Friday, January 02, 2009

And You Thought I'd Given Up on This!

Nay, not I, sirs and mesdames! Still knitting, still blogging.

I've been writing the last few months, but less and less for the blogs. However, I'm going to attempt to blog more regularly (every 10 days or so), just to keep in blogging mode.

I'm almost finished with my second booty - I was distracted with canning, and hanging out with friends and poets, when I was first laid off, so the second booty was a long time in coming. And then, after I started it, I had to put it down for holiday knitting. Crap, I just realized I didn't take a photo of one of my knitted Xmas gifts. Well, it was just a garter st scarf out of a nice art-type yarn, about 800 ft long (a wee exaggeration, okay?). You'll just have to believe me on this one.

I also started my first "Hemlock Ring Blanket", the legendary project launched by Jared Flood. If you join the Yahoo! group, you'll find a very clear pdf of the destructions. Some folks have had difficulty following it, but I found it clear and easy to use. I've had no trouble with it, and I'm glad I let braver, younger souls knit it up and work out the bugs, kinks, and other difficulties. (The group is free - join up if you want to knit this project!) Anyway, I'm 20 rounds away from the short version still, but I'm hoping mayhap by next weekend it will be done. If I can bear the way it looks when it's blocked, it will be an Xmas gift. I'm using a chocolate-colored version of Cascade Yarns eco-wool - I do love the color. I hope my knitting will do it justice! Knitting lace in such a huge gauge makes me nervous; I'm used to that super fine stuff.

I also am knitting up another set of "Gorilla My Dreams" wristwarmers for a friend and former coworker. She liked the pair I made myself, but said she'd prefer browns, greys, etc. So I found some PEP print in those colors, and purchased it to make her a set. In the process of knitting them up, I posted an entry on my non-knitting blog about the special handmade gifts I was giving folks this year, namely taxidermy gone bad. That was a joke - but I realized that the wrist warmers I was knitting up looked like dead kittens, so I'll be giving at least one bad taxidermy-ish gift this holiday season. See, I'm not a liar after all!

I also started two versions of the Manly Lace scarf, one in a sock yarn from KnitPicks, and one in some old Sirdar dk I had laying around. I'm hoping that, when these are finished, that the men I give them to won't think I'm giving them something less than manly. It is a fun pattern to knit up, though, easy to remember and looks lovely. The first photo captures the colorway (knitpicks yarn) fairly accurately; the second photo shows up the pattern; dear readers, you can let me know if it's manly lace or not.

I began a lovely set of wrist warmers from Spincycle made from their BFL - and it's a lovely, silky BFL that they're using. A gorgeous color, too. Not cheap, but so incredibly pleasurable to knit up! I should have added it to my stash, but I'm embarrased to be knitting up new yarns when I've a century and half worth of stash. In fact, embarrasing to admit, of all the things I've been working on recently, only the Fidget and the Sirdar Manly Lace are from yarn that I've had for more than six months. (The photo doesn't capture the vibrancy of the yarn; the close-up made them brighter, but also faded the richness of the colors.)

I also whipped up a pair of wrist warmers last night from a ball of "Jolt" merino boucle I purchased from Pancake and Lulu on Etsy. The colors are gorgeous - it was a dream to knit up, a lovely, jewel-toned, squishy dream come true. There was very little of it - silly me, I only purchased one ball - so I cast on 15 sts, knitted to 5.5 inches, and then did the same with the other end of the yarn. I ended up getting 6.5 inches, enough to sew up, leave a thumb hole opening, and have me a couple of quickie warmers. I'll provide the details in my next posting; I haven't sewn up the sides (I need to mark where the thumb opening will be). I'm hoping these will work for playing the piano at a friend's house; he keeps his place a bit cooler than I keep mine, and I'd like something super basic that will cover the hands without annoying the fingers one bit. If I'm successful, I'll let you know.

I'll be knitting up a swatch over the next couple of days - I found a nifty men's scarf in Nordstrom recently, nice design idea but super simple knitting (it would be a good project for a beginner - you get a switch up in pattern so you're not knitting five or six entire feet of garter st or stocking st or rib st). If the yarn works, I'll start knitting up and post the details, for anyone else who wants to duplicate an expensive scarf. Wish I could remember the designer's name on the label, but I don't. Apologies.

Once the throw is done, I'll be taking up the Saigon lace again. I'd like to get that finished. It's not that difficult, but the beads do take up time (always with the beads!).

Finally, I taught my friend Anton to knit. He rather pooh-poohed knitting as something not challenging until he spotted my lace charts. Being a mathematician, the idea of knitting being able to be charted, graphed, got him all kinds of excited. He knows the difference between Z twists and S twists, warp and weft knitting, he's charted his first chart using Mathematica, and last Saturday he came over, worked on his long-tail cast one, and worked a few rows of garter stitch. My first pupil* - and his knitting actually looked like knitting!

*(Okay, he's my second pupil if you count a woman I helped out at a writing workshop - she was having some sort of serious selvedge issue, I couldn't tell what she was doing wrong, but I suggested that she slip the first stitch of each row and that fixed it for her.)

Here's to more blogging and more knitting in 2009!
Play by FoxSaver®

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