New Knitting Goals

Tonight I finally updated my projects on Ravelry...finally, and upon looking through my finished projects I feel a need to do more. My knitting is pretty neat, with even stitches, etc., but it's boring, safe. I've been knitting for about a year and a half now, trying my hand at cabling, a little bit of lace, knitting from a chart, a few pairs of socks with success. That's not bad at all, but I need to attempt more complex patterns. I'm so used to choosing based on whether I can watch television while knitting. Sure, there's nothing wrong with a quick and easy project, but I also need to challenge myself with more intricate knitting, advanced stitches, a full-on lace project and colorwork. I know how to read patterns, in fact, it's a hobby of mine, reading knitting patterns so I can see if I understand them. All well and good, but it's time to put into practice some of that "book learning".

I think subconsiously I've been holding back, afraid of having to frog, afraid of making mistakes. I convinced myself that I'd gotten past being a fearful knitter, but when I look at my projects it tells the true story, a story of perfectly nice and snooze-worthy finished items. That changes as of now. The knitting will not explode if I make an error or the item comes out bigger than planned, and I'll never get better if I don't put away the fear of messing up and ripping back. Mistakes, plan and simple, are a part of the knitting experience.

So short term I'd like to learn toe-up and two-at-a-time sock construction, focusing on detailed stitching when making socks and finish a larger lace project from a chart. In 2010 I want to knit more in general, for longer periods (concentrate, Vicky!) complete a sweater and do colorwork, which should seem simple, but for some reason is daunting to me.

Finally, I've hired my 11-year old daughter, Alexis as my permanent model and she's not going to charge the the going rate (isn't she sweet?). She's getting older, looking more mature and cute and the pictures are blurry enough without me trying to pose while taking a picture of myself. I also need to get a new camera because those existing pics are from a horrible 3.0 megapixel camera that's old as dust.

Check out my Rav project page from time to time for snazzy new finished projects. :)

Doing something different...

I'm starting to feel drained, the days are getting shorter, I'm taking more and longer naps on the weekend, plus this season is around the anniversary of my sister's passing. I can feel myself thinking, "I don't feel like *insert normal daily task like, throwing a load of clothes in the washing machine*." Thoughts easily lead to emotions, so to fend off a seriously blue period I've decided that I need to throw a monkey wrench in my routine. I don't want to be bawling because I have to brush my teeth.

Today I put in my contacts instead of wearing my glasses. I turned on the light at my desk. I've printed a new side dish recipe that I'm going to fix tomorrow. But more importantly, I'm switching my thinking from, "Don't feel like it." to "I want to." Easier said than done, but daily tasks need to be accomplished and "I want" to take care of these duties. Hobbies, such as knitting, are joys in my life, not drudgery. I have a low-key way of life and a routine and if I need a change of pace, it's up to me to take care of that.

Taking the bull by its horns and "being here now".

A Night of Stars

Last night I attended an award dinner honoring employees with 15 or more years of service at my job. I started working at HAP (an HMO here in Michigan) right out of high school, so I'm celebrating 20 years. It was nice, I got a neat pin, but what I was most impressed with was the menu. When I have the extra money to dine out, it's usually a chain restaurant, so I was really happy to be treated to something different and a little more upscale.

Baby spinach salad with chopped egg, toasted almonds, mandarin orange segments and warm Brie vinaigrette (I don't know how long it's been since I've eaten a salad that didn't consist of Romaine or Iceberg lettuce!)

Sauteed chicken breast with Michigan Cherry Chutney

Dauphanoise (didn't know what that was) potatoes (however it was absolutely delicious)
Blistered tomato (mmmm, yeah didn't like that as much)
Roasted root vegetables
Asparagus & Parisienne Carrots (i.e. really tiny carrots...tiny)

Butterfiner Bombe (I still don't know what to make of dessert. It had a hard shell and mousse inside which didn't taste butterfingery. I enjoyed it though.)

That was highlight of the evening. I took my mother and we left once the dancing began.

Today, I had so much planned but since I slept late I'm lounging around the house today, keeping my brother company. (He's out of commission for the next five weeks after ACL surgery.)

You Never Blog Anymore....

I know. Honestly, if there was more going on in my life I would. As it stands I could, for the most part, post this entry today and in three months all you would need to do is input the new date. I guess that's not a horrible thing, I certainly don't mind my routine, but I don't think "I stayed home this weekend and watched television", is really blog-worthy reading.

So here's the quarterly update of some new stuff:

I'm knitting consistently now. I'm slow as a turtle in finishing projects, but they're getting done. I don't have too many UFO's, but my stash is growing faster than my finished items. My ADHD won't allow me to do anything for long periods of time (I'm self-diagnosed, mind you :), so I knit for 20 minutes, read, play my DS, surf the net, check Ravelry for 45 minutes, look at knitting magazines for 30 minutes and then get back to my project. Yes, I spend more time researching knitting than actually knitting, which is ridiculous, but it's what I do.

I think I've grown much more confident in my knitting. I don't feel the dire need to run to a class everytime I want to try something new. This was proven during the last series of classes I purchased at my LYS. I wanted to learn how to knit socks and thought I required a teacher's assistance. Not that the class didn't help, but I found I really only needing it for a few parts of the pattern. If I got stuck at home I'd go to, YouTube or one of the 15 reference books I own. I still have four classes left which I'll use to learn a toe-up cast on and two-at-a-time. I'm sure those will be enough to demystify both of those techniques and I'll follow up at home.

Same for crocheting. I wanted to dust off some ancient crocheting skills, so I signed up for a class at Joann's. The teacher wanted to hold my hand, but I wanted to move forward. By the end of the hour I had half a scarf of single crochet, double crochet and half-double crochet stiches, while my poor classmate had a mess of yarn at her hands. (I encouraged her to sign up for other classes, if I can be crafty, anyone can.). If I can't figure out more advanced stitches, granny squares, etc., on my own, I'll sign up for one or two crochet classes at my LYS to fine tune my home training.

So that's about it for now. I'm playing Scribblenauts on my DS, which I have a love-hate relationship with that I'll detail in another blog.

Until then, happy knitting/crocheting/crafting/gaming!