Technical Tuesday: The Nuts and Bolts

This technical Tuesday is not going to be as technical in a knitting sense. As you might have noticed, last week I completely lost track of time and managed not to do any posts. I wasn’t heading into the office on Wednesday, so I definitely forgot to write my posts until Wednesday because I thought it was the weekend. Then I just would have had Thursday’s post up, but at that point it seemed a little pointless as Thursday is my off-topic day.

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The latest self striping sock I dyed for Halloween. Colour name: Witches Britches.

Every January I re-assess the blog, what I am writing, when I am writing etc; I am going to be doing that again this January. I do this to keep up with my needs and what is working for me at that point in time. The past two months have been so crazy busy that I am going to take the rest of November and December to go back and just post when I feel like it.
Schedules are great and I am definitely a fan, but when you’re too dependent on the schedule sometimes content starts to feel too planned. I am going to take some of the time I would be writing and put that time into knitting. Then WRITE ABOUT it! It probably won’t be a whole lot at first, but I do have some fun things still planned. I’ve been sent a product to review, so that will be coming up very soon. I’m currently still testing it out!

The Aftermath

Well all the shows are now complete, it’s been an absolutely crazy two months. I feel pretty burned out from all the prep-work of getting these shows together so I haven’t been working on too much knitting. There have been a lot of mundane things like cleaning the house, restocking the cabinets, a lot of meal prep for the next couple months. I’ll write about that on a Thursday though, I am way too proud of myself to keep that from you!

I have been working on socks, of course, what else would I be working on? The purple gradient sock I dyed is starting to knit up nicely, the colour-shift near the toe is a bit harsh, but we will see what it looks like on the other one. I would post photos of it but Paul has ABSCONDED with my knitting yet again.

I should be fair, this is the sock that I keep in the car. I always knit on it when we are in transit from one place to another. I don’t know if I have mentioned, but Paul and I work at the same office. The other day, he had some training at another office location. This presented something of a problem because we drive to work together; I would have no way home. Thankfully there was someone there who goes home the same way as me and she was able to give me a lift. The crucial part of this story comes when I went out to the car to grab my knitting, so I could knit on my lunch break. Paul had left a half hour before I thought he was going to, so he went to do this training with my knitting in tow.

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Instead of sitting and knitting on my lunch break I was now sidelined to surf instagram and the like. Which leads to online shopping, which leads to stash enhancement, which leads to needing a larger house. Let’s just say there is no good ending here! When my knitting friend came across me and noticed I was NOT knitting, I had to inform her about Paul ABSCONDING with my knitting bag.

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As I write this post, Paul has taken the car with the knitting in it. I guess this is the downside of car knitting. There usually isn’t a great time when you’re in the car to take photos, but when you want to show off your work, you have to make sure you’re able to grab it out of the car. I am sure this sock will be completed soon and I’ll be able to show FO photos of at least one sock!

I also wanted to mention a couple of prospective projects I am thinking about. I heard about this one on the Knit1Geek2 podcast. A Little Knit Music by Julia Blake. This is a sweater that you knit the treble clef into the yoke of the sweater and put beads where the notes would be. The best part is, they actually make up a melody. As Maggie and Karen suggested, you could knit your own adventure with a melody that means something to you. Their suggestions fell on the geek side, which I heartily approve of, but you could really do it with just about any song!

I also want to get going on a couple hats I have the yarn for. I’ve had this yarn for two years and have been meaning to knit up fair isle hats, but just haven’t had the time or motivation. I’ve got short hair now and it doesn’t cover my ears. I am thinking hats will be an essential staple of my wardrobe this year. I have a few different patterns that I am going to try out. I am going to do two of the Four Seasons hats by Tanis Fiber Arts and give the Whale Watch hat by Kate Gagnon Osborn a try as well. Those are just a couple that I have picked out of a line up. I have sooooo many saved in my Ravelry library, I feel like this will be a slippery slope.

Technical Tuesday: Darn Weaving in Ends

One of the first skills you realize is important is weaving in the ends. Its something that can take your garment from looking home-made to hand-made. Everyone strives for the hand-made look; we’re talking fine Italian suits that are $1000 made by nuns, not a garment that was glue-gunned together in someone’s kitchen.

There is a different kind of weaving for many different kinds of stitches so I’ve also linked the Very Pink Knits videos for garter stitch.

And ribbing.

If you’re anything like me and hate to weave in ends at the end of a project, you can always weave them in as you go.

If you’re having problems with your ends staying woven in, check out that first video for sure. It’s an excellent technique and very well explained. It’s almost like back-stitching in sewing. You’re going back to the previous stitch and locking that yarn in even tighter. This is one of those things I learned the hard way, but once you’ve got it, you’re golden!

Technical Tuesday: Pocket Styles

I had a really good question on our Ravelry group about pockets! Pockets are something that is inherently scary with knitting. There are a lot of fears around putting them in and the stretching that could happen. I wouldn’t suggest carrying anything too heavy in them.

There are quite a few videos out there and I picked these three, but if you’re not able to get what you want from these, just search pockets in knitting. There will be a lot of information that comes up!

I’ve got three videos about how to put in pockets, but the placement is important too. There are generally instructions about pocket placement, but if you’re looking to place them yourself I would add the pocket in after the garment is finished. That way you can look at where it would make sense to have pockets.

If anyone has any specific questions feel free to email me or ask about it on our Ravelry group! There is a thread specifically for things people would like me to look up!

Technical Tuesday: Photos

First and foremost I am going to tell you that I am by no means an expert on this subject. I, like everyone else starting out, took horrible photos. I was friends with a couple of people who were really into photography and learned quite a bit from just asking questions.

I don’t have a fancy camera; all the photos I take are on my smartphone. This video gives you a really great founding in the basics of taking photos with your smart phone. The lighting is key. I am really lucky and have some sheer curtains in my living room, which is perfect for indirect natural sunlight. The hardest thing with lighting is getting the colour to show up true. If I am taking pictures of anything for Etsy I have to make sure the colours are perfect because you don’t want someone buying yarn and it being a completely different colour than pictured online.

Something this video mentions is to experiment and have fun with it. I take 15-20 photos for every single photo I post. So don’t think that you’re going to take three photos and they’re all going to be perfect. I might think something looks great, but when I look at it on my computer, not so much.
It’s a process and it takes time. I like to look at product photos from others and see what really appeals to me about that photo. Why is it aesthetically pleasing? What makes me want to make that shawl? Is it the colour? The way it’s displayed? Really breaking down other’s photos into smaller chunks can help you with your own photography practice. Best of luck!!

The Whole Vacation Thing

As I mentioned in passing yesterday… I am one of those people who is at the airport WAY earlier than they need to be, with enough supplies to survive in 99% of Earth’s conditions for at least a couple days. I’m going to lay out what my packing process looks like for those of you who are either interested or keen to have a laugh.

Travelling with Knitting

First of all this process is by no means perfected. I only started traveling in the end of 2013, that was my first ever airplane ride! I definitely packed a lot of things I didn’t need for a week trip to Chicago. Paul had to remind me that I was probably going to buy a fair amount of yarn and needed space to bring it back. At which point I looked at him with no small amount of horror. I had almost forgotten to leave space for yarn. No good could come of this so I decided to be much more careful about my packing.

Travelling with Knitting 2

First of all, I try to roll all my clothes before I place them in my bag. I think about the weather, what it could be, what it is unlikely to be, and just pack for everything. We went camping a lot as children and that was the theory behind packing for a camping trip. What you need to survive anything.
Second of all, I try to imagine the things that are okay to forget. If you’re going somewhere with drug stores, then it’s probably okay not to bring one of everything in your medicine cabinet. If you can reliably buy antacids and Band-Aids, I’m not too concerned.

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A ‘busy bag’ aka, yarn and stuff. I wrote a post a while ago about how I always pack way too much yarn for projects that I could probably start while on vacation. I think about the trip there and if I will end up sleeping or not. I ALWAYS plan to sleep, but don’t always end up sleeping. I also think I will have much more time for sitting and doing nothing than I end up. Although, when we went to Cuba it was the wet season and we spent more time than I thought we would indoors. I don’t bring anything too complicated, just something to keep my hands busy. Usually socks, as I know you are all excited about!
I do all of this, 3-5 days before the trip and plan to throw more things in as I think of them. I usually leave this bag in our spare room or on the floor in our bedroom (although this encourages kitties who think they’re going to travel). If I think of something I’ve forgotten I throw it in! Repacking at the end and taking out things I know I am not going to need!