Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Almost Disaster

While watching Legend of the Seeker last night on Hulu I was working on the Christmas Tree Skirt. Now, as you all have read many times, this skirt is giving me fits. For one reason or another it gets ripped out and restarted, and I have slowly lost my faith in ever finishing the dumb thing. Well last night I was happily knitting away when this happened:

"What am I looking at? All I see is knitting." You might be thinking. My dear reader, what you are seeing... Is a broken circular needle! The stupid cable popped right out of the needle and traveled half way through my project in about 2 seconds. Those ruffled stitches at the top? Those are LOOSE STITCHES! I sat last night so shocked that all I could get out of my mouth was "Uuuuuuhhhhnnn" and "Aaaaaaiiiiii", as well as some tearless sobbing and a few moments of shallow breathing. Poor Ben just sat there and looked at me with what I will pretend was understanding and fear for my project. (Which is a lie - he was sort of laughing at me.) I just about gave up on the Tree Skirt, thinking that this project was just doomed no matter what.

Luckily though, this yarn is cheap craft yarn which means it sticks together like Velcro on a kitten. And I have an extra set of size 8 circs. So I very very carefully inserted the new needle into the free stitches while taking the existing needle out. I then threw it on the desk and blew raspberries at it. Crisis averted!

And then I found that I miss-crossed a cable section 3 rows back.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Knitting

I am very happy to say that I am almost done with Christmas knitting! I am working on my last project right now and will hopefully be done by the end of the weekend/beginning of next week. To prove that I have been working and that this is still a blog worth reading, here are a few close up glimpses:


My hope is that I will finish this last present and then can frantically work on the Christmas tree skirt. But if I don't get it done, that's ok.

This year so far we are illness free with three beautiful healthy babies and lots of family around. And that's the part of Christmas that I love.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Avoiding Injury While Knitting For Christmas

If you're anything like me, you might tend to get a wee bit frantic when you're on a deadline. I have just under three weeks til Christmas and I'm very far behind. (I do have back up plans so it's not that big of a deal, but still).

My current project is on very tiny needles. Size US 2/2.75 mm to be exact. That's small. It's about the size of a fat toothpick. It is the only project I have been working on for 2 weeks now. And last night I noticed that my fingers were starting to hurt really bad. So in light of that, here a few tips to avoid seriously hurting yourself while you knit for the holidays - or any time!

- Take frequent breaks. I usually knit while we're watching shows on Hulu so I try to put my knitting down and take a break for a few minutes about half way through the show if I can. Also if you have been sitting for a long period of time, get up and walk around. You'll feel better.

- Switch between projects with different size yarn and needles frequently. This is one I need to do myself. By having a change of size every once in a while you will be less likely to cramp up because your fingers won't be stuck the same positions for so long.

- Sit comfortably. Many people think that any problems will involve just your hands, but you can also find problems in your back and legs as well. Try to sit comfortably, with good support.

- Try a different method. I'm finding that, for me, small needles and the English method are not going well together. I have been trying out the Lever, or Cottage style knitting and my hands are much happier that way. Or try continental. Switch it up. You don't always have to use the same style of knitting. Practice tension on swatches. Plus knowing different techniques will only make you a better knitter.

- If you are starting to feel pain: STOP. Don't keep going. You could risk seriously injuring yourself. Put down the knitting and leave it alone for a day. If you come back tomorrow and are still hurting, leave it for longer and give your limbs time to heal. No Christmas present is worth the possibility of never being able to knit again because you were just too stubborn. Avoid taking pain medication - you'll still be doing damage, you just won't feel it.

With these tips in mind, I'm going to work on some other projects for awhile. With big fat needles. My plan for one project a week didn't work. But that's ok. I think my hands will be happier this way.

Merry Knitting!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Alrighty Here It Is:

Well, I started the blog I had the idea for: Little Bit of Life. You can find it here - Not much there right now, but I'll be filling it in the next few days (hopefully). I'm still going to be doing my crafty thing here, so no worries.

I would give you a knitting update... but I have none. Just a wee bit further on week one's project and I'm almost at the end of week two. I always seem to have the best plans and they always seem to not work. Oh well. I have back up plans so it's all good! :D