Friday, April 28, 2006

watch out for the falling scales

I see all now.
Friday AM on the 9:29 out of New Haven I became a sole sister. I am knitting a sock.sock

I never planned not to, they just never called to me. My change ? At 6 AM Friday, I was prepared in every way for my noon presentation in NY. Train schedule , meeting confirmed, I'd been up till late the night before stressed out screaming at my family thoughtfully reorganizing my portfolio.

But! I forgot I didn't have any easily portable knitting on the needles. A one hundred minute train ride is kntting time not to be wasted, right? Two skeins of Koigu sock yarn I won in a MamaCate contest had been marinating since the fall, I had a Yankee Knitter basic sock pattern (I figured her patterns are always straightforward and reliable) and some skewer like dpns. sock1I grabbed it all, off I went and that was that.

Now I get it. They are small, portable, they reveal their structure and shape so quickly. What's not to love? The leg is a perfect little canvas to try new stitches on, the whole thing is a good excuse for buying wild variegated yarn that'd look dorky as a sweater. Do you hear the zeal of the newly converted? I'm worse in person. You should have seen me waving it over a son's bowl of cereal demanding admiration at early o'clock today. ("yeah, mom, I see its a sock, I get it. uh..Bus. Gotta go.").

I can't help but feel cosmically supported in this. I mean, Cassie's sewing up beautiful sock knitting kits in a whirlwind of inspiration (when she first blogged about it I thought, why? um, because its nicer than a ziplock that gets all poked through of holes by those little dpns in your purse) and Juno's destashing sock yarn to drool over.

A footnote (sorry). frontbk Does all Koigu do this ?
Its like two separate colorways. Amazing.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

shine on

Under the influence of a few days off, a scarf is done. It came out beachy.
Not quite an Opera Scarf as in the pattern, which disappeared from the Blue Sky site but you can find it online elsewhere. Just be aware it comes out chunkier than it says it will, this version in KnitPicks Shine sportweight . I've mentioned how whatever I'm making looks like my environment? I'm powerless over this impulse. So when I finished the knitting seaside in Delaware, I figured it needed something along the edges, maybe small shell buttons, to elevate it from the crafty look. A skein of Trendsetters Vixen at the yarn store nearby looked perfect. This is the impulse that's lead me to buy more bright flowery sundresses over the years than I should admit to while there, just right for happy hour on the porch by the crashing waves. That look silly when I return home to life in my land of wrinkly muted natural fibers and faded denim. knitting

I'm not recommending Shine for any lace projects but I applied another skein of it in worsted weight to just one more hat for the teenage son. knitting (You can tell his age by the grafted on earbuds.) I like this yarn for a solid knit. I like it a lot for ribbed beanie hats. I'm thinking it might be just right for a summer afghan project, part of the MDK not-so-secret mission to cover America in mitred squares. Except, of course, for territories blanketed by Log Cabin.

Feeling rested, I got the Saddle Seam Pullover back on track , too, with front and back split this time for the same size outcome. If you've seen anyone else working on this baby, can you send me the link? There's only one little chart for the 6 row repeat of the stitch pattern. Now that I'm working on the split back, I'm using the chart that I was reading right-to-left every row, to go back and forth, with purls and decreases every 4th row. I guess my mind is supposed to be nimbler than it is, I wish there was a graph with the decreases charted. As usual I didn't read through the whole pattern until I was well into it, and discovered that in a few rows I'll be using the same dinky six row chart but also doing some short rows to form the neckline shaping. knitting Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

finding inspiration in all the right places

Heads up, you knit book authors. Get invited to be the guest at a Masters Tea at Yale, like Annie Modesitt did last week.
Lovely setting to hear about the life and work of knitter, while sipping tea and nibbling on goodies from real china, on comfy sofas in the richly wood paneled room. A real treat, a room full of knitters, I met Kat and got to pet one of Lauren's top secret fall designs.

Annie was a pleasure- I expected someone ruffly & trilly based on her romantic designs and immense talent with decorative elements. I should have known from her blog that she's a friendly, down to earth, tell-it-like-it-is -with -a -sense -of -humor person. My type of speaker. Her message: do what you want the way you want to do it, if its making you happy, then you're doing it right. This applies to both Knitting and Life.

She also revealed that she is the fastest knitter in North America. Certified. In the 30 seconds before I asked where such a title gets named, I had a fantasy of a carnival event at a state fair, compete with barker and bullhorn. "Alive, Alive, Alive, Fastest Knitter, Thats Right, Try to Beat the Flying Needles" I guess I like sideshows too much. Turns out its at a staid trade show.

More inspiration just a day or so later. The Mason Dixon Knitting book. Love it. Of course, being a fan of Ann & Kay, I knew I would. Now I've been seized by the desire to knit afghans. I can even see the beauty in a....dishrag? Help me. Suddenly, I'm debating the merits of Log Cabinning versus knitting the more portable squares to seam later.

And seeing mitred squares, everywhere:


Friday, April 14, 2006

a coupla weeks in which nothing went as planned

Just when you think planets are aligned, the ducks are in a row, the pegs are fitting their holes, the gears are meshing, it all just gets skewed. That's it. The cosmos just says a big Skew You! As the old Italian ladies say at the supermarket, whadya gonna do?
Its not always bad. Its just different.

A few unplans from the past week or so:
Spring sprung! With it the Passover seder which was at my house. We thought, why not make it small and simple? Suuuure. Three kinds of kugel, six desserts, two entrees and all those odd side dishes that you never ever make except for this holiday later, a Seder meal it was. For the record, Charosets? I maintain should be eaten all year round. Gefilte fish? Once a year is just right. And hold the fish broth jelly. puh-lease.

Unplans in the knitting department:
With much work distraction, I hardly fit in any knitting, except late at night, very tired. I split the front & back for the Saddle Seam Pullover. A couple of entries ago I worried it might play a trick on me. No need, I played a trick on myself. An inch or so into working the front, something I'd started the sweater in size med-large but counted off the split back in size Large, resulting in a front that was 20 stitches less than the back. When you find out this sort of thing after midnight you have one choice only. Put it down and walk away.

Feeling quite uncalm , I looked to what I could knit mindlessly. A simple spring scarf. A simple stitch pattern, the same row over & over.
On size 8 needles, not looking so airy.
On size 10 1/2 needles. Better. I think the pattern image shows a much wider version than the actual pattern decribes as 23 stitches across, and it'd have more drape in the Alpaca Silk it calls for. I was going to tear it out and make something else but after I shot it for the record here, I realized it'll be fine. Soothing, too.

On the slate for the next few days: keeping an eye on several 6th grade couples coming over at a son's request. Yes, that's right. Sixth grade couples. He's one of those kids. Annie Modesitt speaking in town tomorrow and I plan to be there, as soon as all the puppy eyes go home.
Then I'm heading down to the beach in Delaware for a few days of spring break with the Guys. I will knit mindlessly in the car down on my cottony scarf. I will tear back the Saddle Seam Pullover and get it back on track, stopping to admire it every eight stitches or so, noting any size changes. Oh, and I've got my reading all lined up, too.
Is there anything better than a book that speaks to you????