Monday, April 13, 2009

New endeavor - Knitting!

One of my most satisfying hobbies is costuming. I love it. I love making clothes that I can't buy anywhere else. Or well, let me rephrase that. I love making clothes that I can't Afford to buy anywhere else. That's actually how I started. I was a poor college student and I had discovered Renaissance Faires. I went to my first faire in regular clothing and that was the Last time I did so. My next faire I purchased my first chemise and bodice. I still had to wear my jeans, but that was ok, it was a start. I broke my bank on those two items and they were the cheap discounted Rentals. It was at that moment that I realized I could make my own clothing for a fraction of the cost. And I knew that it would tickle my grandmother Pink if I picked up the actual sewing bug!

Today I sew anything from medieval to 1940s vintage. Right now it is the start of the Spring Faire Season here in Texas. Scarborough Faire has begun and the season has been delightfully cool in the early parts of the day. I've even been able to wear my latest wool kirtle without melting. And since the first faire of the season always gets the creative juices flowing and I'm Still Broke, I find myself looking for ways to get Really Cool Garb done on the cheap.

My latest obsession??? Socks. Striped ones to be precise. But for now regular colored will do. Actually, on the scale of pricey garb items, socks are on the Low scale, so the fact that I'm obsessed with making my own socks is less about funds and more about the challenge of making my own freaking socks! There's just something extra satisfying about saying you made something that most people let their pocketbooks take for granted. Even more so when those items are perfectly budget friendly. I think it's because when the inevitable question of "why?!?" comes, it just feels Awesome to be able to say, "because I can."

So socks. I guess this means I have to learn to knit. Actually, I've been wanting to learn to knit for a little while now. Everyone I know knows how to crochet. Me being the one who wants to do what everyone else Isn't, I have made it my mission to learn the art of knitting. Me? Bullheaded and honery??? Naaaah!

I began this obsession quest Sunday evening. I scoured the internet for free online tutorials. I snagged several and began my work learning how to Cast On. After at least an hour of attempting not one but four different methods, I quickly decided that I was somehow handicapped towards knitting and I dramatically threw down my needles and shouted. You think I'm kidding? I actually picked them back up at least one or two more times to try again and repeated the throwing and shouting process over again until I was sufficiently defeated and ready to go to bed angry.

Tonight, however, I was saved by a video version of one of the pictorial lessons I tried the night before. The video was provided by Video Jug. It was with this video of oversized yarn and needles that I Finally realized that I was doing the knitting thing Backwards the night before and That's why it didn't work! So after I watched, and re-watched the video several times whilst performing each step, I Finally accomplished the very beginner steps of Casting On.

Then I moved on to the video of the basic knit. Now that I had the Casting On bit down, the actual knitting wasn't that hard to catch on to. Although I'm Dreadfully slow. But I did manage to get Three rows put together! And I was so excited about it that I didn't want to stop! Here's my handiwork:

Cute huh?

I think I'll be alternating practicing this knitting business with handsewing my cotehardie eyelets for the next several weeks. I doubt I'll be doing socks in the immediate future, but I'm pretty sure I'll manage one pair by the time Texas Renaissance Festival rolls around in the Fall. Eventually, I'd like to progress to knitting dainty little silk stockings, but that's Waaaaay off in the horizon. For now, I like my goal of striped socks.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Here's how we grow

This is how I've rearranged things. I've strung some wire between the planter stands on either side of the box with the beans/peas so there's a guidance to grow up. Unfortunately, my little pomegranate tree isn't thriving as well as I had hoped.
This is my parsley/cilantro planter. The formed leaves are So Tiny!
Oh I just adore my lavendar. I'm so happy it is blooming finally. Unfortunately the storm last night beat it down even more. I may have to put something around it to re-train it, if that's possible.
Here's my beans/peas. You can see how I've only got 2 of the 4 really doing well and the growth of one far exceeds the other. I still can't remember what is what, so when they finally produce, it'll be a lovely surprise!