Saturday, December 13, 2008


My classes have ended for the semester and it is officially Reading Period, when the college gives students a few days off to study for exams. I am very grateful for the extra time and spent today using the last of my free print quota to print a bunch of knitting patterns I have been stockpiling, updating my Ravelry account, casting-off the first of the Yellow Brick Road Knucks, and, in general, be productive knit-wise.

See the Yellow Brick Road? It will totally make more sense once I get the Emerald City embroidered on the ring finger.

As I was going through the old pictures on my digital camera, I came across this:

It is a post-it note with the measurements for my friend's hands so I may make her a pair of mittens. I do not know where the original post-it is.

It occurred to me that though I am traditionally very organized, my standards might be slipping. That I can not find my stapler I was using to staple patterns this morning does not help. I mean, how can you loose a hot pink stapler within a radius of ten feet? (I do not think I absent mindedly carried it down to the bathroom when I brushed my teeth...)

The fact that my most recent sock pattern was scribbled on a napkin that is being used as a bookmark for DuckTales does not bode well.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Knitters Without Borders

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Philosophically Speaking

Do you know that question that goes "If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, does it make a sound?"

Or, as Terry Pratchett puts it in The Fifth Elephant,

"No one actually saw [the fifth elephant] land, which raised the interesting philosophical point: When millions of tons of angry elephant come screaming through the sky, but there is no one to hear it, does it--philosophically speaking--make a noise?"

Well, if you buy some yarn,

Noro Silk Garden (Ravelry link)

cast on for a project right away, rip it out, cast on again , and then re-rip and no knitter has seen you do this, does the yarn--philosophically speaking--count as an in progress project to make you feel like you are accomplishing something with your knitting?

I mean, I totally gave the yarn a chance to make some awesome mittens and it just wouldn't cooperate with my vision. Now it is de-ball banded and unwound. Is it an unfinished project? Or since I have abandoned that project(s) does it revert to Stash, waiting to be used up?

The issue boils down to what is the exact definition of "on the needles." Is it a mental "on the needles" where I think of how if it won't make mittens maybe it will make a scarf or is it a literal "on the needles" where the Noro is physically cast on. What does it mean if I push the correct needles into the balls so I can grab it on my way out the door and cast on later? Can a project be half-on the needles?

I mean, it's a lot easier to justify a new yarn purchase on a tight budget if I can breezily say "Oh, I've got that Noro on the needles (implying it will be off the needles soon)" instead of "Oh, I've got that Noro in the Stash that needs to be used up."

Just saying.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The oposite of war isn't peace, it's creation

If you wake up at three in the morning after one or two hours of fitful sleep and you've had a fantastically sucktastic previous night (technically, a fantastically sucktastic several hours ago since you are up so early) and you are hurt and sad and feel like whacking someone on the shoulder even though you know violence is not the answer but that's what you feel because crying really isn't cutting it so if they would just understand and stand still for a few minutes so you can dry your eyes and get a good shot in but really you just wish you could rewind the evening because the happiness is only a few hours in the past which is totally not far away...

...then it's a day in the past...

Second sock of the Raking Leaves pair

two days in the past....three days....more days....

...and suddenly you are feeling more human and have warm feet.

If you keep knitting, beautiful things can take root and bloom from within the depths of the fantastically sucktastic.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Raking Leaves

Last week I had saved up to buy some new yarn. I'd done some stash busting, and for several weeks had had my eye on some yummy Paca Peds sock yarn. I now have two sets of sock needles, so I can have two sock projects cast on at the same time. Knitting logic dictates that I must have two projects cast on at one time, and I currently only have one. It is a plain, ribbed sock in a colorway I call "Raking Leaves," since adding a metal rake to the autumnal leaf colors is the only way I can explain the gray stripes.

Online sock yarn, superwash wool and nylon (I think, the label is in German). The first of a pair.

Then on Monday night I inexplicably lost my NRSV Bible with extra Aprocryphal texts that has been glued to my side the past two semesters. As a religion minor who adores Biblical literature and has homework and a paper to complete for her Hebrew Bible class, and a life-long bookworm who considers books sacred, this was like loosing a treasured limb (maybe two). I tore apart my room and spent several hours traveling to various lost and founds with no luck. But Bibles don't cost that much, so I could at least get one skein of sock yarn. I could recover.

On Thursday, as I opened the dorm door with my arms barely holding onto my paints for art class, my trusty cell phone of two years tumbled out of my pocket and snapped completely and utterly in two. Not quite as devastating as the Bible (I was not as emotionally attached to my cell phone), but significantly more expensive and still expletive worthy.


There went my budget for sock yarn.

The colorway is very hard to photograph. It is actually more dull and warm than the digital camera interpretation.

I forwent the shower I had been looking forward to to stomp in my dirty, paint-stained pants and shirt through the snow and ice to local Verizon store to see about a replacement. I had to wait in line, so I sat down and stared at the floor.

I stewed about my lost Bible.

I stewed about how if I had put my keychain in the other pocket it would not have caught on the phone and pulled it to its death.

I stewed about the lost sock yarn I'd been waiting several weeks for.

I stewed about how the bookstore, in some inane, crapass system, had sent all of the textbooks, including the Bibles, back to the manufacterer mere hours before I got there and how I was having to wait several days for a new one.

I stewed about having to limit my money spending.

I stewed about the customers in line before me, who were crabby (understandably, two new phones didn't work) and unpleasant and the Verizon guy really didn't deserve that.

I stewed about the fact I was stewing over stuff I should suck up and get over and I really didn't want to take my bad mood out on the Verizon guy.

Then I saw my knitting in my purse...

....the little plain rib sock that really was quite lovely and couldn't help it wasn't fancy new sock yarn. I pulled it out and knit a few rows, and the bad feelings drained away with every stitch to be replaced with peace and zen.

The next few days I gave all my love to the sock...

...and got some love in return.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dmitry Darling

I love instant gratification projects. In a mere three days (you could do it in one if you didn't have responsibilities like classes or work or bodily functions like sleeping), I turned this:

Yarn brought back from Russia by the generous Bethany.

into this:

Though I take pleasure in the knitter's high that comes with a finished project and its intended recipient, Mother Russia, was in desperate need of a hat....I wouldn't have minded if this one had lasted longer. I was not ready to cast off when the time came. I was charmed by the coppery beads. I was enthralled by the yarn.

This yarn is enchanting. Gorgeous. I took knitting breaks to pet the fabric it made, which is soft, squooshy and quite possibly has little bits of the Divine woven into it. In a moment of weakness I briefly regretted the hat was destined for another head than mine, but I quickly came to my senses since winter has finally settled in for the long-haul, has horribly cold breath, and Natalie is hatless. As a knitter, I can and must fix this.

Fortunately I have enough yarn left over for a little pancake of a fiber pet.

I will pet it and snuggle it and call it Dmitry Darling.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I have finished the SPRING FORWARD socks with the Mountaincolors sock yarn.

The name requires all-caps because the color demands it in a loud voice.

I love them with a fiery passion, even if the color is a bit too busy for the pattern. They are soft and colorful and the perfect antidote to gray and cold weather. If I slip on soggy leaves and die tomorrow, I must be buried in these socks so I can take them on my journey to the afterlife (I imagine the journey there is cold, dark, and intimidating to weed out the weak). I will have warm feet as I stand in the queue for my heart to be weighed against the Feather of Truth (must remember to bring knitting and iPod as the line is probably very long) and if I get spashed by the River Styx these socks will ward off the soul-sucking chill. (It's my underworld and I'll mix and match my mythology if I want to)

Yes, these socks and I will be together forever, together beyond death, transcending space and time.

Or at least until I finish these.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Knitting weather

I have finished and gifted both sets of gloves-without-full-fingers. I was too impatient to wait for Christmas and I hope they will get several months more use now.

Pasta Man actually wore the green ones without my prompting to the corn maze. Grandma's (the maroon) were only mailed yesterday.

I have one more pair to finish before Christmas (and only five more fingers to it won't be that bad.)

Fetal Yellow Brick Road Knucks for Mom.

I also finished Porom.

Porom pancake!

But it still needs to be blocked (note: must raid Pasta Man's dishes to see if he has a bowl that is the proper size).

After several days of freakishly warm weather, Jack Frost has wandered back into town and the clouds have gathered for perpetual drizzles. Dreariness, wet pants hems, and invasive dampness have settled in. Yesterday at my knitting group somebody complained about the weather yesterday, Holly, wise knitting teacher that she is, said:

"Just think of it as knitting weather."

She is totally right. It's the best knitting weather. Though I cannot quite bring myself to knit the Yellow Brick Road gloves yet, I am humming along on brightly colored socks that are not dreary, wet, or invasively damp.

The second of a pair.

Plain ribbed socks in my default OnLine sock yarn (because I needed some K3P2 ribbing in my life)

And guess what?

Today is perfect knitting weather too.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I would like to take a moment to admire the humble rib.

The beautiful K2P2

After knitting for several years, I am still fascinated by the fact that the back of the knit stitch is a purl and the back of a purl stitch is a knit. Turning over a K2P1 gives you a P2K1. You can't have one without the other.

Ooooooo, ahhhhhh!

Part of ribbing's attractiveness is its elasticity. If you simply move your needles and yarn in a different configuration, Voila! Stretchy fabric exists where a single strand of yarn did before. And you can even block it stretched out!

How is that not the coolest thing ever?
Fancy pants ribbing from my Urban Aran Cardigan, a Brooklyntweed adaption of this Patons pattern (Ravelry link) using yarn suggested by Yarn Hatlot. Yes, in this instance I was totally unoriginal, but I don't care because I love it dearly.

I tried to convey the charm of ribbing to Pasta Man when he inquire
d as to what new project I was working on. To encourage his interest, I left the couch, went over to his computer desk, stretched out the my current ribbing (pictured below) and for several minutes fangirled over the magic of the KxPx pattern. I even showed him a second example of ribbing, the cuff of my hoodie, so he could see it in a different yarn and be able to identify it on his own clothes.

My teaching tool, the fetal Porom (Ravelry link) by Brooklyntweed in Shetland wool (I would be more specific but the tag is buried in the middle of the ball)

"Um...maybe you are over thinking it," he said.

Fortunately we share other interests.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Beginning to hunker down

The skies have been spitting tiny ice crystals for the past few days and today was the first white substance and accumulation. Unfortunately it is no winter wonderland (yet). In fact, today is pretty yucky and blah. Observe:

Urgh. Cold and wet. How unappealing is that?


Handpainted sockyarn from Mountain Colors. Bearfoot: 60% superwash wool, 25% Mohair, 15% Nylon, 110% not dreary.
Currently being knit into Spring Forward socks (link to Knitty pattern)

There, that's much better. The snow is even clinging to it in a desperate grab for some zing!

I enjoy winter. It is a time for bundling up, eating seasonal goodies, and preparing for the the holidays.

It is a time for watching where you step on the slippery, inclined wheelchair ramp to the dorm.

Consumption of soup, hot chocolate, and pumpkin pie increase. I find my knitting instincts ramp up and I start building the Stash, surfing patterns, and trying to finish more projects. At dinner last night Cory suggested knitting a cocoon for hibernation; this is a good idea.

I also find that during the winter my affection for a person is directly correlated to the number of fingers I am willing to knit for him or her.

Knucks (Knitty link) for my Grandma with a Luckenbooth cable pattern from Girl from Auntie

Because holy geeze, fingers are fiddly little buggers.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Make it so

I love that I can take a pair of these:

Choose your weapon!

lengths of this:

King Tut Cotton, mummy not included

seasons of this:

Star Trek property of CBS Studios
to get:

Mmmm....yarny goodness.