Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dreams

There are a few things I want to make ... I most likely never will. The Venezia is one of these things. I attempted it a few years back, and was an abject failure. I would love to try again, but I really need to work on my tension when doing stranded color work. I don't know if it's because I knit English (working yarn held in right hand, which is also called the throw method: you have to kind of throw the yarn over the needle to wrap the stitch). I'd love to learn Continental; I do know how to do the knit stitch in Continental but always lose with the purl stitch. With that method you hold the working yarn with your left hand and to make a knit stitch you barely have to move your hands. My sister does this, and I wish I could. Stitches East is coming back to Hartford in the fall, and they have a learn to knit Continental course, which I'm pretty sure I'm going to take. I feel like that would make color work so much easier. Not as much of an opportunity to make some stitches tighter than others. Someday, I'll do the Venezia.That pattern also features steeking, which makes me want to throw up to think about : it's when you basically cut with SCISSORS the project you're working on to make a neckline, or something like that. You reinforce the stitches on either side by sewing before you cut. I find it is terrifying. I've never done it. I'm a terrible sewer (I made a god awful pillow in home ec in like 7th grade and that was the end of my sewing career) and am too paranoid to think my sewing would hold up.
I've taken to reading over the Barbara Walker Treasury of Knitting Patterns books and am intrigued by twisted stitch patterns. It's basically the lazy knitter's way to incorporate cables without the hassle of actually cabling by just doing right twists or left twists. It can actually be fun and does not have the moment of panic that happens when a stitch slides off the cable needle when you're working...sheer terror. I'm not crazy about cables in general. Lace and color work interest me more, but unfortunately I'm good at exactly neither of those things. Well, lace I suppose I'm OK at. I've made a couple of Springtime Bandits, which is a good place to start for a novice lace knitter. And the sweater I made for my cousin's baby had a lace panel as the bottom. That one actually came out pretty great. I know I posted a picture of it a while back, so I'm not going to now.
This blog is slowly becoming a stream of consciousness about knitting. While there is no problem with that, I'm wondering if I should actually have a point when I'm posting, instead of rambling until I get bored and decide to wrap it up and start knitting.
I'm bored now. I'll wrap it up and get back to knitting.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Chris Isaak, Knitting, and ... that's pretty much it.

I started working on a baby blanket this week...It's called the Waffle Blanket by Alexis Layton. I'm using my 10 skeins of Mission Falls Cotton 1824, which I've always wanted to use, but never have. I like it thus far. I got the yarn on clearance at Village Wool in Glastonbury, which might be my favorite yarn store right now. It's always a mess; you sometimes have to climb over people to get to the yarn. But! Oh! The yarns they have...Malabrigo, Rowan, Frog Tree..everything a yarn snob wants. But it's totally not a snobby place, unlike some yarn stores (cough cough Knitting Central cough cough). I love it. But anyway, I digress. The Mission Falls was wicked cheap (it usually isn't - 84 yds per ball is pretty lame, too), but I am still anxious that I won't have enough. It's for a baby though; babies are small, right? Right. Oh, and also, it's charcoal gray. The two ladies I know who are preggers are both having girls (well, I know one is for sure, I'm just guessing at the other one), so...girls can use gray? Ugh. Why do all of my yarns have to be such a drag? So, here is some progress:





ooooohhh...the border. So exciting! Simple garter stitch (knit every row)
















There was a bit of fudging on the 3rd and 4th repeats...For some reason I was ending up with an extra stitch on row 3...so I just K2tog at the end of each row, and it seemed to work. I still can't figure out where I went wrong, because I counted multiple times and still it didn't add up, but I couldn't tell...so who cares? It looks straight, anyway. So I'm still working on that...It's pretty easy to remember, and I like that right now.


Aside from the knitting, I saw Chris Isaak at the MGM Grand this past Sunday night..Oh. My. God. Bethany and I went and we screamed for most of the show. We were totally "WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" girls. Quite embarassing. I'm blaming it entirely on our pre show shenanigans of cocktails at the Shrine at MGM...Which consists of waitresses wearing bustiers (literally) and hot pants, which made a couple of drunk chicks like Bez and I shame spiral and then smoke elevendy twelve cigarettes (we totally quit). Oh, but the drinks there! It was some girly martini that was quite smashing and had St-Germain in it, which is like an elderflower liquor...good grief, it was amazing.















And then we saw Chris Isaak, and screamed like a bunch of girls. Oh wait.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I can't always get what I want.

Here is what I have figured so far.
1. I'm in a knitting rut.
2. I'm a Ravelry pattern browsing ho.

Now why is this happening? I've browsed my hibernating projects and can only discover two reasons.
1. I hate purling and most of my projects are NOT in the round, thus purling is involved in a major way.
2. For my projects that ARE in the round, they are using dpns, and therefore are fiddly and irritating.

Since realizing this (I've been doing a lot of self realization lately, so maybe that is a part of my knitting rut? I'm too busing having epiphanies?), I have come to the conclusion that I should just knit tube tops.

I'm kidding. That's disgusting.


P.S. I was going to add a clip from the Big Chill (for the title of the post), which got me thinking about William Hurt, which made me think of Body Heat. Was that movie for real? The mustache, the ridiculous amount of sweating/slow ceiling fans, and Ted Danson? And why did they smoke like every second? I mean, back when I was a smoker (Kools, y'all), and there was nothing that was more repulsive than smoking in extreme heat and humidity. Right? Right.

P.P.S. Special Agent Oso is a terrible show.

P.P.P.S. On my Facebook page it seems to show Ben Linus as my only "Like". I won't quarrel with that. Even though Lost can suck it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I guess this is a Sunday thing...Or Whatever. Or Not. Maybe? Probably.

I am feeling like each week I'll start with saying how I need to knit more. It was my resolution to knit more this year, and here we are. I have no garments completed. Aidez, my dream lounge cardigan, is hibernating. I'm knitting gnomes still, and the Swallowtail lace shawl is in progress...sorta?













Oh, there it is. Well...So I'm not working on it right now. I'm blogging, geez. But I did stuff...and stuff!













OK, fine. I stopped in the beginning of a row about a week ago when I was at CZ's. It was kind of crazy party, and I remembered my rule: don't knit while slightly intoxicated. Even more important rule: NEVER KNIT LACE WHILE SLIGHTLY INTOXICATED. So, I locked my row counter, and slid the needles out a bit, and secured project in project bag. And I've barely touched it since. I'll get back into it, because I'm irritated with gnomes. Even though they literally make me start giggling every time I look at them. Just fiddling with the stupid, stupid, stupid double pointed needles...ugh.













Oh, come on guys. You know I can't resist.













OK! OK! You win! You melted my stone heart, which isn't actually stone at all and is on my sleeve at all times. I just like to say I have a stone heart because I don't want to admit that I'm really a squishy sensitivepants Cancer, because that won't give me any street cred. But there you have it.

I'm also doing constructive things with my time, like drinking pink champagne, going to a Sanrio store (totally tricked out Prius with Hello Kitty antenna topper, y'all), making soup (yellow split pea and ham), and reading all of John Podhoretz's movie reviews on the Weekly Standard site, which has had me loling for days.

I suppose that's all for now. Oh, I just gave myself away by saying I read the Weekly Standard. Whoops. Oh, who cares? Not me.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

So, Mother's Day. Yar.

So, my super awesome Mother's Day request was to lay around. And not have to touch laundry. And to knit. I got back into the gnome knitting project. Found random skeins of Noro, which is variegated so I can keep reusing the same skein and have elevendy billion different color variations.
I was going to post picture here but my dumb gmail hasn't received the photo I just took from my Blueberry. I'm sure there must be an easier way to do it, but I haven't figured it out yet. And I'm not googleing it, because as everyone knows, you should never google anything. So I'll keep babbling until gmail decides to receive the picture. I could wait but I'm in a babbling mood. Today was actually quite lovely. Sawyer spent the night at my parents' house, so I actually slept. Until 8 o'clock!! It was incredible. Imagine sleeping until 8! So then, I had no pink champagne in the house, unfortunately. Every holiday is an excuse to drink champagne upon awakening. What is even better is drinking champagne before you set foot out of bed. So, that didn't happen. But that was OK. Spent the morning laying around. Watched Sunday news shows without Goober telling me he wanted to watch something else, had loaded Corona (oopsies!) and pizza bites. Deeeelicious. Had a turbo from Dunkin Donuts, which actually is full garbage. You know what isn't? McCafe. That was a surprise. Gosh, gmail, you are super slow. Did I actually send it? Let me check. Gah!
It's still not there. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, Dunkin Donuts is terrible. We picked up Scoop, hung out at my Mom and Dad's for a bit...weather was beautiful. Laid on their patio for a while and looked at the sky. There wasn't even a cold breeze off of the water or anything. Glorious. Unlike yesterday, which was glorious when at UConn for CZ's ceremony, but had to go to a birthday party for one of Sawyer's classmates, which was at a park in Middlefield (have been in the car way too much this weekend), and it was a torrential downpour with thunder and lightning. And almost no shelter, under a tiny gazebo.
Another aside in photo saga - Blueberry is now telling me to validate my gmail account to send stuff. I hate this Blueberry. Why did I get it again?
So, back to today. Picked up Sawyer. We drove home, Sawyer was being a real pill. He started falling asleep upon getting to the swing bridge, of course. Which means transporting him from the car to bed was tricky business. But, we were able to do that, and I was able to take a bubble bath. With newly acquired Eucalyptus and Spearmint bubble bath that CZ gave to me...That was totally my scent like 12 years ago...I adore it. I bought everything Eucalyptus and Spearmint when I lived in Virginia for that year. The only other things I bought in Virginia were Tindersticks CDs. And Sanrio stuff. Anyway, bubble bath. And Summer issue of Interweave Knits!
Oh, hey gmail! Thanks for waking up. So I've got five little gentlemen done here.













I'm finding that using Noro is a lot easier than using my random Farmhouse Yarn that I used initially - I'm using bigger needles (6 as opposed to 3) and heavier yarn (worsted vs sport). So I'm crankin' these out at a fast pace today. Did the additional 4 in about 45 minutes.
















I'm sensing a pattern with my color scheme here. How many variations on purple can I have? Many.


I want to put in lame romance-y movie now, but that means I'll have to stand up. Ugh. Got some sweet movie viewing in, too. Watched Amelie (I know I just watched it last month, but whatevs), and the Waitress, which I had forgotten that I really liked. Now want to watch something dramatical. Painted Veil? I'll have to remember to turn it off before Ted Norton dies. I like to make my own movie endings. Wait, was it Ted Norton that died or Naomi Watts? It doesn't matter. Didn't happen anyway.
Actually, scratch that. I want to watch Battlestar Galactica over again (Chief ftw, always. Like crazy Chief the best, probs.). Hey, thanks streaming Netflix! You're making my dreams come true.
I suppose this is enough for now. Who knows? I might be back later. I've got tomorrow off so I am in full crazy woman mode. Maybe I'll stay up until 11! (I say that now, but I'll probably end up in bed by 10). A+!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Random

Maybe I should rename the blog to "Rage Knitter (except when shame spiraling; then it's the Baker's Dozen)" or something comme ça. Mon blog est le meilleur! À bientôt!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Progress...maybe?

I'm slowly working out of my knitting funk. There's a real issue with my knitting timing, I'm starting to think. It probably happens to everyone...but I seem to start knitting ridiculously heavy garments (cough cough Aidez cough cough) when it starts to get nice out, and then lose interest and only want to knit scarves/shawls (cough cough Swallowtail Shawl cough cough). I started the Swallowtail Shawl the other night and am already so much happier. I'm using Malabrigo Lace that I got at the Vogue Knitting convention in New York this past January (interesting, too expensive, no match for Stitches East, which is cheaper and was right down the street from where I work), and holding it doubled. Laceweight yarn is super intense and I have yet to finish anything with it. I hope that holding doubled will increase chances of actually finishing? Anyway. I'm on the fourth Budding Lace repeat and I'm loving it so far. It's only a 6 stitch repeat that adds one repeat everytime I finish the 6 row pattern..(I realize that must make no sense to a non-knitter - so: Lace is trixy in a way because you usually start from the top and keep adding stitches to make the final triangle shape. . This pattern in particular started from 5 stitches and will eventually be 323 stitches. You increase by doing yarn over stitches, which makes small holes in the fabric.) So, it's pretty easy to memorize. Also, it has a whole bunch of slip slip knit stitches (decreasing one stitch) which I find to be my favorite stitch to do, for some reason. I can't explain it.
Here's what the repeats look like up close:













I absolutely love this yarn. I always wanted to use Malabrigo yarns - they seem so decadent. This wasn't so bad - Each skein was $8, so $16 for a super awesome shawl handmade by this dame seems like a pretty good deal. I was never going to finish the Featherweight Cardigan, which is what I was originally going to use the Malabrigo for...That was making a full cardigan using 2 ply yarn? What the hell was I thinking? Also, this isn't what it will look like after I finish and block it...It will open up the lace even more. (Fingers crossed)

So Aidez has made it to the Yarn Nook...where it will hibernate until I'm ready to finish it. Yarn Nook (don't judge - it's semi-tidy):













If you look hard you can see it sleeping on my Emily the Strange tote bag (complete with Knit Princess button). At least it's not in the yarn room, which you can feel free to judge me for. It's a nightmare.














Side note, I don't know if I ever posted the picture of the cardigan I made for my cousin's baby who was born a few weeks early - used one skein of Berocco Ultra Alpaca Light (awesome yarn, per usual - it's Berocco) and the Helena Baby Sweater pattern.













So I HAVE finished stuff this year. Not as much as I thought I was going to...it was my New Year's Resolution to finish many projects this year, and I still have time. I fell off a bit because I kept putting off the Aidez. Maybe I wasn't meant to be knitting so many garments? I don't know. Scarves and shawls are so much easier...well, for the most part, anyway. I'm sure once I get around 200 stitches I'll be screaming at it and praying I won't mess up...because I never use lifelines when I knit lace. Which is what a lot of smart people do, but I never claimed to be a genius. Besides, I'd rather knit than start working lifelines into the equation. (Lifeline in knitting: threading a row with some waste yarn, so if you have an epic fail you can tear back a few rows instead of frogging the whole darn thing)

So, that is my general babbling for the evening. Hope you're still conscious.