Sunday, June 27, 2010

a meme!

1. What’s your staple meal (ie. what meal do you cook most often when you can’t be bothered to be adventurous)?
I don't have just one. I have a couple go to meals: meatloaf, chicken or pork chops roasted in marinate cobbled together from the fridge, fish in garlic and dill.
2. What do you want to be when you grow up?
When I was in Kindergarten I wanted to be a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader and the President of the United States - in my spare time. Since that seems unlikely at this point, I'm going to go with "independently Wealthy"
3. What book are you reading at the moment (if any)
Right now, I am not reading anything. I have a few things in the cue, but I'm swamped in scripts at the moment.
4. How do you relax?
Knitting! Specifically knitting on the beach or in a coffee shop. Watching crappy tv is always an option too...
5. What color are the interior walls of your home?
White renters hell, baby!
6. What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Chocolate. mmmmm.... chocolate.
7. What time is bedtime and getting up time?
Bedtime is 1am or 2am or later. Depends. Up time is 7:30 or 8:00 when I'm working full time. Currently, it's when ever the hell I want to get up. :)
8. How long do you spend reading blogs (per day or per week)?
um... 4 hours a week. I don't really know. Not much, honestly.

How about you?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

a KAL inspired post.

Every time I do a lace KAL I think about all the little things that go into making lace... The yarn, the needles, the noise level, the general environment. You get the idea. Almost all KAL's end up with a thread or two about the knitter's favorites. Just for the sake of bloggyness, here are some of mine:
yarn: I love the pure silk lace yarns like "Andrea", but my go to is misti alpaca lace.
needles: knitpicks nickle plated. Love the points, slipperyness, and $.
place to knit at home: big chair or couch.
place to knit in public: panera and the beach
noise level: music, tv or talking required, unless I am counting to cast on.
favorite thing to listen to: tv or music- usually heavy metal.

and now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

Monday, June 21, 2010

beach knitting

I'm officially half way through the body of my shawl, row wise! Woo! I decided it deserved a trip to the beach.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I can post from my phone!

cool. I'm working on my shawl, posting on the internet, and enjoing iced coffee. Sweet.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's Shawl A Long Day!!

As of 9:30 this morning, I was here:
I'm writing this at 12:30, and have reached row 15. I already have 100 stitches. I have to follow two charts simultaneously, keep a seed and garter stitch border going, and I'm knitting on size 3 needles. I usually knit lace on 4 or 5's, but this will be huge if I knit on that big of needles.
That cast on above? It is 7 stitches wide, 2 garter, 3 seed, 2 garter. It is 56 rows long. This is why I don't read patterns too carefully before I start. I probably would have changes my mind.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Winter woolies, just in time for... summer

I absolutely cannot help knitting out of season. In my over planning way, this is a good thing, because then I am ready for the next time the cold/warm/holiday season rolls around. The knitter in me that wants to 'WEAR IT NOW' thinks I'm crazy. Crazy I might be, but I did manage to finish two out of season projects this weekend.

Name: Kauni Mittens
Pattern: Mitten 21 from Mostly Mittens; Ethnic Knitting Designs from Russia
Yarn: Kauni Wool 8/2 Effektgarn and Paton's Kroy 3 ply
Needle: Knitpicks fixed circs size 2
Notes: I bought this book for several reasons.
  1. book lust. I haz it.
  2. research. the opening chapters about the history of the people and the textiles they produce is both interesting and totally work related for me. Little details make the costume!
  3. I love color work. LOVE. Am I ever going to make 35 pairs of Russian mittens? Most likely not, but i will make a few. I guarantee it.

I was not disappointed with this book at all! The charts are awesome, all the patterns are in two sizes, the book has one easy to follow "how to use my charts" instruction section, the pictures are fantastic, and the projects aren't yarn specific. You don't have to buy special Russian yarn that only comes from one village, is mailed by carrier pigeon, and can only be purchased by staying up strange hours and sacrificing a chipmunk during the third phase of the red moon. Nope. Pretty much and fingering or sport weight yarn will do.

I popped my Kauni cherry with these mittens. They will forever hold a special place in my virgin-less heart. It really is as awesome as it is made out to be. The color change is so pretty, it isn't splitty, it is smooth on the hands, but still a good grabby for color work. LURVE people. LURVE.
I should maybe explain the green thumbs.... So pretty pretty Kauni, blending away, making my sexy mittens..... then I realize that my thumbs aren't going to be all sexy blendy. Hmm... I could wind off the the same point of color in the skein. Ok. good plan. I'll knit mitten 2, then wind off to the thumb colors for both thumbs. I finished the hand of mitten two, and the Laziness kicked it. I deemed it "too much work", and decided, "It'll mess up the colors for the next project!" (It's called justification.) If they weren't going to match anyway, then they should really NOT MATCH. I used the outside of the ball and made my weird green thumbs. Ta DA!!
whatever. they are for me, and I like them.
My second out of season project came about as a little something to do before the Thursday night SnB shawl a long commences tomorrow. I needed an easy project that I could do while watching movies, and drinking tea, with my friends. A quick look at the "yet to be knit from book list" and a quick stash hunt and we have:
Name: Ridiculous hat of Rhinebeckedness
Pattern: Fat Hats from Hip to Knit
Yarn: Farmhouse Fat Sheep
Needles: Knit Picks Options size 11 and 13
Notes: I love left over/ re-purposed yarn. This was originally for my Cactus Blossom sweater contrast color work. It wasn't right for that project at all, so it was restashed. I opened the yarn chest yesterday to find some yarn for this hat, it was on top, it was (you guessed it) wound. It is now a hat.
I threw the yarn, needles, and book in my bag, and off I went. I stopped to get a pedicure, and cast on. I read the instructions. It wanted me to knit it flat them seam it on the side and the top. Not gonna happen. I don't like seaming. Instead, I modified it for in the round, and three needle bound off the top. Sometimes lazy works to your advantage...
I don't cable often, but these were ok. Right over left are my favorite, since they flow better. If they had been left over right I would have changed that too. Just sayin'. When all was said and done, I put on the hat. A chorus of laughing ensued. Yes, it is not the most elegant hat, but it is a lot of fun to wear, and tassel swinging just cannot be considered anything less than awesome. Evad, D and B think I should make it my new official fiber festival hat. They also think we should all knit them in different colors and wear them so we can find each other in crowds. I can hear it now, "Oh great. here come those loud ass tassel hat people!"

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I swear I knit more than just lace.

Truly I do. Sadly, it seems to be the only thing I actually finish, block and take pictures of though. sigh. At least it's pretty to look at!

Name: Homage to Ricky
Pattern: Traveling Woman
Yarn: Lisa Souza Sock! in color... ummm.... Pink
Needles: Knitpicks options, size 6
Notes: I am aware that I have stepped outside my "normal" color range of 'bruise' on this project. It is pink. Like "whoa" pink. That said, I love the end result, even in all of it's super pepto pinkness. Originally, i got this yarn in a swap on Knitty. I had wanted to try the yarn brand, a knitty member wanted to trade some, and voila! I thought, "It's for socks. even if I don't wear a lot (or any) bright pepto pink I can still wear it. It's just socks! " Fast forward 5 years.
I now come across the Traveling Woman Shawl pattern. It calls for fingering weight yarn. I have a ton of fingering weight yarn.
**we should pause here. For those of you that don't know me in person, or those of you that do but don't know me well, this may come as a surprise... I am a truly lazy person. I will work my fingers to the bone when I'm designing/ building a show, but I am just not into it around the house. This extends to my yarn wall, yarn winding, cleaning out project bags.... that said, the rest of my story will make more sense.**
Sock yarn is by far the most random part of my yarn stash. I tend to pick up new types/ fibers/ dyers as I come across them. Therefore, the majority is bought with out true purpose beyond "it's for socks." That is why it is no big deal for me to dig in my stash and pull out some yarn. I didn't have a clear plan for it anyway. "How do you decide which yarn to pick?" I heard you say.
Good question, and the point of all this typing. I decide by... (drum roll)..... which is wound/ pre-balled. I kid you not. There is no "I could use a pink shawl" or "this color would be great for so and so". Nope. It's "this one is balled and on the outside of the stack."
Honestly, it probably doesn't help that the majority of my projects are started after 11pm at night. Who the hell is going to clean off the table, get out the winder and swift, and carefully ball lace or sock yarn at 11 pm or later? Seriously. Ok, if the yarn was perfect, and no easy other solution presented itself, I might, MIGHT, do it. I also am just as likely to keep looking. anyway... this is how I ended up with a bright pink shawlette. Tada!

I am nothing if I am not knit impulsive. I decided at 11pm on a random day, two weeks ago, that I needed a new take along project. The ones I have on the needles are not acceptable for chart following and paying attention reasons. We had been talking at SnB about the Traveling Woman Shawl. It was in my Ravelry queue, the Internet was working, I was able to download it, I had the yarn.... and that's how it happened. Poof. I can say, for as simple as it is, it is a fun knit, and has some little quirks to keep you on your toes. After the initial stockinette section, the increases are all on the sides of the shawl, instead of down the center and at the sides. This makes the shawl curve up at the sides, and purposefully stay on your shoulders without bothering at it.

The lace patterns, themselves, are clearly charted, decently simple, but not irritatingly simple. (Like feather and fan. blergh.) The hardest part is remembering to yo on the rest row. I can't tell you how many times I forgot and had to pick them up on the next row. duh! I knit it as written, but the instructions for customizing the size are easy to understand, and would be easy to follow. (In the interest of science, I weighed my skein. I have 50 grams, out of 113 grams, left over. I could have made it at least one repeat bigger.)

The yarn is pretty typical sock yarn, although it blocked better than I thought it might because of the nylon content. It isn't too soft or too scratchy. Rather Regia like in it's drape and feel. The lovely kettle-dyed tonal quality is beautiful. Overall, I'm very happy with my super pink shawl!
P.S. Because I start my projects after 11pm, I tend to name my projects at 1am... or later. I knit for a bit, then go on Ravelry and add a project. Most of my projects end up with crazy names that I think are meaningful or funny at 1 or 2am. I've also, usually, been watching Adult Swim on Cartoon Network, so my sense of humor can be.... weird.... late at night. This is what happened to this shawl. For some reason, the name "Traveling Woman" made me think of the Ricky Nelson song "Traveling Man", one of my Mom's favorites. I decided to knit it as an Homage to Ricky Nelson, I guess. Welcome to my brain everybody. If you can find a place, feel free to sit down.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Sample of Patience

Last Thursday at SnB I managed to finish the cast off for my latest lace project:

Name: Rows of DOOM!
Pattern: Sampler Shawl by Cheryl Oberle, from Folk Shawls
Yarn: Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk in light grey
Needles: Knitpicks harmony size 5
Notes: First of all, I love this yarn. I used my leftovers from MS2, and frankly, was unsure if I would have enough. Turns out, I did...but just barely. I had maybe 25 yards left over. (The final edging is a doosy!) I know a lot of people are turned off when they feel it at WEBS, because it has a stiffness to it. Let me just say, "Don't knock it until you've blocked it". Seriously. It is so soft after you block it. Luuuurve.

I loved some stuff about the pattern, and disliked some other stuff. What I liked: changes stitch patterns often, so no boredom; makes a nice big rectangle - good for us larger boobed ladies; & inspirational - makes you want to invent your own! What I disliked: 400 stitch rows; the notes about how many times to repeat a pattern weren't terribly clear; 400 mother fucking stitch rows!! Damn.

It was worth it in the end, because I love it. I really do. The slog through the long long long rows made it good SnB knitting, since I didn't have to constantly check my charts, and the stitch patterns were relatively easy, no need for tons of stitch markers. Overall it was an easy knit for a lace shawl, and ever changing for us easily bored types.

One final bit of advice if you venture down the Sample Shawl route... don't figure out how many stitches you have left to do at any point. Seriously. When I got to 25 rows left I stupidly did the math. When one thinks they are in the home stretch, seeing the sum total of "10,000" stitches left to complete (PLUS a cast off) just about makes you want to die. That is all.
P.S. if my first pic is sideways, my apologies. I corrected it in flicker, but it doesn't seem to want to stay corrected.