Sunday, March 30, 2008

Felting is for Masochists.

Last week was a very successful first annual "National Bind-Off Week" (Deane encouraged me to narrow my in-progress-projects down to only 2, and free up some needles). I finished my scrunchable Malabrigo scarf (pictured, left -- thanks Dawn for the pattern link!), a striped over-the-shoulder bag I had been working in sport weight yarn (size 4 needles are the WORST), a long skinny garter scarf that was *supposed* to be for St. Patty's (tip: NEVER knit for a holiday less than 10 days in advance), and a knit-on-the-bias scarf which I ended up messing up, but turned out cool nonetheless (and was made with 97 cent clearance yarn, always a pleasure). Pleased with all of my finished pieces, I even cast on and finished a quick cell phone holder! This was my first knit-in-one-day project -- HURRAH!

Now that I had finished my daunting unfinished business (I think knitters have an abbreviated term for their projects on the needles, but I can't recall what it is...), I could look at my lovely yarn stash and decide what to start next.

I had recently discovered varigated yarn, otherwise known as Strata, or yarn that stripes itself (veteran knitters, please correct me if my terminology is wrong here). I picked up 3 balls of Paton's SWS in a lovely charcoal grey/black stripe and set to work on my first ever felted piece.

For those of you who don't know, felting is a process where you knit an obscenely large piece, then throw it in the washing machine and watch it wash up like Shrinky Dinks. As a child, the practice of coloring large pieces of plastic and watching them cook into small bits was fascinating and fun. I would like to say the feelings carry over to knitting, but I am halfway through my Diagonal Striped Felted Bag (pattern from, thank you!) and it looks like it could serve as a small afghan or full-size tablecloth. I can't I am boring hours and hours of loving labor into a piece that will turn on me. I am pushing forward thinking of the felted pieces I have seen finished (beautiful and sturdy, and able to withstand the poke-through of an eyeliner, something normal knit bags lack), and hoping that opening the washing machine on that fateful day will be akin to a child opening a present on Christmas morning. Until I experience that joy and surprise, I attest that those who felt on a regular basis most possibly possess personality traits similar to those of serial murderers.

Knit on,

*Here's a few questions for bloggers...

A lot of knit blogs have this awesome pattern progress chart on their blogs, where you can show what you are working are and how far along you are on it. HOW DO I GET THAT?

Also, I want to post small pics throughout a post, but know nothing of HTML, and am having a difficult time doing so in blogger.

Please help!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Mary Ann* is... a blogger?

This is a picture of me doing 2 of my favorite things: reading a chick lit novel and thinking about an unfinished knitting project (next to me in the papasan). I've never been too interested/passionate about much of anything, so when I took up knitting last Christmas (thanks to a wonderful gift from Deane!) I was excited to be excited about a new hobby! I have knit innumerable scarves, the occasional bag, and a lot of now-bleached-white dishcloths. I use the internet all the time to look for new fun projects and tips and tricks for my knitting.

After spending a weekend perusing knitting blogs (looking for answers/patterns as to what to do with 2 different colored hanks of malabrigo), I thought a few things:

1. It would be a *lot* easier if I just had a place to post my question, and people could answer *me*.

2. If there are people out there that want to read this babble (I mean, I'M reading it...) certainly readers must want to see what I have to say (type)?

3. I might have a mediocre sense of humor, but I have an almost impeccable sense of spelling and punctuation, and I want to take a giant red pen to the majority of pages on the internet.

So alas, my blog is born! I might not be that funny, there might only be 2 people that *ever* read it (thanks Em and Linds...!), but if nothing else, it will motivate me to actually finish projects, and to hone my weaker-by-the-day writing skills (this post is proof of my deteriorating literary prowess). Maybe, just maybe, I'll even learn a bit of HTML.

Add this page to your favorites, as it promises to be a good one that rambles on about a lot of stuff that has nothing to do with knitting... but it might also give you a good tip or two, or motivate you to knit yourself!