Thursday, October 28, 2010

10,000 Hours of Knitting

On April 21, 2010 a post on Ravelry caught my attention. IdaW posted that she'd decided to participate in a project based on the idea that it takes 10k hours of practice to become an expert at anything. Her blog is 10k Hours of Socks. (To learn more about the 10k Hours theory, visit the website of Junebug on a String.)

Like IdaW, I decided to choose sock knitting as the activity in which I'd like to develop expertise. I thought it would be interesting to see how my skills develop in the next 10,000 hours.

In the past month or so I've been doing a LOT of charity knitting and getting most of my Christmas gift knitting finished up. Yesterday I posted my Time Tracker on my 10,000 Hours of Knitting Socks blog and found that even though I knit a bit every day, I had done only two-and-a-half hours of sock knitting in the previous four weeks.

I have to be honest, I found this a little disheartening! Since I enjoy knitting other things than socks (though sock-knitting is actually my favorite thing), I decided to track ALL of my knitting time. After all, any knitting is developing my skills, right? :-)

So today I'm moving the pertinent items from my "10k" blog to this blog. One less blog to answer, one less egg to fry. (Anyone else remember the Fifth Dimension? *LOL*)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Road Knittin'

I had to attend an out-of-town meeting yesterday. The location was a little over an hour away from my workplace, and luckily I was a passenger in a van full of other attendees. This meant about two-and-a-half hours of uninterrupted knitting time! *happy dance*

I knew right away that I'd need to take a project that met certain criteria:
  1. It must be small enough to fit into the purse I planned to carry. I didn't want to have to keep track of anything more than one purse and my portfolio. This narrowed it down to socks.
  2. It must be simple enough that I wouldn't have to reference a pattern. Too tough to balance everything on my knees in the van. Not to mention the fact that I didn't want anything that required a lot of my attention so that I could knit and carry on the conversations that were certain to ensue. *LOL*

I already had two pairs of socks that have been languishing on needles for awhile, waiting for me to finish up my Christmas knitting. So, Monday evening I rummaged in my UFO basket beside the recliner and fished them out. Unfortunately, both pairs were really close to the point that I'd need to start the heel. Not that heels are all that complicated, mind you, but I never quite trust myself to do them correctly without referencing my notes.

So, my solution was to cast on yet ANOTHER pair of socks. *LOL* Since I wanted to cast on some plain vanilla socks, I wanted to use lovely colorful stripey yarn. I chose the yummy yarn that I won in Pretty Knitty's contest back in August. I sat down to watch "Dancing With The Stars" (more about that later), cast on, and knit the toes (2-at-a-time, toe-up, Magic Loop) so that all I'd have to do during the ride Tuesday would be knit across the sole of the foot, and do my favorite K3P1 rib across the top of the foot. Wonderful mindless knitting. *happy sigh*

Tuesday morning I contentedly knit all the way to the meeting, the knit my way back home that afternoon. And now I have THREE pairs of socks waiting for completion. That's okay. Holiday knitting will soon be completed and I can get back to my true love: knitting socks.

Holiday knitting has been odd. I've thought I was finished several different times. I'd finish a project and say to myself, "There! All done now." A day or so later I'd see a neat pattern for a small project and think, "Say, that would make a nice little gift for So-and-So." I think I have only one more small gift to make. I think. Maybe the solution would be to finish up this small gift then not look at any more patterns until after the holidays.

Naaaaaaaaaah. *LOL*

Back to "Dancing With The Stars". I have to confess that there are only two reasons I watch this show. One reason is that I think Derek Hough is cute as a speckled pup under a red wagon, and I love to watch him dance. The second and biggest reason is that Mom is a fan and watches it devotedly every season. It's fun to spend a little telephone time with Mom discussing which dancers did well, and which of them sucked like a Hoover.

I will say, though, that I have a real issue with the title of the show. "Stars"??? Normally I've only heard of one or two of the contestants. Another problem I have with the show is that they allow the home audience to vote. This usually results in some of the better dancers getting booted too soon because a lesser dancer has a bigger fan base. It's not fair. It's supposed to be a DANCING competition. *climbs down from soapbox*

One of my favorite things about DWTS is that it provides lots of good knitting time. Monday nights are a two-hour show. The actual dance routines are really short, leaving lots of "don't-have-to-look-at-the-screen-just-listen" TV time, great for knitting!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Leisurely Week Off

Last week I took my last full week of annual leave for 2010. I'll have a good bit of time off during the holidays, but this was the last full week before Christmas.

It was a fairly uneventful week, to say the least! I was battling allergies (I love Fall, but boy does it give my allergies a fit!), so a lot of my time was spent in the recliner with a remote control and knitting in my lap. Not bad for a vacation!

I managed to finish up several small projects I had in my UFO basket and completed from start to finish one charity hat and four decorative facecloths. I also got another few feet knitting on the feather and fan scarf I've been noodling along with for a long time. I completed several small Christmas gifts and am generally well pleased with the knitterly progress made. :-)

Now I need to finish up one more Christmas gift hat, another few hats for charity, and the feather and fan scarf so that I can get back to knitting SOCKS! *missing sock knitting* I still haven't started my "Egg-stra Special" socks, and I really, REALLY want to get my hands on that yummy yarn!

Speaking of which....even though I promised myself I wasn't going to indulge in any more yarn until I got rid of some of my stash, I caved and bought a couple of skeins of some lovely yarn at my LYS that should work up into a nice Baby Surprise Jacket. (As if I need yet another project right now...*LOL*)

Have I mentioned how much I'm enjoying the knitting guild meetings I've been attending? I love knitting at home in the recliner, but it's so great to talk to other knitters about what we're all doing and picking up tips from them. They're a great group, and I'm having a great time!

Well, lunch break's over now, so I'll get my nose back to the grindstone. Happy knitting, everyone!