Saturday, July 30, 2005

Kiri B Gone

That's right. I made it to row 47.


Its just, well, the Kiri, she is the right pattern at the wrong time.

The yarn is wrong. The intense varied colors are so beautiful but not on this. The symmetry and repetition are lost.


Its not doing the yarn or the pattern justice. And I am all about justice.

Also wrong? I'm a social knitter. I knit while sitting with others. I like to talk with those I sit. The Kiri, she demands the attention. This morning my friend Peg invited me over for a swim & knit.

Here's the conversation:

Peg: So, what're you doing next week?
Me: Mmmmm, hold on, wait till I get to the YO.
Peg: Oh oh I'm, look at this row and tell me if I increased right.
Me: Yeah, Mmmmm, oh damn, hold on,it looks like you did it.....2,3,4, 5 K2T, hold on, wait till I get to...
Peg: Oh, sorry. What do you think of...(interesting idea for neighborhood crazy parade next month)
Me: Damn. Was that a YO? Hold on...(*cursing, counting,cursing, repeat from*)

I will make a Kiri in the future, out of a lovely solid yarn, when I'm having some quiet knitting time to myself. For now, the Kiri, she is history. My sister will still receive a wrap of some sort later this month, it will be made from this wonderful variegated soft yarn that I'm still crazy about. It will NOT require undivided attention.

Maybe a simple short shrug-like sweater. Or...can you say Cla-po-tis ?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

symmetry is a journey

Come with me on my train trip. Tear your hair out now, or save it for the end. The cafe car is two cars forward, by the

New Haven CT 2:11 pm
I depart. I'm working on my Kiri shawl. All is well. I cast on 2 nights ago with size 10 us needles, at row 4 moved to size 9 needles. Still seems loose so I switch now to size 8 needles. I am on row 9.

Bridgeport CT 2:47
I'm on row 15. I take a good look at my scrunched up shawl. I'm not happy. The early rows are too loose and messy.

Stamford CT 3:05
I'm ripping it all out.

NY City 4:02 pm
The cast on and early rows are done. Things are looking up. The Big Smelly Guy who's been sitting next to me for the past hour is gone. I try to look unapproachable but a young man sits next to me. At least he's thin and has no odor. I try not to poke him with the needles.

Trenton NJ 4:35
I finish chart 1 ! I start row 23. Kiri's looking good. I am Too Cool for a Lifeline.

Philadelphia PA 5 pm
Row 27 and something is definitely wrong. I tink back 2 rows, knit them again. Its even worse. I re-tink. Its getting messy. I curse that there is no lifeline. I try to re-knit.

Wilmington DE 5:35 pm
Row 27. Still. There are more stitches on one side of the center than the other. No amount of recounting changes this. I spread it out and notice the center stitch is not straight, its zigzagging. This is an imperfection even I cannot live with. I rip it back to the cast on rows. I curse a little more (see Philly, above).

Baltimore MD 6:20 pm
I'm on row 5. I am knitting ve-rr-y carefully.

New Carollton MD 7:10 pm
I get off the train. Its been five hours.
I am on Row 9

later that night...row 19

kiri begin

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

waste not, buy more

See the squiggles of pink variegated yardage inchage? Its all thats left, after knitting the baby cardigan. The only way I got through the baby - remember we're talking baby- neckband was by snipping cast-on ends from the corners and tying them on to the working yarn. Pitiful, no?

What's left isn't even enough to sew up the little seams. I'd like to chalk this up as an isolated case of bad planning, or humidity induced negative knitting mojo. But I can't. I've gotta wake up and smell the tofu. I am just not generous enough when I buy yarn. It took 3 extra trips to the yarn store to get through the Clapotis in the spring, and just this week I bought enough yarn only to make a Kiri shoulder cover, not a shawl.

Anyone who knows me would tell you I'm generous, if you don't include certain family members and the subject of allowances. So why so stingy with the yarn?

No time to delve into the psyche. Some other time we'll explore my non-stashing tendencies, and the absence of cats around here, too. But today, some action, I ordered more yarn for the Kiri. I've got a train to catch and some YO's to do.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

this week the knitting spirits....

Smiled when they placed me at a primo legal parking spot in Boston, directly in front of Newbury Yarns with one hour to spare before a tedious job would begin a block away. Obviously a collaboration with the Parking Spot spirits, this is a biggie.

Ignore the snooty address, the owner is so friendly, the yarn choices really good and no pricier than elsewhere. Some sale baskets, too. She guided me to thisbaby1 Jaeger Baby Merino. I wanted pink, soft, and washable, for a neighbor baby arriving soon. I am apparently incapable of choosing a color when I can get a colorway instead. Despite liking a solid color knit. Variegated: the yarn of the terminally indecisive.

Winkedwhen my joy in how quickly one can knit a baby cardigan -those little short bodies! those little stubby arms! - was tempered by realizing I was done with sleeves and had only inches of yarn left. Thats right, not enough for a baby neckband. Thats close.baby2
I ripped back and shortened the sleeves by a half-inch, repeating the little stubby arm mantra, and hoping to just squeak by. I love working this yarn.

Nodded with a 20% yarn sale nearby,to be followed by good knitting time later this week on a train to Washington for work. (Another new yarn store to me, another friendly owner and great variety. I'm on a roll.)
Train knitting is the perfect time to make something I need to pay attention to- unlike car knitting, noone will ask me to check a map, look for a sign, switch the radio or other demands that makeme forget if its a YO, PSSO or K2T next.
I decided on a Kiri shawl for sister Marla's birthday. She loves pink, I'm loving pink wool, we both love shawls. I uncharacteristically swatched some pink mohair I had here and found it too heavy and 70's afghan-ish in the lace stitch. I headed out looking for something light & less hairy than a Kidsilk Haze - one lurch of the trian and I'd be cussing and dropping stitches in it- and determined this time to get a solid color yarn.
I fell in love with one skein left of Cherry Tree Hill merino supersock laceweight. Soft! Flowy ! Washable! What colors! Variegated !

Saturday, July 09, 2005

thinking outside...of everything

Sometimes life intersects art in the most perfect way. Take a look at who I was working with this week, at Mass MoCAUntitled people
This guy really knits. I know you want to see close ups:people
people Do you love the attention to detail? Do you hate when your needles bend from the weight of a heavy knit, too?people It took 3 months to plan and two days to knit the flag, over July 4th weekend. It'll be in the courtyard till July 11th so you better hurry, or if you visit this summer, you can see a video of the action. He said it was actually reverse stockinette, with two excavators moving the 25 foot needles and the artist on a cherry picker platform, helping the loops over the needle points.

There's also a display of his piece The Evolution of Knitting in Wartime. He created the needles and coordinated cases that'd be issued to soldiers in all past US Wars, as if knitting was the weaponry they took to battle. Complete with ageing and descriptions of materials. Its too cool. I had a little moment where I thought it was real. I think my mouth gaped. people I hated to leave. But go see for yourself, its worth the drive. A place that celebrates those of us who use more than a teaspoon of brain, and ask "what if.....?". And then do it.

people Faithfully submitted by one who uses just barely a teaspoon herself ,and thats only on good days.

Monday, July 04, 2005


On the upside, the Knitting Spirits sent me everything I asked for - and more. Thanks for your birthday wishes, the new subscribers, and for the knitting presents from my sisters. I received Stephanie's book. I'm linking to her main blog today, because her description of the glory of a home office while your older children are on summer break so totally mirrors my life. Right down to the throbbing vein. Except I shout "ass" when I get crazed and loud, not "arse".

At least I spend some of my working days on location shooting. Like tomorrow! Special bonus that tomorrow's photography involves an artist and an improbable knitting installation, at Mass MoCA. As vivid as my imagination is, I can't quite grasp how this works.

But enough about art, back to me and my birthday gifts. My sisters also ordered a beautiful custom made needle case from Crippenworks. Sister Lulu had noticed me pawing the merch longingly at the Ct Sheep Show. They had a large case- straights & circs & dp's-oh my!- made from vintage 40's floral upholstery & antique button closures. Could not suit me more. And as for a wool sale magically appearing, Lauren reminded me of a LYS that has a great July sale, so I'm ready & patterned up, waiting for it to start.

Point: while watching all of Godfather 1 & 2 last week, I made an offer you couldn't refuse finished knitting my stretchy green cable tank. Counterpoint: I can't show it. The camera is broken & in repair. I'll sew it (the tank, not the camera) and give it a blocking attempt( again, the tank). Can you block cotton with spandex? Maybe the camera will be back by then. I need to rent one to work tomorrow. Thats a definite downside. Except, I get to test a new model, so I guess that's good, if a bit nerve wracking.

Next upside,the joys of deciding what to knit next, and knitting gifts to start & (downside) finish before August ends. Its all about balance, right?