Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Got Distracted Yet Again

I'm back. I got a little distracted. In my post dated April 11 entitled, "Where Are The Projects", I talk about one of my favorite words - variety. Yes I am a person that loves variety. That's why I have such a passion for the needlearts because there is such a variety. It's like a travel map. You look at either a world map or a US map and you might start thinking of a vacation in New York and end up planning a trip to Europe. It depends upon what you like to do. Maybe you are a hiker, you love museums, tours of ancient cities, beaches (no walking just relaxing), culture, it is a list of endless ideas of pure fun. You do research on the Internet or go to your library for travel books to pick out what you want to do when you get there. You're on an adventure of the unknown that gets you all excited to get there and explore.

That's the way I feel about my needlearts. It is an unknown adventure. You see the picture of the project you want to make, but how is it really going to look when you do it. In many of our cases we see many pictures of wanna be's that can call out to us, the same as a world map can call out at us to want to travel to those places. Of course, reality sets in and the two things that might balance your thinking is time and money.

With me, I get distracted and I see a pattern that I just must do - now. That was the case with the chrysanthemum tea shawl in the Amazing Crochet Lace book by Doris Chan. I just had to make that shawl on the cover - start it in the moment. So I did and I love it. There are at least three more patterns in that book that I want to make. I borrowed the book from the library.

The concept is a big doily and the patterns have been created to modernize them into something you can wear. Now you might be saying, "I don't want to walk around with a big doily on." You don't want to say that about these. They are fashion forward and beautifully constructed. It was really fun to make because you build on it and you don't have to worry about that very small steel hook that makes very small stitches. These patterns are worked with a big hook and big stitches. So it works up fast and you get to see the result fast.

If you want a bit of a new challenge (depending upon your skill level) and something that looks beautiful on, then I would recommend doing one of these projects in this book. See if your local library has the book or if they can get it from another library. I'm sure you will love the book so much that you will want to add it to your personal library.

I posted my finished shawl on flikr.

Getting back to traveling and having fun, I hope that if you are one of those, like myself, that the money is short because of the economy and/or you got displaced from your job, that you do research on free events in your area. For example, there is music in the park, a free day at a museum or a local festival. There are free events in a lot of places. You can do things on the cheap and still have fun.

"Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you"

Aldous Huxley

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How Are Your UFO's Coming Along?

Keeping a blog going is not always simple, in the sense that I have to think about what I want to share for that post, and then if I want to share pictures I have to take the pictures and upload the pictures, there is some computer stuff I have to do for all of it to show. But I can't forget about my projects because then I would be behind with working on my UFO's and well - others. And that's where we come to today with this post.

As from the title of my blog post, I am putting the question out to you. Oh, I know, you might be wondering how my UFO's have been coming. I did say that I would be working on them for the month of June. Well, I got a little side track. See picture of wanna-be projects below.

This knitted fan shawl I simply love and just couldn't resist;

and then it was this knitted pinwheel rug that called out to me;

but then this knitted handkerchief lace shawl said, "don't forget me";

and these knitted fingerless gloves I just had to get back to and this just seemed to be the right time;

and what about this adorable crochet pig puppet which is a quickie - really.

Now that was exhausting just to write down. A couple is done, like the lace shawl which I need to block, the puppet that I need to attach the ears and put the felted eyes and nose on. The other three are well on their way to becoming finished. But really, how could I deny them the privilege of stepping out of the wanna-be pile and into the reality finished projects. Ok, ok I know I went alittle overboard.

I was going to the knit groups and I just couldn't concentrate on the projects I had so I started a simple dish cloth with a flamingo pattern in cotton peach color. And I just might be forgetting about a couple more, but who's keeping track.

If you haven't figured out by now, I have a problem saying no to new projects. And for some reason when I looked around the yarn came out of my stash and the needles started going. But I did work on my UFO's and I am finished with the pieces of two projects and need to block them and sew them together. I also finished one of the beaded purses which is posted on flickr. So I didn't do that bad - well the way I look at it. Of course, that's a little crazy but who's minding my store but me. And as I always say, have fun and de-stress.

So I put it out your way again, "How are you doing with your UFO's?" And by no means am I encouraging my craziness of a world. It might be crazy, but guess what - you know, I'm having fun!

Quote: "Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort." Franklin Roosevelt

Saturday, July 3, 2010

What's In For The Upcoming Season?

You might be like me when I say that I'm always trying to slow time down to get more time. The days, months, and years go so fast. How about the seasons? When you talk about time and the fashion world that could mean the difference between making money and being successful or no money and a flop. What do I mean? In the fashion world they are always ahead. While we are trying to get through 2010 summer, designers are finished with fall 2010 and already into 2011 designs. Scary isn't it. Getting ready for the next season or looking ahead a few seasons is their business. This becomes so crucial to their business and major to the fashion trends for that season.

I remember when I use to sew a lot. I would always sew for the winter in the summer and the summer for the winter. This would give me a good head start with at least some of the clothes for that season to be ready to wear. I would see what was in fashion through the fashion shows on TV like, Full Frontal Fashion. This is one of the main sources of entry into the world of fashion. I got to understand the fashion world in a better light since I use to say, Who would wear that outfit? Now I say, What can I take from that outfit that could be used in everyday clothing? From this fashion show you get the just of what the length, style and especially the colors for the season will be. Yes, colors play a major role in the fashions for a particular season and year.

Because of cutting back on luxuries of life, since I am in the non-working mode right now, I've cut my cable down to basic so I don't have the channel for that fashion show. But the next best thing is the internet and I go to New York Fashion and I can look at the videos of the different designers. Check it out, I think you will enjoy it too.

We can be right in sink with the department stores and runways as we include a couple of these colors in our wardrobe as we think about our next projects. Now remember we don't have to think sweaters, tops or any other large item, we could add an accent piece or accessory piece to blend into our already dress palette of colors and we would be on point. It could be that hat and scarf or fingerless gloves, a bag, or small kerchief lace shawl. So don't always think big.

There is a site I've been using to keep up with the colors for each season. It is Pantone fashion color report. And I read that bulky scarves will be in from the article Emerging Fashion Trends For Fall 2010. So get some bulky yarn or play with 2 or 3 strands of yarn, knit or crochet together, using large needles or hook and see what you get. I'm sure it will look fabulous as you strut down your imaginary runway at your job, school, and even the park. You might be asked: Where'd you get that! And you'll be proud to say - I made it.

Friday, July 2, 2010

All It's Own Language

Since I'm finding that there are still a lot of people that are unaware that the knitting community, in particular, has its own language, guess what, my blog post today will bring you up to speed with the language of knitters.

You might wonder why I have an "I love you" wash cloth in sign language on this page. As I talk about the knitting community having their own language, it reminds me of my wonderful experience and exposure when I volunteered helping the deaf and blind. What an amazing time that was for me. I learned a lot and one of the most important things I learned working with the deaf is they have their own language.

The language for the deaf is "American Sign Language - ASL." I got to learn their language enough to communicate and do a little interpreting. And it is such a beautiful language, especially when signing a song. I also learned not to take stares at face value. A group of us would be out on the subway and people would stare. Well they thought that all of us were deaf because we were all signing and not talking out. Sometimes we would do that just to see what people are saying. You know most of the time people were mesmerized at seeing the signing. They wished they could sign. So it was positive comments most of the time.

I do get excited when I see someone that is deaf because I want to sign to them. Sometimes I find myself looking at them signing and I have to stop myself because that is an invasion of their privacy. It is the same as if two people were whispering and you try to listen. So I only use my sign every once in a while, but I am amazed that I still can communicate with a deaf person.

I also learned about etiquette for ones with disabilities which is very important to know. But all in all I learned that all they want is respect for who they are, recognized for what they can do and not their disability, and their language to be accepted. Is that not what we all want? Why would it be any different for ones with disabilities? Think about it.

What about the knitting language? When someone says, I have to tink back a little. What does that mean? Or one of my blogs said that I was working on my UFO's for the month of June. If you haven't read that post, what does UFO mean? You know how it is when you are in a crowd and someone says something that you don't understand and you don't want to feel stupid by asking so you go without knowing. Well, if you are going to choose to be a part of the knitting community you should understand the language so that the conversation will not sound foreign to you.

Knitting TermMeaning
Frog or FroggingIf you make a mistake in your knitting and don't notice it for several rows, the best course of action for fixing it is to remove the work from the needle and simply rip out the rows you have completed since you made the mistake.
This process is known as frogging because you have to just "rip it" and move on. You are ripping out to where your mistake is and starting your pattern again from there.
KALknit along
KIPis an acronym for knitting in public. That's what it's called when you take your knitting with you and work on the train, in a park, at the ball game or basically anywhere other than your house.
LYSlocal yarn shop
Tink or Unknitting or Backwards KnittingTink is the term used by knitters to mean unknitting or knitting backward. Tink is actually knit spelled backward. By pulling the working yarn out one stitch at a time and transferring the stitches back from the right needle to the left, one by one.
When you notice a mistake in your knitting either in the row you are currently working on or the row you just finished working, the easiest way to fix it is to tink back to the problem stitch and start over.
It is not recommended that you tink over several rows because it takes a long time and is very nerve-wracking.
UFOunfinished object
WIPwork in progress

Getting back to my "I Love You" washcloth, if you would like to see an array of dish cloths and wash cloths with this same design technique go to Dish and Wash Cloth Mania. These are great especially if you are just starting out to improve your knitting. It's knits and purls that make up the patterns. You need to concentrate on the pattern and switch back and forth from a knit stitch to a purl stitch. They are fun to make and make great gifts. They can also be addictive. Try one and step out of your comfort zone.