In A Year - 4KCBWday7

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The last day of the 4th Knit and Crochet Blog Week has arrived. I for one will be sad to see it go and I’m already looking forward to next year. Now, on with the routine. Today’s prompt is all about looking forward to next April and setting a few crafty goals. Going to keep things simple around here. 

  • Write more. I came across Knit and Crochet Blog Week on the first day it started, April 22. The prompts had been up for weeks but, since I was late to the party, I wrote my posts the day before and a couple posts on the day of. Most of the time I was up late editing photos and refining my drafts. This whole week has been completely last minute but I loved every minute of it. Writing needs to become a daily part of my life. 
  • Release all the patterns! I’ve got so many half finished knitting patterns that need just a little more love before I can send them out to the world. Some are closer to complete than others but it’s better to think of them half or even a quarter finished than mostly undone. 
  • I want to finish up some major projects that have been floating around. My Dr Who scarf is feeling quite neglected.
  • The most important goal though is to stay curious and keep learning. Maybe this means I’ll spend a month obsessed with origami or seriously take up needle felting or start dyeing yarn or learn to make ravioli. I have no clue what’ll do but it’s going to be awesome. 

What are your goals for the coming year?

Scales help Knitting - 4KCBWday6

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One of the great things about knitting is that it requires so few tools to accomplish. All you really need to start is yarn, needles, and a pair of functional hands (thanks to SillyLittleLady for the reminder). With those three things you can knock out garter stitch scarves till you run out of yarn. Tape measures, stitch markers, tapestry needles, stitch counters, and scissors are helpful tools that help kick your knitting up to the next level. It’s worth having multiples of that list and, especially, multiple tape measures since they seem to pop into an alternate dimension whenever you’re not looking. Honestly, with a full set of those 8 items you’d be set but I’m going to suggest one more. The humble and handy kitchen scale. 

  • Scales can tell you exactly how much yarn you used for a project such as pair of socks of or a kid’s sweater. If you’re making multiples of an item, you’ll know exactly how much yarn you’ll need for the rest.
  • Have yarn or handspun and don’t know the yardage? This tutorial from FreshStitches details how to use a digital scale to calculate yardage. 
  • Scales make it trivial to split skeins of yarn in half to make socks and sleeves easier to knit. Making kits and dividing yarn for a group project is also much easier with a scale. 
  • Like tracking data and knowing how much yarn you’ve actually knit in a month or a week or a day? The scale is your friend.
  • There are patterns with the instruction, “Knit half of the skein before beginning the next section.” Baktus Scarf, I’m looking at you. Measure the yarn before you cast on and regularly weigh the remainder until you’re at the right number.

I knit for years without a scale but, now that I use one and know how helpful it is, I don’t want to be without one. My scale hangs out with my knitting needles and other helpful gadgets which are always close at hand. Plus, you don’t have to use it just for knitting. Use a scale to help you cook or mail packages or spin yarn. 

Today’s post is part of the 4th Knitting and Crochet Blogging Week. See what it’s all about at Eskimimi Makes

Starting off Green - 4KCBWday4

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The Answer: Green

Today’s Questions for Knitting and Crochet Blogging Week: What are your favorite colors for knitted projects? What colors do you seem to favor when yarn shopping and crafting?

I did not even have to think about the answer. Whether I’m wandering around yarn shops or shopping for clothing, I’m drawn towards various shades of green first. I pick up the green yarn first even when I end up buying a different color. I have never knit a sweater and yet I have at least two sweater quantities of green wool ready and waiting to be knit.

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Green isn’t the only color I go for though. My stash page on Ravelry is showing a strong trend towards blue, grey, and a particular shade of earthy, mustard yellow. The colors I design and knit patterns with are also varied though green does make a strong showing. 

At the moment I’m feeling a bit bored from all the green. I’m knitting a green pair of socks. I just finished spinning green handspun. Plus, there’s a secret project on the needles with green stripes but more on that later. To combat my boredom I picked out a very not green bump of fiber called Winter Pinoak from Yarn Geek Fibers. The bump is 4oz of Blue Faced Leicester in blue, orange, brown, and white. Looks so fun to spin too. 

What color or colors are grabbing you right now?

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It’s funny. When I first started this post I thought it would be green, green, and more green. Instead its mostly blue. 

Knitting Day to Day - 4KCBWday3

Today’s prompt for Knitting and Crochet Blog Week was to make an infographic. I’ve never made one before but it was pretty fun to do. Let’s pretend I didn’t greatly underestimate how long it would take me to finish.

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At first I had no clue what topic the infographic should cover but my frequent knitting came to the rescue. I knit almost every day on different projects, in different places, and for different reasons.   When the stars are right I even buy yarn. Knitting has a measurable impact on my daily life and vice versa. I know I’m not the only one either. So, an infographic about how knitting and the daily grind affect each other came to be.

Wooly Mascot - 4KCBWday2

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There are times when I hear about exciting things at the very last minute and decide to throw my plans (or planned posts) to the wind and do something new. The exciting thing this time was the 4th Knitting and Crochet Blog Week. I’ve seen and read this week over the past years and always wanted to participate but always forgot. Luckily, I found out on Day 1 and not Day 7 this year.

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The first day’s prompt was about picking a house Hogwarts style. The Bee’s are always busy. The Manatee’s are cozy. The Monkey’s want to learn. The Peacocks like to strut their stuff. I am definitely in the House of Bee. I knit a lot as the 282 projects on my Ravelry page will testify and always have several projects on the needles at one time. When I was first learning to knit House of Monkey would have been the place for me. Still is depending on the day. I want to learn but not every project I knit teaches me something new. Sometimes I want the finished project more than I want to practice a new technique.

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I don’t think the two Houses have to be mutually exclusive though. True, I do have a lot of projects on the needles and a lot of fiber on the spindles. I switch between them at the drop of a hat. Also true is that I like to learn. What joins my love of learning and all of the half finished projects is a sense of play. When I’m making something, I try not to take myself too seriously. I don’t always succeed but that’s mostly after ripping out something 5+ times. Knitting, crochet, spinning, and generally making stuff is the easiest way for me to play and have fun. 

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Spinning is king right now for giving me a way for me to play, to learn, and to start just one more project. It’s no surprise that my mascot is my own handspun yarn. Feeling the wool (or silk or alpaca) moving through my fingers is fun. Putting twist into fiber and plying singles is all play even if it is difficult. After a year, I’m still new to spinning and there’s so much more to learn. No matter how much yarn is on the needles I can’t resist making more yarn with my spindles. Making handspun is amazing and, at the end of the process, I can knit with it too. Then the cycle begins again.