Archive for May 2018

Episode39 – 5/25/18 – Knitting and Running in 30 minutes or less

Today’s segments include Be A Helper Craft-a-long, including Prizes and some Charity Ideas, Wips, Spinning, Running and today’s Knitting Talk will answer the question – “Why did you start a podcast?”

Be A Helper Summer 2018

As I mentioned last week, the Be A Helper KAL is back for the summer.  We went over most of the details but I’ll go over a few updates quickly today and a few addendums (thanks to those who reached out with some questions!)

  1. Last episode I said that this was a KAL for anything you knit, crochet, weave or spin but someone pointed out that during the last KAL I said any craft. I’m going to go with what we used previously – ANY thing you make for ANY charity will count.  I’m still running the craft-a-long on Ravelry, but you do not need to link to a project page.  Just post a photo of your finished item in the thread on Ravelry and tell us who you are donating it to!  Donating blood still counts, too.
  2. Another listener point out that it’s a pain trying to get all the photos up in time for Stash Dash and ending things the same night could be an issue for some, and I whole heartedly agree. So I’m giving you an extra week.  We start on May 25th and will end August 31st.  You have all summer to finish your charity work.  Please post 1 picture per finished object in the thread.
  3. Wips are allowed! Double or triple dip in any KAL you want, I totally encourage this!

Prizes –

So far we have three prizes , one skein of FishKnits Yarn in the At Sixes and Sevens colorway, a self-striping Merino-nylon sock yarn, one skein on non-wool yarn of my choosing though I’d love to hear any input for you folks – anything you’ve been tempted to knit with? And lastly a huge thanks to Tiffany from The Project Bag who is offering a free project bag and matching notions pouch and she will ship it anywhere in the world!  Tiffany sent over an example photo and I’m posting it in the Ravelry group.  The prize won’t be the exact fabric pattern shown, but the bags will coordinate and her photo will give you an idea of her gorgeous handiwork.

 

Charity Ideas

If you don’t have a charity you currently craft for, I’m going to talk about a few here that may be of interest to you:

  • Preemie Hats – check with your local hospital for yarn requirements. These need to be washed in an industrial strength washing machine so there may be limits.  If your local hospital isn’t accepting hats, Dana from the Unwind Yarn Company is collecting them from her retreat attendees this fall and may be willing to accept a few more via mail if you contact her.  Greg, aka Knitting Daddy of the Unraveling podcast also has accepted mailed hats in the past for his local hospital.
  • Knitted Knockers – these are prostheses for breast cancer survivors who have not or cannot have reconstructive surgery. Knockers must be made with plant based yarn – wool is too scratchy on scar tissue – and a list of acceptable yarns is linked in the who notes along with the free patterns.
  • Mother Bears – I learned of this charity from the 2 Knit Lit Chicks and they are currently running their Mother Bear KAL. These bears provide comfort to children who are victim of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Afrca.  Mother Bear will snail mail you the knitting or crochet pattern for a small fee.  All they ask is that you return the finished bear with $3 to cover the shipping to Africa. 
  • KnitAid – has USA and UK Neither is currently collecting, but you could knit scarves or hats or baby clothes for next winter.  All items must be knit in dark-colored yarn because the recipients will not be able to wash them easily.

Do you have a charity craft idea that you think others would like to hear about?  Let me know and I’ll talk about it on a future episode.  Send me a PM on Ravelry, I’m WindsweptMonique, or email me at windsweptMonique@gmail.com

WIPS

I’ve put a couple of rows onto my Changing Staircases shawl by Jenga Knits.  This is a shawl inspired by the Harry Potter books, the way the staircases are constantly changing and I’m working on it in Mousou a 100% bamboo yarn from The FiberLady.

I turned the heel on my 52-stitch sock, which is using the Fish Lips Kiss heel and Cobasi by Hikoo, which is a bamboo, cotton, silk and nylon blend.  Those of you who’ve used that pattern will understand why I can be so precise about the 1/3!

The Addition By Subtraction Mystery Knit A Long, I am 1/3 of the way through Clue #2.  I am working on this in 4 colors of 3 different yarns.  For the light color I’m using Ito Yarn’s Washi in the Crocus colorway, a pale purple.  This is a Japanese style paper yarn, laceweight, and I‘m holding it double.  The dark is Ito Yarn’s Kinu, a laceweight silk in the Grey colorway and I’m holding it double.  The zany is  Your Crazy is Showing from Birdie’s Knits and it is a crazy combination of every color you can imagine but it looks beautiful.  Lastly I’m using another Kinu, the Plum colorway which is actually a dark pastel pink, not purple as the name might imply.  There is a slipped stitch section which caused me a little bit of a headache given that silk and paper yarns have absolutely no stretch to them, but I’ve learned how to knit that section more loosely than normal and it’s actually working out nicely.

Spinning

Still practicing on my wheel.  Don’t quite have the hang of it yet.  Tried spinning the bamboo sample I got from The Fiber Lady at stitches United and boy was that easier!  I now understand why long staple fibers are much preferred!  But I am going to keep trying.  My problem seems to be getting that first bit twisted and onto the bobbin.  Once I have it I can sustain it for a little while, but getting started is not my forte!

 

Knitting Talk

I was recently asked, why did I start a podcast?  As I’ve now passed my 1st podaversary, I decided to tackle that question here.

First off, I LOVE podcasts.  I started listening back in 2005 and currently on my phone I am subscribed to 109 podcasts, 12 of which are for my kids.  Some are weekly, some put out 15-20 a year and some are like Serial and every now and then you get 10 in a row.  So it’s not quite as insane as it sounds.  No, I do not keep up do date with all of them – I am still far behind after going to FL for 10 days in February but I’m slowly catching up while driving, cooking, cleaning, etc.  I also listen at 1.5x which makes a 60 minute podcast take only about 40 minutes so that helps.

Back to this particular podcast – I had been considering starting a podcast for about 2-3 years and kept putting it off because of family, kids, lack of time, etc.  I was super stressed and a bit down in the dumps and I finally decided to take on a project just for me.  I’d just gotten in to SSK a few weeks before and then listening to the Just One More Row podcast, Dana was talking about exactly that, getting lost in motherhood and the doldrums of thousands of thankless tasks and how taking time for herself and doing projects just for herself was really helping.  That was the lightbulb moment I needed and I decided to just go out and do it.  I bought a microphone, downloaded Audacity and released the first episode on March 14th, 2017.  The sound quality was horrible, and I was so incredibly nervous, but I did it.  And I’m so glad I did!  Now more than a year on, I have met so many wonderful people because of this podcast.  It’s been a joy. 

Running

How long should your shoes last?  “Experts” say 300-500 miles, depending on how much wear and tear they get.  But if you see any damage, change shoes right away!  Also, if you see uneven wear on the bottom of your shoe, (e.g., more wear on the inside edge than the outside edge, or vice versa) then be SURE to go to a running store (and bring your current shoes!).  They can help you find the right type of shoe to stop that and help prevent injuries down the road.

 

Read Full Post »

38 - Knitting Is Back!

Episode 38 – 5/15/18 - Knitting and Running in 30 minutes or less

WindsweptMonique on Ravelry and Instagram, windsweptmonique@gmail.com. Visit my new website at WindsweptKnits.com and stream the podcast or read shownotes. 

Thanks so much for listening!  There are 1000’s of podcasts for you to choose from and I am honored you take time out of your busy life to listen to mine. 

Segments this week include: Stash Acquisition, Wips, KALs, Running

Stash Acquisition

I held off recording last week because I had no knew knitting and also I knew what I’d be getting for Mother’s Day which is…  a spinning wheel!  My finger still isn’t healed yet so I’m in a finger brace part-time and still can’t knit nearly as much as I want to, so my boys bought me a Lendrum!  They also got the Very Fast Flyer so I can spin cotton.  I am SUPER excited and slightly daunted.  I’ve tried using it a few times and I’m horrible at the moment.  I hold my fiber too close to the wheel to get a good spin in the cotton.  Also, I’m used to having the fiber not move while I’m drafting.  So balancing the spin with the pullup on to the bobbin is challenging.  Luckily, I know exactly what I’m looking for in the spun cotton so a few times I’ve managed to get a small amount of decently spun single on the bobbin.  And I cannot tell you how excited I am to have a tensioned lazy kate and the plying head to I don’t have to ply on a drop spindle!

Spinning

I’ve been working on a new spinning project using Hipstring’s A Beautiful Day cotton colorway.  This is from the first shipment of her Cotton Club, which I highly recommend.  I’ve only gotten a little bit done but it is coming along beautifully.  Jill’s cotton is a joy to spin.

Wips

Lady and the Unicorn, as I mentioned last week, this is part of a series of medieval tapestries held at the Musee de Cluny.  In particular, the one I am stitching is based on the one labelled “A Mon Seul Desir” and a few days ago I finished working on the current chart page!  I’m pretty sure I started that page at least 5 years ago.  And I’m heading to stitching group tonight so I get to stitch some more.

I’ve put a row or 2 onto my Changing Staircases shawl by Jenga Knits.  This is a shawl inspired by the Harry Potter books, the way the stiarcases are constantly changing and I’m working on it in Mousou a 100% bamboo yarn from The FiberLady.

I’ve also put a few rows on my 52-stitch sock, which is using the Fish Lips Kiss heel and Cobasi by Hikoo, which is a bamboo, cotton, silk and nylon blend.

Last but not least – I have a new cast on!  I cast on a shawl on Mother’s Day!  I’m joining the Addition By Subtraction Mystery Knit A Long, albeit a few weeks late.  This is a “mystery” mystery knit along – a murder mystery knit a long to be exact.  I love a good murder mystery novel – Agatha Christie is one of my favorite authors – so even though the story is more of a film noire type it’s still right up my alley.  I’m on the first clue and I’m having a blast playing a long.  I did have to rip back a few rows because my 4th color wasn’t quite working right with the others, but luckily I had another good colorway on hand.

This pattern was designed and released along with the LYS day so I chose stash I had on hand from my yarn store that closed, one from another localish yarn store and ordered one skein from an indie dyer that I love, Birdie’s Knits from Florida.  Her hand dyed organic cotton is to die for (har har!).  The pattern calls for a light color, a dark color, a slightly zany color and a color to tie it all together, all in fingering weight.  For the light color I’m using Ito Yarn’s Washi in the Crocus colorway, a pale purple.  This is a Japanese style paper yarn, laceweight, and ‘m holding it double.  The dark is Ito Yarn’s Kinu, a laceweight silk in the Grey colorway and I’m holding it double.  The zany is  Your Crazy is Showing from Birdie’s Knits and it is a crazy combination of every color you can imagine but it looks beautiful.  Lastly I’m using another Kinu, the Plum colorway which is actually a dark pastel pink, not purple as the name might imply.

Knit A Longs

Geeky Girls Sheepy Spring AL runs through May 31st and I am a sponsor.

TheKnitGirllls’ Stash Dash is an annual WIP-finish KAL.  Compete against yourself to see how much yardage you can complete from May 25th to August 27th.  Can you knit 1000m?  Maybe a whole 5k?  The bonus here is that if you knit a row on a project you can cound ALL the yardage for the project.  Also, spinning counts, where last year you could count the length of all the singles so a 200m 3-ply yarn would count as 600m.  I should note, there are rule changes up for voting at the moment so take that last spinning rule with a grain of salt.

In A Sknit’s Batter Up KAL has begun – knit your way through baseball season!  I’m a sponsor for this one, too.  There are many opportunities for prizes across the season including at the All Star break and during the World Series.

Last but not least – My Summer 2018 Be A Helper KAL.  I will run this in tandem with Stash Dash because I know a lot of you will be trying to use up every last scrap of yarn for those 3 months and preemie hats and Knitted Knockers are perfect stash-busting projects.  Project rules will be the same as last winter – ANYTHING you knit, crochet, weave or spin for ANY charity counts.  One entry per FO – you can enter 10 preemie hats will count as 10 entries.  Also, donating blood counts as 1 entry, just post a photo of yourself either in the chair, or with the bandaid, or selfie sipping your OJ afterwards.  If you would like to offer a prize for this KAL, please PM me on Ravelry or email me at WindsweptMonique@gmail.com, any prizes would be greatly appreciated!  I will be offering two skeins from my own stash, the first is a skein from FishKnits Yarn in the At Sixes and Sevens colorway, a self-striping Merino-nylon sock yarn.  The other one will be a non-wool yarn TBD; I’m currently debating between a silk yarn, a Japanese paper-style yarn, or a plant-based yarn.  If you have any thoughts on which I should offer, please let me know!

 

Running

My running training is going well so far.  I’m walking my son home from school most days, so that’s 1.5 miles each afternoon.  Some days I run, and some it’s just a lazy stroll as an “active rest day”.  Yesterday I did my first 4-miler since before I was pregnant with my youngest son, who’s almost 3, and it felt great! Historically, the 4-6 mile area was my least favorite distance but I wonder if that will change since I haven’t tackled that distance in years.  I’ve been lax about strength training the last few weeks because of the brace on my finger, but now that I’m only wearing the brace part time I’m going to start strength training twice a week.  I need to listen to my own advice eh?  Keep strength training!

 

 

Read Full Post »