Tuesday, April 26, 2005

my own private maryland

Last week we made the long drive to Maryland. Too early for the big sheep & wool shindig, right on time to celebrate Passover with my family. A good non-leavened time was had by all. Lest you think we're deprived by dietary restrictions this week, dessert Saturday night:

The drive down was late night, giving me me hours to knit by the light of the passenger reading bulb. Normally I'd do a lot of the driving but when I muttered something like "I really need new glasses, I can't see a friggin' thing on this highway", it gave Dave the jolt he needed to keep awake at the wheel.
Much has been said of Clapotis and I'll add this - ideal car knitting. No measurements to be made, a repeat easy enough to memorize without looking at quease-inducing charts. Mesmerizing, really.
Around midnight, I started obsessing. I went from concerns of knitting a combat fatigue colored shawl to the fact that this yarn is skinny with no fuzz, and I'm knitting on size 5us needles. Maybe my fabric is too stiff? And my gauge is smaller than the pattern - will I have a small, tight, stiff, linen army scarf ? Will it take me forever to finish something I hate? I thought of that roadside commuter billboard 'If you were knitting worsted, you'd be finishing by now".

After about 100 miles of trying to do mental gauge-adjusting math, I just figured I'd do a few extra repeats of the increases.The next morning clapInc001 it looked like this.

And after the drive home, it looked like this clapDrop003

Worries be gone. The extra increases gave me dimension. The dropped stitches gave me drape and brought back the colors I liked in the first place. Switching to aluminum needles made this Safari linen so much easier to knit than the grabby plastic I started on. Placing it next to beach glass and rocks - well, thats just a cheap trick to think nature instead of military. I'll have to carry them with me whenever I wear it.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

end & begin

Its not just the 2 way zipper that I love about my finished Ribby Cardi.ribcardiDONE2 It fits just right. Thanks to using the medium/large size number of stitches but the smallest size lengths, I was able to hit my oxymoronic large (12-14) petite size. yee ha! It looks better on, than hanging in a tree.
For the record, my stats:
  • design - Ribby Cardi by Chicknits genius Bonne Marie Burns
  • yarn - Cascade 220, 2 skeins for sleeves & collar and 3 skeins for body, with decent amount to spare for future accent use. Very economical.
  • needles- knitting it all on size 5 us needles came close to gauge. I knit loosely.
  • a side story - I love knitting with this yarn but it stinks when wet. I mean stinks, not that lovely sheepy wet wool smell. When it was blocking, first we all thought there was an especially odoriferous low tide. When a member of the household discovered it was the wrong time for that, hearty accusations of gastric distress followed. I'm being polite here, you know what we said. Then I sniffed out my drying Cardi.

The sporty stripes went to my head . Early this morning I agreed with my 11 year old son that we should ride bikes to the center of town for breakfast. The new sweater held up fine on the 10+ mile roundtrip. Me, on the other hand - lets say one major uphill got steeper and longer since last fall.

Back home I immediately cast on. I have this thing that when I finish knitting a project, I like to start a new one as soon as I can. Don't make that finger in a circle next to your head gesture at me. My friend Nancy is a psych nurse, she asserts we all have a little OCD . That's mine. OK, and maybe that thing about keeping my purse off the floor.

I am pleased that the GGH Safari mostly-linen yarn softens as you work it but alarmed that if you squint, my nice blend of greens, chartreuse and gray seem to be good ol' army camouflage as a fabric.clapBeg This is freaking me out a little. I'm going to give it a few more inches before I get truly disturbed.

What am I making ? I found this pattern online for a scarfy-shawl thing with dropped stitches and an odd French name. I wonder if anyone has already knit it........

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

little things

Work is busy enough for two people. This is positive - I like what I do, and I like getting paid. I feel good buzzing around even if it'll be twelve straight days before I take a whole one off. That pretty much sums up freelancing. Part of my cheerful buzz (aside from the coffee) is the little things.

Witness these supermarket cheapies,
sunfl they've stayed alive for 2 weeks - and, notice whats going on? That's sun coming in on them. Spring light!
Then, I discovered bloglines. Yeah, I know I should have known about it already. I no longer need to randomly click on blogs, just to end up to re-reading old posts.

Next, there's this almost complete, mostly seamed Cardi. It is designed so nicely that even though I generally suck at finishing neatly, and even though I'm sewing on this after 11 pm or around 6 am (not my optimum hours of operation), it is coming together beautifully.seam These are the arm/shoulder seams, with some sleeve flopped in. And there's the friendly folks at zipperstop, who have sent my way a custom length, burnt orange zipper that opens on both ends, for a very reasonable price, to sew into my satisyingly seamed sweater.

Lastly, this programming bauble. I mean, how poetic is this - thanks to my work, I have literally hundreds of photos online and in my computer but this is the one it selects for me.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

lost in translation

My new yarn.
Here's what their website from Germany says:
Linen in a knit does not fill out and is thus ideally suited for fashionable escapades with air between the stitches. Worked with one, two or even three threads, they always give rise to intriguing patterns. A tremendous challenge for every fashionable knitter with ambition.
Escapades? Fashionable? Wow. I hope I can live up to it.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

bear with us, again

It was another Knitting Happy Hour here on Sunday

and we were back to work on the wine and chips knitting for The Mother Bear Project

I highly recommend the combination of friends, wine, snacks, and knitting for a good cause. <040501motbearl13 True, this mixture is likely to slow down your knitting progress. If you're us, I mean, and you like to talk and laugh. A lot.

Nevertheless we have legs

We have face

and ear shaping

Finally tally, four bears finished, a dozen more almost there, unanimous agreement this is worth doing again in May. Stay tuned.
Disclaimer: I'm really not a teddy bear kind of person, but there's something about these that fascinate me. They take on personality. One minute they're a floppy strip of knitting with yarn ends all over, the next you're thinking about what mood the little guys are in. (or maybe its the refreshments?). You may have to knit one yourself to see.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

ta da

The answer to the last post: my entry in the

The Eli Whitney Museum celebrates inventing and creativity and looking at the world in a different way. Its really a very cool place - part museum, part crazy workshop. The challenge was to make the pencil the object, not the servant, of your art.

There's an exhibit, and a party with silent auction of the artwork to benefit the museum. If all goes as normal, I'll get very very nervous right before it, imagining people walking by my piece saying" eeew, how stuuupid! why'd she do that?".

Don't know if I met the challenge but I enjoyed the process. Oh, by the way? Its really hard to knit on pencils!

ps . If you can think of a good title for this 28" tall piece, tell me quick! I need to deliver it tomorrow and so far its "untitled".

Friday, April 01, 2005

glad you're asking

Why am I doing this?

And what does it have to do with Leonardo Da Vinci ?

I'll explain in a couple of days. (and its not an April Fools).