Thursday, September 27, 2007

I love this scarf

Why do you knit? I once saw something that asked knitters to classify themselves as 'production' or 'process' knitters and the question has plagued me since. Process knitters do it just for the activity - don't care about the end product. Product knitters... well, I won't sport with your intelligence. You can probably figure it out from there.

I knit to stay calm, focused, busy and productive. I knit in the car, when the kids are asleep, when visiting with friends or on the phone. So, that's a process knitter, right? I feel a little crazy if I'm not productive. And I like to wear (or see people wearing) things that I made. That's a product knitter, right? Meh. I couldn't decide.

In comes ravelry and all its inspiration. I've been casting on all kinds of beautiful, complicated things that I know will be beautiful. The product knitter in me was thrilled. Just thrilled.

But none of it could be knit in the dark, or during a conversation, or without a chart. Then, I'd just have to sit there with idle hands. My process knitter was crying inside (okay, that's a little overly dramatic, but you get the idea). So, while I was entering my stash into ravelry (there's that word again!) I found this yarn. I had bought it on a total whim to make a scarf for my daughter, who likes soft fuzzy things. I cast on, with no pattern, to just do in my spare time. You know, when there was no serious knitting.

Guess what? I love it. No patterns, no chart, no purling, no counting. Just mindless knitting.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Yarngasm

It came. The nice mailman came and brought that for which I've been waiting. This:



And, another box, which ahs remained unphotographed. If you can see the sticky little toddler hands in the top of that photo, you can see why the second one remains in its box (for now).

What's the occasion? My incipient graduation from grad school. As I have transitioned from the meager grad student salary to the nonexistent stay at home mom/aspiring writer salary, I'm on a strict yarn diet. Very strict, and very sad. (Did you just go look at my ravelry stash? Shame on you! I'm, um, just holding that yarn for a friend. Yeah... that's it). To help alleviate my woe and as an early graduation present, my mom bought my whole Knit Picks wishlist! What you can see in that picture is enough yarn for a baby sweater (already cast on), the last few skeins for a EZ fair isle yoke sweater (withe enough modifications to make EZ proud), the yarn for my super secret Christmas present and enough spare pairs of risata that I can keep making socks on the side. Whew! Oh, and...

I got the Harmony tips! I already have the metal ones, but the wooden ones are so pretty. And, now I can do two circulars in any size! Actually, sticking the wooden one on the right side and the metal on the left is pretty handy... helps the stitches slip off that side and yet stay where they're supposed to! (Is this rationalization? Probably. But try it :)

And that super secret box? The recommended yarn for the Cinnabar Pullover from Fall 07 IK. I let my mom pick whichever IK sweater she wanted for Christmas, and that was it. I pulled a skein out of the box long enough to pet it and, man, is it soft. I even made my husband pet it, though he didn't seem to have the same appreciation. I haven't cast on yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Kitty Limbo


In my first order from knit picks (there have been many, many more) I got two skeins of Memories sock yarn in fly fishing. When it came, I was so enchanted with the colors that I took about a dozen pictures of the yarn. It was the first thing that I put on both my swift and my ball winder. I knew it was destined to be my first pair of socks. I cast on. I knit and knit and knit. I knit while walking, while reading papers for my dissertation, while thinking about my dissertation, while collecting data for my dissertation. I came to hate those socks. Maybe it was the pooling, as evidenced by the picture, or maybe it was all the association with my dissertation. So, I tried the yarn on monkey socks. Still pooling. I rolled it into a ball and stuffed it back in the stash. disgruntled.

Yesterday I pulled it back out to sit in my knitting bax, awaiting inspiration. Maybe a hat. Maybe gloves. It sat there, looking at me, until today when my daughter found the perfect use for it.

Kitty limbo. She's strung it out around the house, wrapped around anything even remotely ankle level. I caught our bigger cat, Zoe, trying to maneuver her 20+ pounds out of the spare room, only to be foiled by the flyfishing yarn. If it weren't discontinued, I'd suggest that they should rename it catfishing.

In other, non-knitting news, Liam has discovered his tongue. See? There it is.

Now, I have to go rescue my cat and rewind my yarn.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ravelry

No, I haven't gotten my invite yet. And no, I'm not too upset about it. I'm excited, and thrilled and looking forward to it, but I can wait patiently with the rest of the world. Like a good video game or book sequel, I tell myself that all the waiting means the payoff will be better because the programmers/writer/coders will have more time to perfect their project.

But... that didn't stop me from checking my place in line here. The numbers were astounding. With some basic math skills that I possess (but can't seem to use when I'm figuring out my gauge), I figured out that there are 31,823 people signed up, many of whom have yet to be invited. 31,823 knitters. That's more people than my entire hometown.

Which got me to thinking. An entire town of knitters. That would be one hell of a yarn store!

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Destined Winter Sweater


The weather has turned. I hate hot weather and I love this time of year. Time to bring in the plants, shut some of the windows and turn off some of those noisy, noisy fans. And, break out the sweaters. Little B has, as kids will, outgrown all her sweaters from last winter and thus given my the perfect excuse to knit another one. I had planned accordingly and ordered yarn for the Pinwheel sweater months ago. I loved Knit Picks swish superwash so much when I knit the Durrow, that I ordered four more colors of that (Wisteria, Coast Grey, Deep Ocean and Dublin). Great. I had a plan. As soon as the Durrow was finished, I cast on for the Pinwheel.

I was up that whole night, worrying about it (and other things... I'm a worrier). Did it look too girly? Would it be warm enough? I knit another few rows the next day because, dammit, it was what I planned. I felt like a bride who had invited all this yarn to a wedding then wanted to cancel.

The sweater sat. And sat. And I knit socks and missed having a sweater to work on. When I found a mistake in the increasing, I was thrilled. I frogged the whole thing immediately, and loved every minute of it. Only now I had four colors of yarn and needed a toddler sweater asap. It suggested colorwork, but I have a deep and abiding hatred of weaving in ends. Passionate. There's a story there, and it's why I quit knitting for years.

But, there's no point in having demons if you don't face them, so I cast on. Not for a sweater, but for a hat. It's a smaller commitment. I took the gauge from the Durrow (same yarn, same needles) did a little math and cast on. I picked some pretty patterns from the Vogue Stitchionary and started. I got this far before I realized that, gee, it seemed to be pretty big. I tried it on little B's head and it slipped right down. I tried it on Will, and it bagged. I didn't try it on myself because I have a huge head and it probably would have fit and mademe feel self conscious. So I took some measurements of my daughter and the actual size of the knitting.

Guess what? It's a sweater after all.

Friday, September 7, 2007

FO: Durrow Sweater, part II



It's the weekend! Which means photo time. I finally got Will into his sweater long enough to get a few pictures. You can attribute the expressions to his love of the camera or the silly two year old in the background.





The details can be fund here.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

FO: Durrow Sweater

I have finished my first adult sized sweater! It's the Durrow from Magknits, with several adjustments. Instead of knitting it in pieces, for instance, I converted it to EZ's seamless saddle shoulder pattern and did the entire thing in the round. It's in Knit Picks swish superwash in Dublin. The only thing that I would change is to continue the cabling pattern further than the pattern called for. Doing the repeats called for, it ended before the shoulder turning. I could have gotten in maybe two more repeats (and I don't think my husband has excessively long arms - he's never looked like a gorilla to me!).

I finished the sweater this weekend and have been dying to blog it. Only, between his long commute and taking care of our newborn, my hubby hasn't had much chance to model it. So...

I took a turn:
Brenna took a turn:


And Liam even took a turn.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

FO: Coupling


My September socks continue my love affair with toe-up construction. These are Coupling, from this issue of Knitty. But, I wasn't wild about the provisional cast on for the toe, so I actually just used the toe-up pattern from Ann Budd's article on toe up socks in Summer 07 Interweave Knits.

The lace pattern wasn't too bad. It got a little boring towards the end, but that's part of why the socks are so short. That, and I can't bear to knit tall socks in warm weather. The thought just makes my feet sweat.

The yarn is Knit Picks Risata, which is really soft. It's not too warm, either, meaning I get to wear these right away!