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My sister and I had matching ponchos when we were growing up. Major nostalgia for me…so I want to make matching ponchos for my girls. How handy that a baisc poncho is just two big rectangles sewn together. Bernat Soft Boucle hides the seams well too.

I started the matching one the next week, but it’s sooooo boring. Five months later I’ve yet to finish it.

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Knowing that I need to practice (the lack of discipline) I got a huge honkin’ skein of cheap yarn and swore that I would keep knitting until it was gone. Can you say boring? It was good for me though. By the end I was knitting well and ready to learn to purl.

(Crud, can’t find the picture.)

I’m starting this blog a little late. I realized about a month ago that I need to start recording my knitting progress! I’ve only been knitting for six months, but I’ve come a long way. I’m going to try to backtrack and record all of my projects to date.

A little about me and knitting….this was written the day that I started…

I’m one of those people who is able to do a lot of different things. A jack of all trades, if you will. But I’m not excellent at any of them. Because I have no discipline whatsoever. A major struggle of my entire adult life has been making up for my complete lack of discipline growing up. None. Nada. Zilch.

I tend to shy away from anything that requires practice of any kind. I gravitate towards things that I am good at in a short amount of time — things that I “take to.” If I don’t take to it quickly, I quit.

Scarily, my daughter is the same way, and I want to fix her so she’s not, but I don’t know how.

Anyhoo, today I started teaching myself to knit. There was a lot of angst and foul language involved, casting on and ripping off and casting on and ripping off. In the end I knit a little thing that is 10 stiches (roughly) wide and about eight inches long. What pisses me off, aside from the fact that knitting is frustrating as hell and my hands are aching terribly, is that I seem to be getting worse instead of better. The first 12 rows or so are very nice and even, then I started to suck big time. That doesn’t make sense to me. Aren’t you supposed to suck in the beginning, then get better? The last 3/4 looks horrendous. I kept picking up stitches, and I have no idea how. All of the sudden I’d count and there would be 12 stitches instead of 10, then 13…how the hell does that happen?

Of course I am tempted to pitch the needles and never pick them up again. But I think it would be good for me to keep trying. I have plenty of excuses not to…no time to learn something new, I suck, it freakin’ hurts my hands, etc, etc….but on the other hand it would be very good for me to stick with something for once. A good example for my daughter, if nothing else, minus the foul language of course.

Grrrr. I’m mad. But that’s okay.

And the next day:

I’m doing much better today. Learned to cast on for real, and switched from English to Continental. Ahhhh. Still a lot of casting on and ripping out, but it’s good for me to do something where there isn’t always something to show for my effort — sometimes the process is the important part.

My daughter did find my horrid effort from last night, and she was so sweet…all, “Ooooh, mama I LIKE that! Can you show me how to do that? Can I try??” I explained that in order to teach her, I will have to learn myself, and that it might take a little while. Tomorrow I’m going to teach her how to finger-knit though…anyone can manage that!

It’s fun to look back and see how far I’ve come.

Woo! Can’t wait for SP7!! Here’s my Q….my SP’s best bet at getting to know me since I usually only post about FOs, not a lot of time to be yappy about other stuff around here. I’ll work on that though. Man, this is a long one………..

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? I absolutely prefer natural fibers — so if that makes me a yarn snob, so be it. Doesn’t have to be pricey, though — Knitpicks occupies a large place in my stash. But all the Uruguayan merino is threatening to take over. (Nooooo RH, I’ve paid my dues. Lion? The occasional Woolease item.)

2. Do you spin? Crochet? Nope. I’d like to spin someday, but my hands (and my house) are full of knitting.

3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? For circs, I have one of those hang-on-the-wall things. It’s wonderful functionally, but is very ugly. DPNs & other paraphanelia is kept in a bin within arm’s reach of my desk.

4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I’ve been knitting a little over a year, and I’d say I’m intermediate. Little truly terrifies me any more, but I have small children so I don’t usually attempt super-difficult stuff.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Yes, Amazon.

6. What’s your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) Hmmm. Love Pearberry, love Shea Butter but it makes DH sneeze. (rolleyes) In general, light floral scents — nothing too strong.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? I have such a sweet tooth. Right now I’m trying to stick with straight chocolate though (Dove or Trader Joe’s), or any goodies without high fructose corn syrup in them. Going through a crunchy phase.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? I’m a graphic designer so I gravitate towards paper crafts and photography. I also sew and do calligraphy, and I love to cook.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) We’re all about music over here — you get it to us, we can play it. I love all kinds but have a special fondness for “unplugged” recordings/compilations. Acoustic music is my fave.

10. What’s your favorite color? Or–do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can’t stand? Loooove greens, not too fond of yellows, oranges, & browns. I grew up in the 70s in a house where every single freaking room was brown and orange. For knitting I seem to gravitate towards blues, greens and purples.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? Married to my DH for -gulp- almost 11 years, two daughters (2 and 5). No pets, not now, not ever. (severe allergies)

12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Scarves, occasionally; hats, if I could find one that didn’t make me look goofy, I’d be all over it; mittens, yes; ponchos, no.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? Malabrigo/handpaintedyarn.com. YUM. Rowan Cashsoft DK/DB Cashmerino. Manos Cotton Stria. Knitpicks Decadence, Merino Style, Alpaca Silk. I adore alpaca.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? Scratchy wool, kitchen cotton, most acrylics, anything furry/railroad/overtly novelty-looking. And I have no desire to ever knit with lace weight yarn.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s? Definitely merino — I do actually dream about Malabrigo on occasion. I just joined a yarn co-op and ordered more more more merino from Uruguay. I can’t believe how soft and wonderful it is. Uh, and I’ve been knitting quite a few socks, too.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I love making kids’ stuff — hats, sweaters, clogs, socks — I rarely have the patience for adult-sized projects, though occasionally I’ll take one on. I don’t think you could pay me enough to knit an afghan, unless it was that cool little round one. (And that’s not reeeally an afghan, now, is it?)

17. What are you knitting right now? I’m finishing up an earflap hat, the second of matching hats for my daughters, with yummy 6-ply bulky merino. Also on the needles: a toddler sweater I’m designing, Cozy (which makes me fall asleep so I never get far), a baby sock, and a Project of Which I Cannot Speak. Waiting in the wings: Merino Style for Tubey, which I’m knitting for my best friend.

18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Love ’em, as long as they’re functional — I don’t do knick knacks.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? circs, for everything — I’m a lover of the two-circ method of small-diameter knitting, so I rarely use DPNs or straights for anything any more, except maybe swatching.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Addis or bamboo.

21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Just ordered a winder…and I’m the proud creator of a ghetto swift, which I made with items found at my Goodwill store. It’s kind of wonky, though, and I look forward to someday getting a real one.

22. How did you learn to knit? Amy Finlay taught me. 🙂

23. How old is your oldest UFO? Almost a year. A poncho I started for my older daughter after I finished her sister’s…it’s so freaking boring I can’t stand it. And I feel the need to say that I didn’t want to knit ponchos because they were “in,” I wanted to knit them because when we were little, my sister and I had matching ponchos which we adored. I had no idea that ponchos were all the rage, and I wouldn’t have cared either way. Just had to make sister ponchos for nostalgia’s sake.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird? Hmmm. That’s a tough one.

25. What is your favorite holiday? I love the season from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

26. Is there anything that you collect? Other than yarn? Nope. I’m trying hard not to collect things at this point. (Have I mentioned that I live in a very small house?)

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? None. Sigh.

28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? Oh yes, see #5, lol

29. Are there any new techniques you’d like to learn? I’ve been toying with taking a “Crochet for Knitters” type class — I do have a CD with how-to-crochet videos but never seem to get around to watching it — I’d rather be knitting. But I think it would be a great skill to have. I’m also excited to try my hand at dyeing. Wherever I go I’m always checking out the kool-aid selection.

30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? I never in a million years thought I would say this, but yes, I am a sock knitter. Shoe size 8.5, and foot length is just about 9.5″.

31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) 09/21