Charlotte Heart Walk Drawing – Sept. 17 deadline!

This year I’ll be walking in the Charlotte Heart Walk.

I’m a terrible fund-raising person, so the only money in my account so far is the $25 worth of seed money that I donated. So I’m stealing an idea from Melinda Steele-StCyr!

For every $5 you give through my page (link below), I’ll enter your name into a drawing… donate $20 and your name goes in four times… $30 – six times… you get the idea. After the walk I’ll do a random drawing to choose the winner of a custom pair of socks or a hat or a pair of mittens (or anything else [small] of a type I’ve made… stalk my Ravelry projects page) using worsted-weight or heavier yarn. Your choice of fiber and color …up to $30 in materials. If it’s in my stash, even better!

The Greater Charlotte Heart Walk will be held on September 17th, 2011 Charlotte, NC, so you have a little more than two weeks to donate. If you’re the only person who donates, you get a custom-knit item (for you or as a gift), possibly for less than the cost of the yarn. If I get a few entries, your chances are still great!

Be sure to put in the comments that you’re entering the drawing for the knitted item!

Thanks very much in advance for your support of this cause.

-Jorah

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I’m walking and raising money to help reduce death and disability from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20% by 2020.

I’m joining the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk to promote physical activity to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

Please support me in helping to reach this lifesaving goal by giving a donation today.

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Rav projects page:
http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Jorah

Rav stash page:
http://www.ravelry.com/people/Jorah/stash

My donation page:
http://heartwalk.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?msource=Gigya&supId=329536589&ievent=456696

Little sock goes ripit, ripit, ripit

My attempt at making one of Cat Bordhi’s discovery socks didn’t go very well. I did discover that it was too tight to go over my heel. I’ve ripped back to the arch of the foot and I’ll set the project aside for a while. I might turn this into a classic sock and make a discovery sock with larger yarn. I’m a bit discouraged, I won’t kid you.

Close-up veiw of the cuff of the sock I had to rip back.
Stripey sock is stripey
View of the heel and cuff section of the sock I had to rip back.
This view shows most of the foot, the heel, and the too-tight cuff. 🙁

Knitter’s Inventory

I’ve been thinking this morning about my “knitting journey.” This fall I’ll hit my 4-year mark from when I started to learn to knit. I have 54 finished projects in my list on Rav, or about one F.O. per month. More than I expected, really. But I’ve never been interested in churning out projects. I’m a lot more interested in learning new things.

Looking at the list that way shows that I’ve been true to my focus; most of those projects are first of a kind for me, or steps in learning, where I’ve done a clumsy first effort and progressed to a harder or more-finished project on the next project of that type. My only ‘gimee’ projects tend to be for charity knitting… for instance, the mittens I made early this year using super-chunky yarn.

I haven’t done anything often enough to get really good at a particular technique, but I don’t believe that learning happens in a linear fashion (at least for me). I seem to learn in a way similar to accretion, where each bit of learning (when it actually sticks) builds a bit more of the structure. So learning to do stranded color work leads to increases in my skill in yarn handling and tension control, and learning to cable helped me learn to ‘read’ my knitting on my lace projects.

Overall, I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made so far. My frustration with my current convertible mittens centers on the feeling that I didn’t push myself. I suspect that I’m going to thin out my queue of any simplistic patterns and focus on things which… after two months or more of work… I’ll be thrilled with, not just happy the project is done.

Some things that have changed for me over four years of knitting:

  • I thought that I’d always do simple patterns. Now I look for complexity.
  • I thought I’d always use thick yarn. Now I work mostly with fingering weight.
  • I loved rugged-looking, uneven yarn at first. Now I love smooth, tightly-wound yarn.
  • I used to compulsively buy any yarn that appealed to me. Now I have so much yarn in my stash that I (generally) only buy for specific projects. Any time I think… “ohhh, that yarn is so cool!” I try to remember the ultra-cool skeins lurking in my stash, which have never yet seen a moment of use.
  • I thought I was alone being a guy who knits. I’ve discovered a rich community of men who knit, but even more importantly, I’ve discovered that the Charlotte knitting community is incredibly welcoming to male knitters. In fact, I’d say that I’ve had only a tiny percentage of knitters anywhere react to me in anything but a warm and helpful fashion.

What has not changed…

  • I still haven’t found time to really learn to spin, nor prep the fleece I have in my stash, nor refinish the spinning wheel. (However, at least I know about these things now!)