Whoops. Sorry about that.

Turns out when I thought I’d scheduled a post to say I was going away… I didn’t actually click ‘schedule’ and it’s sitting in my drafts. Who’s the smartest knitter in town? Yup. Definitely not me.

So. Radio silence. I just got back from camping and will be posting more about that in the next few entries. It was glorious and relaxing and I’ve still got four free days before I have to go back to work, so that’s ample knitting and blogging time.

A note: I’m going to change my posting schedule to two entries a week for now. I want to focus on quality which is difficult to do when I’m trying to churn out three entries a week. This probably matters to no one but me, but I thought I would let you know in case you’re wondering. I’ll be posting on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and every now and then I’ll be adding a book review at the weekend.

Thank you for joining in the Q&A last week, it was fun. If you have any questions for me ever feel free to go back and look there or even ask me again!

Anyway. Let’s get back to our regular knitting nerdery.

Let’s have a Q&A, shall we?

Hello.

My name is Polo. I am the Knitter Nerd. You already know that, but I’m aware I don’t share all that much about myself here. Help me change that!

Ask me a question. If it’s something I don’t want on my blog, I’ll just let you know that and give what details I can. There’s not many areas of my life that I won’t talk about though.

You can ask about my life, or you can ask about my knitting. You can even ask for book or comic recommendations. I can do the thing.

Okay… go!

New Thing! Thread Woven Buttons

You remember how I got totally obsessed with Dorset buttons? Unfortunately I’ve been so busy with knitting for people lately that I haven’t had a chance to indulge, but believe me it’s coming. I have a bunch of rings ready for a nice session of button-making once I’m done with these three pairs of socks and the shawl I’m doing.

Now I have something else I want to try – thank you, Martina. Aside from being my provider of yarn-based happiness, she also sent me this link which has made me want to drop my needles and find small balls to thread up into buttons.

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From this post, credit to the author.

It’s almost like a 3D Dorset button. I haven’t looked at the technicalities yet, but I do know I shall be working out where one gets wooden beads any day now.

Next problem: what do I do with all the buttons I make?

Style

KN Reads: Style by Chelsea M. Cameron

Someone on Twitter mentioned this book in passing in a conversation that was nothing to do with me, but it looked intriguing enough for me to buy for my kindle right away. Since I was in the market for a sweet, fluffy queer romance anyway, I figured Style by Chelsea M. Cameron would do the trick.

A summary: Kyle (a young woman) and Stella (also a young woman) have been at school together for a while without noticing one another much. They’re paired together in a school project despite being apparent opposites: Stella is an ice-cold snow queen, while Kyle is your average awkward friendly nerd. Unsurprisingly – since this is a romance and all – they end up together despite their better judgment.

Now, Chelsea M. Cameron has written a lot of books. A lot of them. I haven’t read any except this one, but I gather she has some loyal fans in the romance world. She is also (as per her Twitter) super adorable and friendly so I can see why.

This book came at the right time for me. Like its author, Style is adorable. It’s fluffy and almost irredeemably sweet. In the aftermath of a horrifying month for queer people, is it any surprise that I felt the need to dive into something so light? It was a great balm for the darkness.

That said: while I recommend this book to anyone looking for something insubstantial and distracting, don’t go in it looking for some in-depth character development or complex plots. Nothing much goes wrong for these two (which was perfect for my mood), and at times I struggled to remember which character was which since they are remarkably similar to one another.

Despite that, the book flows nicely and it’s an easy read. Sometimes you need style over substance, and this time it’s all in the title.

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Let’s talk about socks, baby.

You remember that song in the nineties? Let’s Talk About Sex by Salt-N-Pepa. I used to sing it enthusiastically even though I was under ten, to my mum’s embarrassment. Listening to it now thanks to my inappropriate title and I have to say it’s badass. (And this time I understand what the eff they’re talking about!)

Anyway.

SOCKS. I have knit an unreal amount of them for other people lately, and for myself too. I have knit vanilla socks so much I’m not 100% sure I remember how to knit anything else. Best of all: I am okay with that. If I could knit nothing but vanilla socks for the rest of my life I would still knit as much as I do now, I’d just have REALLY WARM FEET.

Who else shares my love of knitting socks? It’s my default, the thing I slip back to when I mess up on another project or when I’m feeling stressed or distracted.

If sock knitting doesn’t do that for you, what does? What’s your default?

For those who love knitting socks, what’s your favourite pattern? Or are you like me, do you just pick up the needles and go with a plain sock? Do you prefer 1×1 or 2×2 ribbing for the cuff, or something else? Do you use a fancy heel or stick with the heel flap? Do you, like me, have a passionate love for eye of partridge? Do you get excited when you buy Lang sock yarn and it has a yarn baby inside for reinforcement? Are you weirded out that we refer to it as a yarn baby around here? Tell me! I love socks, I am rolling in socks.

Let’s talk about socks, baby.

How I Avoid Ladders on DPNs

Whenever I talk about how much I love knitting with double-pointed needles (DPNs), people who aren’t converts talk about the ladder. It’s that awful run of loose stitches you get where you switch needles, and it does make your knitting look less than tidy.

It took me a long time to get the hang of avoiding that ladder and sometimes even now I’ll end up with one if I’m working at an unusual gauge, but I’ve mostly got the hang of avoiding it and this video shows you what I do.

I wasn’t feeling chatty so you get slightly sarcastic, extremely silly captions instead (which is basically my natural speaking tone anyway).

Oh, and you also get some old timey music to cheer you along. You’re welcome.

A little overwhelming, yes.

The world is a scary place right now. After Orlando and the EU Referendum, along with the huge political mess happening in my home country because of it, I’m feeling shaken. Top that off with the fact that Trump exists and I’m under 100km from the USA, it’s not been a great time lately.

Plus I had a root canal. Minor in the scheme of things but let’s just say I don’t make it easy on dentists with my mouth that refuses to numb for nine shots. Ow.

Thanks to all of this happening in conjunction with some personal stuff that is extremely triggering to me, I’m not at my best. I’m trying to keep up with stuff and doing an okay job considering how hard everything is, but I certainly don’t have much energy left for much more than the basics.

That said, life is not at all bad. I’ve been a permanent resident of Canada for two years now. I’ve been with my girlfriend for six years as of Sunday. I’m reading some fantastic books and will be getting up reviews soon enough.

And this morning I took the dog out for a run and he was super cute. Who can stay sad with that smiley face running at you?

 

This evening I’m going to a ukulele club. I’ll tell you more about that another time, for it is awesome, and I must go to work.

Tell me something awesome about life, friends and readers! We need more positivity in the world to counteract the nonsense.

Update on The Thing of Doom

You remember last week when I went on a rampage about my current work in progress (WIP)? Yeah, things haven’t got any better with it.

After realising once again that I had forgotten to string the beads, I got about halfway through a row and discovered that while I had put beads on, I was four short. It just so happened I was knitting at my local yarn store at the time on our regular Thursday nights, and I promptly put The Thing of Doom in its bag and announced that I was no longer a knitter. I quit.

It’s okay, though. “Nerd” isn’t nearly as catchy as “Knitter Nerd”, so I knew I had to continue somehow. I pushed through the case of Dramaqueenitis and picked up the project on my way to World Wide Knit in Public day, this time with the correct amount of beads in place and the pattern ready on my phone.

Thankfully, it went well. As long as I didn’t think too hard about it I could keep knitting. (My hatred is all tongue-in-cheek if you couldn’t guess; though I want to be done with it, it’s gorgeous and will be my favourite project ever once it’s done.) I got a few rows done, far past the last bead I’ll need on the project, and I was feeling cocky.

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You see that? That’s The Thing of Doom hiding in plain sight in my last post. At this point it was behaving. JUST.

A friend gave me a ride home. We picked up sandwiches on the way home and all was good. I bought some new yarn, the sun was shining, I was pumped up on being around awesome people all morning.

Then I horrible feeling came over me as I was grocery shopping an hour later. Where was my project? I didn’t remember putting it down with the rest of my stuff.

Sure enough my friend had texted me saying that The Thing of Doom was in her car still and she was on her way out of town. My response? “Haha. Of course it is. That effing shawl.”

I choose to take it as a sign that I would have messed it up had I tried to continue knitting it on the painkillers I took that evening, but really at this point I’m ready for The Thing of Doom to be done. Only it isn’t. Because it’s in a car on the way out of town.

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Knit in Public Day 2016

You know what I love even more than knitting?

Knitters.

On Saturday 18th June I got to spend a few hours in the sun (well, the shade) with a bunch of clever, interesting people, all of whom happened to be either knitting or crocheting. We rocked up to the Whitby library courtyard, rearranged things a bit, and had a jolly good time knitting in public.

World Wide Knit in Public Day is an international thing. A lot of people (mostly non-knitters) have asked me recently where it comes from and why it’s a thing so of course I had to look into it.

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The beady-eyed among you might spot a reflection of a person in a pink and grey dress – that would be yours truly.

Turns out a knitter called Danielle Landes started it in 2005 as a way to bring knitters together. Not surprising, as knitting’s reputation as a solitary sport is slowly dying.

It also helps people realise that knitting is NOT a dying art form and that people of all ages participate and come together because of it. I couldn’t imagine not knitting now that I’m a part of the community (even though I am super angry at my current project).

However, I like that the focus is on other knitters(/crocheters), because community is important. It’s the perfect way for people with social anxiety to get out of the house, because knitting gives you something to do while you socialise and comes with a built-in conversation starter: “Oh my goodness, what yarn/pattern/stitch is that?!” for example.

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Some of my favourite people in the world are in this photo.

I love my fellow knitters. Knit in Public Day gives me an excuse to share time and conversation and laughs with them in the sunshine instead of my local yarn store.