Friday, November 03, 2006

Knitting with a passion : )

love knitting. I used to knit as a kid without patterns and not really knowing what I was doing. I taught myself to bind off just by experimenting one day and it worked - but I still didn't have patterns. As I got older the passion dwindled and faded with a few attempts here and there to get back into it. One of the main problems is the fact that I live in the tropics and the yarn and patterns that are sold are only fit for cold blistering winters. It makes no sense to me.Then one night, I really had the urge to start creating something again and my thoughts went back to knitting. This time, I thought, I'm going to find out what I need to knit and do it succesfully here in the tropics. I got on the internet and did my research. Man, my eyes were really opened up to the large variety of yarns out there! There was even yarn that would make garments suitable for warm weather! It was like stumbling across a solution to a long unresolved problem. It felt wonderful! So, I started slowly... ordering what I needed off the web... finding out what other people preferred in yarns and why, looking for patterns and so on. It is exhilarating! My only problem is waiting for my yarn to arrive! I am so impatient! To get around that problem, I have come up with a strategy that so far is working for me. What I do is look around for patterns and get the yarn requirements (I have most of the needles I'll ever need thanks to the Denise Interchangable set) and I set it up in a spreadsheet. I note the project I'm interested in, the colour I like, the needle requirement, the cost of the yarn and shipping and where I would like to buy the materials and patterns from. I then note where I got the pattern from. And when this is all done, I make a mass order. I don't wait till I've done one project to start another one... and this strategy ensures that I always have projects waiting in the wings. My only problem now is getting storage for them! Another note about the shipping... it is very expensive to ship directly to Barbados. Sometimes I am charged between USD$12.75 (that may take 4-7 days to get here) and USD$44.00! I've even spent USD$52.00 at amazon (or was it USD$82.00?) to get THREE knitting books sent here to me and I should be getting them late November/ early December! So I have to figure out a way to get cheap shipping for my things. I once used the option of sending to my family and getting them send it on here - cost was USD$59.00 but I got it the next day. Not to mention, there is a skybox service that you can send your parcels to and they pass them on to you when they reach here. Problem is TAXES. Yep, we're taxed very heavily here in Barbados. If you use this service you can be charged USD$9.00 per pound and USD$1.00 per pound afterwards. Then there's environmental tax, and SES charges. By the time it comes through that route, a USD$20 yarn purchase can cost me and additional USD$30!!So, on to some of my projects. I am currently knitting the Sonata Crest of the Wave tank found on elann dot com. It is easy once you get past the shoulders and the joining of the shoulders! I tell you, I've frogged the right shoulder about 5 times! No kidding. The pattern needs to be a bit clearer. I think it assumes you should be able to work out things for yourself. Anyways, I'm getting there with it. I started on November 1 and I've completed the upper front and will start on the back upper front and then move on to the body. I can do this so quickly because I am home on sick leave, so I have some time to knit before I have to go back out.

Here is a progress pic:

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