Celebrating my 6-Year Knitting Anniversary! – Knitting Is…..

If you don't know this about me....you don't know me AT ALL!

I just looked at the calendar and what do you know, my 6-year knitting anniversary passed a few weeks ago on February 28th (yes, I know the exact day I knit my first stitch). In celebration I thought I’d write a post detailing WHY I love this hobby so. For the most part, unless you’re a knitter or I should say, a dedicated crafter or maybe just a dedicated geek who loves a thing hard, you might not get it, so allow me to explain.

Prompted by an internet friend (who I consider my knitting Yoda) to try something new when I mentioned that I casually stopped into a local yarn store, I took a class. Since then knitting has become a passion of mine that is as integral in my life as my adoration of cinema, all things geek and ranked right up there with my lifelong love of reading. I had no idea how deep down the rabbit hole I’d fall when I picked up those needles.

Knitting is fun! First and foremost I enjoy the process as much as I enjoy the product. Knitting keeps the mind nimble; it’s a scientifically proven fact that it has therapeutic benefits for the mind and body. It relieves stress and triggers “feel good” chemicals that make one feel calmer. I’m never NOT stressed sooo you kind of always see me knitting.

Knitting is portable. If I have a wait in any line, have time during a long travel, or even while visiting a friend, I can work on a project, bringing to mind another point. Knitting is multi-task friendly! I can absolutely knit and hold a conversation, watch television or a movie and regularly listen to audiobooks while knitting. Two great tastes that taste great together!

Knitting is an easy-to-learn skill. As with anything that is learned, there is a learning curve. However, it’s just two needles, one in each hand, and yarn being wrapped around and pulled through one loop at a time. I’ve never mastered chopsticks and I can knit. I don’t have amazingly fine motor skills or masterful dexterity and I knit. Some people hate the phrase, “If I can do it, you can.” But from me it’s merely to highlight that all you need is the desire to learn a set of needles and yarn, because a regular, very non-crafty person such as myself did.

Knitting is complex, but totally not at all! Knitting is sneaky as it can appear to be complex, especially intricate lacework with its delicate stitches and airy aesthetically pleasing “holes” that produce awesome scarves and shawls, but a knitted work of art is just made up of stitches, knit again…one at a time. But then there are patterns or techniques that still challenge you, prevent boredom, without making you want to burn your needles. Like good jigsaw puzzles where it takes a bit of patience and tenacity, but the pieces eventually come together and you have an awesome puzzle that you never glue and put on the wall like you intend to do. See knitting is better because you can wear it instead of throwing it back in the box!

Knitting makes you special. Yes, it does. Well for one, the aforementioned paragraph touched on the incorrect perception that learning to knit requires one to fall into a box of radioactive yarn, being reborn as some kind of shirted, female and probably not as fit Wolverine (although I do know a female bodybuilder who knits and could probably take him on with her nickel-plated needles). So sometimes I allow people to think I have magic fingers since they persist on such a notion. But in a real sense you will always make one-of-a-kind items. I’ve seen patterns on Ravelry (the knitting social network I want to marry) where hundreds of people have knit the same shawl. They all are unique, if by changing the pattern a bit, using a different size needle or just using a different weight, fiber or color of yarn. That, is the very definition of special.

Knitting is rewarding. Heck, I rarely knit for myself because for those who appreciate handmade items, a knitted gift is a treasured thing. And by treasured I mean worn until it falls apart which is the only way to love a hand knit. I smile when I see someone love what I’ve made them. It’s the good gift that keeps on giving. A physical expression of love for the craft and the recipient. Also, in just finishing a project I give myself a little victory cheer. I did it! I MADE a thing!

Knitting is NOT CHEAP (but it can be). If you catch the knitting bug then you’ll fight against SABLE..Stash...Above & Beyond Life Expectancy. I…have given up this fight. Plus you’ll want more needles, and more expensive yarn, and bags too; you have to have project bags. Um, but it can be inexpensive as you’d like too though. There are affordable versions of anything expensive yarn, tools, etc. You can buy everything you need at a local Joanne Fabrics, Michaels or Hobby Lobby. Don’t be like me people as I've acquired the taste for expensive and thrity alike so my stash of yarn and tools is just ridiculous.

I think of knitting as my perfect hobby and nothing could add to it more except finding at least one like-minded individual or gasp…a small group of like-minded yarn lovers. I have some true obsessive internet pals that will talk about knitting with me at 2:45 in the morning if I want about the finest detail of one particular yarn and would be willing to do a Skype knit along that early in the morning too, but I’m missing someone in meatspace who is willing to share even a percentage of my enthusiasm for yarn crafting. Oh, I’ll take a crocheter too, I don’t discriminate! I have many knitting supporters, those who will go with me to fiber festivals (which are amazing, yarn, swag, bags, doo dads, tools, classes. Be still my geek heart.) or who patiently act like they aren’t going to fall asleep standing up while I browse in the yarn store, but I can’t seem to ask (yup), beg (yes), bribe (tried it with my daughter) or coerce (desperate times call for desperate measures), anyone among my friends, family or acquaintances to join in on the fun. I haven’t even found any current yarnies who’d want to partake in the lovely group aspect of knitting, like a regular knit circle. You know how going a comic-con, big event sci-fi spectacular or equally adored artist at a live concert, is that much more amazing with people who share your feelings, so can the knitting experience. It can be a very communal activity and while I’m still looking to find my personal community I’m totally ok with doing my own thing and have preached enough on the topic to everyone who will listen. It would be fun to be joined, but it’s not to everyone’s liking and I’ll find that real-life group one day, but if not you know what?

Knitting is an awesome solo adventure! All I really need my needles, some yarn and I’m blissfully happy.

So that’s my ode to knitting. I could write a book and this post is almost as long as a book, but there are some really funny knitting books that exist by much more eloquent knitters. Yup, I read books about knitting too! Nerd (of knitting many other things. Hey if you’re going to love something, love it passionately I say.) and proud of it!

It's 2014! Keep Up the Good Job, Yo.

It's 2014 y'all. My main goal of 2013 was to do "better". Better in life, health, reading, knitting and manicures. With the exception of fitness, which was an epic fail, I did do better. Let's get the health thing out of the way. I didn't do it. I not only fell off the wagon, I stayed on the ground while subsequent wagons rolled across my backside. As far as reading, in a recent post I listed seven books that I've started and dropped. Sorry, I have to finish them, I have to! That was in October and it probably was a big stretch to think I'd finish them all by the end of the year. I only finishing one, which is still an accomplishment (let's think positively). I knit pretty consistently last year, several pairs of socks, some scarves. I was really on top of things with my manicures, getting through at least 50 of my untried polishes.

For 2014 my goals I've assigned the motto: "Keep up the good job and continue improving". I still think I have a problem with overcommitting, as seen by the sheer number of book challenges I joined. They all look so shiny and fun, I get to join in with a group of other readers who have similar goals while culling recommendations for my to-read list. But I joined too many, didn't focus on one, didn't finish one. First and foremost I'll be finish the six unread book in that stack, then perhaps I'll chose a challenge to focus on. Overall I just want to read more because reading is fun and relaxing. Audiobooks as well as actual physical books (those are never going away) and books on my iPad.

2013 Reading

Hmm, don't quote me on some of these titles, many are audiobooks that I really don't know if I may have finished at the end of 2012. The confusion will make it look like I read more and that works for me. ;)

Wool - Hugh Howey (Dystopian fiction, ironically not a book about yarn.)
Knit One, Kill Two - Maggie Sefton (Cozy mystery, so cozy as to be a bore. Meh.)
World War Z - Max Brooks (Infected persons make a world wide epidemic, the movie only vaguely resembles the book, both are good though.)
Self-Inflicted Wounds - Aisha Tyler (Personal memoir, very funny and surprisinly inspiring.)
Is Everyone Hanging Without Me - Mindy Kaling (Another hilarious personal memoir. Mindy Kaling is my best friend and she doesn't even know it! She is really unaffected by celebrity and I love that.)
I Want My MTV! - Craig Marks (An account of the start and history of the most important cable channel of my life, when they played videos even.)
What the Dog Saw - Malcom Gladwell (Social Science-y compilation of a variety of stories. Interesting read.)
Wild - Cheryl Strayed (Chick goes on a solo hiking trip to find herself. She'd hate that I called her a "chick". I don't care. An OK book, but I found the writer to be irritating.)
Seed to Harvest - Octavia Butler (Sceince Fiction compilation by my favorite author. This deserves its own post in honor of her writing.)

Uh, I thought I read more than that, lol.

Improving my health needs to be an immediate, urgent matter to be addressed like yesterday. I'm on too many medications for my age and it's ridiculous. Also, I kind of committed to do a half-marathon with a friend and at my physical state I would probably pass out on the course. Basically, I need to get to the gym where I pay a membership fee every month. Three to four times a week is reasonable, go to sleep in my gym clothes, get up at 5 am (because after a hard day work I can't even begin to fool myself that I'll workout in the evening. Not.gonna.happen.), hit the treadmill. Along with my physical health, continue to improve in my mental and spritual health. Thinking more positively, cultivating a calmer personality and focusing on my spiritual side first and foremost.

Knitting and crafting. Just more, more consistently. I want to have something on my needles at all times and as far as goals I will finish a sweater for myself this year, since my work sweater very shamefully has a hole at the sleeve. A work sweater will be my first order of the day. I'd also like to finish a very nice lace shawl for myself this year. Other than that using more stash and buying little, if any, new yarn. Also, I really like how quickly it took me to complete the one crocheted hat I hooked and it's a favorite of mine and of my daughter. So one or two crocheted projects and at least one cross stitch are doable for this year.

2013 Knitting

Stuff I made:

My nails! This year is more of the same. The goal is to do one or two manicures a week, more nail art, more stamping, using more of my X number of polishes, buying only truly unique colors and indie brands. Overall enjoying the process of making my nails pretty.

2013 Manicure Madness!

Sparkling digits:

Ooh, wouldn't it be nice if I blogged more two people who lurk and read my blog? Maybe once a month, I'm not promising anything.

That's it, 2014 looks bright as a diamond and full of possibilities!


Bet you thought I posted twice already in 2014, huh? Nope, that was just a draft that got published incorrectly.

I'll just leave this here for your trouble. :D

Ridiculous Amount of Unfinished Books!

Unfinished Book List
Restaurant at the End of the Universe – Doug Adams
True Blue – David Baldacci
Nerd Do Well – Simon Pegg
The Passage – Justin Cronin
Patternmaster – Octavia Butler
Gulp – Mary Roach
Yes, Chef – Marcus Samuelsson

Technology has caused an entire generation to develop some for reals ADHD. Everything consists of quick cuts, bits of information, faster, quicker, shorter, Facebook blurbs, Twitter tweets, instant information with just a picture and a sentence via Instagram. So as proved by the above list of unfinished books, I realize I’ve fallen victim to the condition myself. Seven unfinished books, for shame! None of these were deserted because “life is too short to read a bad book”; these are all good stories, fiction, non-fiction, autobiographies where my attention just went…elsewhere. When I was younger I spent entire summers with my nose in a book, rarely leaving the house because outside could not compete with living in a Little House on the Prairie, thank you very much. Even as an avid television watcher, that didn’t stop me because I would use the boob tube as mere background noise. So to have this number of books that I've picked up and put down for no real reason other than I can't sit for an hour and delight in reading is outside my norm.

Now I sit with a stack, well not a literal stack because some of these books are on audio format, which is even worse that these aren’t finished as I can very well plug in my headphones and knit, killing two hobbies with one stone and since I have quite a few unfinished knitting projects it would be awesome if I like, did that. Oh by the way, multiple knitting projects, i.e. ADHD because I can’t keep my attention on finishing even a preemie hat which takes only about two hours to complete…lame. Ok, so my audiobooks, the books on my Kindle/iPad mini (yes, both). Oh and I have actual physical books too for that old school feel.

And it’s not about not having enough time because I spend enough of it in the aforementioned activities. I’ve just gotten to the point when I see something over a paragraph or two I’m impatient, “When will all of these words end already?” or “Why does this person have to be so long winded with their half page of thoughts?!” or “Can’t they self-edit this down to the standard 140 Twitter characters?!” Then I proceed to spend hours on forums or looking at posts about what people ate for lunch, instagram shots of new shoes, hoarding knitting patterns, reading about knitting, but not knitting, or scouring forums about nail polish, the new ones, the ones are impossible to find and once I find them I'll share in my victory and store said polish amongst the 300+ untried polishes because I'm a horde..no a collector of things, when I should be immersing myself in a good story and finish…these…books. I have the time!

I’ll be focusing on completing these seven books by the end of the year. It’s a doable goal and then I can start fresh for 2014. Not that I’ll be trying to really increase the number of books I finish in the coming year, but I must train myself to keep my focus and finish what I start!

I need to do this....

Not this...(I promise I probably won't care about such a picture .02 seconds after I take it and neither will the rest of the world.  I know you guys "like" some of my stuff just to be polite, LOL!)

Or this..(Douglas Adams is awesome!)

While doing this...because the fifteen unfinished projects I've accumulated are sad and yearning for attention. (Hmmm, I'm quite sure these needles are being held very, very incorrectly, btw.


Happy Knit-versary! Here's to 5 years!

In Febrary of 2008 I began what would become one of my greatest journeys, that of becoming a knitter.  I say journey because what started out with a few stitches, blossomed into a steady hobby and has progressed to be a pastime that's as important to me as my love of reading.  Anyone who knows how much I love to read, how I've spent entire summer vacations as a child in the house with my nose in a book, will see that this is a profound statement.  As much as my identity includes being a bookworm and a lover of sci-fi, I am a knitter.  Knitting has allowed me to explore untapped craftiness, lovingly gifted others, relaxed and challenged me.  My yarn stash is now out of control, my knitting gadgets plenty, I'm rarely seen without a project and my adoration for this craft continues to grow.

Here I am the other day with my very first scarf.  I'm never getting rid of this thing. :)
From the humble beginnings of this sampler scarf I've tried my hands at many different types of projects:





Shawls and lace....

Tried my had at a bit of dyeing (with Kool-Aid)....


More hats....

And gloves...

Socks too!

That's just a small sampling of the things I've knitted over the past five years!  I may not have accomplished much as far as larger items, blankets, sweaters, etc., but I've tried a bit of everything and that's important in being a well-rounded knitter. Looking foward I would really like to tackle more garments  and that first sweater.  I have the yarn to knit at least three or four and the pattern candidates as well, but I really want to make sure I have the time to carefully craft something that fits and I'll love, but it's coming soon.  Also, I need to make sure to take good care of my wrists and elbows so I can continue knitting for years to come.

Also, an indispensible resource and place to commiserate has been Ravelry.  When my desire to knit has waned, this place has added fuel to the fire every time!

I love you so hard Ravelry, you don't even know.

So that's it.  I happily look a  future that includes two needles and yarn in my hands always. :)

New Manicures!

I'm slowing going through my stash...and acquiring new polishes too, I bought one last week and was gifted a few others, egads.

This one just glows amazingly, doesn't it?  One of my all-time favorite combos for sure.  Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Fairy Teal with two coats of Spoiled Use Protection.  I could write an entire post on oddly named nail polish.

Ulta Pink Flamingo with Julie G Light it Up on top.  Fun and glittery.  I was feeling young this day.

Again another duochrome because I never tire of them.  This was gifted to me, OPI Just Spotted the Lizard from their Amazing Spiderman collection.  The new thing is for lots of new movies to have nail polish lines too.  Being I love Spidey and nail polish too, this works for me.  It's a dupe of a million other colors one of which I already own, Jessica Iridescent Eye.  It's green and flashes to teal.  Beautiful!

Book Review - Knit One, Kill Two

Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton (unabridged audiobook)

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

"Kelly Flynn never picked up a pair of knitting needles she liked—until she strolled into House of Lambspun. Now, in the first in a brand-new series, she learns how to knit one, purl two, and untangle the mystery behind her aunt's murder."


This book falls under the category of  cozy mystery, little violence, no graphic material, the writing equivalent of  a "Matlock" episode.  This subgenre of crime fiction has a huge following and you can often find books with themes such as knitting, sewing, baking, you name it.  Sometimes one might want to do some light reading, perhaps featuring a particular hobby.  Being an avid knitter is obviously what drew me to this title.

That being said, I wanted to like this book more than I did.  This is my first foray into cozy mysteries and even knowing a bit about the genre it still felt really, really thin on everything, story, character development, etc.  I certainly enjoyed the knitting portions of the book, the description of the yarns, the yarn store, Kelly's first tries with knitting made me nostalgically think of my own.  All in all, it was a sufficient story, but not challenging enough for me to thoroughly enjoy it.

I'll probably give another cozy a try, if I feel the same way then I'll conclude this genre isn't for me.

2 out of 5 Iggystars