Sunday, October 19, 2008

And now for something completely different ...

So, I went to Rhinebeck yesterday.

It was awesome!!

I saw lots of sheep,


and goats,

as well as rabbits, alpacas, and other knit bloggers, including Ann Hansen, Amy Singer (of Knitty), MintyFresh, Laura Chau, and possibly even Franklin Habit. I know that he was there ...
I fan-girled out in front of Ann and Amy. They're both totally cute -- Ann was decked out in this gorgeous sweater, and I almost did the equivalent of reading poetry you've written to your favorite poet ... I told her that her work had inspired a project of mine, and nearly pulled this out of my project bag to show her:

This will be a cowl in the "Gingerbread Rib" pattern from Vogue Sock Knitting, in Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 (the sockweight merino yarn by FA) in the Nova Scotia Colorway. (The yarn is amazing in terms of how silky it feels, and how jewel-like the color tone is. It's like kelp, and pine, and ponds, and blue skies ... when my family was in Maine this summer, I saw all of the colors in effect!)

I've tended to shy away from texture rich patterns with variegated yarn, but this seems to work so well!

Ann's sweater, on the other hand, is an amazing interplay of color variation and texture, and totally makes me want to cabley sweater out of Briar Rose yarn.

(Read Ann's blog, wouldja? Not only is her work great, she's got a fabulous garden, cooks gorgeous looking food, and made me want to knit stoles. Stoles, people! Also, she was terribly nice to me, even though I felt as though I'd totally accosted her.)

As mentioned, I also fan-girled out in front of Amy Singer. Knitty is awesome -- I remember when I first stumbled upon the link to it on Eunny Jang's blog when she knit "Shedir" -- and Amy's books are fun, colorful and inviting.

Interestingly, I did not approach Laura or Minty, or the guy that I thought might be Franklin ... the possible-Franklin because he might not have been the man behind the Panopticon blog, but the younger women ... I don't know! I was hit by shyness, and a worry that I'm bothering "celebrities" who just want to have a good time with their friends, in other words, the same feelings that kept me from pulling out my work in front of Ann Hanson. All of which left/leaves me feeling very meta...

Anyways. I also got this done:

The beginnings of the two-color brioche hat in Weekend Knitting -- I cast on on the bus ride to Rhinebeck, and completed this much as of this afternoon.

Lamb's Pride by Brown Sheep, in the Wild Mustard and Oregano colorways, picked out by the boyfriend, because I kept mis-interpreting UVM colors.
But for the LARGE KNOT I encountered unexpectedly in the Wild Mustard Colorway, I love the yarn! It's perfect for a hat, and mohair halo is so dang purty.

Dig the two-color brioche detail ... Unfortunately, I will be frogging this, since, one, it is way too big, and two, the newbie errors I made are pissing me off. Expect more brioche in the round from me.

But first, expect more gifts for others from me ... my backlog of promised projects in mortifyingly long, right now, and with the holiday season starting and all ...

Best of all about Rhinebeck, though, was that I made a friend. And I neglected to take a picture of her. No matter. Cora is awesome, and was the best person to walk around a strange, beautiful new place with. Also, she drives a moped.

A successful day, all around.

PS: I would show pictures of what I bought, but then I would immediately start in on thrummed mittens, neck gaiters for Dad, or holy-frickin'-jeez pretty socks ... when what I need to do is finish two papers. Stupid grad school.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pictures of Things I Have Knit:

Which of these things is not like the other?

Which of these things...

does not...

does not...


To be continued...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Some Pink Socks...

So, it's been a slightly longer while than I expected -- regardless, I come with pictures. (And a post.)

Yarn: Koigu, Painter's Palette Merino, in one juicy combination of pinks, reds, and oranges.
Needles: Pointy metal size 1s in that powdery metal finish. They made my right hand middle finger go numb, and I'm not totally sure what was up with that.

Destined for my mom -- I had such a great time choosing the yarn, knitting the cables, and doing the first sock. Alas, the second sock dragged like a ... well, you know. Finishing the foot was a day long slog that involved staying up past my bedtime just to GET IT DONE.

And yet ... I love them. There may be a hold on top-down basic stockinette socks (the tedium of not having a pattern repeat to look forward to or count bothered me in a way that I'd never felt before!) for a while, but I'll be back. For real.

Next up, patterned finished socks, and some works in progress.

Monday, August 18, 2008

This is a ...

In middle school, the cool girls used to play this really inane game that went something like this:

This is a (blank).
A what?
A (blank).
A what?
A (blank).
Oh! A (blank)!

The (blank) would be some common object with a one syllable name, or a name shortened to one-syllable -- girls would sit in a circle and gradually pass more items around the circle, and it was theoretically an exercise in concentration. In practice, it was really annoying, and something that only cool girls in middle school can actually get away with.

This is all a long winded way of saying that this is a HAT, that I knit a while ago for Marcia at the Forest Guild to make up for the fact that I got to see a dress rehearsal of Billy Budd the opera with her son who works as an usher at the Santa Fe Opera.

Slightly washed out because of the awesome power of sun, but I really really like this hat -- I improvised the shaping at the top, and it ends in a sweet little point that is just elfin enough.

Dig the cables:

They make it extra squishy, and may have introduced me to the crack that is knitting cables. I love the process and love the effect. So much that I committed myself to knitting two more hats -- one for the woman I lived with in New Mexico (Hi Rachel!) and one for the woman that lived across the path (Hi Ruth!), both of whom I taught to knit socks. How's the syntax on that one?

My attempt to post more frequently went to pieces, but to compensate, I'm breaking up the massive quantity of STUFF that I have to post into many smaller posts.
It's nice to be back!

Edited to Add:
The details! I didn't include any details about this dadgum hat.
Yarn: Cascade 220. Dream yarn! I love it. Like, it's a habit.
Put-up: This took less than a skein of Cascade 220, which is 220 yards (!) per skein.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I won't be here this weekend,

because the boyfriend will be in town, assuming his plane (stupid Delta) ever gets here. To that end, I've rented a car, we're planning to go all over the place, and maybe I'll even get to a yarn shop somewhere outside of Santa Fe? (Couldn't possibly happen...)
However, I have some gems to show for the past weekend and the sun this morning!

Saturday I went to this:

Santa Fe's International Folk Art Market. Among other things, I bonded with Jess, from Albuquerque (and originally South Africa) while waiting for an African dance workshop to start. The ice-breaker? The embossed leaf socks. When I go through Albuquerque on my way home, we'll be meeting up for knitting. I'm psyched!
(The dancing was awesome too.)

The workshop was held in the Folk Art Museum itself, so after getting all sweaty, I found my way to the Fiber (!!!) exhibit in said museum -- it was all about the history of producing fiber and the things that people have done with it. There were spinning wheels, embroidered garments, lace like you wouldn't believe, and this:

An interactive portion with standing looms, pot-holder looms, and embroidery hoops. I threaded a loop on one of the potholders, and then heard my boss from the Guild say, "I didn't know you were part of this exhibit..." Oops!
Here's my contribution to the wall hanging:

It took a while to do (like, 10 minutes, maybe longer) but part of that may have been because I was chatting with two different people that added to different portions of the existing weaving.

The other thing I've been up to (besides the Manos scarf and the embossed leaves socks, which are just longer than the last time you saw them) is this:

It's the first in a pair of hand warmers inspired by Eunny Jang's Endpaper Mitts -- I have them on hold now because I have to figure out what to do for a thumb gusset. You can probably see the puckering happening -- I started these at a Stitch and Bitch in town at a new yarn store called Tutto (awesome place, run by these two sassy guys that have interesting things to say about the editor of a publication with a title that rhymes with Binter-sleeve Wits), and could ask people there (veteran Fair-Isle knitters) if there's any trick to carrying floats, particularly across needle joins. It turns out that practice is the way to go, so I'm not giving myself a hard time about it.

I love them.

I also finished this:

(Apart from weaving in the ends, of course.)

Detail here:

I'm stymied as far as capturing color in the intense sunlight here goes. Suffice to say it's a combination of lilac pinks, olive greens, scarlet, maroon, and happiness. It reminds me of roses, in a great way.

And a color detail for the Whale's Road cowl -- delicious berry purples and refreshing clear blues. Lurve.

On the agenda for the week: stranded socks, Magic Loop style, and some basic boring movie socks. We have a planned date to watch as many super hero movies in a row this weekend as possible, and the first Hellboy movie should be arriving via Netflix by Friday.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Socks Socks Socks

"Socks, Socks, Socks! I love Socks!" Read that in a high pitched sing-songy voice.

When I was in college, my closest friends and I would take anything -- something we liked, something we didn't like -- and run it through that treatment. It was great -- if it were something dorky that we loved, it was an acknowledgment of our ironic self-awareness, if it were something stupid that someone we didn't like was into, it sounded appropriately ridiculous. We were big into irony back then. There was even an anti-irony club that we discussed starting, and I made a T-Shirt that said "Marmite! I do not like it," to make fun of all those Non-English people that talk about how much they love marmite in a masochistic way. The shirt was a failure because I didn't use permanent marker on it, and the colors turned out to be icky. (Think scarlet and apple green accents, ringer style, except NOT as awesome as that sounds.) Moving right along...

I do that often, in my head, now that I don't live with the people I knew in college. (Tear.) Mostly with things that I like, since certain very very simple things make me amazingly giddy. Like socks.

I love socks.

In my first intensive year of knitting, I had no interest in knitting them, perhaps because the FIRST pair of socks that I knit I knit in Chile, during a student strike, after all my burgeoning friendships with Chilean students came to abrupt halts after they told me I was a strike breaker. (I didn't know how student strikes worked, and wanted to know if there were any homework that the professors wanted me to work on in the interim.)
So I got a Blockbuster Membership (and found out, in the process, that I didn't know -- and still don't -- how to say "open a membership", but it all worked out in the end) and opened up's how-to-knit website, and re-learned how to knit. I should mention that I had no concept of gauge, and was perplexed by why all of my hats were really small, and why my socks were more like mutant slippers that were simultaneously too big and too short. When I'm back in Maryland, I'll try to find them to show what I have progressed from.
(They were amazingly lurid, too -- apple green with variegated purple toes and heels -- in acrylic that thwarted my attempts to felt them into slightly more wearable objects. It takes me a while, really.)

So anyway, I eventually came back to knitting socks through EZ's Knitting Around, and when I finished my first sock that fit decently enough, I ran downstairs crowing, "I knit a sock!!" And my dad said, "Great. Didn't you just knit a sweater? Aren't socks easier?"

The point is that I progressed from there to these:

A swatchy-swatch of a socky-sock -- Magic Loop, size 2s, hopefully adequate practice for some cycling ankle socks for Johann. Yarns are Jawoll sock in black, and Trekking Pro Natura (a gush-worthy blend of bamboo, merino, and nylon, in a perfect Gatorade Citrus color. Magic Johnson's favorite flavor, if I remember such details from Elementary School.) It took several tries to get an appropriate shade of orange, since the socks are meant to match his Mountain Bike. He requested this, after I was like "Please tell me something that you would like me to knit for you!!!"

Two colors and manipulating the needles is challenging, even if I thought I was a pro at it. The pattern is from Alice Starmore's fair-isle opus, which happens to be in the Santa Fe library.
(Starmore Starmore Starmore! I love Starmore!) (You would, too.)

Since those are on hold for fitting, I am also working on these:

My first "pattern" socks, Mona Schmidt's "Embossed Leaves" from Interweave's Favorite Socks book. Yarn is Socks that Rock Mediumweight in Moonstone, and it defies picture taking. The cuff exhibited icky pooling, which gave me some trepidation before starting the actual leg of the pattern, but as soon as I transitioned into the lace, these subtle stripes of pale grey, ice blue, and lavendar showed up.

You can sort of see them here. Since I love color, too, this is fabur-lous. The one sad part was getting a tiny puncture in my left index finger --

Not that gruesome, really -- it's already mostly healed, and the callous is on its way (praise Jeebus), but it did mean sitting out on knitting the Embossed Leaves for a day. Sad face.

My family is getting used to it -- over a ski trip this past February, my mom said something like, "Another sock? But you just finished a pair!" and during a waiting period over my brother's graduation weekend, my dad noticed me knitting a first iteration of these:

(picture repeat. Sorry sorry sorry) and said something about me being addicted, but dog it's cool -- the tentative plan is to knit him socks for his birthday with THIS (in "sooty"), which will stop any ribbing (aw jeez) about using this:

(Duet Sock Yarn, DK Weight)

for winter socks for me. My puzzling love of the color pink is fuel for another whole post. I've seen this get knit up into the most precious tiny stripes *, and assume that I will get the same effect. (Stripes Stripes Stripes...)

Hope does spring eternal.

Have a wonderful weekend -- I'm about to walk home in a monsoon, and I'm getting that giddy feeling...

*That would be the Yarn Harlot's Embossed Leaves, too -- Adam Yauch in the Beastie Boys said that wanting to play Bossa Nova after listening to the greats is like watching Michael Jordan and thinking that you want to play basketball. Sure you do, says a god among men Adam. The Harlot's work has the same effect.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I blog in spurts...

but I'm trying to get better about that.

Briefly, because I take forever to do anything as it is, and I have to eat dinner and shower before going to watch the opera (!) tonight, I have a post in the works, but don't have the hour to actually post it right now. To "tide you over" (heh), I'll direct you to my Flickr account -- -- after all, who could dislike otters' paws? They're so chunky and webbed...

While my pictures are not necessarily chunky or webbed, I just posted a ton from the past year that I've meant to put up for about the same amount of time. I am learning the art of doing at little at a time in repeated and regular intervals, to avoid the epic time usage that occurs whenever I "have to buckle down" to doing something that I really do enjoy.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Knitting does happen ... finishing objects, too!

Knit while watching the second DVD of the 1995 mini-series Pride and Prejudice -- Keira Knightley's got nuthin' on the Jennifer Ehle. I am convinced.

Meet the Cowl:

Chunky McChunkersons Malabrigo in Whales Road. A gift. The recipient don't read this.

Fun to knit -- I used size 10.5 needles, and contemplated doing it in linen stitch (which would make it a Chickadee, but I realized (epiphany!) that as much I love the look of linen stitch, I hate doing it. It always comes out iron-stiff. Well, maybe not iron stiff, but, like, really really stiff cardboard stiff. Iron sounds better. Which translates into tense knitting, stiff wrists ... I am content to admire other people's work in it!

So this was in "waffle stitch", yanked from the earliest of the purlbee's earliest postings. I knit my mom a cowl in this stitch (knit one row, knit one purl one second row) in lace-weight for her birthday in my "year of knitting" (my intensive re-entry into all joys related to knitting, wool, and other such fiber). This one, in a chunky weight, has a totally different look and feel, but I like it.

Look. You can do a Jesse James in it! (Okay, maybe not Jesse James. And he was a reprehensible guy in real life, but the old movie of him -- not the Brad Pitt one -- is hot.)

I'll take a close-up picture for color when there is sun -- the sky is uncharacteristically grey here in NM, something that I have not really seen yet. Oh well. Malabrigo color must be seen to be believed -- this has deep blue, teal, dashes of blackberry, cornflower... durn lack of sun.

The camera battery is dying, so I can't show the start of the new cowl, in Stonechat. Also a gift. But also stunning -- this one has bits of olive, scarlet, pale blue pink, mauve -- since when did I become someone that liked mauve??? It's just a testament to how pretty the yarn is, really.

In the interim, however, is another project I started, for me, naturally, in yarn that I bought on my jaunt through PurlSoho.

I've had the yarn since March, and had assumed it would be a lacy scarf. I even started the Stalks and Blossoms pattern with it, only to stop because it didn't feel right ... also because I kept messing up the pattern. I suppose there are some good reasons for not starting projects as the end of the semester creeps up and work amps up.

On Sunday night, while my hands and wrists recovered from finishing the dang Koigu socks (also done. also lacking pictures. I tell you, I'm a derelict), I needed to start something-anything for accompanying the last episode of season one of Project Runway (crack), so I picked up the yarn -- Manos Silk, citric colorway -- and started a basic mistake rib scarf. So cushy. So perfect for the yarn. Such a no-brainer! I'm always short on scarves that are long and squishy enough -- I'm a champ at short, light, lacy, airy scarves that are more like cravattes (am I really that type of person?), but this is a Scarf. No detail shots, because the camera is angry and anemic. Rather, the detail shots are locked in the camera.

Never mind -- the camera pulled it out, but now the battery is well and truly spent. Here you go!

Cowl number two tiny detail (also a gift!):

Pardon the lousy lighting. Can you guess the stitch pattern?

And, finally, the scarf detail -- the color and the shape (Foo Fighter reference? Really?):

Next up, socks socks socks! And my war wound. (Not too gruesome. Just annoying.)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Yarn Koan

If yarn is purchased in order to knit gifts, does it count as stash?

Malabrigo, Chunky

Whales Road


I don't think so. But it's a nice question to meditate.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A little something something for the weekend...

Cuff: four inches long now -- three to go, and then a short-row-heel, and then...


The heel, it is turned -- the arch decreasing goes apace.
(Also, I have the old "Pride and Prejudice" and "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" to watch this weekend... I'm on some kind of crazy Ethan Hawke kick after watching "Before Sunrise" -- sob -- and "Before Sunset" -- some indignant screaming at the end, but it made me very happy -- and remembering that I don't actually hate his guts) ... also, pictures of a finished (and blocked!) scarf are trapped in my camera at home. You'll see them soon!

I haven't been knitting nearly as much as I expected in New Mexico, perhaps because I really work (most of the time) while I'm at work... but also because I'm reading more (good books too!) and writing, and even drawing.
(Somehow, this has not kept me from procuring more yarn.)

Some pictures of that soon, too!

Also, kitten.

Her name is Lisa, and she is made of sun-beams and all else that is good.

Happy weekend!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Promisez. I trai to keepz them.

And here we go!!!

So, first of all, any questions about a shrug, or a cardigan, or a something or other, will receive furtive eye shifting, a lot of umming, and, uh, yeah.
I really couldn't bring myself to knit something white, or something long-sleeved, or, uh, heavy and cotton, here in sunny New Mexico. Also, I'm a flighty bastard.

So, transition into the current projects -- I guess I'll go by chronology.

Project #1: Little Lace Scarf Number 2, Manos Silk -- Juniper colorway. (Oddly region appropriate -- Juniper is a major feature of the flora of New Mexico.)

Lace pattern: Mist Drops from Barbara Walker's Second Pattern Anthology

I love it, even though the colors are not me-appropriate. This will be a gift.

And I have this much to go! We'll see when it's done.

Project #2: Hot Socks! (A.K.A. My introduction to Koigu.)

Koigu, some hot pink/light pink/orange/currant colorway -- also not me-appropriate.

These are destined for the mother-figure, for whom they are appropriate colors!!
You may not be able to detect the tiny cable detail -- blah blah blah, variegated yarn is not good for texture patterns -- but I love it. Knitting the tiny cables is so much fun, and I like the fact that I'll know they're there, even if they're not overtly apparent.
Also regionally appropriate colors -- the saturated warm, nay, hot colors play well with others in the American Southwest.

Project #3 -- Another pair of Koigu socks???

Err, yeah -- in my defense, I needed some airplane knitting, and was positive that I wasn't going to get them through security. So, this knitting is what I completed almost entirely on the plane trip from Baltimore Washington International to the Albuquerque airport.
But come on ... look at those colors!!

And Project #4 -- Koigu Baby Booties???
Nina, are you not telling us something? Are you a Koigu junkie or something?

Don't judge me! I can stop whenever I want!
What I mean is, I always used to scoff at those who seemed to venerate Koigu yarn. Yeah, that's you, PurlSoho!
And it would have been fine, but Kaleidoscope Yarns (best darn yarn shop in Vermont, where I had my knitting reawakening) had a sale on the last remaining bits of Koigu Painters Palette (the fingering weight stuff), and I figured, why not try it.
This yarn is like crack. I'm not going to tell you the price of a skein of new Koigu colors -- if you don't knit, you won't understand, and if you do knit, you will -- but seriously. The combination of the amazing colors, the smooshy goodness texture, and the froggability (this yarn holds its shape after at least a few unravellings) all add up to tasty yarn and tasty tasty socks.

As for the baby booties, no, I am not, to my knowledge, eating for two just yet -- a cousin of mine is expecting, so that yarn plus this book:

equal baby booties up the whazoo. One skein is supposed to make two pairs -- since I've already cocked up the one I'm working on, I'll be ripping it back shortly.

(The book is Knitting for Baby, by Kristin Nicholas and Melanie Falick, and it is AMAZING. I highly recommend it for the instructions at the beginning alone. And if you ever wanted to be hooked into the nefarious underworld of knitting baby sweaters, hats, blankets, whatever, this is your gateway drug ticket.)

What's the problem?
With all of these awesome projects, why am I feeling like a wanton whatever, and browsing the Schoolhouse Press site for scratchy, wholesome, vibrant and natural colored wool?


Wish me luck. I'm going to go sit down for a session with a sock or a scarf, and remember exactly why I love them as much as I do.