Monday, September 29, 2014

Sunday Knitting {Knitting in Church, and Why I do it}

On Sunday afternoons over the last couple of months, I've been posting my #KnittingInChurch projects on my instagram.
I've received a few questions from people (both online and off) as to why I knit in church, or other places where it might seem out of the ordinary, or a social faux pas. And also, how I justify or feel comfortable doing it while others might not. 

Simply put, knitting is my rosary.
 *I'm not actually Catholic-but I can appreciate that a rosary is a form of meditation. Something that keeps one's mind focused and in thought. The point here is not the tool, but the function.*

As far back as I can remember, I've had to had my hands busy while listening in church, (or school etc) to keep my mind from wandering off into a day dream. 
In elementary school I was often scolded for drawing because the teacher would assume that my actions meant I wasn't listening. Little did they didn't realize that it was the only thing that kept me engaged in what what was being said.

My high school teachers though, embraced that this was simply how I functioned and never minded if I was drawing, crocheting or carving, so long as my grades reflected that I was indeed listening. (and I did, and do still take notes as I go.)

And I soon realized, that I wasn't the only person who seemed to best function while having something to occupy their hands. 

As an adult, concentration, for me, is still a struggle. Possibly even more so.
 While the distractions might not be the same, they are still plenty. Instead of simple and imaginative childish daydreaming, it's:

Did I lay out the chicken to thaw for tonight's dinner?

Do I need to stop at the grocery store on our way home?

I need to remember to tell so-and-so about the date of that birthday party
Wow, that baby is really cute. I want to squeeze her. again and again. And smell her. I wonder what size she's in now.... Do I have some clothes I could pass down to her already? Would they be the right season yet? Hmm, she looks a little bigger than Lotte was at that age...

You catch the drift.

 It is so difficult for me to go from having a very full and ordinarily multi-tasking mind to listening to one subject (no matter how interesting) without losing focus.  Especially in a church so blessed that it's brimming with so very many noisy, adorable children.

This isn't a selective issue, either.
I don't want anyone to misunderstand what I'm saying. I'm not suggesting that our church sermons are so boring that I have to knit to stay awake; In fact, I don't find them boring at all.

Please realize that I knit through even the best of movies and television shows as well. And before I knew how to knit, it was some other outlet. (there are many.)

I'm also not suggesting that this is something everyone and anyone should do.
If anyone were to find knitting (or any other thing) to be something that was too difficult to do while listening, I would not suggest it. The entire point, for me, is to stay focused, not to cause further distraction.

I choose very simple patterns and stitches for church- things I don't have to think about. If I know i'm going to have to count anything, read anything or at the point in a sock where it's time to turn a heel, measure etc,  I leave it at home and bring something else instead. Even just some empty needles and a piece of scrap yarn. Really.

I don't feel the need to actually justify why I do this, I would feel some form of self conviction if it were something that was was hindering my relationship with God.

But thought some form of explanation would be helpful for those who have asked why, or others who have attention deficit tendencies and feel alone in their own, sometimes not very obvious, but very real distractions.

Sunday's Sermon can be downloaded here

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Yarn Along {Finished Projects}

I should just change the name of my blog to Yarn Along, seriously. This seems to be the only time of the week where I find time to post anymore. (Better once a week than never, right?) Hopefully i'll get back on the bandwagon soon.

And Don't let the title fool you, I haven't finished much lately, but I did finish a few things a while ago. And like a very bad knitter, I forgot to actually block and photograph the projects. So finally...

Spring Kerchief in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino

She was unimpressed that I asked her to sit still for two whole seconds to take her picture. I had to bribe her with a cupcake.

Bramble Shawl (She saw my shawl and requested one for herself. She said she needed one for "apple picking". (We don't have an apple tree, and I think she's picked apples maybe once?)
 Note to self: Take Lotte Apple Picking.

I whipped out a pair of
these last night...I'm completely floored by how fast these went. (2 hours maybe, tops?!) I wanted an easy slipper pattern to make for some Christmas gifts that would fit the recipients well. This Pattern is only available in one size, but changing the cast on number of stitches, yarn or needle size would easily change that. I can't wait to try these with a fun, thicker, variegated yarn.

These are a women's medium, and are clearly a touch too snug for my crazy swollen ankles and feet. 

I so look forward to having normal sized feet in the near's right there on the top of the list with normal jeans.



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Yarn Along {current projects and tech trouble}

I have a few projects on the needles right now that seem to be taking forever. This is the scarf of doom that I mentioned last week. It really is going to be rather lovely, but wow, the repeats are playing in my head at night as I sleep. It's a sample knit for a local yarn shop and I volunteered to knit it. I'm well over the half way mark now which is a relief, because in the beginning I wasn't sure I was going to make it. (I'm a repeat wimp...I have self diagnosed ADD when it comes to these sorts of things.)

My little pickle requested a pink and purple hat, and I happened to find some cascade220 superwash in exactly those colours. I've had my eye on the stella hat for a while now and thought it would be sweet. 
It ended up being a touch small for her, but I was able to add a few rows here and there to get a little more room out of it. I'll be making this one again for her, but definitely one size up.
This was a really fast knit, (yarn is held double) and it only took about 2 hours, which I was happy to knit during a middle-of-the-night bout of insomnia. 

I always get insomnia out of nowhere towards the end of pregnancy, and feel like if I'm going to be just laying there awake, I may as well DO something.

She loves her little hat, and the way it hugs her cheeks makes them look even chubbier and that much more kissable. She was so excited about it that I could barely keep her holding still for the two seconds it took to take the picture. Sorry about the blur.

My socks are still a work in progress-I've really only been knitting them while i'm away from home (which isn't too often)  because they're so wonderfully portable. I always like to keep a portable project in my purse. This makes small things seem to take forever though, If i'm only working on them here and there.

I'm going to bring them to knitting night tonight though and hopefully get through the rest of the foot. I have some more yarn and a new sock pattern (toe up with a fish lips kiss heel)  than i'm really eager to try-but won't dare cast on until these are finished. I'm weird like that, I guess. 

P.S:This last month has been a bit of a technical nightmare...My phone was out of order for a good few weeks so I wasn't able to take as many photos as I normally do (or use instagram. so SAD).
But now it seems that my laptop is out of order, and ironically, I have to make this post from my new phone. (And can't use the app, because blogger's app is horrid. And I'm still getting used to typing on this thing.)

I also just realized that I had about 9 unpublished comments from last week's yarn along that I didn't even know were there until today. I'm so sorry. I feel like a royal idiot. Normally I get some emails that tell me comments need published, so I'm not sure what happened. 

But really, these are all first world problems, so life is good.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Yarn Along {Finished Projects & More Socks}

These are the wee socks I was working on last week. They were a good project for my first two at a time attempt. I can't say that I'm terribly in love with the inverted heel, it feels totally upside down. It won't matter for baby socks-but I won't be making a pair for myself with this heel.
Like I said though, i'm glad that I was able to do some tiny socks just to figure out the two at a time method. And now that I've done it, I'm not sure that i'll ever knit socks one at a time again!

I also finished up Lotte's sweater dress a couple of weeks ago but didn't get a picture until this weekend. She isn't terribly cooperative for photos (of course) but she does love the dress. She's named it her "purple jelly dress". (She doesn't even like purple jelly, but apparently she thinks it's pretty.)It was my hand dyed yarn that I dyed in cake form (so the middle of the ball was lighter than the outside), and rather than working from two balls through the project and striping them, I just knit one right after the other attempting to get an ombre effect. For the most part, I think it worked pretty well. And I was happy to use the slightly lighter shade for the pockets so that they're actually noticeable.

I'm still plugging away at this scarf of doom, which is actually turning out to be rather lovely, but goodness, it's' repetitive. It's going a lot faster though now that I've almost memorized the repeats. 

And last but not least-new socks were cast on this week in some really scrumptious yarn that i've been saving for a rainy day. It's the coveted and loved KnitPicks Felici self striping yarn in "jellybean". I'm so sad that this yarn is discontinued, and not just the colourway, but the entire line. Where are we going to go for affordable quality self striping yarn now?!
I'm doing two at a time again, but this time ankle down. I liked toe up, but until I find another heel method that I like for toe up i'll wait on that. Any excuse to have to knit more socks, right? That, and Lotte is pretty sure these are for her. I'm certain that i'll be knitting a small, identical pair in the near future.

Binding off,

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Yarn Along {itty bitty sockies}

I have a horrible case of second sock syndrome so I decided to some two at a time baby socks.

I can't say that I'm in love with the pattern...I've never made toe up socks and the pattern kind of leaves you hanging for the heel turn. I ended up finding a heel turn formula for just about any number of stitches, and in a variety of styles, and used that instead.

The two at a time thing has ended up being far less confusing than actually making a sock toe up. The whole heel and gusset really took while for me to wrap my head around. I'm not sure this style is for me, but that's why i made baby socks for a first attempt; smaller commitment. 

I also took on a sample knit project for a local yarn store. They're going to be stocking a new yarn (i can't even find the yarn on revelry yet) and needed some sample projects made.
Its a scarf, knit flat, but with an intricate brocade/hash pattern.
Lots of counting not my strength but so many repeats that it gets easier and easier.And it's  a fairly simple pattern, nothing but knits and purls. Good Television Knitting.

 I really like the
yarn, It's got a nice rustic texture to it but isn't splity, and it knits up rather nicely.  My eyes get a tad tired trying to see the pattern though with it being solid coloured! I'm sure that blocking will make it all pop out and become a lot more obvious. 

Binding off, Corra