Process vs. Product

Several times over the last few weeks I’ve had the conversation about whether I am a process knitter or a product knitter.  The conversation is fascinating to me because I cannot imagine knitting any other way than the way I knit.  I simply cannot put myself in the mindset of the other knitter, as much as I might try.

For simplicity’s sake, I will define process knitter as someone who enjoys the knitting of the item, regardless of whether they finish the item or not.  The process knitter often likes new and unique construction (although not always), this person may never finish, weave in ends, or wear the item in question.  The product knitter is someone who wants an end result.  The thing that drives this knitter is having the completed item at the end.  They would never think of finishing a scarf only to stop before the ends were woven in.  Or, heaven forbid, not blocking a shawl that was finished with the ends woven in.

True Confession time folks:  I am a process knitter.  I cannot tell you how many finished but not blocked or woven in ends may or may not be lying around my house.  I have sweaters that are 2/3 finished in a knitting bag.  I have no desire to rip it out and start something else – I am simply done with that project.  Emotionally done.  I might be bored, or a new more shiny project inserted itself in my life.  I’m just done.  If I start a new project, my husband will say, “who’s that for?” He knows that often by the time I am done knitting something, I don’t really need the finished project anymore.  I’m happy to give it away.  I also find that often I knit things in colors that I do not really wear.  I knit it because its pretty, not because it’s going to fit in my wardrobe.  Don’t get me wrong, I do wear my own knitting, but sometimes I struggle with finding something to wear it with.  That’s also why sometimes I don’t show finished knitting on the blog… because I’m just done with it and don’t want to take pictures of the finished item.  I know, it’s odd.

Tell me about your knitting.

What I’m Knitting

I’m still slowly plugging away on the Clayoquot cardigan that was my Ravellenics project.  I have the 2 sleeves done and am up to the pockets on the body.  This is a struggle for me because it hurts my hands to knit.  I switched out needles and that definitely helps, but my hands still get tired easily when knitting it.  

I just finished weaving in the ends and sewing on buttons for the pink Snug cardigan.  I absolutely adore this pattern.  I like it so much I’m doing an itty bitty size.  I’m also going to knit a larger one as a class sample to teach this summer.  Oh, and those buttons you see above?  I’ve had those for years… they were just waiting for the right home.  I had imagined I was going to use them on a sweater for Lily at one point, but they never really fit.  I think they’re perfect for a little baby sweater.

Oh yes, and I finished a simple brioche cowl that you may or may not see pictures of.  I actually wore it yesterday but didn’t feel like a selfie was going to yield a result that didn’t make me look worn down and tired.  I will try to get someone to take a picture when I look more awake and less like I need 3 more cups of coffee to get through the day!

What I’m Not Knitting

Oh so many things have fallen to the wayside as I worked almost exclusively on the Clayoquot the last few weeks.  I’ve done a couple of baby hats here and there, but mostly they fall into the What I’m Not Knitting category.

Whatever your knitting style, I hope your week is filled with great knitting.  And remember, “Knit fast, it’s cold up here!”

 

Return of a Highly Caffeinated Knitter

The school year has ended and I feel like I can cut back a little on my high caffeine consumption.  Just a little mind you.  After all, my day does not truly start without coffee.  OK, so I go and work out before coffee, but that’s only because I don’t have to string words together into a sentence at the Y.  And if I am not stringing words together, I’m not really awake yet.

So, what have I been knitting in this highly caffeinated state?  Well, a little of this….

It’s a Foolproof Cowl out of Knitting My Way Home handspun for a class at Yarn Harbor.

and that…

That’s a Find Your Fade out of mohair.  (And if you’re thinking I took the crazy train to make a massive shawl out of mohair, hold onto your hats, you’ll be stunned by what I say next.)  I’m thinking it should be called, Find Your Sanity as I try to rip back and fix a mistake in the lace portion.  Ripping mohair is not a fun activity.  It might just become a very unique Find Your Fade.  I’m even thinking of just doing the lace sections at the very beginning and the very end of the shawl and keeping the center knitting easy peasy.  I’d like to get this one moving again as it is currently in Time Out.  Plus the weather is going to heat up and mohair is not something to play with when it’s 90 degrees F and humid.

some of these for a class…. they are Smooth Operator Socks.

 

I’ve been doing a lot of the Smooth Operator Socks lately.  It’s a great pattern and I really like how the heel fits.  And no kitchenering, well how can you beat that?

oh yes, and there has been some of this Joji Mystery Knit Along going on….

I won’t bore you with the whys and wherefores of my busy spring, because we’re all busy.  Suffice it to say that summer has its own rhythm around here and it is different from the late winter/spring rhythm.  It’s nice to take a deep breath and enjoy the sunlight that we’ve been soaking in.  I’m hoping to see the flat surface of my desk sometime soon at the office, and I’m hoping that my house looks less like a middle school locker exploded in the entry which then set off a secondary explosion of a camping store in the rest of the main living area.  And maybe, just maybe, I’ll spend a little time knitting in the sun this summer.

Oh January….

Oh January, why do you act this way every year?  You start with a day or so off filled with the sparkle of the New Year, and then you push straight through to the hustle of crazy busy at work, short days, and cold, gray gloominess outside.  January is filled with projects and events for me.  Tax receipts need to be sent by the end of the month, and I feel the weight of that as the holidays wrap up.  The decorations are down, all the cookies have been thrown away or we are pretending not to see them on the counter, and veggies have once again filled the crisper drawer.

On the flip side, every time it snows, the world is covered in a fresh, clean layer of white.  January is a good time to toss the stash and remember which yarn you have that you adore and want to work with.  It’s a time to knit without thoughts of giving something as a gift or the pressure of a deadline.  (By the way, there was no gift knitting at my house this year.  None.  It felt kind of weird, but maybe weird in a good way.)  It’s time to pick out pretty yarn and knit for the love of knitting.

It’s also a good time to be OK with being in the middle of a project (or three) that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere fast.  Somehow, I managed to bind off several projects at the beginning of the month and promptly cast on another two.  I’m in that mindless slog through the middle of each project where I feel like there’s never going to be an end.  I even have a sock (the second sock!) that is in the middle of the foot.  I’m trying to be patient with myself and tell myself its ok.  There’s no rush to get to the next project.

Gothic Lace Cowl

Yarn:  Malabrigo Rios – 2 skeins that I had in my stash.

Mods:  None.  I am working the large size and planning to do the crochet button holes.

This is a relatively simple lace pattern that my brain is having trouble with.  For some reason, I cannot remember if I should be K2tog or SSKing.  Really, it’s not hard and I should be able to glance at my knitting to see which way the decrease lays.  However there comes a point at night where I just need to put this away and work on something simple.

There was a bit of a tragedy with the yarn bowl you see above.  The bowl usually sits on a small yarn storage bin end table beside the couch.  This spot on the couch is what we call “the sweet spot.”  It’s the spot that everyone tries to get first because of the way our tv is placed.  Well, my husband took the spot on the couch and so I was at the opposite end.  I had the bowl on the couch beside me and as I jerked the blanket out from under my husband adjusted the blanket, the bowl fell on the floor and broke.  My husband was kind enough to repair it, I’m just waiting for the repair to dry fully before using it again.

So what are you working on this month?

 

Dash & Burn

So, summer happened.  It was glorious, it was hot, it. was. busy.  And somehow in the midst of summer I said I was going to do this thing called Stash Dash where you try to knit a 5K, a 7K or a 10K’s worth of yarn.  I totally bombed this one folks.  For no real apparent reason other than I just did.  Here’s a round-up of what I did get finished.  2016-08-21 14.37.45-1

A stripy cowl of mostly my own invention.  I used 393 yds of fingering weight yarn for this.  It’s a little bit of Hazel Knits yellow with Poste Yarn in the gray and black stripes.  This was a simple easy project that took forever for me to commit to kitchenering shut.   I just wasn’t sure I was done with it.  And that model, isn’t she adorable?  She’s a lucky girl to have skin that nice! And a nice girl to pose in a cowl on one of our over 85 degree days.

2016-08-21 14.35.42

Stripy soccer socks.  This is a basic toe up sock pattern.  I cast on 10 stitches with Judy’s Magic Cast on and went from there.  These don’t fit quite as well as the wee one (who’s not so wee any more) would like, so I’ll be adding in an after thought heel later on.  But they were finished by the end of stash dash and therefore count. I should have known better than to only increase to 56 stitches when her feet were almost the same size as mine.  When I was knitting these during last summer’s soccer games, it felt like they were long enough to be knee length socks.  Alas, my kids kept growing.  Have I mentioned she’s not so wee anymore?  She’s surpassed Grandma in height and is creeping up on me!  460 yds.

2016-08-12 17.28.55

More tube socks.  This one is from the Tube Socks for Kids pattern.  This and the toddler socks below use a precious skein on Lollipop Yarn.  The two pairs used up almost all of a skein.  360 yds.  2016-07-02 18.17.10

For those of you that are keeping count, that’s 1,313 yds or 1200 meters.  It’s a far cry from a 5K.

There are lots of other projects that I knit on this summer, but you’ll get to see more of those later.  As soon as Stash Dash ended I got a burst of finishing energy.  I just wanted to finish all the knits.  Sigh.  Maybe it has something to do with the return to at least some 73 degree days?

…And Away We Go!

snagglepussDo you remember the Hannah Barbara cartoons?  I watched them a lot as a kid on Saturday morning.  I love that the cartoon characters feet would be moving super fast, but the rest of their body would be at normal speed.  I kind of feel like that right now.  I should be moving super fast, but instead I’m just moving at normal speed.  So today, I give you a list, because I love lists.  (I like checking things off my list even more!)

  • I have the Jujika Cowl almost at the half-way point.
  • I started a Clapotis out of Socks that Rock in the Festivus colorway.  The colorway makes me happy!
  • I also started an Over & Over Infinity Loop out of Knitting My Way Home handspun.
  • I’m thinking about my approach for winning Stash Dash 2016.  Partially completed cowls might just be a game changer for me.
  • I don’t know the dates for Stash Dash quite yet.  I believe it begins at the end of May.  It runs on one of the podcaster’s summer break from school.  I will check into this and let you know.
  • Soccer Socks.  These aren’t really for playing soccer, they’re the socks I was knitting at the end of summer last year during the soccer games my girls played in.  They are knee high tube socks for Addie.  If I feel really adventurous, I may add an after thought heel.  However, her feet are growing so fast it seems silly to do that.

    Soccer Socks
    Soccer Socks on my Daily List
  • I’m thinking about casting on a fun slouchy hat out of sock yarn that’s been in my stash for forever.
  • I was hoping to go to Shepherd’s Harvest in Lake Elmo on May 14-15, but I think I’ll have to miss it again this year.  I’ve already committed to being down in the Twin Cities area 3 weekends out of the month, I’m not sure I’m willing to make it 4.  We’ll see.
  • The weather app on my phone says it’s 64 degrees F.  I’m going to pick up my kids from school, pour myself a glass of wine and enjoy being outside with them on this beautiful spring evening.

Spring Break….

Ahhh…. Spring Break…. where we sit on the beach in the warm sun, drinking something tropical…..

Oh wait, that’s someone else’s life.  Darn!

I am practical, sensible.  I am married to someone practical and sensible.  And I have a yarn habit to pay for folks.  So we are not swimming in the warm sun this week.  Even though I think what I need most right now is sun and the vitamin D that the sun can provide.  Pardon me while I go eat an orange and take a vitamin D supplement.

OK, I’m back and somehow the entire spring break week flew by in a flash.  We did visit the in-laws in Stillwater, MN and made it to my parent’s house for Easter.  We even fit in a great trip to the Science Museum of Minnesota with the wee ones and their even wee-er cousins.

image

The Jujika Cowl is moving slowly.  I try to do a few rounds every morning.  The first two rows were the hardest by far.  Once I crochet cast on that first row of 270 I breathed a sigh of relief.  I am not terribly speedy at crochet!  The first knit row is your set up row for the colorwork and I had to pay attention to the chart.  Those two rows took my entire knitting time for the day.  I’ve got the rhythm of it now though – there is definitely a rhythm to this pattern which makes it really easy to find your mistake if you get off track.

I have to admit, although I brought it down to Stillwater for Easter Weekend, I didn’t work on it at all when I was there.  Having toddlers in the house made it difficult to work on anything harder than plain stockinette.  Which was fine, because I also have a Bad Oyster on the needles.

About that Bad Oyster, I really like the Bad Oyster pattern.  It’s simple, so it’s great for knitting at meetings or over lunch with friends.  It’s been my take along knitting for about a month.  In fact, one of our priests (not The Boss) has asked me twice what I was knitting.  I’m not sure if it’s the color change of the gradient yarn that throws him or the fact that I seem to be always knitting and yet it’s still not done that throws him.

Bad Oyster makes a stunning fringed shawl when it’s steeked at the very end.  Plus, you feel pretty tough when you cut your knitting!  I’ll be sure to take some pictures and show you how it turns out.

If you haven’t yet joined our group on Ravelry, check us out.

Taking a Leap

I decided to take kind of an odd leap for a blog.  It’s because I really want to hear from you.  I started the blog to talk about knitting.  Because, really, I think about knitting.  A.  Lot.  And I want to talk about knitting with people who like knitting as much as I like knitting.  I decided to add a group on Ravelry just for Knitting Up North.  Will you please join me?  Click this link and it will take you to the group.  It’s that easy.  Please don’t be shy.  I don’t want to be the only one hanging out in Ravelry.

If you’re not already a member of Ravelry, you really should be.  If for no other reason than you can get free patterns, purchase patterns, be enabled, and hang out with lots of really cool knitters.  Check it out, it’s free!

Most of the conversation about the Jijuka Cowl KAL will be done on Ravelry.  It’s just easier to have a conversation there then on the blog.  Rest assured, I will talk about it on the blog, it’s just easier to answer questions or show yarn ideas there.  So go now and join the group.

 

 

By the way, the pretty yarn in the picture is Quince & Co. yarn and handspun from Knitting My Way Home.