Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Things that are awesome today.

1. Instant miso.
2. The sweater on the right here, which I found on Haute Macabre:
3. A fun writing challenge a friend dreamed up this week to help me work through a period of feeling stalled and dessicated, in which we each make up a scenario and the other person has to write a story based on it, then we trade pages a week later.

4. Sharpening pencils.

5. This photo, which I took while I was hiking in Inwood Park last weekend
I came around a corner and the angle of the sun on this plant made the flowers look SO pink and SO bright that my initial reaction was pissed that someone had hung plastic crap on a bush in the middle of the woods. I don't know what this plant is, but it also develops very glossy, dark purple berries on these bright, bright pink stalks and it's all very gorgeous and striking. And I love it.

6. I've been working on my ripple blanket [wow, I remember buying that plant before the guy I was seeing back then came over for the first time. Both the plant and that relationship died pretty quick deaths shortly thereafter.] for the past few days and feel confident that I will finish it someday, though probably not this year, and then will be able to shelter a couple of people and at least one rhinoceros under it with plenty of room for snacks and everyone's favorite stuffed animal.

7. Most, if not all, of the sweater knitting that I've done over the last few months needs to be ripped out. Either because the thing ended up not fitting, or I ran out of yarn or, as in the case of Yank, when I finally got around to sewing it up, the back was much longer than the fronts.
It's a gauge issue; they're the same number of rows. I do still like the pattern though, and may make it again at some point in the future. But the reason this project going off the rails goes on the awesome list instead of the suckage list (the only entry on which is the fact that my back hurts more, and has for most of this week, than it has at any point since the car accident in 2000 that screwed it up in the first place. I'm starting to take it personally.) is that I was never fully on board with the contrasting ribbing and I don't think I would have worn it much as a result. I'm looking around for something fun and entertaining and wearable to turn my attention to now though and am not sure what that's going to be. I want to make a few pairs of fingerless gloves because last year the heat in our office was really tricksy and I suspect that the apartment will be cold too and maybe a new hat or two (because what's more fun than a new hat? not much!), but I feel all bereft and at sea without a garment project to work on. I'll delve into Ravelry in the next day or two and see what tickles my fancy...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Current knitting

After I realized that I either had or was set to rip out pretty much everything I've knit over the last few months, I picked up the North Sea shawl I started, I don't know, a year ago?
I stopped working on it because I was deeply bored by it, but I want to wear it as a big scarf all winter, so picked it up again and have actually really been enjoying working on it. I added three (I think?) repeats to the first side and should probably add to the center section to balance it out before starting the other side. I'm not going to block it out too aggressively, so wanted to make sure it was long enough. KnitPicks Gloss, silk/wool, #5 needles(?). You can't tell from this photo, but it's actually quite nice.

The tonal-striped handspun sweater is proceeding apace after being ripped back entirely. I have one completed sleeve, one 2/3 done sleeve and a body underway. It's a funny thing — I can't see the stripes while I'm working on it because the yarns are too similar, but when I step back and get some distance on the fabric, it's like magic.

This sweater, on the other hand, is about to be ripped out completely. Not because I don't like it, but because it's just way too big. It's two strands of fingering weight alpaca and knit at a relatively relaxed gauge, which means that it's going to stretch out even further. So I'll redo it in a smaller size and it'll be better for it. By scaling down, I should have plenty of yarn for the whole thing without having to add in the extra black.
Man, it looks like a big pile of crap, doesn't it? It won't next time, mark my words.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


First glove down, second underway. I raced through the first one because it was the first glove with fingers I'd ever done and I was very curious to see how it all came together and if I'd be able to knit all of those fiddly little fingers without having holes between them or driving myself crazy.

And it turns out that knitting gloves is exactly as fiddly and annoying as I'd predicted, but worth it because I'll wear them all the time when it gets cold out. I really like the longer cuff and the cable detail.
Full write-up when I finish the second, but here's the pattern if anyone is interested.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fourth time's the charm?

So, in the middle of July I started a sweater. It was going to use up some odds and ends of handspun and be homely and cozy and altogether wonderful. I whipped through the body and sleeves pretty quickly but had some missteps on the yoke.

Misstep the First: Multi-yarn seed stitch
Eh. It wasn't pleasing me. The texture seemed too much, too different from the body and I didn't love it.

Misstep the Second: Multi-yarn slip stitch pattern
I liked the texture better, but the color just seemed to stand out too much and be too different and too obvious and just generally displeasing. Also, I realized that I had way more yarn than I was going to be able to use up and decided to limit it to some subtle, almost tone-on-tone stripes instead.

Which led to Misstep the Third, which was more of a roaring success than a mistake, but still resulted in me ripping out the whole thing.
I loved the subtle stripes. LOVED THEM. And when I looked at the amount of yarn I still had left at that point right there, with only the neckband and front bands to go, I realized that I could have done the whole sweater in those stripes. The lighter yarn is a bit sparkly, which isn't too obvious, but you can still see it and it's unexpected and fun and super.

Also, when I tried it on (forgive the terrible photo) I realized I'd be happier if it were a little longer.
So, I've ripped out the whole thing and am reknitting it, with allover stripes, to be longer in the body. There probably won't be progress photos though, because while I'm up for completely reknitting a nearly finished sweater, I'm too lazy and impatient to reskein and wash the yarn before I do so, so it's kinked from having been a sweater for a little while and the fabric will look like crap until the thing is blocked.