Monday, March 17, 2008

Blogs, Podcasts, and Knitting Like a Pro

I'm going to attempt a full update for this post. Here goes:
On my needles at the moment is the Molly Ringwald Sweater from Knitscene Fall '07. I started knitting but stopped myself to do a serious gauge swatch. And I'm not just knitting the swatch and checking the gauge, but I'm washing and blocking it and re-measuring it once it's dry. I want as perfect a finished product as possible. But I'm not sure what to do once the swatch dries (until I get my Knitter's Blocking Kit, the baby's foam numbers will have to do). If it is grossly distorted in size do I stop knitting this sweater with this yarn? Change needles for a tighter knit? Do I continue but dry clean the finished garment instead of cold water washing? What to do. I will have to consult the Ravelry fora.

Blogs Blogs Blogs, oh and Podcasts: I'm really enjoying reading all the great knitting blogs out there. Great advice, great projects and ideas for yarn substitutions and just plain fun to read about people's knitting adventures. Some of the new blogs on my list are from outside the US and I heard about them on the "Lixie Knits It" podcast: "Go Knit in Your Hat," "Jane's Probably Knitting," "No Knit Sherlock," "Purlpower," and "Socktopus." "Spillyjane Knits" is another blog I'm reading. In fact through Ravelry, Spillyjane was kind enough to give me some suggestions for knitting supplies in the Detroit area where I may be moving soon.

I've also been listening to knitting podcasts - am I obsessed or what?! I'm all caught up with Kelly Petkun's "Knit Picks Podcast" as well as, "Lixie Knits It." I'm going to start listening to "CraftyPod," "Cast On," "KnitWit," "Knit Science," "CRL w/ Vicky Howell," do you see a theme here? I was never really into my iPod (a wonderful graduation gift from my dear friends Ru and Steven) but the podcasts are a lot of fun and I may venture into audiobooks soon.

Ravelry: Can I just say how much I LOVE Ravelry. I'm learning a whole lot and I just love seeing other people's projects. I'm also trying to learn more about fibers. I think one of my biggest knitting problems has been matching yarns to projects. I love buying yarn but then I end up having to buy more yarn when I decide on specific projects because what I have doesn't work. Yarn substitution is a skill I MUST develop. I think after I've worked through my stash a bit and mastered some important knitting skills I would really like to take up spinning.

Tools of the Trade: Because our digital camera was broken I was unable to post pics of my great new knitting purchases. My new ball winder and swift were much-needed, how did I live without them for so long? Also, my new Namaste Cali Clutch was a belated Xmas present to myself (Yeah!) I've wanted a knitting tote for a long time and will at some point indulge in a nice large Namaste but when I saw the Cali Clutch I fell in love. It is sooo pretty. However, I'm afraid it's not as perfect as I'd hoped. You can't fit a large ball of yarn in it which I guess I should have expected. The only WIPs that will really fit in the bag nicely are socks (yeah!); and scarves in their early stages. No regrets though, I like having a pretty bag for pretty little crafts.

Here's one more shot of the Cali Clutch, beautifully modeled by L.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention my new books. One of local bookstores was having a moving sale so I picked these up a few days ago: "Folk Style" and "Knitting Beyond the Edge.

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