Sunday, October 30, 2011

An Ugly Merry Christmas




A year ago I was faced with an arduous task: design an Ugly Christmas Sweater. No, not just ugly but the ugliest Christmas sweater I could imagine. One so ugly it was guaranteed to win any contest. Well, at the very least, the one my brother was entering during last year's Christmas season.

Fast-forward to now...the sweater competed and won in 2010, don't worry. But it's great success doesn't do justice to the monumental effort it took to design.

Creating it was quite the undertaking. I had sworn to include every holiday figure and icon I could knit. My vision included Santa, Rudolph and Frosty. They were all there along with gingerbread men, evergreen trees, wreaths, presents and candy canes. Jingle bells? There might have been a few. But in my search to create the most obnoxious red and green garment only an old lady could still consider classy, I found I needed to start designing my own knitting charts. There just weren't enough available on the Internet.

That being said, in the event that anyone who's crafty with needles decides to embark on an ugly Christmas sweater adventure in the future, I thought I'd share these.


Couldn't have made these without this very useful website: http://jacquie.typepad.com/Charts/knitChart.htm



This one's not entirely mine. I tweeked a Santa chart I found on Ravelry... The original just looked too sad! The original chart can be found at www.knitting-and.com/knitting/patterns/charts/santaclaus.htm Many thanks to the creator!



Friday, October 28, 2011

I have a problem...

So I have a small collection of yarn. Enough to fill a couple of dresser drawers. Yeah okay, so the dresser is really only filled with yarn, don't judge me! I have a problem and just can't help myself. I keep buying MORE yarn.

But can I really be faulted? I have a vision! When I get a project in my head, I can spend hours strolling through the yarn aisles comparing each color, looking for just the right one. And though I may have five other similar shades at home, if I find one that's just perfect, I NEED it!

But there is one catch... The only thing that can make the purchase of a new yarn sweeter is the price. I'm a coupon queen and my heart beats a little faster every time I get one for 50% off. I don't think I've bought yarn at full price in years.

And having purchased the majority of my stash for half off, paying even slightly more drives me nuts! So when I visited the Jo-Ann Fabrics in town that was closing and saw entire bins of yarn marked down to half-price, resistance was futile. They had the colors I'd drooled over months ago when a blanket to match my living room had come to mind. I knew it was a sign.

Needless to say, 25 dollars later I've got three of the four colors I need for my blanket. And when the new Jo-Anns opens in two weeks, I'll be using my coupons for the grand opening to stock up on the last color.

Casting on...

I still remember the day I learned the knit and the purl. It took endless hours of frustration, tying my needles into hopeless knots, as I learned the motions that would weave a skein of yarn together. With time I learned to keep the tension just right and eventually embarked upon the journey almost every new knitter takes - the scarf. An unchanging width of warmth where the end knit last invariably looks a bit better than the start.

It's been eight years since then and the movements have become fluid, the projects more complex and the yarn collection a bit ridiculous. I've got all sorts of ideas and have come up with a clever design or two of my own. This blog will be a place to share these ideas as well as my knitting misadventures.

Check out my projects:
http://www.ravelry.com/people/penguineer