OMG. It took three days and technical assistance from my in-house tech support person (aka daughter home from college) to actually find the way to get here and post! I thought this was supposed to be super easy! ?! Anyhow....here I am. Now what do I want to blog about? Well what finally pushed me over the edge, after reading political blogs and religion blogs, was the knitting blogs. I taught myself to knit over the Thanksgiving holiday, and I am enjoying it so much that I have become obsessed.
Daughter saw her roommate knitting at college and independently developed a craving to learn to knit, so when she got home, I gave her a hint or two and she also taught herself to knit. So the two of us are laying about the house or hanging about in local coffeeshops, knitting. We even went to a local Meetup group and met some other knitters, and after the holidays are over I will probably go back there for some moral support and help on knotty problems.
So, as soon as I can get Daughter to drag out her digital camera, I will post pictures of what I've knitted so far. Nothing too terribly wonderful, but it's wonderful to me because for years and years I only knew how to do garter stitch, and that not too terribly well. (Casting on and binding off were scary!) But now I feel competent enough to actually make things! I used the Klutz book to get the basics, and made their little coin purse, a small shoulder bag that's perfect for taking to the farmer's market or on a walk when all I need is a place for cash and car keys, and a glasses case.
Then I ordered a pattern and yarn from Morehouse Farm (http://www.morehousefarm.com/KnittingKits/Scarves/MiniMuffler/) and have been working away on a lovely periwinkle scarf. But the yarn is quite thin (with quite a bit of variation in thickness) and the needles are size 5, so it's taking A While. But it is lovely and soft and charming, so on I go. (I like the name that Stitch "N Bitch gave a nearly identical pattern: Ribbed For Her Pleasure. Yeah, ok. )
To break the monotony and to see what knitting in the round was all about, I also made a felted bowl of bright pink wool. I got the general idea from One Skein, but it seemed like too much trouble to actually use a pattern, so I made it up as I went. I succeeded at knitting on a circular needle, and in transferring to double-pointed needles and knitting on those. And I succeeded in decreasing down to just a couple of stitches. And I succeeded in hand-felting it. But. There were a lot of geeky defects, most of which came out in the felting. (A few stray holes, a pointy top, a jog at the starting point. So before I make something in the round where the stitches will actually show, I need a bit of help. The final felted product is a bit floopy, and the shape looks like a hat for an American Girl Doll--but still. I did it all by myself!
I enjoyed the hand felting. I used a bar of lavender soap which has bits of lavender in it (so slightly rough) and a natural bristle nail brush, and I just scrubbed away. I added some boiled water, and I switched to cold water a couple of times, and it suddenly was felt! It took a long time to dry, even with the addition of some use of a hairdryer after a day or two. Wool really can absorb a lot of water!
As I knit, I am planning my next projects....let's see, a hat? A Windy City scarf? A pillow (sachet??) with a heart design knit in as purl stitches? (that sounded really easy and cute until I paid attention to the fact that on the back side it is purl with knit stitches to make the pattern.) Two weeks in Maine, with two long flights/waits will provide ample time to get a good start on another project. I think I can get the ribbed scarf done before I leave (January 7th. Surely!)