Smitten by the Mitten …

Recently I was at work on the show Fringe and like always I was knitting. Its great work being an extra as they feed you and you don’t always have to work very hard – not always. Anyways, I was working on Mike’s sweater (Adam’s Rib) when Lyndsay let an ooooh escape from her lips. It turns out she loved the color of the yarn. I have to say that I really liked it as well and was originally making the sweater for myself, but if you’ve read the post you know the story. If you haven’t. click the link and join the ranks of the informed. Anyway, I had more than enough wool to work with so I decided to make her a pair of mittens as her love of them had come up in conversation. She was doubtful that I would be able to do them while we were working, but I assured her I would. I knit one that day to get an idea of the fit as I was just winging these. It was pretty good so I tweaked it a bit and went home to make the other one.

Lyndsay with the mittens ....

It turned out to be a good project to do as you have to deal with gussets for the thumb and I had placed an XO cable down the middle of it. This required some calculations for the decreases but it all worked out in the end. To say that Lyndsay was appreciative of the mittens is an understatement. I now g to set for other shows and people I don’t know that see me knitting come up to me and say “Hey you’re the guy that made those mittens for Lyndsay”! Its funny how such a simple gesture can go a long way to make somebody’s day. A bit of a segway here – Lyndsay lives in Vancouver and has her own Image Consulting company. You can check her out on Facebook through this link – LM Image Consulting. I know she is also working on a blog as well. I love her mantra – “Bringing the inner you … out”.

Also, while I was on Fringe I discovered that two of the actresses knit – Anna Torv and Jasika Nicole also knit. Mark Valley who is Anna’s real life husband played a fellow FBI agent and secret lover in the first few episodes and is now starring in Human Target. He is rumored to be a knitter as well – I’ll keep you posted when I find out more. Its actually amazing how many knitters there are out there. Its good to see the art is actually growing instead of going the other way. If you know of any celebrity related knitting info let me know. I’m planning on doing a post on references to knitting in Hollywood – from movies and TV shows featuring it to the people behind the craft.

Hugzzz 😎

Remembering Mom …

Today is a bit of a sad day for me. 10 years ago, while I was in Australia vacationing, my mom passed away from a stroke. She had gotten up in the middle of the night for a glass of water and simply collapsed on the floor. The doctors say she had died before she hit the floor and felt no pain. My mom was a very special lady to a lot of people, but especially to me. Whenever I am knitting people always ask me if my mom taught me how. Unfortunately, it is on of the few things she did not. As a matter of fact, I never saw my mother with a pair of knitting needles in her hand. She could crochet though, boy, could she ever. She would start with this impossibly thin ball of thread (okay, it was crochet cotton but it looked like string) and an even smaller hook and just go. It was mesmerizing to watch her fingers fly as she crocheted. If she was alive today I’m sure she would give Lily chin a run for her money. Now that I’m an avid knitter I regret not paying more attention to her and learning to crochet from her. Things are what they are though and my knitting would have been shaped entirely differently if I had.

Being from Jamaica, my mom was a very practical person. She often made tablecloths and dish cloths from her crochet. She would make quite a few squares and magically put them together. She would then soak the entire thing in a cornstarch solution and iron it out. When she was finished it would be stiff as a board and we had another tablecloth in the house. Even though I crochet (not nearly as well as I knit though) and understand how its possible to just crochet things out of thin air, I am amazed at the ability my mom (and any crocheter that can do the same) had. To have the ability to make something from nothing is a wonderful talent and one of the reasons I am so fascinated with knitting. When I look around and realize that most garments being worn started as a long strand of fiber I am truly amazed. Someone like my mom (and now me) came along and started to manipulate that fiber and ended up with a sweater, or socks, or scarf, or whatever. While she never taught me how to knit, my mom inspired me to create. Thanks for that mom – and a whole lot of other things too. Rest in peace.

Hugzzz 😎

Model needed …

Wow, what a day! Apparently this blog hit 60 views today! And I almost finished a sweater to boot! So my day on set ended up being a little busier than I had wanted – I hate actually having to work – and I didn’t get to finish the sweater. Its close though. I have one sleeve to finish sewing up and one side. That’s one down and how many more to go …

As I mentioned earlier, I was going to post late today because I was at work most of the day. I had a couple of posts set up for just such an occurrence, but ended up using them already. Tie to store up some more. Today’s is about finishing – I’m actually quite pleased that this sweater is so close to being finished. As I discussed in a previous article, my Area 51 is quite large and I’m working on reducing its size considerably. Anne’s coat will probably the first item that goes from the list of UFO’s to FO’s. I don’t think that I will actually ever finish everything though as I am a firm believer that unless you have a few projects on the go you’re not a full-on knitter. Its also a great way to relieve any boredom that may come from an uninspiring project. I personally prefer challenging patterns so as to prevent this, but eventually you get the gist of any repetition and eventually you can look at the stitches to figure out the next one in the pattern. This is always a bitter-sweet part of a pattern for me. You’re delighted that you don’t have to look at the pattern anymore but kind of disappointed that you already have it figured out. I know – I’m kinda wierd.

The almost finished Geurnsey ... anybody fit a men's medium?

I find designing entirely different though. Even for a simple stocking stitch pattern you’re filled with an anticipation all the way through. I find I can’t get to the end soon enough to see if the pattern actually works out and to see what the finished product will look like. Don’t tell anyone, but I actually kind of like having to frog a design and redo parts of it. I’m sure after a couple hundred sweaters and swatches I’ll get over this though. So here’s a picture of the sweater almost done. I’m going to watch Fringe and finish it right after this post. As soon as I find a model for it I’ll post a picture of that for you to see. Now I’m kind of regretting not making this one to fit me. Oh well, there’s 12 more in the book … Talk to you soon.

Hugzzz 😎

Oops …

This is a very short posting to let you know that I will be posting to this blog later today. I have been VERY busy with VERY long days at work the past three days and didn’t have time to write a post for today. I’m hoping to get home at a decent hour today though as I was up at 5 to start work at 6:30! I’m also hoping to get the sweater finished so I can post it later! Thanks for reading so far and I hope you realize it inspires me to continue writing. Your comments and/or subscriptions are welcomed and appreciated. Have a great day and I’ll talk to you all later.

Hugzzz 😎

A lesson learned …

You’d think that after making several sweaters I’d have learned the lesson of writing everything down! Well, I haven’t – hadn’t – yet. Let’s hope I have now. Remember the sweater that I said I would probably have finished very soon and have pictures up for? The one from the swatch on the post two days ago? Well, yesterday I was on set and not very busy at all. I have gotten very creative in terms of ways of getting knitting done between takes including taking it on set and just hiding it out of camera sight between takes. I had started the last sleeve yesterday morning on my way to set (I take public transit – don’t worry) and was surprised by how much I was able to get finished in a short space f time. I had just finished the other sleeve the night before and forgot how easy the beginning was. Anyway, my increases on the sleeve change from every 4 rows to every 6 rows. I thought I remembered where, but I didn’t realize how quickly I was knitting.

I decided to do a stitch count at one point and realized I had done too many rows. I ripped back a few and it was at that point that I realized I couldn’t remember when I was to switch to every 6 rows. I pulled out my notebook where I keep notes only to discover that I hadn’t written it down. I had virtually everything else except that vital piece of information! To make matters worse, I hadn’t brought the other sleeve. As a matter of fact, I hadn’t brought anything else as I hadn’t thought I would have the time I did. As t turned out, had I been better prepared, this post would be about a FO instead of me learning a lesson. I had time to finish the entire sweater and sewing the sleeves in place and all! So now I’m hoping the same thing happens today and I’m able to post pictures of the finished project early tomorrow.

I also hope that you can learn from my lesson as well. Just as it is important to always make sure you ave your pattern with you, it’s equally as important to make sure you have all your notes in one place and that you write down everything. Since I’m designing this sweater, I really need to pay attention to this. My usual style is organized chaos with my notes all over the place. In fact, I did find the notes on the sleeve increases in another location when i got home. They are now together in the same place and will be this way in the future. On the bright side though, I did manage to use some of that spare time to refresh someone on how to cast on. Today they’re getting a lesson on how to do the knit and purl stitch. Another knitter in the ranks …

Hugzzz 😎