2.20.2014

Noniversary

It isn't an anniversary post, because I'm a long way from any sort of anniversary, even if it was a brand new relationship measured in hours, days and weeks.

But on July 13, 2006 I started this blog. Which you could read here. Holy crap, it is terrible.

There is a long list of reasons I started a knitting blog back then. Knitting blogs were all the rage.

[[And to the non-knitters, I know right?!? But they totally were.]]

I had read every single word of Crazy Aunt Purl's blog at the time (coincidentally, no longer being writte). I had a lot of needs. I needed a community to talk to about the knitting obsession I had recently acquired and my boyfriend while supportive, infinitely preferred World of Warcraft.

I wanted to be unique, so I didn't capitalize anything. I really had no concept of knit language and I thought Cascade 220 was over priced and referred to the local yarn store (LYS) as a "specialty shop."

I went back to the beginning because writing has become a part of my life again lately and I wanted to see how I had changed. I read that one post and stopped. I'm not sure that I should go further. I'm not sure what I could possibly learn about myself except how stupid I was. How self centered I can be. How miserably I spent a lot of those years. You can tell when I was depressed, I had a lot to say about knitting.  Most of the good times were spent away from the keyboard.  I'll want to re-edit the whole thing.

But maybe I should leave it enshrined.  To who I was.  And remain infinitely glad I'm not her anymore.

If you are interested in some of the things I've been working on lately, check out my contributions to The Yearbook Office, created by the amazingly talented Alice Lee.  While you are there, check out everyone else's contributions as well. Krissy's contribution kills me and Josh A. Cagan delights even when he makes me cry.

The past is the past. Now, for onward and upward!

2.17.2014

Who?

I completed a project last week.  For those of you who don't recognize it, it is based on a scarf warn by Doctor Who in the 15th season of the series. I'm not a fan of the show, so that's what the internet told me. I would appreciate it if you didn't inform me of all the ways that statement or this scarf are incorrect.

I made it for a friend of mine.  There is some disagreement on how I ended up promising him I would make the scarf. He swears up and down he didn't ask me to do it, that I offered. And I know he either said "unless you would knit it..." or gave me sad pleading eyes that sounded exactly like that. I'm pretty sure it was the pleading eyes.  Deny all he likes, he begged me non-verbally.  Unless of course, that was the knitter's bleeding heart. We were standing at a frigid bus stop in downtown Seattle late at night after watching the latest Who-thing in a nearby movie theater and he was gallantly keeping me company as protection against whatever was gonna get me in the wee hours of downtown.

I had, just that night, lost a pair of hand knit finger-less gloves I made myself years ago.  Talk came round to warm things.  I believe I was stunned that he doesn't own any scarves, my woolly sense perked up at that, and ideas started cranking through my head while we talked. Suddenly, buying a Doctor Who scarf online came up. And I balked. I balked so hard. Here was a dear friend of mine, with nothing to warm his neck and I, a knitter of (let's face it) the most impressive skill and he talks of *buying*.

Ok. He may not have asked.  Out loud. But there is not one knitter out there who will disagree with me, he was begging for it. Hand made love was required. I could stand for nothing less, store bought, just would not suffice.

So I got to looking on the internet and before you know it, I was picking out Wool of the Andes colors on Knit Picks and planning a scarf based on this Ravelry page.

I just put the fringe on it and got you some terrible photos. It is not the miles long these scarves are reported to be. But it is a perfectly manageable length that might actually get some wear (I'm not sure why I thought someone who isn't in the habit of wearing scarves would wear a 15' one, something must be broken in both of our brains). The garter stitch was not boring thanks to the color changes. I paused about every quarter of the scarf to weave in ends.  And I am pleasantly surprised to have about 10 balls left of various colors.  The colors grew on me.  I love the weight and drape. Doug's lucky I have leftover yarn, or I might have considered keeping the scarf. Telling him it was lost at sea and wearing it when he wasn't around.

I haven't washed it yet. It could grow a mile when I do. But right now, I am so pleased.




2.14.2014

Tink - A Poem

I shared this poem with Ravelry.  And now I share it with you.

Tink
Tink
Tink
I hate thee
catch below
pull yourself free
you’re so very slow
but blame belongs to me
the fault is mine
purling while browsing Ravelry.

And thanks to Ravelry, I have written a follow up Haiku:

You are such a jerk.
The "Phantom Disagree-r".
No body likes you.

2.10.2014

Combined Knitting

I  may have explained this once.  If you've heard this story, you can't stop me.

I learned to purl "backwards".  But I didn't know it at the time. I didn't know it for about 5 or 6 years actually.  The only "tell" was that SSK and K2TOG decreased leaned in the exact same direction. Having only ever read about left leaning and right leaning decreases I figured it was some fabric thing that I couldn't see, unless I squint at my project really *really* hard.  So all my decreases leaned to the left and I accepted that as perfectly and totally normal.

And then I knit the Branching Out scarf and the sl2-k1-p2sso would not become a centered double decrease no matter what I did to it. I figured out if I slipped and twisted each stitch individually, then it would work.  It was starting to become apparent that something weird was going on.

I brought it up to my knitting group.  I mentioned that none of my decreases looked right but no body had any ideas. Then one day, just glancing at my work, someone noticed that I was purling funny.  Lo' and behold everything started to click into place.  All the times I tried to show someone how I did something and that one person not understanding.  Why decreases never came out for me.

Once I learned what the "problem" was, it was easy to fix.  I can know purl any old way I want as long as I understand what the end product should be and I account for it. I still purl "backwards" when I rib so that I can tell without glancing at it when it is time to knit and when it is time to purl.

Today I found out that there is a Combined Knitters group on Ravelry.  And some of these knitters are trying to make the same mistake that I unknowingly made for 6 years.

Well don't that beat all...

1.31.2014

Two years goes like that...

I am as stunned as you are that I let this blog sit unmolested for two full years. If it is still apart of your blogroll, thank you for sticking around.

It is not that I haven't been knitting. I absolutely have. Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to what happened to that infinity shawl I was knitting on last post. I have a sneaking suspicion it is the one I gave to my beautiful Margo, but I'll have to look for documentation, because my memory is full of holes.  Maybe I'll find some pictures of it somewhere.

I still knit often. Maybe not as often as some of those hard cores out there. But regularly.  I just have gotten out of the habit of documenting them well. Crappy cell phone photos of my knitting have worn me out and I really don't enjoy trying to pose them for a shot. Or find models.  I'm not great at taking notes of my progress and I change patterns often enough, sometimes on a whim midway through and don't have a record of it anywhere. But I got tired of keeping the notes. I just want the process.  Once upon a time I thought, as maybe most folks who start a knitting blog, that I could be a knitwear designer.  I could write patterns and sell them and be a millionaire who gets to knit all day.

hahahaha

Time has cleared my thinking, don't worry. I have built a life I love that is much too full to keep up with knitwear trends, the latest Knitty.com patterns or forum chatter on Ravelry.com. I took on an additional semi-job, I moved in with some of my best friends and started writing again.  The importance of documenting my knitting, no longer matters.  I don't knit as often during movies and conversations as I used to. Perhaps it's a sign of growth that I no longer "need" to keep my hands busy.  I'm now capable of talking about real subjects without staring at my needles and yarn.

But fret not. Knitting is still a balm for the parts of life that sting. It feels wonderful to create finished masterpieces.  When I need to think, sitting down to a project frees up my brain to really roll ideas around my brain.

I have realized that I can be a knitwear designer for myself. For my own gratification and that is nothing to be ashamed of.  I don't need the recognition of adoring knitters, I'll settle for happy recipients.  And that I appear to have in plenty.  I spent the last few days updating my Ravelry projects and I know there is more updating to come as pictures are found.  So here I give you a smattering of my recent project photos.  There have been shawls and hats and sweaters to name a few.









2.04.2012


Last month I spent a week in Newport, Oregon for a tech refresher course sponsored by NOAA. It was a week of review in basic electrical theory, a little geophysics and technology.

It happened to take place during the biggest winter storm to hit the Pacific Northwest this season. That meant a lot of our lecturers couldn't make it down from Seattle, which was hit hard with snow. In Newport the storm manifested itself as high winds (high as in hurricane force, not just a little breezy) and buckets of rain. Western Oregon was in danger of serious flooding. If you wanna read more about that, I suggest Captain Jenny's blog (she works on an Oregon ferry).

I found a yarn store in Newport. One yarn store. I don't remember the name. They opened after we started for the day and closed before we got out. So every day at lunch I tried to run over. And every day, they were closed for weather. I made five attempts. That's how dedicated I was and I never got my wooly reward.

So on my drive back North I insisted on finding another; I would not leave unsatisfied! I found a little place in an aging strip mall outside of Portland and skirted in ten minutes before they closed on a Friday night. I of course do not remember the name as I'm off at sea again.

I browsed and I browsed and I spent $120+ on yarn, needles and knitting magazines. The danger of starving a knitter is serious damage to their pocket book.

I browsed with someone in particular in mind. You know when you make a new friend and you love them and you feel an overwhelming urge to wrap them in wooly love?  I bought several superwashes in reds which were drawing me in, but then a merino, cashmere, silk blend won me over. It wasn't available in reds and I went with a mottled blue. Names are escaping me.

I settled down with a Rubinator at a McMinneman's (did I spell that right?) And started flipping through the mags I had purchased for inspiration. I wanted a cowl or an infinity scarf but nothing was to be had.  However, in the recent Vogue Knitting was a great lace wrap, the Lace Poncho by Tanis Gray.

I swiped the lace pattern, adapted it for an infinity scarf and that is the project that made it out with me. I'm basically knitting a scarf and I'll seam it up end to end when I'm finished.

12.28.2011

Goodwill Steal

I went to the Goodwill on Boxing Day.  There was a huge sale and if Goodwill shopping were a competition, I would have won.  All 5 things I tried on fit.  I got a brand new, still tags on, $40 dress shirt for $4.  Now for the big one. I found a vintage, hand knit, fair isle yoked cardigan.  And it fit.

It was stiff with age and dirt so the first thing I did was wash it.  After 8 or 9 vigorous washes, the wash water was still dingy, but I was losing patience.

I ran it through the spin cycle before laying it out to dry.  After drying it really softened up and fit even better.  I found a whole in the waist ribbing. 

It was probably exacerbated by the vigorous washing, but that's fine, it allowed me to patch it.  So I got to practice my darning skills.
I don't have a great full body photo of the sweater, but I wore it out and about Seattle with my sisters before they left town and we got this beautiful photo of the beautiful women I adore. 
I am so impressed by this sweater: the tidiness of the floats on the back side, the even stitching, the subtle and earthy color choice.  I'm sure you are going to get a whole new photo shoot highlighting everything I find awesome about this sweater.  My camera crapped out at Christmas this year, so I need to buy a new one first.