Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's Day

This is a rather long post on Two Black Sheep. We have learned a lot in 2006 and we wanted to share. The first four are Lola's and the last four are Ava's. Enjoy and have a wonderful new year!

1. Just because you can knit it, doesn't mean you should knit it.
Urban Adventure is still waiting to be felted it. I just can't bring myself to throw it in the washer. I think it was knitting in the round for 19 inches on at least 300 stitches. Why put yourself through that?And even though I love my Pimlico shrug, a 2x2 ribbing on 300+ stitches for 6 inches is enough to make any knitter put the needles down. Same thing goes from my Miter Square afghan. As the Mason Dixon books says, "Who knits a queen size blanket?" This idiot. I do love curling up under it, but I also hate worrying about how much it is pilling. I always think back to it's glourious beauty right after I finished the border. Yes, it is loved and it shows it, but it took forever to finish and I want it to look gorgeous again!

2. Cabling without a needle is the greatest thing since row counters.
Demi couldn't have been completed without this accomplishment. I had to have reminders all over the charts and patterns, but I can't explain how this was a lifesaver. I have small hands, so juggling one more needle is a nightmare. I even swatched with the cable needle and without. I didn't notice a difference on the fabric and that's when I decided to chuck all the cable needles I own.

3. Seamless knitting is the greatest thing since cabling without a cable needle.
As I've said in a previous post, it is going to be difficult to seam again. And for some reason knitting these sweaters, made me feel like a real knitter. Maybe it's because I didn't have a true paper pattern. Maybe it makes me feel confident when something I've knit fits well. Or maybe it's because I love reading anything E. Zimmermann has written. I don't know what it is, but it these sweaters make me feel like a knitter.

Betty makes her pictorial debut on the blog in the Three Tiered Scarf from Knit 1.

4. Blogging isn't such a dirty habit.
Before I used to shut down my blog windows real fast if SK came into the room. I've described it to Ava a thousand times, I felt similar to a man getting caught looking at porn when his woman walks in the room. Ava finally talked me into starting the blog. I begged SK to not tell our friends on a camping trip we took right after Two Black Sheep was up. Begged. They all know that I knit like a crazed woman, so it isn't like I was hiding my hobby. And it isn't like I have normal friends, we have a ton of Star Wars, Comic book, Horror movie, Music nerds as some of our best friends! For some reason, I have yet to come out of the closet to friends or family. But blogging has been great. I love being able to see Ava's projects. It's easier than us leaving messages all week. And when we get comments from famous bloggers, I'm like a school girl .I love seeing different takes on projects. When I'm stuck, I do a quick Google search, and BLAM I'm on my way again! Ava's note to SK - when someone offers you a perfectly good pseudonym, don't say, "Dude, I want something cool, like Steak Knife" because you know damn well we would pick that one.

5. Felting isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Maybe it is because I really don’t have the patience to go and check on something all the time (as witnessed by my parenting skills . . . if they ain’t crying, they are probably okay), but I just don’t get felting. I even emailed Lola on the last round of felting and told her that this latest attempt, Fiber Trends Felted Clogs, might be it for me (and by it, I mean never attempting it again). They turned out okay, but I may leave felting to the professionals, or the folks who can’t read a care label (which is how felting probably occurred if you asked me).

6. You don’t always have to knit for yourself.
Seriously, I don’t care what anybody else’s personal feelings are on the war. Mine are my own and I choose not to get too terribly political about it unless you happen to be my brother. My point? Knitting a helmet liner was one of the most fulfilling things I knit this year. The fact that I was able to help out Kimberly and have her cousin and his friends truly appreciate something was better than whatever else I would have done with my time. Even though they didn’t start out for her, I am glad that I gave Mom the wristwarmers. She will get more use out of them than I will . . . besides, I have the pair that Lola knit for me after I went a little crazy buying Gus pressies before he was born.

7. Choose your patterns wisely.
This was one of my biggest disappointments this year. I know how to knit; I know how to get gauge; I know how to maintain gauge . . . I need to learn when to give up and admit defeat. Too many times, I have picked the wrong pattern for the wrong reasons. Sizzle was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. Maybe it was the allure of the cruise with my girlfriends or maybe it was the fact that I was going to wear it on my anniversary or maybe – just maybe – it was the fact that my tits (yes, I like that word much better than any of the alternatives) would look awesome in it. What ever the case was, Sizzle was a fizzle for me. The yarn was lovely, the pattern was very, very simple, but the fit left something to be desired. I think that I am going my own route from now on since I am the one who has to live with the results. Lola, you may have sold me on EZ’s methods as the baby sweater was so damn easy and quick to boot.

8. Stash can be managed . . . I just don’t know how.
This isn’t a section to make resolutions, but here goes. Hi, my name is Ava and I am a yarn addict. Sale at A. C. Moore? Dude, I had to buy this because the mark down is so low. Near Nazareth? I should check at Kraemer’s and see what is one sale. Plus, one more skein of Galway couldn’t hurt anyone. Visiting London? Let’s go to Liberty and grab some Rowan. God only knows when I will be back . . . truth be told, He probably does know since I give in to the Flyer every year and go back. Montreal? Who cares if the yarn shop proprietor was a little creepy and pushy . . . give me that Noro silk! See what I mean? Hell, the Flyer even encouraged me to buy another stand for my yarn when he should have been encouraging me to knit what I already own. So, in 2007, I am not buying any new yarn until there has been a significant “knit down” of what I own. Exemptions – I can buy the yarn for the Flyer’s sweater and use Mom’s gift certificate for Lady Eleanor.

Peace and happy birthday to Cara!