Knitting loot!

December 29, 2007

I didn’t get anything remotely knitty for Christmas. But I have bought myself some stuff lately. Okay, mostly today. I did pick up the Harmony Guide: Knit & Purl a week or so ago when Borders sent me a 40% off coupon. You don’t want to know how much I’ve been swatching instead of making things. Oh well, one day it will all be a blankie (or three) for the Snuggles Project.

Then today my Fabel came. One the colors kinda scares me in the ball. It looks pretty much nothing like my monitor view of a swatch of it (much, much brighter), but we’ll see how it knits up. And also today I went and took advantage of the 40% off going out of business sale at one of the LYS’s I don’t usually go to (The Yarn Gallery on 580 near the border of Clearwater & Dunedin — she said they were closing at the end of January). Thank goodness it’s not Uncommon Threads. I’d cry. But I walked away with some Crystal Palace DPNs (size 6 to make some house socks for Shawn’s giant feet), the Spring and Summer ’07 IKs, and…. a skein of Cherry Tree Hill in blue/green. Real live sock yarn. For me! I used one the DPNs to roll it into a ball in the car. I still have to decide what socks to make with it as my ankles are pretty wide so one skein is probably going to produce a pretty short sock on me. Which is fine since I prefer anklets anyway. It is Florida, after all. Maybe I’ll use it for my first foray into toe ups.

Of course, first I’ll be finishing the spindle socks. I’ve almost got one done, and I’m kinda biting my nails that they’re too small for anyone. They are definitely too small for me. I guess I’ll just have to see who they fit, and if they don’t fit Sue, make her some other socks.

I really need sock blockers… sigh… Maybe this blog should be “never enough funds!”

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Foody Friday

December 29, 2007

The French bread I’ve been making has proved to be pretty versatile, making a bit of a different pizza crust, and some really great sandwich rolls. Here’s what I’m doing:

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Foody Fridays (on a Saturday)

December 22, 2007

A bit late, and a bit shorter.

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Dance

December 21, 2007

I was not built with a dancer in mind. I’m short, bottom heavy, easily tired, and a complete wallflower entirely lacking in tempo. This is something I accepted from an early age, and haven’t thought much about since. I danced, sometimes, as a child, closed up in my room, very late at night once my parents were well in bed. I can remember how it felt, but know nothing of how it looked. I danced, very drunkenly, as a young adult, as a flirting mechanism. I didn’t care how it looked, and now, mostly don’t want to think about it.

I dance, sometimes with Shawn, a clinging rocking. It hasn’t happened in a while, but this is unsurprising as our disparate musical tastes lead to very little of listening to music together.

This year, for us, there has been distance. There were months of fruitless fertility treatments, and the sorrow that wedged in. There were months of trying to find the right medicine and continuing to be ill. To be honest, I still am ill. The medicine is still imperfect. I haven’t cycled in several months, and I can feel it in every muscle. I can’t do much, but I can knit.

When Shawn and I first talked about going out for an anniversary dinner, somewhere he could wear his suit, I scrambled for ideas of what I could wear. After the cost of a suit, buying a dress wasn’t practical. I have a nice white, pink, and tan dress from Igigi that was a Christmas present last year. It’s a dress that could be fancy or could be casual, depending on the accessories and context. But what to do for accessories? The earrings and necklace fell into place, but those alone weren’t enough. So I decided on lace. An heirloom-ish piece to commemorate the moment, the day, the seven years. I brought the dress to the yarn shop, and picked out something that matched perfectly, brought home the yarn and set to work. I learned quickly the needles I had weren’t well suited, so I bought needles when I had the money.

And I knit lace, for the first time. I tried to weave our love, weave us, closer together. And I made a mistake, and I spent hours trying to fix it, and it wasn’t quite the same after. But as I went on, it became less noticeable in the row after row of fabric. And as I became more accustomed to lace, and the pattern, my fingers felt like they were doing what could only be described as dancing. Left, spin, dip, right, left, left, spin, dip, right, right, right, spin, left. And there is an emotion that bubbles up, the way I remember it doing with dancing as a child. A connection to the now, the past, the future. There is so much in this dance, so much in the weaving.

I know that no amount of knitting will bring us closer. That my drive to make warm things for the ones I love, or make things that represent a love, will not instantly fix or protect things that are damaged. I know that the distance is at least half myself, the pain an impenetrable layer on the surface of me. And maybe this dance is one of longing and desperation as much as it is one of love and symbol and history. But to not do it, the emotion would sit so still inside me, with no release, and in that release, in the dance, there is freedom and life. In its absence would be silence and death.

So I dance, for myself, my marriage, my past, my present, and our future together.

So I knit.

Just keep knitting…

December 16, 2007

Don’t ask me what it is with the Disney stuff. It’s just there.

This evening I picked up the stole to work on it some more. I hadn’t gotten much done today because Shawn is home, and it’s always hard to knit anything that requires concentration when he’s home. But he was watching TV and on the computer, so I figured I’d get a little done, at least. This is just one of those nights where nothing works. None of the podcast downloading programs I went through worked very well, I kept losing everything (scissors, hooks, usb cords, etc.), dinner came out for crap, even my panties kept twisting.

Three rows in and the knitting explodes in my hands.

Okay, so, not quite, but that’s what it felt like. I’m not entirely sure what happened. What appeared to have happen was that there was a dropped stitch a few rows back. But I hadn’t had any problems with row/pattern counts, and the drop stitch seemed to come out of nowhere and become this huge aimless loop.

Tinking back hundreds of stitches of lace was not happening. So I tried to fix it. Ha ha. I actually spent about three hours in frustration trying to fix it. When I pinned it, I felt I could do it, but I couldn’t pin it and fix it at the same time, and I lost my place with it not pinned. I mostly spent a long time making things worse.

At some point I sighed at the mess in my hands and decided to just do my best to minimize the damage. The issue is still clearly visible, but not the gaping hole it was. My lack of skills, let me show you them:

My solution? At this point… just keep going. I still want to get it to a wearable length by Friday, even if it’s more a capelet than a stole, and hopefully that’ll be the only glaring error, and hopefully I’ll be able to cover it, either with itself or a pin. At one point maybe I’ll be good enough to drop a stitch down through the pattern to fix it, but, uh, I’d be lucky to manage that with stockinette at this point, let alone lace.

My first knitting project was a mess, my first sock was a mess, so my first lace project having an obvious error shouldn’t be a shock, though it’s a disappointment as unlike those two projects, I was trying very hard to fix any errors that popped up. I’m hoping to let my perfectionism go enough that I stop sulking about it and just move on.

With the bad luck tonight I should’ve built up enough goodwill that the rest should breeze by… right?

Ah well, practice, practice…

Okie, so. In the last entry, waaay down at the bottom, I talked a bit about podcasts. And how I was listening to Cast On and catching up there right now. Well, I’d listened to Episode 1.5 yesterday and was thrilled at hearing Allison Crowe‘s In the Bleak Midwinter, but not particularly surprised, as she’s one of the best indie artists out there (along with Andrea Florian and Jenny Dalton). But just now I was listening to Episode 4, where Brenda Dayne again plays Allison Crowe, but in fact, talks about her this time. And talks about the website. The website I painstakingly rebuilt from scratch a few months before the podcast was recorded.

I am so blushing right now.

The site is a bit different now than then. I’ve not been the one maintaining it, other than changing the header image maybe a year ago, but the fact that it lives and grows without a major redesign is a testament to Allison’s career.

Anyway, it was a really nice surprise to hear. And even better to hear Ally’s music whilst I tink knit.

Foody Fridays

December 14, 2007

Okay, so, I know this is a knitting blog, but my food creation and my knitting life seem to be becoming more and more intertwined, and I’ve been itching to post about my cooking adventures the way I have been about my knitting ones.

I used to cook a lot, and then I fell out of the practice for the past few years. Mostly because I hate our kitchen. Hate is actually a bit of an understatement. I’ve tried to make it nice, put up curtains, little decorative touches, but nothing made it better. It’s still a dinky, dark little cave of a place with the only window looking out directly to a… wall. So, eventually I stopped trying, and stopped really cooking. But recently a series of things happened that seemed to be pushing me towards cooking again. First, I had commented to my aunt while cooking on Thanksgiving that she could toss me any measuring spoon she had handy, since I was used to having a set missing pieces. So, my aunt, being the incredibly caring person she is, sent me a really wonderful measuring spoon and cup set. Then, earlier this week Shawn bought us a stand mixer (lots of employee discounts involved). But there is no room in our kitchen for it, and it’s just too heavy to do what we do with the food processor (hiding it in a cabinet when not in use). So we, well… we put it on the coffee table.

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Yarrrrrrn!

December 13, 2007

I never understood retail therapy until I started knitting. I’ve been really depressed all week. I took myself off a medication and my hormones just went out of control. I don’t even really remember yesterday since I spent most of it just staring into space.

Today I got up and opened all my daily tabs in Firefox, including my advent calendars, including the DROPS one Casey posted about. Today’s is another pair of socks and while I don’t exactly love either sock pattern they posted, I do really love the Garnstudio jacquard-style sock yarn (Fabel) they used for both. So I looked into how much it was, and when I saw it was pretty cheap, even after shipping, I bought a ball. Enough to make some anklets or something else I haven’t thought of. I really wanted some Glitter but I’m holding off on that until I figure out what I want to make with it. I’m thinking something lacy, maybe when I finish my Sea & Shells Stole.

Anyway, I’m still not in a great headspace, but I am really excited about my new yarn and ready to settle back into working on the stole.

A zillion WIPs, 1 FO

December 3, 2007

I’m still working on the Cherie… here and there. Plugging away at the 2×2 ribbing for miles. I’m waiting for the weather to turn cooler again, honestly, before refocusing, as it’s so big and heavy at this point (3x, and longer than the pattern calls for), that the Florida heat is making it unpleasant to work on. Not to mention, I’m a bit sick and feverish, so trying to stay as cool as possible. Maybe I’ll see if I can scrounge up movie money for Wednesday (free popcorn day for AMC/MovieWatcher) and toss it in a canvas bag to work on in the theater. Shame The Golden Compass isn’t out until Friday — it’s one of those rare movies that we both really want to see.

So in the meantime, I’ve finished the Marsan Watchcap for Shawn, and started on a Greenery Hat for him. The Marsan came out alright, just short for Shawn’s head despite doing it on a needle size up and in the large. After blocking it fit around okay, but even after reblocking just the ribbing, it’s still a lot shorter than it should be for a head like his. The Greenery Hat I’m doubling, and pondering tripling, the ribbing. I used a couple needle sizes up, and took the pattern one repeat down, which means one repeat of the 2×2 rib is actually a 3×2. I’m not sure how I feel about it, really. I’m pondering ripping it and doing another Marsan with a longer rib. I’d also started a scarf for him, half in each color, but he sat on the stupid thing and pulled it off the needles, so I’ll be starting over and trying something else there.

The stole I started I had to put aside until I can get my hands on some better needles for knitting lace than some blunt Clovers.

And today I’m working on… SOCKS! Socks scare me, for no real reason, as while my first sock came out a horror, the second one came out okay. I love working on DPNs, so what my problem is, I can’t tell you. I’m only on row 8 of the first, but so far things are fine. If they come out well enough they’ll be a pressie for my aunt. If not, I don’t know what I’ll do with them cause I’m entirely sure they’re not going to fit around my giganto ankles. But yay for learning cable cast on to get these started.