Everybody else is blogging, so I guess I will too!

This is my first blog, though I’ve made a few aborted attempts at personal web pages, but never seem to keep them up. Oh, well . …

As many folks here know, I started knitting 4-5 months back last spring. I’ve knitted many dishcloths, a few hats, and a couple of scarves. I feel like I’ve gotten better, especially a couple of months back when I did the hats with circular needles and even used DPNs after decreasing to the point where the circs were too big.

I also crochet and therefore have to divide my time for activities. But I’m getting a jump on Christmas presents. The state dishcloths (link on the pattern part of this site) are wonderful, and I’ve made one Mississippi and two Alabamas for gifts. My mother has commissioned me to knit or crochet a purple hat and scarf for her SIL, so I have to decide how I’m going to make those.

I really want to knit wearables, but have no sewing experience, and so fear that I won’t be able to make backs even with fronts, sew the pieces together, etc. without the thing getting distorted and being unwearable. Also, many patterns I find for wearables call for expensive yarn that would cost me over $100 to make a sweater. Not gonna drop $100 at this point in my knitting life because I’m not that good. Fortunately I found a cute tank top pattern that uses Bernat Softee Chunky. Maybe when I get more experience, but not until then.

I’m not naturally gifted at knitting or other crafts, and every piece of progress for me is hard-won, generally coming after many mistakes, much cursing, and some frogging. I missed the crafting gene, if such a thing exists–unlike my mother who sews, quilts, and does woodwork, and my aunt who can paint, garden, draw, crochet, candle-wick, make cute crafted rabbits of all kinds, etc. (she’s like Martha Stewart except she’s on a budget, is a nice person, and has never been in prison).

So why did I pick knit and crochet? I guess I figure I can learn enough to make some cool stuff, and I enjoy the relaxation/zen factor. It’s safe, legal, and not fattening, plus I can find existing patterns (since I’m not that creative), or one day design my own if the juices start flowing. Also, I feel as if I’m doing something productive while I sit on my behind and watch TV :teehee:

I like most of the stuff I’ve already made, especially the dishcloths, which many people on my Christmas list will get this year. I’ll probably do a little cross-stitch for presents too as I found some pretty pillowcase CS kits. So, as usual, I’ll be a jack-of-all-trades (or crafts), master of none. I want to do everything so as a result will probably not become an expert at any one of them! I’ve been called a dabbler. But hey, I have fun and have even gotten some compliments on a few things I’ve made! That’s what it’s all about, right?

I guess that’s enough for a start.

Welcome! :waving:


Which is to say she’s not like Martha at all!

Welcome to blogland! :waving:

Welcome to blogville. It’s fun!

Welcome to blogdom! Don’t be so sure you can’t properly make a sweater. The patterns are written to come out with the pieces the same size, plus there are scores of patterns written for sweaters in the round–no seams. You can knit an entire sweater without having to thread a single needle.

There are also inexpensive, nice yarns out there, too. You don’t have to spend a huge amount to make a sweater–but don’t use really cheap yarn or you won’t like the end result.

Hang in there–before you know it, you’ll be able to knit anything you want.

Thanks for welcome ladies, and to Ingrid for the vote of confidence. When I finish this Christmas gift blitz I’m on now, I’m going to try a simple tank or sweater. I just got the book The Knit Stitch, which has some simple patterns using worsted-weight yarn, so I can make a stab at it. If anyone has any simple sweater patterns, I’m interested.

BTW I just learned the crochet cast-on method too and love it! To me it’s a little easier than the cable/long-tail (except for keeping the stitches from falling off), and my edge is going look more even now.

Welcome to blogland, Cindy! :waving:

Oh, The Knit Stitch is wonderful, and SM writes really clear directions. You’ll be sweater knitting in no time! :happydance:

Join us on the Einstein coat KAL!!! (Well, not Angelia, because she ran out of yarn :pout: And, well, some of us have just put it in the back of our closets while on the needles…I won’t mention any names! :shifty: )

Welcome to Blogland! :heart:

Angelia, I agree that The Knit Stitch is great. This is the book I should have gotten at first, but didn’t know that I needed. The instructions are clear, there are plenty of pictures, and there are projects that I actually want to do! She also has sweaters, but you don’t have to buy $200 of merino wool to do them. You can just use medium or sport weight, depending on the project.

I like the simplicity of the projects. Many beginners like me get to a point where we’ve seen-it-done-it-been-there with scarves and dishcloths and we want to try wearables but are afraid. So we thumb through magazines and patterns and we see cute things, but even the ones labeled “Easy” don’t look so simple to us. The project in KS are great because they look like something I could really do. There’s minimal shaping on the sweaters, so I can hone my skills while getting a feel for sizing. Then when that gets under my belt, I can try the more involved stuff.

I’m just amazed when a pattern is labeled “Easy” or “Beginner” and it’s got lots of increasing and decreasing, several color changes, lots of shaping, stitches I have yet to encounter, novelty yarn that I can’t work with yet, and the yarn cost $200. Designers, please, this isn’t beginner! Beginner is rectangles, repetitive easy stitches, easily sewn together, etc. Of course, most are labeled well, just some I’ve seen make me say, “Beginner? On what planet?” This is intimidating and discouraging. I’m the kind of person that has to have it dumbed down for me! I have to start with the simplest of the simple due to my above-mentioned lack of natural talent.

I’ve finished the state dishcloths for now, and I’ve started the scarf for Mother’s SIL. I chose a simple stitch from the 30 Knit Stitches leafet (the waffle stitch) and the yarn is Caron’s Simply Soft Brights in Grape. Mother’s SIL owns a knitting machine store, so I’m not sure she’ll really be impressed with my humble beginner hand-knitting job. I might crochet the matching hat just for something different, make it a bit lacy/meshy.

My son decided to sign up for soccer this year after a two-year hiatus, and soccer practice gives me time to knit and crochet. This is great because (a) I get something done; (b) I don’t have to make small talk with the other soccer parents unless I choose to; and © the 1 1/2 hours goes by very quickly. It’s also more zen to knit outside. Now if it would just cool off . . . It’s still getting up to 90 some days.

So, fellow beginners, get The Knit Stitch. You won’t regret it. This is the one book that won’t make you run screaming away when you see a sweater project that is supposedly beginner-level but looks more like intermediate.

It’s quite possible you’ll be pleasantly surprised. She’s much more likely to appreciate the work that went into it.

It’s great you found a book that works for you! Keep it up!

I might have to join in that one after I get some Christmas presents made!

So we’re supposed to come up with 100 things about ourselves? OK, I’ll try but won’t make any promises I can’t keep . . .

  1. I’ll be 42 next Sunday (10/1).
  2. My son is 9 years old.
  3. Yes, I’m a soccer mom.
  4. I’m married but not to my son’s father. We divorced when DS was almost 2.
  5. I’m a civil engineer at my day job.
  6. I live in the Jackson, MS area.
  7. Yes, I love living here. What some of the rest of you in other areas of the country pay for housing–jeepers!!! It’s cheaper here.
  8. I’m 5’6" and well, weigh about 10 lbs. more than I should.
  9. I’m a disorganized spacehead but still manage to get things done.
  10. Favorite TV show: Grey’s Anatomy
  11. Also like Cold Case, CSI (hate that GA is in the same time slot now), Battlestar Galactica on SciFi, Desperate Housewives, Cold Case, and Without a Trace.
  12. Favorite old TV show to watch reruns of: MAS*H (yes, this shows my age).
  13. Favorite author: Anita Shreve
  14. 2nd favorite author: John Grisham (a Mississippian)
  15. I’m a native Georgian but moved to MS at age 25.
  16. Favorite hobby: Knitting of course!
  17. Other hobbies: Crochet, Cross-stitch, reading, crosswords
  18. In high school I was a nerd–band, debate team, voted Most Intellectual, the whole geek shebang!
  19. Favorite ice cream flavor: Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry
  20. Other ice cream faves: Boring, but chocolate and vanilla
  21. Favorite fruits: Blueberries and strawberries
  22. Biggest Pet Peeve: Bad grammar and punctuation in formal documents, in newspapers, and on newscasts (don’t mind it in informal situations, but the newspeople ought to know better!)
  23. Other peeves: Entitled me-me-me drivers who rush to pull out in front of me then go 15 mph, people who can’t tell the short version of a mundane story (must tell every detail even these details are uninteresting), traffic snarls, dealing with health insurance companies, WalMart on Saturday afternoon, crowds in general
  24. Biggest joy: Son of course
  25. Favorite Meal: Lobster
  26. Other favorite meals: Fried shrimp, steak, and Chinese food
  27. Also love Mexican food
  28. Car: 2005 Honda Civic LX 4-dr (love the gas mileage!!)
  29. Last wreck: 6/30/06: two young boys/men (looked 15) in a stolen SUV crossed 3 lanes of traffic, causing me to hit them because I couldn’t stop in time.
  30. Health: Generally good, though I have psoriasis (manageable with treatment), get the occasional migraine, and battle depression (exercise helps this as much as meds but without the nasty side effects)
  31. I suffer from insomnia also. I’m functional, but some days it takes all I have.
  32. Glass half empty or full? It’s a glass with water in it.
  33. Clothes: Mostly I buy mine at WalMart, with a little Old Navy in there.
  34. I’m low-maintenance. The only time I dress up is if someone dies.
  35. Favorite way to exercise: I work across the street from the state capitol building, and a group of us walks laps on our breaks. The grounds are beautiful—there’s always something in bloom there, and we yack on the way. A good physical, psychological, and soul break.
  36. I’m an extreme introvert. I prefer to keep to myself or with a small group of people I know. I can be outgoing when I have to, but will want to be quiet when I get home. The quickest way to clam me up is to put me in a room at a large party with many folks I don’t know–total wallflower!
  37. As you can guess from #36, I hate to make presentations and only do so when I have to for work. I don’t like being the center of attention and prefer to work behind the scenes.
  38. I love to sing, but am not great at it. I took voice lessons and know music in general from other instruments and piano lessons as a child, so I can hit the notes OK and carry a tune, but just don’t have a very memorable voice.
  39. I play guitar and flute.
  40. I collect folk instruments (recorders, fifes, tinwhistles, a couple of mandolins).
  41. I’m white, mostly of English, Irish and Welsh descent with a drop of Cherokee way back.
  42. I have dark blonde hair (colored to cover gray and highlighted so it won’t be so dull and mousy).
  43. My eyes are green/brown hazel.
  44. I got a boob job done (went from A to C) 2 ½ years ago and love them! Have had no problems with them. Most people don’t, contrary to how the media tries to scare people. I mean, people get foreign objects put in bodies by the thousands every year (hip and knee replacements, pacemakers, pins and screws from broken bones, etc.), and most of them handle it fine. Yes a few percent have trouble, but most do not.
  45. I’m on paper a Catholic but don’t subscribe to much in the way of religious beliefs (not trying to stir up anything, just telling you about myself). But if you do and it works for you, great!
  46. Favorite singers: Sheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Sarah McLachlan (I like singer/songwriters best)
  47. Also like: Nickelback, Hinder, Evanescence, Anna Nalick
  48. Favorite groups of all time: Heart, Fleetwood Mac, Journey, Aerosmith (the 70s stuff mostly)—this shows when I grew up!
  49. Least favorite type of music: rap, hip-hop, hard-core country (though I like bluegrass)
  50. Favorite soundtracks: O Brother Where Art Thou, City of Angels, considering buying the Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack (lots of cool new artists on there—I like adult alternative stuff, the alt without the screaming)
  51. Most romantic song of all time: No Ordinary Love by Sade or Tupelo Honey by Van Morrison
  52. Favorite movie of all time: Gone with the Wind (yes, I read the 1000-page book too)
  53. Worst movie I’ve ever seen: Vanilla Sky
  54. What hurts me most about life: Seeing oppression of others and man’s inhumanity to man, seeing mistreatment of women and children (men too), knowing that many people are not free to choose their lives, knowing that so much hatred and wanton killing exists in the world, some of it directed toward us Americans.
  55. What makes me happy about life: Seeing people help one another even when it’s not convenient or easy (this is what we’re capable of being—saw a lot of this during Hurricane Katrina last year), the uniqueness of each person, knowing that most of us want to do the right thing.
  56. Hardest thing for me to figure out: I finally realized people don’t change much, and it took me 35 years to figure this out. I used to think we could if only we had the right information, but I finally learned otherwise and accepted this fact.
  57. Regrets: There are a couple of biggies, but I won’t list them here.
  58. Job: I like my job and my boss, plus I make decent money.
  59. House: I have a smaller house (1300 sq. ft—3/2) but, unlike the rest of America, have no desire for a 4000+ sq. ft. McMansion. That would mean more cleaning and yardwork and less time for knitting and crocheting—yuck!
  60. My husband, age 32, is 10 years my junior.
  61. I met him at work when I was his supervisor. We dated a little over a year, kept it on the down-low, then announced to our division head that we were getting married. So you see you can survive office romance!
  62. We got married on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu.
  63. He is a type I (juvenile-onset) diabetic.
  64. My son, thankfully, is in perfect health.
  65. My father is deceased, died when I was 13 from complications due to many years of alcoholism.
  66. My mother is still very much alive and is one of my best friends.
  67. I have only one sibling–a brother, two years older than me, but we don’t see each other except for holidays. Blood is about all we have in common—we are so different.
  68. Hardest thing I ever did: Quitting smoking for good 18 years ago.
  69. Other hardest things I’ve done: Passing the PE (professional engineer exam), getting through engineering school, motherhood.
  70. Best things I’ve done: See above, hardest things I’ve done are also the best.
  71. Pregnancy: I had an easy one, no sickness, glowed, worked in the field for the first half of it.
  72. Myers-Briggs personality type if anyone knows about that: INTP
  73. Knitting goal: To be able to easily knit cabled sweaters and other cool wearables.
  74. Crochet goal: To be able to crochet meshy, lacey sweaters with ease.
  75. I’ve run out of things to say about myself! I’ve bored y’all enough anyhow!

Any introvert Steve Earle fan in her 40s is a friend of mine!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: Nice to meet you!

So there are others out there?! :cheering:

Better stay away from Copperhead Road and Taneytown!!

:cheering: :cheering:

DH and I saw Steve Earle in concert about a year and a half ago up in Madison, WI…we actually went because I’d just gotten an Allison Moorer CD and she was opening for him, and I’d heard a bit of his stuff and Emmylou’s cover of “Guitar Town” but didn’t know him that well. This was before he and Allison were officially an item, but watching them duet on stage, you definitely got the idea something was going on! Anyway, she was good, but he just blew me away, him and the Dukes, that is. FABULOUS show - reminded me of the Springsteen concerts I used to go to in HS and college with the energy and passion and power!

DH has three mandolins, although he’s just learning to play the instrument (used to play fiddle, so he’s not starting from absolute scratch, but he’s very very rusty on fiddle). Someday I want him to learn the mandolin parts of “Copperhead Road” and “Galway Girl”!

ETA: This is a bit embarrassing, given what he looks like in still photos, but somewhere in the middle of the concert I found myself thinking Steve was hot… :oops:

It’s not that wild, Karen. A good voice can be VERY seductive… :eyebrow:

I wish I could say it was just the voice! There was something about his stage presence that just made me go “[size=1]Yeah, I’d do him in a minute…[/size]” :eyebrow: Of course, I found his politics seductive too! :cheering:

Then again, considering the number of times he’s been married, I’m obviously not alone!

Wow, you really dig him! I’ve never seen him live and haven’t seriously lusted after him, but great voice and songwriting ability can make someone attractive. I didn’t know he’d been married so many times.

Oy . . . I got volun-told to work with a Construction Careers fair today. I had to be a tour guide for high school groups. These are the rudest, most disrepectful humans on earth (at least some of the ones I saw)! Part of the tour was outside, showing them construction equipment, most of which they could operate a little if they wanted to. A few were interested, but some started asking me about lunch at 10:22, then they complained about it being hot. The teachers tried to keep them in check, but I guess their hands are tied. They have my undying respect, doing what they do every day for a living. I certainly couldn’t.

I think back to how it was when I was a kid. These kids were cursing like sailors on the bus, saying the F word loud and clear. If I’d done that when I was that age–OMG! My soul had better belong to God 'cause my behind would then belong then to the teacher or principal, then my mother. I don’t even want to think what would have been the consequence if I’d pulled that! :doh:

So I came home after and knitted a bit to calm me down. Later I’ll take my knitting to DS’s soccer practice.

I have to do the fair again tomorrow, but that’s thankfully the end of it. I’m going to tell my boss to please not “volunteer” (translation “draft”) me for this again. No wonder they have trouble getting volunteers . . .

The second day of C2 fair was today. I had a waaay better group today, they actually had some manners, and the teachers didn’t put up with any crap.

I’m almost done with Mother’s SIL’s scarf. I then have to make three caps for different Christmas presents. I’ll post some pix when I get done.