Knit Wit Living

Reflections, Beading, Knitting, Life

Archive for the category “Knitting”

My Amish Mistake

I wrote a report on the Amish and Mennonites when I was in middle school. I was bothered by one of their practices to purposely make a mistake in their work based on the belief that only God can make something perfectly.  This really irked me because if only God could make something perfectly, then there was no need to make a mistake, because one would naturally happen.  Their “logic” annoyed me to no end.  As you can probably tell, it still bothers me.  Now, when I make a mistake I usually just refer to it as “my Amish mistake” and carry on with my project.

At what point does one really need to undo the work and redo it?

I have started knitting a 47″ wide Missoni Inspired Chevron Blanket because I am insane and didn’t learn my lesson about doing large projects with the Poncho I recently finished.

My Amish Mistake

This is the pattern picture, i.e. what it’s supposed to look like at the end.

There are 361 stitches, and I repeat the 60-stitch pattern 6 times.  It will be beautiful…when it’s finished….

My Amish Mistake

It took me some time to get the M1 stitches correct, but I figured I could carry on and when it was blocked the rows would come together.

My Amish Mistake

I dropped a stitch at one point and pulled the others up through it.  There was still a slight hole but I figured I could go back later with a needle and yarn and make it look normal.

My Amish Mistake

A lot of work!

BUT THEN….I dropped a S1 K2T PSSO stitch.  Damn! There was no way getting around this one.

My Amish Mistake

The one that could not be absolved.

RIP!  Funny how RIP-ping a piece out also stands for Rest in Peace.  Funny or sad.  Knitting humor. Or not.

Get out the Kleenex.  For the tears while ripping out rows and rows of 361 stitches.

Time to start anew.

My Amish Mistake

The Poncho / Ruana is Complete

The Poncho that took me over a year to knit is finished!  It’s not really a poncho, but a ruana – a free form cardigan, perhaps.

I made it for a friend, at her request.

She kept asking me if she had overstepped the friendship line by asking me to make it. I did not, and do not, feel that she had, even if it took longer than she expected.

When I accepted the request, I should have said – if I did not say it – I am not a prolific knitter. I do not knit quickly.  I knit in my spare time, and balance it with my other spare time activities.  Perhaps I did not make this clear.

Regardless.  The ruana is done. Delivered to its owner.  Who told me she likes it.

Here it is.

3 different yarns knit together to make its own fabric.

Poncho

My friend picked the yarn (and was taken aback at how expensive yarn can be). I merely knit it.  And then sewed the pieces together.

Beautiful.

Poncho

Finished.

Poncho

Poncho

(And I’m ready to knit something else now.)

4 Month Reading Report

Egads! A 4 month reading report? My heavy workload really took away my capacity to read, and then when it was over I felt like I had PTSD to struggle back to normalcy.

Now, it’s mid-August and I am able to focus again. I did a major Kindle-library trip earlier this week and have already finished one book! Ah, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s what I did manage to read these past 4 months.

Books Read April through July 2016

TitleAuthorRating
The Japanese Lover
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Isabel AllendeGood
The Stranger
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Harlan CobenGood
The Rent Collector
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Camron WrightLOVED
Housekeeping
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Marilynne RobinsonDid not get far
The Boys in the BoatDaniel James BrownCould not get into it
Bead Royale: Elegance in Bead WeavingCristie PrinceGood designs
Beading with Shaped Beads (video)Melinda BartaHelpful
How to Create Professional Finishes for Jewelry (video)Chloe ChateneverBasic
Totally Twisted: Innovative Wirework & Art Glass JewelryKerry BogertGood ideas
The Life We BuryAllen EskensBelievable, held my interest
The SelloutPaul BeattyUGH

My all-time favorite was The Rent Collector.

4 Month Reading Report

The description does NOT do it any justice at all.

Sang Ly struggles to survive by picking through garbage in Cambodia’s largest municipal dump. Under threat of eviction by an embittered old drunk who is charged with collecting rents from the poor of Stung Meanchey, Sang Ly embarks on a desperate journey to save her ailing son from a life of ignorance and poverty.

The story starts out as a simple premise of a poor family reliant upon the task of picking and selling garbage but then expands its horizons. It examines relationships, circumstances, healthcare, literature, intuition, friendship, marriage, and more. It is totally captivating and enchanting.

I also enjoyed two bestseller mysteries: The Stranger by Harlan Coben and The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens. I often sneer at the bestseller lists – because who says that the people buying the books share my taste in books? But I really wanted to see what Harlan Coben’s writing was like after I read a book review where he was quoted on how he puts together his stories.  All the pieces were presented in a timely manner before the mystery was solved, the relationships and characters’ behavior were believable. I would definitely read another of his books after reading The Stranger.

Allen Esken’s book, The Life We Bury, was also believable and drew me in. It was one of those books that I had to put down at certain times because I just knew that the main character was going to do something stupid. Believable, especially given his age, but still stupid.

I could not omit talking about The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende.  My journey started as a library book, but I ended up buying it when it was unavailable for renewal.  It’s only rated as Good because it did not draw me back anxious to know what happens to the characters. It was good enough to read to the end, though (somewhat Spoiler Alert) the end was extremely disappointing to me.  I would still recommend it because I flew through some of the chapters, while others…not so much.

Books Bought April through July 2016

TitleAuthor
The Japanese Lover
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Isabel Allende
Blood Defense
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Marcia Clark
The Stranger
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Harlan Coben
The Rent Collector
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Camron Wright
Housekeeping
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Marilynne Robinson
The Boys in the BoatDaniel James Brown
Bead Royale: Elegance in Bead WeavingCristie Prince
Beading with Shaped Beads (video)Melinda Barta
How to Create Professional Finishes for Jewelry (video)Chloe Chatenever
Totally Twisted: Innovative Wirework & Art Glass JewelryKerry Bogert
Beadweaving Beyond the BasicsKassie Shaw
Bead MetamorphosisLisa Kan
The Life We BuryAllen Eskens
The SelloutPaul Beatty

So this “month” or time period, I bought more books than I read.  I was taken in by two sales at the Interweave Store and took full advantage of the low prices!  I just noticed that Cristie Prince delivers designs like royalty would wear in Bead Royale, which is only fitting!  Although you’d think she’d change her name to Princess to really make it simpatico.

I’ve enjoyed most of the beading books and videos I’ve perused thus far.  What I’m really getting from all this reference material is that (1) anything goes, (2) I’m more knowledgeable than I give myself credit, and (3) anyone can be an expert.  Also, I like to see what people have to say or what they’ve done and then just mull over their ideas and subconsciously incorporate them into my work.  As Norah Gaughan said at one of the Vogue Knitting Live lectures,  there is nothing truly original anymore.

4 Month Reading Report

There may be new ideas or ways of doing things, but they originate from prior knowledge or experiences.

There! Now I’ve done it! I’ve transformed my Reading Report to include the other ways I’ve spent my time (except for golfing) – knitting and beading. Funny how well that worked out!

2016 Blizzard

2016 Blizzard….or how I spent my time during the storm.

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This weekend…VKL NYC!

Vogue Knitting Live NYC 2016 is this weekend!

I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since VKL NYC 2015! The Knitting with Beads course with Laura Nelkin has changed my life. I have been spending the year teaching myself beading, and transferring much of my spending to beading supplies.

And guess what?

I am not going to VKL NYC this year! Instead I am saving my pennies to go to a beading fair next weekend.

My goal remains the same – to combine knitting and beading in unusual ways.  I’ve been spending this year learning basic beading techniques to understand how it works…so that I can rework it.

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Did I mention that beading is fun? And more immediate gratification than knitting!  But there are so many choices, and really, a lot of thinking and processing.  And stringing is not as easy as it looks. Sure, putting beads on a string is easy, but the design, and making sure the beads fall correctly takes longer than I expected.  It’s all very enjoyable.

Beading

And pretty!

Beading Report

I think beading is more prolific than knitting.  There are more options of things you can do with beads, and the projects are a lot faster to complete (in some cases) than knitting.  Plus, bead designs are available everywhere – you are more likely to see people wearing jewelry than a knitted item.

It could become a daunting task to try to come up with new designs. Or maybe not? There are soooo many different types of beads and new bead types being produced that it may be easier to come up with combinations and patterns that are unique.

On the other hand, knitters may come up with new knitting stitches or yarn / stitch combinations more than noticed or publicized.

It is a fascinating world to be creative with so many choices.

So the really cool thing is that I’ve come up with some ideas and looked online to see how other people have done them…and I can’t find anything!  That is so exciting because it tells me that I am on to something new and different.

The first time this happened, I was making a necklace to wear to the opera in Milan. (I know, how lucky am I?!) I bought a fabulous dress and knew that I wanted to wear a necklace that was totally unique and made specifically for it.  I had read about creating large beads from small ones – a fairly common idea – but then I decided to hang them from the necklace like little pendants.  I could not find any advice on how to do that.  What fun!  Like recipes, patterns are usually just recommendations, so this was actually perfect. I could do what I wanted to make it work.

So amazing!

While planning the jewelry to take on my trip, I realized I had many necklaces but very few earrings. So I decided to take the major components of the different necklaces and make one pair of earrings that would go with them all.  Call it funky, definitely call it unique. This is what I ended up with – and love! because I don’t think anyone else would ever put this combination together!

Beading Report

Now, I’m playing with the herringbone stitch, which is a simple stitch but looks terribly advanced! For some reason, I enjoy doing the tubular rather than the flat stitch. I think it’s more interesting to watch the product develop as a tube.  This is a fairly standard spiral herringbone design, but in the middle section I have Swarovski crystals spiraling in the opposite direction.

I made a point to have both sides match up.  While not unique at all, this was a major challenge for an asymmetrically-driven crafter.  It was a gift for a very symmetrically-oriented friend, who appreciated my extra effort in this regard!

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