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Archive for the ‘knitting’ Category

Oh, wow. It’s been a while. Well, I guess that’s just how it goes. Anyway, here’s my justification: aside from selling books, I’ve been working on making money from my knitting. That’s right, Knits With Carrots is slowly but surely making its way to the necks of people near you. My first design (!) is a little neckwarmer that I’ve made at least 15 of by now (no joke), so that’s been eating up my time like crazy. Pictures soon, and I think I may make it into a pattern to share.

It’s pretty cool designing knit things. I mean, one, it means I can sell it, and two, it makes me all inspired to make more things. And it’s getting cold! So these things I’m going to be making will be accessories galore. I can’t wear knit garments every day — I barely justify wearing my favorite knit socks multiple days in a row — but wearing the same scarf over and over? Totally acceptable.

Ramble ramble, but: one of the best (and totally unanticipated) perks of putting out into the world that I am a Serious and Professional Knitter is that a lot of my friends are saying, “Hi, can I pay you to knit things for me?”, and the answer is pretty much always a “Hell yes!” So I have thigh-high legwarmers on the docket, among other things. Maybe not cost effective, but it feels good to get paid for my labor and to keep my friends’ extremities warm. And have money to pay for hot chocolate while I, you guessed it, knit these freakin’ neckwarmers. Oh wait, let me edit that: these freakin’ now-available-in-a-real-boutique neckwarmers.

Hell yes.

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Signs of Life

flowers-embroidery-grow1

flowers-drawing-book

I like that my nail polish matches the sock yarn.

I like that my nail polish matches the sock yarn.

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Warming Winter White

I’m loving how the narcissus flowers I bought at the farmers’ market perfectly match the lace shawl I’m knitting right now.

narcissus-flowers

They both remind me of whipped butter, or clouds — a warm white color.

knit-lace-shawl

See the little leaf in there? See it?

The knitting is a lace shawl for a friend’s wedding. Pattern is Nightsongs, and yarn is Quilla from Blue Moon Fiber Arts (chosen because it’s influenced by the goddess of weddings and stuff).

I love when things come together perfectly.

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list

List made last night to remind me why I shouldn’t spend crazy amounts of time doing stupid stuff online. Granted, I don’t have TV, and a therapist I once had recommended a half hour of mindless TV everyday — apparently it gets your mind to unravel — and internets are the closest thing I have. BUT. Now that I’m working longer weeks, I don’t want to be spending my time doing stupid stuff online.

real-book

Happy book that will get read! Good old-fashioned books. Hooray.

And my favorite detail:

going-for-a-walk

I basically live in a giant redwood forest. It’s a sin to not walk in it regularly.

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multidirectional-scarf-noro

Here’s a little logic exercise for you.

A. If it’s Noro and sparkly, then hell yes.
B. It’s Noro Aurora.
C. It’s sparkly.
D. On sale at the yarn store

Therefore: Hell yes.

Premise D wasn’t necessary, but sure was the deciding factor.

Behold the Multidirectional Scarf, knit in Noro Aurora on size 5 needles. I don’t think I’m capable of not loving this scarf.

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Hi… so… I know it’s been a while… but I promise… I’m still knitting.

Witness:

february-lady-sweater-sleeve

The February/October/November? Lady Sweater now has a sleeve. I’m really languishing on the second one (ain’t that the way?) but I’m hoping that scoring some buttons soon will inspire me. Goal is to have this done for the boy’s performance, which approaches quickly.

Also, making things up:

moebius-cowl-silver

A cowl in this BEAUTIFUL silver yarn I found, inspired by Cat Bordhi’s musings on the current state of our political/social climate. I’m hoping this will be something I wear frequently under my favorite purple pea coat, as a kind of reminder to see things fully.

And in the slowly-but-surely-things-for-other-people category:

striped-scarf-orange

I’m really digging how the colors work together. Yarn is Berroco Jasper something or other — more info next time I post on this, which will hopefully be a victory “It’s Done!!!” post. Anyway. Super fun yarn to work with, as the stripes don’t follow a regular pattern.

While I’m at it, here’s how I’ve been getting stitchy lately:

embroider-tea-towel-apple

The embroidered tea towel love fest continues, this time with a whole slew of fruits and vegetables from Sublime Stitching. All that’s left to do is the black!

I’m also working on acquiring more scarves, in an effort to work on a “personal style.” I guess this is a sign I’ve been watching too much What Not to Wear. But in all seriousness, I love scarves, because they are frequently inexpensive and can take an outfit from blah to hooray. I’m proud of this last find, which is blue and white, but has sparkles (OMG!!) in it:

sparkly-scarf-blue-white

Yum. Sparkles.

I’ve also been working at keeping two adorable dogs out of trouble. And this is my parting gift to you:

cute-dog-picture-hat

Dogs like hats made out of pillows. It’s true. Especially when said hats accentuate a condition known as Cute Wrinkle Face.

Over and out.

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knitting-for-good

I’ve spent the past few days working through my copy of Knitting for Good, by Betsy Greer of Craftivism. (This is one of the benefits of working in a bookstore!) I’d like to fill you all in on what a great book this is, and some of the reasons why I think it’s a really important contribution to the growing canon of knitting writing.

Greer’s book focuses on the importance and significance of knitting. While I may be preaching to the choir on this one, I think that an emphasis on knitting as a productive practice is necessary, when many people see knitting as a non-essential hobby. Knitting for Good knocks down this assumption immediately, using its relationship to feminism — much to my delight — to illustrate the good that can come from picking up the needles. The common misconception is that knitting is an idle act, “women’s work” meant to pass time; Betsy Greer asserts that just the act of knitting itself is an act of healing, of meditation, and of self-love. I’m sure all of us who knit (or do any kind of craft) understand this: to sit down and make something is to assert my ability to shape my world, to create something as I want it, and to be present in what I’m doing.

I love that Knitting for Good links feminism and domestic arts like crafting. I know I went through my feminist crisis when I got super into things like nesting; Betsy Greer will have us understand that knitting or cooking or quilting is not an act of disobeying feminism, but rather celebrating its tenets:

This domestic reclamation can be celebrated with pride and heads held high… As a direct result of years of hard-working women who proved themselves just as capable as men of earning wages, we now have the freedom to make money for ourselves and then knit a sweater out of expensive cashmere bought with our own paycheck… When we don an apron and start to cook or take measurements for a garment, we can be empowered by the notion that we are self-sufficient and choosing this path instead of following society’s expectations… Feminism has given us the strength to explore our otions instead of being concerned about regressing or kowtowing to cultural standards.

Right on! That’s what I loved about this book — its continual insistence on the fact that the act of creation is important and productive and deserving of respect.

Knitting for Good is constructed to reflect an expanding of personal borders that happens with knitting. First, the emphasis on knitting as a healing act for the individual; from there, the empowered individual has new means with which to interact with family and community. I myself have benefited from this aspect of craft and knitting: the ability to connect with my grandmother and aunt through crochet and cross-stitch and quilts and how we make things for our living environment. It truly is a unique and special connection, and Knitting for Good will have us remember that.

Knitting and craft can be used, once connected with a community, to benefit that community — I especially like Betsy’s focus on the more forgotten members of society, like the homeless, elderly, and abandoned animals. Knitting for these people gets to be a way to connect with them and recognize their humanity, becoming a political act of insisting on the importance of each member of a community. I also appreciated that Knitting for Good includes why focusing on buying homemade is important — in a time of large chains, supporting your local independent store and artisan is an intensely political act that will ultimately benefit the community. Buying local, Greer points out, supports those local crafters who are enriching the community with their art.

In short (ok, not so short), this is a lovely book with many sturdy take-home messages, as well as personal reflections and patterns that will inspire you to pick up your needles for a good cause. I highly recommend it as a personal read — it will make you feel fantastic about your choice to be a crafter — and I really recommend it as a gift for that crafty person in your life*. This book is an act of love, for crafting and for the world at large.

*Hey, while you’re at it, keep with the message of Knitting for Good and make this an act of love and politics by getting your copy at your local independent bookstore instead of Amazon or Borders!

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