16 October 2006

Cast-On Binges and Fiber Fasts

Those of you who knit, do you ever go on a "cast-on binge"? I mean where you know that you shouldn't cast-on anything new, but not only do you cast something on, but you cast-on more than one thing? In the same night?

Okay, so I might have done that.

But they are both scarves! So stop shaking your head in dismay! Yes, you!

I may have a slightly guilty conscience, too; but, I like my new projects, even if I didn't really need any new ones.

So I'm sure you're wondering what they are. They are probably both going to be hard to get pictures of, but I will try.

The first is Branching Out; my mom said it was a good pattern, and I decided to give it a try with some KnitPicks Gloss that I had laying around. I have to hand it to KnitPicks.. their customer service/shipping and handling may leave something (or a lot of things) to be desired, but their yarn is actually pretty nice. Especially Gloss. Very very soft and wonderful.

This is the very beginning of it that I have on the needles:

I also needed a black scarf for winter; would you believe I don't own any black scarves? There was a severe need for one last winter, so now I will have one. I'm doing a "fake" or "garter" rib by doing a K2P2 rib on one side and purling the other. Doing K2P2 for the whole scarf could drive me insane.

I went to JoAnn's for this yarn, and got some of the squiggly kind because it has a very skinny shiny thread plied with the thicker yarn, giving it a little more sheen which I was hoping would make it look nicer. However, the bunchiness is already driving me crazy, so we'll see if I can handle it for the whole scarf. Hopefully so. Sorry you can't see any stitch definition, but there's hardly any to speak of and then add in that it's black and catching it with the camera is pretty much doomed.

Speaking of buying more yarn, I'm not going to. I'm hereby going on a Fiber Fast until Stitches East; I do NOT need any more yarn to keep me knitting until then. This is not just yarn store yarn, but also craft store yarn; I may not even buy a single skein of a new yarn to try out or more sock yarn. I DO NOT NEED ANY MORE YARN. (I'm trying to remind myself of this fact.)

Can you all keep reminding me that I don't need any more yarn? Please?

12 October 2006

On Being Unable to Knit

I've been thinking a lot lately about how addicted to knitting I've become. I have a tendency to become addicted to things, but knitting in particular has insinuated itself very quickly and very deeply into my day to day life. I love having something to do with my hands, I love created seamless fabric from string, I love learning new and more challenging things to do with the same two (or four) needles.

A few days ago, I was unable to knit for a day. I went rock climbing (at a local gym) and I hadn't been in a while. I also failed to stretch thoroughly (NOT RECOMMENDED) and my forearms spasmed the whole next day when I made a motion at all similar to closing either of my hands. I could hardly type (certainly not enough to type this post then, although I usually muse over things for a few days anyway), and I definitely wasn't going to try to knit. For one day that was okay, and I picked up the needles the next day and knitted up a storm. (The Doctor Who scarf is coming along nicely!)

I guess it just struck me a little more strongly this time, because I know there are people who have to permanently stop knitting, and I've known some of them. My grandmother knitted, though never when I could remember, and one of my aunts (the one who I know the least well) also knitted. Both were forced to stop by a relatively quickly advancing (from what I understand) form of arthritis that developed in their hands.

And now, my mom (who started knitting about the same time as me) seems to be starting to have the same problem.

I'm hopeful that with all the new medications out there, there will be one that will stave off the symptoms and allow my mom to keep knitting for a while longer. I hate the idea that she might be forced to stop so soon after she started; I would offer to knit her things, but I'm pretty sure that even for product knitters (and I don't know if she is one or not), having made it with your OWN two hands is part of the appeal.

Meanwhile, hearing that my mom might have to stop and also experiencing what it might be like to have pain stop someone from knitting, I have a lot more appreciation for my own ability to knit--and I don't just mean my skills, but also my physical capacity to do so without causing further pain. Hopefully, my mom will be able to, as well.

(Sorry to bring up this difficult topic; I guess this is something most knitters don't like to think about. I certainly don't! I'm away from my camera, but hopefully tonight I can get back to pretty pictures and positive posting.)

06 October 2006

Linen is Weird

You may wonder why there is a picture of Soleil (knitted in Noro Lily) in a post titled "Linen is Weird." But there is a connection, if you bear with me.

First, I want to brag about the fact that the knitting of Soleil is finished. This one has been on the needles for quite a while, including a time where I set it aside to decide whether I could take the weird pooling or whether it needed a trip to the frog pond. As you can see, I finished knitting, and you know, I think I like it. Horizontal stripes and all!

So now, I'm blocking for the first time (no, I've never blocked anything before! Although, I'm thinking of disassembling this and blocking it before reassembling.. I did a shoddy job of finishing it so it needs disassembling anyway, I think), and I'm doing it with a circular item (knitted in the round) and a cotton/silk blend to boot. Hopefully this will come out okay. I'm blocking it approximately 1/3 at a time, so that it fits on my ironing board.

Meanwhile, now that this is blocking, I have finally been able to cast-on the Moss Grid Hand Towel from Mason Dixon Knitting. I've been wanting to play with the linen yarn (they say it softens up the more you wash it, and it's machine wash AND dry.. does it get any better?), and now I am. And let me tell you, it's strange.

I'm working with Euroflax Linen Originals.. has anyone out there worked with this yarn? Does it grow or shrink or neither, when washed? I'm knitting a towel, so I'm too lazy to knit a swatch for a rectangular item that is not particularly size dependant, but I'm still curious... Posted by Picasa

03 October 2006

Socktoberfest Begins!

Yes indeedy, I'm participating in
A no-pressure festival celebrating socks.. right up my alley. In fact, I forgot it was October 1st yesterday but conveniently cast-on a new sock (for a new pair of socks, eventually):

Sorry the picture's not very good, but believe it or not that wa sthe best I could get. I'm one full repeat (24 rows) into the ankle of the sock; I'm working from Sensational Knitted Socks, the Ribbed Lace pattern to be exact.

These are going to be gorgeous socks, and the yarn is a wonderful merino/silk blend. I'm not admitting where I got said yarn, though. Nope, not admitting.

More sock coverage in the near future, hopefully! Oh yeah, and maybe I'll try to take a picture of the recent progress on the Doctor Who scarf, which is too big to take pictures of as a whole. Totally unwieldy, actually. Maybe I could take it apart and make a blanket instead....? (Just kidding!)

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?