Monday, August 25, 2008

Finished #1!

Finished the first of my "Spring Forward" socks. Have already cast on for the second and done about three rounds of ribbing. Amazing! :D

Pictures will come soon - I even took one of the sock laying on Boodie. Not that she was particularly happy about an impromptu "Stuff on My Cat"-style shoot, but whatev!

Socks Ahoy

I am really into socks right now (well, again). I had this gorgeous red/pink-themed sock yarn sitting around (it also has hints of grey/purple/blue/brown/orange, but it's mostly red) - and I don't actually remember where I got it from because evidently, at some point in time, I wound it into balls and then misplaced the band with all of the relevant information on it. I want to say it's a Kaffe Fassett yarn, but I could be wrong. Anyway, I finally decided to do something with them. We had a bit of a social gathering on Friday evening, and since I've been sick (I am finally feeling better!) I didn't want to do much but sit and knit. So I camped out by the snack table in the kitchen - where there was light - and began working on Spring Forward. By Saturday afternoon I had the heel turned and the gusset stitches picked up (most miraculously of all, I picked up exactly the right amount of stitches on each side - omg). I'm in the home stretch now, I just have to remeasure my foot to make sure that I knit to the right size. I have tried it on as I go and wonder of all wonders, it actually fits! And the lace looks pretty darn sweet! I'm excited about it.

To be honest, I felt a bit dull knitting and drinking tea while I was at a party. But there were a few folks there who weren't partaking of the usual party stuff either, and I had a good time chit-chatting with them and grooving to funk music while I got used to the lace pattern. I can totally see myself doing that again. I might earn myself a reputation as a fibre-obsessed weirdo, but I'm quite alright with that.

So here are some more socks I'm desperate to try:

Diamond Waffle
Broad Ripple

As an aside, I'm desperate to try some of Anne Hanson's lace. Her work is so amazing and intricate and beautiful, and though I know it would take me a thousand years to make a shawl, I just want to get out there and knit it!

In other WIP news, Eloping is going swimmingly. I popped by the LYS on Saturday afternoon and bought some sock yarn for Ben's socks (Jo's beau) - I got Brown Sheep Company Wildfoote in a very manly black-grey. I did drool (not literally) over the rest of the sock yarn in the sock room, but I'll save that for later (if anyone wants to get me 100g of Noro sock yarn, though, you're more than welcome... haha). Anyway, while I was checking out I showed off my progress and confessed that I have no idea how to block. The ladies, as ever, were quite helpful and told me all I need to know. Can you believe that the first time I ever stepped foot into Handheld I felt intimidated and like I wouldn't really ever go back because I had no idea what I was doing? HA! I love the place now. Had I more cash I'd be in there every week!

Alright, I have a sock to finish, and yes, a second sock to cast on immediately. If I'm lucky I'll have a pair to show off by the end of the week! Adios!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

WIP: Eloping

Back to "Eloping": I now have the "progress" part of "work in progress"! Yesterday I paid a visit to my lovely LYS (Handheld) and picked up a skein of Crystal Palace Panda Silk (in Denim, though it fits the bill for Jo's preference of light blue). I also scored four back issues of "Knit Simple" for fifty cents apiece (I'm so happy about it, you have no idea), and sought advice about how to properly make use of my swift and ball winder as I was concerned that I might be stretching out my yarn. (Joy is a blessing and a fount of knowledge - thankyou for your help!)

Practicing the lace pattern for the garter was another issue altogether. I had to look up how to do a yo before a purl stitch (it's the little things that trip you up, isn't it?), but once I got that sorted out, I managed to find my way through the pattern. It helps that it's only a four-row repeat. Also, weirdly, I can follow the written instructions a lot better than the chart, and usually I'm a chart person. Whatever works, I say. So far I'm practicing with mercerized cotton on slightly bigger needles than the 3.25mm ones called for in the pattern before I get going with the Panda Silk. It's tricky and I have to announce the stitches to myself before I do each one, but I had to do that for the Lacy Hug-Me-Tight lace, too, until I got the hang of it. I'm getting there.

Photos soon! I actually bought batteries for my camera today, so I hope to start posting pictures again.

Back to knitting!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

So-Called Scarf: Take Two

So, I made some kind of mistake while knitting on the My So-Called Scarf... and since I can easily repair mistakes and dropped stitches in stockinette but not in slip-stitch or lace knitting, I just sighed and tore it back, wound back my yarn, and picked out a different set of needles. Yes, the fabric was stable and sturdy, but it was a little too thick for my liking, so I decided to try again on size 13s. So far, so good... knock on wood.

In weekend movie rental news, we watched "The Eye" (Jessica Alba U.S. remake) - not bad, not as scary as I thought it would be but still a little unnerving, with a decent ending and completely unfathomable music over the end credits; "Doomsday" - a crazy post-apocalyptic pastiche, borrowing bits and pieces from "Mad Max 2", "28 Days Later", and "Gladiator". It is bizarre, action-packed, badass, and totally unashamedly glorious. It's gory and explicit in parts, but a fun thrillride nonetheless.

Right now, we're watching "In Bruges", which came highly recommended from my friend Pierce. Still formulating my thoughts on it, since it's not yet over. But I'm enjoying it. The scenery and filming is beautiful, and I love a movie where the dialogue is jam-packed with swearwords!

Speaking of movies, I've been holding out for a two-movie repackaging of "Grindhouse" - "Planet Terror" and "Death Proof". I really thought they'd sell both of them in one awesome set, but as of now, they're still sold seperately (except overseas, and my all-region DVD player gave up working about six months ago). I really loved "Death Proof" and watch it whenever it's on TV. It's a great knitting-to film (I believe I even mentioned in a post a few months back). Some people take issue with the wordiness of Quentin Tarrantino's dialogue, but I rather enjoy it. I also like watching a movie where the ladyfolks are talking about stuff other than fashion and shoes. (The more I watch "Planet Terror", the more I enjoy it, too. Just "Death Proof" was my favourite of the two from the start.)

Alright, enough chatter, back to knitting! I want to get this scarf finished sometime before fall... and note to self, go to LYS tomorrow to get yarn for Jo's garter, so I can have that done and mailed off sometime before their first wedding anniversary!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Mindless Knitting Corner

My husband asked me to make a scarf, and I was toying with a textured stripe pattern (seed stitch for an inch, stockinette for an inch), thinking that balancing out the stockinette with something else might prevent the usual curling effect you get with stockinette... either I'm too impatient for blocking or it was never going to work! So I went on the hunt for other stitch patterns that would be ever-so-slightly fancy, yet understated. Since I've been on Ravelry lately, I checked out my queue and found the My So-Called Scarf from ImagiKnit. At first, not having looked at the pattern for a few months, I was a bit intimidated by the instructions - but I practiced for a while and eventually figured out what I was supposed to do. It creates a stable, herringbone-y sort of fabric, and already feels like it's going to be quite warm. Now it's a lovely bit of "mindless" knitting... perfect for my lunch break at work or while watching TV at night. Plus I'm really hoping to make one for myself in time for fall, and maybe use the stitch pattern to create squares for a totally sweet blanket. I'm using KnitPicks bulky Wool of the Andes on size 11 needles, so it's knitting up very cushy. Can't wait until I'm finished so I can do it in another colour!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Magazine goodness!

Bought two knitting mags at work today - "VOGUEknitting", fall 2008, and "Creative Knitting", September 2008. I'm already eyeing a slouchy beret with reverse stockinette ridges from the Vogue mag and there's a cool "Dolly and Me" pattern in Creative Knitting - a dress and hat for a little girl with matching items for her favourite dolly. It would be perfect for my little niece, T.! (I promised her I would make some blankets for her dollies, so I think this would put it a step above.) The difficult thing about living in the northern hemisphere is that by the time it would be practical to knit winter-y type things for my nephews and nieces - for Australian autumn/winter - it's just getting to spring and summertime for us, and I'm all about knitting with cotton or just not knitting much at all. I really have to get my arse in gear to figure this out before they're all pushing 20-years-old and don't want their dorky auntie to knit them anything anymore! (Especially not, say, a scarf that looks like a dragon. :P )

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Knit Musings

I feel like I spend a lot more time thinking about knitting and pining over yarn than I actually spend knitting! I always want to spend my evenings trying out a new pattern or designing, and sometimes I actually get there... but other nights, like tonight, I just sit and wish I had the money for, say, a skein of Koigu or other similar yarn (so I can make the beret I mentioned in yesterday's post), or I think about a Rolling Stones logo knitting chart I need to print or copy so I can make my friend Cassie a sweet beanie - though we haven't decided what kind of hat she'd like, maybe it would suit a beret style better with the logo in the front? And should I be worried about copyright infringement? (Yes, those are the thoughts that go through my head: design first, copyright second, haha.)

I think about the purse clasps I have and how I'd like to knit a little clutch to fit into the frame - but I don't know how to attach the knitting to the hardware. I think about hat designs and Christmas presents and the two new knitting magazines that are on the rack at work, but I can't buy them yet because I'm broke.

I think about the big box of Pewter-coloured, bulky Wool of the Andes I bought from KnitPicks when I was intent on making Cheesy Puffs for my father-in-law, but then winter fell through to spring and then spring gave way to the brain-meltingly hot summer, and the last thing I want to do is knit a sweater, so I've been using it in other projects, and I wish I didn't have so much grey because even though I love grey, I'd really like a blue or a red or something jewel-toned to create with right now, and even if I went back to the original sweater idea I a) don't have enough yarn left now anyway and b) I would have no idea how to modify the neckline how he wanted it!

I think about the cardigan pieces I have laying around from Christmas when I was knitting my mom-in-law a cardigan I have yet to sew together, because I was knitting with a slubby acrylic and I didn't think to include a selvage and anyway, the pieces got all big while I was kntting them so I don't really need a selvage, but how am I going to figure out where to do my seaming when the yarn is so big and fluffy?

And then I think about how much knitting-time I'm wasting thinking about the could-have-knits and should-have-knits when I could have been knitting... and lo and behold, it's time for bed already. And I was at work until 8pm. No wonder I feel like I never have time for knitting!

P.S.: Found this entrelac scarf tutorial today. Can't wait to get a few different colours of yarn and try this one out! I really want to master entrelac but it just seems so scary and difficult.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Knitting Magazine Rant!

I am a knitter. Because I knit, I buy knitting magazines - frequently. It doesn't matter if I'm not intending on making the items in the magazines right away, because I like to look at the pictures and be inspired, and I usually end up referring back to them when I do need a pattern for, say, a short-row clutch purse.

I understand that knitting and crochet are linked - both are yarn craft, using a tool or two by hand. I also understand that a little bit of crochet has its use in the world of knitting: stabilising a neckband, adding a bit of detail, picking up a dropped stitch with a crochet hook, etc. I am not upset that the two go together.

What does tick me off is when a knitting magazine features a pattern - one, sometimes more - that is comprised entirely of crochet! Like the most recent issue of "KnitScene", where a pretty little hoodie is all crochet. I was looking at it with much enthusiasm until I realised that one needs crochet skills to craft said hoodie. I don't crochet.

I haven't much experience with the world of crochet magazines, but I imagine they don't feature knitting patterns... because their craft is crochet. Is it too much to ask that knitting magazines stick to knitting patterns?!

Ok, not much of a rant, but seriously. Knitting magazine: all knitting. Crochet magazine: all crochet. Just for the knitting-only crafters' sanity! Please!

P.S.: Can't wait to make this beret I found at! It looks totally sweet.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Cute Corner: Apple Sweater!

Courtesy of "I Think I'm Gonna Purl" (what a great blog name!), a pattern for an Apple Sweater! I really can't wait to make this :)

Works In Progress Update: I have several repeats of the Lacy Hug-Me-Tight lace done, finally! After putting "knit on G.'s shrug" on my weekly to-do list for about two months, I finally got somewhere. The last time I attempted the lace I dropped a bunch of stitches and couldn't figure out how to fix my mistakes, so I was procrastinating somewhat... I was scared I would eff it up again. I have been hypervigilant this time! Cross fingers, knock on wood, etc. I am putting the lace aside for the next week or so until I can get some measurements and best figure out how to modify the length of the shrug to fit my friend.

I am also working on a fun, not-so-difficult project - a scarf for my husband. He actually requested one - I didn't think he would wear one but I'm only too happy to oblige. All he wants is for it to be wide, so I'm doing textured stripes - a stripe of seed stitch, a stripe of stockinette, etc. It's a nice relaxing project.

Okay, I've been up way too late already (my work had a new release party for Stephenie Meyer's "Breaking Dawn", and I got to help out with the festivities!), so ciao, knitters!