Sunday, August 27, 2006

Felting and what I like about it

I 've been felting (or is it fulling?)
During the summer I made this:

yes, I can see it too, they 're not identical. Big, huge mistake I have no excuse for either making or not correcting. I could blame the intense summer heat, the laziness, the vodka-orange drinks and the World Cup that were going on while I was knitting, but no. It was all my fault. sigh! Nonetheless, I threw them in the washer as I am planning to add a cuff anyway and I am hoping I can fix it then. If not, I 'll cry for an hour.

And out came this:

Aaah! isn't the top one perfect?! double sigh!

Just for the fun of it, I also threw in this (finger-monkey is in just for scale. He didn't go in the washer):

And out came this:

yipee! what a thrill! Finger-monkey likes it too.

So I 've been making more little cups to felt. Many more - they are addictive! I use them as an excuse to memorise techniques, because everything HAS to be a learning experience. It is my common excuse for spending so much time on knitting when I have billions of other things to do. Some are knit, some are crocheted. Aren't they cute?

I am hoping the flat things at the far left will turn out right for making lids on the two blue cups next to them. Now I have to find some clothes to wash! In sum, here's the list of what I like about felting:

  1. You can make things with holes and not worry about it.
  2. It is knitting, but it isn't.
  3. It is a miracle! Yarn is so amazing.
  4. There is always an extra thrill in the process.
  5. Historically, I 'd guess that felting is a process much older than knitting.
  6. Felted objects are very durable, nearly water-proof, and with a medieval flavor.
  7. They make me thing of 16th-century peasants' clothing, and I always like to think of 16th-century stuff.
  8. It promotes the washing of clothes and general household cleanliness (I put the felting bag along with regular wash).

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

TWO 11-hour bus rides later!

Indeed, after a series of unfortunate events we ended up in a bus Odyssey. Fortunately, I actually like buses - they have on me the effect that trains or ships have on others: they give me itchy feet and dreams of travelling. So, there was reading, sleeping, daydreaming, and of course knitting. As long as it did not keep my eyes off the clouds, that kept changing in amazing shapes and colors in both directions of the trip (sory, no pictures...).

Finished: a pair of wristwarmers. Picture is kind of boring, but how can one photograph a 3x2 rib tube in an attractive manner?

Yarn: Michaela, by Four Seasons (65% wool, 35% polyacryl)
Needles: 4mm circular

Now, I know that many people have reservations about the need and usefulness for fingerless hand-warming devices. On the contrary, I am a strong advocate of them. I used a pair last winter, and noticed several things I like about them. Hence my plan to flood the world with them! Here is the list of advantages ;-)
  1. Obviously, you can use your fingers at will, for whatever needs done.
  2. Contrary to popular belief, fingers actually do NOT get cold easily when the wrists and palms are protected.
  3. Wristwarmers are silent. Very important. I am very sensitive to a certain sound frequency, within which falls wool rubbing on wool over a certain temperture. I know, this sounds very obscure for most fortunate people who are indifferent to it, but imagine your warm, comforting gloves sounding like chalk screeching on a blackboard...
  4. Not having to take them off to perform all kinds of tasks (see 1.) means there are less chances of dropping and/or loosing them - or worse, one of them!
  5. They look COOL!
I also began working on a sock. Am I the only one who doesn't like turning a heel? Even with short-row heels, it is the worst part of sock-making. Progress pictures coming soon.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I 'm making a list...

Knitting ambitions for fall
A. non-portable
1. red sweater
2. use Rowan yarn (Picovoli maybe?)
lace shawl
4. snowflake hat for brother
felt father's slippers, add top

B. portable
hat with J's yarn
7. more wristwarmers / flap gloves
more, more Christmas ornaments
more, more, more socks

...for now...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A little bit of history

I learned to knit when I was about 10 - I think. My aunt Sophie, who lived in the appartment above ours, taught me to knit and crochet. She also taught me lots of other useful things, such as how to sew buttons, fold a towel in 3, the lyrics from Fred Astaire's songs... She rarely read patterns, but knew how to make things by calculating, charting and certainly trial & error. This is how I learned to do things too. The first sweater I made on my own was like that, but I got help for the armholes and neck.
Knitting is not so uncommon for girls in Europe. Most of my friends know how to knit, have had lessons at a similar age like me, but only few are interested in it. The flipside is that -at least in Greece (by the way, I was born and lived in Greece until I was 23) knitting is still a 'granny' thing, something girls have to learn but often accompanied with not-so-fun memories.
I always thought it is a great thing, never felt even a bit 'granny-ish', but I didn't always have something on the needles. Throughout my college years I would feel like making something, get the yarn and knit it, and then do nothing until I 'd get another idea -sometimes after months or years. It was about 16 months ago, when I came accross some knitting blogs, that I suddenly rediscovered knitting- and all the wonderful yarns, patterns, ideas that can be found online and beyond. Of course I had to teach myself the English terms of things I knew how to do but didn't know what they 're called, and learned loads of new tricks too.
My point with all that?
Although I admit to really enjoying the ease of following a pattern, I miss the challenge of making things as you go. So next project is one of those, make as you go - and I have been reminded the dubious joy of unravelling too! This is the third try, of what I refer to as 'the red sweater'. Yes. Very creative.

The yarn [Knitpicks Andean Silk (Barn Red)] is not really very shiny, but for some reason it always photographs very shiny. I love the color, and the yarn is soft, knits very easily, and smells great. Yum!
So, anyway, I 'm still on holidays and have time to play around with this blog, but it's also hot, so things aren't moving fast on the links department. Good thing knitters are patient people.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Here we go!

Well, another knitting blog is born. Does the world need another one? Probably not. Will I enjoy keeping mine? Probably yes. So, as my favourite alarm clock setting says: here we go!
DISCLAIMER: English is not my first language. Although every effort is made to maintain quality, I take no responsibility for occasional spelling mistakes or incorrect use of words, especially prepositions!
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