Monday, January 28, 2008

some stuff

In light of anything truly new to post, I thought I'd post some progress pics. Proof that there are indeed things going on behind the scenes (no matter how dull).

The Swiss Cheese Scarf

purty. But coming along sooo slowly. It's kinda become my "at work" project, so it maybe gets about ten minutes worth of attention in between my soup and daily crossword.

And Sunrise Circle

Kate Gilbert is a genius. When I knit something constructed like this I think: "how? how do you design something like this?!" It's always the things that look the most basic that seem to have a hidden depth.

I really thought I'd be near to completion on that one this weekend, but in the end a mystery project completely took over and consumed all my spare time.

What is this mystery item you might ask?

well, it's a gift. That's all you get right now.

I know I've mentionned this before, but I am SO desperate to take on something new and exciting, but in typical this-is-me fashion, I refuse to until one of these long-standing knits is done. So for now I can only dream about the things I want to do...

like this Twinkle vest on the right:

God, I am so in love with it. Anyone out there know anything about it? Like what it's called and where I can find a pattern for it? I'm wondering if it's actually from her book that's due out next month...

I'm even tempted to give socks another whirl (and I hate knitting socks...) but these ones are just too fun:

Actually, a lot of Alice Bell's designs seem like much fun--

how cute is this dishcloth?

or this bracelet?

I am also seriously dreaming of knitting this right now
(image deleted)
and praying that THIS copy of Rowan 38 that I just ordered for it doesn't also get lost in the mail! Although I am finally starting to wise up and have things mailed to me at work. It seems like pretty much nothing makes it to me at home anymore...don't know what is up with that, but it is beyond annoying for someone as addicted to ebay as myself.

So for now, everything's just a pipe dream. Hopefully there will at least be a couple of F.O's in my future so that I can move on from all this gooey wistfulness.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Twinkle two-fer

Pattern: Pilot Hat fom Twinkle's Big City Knits
yarn: Cascade Magnum in #9418
needles: Denise interchangeables, US #19

Hmmm, so a couple posts ago I was all braggy about how I had picked up a couple of long standing WIPs and wasn't going to work on anything else until they were done...

Right, well you know where that goes --inevitably I got bored with my sense of never-ending incompletion, and had to bust something out in an effort to feel like I actually can.

Nothing is better for one's knitting self esteem than a small Twinkle project. They look good and go up FAST.

They don't however, look good ON:

Now, having just spent a day in California's Disneyland a week ago, maybe I had some unwitting NEED to make this hat, because after seeing so much of this it had to have been stuck in my frontal lobe. The resemblance is uncanny, no? (apologies to the two dudes whose photo I just stole off flickr...)

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I should know better when even the model is having trouble pulling it off.

Still, I think maybe if I move the buttons up an inch or two so that the flaps are less floppy, I may like it more. But will I ever get around to that?

I did though, loooove this yarn. So, the next night I decided to give the Aspen hat another whirl. Now, I had made this once before with mediocre results. But for the most part, attributed that to my yarn choice.

And I was definitely happier with it this round, but still kinda meh.

It's definitely a cute hat, and I was smart enough to make it a little deeper than my last attempt, but I dunno, I think I just don't like how it looks on me.

(image deleted)

I'm going to throw it on the gift pile and am still planning to make a few more as's really too darn cute and fast *not* to.

And SPEAKING of California...

(I'll try to make this relatively brief, but if anyone did want to see more non-knitting related photos of my trip, those can all be found on my flickr)

But truthfully, I don't have much to report knitting-wise anyway. It really wasn't a trip about that. Any yarn stores I did hit were for the most part a total fluke (not to mention not much knitting getting done in airports or long car rides for some reason) and my bank account is thanking me, as I only managed to come home with these two lowly specimens:

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Sad, huh?

Sheer novelties. Twinkle really isn't available in my neck of the woods, so as soon as I saw it I filled my arms up. I got to four skeins of the raspberry (the most they had of any given colour) --not quite enough for a whole sweater, and thought "anything I make out of this will have me looking like a stuffed sausage anyway", so I put it all back save for one (again, likely another Aspen hat...).

But I bought it at a really cute store called The Grove which was kind of half yarn store, half tchotchke store (for lack of a better description...). Lots of Brown Sheep company yarn too (also hard to get around these parts...).

I'm sure if I lived in San Diego I'd be heading there a fair bit. The other place I really wanted to get to was called "Knitting in La Jolla" (sorry I can't find a website...), but we just ran out of time. Further up the Pacific Coast Highway in San Luis Obsipo I stumbled upon this place while looking for a breakfast joint (the greatest breakfast EVER, I might add):

A total hole in the wall, where I bought that linie novelty yarn, also pictured. It's not so much a yarn as it is an already knit tape where you just endlessly knit the same four stitches (that you've picked up off of it) until you come up with something that resembles this:

I took a picture of it just so I could remember how to do it. The shop owner seemed to think that one ball would suffice, but I dunno, I'm not really convinced.

Which brings me to, by far the COOLEST yarn related thing I came across on this trip.

Oh yes. It is just so freakin' awesome. We spent a fair bit of time at John Reis' bar, the Pink Elephant in North Park, San Diego. And that is another story unto itself, so I will save that for a different venue apart from mentionning that one of the owner's moms crocheted that pink elephant for the bar, without a pattern. I almost wish I could have met her more than any of the Swami folks.

Ok, here's one more:

It really was all I could do not to run off with it.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

in review...

Well in an effort to clean up the sidebar at right, I thought I'd take a moment to look back at everything I managed to knit in 2007.

Shockingly, it's a loooooong list.

Jade Empire cardigan
Fetching fingerless gloves
felted slippers
Gretel beret
Dashing fingerless gloves
Apple Pie kerchief
Alpaca Cowl #3
converse booties #2
kerchief scarf #2
Foliage "snood"
le slouch #2
Anouk pinafore
Baby Surprise Jacket
Saartje's booties
Angora mittens
Phildar Vest
Balthazar Vest
Aspen hat
Drops Jacket 103-1
Phildar Sailor sweater
Argosy scarf #2
Kid Silk scarf
Pi kitty bed
baby "ugg" booties
Fulled lopi tote
Fruit cozies/protectors
Chevron Scarf
chuck taylor booties
half clapotis (#2)
Alpaca Silk Kerchief scarf
Garter stitch jacket & hat
Baby Bonnet
Angora baby Booties
Argosy Scarf
Fleece Artist Merino socks
Alpaca Gilmore Vest
Pimlico shrug
Cabled newsboy cap
Flair (Wendy Bernard)
Cashmere Cowl
Lopi Hödd hat
Le Slouch
Angora Gossamer Scarf
Koigu Purl Beret
Sleepytime Eyemask
Rowan tweed DK beret
Baby Alpaca Cowl
Ribbon scarf #8
Vintage Cardigan
Ribbed scarf
Seaman's Toques
Stitch n Bitch Cat Bed
Catnip Toys

How is this even possible? For the most part I feel like there are about zero seconds in the day to spare for anything, let alone a humble meditation like knitting!

I think my mom taught me "how" to knit in high school (or maybe it was even junior high?) but like most of my interests back then --perms, Rick Springfield buttons pinned to the shoelaces I used to tie up my hair, polka dot button earrings, rubber bracelets and fingerless gloves (yeah I could go on an ON) was an interest that lasted about a day.

Then about 5 years ago (maybe even more now...) I took a knitting class with a guy from work, and my interest was *kinda* re-newed again. I knit a garter stitch scarf. It was 100% acrylic. Neon pink and black. It was hideous, but I wore that thing everywhere.

And then I lost interest again.

All of a sudden last Christmas, after not having knit in years I decided one of my cats needed a new bed and that the 9 other people on my team at work all needed handmade hats and scarves. A RIDICULOUS undertaking, I know, but once I put my mind to something (I've been told...) I can be pretty stubborn about it.

Within two months I had all of that done, and was officially on board as a knitter.

January of last year I began my first Clapotis for myself, and the rest as they say, is history.

Given that I've really only been knitting for about a year now, I'm impressed with my own learning curve, and how quickly you can actually grow as a knitter. Things that are second nature to me now mere months later I would have never dreamed of undertaking this time last year.

I think that knitting was something that had lain dormant within me for many years, waiting to surface. And it came to me just over a year ago when I found myself in the depths of a depression I'd never experienced before, one that I am just now really finding myself truly starting to swim out of. Knitting helped pull me through, keep me pre-occupied, and had a large part in helping me maintain my sanity, so for that I will be eternally thankful.

What will 2008 hold for me in the knitting realm? I guess that remains to be seen. I'm not one for a lot of resolutions. There are definitely things that I want to do, but in some ways I prefer to be surprised by what happens next.

Though if I had to take a stab at things that I've been putting off but do hope to learn this year (and you know I will...):

-Learn to crochet. Finally. How hard can this be? What am I so afraid of?

-Some form of colour work. I really don't know what this will entail yet.

-Magic loop. why do I still not know how to do this?

-De-stash. I need to get a handle on the stash monster. In an effort to not set myself up for failure, at the very least I should be knitting away more than I'm taking in.

Ok, I'm going to leave it at those three for now. Truthfully I've set the bar pretty low I think. In my first year of knitting I managed to crank out about ten sweaters (ok, one was a kid's jacket and about three of them were vests...) but ten garments nonetheless, so I'm confident that I can at least have somewhat of a comparable year.

Unless of course the apathy sets in, or something else really major takes my fancy. That's always a killer...

And finally, I can't look back at 2007 without a shout out to you --the people who read and comment and who just generally make this blogging business worthwhile, (particularly as I approach my 10,000th hit in an 8 month span!). If blogging about knitting were my job, your comments, encouragement, advice, INSPIRATION, and general commraderie in this amazing online knitting community that we share --all that stuff is my paycheque, and the very basis of what sustains me here.

So, before I go any further waxing poetically about how much you and all of this means to me, and make a total ass of myself (god you'd think I was drunk as I type this...) let me sign off by wishing you a BOUNTY of knitterly goodness for 2008, and a simple and heart-felt



Monday, January 14, 2008

I'm baaaaaack!

Hi remember me? Last post: Christmas eve.
Holy Moly.

I shall attempt to abbreviate for you (in knitting related terms) and mostly in photos, what I've been up to over my (extended) holidays.

Did I get some knitting realted gifts from Santa? Boy howdy.


I lurve her. And two, count 'em TWO ball winders:

I made them battle it out in American-Gladiator like yarn winding proportions before I decided which one to return and which to keep.

The champ:

SO, knitting-related Xmas presents for me will kinda continue on as I think about what to actually purchase with my newly created knitting-return money. I also got a copy of Runway Knits from my sister which was unexpectedly cool as well.

Was there any knitting over the holiday season? Hmmm probably more drinking than knitting unfortunately. And I got the opportunity to sit and knit with the fabulous Miss Muffy who hands down is far more adept at boozing while knitting. She finished a pair of socks, where as *I*, on cosmo number three found myself repeatedly unknitting the same row of sunrise circle over and over again. No matter, it's as close to a stitch 'n bitch as I'm ever gonna get.

Though I did manage to start something new:

hahahahaha. Okay it's actually that Nora Gaughn scarf from Knitting Nature that I've been meaning to start for awhile now.

I got just that far and ran out of yarn, so it's on hold until I make another trip to my LYS. But apart from that, Sunrise Circle and the swiss cheese scarf are back on. Thanks to everyone's advice here and a couple of little birdies helping me out on Ravelry (honestly what did I DO before Ravelry?), I've managed to fix the loosey-goosey stitch problem I was having with that pattern and have officially renewed interest in it. So thank you everyone for your advice!

In a moment of needing to do something small and fast, out popped my first official F.O of 2008:

Recognize it? It is Calorimetry from This thing has been in my cue FOREVER, so I finally decided to just bust it out.

I dunno, I am super meh about it. It's so not my thing--a little too granola for me perhaps? I modified it a bit---cast on 100 stitches to make it a bit smaller for what apparently is my PEA SIZED head. whaaa? I think in the end I just don't know how to wear my hair under it properly and therein lies my problem with it. That's pretty much all I have to say about that little number.

I just got back from California Friday night. I am sick with cold and exhausted, and mostly just spent the weekend in my jammers. Very little knitting happened on the trip so I'll attempt to regale you with what little there was in an upcoming post as well as the usual 2008 knit year's resolutions and a look back at 2007. I know I'm almost a month behind everyone else on all this stuff now. Shazbot.

But, nevertheless: Happy New Year, belatedly.