Two Left Needles

Knitting, spinning and dyeing
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Ironically, I knit today. While waiting at the doctor's, and at a Microsoft developer event. Not because I was in the mood to knit, but because I'd rather be knitting than sitting there doing nothing. (And also to keep myself awake at the MS thing, but that didn't work the whole time....)

When I first saw this meme on Grumperina's blog, I was intimidated. I didn't think I could come up with 10 knitterly things about me. As I saw more lists pop up, I started to think I could do it. In the end, I had trouble keeping to just 10.

  1. I keep a spreadsheet to track my knitting projects and budget. I can get obsessive when it comes to my budget. When there's a good chunk of money in my budget, I feel like I have money burning in my pocket. When I have no money in my budget, I have little to no interest in going into a yarn shop.
  2. Currently I'm trying to keep my project list between 18 and 24 (yes, I have Knitters ADD and Startitis). Like Carole, I get a thrill when I can mark something as "Finished", but for me, it's because it means I can start another project!
  3. I learned to knit when I was 8, at school as part of an 8 week program, from a nice neighborhood lady. She taught us German or Continental Knitting. I really wanted to take cake decorating or typing and was really disappointed when I got my third choice.
  4. When I was 11 or 12 I went to Japan for 3 months. While I was there, my Aunt taught me the basics of machine knitting, including using the knitradar for shaping. I left with a manual bulky gauge Brother knitting machine and knit radar. When I got home, I tried to knit a scarf and a vest, but not understanding how gauge and fit worked, I soon gave up and left the machine in its box.
  5. My first handknit sweater was finished in high school. Technically it was a mess, between gauge, fit and needle size. I still wore it and loved it and the shape was very forgiving (it helped that it was the '80's).
  6. I didn't really learn about gauge until a few years ago and after many failed sweaters. I often knit gauge swatches, but usually very small ones, and the words "close enough" were often uttered. My knitting has improved greatly since I learned the importance of gauge. But I still occasionally screw it up.
  7. I really love to knit scarves. The simplicity, not needing to get gauge, the challenge of showcasing a particular yarn or stitch pattern, and the promise of a good fit, are all appealing to me.
  8. I don't like to think too hard when it comes to knitting. I like to knit. I like to make things. When I get stymied making calculations for sleeve caps because I'm substituting yarns, I'm very likely to stop knitting. When I get to the underarms and have to decide when to start the armholes, the sweater back may sit a while.
  9. When I'm driving and lost, I'd rather find an alternate route rather than backtrack, because I don't want to "waste time" going over the exact same road again. (This was how I got to know an area when I moved, and the reason I often wound up somewhere and said, "I've been here before!" without knowing when or how.) Similarly, with knitting, I hate negative progress. I hate having to frog and re-do what I've already done. When I have to rework a large section, I feel deflated. I am much better at backtracking on the driving front, so-so on the knitting front. It's hard. And still deflating.
  10. Several of the above seem to be examples or aspects of me being a lazy knitter: Small gauge swatches. Not wanting to re-work sections. Now wanting to think. The plus side of being a lazy knitter is learning how to fix mistakes so that I don't have to tink or frog back as much. I feel my knitting machine and crocheting experience come in handy in this area. I am not, however, a lazy spinner. Yet.

So, were these new to you?

I've been tagged twice now, so here goes... :)

Four jobs I have had in my life
1. (Web) Developer
2. Webmaster (having "master" in your title is always cool)
3. At a copy shop, making copies (and didn't watch SNL so the jokes were lost on me)
4. Actor (yup, it was not much money but I did get paid)

Four movies I could watch over and over
1. Shawshank Redemption
2. The Princess Bride
3. ... I have a bad memory for things like this ...

Four places I have lived
1. Etobicoke, ON
2. Oxford, AL
3. Cary, NC
4. Cambridge, MA

Four TV shows I love to watch
1. Battlestar Galactica
2. Firefly (on DVD, hmph, can't believe it was cancelled before I heard of it)
3. Stargate SG1
4. The Closer

Four places I have been on vacation
1. Poznan, Poland (to perform at an international theatre festival!)
2. Tokyo, Osaka, Kochi (Japan)
3. Atlantic Canada -- New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia
4. Rome, Florence, Venice -- the standard :)

Four websites I visit daily
1. gmail.com
2. Newsgator.com (previously used bloglines.com)
3. google.com
4. knittyboard.com

Four of my favorite foods
1. Curry, especially Japanese and Indian
2. Salmon Sashimi or maki that includes salmon and avocado
3. Shabu shabu, especially when my mom makes it
4. Maklooba (my sister makes this and I always overeat)

Four places I would rather be right now
1. home spinning or sleeping
2. North Carolina with family
3. Atlantic Canada - PEI; New Brunswick hanging out with Heidi at London-Wul
4. Japan visiting my grandmother

Four peeps I have tagged
1. PumpkinMama
2. Cheryl
3. MJ
4. You!

Thanks for your supportive comments on the most recent batch of ... abandonees.

And now, I present:

Argyle Caddie Argyle Caddie

 Argyle Caddie Argyle Caddie

Argyle Caddie
Started:
12/16/05
Finished: 12/19/05
Pattern: my own; I took inspiration from Lion Brand's and Knitty's versions, esp to get an idea of size. But went through the pain of making up my own pattern.
Yarn: Pingouin Coeur de Laine in green (0114), dk green (0074) and white (001); body is 1.8 oz total, pompom is 1.4 oz
Needles: #7 dpn
Notes: To be honest, I liked the argyle version on Lion Brand's website, but my google search brought me to the cabled version, and I didn't see links for the other 2. So I made up my own. Haha, too bad for me. I'm pretty happy with how it came out, though. I struggled with the argyle patterning, knit it 3 times before I got it right. It was worth it, and the Seamless Intarsia technique I used is nifty. It's pretty crazy looking with the pompom, but heck, so are the outfits they wear. The only change I would make: add an extra row or two between the ribbing and the argyle pattern. You can read more here and here.

Looking at it again, I have an unnatural attachment to it. Maybe it's a natural byproduct of the time and effort invested into making it right. Maybe it's the serendipitous joining of stash, idea and execution. Or maybe it's that "I made this" (same post-X-Files jingle) satisfaction of designing?

My first meme

Grumperina said: "How about you? Who knows about your knitting and your knitting blog, and what are your reasons for revealing (or not) its existence to these folks? Don’t just leave me a comment – rather consider this a meme and answer on your own blog ;)."

I've pointed family and friends here a few times to show them pictures of turkeys or non-knitting stuff; I don't know if they come back or visit only when I send an email. Most people I know don't knit so I think it's lost on them. Really, it's a lot of work keeping up a blog: the photos, thinking of what to say. It makes sense to knitters, spinners and fibery lovers, but to the rest of the world? I think it's a mystery. And not such an interesting read. Am I wrong?

I read the funnier entries to Scott but I'm pretty sure he doesn't frequent on his own; he already has to look at works in progress, every day, again and again... and he doesn't say things like "wow, that's a whole inch longer than the last time you showed me." He humors me, I humor him on Warcraft.

There are a couple of work buddies from my last job that I taught to knit, and I know Maria comes by regularly (hi Maria!). It's funny talking to her because she knows everything I'm working on and it catches me by surprise.

Because I assume most people I know don't come by, I feel free to post pics and talk about things I'm making for them. I'm paranoid, though, so for holiday gifts I haven't been naming names. I wonder if any of my family will see their gift and recognize it? That would be telling. :)

I've only been blogging for a couple of months, though, so I'm still finding my way. Like many people I want to keep separation between work and personal life so I will likely never go into work details. And since I'm a very private person, I probably will focus more on knitting and less on the ups and downs of every day life. I imagine that as I blog on and get to know other knitters in the blogosphere, I will share more. I've seen it happen, out there. The knitting community is, to oversimplify, a warm, generous, supportive one. We like to make things to warm ourselves and the ones we love; we make and give gifts of time, thought and effort; and we enable like no one's business. But that's not what I meant. ;)

In short, I tell people I knit, I tell them I blog, I'm happy to tell them where my blog is; but I don't think they're regulars.

If you haven't done this one, consider yourself tagged!