A Gift for My Hand Knits

As space is the constant, I continue to ‘play’ with different configurations on how best to store my hand-knits and how best to organize the stash.  Consequently, the look in the yarn room keeps changing as I now use one room and its closet for both.  Questions I ask myself:  How can I store my obsession without looking like a hoarder?  How can I see my full stash when it is time for creating?  How can I treat my hand-knits to the best care for longevity?  Light in the room?  And, so forth.

In drilling down for answers, I’ve been reading.  Topics such as:  How do you store hand-knits?  Is there a special way to fold sweaters?  What shelving and/or containers are best for breathability of natural fibers?  I am asking these questions because my hand knits are my wardrobe.  I am noticing that when I pull out a sweater I haven’t worn in a while, I am seeing fold marks.  Do people steam out those fold marks?  Is that healthy for the fibers?  Is there a way to prevent what seems like permanent folds in a garment?  You see, I can go on and on with questions like this.

In my research, I have gleaned a few common recommendations:  store away clean, give space for air circulation, and keep out of direct light when storing.  So, to that end, I evaluated my current system of storage and have since found ways to improve to allow for this criteria.

Store away clean has not been a problem as who in the world stores away clothes that are dirty?  (mumbling)  Most of my sweaters are worn with a layer underneath which helps with body sweat and such and after a duration of time in wearing, gets their due cleaning.

Give space for air circulation has gotten my attention.  I have been storing my sweaters in plastic bins.  Articles give this a thumbs up.  So many per bin with storing the heaviest on the bottom is a good start.  A way to improve on that, according to these resources, is to store and fold sweaters in that bin with tissue paper, that is, acid-free tissue paper and to fold in a particular way.  Of course, I thought, as isn’t that how wedding dresses and other special care items are stored?  The articles contradicted in where to put the paper, between sweaters or in the folding of them.  But, I thought once I had the paper, I could ‘play’.  And, play I have done.  I purchased lots of packages from JoAnn Fabrics, online.  Seems like they do not carry this in stores.  I also learned this paper can be purchased at some dry cleaners.

Here is the paper between the sweaters.

Continue reading “A Gift for My Hand Knits”

Sharing

This is a reading invite to check out what our local enthusiastic knitting Organization is all about.   The website is here on WordPress entitled The Knitting Guild of Greater Buffalo.  We are an active group promoting knitting as an art form and pride ourselves in providing a myriad of experiences from presentations to yarn actions for our over 400 members.

 

Wardrobe Planning ~ Retiring Belongings

Topic:  Wardrobe Planning.  YES, I plan my wardrobe!  I never thought to write about it.  This question of wardrobe planning came up in the blog world and I am only too happy to answer.  In short, I believe wardrobe planning, like everything, takes a certain amount of self-control and focus.  The process for me begins with retiring belongings, otherwise known as cleaning out or donating, for the obvious purpose of organizing but in a knitter’s case, this careful consideration informs [knitting] project choice.  Ravelry acts as a record-keeping system.  What does this mean?

Continue reading “Wardrobe Planning ~ Retiring Belongings”

Just a Note, Not

Not birthday,
Not holiday.
Not because you had to.

Just a Note.

From the heart
These words came
and are received.

One of my favorite
things in life
are words

Simple words, crafted with care
meaningful to the receiver
So thoughtful from the giver

Just a note

not to me
best gift
from one to another.

This note came with an added treat . . .

The title of the photo says it all; in-law family members included

Buffalo Knitting Guild Presentation, 2016

I want to capture, in writing, some of my thoughts from this last week when I was invited to speak to the Buffalo Knitting Guild’s Membership and be the first of its programming for the 2016/2017 season.  The talk was advertised as such:

SEPTEMBER 8, 2016 HOW DOES YOUR KNITTING GROW?
Presented by Marja Coons-Torn, Holly Olmstead

Our Guild President and Vice President introduce the theme “Grow” for this year’s Knitting Guild Season with a program to help you grow your skills through photography and technology. We’ll learn tonight how to photograph our knits beautifully and stylishly, just like the top designers do! And we’ll go on an interactive journey into new technology that the Guild will be incorporating this season. 

Continue reading “Buffalo Knitting Guild Presentation, 2016”

A DC Opportunity Leads to a Knitter’s Reflective Moment

As Grandmother, I was recently invited to the DC area to babysit grandchildren while very intent parents set up house for their temporary move.  (no photos because I never knew how to take care of young ones and be a photographer at the same time)

As Mother, I found myself adding a day to that DC trip to hang out with my daughter before the gig of babysitting and before she was to leave on her trip.  We didn’t have any real plan, maybe some sightseeing, a dinner in the evening with friends, and lots of chatting and laughing about this and that.

sitting on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial
No worries. This girl knows how to relax; here along the Potomac River.
her DC place
If you look carefully, you can see a cable and maybe, the window cleaner’s foot.
view from deck

As Knitter, I became reflective.  Leisure is as leisure does, after a day of sightseeing, we were setting up our bedding.  Scurrying about for blankets here, sheets there, and rummaging through her ‘stuff’, we came across a gift I had made for her years, ago!

There is something about running across one of your projects.  Especially if you forgot about it and especially if you made it for someone else.  There is the moment you try to recall the making of it, where did the pattern come from, what was the motivation behind it?  What worked, what didn’t work, and why didn’t that effort remain in your memory?  It’s kind of like visiting life after your death.  What tangibles of your personal touch remain on Earth?  What can be identified as evidence of your passion and what you thought so important?  What artifact(s) did you leave behind?  Why did they remain?  Did it/they change anyone or anything?

Excited to revisit that drawstring bag, pattern from Vogue Knitting Crochet 1994 and when my daughter was otherwise occupied in her ever-so-busy life, I stepped back into that era when I crocheted that bag and gave it the photo shoot it deserved.  Here it is in all its whimsy as I happened upon it, hanging in her collection of ‘catch-all’.

Of course, there is always the other’s point of view.  I can’t help but wonder what she thinks every time she looks upon this now tattered, certainly stretched, but otherwise heartfelt hand made item that was gifted to her those many years ago.

How lucky am I to have the kids in the same location (well, at least for one year.)

Creative Space Revisited . . . Again

Funny, when I notice my frustration regarding housing all things knitting.  I am quick to think it is the stash of yarn that needs some kind of attention.  Whether it be shelving for the large collection of yarn, or a way in which to organize the yarn, a color coding system, a pattern to fiber system . . . these sorts of things.   However I am noticing, it is not the housing of the yarn stash at all that is taking my planning and thoughtful consideration, rather the housing of my finished projects.  And, of course, as time moves along, this ‘challenge’ only grows.

I know, I know, you thought I had a system and I did.  Question.  Do you ever re-visit your own thinking or walk around critiquing this or that about your house after you’ve come home from a trip?  One of the things I like best about travel, besides the obvious, is that upon arriving back home, I do just that.  As if I were a visitor into someone else’s house and seeing the house for the first time, I walk around to see what it looks like, feels like,  I ask myself questions like what could I do to make my environment more pleasing?  Have I utilized light and space to its fullest advantage?

When I did just that this last trip, I didn’t love the arrangement I had created for my finished objects.  I also noticed the containers my sweaters were in looked sweaty, not a good look visually and I wondered if that was doing harm to the garments.  Also, I knew there was more space in my upstairs due to the fact that I have been working down my stash and not purchasing more yarn which is an amazing thing in itself!   Another thing I’ve felt, like children, when not in sight I miss them.  Yes, these projects really are a part of me.  ok . . I thought, I need to revisit my own system of organization of all things yarn and do so by utilizing one spare bedroom.

First step.  Since my closets are painted as beautiful as the room,  I thought, let’s take off the door so that it becomes an extension of the room.   “Does this shelf unit fit in the closet?  How ’bout a sweater nook?” I asked myself.  The sun streams east to west and narry into this space.  A bit of luck!  Let’s remove this, put that there and let’s see, “I think this may work!”   Not purchasing one new thing to pull this new arrangement off but rearranging in a smarter way, the look and feel is now quite different.

Feel free to browse my creative space.  I think I’m quite happy!

IMG_0577
fits perfectly
room for many more
The hooks were already there and yes, there is a working light in the closet and when turned on at night, is just beautiful.  Hey, if you want to see these things on, just look right HERE!
Space for over-flow is to the right . My knitted dresses and suits are housed, here. The top space is for sewing supplies needed for knitting.
Those four containers on the right? Leftover stash organized by weight . . bulky on bottom, fingering weight on top.  Such easy accessibility.
my precious Vogue Knitting collection . . .
There is no curtain on that back window because I love the view. That is where I sit and can view my sweater nook. ahhhhh
Would love to ditch that other curtain but you can see the sun streaming in. This is the view from the doorway. Heaven.

Until my next critique (after travel), me thinks this looks pretty good!

Where is the knitting?

The reader must be wondering, “Where is the knitting?  I thought this blog was on knitting!”  And, you would be right however, this blog also serves as a journal on related topics and I feel staying fit and making healthy choices interweaves in the kind of knitting I represent.

How is staying fit and making healthy choices a part of knitting?”   I’ll give you the top five answers that pop into my head.  1.  (staying fit) I want to keep my shape for as long as possible for the fashion statements I make with my knitting.  When asked why I knit, immediately I say, “for the fashion of it.”  2.  (staying fit) We have a routine for exercise that is meant to help keep that shape.  And, the routine is for two, hubby and me.

3.  (healthy choice) Even retired, there are responsibilities and obligations that are part of my life.  There is the enjoyable position as VP of the Buffalo Knitting Guild where I share my love and passion of knitting hoping to encourage and inspire as I go and there is a growing call for my time and service helping aging family members.  I am beginning to take my knitting with me for waiting room entertainment.

4.   And, full disclosure:  (healthy choice) Don’t get angry, knitters, but I do find pleasure in other things that are not knitting related.  When I take a break from knitting, coming back to it gives me a much greater appreciation of it.  5.  (healthy choice) Did you know people who knit for too long a period of time can and have done bodily injury to themselves?  If I sit for too long in one spot, my body get stiff and sore.  The repetition of motion of one’s hand, wrist and elbow for extended periods of time can and does create injury that could take months, if not longer to heal.  I purposely knit for short periods of time, involving myself in another activity in between.  So, one reason why you haven’t seen any knitting is because I’ve spent time on a number of these other things.

Another reason is because I am attempting knitting more than one item at a time!  Therefore, I am about 50% complete with two projects right now.  If you count a quickie crochet scarf, then I am in the middle of three projects.  ok, here is a sneak peak of the start of one and yarn (linen) for another.

I don’t think this multi-knitting projects is for me.  I seem to have a certain guilt that arises when I am knitting on one of the projects and not on the other.    I feel like I am not giving full attention to each project, like I am rushing through just to get them to completion. I notice I am not taking the time to appreciate the particulars like the detail, or whimsy of style, or innovative fabric.  When these projects are finished, I will be going back to my mono knitting.  Just call me a serial monogamist.

And, my last excuse why knitting has been missing in posts is because it’s been too blasted hot to knit!   (We have no AC.)  Even to have a photo shoot!   I actually do have a beauty in queue for a fashion shoot but it is a turtleneck!  It will have to wait.

So, enjoy some of these shots from our last bike ride.  This is a bike path that is quickly becoming my favorite in the local area.  I love how it follows a creek at times,

passes through a summer camp as it reminds me of my summer camp days, and winds in ever-extending trails through the University of Buffalo’s ‘playground’.

IMG_0534

Feel the summer breezes, take in the fresh air, work those large muscles, and know that knitting is always in the forecast of the future.

 

WordPress Junkie

So, I received this yesterday from WordPress.

Said it was my fourth year anniversary.  How nice, I thought not remembering it was an anniversary of Hollyknits.   I paused for a moment to reflect.  You see,  I was in the middle of publishing my first post . . . on another WordPress site at the very moment this anniversary announcement popped up!  Yes, a first post on a new website!

When I hit the “publish” button for that post, this little beauty popped up!

Wow, I thought.  What a coincidence to be rewarded for a first post on the second website on the anniversary of the first!   Again, it caused me to pause.

Oh!  You want to know about the new website?  It is for The Knitting Guild of Greater Buffalo, a well-established community organization for yarn and knitting enthusiasts for the Greater Buffalo area,

We, members of the Guild, would love for you to check out our active goings-on right here!  We’ve deleted our outdated, difficult to navigate, not too attractive old site saving the meaningful ‘stuff”, moved it, and re-worked it right here on WordPress!  Let’s see how she goes keeping up TWO websites!  Yikes!

Me thinks I may be a WordPress junkie!