Friday, April 30, 2010

Location, Location, Location - knitcroblo5

I love to knit pretty much anywhere! My favorite place to knit is on my couch in my living room or the comfy greenish chair, also in the living room, usually while watching a movie. I also LOVE to knit in the car on a long road trip, when I'm the passenger, of course. I just bring my knitting everywhere in case I have an opportunity to sit for awhile. The baseball field is another spot where I can be caught knitting, only during practices though.. I love to actually watch the games. And another great spot? Doctors' waiting rooms!

Where do YOU knit?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

MANY New Skills! - knitcroblog4

(It's my birthday today!!)

Wow. WOW. I'm supposed to write about ONE new skill I'd like to learn? How about several? This is going to take a while :)

Firstly, as previously mentioned, I really need to learn to knit with double pointed needles! It seems everyone and their brother can and that I'm the only one who can't. I have gone as far as casting on and knitting a few rounds on them, but I have failed to practice and develop the skill. It seems that everything I want to knit calls for DPNs, so I really need to bite the bullet and learn already.

I also want to learn the Magic Loop Method, just in case the DPN thing doesn't work out. I have heard it is way easier that using DPNs, and I already know how to use circulars, so maybe this would be easier.

I need to learn how to fix mistakes! I usually just frog a few rows and start over, even when it is just a dropped stitch, which I hear is easy to fix. I just don't know what I'm looking at, so I don't know what the mistake is, let alone how to fix it.

I would LOVE to learn to crochet! I basically want to know how to crochet or knit anything I want.. I have a lot to learn :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

One Great Knitter! - knitcroblo3

Well it didn't take me long to figure out who this post was going to be about! I have knit several of this person's patterns, mostly for my kids. This knitter/crocheter is none other than Amy Gaines. I simply adore her amigurumis and find them so fun to knit. I don't crochet yet, so I haven't tried her crochet toys, but I think I appreciate her so much because she provides knit amigurumi, which are more difficult to find than crocheted amigurumi, and she also writes the patterns for 2 straight needles. I love this because I cannot use DPNs yet. Her patterns are so simple that even a novice knitter like myself can follow them. I admire the tenacity she must have to sit down and work out these patterns. As I sit and knit these adorable creatures, I have no idea how she does it. Lots and lots of practice, I would assume. Thank you, Amy Gaines, for your awesome patterns and for providing me with tons of toys for my kids.. they put smiles on the kids faces, especially when they realize I took the time to knit the toys for them.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

An Inspirational Pattern - knitcroblo2

Ok, so you might be thinking, "Just fingerless mitts? That is inspirational?". Well, to me, a self-proclaimed novice knitter, yes, I do aspire to knit fingerless mitts. I love the cables running up and down these beautifully blue mitts. I recently taught myself to knit a cable via YouTube, but that is all I know how to do: knit a cable! I have no idea how to knit something with a cable in it, aka: I can't follow a pattern to save my life. And to boot, I have not yet mastered knitting with double pointed needles. I can knit with circulars, maybe I need to learn the magic loop method?

These "Blue Monday" fingerless mitts are from D'Oh!Mestic and if you click on this link, you can find the free pattern for them that I found on Knitting Pattern Central's Free Pattern Directory... I love that place.

Monday, April 26, 2010

My Knitting Roots

And so begins Knit & Crochet Blog Week! Today's topic is: How and when did you begin knitting/crocheting?

Looking back, I learned to knit about 7 years ago because of my grandmother, pictured with me on the right. In this picture, she is holding up an afghan that she had just finished and I believe if you click on it it will enlarge so you can see the detail. My grandmother is currently 94 years old and still knits, although not as much as she did in the past.

One day, about 7 years ago, I started thinking that it would be sad for her craft to not live on when she passes away. I started expressing an interest in knitting and ended up getting a "Learn To Knit" kit for Christmas that year. I didn't do anything with it at first, maybe because it intimidated me a bit, but a few months later I picked it up and taught myself to knit. I started out with scarves and knit dozens of them, selling many in a local craft fair that I participate in every year.

I eventually branched out to knitting hats, and because I love to knit them and because I also love giving to others, I started a charity called Knits For Needs. I am super proud of this wonderful charity and the people who comprise it. We donated 634 knit/crocheted items to people in need throughout the United States in 2009 and this year's goal is 900 items!

Today I love to knit amigurumi, hats, scarves, purses, afghans, and cell phone cozies. I am not advanced, so I'm sort of stuck on a beginner/intermediate level, which I'm not very happy about. I know how to use circulars, but I have not yet mastered DPNs, which is on my agenda. I do not really know how to follow patterns unless they are amigurumi patterns by Amy Gaines, who writes super easy patterns for us beginner folks. I recently taught myself to knit cables using YouTube videos, but I don't know how to knit anything with cables just yet, I just know how to make a cable.. does that make sense? I love to teach myself new knitting techniques, I just need to make the time to foster those skills and learn how to knit actual patterns. Tips would be appreciated!

A year or so ago I wrote a blog post similar to this one that dove more into my Grandmother, my roots in knitting, and also teaching others to knit entitled "Spreadin the Knittin Love" that I hope you check out as well. Thanks for visiting Merf's Turf!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Knit & Crochet Blog Week

I'm so excited about participating in Knit & Crochet Blog Week next week! This is a great idea thought up by Eskimimi, and I'm totally loving her for it because I think it is brilliant. All bloggers who'd like to participate simply write blog posts on the same topic, which changes by day. Here are the topics, and the strange code you see after the topics is the tagging system we are using so you will be able to find these posts if you search for them:

1) Monday, April 26: How and when did you begin knitting/crocheting? (knitcroblo1)
2) Tuesday, April 27: An Inspirational Pattern (knitcroblo2)
3) Wednesday, April 28: One Great Knitter (knitcroblo3)
4) Thursday, April 29 (my birthday!): A New Skill (knitcroblo4)
5) Friday, April 30: Location, Location, Location (knitcroblo5)
6) Saturday, May 1: Revisit a Past FO (knitcroblo6)
7) Sunday, May 2: What a Yarn (knitcroblo7)
Wild Card (I think you can use this in lieu of a topic above): All Tooled Up

Please check back with this blog and others next week to read more! For more information, see the hyperlinks above and feel free to leave comments and questions on this blog. Can't wait to hear from you, and I hope you all will also participate in Knit & Crochet Blog Week.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Knit A Year Project

Here is the most recent picture of my Knit A Year project taken a few minutes ago. The black was knit on a very dark and depressing day for me. As mentioned in my bio, I have Bipolar Disorder and this project is really helping me see just how darn moody I really am, which is not all bad, and it helps me document those moods, which I'm supposed to be doing every day anyway. I like the reflection and awareness this project allows for. I think I learn something new about myself every day and I would encourage everyone to try their hand at the Knit A Year project for these reasons. (if you would like an invitation to our Knit A Year group on Ling, please email me your email address: The light, fluffy green color I knit yesterday signifies the calmness and inner reflection that seemed to engulf me yesterday. My mood has gradually improved a bit since that black day, and I look forward to coming out of this depression soon.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Explorations In Creativity

So here is my Knit A Year project thus far. For more information about Knit A Year, see my previous blog post or click on the clickable link in this sentence. The days are represented as follows:

Day 1: Light pink for Easter
Day 2: Brown because I felt like doo doo that day.
Day 3: Brown and white to represent my favorite part of our zoo trip that day: the giraffes.
Day 4: Yellow stands for my excellent mood, the sun-shiny day, and the yellow pine pollen is everywhere here in Atlanta.
Day 5: Rainbow colors to represent my great mood and happiness that I taught my son to knit that day (yesterday). Here is a picture of him taken just a few minutes ago. He's doing well with that knitting!

I can't wait to see where this project takes me. I heard that they will be on display somewhere when we are finished with them. To be invited to our Knit A Year group on Ling, please email me your email address:

In other creativity news, my daughter has asked us to keep all the lids from the flavored waters we drink because she is going to make something with them. She is thinking of making a huge fish. I love that she is creative and that she is doing a green project! Here are pictures of her collection hanging off of our cupboards. I think the note is cute! I'm going to show her this website that suggests all kinds of ideas for creating things with bottle caps:

I love that my family is so creative! By far the most creative one in the family is Stephen, my 9-year-old son pictured knitting above. He is constantly making things, writing stories, reading, and drawing, and I mean constantly. He is so excited to add knitting to his repertoire... too cute! (I just heard him tell his brother, "I'm going to knit all day today!"

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Knit A Year

I just started a Knit A Year project a few days ago. Knit A Year is a project in which you knit according to your mood every day for one whole year. You simply cast on 10 stitches on size 6 needles and knit at least 3 rows. I am using stockinette stitch because it looks really cool when it curls up. Every day you knit a few rows in a color that represents your mood or something about that day. The first day I knit in light pink because it was Easter, the next day I knit in brown with colored flecks because I felt like doo-doo... hence the doo-doo brown, and yesterday I knit in brown and white because we went to the zoo and my favorite animals were the giraffes. I will post a picture of this project soon. To learn more, click on the hyperlinks above, and if you'd like an invitation to our Knit A Year group on Ling, please let me know. We would LOVE for you to join us!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Woodland Cuteness

I had the best time knitting these amigurumi woodland animals by Amy Gaines! These will be given to my boys in their Easter baskets this year. My favorites are the hedgehog and the owl.. too cute!