One Project Finished, One In the Middle and One Started

After weeks and weeks, I have finally finished my knitted tank top! I really love the way it turned out. It fits me perfectly and the color is just amazing. I wore it today with a pair of jeans.

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I have to admit that although I get a thrill from blocking and finishing a project…I am a big procrastinator when it comes to finishing something. There! I said it. I have had the pieces for this tank ready for blocking and seaming for weeks. For some reason, I always find it hard to get around to finishing it!

Another case in point: the grey socks that I have been trying to knit forever. After finishing the front and back for the tank top, I started on the socks again. I have finished one sock and am in the middle of finishing the matching pair. I had a little snafu with the second pair (see my note below if you’re a NY Yankees fan) but now, I’m back on track with the socks.

Camera Roll-605And, because I don’t have enough to knit already, I have bought the yarn for my next project and have gotten started on it! Knitting the tank top has really inspired me to make garments. So, I have found the most adorable, fashion forward, pullover sweater pattern to try. I’ve just bought the yarn for it today.

Patons Color Block Sweater
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NOTE TO ALL YANKEES FANS: This week, I was surprised to find that Yankee Stadium is not a knitter friendly place! I went to a Yankee game after work on Wednesday. Naturally, I was carrying my knitting with me as I work on my projects during my daily train commute. I went to Gate 2 and was told that I could not bring my knitting needles into the stadium. I complained that they were allowed on airplanes, so why not in the stadium? The security guard deferred the decision to her supervisor, but kept referring to them as sewing needles! I showed them to the supervisor and touched them with my fingers….showing that they were blunt. But, it was no use and I was forced to throw out all five double pointed needles and a crochet hook. Lesson learned: Don’t bring your needles to Yankee Stadium!

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Had to buy new needles to finish my project!

Has anyone ever had to throw away their knitting needles or crochet hook? Please tell me when and where! Just so that I don’t feel so bad about having to do it at Yankee Stadium. 🙂

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Falling In Love…With A New Project

For a few weeks I’ve been carrying around a half finished sock in my purse that I was intending to make for myself. I usually get most of my projects done in transit but I just couldn’t finish that sock…let alone get started on the matching pair.

Just as I was starting to realize that I was bored with the project and needed another one…another one came along! Last week Lion Brand Yarn started their online knit-a-long. The project is a gorgeous spring/summer tank top that can be worn over a camisole.

Lion Brand KAL

I am very excited about this project. Maybe it’s because it’s a KAL or because I found a beautiful dusty pink in Vanna’s Choice Antique Rose. Or maybe because it’s the first time I’ve challenged myself in a while.

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The pattern is made up of some pretty simple techniques: k2, p2 ribbing, stockinette stitch and an eyelet/cable chart pattern….all which I’ve done before but not in a large scale garment. I’m about halfway done with the back and I am just itching to pick up the needles and some more done.

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It’s been a long time since I couldn’t wait to knit something and I’m glad I have found a project that I am having fun with. Everyday this week I’ve been knitting on the train before and after work. I’ve also been trying to get away from my desk for lunch so I could knit some more–but of course work never lets up so I haven’t been too successful on that front.

Now that I’ve written this post, it’s back to the project–maybe I can finish the back before bed?

(See the project finished!)

Event Review: The Principles of Knitting

Last Tuesday I did something that I haven’t done before. I went to a knitting event! I am a pretty solitary knitter because I don’t really know anyone else who knits and I often get out of work too late to participate in these sorts of things. But, last week, I decided to ask to leave work a bit early so that I could treat myself to the experience. What I found was an extraordinary person and knitter in June Hemmons Hiatt, author of the definitive reference book, “The Principles of Knitting.”

I attended the Q&A session and book signing at The Lion Brand Yarn Studio in lower Manhattan. This was also my first time to the shop, which I found welcoming with its stock of beautiful yarn set into display shelves built into the walls. The event was held in the back of the store with a few rows of chairs set up in front of a small stage.

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After an enthusiastic introduction by the Q&A leader (who did not introduce herself, leading me to feel a bit out of place as I was obviously seated with regular customers who needed no such introduction) June Hemmons Hiatt took to the stage to explain her book and her approach to knitting.

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Here’s a crash course on the book if you don’t know the history: The first edition of “The Principles of Knitting” was published in 1988 by Simon and Schuster. It was being marketed and sold to a knitting audience that was just beginning to grow. According to Hiatt, it sold slowly and was eventually put out of print. In the years it was out of print it gained in popularity and copies of the first edition were selling for hundreds of dollars. It took Hiatt 10 years to retype and revise the second edition, which is now available for purchase. If you’d like more info on the book–here’s a great review of it.

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I wasn’t expecting to learn much from hearing Hiatt speak. I thought that she’d just repeat what she writes in the introduction to the second edition. But she said many things that made me consider the book and knitting in a different way.

What I loved about her story was her approach to writing the book. She is an academic at heart and when writing the book she approached it almost like a knitting scientist would. She actually tested all the techniques described so that she understood why the yarn behaved that way under a certain technique. I can relate to this approach when researching a topic. In the news business, you don’t want to just tell the viewer what happened but you want tell how and why it happened.

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Out of everything she discussed, the idea that struck me the most was that knitting is a discipline. People often knit for pleasure and you tend to start thinking of it as a simple hobby–something you’ve mastered and can just relax and do. But “The Principles of Knitting” is proof that it’s a field of study, it’s something that you train in, something that corrects, molds, and perfects itself.

At the end of the Q&A, Haitt signed books and answered audience questions. I had a really great time at this FREE event and I would love to go back to The Lion Brand Studio for more of these….hopefully they will start have more events that start past 7pm so that I can actually make it after work!

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I have the book sitting on my nightstand…just waiting to be cracked open when I start my next knit project. I can’t wait to discover all the goodies and nuggets of information within!