Friday, September 15, 2006

The hazards of knitting

My hands and wrists have been hurting a lot lately, in part thanks to knitting.

My right wrist, in particular: I injured it some 15 years ago and it has not been the same since (don't get me started on how much I hate futons!). When it rains, it hurts. And when I've been typing or knitting too much, it hurts. It doesn't hurt where most people with carpal tunnel seems to hurt, on the underside. No, it hurts on the outside, right where that protruding knob is.

The sweater I've been working on is on Knitpicks Options needles, and I don't think this has helped. Normally I work on Denises, but the yarn I am using was too "grabby" on the ,so I switched to the Options. They're metal, and they lack flexibility. They hurt.

So, rather than stop knitting (hah!), I've done two things:

1) I've switched (back) to combination knitting.

2) I've bought some Handeze gloves:

I bought the kind that come up the fingers, since my fingers hurt, too. As far as I can tell, you can only get these on the website.

Don't I look like some kind of snazzy knitting superhero? Batknitter, or Purlgirl. I should be able to shoot hand-dyed wool from my wrists like Spider-Man.

They've been surprisingly helpful so far. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Hey, cool hat!

I'm loving it:

I'm in the groove right now, that great groove where you love what you're knitting and you can't wait to finish it.

Alas, there are times (many times; most times) when that groove fails; you hit a pebble on the track, and suddenly you just don't care anymore. Something has happened to spoil your pleasure: you've made a mistake too huge to fix, you've realized the pattern is ugly/boring/unflattering. Maybe you're just very, very tired of cables, or of the feel of that yarn. You can't finish. You want to move on to something else, something more interesting, something where that groove is still waiting, something that is not starting to stink of failure.

Right now my mittens are languishing. I am ashamed. They are languishing because I can't decide how to decrease the top of the second mitten. I know I dislike how I did it on the first mitten, but I can't decide how to change it. Also the thumb is placed too low, I think, after having been placed too high on the first mitten. I feel defeated.

But the hat, the hat still loves me. It is still turning out the way I planned it in my head. Each row is a thing of beauty. I really, really, hope it stay this way, because I actually want to finish this one.

I just know it will be perfect.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Well, I've been working on that hat for my boyfriend, and I hate it. Check it out:

This is actually my third attempt. The first time through, my stranding across the back was a mess--much too tight, no doubt because I am stranding across 18 stitches. I've never really done intarsia before, and I'm just winging it and finding that doing it in the round is a mistake. The second tme through, I fixed the stranding tension, but the gauge was completely off, so I had to rechart it.

This is the third time, and it's perfect. The stranding is great:

And you can clearly see the pattern (yes, it's a Mets logo). It looks great, and I hate it.

My objection is simply that it looks like a hat you could buy. Blue with an orange logo centered on the front. Such hats ae everywhere. Sure, maybe my logo is a bit larger than your average commercial hat, but why go through all this trouble to make a hat I could buy?

I want a hat which will make other Mets fans say, "Hey, cool hat!"

It doesn't help that I want to make this a doubled hat, with a Rangers logo on the other side. The Rangers logo could not have been better designed to make it difficult to knit:

I've realized that the only thing to do is to make the logo huge, cut off the top and bottom, and make it more of an impressionistic Rangers hat. But this will make the Mets side all the more boring.

I've decided therefore, that, however proud I am about how good it looks, I must rip the whole thing out and start over. I'm going to blow up the Mets logo, too, rechart it, and do some serious intarsia, back-and-forth and seamed. This will be an interesting experiment.

I am learning, as I start designing, that I appear to be a hit-or-miss designer. This is frustratng to me, since knitting takes so very long. I want to get it right the first time! But I'm also an impatient type, and at a certain point I just want to dive in and knit; there's only so much visualizing, planning, and charting I can do (and it's a very small amount, I admit). So, I am resigning myself to rippng out a lot. I have to say, my poor blue yarn is looking a little ragged. It's tough stuff--Elann's Highland Wool--but I've now frogged it three times. Good thing it's cheap!