Google+ Beverly Is Yarn Crazy!: 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder?

Hello!  Remember me?  I didn't think so.

I have always liked the idea of blogging about all the creative ideas I have and what I make, but...

...Well, liking the idea of blogging doesn't make me a good blogger.  I love reading other creative bloggers posts and watching podcasters productions, but I don't seem to have anything compelling to say or show.  I'm not even good about taking pictures of what I make, so that I can update my Ravelry project pages.

In the past, after long breaks from the blog, I will come back to it, like today, and state that I am going to try to be more consistent in my posting and all that balderdash and then I don't follow through.   No more!

No, I don't mean no more blog.  I just mean, no more trying to be like the "good" bloggers.  I'm tired of feeling guilty every time I think about this blog and how I have neglected it.  In the future, I will post when I think of it and when I have time and, most importantly, when I feel like it.  No more bad bloggers guilt.  

This probably means that I will never achieve blogger notoriety or have a giant following.  I'm good with that; less pressure that way.  I just thought I should make what few followers that I do have aware of this so that you can stop waiting or unfollow me if you feel so compelled.  

Since I am here, I might as well post a gratuitous project picture, just so anyone who stumbles upon this can tell that it is still a yarncrazy blog.  The following picture is a hat I completed this past weekend.  The pattern is Fair Isle Hat by janelleknits on Ravelry.  I used half a skein of Brown Sheep's Lamb's Pride Worsted in the Onyx colorway and almost all of a skein of Plymouth Yarn's Gina in the 0009 Variegated colorway.  This is a great pattern for novice fair isle knitters, as the charts are very easy to read and remember, plus there are no long stranded carries to catch.  

Thank you for reading this.  Please leave a comment if you have one.  I'll be back eventually, you just never know when.  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Continental Envy

Have you ever seen a technique or method of doing something that, in your head, makes perfect sense, but you CAN'T do it?  Can't???  Can't is not permitted.

When I see people knitting in the continental style, I am so envious, because it appears to be a much more efficient way of knitting.  I am told that it is faster and that makes sense to me when I observe how it is done.  My continental knit stitch is passable when I use it in colorwork, but when I try to purl in the continental style, it is tedious, wonky looking, and unevenly tensioned.  Continental purling has been my nemesis.

This week, I have watched every YouTube video that I can find and attempted all of the tips, tricks and acrobatic assaults on yarn that they proffer.  I decided that I would work all these experimental stitches in dishcloths for my own home.  We could use a few more of them and I don't care how bad they look as even an ugly dishcloth will clean the dishes.

My primary difficulties in continental purling are yarn tensioning and wrapping the yarn around the needle without it slipping off.  Most of the videos that I watched neglected to address how to tension the yarn in your hand.  How I tension in my right hand is not working for my left hand at all.  As for wrapping the yarn around the needle, it takes me several attempts with each stitch.  This too, could be a tensioning issue.

To my surprise, Norwegian purling is somehow working for my clumsy hands. When I first watched a few videos of this particular method, I thought, "that doesn't look more efficient!".  I wasn't even going to try it, except nothing else was working for me and it was all that was left.  I gave it a try and it worked for me the very first try!  It isn't as fast as the more traditional purling that I have seen, but it enables me to continental purl so that I can have the benefit of continental knitting.  The technique eliminates the need to move the yarn to the front to purl.  Voila!  If you would like to try this here is a video link showing it:  Norwegian Purling

Another very interesting way that I am trying has the yarn controlled by your thumb.  It isn't as intuitive for me, but it is easier than the traditional method.  You can find a video for it here:  Purling the Easy Way.

I am determined to practice this daily for a few weeks and see if this is really worth all the effort for my knitting.  I won't consider it a waste of time at all, because I got some loosey-goosey, wonky dishcloths to use and, best of all, continental style knitting was not permitted to defeat me.  Stay yarn crazy!

UPDATE:  I only posted this 20 minutes ago and then found a video on Portuguese knitting that is amazing.  I am purling away like a fiend!  Super fast!  Give it a try:  Portuguese Knitting.  For a improvised knitting pin/pendant, I opened up a paper clip and placed it around a necklace I am wearing.  Then looped the yarn through the opening and around my middle finger, the way she demonstrated.  Perfect tensioning!  Even if this method doesn't become my go to, the tensioning method will be investigated further as it is taking a lot of stress off my hands.

I love learning new things!!!

Edited to add:  Russian Purling

Friday, May 30, 2014

Local Fiber Events

I am very excited about some upcoming fiber events here in Maine that I plan to attend.  Perhaps I will see you at one or all of them too.

The first one is the 14th Annual Maine Fiber Frolic.  The Frolic is scheduled for June 7th & 8th from 9 am to 4 pm at the Windsor Fairgrounds, Rt. 32, Windsor, Maine.  There is an extensive list of workshops to participate in and the vendors are extensive.  The event is rain or shine.  I have only attended it one weekend and it rained both days, but we (my sister and I) still had a great time.  I took some weaving classes that weekend, purchased some amazing fibers and mingled with furry, four-legged creatures.

The next one I plan to attend is the 1st Annual Maine Alpaca Experience.  Obviously, since it is the first one, I haven't attended it before.  It is scheduled for June 21st, from 10 am to 5 pm at the Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm, 141 Crosby Brook Rd., Unity, Maine.  There will be lots of cuddly critters, seminars, tours, and more.  I'm not sure what "more" is, but I know that they sell their products, so most likely you can bring home something fabulous!

Are you planning on attending either of these events?  Are there other Maine fiber events that you are excited about?  Please leave a comment about events you are excited about. Maybe I will see you there :)

Still Yarn Crazy!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Cough, Ouch, Cough, OUCH!

I have caught some type of creeping crude and it is roosting in my lungs.  It has been plaguing me for a week and half so far and every time I feel like it might be getting better, it lets me know that it has some kind of Vulcan death grip on my lungs.  (If you are a Star Trek fan and I have in some way attributed the death grip to the wrong alien culture, tune in to reality.)

Last week I coughed so hard I pulled the muscles in my right side.  The pharmacy Angel (that's how I will always see her now) recommended cough syrup with codeine and it seemed to help at night and the muscles are hurting a little less.   BUT, I don't want to get to dependent on the stuff, so last night I didn't take it.  About 3 am I pulled the muscles in my lower left abdomen while coughing and gasping for breath.  So I am not responsible for the codeine influenced content of this blog.

I have missed far too much time from work because of this crap.  I haven't felt like working on much of anything for crafts, or doing much of anything, for that matter.  I just can't maintain focus.  What I really want is for this respiratory infection to be completely gone by Tuesday morning so that I can go to work and do my job. I am willing to give the rest of today and Memorial day over to the illness to mess with me, but that's it.  Enough is enough.

Three paragraphs of whining later...

I finally reintroduced myself to my Ashford Traditional this weekend.  It has been longer than I can remember since I actually spun on it.  Friday, I pulled it out, dusted it, oiled it and apologized for the neglect.  A long time ago, I had started spinning some fiber that was not so good, but it was free and there was a lot of it so I just kept telling myself to stick to it and turn it into something good.  Well, that mindset wouldn't let me put anything else on the wheel, but I didn't like what was on it so I didn't spin it.  My very wise and beautiful friend, Melody, told me life is to short to knit with bad yarn.  I feel she would be fine with me extending that sentiment to spinning and fiber.

Out with the bad fiber and in with heavenly spinning in the form of HaldeCraft Pencil Roving in the weathered wood colorway.  4 oz. of BFL that almost spins itself.  I spun for 30 minutes on Friday and for 45 minutes on Saturday.  I am hoping that I can incrementally work my way out of my ADD Crafting Funk.  That isn't a professional diagnosis.  Simply my personal observation.  Perhaps there should be some proof of this purported spinning:

Even though the spinning wheel was neglected for too long, I have been spinning on a few spindles during this ADD Crafting Funk.  Actually, spindles are one of my favorite take-along projects.  Unfortunately, I rarely finish spinning what I have on my collection of spindles.  Sounds like the focus for another post.

Still Yarn Crazy!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Flippin' Crazy!

I have admired the beautiful lace motifs of tatting for some time.  Last summer I purchased some tatting needles, but never bothered to do anything with them.  Then this past weekend a lovely friend of mine, Tami, was shuttle tatting while we were in a Google+ Hangout.  I asked tons of questions and wandered several tatting supply websites.  An hour or so later and $29 poorer, a shipment of shuttle tatting supplies was on it's way to my home from Be-stitched.

To my delight, the rather small package arrived yesterday.  I tore it open to find that the rather small package wasn't even half full.  Apparently I won't need an entire craft room for this craft, like I do for my other yarn crafts!  Inside was 3 different shuttles, a picot gauge, and 2 balls of tatting thread (the third ball I ordered is back-ordered).

New toys means off to you-tube we zoom.  I watched several different videos, but never could get a good view of the infamous "flip" that they all referred to as necessary to success.  I was so frustrated because my double stitches looked so nice, but when I tried to cinch up the ring, it wouldn't slide.  I suspected that the aforementioned flip was the problem, but still no idea wth they were talking about.
Wondering if I have finally found the first craft that I cannot begin to comprehend, I went to the craft room in search of the tatting needles from the previous summer. After all, there is more than one way to tat!  One quick video series later and look what I made:

So, now I have proved that I can tat, but niggling in my brain is the fact that I gave up on shuttle tatting.  Back to the videos I go, desperately searching for the elusive "flip".  Kelly Petkun to the rescue.  Her KnitPicks tutorial series had the view that I needed.   I finally see the flip.  I very awkwardly do the flip.  I need a lot more practice before I flip in public.  This is flippin' difficult!

If anyone has tutorial suggestions to help me learn, I hope you will share with me in the comments.   Thank you!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Current Project

Sewanee by Beth Bradford, is a free pattern download. I am working it in Cherry Tree Hill's SuperSock Select in the Monet colorway.  I purchased the yarn at the Rhinebeck sheep and wool festival.

This is a simple pattern to memorize and knit.  Sometimes the simple things are the most elegant.

I am finding it very relaxing and satisfying to work the pattern with this lovely yarn.  The yarn has a beautiful twist and lovely hand.  I love the Monet colorway, especially since it reminds me of a beautiful friend of mine who shares the colorway name.    The project is for me, so there isn't a deadline stressing me.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Let's try this AGAIN.

I keep thinking that I want and even need to get back to this blog/vlog, but I am not sure if I have anything worth sharing.  I read a lot of other blogs that inspire me, but I don't feel that I am inspiring.  So, in an effort to at least start posting again, I will share a few things about me.

1.  I am a bookkeeper for a not-for-profit organization.  I really do like my job, though I do, at times, gripe about it when I get a little stressed.  What I really love is the people with whom I work.  They are amazing and we form an great team.

2.  At work I am a little obsessive about keeping my desk organized.  Everything has a place and I get a little "twitchy" if things aren't where they belong.  I think the organization gives me a feeling of control in all the chaos, however delusional that feeling may be.

3.  In stark contrast to my work space, my creative home space, aka the craft room, is a hodge-podge of good intentions interspersed with creativity and laziness. Yeah, it's a mess.  No, I don't like it that way.  I am always planning to do something about it.  

4.  I have my own island.  It is my lift-chair recliner and it has its own gravitational pull!  I know this because all sorts of things gather within arms reach of this island. Every knitting needle I own is there, except the one I need, of course.  Random skeins have accumulated, simply because I wanted to show my G+ hangout knit-girls what I have acquired and then never moved it to the craft room.  Oh, and the mail!  Someone save me from all this damn paper!

So, there you have it, some random weirdness about yours truly.  There's a lot more weirdness, but I am easier to take in small doses, or so I have been told.  Are you weird?  Do you feel the need to share something random?  Please take advantage of the comments if you so need, but please keep it reasonably clean.  I leave it to others to define what is "reasonable".  TTFN.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Share This


Related Posts with Thumbnails