Charity Knitting

A while back I posted about Too Much Yarn. So now it is time for an update.

Soon after I made that post, I saw in our church program that they were asking for help with knitting/crocheting for the babies in the Koutiala Hospital as a part of the Mali Project. The idea is that every baby born at the Koutiala Hospital goes home with an outfit and light blanket. So I thought I would give the contact person a call, as I had all this yarn just waiting to be used, and most of it baby stuff! I wanted to give it to her to give to the people who were knitting. Well, she was less enthused, apparently she needs the knitting, but she said she would ask around and she took my name and number. I never heard back from her.

Now, I am always knitting, every spare moment. I can barely sit down without picking up the needles. I have projects specifically that I do during work breaks, simple things which I can chat with the gals while knitting. I usually have 2 or 3 projects going at home. And yet, I complain that I don’t have time to charity knit! What is that all about? So I thought, after I complete my current work project, I will use my work time to charity knit. In fact, I have a pretty decent stash of unused baby hats and sweaters to start me out. Now, my coworkers also know how to knit, so I thought maybe I would try to get one of them in on the action, providing that I donated the yarn and needles. I got a tentative yes from my favorite coworker. (She needs a nickname for this blog since I talk about her enough, and she reads this, so it has to be something good ūüėČ ) So, expect to start seeing some charity knitting here in the near future, projects by the 2 of us!

I have to admit, I am rather excited about this endeavor. Gives me a way to blow off steam at work as I normally would while still doing something more productive than a dishcloth. Furthermore, it provides me with someone to knit with, which is somehow a wonderful thing. Just have to get the current project done……

Also, if anyone knows of any simple and free baby patterns, please feel free to share!

My daughter, a.k.a. Shrek

This past weekend, my daughter went to spend a bit of time with her father.¬† He called me at one point because he said he had a very funny story to tell me.¬† He said that he looked at her mouth and tongue and they were a terrible shade of green.¬† So of course, he was concerned about what she might have put in her mouth or that something was terribly wrong.¬† He went to his mother and asked what she might have fed my daughter.¬† She said nothing but Cheetos.¬† But there was no sign of the orange cheetos , just green.¬† So he became more concerned, until he looked at his mothers mouth, which was also green.¬† They then decided to consult the Cheetos bag, which said “turns your mouth green like Shrek” So his fears were abated and his desire to call poison control quelled.¬† They had a good laugh over the incident, as did I.

Well she came home that night, and I am telling you, that child had the worst case of adult sized gas I have ever heard!¬† The next morning, same thing.¬† So I emailed her father and asked what the heck he had been feeding her that she would end up with this issue!¬† He emailed back a list of foods that she ate, and added that she had of course also had the cheetos that turn your mouth green, and he wondered if that could have been the problem.¬† I said, perhaps it was.¬† I quickly got an email back saying “Yeah, turns your mouth green like Shrek, and makes you fart like Shrek” and I tell you, crude as it was, I laughed so hard I snorted and had tears running down my face!

Beading & Scarf Picture

The promised picture of the scarf.  Blocking made this beautiful!

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Last time I was in the local craft store to pick up supplies, I saw a fairly inexpensive tub of plastic beads.  There were all sorts of animals and the holes in the beads were large so I thought they would be perfect for my daughter to string with a plastic tapestry needle onto yarn.  I was not mistaken, she spend an entire afternoon beading!

That is one happy little girl!

Entrelac scarf

Is done! It is stunning. I blocked it 2 nights ago and last night my daughter had a blast taking all the pins out and putting them away. In fact, once she took them all out, she wanted to put them all in again. I guess she won’t have to learn the hard lesson that blocking makes everything better! (It would be my wildest dream that she might learn to knit but if she takes after me, she will learn to sew with her Nana instead). I will get a picture of the scarf posted soon. I had to bring it in to work to show it off. I enjoyed knitting it so much and the colorways were so fun that I could turn around and do it all over again. I thought, who can I make a scarf for? My brother came to mind but do we all remember what happened with the hat? (He didn’t want it!) This time I will ask before I start! Maybe my mom would like one, I could match it to the felted hat that my aunt made her a couple years ago. Hmmm…that doesn’t sound bad either!

Cotton shopping bag.

Well, I am positive that my favorite coworker takes the best pictures ever! She promised me a picture of the shopping bag I made for her in use. Check it out!

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I swear that it looks better in her photo than it does in real life!

The pattern is Turkish stitch string bag with a few modifications. I used US size 17 needles for the bottom and sides of the bag. I did not do a full 12 inches on the sides. I then used US size 10 needles for the handle and made the handle quite short compared to the suggested size on the pattern. I knitted it at work on breaks with said coworker which meant that she got to have input that shaped the outcome of the bag. This was great since I have a tendency to blindly follow a pattern, not being confident that my modifications would be any good at all.

Why is it that knitting for someone is so much more inspiring than knitting for myself???

Reign over me

In Reign Over Me there is a shot of Liv Tyler with a lovely green aran sweater. Has anyone seen this? I must see this sweater again! No amount of googling it has brought it up. But I just want a closer look! *cries*

Of knitting, blocking, and frogging.

It has been awhile since I have made a true knitting post with pictures.¬† That doesn’t mean knitting hasn’t been done.¬† Just means that I would rather knit than post about it at the moment!¬†

During work break I have been active, first with this dishcloth:

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And also a cloth bag for my coworker who doesn’t like to use the plastic grocery bags.¬† She already has it but will take pictures of it in use for me to post.¬†

Then there is Isabella, I finished the back and started the front.  Then I decided to have my first foray into blocking.  So I found some Eucalan wool wash and blocked the back:

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well I am now convinced that blocking really works!¬† It was beautiful blocked, and my strange continental gauge issues that I always notice went away.¬† Erm, one problem though…..it was WAY too big!¬† I have to go down at least 2 sizes.¬† Learn to swatch you say?¬† Oh no, I swatched.¬† I suspect the issue is more that I believe so completely that I am bigger than I am.¬† I have this same issue when trying on clothes, picking¬† out XL things when I am really a medium now.¬† So now the sweater looks like this:

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Yes, I am redoing it.¬† I love the sweater and I am determined to make something for me that looks good.¬† It is all about the process…not the failures.¬†

And finally, a project I got SOOO excited about that I couldn’t even post!¬† I always wanted to try entrelac.¬† I saw this:

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And have been in love with it (from a book I have had for a couple years now and always wanted to try it.)  So I got this:

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And turned it into this!

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¬†Isn’t that stunning?¬† I love it!¬† I can’t stop knitting it!¬† It is too much fun and way easier than I supposed.¬†

What did I just do?

For years I have been hemming and hawing over going back to school.¬† I’ll hold the thought in my brain for a time and then just plain fail to do anything about it, hence never going back to school.¬† It isn’t apathy even though it looks like it.¬† It is sheer terror!¬† The first go ’round went terribly and the thought of not completing a degree after starting would be way too much of a blow on my self esteem.¬† The fact of the matter is, I CAN go back to school and I can complete classes, I am a smart girl and am in a better situation with better motivation to do it than I have ever had.¬† Enough with being terrified over it already.¬† It sure won’t complete itself.¬† Furthermore I can take classes for free, and I can take just one class at a time.¬† No reason I can’t.

So, today, more than eight years after my first attempt, I applied to go back to school in the fall and sent out a request for transcripts.¬† The whole of my college career I barely remember, and only remember it being a very confusing time for me.¬† I know I didn’t do well in school, I also know it wasn’t because I couldn’t.¬† The environment, timing, and subjects were ALL WRONG!

I do think I will do well this time.  I can work at my own pace.  I now have great motivation, the betterment of not only myself but my daughter as well.  I have to spend my own money on application fees and books, though tuition is free, and I know if I am shelling out the dough, I will want to get a decent return on my money.   I am more focused than I have ever been in my life, less distractible, and this can only help.  I have people in my life who can help me with study tips if I get stuck.  It cannot help but go better than the last attempt.

The idea at this point is to go back to school to teach.  Perhaps high school English.  I do love to read and write and it is a subject that I believe I could be good at.  I know I would prefer to teach high school students rather than young children.  It is also a matter of practicality.  I would be off during the summers with my daughter and in school around the hours she is in school.  As a single mother, this makes sense to me.   Furthermore, I may just be egotistical but I had some fairly horrid high school English teachers and I contest that I could do way better than that!  (and I had one great one and hope to be like him!)

So….onward and upward!

Everyone else is doing it!

Bold the stuff you’ve done, italics for stuff you plan to do eventually, and normal for stuff you don’t intend to do.

My Score:

Afghan
I-cord
Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
shawl
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens
Mittens: Tip-down
Hat
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Sweater
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (=modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Cardigan
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Slippers

Graffitti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Scarf
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Button Holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colours
Knitting items for a wedding

Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items)on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone elses handspun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Bobbles
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn

Steeks
Knitting art
Knitting two socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars simultaneously
Fulling/felting
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Purses/bags
Knitting with beads

Swatching
Long Tail CO
Entrlac
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with selfpatterning/selfstriping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Knitting with cashmere
Darning
Jewelry
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Gloves
Intarsia

Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mits/armwarmers
Pillows
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Rug
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Shrug/bolero/poncho
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

Well I have a ways to go yet but not unattainable. I do so want to learn just about any technique I don’t currently know!

Walk Across the State

¬†In the mail at work today I received a challenge to “walk across the state.”¬† Basically we put together teams, wear pedometers, and track our activity for a year, hoping to virtually walk across the state.¬† The teams progress will be charted at work and there are personal goal prizes as well as team prizes.¬† I heard that the public health lab was putting together a team and I decided to get on that one.

I have noticed that tracking my weight daily and graphing it over all really helps me maintain and lose the weight so I am sure that tracking and graphing my activities will work in a similar fashion.¬† I seem to need that visual goal in order to compete with myself.¬† Needless to say I am excited about an excuse to do so!¬† Now I just can’t wait to get started!¬† Seems that the tracking weight and tracking activity should be a rewarding symbiotic relationship.¬† The more activity I chart the faster the weight goes down, making me more interested in continuing to track activity.¬† Off we go!!!

In other news, a dear friend of mine came to visit last evening.¬† I had suspected she might have some news for me but when I offered to make a nice dinner she offered to bring wine which threw me off the scent.¬† Until she showed up with O’Douls!¬† Yup, she is pregnant and I am thrilled for her!¬† Of course my mind immediately starts to decide what I can knit for a new little one.¬† I suppose I shouldn’t worry about this until I know if it will be a boy or a girl, and that might be awhile because she is very early along.¬† But I can still have big dreams right?¬† I think if it is a girl I will do a shawl, can be used as a blanket when she is tiny and becomes something she can still use when she is older.¬† If dear friend has a little boy, I will have to find some good alternatives but there are lots of little boy patterns in my books that I have had no excuse to use.

On the knitting front, I have much to post about since I have been making a concerted effort to stay off the computer and knit while listening to books on tape.  Unfortunately I have not taken any pictures yet.  Next week will begin my foray into the world of blocking.  I have done my research and I am convinced.  But have yet to try it.  Fortunately I have found a lovely upscale yarn boutique here in town and they have no problem helping me with my questions.  Seems that when Daughter is with her father, I often find myself there asking the questions I cannot figure out via the Internet.

Quiz

You Are the Thumb

You’re unique and flexible. And you defy any category.
Mentally strong and agile, you do things your own way. And you do them well.
You are a natural leader… but also truly a loner. You inspire many but connect with few.
You get along well with: The Middle FingerStay away from: The Pinky

What Finger Are You?

Skills

My daughter is retaining much more than she used to and seems able to communicate these things back to me.¬† I realized this last night when I asked her what she had for dinner at her father’s house.¬† First she told me “nothing” to which I responded that I knew she ate something.¬† She then said “mashed potatoes, beans, corn, and meat.”¬† She was clear as a bell on this and I was surprised, I thought maybe she was making this up.¬† So I looked at her father and he nodded and said, “yes, she ate all those things!”