Friday, January 19, 2007
They are knitting needles, size 10.5, with lighted tips for knitting in dim light. They're hilarious. when I called him to thank him, he related the following story:
I was walking down the street and passed by a store and there were two women in the window knitting with them, so I decided I had to buy them for you.
I went in [I ask, "Was it a yarn store?"] -- yes, it was a yarn store -- and said I wanted to buy a pair for my friend who was a knitter.
She asked me, "What gauge does she knit at?"
I said, "Um, I don't know....."
She said, "Well, what does she like to knit?"
I said, "Ummm...she knit me a scarf, once...." [this was the scarf I knitted in grad school, fifteen years ago, the very first thing I ever knit]
She rolled her eyes, and sighed very loudly. I said, "I am just going to choose them by the color I like, and you can tell me if it's an unreasonable size."
And that's what he did. They're a nice purple. Isn't he sweet?
Monday, January 15, 2007
I have finished the first of my toe-up socks:
It fits my boyfriend perfectly, so I am pretty proud of myself. Now...must fight Second Sock Syndrome!
I also took a break from the sock to knit this:
This is knit from an Insubordiknit Monster Hat kit. The handspun yarn is beautiful and soft, and I really enjoyed working with it.
Being a Monster Hat kit, it came with this lovely little monster patch:
(It has an open skull)
But, once I got the hat knit, the monster didn't really seem to fit it. I will have to use him for something else.
The hat is topless because I have a big head, and I like hats to cover my ears. I knew, therefore, that I would not have enough yarn for a full coverage hat, so I designed this, which I suppose technically is more of a headband. I like this design, though, because it lets me keep my ponytail neat:
Thursday, January 11, 2007
I am knitting these out of Smiley's cashmere, using a pattern I've cobbled together myself. I am using Judy's magic cast-on, wiseneedle's proportions and heel, and a mistake rib pattern on the top of the instep and aound the leg.Here's a close-up of the cast-on:
This is my first pair of toe-up socks, and I chose this cast-on because, I have to admit, I have a block against provisional cast-ons. They seem fussy to me, for some reason. Anyway, this is gloriously simple, and produces, with little or no effort, a totally seamless toe. Since I hate seaming and grafting, I love the idea of totally seamless socks!
The heel I am less happy with:
You can't really see it here, but it looks crummy. I don't like having to pick up two wraps on the same stitch. Sometime I could only get one. This is definitely too fussy and annoying for me. I am debating whether to switch to a Sherman heel on the second sock, or do this one again for the sake of making them identical.
I love the mistake rib--it's pretty, but not too feminine since I am making these for my sweetie. I like the strong vertical lines, and also the 3-D aspect--the ridges stick out nicely. On the top of the instep, I used 27 stitches in order to have both edges of the pattern match; one I got the leg, I added a stitch so that the leg is 56 stitches around. I knit the stockingnette sole on 6s and the mistake rib on 4s because the rib comes in a wider stitch gauge. But it also comes in at a shorter row gauge, so I had to throw in a couple makeup rows. On the leg, I'm on 4s the whole way around, but I am thinking of gradually increasing my needle size as I go up to incorporate some easy leg shaping. We'll see!
We'll also see if I can repeat all of this improvisation on the second sock...because I'm not taking notes :-).
Monday, January 08, 2007
Crow about what?
The sock, which I am making toe-up with a fabulous magic cast-on? The fact that I've designed the thing myself, and it looks mighty nice?
No. That will be later (with a better picture).
I'll give you a hint. See that manuscript under the sock? It's a manuscript I am reading for work. It's quite an interesting one, about dreams, and the place of the image in religion (it argues that Judeo-Christian religion is a religion of the word). I am about 110 pages in.
No, I didn't write this manuscript (good grief).
No, I didn't acquire it; I am not its editor.
I have figured out how to read while knitting.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Let me first say: I don't like apples. I never have. And I've given them a very good chance: I've tried Granny Smiths, MacIntoshes, Galas, Fujis, Cortlandts, Macouns, Braeburns. And some are better than others. Some are passable enough that I've thought, "This isn't bad. Maybe I'll buy more." So I buy two or three more, I eat one, and the rest sit in my fridge for months until I finally give up and throw them away. I eat apples, when I eat them, because they're good for me. Not because I like them. They are never sweet enough, juicy enough, crisp enough. They are always just a little too mealy, with a skin that turns to leather in my mouth and refuses to be swallowed no matter how long I chew. I don't like apples.
Sometimes, I bake them in pies, and then they are yummy.
Then, one day last month, I was in the grocery store, once again eyeing the apples and thinking, "It's winter. It's apples or nothing. Try a new one. Maybe, just maybe, this time, you'll find it." I saw a kind I'd never seen before, a Honeycrisp. Its name suggested sweetness and crispness, two things I feel are lacking in every apple I've ever tried. I know apple names mean nothing (Red Delicious, anyone?), but I bought a couple. Why not.
I took them home. I dutifully ate one.
I loved it. It is everything I've always wanted in an apple--sweet, crispy, and so juicy you have to suck on it a little when you bite it, or juice might run down your arm. It is the first and only apple I have ever eaten as a treat. I take one to work and I eat it at 10:30 because I can't wait 'til lunch. You know how diet gurus are always telling you to eat apples when you want something crisp--like potato chips--or sweet? I've always thought that people who advise this must hate food. They must never have eaten a potato chip in their lives.
Maybe they've been eating Honeycrisps.
Alas, they are hard to find. When I ran back to the store to buy more, they were gone. I've since found more at the farmer's market (I bought four. Then I went back and bought five), but that's a bit of a trek. Then, tonight I found some at another grocery store, after visiting three other stores in vain. I grabbed seven before they disappear again.
I'm obsessed. If you see some when you're out shopping, buy them. Eat one, and send the rest to me (kidding).
No, I am not working on either of my two sweater WIPs. Yes, this is the beginning of an entirely new sweater. I am fickle. On the bright side, though, it's a true stash buster, using Berroco Pleasure, an angora blend yarn I've had for some time, awaiting the right project. That project is this:
From the Spring/Summer 2005 Vogue Knitting, a pattern by Norah Gaughan, who always has interesting designs. I fell in love with the construction of this--the lace strip comes down one side of the opening, turns at the bottom, and comes back up the other side. The sweater is therefore closed at the bottom--it is not a cardigan.
I have a weakness for unusual design--this summer I made a Roundabout Tank top from Gaughan's book KNITTING NATURE, which was essentially a strip that wrapped around the body. Not the most flattering thing, but the construction was extremely cool.
In other news, my boyfriend has requested a pair of socks. I've knitted him things (hats) before, of course, but never at his request. I'm pretty pleased that he likes my knitting enough to ask for something, and I am busily planning the socks. I think I will try making this pair toe-up, which will require my learning a provisional cast-on.
I will get back to the Kool-Aid sweater eventually--right now it's winter, though, and even though it's been remarkably warm so far this season, I am hankering for a nice fuzzy sweater. Which I will probably not finish until July :-).