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Cast Off

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This post is part of Knitting & Crochet Blog Week. You can read all of last year’s posts here.

Just a short note today to say, “Cast off your worries & cast on your knitting!”

24th April, 2012  // Inspiration // tags: , .

Rosy, Posy, Pink & Poesy

It’s Knitting & Crochet Blog Week again! You can read all of last year’s posts here.

I’ve written before about my love of pink, especially paired with dark green. And while I magnanimously love all colours and can spend hours inventing new colour names, if I had to choose one, I’m sorry Lilac, but let there be Pink.

Last year during Blog Week, you may have seen this yarn on my shelf. Now it’s winding/winging its way to being a fully-fledged shawl. All grown up!

bulky pink shawl
bulky pink shawl

I’m using my own Fill-in-the-Blanks Shawl Design formula (currently in testing!) with the Wheatear Stitch. I’m so so so excited about this ebook, I just can’t wait to release it!

fill-in-the-blanks shawl design

“Pink, it was love at first sight” – Aerosmith

And then there’s this bottom-up, leafy number which I’m knitting in Artist’s Palette Glisten; 100% silk, except for the 100% pleasure that I’m quite certain is plied with it. It’s also been in my stash for far too long! If you’ve never understood “process knitters” (i.e. knitters who enjoy the process of knitting as much as, if not more than, the finished project), then perhaps you’ve never knit with a yarn which makes you want to watch every stitch take form. Silk takes dye particularly well, and no photos can do these colours justice. The yellow isn’t yellow, it’s gold

spring shawl
spring shawl
spring shawl

“Pink is the color of romance and a friend tells me that the girl with the pink dress at the party is the one who is selected for each dance” – Alfred Carl Hottes

Was Hottes talking about roses? I don’t know, but recently I’ve developed a penchant for polymer clay and I made this pink rosy posy heart pendant from white Cernit and coloured it with a blush…

rose heart pendant

And I think blushing must be what Emily Dickinson writes of as a “shawl of Pink”:

Shame is the shawl of Pink
In which we wrap the Soul
To keep it from infesting Eyes —
The elemental Veil
Which helpless Nature drops
When pushed upon a scene
Repugnant to her probity —
Shame is the tint divine.

One last heart/shawl in progress, which isn’t strictly pink unless I get vaguely scientific and point out that white light is a combination of all colours (think Pink Floyd prism).

heart shawl

C’est tout! Lick a pink confection, listen to Piaf, and pick a pink stitch (a pinch?) or two. Á demain…

The Charity Knitting Challenge

I’ve written before about how much I love making New Year’s Resolutions. Not the kind you forget on the second day of the year, but the kind that you can look through and tick off gleefully all year. You’ve probably heard that about a third of people will have broken their New Year’s Resolutions by the end of January, but you’ve also heard that it takes 30 days to pick up a new habit (like writing every day). That’s why 30 (or 31) day challenges are my favourites. You don’t have a horrifyingly long time frame to contemplate, and a “challenge” is far more exciting than a “resolution”. So, with that said…

Your Mission

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to knit 30 (or more) items for your charity of choice in the month of January (if January’s no good for you, feel free to choose whichever month you like). My inspiration for this challenge was Donna, who wrote to tell me about her amazing charity knitting:

“My New Year’s resolution, every year since 2003, has been to make an average of at least one item for charity each day. Every year I have beat that goal. For many of those years, I have made over 1000 items. That goal has been beaten while dealing with fibromyalgia. One year I had shoulder surgery and this year, I did it after dislocating and fracturing my shoulder last December.

Who have I made these items for and what have I made? NICUs (booties, hats, afghans, sweaters), infant loss programs (burial outfits, afghans), hospice (magnets, ornaments), nursing homes (lapghans, scarves, hats), the military (hats), animal shelters (cat toys – from otherwise unusable yarn like stained yarn). I think those are the main groups.”

AMAZING, or what?

I’m going to be recording my progress on Ravelry by tagging relevant projects “charityknittingchallenge”. If you’re taking on the challenge, please let me know in the comments where you will be recording yours, so we can all inspire & encourage each other!

Also, as a small incentive, if you complete the challenge with me in January, I will send you a copy of the KnitLove collection so that you can wrap up and label your charity handknits! :)

Grab a Button

<a href="https://laylock.org/blog"><img src="charityknittingchallenge-sm.png"/></a>

Find a Few Patterns You Like

Because of their size, baby items (especially preemie and newborn) are the easiest to complete in a day, and they will probably make up most of my challenge knitting, but there are other charities out there (as Donna mentions) that also require small, quickly-knitted items. Here’s the search I used to find some free baby patterns on Ravelry, but in case you don’t want to spend hours trawling through patterns, here’s a list of some that I thought looked useful. Feel free to suggest more in the comments!

0-150m

  1. Simple Newborn Hat with a touch of lace
  2. Frantic Mama Knitted Soaker Pattern
  3. Baby Rollin’ Beret
  4. Mini-Reversible Duck to Bunny
  5. Baby Mittens
  6. Bonnet and booties – Hat
  7. Newborn Norwegian Sweet Mitts
  8. Little Seedling Soaker
  9. WW Cardigan Vest
  10. Stretchy Ribbed Newborn Hat – In the Round
  11. Baby Hearts
  12. Baby Cable Cap
  13. Lark Rise
  14. Confection Baby Shrug
  15. Simple Shrug with a Twist

150-300m

  1. Presto Chango
  2. Snug
  3. Swirled Ski Cap
  4. Hooded Baby Wrap
  5. top down garter stitch yoke vest (short rows version)
  6. Twiggy

I think knitting one pattern several times would be a good strategy, since it takes time to acquaint yourself with a pattern, figure out what yarns and needles will work with it, etc.

I know many of you have spent December knitting holiday gifts, and have been looking forward to January as a “selfish knitting” month, but I hope you join me in this challenge. Feeling like we’re contributing something good to the world around us is a basic human need, and one we easily forget when setting resolutions, which is why I think getting accustomed to giving every day is a wonderful habit to acquire. Also, it’s a great opportunity to use up some of those holiday leftovers! ;)

30th December, 2011  // Inspiration // tags: , , .
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