Jun 26, 2008

I Like to Knit and...

...read books.
I've recently discovered that if I sit in the bed cross-legged I can put an open book under my feet and read from the pages. Yes those lines in the corners do get a little bit tough to see, and I have to do some real maneuvering in order to shift the toe-sies around and expose the words there, but that's just a minor inconvenience to allow me to enjoy what used to be my favorite hobby and combine it with its most recent replacement.

...read blogs.
It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention. Well, someone already invented the handy dandy tool we call the computer mouse, and then someone else went and upped the value of it by adding this nifty little rolling ball thingy on top! Naturally I use mine all the time to scroll through pages of things that I have to read; but imagine my glee when I realized that if you press on it and then move it ever so slightly downward, it will automatically scroll through a page FOR you! Using this new little trick I'm able to sit, and knit, and roll on down through the wonderful things that you all have to say. Gleeeee!

...look at pictures.
Like many of you, my obsession with photography of my knitting warranted that I get some more storage space. Enter Flickr! What a great site... imagine that they anticipated the needs of we the Fiber Fanatics, and made it so that we could upload umpteen photos of any object we please and then come back later to add just. one.is more. I have tons of fun browsing over there. And using the tag search and slideshow features allows me to sit, and knit, and covet all the beautiful photographs of what ever it is I feel like viewing (ooooo - lace!). Full screen mode baby - a feast for the eyes.

...listen to podcasts, music, and stories.
I know I'm not introducing any of you to something new on this front. Between iTunes and Yahoo Music and online streaming radio there is no end to the amount of audio stimulants one can indulge in during stitching time. I count myself very lucky to live in a county where the library system provides free audio book downloads online - and it's a great selection of titles too! Check your local system; if you can't audio books online, I bet they at least have some great stuff on CD for check out.

...work on my tan. :-P
When the weather permits, one of my favorite places to sit and knit is out on our back screened porch. Getting some outside air, listening to nature's orchestra, and often keeping an eye on the girls as they play. It's a wonderful combination of stillness and activity all at once. And the view? Well thanks to my live-in gardener it is really quite something.

Back Yard Views

Now all this might make you think that I just crave simultaneous activities because I just can't be satisfied with one thing at a time. That I just have to be constantly multitasking , and that I will find any excuse to drift around from one distraction to another. Well that's just not so! Why just the other day...

Jun 19, 2008

You Say Compulsion, I Call it Passion

Ok, I admit it. I can be a bit compulsive sometimes. I find something I like, and I just dive right in. If that something requires an investment of time? I give it every spare minute I can scrounge up. If it's something that requires supplies (oooh...lemme seee, like say yarn in all colors, weights, and fibers) I get them...I get them by the tub load. And like any compulsive behavior, the collection of "stuff" that comes along with it is usually directly proportional to the degree of compulsion. It goes a little something like this....

I think I want to learn to crochet. I know! I'll go to the library and get a book. Now that I'm in the aisle with my 9 books on how to crochet, maybe I should just flip through these knitting books and see what that's about. Perfect. Now that I've checked out these 18 books on knitting and crochet, I should really make something. A starter project. First I'll need yarn and needles of course. Hmmmm....This yarn is pretty inexpensive. I just know I'm going to find a use for these 14 skeins of acrylic though- how can I beat this price? It'll be used up in no time.

Acrylic Stash Close Up
Acrylic Stash, circa 2007

Now for needles, I should probably just buy a few of the standard sizes. Oh joy!! This little container is PERFECT for these needles that I now own in duplicates of each amd every size available. Bring on the projects - I'm all set!!

Since I haven't crocheted before, I should probably start out simple. Let's see...I'll read through these 9 books and pick the first project that looks reasonably simple. Ahh yes, maybe this...

First completed crochet project, circa 2005

Knitting probably won't suck me in as much. Maybe I'll try just one project. But I better get some more yarn in case I can't find anything suitable to knit with in my stash.

Stash 027

Theeeeere. That should do it. Oh I'm so excited about all my options now. I really should share this perfectly manageable, non-obsessive, completely harmless little hobby I've found with a few other people. Oh, I know! I should start a blog. And on it, I should post my pictures. Better get a Flickr account for that. Can't wait to post this latest project out there, won't my buddies on KnitU, and over at KnittingHelp, and the ones on Ravelry, and my darling friends at Monday knit night be so proud??! I can't believe how well I'm keeping this all under control!

Geez...I can barely make room for this Rubbermaid tub of yarn in the closet now. Hmmm. Maybe I should clear out some of this fabric stash and move this scrapbooking stuff into another room. Nah - best I just get some stackable shelves; we hardly ever use this as a guest room anyway. It should all fit just fine. Besides...once I have my own yoga studio/yarn shop/community center/photography school/catering business, I'm going to want somewhere that I can come to and relax among my small, simple treasures. It's a good thing I'm so content now with this pastime; I want for nothing more. Oooh look! A handcarved spindle....

To be continued? ;)

Jun 12, 2008

This One? She's Alright by Me

My oldest is, and has always been, a very observant child. If there is one major thing that homeschooling has taught us, it is that the things children learn from watching and listening far outweigh the things they learn from books and direct instruction.

That didn't stop me from being blown away at my 6-year old's effort to support the preservation of the romantic spark between her parents. One morning she came to me and said "Mommy, I have something for you, but Daddy has to give it to you". At which point she tugged me by the hand to where Daddy was, told me close my eyes, and then said "Now Daddy, give this to Mommy - Mommy open your eyes!"

Love Note Side 1

"Now turn it over Mommy!"

Love Note Side 2

My dear readers, there are many many days that I get reminders like this one that it's VERY cool to have these particular daughters. Very cool indeed.

Jun 6, 2008

Wool Gathering

Every now and then, my inner tree hugger nudges me to be a bit more conscious of my consumption. We all want, need, and get things at various rates in life, but at some point, you do try to carve out some kind of balance. When I think about my yarn buying habit, I know that I have already come close to exceeding how much I can actually use up before my children start to need tuition, but I find the temptation to buy much harder to resist at times.

To counter these urges, I try to implement the three R's. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
Reduce my stash to a reasonable amount (so that I can have the joy of filling it back up again).
Reuse yarn and materials from sweaters that I can get at my local Goodwill.
Recycle said yarn into a sweater that once cost someone $60, but last Saturday cost me $2.79.

Have you seen this great tutorial on reclaiming yarn from previously knit sweaters? How about this one? Using the techniques that these thrifty knitters outlined, I turned this Gap Sweater...

Tweed Wool Sweater - Before
Sweater Deconstruction - Snip. Rip. Repeat!

...into these yarn cakes. And now who knows what they'll become!

Recycled Yarn - Wool
Woolly, tweedy, mounds of potential (color is truest here)

I highly recommend this folks. In fact, the prospect of getting those 1200 + yards so cheap and easy kept me from going to a 40% off sale at my LYS. Now that's just economically savvy! Right? Yeah, yeah I know. When I run it past the hubster, I'll try to make it sound a wee bit more convincing.

Save a sheep! Unravel a sweater!