Archive for July, 2008

I won’t be here this weekend,

because the boyfriend will be in town, assuming his plane (stupid Delta) ever gets here. To that end, I’ve rented a car, we’re planning to go all over the place, and maybe I’ll even get to a yarn shop somewhere outside of Santa Fe? (Couldn’t possibly happen…)
However, I have some gems to show for the past weekend and the sun this morning!

Saturday I went to this:

Santa Fe’s International Folk Art Market. Among other things, I bonded with Jess, from Albuquerque (and originally South Africa) while waiting for an African dance workshop to start. The ice-breaker? The embossed leaf socks. When I go through Albuquerque on my way home, we’ll be meeting up for knitting. I’m psyched!
(The dancing was awesome too.)

The workshop was held in the Folk Art Museum itself, so after getting all sweaty, I found my way to the Fiber (!!!) exhibit in said museum — it was all about the history of producing fiber and the things that people have done with it. There were spinning wheels, embroidered garments, lace like you wouldn’t believe, and this:

An interactive portion with standing looms, pot-holder looms, and embroidery hoops. I threaded a loop on one of the potholders, and then heard my boss from the Guild say, “I didn’t know you were part of this exhibit…” Oops!
Here’s my contribution to the wall hanging:

It took a while to do (like, 10 minutes, maybe longer) but part of that may have been because I was chatting with two different people that added to different portions of the existing weaving.

The other thing I’ve been up to (besides the Manos scarf and the embossed leaves socks, which are just longer than the last time you saw them) is this:

It’s the first in a pair of hand warmers inspired by Eunny Jang’s Endpaper Mitts — I have them on hold now because I have to figure out what to do for a thumb gusset. You can probably see the puckering happening — I started these at a Stitch and Bitch in town at a new yarn store called Tutto (awesome place, run by these two sassy guys that have interesting things to say about the editor of a publication with a title that rhymes with Binter-sleeve Wits), and could ask people there (veteran Fair-Isle knitters) if there’s any trick to carrying floats, particularly across needle joins. It turns out that practice is the way to go, so I’m not giving myself a hard time about it.

I love them.

I also finished this:

(Apart from weaving in the ends, of course.)

Detail here:

I’m stymied as far as capturing color in the intense sunlight here goes. Suffice to say it’s a combination of lilac pinks, olive greens, scarlet, maroon, and happiness. It reminds me of roses, in a great way.

And a color detail for the Whale’s Road cowl — delicious berry purples and refreshing clear blues. Lurve.

On the agenda for the week: stranded socks, Magic Loop style, and some basic boring movie socks. We have a planned date to watch as many super hero movies in a row this weekend as possible, and the first Hellboy movie should be arriving via Netflix by Friday.

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Socks Socks Socks

“Socks, Socks, Socks! I love Socks!” Read that in a high pitched sing-songy voice.

When I was in college, my closest friends and I would take anything — something we liked, something we didn’t like — and run it through that treatment. It was great — if it were something dorky that we loved, it was an acknowledgment of our ironic self-awareness, if it were something stupid that someone we didn’t like was into, it sounded appropriately ridiculous. We were big into irony back then. There was even an anti-irony club that we discussed starting, and I made a T-Shirt that said “Marmite! I do not like it,” to make fun of all those Non-English people that talk about how much they love marmite in a masochistic way. The shirt was a failure because I didn’t use permanent marker on it, and the colors turned out to be icky. (Think scarlet and apple green accents, ringer style, except NOT as awesome as that sounds.) Moving right along…

I do that often, in my head, now that I don’t live with the people I knew in college. (Tear.) Mostly with things that I like, since certain very very simple things make me amazingly giddy. Like socks.

I love socks.

In my first intensive year of knitting, I had no interest in knitting them, perhaps because the FIRST pair of socks that I knit I knit in Chile, during a student strike, after all my burgeoning friendships with Chilean students came to abrupt halts after they told me I was a strike breaker. (I didn’t know how student strikes worked, and wanted to know if there were any homework that the professors wanted me to work on in the interim.)
So I got a Blockbuster Membership (and found out, in the process, that I didn’t know — and still don’t — how to say “open a membership”, but it all worked out in the end) and opened up About.com’s how-to-knit website, and re-learned how to knit. I should mention that I had no concept of gauge, and was perplexed by why all of my hats were really small, and why my socks were more like mutant slippers that were simultaneously too big and too short. When I’m back in Maryland, I’ll try to find them to show what I have progressed from.
(They were amazingly lurid, too — apple green with variegated purple toes and heels — in acrylic that thwarted my attempts to felt them into slightly more wearable objects. It takes me a while, really.)

So anyway, I eventually came back to knitting socks through EZ’s Knitting Around, and when I finished my first sock that fit decently enough, I ran downstairs crowing, “I knit a sock!!” And my dad said, “Great. Didn’t you just knit a sweater? Aren’t socks easier?”

The point is that I progressed from there to these:

A swatchy-swatch of a socky-sock — Magic Loop, size 2s, hopefully adequate practice for some cycling ankle socks for Johann. Yarns are Jawoll sock in black, and Trekking Pro Natura (a gush-worthy blend of bamboo, merino, and nylon, in a perfect Gatorade Citrus color. Magic Johnson’s favorite flavor, if I remember such details from Elementary School.) It took several tries to get an appropriate shade of orange, since the socks are meant to match his Mountain Bike. He requested this, after I was like “Please tell me something that you would like me to knit for you!!!”

Two colors and manipulating the needles is challenging, even if I thought I was a pro at it. The pattern is from Alice Starmore’s fair-isle opus, which happens to be in the Santa Fe library.
(Starmore Starmore Starmore! I love Starmore!) (You would, too.)

Since those are on hold for fitting, I am also working on these:

My first “pattern” socks, Mona Schmidt’s “Embossed Leaves” from Interweave’s Favorite Socks book. Yarn is Socks that Rock Mediumweight in Moonstone, and it defies picture taking. The cuff exhibited icky pooling, which gave me some trepidation before starting the actual leg of the pattern, but as soon as I transitioned into the lace, these subtle stripes of pale grey, ice blue, and lavendar showed up.

You can sort of see them here. Since I love color, too, this is fabur-lous. The one sad part was getting a tiny puncture in my left index finger —

Not that gruesome, really — it’s already mostly healed, and the callous is on its way (praise Jeebus), but it did mean sitting out on knitting the Embossed Leaves for a day. Sad face.

My family is getting used to it — over a ski trip this past February, my mom said something like, “Another sock? But you just finished a pair!” and during a waiting period over my brother’s graduation weekend, my dad noticed me knitting a first iteration of these:

(picture repeat. Sorry sorry sorry) and said something about me being addicted, but dog it’s cool — the tentative plan is to knit him socks for his birthday with THIS (in “sooty”), which will stop any ribbing (aw jeez) about using this:

(Duet Sock Yarn, DK Weight)

for winter socks for me. My puzzling love of the color pink is fuel for another whole post. I’ve seen this get knit up into the most precious tiny stripes *, and assume that I will get the same effect. (Stripes Stripes Stripes…)

Hope does spring eternal.

Have a wonderful weekend — I’m about to walk home in a monsoon, and I’m getting that giddy feeling…

*That would be the Yarn Harlot’s Embossed Leaves, too — Adam Yauch in the Beastie Boys said that wanting to play Bossa Nova after listening to the greats is like watching Michael Jordan and thinking that you want to play basketball. Sure you do, says a god among men Adam. The Harlot’s work has the same effect.

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I blog in spurts…

but I’m trying to get better about that.

Briefly, because I take forever to do anything as it is, and I have to eat dinner and shower before going to watch the opera (!) tonight, I have a post in the works, but don’t have the hour to actually post it right now. To “tide you over” (heh), I’ll direct you to my Flickr account — http://www.flickr.com/photos/otterpaws/ — after all, who could dislike otters’ paws? They’re so chunky and webbed…

While my pictures are not necessarily chunky or webbed, I just posted a ton from the past year that I’ve meant to put up for about the same amount of time. I am learning the art of doing at little at a time in repeated and regular intervals, to avoid the epic time usage that occurs whenever I “have to buckle down” to doing something that I really do enjoy.

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Knitting does happen … finishing objects, too!

Knit while watching the second DVD of the 1995 mini-series Pride and Prejudice — Keira Knightley’s got nuthin’ on the Jennifer Ehle. I am convinced.

Meet the Cowl:

Chunky McChunkersons Malabrigo in Whales Road. A gift. The recipient don’t read this.

Fun to knit — I used size 10.5 needles, and contemplated doing it in linen stitch (which would make it a Chickadee, but I realized (epiphany!) that as much I love the look of linen stitch, I hate doing it. It always comes out iron-stiff. Well, maybe not iron stiff, but, like, really really stiff cardboard stiff. Iron sounds better. Which translates into tense knitting, stiff wrists … I am content to admire other people’s work in it!

So this was in “waffle stitch”, yanked from the earliest of the purlbee’s earliest postings. I knit my mom a cowl in this stitch (knit one row, knit one purl one second row) in lace-weight for her birthday in my “year of knitting” (my intensive re-entry into all joys related to knitting, wool, and other such fiber). This one, in a chunky weight, has a totally different look and feel, but I like it.

Look. You can do a Jesse James in it! (Okay, maybe not Jesse James. And he was a reprehensible guy in real life, but the old movie of him — not the Brad Pitt one — is hot.)

I’ll take a close-up picture for color when there is sun — the sky is uncharacteristically grey here in NM, something that I have not really seen yet. Oh well. Malabrigo color must be seen to be believed — this has deep blue, teal, dashes of blackberry, cornflower… durn lack of sun.

The camera battery is dying, so I can’t show the start of the new cowl, in Stonechat. Also a gift. But also stunning — this one has bits of olive, scarlet, pale blue pink, mauve — since when did I become someone that liked mauve??? It’s just a testament to how pretty the yarn is, really.

In the interim, however, is another project I started, for me, naturally, in yarn that I bought on my jaunt through PurlSoho.

I’ve had the yarn since March, and had assumed it would be a lacy scarf. I even started the Stalks and Blossoms pattern with it, only to stop because it didn’t feel right … also because I kept messing up the pattern. I suppose there are some good reasons for not starting projects as the end of the semester creeps up and work amps up.

On Sunday night, while my hands and wrists recovered from finishing the dang Koigu socks (also done. also lacking pictures. I tell you, I’m a derelict), I needed to start something-anything for accompanying the last episode of season one of Project Runway (crack), so I picked up the yarn — Manos Silk, citric colorway — and started a basic mistake rib scarf. So cushy. So perfect for the yarn. Such a no-brainer! I’m always short on scarves that are long and squishy enough — I’m a champ at short, light, lacy, airy scarves that are more like cravattes (am I really that type of person?), but this is a Scarf. No detail shots, because the camera is angry and anemic. Rather, the detail shots are locked in the camera.

Never mind — the camera pulled it out, but now the battery is well and truly spent. Here you go!

Cowl number two tiny detail (also a gift!):

Pardon the lousy lighting. Can you guess the stitch pattern?

And, finally, the scarf detail — the color and the shape (Foo Fighter reference? Really?):

Next up, socks socks socks! And my war wound. (Not too gruesome. Just annoying.)

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