January 28, 2007

Hospital, mittens and comments; OH MY!

I don't know what it is exactly about hospitals that both comfort me, and freak me out at the same time. The mere thought of walking into a hospital makes me feel itchy and scratchy. Once I'm there, its a very different feeling. It's not warm fuzzies or anything but my itchies go away, and it's like visiting a friend in an apartment with lots of house guests. Or maybe I've just had some interesting experiences in hospitals. At this point, I really don't know.

The great thing about this round of hospital sitting is that I knit. I busted out almost an entire mitten in about four hours. Friday, after a perilous trip to the vet, I dog sat. So while the pooch was resting from being poked and prodded I watched The View and Law and Order reruns and finished my second mitten. Yes, I actually finished a pair of mittens in slightly over a day. I couldn't believe it. I started them Thursday and finished by 3pm on Friday. Unbelievable. But hey – I told Granny that I'd have mittens to show her after her surgery. What surprises me is that I actually do. I did them on one circular US 8 needle, and with an increase here, and a stitch holder there, I busted out mittens that only needed the thumb to be seamed.

This – ladies and gentlemen and people – this is profound! I have a love affair of things knit in one piece. The idea of it being stronger because its one solid piece of fabric just tickles me pink and probably makes me weirder than I ever thought I could be. I can't believe I just said “tickles me pink”. Moving on; almost every mitten pattern I've seen you need to use dpn's OR straight needles with seaming. And let me tell you, I avoid seaming like its bird flu and e.coli mashed together. I made them so they're each a little different, and once the ribbing of the cuff ends, I held two pieces of yarn together to make them extra warm.

Needless to say, I've gotten a lot of compliments on my knitting over the past week. When you hospital sit, there are only so many hours of General Hospital and Geraldo: At Large you can watch until you just want to claw your own eyes out for the sheer fun of it. It's also helpful because you aren't really thinking as much about why you're in the hospital to begin with. In my case, I was more worried about the thumb and the decreases... But now, with the 9 degree weather slowly warming up to the mid-twenties, I only have one project to concern myself with. No more hats, or scarves, no more quick projects oh no, I'm in the marathon of knitting.

....Except I'm like that guy from the Mastercard commercials who gets a snack and sees a movie instead of running.

In other news, I won a contest! I know, I couldn't believe it either. I woke up Saturday morning to an email that said I won. I had to read it about four times before I replied. I'm still in shock. While poking around I found an image resizer which I plan to use as soon as I have time to take pictures of Matching Mittens, finished Waffle Scarf and Hat.

For the record: I am definitely not afraid of DPN's. It's partially a “I'm too broke to buy them” / “It's hard to teach yourself how to use DPN's.” So right now, I'm content with circular needles and I absolutely plan to learn how to use them, because I want to knit socks. It just may take another few years to sit down with someone and bust out my first pair of socks. I also want to be a better knitter, even if I learn how to use them and I hate DPN's, I want to say I know how to do it – you know?

Thank you for the comments, I appreciate them :) Thank you Lynne for the contest, and the prize. I also stuck my email address on the blog because I noticed someone couldn't post comments. Thank you, thank you, thank you! :)

January 25, 2007

Waffle Scarf and Matching Mittens, plus pictures!

I've been working on mittens. It's been a little difficult for a few reasons, I've been running around lately and I haven't yet mastered knitting and driving at the same time. Some day, kids. I have decided to measure my hand and see how many stitches per inch I get and be mathmatical about my mittens. I did that, and the cuff was too large. I suppose I have small hands, and tiny wrists, so I told the math to stick it, and I casted on and decided to fly off the seat of my pants.

This has caused its own problems, because I haven't learned to use DPN's yet, and to get a circumference that small, you need DPN's. I'm using a Susan Bates very tiny US 8 circular needle because, quite frankly, I'm a gangsta. It took a little shuffling, but I got the cuff out, and the stitches kinda-sorta relaxed so the stitches don't look that amazing. Personally, I don't care. These mittens are going to keep my hands warm, assuming that I finish them that is.. and they are allowed to be ugly. I took some pictures, and I also included pictures of the scarf from the hat/scarf/mitten combo. I haven't gotten any pictures of finished Waffle Scarf, or finished pictures of Matching Hat, both of which are done.

I've been visiting my grandma, and every time I walk into her room at the hospital she tells me how cute I look in the hat/scarf combo. I never bothered to darn in the ends, I think I cut them way to short so they stick out here and there. She's always telling me I have something on my forehead. Last night she reminded me again, and after I tell her how lazy I am/I'm a gangsta, she says to me, "Well it's your own style. At least we'll always know who's hat it is." She is the semi-lucky recipient of a Manos del Uruguay hat that I knit after I saw a hat I wanted at the Gap. I say semi-lucky because she was being transported from one hospital to another and otherwise she wouldn't have gotten a hat. Okay, I'm not a jerk, I was going to knit her a hat in a creme or off-white color like she asked me. I just.. haven't gotten around to it. Stop judging me and look at pictures..

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^Oh, I know you're loving my knees. What's even better is that this picture is so huge its almost like I'm really there.

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^ Whoooaaa! You're getting a show today! There's part of my foot!

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^I didn't know what else to do with my hand. I like my cuffs extra long. I'm going to get kicked off blogger aren't I?

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^I know its a little blurry but that's cause I'm always on the move to get more yarn. Ok the real reason is that I'm right handed trying to take a picture with my left hand. Notice: right hand is in the pictures.

Hope you like them! Also! I just want to say that I'm extremely thankful that Get Stitchy decided to add me to their blog roll. It really made me happy. <3 Thank you.

January 23, 2007

Resolutions and other Thoughts.

I love me some resolutions. I used to make resolutions and I don't know what would happen, I'd forget or go back on what I thought was a good resolution.. I suppose it doesn't matter. I have determined that if I reevaluate what I'm “resolved” to doing, every so often, I'll end up doing it. For instance, I'm trying to reform my eating habits. I've heard if you change them while you are young you'll keep up these habits as you grow older. So about a year and a half ago, I decided I would no longer add table salt to my food. Knowing what I know about the human body [I know things you could probably Google and find, but I'm in college for it instead ;) ] you need a certain amount of salt to perform normal, metabolic functions. That is why I didn't cut out all salts from my diet, because they are important. I digress.

I managed to completely stop using salt in about two weeks, and I was really proud of myself. Every so often I slip and use salt, but we're talking like once every few months, and that's okay.

About a year ago I decided to give up using sugar. I mean like sugar in my coffee or sugar added to anything although; I can only think of adding sugar to my coffee. I started using Splenda. Two packets turned into four and I realized: Sugar is harder to kick than salt. So I switched back to sugar, and I'm still work on weaning it out of my coffee. One day.

I've got a few knitting resolutions for 2007, and a few that may take a few extra years.. hey, lets be reasonable, not ridiculous. (The closer to the top of the list, the greatest the ability to get done this year, unless I hit the lottery.)

1.Finish Green Cascade Sweater (also known as First Sweater Ever)
2.Learn to use DPNs
3.Learn to spin, via spindle
4.Knit with my hand spun yarn.
5.Knit socks.
6.Learn to spin, via wheel.

That should keep me busy. I know its almost the end of January but I've been on vacation, and thats my excuse for posting my resolutions so late in the month. I was on vacation, getting tan. That is my amazing excuse.

I like the picture of this yarn. It looks delicious.

What kind of knitting needles are you?

You are interchangeable.Fun, free, and into everything, you've got every eventuality covered and every opportunity just has to be taken. Every fiber is wonderful, and every day is a new beginning. You are good at so many things, it's amazing, but you can easily lose your place and forget to show up. They have row counters for people like you!
Take this quiz!

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That is about it for today. I'm traveling into NYC this weekend, and the high is 19 degrees. I am going to try and whip up some mittens, and maybe finally post some pictures by the end of the week.

Jersey Out!

January 20, 2007


I start school on Monday. Yesterday, (friday) I went to purchase books I'll need for class. There's this freshly planted tree, he got planted in like September maybe, but he's still new to me. And he's a little tree too, struggling against the random winter we've had here in NJ. I forget where on the vastness that is the internet, but I saw a blog about a woman who knit a sweater for a tree at work. I am seriously considering knitting a skinny little sweater for this tree. I'm wondering exactly how much trouble I could get into, and if it would be worth it. You know, it only got cold this week, and by the time I'm done it'll be 60 and then the tree will be overheated and sweaty.. I don't know.

I've also decided that I'm pretty sure I want to felt a hat. I knit a bunch of hats, and for the most part they fit, but this one hat.. its purple and grey wool yarn held together and its just way too big for my head. So i was thinking, I could rip it all out and knit it again (maybe..) and then it might fit, or I could just felt it, and hope it fits :) I haven't made a decision yet, but I've never felted anything and this is a 100% wool hat... Hmmm.. I have to do alittle research, its a 2x2 or 4x4 ribbing and I don't know how that would look felted. We shall see.

I have not really touched green sweater yet. I mean, I worked on it while I was on vacation, but now with school approaching.. I've been cleaning my room, and running other errands – my grandma has been in the hospital so I've been feeding her dog.. I was looking at him today, he's a wee little dog, and I thought to myself: I should knit him a sweater. But he's really old and I'm also wondering if I'll be able to finish it before he dies. He's got a bunch of store bought dog sweaters but maybe I'll heist one and knit him a fluffy warm one for his old dog ass.

I don't hate the dog, or anything, but he's very bossy. I suppose brain damage and old age will do that to you, but I don't appreciate it. Especially when I've got the food, and he's making me clean up poop.

I've also got this magical idea about knitting a hat with earflaps WITHOUT using dpn's – partially because I haven't had the time to learn how to use them, and partially because I don't have the money to buy them and a quarter that I have a real love of circular needles. I was thinking I could knit up the ear flaps from the bottom up, and put them on waste yarn while I knit the second one. Then get both flaps on circular needle and cast on stitches for my head, and they would be attached within the first knit row. I have NEVER heard of a pattern like that, and I have no idea if it would work, but I might try. It would be like casting on stitches in the middle of a row, except.. not really. I know the technique is used in some sweaters.

I guess I'm just thinking out loud today, but I really need more hats and more hats that fit me. Maybe my knitting is off or my head is shaped funny -? I don't know. I need hats to cover my ears though, not just my head.

The search continues for the perfect hat pattern.. Plus my yarn is really soft and fluffy and beautiful. It needs to transform into a perfect warm fluffy hat. Ok, I'm off to the hospital.


January 18, 2007

The First Post

Hi! Welcome to Jersey Knits! I used to mash knitting and my personal life into a myspace page, but decided that I want to have a knitting-only blog. A place where I can connect with other knitters and officially join the knitting community.

I learned to knit two years ago, thanks to my best friends mother. She's a great person, and she was very patient with me, and my rows of awkward and "held-to-tightly" purled stitches. It all started with a fluff scarf, and one dreary night in March asking if I'd like to learn. The rest is kni-story.

I am a natural yarn person. I like things that are not man made, like wool, alpaca and merino. I do own my fair share of acrylic yarn as well, but I prefer yarns that are soft. I am the proud mom of a spinning wheel, that would have ended up in a garbage dump. It's a little beat up but thanks to my best friends dad (married to the woman who taught me to knit) I only have a few more things to tweak before it will be ready to spin with. I did not receive paperwork with my wheel, but this is the closest picture I can find.

I'm new to blogger, so forgive me if things are slightly awkward. I hope to get the kinks out and learn how to utilize it.

I am a 21 year old college student, hopefully in the near and not so distant future, I will be a phys ed/ health teacher. This also means that I don't get to spend as much time knitting as I wish I could. I also don't have many friends my age who like to knit, and I often get teased about my knitting. I like to knit scarves and hats and I am proudly working on my first sweater.

I guess I should explain my knitting title. Originally a New Jersey native, I moved to Florida for the first semester of my freshmen year. The school I attended was a sweet Catholic-affiliated university. I made friends with a small group of people and quickly acquired the nickname; Jersey. I thought a lot about what to name my blog, I even polled friends for ideas. I decided on Jersey Knits because I was always fond of the nickname, and my time spent in Florida was fun although tumultuous. If I hadn't come home, I would have never learned how to knit. It's also a play on words, I'm sure you're aware of the fabric.

I hope you enjoy my blog, please leave comments and your blog as well! I'm looking to make other knitting/spinning/yarn enthusiast friends, as well as friends my age! It can be lonely to knit in your early twenties.

Welcome to Jersey Knits!