Knitcentric

Young mother, and avid knitter working her way through life, one pair of socks at a time.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Episode 1 Knitcentric

Welcome All!

I really enjoyed working on my first Podcast, it has been a learning experience! I don't have a lot of notes for this episode, but here they are!

Today I talked a little about myself, I am married with a four year old and I live in Okinawa Japan. I've been knitting for around three years, but I'm still a little of a newbie. I started knitting when I inherited my grandmother's knitting needles. I didn't get hooked until after I moved here and made my first sweater. Since then I have built my stash and been slowly pretending to work my way through it.

I was going to talk about a pair of white socks I had been knitting with Bernat Sox Yarn, but I finished them too quickly. I'm not really a plain white socks kind of girl, so they were too boring. Instead I decided to talk about my first time dying with kool-aid. I used the left over white sock yarn and berry blue kool-aid. The yarn came out great! I'm going to use it with some lemonade sock yarn (also kool-aid dyed) and make little socks for my daughter. If you want to try cheap yarn dying, visit knitpicks.com and look under their free patterns link to find their instructions.

Lastly I reviewed the book At Knit's End Meditations For Women Who Knit Too Much by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. I loved this book! Each thought was short and funny, making it easy to read around my daughter's schedule. The only problem I had with this book is the title. Knitting too much? Not possible!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Knitcentric Podcast

Well, I put the promo for my podcast on iTunes. I am so excited! I'm planning on having my podcast out by April 1, and I am having a blast planning my show! Well, I guess, I need to go back to planning out my show notes.

Monday, March 20, 2006

I Carry A Sock In My Purse

I recently learned that there are knitters who know how to knit socks, but do not carry a sock in thier purse. I understand the reasons why, and to be honest I don't always have a sock to work on with me, but more often than not I wish I had one.

Today I went for a walk with my daughter. I've been working on a pair of plain white socks, and am working two pairs from one skein. This makes for lots of yarn working everywhere, and is a little to bulky to fit in the purse I generally carry. When I was getting ready to go out the door I briefly thought about grabbing my socks to work on. We would be going to breakfast, than walking to an appointment to get our hair cut. I normally would not even think about bringing my big knitting bag on a walk with me, but something made me pause and consider it. I instantly shook off the thought, knowing I had a couple of stops to make on the way home, and my knitting bag would take up all of the space in the bottom of the stroller.

Off Joanna and I went on our way, with no sock. As I'm sure you can guess, I ended up with a little bit of a wait, and wanted the socks to work on. As I sat, waiting for 45 minutes, I wondered why I would ever leave the house without a sock in my purse.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Socks and Sock Yarn

I reached an important point a short time ago. I have now knitted myself enough pairs of socks I no longer need to wear store bought socks on a regular basis. There are of course factors making this possible.

1) I almost never wear shoes. I mean I'm a stay at home mother. If all I need to do outside one day is check the mail, I'll wear flip-flops.

2) I do a lot of laundry. I only have 4 pairs of socks I wear, 2 regular weight, 2 thick woolly warm ones. I normally buy superwash wool for my socks, and I have a load of laundry I can throw a pair of socks in at least every other day.

3)My husband will not wear anything hand knitted. I know, this is a tragedy. A devote knitter married to someone who will not wear hand knit items. I did consider divorce, but it does leave me more time to knit for myself, and others who will truely appreciate it.

4)My daughter's feet are very small. I can make socks for a four year old very quickly.


In spite of this momentous occasion, I still have a large problem with my sock knitting. It is my obsession, and the down fall of my stash. That's right. SOCK YARN.

I will freely admitt, I am a sock yarn addict. How could a knitter not love sock yarns? They come in every color of the rainbow. They are easy to find and generally inexpensive. Most importantly, they are cute!! Pre-patterned yarns! The hard work is already done for you, making it easy to make cute socks even when you can't bring the pattern with you.

The problem with socks yarns is their mind bending ability to seduce you into buying more. You always need to buy at least two skeins or hanks in one color, and each pattern always comes in several colors. Usually if I like one color, I am going to like them all, so I need two of each color. This can lead to a serious storage problem.

Of course the sock yarn always manages to convince me my husband will never notice a few more skeins. Worse than that, the yarn is always right.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Buying Yarn Online

Living overseas has made yarn buying hard. Not impossible, I do have a reasonable stash, and nothing my husband says will convince me otherwise. However I miss out on the most important part of yarn shopping. I no longer get to feel the yarn before I have purchased it. I am no longer positive about the color of my yarn before it arrives. I can read reviews of yarns, examine yarn specs, and compare pictures for color, but I am still unsure of what I will get. There is something missing when I shop for yarn now. I've never had the cute little yarn shop where I know the owner, and they have my devotion to their store, and their store alone. But I miss the seduction of the chase.

There is something about walking into a yarn store, and looking around at all of the different yarns. Maybe having a project in mind, maybe just waiting for something to call out to you. As you go along, you can stop and feel the different wools. You can compare colors, and sometimes even dyelots. You see right away when there are little odd colored flecks in the yarn. And sometimes, sometimes you walk by and a yarn just grabs you. You see the yarn out of the corner of your eye, and it pulls you over. You look at the gorgous color, and somehow you can't help but reach out and touch it. You find yourself caressing this yarn, and feeling the softness in your hands, running the yarn across your cheek and imagining the cozy, warm sweater this would make. It's not hard to imagine the yarn running through your fingers as you knit the sweater. As you stand there caressing this yarn you can almost feel the finished sweater brushing against your skin as you wear it on a cold day.

In the end you are helpless in the face of this yarn. It doesn't seem to matter how much the yarn costs. Your life savings, your house, your husband. You know you have found the perfect yarn, and it will be worth whatever the costs. I do not doubt the yarn shop seduces.

Online yarn stores are much like online dating. You can read the profile, look at the picture, and still be deeply disapointed. Somehow it doesn't look the same in person, and rubs you the wrong way. While it is possible to find the yarn of your dreams online, it takes longer, and feels less personal somehow. After a while of searching you end up with a large stash of yarn you will never use, but can't get rid of.

Of course that doesn't mean online yarn shopping is pointless, but it does take a little research. Always read customer reviews and yardage very carefully. Understand that the color might be off by several shades, but if you hate what you end up with, there is always Ebay.

If you sell yarn online, make sure you put every possible bit of information possible. If you can put a picture of the sheep it came from, do it. Assume the shopper wants to pretend they made the yarn, and show as much sheep to hank as possible. And for God's sake make it possible to ship to APO boxes. We're still US shipping rates, and we have been moved around the world, at someone else's whim. Take pity on us, or yarn shopping can be limited.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Hoo-Hoo I'm starting!

Hello everyone out there in knitter land! Welcome to my first blog!

Since this is my first blog, I should tell you about myself. My name is Shannon, I am 23 years old. Boo is a very old nickname used only by my big sister. I have a beautiful 4 year old girl, who still loves to have Mommy knit for her. I will have been married for 5 years in May to a wonderful military man. That's right, I have become a part of the large gypsy clan known as the US Air Force.

While I don't hate the military, it has changed my life a lot, and not always in a good way. I'm currently living on the Beautiful island of Okinawa in Japan. It has beautiful beaches, trees everywhere, and of course cultural activities you just can't find in the states. The one thing I have not been able to find here is a good yarn store. I'm sure it exsists, but there is that language barrier, and of course the problem of finding someone who cares about yarn enough to know.

I guess now would be the perfect time for a confession. I have been knitting for 2 or 3 years, as a solitary knitter. That's right. I never took a class. I have never been a part of a stitch and bitch group, or any other knitting group. I have never even had a cute little yarn shop I go to, with the sweet owner who loves to answer questions. All of my knitting has been by the seat of my pants. It has been through pure luck and stupid, but fortunate mistakes that I have gotton this far in my knitting.

Until recently I had no idea there was such a big internet knitting community. While looking at books recently I saw a book, Yarn Harlot by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and I could not leave the store without it. After reading the book I discovered her blog, and it wasn't long after that I discovered knitting Podcasts. Long story less long, I ended up here. This is a potential first step to starting my own podcast, or at least finding more people who understand the need to knit.

I now know I am not alone in this knitting need. My fingers are not the only ones that itch for the feel of needles. I am not alone in my search for the perfect yarn store. I am not the only one who longs for the perfect yarn, is the perfect range of colors. The yarn which could as easily become a pair of socks as a beautiful sweater or blanket, and always knits knot free. I am not alone in wondering why people would rather buy mass produced socks when they could easily make their own with a perfect fit, as they watch tv. I am not the only person who has let laundry pile up while I try to finish a pair of warm wooly socks.

I am not obsessive. I am a part of history, passing an ancient legacy on. I am a part of history, bringing the past into the present. I am a part of keeping knitting alive.

Wow, it almost sounds believable.