I want to thank Midnight Knitter at Yarn, Books & Roses for nominating me for the totally un-B52-related Liebster Award. Since this isn’t my first spin around this merry go round, I’m not going to go through the whole process again. But, I would invite any of the bloggers reading to play along if they want to. The whole idea is to expose newer blogs with smaller traffic to larger audiences so please feel free to snag the questions and link back to me so others will find you. This is good timing because I was feeling rather uninspired on both the blogging and knitting fronts, so this format will hopefully prompt some interesting product out of me!
Here are THE RULES (dun dun dunnnnnn):
- Acknowledge and accept the Liebster Award by leaving a comment on the blog where you were nominated.
- Copy and paste the Liebster Award medal (logo) onto your own blog.
- Link back to the blogger who awarded you and give thanks.
- Answer the questions put to you by the person who nominated you. This is a great way to get to know the people behind the blogs. The number of questions vary from 5 to 11 depending on who is asking.
- On your blog nominate and link to your 5 favorite blogs (or more) that you enjoy but have a small readership (the rules have varied from less than 200 to less than 3000 readers). It could be that they have only been blogging for a short time or have a niche interest but are worthy of gaining more attention in the wider blogging world. That means the blogs of large, commercial enterprises are not eligible for nomination; nor are blogs that are well publicized in a variety of media and established with tens of thousands of followers.
- List your questions for your Liebster Award nominees on your blog.
- Inform your nominees by leaving a comment on their blogs.
On to the fun part: the questions! In a previous life, I followed a lot of blogs, mostly nursing/medical, but also the Yarn Harlot and a couple other odds and ends thrown in (an aside: she does not need any publicity from me, but if you haven’t read the Yarn Harlot, please go do so. She’s a great knitter and writer, a great person and is frikkin’ hysterical at the same time. Her most recent post features a pic of a light up toilet. It couldn’t possibly get any better than that, am I right?). Well, long story short, I used to hate award posts. I don’t know if they have changed or I have, but I’ve found knitting blog award posts sort of fascinating. I like learning more about the people behind the WIPs (don’t read into that, Mom) and learning about other newer blogs. I’m finding that as I learn more about other knitting bloggers, a bit of a community starts to show up, and it’s one that I already heartily enjoy being part of.
So yeah, what about those questions? I’m going to try not to repeat myself too much (if you really want to learn all the things about me you can check out my previous Liebses here and here) but I think there’s still plenty of room here.
- What are three of your very favorite books?
I’m going to assume she means knitting books because otherwise, it’s just too big a pool to start with. I have a hard time picking favorites anyway, so that would be prohibitively challenging. One is a book that I’ve mentioned on this blog a number of times: The Knitter’s Book of Finishing Techniques by Nancy M. Wiseman. Even though the interwebs have stepped in as the most comprehensive resource possible, it really helps sometimes to have techniques that have been described, compared and presented in similar ways. You can narrow down what technique you want to use and why, or you can use the criteria she lists to venture out and find another technique that does what you want it to do. I flip through this book frequently and have found it very helpful.
Mason-Dixon Knitting by Kay Gardiner and Ann Meador Shayne helped me shake loose my perceived need to have a hard and fast pattern for everything. It helped me start to knit “outside the lines” in a way. The idea that you could just turn something and pick up stitches was pretty novel, and a little scary, for me but it ultimately helped me relax a little bit and have some faith that the yarn knows what it wants to be.
Lastly, any volume of Barbara Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. One of my favorite things to do as a kid was flip through pages of stitch patterns, each with its little black and white picture, and see all the cool designs you could add to your projects. Most of the things I knit as a kid came from those but, since I lacked any ability to incorporate the patterns into an actual item or garment, they were usually just scarf-like things. Still a great way to learn.
2. Are you hoping to make gifts for Christmas this year? Share!! (Please do this one. I need ideas…)
Yes. And I really need to get on that. Honestly, I’m kind of hoping that “Christmas” can be interpreted as “that day I give you something I knit for you” and that that day can be different for everyone I know. I’m not great at sitting on things I’ve made for a long time before giving them away and there’s no way I can knit something for everyone that I’m close to. So, if you get something hand knit from me between, oh let’s say August and February, you can be pretty sure that was Christmas.
That said, some of those recipients might read this blog, and I don’t want to blow the 2 or 3 minutes of surprise I’ll have left by revealing all here. A few things that are in the works are the Clapotis for my MIL, another River District Toque for my SIL, some scarves and maybe a cowl.
3. What is your favorite (handmade) gift that you have received from somebody else?
I have been very blessed in this department. I mentioned I have a hard time choosing favorites, right? There are a lot of handmade things I’ve received over the years. Some of the most special were dresses my mom sewed for me when I was a kid. In particular, one year she made me a dress to use as an Alice in Wonderland costume for my best friend’s autumn costume birthday party. It of course doubled as a fancy, real dress that I wore on other occasions, but it was quite an undertaking. The bodice had piping and a lace panel and all these details, and the skirt was long and had this sort of curved tier thing. The line of the tier matched the line of the lacy apron/over skirt thing. I clearly know all the technical sewing terms. Anyway, it was hours of work and it was lovely and I loved it.
Another very special gift I’ve received is a pair of cabled, hand sewed and hand knit pillows from a friend. She designed the cable patterns herself and put a lot of work into them. I don’t know what kind of yarn she used, but it’s lovely and soft and a gorgeous color. I’ve always been a little in awe of them.
A third (the question was your top three favorites, right?) special handmade gift was from my ex’s mother (my ex not being my ex at the time, but my current). She is an artist in many rights and fiber is one of her media. She gave me a pair of dish towels made from cotton that she dyed, spun and wove herself. She also gave me a linen table runner that was one of the very first things she made from the flax she grew, harvested, processed, dyed, spun and wove (I think the first thing she made she gave to her husband, and that was the second). Beyond those amazing gifts, she gave me knowledge, the benefit of her years of experience, and encouragement. I don’t miss my ex at all, but I do miss her mother very much.
4. Where do you get your best ideas?
The shorter answer: I have no idea.
The longer answer: random stuff just aligns in my head, usually without consulting or notifying me. I look at stuff I see on ravelry, in LYSes, on people’s needles and things just being worn, then pull something out of the depths when triggered by–who knows? I have a queue on ravelry but I hardly bother using it. Nine times out of ten when I cast on, it’s not for something I’ve been planning for months. It’s for something that just occurred to me out of nowhere, that serendipitously I have the perfect yarn for in the perfect amount. It’s really annoying when I have to do all that stuff consciously. It just leads to frogging.
5. Where do your creative energies go? What craft or activity is the most important to you?
I don’t really consider myself to be that creative. I always start with a template or set of guidelines of some sort. If you just gave me yarn and needles I would make something I’d made before. I’m okay with that, though. Knitting is my favorite craft but I also like sewing and just making stuff in general. I also like fixing and repairing things.
Clearly I’m in an odd mood. Thanks for reading, whether you made it this far or not! If any of these questions strike a chord with you, please take a moment to share your own answers.
My sleepy stripey, nuts to the wind.