Ugly Knitting

So I missed last week’s Love Your Blog prompt over on A Playful Day. Last Monday was about Beginnings. Oh my goodness have I read some wonderful posts about all sorts of beginnings. (pop over to the link and check it out!!) People have talked about the start of their crafting journey or blog or even the start of a project. I told you about my start to blogging 2 weeks ago here and about the start of my knitting journey here. So maybe it’s ok that I missed last week? Even if it’s not, I’m cutting myself the slack to do so. This is my outlet, my creative space to share and it’s ok to fall off sometimes 🙂

A Playful Day

This week’s prompt is “Ugly”

I am hesitant to hit publish here. I really try to put my best foot forward here in this space, but I feel like being authentic and honest is just as important as showing the beautiful and the pleasant. So here goes…

Kate of A Playful Day writes about the ugly side of blogging here. I must say that when I first saw the prompt, my thoughts went to ugly knitting projects, not the ugly feelings that sometimes arise in the process of writing and reading blogs. On an ugly note, my personal new year’s goal/resolution/change this year was to stop being so judgmental.

At the start of 2015, I found myself in not the most positive place. I was really harboring some very jealous and mean thoughts about things, people, places that I did not even know were effecting me. I would see someone on the street and find my brain thinking rude thoughts about their appearance or actions. That just weighed me down. I found myself being put into an awful mood just because of what I was perceiving about other people. So I made a commitment to myself at the beginning of the year to stop.

Stop being so judgmental of everyone around me. I don’t know their story. I don’t know what sorts of challenges or blessings they’ve received. My assumptions about things were just bringing me down, so I should just STOP!

And, for the most part, I have. I still find myself looking at things and people, but instead of wondering why they thought that would be a good choice to leave the house in, I wonder what sort of troubles or triumphs they’ve had. Maybe they have saved up to buy those 6-inch heels and were super excited to wear them or maybe they haven’t done laundry because they can’t pay to use a laundromat. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Look for the good and the positive and the beauty in ALL people and things and places.

That even includes “ugly” knitting projects.

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As a knitter, I know what kind of time goes into projects, and the money and the effort and the LOVE it takes to create something, especially for someone else. This new leaf of non-negative judgment has made its way into my thoughts even about knitting projects. I can look at projects and instead of thinking, “wow, I’d never make that,” I can notice the love and care and effort and time that goes into each stitch and I genuinely hope that the recipient of the project will love it. I can also realize that my taste in projects is not for everyone either.

That’s what makes this wonderful community so wonderful. Everyone finds different things beautiful or interesting and the crafting community respects and appreciates it.

What are your thoughts on the “ugly” side of crafting?

Jenna

**the picture is of a mitten I started using colors I normally wouldn’t use together to try and understand a new technique. I really did not like the way they were coming out**

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It’s Already January

Monday Musings

I have no idea where the time went. I feel like I was just having a swim at the neighborhood pool and that has been almost 4 months ago! Like I said last post, I’ve been zooming around the knitting blogosphere and I have been inundated with posts of reflection on last year and posts of hope for the year to come. I’ve also said in a previous post, back in the fall, that my time of renewal seems to happen in the fall. I guess being a student for so many years and then a teacher really did make August feel like the start of a new journey every time.

You should also know that I’ve read more goals and resolution type posts than I can count. It’s got me thinking. I’m not usually one for resolutions because I tend to only last about a week. But I am also usually very affected by the world around me.

Yes, I meant to say affected. I am a people pleaser by nature and can often find myself moved by the words, thoughts, and actions of other people. Not to say I am a doormat or a sponge, but I tend to be very empathetic to people and their life stories and situations. All of this self-diagnosis to tell you that You, the blogging community, has spoken and I have been swayed into thinking about some resolutions or goals or inspirations or what-have-you for 2015.

First, you may have already noticed, but I’m going to be changing things around here some on the blog. By reading so many wonderful sites and really starting to find my voice here, I find that I want my page to be a bit more reflective of me and a little less generic. In the last two months, I have really started to analyze the way I present my thoughts here. Initially when I started this journey, I wasn’t quite sure where to start and so I set up some general daily guidelines to help get me going. I’ve fallen away from these somewhat, but I think for the better. I still get into the WIP Wednesday posts, but that’s about it. I’m trying to be more authentic.

In the complete and utter opposite direction is the next change I’d like to implement here. From perusing so many sites, I have noticed a lack of a Friday Finished Objects link up. I think this is due to my own narrow scope of the blogs I follow coupled with my newness to the community. I then came across this post by Tammy on her blog. She writes:
“So, when Tami (of Tami’s Amis) stopped posting WIP Wednesday and FO Friday in September, many of us were at a loss.  So I figured I’d do a link party and then Chrisknits also was doing one (and I found another one)…and we decided to split it…I’d do Wednesday and she’d do Fridays…well there has not been much interest….I did get in touch with Tami and tell her we were doing them and she said she didn’t know when she would ever get back to them and kind of gave her blessing…”

The FO Friday post has been discontinued and I volunteered to host a link up party here. In the interest of keeping it fun and fitting in with my style, I’ve given it a new little title: Fresh Off The Needles. I’m working on a cute little graphic/header and the first one should go live on Friday, January 9th.

I was really hoping to figure out a way to post the links with thumbnails directly into the post, but the widget isn’t supported on my free wordpress site. Maybe upgrading to a paid for web name is in my future, but we shall see. I hope you will join us with whatever projects are Fresh Off The Needles and over at Life and Yarn or Yarn and Life for Tammy’s Stitch-Along Wednesday posts.

Next challenge is to partake in the Love Your Library Challenge hosted by Emily at Snapdragon Crafts. This year, I’d like to make just as much of an effort to knit the patterns I already have with the yarn I already have…it’s a stash extravaganza. I also like the idea of focusing on one book or collection of books. I’m planning to tackle Hunter Hammersen’s Curls (there’s a KAL in Hunter’s group and Susie of the Prairie Girls and Sarah of In A Sknit are knitting their way through the book too!).

First up, Caesious in some lovely Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport in the Montrose colorway.

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Ok and my last yarn-y, new year thing: KNIT. FROM. STASH. EXCLUSIVELY. (unless people start having babies and I don’t have the right yarn to make their bundle of joy something perfectly snuggly). Had to build in that little disclaimer 🙂

So, here is to changes in the new year and going on an epic yarn diet!

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Everything happens so fast!

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Since I dove into the knitting blogosphere a few weeks ago when my husband suggested I start a blog, I have been greedily reading and following (yay Bloglovin!!) every blog about yarn, knitting, crocheting, fiber, alpacas, sheep, etc. If it has anything at all to do with yarn in any of it’s stages, I may have clicked on it! First off, this world of online fiber art is HUGE! Second, everyone out there it seems knits or crochets or spins or dyes or fibers 🙂 SUPER FAST!! I took a look at my projects and my knitting style and realized that if I’m going to make it in this crazy world, I’m going to have to gain a little speed when it comes to knitting. I can’t just press on the gas and go faster when it comes to knitting. I like to think I can knit pretty fast, but I do knit English-style, meaning I throw the yarn with my right hand. It seems to me that learning to knit continental could increase my speed.

Let me start off by saying that during a summer break in college my mom did (try) teach me how to crochet. I liked the repetitive motion of it and the fact that it involved yarn. This was before either of us discovered knitting and the LYS. But I really, really, REALLY struggled 1. figuring out which stitch/hole/bump to put the hook through and 2. keeping tension with my left hand.

You see, me and my left hand are not exactly friends. It does have a few redeeming qualities like wearing my wedding ring, holding the left needle during knitting and typing on the keyboard. Other than that, we struggle to be on the same page. I blame my left hand on the fact that I cannot play on anything besides Easy when it comes to Rock Band and have called playing the drums for all time!

That brings me to my struggle with continental knitting. I have tried it a few times. In fact, I was relatively successful using both hands in a stranded colorwork cowl, Carolyn Kern’s Equilibrium Cowl.

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It did require me to hold one color in my right and one in my left. I felt better after getting going on that for a while, but it’s not my style of choice. Now I need to continue practicing and get my left hand in check. I’ve got several projects going right now and at least one of them should be good practice for continental knitting.

I found this awesome video that helped me get the motion of purling, now to practice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuRLFl36tDY

So my question is which style do you prefer to use? English? Continental? Did learning one or the other come easier to you? Any helpful hints to make Continental more comfortable?

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna