Tuesday, December 29, 2009

omg omg omg

Maybe this is not a thing a normal person would get excited about, but while I was cleaning my room today (it still looks like a bomb hit it, but omg, the vast quantities of recyclable material I have removed!) I found some buttons that were on the family couch when I was a kid. I have no idea why my mom saved them--but I do know that their next stop is most likely as decoration on a hat. Omg. I'm so stoked. I will wear my Couch Hat all the time.

I was going to be good and not buy any new yarn for a while, but I don't think I have anything that goes with the couch buttons. Hmm. I'll have to look more closely, just in case. Anyway, you can all look forward to the Couch Hat!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Successful Christmas!

Well. Happy A-Couple-Of-Days-After-Christmas to you all! For those who celebrated, I hope you had a lovely time, and for those who don't, hey, it's over! The music in the malls will be back to normal! Woo-hoo muzak time!

Anyway. :) All my knitwear gifts seemed to go over quite well. My mom's favorite thing, oddly enough, was her tiny Christmas sweater. It is pretty cute. I'll hop on down to the tree and take a picture eventually. You know me: slow with the photos.

My grandma seemed to like her slipper socks, and though I didn't put any hats in the adult gift swap at my other grandma's, the mitts I put in the handmade gift swap have put my entire family in Extreme Awe of my knitting skills. :) I'll have to find another snazzy pattern for next year. And hopefully more people will play, so I won't have to feel awkward about putting in something that's not unisex. unless, of course, I can find a really awesome unisex pattern. The handmade gift swap was actually a really big hit. Mostly, I think, because everyone went into it with the right attitude of fun, and not the attitude of desperately hoping for a good present, though most of the stuff was good. And it was fun to see what everyone made! I think, since it was such a hit, I'm going to send out a reminder in, say, July this year, so everyone can have time to prepare. That's plenty of time to learn a craft!

So anyway, quality holiday season! Since it's the first day of Christmas, I'm gonna go look around and see if anyone's sent me a partridge in a pear tree. I'm still waiting for my true love to turn up, you know. :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

excellent!

The tiny top-down raglan is going quite well! I just have to do one more sleeve. And yeah, I'm sure this is no surprise, but I think I'm gonna have to embellish the pants off it. I think there will probably be beads. Oh yeah. It might end up being a tribute to Janine of Deep Secret. Omg. Awesome. That would make every Christmas merrier.

seriously?

My project for this morning is an ornament for my mom. I'm thinking I'll do a tiny sweater, and I know there's a pattern for one in Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, which is a book I like very much in the general way of things. I've made several patterns from it, including the tiny stocking that's in the same chunk with the tiny sweater. However. The tiny sweater pattern wants you to KNIT IT IN PIECES AND SEAM IT TOGETHER. WTF? I don't want to be dealing with tiny horrible seams.

I guess it's time to see if I can get the proportions right on a tiny top-down raglan. Hopefully I will not get the urge to make this more complicated than it has to be, and I will not embroider all kinds of ghastly stuff on it to make it a true Christmas sweater.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Oh, Christmas.

You guys, I think this is my first knitting-stress-free Christmas in ages! Chucking the Pernicious Scarf was definitely a good move. I know I'll be happier with it if I can get it RIGHT and not rush. I've also chucked the gloves--well, put on hold, really. I've got the book of poems, and now I have a friend I haven't seen in a year coming to visit tomorrow, and, well, the gloves will have to wait. They may not wait till next Christmas, though. They might just wait till Jan 6 or something. We'll see if I feel like knitting them after Christmas.

My mom's socks are finished and wrapped. My hats for the gift swap are finished--oh, but get this, the stripey stockinette hat I was working on? Yeah, I wasn't knitting it with the size six needles the pattern called for, no, I was knitting it on size TWOS. Apparently they seemed really fat after size 0's. Ooops. So I had to pull that all out and start over again. But it looks quite nice, and it went really fast on the bigger needles, so all is well.

AND I just finished a totally extra gift, a pair of slipper socks for my grandma. I think I knit the second sock in under three hours. The first one took longer, because yeah, I was making it up as I went. They're cute and warm and no, I won't be hurt if my grandma never uses them. :)

So now I just have to make my mom an ornament, and I will be ALL DONE. So awesome.

And then I can knit stuff for me! I need sweaters. Curse this cold weather!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

HO. HO. HO.

Just popping in with a wee update:

- I finished the socks for my mom. Yay! Check that off the list.

- I had to get fancy with the gloves for my brother, so they are taking longer than expected. Crap. Have bought him a book of poems in case the gloves don't get done for Christmas morning.

- Should be knitting on those gloves right now, but I am sick of teeny needles, and am doing a nice mindless stockinette striped hat on size sixes for a bit, thank you. I may give it to a brother, or use it for the gift swap.

- I've finished all my shopping, which is nice.

- I've finished all my baking, which is also nice. I think I made about half as many kinds of cookies this year as I usually do. Go me! Way to not over-bake! People will probably whine about it. I am considering writing out copies of all the recipes and handing them to anyone who complains. It's not like this is rocket science, people. Get off your butt, do what the recipe tells you, and you will have delicious cookies.

- It's been snowing pretty solidly for several hours, which is kind of annoying.

- I'd better eat lunch now, and then continue to knit my hat. Or gloves. Or whatever.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

updates updates updates . . .

Let's get caught up on some stuff . . .

First of all, inspiration finally struck for the blue birthday hat, in the form of flowers, leaves, and i-cord:





I'm extremely pleased with it, and will probably make myself something similar in brown with a cream flower. AFTER Christmas. :)

As for the Disco Scarf, well, shortly after Thanksgiving it became clear that I wasn't going to finish it in time for Christmas, and anyway, there are some things I think I can do better/want to change, so it is officially On Hold till after Christmas as well. I know I can get it done for NEXT Christmas. :) I want to get smaller needles, and re-do some of the designs on the back. I'm sure it'll be easier the second time around!

So that means that now for Christmas I need to finish:

1 pair of gloves for my brother (the scarf brother, I'll get him a book of poems, too)
1 more sock for my mom
1 ornament for my mom (possibly a tiny sweater, possibly a snowflake or two, possibly flowers)
1 1/2 more slipper socks for my grandma (this does not HAVE to get done)
And maybe a couple more random hats.

This is all, my friends, Completely Possible. I like a completely possible Christmas. I like an Impossible Christmas too, but only when I know I can finish things properly. The Disco Scarf is too good an idea/too nice a project not to do it right.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

all out of inspiration.

I've got a slightly-less-wee Birthday Hat, blue in color, sitting on my desk staring at me while it waits for embellishment. This child's birthday is on the 9th, and she's finally old enough to appreciate a gift arriving on time. :) So. Dear Brain, please come up with some genius concept for this hat! Or even something adequate. I'd go for adequate.

Maybe I could do something with green i-cord? And then embroider flowers off it? Or knit some flowers and sew them on? The kid would totally look good in an Epic Flower Hat, and, well, I have this feeling that I'm going to be the Aunt-Who's-Not-Really-An-Aunt Who Provides-Girly-Things. I can't help myself. It's not like I'm going to chuck Disney princesses at these little girls, but when you're three, there should be some epic wacky florals in your life, don't you think?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Brief Pernicious Scarf Update!

Am too lazy to take a picture, but in case I haven't mentioned it, things are going much, much more quickly now that the knitting thimble has been added into the mix and I have figured out how to cope with it. If I'd had it from the beginning, I would be much further along. This is what I get for trying to economize.

Anyway, this is how far along I am:

Now is the winter of
Made glorious summer
And all the clouds tha
In the deep bosom of

So I'm slightly more than halfway! (This is both good--halfway done!--and terrifying: OMG ONLY 26 OR SO DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS HOW WILL I EVER FINISH!!!) Another time-saving measure is to cut down on how much purple I put in. It looks fan-fucking-tastic, but it really slows me down. So I think I'm gonna do York and house, or maybe York and buried, and call it a day. I'd kind of like to do discontent, but that is a fucking long word and it's not going to happen. I guess I could just do disco, right?

Friday, November 27, 2009

my family is a pain in the rear.

So. I know we went through these angstings last year, but my family does this Yankee swap sort of thing at Christmas. And I want to put in a pair of knit hats, you know, one manly, one for the ladies. And ok, I'm expecting the man-hat to be kind of boring-ish, I thought I'd just do a 2x2 ribbed hat, because I made one for myself last year and I kind of love it, but I'd like to do something more interesting for the woman's hat. Only I don't know that my family will be interested in taking care of non-superwash wool (though really, how often do you wash your hats? Oh great, have I just exposed myself as a wearer of filthy hats?) and even worse, the women on that side of the family wear so much black. It's an epidemic. I don't really want to knit a black hat, not even an awesome black slouchy hat. I'm sure it would be quite elegant and all, but . . . in case you hadn't noticed, I am a huge fan of color.

I'd also like to use yarn I already have . . . and I've got some brown, and some blue, and some navy acrylic that I might use for the man-hat--unless I go with the brown--and I've also got some NICE yarn, some alpaca left over from my green vest, and some random aqua tweedy stuff that I used for one of the wee hats, but I still have plenty to make a big hat . . . but omg, So Much Black.

Maybe I'll just go with the aqua tweedy stuff and see if I can bring them over to the land of rainbows. There are at least three people who would wear that color. Maybe as many as six. (My family is huge: we're talking about at least 20 women who will be in this swap.)

Anyway. Not that I really need anything else to knit right now, but the Pernicious Scarf is pretty much a stationary project, what with the enormous chart and all, and it's not good tv-watching material.

Omg, and I just wrote a manifesto. I tend to think better when I'm writing things out. Aiee! Sorry! Lemme go knit something!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

We Interrupt This Pernicious Scarf . . .

. . . to bring you a wee cute hat. A birthday present for my two-year-old niece who is not actually my niece, but whatever, close enough. My best friend's kid.



It's your basic wee hat with a moss stitch brim, and then some embroidery tossed on there to up the cute factor. I think it's probably too big, but kids do grow, don't they? And she has lots of fluffy hair that needs room, too!

As for the Pernicious Disco Scarf, I have turned it back right side out, and my hand and arm are much happier. Sigh. So much for my floats!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

crap.

So about two days ago I decided to try the thing where you knit a colorwork item inside out for better control of the floats, and while yes, it's nice for the floats, my left wrist hates this plan with the fire of a thousand suns.

Ow. I have an extremely unhappy hand. I guess I'll have to go back to right-side-out, because I certainly won't get this scarf done if I cripple myself before December.

Sigh. It's always so sad when an innovation doesn't work.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Eagle has landed!

Ok, so that was a little dramatic. I'm just excited because my norwegian knitting thimble arrived in the mail two days ago! Yay! It is, indeed, a handy little device. I'm still contemplating taping it or something so I can wear it closer to the tip of my finger, but it definitely helps even as it is.

I ordered some other random yarn with it too--I'd never ordered anything from KnitPicks, so I thought I'd see what it was like, yeah, a likely excuse, right? Anyway, I love all the colors I picked, and the superwash sock yarn feels pretty nice, but I don't know if I'd buy their other plain wool again. Of course, I haven't knit it up yet or anything. Hmm, but maybe I could start some socks tonight! I could use some football-and-hockey-game-watching knitting, and my Pernicious Disco Scarf won't do for that. Socks, now, socks I could do.

My little cute dad has gone to a football game this evening, and is wearing a pair of socks I made him. He claims it's 'for luck.' He's so cute. He's the kind of dad who, upon being asked once by his son to pick up some gum from the grocery store, will then make sure to pick up that same kind of gum once a week, so his child won't run out.

Anyway. Yay knitting thimble! Yay awesome-colored yarn! (I really want to make squirrel mittens with the awesome-colored yarn, but if I do any more colorwork right now I will totally scream.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

omg, more pictures!

Of the Disco Scarf, this time. Behold how far I have gotten:



And this is the back:



I wish I'd just thought to do the sort of faux-lice pattern bit that you see to the right the whole way on the back. I thought the squares would be cool--and they are--but they were incredibly slow, and I think they may have a problem with puckering. The floats are pretty long, and I can straighten them out when I try, but they still scare me.

I still think the whole thing is going to be too wide and too short, but then, I know my brother doesn't like long scarves, so maybe it'll work for him. One thing I know, it'll be extremely warm. Like glorious summer, in fact.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

photos!

Ok, we're just going to ignore the fact that I had computer fail and the first one isn't properly rotated. Ok? It's the kind of day where we have to ignore that sort of thing. Right. Moving on!

Three wee hats:







I love the green-and-grey hat, but I'm not entirely sold on the other two. Oh well: it's not me or my kid who will be wearing them! I'll see if my friend (and her daughter) like either of them.

Monday, November 9, 2009

back on the horse!

Whew. So after the mini-hat explosion (they're kind of cute, maybe I'll do pictures tomorrow?) I am back on the Disco Scarf Horse. Naturally I don't have pictures, but I'm this far along:

Now is the
Made gloriou
And all the cl
In the deep

I've got some partial letters, too, but I don't think blogger's going to let me do those. :)

Today's knitting was helped along by figuring out how to (sort of) hold both yarns in one hand. It's more efficient, but still not great, so I went and ordered a norwegian knitting thimble. It should get here in about a week--I'm hoping it'll help me get another couple rows in per day. And really, interesting movies help this scarf along as much as anything else. Today I watched the Branagh Henry V, which, omg, is SO DRAMATIC, I didn't remember it being so overly dramatic (I tend to think that Shakespeare is dramatic enough, and doesn't really need extras,) but then, I don't know if I've watched it since I was a teenager, and when you're a teenager, the more dramatic the better, right? I certainly didn't remember that Christian Bale was in it. I kept expecting him to sing that Santa Fe song from Newsies, or do his ridiculous Batman voice. I much preferred David Gwillim's (I know, I spell his name wrong every time) Henry--his Crispin's Day speech sounded like he was just, you know, talking, and making it up as he went, whereas Branagh's Henry knew he was making a Big Important Speech. Branagh's Henry knew he was a big important hero the whole time, which was perhaps a bit obnoxious.

Anyway. Ooops this is supposed to be about knitting, not acting. Well, now you know what I'm thinking about whilst I knit the Disco Scarf! I think I'm going to get that 1990's Richard III with Ian McKellen next time I go to the library. And maybe the Olivier Henry V, though I tend to think Olivier was probably more effective on stage than on screen. But there I go again! Sorry!

Pictures tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

oh dear.

So last night I totally snapped. Couldn't deal with long-term projects in thin yarn anymore. Made some baby hats. Omg, they're totally cute! And wow, you wouldn't believe how thick worsted weight yarn seems after you've been using sock and fingering pretty much exclusively for two months. That stuff knits up like lightning! Anyway, no pictures yet, but some cute hats. And I think I'm about to make another hat, for me, because we all know that if there's one thing I need, it's another hat. I do wear them, though, I swear I do! I LIKE wearing them!

I blame this Hat Attack on the flu. It's making my mind fuzzy, and I can't tell good ideas from bad.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

whirlpool!

Behold the finished Whirlpool Socks!



I'm very pleased with them.



I'm also rather pleased that I got them finished during Socktober!

(In other news, I have been Slacking Horribly on the Pernicious Scarf. I really need to get my act together there, or it'll have to be a birthday present, and my brother isn't going to need an Epic Poetry Scarf in May.)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pernicious bloodsucker of sleeping men!

You tell 'em, Warwick!



My scarf is definitely pernicious, though not yet a bloodsucker. If it doesn't straighten up with blocking, I'll totally weep and wail and chew the scenery in a way that would do Shakespeare proud.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

some soul of goodness

I wish I could remember more than the most obvious bits of Henry V, but I don't. Alas! Anyway, I'm quite enjoying it, and I've got quite a bit of the Disco Scarf done today as a result. I'm gonna try adding purple tomorrow! I hope I like it. On the other hand, if I don't like it, then I have purple yarn that I can make into something else, so really, I win either way.

In other news, I also spent a bit of today dismantling my Favorite Sweater Ever. In case you're wondering what would possess me to do such a mad thing, let me tell you that it was a good ten years old--probably more like twelve--and had holes worn in the elbows. I was never really going to wear it again as it was, and it deserves a new incarnation, though I don't know what that'll be. I think there should be enough to make a sweater of some kind, or a medium-sized shawl, because it was an oversized cabled sweater in its first life. Oh, Favorite Sweater. We had some good, warm times together, didn't we? Now we can have some more!

I'm going to be so sad when I'm done with Henry V! I've really grown fond of David Gwillim, silly haircuts and all. His Henry tends to be a bit understated, but he can get all riled up when he needs to. It's very effective. I liked his Crispin's Day speech a lot. I hope I like Henry VI even half as much.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

MIA

Great, my smallish yarn needle has run off somewhere, and my ginormous one Will Not Do for sewing in glove-finger ends. Or sock ends, for that matter. And when I get around to sewing in Richard III ends, it won't do for that, either.

Grr. The worst part is that I cleaned my crafty area only recently, and didn't see Mr Needle. It could be anywhere! I guess what I should do now is go check the ads in the paper and see if either JoAnn's or Michaels' is having a sale on notion-y type things.

And in actual knitting news, I have finished the first Charybdis sock AND the first Exploded Rainbow Glove. Omg, that yarn is so ridiculous. I think my cousin will love them.

I guess I'd better go knit some Richard now, and finish up Henry IV.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

if I were as tedious as a king, I would bestow it all upon you.

In case you're wondering what I've been up to:

Here's the very tippy toe of my mama's Christmas sock.



I've actually got this one nearly finished. I just have to do the ribbing at the cuff, and ding ding ding, I will have finished my first ever toe-up sock! This is also one of the few items I've ever made in variegated yarn where the colors and the pattern really work well together. There's sort of an Asian whirlpool feel to it. Very elegant. Am hoping to get the next one done this month, and then I can have a pair of Socktoberfest socks! I love the idea of Socktoberfest, I've just never been sock-ready in October before.

And here is one of the Exploded Rainbow Gloves. This guy is almost finished, too. I'll probably put fingers on it tomorrow. I had a bit of a crisis during my show this evening when I'd knit up to where the fingers should be, and I didn't feel like doing fingers in the semi-dark where I'd be interrupted so row counting would be completely inaccurate. If I do the fingers tomorrow morning, I can cast on the next glove and do the cuff during the show. Sensible, huh?



I took today off from the Disco Scarf. I wish it wasn't such a slog, because I still love the idea, and I think it's going to look quite nice. It's just a great big pain in the tush. AND my library doesn't have the BBC Henry V, so I'm gonna have to wait for it to get to me from another library. I've grown rather attached to those actors, and the soap-opera/miniseries feel of watching everything the same, so I don't want to hop over to Olivier or Branagh for Henry V and then hop back to the BBC for Henry VI.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I need more hands!

Ok. The Disco Scarf is waddling along very slowly. I am, however, educating myself whilst I knit it, by watching the BBC 80's versions of Shakespeare's history plays. I was going to just watch Richard III, for obvious reasons, but then I was at the library and I decided to start with Richard II . . . well, it's a damn long scarf. I'll probably be able to watch most of the comedies and tragedies, too. So far I find Falstaff all kinds of tedious, and Jon Finch quite hot.

As for other stuff: I've always thought the cowl was an odd and useless concept, but now it's got cold and I don't have many decent turtlenecks to my name. So I shall probably be knitting myself a cowl, so as to have a sort of portable turtleneck. I've got plenty of yarn. It'll be very economical.

There are also several babies and toddlers I know who could use nifty hats for the winter. Aiee! More hands, please.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

sucking it up.

So I went out yesterday and bought me a 16-inch size two. (I now have an epic collection of size 2 circular needles, when what I really need is a size 3. Anyway.) The purchase was a sensible one: the process is going along much better when I don't have to struggle with all the flopping needle ends, and there's much less puckering. So yay! $14.50 well spent.

Since the Disco Scarf is not particularly portable, and I'm nearly finished with the gloves I intend to barter to my brother, I've started yet another pair of gloves. I have some ridiculously bright and colorful Trekking left over from a pair of socks, so I've decided to make a Christmas present for a certain cousin of mine who tends to dress, as I do, like a rainbow exploded in her closet. Hopefully this will not cause a riot amongst my other cousins. (If I knit gifts for all of my cousins, and say, did two per Christmas, it would take me close to twenty years. Sorry, cousins.)

The next thing I want to start is my mama's Christmas socks, because they will also be portable. I bought some variegated yarn on purpose this time, because I just want to do something simple, since the Disco Scarf is still a struggle. Of course, I can always make her something more complicated later, if the Disco Scarf really takes off. I've found two patterns I like for the sock yarn, but they're both toe-up, and I don't really have much patience with toe-up. The toe part makes me cranky, and then there's nothing to look forward to at the end except miles and miles of cuff. But I do like the patterns, so we'll see.

And eventually we will see pictures. There's not even an inch of the Disco Scarf yet, so it's not quite worth taking a picture.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

holy crap.

This scarf might just be the end of me, y'all. I might be as doomed as Richard--or, for that matter, just about everyone else in that play. Omg. It's not really that hard, it's just slow, and though my throwing is showing improvement, which is nice, I'm not really improving fast enough. Oof.

Also, the edges, the bits where I switch from needle to needle, are really mangly. One of them might be bad enough that I'll have to rip out and start over--don't worry, I've only got a bare inch done--but I might be able to finagle it. I don't know. I'm starting to think I might just have to suck it up and buy a 16-inch needle, but who the hell needs a US 2 sixteen-inch needle? I mean, what good is that going to do me later in life? I guess I could make lots of very fine hats . . . and I have to say, I am kind of loving the Addi Turbo. Though even it can't make my throwing faster. :)

Ooof. That's pretty much how this scarf is making me feel right now. Also, if the phone rings one more time, I will not be held responsible for my actions. This is not the sort of project you can drop and run.

Ooof. I'm going to go find some dinner. My kingdom for some Thai food!

(Yes, you're going to have to put up with Ridiculous Shakespeare Quotes for the next three months or so. Buckle your seat belts!)

full speed ahead!

Um, nowhere in any of my readings about how to knit items on two circular needles does it mention that there's a part at the beginning where you feel like you're wrestling with a giant squid.

On the other hand, at least I cast on, right?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

aiee!

Ok, I'm starting to freak out just a little bit. Seven days into October, and I still haven't started the scarf. Stupid auditions and whatnot, taking up all my extra time . . . I did check one yarn store for the yarn holder thingie, but no dice. After today's audition, I think I'm going to call some places and see if they carry them, because they're not nearly as convenient to get to.

I may also start the first end of the scarf, because I don't think there will be too much of the stranded work in it, and hell, I don't really NEED the yarn holder thingie (I really have to find out what that item is actually called) and I may not like it anyway. I hope they come in adjustable form. I have wee skinny fingers.

Right. I will get this scarf started by Friday or I will . . . I don't know, freak all the rest of the way out? Aiee!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

holding pattern.

Whew. It's been a busy weekend. It was FINALLY performance time for my play--over and done with now, thank goodness, and all those words can leak right on out of my head. It went fairly well, though, and I have renewed awe for my own brain. My brain can be rather impressive, y'all. You wouldn't believe the stuff it can remember.

Anyway, since my brain was busy remembering all those lines (it was a full half-hour of snappy comic dialogue between two people, one of which had trouble remembering his lines, which really kept me on my toes, since I had to think for two of us,) my brain was not up to any complicated knitting. So I started making a pair of red fingerless gloves to swap to my brother for a t-shirt. I just have three fingers and a thumb to do on the first one! Gloves are speedy.

I'm going to try to get to the yarn store tomorrow to see if they have one of those yarn holder thingies that you wear on your finger to keep colors separate in stranded knitting. I can't seem to figure out how to just carry both colors in my left hand without tangling.

And then I have to figure out what I want the very ends of the scarf to be like, and then I really have to start knitting the damn thing, because did I mention it's really complicated? Aiee! I hope it looks nice. I can't wait to start! Hopefully the ol' brain will be in a happy place tomorrow. I do have an audition, though, which will probably end up occupying the brain. Sigh.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I am so close, y'all!

I have officially decided on the Richard III quote. Mainly because it hasn't stopped making me giggle. I've started playing around with it chart-wise. I started charting it by hand, because I tend to be old-fashioned, but I took a break after I'd got "Now is the winter of our disco" finished, and then I decided to give Excel a try, and now Excel is (almost) my best friend in the whole world.

I also want to open a Richard III-themed dance club, and call it The Winter Of Our Discotheque, but that's another story.

Today's questions to answer include such gems as "How wide should a man's tubular scarf be?" and "How do I space out these words so they look nice?"

I've been working on question #2, and am kind of stumped. I've decided (so far, still subject to change) to do the whole four-line first sentence of Richard III:

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this son of York;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our House
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried


However, as you'll notice, the third line is enough longer than the other three--especially once you've dealt with the apostrophe--that it throws the whole thing out of whack. So my options are to space out all the other lines (this has the most impact on lines 1 and 3) to match, or to not put each line of text on its own line of knitting, but to chug straight through, but that won't give me a full fourth line. I could always tack on a "Richard III" but I'm not sure how I feel about that.

My other problem is that I can't figure out how--if it's even possible--to get Excel to shrink the document on the screen so I can see more of it at once, to see if the lines are aesthetically pleasing the way I have them laid out. This is where by hand may jump in again. We'll see. I need to start knitting this! Aiee!

Does anyone know how wide a man's scarf should be? I've been doing a lot of failing in trying to find this out.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

almost there . . .

Ok. I have been doing some serious thinking about the Epic Poetry Scarf, and I've gotten some very good suggestions from some very clever people.

However, I think I'm probably going to end up going with one of my dark horses. From Richard III:


Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this son of York;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our House
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.


At first I was like, no, that's kind of cheesy, but the more I think about it, the more it makes me giggle, somehow, to have that on a nice winter scarf. Ha! There's a double meaning in that.

So now I have to chart it out, and then decide which words I want to do in purple.

Yay! I feel good about this.

Monday, September 28, 2009

slow going.

Ok, wow, it's much harder than I thought it would be to choose text for the Epic Poetry Scarf. I may have to can the idea of it being poetry and just go for a basic nice quotation, but . . . poetry somehow goes really well with the concept of a scarf knit out of really soft yarn on size 2 needles, you know? There's something . . . I don't know, lofty and unattainable and really beautiful in the concept of both.

Argh, but since no one seems to be able to find out what my brother's favorite poems are, I'm SO STUCK. I want to start knitting this thing no later than October, too. Scarves are LONG, y'all. Anyway, right now I'm looking at some Shakespeare. I could do this, from Hamlet:

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.


Which is a nice sentiment, beautiful language, the right length--and also somehow overdone and obvious. There's a longer quote from Hamlet that I really like, this one:

Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
This bird of dawning singeth all night long:
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad,
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and gracious is that time.


But that's too long, for the size of letter I want to use, etc. I could put it on both sides of the scarf, but I was looking forward to having some semi-plainness on the back side as a rest for my knitting self. I could just do the last four lines, say, but I like the part about the bird of dawning.

I guess my other option would be to find some grey yarn that contrasts better with the olive green, and then I could use smaller letters. Hmm. However, that scares me because I'd rather not do this kind of colorwork with different yarns. Oh, Ultra Alpaca Fine, why must you be so alluringly soft and yet come in so few colors?

Anyway, that's where the scarf stands. If anyone has a brilliant suggestion, feel free to let me know.

Damn, I wish my brother understood German. Part of Schiller's An die Freude would be perfect.

(Oh, and the Seat of the Pants Opera Stole turned out just right. I would have frozen solid without it. I don't think I'm going to take it apart: I think it will be awesome to have a sort of everyday awesome wrap that I can wear and not feel too fancy.)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I think we're gonna need a bigger boat.

If I keep on with this lace knitting concept (which it looks like I probably will,) I'm starting to think I need a couple of things:

1. Blocking wires. Dear Lord, so many pins. Such crinkly edges. Given my general lack of precision, I think blocking wires are probably a good idea.

2. A bigger bed. I'm not kidding. I have your basic twin, and I just did the Fastest Pinning-Out Ever of the Seat-Of-The-Pants Opera Shawl, and I totally ran out of room. I need about six more inches of length. I'm going to have to let this part dry, and then block out the last crumpled-up edge on its own later. Thank God laceweight dries quickly.

I feel that maybe if I had blocking wires, it wouldn't be such a pain in the rear to shift the whole thing, but as it is now, no WAY do I have time to unpin everything and re-pin it. Especially since I have an audition at two.

Ok. I need to put some makeup on my face. Pictures to come (of the shawl, not my face) later, as always.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Embroideries!

Not the greatest photos ever (macro and I are still in the process of becoming friends) but you get the idea.





I just really, really like string.

random update on random things.

Ok! Opera tomorrow, y'all!

My wrap is nearly finished. I should be knitting on it right now, but clearly I am not. I am lacking in Quality TV to watch whilst I knit it. Dear Hulu, why must we wait until the 29th for the new episode of House?

In other news, I cleaned yesterday. There was much throwing out and digging through boxes, and uh-oh. I discovered some nearly-finished embroidery projects, y'all. And they're really nice. Like, I was seriously impressed with my bad self. So now I know I'm going to have to finish those and frame them or something. (I'll take pictures for you at some point! No fear!)

On the Epic Poetry Scarf front, I've looked through some Shakespeare and have a few candidates. My mom managed to winkle out of my brother the info that Hamlet and A Midsummer Night's Dream are two of his favorites. I'm thinking that most of Hamlet would be a bit depressing to wear all winter (can you imagine February with "To be or not to be" wrapped around your neck? Dismal.) but I may be able to find something in Midsummer.

Oh hey, the sun's out! I think I'll take some pictures.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Oh, me.

In typical me fashion, I've decided that I need a black shawl when I go to the opera this coming Saturday. It's not like going to the opera is all that big a deal normally, I do go a lot, but this is the season opener, and the folks with money will be going to a ball afterwords, and so my mom and I have decided to Glam Up, just for the hell of it.

And I figure I'll get a little cold in my awesome racerback zebra-print dress, so therefore I need a wrap. I don't know what the hell good a wrap done in laceweight on size 7 needles will really do against the cold, but I'm sure it'll look nice.

The best part of this is that I'm really just throwing the poor thing together, and will probably unravel it after the opera and make it into something nicer. I am also making an actual planned, nice, going to be awesome black shawl, but it's on much smaller needles and will not be dramatic and large by Saturday.

This other one I've just started, I figure if I knit approximately 8 inches of it a day, I'll have a good size, and I can block it on Saturday morning, because lace dries so quickly. Don't worry, 8 inches a day goes really, really fast on 7's, even in laceweight.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

sigh.

You'd think that if you bought two balls of the same stripey sock yarn at the same time, from a store that doesn't carry tons of stock, and so probably only ordered a few balls of the stuff to begin with, you'd think they'd be the same, right? Wrong.

Now, this would not normally be a problem, because it's not really like I care if things match, but I'm making a pair of Della Mitts , and I was all "Oh, I can use this orangey-brown-y stripey mix that I bought approximately three years ago to make socks out of, and then I made gloves instead, so I have a whole bunch left over." Only I made the first mitt out of the remainder of the first ball, and now that I've started the second mitt from the second ball . . . not so much. The second ball is lacking a whole solid dark orange repeat, and the whole effect is much more brown.

Sigh. This would also not normally be a problem, except that I already have a pair of gloves out of this yarn, so I was going to use these as a gift. I imagine that most people I know care about matching more than I do.

So really, what this means is that I'm going to have to knit a THIRD mitt as a mate to the second one, and I don't know, unravel the first one, or find some brown yarn and make a fourth one and wear the first and fourth ones myself, and say screw you, people who like to match.

Anyway, photo of the beginning of the first mitt:



They're very cute, and very quick to make, and they fit really well once I went down a needle size. (They fit ME, that is. I have miniature wrists, so normal-sized people will want to knit them according to the pattern.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fugitive Sweater!

It's finished! All seamed up and whatnot. I'm quite pleased with it. Ok, I could have made it a size smaller, but it's really comfy, and I think it will respond well to maching washing and drying. Here it is yesterday:



And a detail of the left sleeve:



I am currently a little freaked out because I don't have anything big that I'm actually knitting on. I guess I could knit the other half of the Wreck of the Old 97, huh? Or decide on a damn poem. I'm still kind of leaning towards the Crispin's Day speech. Anyone got another idea of a speech or poem or something a man might like to have on a scarf?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

ooof.

You know, I haven't made a sweater in pieces in a good year, and oof, this sewing-up, it is exhausting. Set-in sleeves are kind of a pain in the rear.

And I still have three seams to go.

Sigh. What a buzzkill. :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Oooh! Oooh!

The Glam Fugitive Sweater is half sewn together (it's taking forever, ow, my back) but I think, I really do think, that it might have come out exactly right. Ok, maybe the arm-hole is a little big, but I might be able to futz with that. The effect looks right, though.

Could I possibly be two for two with recent sweaters?

We'll find out tomorrow morning when I sew the rest of it together.

I'm kind of excited about this one!

Monday, September 7, 2009

manly colors?

Remember that trip to the yarn shop of a couple of days ago? Well. The store is lovely, with a big selection and good light and generally just all kinds of good stuff. If I had just been browsing, I don't know what might have happened. I might have had to sell a kidney or something.

Anyway, I looked at teal yarn, and was very very close to buying some Brown Sheep Naturespun, but then the Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine caught my eye, and dude, I just love the way that stuff feels. So I bought some.



I'm still not entirely certain if the grey (which is going to be the letters of the Epic Poetry Scarf) will provide enough contrast with the green, but then again, subtle is ok, right? The purple-ish color (and they're pretty accurate) is for Important Words.





The next things I have to do are A) pick a poem, and B) decide how the heck to knit this. I've got that last mostly figured out. There's been some swatching. It's going to be a tube. But mostly I don't think dpns are the way to go here. I may have to do two circulars, which will mean purchasing two circulars. So now I have to decide what lengths I should get, etc.

However, all that is moot until I A) figure out what my brother's favorite poem is, or B) just pick one that I think anyone would like. Maybe I'll just do Shakespeare's Crispin's Day speech. That would be kind of awesome to wear.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

fugitive sweater update!

Not really an update, per se. Just me realizing--fortunately only an inch or so into the first sleeve--that I really should knit both sleeves at once, and therefore make sure they're the same length.

I'm sure it would be very awesome and fugitive-y to have one sleeve longer than the other, but that would make me positively nuts. I do kind of want to put some kind of detail into one of the sleeves, but I'm not sure what. A random dropped stitch? A random cable of some sort? Just something small, you know.

If I knit the sleeves separately, I'll have time to think on this . . . but same-length is probably more important, right?

Right?

Friday, September 4, 2009

a good deed!

Last week or so I was twiddling about the interwebz, reading some knitting blogs, etc, and I came upon one that sounded interesting, the Knitting On Top Of The World Knit-A-Thon. I love it when people embark on mad, 'impossible' sorts of quests. Stuff even bigger than my Epic Poetry Scarf!

Anyway, when I read this post, I knew it had to be fate that took me there. Did you scroll down and look at that horse? That horse knit from a pattern that's in the book I learned to knit from? Yeah, I know that horse. Mine's blue. So I identified the book in the comments, and today (saving my truly crappy day, by the way) I had a thank-you package in the mail from Mary, containing some lovely grey Knit Picks Gloss Lace. Omg, so awesome.

Now I just have to figure out what to knit from it. (But I have to go to rehearsal first.) Thanks, Mary!

quick update:

Right. I've got the front and the back of the recycled fugitive sweater done! It's amazing how fast stockinette goes on size 11 needles. Especially when you've got a lot of train-riding and memorizing to do. (Only I really do need to check and make sure that the armholes are the same size. I counted, but we all know my counting skills are shaky.)

Here, this will give you the general idea. Not of my counting ability, of the fugitive sweater:



And today I might be heading to a 'new' yarn store (new to me) in search of yarn for the Epic Poetry Scarf. Have I mentioned that yet? I'm sure I have. Anyway, off to look for Manly Teal Yarn. Anyone know a good manly contrast color for teal?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

omg cute.

I totally love it.



(I really want to make another one. Someone stop me.)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

getting there . . .



Check that out, y'all. I bought some buttons. FINALLY. I was clever enough to mention to my mom that I needed buttons, and she's like, "Oh hey, there's this button store we can go to." Button STORE, think I? AWESOME. I was just planning to go to JoAnn's.

But no, there's a lovely store (it used to be just buttons, but now it also does a lot of bridal stuff) with lots and lots of cute buttons, and, of course, my mom spotted the right ones right off the bat, way quicker than I would have.

It helps to shop with someone who's been sewing clothes for approximately 45 years.

Now I just have to sew in some ends and sew on some buttons, and YAY I HAVE A SWEATER.

Friday, August 28, 2009

the attention span of a chicken on crack.

Yeah, so I couldn't figure out a pattern I liked for Mr Black Shawl, so it's on the back burner. And by 'the back burner' I mean there's a ball of recycled merino sitting on my desk staring at me. I'll probably turn it into a Percy Shawl, skipping the middle chart. I like the first one ok, I just don't love it madly.

Anyway, I have instead turned to making a (sort of) Astrid tunic-thing. It's 'sort of' because I'm not making the bottom that wide, and I will probably not do the bell-ish cuffs. I cast on the 70 stitches I wanted for the bust and am just knitting straight up.

As for the yarn, I'm using another recycled sweater. It's a beige (mostly) silk and wool blend that has been through the washer and dryer a lot (originally from Fashion Bug) and is a little bit felted, and has a great sort of distressed look to it. I was a little pissed that the front halves of it had been cut for the zipper, not knit up separately, but it had cables in its last incarnation and was quite oversized, so I think the back and sleeves will give me more than enough yarn for a back, sleeves, and a front. And maybe the hood. I don't know: my jury is still out on the hood.

I have been wanting a very loose-knit, baggy, faux-worn sweater for ages, so I'm very excited about this. Even though I kind of feel like I'm knitting the equivalent of those jeans you buy that already have holes in the knees.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

running amok

Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear. Y'all, I have been left unsupervised again, and the running amok has begun.

After I finished my lovely green alpaca sweater (which, yes, still needs buttons, big surprise,) I was doing some cleaning, and I dug out and unraveled some old sweaters.

Oh gee, thought I, I could really use a black lace shawl for when I go to the opera next month! Totally useful, because I always get cold. So I trot around Ravelry for a bit, looking for patterns and such, and I find one I like, the Percy Shawl from A Bit Of Knit. Oooh, thought I, what lovely edging!

And then I looked at it some more, and scoped around at some other people's versions, and I really liked this one, so after my extreme amounts of recycled black laceweight had dried (seriously, folks, the bugs did not chew up the sleeves at all on one turtleneck, and I have approximately 3,000 yards of black merino lurking about my room) I cast on and started knitting.

And then, of course, I decided that I really didn't like chart A all that much--it's nice, but not quite as interesting as I would like, though I am still Totally In Love with the edging.

So here I am, the mathematically challenged, attempting to figure out set-up rows and whatnot for another stitch pattern, and how to make it go in triangular shawl style.

Need I say that I'll keep you posted? You know I will.

Monday, August 17, 2009

ta-da! (sort of)

I have finished the knitting on my green sweater! It's pretty cute. I can't tell for sure if I like how it fits quite yet, being without buttons. If I weren't so lazy, I would dig up some safety pins and pretend they're buttons, but I'm lazy.

Actually, I should probably do that while it's still morning and not blazingly hot.

All I know is that this sweater is cute enough that I want one in some sort of cotton or bamboo (ok, I'd take silk or linen) so I can wear it in the summer, and I kind of want one in red or some dark evening-looking color, too. Yeah. It's that cute. I especially like the fact that, since it's knit side-to-side, I could make the back precisely as wide as I wanted. We all know this is a serious problem in my knitwear.

So yay! Best of all, it took not-quite 500 yards of dk weight yarn, so if I do eventually make two more, they won't break the bank. However, if I do make two more, I will be turning into my mother, with her habit of buying several of anything that fits. I don't know if I'm ready to turn into my mother quite yet.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

almost there!

I was going to post some progress pictures of my green sweater, but the fact of the matter is that it's a not-very-large garment done all in garter stitch, and it should be finished--except for buttons--by tomorrow at the latest.

I'm still enthralled by the short rows, I think it's going to fit, and the collar still has the potential to be really cute. SO. Very exciting. And since I know I am completely dreadful about finding buttons--remember my Sourwood Mountain Mitts, anyone? They're still buttonless, and it's been months--I have pretty much resolved to get me to the Awesome Fabric Store for Awesome Buttons. I only need three, so hopefully they won't break the bank.

Not like I'm going to need the sweater for a while, no matter how wee it might be. It's gone and gotten hot again here.

So. Hopefully there will be Finished Sweater Pictures tomorrow or Monday. Yay!

ETA:

Ok, I uploaded the half-finished pictures, so here's one:



I now have both sleeves finished and am starting on the right front. I tried it on, and holy crap, it's cute. And it seems to fit beautifully. As long as the alpaca doesn't stretch too much or do anything weird, we are totally in business.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

just a bit scattered

I've cast on for another sweater. Yeah. Because it was only a good 90 degrees yesterday, and I don't have air conditioning, so CLEARLY it is Sweater Time. This one's another Drops pattern, number 117-43. It's rather adorably adorable, isn't it?

I'm using some light green Plymouth Baby Alpaca that I bought last year:



It's actually much more green and less grey than in that picture. Funny story about this yarn: I bought it to make a short-sleeved sweatery kind of thing to wear over a dress at a wedding last spring. And then I got it home and realized that the bridesmaids would be wearing sage green. Since I didn't want to look like I was trying to be part of the bridal party, I made something else.

However, I'm totally glad I didn't knit this up last year, because I think it's going to be quite perfect for this wee sweater, and I am so entertained by the short rows that I can't believe it. I should have this finished and ready for viewing by this time next week! (I hope it fits.)

As for the Wreck of the Old 97, it carries on, but let's face it, dk weight alpaca is a hell of a lot more pleasant to knit with than big ol' bristly SWS. And I know I'll be able to wear the alpaca sweater as soon as it's finished, because I always get cold in restaurants and stuff, whereas the Old 97 will have to wait for cooler weather to be worn.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I've got no train lyrics this morning.

However, I got the berry stitch and the decreases to behave themselves! Yay! Good Lord, I should have been finished with the back piece of this jumper DAYS ago. I guess the train isn't running on time. (There. Dreadful train allusion. We may all rest easy.)

In between fights with berry stitch, I've been trying to decide what I want to do with my random former-sweater black merino. Do I want to make it into a lacy sweater? Do I want it to be a shawl? Do I want it to be a shawl with beads? The idea of a shawl with beads is enticing, but I'm not sure I'd enjoy knitting one. I also can't find my teeny tiny crochet hook. I wanted to see if it'll fit through beads. I think it will, it's that teeny. It's apparently so teeny that it can't be seen with the naked eye right now, though.

I really need a better system for storing my needles and hooks. Right now everything straight is in a mug, and everything with a cable is hung over a dowel that is actually part of an embroidery frame. It's not very efficient.

Friday, August 7, 2009

this is IT.

I'm gonna make one more go at that freakin' berry stitch + armholes, and if I can't get it to work, Drastic Steps will be taken. I'm not sure what they'll be, since the cuteness of the berry stitch is the whole reason I'm making this jumper, but there will be Drastic Steps.

I'm so irritated. I can't remember the last time I had a knitting problem I couldn't solve myself. It's making me feel like an idiot.

Gah.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

a moment of bitchiness.

Or possibly just my inner teacher making herself known.

Anyway, I know everyone does things their own way, and really, whatever works for you is the best way for you, clearly, but it still drives me a little bit nuts when people who knit lacy things have to put stitch markers between every pattern repeat. How are you ever going to learn to read the knitting and really learn how that lace works if you always use that crutch? You're not going to GROW.

Besides, it's really cool when you can figure out just what the pattern is doing.

Anyway. That's just me being bitchy and judgmental for the morning. I'm sure my slapdash, haphazard ways of doing many things would drive many people up the wall. And I'm not going to change.

On a happier note, my mum was getting rid of a sweater and gave it to me to unravel, and now I have a good 1,400 yards of black laceweight to make something out of. Yay! Epic Dramatic Shawl, anyone?

Monday, August 3, 2009

like getting hit by a train

Dammit. The Wreck is not amusing me anymore. I am apparently incapable of getting two armholes to decrease at the same rate while doing berry stitch. I've pulled it out twice already, and I simply can't figure out what's going wrong. I've got one lovely curved armhole, and one crappy straight one.

What the hell? I can't remember the last time I ran into a knitting problem I couldn't solve. The other issue is that since I'm using Patons SWS, I can't really undo it too often before the yarn starts looking like I paid $1.50 per skein.

Gah. I'm done with it for tonight. Maybe inspiration will strike tomorrow. If not, I may do something rash. I might have to MAKE that armhole look like I want it to.

Dammit. I was having such fun.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

hum it like a train disaster song.

I'd like to introduce you all to the sweater that shall henceforth be known as the Wreck of the Old 97. (It's on Ravelry as a Trainwreck Jumper, but I may change that.





I am honestly finding this expected catastrophe to be almost more fun to knit than some of my good stuff. Maybe because I'm not expecting much? Oh, but I am. If it's not GHASTLY, I might actually be disappointed. :)

Friday, July 31, 2009

because it's so chilly out, you know.

Right. I gave in, and am now knitting what will probably be the warmest sweater-like object EVER. I'm also expecting to hate it when it's done, but what the hell, I'm in the mood for some stockinette, and I'm using this SWS that I got for $1.50 a ball, so even if I just throw the damn thing out when I'm done, I'll only be out like twelve bucks. Sweet!

What am I making, you ask? See, that's the best part. I am so fully expecting this thing--we'll call it a jumper, and not in the British sense where jumper = sweater. It's like a long, sleeveless tunic sort of thing that I bet would be really nice in cotton. However, for some ridiculous reason I have chosen to make it in Patons SWS. Honestly, I'm so embarrassed by this thing that I can't believe I'm even telling y'all about it. (It's a Drops pattern, in case you're wondering, but like I can remember the number. Oh, wait, I have the pattern open in another tab. Hang on. 107-17, that's it. It's really cute. But I would suggest not making it in SWS.) Also, I never know what size to make for myself, so it probably won't fit.

Seriously, why am I even doing this?

It may be because I wanted to start SOMETHING new, and this is making me actually think about the stuff I want to make with the good yarn. I think I've chosen something, by the way. Also Drops, pattern--hang on--117-43. I have this light green alpaca that I've been wanting to make into a short cardigan for ages. So I'll probably do that once I figure out what size to make.

When I finish this 'jumper,' shall I take pictures of the trainwreck so we can all laugh together?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

something's wrong here . . .

It's about a zillion degrees out, and I'm sitting here on the interwebz going through patterns and contemplating making a heavy wool sweater. Stuff with cables and general bulkiness.

I must be out of my mind.

Maybe I just need a bit of a change from lace? That would be better than being out of my mind, right? Right?

Friday, July 24, 2009

now with pictures

Here's what I've got so far on the ol' Print O' The Wave stole. It's moving along quite slowly, because I clearly need either a deadline or an obsession with a tv program to get me working steadily.

Extreme close-up:



Full view:



In person, the yarn doesn't have that weird brownish tinge. It's a very pleasant grey. It was quite a nice sweater back in the day.

I kind of wish I'd added another repetition of the pattern, so I could have five of the solid bit across instead of four, but oh well. I shall live.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Plans.

I know, I know, I've been all quiet and stuff lately. No more deadline projects to keep things exciting.

I am planning, though. I've never knit my youngest brother anything really neat, so I was thinking that perhaps for Christmas I would knit him a scarf with either his favorite saying or a chunk of his favorite poem on it. We were sort of joking about that sort of thing one day, but he's the sort of guy who would really dig such a thing, if it were done in tasteful colors, etc.

Now, luckily I know that his favorite color is a dark sort of teal, so that's one problem out of the way. The question is, how to discover his favorite words without being obvious? He's not on Facebook, so I can't ask his friends, or look for quotations he might have. I've thought about 'borrowing' some of his poetry books and checking to see which pages they fall open to . . . I don't know, I'd just like to have some idea of how many words I'm dealing with before I buy yarn. :) I guess I could just ask him, but that's no fun.

The Print O' The Wave stole chugs on, but it's still in that foot-and-a-half of wadded up grey netting stage, so it's not all that interesting.

Oh, did I mention that my mama ADORED her stole? Well done, me! The whole family was very impressed.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Queen Silvia Photos!

I had a bit of an outdoor photo shoot this afternoon, though I really think I need to try for some morning sun. Anyway, here's Finished Queen Silvia:









I think it turned out rather well. It probably could have been a repeat or two wider, but it still looks quite good.

In other news, I haven't knit anything for over a week. There was one point during my extremely long plane flight to Spokane where I found a crochet hook in my carry-on bag, and was inches away from unraveling a scarf I'd brought with me just so I could crochet the yarn and have something to do. If I didn't like that scarf so much, I totally would have.

Man, I need a project. I wonder where my Print O' The Wave stole has got to?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Extreme Blocking Event!

"Extreme" in the sense of I have cramps all down my left leg, and if I had been a man, my chances of ever having children would have been in peril. Let me explain.

Like any ordinary person, I blocked good ol' Queen Silvia on my bed. That bed is a twin bed, so there was barely enough room for the shawl. Which would have been fine, if the bed was not also a loft bed, and six feet off the ground. There were contortions. It was epic. There was one part where I was trying to decide if it would be worse to fall off, or to sort of slip downwards (this is when I was straddling the thing on my knees) and impale myself. Ooog. Good think I'm flexible. Anyway, some photos.

First, an extreme close-up:



I would have liked to block it a little more aggressively, but I like the look of this stitch pattern much better when it's pulled vertically than horizontally, and I literally had no room to go longer.



Ooof. I can't believe it's finished! I hope I like the way its blocked self looks. No--I hope my mom likes the way it looks.

Oh, the finished dimensions, for anyone who cares, are about 20 1/2 by 70-ish. It might be longer, but I'd have to go find a longer tape measure, and I'm beat. I could really use a nap, but there's a shawl on my bed.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

ha ha!

Grafting complete! GO ME.

Now all I need are some more pins, and I can block tomorrow morning! ("Morning" being the important word in that sentence, as the shawl has to dry in time for me to have my bed back tomorrow night.)

I'll be so bummed if I can't find enough pins around here. A pin-buying excursion will throw off my timetable. Not, as we've established, that there's any hurry. I'm just dying to see the finished product, because if I hate it or it's not big enough or whatever, don't think I'll hesitate to take stuff apart and re-do. You know I will.

Guess What:

Only six rows and some grafting left on Queen Silvia! Can you believe it?

Y'all, the birthday deadline is July 19, and this year I didn't even have to allow three extra days for mailing purposes. This means I will be done with this bad boy a full NINETEEN DAYS (ok, eighteen with blocking--crap, I think I need more pins, darn it) ahead of time.

Dang. What on earth will I do without Birthday Deadline Drama? Perhaps I should knit something for my brother for his 35th birthday. That's on the 28th. Of course, I don't think Charlottesville is a place where you need a whole lot of knitwear, so maybe I'll get him some nice . . . I don't know, karaoke tracks he doesn't have?

Anyway. Yay! I'll get more pins, and we will have Finished Product Pictures very soon.

And then I can finish my tank top.

Friday, June 26, 2009

oh, the interwebz.

One of the things I dig about the internet is that--usually--if you have a bit of a look around, someone has already asked your question, and people have already answered, so you don't have to sit around and wait.

What brings this up is that I was wondering how the heck long a rectangular shawl should be (to me 'stole' seems like fur should be involved) for a woman 5'3" inches tall who wears a 48" chest sweater. Would it be the same size as is comfortable for a woman 5'6" inches tall and approximately 36" around?

It looks like it might work, on the same principle as the time a costumer was hemming skirts for me and two much shorter women. She marked them all for my height, and said that their hips would take up the extra room and we'd all match. Dude. We totally did.

I'm thinking that the specified size (give or take a few inches) of the Queen Silvia shawl will work well for my mother. I'm also thinking that I really have no idea how long it's going to block out to be, given that I've changed needle sizes and borders. Oh, the adventure.

If I were making it for myself, I would just knit until the yarn is done, because I like long dramatic garments, and it's the sort of thing I'd wear on fancy occasions, probably with three-inch heels, thereby making myself a 5'9" person, and giving more room for things to dangle.

Anyway. It should be done within a week! Holy crap, wait, it could possibly be done THIS WEEKEND, because I think I'm on repeat 17. The pattern calls for 20 plus one partial, so I was thinking of doing 18 plus one partial, given my deeper borders.

Holy crap. What will I do if I'm not knitting right up to the wire?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

quick update:

Number of repeats left to go on Queen Silvia: 4

Number of letters finished on Devil Scarf: All of them

Number of days left till my mother's birthday: lots

Number of days left to finish the Devil Scarf: 6

How much of a time-crunch we have with the Devil Scarf: none

Chances we will soon be able to knit something else: good

Next thing we have to finish: the straps for my linen tank top.


(I can't believe I haven't finished the linen tank top yet. At the VERY LATEST I intend to finish it by July 8, because the next day I am going to Spokane to visit my brother, and I don't have all that many nice summer tops right now. Of course, if I finish it by this weekend, then I can wear it to a family party and have everyone tell me how great I am. Only the Devil Scarf stands in my way.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

bitten in the rear.

Oh, I have so much time, I said. Queen Silvia is trotting along so quickly, I said. I can even cope with vacation time, I said.

Right, until my dad decides he wants a custom scarf to give to a friend of his at a retirement party. On June 30. ARGH. It's not so bad, really, except that I have to do Penn State colors, and I feel a bit unclean doing a Penn State scarf. My dad has only himself to blame for this: he raised me to think Penn State was the devil.

I shall have to find a witch doctor to perform some cleansing rites when I am finished.

(Queen Silvia is totally hanging in there, though. I counted, and I can get it done in less than two weeks if I have to. This should work nicely with the ol' schedule.)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Thank you, Lord Stanley!

Ok, this isn't really a post about the awesomeness of hockey, but damn, yesterday was a great day for hockey. Well done, Pens!

In other news--and why I'm actually posting--argh, my dad wants me to come visit him in DC next week, possibly with my mom, and that plus the probable Spokane trip will really cut into the ol' Queen Silvia time.

This may be more adrenaline than even I can handle.

Oh hey. Just because I can:

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ha ha!

I am officially halfway done with Queen Silvia! Whee! (There are supposed to be 20 repeats + one partial, and I've done ten.)

I might even be more than halfway done, because A) my end borders are wider than the called-for border, and B) I'm using size 4 needles, not 3. I was too cheap/lazy to buy the threes. Also, my mom is short.

If you force yourself to do one whole repeat a day, this thing goes pretty quick.

Is it bad that I'm already starting to wonder what I should make next? I guess I could finish my Print O' The Wave theoretical Christmas gift. (Note To Self: I'm pretty sure we're on row 8. I'm also pretty sure whatever scrap of paper I jotted that down on has been thrown out.) What I'm hoping will happen is that my mum will like her stole and wear it to my brother's birthday party, and then I can see how the female relatives feel about a lace stole. If they like it, then Print O' The Wave will go into the Christmas swap. If not, darn, I guess I'll have to keep it.

My life is so hard.

(Oh, and you know the drill: GO PENS! It's a great day for hockey!)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I am not a joiner.

Y'all, I just went and looked to make sure of when that knit-in-public day is, so I can make sure not to knit in public on that day.

I'm sure this makes me some sort of bad person, but I'm A) not a joiner, and B) not keen on ostentatious displays of . . . I don't know, stuff. It's hard to articulate the feeling of ick that stuff like this gives me, (and not just as related to knitting, but as related to all things) but there it is.

In other news, today I keep leaving nupps out on my stole. That is not something you can fix like picking up a missed yarn over. That's something you have to undo back to the bit where you left a nupp out. The first time I did it I caught it fairly soon, but the second time . . . let's just say I had to put the whole thing down or I would have pitched some sort of fit. Bad brain! Bad, bad brain!

perhaps a snag?

Uh-oh: I might be heading to the Pacific Northwest to visit my brother for a couple of days in July. This is an "uh-oh" because it's right before my mom's birthday (and my mom will be on the trip as well) so that means I'd have to get the Birthday Shawl done before I leave.

I have clearly done way too much crisis theater, because I actually think that having a closer deadline for this project is kind of fun. Oh, the adrenaline rush caused by things going wrong. Sometimes I really enjoy it.

Anyway, here's a picture of the shawl from a few days ago:



It's definitely longer now. I've got between 10-12 repeats to go: basically I'm planning to stop when A) the yarn runs out or B) I think it's long enough, whichever happens first.

I guess I'd better get knitting!

Friday, June 5, 2009

nupps, nupps, and more nupps.

Still knitting away at good ol' Almost-Queen-Silvia. It looks like a meshy red blob. I'm thinking, though, that since I'm fairly sure I have plenty of time to finish the queen up before July 19 (those will probably be famous last words) I might find me a little something else to knit at the same time, so I don't go nuts from the sameness of it all.

Soooo I may just cast on for the Full O' Win Mitts, and play along with this month's fingerless glove KAL over on Ravelry. 'Tis a lovely group, with many lovely, fingerless patterns to be found. Best of all, these are worsted weight. I may just freak out after a few weeks of only laceweight.

I have two options, color-wise. One is (if I have black yarn, which I don't think I do) to do a black mitt with the purl bands in gold, therefore making awesome Penguin (and other Pittsburgh sports team) mitts. Second, which will probably happen, is some kind of burgundy and brown.

All I know is that some lucky friend or relative of mine is going to be getting fingerless gloves for Christmas. (If I make the black and gold ones, I'm keeping them, though. It may be June, but it's damn cold here.)

Friday, May 29, 2009

nothing to see here.

I should warn you 'all' that things will probably be excruciatingly dull around here for a while. I'm nearly done with the second border for FrankenSilvia, so as of tomorrow it's going to be all Queen Silvia nupps all the time until I get this thing done. Then, of course, we will have the fun of grafting, and the even better fun of laughing at me as I whine and moan when I don't have a space big enough to block the thing. (Actually, I think I should be ok on this front. I specifically chose a rectangular stole so I should be able to block it on my bed.)

Other than that I've got nothing going on the knitting front. Still out of work, so no cash to buy fun yarn. There's not really anything else I'm dying to knit right now, but ask me again after I've knit about a foot of straight-up Queen Silvia. I will probably be raving mad and looking for something I can knit without looking at. When that happens, we shall see what we can find in my meager collection of yarn.

In other news, I have found no more freakish knots in my ball of yarn, and the Stanley Cup Finals start tomorrow. Both of these are good things. Go Pens!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Attack of the Yarn Pixies!

I don't know what else it could have been. Seriously. I'm freaking out just a little. Here's the deal:

I cast on for my FrankenSilvia two days ago. All was well. Had a migraine yesterday, in the course of which the whole mess of it, ball of yarn and inch or so of yarn, fell on the floor twice, and were picked up quickly. No knitting was done: I could barely have my eyes open, much less focus on laceweight yarn.

So today here I am, all better, both eyes open again, no stabbing pain, yay, and I'm knitting along, and I discover a break in the yarn. Brand new yarn, I might add, that had no breaks in it when I wound it up not so long ago. Now, ok, that wouldn't have made me think I had lost my mind. What's got me thinking I've lost my mind is that the broken yarn ends were tied together. Ok, weird, thought I, maybe this happened during the bit when the ball of yarn rolled under the chair? Weird, and statistically sketchy, but ok.

So then I'm knitting along some more, and I discover ANOTHER break, tied together the exact same way.

At this point I'm left with four options:

1. I did this myself, and don't remember it at all
2. Someone was in my room, playing with my yarn
3. A moth or other yarn-eating bug that also feels remorse and has the ability to tie knots
4. Yarn pixies

Frankly, all of these strike me as HIGHLY UNLIKELY.

I say to you, my friends, WTF?

If I find any more knots, I am going to cry, because first of all, I don't want this shawl to have a whole bunch of splices, and second, I really don't like feeling like I've lost my mind.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

This Is Why I Can't Be Left Unsupervised.

I still have not acquired my size 3 needles. I will probably go purchase them tomorrow, as the shop downtown has a lovely array of cable sizes.

Anyway, this has led to a problem. See, if I'd had the appropriate needles when Knitted Lace of Estonia showed up, I would have cast on for Queen Silvia right then and there, and been through several repeats by now. However, I have been left to my own devices, and there's a stitch dictionary in the back of the book, and we all KNOW I like to do my own thing . . .

That's right. There's some designing going on. Or not so much 'designing' as piecing together a sort of Franken-shawl. I'm not extremely keen on the all-around lace edgings in general. They're pretty, yes, but not really as modern to my eye. Or maybe that's just a load of crap, maybe I just like the deep, interesting, short-side lace borders much better.

So anyway, I think my mom's Birthday Shawl is going to end up as Queen Silvia with random frankenborder. I think I will--not really 'swatch,' since I don't have the exactly right needles, but dig up some random thin yarn (there's got to be SOMETHING around here) just to make sure the lace patterns I'm choosing flow together into something that's fairly pleasing to the ol' eyeball. There's already been some math. There has to be a little more math, but I have faith.

If I had been a knitter in high school, I would have gotten a much higher score on the SAT, I'm sure of it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

a standstill.

Right. So I finally get Knitted Lace of Estonia from the library (I've been waiting since January!) I've got some red laceweight yarn, and I've got Queen Silvia in my sights--and of course I realize that the only US 3 needles I have are double points.

Oh, cry me a river. I was so ready to get started. :( And no, I'm not going to try a swatch to see how it all looks on 4's, because I'm knitting a Print O' The Wave stole on US 4's right now, on a similar weight yarn, and I would definitely like the stockinette sections to be less airy. I think.

So, GREAT, this means I'm going to have to venture to a yarn store sometime soon, because it's not like my mom's birthday is getting any further away, or the pattern is getting any less epic. On the other hand, since it's all the same motif, once I get it down, it should be clear sailing. As we already know, I don't fear the nupp.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Some Finished Items.

Hey, so I'm still here and still knitting stuff, though I've been swallowed up a bit by hockey. Most of the stuff I've been working on has some element of secrecy about it, so I have not been knitting it during the games.

The first item I've got finished here is an Aeolian Shawl:





I really enjoyed knitting it. All the shifting lace patterns were very pleasing to my brain. I don't know that I'll be making another large triangular shawl anytime soon, though. Mostly because I don't have a space large enough to block it. My edges are ragged. Ah well. Maybe I will block it again later.



The color is most accurate on this next one. This yarn used to be a rather grandpa sweater that I found at a thrift store. It had a couple of stains, and I wasn't wearing it, so I unraveled it. I still have a light green one which I do wear. It's a shame: it would make lovely lace.



And here we have the socks I made my mom for Mother's Day. Spring Forward, also from Knitty. Dude, these are one hell of a speedy knit. Also simple enough to knit during hockey games, but quite pretty. I love designs that give you a lot of bang for your buck. The white toes and heels are because everything I've read about Dream In Color Smooshy says it wears out pretty quickly. They're not the greatest, but sometimes function has to win out over form.



My mama wore her socks to the Star Trek movie last night, so I think we can all assume that she likes them. :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

dammit.

Remember my last letter to me, where I said not to buy any more variegated yarn, because I don't like it?

Yeah?

Guess what I just bought.

*headdesk*

Here's the tale: I went out to find some sock yarn for my mama's Mother's Day gift. I was hoping for something solid, so I could get all pattern-y, but alas, there were no solid colors that were really jumping out at me--ok, there were a few, but they were all greens and blues, close to the colors of socks I've already made for the mama.

Sigh. So I ended up with some Malabrigo in a sort of purple-y something, which is quite lovely, but I don't know if it should be socks, I usually feel a bit better with some nylon in socks, and some Dream In Color Smooshy in Butter Peeps, which is maybe the greatest name for a colorway ever, and is also gorgeous.

And they're both pretty much variegated. Hopefully I will not hate them. I'm thinking I'll make up the Butter Peeps for Mother's Day: the colors are bright and springy, and it's all pale enough that it won't obscure a pattern.

But sigh. I totally don't listen to myself. Ever. There was some Collinette I really liked, which I could just have made plain socks out of, but I'm all paranoid about the yardage in Jitterbug now, and I didn't want to buy two of the same thing . . . anyway. I do like what I bought. And the store, Bloomin' Yarns, is freakin' adorable and has lots of good stuff. It's a good thing it's not particularly accessible by public transportation, or I would be there all the time.