Tag Archives: Knitting

In which I happily eat my own words…

I have been talking recently about “Knitting Styles” and my search for a style that will ease the pain in my hands caused by arthritis.  I had settled on continental as the way to go and said this about giving up on learning the Portuguese Style of Knitting….”I also have looked into “Portugese” knitting with Andrea Wong, but I honestly don’t know if I want to re-learn how to do every single stitch at this point in my life.”  

I am eating those words – happily with a cherry on top – since I enrolled in a Craftsy Class with Patty Lyons.

 

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I can’t even begin to find the words to describe how MUCH I enjoyed this class!  Her sense of humor, conversation, clear and concise instructions and the incredible amount of material covered in a fun and interesting manner makes the time fly by.  Taking this class felt like sitting down with an old friend and just having a good time doing what we love to do best!

My word eating came in around Lesson 5… Portuguese Style Knitting.  I have tried to wrap my thick Italian head around this for years, with no luck at all.  I watched Patty’s lesson once, turned off the computer and although these may look like nothing more than dishcloths… let me tell you that I am so excited that I could frame them and hang them in my living room.  These were both knit Portuguese Style, in two hours!  That may also not seem terribly impressive, except for the fact that my hands hurt so much English and Continental Style that knitting for two hours straight has not been possible at ALL for a very long time!  IMG_20150221_094333The cloth on the left (with stitch marker) was done all purl – which I might add, is so fast and easy and even in Portuguese, it is criminal! lol  The cloth on the right was done all knit – which is what hung me up for all of these years.  Patty deconstructed it so neatly that I truly had a slap my forehead moment, and off I went.  Don’t EVEN get me started on the bindoff …. easy, beautiful, fast and not tight at all – LOVE IT!

I have been knitting for 50 years, and while I know what to do, how to do it, what it should look like….  what I didn’t realize is that I didn’t know the “why” of it… the “reasons” we do what we do, the “reasons” the stitches are seated in a certain way.  This may not seem relevant to some of you – I know it didn’t seem relevant to me at all, as a matter of fact, I never even gave it a thought until I took this class!  I had so many “ah ha!” moments listening to her that I had to laugh at myself 🙂

The other things I love, love, love about this class is that she goes over increases and decreases in every style, knitwise and purlwise, as they are worked differently in the different styles of knitting.  She doesn’t just “show” you how to do it, she explains, “why” you do it that way in relation to the way the stitches are seated.  All in all, this is a video class that is worth its weight in gold and Patty Lyons has given me the greatest gift of all…. the gift of being able to knit without pain.  My wishes in this quest for a new knitting style have come true… the speed and even stitches in which a beginner Portuguese Style Knitter can knit is amazing…. AND more importantly, for me,  it is pain free!

I don’t want to give the impression that her class is only about Portuguese Style Knitting because that is only one chapter.  It is a treasure trove of information…

  1. Lesson 1  – Alternative Methods and Styles Overview
  2. Lesson 2  – English
  3. Lesson 3 –  Continental
  4. Lesson 4 –  Eastern and Combination
  5. Lesson 5 – Portuguese
  6. Lesson 6 – Knitting & Purling Backwards
  7. Lesson 7 – Combining Styles and Methods
  8. Lesson 8 – Bonus – Alternative Cast-ons

For me, this has truly been a blessing, a gift, and a ton of fun!  I will continue to practice continental and lever knitting, and I’m sure my throwing will be used as well.   I believe you can’t have too many tools when it comes to doing what you love doing, however, I know now that I can sit and knit for as long as I want without having to stop because of pain in my hands. 🙂

Enjoy the weekend, I am going to go and KNIT!

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When reality strikes…

It is school vacation week in this frozen, snowy wasteland I call home.  School Vacation week for me is usually a lovely week off where I have delusions of getting my home put back in order, cooking wonderful, healthy meals for my family, baking delicious desserts and when all of this domestic engineering is completed, I get to sit in my favorite chair with a nice hot cup of coffee or tea and knit with my faithful and loving dog at my feet….

The reality is… I came down with the flu over the first weekend of vacation, and when the spine snapping chills subsided and my head stopped feeling as though it would combust if I moved it too quickly, I managed to work my way to my chair with some knitting and the dog… lol

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I finally ventured out for an appointment yesterday, and since I recently discovered there is an LYS in my area that I had no idea existed, I made a slight detour to check it out.  I  honestly couldn’t have been more thrilled.  The owner is an absolute joy to talk to, the shop is cozy, beautifully setup, and the yarn… oh HEAVEN!  A few little goodies came home with me to help with my recovery and to cheer the winter blues away…

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and just because this was so cheerful and cute…FullSizeRender (10) - Copy

I also think I may have finally found the solution to my painful, winter  hands.  My fingers split, bleed and destroy just about anything I touch when the weather turns in the fall.  I have tried absolutely everything out there, from prescriptions to over the counter remedies and I have enough lotions and creams to open my own little store.  A friend of ours saw my bleeding fingers recently and was adamant that the Working Hands by O’Keefe is what I had to buy… well, hope springs eternal, so out I went.  It works!  It is incredible… it works, it is amazing and I can knit!!!  I top it off with the Gloves in a Bottle and my hands are soft, smooth and no longer painful, bleeding and splitting 🙂FullSizeRender (7) - Copy

I hope you are all staying warm and cozy this week… I’m off with my cup of coffee, box of tissues and some knitting… the dog is napping and the house can wait!

 

Practice, practice, practice…

I honestly can’t say enough good things about Lorilee Beltman and her Knit Faster with Continental Knitting class on Craftsy. I have decided to continue practicing this method of knitting until my muscle memory kicks in and see if the arthritis pain in my fingers and right hand calms down. I have to say that I do enjoy knitting this way… it is very smooth and the transition between knit and purls is so much less cumbersome than throwing has been. I am also going to continue researching the lever knitting that I learned as a child. Being comfortable with different styles of knitting will be beneficial to me in the long run, I believe, as I have to assume that arthritis will only get worse, not better and I have absolutely no intention on giving up my knitting 🙂 I am excited about all of this as I truly do love to learn new things, and if it increases my speed and allows me to knit more – then it is a win, win situation all the way around! 🙂

I have been away from my blog for so long that I think I will just share some of the things that have taken place a little at a time, so here goes…

We lost our beloved Chocolate Lab, Beau, to Lymphoma in August of 2012 at the much too young age of 7.  It was devastating, to say the least, but he left us with so many cherished memories and he is never far from our thoughts.  He was truly an amazing boy who stuck by my side through all of my health issues and surgeries.  Losing him left a huge hole in all of our lives.

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In February of 2013, we welcomed 8 week old Jack to our family… He reminds us, at times, of the Tasmanian devil, keeps us on our toes, and is a total lovebug.. most of the time 😉  lol  I’m sure he will be making an appearance here and there on this blog, as he loves to occasionally steal my knitting and play cats cradle running through the dining room table and chairs with it…

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There has been knitting as well…  Since we are having such a crazy winter here in the Northeast, my daughter Nikki needed a nice warm hat.  This is The Vermonter from Ravelry… works up quickly and looks great 🙂   The mitts are Ragtop also from Ravelry and I have to say they are my new favorite mitts to knit.  Superfast and a great pattern.

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We are bracing for another “blizzard” here, so I will have much more time to “Practice, practice, practice” my new (to me) knitting styles 🙂

~Pain ~ FO ~ Puppy~

Ugh! Dentist!! Am I the only person that can NOT eat popcorn??? Am I? I love popcorn, popcorn is low in calories (definately a HUGE plus), a person can eat a good amount of popcorn without guilt! THIS person, however, can not eat popcorn without a painful trip to the dentist a week later to have the $%@#$ hulls dug out of her incredibly swollen and painful gums! Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly grateful that there is nothing wrong with the two teeth under the lovely crowns that are surrounding the pain, but the throbbing on the side of my face is causing my eye to twitch, and since I work in an elementary school, twitching isn’t necessarily a good thing! Little children are frightened by twitches 😉
Ah well, live and learn – I’ll learn for another 5 years until I forget how much this hurts and then I’ll probably eat “just a little”!
On to happier subjects….
THE earrings!
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They are finally finished! They were fun to make, but I’ll work on some “normal” sized socks for now!
Speaking of “normal” sized socks — I had a sock (similar in style to the previous FO’s I posted) half done last night. While sitting happily in my chair (listening to the monsoon-like rains that are causing my yard to look like a pond), nice and cozy, knitting away – My World Was Good –despite the throbbing in my face.Out of no where comes Beau running at full speed between my sock and my knitting bag, grabbing the working yarn on his way by, ripping the needles out of my hands and unraveling the sock down to NOTHING! I love my puppy, I love my puppy, I love my puppy………
I have started the socks again and am getting ready to turn the heel — puppy still has a home, and is still loved.
Stay dry and happy knitting!
Cath

~Finished Objects~Gotta Love ’em~

FINISHED Socks!!!!!!!!
These are some nice toasty warm house/clog socks. I love them. This was a project I started about a month ago and just let sit – can’t remember what the yarn is, but it is really a pretty natural tweed. They worked up super fast on size 5 dpn’s – instant gratification project! Gotta love those! I think I’ll be making more of this type of sock for the winter – I just got my first oil bill – UGH! (another excuse to knit ;))
I started working on the 2nd mini Red Sox sock last night during the movie with my girls (While You Were Sleeping), and did something totally outrageous after the little heel – I put it down in total disgust and am now off to see if I can figure it out – with some magnifiers! lol
Have a great day!