Hello there –

I know. It’s hasn’t even been a week and I’m back. That’s because being on a regular schedule means getting through the calendar to do list faster and that means blog posts will be more frequent. 

Getting back to this kind of normal has been a little disconcerting. I have knitting on the schedule and there will be days when it seems I will be knitting many hours of the day but for now, the sessions have been far and few between and I’ve been catching up on other things.

For instance, my workouts are back. I’ve worked out five times this week. I’m not sure I’ve worked out five times during January let along in a week. 

I don’t even have anything new to show you. I’ve been working on some new stuff. Oh, wait. I do have something:I finished the Basketweave Shawl. The pattern is done and up in designbcb

I think I should add more fringe to it and that may yet happen though it is put away and I’m not selling the finished product – so it could all be more of an idea rather than something that actually happens.

I am working on a headband and I’ve tried it on different yarns that have yielded not the best results but I am back to cotton and I think it’s going to stick. The problem is the first and last stitches are somewhat loose and it leaves a messy edge. I’m trying different techniques to get it cleaned up. Cotton is the preferred fiber because these are warm weather headbands. I’m sure if I take it to the YouTube, I will find a solution.

I also did some yarn shopping – which I have now stopped until August and I purchased some Zing crochet hooks – nice but a little disappointing and some Zing double points – looks promising but won’t know until I make a hat. There will be things to show in the future. Right now, be impressed that I did two posts in the same month!

 

I gave thought to taking a photo of the EDS to show the progress of the front and thought that there wasn’t much progress to report so a photo wouldn’t do much. Then I compared the last photo with where it is now and thought there was a difference. But I didn’t have the camera and thought there wasn’t so much progress that it was worth going downstairs to get it. So, I thought the next time I will bring up the phone to take a photo.

Then I laughed myself silly at that notion. Bring up the phone to take a picture. That’s something that no one in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s or  most of the 90’s said to themselves. Ever. The first commercial camera phone didn’t show up until 1999. Life, as we know it, was changed.

I can remember back in the 70’s watching General Hospital and  Robert Scorpio was talking on a wireless phone about the size of a deck of cards and I thought, how can anyone hear him talking with that so far from his mouth. That ain’t gonna be a thing. It’s a thing.

Taking pics is so much more convenient than before (except when you leave the camera/phone downstairs and don’t want to go get it.) But I imagine just as there are people who know how to knit and knitters, there are people who take pictures with their camera phones and photographers. I believe photographers can take awesome pictures with their camera phones and then there are folks like me. I used to be more of a photographer but that hobby gave way to knitting. If I had only known where knitting would lead me, I would have kept a toe in.

I have to find a place with lots of light to do my photography and videos inside in the winter. As it is, no matter how cold it gets in Chicago – and it does get cold – I take my photos outside because the light is best. It’s not like it gets sooooo bad. Except when there are polar vortexes. Cold enough so that even the snow says it doesn’t want to be outside. We had that last year and I still managed to take photos when I needed to. For me, it’s December, January and February that cause me grief. At the end of November, I start telling myself it’s just twelve more weeks before reasonable seasonable weather will be here. It works for me.

I any case, tomorrow works for a picture. I am working on the EDS and unless knit math decides to play with me, there will be even more length to show you. So it works out for everyone.

I am also on my third go round in the hat I am designing. It was called the slip stitch beanie then the checkmates beanie. I think I will stick with that name though I will be using the slip stitch. Not as many floats to deal with. Mr. Honey brought me some chocolate covered raisins. They are keeping me sane while I go through this. I will show you a pic in progress when I decide on the final design method. I just have to bring up the phone.

 

 

The Way You Do the Things You Do is a classic by the Temptations. I believe we have already established I love the Temptations. The song is a tribute to a nameless, faceless woman who has a smile so bright, she could be a candle and she’s so smart she can be a schoolbook. There should be a line in there about her being a knitter and can defy science, logic and math.

What you see in the photo is my first attempt at the Dakota mittens. The pattern is not complete and up for sale and the final gloves are with their owner and she’s happy with them. That can now free me up to say how much of a friggin’ pain the process can be. It’s always smile and rainbows when it’s done and it’s right but that middle part between anticipation and relief is a different story.

It was right around the time I took this photo that it occured to me they might be a tad on the large size. I was making them for a tiny teen. I did all the math and that still wasn’t going to work. Knit math was rearing it’s ugly head again. 

Knit math can show up in a number of ways. You can be making a scarf that’s supposed to be 60 inches and when you’re knitting along to the 55th inch and then knit math says that no matter how long and how much you knit, those last five inches will take as much time as the first 54 total. Never ever fails. 

Knit math will also show itself when you need to make something to an exact size. These gloves needed to fit a six inch wrist. Doesn’t take more than a glance to see these would be too big. I decided to go down several needle sizes and to go from a worsted weight to a DK weight…smaller all around. I then look at the gauge chart on the label to determine what I would need in stitches. No, I didn’t do a swatch – let’s not get ridiculous.

I did the math and then because I know how evil knit math can be – I deducted 10%. It’s what I do when I make anything because I have been burned by knit math time and again. Knitting will grow on you. Unless you’re one of those super perfect knitters who have perfect stitching as indicated on knitting labels ( I don’t want to know you. There’s only so much to this thing called tolerance.) knit math affects us all.

Even going smaller I had to start over about three times. Finally they were done and sent off. My client’s only complaint: they were a little too big. Sigh.

I am not from the artist. I like to say, with a great deal of truth, that I cannot draw a straight line with a ruler. I can stay between the lines when coloring but that took some discipline and I’m still not sure I would pass grade school art class.

It’s funny then, when I use a chart to make a pattern. Charting isn’t something I do on the regular. I crack myself up when I print out the graph paper and put a pen to it. That’s another thing, I chart in pen. Like it’s the New York Times Knitting section and doing it in pen makes me smarter. It’s really because I don’t have any pencils around and when I find one, it doesn’t have a tip and I don’t have a pencil sharpener because I didn’t know I had pencils.

There is a part of me that wants to chart better. I know just enough to get by with what I’m knitting and I usually do it to make sure the idea I have in my head looks good on paper. I figure if it can look good with what I pass off as charting, then it will look pretty darned good when I get the needle and the yarn together. I would like to make neater charts. It would be more of a vanity project at this point as I would not inflict my charts on anyone – not even on a pattern I gave away for free – don’t thank me. It’s a mercy for all of us.

I am currently working on something, not the cowl in the pic; that’s done. And I pulled out some graph paper because the design was taking on something I hadn’t planned and I wanted to see how it would play out. I understand my chart but I don’t understand if it looks the way I want it to. I am going to have to redo it in a neater manner so I can see if I have to frog it or if I can keep going. 

I think I will try and do it neatly. If I succeed, I will happily show you the fruits of my labor. If not, I will use my messy chart to check my work and no one will be none the wiser. The artist world has nothing to fear from me. Salvador Dali maybe but I’m sure even his legacy is safe.

 

 I have one of those jobs that can be done – for the most part – in front of the television or while listening to music. Or outdoors, you get the idea. I am not chained to a desk. Though I am at a desk at this very moment. You don’t need a degree to do my job. Though there are Masters Degrees in knitting available if you look. I’m gonna make you look for yourself. I find some of them funny. People tend not to take your knitting career choice seriously until you show them how much of a living one can make. It doesn’t take much to impress because folks think of this as a hobby thing not a job thing.

It doesn’t feel like it to them and sometimes to me. But then I find something like you see here. I was looking for inspiration on what to write about when I saw a file on my laptop called Projects and Yarn. I do not remember making this file and when I opened it, there were several pics of this. I do remember doing this and I’ve done it since.

This is where I admit to having to look up the name of the stitch because I can’t ever remember it. For the record, it’s the Bavarian Stitch. I believe I continued with this and made a blanket that was given away at the family get together.

This was not an easy stitch for me to learn. For me, crochet stitches are harder for me to learn. Knitting is a natural love for me. I didn’t love crochet at first. Didn’t respect it at all. I have slowly come to enjoy it almost as much as knitting. Knitting will remain my love, If I had to choose, I would knit over crochet but there are times when I quite look forward to putting down the needles and picking up the hook.

What this photo reminds me is that there is work in this unusual career I have chosen for myself. I took it from just a hobby on purpose and circumstances have led me to think about it in a clinical manner because I don’t want to have a hobby business. I want a sustaining business. Should something happen to our finances, I want to be able to have a base to start over with.

To some who see me knit in public, it doesn’t feel like it, but I take it seriously – while I maintain the spiritual side that is provides me and the fun and community that comes with sharing it with folks who also knit or crochet and those who just admire our doing it.

This isn’t hard work, at least not the visible part of the business career, but I work hard at it.

 

The things I do.

I was at StitchCraft – the knitting group in Knitsville – and I was looking at what everyone was making and it hit me that I knit for my shop while everyone else knits for themselves or as gifts for someone else.

Now, I love that I can make a living knitting and designing. That’s a great gig. But when I see the sweaters, shrugs and other 

 

pieces of clothing that were being made around me, I couldn’t help but think I was perhaps a little…well…boring with my knitting. And then I remembered I designed and knit this. It came to me as I was uploading a pattern to my Ravelry shop. It occured to me I haven’t written this pattern or the pattern for a infinity scarf.

Yes, this is the hat worn by Dante Alighieri of Dante’s Inferno fame. This was a custom request and the client offered to pay me $20 more if I would send him photos of the hat in progress.

OK. So, I’m going to cross boring off the list. The things I do can sometimes be routine and there is a business aspect to it because it is a business. But it isn’t boring. All that means is I need to branch out into some other territories and that is already happening. Over the past few days, I’ve been uploading a pattern a day to Ravelry. I’m up to two dozen there are four more I have to do of existing patterns and then the three that are part of the latest collection.

I will have to write this pattern and the one for the scarf. I went looking through my pattern notes and didn’t see any for either or them. Really strange but I will get that done. I have a collection coming that will have four or five patterns in it. There’s no reason two of them can’t be this hat and the cowl. I sold the dante hat twice and it was not boring to make. I will have to make it again for the pattern. I definitely will not be bored.