Posts tagged “Knitting

I really hate frogging.

There’s a reason my last post was more than a week ago.

I’ve been in a knitting funk.

Two weeks ago I began a slouchy hat for one of my favorite authors. Halfway through, I realized that I forgot the increase round. You know, that round that’s going to make the slouchy hat slouchy? Yea. Totally did not see that line in the pattern. Of course, I noticed this 17 rows after I was supposed to knit that round.

Because it was late, I decided I would tink back the next day and just reknit. Only, the next day came and I was still upset at having to frog half the project, so I left it alone for another day. Then another. Then another.

Die devil frog.

Suddenly, it’s a week later, and I still have not touched that damn hat. I really hate frogging. I’m already a slow knitter to begin with, so even though it’s just 17 rows (which really, is not a lot and I did this in an evening while watching a movie on Netflix), all I can seem to focus on is that it’s two hours of wasted knitted.

I can’t possibly be the only knitter who gets put into a funk when faced with frogging.

The good news is that I’m on Spring Break, so I have lots of free time to reknit the hat. I’ve also started rewatching Doctor Who on Netflix, and knitting + Netflix = awesome times.

How do you deal with frogging? Do you get put in a funk like I do and stop knitting for a day or two (or week) or do you just shrug it off and knit on?

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Book Review: “Yarn — Remembering the Way Home” by Kyoko Mori

Normally, my book reviews are reserved for Book Addicts; however, since this book is not the type of book I normally review over there, I thought I’d review it here, since I believe it will resonate with knitters of all types.

Title: Yarn — Remembering the Way Home
Author: Kyoko Mori
Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir
Details: eBook, 240 pages
Publisher: Gemma Media

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A memoir of crossing cultures, losing love and finding home by a New York Times Notable author. As steadily and quietly as her marriage falls apart, so Kyoko Moris understanding of knitting deepens. From flawed school mittens to beautiful unmatched patterns of cardigans, hats and shawls, Kyoko draws the connection between knitting and the new life she tried to establish in the U.S. Through the last, empty days of her marriage, Kyoko finds a way to begin again. Interspersed with the story of knitting throughout, the narrative contemplates the nature of love, loss and what holds a marriage together.

Kyoki Mori delivers a moving account of her life by threading together various knitting projects with different episodes in her life. As Mori’s story unravels, you share pain when she loses her mother, the frustration she feels with her family, the slow demise of her marraige and the joy she finds when she takes charge of her life.

I don’t read many memoirs, but I thoroughly enjoyed Mori’s story.

Though at times the story is slow-paced, threads of Mori’s youth weave seamlessly with lessons she learns as adult. Each section in the book corresponds with a different project, and they range in their difficulty: scarves, cardigans, fair isle,  etc. At one point she compares her marriage to instarsia — her and husband come together when it suits them, knitting together the image the pattern calls for, but when the image is done, they separate until the next pattern.

The book jumps back and forth a lot from Mori’s youth to her present day, but Mori is so frank and honest about her life that the way she tells her story works beautifully. Though Mori is a drastically different type of woman than I am, she is comfortable in her own skin and in the end I admire her strength and courage.

“Yarn — Remembering the Way Home” is more than just the memoir of a knitter. It’s a story woven together in pieces, and much like in a knitted garment, the end result is worth it.

4/5 Stars.


Coffee & Cables

Been super busy lately, but still managed to finish a few projects this month.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to participate in the Tumblr KAL this month, but the pattern is in my queue (among  many others) to be knitted at a later date (or, you know, to make my queue look pretty).

One of the projects I managed to finished this month was a pair of cabled fingerless gloves for a friend’s daughter. Her daughter works for Starbucks, so we bartered: some fingerless gloves for a pound of coffee (I really do miss those weekly markouts from Sbux). It was my first time doing fingerless gloves with a thumb gusset and despite a pattern that was a little confusing to read, they came out pretty damn good.

Project: Coffee & Cables
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Sport in Fedora
Ravelry Project Info

I adapted the pattern just a wee bit; my friend told me her daughter had large hands. Now, my hands are tiny, so while I was knitting these, I’d try them on and think, “Oh no! These are way too big!!” So I was very happy when my friend told me that the size was perfect for her daughter.

The pattern is really easy; it’s a good introduction to both cables and thumb gussets. However, I’d caution one to keep a notebook handy. Even though the pattern is easy, midway through the pattern stops including the cable pattern, which is something you want to keep in mind so that the cables go all the way up the glove. It helped me to keep track of rows on a pad of paper.

Other than that, though, great pattern. Definitely going to have to make more of these in the future.


Meet Alice: Knitter to the Stars

"Hell Fire" inspired book cozy

A few days ago on Twitter, I said something to one of my favorite authors (Ann Aguirre, who also writes as Ava Gray and is one half of Ellen Connor) about being her minion.

She was pretty excited about having minions, so she delegated her first task: for me to knit her a hat.

Now, while she may have thought we were just joking, I got really excited. Honestly. You would have thought someone had given me tickets to the Quidditch World Cup.

Ann Aguirre asked me to knit her a hat.

Me.

For most others, I’d think the highlight of their life would be to meet a movie star or a musician. And while I acknowledge that it would be hella cool to brush shoulders with a movie star or a musician (remember, Michael Buble is my secret other husband), avid book addict that I am — authors are my movie stars.

Not only do they create some awesome, memorable characters, they build complete worlds with languages, religions, governments, etc. A lot of movies are based on books. Without authors, Hollywood would be dead.

But I digress.

So when Ann jokingly ordered me to knit her a hat, my response was: What color? What type? Beanie? Slouchy?

To which she replied blue and slouchy.

I told her I would knit her one and she said, “I will totally wear it and love it forever. And take pics.”

Meanwhile, I’m giggling like an idiot because one of my favoritest authors ever is asking me to knit for her. I promptly announced this to Twitter and Facebook.

So Saturday, I bought some blue yarn. Three different balls of yarn in three different shades of blue.

Ann only asked for one, but dude. Come on. She’s one of my favorite authors and hats aren’t difficult knitting projects. I’m totally knitting her three different styles of slouchy hats. I may or may not be knitting extra hats in attempt to gain favor for signed copies of her next releases…#itotallyam

First though, I promised a friend I’d knit her daughter some fingerless gloves, so that’s what I have on my needles at the moment. After these gloves are done though, I’m totally switching to hats for Ann.

Oh, I did finish my Tardis eReader cozy, but I can’t find my camera. Rawr. Hopefully I’ll find and charge it this week so that I can beaucoup pictures next Monday.

What are some of your favorite slouchy hat patterns?

And because I’m all about spreading book love…

You should read Ann Aguirre.

She writes urban fantasy (Corine Solomon series), scifi (Sirantha Jax series) and apocalyptic young adult (Razorland series) as Ann Aguirre, paranormal romance (Skin series) as Ava Gray and apocalyptic paranormal romance (Dark Age Dawning series) as Ellen Connor.

Also, I got to meet her this past November, and she’s super sweet. ❤

Excepting the books that aren’t out yet, I have all her books. And all of them are autographed except for four. 😛


ACK!

Ooops.

I completely forgot to post on Monday.

I thought about it Saturday afternoon with the intention of writing a post on Sunday.

Don’t ask me what happened, because I’m not entirely sure. Most likely, however, it has to do with the fact that school began last week and I’m still getting into the swing of things.

Last semester I was spoiled. My classes started at 11am on Mondays and Wednesdays, 1pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and I was off on Fridays.

No more! This semester I have one class that meets MWF, and TTh, I’m in class from 8a to 5p. BLEH!

I also have zero journalism classes, so I’m not even writing in any of my classes! Double bleh!

I also did not really knit at all last week. I did start an eReader cozy…it’s going to look like the Tardis.

So…pretty much, it’s going to be the coolest thing ever.

Pictures next week.


Frustrations in Knitting or, F@#$ing Frogging!!

Last week, I was armed with bulky purple yarn, large needles (US11 and US 15) and a pattern scrawled out on a post-it note.

Last week, I yelled at a youtube tutorial, dropped out of a KAL, reentered said KAL, completed a project and cast on for another…which I then frogged, only to start over again.

On Tumblr, there is a KAL group that has two different KALs going on each month. This month was the Shroom Hat and the Darkside Cowl. Living in Texas, I really have no use for a cowl, and I confess, I don’t see the point of them — then again, this could be a direct result of living in Texas.

So, naturally, having no use and seeing no purpose for the Darkside Cowl, I decided to join the Shroom KAL.

The Shroom, as many are aware, made it’s debut in the 2009 Winter Knitty. It’s a pattern that has been in my Ravelry queue for a while now, probably since its Knitty debut. The Tumblr KAL offered me the perfect kick in the pants to finally knit one. It also offered me a chance to meet two of my knitting resolutions: To stash bust and to knit something weekly.

Needless to say, I was excited for my first KAL of the year.

The beginning of the Shroom pattern, which only calls for 1×1 ribbing, was easy enough. In a mere 30-45 minutes, I had my four inches of ribbing and was ready to start the puff rib pattern.

Here is where things got tricky and my brain shut down.

For the life of me, I could not figure out how to yarn over between knit and purl stitches. A few sts in, and I decided it was time to find help. I found some on Twitter and then moved to youtube for a tutorial. The tutorial made perfect sense, but when I put it into action, I realized this person was daft and their yarn overs where a total mess.

I realized this when I was on my third pass of the puff rib pattern.

I threw the project across my desk. Rewatched video. Looked at finished Shrooms. Looked at mine. Realized mine looked like yarn threw up. Frogged all the way back to the ribbing. Too far. Knit up another inch and a half of the 1×1 ribbing and started the puff rib again.

Messed up. Again. Yelled at youtube for steering me in the wrong direction. Decided I was done with this project and dropped out of the KAL.

The next day, I was calmer and not quite so petulant and easily irritated. With new found determination, I decided that this pattern — a pattern that everyone was touting for it’s simplicity and quickness to knit up — would not get the best of me. I found a different youtube tutorial, one that made SO MUCH MORE SENSE than the original.

Two FarScape episodes later, I had a completed Shroom hat.

But I wasn’t sure if I liked it.

Then I tried it on.

Bliss.

I wore it all day Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday afternoon, I cast on for another one. This time in green.

Got cocky in my ability, and when I came to the decreases, realized I had royally messed up.

Cursed and frogged — all the way back to the 1×1 ribbing.

Today, I’ll finish that green Shroom hat. Even if it kills me.

I had plans to do a third in dark blue…but I think it’s time I moved on from this. I don’t think I could handle having to tink back and frog a third hat.

What KALs are you participating in? Hopefully, you’re not having near as tough a time as I am…

Bonus points if you can tell me the purpose of a cowl and why one may need one in Texas. 😛


The trouble with Tribbles…

Brr! It’s been a chilly week in Texas; look, we even got snow:

SnoMG!

OK, so many of you probably don’t think that light dusting is even considered snow, but trust me…people in Texas are freaking out over it. Imagine last year when we had nearly a foot of snow on Christmas Eve! Crazy times.

So with the cold weather and the “snow”, I’ve been spending as much time as possible indoors where it’s nice and warm. The majority of my time (when I’m not in class) is spent in my crafty room, knitting and watching whatever is in my Netflix instant queue (btw, God bless the soul who invented Netflix — they are a genius). Add a mug of hot chocolate in a “knitted” mug, and you’ve got one super amazing afternoon.

Finished a Tribble as well as "Torchwood: Children of Earth".

This past week I finished up some WiPs I had on needles from 2010, among them a dishcloth I started sometime in August (?!) and never finished. Terrible. After the dishcloth (pattern: Waffle Dishcloth), I finished a Boucle Shawl (actually began this 2009!) and then began casting on for Tribbles.

I always love knitting things for my kitchen (kitchen towels and dishcloths), but I’ve never knitted a Tribble. The pattern’s been in my Ravelry queue for ages, and I finally cast on for my first on on Saturday. I knit one Saturday, half of one Sunday (finished it earlier today) and I’m halfway through a third. You couldn’t ask for an easier, quicker knitting project than a Tribble.

There are definitely a plethora of Tribbles in my future. The only trouble with Tribbles seems to be how addicting they are to knit.

Tribble the First

After this third one, however, I’m going to cast on for the Shroom hat. It’s part of a Tumblr KAL for January. Most people, I think, seem to be done with theirs. I hadn’t started because I didn’t have the right size needles. Bought what I needed today (with birthday money I received yesterday) and I’ll be casting on later tonight.

I may not like the cold, but it’s definitely good for my knitting!

What are your first projects for 2011?