skull

skull

Monday, May 30, 2011

O is for Out (as in I'm out) and Options on Ravelry


I am sadly writing this post to say that I am out of the Z to A Challenge, with travel and all I just couldn't keep up and I'm impressed with those that have, right after the A to Z Challenge.

I don't want to waste this post and for my knitting followers and people who have taken my advice and gone on RAVELRY I want to describe some fun things that happen there.

1. The contests, I always participate and always lose, but still it's fun. They revolve around a reality show like The Amazing Race and now "So You Think You Can Dance". Go to that group and sign up and you will be given contestants. If your contestant wins, everyone in your group has to give you knitting supplies or gift certificates for yarn stores up to $20. In the Amazing Race I had two contestants and they each lost in the first couple weeks, dummies, so I had to pay winners in two groups. Check it out, I know they do it for Idol and many of the others these are just the two that I participate in.

2. Many of the groups on Ravelry have Knit Alongs. Since I can't even keep up in a blog challenge, I haven't done these, but you all knit the same project and discuss it along the way whether you are in California or London. The groups on Ravelry are really fun and informative.

Pirate Knitting will now be rolling along without a challenge to spur it, but look here for fun patterns and interesting things a few times a week.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

P is for PIRATE LOOKS PAST SIXTY (Unabashed Plug)


I am so far behind in this challenge that I thought a small post plugging my new blog would not be really frowned upon. If it is then frown away, I'll get over it.

The new blog is A PIRATE LOOKS PAST SIXTY and has all the fun of this great blog without the knitting. This blog will continue with fun and knitting and a Pirate Needlepoints might be in the works too.

For my non-crafting blog I chose to write about what I (and also Jimmy Buffett is) am,
"an over sixty victim of fate". Retired, but not rich. Having fun, still partying and yet told by kids that maybe I should drop the Ed Hardy sneakers. I guess it's a place that the web was dumb enough to give me to express all my thoughts and yours (in comments) on "growing older, but not up" as my man Jimmy would say. I also hope to add some helpful info for us nonseniors so we can take advantage of the good part and stay healthy for the rest.

So my "P" is a Plug, like there aren't a few of those on the web eh, but hopefully you'll check it out and enjoy. We'll be knitting again shortly.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Q is for FISH QUILT

It doesn't look like I might finish this whole challenge as we're leaving in a day to go to Virginia for Memorial Day and beyond so I will be living on laptop. However, this wonderful quilt which I do plan to make during my lifetime is something that I would have posted on Pirate Knitting, challenge or not. The pattern is as usual on RAVELRY and over 500 people have done this quilt and posted pictures of it and this something to see. I will post a few here and then link to the pattern below:



You knit up the little fish according to the PATTERN which makes a nice carry with you project. It also makes a nice project for items in your yarn stash as many people did on Ravelry. The pain in the neck part. of course, is then sewing them all together to make the quilt. I think sewing a couple of strips at a time is better than leaving all the fish to sew together at a time. It makes the task less daunting and what a pretty quilt. Some people also made them into pillows and other things. Check out the pics on Ravelry.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

R is for RHODE ISLAND PIRATE PLAYERS


Today we salute the RHODE ISLAND PIRATE PLAYERS, the inspiration my blogs "Pirate Knitting" and the new one A PIRATE LOOKS PAST SIXTY.

What are the RIPP and what do they do? They certainly do more than dress up in pirate costumes and play with swords, they are:

1. Historical researchers who delve into the history of the real pirates that populated Rhode Island (not the incorruptible state that it is today) and some who thrived.

2. They are intelligent and talented players, who work hard to bring this history to life for the education and enjoyment of the people of RI at library programs, the summer walking tour in Newport, educational programs in schools and much more. Check out their website.

3. These pirates will not tolerate doing anything in a manner that is not authentic to the time period and personage that they are portraying.

4. They are working on obtaining their own ship, without having to steal one, look at the picture and story of the "Devine Retribution" on their page.

5. They are a duly organized non-profit organization under State and Federal law and I'm sure would love any contributions you might like to give them.

6. Go to DEAD MENS TALES and check out the pirate tours of Newport, RI for your summer vacation this year.

Monday, May 16, 2011

S is for SWEATERS: Knitting Tips and Thoughts


In this short blog, I cannot tell you how to knit a sweater, however, I can point the way and give some Tips and Thoughts based on my sweater making history. Before you start a sweater you should:

1. Know how to knit, purl, increase and decrease. That's it. Complex patterns come later.

2. Know your sizing and about sweater fitting. Most of my sweater mistakes (and there have been many) have had to do with proper FIT. Here is a site that might be helpful: KNIT TO FIT from the blog "Eat, Sleep, Blog".

3. Do knit a gauge. I don't always on all patterns like dishcloths, etc., but in order for it to fit you need to find your gauge.

4. Do some simple projects first, scarves, dishcloths and towels, and hats are good for getting experience in increases and decreases. This will build your knitting confidence.

5. Choose a relatively simple pattern. The one pictured on the blog is from a magazine called "Knit Simple" and it is a great looking sweater, but not difficult. Don't start with color changes and complex patterns.

6. While following my blog is vital to life on this planet, if you are starting a sweater you should get to know your LYS (Local Yarn Store). Here you will receive hands on help and meet great people. (look for my post in "L" regarding LYS).

7. Enjoy and don't be afraid to FROG. Also, buy a little extra yarn just in case.

Any questions? Well then start that sweater!!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

T is for TIME WASTIN'


No one is better at wasting time than I am, seriously. No pirate or knitter can do better.

In the case of knitters, at least those I've known and myself included, I start a great project and am knitting away enjoying it and either come upon a glitch I can't fix immediately or see another project I want to start even more and put it aside. Every knitter and crafter has stashes of yarn bought for these projects in their cupboards; don't lie, you know you do. And, as my husband would say, a house cluttered with unfinished projects. Is this wasting time, oh yeah.

I have been following Robin Kitchen's blog ONLINE WRITING OPPORTUNITIES about making money freelancing and one thing she appears not to do is waste time. She does not fall for these excuses I myself like, i.e. I'm not really thinking in terms of that client's business (whatever it is) today so I'll put it off. Another good one is, "I don't really want to grab anything on DS because I may not have time finish it". Robin would make time. She is not a time waster.

Another good time waster is when I boot my computer and say, "maybe I should warm up with a game at Pogo, Boxerjam, find the hidden object, etc. just to wake up". Sure, two hours later my work is waiting and I have found many hidden objects that I don't get paid for.

Well time to go waste some time. Any suggestions?

Friday, May 13, 2011

U is for URBAN KNITTING (aka YARN BOMBING)

Urban Knitting seems to have started in about 2007 and it is creating of graffiti in public places with knitting items. This is a blog post that needs to be more pictoral than written. Yarn bombings and urban happen all over the world and the next INTERNATIONAL YARNBOMBING DAY is JUNE 11, 2011, so be prepared. There is a group for this on RAVELRY International Yarnbombing

LOOK BELOW AND SEE URBAN KNITTING FOR YOURSELF:




And more:



Even more:



This last one was in Vienna so it is truly an international movement. Get ready for June 11, 2011 and look for yarn bombs in your town. True pirates would yarn bomb waterfront towns, watch out Newport.

V is for embossed VINE and Leaves Stitch


This stitch is not only coming to you because it is a "V" (although that was certainly a consideration), but also because it is easy to do and can be made up into many different things. Pictures will follow. You can take any stitch and make it your own design by interspersing it with simple stitches to make a quilt, a scarf or just a neck warmer. Thus it becomes yours alone.

Here is the pattern:


(worked over 26 sts)
S2KP sl 2 knitwise, k1, pass 2 slipped sts over k1.
K inc (knit increase) knit into front and back of stitch.
P inc (purl increase) Purl into front and back of stitch.
Row 1 (WS) K5, p5, k4, p3, k9.
Row 2 P7, p2tog, k inc, k2, p4, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, p5-28 sts.
Row 3 K5, p7, k4, p2, k1, p1, k8.
Row 4 P6, p2tog, k1, p inc, k2, p4, k3, yo, k1, yo, k3, p5-30 sts.
Row 5 K5, p9, k4, p2, k2, p1, k7.
Row 6 P5, p2tog, k1, p inc, p1, k2, p4, ssk, k5, k2tog, p5-28 sts.
Row 7 K5, p7, k4, p2, k3, p1, k6.
Row 8 P4, p2tog, k1, p inc, p2, k2, p4, ssk, k3, k2tog, p5-26 sts.
Row 9 K5, p5, k4, p2, k4, p1, k5.
Row 10 P5, yo, k1, yo, p4, k2, p4, ssk, k1, k2tog, p5.
Row 11 K5, p3, k4, p2, k4, p3, k5.
Row 12 P5, [yo, k1] twice, k1, p4, k1, M1, k1, p2tog, p2, S2KP, p5.
Row 13 K9, p3, k4, p5, k5.
Row 14 P5, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, p4, k1, k inc, k1, p2tog, p7-28 sts.
Row 15 K8, p1, k1, p2, k4, p7, k5.
Row 16 P5, k3, yo, k1, yo, k3, p4, k2, p inc, k1, p2tog, p6-30 sts.
Row 17 K7, p1, k2, p2, k4, p9, k5.
Row 18 P5, ssk, k5, k2tog, p4, k2, p1, p inc, k1, p2tog, p5-28 sts.
Row 19 K6, p1, k3, p2, k4, p7, k5.
Row 20 P5, ssk, k3, k2tog, p4, k2, p2, p inc, k1, p2tog, p4-26 sts.
Row 21 K5, p1, k4, p2, k4, p5, k5.
Row 22 P5, ssk, k1, k2tog, p4, k2, p4, yo, k1, yo, p5.
Row 23 K5, p3, k4, p2, k4, p3, k5.
Row 24 P5, S2KP, p2, p2tog, k1, M1, k1, p4, [yo, k1] twice, k1, p5.
Rep rows 1-24.

Courtesy of the Vogue Knitting App which all knitters should have on the phones. Here are some lovely things people have made with this stitch courtesy of RAVELRY:



Monday, May 9, 2011

W is for WOOL


I am probably the worst person to write about wool as I have a sensitivity to it and cannot wear it against my skin. However, I can and do knit with wool because it is the most wonderful fiber of all to work with. I made my son a scarf out of Cascade Venezia which is a great mix of silk and wool. The yarn was flexible, but not too soft and made up into a wonderfully warm scarf. Wool yarn is easier to keep an even tension with and your stitches just look better than in some other yarns. I knit a lot with cotton yarn as I make easy things like dishcloths and the difference in flexibility is amazing with cotton seeming much stiffer than wool.

Wool of course comes from animals and most of us think of sheep as the most common wool giver, but alpaca wool has become quite popular and is said to be great to work with. Wool comes in most of the usual yarn weights and with colorful dyeing the colors of wool are without limit. The wool pictured on the blog is Noro Kureyon yarn which is known for the wonderful colors that blend into beautiful knits.

The final thing that I want to say about wool in this brief blog is that it hasn't been around for centuries for no reason. Many wools can repel water and of course hold in warmth, hence the wool fisherman's sweater. Wool and silk blends are even warmer than 100% wool is because of the properties of silk that block out heat or cold. Wool should be the first fiber you knit with if you are beginning as it is more forgiving than some of less flexible yarns. Also it will make some of your first projects things that you will be proud of for years.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

X is for XALBA (Lyn Hamilton)


The back story to this post is that in my new found love of the library I came across an archeological mystery series that looked very interesting. When I start a new mystery series, I am pretty anal about starting with the first book which is not always easy to do because if it is an older series the earlier books are unable to be found on Barnes Noble, Amazon, etc. However, the LIBRARY does have them and so I started this series from book one "The Xalba Murders". I enjoyed the book and read the next one which I also enjoyed and I noticed that the last book she had published in the series was in 2007. This sparked my interest in Lyn Hamilton, the author--why did she stop the series which seemed to be well received and also what else is she writing.

In my research on Lyn Hamilton I realized that some of us in this challenge and on YCN might identify strongly with her. She was born in Canada in 1944 and graduated from the University of Toronto. After college she went into communications and worked for private companies and some governmental agencies. Now the part that I found important, SHE PUBLISHED HER FIRST NOVEL AT 50. For those like myself that feel they might have come to writing too late, hello, it happens more than we think. Lyn wrote elven archeological mystery novels and as she had a background in the area, they have great detail and realistic situations. I like her lead character and intend to finish the series. I'm not sure she has made a great contribution to literature, but the fact that she came to it later and then also taught mystery writing at the University of Toronto struck a chord with me.

Why did she stop the series in 2007? Well here is the sad part of the story. Unfortunately, Ms. Hamilton died of cancer in 2009 at age 65 (just 3 years older than I am).

So why this post except that she wrote a book that started with "X". Because I found some inspiration from her and I also got the push to get on with it since you have no idea how long you have to do it. If you enjoy mysteries, you might like this series; the older books are only available at the library (in rather beat up condition as you can see from my photo). I only took the picture so they wouldn't blame the damage on me.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Y is for YARN-OVER TECHNIQUE

Knitting has many techniques that evolve into wonderful patterns and one of the easiest is the YARN OVER, which can create lacy little holes in a pattern. Little holes may not sound too go so here is a picture of the Feather and Fan stitch which uses yarn overs:
The Feather and Fan is a very easy pattern for beginners to learn and the things you make with it come out beautiful. There is one in my D is for Dishcloth and an adorable afghan can be made with it. The other stitches in the pattern are knit and purl and knit 2 together. Here is how to do the yarn over with diagrams no less.

YARN OVER:



Knit to Knit:
1. If you are on a knitting row then bring the yarn from the back of the work to the front between the two needles. Knit the next stitch, bringing to yarn to the back over the right needle. (look at diagram) This is also used as an increase stitch and on buttonholes.


Purl to Purl:
2. If the yarn over is called for on a purling row then leave the yarn at the front of the work. bring the yarn to the back over the right needle and to the front again, purl the next stitch.

Now isn't that easy, let's go out and Feather and Fan for shawls and other nice summer items.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Z is for ZEALOT


Well this will be a strange post for a blog called "pirate knitting", but it is the only blog I have and today's letter is "Z" and a zealot of the worst kind has been killed.

Osama Bin Laden caused death and pain to whomever he and his organization Al Quaeda targeted. Webster's Dictionary defines a zealot as a "fanatical partisan" which certainly defines Mr. Bin Laden. However, one is never quite sure what cause he was a zealot for. He caused the deaths of Muslims, Christians, anyone in his path, and it always remained unclear to me where exactly he was intending his path to go.

The amount of hatred that he had for the United States that caused 3,000 deaths on September 11, 2001 and on the U.S.S. Cole prior to that was viral. I almost don't want to talk about the pain that this caused us because pain and heartbreak was what he intended for us. The 10 years of war that followed these attacks has hurt the U.S., our allies and the world economy. I wonder did he hate the whole world also. I think he probably did.

A zealot is not always a bad person, there are many people who work zealously for the environment, caring for the poor and for peace, Osama Bin Laden was not one of them. He was a wasted man. A person who was actually quite intelligent, obviously a master strategist and incredibly warped. He was a waste.

The years since his attacks on us have been hard. My son was in Iraq for two tours and fortunately suffered no physical harm, but that was not the case for thousands of American military personnel, it was not the case for thousands of Afghans, Iraqis, British, and the list unfortunately goes on.

I suppose Mr. Bin Laden would be proud to be remembered as a zealot, right on the list with Hitler, Pol Pot, Charles Manson and other fine murderers. Tonight I (God forgive me) am proud that Americans were able to take his life.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

R is for Reflection on the A to Z blog challenge

As is most unusual for me, I have nothing but positive things to say about this challenge.

For me personally it achieved this:
1. I learned how to blog technically much better and still have a way to go, but can post pictures and everything.
2. I read more than I wrote and found so many blogs to follow that are so great and will continue to follow many of them.
3. I met some great people, some I had already known a little bit from YCN, but now got to know them in a different light.
4. I got some new followers and hope I can live up to their expectations of Pirate Knitting.

Finally, it was fun, not always keeping up, but I felt a real thrill when I finished last night. I want to thank the organizers of this event for all their efforts and please let me know of any future ones. BTW catch us crazy bloggers that are going backwards on the Z to A challenge.