Archive for February, 2007

Caught by the Fuzz

I was working on this theory that if I could knit one project to felt every two weeks, it would motivate me to get to the laundromat every two weeks. Because y’all, I hate hate HATE going to the laundromat. I swear, every two weeks I have to go through all five stages before I can finally haul my ass down to the mat (because, you know, "the mat" is what all the cool kids are calling it these days).

Stage One: Denial ("Laundry? What Laundry?")

Stage Two: Anger ("Life is so unfair! Why can’t I be rich enough to just throw my clothes away after I wear them and buy new ones! The Universe hates me!")

Stage Three: Bargaining ("If I [do the dishes, sweep, vacuum, clean out the catbox really good, scrub the toilet, bleach the bathtub] then I won’t have to go do laundry tonight.")

Stage Four: Depression ("Doom! Despair! Agony! Three flights of stairs… heavy hampers… If I wasn’t so fat, my clothes wouldn’t be so HEAVY!")

Stage Five: Acceptance ("Damn, I’ve worn every piece of clothing I’ve owned since high school twice. Including the dry clean only stuff. Bob? Have you seen my keys?")

Really, having something to felt does make the whole thing more exciting. Instead of just getting clean clothes (which are better than dirty clothes, but still not very fun), I get a brand new usable object. That’s about as exciting as laundromats will ever be, unless someone decides to open up a yarn store/laundromat. (Actually, that’s a great idea! Somebody work on that!)

The problem with my plan turned out to be that if you don’t finish knitting on the item you’re wanting to felt, it gives you one more excuse to avoid the whole ordeal. Which means that I’ve been putting off finishing the second Fuzzyfoot so that I wouldn’t have to go to the laundromat, even though I knew that I was getting seriously low on clothes. Second Sock Syndrome + Avoid the Laundryitis = No Clean Clothes, No Fuzzyfeet, and No Friends (because no one will keep hanging out with you once you start to stink.)

Somehow, I overcame all that adversity, and now I have clean clothes AND fuzzy feet AND friends! It’s amazing what soap and water can accomplish for you, if you’ll only let it!

Fuzzy2

The vitals:

Pattern: Fuzzyfeet from Knitty

Yarn
: Leftover Lamb’s Pride Worsted in Limeade and Lemon Drop (I think.)

Needles: Brittany wooden DPN’s, size 10 1/2. I always feel safe from vampire attacks when I use these. And I’ve always harbored a secret desire to plunge a stake into something/someone.

Watched While Knitting: If you’re really interested you should be listening to my podcast, but just in case, I watched Robin Hood: Men in Tights for the first time for the first sock, and finished the second one during Jacob’s Ladder.

Final Thoughts: I like them. They’re soft and warm and not itchy for me, despite the mohair content. I probably won’t be making another pair anytime soon, because to make sure they didn’t shrink too much I only ran them through one cycle at the Mat, and finished the job in my kitchen sink. I really hate felting by hand. If you’ve never done it before (lucky!), let me sum up the experience for you: rubber gloves, hot water, cold water, and somewhere between 30 minutes and an hour of rubbing. Ugh. Not my definition of fun.

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A Tale of Two Scarves

Guess what I finished this week?

Bonnetscarf2_1

None other than the Grown Up Bonnet Scarf from Knit 2 Together by Tracey Ullman and Mel Clarke! I used the recommended yarn, which is a really lovely blend of wool and alpaca from Blue Sky Alpaca. (The same I used when I made the fingerless mitts for Mylea the blogless.) The yarn is pricey, but a joy to knit with. You can’t really see it in the skein, but knit up the yarn shows a very subtle hint of variegation, and the thickness of it made this a fairly quick project.

Generally speaking, I like the bonnet and it will probably get quite a bit of wear, but it is no Clapotis. In terms of keeping my body warm and toasty from the neck up, I don’t think anything could match the silky softness of my Clap.

Guess what else I finished this week?
Wkscarf2_1

Pattern: Lopi Lace Scarf from Weekend Knitting. I love that book. I’ve had it almost since I first started knitting, and the fact that it is losing its spine is a testament to how much it’s been used and enjoyed.

Yarn: Noro Silk Garden, I don’t know what colorway. Noro is so obnoxious to work with sometimes- the 2 knot per skein minimum, little bits of the farm, and skeins that never really match. I used two skeins for this scarf, and ended up having to cut out three big chunks of the second skein because it had 3 colors that weren’t in the first skein at all. Why do I keep buying this stuff? More importantly, why aren’t there any less problematic yarns with the same slow, beautiful color changes? This is what motivates me to learn to dye and spin….

Needles: wooden Brittany DPN’s that I converted into short straight needles by using point protectors, US size 10 1/2

Final Thoughts: You know, I really had no plans to use this scarf on account of the fact that Silk Garden has a very high mohair content, and I usually can’t use mohair up against my skin. To my surprise, a good blocking not only opened up the pretty lace holes, but also seems to have taken most of the itch out. I finished it on Wednesday and I’ve worn it every day since, and so far haven’t had any itchy problems. It’s a good thing, because it really is a very bright, pretty scarf that is fun to wear.

The second episode of Film and Fiber should be available sometime this morning, so go check it out if you haven’t already!

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First Podcast is Up!

So, I just finished recording and publishing the first episode of my new podcast, Film and Fiber. The show covers my two favorite subjects- knitting and movies. It still hasn’t been added to Itunes or anything, so if you want to listen to it (and you’re my friends so you at least feel obligated to listen to it, right?) your best bet would be to download it directly from http://www.filmandfiber.com .

By the way, I miss you Sophie’s people! Somebody email me and let me in on all the tantalizing gossip and juicy drama!

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Just when you least expect it…

Lately, my dishes seem to be going straight from the sink to dishwasher and back to the sink, which leaves a lot of empty space where plates and bowls used to be. You know what?

Louiecabinet2

Louiecabinet_1

Louie doesn’t mind at all.

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Happy Birthday To Me!

Birthdayyarn

  1. Berroco Cotton Twist. Last skein in the store, and on clearance for less than two bucks! Sweet!
  2. Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted, for the Grown Up Bonnet Scarf that I started quite a while ago.
  3. Schaeffer Anne, which is a laceweight wool/mohair blend, in a simply beautiful blend of pinks and purples. It’s like it was personally dyed for me.
  4. Noro Silk Garden, which is growing up to be the Lite Lopi scarf from Weekend Knitting.
    Wkscarf1

5. And the big finish: Scaeffer Laurel that was named after one of my heroes- Shari  Lewis! It’s such a fun, bright colorway, and I think it’s going to become my summer Clapotis. Shari

      

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Strawberry Fields Forever

Strawberry2

Just what everyone needs… a tiny purse that looks like a strawberry!

Pattern: Strawberry Clutch from the Spring 2007 issue of Knitscene

Yarn: Lamb’s Pride Bulky (and some double stranded Worsted) in Red Baron, Christmas Green, and Lemon Drop. The main part of purse took less than a skein of Bulky, and I would imagine that the green at the top could be done with less than half.

Needles: Trusty old Denise Circular Needles, US 13. Handy because after you knit the top of the strawberry, you leave the "stem" stitches live so you can graft them with the other half at the end. Using the Denise needles meant I didn’t have to rummage around for a stitch holder.

Watched While Knitting: The Sopranos, end of Season 1 and beginning of Season 2. Also the first couple episodes of Wonderfalls, which is a very cute show that the Destroyer of All Good TV Fox cancelled after just a few ‘sodes.

Final Thoughts: If you enjoy doing lots of intarsia and duplicate stitch, this may be the perfect project for you. Since I don’t find either of those too activities incredibly appealing, it was definitely not the perfect project for me. Theoretically, I could have knit the little yellow seeds on while I was knitting the bag instead of duplicate stitching them on afterwards, but the spacing of the seeds rendered them too far apart from one another to happily carry the yarn. It would have been intarsia for every stitch, meaning I would essentially have been using a new lenght of yarn for every little one stitch seed. Not thanks!

Elizabeth Zimmerman, in all her wisdom, recommends choosing Fair Isle patterns with no more than five stitches in between color changes, and there are good reasons for this. If you haven’t read Knitting Without Tears, I would suggest checking into it.

In the end, I’ve managed to create a teeny-tiny strawberry shaped bag that I will probably barely use. If you want it, let me know. I’d be happy to sell it, or hell, I’d probably be willing to give it away if it’s for a good cause.

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It’s My Birthday!! (almost)

Feb2007

It’s almost 9 in the morning, and I’m sitting in front of my computer wearing slippers and an extra stylish teddy bear nightgown. How awesome is that? My birthday is Monday so I decided to take a nice extended weekend for myself. I haven’t made any plans except yarn shopping, knitting, and generally lazing about, which is basically my idea of the perfect weekend. Over the last 22 years, I’ve decided that birthday parties are highly overrated, but in the past I’ve felt kind of obligated to try to throw some kind of gathering together anyway. This years, I’ve decided to give myself the best birthday present ever: no party to worry about! Woohoo! (Don’t worry, I also plan on giving myself copious amounts of yarn.)

Knitting is going S-L-O-W. I’m still working on the toe-up socks, the strawberry purse, and the Agent Orange Vest. I’m sort of running out of steam on the vest, especially since I had a big change in gauge somewhere in between swatching on vest knitting. (swatch: 4 st/in. vest: 4.5 or 5 st/in.) I intended this vest to be done in the month of February, so I could get some where out of it this year. Therefore, I was going for about a 50" bust. If I keep knitting it as is, the resulting vest will be about 6 inches smaller. Yeesh.

Since I’m losing weight, it would probably be okay to keep going, but I definitely won’t be able to wear it this year, so is there really a point to hurrying this project through the queue? Probably not. Do I even care what happens to the yarn at this point? Not so much.

The Strawberry Purse should be finished and felted today, so at least that’s over with. It has definitely not been a fun project. I cast on for it on a whim, because I was depressed about the whole CPH thing, but if I would have realized how much work it would end up being, I’m sure I wouldn’t have bothered. I’ll explain more about why the bag was such a pain when I post pictures tonight and give the final breakdown.

Since my current WIPs are so unsatisfying at the moment, my my mind has been straying to other things I want to put on my needles. First and foremost is the Sunrise Circle Jacket. I’m obsessed with the thing. I stayed up late last night perusing the now closed Sunrise Circle Jacket KAL. So many beautiful options! I tried getting gauge with the Agent Orange yarn, but it’s just not bulky enough to give the fabric the proper amount of firmness. Besides, that yarn is totally cursed and I don’t want it coming anywhere near this project!

I’m thinking I want to use a yarn with long color repeats, like Noro Kureyon, or perhaps SWTC Karaoke, but I’m worried that the fabric may still be too drapey. Other people have used both yarns though, and their jackets look fine. Beautiful, even. Am I overthinking this?
 

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