Now that I’m looking at this pattern I remember buying needles to make this. I guess I have to do it now. =P
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These photos do not belong to me. They’re from the designer’s Flickr. Clicking on them will take you to her account.
I kind of covered why I started to knit in my about me section. The short version is that I watched too much TV when I was in middle school and my parents said I could only watch TV when I was doing something else at the same time. The something else I chose was knitting. I picked knitting because I had seen my cousin doing it a few months before and because I knew that it was something that was done sitting and didn’t require oodles of attention.
I don’t think I really covered the how I learned to knit part. I do have relatives that knit but that didn’t help me much because they all live too far away to be helpful. I bought a how-to-knit-kit from the craft store. It contained instructions, yarn, and the right size needles. The instructions made no sense to me. The needles were awful and plastic. The yarn was in juvenile colors. I went back to the craft store, bought new supplies, and started again. The directions explained casting on in a way that I understood but the knit instructions made no sense to me. I just fiddled with my knitting until it looked right to me. That’s how I learned to knit.
I bought Stitch’n'Bitch and that when I sort of realized that I had more options with knitting than funky striped scarves. The only patterns I had seen before were aimed at older knitters and didn’t really speak to me. The quirky illustrations and casual language made Stitch’n'Bitch more appealing to someone my age. I learned how to purl from that book but that was about it.
These are the next books I got and they are what really brought me to the level that I’m at. I actually kind of hate the Knitter’s Handbook. It’s boring, ugly and dated but it is an amazingly useful reference book. You’re probably looking at the other book and thinking that I photographed the wrong one. A crochet book is actually what helped me develop the most as a knitter.
I learned to knit my junior year of high school in my trig class. A friend who also knits taught me immediately after she learned. She used to refer to me as her crochet prodigy because I picked it up quickly and became more skilled than she was. I bought the Happy Hooker and learned even more. I loved crochet because it was quick and painless. One mistake wouldn’t cause everything to unravel. Ripping back didn’t involve letting all of my stitches dangle off the needles in peril. I was a lot more adventurous with crochet. Knitting patterns always intimidated me because the few times I tried them, I screwed things up because I didn’t understand yarn and gauge. I had no fear with crochet because it wasn’t a huge time investment if I had to restart a project. I really started using patterns with crochet. I think of all the knit/crochet books I own, I’ve made the most projects from this one.
I eventually got tired of crochet because I wanted to make garments and the crochet designs that I liked were all too bulky for California weather. I went back to knitting primarily but I had a better understanding of reading patterns, yarn and gauge.
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Yesterday I went to the Olympia Arts Walk with my friend Sarah. Shops in downtown Olympia replace their window displays with local art displays. It was pretty cool to see. A lot of the shops had art that related to what they sold (the shoe store had paintings of shoes, etc.) and some had displays inside as well. Late in the afternoon, there is a Procession of Species that anyone can join in on. Some of Sarah’s relatives were participating in the procession (they were Samba drummers at the end) and that was one of the main reasons we went down to the Arts Walk. I took waaaaaaaaaay too many pictures of the costumes and sculptures so here is a (relatively) small selection.
This was a puppet. The picture doesn’t even begin to do it justice.
Starting Monday, I will be participating in Knit and Crochet Blog week. Eskimimi came up with the idea in the Blog Hub group on Ravelry. The short description is this: Participating bloggers will write about the same topics everyday for that week. Each day has a different knit and/or crochet related topic. More information and the topics are available here at Eskimimi’s blog.
I was originally going to keep a list of participants’ blogs in the side bar so it would be easy to check out other posts on the same topic but the project became more popular than I would have guessed. You can see the list of blogs in the group that announced their participation here on Ravelry. Since people have been posting about this on their blogs, odds are good that people outside of our group are going to participate so Eskimimi came up with a tagging system so that all of one days worth of posts can be found through Google. I’m going to include a link to that at the bottom of my posts so keep an eye out for it! Banner by Eskimimi
I had been trying to avoid this for as long as possible. Avoidance helped my wallet and made me support my LYS. Last week I had to give in and order craft supplies online.
I ordered new yarn to reknit my blue cardigan. I’m actually half way done with it and this was the only hank of yarn that I haven’t balled yet. I got it from Jimmy Beans Wool and damn did it come fast! I ordered it on a Sunday and had it by Tuesday or Wednesday. They drew a cute smiley face on my receipt and tucked some peppermints into the package. It gave me the warm fuzzies when I opened up my parcel.
It appears that I’ve started down a dark path because last night I realized that I didn’t have the right size buttons for my red cardigan and I ordered some on Etsy. And then I decided that I needed to knit this cardigan a third time so I ordered more yarn for that. Oh dear. Ordering supplies online is way too convenient. I have an excuse in that I’m stranded at school without a car and didn’t plan on knitting this sweater a million times so I didn’t stash that much yarn while I was at my parents but still… I hope this doesn’t become a habit. I don’t think it will get too bad because I like to touch stuff and see what the colors look like in person and you just don’t get the same experience buying stuff online.
You probably read that paragraph and were wondering why I’m knitting this sweater a third time. I’m in the process of writing the pattern for the cardigan. I decided to knit a different size than the one I originally wrote the pattern in to make sure my grading makes sense. I’m only going to be able to offer the pattern in three sizes which really bothers me. I can get the pattern to work with a 34 inch bust, 38 inch bust and 42 inch bust. I can’t figure out how to grade for more sizes without screwing up the eyelet pattern around the neckline. I’d like to be able to offer a 30 inch bust and a 46 inch bust but I don’t think it’s going to happen. The perfectionist in me doesn’t even want to publish a pattern with so few sizes despite the fact that people self publish patterns on Ravelry with only one size available. I’m probably being too hard on myself.
I had been thinking about apple crisp a lot. I decided to see if I could make a quick and easy apple crisp using only ingredients from my university cafeteria. It turned out quite delicious and was quick and easy. Here is what I did.
Ingredients: 1 Medium Green Apple 1 Packet of Spiced Instant Oatmeal 2 Table Spoons of Room Temp Butter You will also need a ramekin.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. While it’s heating, peel, core and dice your apple.
Put a layer of apple in your ramekin. Sprinkle a light layer of your instant oatmeal on top. This layer will keep your crisp from getting too juicy. It also will help spice up the apples. Repeat until you only have one layers worth of apple bits left.
Pile the last of the apple on top with out the oatmeal layer.
In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the instant oatmeal with the butter until the butter is evenly distributed through out. Crumble the topping over the apples in the ramekin.
Bake in the oven for 15-25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the apples are tender.