Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Root, Root for the Home Team....

I know there's national pride at stake at the Olympic Games but my U.S. spirit was dashed by the free skate of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada. Simply put, they were spectacular and their dance took my breath away!

With controversy rampart in figure skating, they left nothing to interpretation and wowed their home crowd and the world. If you didn't get to see their performance, head over to NBC's Olympic coverage and take a look. If their win wasn't heartwarming enough, they sang their hearts out during their national anthem at the medal ceremony and basked in the glory of their Olympic experience! You should too, here's the link.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hellacious Heels!!

Yes, it's true, we have heels! It's been an incredible few days...just me, my CSM and the figure skaters of the Vancouver Olympics. In the spirit of the Olympic Games, I'm participating in my own Ravelympics right here at casa knitguyla. I've challenged myself to knit every component of a hand-cranked sock before the Olympics are over and perhaps combine each component into a sock. The use of the word "perhaps" is quite deliberate, this shit is crazy hard!

I remember learning to hand knit socks. It was extraordinary, a miracle when I turned my first heel. "What? Huh? How'd that happen?", "What made it do that?", "How could it change direction like that? I was flabbergasted, I showed it to everyone.

This is better ... go look at it again!

Monday, February 15, 2010

It's a Bird, It's a Plane...

it's a Hem! Yes, hem and I'm more excited about it than if Superman walked into my living room at this very moment! Well ... maybe not. It's my first hem on my CSM and it's a little sloppy but a milestone on my way to the heel. It's a good day at Sock Central!

first hem

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Turning a Corner!

This is the first acceptable gauge I have ever gotten on my CSM. It's tight and even when stretched over my calf holds its tension really well. I oiled the machine tonight and started working on increasing the tension every 40 rows. It worked right up to the top of the tension dial and with one more turn -- half the stitches came flying off the cylinder like popcorn at its moment of conception! LOL.

I know it doesn't look like much but if you've just joined us:

This is four feet of knitting that took maybe 15 minutes
It contains not one dropped stitch
And it was knit on my finicky sock machine that's probably over 100 years old!

The best part ... it's finally getting an excellent gauge for socks!

I finally beat this machine into submission! Yeah, this is big, really big!

Monday, February 8, 2010

To blog or not to blog

When Krystal called me on my lack of knitting content I had to laugh but it also got me thinking about my knitting and blogging. As evidenced by my recent entries, I haven't been finishing much lately. I start tons of projects but have terrible finish-itis. I'm constantly reading up on patterns, putting things into my mental queue and playing with stitch patterns but they never seem to end up as finished objects.

How many times do bloggers apologize for lack of posting, relevant content or plain laziness? This is not an apology post but instead an evaluative process of what I get from knitting and if the parts of this craft that I enjoy the most are blog-worthy?

I should have gone into research because I love the process. I love finding out everything there is to know about something but so often, the actual something is far less interesting. That's how I am with knitting sometimes. The low productive periods are filled with the research, practice and controlled play. Then if I'm still interested and everything is in alignment, I can really enjoy the knitting.

Case in point, the Teddy Bear. I came upon this book at the Spring Retreat and loved the idea of knitting a Teddy Bear -- a three dimensional, sculptured knitted item. It was basically all knit stitches so there wasn't much to learn in that regard but plenty to research in terms of the perfect yarn and finishing techniques. I had a blast. I started this project at the Fall Retreat and when I got home, immediately abandoned it. I started to notice holes from the increases and fearing the filling was going to leak through, I lost my oomph for the knitting but not for the project. I can't tell you how many swatches I made to test various increases and even tried to create a few new ones. The "knitguyla left leaning increase that's invisible, perfect and sure to change the face of knitting"....well that didn't happen but I did learn a lot about increases. I knew all of the increases but never really thought about them in terms of which would work best or in what circumstances. I just followed the pattern, isn't that what everyone does?

On the finishing end, I learned that I do indeed hate finishing. It's tedious and when you suck at it as I do, makes a handmade project homemade which is why I will surely contract out the finishing. As for the yarn, the limited selection of Florida yarns had me baffled and in the end, I left it to my LYS owner in L.A. to pick the perfect yarns and she did. With so little accomplished on my own, I found little to blog about so the project and the process entered the abyss of unfinished items.

Maybe I'm just your garden-variety hobbyist and with that don't have enough to blog about that's of interest to the greater community. QueerJoe and Knitterguy plan knitting retreats and blog about finished projects with the regularity that I wear shoes, YarnHarlot created and executed Sock Summit, WonderMike blogs at Fiberbeat (video included), Franklin writes hysterical books and finds time to split his time with an equally funny alter-ego (hell, I can't even spell panopti-who), YarnHarlot writes books (did I mention her already?), BrooklynTweed he writes books too and Dave spins and weaves with such expertise I nearly cry every time I visit The Weaving Studio!

I don't finish projects and occasionally write about it.

insert long pause If there's a blog police I'm in real trouble.

On a side note, I'm a little disappointed ::sniffle:: that no one commented on my staggeringly brilliant photography skills in my last post. My hunched-over reflection in the center ornament was a triumph for someone with so little skill behind the camera. It's too late, don't bother...unless you feel you must.

And welcome Shihtzuma to the followers. She's a knitter from NJ (that where my peeps live) and that's all I know about her. She lives in the land of knitters, I think I'll friend her and get to know her a little better. Welcome Donna! See, I learned something about her already...her name's Donna, just in case you didn't get that from the "welcome Donna" shout out! ;-)