knitting and other shiny things...


Welcome! I love knitting having learned how at an early age...it has seen me through good times and bad. I orignally went to college to study art but ended up as an RN (dont ask how THAT happened)Still an artist at heart, I try to listen to my muse and divide my creative time between knitting/dyeing/spinning and glass bead making. Once my life calms down, I also plan to do some knit wear designing and/or writing. Originally from Pennsylvania, I have lived in the Midwest and California-and am currently nomadic.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

"Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings." Samuel Johnson

Ok, someday soon I will get over this unreasonable fear of shaping lace, until then I will build my confidence by knitting a plainer design and altering it to suit the shape I was looking for. Then I will branch out and get more adventurous.
Sadly, I didn't go out to dinner last night so the "Jungle Camo Shrug" (as I've taken to calling her) didn't get her debut in public. No worries though, we have rescheduled for lunch next week and it will see the light of day.
More Later!

Later that day...
Just got back from an appointment at the Eye Doctors. No, I'm not forgetting proper grammar...that is what my eye doctor's office is called, in large letters ( in case you don't have your glasses I guess) on the sign-"The Eye Doctors". It makes things easier and I'm all for that though I'm not quite sure the same concept would be just as workable for umm... other kinds of doctors. Anyway, found out that I haven't been imagining things, I really am getting more nearsighted, which is just how things go I suppose. On the plus side though-the Eye Doctor said that I didn't need the"progressive" lenses that my eye doctor in California bullied me into getting last year. That really put me in a good mood so I decided to change the style of my glasses too, opting for more sturdy plastic frames instead of the rimless ones I had been wearing. The new ones are very cute (when I tried them on in the office the answer was a resounding, "YES!"- from the consultant who was helping me and even from the girls behind the counter) and I can't wait to get them in a week or so. This led to another surge of happiness...which led to a visit to the bookstore...which led to buying 3 knitting magazines and a green tea latte (Hot please, thanks. Probably the only person in these parts who orders a hot drink on a 90+ degree day but that's just me). I do think I showed REMARKABLE restraint in NOT buying ANY knitting books, though if you are reading this and live in a large town in Kansas that starts with T and go to the B&N knitting section I apologize for the drool marks I left on some of them.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

"It's a bird...it's a plane...

It's a finished object! (with all due apologies and respect to the Man of Steel...I couldn't resist)
Yes I finished my 100% non wool little-keep-my-shoulders-and- upper-arms-from-getting-sumburnt-half-sweater-shrug-thing last night and I plan to wear it out to dinner this evening.
The pattern is "Esprit Raglan Shrug" (free from elann.com) and the yarn I used for it was Schoeller-Stahl Micro Cable 100% micro fiber in the colorway "Reed"(also from elann). Of course, I didn't follow the pattern exactly because I think that is nearly impossible for me to do..I always have to tweak something somewhere. For this I lengthened the lace repeat on the sleeves and did a picot bind off. For the back I changed the pattern repeat a little too, making the garter rows not so regular-getting closer together as they near the bottom edge. I like the rhythm of that even though its not super noticeable to anyone but me. Reminds me more of the way waves seem to get smaller and closer as they reach the shore if that makes sense. I did a pointier picot bind off on the bottom edge and really like the look of it. This was made to match a dress I have and the colors do coordinate very well, but the yarn as it knitted up seemed to have a bit more green than I at first thought it would (with a color name like "REED"? I guess I shouldn't have been that surprised-lol) but it still looks good. I have 5.5 balls of this yarn left and may be tempted to try the lace tank that matches the shrug or....something else.
My next non-gift project is going to be another little sweater to keep the shoulders warm thing done in a cotton rayon yarn but I haven't decided on the pattern just yet. I want it to be lacy but not extremely difficult to get done...I might be leaning towards "Convertible" from the current Knitty but I'm not totally sold on it yet. I would love to make the "Isis Wrap" from last summer's Interweave Knits since that is more the style I'm looking for but frankly the pattern frightens me to death. I am terrified of getting a good part of it done and then getting to where the pattern note says, "if there are not enough stitches as a result of shaping to work a yarnover or decrease with its companion decrease or yarnover, work the stitches in stockinette until there are enough stitches to resume working in pattern". Now, I know that by the time I probably reached a part where this would occur I would be very well acquainted with the pattern in question. We would have gone out to lunch, exchanged phone numbers, had coffee together, talked late into the night and so it might not be a big deal at all when this came up. I might be able to say, "oh yeah...I can skip this little K2tog here and that YO there and just knit and it will be ok until my next row and then I can count on the added shaping to give me back the stitch I need or whatever....maybe that would work or maybe I'd just end up with large areas of misaligned lace pattern interspersed with giant wastelands of stockinette where my brain took a vacation. Since I know myself, I'm guessing it would be wastelands...so...I may have to design a plainer sweater (ie: not a complex lace pattern) with the shape I like or opt for a multiuse rectangle in a lace pattern I can handle. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 26, 2006

“From far, from eve and morning And yon twelve-winded sky, The stuff of life to knit me Blew hither: here am I” -Alfred Edward Housman

Welcome to tinkknits!
Bear with me as I move in, arrange the furniture, and hang pictures on the walls. This is going to be devoted to my craft and fiber passions-mainly knitting of course but also spinning, dyeing, kumihimo, and glass beadmaking. I am notorious for procrastination (so much so that I once received the book, "The Knitters Book of Finishing Techniques" as a present because the person who gave it to me thought it would teach me how to complete projects!) but I promise regular updates, progress notes and pictures of WsIP.
About the name...tink is knit backwards and, sometimes you have to take a step back before you can go forward so....it seemed the perfect name. I was going to try KNIT-TINK but as a friend pointed out it would be much better to tink then knit rather than knit then have to tink (if I didn't lose you with that last sentance then I'm sure we are going to be good friends!).
In my knitting I much prefer natural(wool)fibers(wool)over anything but will give a yarn a try if the(silk) attraction(cashmere) is(alpaca)there and it doesn't feel like knitting(cotton) with plastic string. One of my housemates, Monique, is also an artist/knitter/craftyperson and she takes the opposite approach, she likes lots of different types of yarn and doesn't get hung up on the fiber content. I don't know if it was the exposure to her wild and eclectic yarn stash or what but...my current (nearly finished!) project is 100% microfiber that feels like the best cotton I have ever used. As far as what I like to knit- I enjoy knitting socks and think of them like little knitsnacks between other projects. I have knit lace and love projects with cables and texture and look forward to really making a sweater or shawl in the near future. Even though I have been knitting since I was 8 years old, I rarely knit sweaters instead choosing smaller things like mittens, hats, scarves and baby items. Those kinds of projects allow me to try out different knitting techniques while appealing to my 90 second attention span. (ok, its longer than that but not by much...) I haven't felt the need to try fairisle or mosiac knitting yet but that too may change as time goes on.
I currently live with my best friend and her boyfriend in a lovely Victorian house in Kansas, having moved back here recently from the insanity that is California. I occupy the studio in the back of the house and get to be surrounded with every type of art supply known to man. This drives my MUSE over the edge most days-everywhere I look there is cool stuff to play with. I am still in the process of unpacking and am very grateful M is patient with me as the mountain of boxes in her living room dwindles from Everest to Mt. Sunflower. Since it is one of the traditions of knitting that every knitter must have a cat I will take credit by association for the 5 that live here (they are M's cats though, not mine)-Sebastian, Ilya, Calliope are the indoor kitties and Otto and Sam are the outdoor cats. Calliope is the one that finds yarn most fascinating and loves to hang out around anyone who is knitting and will eat yarn if it is left unattended.
I have a day job (I have to have a way to afford my yarn habit) but I'm not going to bring that up here much unless I can find a way to tie it in with knitting somehow and since that would be very unlikely indeed...you probably won't be hearing much about it.
I hope you enjoy your visits here and look forward to seeing your comments and suggestions-please feel free to leave both!