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KnitPicks Giveaway!

Posted in Featured , on May 7, 2009 ,

This is one giveaway you won’t want to miss… over at the Things Moms Like blog they are giving away an entire KnitPicks Harmony (wood) interchangeable knitting needle set! And not only that, but four balls of the fabulous KnitPicks (organic!) Simply Cotton worsted weight yarn, too! You’ll get to try four different colors: Marshmallow, Malted Milk, Ginger and Toffee — a $90 value that cannot be beat. Get on over there and enter to win!

Speaking of KnitPicks, my order finally arrived today!! The squeals that came out of me when I realized it had come were not human. I am too excited — I can’t wait to go and play! And get this… Lucas asked me to teach him to knit today. But shhhh… don’t tell anyone. He’s going to learn so he can help work on Father’s Day presents :) Wish him luck!

Knitter's Geek Code

Posted in Knit & Crochet , on May 7, 2009 ,

I’m a knitter. And I’m a geek. So of course when I realized there is a such thing as Knitter’s Geek Code, I was ecstatic. The Knitter’s Geek code is hosted over at Knitty and was written by Kate A. It’s adapted from and inspired by The Geek Code, invented by Robert Hayden in 1993.  This hilarious but functional bit of “programming” allows you to identify the kind of knitter you are in a standardized way with every other knitter. Anyone else who has gone through the Knitter’s Geek Code will be able to look at my code output and completely understand what type of knitter I am, what materials I enjoy (and dislike) working with, how experienced I am and a whole lot more. It’s fascinating! So without further ado, here is my current Knitter’s Geek Output:

KER+ Exp+ SPM->+ KP++@ Bam+(+) Wool+(+) Cot+(+) Syn+(+) Stash(+) Scale+ Fin-> Ent? FI-> Int? Tex-> Lace-> Felt+ Flat Circ++ DPN+ ML+ Swatch- KIP++ Blog+++ FO+ WIP(+) GaugeW++ ALTCr++Sw+(+)

If someone asked me on the street what kind of knitter I am and I was unable to display this beautiful work of art that is geek code, I would explain simlpy that I knit right handed, english style and have been for only a few short years, but I feel I’m at least somewhat intermediate at knitting, though I knit fairly slowly in my opinion, and I use KnitPicks metal needles most exclusively for everything with the occasional use/enjoyment of using bamboo needles when necessary or for certain situations/projects.  My favorite fiber to work with is wool, but at any time I may be using cotton or synthetics, as I have a lot of that in my stash from time to time as needed (and as a newbie).  I’ve knit things larger than a dishcloth and more than just squares but am not up to doing multiple huge projects in a year yet. (Too slow!) I dread the seaming and finishing up part but I strive to be better about weaving in ends as I go so it’s not so bad, because really… finishing is something that just has to be done so I need to get over it.  I have no idea what entrelac or intarsia is really, (well, how to do it) but when it comes to fair isle and cabling/texture I know what it is and the basics of how to do it, but lack experience and am aiming to try those soon. Same with lace. I have felted (successfully) before and think it’s good in moderation; I don’t do it often but can if the project requires it.  I knit flat but rarely use straights anymore as I prefer to knit everything on circulars… even flat pieces.  For small diameter knitting in the round I use both DPNs and Magic Loop method fairly equally. I dislike and rarely swatch, even though I know I should, and I love to knit in public and do so a lot. I also blog a lot (as you can see) about knitting and projects.  I have quite a few finished objects to speak of and try to keep my list of works in progress (WIP) short, though I have been known to be affected by project ADD and so it’s not unusual to have several WIPs going. I work mostly with worsted weight and in addition to knitting, my alternate fiber-related crafts include lots of crochet and some sewing.  WHEW!

Now of course a person’s Knitter’s Geek Code is subject to change; as we learn and grow as knitters and better hone our skills or our preferences change, so does our code. For example, you’ll notice I don’t have any fancy or expensive yarn on my preferences list… this isn’t because I don’t prefer it, it’s just because I’ve not experienced using those types of yarn yet due to my lack of knitting savvy. I’m sure once I do they’ll be my preferred yarn to work with, budget permitting of course. I also hope to add spinning to my alternate fiber-related crafts section, and of course I’d like to see + progress in the things I noted that I wish to improve/learn such as lace, fair isle and cables.

While figuring out and typing out my Knitter’s Geek Code was deliciously enjoyable in a guilty pleasure sort of way, its existance in simple black and white terms helps me to see where I want to improve myself in order to round out my knitting experience. It’s rather eye opening and I like the fact that it will grow and evolve as my knitting does. Maybe one day everything will have three + after it, indicating my awesome seasoned veteran status and abilities. Time and practice will only tell.  I can dream, right? ;)

And… though I know no one but me is on the edge of their seat stalking… erm, I mean, waiting for my KnitPicks nickel-plated interchangeables set to arrive, I am ECSTATIC to report that FINALLY the status message on the Canada Post tracking website has changed from “An order has been electronically submitted” to “Item out for delivery.” ITEM OUT FOR DELIVERY!!!!???!!?! That means it’s possible I will receive my order by the weekend. Now I’m really dreaming. Cross your fingers, toes and anything else you have available! Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

And speaking of “squee”, you have to check out my latest post on our personal/everything-else-in-life blog, Look At Us Go — we had some baby geese hatch in a nest snuggled into a nook on a ledge of my office building this week. The photos and video are to die for. SO fuzzy and cute!  Check it out here. Have a great day! :)

A Well Organized Saturday

Posted in Knit & Crochet , on April 25, 2009 ,
My first KnitPicks order!

My first KnitPicks order!

First, I want to squeal like a little girl… my very first KnitPicks order arrived (finally) yesterday. I yanked out the fingering weight sock yarn and got to work playing with my new sock-sized DPNs and even tried magic loop with the fixed 40″ circs (also sock-sized.) … and WOW, was I ever impressed. Like, really impressed. As a side note, I finally caught on to the magic loop method and was successful, and I truly believe it’s because of the great needles. I was trying magic loop on some cheapy no-name brand circs I bought a long time ago and the join just wasn’t smooth so I was getting frustrated, thinking I just couldn’t do it. Then the KnitPicks needles saunter in and suddenly I’m a magic loop pro. They are fantastic needles, and I finally understand what all of the fuss is about. I’m giddy with excitement that I’ve already placed an order for the complete nickel plated interchangeables set. WOOHOO!

Crafty tacklebox

Crafty tacklebox

This weekend Lucas and I did a little crafty shopping. After helping me put some supplies away earlier in the week he commented on my horrible (or lack thereof really) organizational tools, so we stopped by Michaels with a coupon I had to look at my options. Turns out that’s what a lot of other people did, too, and the giant craft tacklebox we had in mind was nowhere to be found in the store. That’s when we stopped in at Wal-Mart, because I needed buttons to finish my amazing Coffee Cup Wrap (which is finished! See below!) and lo and behold … there was the crafty tacklebox contraption we were looking for at Michaels. We snagged it and I spent a good hour organizing every little thing I could think of into this amazing device. I still have some leftover room in the thing, which is great since those interchangeables and other tiny accessories will be coming soon…

all opened up

all opened up

I’ve got all of my needles in the top, with lots of leftover room. My mini netbook even fits up there with my needles, LOL! I’m thinking of making a needle roll to organize those better up there in the future. In the body of this gadget there are three tiers of plastic mini tackleboxes with do-it-yourself dividers to really personalize the space. In the top one I have my knitting notions, the middle one contains all of my sewing supplies, and the bottom one holds all of my general crafty/leftover and miscellaenous stuff. It’s so handy! I’ll keep the little needle case I’d sewn a few years back for in my carry-along knitting bag so that I can take the supplies I need for whatever WIP that’s with me, but this new organizational device will be perfect to have at home so all of my supplies are with me no matter where I am in the house, easily accessible. *happy sigh* I love being organized.

cozy coffee!

cozy coffee!

As mentioned, I finished my Coffee Mug Wrap, pattern by Danido Crafty! I loooooooooooooooooooove it, have I mentioned that yet? lol. Today Lucas and I spent the afternoon at a paint-your-own ceramic place and made mugs for our moms for Mother’s Day. As part of the whole package gift I plan to tuck some tea into the mugs along with making a suitable mug wrap for each. More about that whole fun crafty adventure painting ceramics together next weekend when we pick up the finished pieces and can show them off! It’s sure been a great day :) I plan to relax the rest of the evening and watch some playoff hockey soon and attempt some socks with my new KnitPicks needles. Hope everyone else is having a great weekend, too!

Ecstatic, KPG's Contest, and Knitting Under the Desk?

Posted in Knit & Crochet , on April 21, 2009 ,

I haven’t even received my first KnitPicks order yet of a sock-sized DPN set and sock-sized 40″ fixed circular that I ordered a little while back (Still waiting on Canada Post!) BUT I did place my second order today already… and I ordered *takes a deep breath* the Nickel-Plated Options Interchangeable set! And here I thought I was excited about the DPN order… WOW I cannot wait for my interchangeables to arrive! I also threw in the ball winder for a little extra fun. I’m just ecstatic! This order cannot arrive fast enough, that’s for sure.

KPG’s Contest
My friend Karrie over at KnitPurlGurl is having a contest that started yesterday, and you won’t want to miss it! It’s a Curbing Bag Kit giveaway from ADHD Knitting/Straight Jacket Knitting, and it’s fabulous! The winner will receive the pattern for the Curbing bag, will get to choose the color scheme of yarn they want to have sent to make the bag with, and you’ll also receive some coordinating fabric and a pack of magnetic snaps. The contest is running from April 20 – May 4th, so be sure to get over there and enter! *drool*

Knitting Under the Desk?
Oh, and … do you knit under your desk at work or school? Regardless of whether or not you do so sneakily or not-so-sneakily, you’ll want to check out THIS blog: Knitting Under the Desk! There’s also a Knitting Under the Desk group on Ravelry which is growing quickly, so be sure to check it out! I am SO making the Blueberry Waffle Socks free pattern suggestion on today’s post. Awesome!

Have a great day!

Adventures Knitting in the (Urban) Wild

Posted in Knit & Crochet , on April 10, 2009 ,
Knitting in the (Urban) Wild.

Knitting in the (Urban) Wild.

It’s finally spring in Calgary! Though I may be jinxing its existence by the mere suggestion that spring has officially arrived, I can’t help but proclaim my happiness that the seemingly neverending snow seems to be behind us.

Yesterday I had to go downtown in the middle of the day for an appointment. Lucas also works downtown, and by the time I was done with my appointment and had snagged some lunch, I had a good hour and a half to spend before Lucas got off of work. I decided to hang out downtown until then so we could train home together and that way I could enjoy the sunshine. It was such a gorgeous day I decided to take some knitting with me. That’s right, I said knitting! As I mentiond in my previous post, I’ve been itching to knit instead of crochet lately, even though my crocheted hobo bag isn’t quite finished. More on that later. Anyway, to get back into the knitting groove, I took my US size 8 16″ Takumi bamboo circulars and some pretty Petal Pink wool in my knitting bag on my trip downtown. I decided to start a toque for myself using the perfect knitted hat formula.  I really enjoyed finding a sunny spot in the middle of downtown to knit while I waited for Lucas to get out of work. It was SO refreshing and peaceful, even with the sounds of the city buzzing around me. I LOVED it and the weather was perfect. And Tim Horton’s was just diagonally across the street from me. Heaven!

Have A Nice Day!

Have A Nice Day!

I snapped a few pictures of my adventures knitting in the (urban) wild (which I’m sure looked very odd to random passers-by, but hey… I’ve seen stranger things downtown before.) and was pleased that THIS picture (to the right) in particular harbored a little secret message. See if you can find it. (hint, check the bus message.)  It just made my day!  And what a wonderful day it was, truly. THANK YOU SPRING, for finally arriving.

So back to my knitting itch. I’ve been determined to figure out DPNs without tears, and I’ve also been wanting to learn Magic Loop, so socks it is. I ordered some KnitPicks needles this past week — my first KnitPicks order ever!! — and am eagerly awaiting their arrival. Like, soexcitedIcanbarelystandit eager. After reading some threads on Ravelry, I’ve decided to go with the nickel plated needles, and while I’m lusting desperately over the KnitPicks Options Interchangeables set, for now (and to be sure the nickel plated is the best for me) I just ordered one set of sock-sized DPNs and a fixed 40″ same sock-sized circular to match. Today we went to Michaels to use some of the coupons I’ve been hoarding, and I picked up some simple sock yarn for use when my order arrives. Did I mention I cannot wait?

DPN Practice Success

DPN Practice Success

In preparation, I’ve been browsing tutorials and YouTube videos to see if I can get the hang of DPNs with the US size 8 Takumi bamboo DPNs I have collecting dust in my needle bag. Two hours and many videos later, I finally found a video that made it all click: How to Knit Socks Part 1: Working with DPNs by Dorret. While its quality may not be as clear as the KnittingHelp.com video or some of the other YouTube videos out there, one key part that made the lightbulb come on was how Dorret showed to move the yarn down to the end of the needles and flip it around after casting on. In the other videos I wasn’t understanding how to start the join and get going once I had the stitches divided evenly on the needles. I’d get my stitches divided up and then be at a complete loss as to how the demonstrator was getting started. Something about Dorret’s video made me suddenly get it. It was a Hallelujah moment for me, to be sure. I think I’m finally ready once my KnitPicks sock DPNs arrive. And if that doesn’t work, I’ve got the option to go Magic Loop. Socks WILL be looming on the horizon, one way or the other!

Happy Easter weekend :) And OH! Happy Bobmas Eve as well!*

*wth is Bobmas? The anniversary of when Ravelry was conceived.