Oh, Those Colors!

The cloudy, wet weather has been good for knitting. Sitting on the sofa with a blanket on my lap, yarn in my hands, and a mug of tea on the table is my idea of a cozy day. But during my morning walk the sun was peeking through the clouds, highlighting the beautiful fall leaves. So I’ll stop telling you about the pretty trees, and just let you look at the pictures.

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Happy November

The trick-or-treaters have come and gone, and the Halloween decorations have been taken down and stored in a box in the garage until next year. The only thing still haunting me is all the leftover candy. 

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When the calendar page flips over to November I know I have to get serious about the holidays. Not just some vague ideas in the back of my head, but actual plans. So invitations to Thanksgiving dinner have been sent. As soon as I know how many guests can come I will make up my menu and order a turkey.  

And Christmas is not far off. I couldn’t forget that if I tried. Have you been to the stores this week? Right next to the bags of half-price Halloween candy (that I really don’t need) you will find Christmas ornaments, lights, trees, videos, decorations and more candy. Now I love Christmas as much as anybody, but Thanksgiving seems to get shortchanged.  We go directly from the Great Pumpkin to A Christmas Story with barely a pause to give thanks. Maybe we should spread the holidays out a little. We could be like the Canadians and have our Thanksgiving in October.

But Christmas is coming, and I’m ready. My Etsy shop is well stocked with plenty of knits that would make great presents. I’ve ordered boxes, wrapping paper and mailing envelopes. So bring on the holidays!

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Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch Miracle on 34th Street, and see if there are any snickers bars left. 

Knit on.

 

Knitter's Block

Do you ever get knitter’s block? Not the kind of blocking you do to shape your finished project, but the kind that’s like writer’s block, only with knitting. 

It goes by different names like UFOs or Second Sock Syndrome. I have a box labeled “Work In Progress” that I haven’t even looked at in a year.

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And it happens for different reasons. Maybe you started a sweater and realized that it was much more difficult than you thought. Or the yarn isn’t quite right for the shawl you started, but you can’t bring yourself to frog it. Or maybe you just can’t stand the thought of knitting another stupid hat. 

I found I needed a break from knitting last winter.  I was just having a case of the blahs, not feeling inspired at all. What’s a knitter to do? Unless knitting is your livelihood and you need to pay the rent, take a break. Step away. That may sound radical, but if you knit for pleasure, and it’s not a pleasure any longer, put the needles down. 

Try a different craft like crocheting or cross stitch. Or do something totally unrelated. Read a book. Cook something yummy. Take up bird watching. 

Soon enough your yarn stash will start calling to you. Any maybe it’s voice will sound different. It might tell you try out some new stitches or take a class at your LYS. Maybe you’ll go through your stash and give away some yarn, or trade some with a friend. One person’s trash is another one’s treasure. 

My vacation from knitting didn’t last long. Really just a couple of weeks. I joined a new knitting group and felt inspired all over again. That’s all it took for me. 

Has knitter’s block troubled you? What did you do? I would love to hear your comments.

 

The Short (Row) of It

In the last year or two I’ve been trying to improve my knitting. Mostly that just involves practice, practice, and more practice. But there were a few specific skills I wanted to learn and some that I need to improve. I even wrote them down in my knitting journal.  

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Last year I got good enough at Kitchener Stitch that I don’t even have to look it up anymore. That was a real boost to my confidence. My knitting universe was expanding. I felt like I wasn’t going to be stuck knitting only scarves and baby blankets for the rest of my life. 

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Recently I have been working on some hats with short rows. I’ve done quite a few of them so now I feel confident about wrapping the yarn, then hiding the wrap on the next pass. 

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I’ve signed up for some classes in chart reading, provisional cast-ons, and continental knitting, too. I know there will always something new for me to learn. 

How about you? What do you want to learn next?