Archive for March, 2006

cable redux

Friday, March 31st, 2006

i ripped the cable back and am reworking the part i did wrong. i didn’t have to pull the whole thing out, thank heavens. i think that really truly i am on my way with it now. and yes, debbie, for the time being, i have re-dedicated myself to reading this, and all patterns, more carefully (eyes rolling). will ya stop with the comments now? sheesh.

i have been reading Yarn Harlot’s book here and there. i think this would be a good book for teachers to recommend to students.

it is full of helpful tips that one picks up over a lifetime of knitting, that you might never find in a knitting “how-to” book. this book is more akin to one of those handy household hints books, that tell you how to mend things on the fly, make fifty cents stretch to a dollar, and serve it all up with style. sometimes a purely technical book is not enough for new knitters; they need reassurance and encouragement to solve problems on their own, go with their instincts, and try new things.
i also like the recipes; often one finds oneself between projects with one or two balls of yarn and no inspiration. that’s a good time to cast on socks, a scarf, or a hat to get ahead on the end-of-year gift stash. with this book, you will not have to look for a pattern to fit a particular yarn; the recipes are very general and can be changed to suit what you have around the house. this is a very practical (and of course funny!) book for anyone to have.

elsewhere, i have been spinning and plying. look at this scrumptious plumbrown yarn

i like. some of it is sock weight and some is closer to DK. and i still have some more of this fiber to spin. BTW, spin-off magazine has a good article in the new issue about spinning sock yarn. also some really nice scarves.
i took a break from the plum and went to the irish wool:

now, hollie’s wool is usually coarse, but this one is very soft and fine; must be lamb. i know the color is a little garish, but being green dyed over brown wool, i think it will wash up nice; maybe losing some of that color. though, once it’s spun, it really doesn’t look so . . . green. make that greeny.

this post has no direction . . .

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

the cable sweater needs to sit in the time-out chair today.

no new pictures of the cable. i still need to rip it back and re-do; i still can’t believe i did it wrong again . . . that’s what i get for knitting in front of the computer.

well, i just couldn’t keep my hands off the trekking XXL this week. i started those socks over last weekend, right after i brought home the yarn. i hadn’t knit with commercial sock yarn in several years, but i was curious to know what all the fuss was about. and i’m here to tell you, the fuss is well-deserved; this yarn is a pleasure to knit with both in the hand and to the eye. in fact, i think everybody in my class went home with at least one ball after feeling up my leg.

here sock #1; my one teensy-tiny criticism would be the torqueing i am getting on the ribbed cuff. i am hoping that will straighten out after washing. anybody have any input on that?

it’s an absolutely gorgeous day, so i took them outside to photograph. sunlight just does SUCH a better job for pictures than indoor light!
and a shot of my short-row heel for Persnickety Knitter.

she is going to do a research project of sorts on sock heels. go read her blog.

i also knit just a few rows on the holly sock (hmm i like that name!).

like i said, just a few rows. i might just be trying to see how sloowwlly i can knit this one . . . it’s called holly because that’s supposedly the color of the yarn; one of the 1980s colors.

while i was rooting around in my yarn closet yesterday, i decided to check on my UFOs. (persnickety’s query about moths made me a little nervous; thought i should check. phew, no moths) i only have four truly unfinished objects. one is a wrap i made for our wedding. after the wedding, i took out all the bind-offs so i could add on to it (why? i can’t remember). then, for some reason, i never did the work! honestly, i can’t remember why (maybe it was missing something and i just didn’t know what). and it’s a gorgeous wrap of K1C2 richesse et soie and douceur et soie. it’s practically edible.

we got married over thanksgiving weekend and it was my outerwear for the event (i also made the top to my outfit; if you beg me in comments, i’ll show pix. heehee!). i think we went to work out of town for a year right after that, and several projects got put aside. like this one

this is another wrap from that time. i am always cold, and i am fond of wrapping wool around myself to keep warm. not just shawls, but i have a few sarongs as well, which i wrap around my hips right over whatever clothes i am wearing (it works!). this is one that literally needs only a few more rows and some leather ties, as i remember! can you imagine that i abandoned it? but i think our plans changed, literally, overnite and we had to pack and get to a jobsite. my big projects just got left in the dust, i guess. i was planning on fulling it a little after the knit stage is done; not sure it really needs it though . . .

and then there is this one.

this one is more complicated. it’s a shawl based on a pattern from one of the modern lace knitting books by mariane kinzel (maybe rose garden? not sure). it’s knit with a laceweight wool yarn meant for weaving (as in forstmann wool for weaving coat fabric). i was working on this up until a very painful and disruptive series of events in 1996. i put it away and never really thought seriously about finishing it.
til yesterday. i’m warming to the idea . . . i mean, it’s pretty! and delicate. hmm. we’ll see.

the fourth UFO is a pine green zip-front sweater that i like. i think i have 2 sleeves done and maybe the back. i can’t think of one thing that went wrong or that i did not like. the only thing i can think of, is that, as i neared the encounter with stitching in the zipper and making a short-row shawl collar, i got scared-off. that’s how old this is; i still had enough wits to be awed by untried knitting territory!

maybe that’s what happens when you leave something long enough. you mature, and the stuff that scared you earlier just doesn’t have the same grip on you any more.

what’s behind door #3?

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006

let me start by saying that my husband understands me. no, i mean, he really gets me; he loves that i love what i love.
in our new york city apartment, my stash was was actually stashes, and they lived all over the place. some were packed in boxes in a closet while others were secreted in an old dresser. but that wasn’t all—bags of yarn were stuffed into hidey holes throughout the apartment and were likely to pop out of any odd crevice at any time.
he never said a word about it. he never questions the bags i bring home from the yarn store or the fiber fairs. he understands that, after 42 years, my fiber stash is not going anywhere. he embraces my stash, even.

a few years back, we got this idea to move away from new york to pursue a more sane existence. david had always dreamed of renovating a house, and refurbishing our apartment has just not been satisfying enough. so we bought this:

it’s approximately 3 times larger than our apartment was, and we call it the money pit mr. blandings dream house F$^&&**%# er, let’s just say we call it our “previously unloved” home. david tried to sell me on it by saying, “you can put a lot of yarn in a house like that.” yeah. well, i wasn’t sure the house was good enough for my yarn collection, but i bit.

when we moved into this extremely neglected home (for starters, did you notice that the front-facing windows don’t even match?? and don’t even get me started on those porch doors.), one of the first things we did (after fixing up one room in which we could sleep) was to get the knitting stuff organized. we know our priorities; i’d been kvetching for weeks about not being able to find some knitting needles.
of course, it could partly have been david’s plan to keep me busy and happy with knitting in order to distract me from just HOW MUCH needed to be fixed around here. yeah, come to think of it, that could definitely be the case.

(this is our third-floor bathroom at the moment . . . in fact, the whole third floor looks like this right now.)

anyway, so we proceeded to fix up a workroom for me in one of second floor rooms. this room has four windows, a fireplace, and a nice closet that you can step completely into (though not really a walk-in closet). we looked at each other and simultaneously said, “yarn closet.”

and then i went away to start getting my yarn organized. i find that leaving david to his own devices works really well for this type of task. he’s quite excellent at creating storage solutions (chalk one up for apartment dwellers).

i wanted to finally be able to see all my yarn, and to have only one yarn per box if possible. i knew that if the yarn continued to be stuffed together into large bins, i would continue to forget about the ones at the bottom of the box. i went out and bought clear plastic storage boxes in two sizes: shoebox and sweater box. i came home and filled them with yarn. then i went out and bought twice as many MORE clear storage boxes. and yes, a third and fourth trip were also necessary, mainly because big lots eventually could not supply me with all i needed. i took the opportunity to sort, and get rid of, yarn i knew i would not knit. i was ruthless.

meanwhile david measured the closet carefully. he lined it completely with cedar (i told you he gets me; i had long dreamed of cedar closets . . .). he measured the boxes and put in floor-to-ceiling shelving on which the boxes fit perfectly. not an inch was wasted. when i put the boxes in, there was even space left over!

you can’t see the “space left over” now. that’s because it doesn’t exist any more.
not because i went crazy and started buying everything at the yarn store. actually, i don’t buy that much yarn; my problem is more one of longevity, and so much of my stash is . . . well . . . let’s say “vintage”.

anyway, i digress. the reason my stash continues to grow is that i started spinning (against my will, i might remind you). the yarn just multiplies exponentially, the more fascinated i become with spinning. now the closet looks like this

but, i have plans for it. BIG plans . . .
but for the meantime, and for tomorrow, i might talk about specific yarns in my closet. or, we might have an interview. stay tuned.

newest pod people

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006

WOW! knitting podcasts are multiplying like . . . well, like stash! a number new podcasts hit the internet this last week or two and all are in iTunes:

Irie Knits
It’s a Purl, Man
Stitch-Cast
knitcentric.libsyn.com
KnitterGail
Knitting Psychos
Pixie Purls Podcast

these are all so new that they have only one or two episodes under their belts. so, i’m gonna wait a few weeks to do another podcast roundup. that way, everyone can work out the kinks of their show, and i’ll have time to get the flavor of each podcast. if anyone out there knows of another podcast or someone who is doing a podcast, please email me using the link in my sidebar!