Sunday, November 19, 2006

Serendipity, perhaps not.

So I get the feeling that I'm not loving my weird boucle shawl collar. I stopped, seamed the sweater, snipped the collar in progress and threw it in the bathtub. I need to see it on.

So now I need to wait 16 years for 9 skeins of Rowan Chunky to dry so that I can try it on, confirm that I hate the shawl collar that is morphing into some kind of floppy sailor collar, and then figure out what to do about it. I tried to photograph it drying to get some opinions but it looks so hideous lying there all soggy that I'm not going to bother.

In the good news department, I sent in my first pattern to Debbie Stoller. Completed one day before the deadline. (Ok, there was actually less than an hour left in that one day before, but it counts.)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Serendipity, perhaps.

So I bought this discontinued Rowan Chunky from Ebay. It was cheap, I bought 9 skeins (all there was. I admit the odd numberness of it bothered me.). I'm lukewarm about the color, but did I mention it was cheap?

I had been planning on making myself an Elizabeth Zimmerman Tomten from this yarn, but I'm running short on time, and in need of something to fit over this belly of mine. So I broke out the knitting machine and went to work on the Ella Rae Wrap Sweater. I had contemplated making the Tomten in stockinette on the machine (would have been a breeze) and I may yet do that. But for now, I wanted to play around a little.

Well, the 9 skeins wasn't really enough since I'm knitting at a tightish gauge for this yarn, and the sweater needs to be rather, um, wide.

So I was hemming and hawing and found these beautiful skeins of Tabitha rayon boucle dyed by Little Turtle Knits nestled in my stash. I've been hoarding it and wondering what to add to it to make it enough yarn for something. And the match is perfect.

trim goes around the cuffs, the bottom (yeah, that lighter color boucle trim around my hips isn't going to be the most flattering choice i could have made, but oh well.), up the fronts, into a shawl collar. I'm contemplating adding pockets and trimming the pockets, too - sort of a mock shearling thing.

I'm not sure if the belt should be the boucle or the original yarn, i'm thinking the original but i'm not sure i have enough left.

I knit up the main pieces on the machine and now i'm adding the boucle trim by hand. I have to say this pattern is kind of hard to keep track of, especially the top where you're decreasing on the armhole side every other row and your neckline side every 3rd row... it's just not intuitive. I love the armscye, though. The sleeve fits in there perfectly and lays beautifully. It's similar in fit to a hybrid set-in/drop shoulder I've been using a lot lately, but this is much more curvy and elegant. I like it a lot.

It loses a bit of perfection for me since i sized up (and added yet more in the width). Had I known how the arm would fit I would have made the top to fit and only enlarged the bottom part. I was thinking it was a wrap sweater and an extra size wouldn't hurt. Oh well.

In other sweater news, the EZ seamless hybrid creeps along. It's boring. I need a trip to the movies for some knitting to pound out that last sleeve and get to the exciting bits.

In non-knitting news, Nat the Professor continues to improve. He's going through his first round of chemo right now and I'm waiting to hear how that's going. We're hoping to take a trip to see them next week, if he's up to it.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Knitting is Pretty.

Hasn't been much knitting in my life these days, I've been scrambling with the raffles for the Professor (which went very well, by the way, thanks to you all for your kind thoughts) and the fundraiser for my daughter's preschool. And I'm looking for an apartment which is a total nightmare in this city.

Total. Nightmare.

I can't tell you how many "two bedroom" apartments I've seen that seem to be missing living rooms. And are over our budget anyway, even without the living room. Ugh.

But I did spend an afternoon with the talented photographer Sabrina Usher who took some photos of some new top secret projects for me, as well as shots like the one above - step by step technique shots for patterns. I think they make the whole knitting process look so lovely.

In other knitting news, the EZ hybrid is kicking my... well, I'm having issues. I have these weird, wobbly, pregnant hands and my tension changes like every 14 seconds, it seems. I have started the first sleeve no less than 4 times and every time need to rip it back and start over. I think it's working now, and i just need to measure my gauge and change needles every few rows to keep on target.

Our anniversary has come and gone so maybe this sweater will be a gift for the holidays instead. If all goes well.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


i love your comments and frequently would like to respond to them, but if you do the anonymous email thingy then I can't. And i feel cheesey and pretentious responding publicly.

But here goes anyway. The patterns for the animals I make are my own. And yes, I am working on releasing them, I'm just slow. i hope hope hope to have at least one or two toy patterns ready in time for holiday knitting.

I will always cite the designer if I knit something not of my own design, so you can pretty much assume if there's no designer listed that it came from my own weird brain.


Ladies and gentlemen, hold on to your hats. I've found it. Well, actually she found it. The toy my child will actually ENJOY! First, we started with a trip to Downtown Yarns where the exceptional Rita helped us find everything in the store that the Squid deemed "soft." Finally, Miss Squid settled on Muench's Touch Me, a rayon/wool blend chenille that is, indeed, crazy soft.

Then we spent a month or so at home with Miss Squid carrying the ball of yarn around not letting me knit it. Then one day she came to me, yarn in hand, and said "Can you make something from this for me? I know you can. You're a knittingerly superhero."

We discussed what she'd like me to make, and she settled on an octopus.

And I made it. And fearfully gave it to her (remember The Elephant?). Her response? "Oh, I was dreaming of this!!" She loves it. She ran right away and put it in her bed (bed toys are a rare and special breed of toys).

And guess what? over a week has passed and she STILL likes it!


In other kid news the Professor continues to heal. He's feeding himself and talking a bit, and the post-operative seizures and hallucinations are falling slowly under control. We're not breathing easy yet, but we are breathing. Thanks for keeping him in your thoughts.

Auctions for Nat continue, and include this amazing find:

I went to see the amazing Annie Modesitt at a book signing, and she offered a signed copy of her new book all about knitting and crocheting jewelry with wire. She also gave me one of the pieces she made for the book! I'm overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity for the Professor. Knitters rock.

So visit the auctions and check out Annie's stuff. Some beautiful hand-dyed yarns for $1 raffles, too.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. I appreciate it more than you can know.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Fiber Arts Avengers Unite!

The Fiber Arts Avengers are holding an event from November 3-November 12 - selling, auctioning, and raffling off all kinds of hand crafted stuff (i hear tales of hand-dyed yanr!)to help support Nat's treatments. Mostly we're hoping to spread the word and get lots and lots of people thinking of him and sending him energy and hope.

There's not a lot of news. Nat's just resting and trying to heal in preparation for the treatments to follow.

As for me? I'm trying to get back on my horse and keep moving forward. I've been organizing the Avengers event as well as just trying to keep it together, and that's proved a full-time job.

I did manage to knit this:

Which made me rather happy. Pattern forthcoming.

And I went out on the town with this lovely jaguar last night:

She wasn't particularly taken with everyone being in costume. She couldn't really figure out why everyone kept trying to give her candy. And she wouldn't wear her ears. However, she was every so slightly more into the holiday this year as opposed to last when she insisted on dressing as "just me." and saying "no thank you" when offered candy. Come on, kid, even if you don't want any, why not think about your mother? This year I managed to wrangle a few bits here and there, and she ate shockingly little.