Sunday, March 30, 2003

I want to make this shawl. I bet I could, too.

I have more to write, but my "Monday" has been too exhausting.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

I read that article*. I got mad, very mad at first. Then, I realized that it was a hideously poorly written article, and instead of working myself into a frenzy, I should feel bad for the author. Just because you are writing an Op-Ed piece doesn't mean you shouldn't try to follow some kind of form. When you are trying to criticize something, you should usually perform some kind of research. There were no comments from knitters, or even knitting experts. Just some meaningless statistics and specious assumptions.

I would wonder about that woman's conception of feminisim, if she felt threatened by women who pursue traditional "crafts." Feminists fought (and continue to fight) for a woman's right to CHOOSE whether she wants to learn to knit, or play basketball, or do both! She obviously didn't take a very good look at the knitblog community. Sure, we have our share of stay at home's, but we've also got a huge amount of technical people, programmers, enginneers, and tech support people like myself. Some of us follow "traditional" female roles, and some of us follow what Tany may consider "traditional" male roles. And as for passively "hiding behind the needles," she certainly hasn't read our blogs! Knitters have opinions on everything and anything, and are at the forefront of a lot of great causes. Check out Theresa's entry a few weeks ago about health insurance for the un-insured. And the Revolutionary Knitting Circle. And for crying out loud, what about Montessori schools? Are we turning those little girls into homemakers? Or teaching children a skill that they can find joy in?

What about the men who knit? From what I hear, that's a growing population, too. What is there excuse? Are they trying to become women? Are they anti-feminist?

I had more to say on this, but I got bored of myself, and Bonne Marie and Erica summed up my thoughts better than I could have.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

I'm overdue for a big knitting update, but haven't had the energy lately. Between hating work and feeling anxious about the war situation, I've been feeling a little frivolous writing about my knitting. But then, as someone said on one of the knitting lists, perhaps KnitFlame, this is how I escape from all that.

Last week I taught Nick how to knit...nothing else, just the knit stitch. Then he went away for a week with the homework assignment to make a garter stitch square. I wonder how he's doing. Then, on Friday, I taught my buddy Kris how to knit. Matt thought she'd pick it up easily because she's crafty. She sews, and sews amazingly well (she sewed her own wedding dress) but as anyone can tell you, its apples and oranges. Regardless, she picked up knitting in about 2 seconds. "That's all it is?" she said, incredulous. "When does it get hard?"

"Just wait," I said.

After a little while, about 4 rows worth. I taught her how to purl, did a little bit about the right side and wrong side (which does have an analog in sewing) and whipped out a couple rows of stockinette to show her what knitting and purling does. She then realized, oh, here is where it gets hard. Keeping knit and purl separate and on their own rows gets tricky.

It's weird to be "teaching" people how to knit. My knitting form is horrible, and I've never corrected it. I'm sure that some knitting instructors would be horrible to see what I do. But I've had the motions down since I was about 8 or 9, and even though I didn't knit for years at a time, I never forgot what to do. So to try and show someone who doesn't know how to knit what to do made me re-think what I do. It was...informative.

Sarah and I went to Webs this weekend. She had a gift certificate to use (that we got her for her birthday, actually) and I never turn down a trip to a yarn store! Amber, it would have been a blast if you could have come...and Webs would have been happy, too. :) Sarah was very good, and only went $5 over her gift certificate. I was very bad. I was doing well, I picked up yarn for a current project, and a needle for a current project, and the new FCEK (too much crochet in this issue! my word!) and then...rats. I was looking for the little Vogue Knitting on the Go: Socks book (I have Socks Two and love it) when I spied Folk Shawls. That drove my total from reasonable to indulgent. But I LOVE this book. This book makes me think that I have too much variagated yarn.

Side note: annoyed with Patternworks again. I haven't ordered anything from them for a while, but I was flipping through their catalog, and realized that they are now carrying Pony Pearl circular needles. I'd love to give them a try, so I wandered over to their website, and the new needles aren't listed anywhere that I could find. How disappointing! My most recent experiences with them have been such a let-down that I don't like ordering from them when I can get what I want elsewhere.

Rob, I'm loving the video! I will be getting it back to you very soon. I have to mail a birthday present to my sister, and I'll mail your video on the same day.

Since I brought it up, I got my sister a knitting book for her birthday, as well as some other little crazy school supplies. I had planned on sending her the book and a couple catalogs, and telling her that once she picks out a project, I'll help her with the yarn. I got her Knitting Pretty which I had flipped through at B&N, and liked better than a lot of the other knit-dweeby books out there (i.e. the yarn girls guide to simple knits, and hip to knit). It has a goofy variety of projects that aren't too yarn intensive. However, once the book got to me from Amazon (it was cheaper to order the book and have it shipped than to get it from B&N!), I was very upset. I flipped through it, of course (doesn't everyone pre-read the books they give?), and discovered that some of the projects listed in the book don't have pictures! I understand the lack of schematics in this type of book, but no photographs of finished projects? What on earth is wrong with these people! Thinking maybe I just got a weird copy, I went to B&N and looked at their copy. Same thing. I'm mystified. How can you make a book for beginners without lots of photographs? I'm still going to send it to my sister, because I think she will like some of the projects, and they seem to be pretty simple, but I'm still anoyed.

Onto my current projects:

1. Making slow row-by-row progress on the Tabby socks for Matt.

2. Inching through the never ending baby sweater. Made it through the second sleeve shaping, and have only got 35 or so more rows to go. Only problem is buttonholes. The buttonholes themselves are fine, but I need to put in more than the 4 they advise, and I need to buy more buttons. I'm strongly considering making my own.

3. I'm about 4 or so inches into the back of Bella. I love, love, love the yarn, Lush. The cat does too. Virgil likes to suck on it, which is gross, I know, but kind of funny.

4. I've started a bag in Noro Kureyon, to be felted. I'm thinking it will probably need a linig of some sort, as the felted Kureyon doesn't seem very strong, but I love the stripes.

5. Slytherin Scarf - making slow progress.

6. In other project news, I love my new ball-winder, and so does Matt. He has wound several skeins into center pull balls, and even asked me, "Don't you have any more?"

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Phew. My updates have sucked this week. I'm looking forward to a "weekend" (I have Fridays and Saturdays off) of knitting goodness. Kris (the one I'm making the Slytherin Scarf for) is coming over tomorrow for knitting lessons. She's hoping to pick it up fast enough to work on some dim sum. Saturday I'm going to Web's with Sarah, so she can spend the gift certificate we got for her birthday. While I'm there, I can keep my eyes open for a few things I need...though I am on a pretty strict budget. I know I sound very responsible when you read that sentence. It's good that you can't hear the inner monlogue, which is piping up, "but you have a credit card..."

To look for when shopping:
* Knitter's Magazine Issue 53, 69, 70
* more of that yarn
* addi turbo 2.5 mm 40"

I try to keep this pretty apolitical. This is my knitting blog, and I have others for other purposes. But this quote has helped me express myself through the day, and I've put it everywhere. Thanks to a life uncommon:

"Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events."
Sir Winston Churchill

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Just a quick list, in lieu of actual content.

projects to be made from stash:

* get more pink cotton twist, and make a crazy pink tank top! alternatively, get more reasonable colored cotton twist, and make a more subdued tank top.

* find out what that yarn is, find more, and do a striped cardigan.

* finish the two afghans, ripple and basketweave.

* finish the other stash buster baby afghan.

* socks, socks, socks!

Monday, March 17, 2003

Not too much knitting this weekend. I did start on Bella, though (yay!) and I'm 10 rows or so into the back. I love how soft the yarn is, but the fluff that sticks to my clothes is a bit annoying. I certainly hope it loses some fluff in the wash. Virgil loves this yarn, which I can't blame him. Between the wooly smell (which I like) and the rabbit fluff, it's a very lively yarn. Lennie in Of Mice and Men could have used a skein of this stuff.

I have a little more to say, I actually did do one other knitting related thing this weekend, but I'll talk about that tomorrow, when I can post a picture.

Oh, and thanks to those who commented more (Theresa and Hope!) on the knitting for men issue. I really do have an inquiring mind - it's nice to know it's not just Matt who is ultra picky!

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Time for me to tackle the topic - knitting for men. Or in this particular case - knitting for Matt. The only other men I've knit for is the 2 yr old nephew (I made him a hat - I know I'm nuts...what toddler likes hats?) and Mom's fiancee Bob. I knit Bob a pair of shamrock-green socks, which I know is one of his favorite colors. He has no less than 3 sweaters in that color already.

But Matt...there's a horse of a different color. I know what to knit for him. Exact copies of the knit garments he already has. He wears the same clothes all the time, and when they wear out, he buys new ones the same as the old. I don't buy clothes for him often, but if I did, I would know better then to buy him anything new. The one pair of socks I am making him now are close replicas of the 8 or 9 pairs of wool-blend hiking socks that he already has. Tweedy, marled yarn, 2 by 2 rib, neutral colors. I showed him one of the "masculine" jaquard self-patterning sock yarn, thinking the colors would be okay, but the pattern just made him cringe.

I told Matt last night about the knitting for men discussion, and asked him how he felt about stripes. He didn't answer that, so I took it as a "uh, no." Trust me, if there's one thing I can do, it's interpret his silences. I asked him about sweaters, if he would consider an Aran. He thought about it, and said probably not. I explained a Guernsey, and showed him a picture in one of the Debbie Bliss books. He said probably not. The color scheme of a Guernsey is more his style, but he's not into textural stitches. He has 2 raglan, rolled hem and neck sweaters, both charcoal gray. He has 1 v-neck sweater, ribbed neck, hem, and cuffs - charcoal gray. If I really wanted to make him happy, I would duplicate one of the 2 raglans he already has, in a more natural yarn (I think one is 50/50 cotton/acrylic, and one is wool/acrylic). I asked him if he could think of a sweater besides those that he would wear. His answer:

"One like the ones we saw in Disney."

Do you know what sweaters we saw in Disney? I'll give you a hint - Epcot, the Norway Section. Yup, that's right. He would love (and wear, he claims) a Dale of Norway sweater. I'm blown away by this, but with his blue eyes, long blond hair, and reddish beard, I bet he'd look awfully Scandinavian. I told him he could have one in about 5 years. I need to get much much better before I can get started.

Note to self - now that Amy mentioned it, look for the new family circle easy knitting.

P.S. - I just remembered something that annoyed me, and I thought I'd share. When I went shopping to pick up yarn for a bunch of Silk Garden hats, I bought 3 different skeins. The lady who was ringing them up looked at me and said, "You do realize that those are all different colors, right?" I may be a little too sensitive, but this irritated the hell out of me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Still not really doing much, several rows of sock, a few rows of obsolete baby blanket...nothing too exciting. I might cast on some baby booties to rip through this funk.


* how did i not know about this?

* another fixation sock pattern

* Kat Coyle's gallery - thanks to staceyjoy

* country turtle blog

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Nothing much to report here. Haven't made any significant improvement on the baby sweater or Slytherin scarf - mostly been working on Matt's scarf, and resisting casting on a sweater for me. I now have enough yarn for 3 different sweaters - I really want to start one, but don't know if I should. I think I need more stitch markers before I'm brave enough to start Bella.


* the perfect link for right now - top down raglan calculator

* lots of links

* beaverslide dry goods

Monday, March 10, 2003

I have a disease. It's called "impulse and compulsory yarn shopping." I know I have a disease, and somehow all that awareness doesn't keep me from craving new yarn and new projects. I got some Lorna's Laces Sport, in Forest, and now I really, really, really want to do the Friday Harbor socks in Knitting on the Road. However, since I got only one skein (impulse buy!!), I can't start them. And besides, I already have at least 3 prs of socks on the needles. I also found some opal bumblebee, and I want it want it want it! I also want lorna's laces bee stripe, but that's a Hufflepuff thing.

I'm all over the place tonight. I think I'll just stop here.

one lonely link

Sunday, March 09, 2003

This weekend I was kind of lazy. I finished the cottage socks (wearing them right now), worked a little on my two-handed fair isle swatch (will take a picture when it actually looks like something) and spent some time hating the garter stitch baby sweater some more. I debated on whether it actually needs buttonholes. I'm not looking forward to trying to figure out where I want to put them. I've also decided that the buttons I picked, while absolutely adorable, make no sense for this sweater. They are ceramic, big, and heavy, and will drag the sweater down and make it un-machine washable, which was the whole point of doing it in Wool-Ease to begin with. Anyone have button ideas?

I've driven by this store a few times - I wondered if they sold knitting stuff. Looks like they do.

* knitwear as art?
* Interlacements, and according to Knitter's Review, where to buy Interlacements yarn
I've been lax in posting to all my diaries, blogs, etc. lately. Not too great with email, either. I'm just too much of a mess. So, in lieu of any real content, here are some pictures:

This is the pair of socks I'm working on for Matt. I'm doing them toe-up, because I'm not quite sure how long one skein of wildfoote a sock is going to last. I've started them both, just because toe increases are deadly boring to me. I'm doing one of them using the Magic Loop technique, and as soon as I get past the increases on the other, I'll switch from dpn's to one circular. I like the Magic Loop.

Here's a shot of the voodoo #1 in progress. They're both done now, and I've been wearing them for a while, but this is one of the best shots of the colors.

Here's Matt modelling the Slytherin scarf-in-progress. I would like to point out that his head chopped off is not due to my photography skillz, but to photoshop. He did not want his picture up. Wuss.

Virgil. I am a doting kitty parent, and I have more pictures of him then you would have thought possible!

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

I had a crappy day at work...and I'm so not going into it here. Suffice it to say I left early, and now I'm home. Hopefully I'll get some project pictures taken tomorrow, and I'll post them. I'm dying to start a new project, but resisting fiercely. I cast on for Matt's second sock, hoping that would singlehandedly keep both startitis and second sock syndrome at bay. So far it's kind of working. I keep looking at the pattern for Bella and whispering, "soon my lovely, soon." Creepy, eh?

In other news, I watched the Philosopher's Wool video today (thanks again, Rob!) and was thrilled to discover the techinique I worked out on my own for my practice swatch was right on for weaving in as you go! I feel soooooo cool that I figured it out on my own, and watching the video made it so much clearer. I watched it all the way through once, and I'm going to cast on with my Kool-Aid yarn to practice it later. I do love seeing all those sweaters, too. Some day I'll make one. Oh yes, some day.

Well, that's about all I can bear to post for today. I'm exhausted and anxious, so I'm going to go have some sock therapy.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

I'm going to bring the slytherin scarf home this weekend for some end weaving and a photo. Kathy asked to see it, and I have been longing to post its progress. Maybe then I can get moving a little faster on it! Though, I did get 12+ rows done at work. I was walking a customer through his email set up in Outlook Express when he said, "How many times a day do you do this?"

"Honestly, sir, I don't even know. Some days at least 10 or 15 times."

"Sounds mind-numbingly boring."

"Well," I said as I finished the last green row in a slytherin stripe, "you get used to it."

Oh! And I almost forgot! There was a package outside my door when I went to work today! I put it in my apartment, and didn't open it yet, but I think it's my ball winder! I wonder if I can talk matt into being a swift for a night?

current lust:
* Dawn Brocco socks and tunic
* In the Mood

wishful thinking:
* Shetland Sea Shawl
* Diamond Eyes Shawl - in Navajo, I think

on the needles
* cottage socks (50% done)
* endless garter baby sweater for Madison (68% done)
* toe-up sock for Matt (10% done)
* the Slytherin Scarf (20% done)

on deck
* Bella
* lots more socks
* Homespun Shawl - either the pattern that is in the newest Lion Brand catalog, or one of these: 1 2

* interesting book reviews, and tons of other links

* Dawn Brocco's Links

* Pointed out on the knitflame list...can you spot the typo/Freudian slip on this page?

Monday, March 03, 2003

Last night I finished one Cottage Sock, made from Wool-Ease Thick and Quick, charcoal grey. Matt was mocking me - saying it was Sasquatch sized, but it came out perfect. And warm and soft. Now I just need to make the second. This was my break from little needle knitting, and I got the first sock done in about a week. I only knit it after work, before bed, for just a little bit. I hope to get the other one finished this week.

Got one more stripe done on the Slytherin Scarf, for a total of 5 (out of 26). Also finished the right front on the never-ending baby sweater. Movies definitely help with garter stitch. I watched most of Carmen: A Hip Hopera today. Took a break to make lunch, and go to work.

A word about Carmen...I love cover songs, and movie remakes. I love comparing them to the original. I've never seen Carmen performed, but like a lot of people, I'm familiar with the famous arias, and the basic plotline. In high school, my spanish class watched a remake of Carmen, which was very convoluted - it was a movie about a play, which was of the opera Carmen. Interpreted through flamenco. I can't find a link to it online, but here's a page that described it. This movie changed the way I thought about movie remakes, and movies in general. It was wonderful. So, I thought I'd watch the Hip Hopera...and I am enjoying it. I loved the bit with Li'l Bow Wow rapping about how Hill and Carmen are like "Tony and Maria." A nod to a remake, by a remake. Beautiful.


found a link to the version of Carmen I love...Carmen(1983)


* make it w/ wool contest from Kippers for Breakfast

* beehive wool

* revolutionary knitting circle - not to be confused with Knitting for Anarchists

* virtual museum

Sunday, March 02, 2003

I just got an email that the new knitty is out.
I haven't gone and looked at it yet.
I'm savoring the moment.

Silly knit moment of the week: I knit at a party. But I was a chicken. I didn't get out my knitting until Amber got out hers.

One Measly Link
* Free Debbie Bliss Pattern