Tuesday, April 22

Looking for Motivation

I finished the baby blanket for my nephew, which was actually quite paralyzing to me, since I wasn't working on any other projects when I finished. The blanket has been my go-to project for the last 7 months, and I reached for it any time I was feeling aimless in my knitting. I have purchased the yarn for several new projects thanks to a super sweet surprise gift card to Rosie's from my mother-in-law. She immediately won the role as my new BFF. So any of you desiring that spot in my life, you now know what it requires. So, with my yarn purchase, I easily have two go-to projects that will take as long as the baby blanket, if not longer. So, while I have been working on only a few projects, I have actually been reading more about knitting lately than actually picking up the needles myself. I've been looking to these sites for motivation, and it's working.

I'm fascinated with several talented knitters including Susan B. Anderson, who is the author of Itty Bitty Nursery and Itty Bitty Hats. She has an Itty Bitty Hats Knitalong that includes topics far beyond baby hats. She writes some of the cutest patterns I've seen - how cute is this?

Another fun website is Purl Soho, which is a tiny knit shop in Manhattan that I visited a few weeks ago while looking for an apartment in Brooklyn. It should come as no surprise that I was particularly enthralled by their Granny Square Project, which shows countless crocheted granny squares in various types of yarn, colors, and sizes. While my crochet is coming along, I haven't actually completed my project, nor have I taken on a project with anything but single crochet in the pattern.

Another of my favorite knitters is Brooklyn Tweed (Jared), who is as talented at photographing his projects as knitting them. I'm not his only fan, by far. There is a link to his website from almost all of my favorite knitters' website. He's a pretty busy guy, pursuing an arts degree, from what I can gather from his blogs. So in spite of living in the same city as him, I'll likely still have to visit his website to check out what he's up to. Not to mention Brooklyn's population is 2.5 million. Plus, he spins his own yarn, so it's unlikely I'll even see him in a yarn shop.

A site as sewing and fashion-centric as the above are knitting-centric is the artfully named Angry Chicken. She has a few tasty recipes worked in, too.

Not a knitting website, but almost as good, Mostly Dogs is a photography-only site that isn't updated nearly as often as I would like. Her pictures are absolutely beautiful.  You can see all of them if you click Browse on her home page.

Anyway, I'll post some of my knitting projects soon, but in the meantime, check out some of these great sites!

Wednesday, April 9

Paws a Moment for a Cause

My friend Sherry is highlighting a cause on her website that I can't help but share with you. If you know me at all, you know that I would adopt absolutely every stray animal, amphibian, and plant that needs a loving home. I was well on my way toward completing this goal when I got married and was forced to limit my collection of strays. Chris sternly informs me (often!) that we are at our weight limit in pets (and a little beyond the limit in plants). He said if I want another pet, a trade off is required. While I have the kitties on a serious diet (right, as if I am not their complete servant - "Why, is that a hungry look? Yes, of course I will feed you.), they haven't quite lost enough weight for me to get a Yorkie. I did get a fish, though!

Back to the topic at hand. It is quite easy for me to recognize the innate desire, which at times feels more like a physical need actually, to help these little critters, and this story hit home. My knitting friend Sherry has a friend who is telling her remarkable rescue/adoption story. Vinnie, her newly adopted puppy-dog, had a near fatal reaction to his post-adoption vaccinations. His condition deteriorated quickly, but here's where it gets amazing. The rescue/adoption center - 4 Paws Sake - that she adopted him from stepped in and took charge of his care and covered the medical expenses (which amounted - after considerable discounts from the vets - to over $1,000). His story is pretty amazing. You should read it.

If you can relate to this story as I can, you might paws a moment for this cause. Many of us knitters are joining together to help pay these medical bills back to 4 Paws Sake so they can continue this amazing work, which I only wish I could do on my own. A couple of very popular knitting stores have donated items for a raffle - $5 per ticket - to benefit 4 Paws Sake. Check out the prizes at the bottom of this page!

I don't know about you, but if I ever have the weight limit in my household down enough for me to adopt again, I'm definitely going to consider 4 Paws Sake.

Here's how to get a raffle ticket, if you're interested:
(1) Go to http://www.4pawssake.org/Paws/donate.html.
(2) Click "Make a Donation".
(3) Enter $5.00 as your donation amount (or more, as you desire).
(4) PayPal will walk you through the rest of the transaction.
(5) Forward your PayPal confirmation to FriendsofVinnie@gmail.com to be entered in the raffle.

Sunday, April 6

A Little Progress Report

Well, I've just been chugging along on my projects. Here is my crochet progress, which I am so pleased about. Tomorrow night, Courtney will help me complete my bag with the pink handles. I've decided to line it so it is reversable as well. No pictures of the fabric yet though, so stay tuned.
Lisa J. has joined the rank of Patient Angel along side Courtney, as she patiently walked me through almost every one of the stitches on my needle...after she pulled out the countless wrong ones that were there before. Thank you Sweet Lisa. You're my hero!
And, for the biggest news, I have four inches to go on my nephew's blanket. I can hardly believe it. So, it will have taken me almost as long as my sister-in-law's pregnancy to knit it. So, in a weird way, it has grown with him.
So, nothing enormous to report, just steady progress. But, as sweet Marissa reminds me, "Slow and steady wins the race." I have such great friends. It's the greatest feeling in the world. ...well, perhaps second only to completing a baby blanket.