Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Courage To Be Imperfect

Sorry I haven’t written in a while. I hope for those of you who celebrate you had a Happy Easter / Ostra. We had the family over and 1 surprise guest. I strayed from the traditional path and served seafood (shrimp, mussels, clams, scallops and flounder) and huntsman’s stew (sausage, pork chops and chicken thighs). Everything was good but it left me little time to knit.

On Monday night our neighbor had smoldering wires and we had three fire engines and two ambulances with strobes going arrive to our neighbor hood around 11:00 pm and stay for quite a while. Everyone was fine though the house took a little damage. Needless to say I never got back to sleep.

And that said, I knew I shouldn’t knit when I was so very tired but I did and now today I find that as I unravel my ladders on my clappy there is a big, most terrible mistake in my work. And I was about to just rip the whole thing out when a voice in my head said, “You can fix this. No it won’t be perfect but only you will know.”

And it made me think about the reason for this clappy and that I probably talk to people who have some sort of inner blemish that none of us can see but makes them who they are. For me it is my inner ear it was damaged either in formation or when I got really sick one year and now I have vestibular neuronitis. If I lean to far one way without leaning the other way I get vertigo for about three weeks. But you wouldn’t know it to look at me.

Most people that have heart disease don’t look any different on the outside. But on the inside there is some trouble with their heart. You see my clappy is still teaching me about life and it wanted something hidden that no one else could see so that it could become a symbol…a symbol of the Courage to Be Imperfect.

I think imperfection is harder then perfection. In perfection you are striving towards something that cannot be but you can forever work towards. In imperfection you have to accept yourself and all that makes you a whole and complete being. I feel it is far scarier to accept ones’ self as we are.

It is that lesson that my clappy teaches me today. Isn’t it beautiful? If you didn’t know about the mistake you might never find it, though now I bet you will look for it because you know it is there. Yes, I will leave it there and remember this lesson and just maybe I can look at myself with a little more love and a little less criticism...after a much needed night of sleep.

Enough of that. My clappy is on the decrease rows and as soon as she is finished and blocked I will put up pictures.

I have worked on nothing else since the last posting…so will have nothing else to show.

I have decided to make another clappy. Originally I bought a poncho from Old Navy that is a clapotis sewn together poncho style and then stitches were picked up for a neck collar. I like this idea and I may make one this way later…the jury is still out on this one.

I hope you all are enjoying the sun if you have it.

Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Obsidian


Obsidian, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

This is Obsidan and he is eyeing my yarn. He is a huge black ball of love. He is a beside your lap cat and he talks to us all the time.

Widdershins


Widdershins, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Widdershins my pint sized kitty is eyeing Obsidian and his swishing tail.

Scarf with Tail


Scarf with Tail, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

This is the latest scarf with Obsidan's tail in the background. I loved this eyelash yarn but working with it was really frustrating! I used size 15 needles and it seemed to help...but golly all those lashes get tangled up and caused me a lot of grief! And I tried to frog the piece I first created but it would not unknit! Crazy stuff!

Investigating the Tail


Investigating the Tail, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

I think cats love clapotis because they are both drawn to it. Widdershins is looking for Obsidan's tail and not allowing my DH to take a good picture!

Widdershins Chasing Obsidian's Tail

As you can see the final outcome of my clapotis shoot was Widdershins trying to find Obsidian's tail. I thought that this no longer bordered on cute and whisked away my clapotis to a cat-free zone!

Dropped Stitch


Dropped Stitch, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Here is my first dropped stitch!

Summer Tank Top in Pink


Summer Tank Top in Pink, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

I am making another tank top since my camo one found a home with my sister. I have decreased the size and I am knitting it on circular needles. I love circular needles! This way I never miscount my rows and there are no side seams. Also it knits up so fast. This is an hours worth of work!

This tank is for me since I love pink. My sister says it is really comfortable and keeps her warm so I am looking forward to having one in my wardrobe too!

Ruinwen
:)

Son's Green Sweater off Circs


Son's Green Sweater off Circs, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

I really miss the easy nature of the circular knitting needles! This sweater is knitting up faster then I expected and I really love the colors that my son picked out!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

I'm Sitting on a Lily Pad at the Frog Pond

"If we are to achieve a rich culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place."

-- Margaret Mead

In the vastness of the Universe I am contemplating the role of frogging and how it applies to me because it is easy to become frustrated and rip everything you've done in a "dark night of the soul" moment. I know...I've done it so many times. I used to just start over instead of painstakingly unraveling each stitch because it seemed so much easier.

But as of late I have been trying to let the yarn teach me. Patience has never been a strong suit of mine...being an Aries I am very headstrong...

I have learned that there are degrees of frogging. Sometimes you have to rip the whole thing out and it is unavoidable, but other times you only need to rip out a few rows. And unknitting takes patience you can't just unknitt. You need to see the flow of your piece and make sure all the stitches aren't twisted as you transfer them from needle to needle.

It seems this is a lesson that I must learn since both my son's sweater and my clapotis decided last night would be a good time for a class in frogging. So here I sit on a lily pad beside the frog pond unraveling my work stitch by stitch and row by row and somehow I realize that this is a good thing.

Frogging helps to fix mistakes that might probably later ruin my work. So it is a necessary part of knitting, it has its place in the Universe and right now I bow to tonight's lesson of patience

Ruinwen
:)

Monday, March 14, 2005

The Blessing of the Red Clapotis


Red Clapotis, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

I really love the Encore yarn that I am using for the clapotis. It reminds me of the warm days ahead with its blazing reds.

I've gotten into the groove of this now and at least for the section I am on, I have no trouble following the pattern.

I substituted my rubber band markers for these little white plastic ones and now the piece moves freely back and forth across the needles.

Since this is my project for heart awareness I am working on it mostly before bed and meditating on all the wonderful "hearts" that fill my life on a daily basis.

I am truly blessed with wonderful family and friends. I have a Mother and Father who have always been the pillars that I could lean on when I was too weary to go on. They have supported my interests over the years even if they haven't understood them. No one could ask for more loving parents.

I have a wonderful sister who also has been there for me in my darkest hours. I can always count on her love and support and kicking me in the butt when I need that too! :)

I have a partner who weaves his interests in with mine to form a beautiful life together. His hand has always been intertwined in mine when I am starting to falter. I can always count on his love support to get me through anything.

My son shows me daily new ways to appreciate life and how to really see the beauty in it. He is really amazing. And when he says, "Mommy I love you so much!" my heart just melts!

I have wonderful friends who uplift and support me and we have so much fun together!

I have e-friends who I've never met who are so sweet and wonderful!

So as I said before, I am truly blessed and as I knit and purl I am weaving all this goodness into my work.

I am going to raffle the clapotis off at Spring Fling with flyers on the heart info so that I will actually educate people in the process.

So there you go, the yarn is shaping me. What started out as a love-hate project has become an appreciation of my life and the people in it project.

Ruinwen
:)

Green Sweater For My Son


Green Sweater, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Here is the green sweater that my son picked out the yarn for in the early stages of knitting. I love using circulars because for stockinette every row is knit. So it really goes fast! I love the contrasting greens he picked out too!

Despite my problems in the beginning I really love this sweater. Oh, I also learned how to stop a hole from forming when making the first join. Cast on one extra stitch and then knit that stitch and the joining stitch together...and voila! No hole.

Ruinwen
:)

Three scarves for Spring Fling


Three scarves, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Here are two scarves completed and one still on the needles for our town's spring festival. I really liked working with all the different textures in the yarns.

On a side note my wonderful sister wanted the Summer Camo Tank Top that didn't fit me. It fit her beautifully! So I am so happy that the tank has found a good home!

Ruinwen

:)

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Knitting in the Round and My Clapotis Woes

Have I mentioned that I really hate seams? Well, I do! So, I have been trying patterns on circulars so I could cut back on the seams and all and I didn't understand what was happening to my knitting. It was all coming out stockinette and I couldn't figure it out after all I was knitting one row after the other. So I dug out the reference books and found this little tidbit...

Knitting in the Round

To make garter stitch: knit 1 round, purl 1 round
To make stockinette stitch: knit every round
To make reverse stockinette stitch: purl every round

So I frogged what I had done and now it is working and I am really happy with my knitting in the round. If you scroll down to my LYS trip you will see the lovely yarn my son picked out for his sweater. I decided to do the trim in the kelly green and then the rest in the lime which he picked as his main color.

I must say I love this Encore yarn. Normally wool burns my fingers but this stuff only has 10% and it is so soft and dreamy without the pain. This may be my new favorite yarn...which is good because I bought it in three other colors one of which is becoming my clapotis.

Yes, you kitting-chicks did it to me...I've come down with clapotis fever. It really frustrated the heck out of me in the beginning but Chelle helped me over my pfb dilemma as well as some other problems I had in the first few rows. Thank you Chelle!!!

But needless to say I got to the part with the ssk, another stitch I had never seen done before and I stopped. I know that all you clapotis gurus are saying but that is only the first 12 rows and you would be absolutely correct. But I made it that far...baby steps...

Now I know how to do the ssk stitch the sister to the K2tog stitch...and I am pretty excited to work on the clapotis again tonight!

So, they say slow and steady wins the race. I am not one of those people who read through a pattern and find all the stitches that are unfamiliar before hand...so they always surprise the heck out of me! But that is part of the process...to learn and grow... :)

As much as we shape the yarn, the yarn also ends up shaping us.

Ruinwen
:)

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

Knitting Adventurer
You appear to be a Knitting Adventurer.
You are through those knitting growing pains and
feeling more adventurous. You can follow a
standard pattern if it's not too complicated
and know where to go to get help. Maybe you've
started to experiment with different fibers and
you might be eyeing a book with a cool
technique you've never tried. Perhaps you
prefer to stick to other people's patterns but
you are trying to challenge yourself more.
Regardless of your preference, you are
continually trying to grow as a knitter, and as
well you should since your non-knitting friends
are probably dropping some serious hints, these
days.
http://marniemaclean.com


What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Camo Tank Top Finished

"I’d gone through life believing in the strength and competence of others; never in my own. Now, dazzled, I discovered that my capacities were real. It was like finding a fortune in the lining of an old coat."

-- Joan Mills

I finished the camo top but when I took a picture of it...it came out looking just like the previous picture. Then when I tried on the top it was way too big...even after washing...and it is not the top's fault...it seems that somewhere between starting and finishing I have lost a size or two up top and well...while I have finally lost what having a child sometimes bestows...I find myself fitting loosely into tops and such.

But, I am not disheartened. I love the top and it is really easy to make and after I make my son's sweater I have some ideas how to improve on it and of course I will make the smaller size... :)

So here is another quote that I felt fitted my experience. For it is the experience and the journey that is the true joy...the garment at the end is the journey's gift.

"People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success."

-- Norman Vincent Peale

I believe in myself and my love of knitting and so I begin on my son's sweater. You probably can pick out the green in the previous stash picture. He picked out the color and after consorting with the wonderful Knitting Chicks I hope to have a better idea about some things.

They really are angels in disguise those lovely women. :)

Today the forecast says it is 58 right now and it will drop to 42 with rain/snow/sleet...sigh...I feel some knitting time is in order. This bright green will inspire thoughts of spring.

Ruinwen
:)

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Camo Tank Top


Cammo Tank Top, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

I finally finished one side of the Summer Tank Top! I just haven't had a lot of time to knit with family being sick and all the snow. So I was happy to get one side done. I am half-way through the second side and hope to have the completed top by next weekend.

Ruinwen
:)

LYS Trip


LYS Trip, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

" ... we can no longer afford to throw away even one unimportant day by not noticing the wonder of it all. We have to be willing to discover and then appreciate the authentic moments of happiness available to all of us every day."

-- Sarah Ban Breathnach

Today was such a wonderful day the sun was shining and the birds were singing and all seemed right with the world. The family and I went to visit our new LYS and even though it was small it was crammed with all sorts of textures and different styles of yarn. I couldn't resist sampling quite a few of the treasures as you can see from the photo.

Ruinwen
:)