Saturday, April 16, 2016

Knitting Bucket List

Most of us are familiar with the concept of a 'bucket list'. The idea - made popular by the Morgan Freeman movie - is that you compile a list of things that you want to do before you die (or kick the bucket). I would bet that for Knitters (knitters with a capital K means serious business knitters) their bucket lists are pretty fiber-centric. 

I recently posted a picture on Instagram and I hash tagged it #knittingbucketlist and I wasn't surprised there were others out there like me - knitters with a capital K.  

This is a picture of a skein of quiviut that I've just wound with the intention of knitting it into a lacy little cowl. Knitting with quiviut is on my bucket list. 

Seeing other knitters Instagram photos of their bucket list has gotten me thinking. What other things would I put on my knitting bucket list?  

1. A trip to Rhinebeck (during the wool auction of course)
2. Attend a Stitches event (any of them would do, but if I were able to chose - Stitches West seems like it'd be real fun!)
3. Since I'm thinking about knitting festivals/events I'd also love to attend a Vogue Live Knitting event too. 

Now of those three if I had to pick just one, it would definitely be Rhinebeck. 

4. I'd also love to go to Iceland! Not for any particular event, and really not just for the knitting and the Lopi sweaters and the Icelandic sheep, but also for the scenery and the hot springs and the culture. 

5. I'd also really really love to go to the Shetland islands - for most of the same reasons that I'd like to visit Iceland. I love to spin Shetland wool. And I love Shetland lace! So yeah! This place is on my knitting bucket list of places to see. 

But a bucket list is more than just travelling to new places. It's also about experiencing different things too.

6.  That's why quiviut is on my list. Quiviut comes from muskox. They are massive creatures with a very thick coat. On their bellies they grow this insanely soft fibre. I believe is the 'softest' and 'finest' fibre in the world. I think experts have determined this by measuring the micron count of the fibres. 

Micron count is a fancy word for how thick (or coarse) a strand of hair is. Apparently muskox grow some of the finest. It is also quite pricey! Think about how difficult it must be to harvest the underbelly hair from these beasts! 

I read somewhere that they (their owners) actually collect the hair since they shed their coats periodically. I know that they don't harm the animals at all. I'm not sure about brushing them. Maybe that's part of the harvesting too. I do know that is not on my bucket list. 

A lot of people using the hashtag knittingbucketlist were listing techniques that they wanted to try. Brioche was a popular one. I can honestly say that I can't think of any techniques that I haven't tried. I also think I could master most of them too, if given the time and inclination. So for right now there aren't any techniques that I'd put on my bucket list. There are designs that I'd love to try though. There are also certain designers that are definitely worthy of being on a bucket list. A lot of the instagrammers had Elisabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket on their lists. I can see why!! This little sweater is so unique and different and is classic EZ. I've made several.

7.  What I'd really like to do is knit right through her Knitter's Almanac in a year. I'd like to start in January and follow along in her sweet little book (my favourite of all her books) and knit each of the patterns mentioned. I'm not sure I could do it, but I'd love to give it a try!! 

There are so many other things that I would include on my Knitting Bucket List. I think I'll save it for another blog post. There are so many designers Id like to meet! There are knitting celebrities that I'd love to meet. (And yes, there is such a thing! Just in case there are any non Knitters or even knitters without a capital K reading this blog)  There are so many challenging designs that I'd like to try. And there are things that I'd like to try to push myself on too. There are ideas for potential designs that I'd like to get out of my head and onto paper. There are classes that I'd love to take! So many things but only one lifetime. What a gift we have. We have to use our time wisely and with fibre! 


Monday, April 04, 2016

Is There Room?

If you look back over the history of this blog you will notice that it started out as a general crafts type of blog - that is there are all different sorts of crafts documented there. Sewing, painting, stencilling - you name it. 

As the years progressed I've kind of fine tuned my crafting as I've been drawn to the fibre arts. I no longer consider myself a beginning spinner. I'm quite good at it, even. (That's really hard for me to say for some reason). My knitting is quite good as well. There isn't a technique out there that I'd be hesitant to try. (... There was a time when I thought cables were hard ... I know ... crazy!). Actually with respect to knitting there aren't too many techniques that I haven't tried. I've mastered most of them too. My brioche stitches have some tension issues but I know that's something that could be worked out with practice. I still crochet. I still weave. I've even tried processing fleece and dying yarn. I've done needle felting and wet felting. 

I adore the fibre arts and I've felt my crafting heart was full. That I didn't have room for another love. But then, something started happening. My grandsons love to draw.  And they love to colour. And they love the fact that Nanny can draw pictures of them on skidoo and pictures of them on a dragon and pictures of the dragon pooping and breathing fire and pictures of the dragon with magnetic feet that only works on trash and ... Well ... You get the idea. 

Spending time with these kiddos and sketching with them and talking to the older ones about light and perspective and colour theory - well, it's kind of ignited this little desire to draw and paint again. I used to paint a lot (acrylics) back when my daughter was a baby. 

My daughter isn't a baby anymore and through some separate process - (perhaps Pinterest or maybe even the gorgeous adult colouring books that are everywhere) she has been finding herself equally interested in exploring watercolours and sketching. 

So we are doing this together!!  We are taking craftsy courses and looking at YouTube videos and we are excited! Every couple of days we text each other photos of things we've tried. Painting with watercolours is so much fun!!!  

It feels like the old days where she would find a tutorial for something new and fun and cool online and we would get excited and try it out and it would be awesome and in the end we were not only closer as mother and daughter but we'd have a pair of pants made out of a t-shirt! 

Except this time she is in Ottawa and I'm in Labrador. But this time we have more experience (and money lol). And it's still bringing us closer together as mother and daughter. And this time - she's better at it than I am. But I am a little biased.