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.