Archive for November, 2008

i love this hat

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

is it wrong to tell everyone that i love something i made? i know it’s not necessarily socially acceptable except in the company of other knitters, but is it really wrong?
because i do like this hat so much. maybe even as much as i like the matching mitts.

please excuse the self-executed photos—i just couldn’t get david out of bed for this today.

right now i’m calling this set lacunae, which is a really cool word i learned in college. my first year, i went to a nursing program (i know—long story, but suffice it to say that though i loved the book work and the patients immensely, fitting into a hospital hierarchy in the 70s was not meant to be) and one of my favorite subjects was anatomy and physiology. this is just one word i learned in that class that i’ve always remembered—i love the way it rolls off the tongue and how it sounds so much like what it is. it’s one of those words that you can guess the meaning of just from listening to it pronounced slowly. i think of lacunae as little space cocoons.

which is what this knit fabric is

yum; i can’t wait to wear them.

i also finished the second spiraluscious mitt and it’s been soaked and dried

what a difference from this, eh? never underestimate the power of blocking for putting a nice finish on a knit item. have i showed you the back of the glove lately?

so we are all set except for some nice pictures.
and ps, i think i’m going to keep that sock i was obsessing about yesterday. i might knit it up in another yarn for the actual pattern photos, too. we’ll see . . .

ok, i hate to cut this short, but my cousin just called and we decided to meet at the art museum in a little bit, so i’m gonna dash. hopefully, there will be something bloggable going on there.

a little local color and too much food

Friday, November 28th, 2008

i hope everyone had a marvelous holiday, as we did here.
i’m full, how about you? we’re eating a LOT more often here than we ever do at home; it’s always a bit of a jolt for us to be on someone else’s eating and sleeping schedule. we conduct ourselves like feral animals at home when it comes to those activities—stopping to eat only when we’re very hungry and sleeping when we can’t keep our eyes open any more.

please excuse my absence for the last few days; i’ve been knitting and taking photos and even getting on the computer once in a while, but almost every time i’m ready to blog, i have to get off the computer to do something else. i even went shopping! i bought a new winter jacket, which has been on my to-do list for over a year, but since i dread shopping i never got around to buying one. and y’know how long it took? about 10 minutes. i really should just do these things instead of thinking about doing them . . .

anyway, enough chatter—i mentioned knitting and knitting we shall have.

i knit another warm hat in the car on the way from ohio while david took his turn driving; i changed the stitch pattern ever so slightly, but i like this one better. i’ll try for a better photo another day. tonight i’ll knit a second mitten to go with the first and then we’ll have a set.

yesterday i worked on the second spiraluscious mitt while we visited with my aunt who came for dinner, and then later while watching old movies—cheaper by the dozen (the original, with myrna loy and clifton webb) and yours, mine, and ours, (again, the original with lucille ball and henry fonda). AMC was running an evening of movies with family themes.

anyway, over the course of the day i took it from that to this

(sorry about the lighting on this one; it got dark today before i knew it). i soaked it during dinner this evening and it’s drying near a heat vent now . . i’m hoping to get some good photos before we leave on sunday. the pattern is all set to go, so i just need to add a nice picture and we can release it monday if everything falls into place.

i started a hat to match those lacunae mitts i knit before i left home. i’m planning on getting pretty far along with the hat tonight. i’m actually hoping to finish it but we’ll see—my mom is talking about going to another store . . .

i’ve also been working on some new socks but i’m doing it in fits and starts because i’m just not sure i’m doing the right thing with the right yarn.

here’s my dilemma: i love the yarn cuz it’s soft and cozy. i love the stitch because i feel it echoes the squooshy quality of the yarn with it’s round contours, making it even more cozy looking.

but i just can’t tell if the striping of the yarn gets in the way or not. i can see the patterning perfectly well, but i keep feeling that it might be better in a nearly-solid yarn (like maybe this red cashmere/merino sock yarn for a nice collaboration with roxanne??).

and then, i’m far enough along with this sock that i sorta don’t wanna rip it out. but i think i’m going to . . i need to find a soft, wavy pattern for the striping yarn.
ok, i think that’s settled then (so glad we are talking this out—i’ve been on the fence for days and i just now made a decision that took all of ten minutes)

while i mulled that over, i started another sock that i’m not all that happy with either (geesh).

now, let me be clear—i love the yarn. it’s luster sox, a fine, smooth, firmly-spun BFL yarn from mona and stephanie at dye dreams. its just the yarn for a sleek, smooth dress sock.

however, i was trying it out for the lacunae sock (to match the mitts and hat above), and i’m struggling . . . the stitch pattern isn’t that much fun in a fine, smooth sock yarn like this. it works fine in bigger yarn on bigger needles and i feel that maybe changing to a smooshier, fatter sock yarn might make a difference. also, the stitch pattern looks lax and insubstantial in this yarn, so, again, i think a tighter-twist, softer fiber yarn will bring it to life.

i need something woolier and poofier to get that same look that the mitts have. the luster sox will be a great yarn for an elegant, lace trouser sock, so i’m putting it back in the queue but earmarking it as next in line.

so, what to use instead? i have some STR here. and i’m sure i have several other choices at home, including some sweet sox, but not with me. aw, heck, i should just get started with the STR, right?
time’s a-wastin’.

for the rest of the weekend i’ll be working on getting the mates for the lacunae mitts and the warm mittens on the needles so i can work on those during the trip back to ohio (when i’m not driving). then when i return to my desk i’ll have a number of patterns to write up.

in travel news, today we went to the cemetery to visit family graves and place flowers nearby for the holidays (hence the opening photo). while we were there we explored the mausoleums a bit.

this is one of the larger tombs (mom added for scale).
though i didn’t look inside this one—many of them are open to the visiting public—i was fascinated by the look of the exterior, with its 24 columns on three sides. the area behind the building has a beautiful statue of an angel and has been set aside as a graveyard for children.

this was my very favorite—i just love the celtic knots on the double copper doors and the way the façade has a recessed cross shape around the entry. the building has no other openings except for one small, single window on the back wall

so i thought it would be very dark inside. but when i peeked in the front door i saw the opposite, actually

the simple white marble interior and stained glass amplify the incoming light to great effect

in another one, the opposite was true

this gorgeous window fills almost the entire back wall of the crypt it looks in on, opposite a large and elaborate door, but the dark stone inside creates a subdued subdued and eerie atmosphere.

it was too cold out there to stay all afternoon (why is it always so much colder at the cemetery than anywhere else?), but i wanted to; perhaps we’ll be back in the spring and we can take more time out there then.

my inner knitter is telling me it’s time to get needles and yarn in my hands, so off i go. i’ll try to be back before the weekend is over, but if not, then monday. see ya.

that’s a lotta projects . . .

Monday, November 24th, 2008

oh, the heartbreak of startitis (and the glee . . .)
this is purposeful startitis though; now i have plenty of small projects underway to bring on my trip this week. having them on the needles and a few rows in makes them so much easier to tote along. it will still take time to get all the patterns written up but i’ve been working on that too.

we are leaving for albany a day earlier than we originally planned because the weather for tuesday is looking better than the weather for wednesday. which means that now i have to pack and get organized this evening—probably good, since i’d almost surely cast on yet another project, given the time.

i honestly don’t know how many of these will get completed over the long weekend, but i’m hoping at least half of them will. i have several mitts there and a hat, which should require only a couple of hours each to finish off. my cabled scarf is a slow-moving project even when i devote whole evenings to it, but that’s ok; the comfort of holding it and the fun of working the cable outweigh the lack of speed.

i have one new sock which i’ll tell more about when i have a little bit more completed; another sock is all set for casting on, so i’ll probably just grab some yarn to take along for that in case i need it (you never know).

the newest thing i have underway is a mitt/hat/scarf set in the briar rose fourth of july yarn i showed a picture of the other day.

i swatched over and over to find just what i wanted for these pieces and i think i found it

it’s a rib pattern that has crossed stitches which looks perfectly non-eventful in it’s relaxed state

(excuse the horrid lighting—it’s been as dark as evening here all day and we had to add electric lights or the photos.)

almost homely, it is. but the when our lovely hand model anne marie donned the glove in class this morning it was transformed. we all ooohed and aaahhed as it opened up

what i like about it, besides that nice deep texture, is that the fabric is dense with a firm hand, which should keep it from losing its shape or letting the wind through. the little windows formed by the fabric will trap heat against the skin for a snuggly-warm feeling.

it’s a nice, neat look that anyone could wear, in a yarn weight that’s warm, but not too warm.

we had a nice moment in class this morning when susan finished her first sweater (actually, it needs a crochet edge, but all the knitting and seaming are done)

it’s a gift for her granddaughter, but susan says it gives her a big feeling of accomplishment, so it sounds as if she got a nice surprise from it too. isn’t it cute? it’s from the berocco comfort collection. she did a beautiful job, didn’t she? this is her first project with shaping and with seams and sizing, so there was a lot to keep track of.

well, the day is just zipping by (actually the whole month is, no?), and it looks like i have another class arriving in a few minutes so i’m signing off for now. next time we meet i’ll be in the capital district.

seemed like a good idea, but . . . no

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

i’ve continued to mess around with smaller knit objects over the last few days with mixed success. while i loved the spiraluscious mitt as i first planned it, i had this idea for a variation that also seemed worthy of a tryout. i thought that the flared cuff might not appeal to some and it occurred to me that if i switched the two edgings, that might solve the problem.

heh. uh-uh.

it’s so bad i just had to blog it. the top edge might smooth our after a good soak, but i’m surprised that putting the waterfall rib at the cuff is so UNappealing. it’s amazing how the same elements can add up to a completely different result just by shifting them around.

it took time to do it, but it’s not necessarily time wasted . . . it’s good to try things out, and some ideas just don’t come to life if you don’t knit them up. and then, i got my hands back into some of michelle’s smooshy sweet socks yarn for a little bit, reminding me that i promised my littlest niece a pair of socks just like david’s (she’s his new girlfriend) and i think she’d luuuv that colorway.

plus, that experiment makes the original version look so much better.

and actually, once it was blocked, the cuff is plenty snug at the base of the hand to provide that necessary shield against the cold; it only flares out a little down near the edging to provide a pretty balance.

once i had that resolved i wrote up the pattern and sent it to our friend kyrie to test knit, so it shouldn’t be long before it’s ready for release.

i fooled around with another mitten to match my very warm hat

this will make a cute set i think (and i’m knitting an extra hat for me). i love this photo because i was finally able to capture the deep beauty of the pilgrim yarn. i guess the light in that spot is just right for it.

i still feel pretty distracted by small project knits and certain people are tempting me to do more. i am not by any means immune to the charms of the dyers, those wily vixens. deb and i were tossing around the idea of another neckwarmer, this time in a softer, denser yarn, so she’s sent me some alpaca/wool and some of her worsted weight merino as an imagination aid (sooo tricky, that one).

just look at them—doncha just wanna squeeze their chubby cheeks? ay, ay, ay . . .

i received another little something in the mail from jody, who wanted to show off the work of a friend—and rightly so—just look at this pretty circular needle case

it’s made from vintage kimono silk with hand beading; the workmanship is exquisite. the maker does not have an etsy store (yet) but we’re hoping she’ll consider getting one to market these pretty cases.

other than that, nothing much is new . . . i’ve spent too much time at the computer the last couple of days, including several hours today trying to figure out why my hard drive was full (and why, therefore, i could not save the files i was working on). it turns out that iTunes was making and storing copies of my very large audiobook files—enough to completely fill the thing up.

now i’ve got things back to normal and we’re running a lean, mean, fighting fiber machine.

so with that, i’m leaving again to try to get some serious knitting done this evening. i’ll make a big effort to be back tomorrow to catch up (because you know what sunday is, don’t you?)