Thursday, 15 October 2009

Blogtoberfest Day 15: The Answers

That was fun, all those questions. Lots of laughs. I've had a nice time today contemplating the answers. I think there are too many to do at once so I'll start with just a few. More to come tomorrow when I'll also be drawing the winner of the Hippo bag contest!

Shelley: Myrtle is going to be beautiful. I've just ordered the book - is she worth doing?
Yes. Absolutely. Victorian Lace Today is an incredible book. I'll be making lace projects from it for as long as I'm knitting. The Myrtle Leaf shawl, or stole really, is wonderful and I have loved knitting her, but she's gone on too long now and I'm getting itchy for something new.

EssiMay: Why do you have so many WIPs? 'Fess up, how many WIPs do you really have?
Technically only four. This is a miracle.

Two shawls, one pair of socks and a cardigan. Miraculous. Things all got a bit out of hand recently and I was feeling decidedly overwhelmed. I recall telling RoseRed that when my WIPs list gets too big, I am at risk of waking in the night on a cold sweat. I may have been exaggerating about the cold sweat but I have been known to wake up feeling disturbed by a sense of having too much to do. I'm a mix of a process and product knitter - basically I need to finish something at regular intervals or I develop a nasty case of restless anxiety. I think this is because I spend so much time knitting, I really need to see results and by results I mean finished items that are worn are used.

Dr K: Can you knit my myrtle for me please?
Ha ha ha ha. No. For those who don't know, Dr K and I started knitting the same pattern (Myrtle Leaf shawl) with the same yarn in late January this year. Dr K has let hers languish after a few too many restarts. Mine is almost finished. I love Dr K dearly, but not enough to knit this shawl twice.

Alwen: Are you doing small daily stints of Myrtle, like so many points per day?
No but I should be. Looking back over the 10 months I've spent on this, I really could have achieved so much more if I'd taken that approach! I will start now!

Pinry: What surprising thing made you smile this week?
First, my desk buddy Sara (of the Branching Out scarf earlier this week) brought in jelly for us to share. She had purple jelly and blue jelly. I chose the blue. We sat our little round table in our work area this afternoon and had a lovely little feast of jelly. (That's jell-o for the Americans).

And secondly, this is hardly surprising but it made me smile. Alice came to lunch on a particularly brutally cold day this week, dressed like a bear.

Alice the cuddly Bear

That made me smile a lot.

Which leads nicely into the next question.

Shazmina Bendi:What does the lovely Alice's hair feel like? And how many hairstyles can you make with it?
Imagine the softest silk you have ever knit. Like that, only better. And I haven't tried styling it but I reckon her mum might be up for a bit of playing around with that idea. Leave it with me!

Moorecat: What was the first item you knitted for Sean, and how far into your relationship were you?
When I posed this question to Sean this morning, he said the first thing I knitted for him was actually crocheted! I crocheted him a beanie, or three, around 2002-2003. By then we'd been together for three or four years. I think they are still his favourites. But as for knitting, I knitted him a scarf in 2005, black, in 1x1 ribbing and made something fuzzy called Souffle. He still wears it but next winter he'll get something more luxurious. I think it's time.

Anna: I'm on a mission to work out how to knit faster (I am unbelievably slow!). What are your tips???
Knit a lot. All the time. Any spare moment, and even those that aren't spare. You must knit constantly. I don't think I'm very fast but RoseRed does. I think people like the Yarn Harlot are fast. How fast? Watch the video! I think, in terms of just the mechanics of knitting, my mum is fast. I've tried to copy how she holds her yarn and needles and I can't do it. So what I lack in mechanical speed, I make up for with sheer bloody mindedness and obsession.

Barbara: what's the best part of knitting for you?
This is actually a really big question. The best part? There are so many parts. The yarn. The projects. The skills. The friends I've made from it. The fun of blogging about it. But actually I think the best part of knitting for me is that it just makes me so happy. The whole package just brings so much joy and fulfillment that I can't imagine life without it now.

And one more for the day. I'll do more tomorrow (including finding out who won the Hippo bag contest! Entries can still be submitted!).

Jane - What would you recommend as the ideal knitting project for beginners who need to move from knitting scarves to proper garments?
I'd say just go straight into garments. My first garment was a vest, a round necked vest. It required only a little knowledge of increasing and decreasing and was only in two pieces. But maybe pick something for a baby or a child, something small that means you get to try out new skills without the full on committment of an adult sized garment. That said, worse things can happen than trying out new skills on an adult piece that doesn't end up working out. What's to lose?