Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Time Out...

A few weeks ago I was knitting with a friend and I asked her about a sweater that I had seen her working on. "That sweater is on time out" she said. That is a perfect way to describe it.

I noticed awhile ago that I had no handknit sweaters and immediately started on one...and then another one. Then I started working at a yarn store and was looking through the Rowan "magazine" (hell of a magazine) and saw this sweater, irresistable...and I'm going to look just like this nordic princess in it when it's done. But the first sweater is on time out until I spin more yarn, the second sweater is on time out until I frog a few rows and fix the problem with the pattern, and the third sweater is on time out because of an evil dye-lot problem. I felt good enough about myself that I disected the insane cable chart for this sweater (reduce 6 stitches in one stitch...sure, nothing easier you crazy English knit-nazis) that I just can't find the enthusiasm to reknit one whole repeat even though there is a very distinct color difference in my last two balls of yarn, even though they came from the same dyelot...grrr.
So now, not only do I still not have a handknit sweater, I don't have anything to knit. Oh sure, I've knit a few hats, and I knit some samples for the store, but those don't count. Anything that you can knit in three hours doesn't count as a project. It's something to do instead of twiddling your thumbs or bouncing your foot up and down.
Now, the old Ragnar would have just started another sweater unrepentant yarn whore that she was, but the new mature Ragnar (did I mention that none of these time out sweaters have skulls on them...not a one) knows that having four unfinished sweaters is prohibitively ridiculous. So here's the question, how do you bring a sweater out of time out?
Any suggestions?
Ragnar...practically a yarn monk.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I'm not wasting time in the cafe....

I'm answering work related email! Right. Yeah, that sounds like a good excuse.

So, as promised here is a picture of the needle organizers that I've been making lately. Lots of pockets for circular needles, 10 double point pockets, two of them oversized to fit those mega needles that make hats fly so quickly.

And as further evidence that I need to uphold my end of this blogging thing, there was only ONE entry in the piracy/knitting lymeric contest.

Ragnar was a knitter of legacy,

Whose needles were guided by pirates;

she sung high dum diddle,

And played on the fiddle,

And knit a web of conspiracy.

And Jiggy, I don't know what planet you are living on but Legacy and Pirates don't ryhmn. Legacy and Piracy do thou, so I'm editing you and squeaking you in. Next time I see you, you can pick out a needle holder, and get rid of that tattered old ziplock bag that you've been toting around for years.

Ragnar...she knits, she sews, she wastes time in the cafe.

Monday, February 12, 2007

An introduction, a thanks, an anniversary, and a resolution...

I have a policy of pseudonyms on this here blog oh mine. Yeah, my birth certificate doesn't say "Ragnar" and my family isn't actually called "Manimal" and "Rat Girl," my friends aren't named "Jiggy" and "Dready." This gives me a chance to post embarassing stories about myself and the people in my life without too much fear of retribution. I'm going to break that policy for a few minutes so that I can rave about a wonderful person and her wonderful yarn store. I've touched on this in previous posts, but the time has come to put it all out in the open.

The store is called "Woven Art" which is a rather odd name for a knitting shop, but this is so much more than a yarn store. The proprietor, who I am pleased to call my friend, Nancy McRay, is dedicated to all things fiber art, and her store, while well stocked with wonderful yarn, books and knitting supplies, is also an art gallery, a weaving studio, and a textile art education center. As a newish knitter (can you believe that I've only been at this for 3 years? Yikes...), former costume designer, quilter, and basic fiber art wannabe, is it any wonder that I consider this store to be my second home? Add to that the fact that Nancy has supported me through my transition from hobbiest to artist by giving me a space to show my work, and offering me advice and support when I bitch and moan about the subjectiveness of art fairs and jurors, and you'll further understand my enthusiasm.

Mien gott, Ragnar is getting downright sappy. Sorry folks, that's just how it has to be.

Anyway, I'm downright tickled to introduce you all to Nancy. She has recently joined us in the blogosphere, and you can find lots of knitting pics, and (oh happy day!!) pictures of her hand-dyed yarn. Did I fail to mention that she dyes a large percentage of the yarn that she sells? Every Monday new gorgeous colors. I hate to expose myself as a "conservative" knitter, but in my book you can't beat the Kona Superwash. It's merino, washable, and Nancy will dye it any color you could possibly imagine....nirvana. So click on over and welcome her to our little world.

So that's the introduction, and now a brief thanks. I wanted to give a shout-out to Jen Stafford over at the Domi-KNIT-rix. Awhile ago she linked to the skull shrug post and I haven't had a chance to return the favor. If you haven't had a chance to check out her new book, then you are in for a treat. If you hurry you might be able to finish one of her "heart" pillows in time for valentine's day. I'm not in favor of candy hearts in general, but one that says "bite me" is okay in my book.

And thinking about candy hearts made me think about last year when I posted a link to the candy heart generator and Jiggy and I had a ton of fun making nasty candy hearts. My favorite is still "suck pig" I don't know what it means, but it just looks wrong on a little candy heart. And that made me realize that I have been at this for more than a year....even though my posting frequency has gone down to something closer to once a month than my beginning, enthusiastic once a day. I don't know why, but it makes me happy. I still haven't edited my links (I will...someday), but gosh dern it, I'm not a newbie anymore. Hurrah! So in honor of my anniversary, I would like to offer you bleaders one of my knitting needle organizers. I wasn't really prepared for this post, since it just occured to me today that I would be posting it, so I can't show you a picture, but I'll try to post one soon. They are very cool, with lots of pockets and funky batik fabrics and stuff. Unfortunately I don't have any left with skulls on them.

So if you are interested in getting a knitting needle organizer of your very own, hand crafted by Ragnar and featuring neato batik fabrics all you have to do is compose a lymeric that includes the words: "knitting" and "piracy." And I will pick my favorite one and send the author a nifty needle case. Righto? And because you will all want to take your time with this one you have until next Monday, which is the 19th.

And that leads into my "resolution." This is on the order of those New Years Resolutions that are so popular, but which I never uphold. This is a new blogging year resolution.

I, Ragnar, hereby resolve that I will update my blog more often. That I will not post those "sorry, this is all I have time for" posts any longer. I have a nifty phone that takes pictures of things, and an old laptop that weighs as much as a baby elephant, but which will pick up internet from the cafe 5 blocks away from my house, so I have no excuses not to post pictures of the things that I am knitting, sewing, or otherwise crafting upon. Therefore I will not shirk....or rather I will shirk less, my duty as a blogger.

I look forward to reading you, and being read by you in the next year.
And I look forward to reading your lymerics.

Ragnar...see, I can be as sappy and sentimental as the next pirate.