Thursday, January 31, 2013


These legwarmers were made really quickly on the day we visited my father at christmas. Cast on the train on the way, and cast off the second on teh way back. Just wanted to have something to go with my orange miniskirts and boots. 4 skeins of Drops Eskimo, 6 mm DPNs.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Knitting? Better than yoga!- composition homework

Knitting: Better than Yoga!
What if I say there is a simple activity that can act as meditation, can improve hand movement, eye and hand coordination, alleviate stress and depression, stimulate brain patterns by using visualization, enhance memory, and teach goal setting, planning and execution of a project? Knitting can do all that. It was always with us in the background, usually thought of as something for elderly ladies. Then, about a decade ago, several world famous stars picked up the needles and it became increasingly trendy and cool, often dubbed as the New Yoga, but aside from fashion, knitting can be beneficial in many areas.

Knitting is easy and helps focus. As the saying goes “anybody who can tie their shoelace has the necessary skills to learn to knit”. You can select your project as easy or difficult as you like. There is something that needs to be thought over, figuring out, and requires hard thinking? Do you find sometimes it is difficult to focus because your hand fidgets and your mind wonders? Pick up an easy, mindless project, a two by two ribbed sock or a garter stitch scarf, and your hands would be busy, a small part of your brain is occupied, while the other can focus and work on the important thoughts.
Knitting is relaxing. Is there something that you would love to forget but can’t? Something your mind goes back to again and again, making you stressed and worried? Look for a difficult pattern; a complicated lace perhaps or a many colored Fair Isle sweater where you have to pay close attention to your hands, slow down your thoughts, check what you are doing at every stitch. After a while one can get lost in the project and forget about other troubles. Research shows that knitting’s rhythmic repetitive movements can induce deep relaxed, almost meditative state, which can be helpful for depressed patients or ones with chronic pain.

Knitting is practical. Clicking the needles can help prevent boredom while waiting; in a doctor’s office, at an airport, long and boring train trips, or sporting events. It can keep you from bad habits like smoking or snacking. If you knit for others it can help you be charitable, if you knit with others it can help build communities. It can help children’s development of motor skills, color sense and creativity. Basic math from adding up through multiplying to combinatory also can be practiced through this simple craft. Kids can learn goal setting and how to carry out a project from the planning stage to the finished item. For old people it can help keeping the muscles in shape, and the memory in practice.

No matter what age you are in, or what reasons you have for knitting, most people agree that it is good for you. And let’s not forget, at the end there is a product that can be useful, practical or beautiful or all three at the same time. Only a few wouldn’t appreciate hand knits; the comfort of socks, the warmth of gloves, and the uniqueness of a handmade sweater.

Exam period... aka I am coming back!

I've mentioned it a few times, that a couple of years ago I've bitten off a rather big bite for myself... After saying goodby to the Bank, I had to face the fact that no matter what I know, it is no use if I don't have a paper about it. So I've applied to University, (and got accepted) which had considerable advantages ( for example about 5 hour train trip- ummm uninterrupted knitting time- every other week), and disadvantages, like gigantic pile of homework to do, assignements to hand in, and exams to get trough, one of these exam period was responsible my dissapearance lately. One of my favorite classes was the so called "writing" (or composition) where we had to write shorter essays in different styles, where we only had the style set (classification, argument, argument/counterargument and such), but never the topic, as our teacher said it is always more interesting to read the topics the students come up with. By teh nature of things my topics were mainly about crafts (I wonder if he was prepared tho get a full training in crafts, LOL), and flying. In the last year or so I was asked repeatedly to show at least the essay about knitting, but the others as well.
In the next post I will show the short argument for knitting, the others will be collected on a different page. A Hungarian translation will be posted on the Hungarian language blog.
P.S.: Many thanks for the invaluable help of Angela, with the essays.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Second round owls

My first knit last year was a red owl sweater, just for good luck... So I thought it would be fitting to fnish the year with an other one...
Kate Davies's pattern is still great, I can still wholeheartedly suggest it as a first pullover for anyone (or for not the first one for that matter). From a nice thick yarn it can be ready in a few days, even if it took me longer this time because of my exams. But on the morning of this month's knitting meeting I managed to get the buttons on the just slightly damp sweater.
The yarn was hiding away in my stash since about 2007... It was one of my very early e-bay buys, and a disappointment at the time. It looked rather orange on the picture, it was described as "rust", but when it arrived it was just....brown. And way to thick... I didn't know what to do with it, until I was buying buttons for my last years owl sweater and fell in love with these tiny square orange buttons, and bought a pack of it... and the typical case of making a coat to go with the button... I just thought what a great owl eyes tehy would make on a brown sweater... from then it was just the question to dig out the yarn from the very deep satsh...
I've knitted it somewhat bigger than the one last year, which is...umm rather form fitting, and I made higher neckline with wider ribbing. waist shaping is at the sides... Truth to be told, I didn't even looked at the pattern, just measured the thing against the one I made last time.

Friday, January 4, 2013

When a shawl hides in the fiber. Last part...DONE!!!

The knitting is finished finally...
I started out with a bunch of fiber, which I turned to three balls of yarn...
It took me a while, but it is DONE!
I love it...
I was asked why I've knitted it with straight needles... actually there isn't any particular reason.
Except that when I started knitting we only had those awful circular needles, the teflon covered aluminum ones with the rigid cables...I just hated them. So much that I tried everything to avoid using them. I didn't even mind sewing up things. With the arrival of ADDI needles things changed a lot, but I am still old fashioned at I do try to knit shawls with straights. It is only some times that there are too many stitches to fit them on...
I changed to circulars when started to knitting the edge on my Aeolian shawl, and I changed to a par of circs when I got to the edges with this one.
Photos: Christopher Laurent Deli
Place: Barkafonal