Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Survived Turning 40!

Last week (January 13th to be exact) was my 40th birthday...I know, I know, just a babe in the woods to some and to others (my son particularly) I'm soooo old!  But I have to say that turning 40 wasn't as bad as I envisioned.  Actually, I think I was more upset when I turned 30, but now I'm going with the flow and I'm loving it!!!

To celebrate, I threw myself a wine tasting/birthday party.  It was lovely having my friends and sister sharing my big day.  I even got my friend Debra and her boyfriend to karaoke a duet and they were actually very good.

Reflecting on my life of where I've been and what I've done, I am thankful for: my fun-loving son (who keeps me young), a supportive and loving if not slightly dysfunctional family, and host of really good friends. And then there is what do I see myself doing down the road?  I've discovered that I really enjoy knitting, learning new knitting techniques, patterns and designs, scouring my LYS for new arrivals, and seeing what I can create with the different fibers I find. 

Seeing my creations being worn and appreciated gives me a sense of satisfaction and success, something I haven't felt in a long time at the "day job".  At the "day job" I'm a secretary and I've been in an administrative support role in one form or another for over 20 years and I feel I've done all I'm going to do in this field of work. Oh I'm sure there is more to learn out there, but at this point, I'm really not looking to advance up the corporate ladder.  I'm happy where I am in my life at the "day job", I tell my friends and family that I work to afford my yarn addiction. 

Now I'm at a point where I'm ready to discover more with my creative side.  And that would include, creating my own knit-wear designs.  Five years ago, I learned to knit, at the same time I taught myself (with lots of trial and error) how to read patterns.  Of course that was before I discovered there is a vast community of knitters, spinners, and hookers (those who crochet) out there!  I became a regular at my LYS and anything I didn't understand I asked the experts there or some of my knitting friends.

Lately though, I've been feeling the itch to design.  When I see a particular knit item in a store, I think, I can make that or something close to it.  I have tried my hand at it and feel I want to venture into it a lot more and the two scarf patterns below is what I've done so far, one is a combination seed stitch, with a garter stitch and basketweave stitch along the ends.  What I liked about this pattern is that there isn't a wrong side, both sides are the same.

Seed stitch & modified basketweave design
in Lion Brand Wool-Ease, Color: Wheat
(86% acrylic, 10% wool, 4% rayon)
Model: nephew
Close-up - a copy of this
pattern is available on the
sidebar under *Patterns
by Knitter Mama* 

This other scarf pattern is a men's horizontal ribbed scarf with 4 rows of the garter stitch along both edges:

Close-up of horizontal 2x2 ribbed scarf with garter stitch
edging made with Sirdar Denim Chunky
in Starling (off-white) and Vintage (charcoal)
Same design in Berocco Comfort Chunky
in burgundy and black with matching
2x2 ribbed hat
I used The Knitter's Bible, that has a stitch library section, to create the patterns for both scarves.  While I found these designs simple and easy to create, I would like to learn to make more elaborate design patterns.  So I'm making it one of my long term goals - to create my own designs, but for now, I'm learning new techniques, continuing to learn new stitches and how these stitches when combined create the end product, whether it be a hat, scarf, sweater, shrug, etc, so that I can soon learn to create my own style. And one of the wonderful ladies at The Knittery in Renton, suggested I get my hands on the stitch books by Barbara G. Walker, which I was able to find three of the suggested four Treasury of Knitting books she wrote at my local library and immediately placed a hold on them, so that I can continue to broaden my stitch knowledge and learn how to combine the different elements of knitting to create my own designs and knit-wear.

Great stitch library
section for beginners
Hopefully, some time in the future, I will be seeing my designs featured on Knitty or even in one of the Stitch 'n Bitch knitting book series.

My designing goal: to be published!
So, in closing, I'm looking forward to what the future holds.  40 can't be all that bad, I have lots of friends who have survived it and so will I!  A toast to being 40 and fabulous - it only gets better from here!  And to all you young'ins out there, you will be here one day, so don't knock it until you've tried it!!!