Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I'm here! :)

Silence is sometimes the answer” which according to comes from Estonian Proverb quotes. 

I realize it has been much too long since the last time I posted. My life has gone through several exciting changes since then!
  • I went to the Sigma Tau Delta International Convention in Pittsburgh 
  • I applied for like ten scholarships (already got one!!!)
  • I got a job for next year and (most importantly)
  • made big decisions about my project!
So, I've decided to run with the nautical theme. I'm knitting 4x4 squares of blue (see the pics below) with the tiny bowknot pattern from Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns. I like this pattern for a few reasons:
  • From far away it kind of looks like it's been quilted
  • I like to think of each "knot" as a relationship. Being around people, helping people, meeting people is important to my life and a lot of things I'm involved in.
  • It's easy to memorize so I can do it in class :)


So, I'm using microspun yarn so it's really soft :)

I'm planning on knitting an anchor with these colors (see below) and attaching it to the assembled back piece. 

(These colors look much more vibrant in real life)
And I'll use this color as "thread."
  I think it looks like the color of rope.

That's all for now! What do you guys think?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Nautical Inspiration

Remember I told you this could get real personal real fast? Well get ready.

After my high school bf and I broke up, I replaced the traitorous necklace* he bought me for one with an anchor. An anchor for two reasons, 1. I love all things nautical and 2. to remind me that I need to be my own anchor in life. I've recently extended this metaphorical mantra to recognize the family and friend ties that I also depend on for happiness. (I think I'm clever)

I want my quilt/knitted wall hanging to convey this story of who I am (or who I want to be) within these terms. So, here are some of the things I'm thinking about incorporating in some way:

This is a beautiful anchor!!

I like the combination of patterns here but I don't want it to be just red, white, and blue (even if they are my favorite colors)

I hadn't thought about the idea of a map... but that kinda makes sense because I'm so goal oriented and future oriented and mapping out my life... I wonder how I could incorporate that into a pattern. Also, I kind of like the tans and light blues.

I also really want to incorporate ropes and knots in some fashion.

So, my project proposal is due tomorrow. I should probably start writing that and stop looking at pictures. It just gets so consuming! 

I'll post soon about the fun hats I've been working on. As always, comments and questions are much appreciated!!

*traitorous because I believed that he bought me the jewelry to show me how committed he was when in fact he was just committed to the challenge of getting in my pants.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Public knitting success! :D

You all know that I'm a public knitter. You all pretty much understand that it not only has to do with my impatience with sitting still, waiting (on anything), but also because I'm hoping that it will inspire conversation.

Today, I was knitting in Human Sexuality (as I do almost every Tuesday/Thursday), finishing up a rainbow striped hat (ironically, on the day we're studying sexual orientation), and my friend's friend asks me to knit him a hat. He was really excited when I told him I could even do ear flaps and pom poms and all sorts of things! It was adorable and satisfying to see the excitement of the prospect of a hand knit hat.

My knitting today also spurred another type of conversation. My professor, Dr. Kelly Welch, had this to tweet at the end of class:

"A gal was knitting in class while I lectured today. I wasn't offended--I was fascinated."

First of all, it's exciting to be tweet worthy :) I think it's awesome that she was fascinated, but I also think it's kind of sad that the opposite reaction, the presumable default reaction, was offense. Sure, knitting a complicated Fair Isle sweater would be inappropriate in class (unless you've some how mastered the art and memorized it ~ I'm not that advanced yet) but simple knits where you aren't doing a lot of counting is appropriate for certain kinds of classes (like ones with a lot of discussion). 

I have become so comfortable with knitting in class that I've forgotten it's not a normal occurrence for some professors. I feel bad now that I didn't ask permission (and I'm emailing her after this post) and at the same time, I believe there may be a misunderstanding about knitting and why I do it in class. I'm an achiever (according to StrengthsQuest) which means that if I'm not being productive every minute I possibly can, I'm failing. In fact, the more ways in which I can be productive at once, the better I feel about myself. Dynamic multitasking. I knit during class because it feeds my productivity in my hobby and it also enhances my ability to stay focused for a longer period of time on the material being presented. 

This is because knitters are impatient people (generally speaking) and I'm one of the most impatient of them all. I get twitchy when I am expected to sit still for too long. I start day dreaming or falling asleep. Knitting gives me a repetitive task that keeps my wandering part of the brain occupied so that the other part of my brain isn't distracted. Does that make sense? (It's late and I often become incoherent when I'm tired)

Anyways, that's all I have to say about that subject. Professors, don't be offended by public knitting in your classrooms! Rather, have a conversation with the student about the craft and the knitter's relationship to the craft. Any questions? Send them my way :)

PS. I might be using rope in my knitting/quilt/story project...more to come later :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cross pollinating with Quilting

I've had a break through.

I've been attracted to the idea of telling a story with this wall hanging. In knitting, I think the traditional "story telling" technique is Fair Isle. So, I've been playing with that idea. But then my professor sent me this story about a Kansas City modern quilter. Quilts are often made to tell a story as well.

So I've been playing with the idea of combining quilting and knitting. I've never quilted before (but have ALWAYS wanted to learn) so I'm a little anxious about entering into a domain I'm unfamiliar with. But not nervous enough to not do it :)

Here are a few of my ideas:

I could knit pieces to make the "fabric" and then quilt it together. Kind of like this:

But that looks all scraggly to me and I like the idea of clean crisp lines of quilting. Like this:

Another idea I had was to design the entire thing as one and then knit it as one huge piece. Perhaps similar to this:

One thing that I love about quilting is that you have the color work and the patch work that add design, but you also can add design with the stitching, like here:

Which might be (relatively) easy to accomplish with the right placement of knits and purls.

I'm not sure what I'll end up doing. Maybe a combination of these things?
And how to add in a story? And what story to tell? So many things to think about!

Friday, February 18, 2011

In the mean time...

I know I should be making the rainbow hat my friend has been asking for all winter but I came across this sailboat blanket pattern on Ravelry and just HAD to make it. Besides, the rainbow hat involves switching colors almost every round and I can't do that in class. This sailboat blanket pattern is easy to do in class and easy to carry around with me.

You can see my progress here:

But since I've brought it up, I have a question. Do you think that it makes sense to pre-cut and tie the strips of yarn from the different colors for the rainbow hat? That way, I could just knit it straight and it would be kind of "self" striping. It might make bumps in the hat though with the knots... I don't know how I'll get that hat done if I can't carry it with me though!

What do you guys think?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Illusion Knitting and Geometrics?

One thing I've been considering as I've searched for inspiration for my project is geometric designs. I was turned off to the idea because I've been more attracted to nature scenes. I think geometric patterns have been done a lot...but maybe I just feel that way because my Grandma gave me this book for Christmas:

I love the book and I do enjoy geometric patterns, like the ones I found on Woolly Thoughts but I'm not sure I want to join the craze.

The other thing that caught my eye on Woolly Thoughts was their illusion knitting. I also briefly considered trying to reconstruct a famous painting through stitches. I threw that idea out quickly because I don't think it's original enough for this class and also probably too ambitious for a less-than-a-semester long project. But they're fun to look at anyway :)

The search continues!

p.s. if anyone out there finds cool stuff that might inspire me, please send it my way!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mochi Mochi Land

I've been thinking a lot about nature and how I could knit a landscape or something. In my head it was 2D but after looking at Mochimochi Land, I'm a little intimidated. Not only did they beat me to the punch on the knitted landscape idea but they did it in 3D.
Take a look:

"Greetings from Mochimochi" waterfall

So cute, right?!

But I'm still nowhere with my design. Sigh.