Well, today is the last day of knitting and crochet blog week and today we are asked to think about where we hope our crafts will takes up, be it through new techniques, projects, and experiences.
A few weeks ago I started my newest knitting/yarn adventure – dyeing yarns to sell on Etsy. It is something that I have wanted to do for a few years now and only now have the time to really settle into the process. With Miss Emme, being so young and soon enough in the grabby phase, I don’t see any majorly complicated projects in my future. It is true that I have never knit a sweater or even more than one sock, but I highly doubt that either of those are going to be happening in the next year. So instead I will return to my favorites – the sock yarn blanket, the beekeeper’s quilt, or log cabin. I have a log cabin quilt on the needles that is picked up when I have time, but my focus now is to knit a beekeeper’s quilt using my hand-dyed yarn. The picture above is one that I took a few days ago of my progress with this new beekeeper’s quilt – I’m loving this Yarny Cakes quilt and hope that working with my own yarn will keep me from buzzing away to a new project.
My favorite knitting tool that I used to wind up some raibbow yarn I dyed yesterday.
For the sixth day of knitting and crochet blog week, we are asked to discuss our favorite knitting tool. There are many tools that go into the making of a fine, knitting item – needles, yarn, stitch markers possibly, a crochet hook for dropped stitches, a ruler, etc, but my favorite knitting tool is my yarn winder.
I had ordered one from Knit Picks a few years ago when I first discovered that there was more yarn to buy than just that found at large craft stores and that quite nice yarn could even be purchased online! During my college years when I taught myself to knit, I didn’t even know such a thing existed, mostly because I didn’t know that yarn came in any other format than the wound skein of Red Heart, Caron, etc. But when I signed up for Ravelry, I was introduced to a whole different side of knitting, that included knitting with natural fibers…and in different sizes too! It was around this time that my bee knitter’s attitude decided to land for a while on the lace shawl blossom. In my quest to find all things lace weight, I found Knit Picks which offered affordable lace yarns in yummy colors. I immediately started to hoard collect some skeins of lace weight yarn to jump into my new knitting adventure.
Well, I got the skeins of lace weight and went straight to winding it up…like a true ignorant novice and wound up with a rather ridiculous, balled up, just about beyond help mess that used to be a rather lovely red yarn. I worked at untangling for a week (with Mr. YarnyCake’s help – he would hold the ball on one couch while I sat across the room and picked the little knots and occasionally told him to wind it a bit – he’s a good sport and a keeper!) before it finally yielded and became a ball of yarn. All the while I kept thinking to myself, there has to be an easier way to do this. So to the internet I went and there I found the yarn winder, once again from Knit Picks as that was my favorite place to buy all things knitting related.
Along with this winder, I also purchased a swift because half of my trouble with winding the lace yarn was that I hadn’t thought about what would actually hold the yarn while I wound it by hand
Since then I have been winding cute, compact balls of yarn that really showcase the beauty of the yarn! I even wore one winder out and had to get another, but this is certainly one knitting tool I simply cannot do without.
Yesterday I referenced my yarn room and it is indeed truly my yarn room. When we purchased our home 2 years ago, one of my requirements was that I have a room where I can display all of my beauties and I took my inspiration from the way yarn stores have their yarns arranged. I even painted it a funky green! I decided to arrange the yarns according to color instead of by yarn weight because, well, I just love seeing all of the colors together! I suppose I’m not the neatest yarn organizer, but that’s my style and it works. As a contrast, I included a picture of my work desk which I do keep meticulously organized so I guess I am just a mix of opposites!
My yarn room is where all of my color selections are ultimately made. (You’ll also find in this picture my inspiration piggy, weights for when I need a break from crafting, and a romance novel because who doesn’t love the fluff of a good romance novel every now and then?
For the most part, my favorite colors to knit and crochet with are teals or oranges, although I do love warm colors quite a bit. Those two are just the main colors that jump to mind when I ask myself what my favorite colors are to work with. Many of my projects over the years have incorporated these colors, but when I wasn’t making resolutions to not buy anymore yarn/finish some of my WIPs my other resolution was to break out of my color bubble as I call it.
Today we are tasked with exploring other ways to convey information in our blog, namely visually through an infographic. I did some research into inforgraphics and had several great ideas running around in my mind, but alas I did not have the time or sill necessary to create them. So I give you instead the main theme of my life as a bee knitter. I should have titled the line graph some more fitting like, “Startitis” or “Knitting ADD” but I think the title sums it up nice and simply.
The number of projects I have started over the years is shocking. While the numbers on the graph above are not exactly representative of my knitting style since I started knitting in 2002, the curvature of the lines are definitely the correct skew. The room where I store all of my knitting supplies should be called “project purgatory” as many are languishing on needles or being stored on extra interchangeable needle cords. They are trying to figure out if they will every reach their true potential and become what they were meant to be or if they will forever exist as half finished items. Or worst yet…will they be frogged for the next new thing that grabs my attention.
One of these days, I’ll need to go through my yarn room and rediscover those old WIPS (works in progress) as it is possible that with my flitty attitude, I may just fall in love with them all over again. The biggest questions will be if
1) I still have all of the yarn to complete the project
2) Do I still have the needles to finish the project
3) And most important – was I a good little bee and kept the pattern with the project?
As a “bee” knitting type, the mascot projects that I flit back and forth between are long term projects, namely blankets and throws. In the photo above, I have provided examples of my long-term projects – the top two pictures are two different beekeeper’s quilts that I have started and the bottom pictures are a log cabin baby blanket and one square for the stained glass window afghan. The only one of these that were finished are a baby version of the Parcheesi Afghan, a log cabin blanket in the bottom left corner and that was mostly because I had promised the baby blanket to somebody Mr. YarnyCakes worked with. It was an extremely long project, but I finished it because I knew I HAD to.
When I’m not absorbing new techniques and processes, I like to work on relatively easy, brainless projects. Hexipuffs and log cabin squares provide both of these. The best thing about these types of projects is that you can just stop them at a certain point and still have a “finished” project. Many of these projects have morphed into mini versions of what they were supposed to be, namely becoming baby blankets and cat blankets. This is an example one such blanket. My stopping point on the babette blanket seems to be section five so many babettes have ended up being about 30×30 inches. (My three kitty cats love this blanket, especially during the winter months).
So as fitting for the “bee,” I can’t decide on just one mascot project, but have decided that long-term projects that I can switch back and forth between definitely define the bee house for me! Knitter confession. I have never finished a pair of socks or a sweater. I’m clearly not a real knitter, haha.
The qualities of the bee knitter/crocheter are “busy and industrious, but can flit from one interesting project to the next as bright and shiny things capture their interest.” Well, this definitely describes my style of both knitting and crocheting. I find that I am always looking for the next, new thing to do. I am definitely more of a process knitter than a product knitter. I love to learn new techniques, but it is highly unlikely that I ever finish a large project.
And then there is the primary medium of the craft, yarn. Once upon a time ago, when I picked up my first skein of red heart to teach myself knitting, I swore up and down that I would never buy more expensive yarn because yarn is yarn. That mentality flew out the window the first time I visited a real yarn store. And then I found Webs in Massachusetts and was truly lost. Now I am a sucker for gorgeous yarn and when I used to buy all manner of fancy yarn, I just wanted to start knitting with it IMMEDIATELY. So that condition eventually compounded and…well, you can guess the result. Every year I tell myself that I am going to buckle down and finish something/not buy anymore yarn until I finish x number of projects. Alas, mt knitting self is undisciplined and flies freely from project to project drawn by the alluring promise of new yarn and new techniques.