Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Episode 2 - Blog..Podcast..Whatever

Show Notes: 

Finished Objects - (For details about each project, click on the link to read details on Ravelry.)
  • Coal Straun, the Straun hat pattern by Ysolda Teague, knit out of Wool of the Andes in the Coal colorway, magic looped using size 5 Knit Picks circulars.
Works in Progress -
  • Slanted Vineyard socks, the Slant pattern by Hunter Hammersen, knit in CloudLover Yarn in the Haunted Vineyard colorway, for the KnitGirllls SAL/KAL, that ends in February.
  • Hermione's Quidditch socks, the Hermione's Everyday sock pattern by Erica Lueder, in the Kraemer Jeannie yarn that I hand-dyed at my local LYS.
  • Wisteria Shawl Collar Pullover, pattern by Lion Brand yarn, knit out of an unknown yarn in a rainbowish colorway, using size 8 circular needles. (Sorry, Lion Brand, I did not use the recommended yarn. I might use Lion Brand Amazing for a future version of this sweater.)
Upcoming Projects - 
Spinning - 
  • Took my first spinning lesson at my LYS. Laura Linneman was my instructor. Great experience. Horrible yarn!
Knit-A-Longs - 
  • Check out the various charity KAL's.
  • Currently doing TheKnitGirllls SAL/KAL
  • Will be doing Studentknits Stats KAL and TKG square swap
Exercise - 
  • 2 yoga classes - highly recommend
Nutrition - 
  • No suger in my coffee all week. Yay!
  • Goal: No sugar in my tea next week.
News and Notes - 
  • Biggest Loser starts next week, so I will record on Wednesday instead of Tuesday. Sorry! :(
  • Check out the Girlfriends Knitting Ravelry Group.
  • Now on iTunes if you want to subscribe.
  • BIG THANK YOU for all the support the knitting and podcast community gave me this week with my new podcast.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Episode 1 - The Journey Begins


Show Notes:

Finished Objects -
  • Starving Froggy, the Starving Artist hat pattern by Laura Linneman, knit out of Kraemar Eleanor yarn hand-dyed by Amy, using size 11 bamboo dpns.
  • Grandma's Favorite Dishcloth, I knit several out of various cottons I had in the stash. Some were  of the unknown variety.
Works in Progress -
  • Coal Straun, the Straun hat pattern by Ysolda Teague, knit out of Wool of the Andes in the Coal colorway, magic looped using size 5 Knit Picks circulars.
  • Slanted Vineyard socks, the Slant pattern by Hunter Hammersen, knit in CloudLover Yarn in the Haunted Vineyard colorway, for the KnitGirllls SAL/KAL, that ends in February.
  • Hermione's Quidditch socks, the Hermione's Everyday sock pattern by Erica Lueder, in the Kraemer Jeannie yarn that I hand-dyed at my local LYS.
  • Wisteria Shawl Collar Pullover, pattern by Lion Brand yarn, knit out of an unknown yarn in a rainbowish colorway, using size 8 circular needles. (Sorry, Lion Brand, I did not use the recommended yarn. I might use Lion Brand Amazing for a future version of this sweater.)
Fitness - 
          I am going to begin a journey to fitness. It will include learning how to eat better, and regular exercise through the Biggest Loser contest at the school where I teach. As well as yoga with some friends. I will keep you updated on my weekly progress in some shape or form. Not sure about details yet, but they are forth coming.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fun with Gadgets

I have spent the last few days tweaking the layout and gadgets on my blog and I hope you find the changes worthwhile. Here is a description of some of the new things I have been able to do:
  1. I added a progress bar for the WIP's. It will show you what my progress is on each project, instead of just the names of what I am knitting. If you click on the name of the project, it links to my Ravelry page, where you can look at current pictures (if I have any) and details about the project. Yay, for more information! Boo, I will have to update more on Ravelry, especially with pictures. Updating takes up precious knitting time. I must really love you guys to give up that much of my knitting time, just so you can keep tabs on me!!
  2. The list of Recent FO's is now also a list of links to the Ravelry pages for each project. Here you can again see pictures (if, again, I have some posted) and the details about the final project.
  3. I added a link to my Plurk timeline. Plurk is a social media site, similar to Facebook, but right now I use it to talk to my knitting buddies. All knitting and fiber, all the time.
  4. There is now a list of the most read posts on my blog as well, so you can find the most popular posts easily. Right now, the saga of the hats is in the lead. Go, Charlotte!!
  5. There are so many great knitting blogs, podcasts, and video podcasts, that I can't possibly watch or listen to them all, but I have added a list of some of my favorites. This is by no means a complete list and if you have any suggestions for a great blog I should be reading, or podcast I should watch or listen to, just leave a comment and I will check it out.
I hope you have been enjoying my blog, and will enjoy these modifications as well. If you do like what I am doing, please leave me a comment and let me know. I love hearing who is reading my blog. 

Well, I better run. I have birthday socks to knit...
- Your (technologically savvy) Knitting Girlfriend

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sick and Stockinette

What do you do when you are sick? What if you were sick more than you were well? That is me right now. For those of you that know me, you know that I have terrible problems with allergies, and as a result, my sinuses. I can usually count on one hand the number of days a month in which I do not feel like I have a terrible cold and cannot breathe. If I stayed home from work everyday I was sick, I would have been fired years ago.

Some times of the year are better than others, and from Thanksgiving to Christmas was pretty good. But starting a few days before Christmas, my sinuses became infected. (Well, more than usual anyway.) By the time I returned home from my trip to visit family, I was in full blown 'pull the covers over my head and cry' mode. I was actually sick enough that I went several days without knitting! (I know, it was a shock to my loved ones as well. That's when they started paying attention to how sick I was and not dismissing it as my usual sinus attacks.)

I tried to knit, really I did. I tried working on a sock pattern, but found counting to 3 was too much of a challenge. (It was at this point I became extremely grateful that school was still out for the holidays and I was not in front of one of my math classes with this terrible counting affliction.) I tried to knit on a simple stockinette sweater. In good times, I can knit this plain fabric while keeping my eyes glued to the TV, brain turned off. While sick, however, I found that it works better than NyQuil at putting me to sleep. Unlike NyQuil, unfortunately, it does nothing for the sniffling, sneezing, aching, etc. 

I finally admitted defeat and buried myself in blankets and slept. But, I still felt like if I was not knitting I was turning my back on a beloved friend who had stuck by me during my darkest hour. Knitting had pulled me out of my slump. It had gotten me excited about finishing something instead of just starting it. It was my constant companion. 

Then, my WIP's spoke to me. "We will still be here when you are feeling better," they said. "Rest, take care of yourself. We promise not to unravel or become uninteresting." Ok, maybe I was overdoing it on the NyQuil a bit, but it still eased my guilt over putting aside my knitting to regain my health.

It is now a few weeks later. School is back in session. I am not yet 100%, but I have thankfully regained my ability to count, which really helps when teaching math. I can now knit stockinette fabric again while watching the new episodes of my fav TV shows. And hopefully, I will get over being sick and tired....of being sick and tired.

-Your (sicker than normal) Knitting Girlfriend

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sock Love

As I have watched various knitting podcasts, I have noticed that knitters tend to go through 'phases' where they knit many of the same type of item. Maybe they are in the shawl phrase of their knitting career, or the sock or hat phase. Some are obsessed with Gansey sweaters, others with blankets.

So what phase am I in? I would have said that I am in a 'hat phase', with 5 hats finished as Christmas presents, and 3 hats on the needles right now. That sounds like I am obsessed with hats, right? Well, not really. Hats are just fun, quick gifts and I had a few requests.

Upon deeper analysis of the data (I am a statistician by trade, after all) I have noticed that I have knit 4 pairs of socks, with one more on my needles right now, and plans for many more. This would not seem strange to an experienced sock knitter, who would consider this amount rather small. However, do remember that when I had trouble with Amy's socks, back in min-November, I had only recently finished them, and they were my first pair!

I took a sock knitting class back in October, and knit my very first pair of socks, and it was love at first heel-turn. If I could only knit one item right now, it would be socks. Pair after pair of self-patterning socks. I have now knit a pair using magic-loop, a pair using dpns, and a pair using 2 circs. I knitted socks from the toe-up and from the cuff down. I have knit them in a plane. I have knit them in a car. I have knit them on my couch. I have knit them near and far. (Oops, went a little Dr. Seuss on you there. But it is all true.)

So, I am in my sock-knitting phase. 

Oh, btw I was told I needed to provide an update on the Amy's missing sock debacle. Amy's one missing sock was found, whole and not chewed, on a ledge of the foot board of the bed hidden by the mattress. See what happens when you decide it is time to change the sheets? Mystery's are solved. 

Yes, I have apologized to my mongrels...uh, I mean... darling dogs, for so unjustly accusing them. Said apology included, but was not limited to, hugs, treats and extra play time. I think they are looking forward to being unjustly accused again!

- Your (sock obsessed) Knitting Girlfriend