Friday, June 30, 2006

One Skein Secret Exchange

I love to participate in exchanges, swaps and knit-alongs because they help me connect with other knitters. I get to know someone or several someones and share knitting experiences. You also pick up some great tips and techniques. The knitters in my area, if there are any, remain well hidden and no one in my circle of family and friends is crafty in any way at all.

The One Skein Secret Pal Exchange has been a lot of fun. It's set up so I'm assigned a secret pal, the one I'll be sending great knitting stuff, and my secret pal is assigned another secret pal, someone they'll send awesome knitting stuff. And, someone is assigned to be my secret pal. So, I get to know at least two fellow knitters. The secret pal I was assigned to create packages for corresponds with me often and sends me links to websites of interest or articles written about knitting. It has been fun getting to know her and she said she liked the yarn I sent her. My secret pal, the one creating packages for me, just sent me this awesome package of fabulous knitting stuff. She sent me two skeins of 100% Merino superwash sock yarn, a package of stitch markers, and some little T-Shirt, double-pointed, knitting needle holders. The yarn was from LuLu's Yarns. She also sent some lotion from Burt's Bees, two French lollipops (so cool), a handmade soap and some moisturizing bath powders. Isn't she fabulous and generous? Thank you so much secret pal! You're awesome!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Becoming a Knitter

Barbara Steverson taught me to knit. I was in first grade and living with my family in Germany. My first knitting project was a humble potholder. I can picture that potholder so vividly you'd think I knit it yesterday. Blue, green, yellow and pink pastels arranged functionally into a potholder -- double thick. It's ironic that a potholder was my first adventure in knitting because as an adult I am always burning myself. I'm just not good with fire. You know, the kind you use to cook things -- very dangerous. I finished my potholder and didn't knit again for ten years. I'm not sure what renewed my interest in knitting but, when I was around 16, I decided to knit again. As you might imagine, I had not retained all that I learned on that first project. So, I purchased the "Learn How Book: Knitting, Crocheting, Tatting, Embroidery" published by Coats and Clarks for 66 cents and taught myself. That little book has been my faithful companion for decades and I still refer to it often. For my next project, I chose to knit a sweater. I have never lacked confidence in my ability to do whatever it is I've had in my mind to do. So, I began knitting my peach, fuzzy sweater. As it turned out, I have a rather limited attention span. Not good when you're knitting a sweater. I lost interest in my sweater when I got to the sleeves. The solution --- short sleeves. So, I had a peach, fuzzy, short-sleeved sweater. Over the next several years, I knit many short-sleeve sweaters but not all of them were fuzzy. I also knit several skirts. You don't need sleeves for skirts. I did manage to make one whole, long-sleeved sweater for my fiance (now my ex-husband). I quit knitting somewhere around age 21 just as quickly as I had started and shortly after the long-sleeve sweater. Long-sleeves are very daunting. During the next 16 years, I did some sewing, some cross-stitching, and a little crocheting but I did not knit a single stitch. I also had two wonderful children who continue to delight me. The knitting bug hit again in December, 2005. I made everyone I knew a scarf for Christmas. Then, I decided to give socks another go. It had been one of my biggest knitting regrets that I had been unable to conquer sock knitting. I had tried to knit socks in the past but they were simply beyond my ability. I could not create a single thing that remotely resembled a sock. Why? I couldn't tell you. Anyway, I got out my 66 cent book and began working on the sock pattern on page 45 (Teen Socks). Many hours and late nights later, my first pair of hand knit socks. They even looked like socks. The joy was overwhelming. I had knit a pair of socks! More than a dozen pairs later, I am still knitting socks. It turns out, socks are the perfect knitting project for someone with a limited attention span and an aversion to knitting long-sleeves. I am also currently knitting a sweater for my daughter, chosen because it is sleeveless. Sleeveless by design not because I won't knit the sleeves.

Me, at 18, wearing an ill-fitting, short-sleeved, sweater. I over estimated my girth. It was teal green with pink at the collar. What was I thinking?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Doesn't this sock look sad?

This green sock is sad and lonely because he has no mate. In fact, this sock has been mateless since January. Even worse, this sock has watched other socks being created. The other socks were knit in pairs. They have mates. This green guy is the only mateless sock. I had good intentions when I knit the sock. It was the first time I tried short row heels and I felt confident I could create another green sock just like the one you see here. However, I was romanced away by the Harry Potter sock, made for my daughter, and the Blueberry Waffle socks, made for my sockapaloooza pal . Maybe one day this little guy will have a mate. Maybe not, a lot of other socks have already turned my head.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


I've finally done it! I created a blog so I could really be a part of all the other crazy knitters out there sharing their thoughts, projects and private musings. Now, I've been planning to create a blog for six months or longer but I was coerced into action by being labeled blogless. Can you imagine anything worse? In that moment, I could not imagine being called anything more shameful. I had joined a sock swap and I looked at the blog site excitedly every day for tidbits of news or maybe some knitting secrets that might be revealed there. I especially enjoy the list of participants and checking out other knitter's blogs. Now, in the past I've always been listed simply by my name with nothing beside it. Other knitters are listed by their name and have their blog listed in parenthesis. I gleefully looked at my name, with a feeling of pride that I was participating in the exciting world of sock knitting, and saw beside it --- BLOGLESS. It hurt my feelings. :-) I knew then that I had been labeled. Shamed into action. So, here it is -- my blog. The place where I will bore you, perhaps amuse you and never be called blogless again. I just needed a little push.

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