First off, I apologize for not blogging a lot in the past week, but I have been feeling crummy and have been super busy, but I’ve got a few minutes now.
I have been knitting dishcloths.  A lady at work learned that I am a knitter and asked me to knit her a few.  I didn’t have any pressing projects at the time, so I became a dishcloth knitting fiend.  I have a tidy little pile of them at home.  I also had a ton of Lily’s Sugar’n’Cream, as well as some Bernat Handicrafter cotton yarn, so I didn’t have to buy much.  I love stash—busting, especially since that means I have to buy more, but don’t tell my husband that.
Dishcloths seem to be the perfect warm weather project:  quick payoff, cotton yarn doesn’t make your hands sweat, and you get to play with new stitch patterns.  Besides scarves, dishcloths are great for that. 
I also understand that people who use cotton knit dishcloths never tend to go back to anything else as they are very good and absorbent.  I might have to give this a try myself.  What is your experience with using cotton knit or crocheted dishcloths?

Learning Cables, Part 2

After knitting those swatches last week, I decided to do a simple project involving cables:  a scarf.  I found an easy pattern on Ravelry, and hunkered down with some yarn that I otherwise had no idea what to do with. 
Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.  It’s a simple pattern to memorize, and I would recommend it for anyone who wants to learn cables.  I recommend using a pattern with straight needles to start with has not to get a jumbled up with a circular or DPN’s.  At least that’s what seems to be helping me out.
I’m still having a little trouble juggling my regular needles with the cable needle, but I’m getting better at it.  It’s all about practice.

Learning Cables

On Wednesday I got six pain management shots in my back.  Yeah, it is as fun as it sounds.  Last time, it was eight.
Later, after all the sedation and had worn off, I found myself on the couch watching daytime TV, as that was pretty all I was allowed to do that day.  I was restless, so I decided to teach myself a new knitting technique.
Cables!  They always scared me.  How do they twist?  What makes them do that?  How on earth am I going to manage them?  I had cable needles, so I decided to take the plunge.  I grabbed some yarn and went for it.
Turns out, easy peasy, at least the basic patterns are.  What was I so afraid of?
Now, I still had a little trouble juggling the needles and yarn, but I’ll learn.  Practice, practice, practice!
Here are two of the swatches I managed.  One is a basic cable, and the other is braid cable.  I might tackle a real pattern with cables this weekend or sometime in the near future.  Here’s to learning!

Bob the Sweater

The weather gets warm and what do I do:  I knit a sweater!  Actually, it’s a summer sweater and made out of an acrylic/cotton blend.
I like this sweater.  It’s called Bob and showed up in the Summer 2003 edition of Knitty.  I don’t know why it’s called Bob, but it is. 
This took me about three weeks or so to complete, which is pretty good for a sweater. It’s a fairly easy pattern to understand, but there is a little math involved since there are raglan decreases. 
The one thing I would change about this pattern is my fault, as I would make a smaller size.  Otherwise, it’s a nice, fitted sweater.  I’m glad I found Bob.  

Parachute Cord Crafting

I had gone into a local crafting store from some beading supplies, and found a panel display for parachute cord crafting, and thought, why not?  Sam had been talking about it and to find it readily available at my local A. C. Moore was just a plus.  I bought a kit that included some project directions, some extra cord, and was on my merry way.
It’s fun to use!  Not only is it utilitarian (you can use it for a lot of practical things), you make some pretty cool stuff from it.  Beyond bracelets, you can make key chains, lanyards, dog collars and leashes, and use it for shoelaces. 
The only pain about the stuff is that you have to melt the ends after you cut it, so that means playing with fire.  Kids, get an adult to fusing and melting steps. 
It comes in a lot of colors, besides the military grays, blacks, and greens.  Lots of fluorescent colors, I noticed, which seem to be in right now. 
What I have done here as an example are two bracelets, both done in what is called the cobra stitch.  The first is a two toned cobra stitch bracelet with a plastic clasp.  The yellow one is a single cobra stitch with a Celtic knot and loop closure.  Beside the bracelets is an example of the parachute cord.
For more information about parachute cord crafting, check out the Pepperell Braiding Company’s web site.  Looking around, you can also buy this stuff in bulk and there are a ton of other patterns out there.  I will be doing that myself.
Otherwise, here are a few other places to get you started:

Joining a Guild

I find myself in a somewhat contemplative mood this morning.  There has been something that I had been toying with the idea with for a while, and took the steps to find out more about it.  I am interested in joining the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen. 
The guild is based out of the city where I work, and their craft store is not far from my office.  They accept all skills and crafts.  I could join for fiber working and/or photography.  A yearly membership is $75.00 a year.  
I am also thinking about entering their mentoring program for knitting as someone receiving mentoring.  I would still have to join for that, but I think it would really expand my skill set. 
Readers, what do you think?  Should I join up?  Think about it more?  I’m leaning towards joining, but I’m still hesitant to do so.  I need validation!  Or someone to talk me out of it.  Either works.