Wednesday, March 11, 2009

for the birds

Here I am. Wow! A month goes by fast these days. I've actually been a little reluctant posting because I use an old computer that has reached its max and I don't like to put any new photos on to it. Probably time to back up iphoto and clean things up a bit.

I've been working on a few crafts. First was this pair of wool needle felted birds and nest. I made them for Jim for his birthday a few weeks ago. I had thought they would be a Valentines gift, but they ended up being rather time consuming. Needle felting is fun but it might be hard to appreciate how much time goes into them. It might be hard to see, but the boy is wearing a bow-tie and the girl has a flower in her head feathers and a pearl necklace. They're dressed for an evening out I guess. The nest is made of fabric strips and pipe cleaners. I like the sturdy feel the wires give to the nest.

I've also been doing some knitting. After a lot of time spent trying to learn to continental knit, I've finally figured out something similar. Many years ago in college I went to the library and checked out a few books to teach myself how to knit. I figured out how to do it, but I was not really doing it the way everyone else does. I should say that I had no idea I was doing anything wrong. I came out with the same results, but it was slow. So when I tried to learn the faster continental way, things got really mixed up because I didn't have a proper technique to begin with. Despite looking at a million "learn-to-knit" videos on the web, I could never get the hang of holding the yarn in my left hand. My stitches would always get very twisted. Finally when I was at the end of my rope (or should I say yarn) I decided to try to copy exactly what I was doing in my old (wrong) way and just hold the yarn in my left hand. What I've ended up with is the absolutely BEST way to knit ever. Trust me, I've seen all the videos and nobody does it quite like I do and my way is great! Speedy, perfect stitches, perfect tension, most minimal hand/finger movement. I can do it without looking, switch from knit to purl without letting go of the yarn, switch to a new row without letting go of the yarn. Truly! Crazy! Now I can knit without it taking me forever. I made this cute vest for Tess. The pattern is here. I just cast on more stitches (100?) at the beginning to make it a little bigger to fit Tess. Here she is modeling. I know it is not the best view of the vest, but I picked to photo for other reasons:)