Friday, September 30, 2011

not meant to be?

So we have this handmade yankee swap thing at my grandma's house every Christmas Eve. (And by 'every' I mean 'the past two years.') I've mentioned it before, I know. It has quickly become one of the favorite parts of Christmas Eve, as we get to see the awesome and ridiculous things everyone makes.

This year I want to use up some of the absurdly vast quantities of black laceweight I have and make a scarf or shawl or something. So far I am not having much luck. I tried to do a Sagittaria Shawl (too lazy to link, I am having a tragic morning, there was an unfortunate incident with my foot, a piece of glass, and several Band-Aids) but though I love the look of the pattern on the body of the shawl, I was not having much fun knitting it. I don't know if I'll ever get back to it.

So yesterday I cast on for an Annis, and if you've ever made one you will know this is no small feat as you have to cast on 363 stitches. Did that, knit the first two rows, was all, "YES THIS IS THE FIRST ANNIS I HAVE EVER MADE (I've made two others, it's so pretty) WHERE I HAVE NOT FUCKED UP IN THE FIRST COUPLE OF ROWS" and then Row Three happened, and something went Horribly Wrong (to be honest, I was watching Fringe and I might have had a sip of gin, so maybe conditions weren't optimal, but I was pretty sure I could still count to three) and when I was tinking back disaster struck.

Yeah, so that mess got unraveled, and now I have to either psych myself up to cast on all those stitches again, or I have to pick another pattern.

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 26, 2011

stuff I've been knitting . . .

Umm . . . this will not be the most inspired post in the world, but I feel like we haven't had any photos of knit stuff in a while, so here you go.

I made a pair of Garter Stitch Mitts. They were v. fun to knit, and they're super cute on. I think they'd be great just plain in some really nice yarn, but since I had some acrylic to use up, I did a stripe.

I love the stripe. I also learned how to graft garter stitch (which is super easy, it's like Kitchener stitch's less-involved cousin) which is something, I guess.

I will not be keeping these mitts, cute as they are. The last thing I need--besides, like, malaria--is another pair of fingerless mitts in the blue family. I still have nothing that will look good with my pink coat this winter. Maybe I should get on that.

And I've started a rainbowy sock. I have (naturally) lost the ballband, but it's one of those wooly-cottony-nylony sort of blends, which, I have to say, might be my favorite for socks. I do love a good wool sock, but there's something about the wool/cotton sock yarns that I really like. Someday I may figure out what that is.

The sock is about three times longer now--I just started the gusset last night. The pattern is mostly improvised (Note To Self: you cast on 24 stitches for the toe!) and pretty plain. I put in some slipped stitches for 'interest,' but the yarn is so busy that you can barely see them. Oh well. It's subtle. :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Of knitters and People Who Knit.

I haven't been knitting a whole lot lately. I recently acquired a snazzy new digital piano, so I've been practicing like the piano is crack and I am an addict. It's a really sweet piano. So yeah, that plus the fact that I don't have any good books on tape or tv shows I'm addicted to, and there hasn't been much knitting. Don't worry, I have some stuff requested at the library, so eventually there will be more knitted stuff to show you. And it's not like I haven't been knitting, I've just been knitting less.

Anyway, what I was really going to talk about (I have had some gin, so forgive me) is the whole knitter thing. I knit a fucking lot, and I have a blog about knitting, and I like to read about knitting, but I have never been a joiner, and I've always felt really awkward about the whole 'knitter' thing. I am much more of a person who knits. I don't get all up in arms if someone 'disses' knitting. I really don't care.

I bring this up because I took my blue cabled mitts on their first outing today, and damn if they aren't extremely eye-catching, and damn if people who knit don't come out of the woodwork to chat. And I am so awkward, because I'm not all KNITTERS! RAH! and I feel like such a moron. I'm never sure what to say to these people. What's your favorite yarn? Pick or throw? I also feel slightly awkward when people ask me how long I've been knitting, and it's really only five or six years, I think, but damn if I don't make really complicated shit. It's not that hard, y'all. Then again, with the whole unemployed thing, I do put in a lot of time knitting.

Anyway. I am indeed always contemplating the whole knitter vs person-who-knits thing. I'm not sure why I feel so awkward about it, but I do.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

" . . . in fact, terrified of the sea! Well. That's the sort that's dangerous."

So over on Ravelry I'm in this lovely Folklore and Fairy Tales group, and this autumn we're playing around with the idea of the sea. Or bodies of water. Watery things, anyway. Mostly we read water-themed stuff, and create water-themed items, but I thought what the heck, maybe we should have some watery music.

First up I'm going to give you part one of Edward Elgar's Sea Pictures. I'd never heard of the singer before, and the video is maybe a little awkward, but I think she sounds great.

Here are the words to Sea Slumber Song, the first song in the cycle. If you're really ambitious, the cycle is actually written for mezzo and orchestra, and there are plenty of orchestral versions on the youtube.

You can't get watery without Die Schone Mullerin (I'm sorry, I don't know how to to do umlauts! Picture them over the O and the U) with the brook burbling through the piano parts. And you can't do Die Schone Mullerin without Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, so here he is:

And then, of course, pirates. The tarantella starts at about :57.

More watery tunes to come!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I made a pair of Evenstar Gloves. I will admit that I kind of on principle stay away from the 'themed' sort of pattern. I don't know, there's something about patterns named after Lord of the Rings or Dr Who or whatever stuff that makes me feel a little bit embarrassed for everyone concerned. (Yes, this from a woman who knit an Infinity Gauntlet. I don't claim to make sense. I'm just telling you how I feel.)

However. These mitts are so pretty, and they have that fun wrap stitch, and I can't resist a good wrap stitch, and I had this blue dk yarn . . . so I decided to make a pair for a gift.

And then they turned out to be so perfect, and I love the way the subtle variations in the yarn work in the cables, and, well, I'm keeping them.

Keeping them is truly a sign of how much I like these, because besides the whole embarrassed thing, I'm not really a fan of long mitts. I have sworn to wear them a lot this winter, because if I don't, then I do have to give them away. They cannot be allowed to languish in a drawer waiting for Aragorn to come back . . . oh crap.

On the other hand, if they could perhaps lure Viggo Mortensen to my doorstep, I'd be more than ok with that.