Thursday, September 30, 2010


I mentioned last week that I've been going through some of my old posts lately, and it's been a hoot, like going through old family photo albums, only narrated. Looking through 3 years worth of old yarn pr0n pictures, enthusiastic cast-ons, and countless knit-fantasies has made me realize that knitting - and writing about it - has been a very important source of joy in my life. So thanks for reading. I promise I'll keep knitting and writing about it :)

That's not to say that I've ONLY felt these warm, touchy-feely feelings about my knitting while going through the archives. Nope, many things have popped into my head as I've been going down virtual memory lane, such as:

I'm about as fickle as a (insert your colourful metaphor of choice here - after staring at the screen for 5 minutes, I've given up): Reading about how over-the-moon smitten I am with projects that ultimately wound up hibernating (and in some cases, frogged), I can't help but shake my head and chuckle at my over-the-top enthusiasm about certain projects. I'm not like that now though... No, I'm totally commited to every project I buy a pattern or yarn for (SHUT IT).

I plan too far ahead: this isn't really a shocker to me, I've known this for years. If I see a pattern and/or yarn that hits my "Go" button, I'm completely obsessed, think of nothing else, and by the time everything arrives in my mailbox, I've got all my ducks lined up in a row...? I'm sorta done. The actual casting on often doesn't live up to the hype of the dreaming about the casting on. Hmmm, this one's kind of linked to the fickle bit...

I have a LOT of yarn: now, grown-up knitters might say my stash really isn't a big deal. Or if they DID think it was *cough* bordering-on-insane *cough*, they've reached enlightenment when it comes to the natural evolution of the stash, and can accept it for what it is without all the guilt-trip drama. Rationally, I know that these are the tools of my art, and as long as I'm not hurting anyone or taking food out of my kids' mouths or clothes off their backs (or my own for that matter), I should be able to rejoice in the stash. Sadly, I'm not quite there yet. I still have the guilt.

I'm addicted to knitting books: I'm compelled to buy them, I'm deeply smitten by them. Do I actually ever - oh, I don't know - KNIT from them? Not so much. They live happy lives on my bookshelf, and that's good enough for now.

So yeah... I think I might be onto something with this whole "Tara likes to Knit" thing. Go figure.

Happy knitting everyone!

p.s. : the last 2 realizations are all the more ironic in that I bought yarn AND knitting books yesterday... *Sigh*

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Let there be light

It's been a very stressful few weeks here at Casa de Dear. There have been highs and lows (mostly lows), but the fog appears to be lifting at last, or at least it feels like it's going to lift soon. I won't go into details, but suffice it to say that we've all been riding quite the emotional roller coaster, and while we still haven't left the amusement park, I'm hoping we can move ON from the crazy Loop-de-Loop of Mayhem :)

There's been precious little knitting, of course, but that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about it. I've been fantasizing about entire days spent drinking tea (OK fine, sometimes I substitute with the occasional glass of wine), eating yummy baked goods and knitting scrumptious luxury yarn. Cashmere, alpaca, silk... You name it, I've been daydreaming about it.

While I probably won't be fulfilling that particular dream any time soon, tonight I'm not too far off. I've got a cup of green tea, a (second) slice of homemade apple pie, and a date with The Boy Who Lived and my trusty Cascade 220. Not a bad way to spend an evening, if I say so myself.

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Time flies

I've been reading through some of my old posts this week. It's been fun to see pictures of the kids when they were younger (Maxime was such a butterball baby! lol), of myself when I was fatter (like... a LOT fatter), of Phil looking exactly the same (LOL! Thanks for reminding me of this picture, Sandra!).

All jokes aside, it's like the man doesn't age! Except that he does. He turned 38 this week, and although his "big" gift hadn't arrived yet (Curse You, USPS!!!), and his "woolly love" gift has yet to even be cast on (ahem! what?), he didn't go completely giftless and I managed to get it together to at least get him a cake. All together now: Happy Birthday, Phil!

He's out with his pinball buddies this evening, and I'm about to settle in with a movie and some knitting. I'm going to ignore Dad's mittens, which I've had to rip out AGAIN this week and cast on for my September Hat Trix hat instead. Hah! Do I know how to live dangerously or what?

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


There are, I think, 2 kinds of startitis. The first kind is magnificent, even though we (stupidly) tend to feel guilty about it. We've all been there: for whatever reason - change of season, arrival of the latest IK in our mailbox - we're suddenly overcome with the urge to cast on a bazillion projects and just indulge in the Glory that is Knitterdom. We're in a frenzy of creation and devotion to our art, and when you really think about it, what's not to like about that?

The second kind of startitis, on the other hand, does not come from within the knitter. This kind of startitis doesn't have anything to do with his or her love of the craft, but rather has everything to do with a need to produce knitwear. You, as a knitter, are not going on a wild spree with squooshy, cushy yarn and a fabulous lace pattern. No, you're knitting a stole for your mother-in-law out of fuzzy mohair at 2 AM on Christmas Eve, and all the joy of knitting has been sucked right out of you.

Outside startitis is a stressful and frustrating moment that all Knitters are going to experience at one time or another in their lives. When it hits, you feel like you're never going to get it all done, you're never going to meet your deadlines, and you'll never again be able to knit something because you enjoy it. Ever.

(This is usually when stash enhancement occurs. Non-knitters call it hoarding and say we're out of control, but we knitters recognize it for what it really is: a cry for help.)

This morning I realized that outside startitis is about to hit me full force. I have to: finish a pair of mittens for my Dad; cast on and knit a pair of mittens for Phil's birthday (which, coincidentally, is in 2 days - Hah!); cast on and knit a pair of "stripey mittens" for Émilie; cast on and knit a hat for Émilie to replace the one she "lost" when she was playing airplane with it on the school bus and dropped it out the window; cast on and knit a cardigan or sweater for Maxime (which he'll probable never wear) all because of Phil's offhand "say, Maxime doesn't have a cardigan, does he?" and now I have the guilt; cast on and knit September's Hat Trix. All of which needs to be done pretty much now.

Outside startitis: a force that's devastating knitters everywhere.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I think I'm experiencing the first symptoms of stash withdrawal. Or maybe it's hay fever. Maybe it's got something to do with the change in season. Whatever it is, it's getting pretty serious. I'm spending more and more time on Ravelry, looking at patterns (speaking of which, have you seen Celes? OMG) and queuing projects. I'm looking up indie dyers and browsing their selection of luxury fibers (cashmere... caaaashmeeeeeeere!!!).

I'm trying to stay focused on the projects I've got on the needles right now, trying to remember that I've got some really lovely yarn, even the odd skein of cashmere, that's been waiting to be knit for quite some time. At least 3 times this week alone, I found myself about to click "add to cart", already telling myself that "one little skein of yarn wasn't going to blow my entire budget" (well, this yarn might), and pulled myself back from the brink just in the nick of time.

I'm most definitely trying NOT to think about Rhinebeck and how I won't be going this year (which, come to think of it, is probably a good thing considering my condition).

I'm trying to accept my condition and stay focused, taking it one day at a time.

Hi, my name's Tara, and I'm a yarn-a-holic.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fall iz here

This is how we welcome Fall chez Dear:

We attend beer festivals (yum!)

We eat greasy food (need to build up those fat reserves, heh!)

We wash it all down with cotton candy:

We make new friends:

And, of course, we cover ourselves in knitwear.

It was my cousin Jessica's birthday this weekend, and much as it caused me actual physical pain to give it away (kidding! OK, maybe it smarted just a wee bit), no one deserves a lovely piece of gartery-goodness as much as she does. She's an excellent knitwear recipient, as well ;)

I loved making this shawl (Aestlight, by Gudrun Johnson). It was THE perfect project to welcome the new season! Simple, fun, and the end result is a real beaut'. What's next?

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hat Trix

As I mentioned a while back, inspired by the Yarn Harlot, I decided to start a self-imposed club of my own, only with hats instead of socks (mostly 'cause I'm lazy, heh). My first pattern turned out to be a bust, but I regrouped and managed to complete August's project in the nick of time. Indeed, I cast on for the Star Crossed Slouchy Beret on August 31st at approximately 7:30 PM, and was weaving in the ends at 11 the same evening. Sweet!

This is why I love hats. They're quick, satisfying, and let's face it: when you live in a cold country, they're a must. And they look good on me too (or so I've been told).

Next up is Tamya, by Woolly Wormhead, which I'll knit with Cascade 220. If all goes well, I should be finishing the Aestlight shawl tonight. Definitely got my knitting mojo back!

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Follow the steps

Writing a blog post should be a fairly simple, 3-stepped process.

Step 1: choose your subject.

Obviously, you need to have something interesting to write about. This being a knitting blog, a recent FO is primo blog fodder.

Step 2: take pretty pictures.

Pictures are a big plus, especially in a knitting blog. It's all well and good to talk about your progress or your FOs, but if you don't show them off, you're not using the medium to it's full potential. A pictures is worth a thousand words. Duh.

Step 3: Publish your post.

You've got the subject and the pictures, what the heck are you waiting for? Get blogging!

Seems fairly simple, but over the past 3 years I've come to realize that these 3 steps aren't really as cut and dry as they seem. For instance, step 1, now that's a biggie when you've got 2 kids, you're working full time, and most days are a blur of errands and other trivial pursuits, none of which I find particularly inspiring to write about. I mean, if you as a writer can't be bothered to spend time on a particular subject, why on earth would your readers want to?

Step 2 is complex as well. Sure, you've got the FO, but do you have time to take the pictures? Are they nice pictures? Do they do your knitting justice? How do those *other* bloggers do it? Don't they have jobs?

Even if you manage to make it past steps 1 and 2, step 3 is just waiting to bite you in the arse. You'll stare at the blank screen for 20 minutes, the cursor silently mocking you with its insistent blinkiness. You'll pull the memory card out of your camera and drop it, say, between the couch cushions. You'll try to fish it out, but will only succeed in pushing it further into the murky depths of the couch's innards every time you graze it with your fingertips.

Yup, blogging is quite the ordeal. I think it's a miracle I'm still at it after 3 years.

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Progressing despite myself

Still here, and with knitting content to boot. Despite the craziness of the week, despite having to deal with renovations and unforeseen appliance malfunction (more on that later), despite the crazy heat wave we've been having, my knitting mojo is BACK, and I'll have a some FOs to share with you in the next few posts.

First things first though: I finished painting our bedroom today. It's looking great, we're both really happy with it, but if anyone mentions paint or even THINKS about it in my vicinity, I will hunt them down and strangle them with acrylic macrame. Now if we could just get the new furniture delivered, that would be swell.

We also had our new washing machine delivered this week. Our old one had been giving us grief, and a few weeks ago it actually burst into heavy smoke after I'd put in a load. Despite our initial hopes that it would be an easy fix, Phil officially declared it to be deceased last Friday. I've been doing my laundry at Kate-the-Enabler's for the past 2 weeks, and while I'm sure she didn't mind, I was becoming slightly uncomfortable lugging our dirty underwear across the street every few days, heh.

Enter our new Mr. Washie, and dudes, it's like the washing machine of the Future. I'm pretty confident that this is what aliens from an advanced civilization must use to wash their space suits. We must have sat there watching it do it's thing for 15 minutes when we got it, it was THAT cool.

Meantime, this week I blocked a stole, knit a hat and started a NEW project: the Aestlight shawl by Gudrun Johnson, using Malabrigo Sock (Mmmmmm, Malabrigo). Because even though it's friggin' HOT now, Fall is just around the corner. And who doesn't need a lovely, drapey shawl on a crisp Fall day?

Lori likes it too.

Pics of recent FOs next time. Here's a preview until then.

Happy Knitting Everyone!

ps: that first picture was WAY cuter before Lori chewed through the working yarn a few minutes ago! Redrum, REDRUM!!!