Sunday, April 30, 2006

The secret is out!

A lot's been going on this week. I had a job interview on Friday so spent a lot of time around that. The company is in Berkeley, so I got to go there. It is a very nice city to visit. There is so much diversity there, punks, rich people, hippies, university students, used cloths/music, good resturants, etc.

I got to take BART (I heart BART) and worked on my secret knitting project. No one tried to guess what it was :( I feel as I have no friends, buh hu hu. He he, I'm not really depressed about it. I guess it was a hard one. I always intended to post progress photos and give people a chance to guess again but I just couldn't do it.

Here you go:

It's a hat. It is in the same style as the sweater I knit for Ása Sóley. The pattern is in Magknits as well. I realized I never said what it was called, 'Made With Love' (because of the hearts I guess). I knit the hat in a child size but it turned out toooooo big. It's even wide for me. It caught me completely by supprise because judging from the jacket /cardigan (what's the difference between those two?) I was right on track. It was very wide around her, which I expected since I knit the 2 year old size and the sleeves were too small (take care when you knit up that pattern to notice if you think the sleeves might be too small, chances are that they really are). The hat is too short for me though so I'll have to do something else with it. I'm not sure what but perhaps I'll reknit it with smaller needles.

The pattern is not perfect, not the way I understood it at least. The part I had problems with was the position of the hearts. If I followd the pattern then it was only supposed to have hearts on one side (or 2/3) of the hat. They weren't supposed to go all around! I thought that didn't really work out for me so I figured out how to spread them out evenly. It wasn't that hard. All I had to do was to add one stitch between each heart (in the pattern, not to increase) and decrease one stitch (knit 2 together).

Oh yeah, the hat is knit top down (as the cardigan) and it starts of with a icord, which in the end is tied up in a knot. It looked really funny to begin with, as you can see on the picture in last post.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Can you guess the secret?

Another Woodland Grace update. But first a secret project. What is this?

Now to the WG update.

Here is how she was on April 21st. With all cross stitches completed in the trees and snow.

And here is how she was a day later with all beads done on the left tree. I just like to see the difference.

Like always all of the photos can be seen in this album.

On Saturday I got to go to a Baseball game, where Clint's niece and nephew were playing. It was fun. I know the game from my days as an exchange student in Canada, where we became Providence champions in Softball. It's a wierd game, but supprisingly fun. I sat on the benches (or bleachers?) and got to knit (after Ása Sóley fell asleep). It was nice, no chores to get in the way of knitting. I think the girls will definitely be doing baseball in the future ;)

Friday, April 21, 2006

Click, click and click.

You should have noticed the ads from Google on my site now. I am hopeing enough people will click on the links and use the search box to help me buy more yarn. I will get paid but only if I earn $100, that's a lot of clicking.

Your reward for clicking is a peak at my first sweater I made.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

And the ball keeps rolling ...

Thank you for your input on yesterday's post. It was interesting to read.

I have now an overdue update on Woodland Grace. I am supposed to update on Mondays and right now is a monday (for about half an hour more) but I forgot to update last week. I even had a photo and all. So now there are two photos.

The first was taken on April 9th. I didn't finish all af the bead work but the majority is done and the face is left to do as well. Instead of finishing the angel I started working on the trees as you can se from yesterday's photo. On the right side I stitch both of the green colors but on the left side only the lighter shade of green. It makes a lot of difference. The pictures can be seen in this album.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The difference between knitting and cross stitching

I've thought about the difference between knitting and cross stitching a lot lately. I'm having a hard time putting words to my thoughts and I don't really have the luxury to sit down and write that much, as you can tell from my blog, I really wish is was more detailed, with more words, but hey! at least I have pictures most of the time. But now I have some extra time and so here we go. I don't know if y'all would agree. It'll be interesting to hear what you think.

Knitting and cross stitching are inherently different. There are a bunch of thing that they have in common.

  • They are both crafts.
  • They are both creative.
  • They are both relaxing.
  • They are both creative outlets.
  • They both use needles (although totally different needles).
  • They both use yarn.
  • They both have active on-line communities.
  • They both use one stitch as a foundation of the craft.

But here are things that are very different. Things that make it impossible for me to do both at the same time. Not at the same moment of course, but at the same period of time. I go through cross stitching periods, where I don't knit at all and knitting periods, where I don't cross stitch at all. I feel these limitations grow smaller and smaller. Right now I am at a place in my life where I don't have all my resources. I don't have all my stash and I'll have to make do with what I've got so that kind of forces a change. The biggest reason for the change is the internet. I find myself stitching a lot (for weeks and weeks) but then kind of stumbling across knitting websites and blogs and looking at what other people knit and then I'll have to do it too (not the same pattern but knitting in general). Then I cast on (often couple of small projects) but after awhile I get the yearn to cross stitch. Usually this happens after meeting my cross stitch buddies (Allt í kross) or after fun discussions on that group. So far cross stitch periods have been longer than knitting periods. This is quite normal considering that cross stitching is a lot slower process than knitting. If you are a knitter and read this then I can tell you that even the most complex knitting has nothing on a BAP XS. Big cross stitch projects take hundred of hours and with apprx. 15 hours at the most a week, this means months of work, only on one project. The upside is that there are numerous color changes so it is not monotonous and the downside is that there are nomerous color changes so you keep having to stop to rethread your needle, which slows you down considerably.

So the things that are different in cross stitch and knitting are:

  • Cross stitch is slower, even small projects take long time.
  • In cross stitch the main creative process usually occurs in the beginning. In knitting the creative process often occurs (and often unwillingly) after you begin.
  • Knitting is more stylish at the moment and has more superstars (e.g. Yarn Harlot, Debbie Stoller). Although cross stitching has it's own superdesigners (e.g. Mirabilia, Teresa Wentlzer, Maria Diaz), they are nowhere as big as the knitters.
  • Knitting has podcasts. You can talk about knitting.
  • Knitting has books. Now both crafts have pattern books but knitting has knitting books as well. Books that don't even have patterns in them at all. Books about the experience of knitting and even pattern books normally have more than just patterns and techniques. They often have stories, history and knitting related activities (what to do while knitting or movies, books with knitting in them).
  • Knitting is more versatile, while it has only one stitch (knit this purl as just knitting on the reverse), this one stitch can produse texture (e.g. pearl, cables, lace).
  • You can make your own knitting patterns, but you can not make more than the very simplest cross stitching patterns unless you have a computer program and a college degree in arts (or least natural talent in drawing).

As I am writing this it occurs to me that knitting and cross stitch has more in common than I previously thought. It also occurs to me that the difference of knitting and cross stitching can be described mathematically. You see, knitting is three dimensional, while cross stitching is two dimensional. This is the inhereted difference I was looking for. The extra dimension of knitting, the creation of three dimensional objects makes it much more functional activity. You can make things that people use. You actually make clothes, while in cross stitching you only make decorative things.

Did everyone know this but me? Can you point out more things in common or which are different between the two crafts?

And what it was

The snowflake won. I made the first snowflake in my snowflake book I got at Michaels. I actually made it one and a half times since when I was done the first time I noticed an error halfway through. It was obvious and I had noticed it before but I didn't realize it was an error (half the spikes were inverted instead of outverted). I haven't sewn it up or stiffened it. I figure I'll knit some more before I'll do that. This will have to do for now since I just noticed that my youngest daughter spilled milk on the floor.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

What now?

Here is a link to Ása Sóley wearing the sweater. I'm not posting the picture here since she was not in a good mood while I took the picture.

So now I don't have a knitting project. The only yarn I have is the leftover yarn from the sweater. There are hat, mittens and socks patterns that correspond to the sweater, which I might do if I have 5.5 mm sock needles (I haven't check yet). I also have some thread and I am tempted to do a thread project (like a snowflake or a doily). In the back of my head is also the notion of amigurumi, which sound both easy and fun. And I have a burning desire to go on ebay and order sock yarn, preferrably handdyed.

So now the question is: What will it be?

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode :)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

WG and trying to catch up

Time to upgrade on Woodland Grace. Here is were she's at right now.

Not a lot has been done. I've been knitting more lately and one reason is that I really didn't have good enough light to cross stitch (let alone work with beads) in the evenings. Nothing gets done in the daytime, especially when Ása Sóley was sick. We did go to IKEA this weekend and I bought a good lamp. It doesn't have a daylight bulb but it should work just fine (I'm just used to the luxury of daylight). I have done more work than you can see on the picture above so I added another picture.

I got a break on Saturday, where both the girls were asleep at the same time. I used it to separate the beads and put them in a container I got at Joann's the other day. That was a time well spent if you ask me :) I had started a post long time ago about Joann's (they opened a new and bigger store in a walking distance (albeit a long walking distance) from my house. In the same post I talked about my visit to Fashion-knit in Walnut Creek. I hate the name but as it was the first time I was in a yarn shop outside Iceland and it was the first time I saw actual sock yarn (not just SISU or couple of colors of Regia), 100% cashmere and 100% silk yarn. I was in awe, especially at the price, $44 a skein. I want to go to more knitting stores, especiall to get comparison. I think Fashion-knit is a rather small store. They had few colors of each but I'll have to go to more stores to get some comparison. Just search for 'yarn san francisco' on Google Local and go through pages after pages of yarn shops in the Bay area. The search comes up with 745 insidents but as far as I can see there might be around 80 yarn shops within couple of hour drive from here. A little bird told me Sigga Sif is coming to the area in May. She'll have a lot of yarn shops to choose from. How can you optimize a yarn shopping experience? (I think I might be too tired and my inner engineer is coming through).