Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Mishmash - Is This What 'Stitch and Bitch' Means?

Knitting update - the good, the bad and the ugly:
Clockwise:  yellow is the rib stitch that will become a little case for some knitting supplies, blue is the washcloth, pink/green is the scarf.

The Good:  I still like it!  I'm slowly but surely understanding how to knit, purl and make a rib stitch (like the cuff of a sweater - which is simply "knit/purl/repeat" - how fun to see THAT turn into ribbing!).  And because I want to spend so much time knitting, I've made a deal with myself that I can't knit unless I've exercised for the day.  My Sit and Knit diet is not only working with the eating (can't snack if your hands are busy) but is also making me workout so I can knit, guilt-free! Everyone (and by everyone, I mean my multiple personalities) wins with this!

The Bad:  I'll be trucking along and discover that I've made a mistake somewhere...and it seems pretty hard to fix.  So I unravel my piece down to the mistake.  And then?  I can't get the loops all back on the needle in the right direction, which causes MORE mistakes.  End result is NO end result...meaning I have to completely unravel the piece and start all over.  My sailboat washcloth?  I'm on the third try.
See the tally marks on the bottom of the page?  You have to knit the first seven rows before you start doing the pattern, and that's how I keep track of what row I'm knitting (maybe there's a way to look at the piece and tell how many rows you've knitted, but I can't do that yet).  Three sets of tally marks.  The furthest I've gotten is to row 16.

The Ugly:  You know, I'm generally a pretty positive, easy-going person.  Which is really good when it comes to knitting, because it can be frustrating.  I learned how to knit left-handed, and had success.  Then I went to a knitting store, where the (left-handed, herself) woman working there convinced me that it would be easier if I retrained myself to knit right-handed, which would enable me to read patterns without having to reverse everything.  That made sense, so I did it - wasn't easy, and I think that's where my mistakes happened, as I'd go on autopilot and whoops - reversed the direction of my yarn.  Overall, not a big deal, as I'm sure I'll get more used to knitting right-handed...it's barely been a week, after all.

But I was well into my newest scarf, and found a mistake, and after unraveling about an inch, I was pretty sure I hadn't gotten the loops back on the needle correctly.  I went BACK to the knitting store (third trip in a week, if you're counting) to ask the oh-so-helpful woman if there was a trick to fixing a mistake.  Only she wasn't there, the store owner was.  Who was nice and helped me, but in a bulldozer-type of way.  Wrap your yarn around this hand.  You were not knitting left-handed, you were knitting backwards (I don't know if it's just me, or every lefty, but it really rankles me to be told I'm doing something "backwards").  I'll fix it (only she didn't).  Stop purling and join my beginner's class - I'll teach you the right way to do everything.  Well CRAP.  Not only did she not help on the scarf (there ended up being purled stitches, which I think happened because the loops were twisted...?), but she threw me into my "acquiesce by intimidation" mode, which I tend to do when I feel overwhelmed and just want to get out of there.  Quite the different experience from my prior visits to the store.

Sooooooooo.  I went home and unraveled the scarf completely and started over.  MY way.  Still right-handed, but holding the yarn the way that worked for me.  And if you're keeping track, I have a washcloth that has been unraveled three times and a scarf that has been unraveled twice.  But as Bob is my witness (Rugrats), I WILL finish these projects, I WILL be successful, and I WILL understand the mysterious world of knitting!

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Last week I challenged myself to wearing a different outfit for each of the 10 Saturdays of Running Club (sure, some people do easy challenges like 100 sit ups, but me?  I'm hardcore, baby!).  Here's outfit #1:
 
I went with a favorite color - pink!  Eagle eyes will notice that I even matched my ponytail holder and Road ID band - yes, I'm that crazy.
Saturday outfit #1 - it's still a little chilly for me, so I layered my old Nike capris under my old workout shorts.  Had I gone running in the morning, I would have worn a jacket as well.

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Now, you all know that I'm a little bit nutty about color and having things match (or go, as Stacy and Clinton say).  It's the little things in life that make me happy.  With that in mind, I've been wanting to order more colors of the Road ID wristbands, and decided to treat myself to all of them, as a "return to running" reward.  I can't tell you how fun it was to open the package and see all the colorful bands pop out - and at a buck each, this was well worth it.
So pretty!  Everything except for the yellow band is from Road ID - Janell sent me that one a couple of years ago - and the nice thing about this system is that you can wear the metal info tag on any standard silicone band.

I had to show you what was happening while I was taking the picture of the bands...as soon as he hears the beep of the camera being turned on, Paco's ears perk up and he poses:
such.a.nut.

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Speaking of that dog, I mentioned that he doesn't like thunder.  Jeff took this picture last Friday night, during that bad storm - he's not normally a lap dog, but quickly becomes one at the first BOOM!
Multi-tasking - comforting dog while reading blogs on my netbook, with knitting projects nearby, and also watching the weatherman freak out on TV.  And?  Please note my two containers of water...it's all about the hydration!

OK.  Tomorrow, it's take two for Running Club.  The excitement builds!!!  Have a great weekend!

25 comments:

  1. oh how I look forward to these friday posts.
    it's like youre here chatting with me and sharing about your week and youre weekend plans.
    It's like youre here wrapping me in a blanket of HAPPY RUNNING PINK.
    a KNITTED blanket.

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  2. Shelley Paco made my day. I bursted out in laughing when I saw these two ears popping up.

    Well that was a customer-friendly owner that helped you. What a b*tch. You'll get it right, practice makes perfect.

    You wouldn't be you if you didn't have a matching road ID with your outfits. I love it!

    Have a great weekend and lots of fun tomorrow with the running club.

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    1. Fran, I knew you'd crack up at that picture of Paco's ears! :)

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  3. I'm also a lefty, but my attempts at knitting (and crocheting) were QUITE short lived. I learned from both of my grandmas (one of whom is a lefty as well) and I simply don't have the patience. Big ups to you for persevering through the process, I'm sure you will eventually be rewarded with an abundance of washclothes and beautiful scarves! :)
    I really dig your assortment of RoadID colors, I had no idea they offered such a variety. I do believe I'll have to be purchasing several!

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    1. My grandma tried to teach me how to crochet for years and I never got it, so I'm actually surprised to have made it this far with knitting. Huh - maybe you CAN teach an old dog new tricks! ;)

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  4. I am right handed and knit left handed. I tried converting to the other method once and gave up promptly. Trust me when I tell you can produce beautiful items knitting left handed...lol. And yes that is as good an explanation as any as to why they call it stitch and bitch. :-)

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    1. OK, now that is just funny, to switch TO the left hand! But whatever works, right?

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  5. Well, I'm rooting for you to get the hang of knitting - I want my pink scarf! :D

    The pic of Paco's ears actually made me laugh with glee - even Mr. Helen asked me what on earth I was looking at!

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    1. One of these days, that pink scarf will be finished. :)

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  6. I want to knit but I got a million things going on!

    And Paco!! Have a great weekend Shelley!

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  7. Just like running, the more you knit, the better you'll get. I remember the first time I did a needle point where the pattern wasn't printed - you had to count every square in order to make sure the picture turned out right.

    I just have ripped out stitches 100 times - but it turned out great. It still hangs on my wall in my living room - signed and dated . . .1978, when I was 10. That's what happens when you live in a generation before computers and before we had a t.v. - I did needlepoint and crocheted!

    Keep it up, you'll get there. Have fun wearing your matchy outfit to running club tomorrow! Me? I'll probably have stains on my shirt when I hit the gym. :D

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  8. Biz, yer killin' me with your workout outfits! I'll get you into some fashionable things one of these days...seriously, I'm really proud that you GO to the gym and exercise; it doesn't matter what you wear. :)

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  9. You are a nut job. I am not sure where in this mishmash you have me most convinced. The knit ordeal? the bracelet bouquet? the not lapdog on your lap? YOU CRACK ME UP. Thanks, I really really needed that.

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  10. I am so impressed with your determination. If I had to start over a project like that, that many times, I might conclude that it wasn't for me. Proves your level of grit!

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    1. Thanks, Kyle - and honestly, I'm kinda surprised that I've stuck with it. Not my usual M.O.

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  11. I'm so glad you're still knitting - it's so great, and it's amazing how you come to realize at different points along the way that you've achieved mastery over something. Soon you'll be able to fix some mistakes without having to unravel, and you'll see your knitting reach a new leve. I'd love to be your knitting sponsor!! And talk about sensory delight when going into a Yarn store - I feel myself tingle just thinking about it. Makes me want to cast on!!! What a natural interest for a color maven such as yourself!

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    1. I'll admit, I am drawn to all the bright yarn skeins in the stores!

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  12. Ooh, I do not like that knitting store owner. Stupid comment about 'backwards.' REALLY STUPID. She might be referring to 'knit back backwards,' which is something you do in entrelac, but knitting left handed is a real thing. I do think its good that you have converted to right handed though. Because the way you're going, you'll be knitting a lace tablecloth on size 0 needles soon, and then you'll be really happy you're knitting right-handed! It was a long time before I figured out how to correct a mistake and how to put the loops back on the needle right.

    LOVE the multi-tasking picture--it looks strangely familiar!

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    1. ...and multi-tasking with canine help, too! ;)

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  13. My Mom is left handed and I never did learn to knit because I just couldn't get it straight when everything was different and upside down. To be honest i don't have a desire to learn. It make itch and break out in hives. Too tedious! I am impressed with your dedication to it. Have fun at running club tomorrow!

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  14. I admire you learning to knit. I understand having to bargain with yourself. When I was doing the beaded Christmas ornaments, I had to tell myself that I had to get up and walk around or do exercise before working on them because I would get so engrossed and look up 2 hours later.

    I used to work in a restaurant that was next to a knitting store and we called it Stitch and Bitch because the ladies there were really nasty people. If we laughed to loud in the back they would pound on the wall. Lame.

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    1. Exactly - I start knitting and all of a sudden it's midnight!

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  16. Love the running outfit, I try to wear pink as often as possible when I run, and ALWAYS when I race.

    I must have a different kind of RoadID, because mine has a clasp. I would love to be able to change the colors though - although I have the best color right now - pink.

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