Monday, February 23, 2009

Washcloths and more washcloths

I know there are those out there who will loudly attest that they will never knit a washcloth, or dishcloth or whatever you want to call it cloth. I used to be one of them. I mean, why would I, who was not raised in the mid-west, want to do that? I found my answer...stitch patterns.

I like trying out new stitch patterns, and I hate swatching. So, what do you get when you mix some cotton yarn, a new stitch pattern and the desire to make something useful? A dishcloth. Now, I don't do dishes. I have a dishwasher (and a husband). But I do take showers (on a regular basis, even) and I do like me a washcloth. I've discovered that hand made washcloths are the best. And why wouldn't they be? Isn't hand-knit anything better than its machine made cousin?

I'll get back to the discloth thing in a minute.

One of the benefits of my media vacation is that all the creative juices started moving around again, after the mind-numbing winter in front of both TV and monitor. I was flipping through Barbara Walker's 2nd Treasury of Knitting Patterns and read the introduction (for the first time). In it she says (and I'm paraphrasing here) that many people learn to form a knit stitch and a purl stitch and think they now know how to knit, when in fact, they've begun to learn to knit.

It got me thinking. I go to Friday Night Knitting at Beau Knits in Cohoes on a regular basis. There are a LOT of new knitters there, and I realized that there seem to be many who have looked at the The Husband's intrepid dive into knitting with awe and wonder. Yes, he's pretty intrepid, but come on's only knitting. It's only sticks and strings and lots of loops.

I went back to the book and started looking at all the stitch patterns that are simply combinations of knits and purls, no increases, no decreases, not a yarn over in sight. I thought, aha, there's a class here. So I pitched a class on Beyond the Basics to Barbara Hildreth, the proprietess of Beau Knits and so I will be teaching a 4 part series starting in mid-march. What will be making?


What have I been knitting in preparation for the class?


Piccies will be shown when they're all done.

In the meantime....keep giving those sheep a reason to part with their wool.

Friday, February 20, 2009


First, these are the beads that I made at Glass Beadmaking Class.

Did I mention that making them was SO MUCH FUN!!!!??

Something about working with a superhot torch and molten glass just lit up my soul. If you'll pardon the almost pun. Seriously, it was a blast. The most fun I've had since I learned how to spin.

It's all in the "making" I think. Creating something out of nothing...transmuting...I'm not sure I have words for it. All in all I made 6 beads. 2 cracked coming off the mandril. It happens. The photo is pretty crappy, but two of the beads are pretty well matched and will become earrings. I can't wait to do it again. Probably in April.

And then...the other BIG NEWS is the car. As some of you know, I've been driving around in a 1994 Toyota Corolla with 175,000+ miles on her. Tim's been driving something older with less mileage and more rust. Not anymore.....

Now Tim is driving the Corolla and I am driving:

A 2008 Kia Rio5. Isn't she a beauty!?

With help from Dad (thanks again, Dad), we were able to buy her and pick her up yesterday...which explains why I was driving all the way back of beyond, running errands all day.

And, because there must be knitting content, remember when I was in the midst of winter doldrums, bogged down by projects that wouldn't end? Many of you suggested that I do something small, immediately gratifying and that used some of my luscious looking (and feeling) handspun? This is what I did with less than 4 oz of dk weight handspun BFL. I leave you with fingerless gloves.

More reasons to shear the sheep....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I'm Baaaaak!!!

Didja miss me? Didja notice?

I had a wonderful media vacation. In fact, so wonderful that I'm planning at least one day per week to be media free. It might even be electronic free. It sounds like Sabbath, except there will be knitting and spinning and both of those qualify, at least in Judaism, as work (I think).

Somehow I managed to get myself into all sorts of trouble, though.

It was very odd, I did my morning pages, ate breakfast and sat in the kitchen what? On any other day, the answer would be "check email." Since there was no email checking I started to look around. I cleaned the kitchen.

I looked around some more and decided I wasn't crazy about anything I was looking at. I didn't feel like spending my entire "vacation" cleaning, so I went up to my office. I organized my desk. I threw out 2 large garbage bags of paper. I found all the pens that the cat had hidden in the far corner behind my desk.

More in next post

Monday, February 9, 2009

Media Vacation

Although I haven't been posting regularly, I have been overwhelmed by the amount of media in my life. (read too much TV, internet, email, facebook, etc.) I've realized I spend more hours per day doing these things and not enough time writing, knitting, spinning, meditating or just plain ole thinking my own thoughts.

The other day it occurred to me that I need a media vacation. I need to unplug. And so, I'm turning it all off. The TV, the computer, the radio. I will spend the week catching up with friends on the phone, writing, reading, knitting and spinning. Perhaps I will get all the laundry put away or finally get the house really clean. Maybe I'll get to my office more than a half minute before my first client, and have a chance to get centered before I work. Maybe I'll get another 50 pages written on my book.

I don't know how this will play out, which is half the fun.

Look for "How I spent my media vacation" on February 16th or within a few days thereafter.

Have fun!!!