Thursday, December 28, 2006


I don't know why there are people who hate the holidays. My family is so fun. We have a traditional Polish Christmas Eve, Wigilia, and also get together on Christmas Day. My family eats, laughs, opens gifts (like the ornaments I made, see above), and enjoys each other's company. This year I played outside with my little cousins, it was so warm. Andrew called from Iraq, too, so that was a special bonus. Even though I only live a short five-hour drive away from the family, I only see them a few times a year (they really need to visit more).
I know people complain about the consumerism, the greediness, and so on, but in families like mine, that's all put aside for spending time together. I like gifts, of course, and I got some great ones this year (three knitting related books, even), but there's nothing like the holidays to bring out the love in my family.Here's a picture of Stefan in his scarf, which he wore non-stop. He was bugging me to open the gift the minute I walked in. I forget what a good receiver he is. He carries around an afghan I made for him like it's his blankie. I plan on making him socks with the other Artyarns I bought for him.

I made a hat for my sister, too. In fact, I meant to post last night but I was enjoying the hat so much, I stayed up finishing it. I based the pattern on Fetching, which I used for her birthday present (and forgot to photograph). The yarn is the same, too: RYC Cashcotton DK. I love this hat. I was worried that the crown would look funny because of the rapid decreasing, but it turned out perfectly. I may make a version for myself.

Friday, December 22, 2006


No pictures today because I'm posting from work (shh). This post is a plea for help.

I've been feeling like lately I've just been reporting on my FOs and WIPs, with no real content to this blog. I started this blog in January of last year because Jen's blog wouldn't allow anonymous comments. I thought, why not. Then, of course, I fell in love with the idea of becoming a part of a knitting community. I had started to grow my knitting community by hanging out at Nina, by attending knitting nights there, and by knitting with friends. It's nice to have friends who knit.

I had an ulterior motive for starting this blog, too. I have been reading knitting blogs for a while, and am fascinated by the popularity. Why do people blog about their knitting? Knitting is so tactile, and blogging is not. Why am I so interested in reading what others are working on? Why did I feel like I could join this community and share my own knitting adventures? I'm a folklorist. I study communities. My interest was piqued.

After about ten months of blogging and commenting on blogs, I decided to take the plunge and really start researching this community. In October I asked a few knit bloggers to answer a series of questions for me. Knitters are so gracious. I now have a good start on this project. I need to figure out a way to get more knit bloggers to answer my questions. I've refined them, and I'm still working on making them more focused, but they take time. I was thinking that starting a meme would be useful, but I wouldn't know how to track it. I need the answers to compile my findings.

Basically, I'm trying to research the motives for blogging about knitting; the impact the larger knit blogger community has on individual blogs and the knitters themselves; and the unique characteristics of an online community that is based on an artform that is physical in both creation and purpose.

So, please, if you would be willing to answer about 25 essay-type questions about knitting and blogging, please contact me through this blog. And please, please spread the word. If you read a knit blog that addresses these questions (because I'm sure we all think about them from time to time), please send me the link. I'm bookmarking them for future reference or for possible interviews.

One more plea: if you know of resources about how blogging (and its predecessors) creates or maintains communities, please recommend them. I'm interested in books, websites, scholarly articles, other blogs, or anything that leads to other resources.

Finally, thank you to those knitters who have answered questions for me already. They've given me insight on how to revise the questions and a kernel of an idea for a thesis.

In knitting news, I started the sock, the hat, and another hat. Why choose?

Sunday, December 17, 2006


I finished Stef's scarf. I like the way the pattern works with the yarn. It looks like snake skin, I think. I just did a simple "ric rac and garter" from Vogue Knitting Stitchionary. I'm hoping it's long enough for Stef. This yarn is my favorite kind. It's spongy and soft.

I also ripped Shedir and made mittens from the yarn. They are for a friend who has helped me out in a lot of ways. She lent me her daughter's car over Thanksgiving so I could drive to Michigan for my favorite holiday dinner. She helped position me to take my current job and is encouraging me to find another, less emotionally stressful job. She's starting a not-for-profit and is including me in the planning. I appreciate everything she's done. I hope the mittens show it.

Now I don't know what to make. I've got the Bea Ellis kit. I've wanted to make another pair of socks, too. I need a hat for myself, and the Bea Ellis is lined with cotton, so I could make it for me. I have a hard time sticking with something for me. Making gifts for others is like having a deadline, even if it's only self-imposed. When I make things for me, I don't feel like I have a deadline, so I move on to other things too quickly. I should keep working on Christmas gifts, but I'm not interested. I also get anxious if I only have one project going. The ornaments just aren't enough to keep me interested. I'll have something decided by my next post, I'm sure.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Robot vs. iPod

I gave Dan his robot today. The surprise was the eyes. I attached LEDs to washers and then glued the washers to the inside of the face. The LEDs flash green and red. I had a feeling Dan was going to get me an iPod. He's been trying to get me to want one since we met. I have an mp3 player, so I didn't need anything else until my mp3 player broke (I think the USB drive at work fried it). Dan got me an iPod shuffle. He'll make me an Apple cult member yet, I think. I hope the robot shows how much I appreciate this very sweet, very thoughtful gift.

Speaking of gifts, I bought a friend some Soak from One Planet Yarn and Fiber. They are so great. They noticed that I was sending it as a gift, so the emailed to ask if I wanted to include a note. Not only did they include my note, but they put it in a bag with a bow. So nice.

Good news. Nina did have the Cottage Industry yarn. I bought the last two skeins. Whew. Now I can finish Shedir. Actually, Shedir is on hold while I work on Stef's scarf. I'm loving the way it's striping. The white is making a zig zag along the scarf and the grey is pooling into triangles. I hope Stefan likes it.

I also got the kit from Bea Ellis and the yarn I ordered for We Call Them Pirates. Looks like this is going to be a Fair Isle kind of season.

Finally, the power went out the other night. I couldn't stop knitting of course. I bought a headlamp on my road trip in September. I recommend one for all knitters. It's hands-free so you can knit in the dark!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Drunk Dialing

I've never been drunk, and, therefore, I've never drunk dialed, but last night I did something akin to drunk dialing. I purchased yarn (actually, a kit), but I barely remember doing it. Evidently, I purchased a Bea Ellis kit. I remember looking at the kits, deciding on one, then deciding I didn't like any of the colors. I remember finding colors that might work, but I definitely do not remember actually buying the kit. They sent me an email today, saying it was ready to be shipped. I guess I did this after buying the yarn for a We Call Them Pirates hat, which I remember. I don't know why I would have purchased yarn for two colorwork hats, but I guess I did. At least it was only one kit. Right? I'd better check my credit card bill.

I finished Odessa this weekend. I was working on Shedir, but I left the pattern at work. I also ran out of yarn. I'm hoping Nina has some stashed somewhere that I can buy. I owe her a visit anyway.

I also got the yarn for Stef's scarf. I let him choose the colors for the scarf. They kinda clash. I'm just going to use the black and white for a simple scarf. Maybe I can have it done for Christmas.