Silver Threads

a knitting blog with occasional side trips

2013 Knitting and Crochet Blog Week—Day 1: The House Cup

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[Prompt edited for space reasons. Click here for the original prompt.]

Day One (Monday April 22nd): The House Cup.

A bit like Harry Potter, but not quite, this year’s Knitting & Crochet Blog Week is split into 4 houses. Don your favourite knitted or crocheted hat and let it guide you to which house you will be in.

  • The House of Bee: Bees are busy and industrious, but can flit from one interesting project to the next as bright and shiny things capture their interest.
  • The House of Manatee: Manatees are gentle, calm and cuddly. Relaxed and unflashy they represent the comfort and soft side of knitting and crochet.
  • The House of Monkey: Intelligent and with a fun loving side, Monkeys like to be challenged with every project presenting them with something new and interesting.
  • The House of Peacock: Peacocks take something good and make it brilliant. Buttons, embellishments and a bit of sparkle prove that perfection lies in the details – like a Peacock’s Tail.

So choose your house. You may be a combination of more than one of these noble beasts, but think about which house best embodies your qualities and declare your place.

House of Monkey coat of arms

I greet you from the front steps of the House of Monkey. Oh, when I started reading this prompt, I thought I’d be in the House of Bee (love the mascot!). I gave up knitting/crochet monogamy so many years ago that I find it hard to even remember what it was like to only have one project in process at any one time, when “I’ll just grab my knitting,” didn’t involve sorting through five projects, trying to decide which one to bring along. If I was losing track of how many projects I had in hibernation, how many had become full-blown UFOs, and how many were simultaneously active, then this was likely to be my house. Still, no final judgments until I’d seen all the options.

One sentence later, I wondered if I should be in the House of Manatee. (Really, how often does anyone get to claim they have a manatee as a mascot? It’d be worth it just for the surprise value.) But actually, I don’t belong there—my stash does. I adore the soft yarns, and I’m willing to occasionally sacrifice fiber purity for a delightfully snuggly yarn. It’s been years since I bought my first nylon yarn, and I still marvel that something that soft to the touch is made of the same stuff as pantyhose. But while buying oh-so-cuddly yarn is paramount to having an oh-so-cuddly finished product, that’s the last I think of it. My pattern and project thoughts go off in a different direction altogether, whereas I bet a true Manatee never loses sight of this objective.

Back to the House of Monkey in a moment. For now, just know that I read the description, suspected it was my true home, but pressed on to the House of Peacock, a mascot almost as uncommon as manatees are. I instantly recognized, however, that this was not the house for me. A woman who wonders if Starry is too flashy a yarn to be worn to work and who buys beads that are the perfect shade to be completely lost in her knitting clearly does not have the temperament of a Peacock.

And so here I am in the House of Monkey. This is appropriate given how I choose my projects. They have to intrigue me in some way, and often the intrigue is triggered by construction and structure. I made the Aran Wrap Cardigan in great part because I was curious to see how a rectangle with sleeves would work. The Circumnavigated Cardigan? It’s a stockinette stitch cardigan with saddle shoulders—a wardrobe staple, yes, but hardly fascinating knitting, it would seem. Except that it’s made all in one piece with no seams, so I just had to make one and learn how it was done. Along those lines, despite the fact I don’t do much charitable knitting and don’t have much call for baby clothes, I think I should make a Baby Surprise Jacket just for the experience.

Sometimes the interest lies beyond what’s written in the pattern. I’m getting ready to start knitting a relatively plain pullover sweater: drop sleeves and stockinette stitch. But I’m planning to fully customize this pattern: change it into a modified drop sleeve sweater, perhaps change the V neck to a crew neck, perhaps add a bit of waist shaping or make it A-line. I will take all my measurements and do my best to make sure the sweater is a flattering length. While the knitting itself should be straightforward, the planning will be worthy of a member of the House of Monkey.

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14 thoughts on “2013 Knitting and Crochet Blog Week—Day 1: The House Cup

  1. this is so fascinating seeing how other knitters are choosing their houses.
    And yay! new blogs to follow.

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  2. Another Monkey over here 🙂

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  3. I am also Team Monkey, but toyed with Team Manatee! However, since having a baby and time being limited, I decided to use what time I do have to challenge myself… so Team Monkey it is! I look forward to reading your posts!

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  4. Hello, another Monkey here, and you have explained beautifully that just because a project appears to be simple, it doesn’t mean that there is no challenge in it, and a challenge does not have to be a huge challenge to be worthy.

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  5. So happy to run into another Monkey, I thought perhaps I was alone! 🙂

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  6. Swinging by my tail here tooo! Yep I agree that we have to be interested in what we do and a challenge is really just something we don’t quite understand yet, give us 5mins a pair of needles and a hook and sorted! Go team Monkeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

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  7. I really enjoyed your thought process here 🙂

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  8. I was thinking the same thing regarding House of Manatee – I mean, can you imagine people’s reaction? Lol. I totally love that you’re describing your stash as a manatee. I was looking at my stash the other day, and I can so clearly see my evolution as a knitter in it. Oh, and I ended up being a bee, although I was wavering back and forth between that and between House of Monkey…

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  9. I loved reading about how you decided to choose your house!

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  10. Yay Monkeys! Glad to see I’m in good company!

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  11. Hello, fellow Monkeys! And welcome, non-Monkey visitors!

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  12. Reading your description I now know why I had such a hard time choosing between Bee and Monkey! I often think the same way, ‘I have to make one to learn how it was done’, only I lose interest, or find something else on my path that grabs my attention and drags it away from current projects. I’m getting better at it, though. Maybe in a few months, a year, I’ll be a true hybrid. A Beenkey.

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  13. Manatee here, with an occasional dash of monkey.

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