Snowviolet

Honest, opinioniated, or rude depending on how you look at it.

Archive for the ‘Knit Philosophy’ Category

Milwaukee Knit Chick

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I survived the move, and am now living in the Milwaukee area of Wisconsin.I think I may change the blog name so that to reflect the move, and adhere to at least one of the necessary knit blog rules. Any ideas, oh 2 people on the internet that actually read this thing?

Its been difficult staying with the kids here, while Andy continues to work in Minnesota. But one of us has to have a job locally before that can change.  I may end up working in marketing if I can’t find any business analyst jobs in the area. It’d be a real change, that’s for sure!

Before the move we took the kids to the Como Zoo one last time, and I noticed some really cool handknits in the gift shop. I brazenly took some pictures, and I think I may try to figure out a pattern for a few of them.

I’d just love to make a llama hat for my friend Heidi’s twin girls. She’s nuts about llamas. Don’t ask.

A few monkeys followed us home from the zoo too, but they don’t eat much.

A lot has been going on in knitting news. I convinced my sister to try knitting and…she’s totally addicted. When I heard her say “just let me finish this row” the other day, I knew she was hooked. She picked it up really fast, and her first projects looked damn good for a beginner. She even got excited about buying kitchen cotton on sale at Michael’s yesterday. (FYI, its on sale for a $1!) It’s so exciting to have someone to talk about knitting with!

Also, I have had a lot more time to knit since quitting my job. The kids do take up a lot of my time, but I have had time to knit every day. I’m working really hard at finishing my socks I started back when dinosaurs walked the earth in December. I’m about 80% finished with the second one, and I know I will love wearing them, but sock knitting just takes so long! I would love nothing more than to have enough handknit socks to wear a different pair each day of the month, but at the rate I make them, it could take a decade to get to that point. I’m making myself finish them before I use  3 skeins of delicious Misti Alpaca worsted to make something for myself.

I did manage to hook up with some ladies in the Waukesha area of the Milwaukee burbs for a Stich N’ Bitch recently. I dragged my knitting-virgin sister along. (That’s how I convinced her to try knitting, that I couldn’t go alone, so she just had to at least know how to knit a washcloth. Mwuahahaha!) We went to a little bistro called Sprizzo’s and met a really nice group of knitters. I didn’t enjoy my sandwich, and the beer was kind of pricey, so I will try to eat before I go next time. Its not an established SNB, so everyone was either a stranger or casual acquaintance that had met through Ravelry. Got to see a bunch of interesting projects, but I didn’t really feel comfortable taking pictures for the ol’ blog, as I barely knew anyone. Maybe next time. It’d be nice to meet some knitters closer to where I live too.

One of the ladies agreed to bring some tools along to our next SNB and show us how to make stitch markers. I’ve always wanted to know how to make them, but I don’t want to go out and buy the wrong tools. It’ll be a lot of fun to see one made first-hand.

Written by Milwaukee Knit Chick

June 20, 2009 at 12:32 am

Knit-Out 2009

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On Valentine’s Day we headed out to the Mall of America to bring our oldest, Aidan, to Nickelodeon Universe as a reward for all the hard work he’s put into his schoolwork and therapy. Much to my surprise, we arrived to one of the largest crowds that I have ever seen at the Mall! We couldn’t figure out why it was so crowded until we got to the main rotunda and found this.

So while my husband and Aidan went on the rides, Jameson and I cruised the fiber booths and took lots of pictures.

The crowds were pretty thick all day, and they had some really cool giveaways such as a ginormous yarn bag from Lion Brand Yarn and a free 10th anniversary edition of Knit N’ Style magazine.

And all the major national yarn brands had booths showing their newest products. Red Heart was giving away some free patterns and kind of felt a little out of place. The displays and patterns felt very granny-esque in comparison to the rest of the show. Didn’t they get the memo that a younger crowd of whippersnappers are knitting these days? I mean really, mannequin heads with beanies? What’s next, a Barbie doll toilet paper cozy?

Red Heart Booth

The Lion Brand Yarn booth was more relevant to today’s knitter. I have a love/hate relationship with Lion Brand yarn. I think that much of their synthetic yarn is overpriced and of poor quality. And let’s face it, they’re probably the main enabler of novelty yarn knitting in the U.S. But on the other hand, they really seem to be branching out with new natural and luxury blends. I guess I don’t see a lot of incentive to buy it other than the fact that at least you can buy Lion Yarn at JoAnns with their discount coupons.

I have to admit that it was really cool to see the full spectrum of colors for the newer blends and luxury yarns. If it hadn’t been so crowded, I would have been brave enough to take closeup pictures. Maybe I’ll try out one of their new lines since they were giving out these.

The Caron booth had a contest  going on and free patterns. I really liked the feel of some of their new line of Eco-Yarns. All the brands had new eco-friendly yarns made from recycled material, but Caron’s felt the softest.

There were a lot of free workshops available at the two smaller rotundas in the mall, but I hadn’t brought any knitting with me.

And while there wasn’t any fiber for sale, a few of the local yarn stores had booths such as my favorite, The Yarnery.

And the Yarn Garage had some cool displays.

I keep meaning to check out the Yarn Garage, but its kind of a hike since its in Rosemount, a southern suburb of the Twin Cities. I’ll have to stop in before we move this summer.

All in all, it was a fun event to slowly wander around with Jameson in his stroller. I’ll have to make an effort to go to the next yarn expo in my area that actually sells fiber.

Written by Milwaukee Knit Chick

February 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Contest Winners!

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And the winners of a free copy of the Bella’s Mittens pattern are…..

Katherine of It All

Megan

Lacy

I’ve already emailed you a copy of the pattern if you won, so please let me know if you don’t find it in your in-box.

I also wanted to thank everyone for their kind comments about the mittens! I’ve never designed anything before, and I’m sure I’ve made mistakes, but its really nice to hear how much you enjoy the pattern.

Also, as a general announcement, I have received many many many requests to knit a pair of these mittens and sell them. I’m a mother of two, and I work full-time. My youngest just turned 5 months old and is teething, so I’m lucky if I get a chance to eat dinner when I get home much less knit as much as I would like to. If you really really would like to commission a pair of mittens, I am charging $66 a pair.

$11 Yarn
$5 Shipping
$50 Knitting Fee
—————–
$66 Total

It takes me about a week to finish them, and if you live outside of the U.S., I will add on additional shipping charges. Contact me via email if you would like to order a pair.

That being said, if you love the mittens I encourage you to try knitting. It’s really a lot of fun! Nothing gives you incentive to learn something new as much as a project you really want to have. It can also be a great opportunity to bond with your mom, grandma, or friend who knits as they show you the ropes. If nothing else, maybe you can convince them to knit you a pair if you ask  nicely. 🙂

Written by Milwaukee Knit Chick

November 26, 2008 at 9:19 pm

Wierding out strangers since 2008…

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So I had a knit moment today.

It was unexpected and a very strange place to have a knit moment.

We went to the indoor waterpark today to celebrate our oldest son’s birthday. He’s turning 8 tomorrow and he loves to run around in the community center pool. It has a sort of water playground area for younger children where they can run around and splash without having to actually swim.

So I’m sitting on the sidelines with the baby (who by the way loved splashing like a little otter in the pool) and I notice a woman walking around taking pictures of her kid’s birthday party. She’s not in a swimsuit, but is instead wearing warm winter clothes despite the very warm and moist environment of the room. As she comes closer, the sweater she is wearing catches my eye. It has a beautiful range of colors in large blocks of stripes, and has intarsia snowflakes at the bottom, and intarsia pine trees at the yoke. All in all, the sweater is made out of AWESOME.

I discreetly squint at her from across the room, trying to work out how the little pine trees are knit and placed. It was so humid in the room I couldn’t wear my glasses without them fogging up. Finally, I squelch my shyness, grab the camera, and walk up to ask her if I can take a picture of her sweater. I could tell she was very wierded out as I gushed over the beauty of her sweater, but she did allow me to take a few pictures. Evidently she got it at Christopher Banks. It felt strangely liberating to just do it and not regret letting the moment pass by later.

I loved the pine tree technique and absolutely must design a baby sweater incorporating it. I’ve already decided I’m going to call it “Little Lumberjack”, and it will be made out of ADORABLE.

Written by Milwaukee Knit Chick

November 23, 2008 at 9:40 pm

Posted in Humor, Knit Philosophy

Knit and Movie Review

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Disclaimer: Please don’t read if you don’t want any movie spoilers!

Ok, so let me preface this with saying I love love LOVE the Twilight books. Ain’t nothing going to change that.

But…

Andy and I went to see the movie tonight and I’m still not sure if I liked it or not. Movies are never as good as the books, so I didn’t go into it thinking it would be Oscar-worthy. But I really don’t think it did the book justice.

Robert Patterson’s effort at an American accent wasn’t consistent throughout the movie, and was sort of distracting. I liked Bella, but felt like they didn’t really give her enough of a personality on the screen. The editing was too choppy, and the story and relationship didn’t flow as naturally as in the book. They really could have reworked the dialogue and interaction between Edward and Bella a lot better in the first half of the movie. I found myself laughing at the spots that aren’t supposed to be funny. I’ve been hearing that in a lot of other reviews, so I don’t feel too bad. At least it was entertaining!

The second half of the movie was much much better, and the chemistry between the two of them was hot! The action scene kicked ass in the ballet studio too. There were also some really cute romantic moments that weren’t in the book. I loved the way they casted Alice, but she didn’t have nearly a big enough role. Alice is my favorite character in the books!

I also loved Emmett in the movie, he was so cuddly and funny! Everyone was incredibly good-looking in the movie, but the last scene with Jacob made my heart go thumpity-thump. I’m not sure if it’s even legal for a woman my age to be thinking what I was thinking at that moment. Rawr!

And I was pleasantly surprised at the handmade items that I noticed in the movie. I say handmade becuase besides there was a fair amount of crocheted items too! Besides Bella’s mittens (which I got a much better look at from multiple angles) there was a crocheted granny square blanket, a crocheted hat that Jacob wears on the beach, a crocheted hat that Bella wears on the beach (I’m 80% sure it was crocheted), an multi-colored clapotis-ish scarf that Bella wears, and a knit shrug with apliqued yarn flowers that Bella wears in the prom scene.

I’d really like a better look at all of them, especially the scarf. Think that’s a good enough excuse to go again? Its funny how knitting can get under your skin to the point that you are paying more attention to interesting handknits than the actors at times!

Written by Milwaukee Knit Chick

November 21, 2008 at 10:43 pm

Posted in Knit Philosophy

Tagged with

Smack, Knitbug!

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Did anyone else ever play the “Slugbug” game as a child? We loooooved to play it when I was a kid, since there were six of us and we frequently had to travel long distances when moving between air bases.  The game never stops, EVER, once you start playing. I’ve been playing with my siblings for almost 30 years now. Whenever you see a VW Beetle, you smack the closest player on the arm and yell “Slugbug!” before they can. I’m sure you can see why it was so popular what with the gratuitous, yet mild violence involved.

Ever since I started knitting, I find myself wanting the equivalent of the game every time I see an unexpected situation involving knitting. Of course, I don’t think it will have the same amount of competition involved in my estrogen-deprived household. It’s just me and Jasmine the cat against the four boys, but in all fairness, we DO rule the roost.

But I digress, I present my first “Knitbug!” to share with you. I was watching Food Network the other day and saw this humorous commercial and got all excited thinking it was going to be a knitting show.

It turns out it’s a rather clever show mocking old Martha Stewart episodes called “Whatever, Martha!”. I know I plan to watch when it comes on. Who hasn’t silently skewered some of the ridiculous things that Martha Stewart demonstrates? Don’t get me wrong, I looooove Martha. If you ever thought that she doesn’t have a sense of humor, all you have to do is watch her when she goes on Conan O’Brian. She always shows up half-lit, and her and Conan have a grand old time.

Oh, and KNITBUG! Bet you didn’t see that coming, huh? I saw this in the news a while back and thought I’d share. Making math with yarn…who’d have thought it was possible?

Going back to work has been a really really trying and exhausting experience with a 3 month old and 7 year old, so I’ll have to post some FOs next time.

Written by Milwaukee Knit Chick

September 25, 2008 at 10:57 pm

Posted in Humor, Knit Philosophy

5 Commandments of Sock Knitting

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Yeah yeah, I know I make too many lists. But its fun, so if they bore you, you’re reading the wrong blog!

5 Commandments of Sock Knitting

1. Do not select a complicated or lacy pattern for your first socks. It just gives you a headache on top of all the other techniques that you have to learn for socks.

2. Do not select an extremely stringy yarn for your first pair of socks. Learning the sock techniques isn’t difficult, but it does take time. It’ll just make the whole project seem harder than it really is if you have a ridiculously small gauge. Had I known this, I would have made Worsted Weight socks for my first go for more instant gratification!

3. Do not use a combination of lacey sock pattern and brightly variagated yarn. You’ll end up losing your pattern in the rainbow of colors. Solid colors work better for lacy and cabled patterns. Variegated colors work better in simple stocking socks.

4. Do not expect to finish a pair of socks quickly, just because they are a small item. You are basically knitting with toothpicks, and the gauge takes time no matter how fast a knitter you are. When you throw in using the magic loop method or dpns for the first time, you are going to end up reknitting many parts over and over again until you get it right. Let’s not even talk about Second Sock Syndrome.

5. Do not attempt to knit socks without moral support from knitters and non-knitters alike. Friendly knitters should be consulted frequently for advice and problem-solving. Friendly non-knitters should bring you beer and chocolate whenever you throw your sock across the room in disgust. In fact, let’s just make an addendum of “Thou shalt not knit socks unless you hit a two beer minimum.”

That being said….I broke each and every one of those rules, and it shows. It took me 8 months to finish these damn socks, and they are definitely not my favorite FO to date. I ended up hating the yarn texture/weight, even though the colors were what drew me to them. And I now know that my gauge was horribly, HORRIBLY off. So please, gentle readers, learn from my mistakes.

Widdershins Socks
Pattern: http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer06/PATTwiddershins.html
Yarn: South West Trading Company TOFUtsies
Needles: US 1 circular

Notes: I actually did these both at the same time on one circular. I didn’t enjoy working with this yarn, and I think that made the project more tedious. Its a beautiful yarn, but really really thin and stringy. I wish I had used sharper pointed needles than my addis.

The finished sock was much warmer than I anticipated, but less stretchy as well. I added a band of elastic in the cuffs, and made it an ankle sock since I got bored with making them. They do wash up really well and I even tossed them in the dryer with no problem. Unfortunately they are a bit loose, but not bad for a first-time attempt.

I am now attempting my second pair of socks, and am much much happier with the results so far. Using the right yarn for the right project makes all the difference in the world. This is going so fast, that I anticipate being done with them by the end of the weekend at latest.

Please note that I have not yet fulfilled the addendum. Hence, I shall strive to find a second beer posthaste.

I also stopped by “Once Upon a Child” today, and found the most adorable swing. $40 for a hardly-used swing that retails at $100. The complimentary baby ain’t bad either.

Written by Milwaukee Knit Chick

August 28, 2008 at 7:11 pm