May 13, 2005

Steam Queen

alt_hereI hereby proclaim that I, nona, am the Steam Queen.  Please bear with me for a few days, patient reader, nona's feeling powerful because she's now the owner of a Jiffy Steamer.  Yesterday -- while frequenting a ribbon and trim closeout sale -- I spotted this beautiful  steamer on sale for only thirty bucks.  Now who in their right mind could refuse such a deal?  Today I held the inaugural steaming and was besides myself with joy -- man, that thing can make the sorriest piece of knitting look good!

With all my pieces steamed, I proceeded to sew my bolero, tie-front, v-neck, 3/4 sleeve thingy together.  Here's a nona tip, when doing something tedious -- like seaming a sweater -- give yourself an incentive.  I fill a bowl with M & Ms, when I reach a pin I reward myself with a tasty candy.   Try it out for yourself.  Thus spoke the Steam Queen.

Why don't you move your mouse over the photo and
check out nona's -- I mean the Steam Queen's -- "progress"?

May 13, 2005 in Knitting Philosophy | Permalink | Comments (11)

April 13, 2005

Public Knitting

nona believes knitting is as much about community and connections as it is about process and product. Try a bit of public knitting if you don't know what I'm talking about -- you'll be surprised at the number of interesting people you'll meet.  Are you a solo knitter?  Why not join -- or start -- a knitting group?  Remember, even a beginner knitter can teach and encourage a new knitter.   You never know where you'll encounter a group of knitters, maybe even on a commuter train.  Be prepared, have your knitting -- in a respectable bag -- ready and waiting.

nona asks, where do you publicly knit?

April 13, 2005 in Knitting Philosophy | Permalink | Comments (20)

March 17, 2005

Does a Heart Good

Don't you agree, it does a knitter's heart good to see your hand knit items being worn.  nona was thrilled to receive this picture of nona-niece-the-petite sporting her wavy hat and scarf.

But what about those hand knit items not worn?  Take heart, just because it's not worn doesn't mean it's not loved.  You feel a story coming on don't you omnipotent reader?  Many years ago when nona-son-the-younger was about 8, he requested a sweater to match the sweater nona-sister was knitting for her then boyfriend, now husband -- nona-son had some type of male-twinsy thing going on.  Anyway, nona knit the requested marbled-yarn cable sweater and wouldn't you know, nona-son never wore the darn thing.  But oh, was it loved!  When nona-son finally "grew" out of the sweater and I suggested we pass it on, he vehemently replied, "I'm not giving this away, I'm saving it for my son".  That sweater was worth every stitch.

March 17, 2005 in Knitting Philosophy, Project - This and That | Permalink | Comments (2)

March 05, 2005

Nona's KPP is 70.37%

Are you addicted to knitting?  nona thinks you should answer this set of questions to find out -- nona did and she is 70.37% addicted to knitting.  70.37% may seem a bit specific, but nona did the math (19 yes answers divided by 27 total questions equals .7037037 multiplied by 100 and rounded to 2 decimal points -- I told you nona loved math.  Now although the questionnaire used the word "addicted", nona prefers to think of herself as "passionate" about knitting -- I just love everything about it -- The End! 

What is your KPP (knitting passion percentage)?

March 5, 2005 in Knitting Philosophy | Permalink | Comments (5)

February 18, 2005

Pushing Boundaries

Pushing boundaries is a good thing.  Not only does it inspire creativity, but it keeps us on our toes and encourages us to think.  All aspects of life, including knitting, has its boundary pushers.  Here are several who have inspired nona recently:

  1. Germaine Koh has been working on "Knitwork" since 1992 and plans to make it a life-long endeavor.  For this piece Germaine unravels used garments and reknits them into a single continuously growing knit fabric.  The Spring 2005 issue of Interweave Knits has a nice article about Knitwork.   
  2. RedSilvia is a Girl on Wire.  She has been knitting and crocheting wire to make jewelry - very cool.  Please keep nona away from the wire and beads, too tempting.

  3. I was admiring Amelia's sockapalooza socks when I stumbled on a link to Knit 2 Together: Concepts in Knitting, with more information here.  nona loves Freddie Robins's piece - there's something about that positive and negative space interchange.

Freddie Robins

February 18, 2005 in Knitting Philosophy | Permalink | Comments (1)

January 15, 2005

The Power of the MCS

After each knitting project you complete -- oh, heck how about any project you complete -- its important to take a moment for an MCS.  What's an MCS you ask?   Well inquiring reader, an MCS is a Mild Conceit Session.  nona-Mom taught me about the MCS when I was a kid.  Let me set the stage, nona's in 4th grade and has just completed a report on the Ivory Coast.  You know the kind of report nona's talking about.  You copy dry, factual information out of the encyclopedia -- such as annual rain fall -- add a map or two, draw a fancy title page, and pop the whole thing in a clear plastic folder.  Something about that folder makes everything look nice, doesn't it?  I always liked to show off my finished project to nona-Mom:

nona to nona-Mom:  Look, my Ivory Coast report is finished!

nona-Mom: Wonderful nona, why don't you take your MCS.

nona:  Ah, isn't my report wonderful.  Look at the beautiful title page.  Boy, I wrote a lot of information.  I think my rain fall map is ...

nona-Mom - interrupting nona:  Okay, that's enough!  Remember, its a Mild Conceit Session.

After you finish your next knitting project, give the MCS a try.  Be proud of your accomplishment, but please keep it mild.

Speaking of MCS, I think my second Wavy scarf is coming along beautifully...

Wavy scarf for nona-niece petite in progress

January 15, 2005 in Knitting Philosophy, Project - This and That | Permalink | Comments (2)

December 14, 2004

Faith In the Process

alt_hereChuck Close was interviewed on NPR's Fresh Air one Friday evening and nona happened to be listening.  Chuck is an artist who, for the last 30 years, has been painting portraits. The portraits are based on a grid format where each cell in the grid is, in its own right, a miniature abstract painting.  When viewed collectively the cells merge to form the portrait.  Or if nona was more intellectual she'd say something like, "together the individual units coalesced into an integrated image".  (The image on the left is a close up from one of his portraits.)   

Nona, dear, where exactly is this going and how the heck is it related to knitting?  Well, in the interview Chuck likens the several month process of producing one painting to knitting.  Yes you read correctly, knitting!  Each day Chuck adds small bits -- grid squares to him, stitches to us -- to his ever growing creation.  To be successful you must "have faith in the process".  Don't worry how you're going to get there, just have faith -- bit by bit -- that you will.  nona liked Chuck.   

December 14, 2004 in Knitting Philosophy | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 07, 2004

Listen to the Rhythm

nona has known for a long time that a consistent rhythm makes for a good knitter.  It's not how fast, slow, tight, or loose you knit.  It's not how you hold your needles or throw your yarn.   It's all about the rhythm and keeping it consistent.  Yesterday, a light bulb went on for nona.  It's not just the knitter who dictates the rhythm of the knitting.  Each project has its own say.  The wise knitter listens to each projects and adapts her rhythm to match.  Once the rhythm is established, consistency is virtually guaranteed. 

I have three active projects in the works -- did you notice how I used the word "active"?  nona actually has more then 3 unfinished projects, but a few are in hibernation.  Back to my point.  My Catherine Lowe Pullover asks for a precise knitting rhythm.  The stranded yarn, plied in parallel requires precision to ensure each strand in included in each stitch.   My Grand Experiment socks, knit on double pointed needles, require a more staccato rhythm as I move from one needle to the next.  And my Throw Me On Wrap, throws a cable needle and cables into the rhythm.

So you knitters out there, listen to your projects and find a consistent rhythm that works for both of you.  By-the-by, each project also deserves its own bag / basket, but that's a story for another day.

December 7, 2004 in Knitting Philosophy | Permalink | Comments (0)

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