Sunday, April 3, 2011

Wash Day

Write about your typical crafting time. When it is that you are likely to craft? - alone or in more social environments?, when watching TV or whilst taking bus journeys? What items do you like to surround yourself with whilst you twirl your hook like a majorette's baton or work those needles like a skilled set of samurai swords? Do you always have snacks at hand or are you strictly a 'no crumbs near my yarn!" kind of knitter?
by Anne Ball

It's always time to knit. At least I think it's always time to knit. I think about knitting a lot. I think about it while I drive. I think about it while I'm doing dishes. I think about it when I should be concentrating on something else. I think about it when I crochet, or cross-stitch, or work on other crafts. But actually sitting down and knitting? That happens less frequently.

Recent finished project
Ringwood Gloves from
Certainly I knit most every Monday night at my knitting group. Well, that is unless the conversation is too good or I'm too tired or I feel the need to check out the magazines and books. (We meet at a local Barnes and Noble cafe. If you're in Charleston, SC - West of the Ashley to be exact - come join us from 7-ish to 9-ish.) I have to bring a project that doesn't require too much attention but it's a good way to get a project done or get some help from the other knitters.

On the needles
Nuthatch Gloves from Colorwork Creations
by Susan Anderson-Freed
There are times I knit under duress. You know, the holidays are coming. A birthday. Or my husband is getting deployed someplace cold and needs a warm sweater. At these times I knit anywhere I can. While dinner is cooking on the stove, for a few minutes in the waiting room of a doctor's office, in the car at a stop light. OK, I haven't knit at a stop light yet but I do think about it.

The knitting chair with cup of tea
But my favorite place to knit is my laundry room. I knit while the washer is swishing back and forth, the clothes in the dryer are lifted up and around and then fall with a soft thump. I sit in the old office swivel chair and keep a cup of tea, or sometimes even a pot of tea, at my side. When the dryer beeps to say its done, I give my knitting muscles a rest and fold or hang up the warm clothes. When the washer finishes I walk the four or so feet to the laundry basket and put in another load. Knitting and doing laundry takes on a low, slow rhythm. I get two things done at a luxurious pace. I get breaks from doing too much of either. My hands get worked in different ways. The sounds of the washer and drier with the clicking of the needles relaxes me. It is my favorite time of the week.

Self portrait of blogger with dryer

To see other blogs participating in the 2nd Annual Knitting & Crochet Blogging Week and also posting on this same topic today, enter " 2KCBWDAY7 " without the quotation marks into your search engine and browse the results.

Thanks to Amy Heins, Aurora Jones, Jess Jones, Michaela McIntosh, Anne Ball, and Pablo Neruda for stepping up to the writing challenge, for sharing your knitting experiences, and for making this a most interesting week for the  Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild's blog readers!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Something I Perspire - I Mean Aspire - to

Is there a pattern or skill that you don't yet feel ready to tackle but which you hope to (or think you can only dream of) tackling in the future, near or distant?

by Anne Ball

Shyness is not a problem for me with knitting. This never ceases to surprise me because in my non-knitting life I am timid. I'm afraid to try new things because I'm not creative enough, smart enough, athletic enough, coordinated enough -- you get the picture. But show me something that involves needle and thread and I am 100% sure, sure, sure that I can do it. It doesn't matter that there are quite a few patterns and stitches that I have never figured out. It doesn't matter that I can cast-on and rip something out thirty or forty times and never get it. I KNOW that given enough time I can figure it out. Oh, yes. I am completely over confident and fearless when it comes to knitting. I flinch at nothing in the knitting world except - and I'm starting to hyperventilate now - weaving in the ends of cast-on threads, weaving in the ends of cast-off threads, weaving in more ends in the middle of pieces, and every Freaking Thing that has to do with Weaving In The Ends.

I have even steeked without breaking out in a cold hard sweat. Yes. I have to admit my heart fluttered ever so slightly when I did it, but really, how much damage can one do when cutting up several months of knitting? I knew I could do it. The Norwegians do it all the time. And I was taught to knit by a Norwegian. Steeking, shmeeking. The blessed thing about steeking is that all those irritating ends are captured in the seam and can't show. You can just snip them off and knit or crochet a nice edging over them. Pure heaven.

I just finished a scarf for Uncle Fred. See the picture? Not bad, huh? Not a particularly difficult pattern. I added an icord edge just because it made it the sides look neater. But holy cow I had to use TWO skeins of yarn for the scarf. That made for a total of FOUR ends of yarn I had to weave in. One at the beginning. Two in the middle where I ended one skein and added another. And one at the end. FOUR FREAKING ENDS. Note that I did't take a photo to show where I wove in the ends. That would be too humiliating. That lump of poorly woven-in yarn will undoubtedly sprout fraying ends before too long. My only consolation is I know Uncle Fred would be too polite to say anything about the mess (Thank you, Uncle Fred!)

My knitting friends don't seem to share this fear. I look at their finished projects and never see lumps or ends poking out. What is their secret? I must find out. I must wipe off this excess perspiration and get over this silly fear of weaving in the ends. This is my promise to myself. This year I will look those fraying yarn ends in the, er, end and learn how to hide them nice and snug in my knitted creation. I will seek out a teacher, a drill sergeant, someone with lots of patience who is willing to push me. And I will learn from them. I will practice and practice again. I will conquer the ends and become completely fearless. I hope.

To see other blogs participating in the 2nd Annual Knitting & Crochet Blogging Week and also posting on this same topic today, enter " 2KCBWDAY6 " without the quotation marks into your search engine and browse the results.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Something a Little Different on Day 5

Try to push your creativity in blogging by doing something a bit different today. Try a post of all photographs, a video blog post, a podcast, a poem, or write from a new perspective (for instance, write about a day in the life of a sock from the sock's point of view.)
Contributed by Sandy Hutchinson  

by Pablo Neruda (translation by Stephen Mitchell)

Maru Mori brought me
a pair
of socks
which she knitted with her own
sheepherder hands,
two socks as soft 
as rabbits.
I slipped my feet
into them
as if they were
with threads of
and the pelt of sheep.

Outrageous socks,
my feet became
two fish
made of wool,
two long sharks,
of ultramarine blue
by one golden hair,
two gigantic blackbirds,
two cannons:
my feet were honored in this way by

Click here to see Ode to My Socks in it's entirety.
All socks pictured in this post were knitted by Amy Heins and found on her blog, Purlene's Corner.
To see other blogs participating in the 2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blogging Week and making their own creative entries today, just enter " 2KCBWDAY5 " without the quotation marks into your search engine and browse the results.