here’s a mitten anyway.

saturdays are for blogging

January 21, 2012

i’ve made a promise to myself
that i must knit at least an hour every day
and i must blog at least once a week
because i love myself,
and i love my blog.

i haven’t been doing so well with the knitting every day promise
but i refuse to fail on the bloging once a week.

so i here i am,
setting aside my huge pile of work
to show you some progress.

for a long time now,
i have been admiring the work of spillyjane.
there’s something about her designs that i just love.
if i had to put my finger on it, i’d say it’s her color combinations.
i feel pretty comfortable saying they aren’t typical, and yet,
they totally work.

however,
it’s been pretty easy for me to resist casting on one of her designs.
for one, i have a terminal case of second sock syndrome,
which can easily evolve into second mitten syndrome.
but also, while i love her designs,
i just didn’t see myself wearing any of them.
i love them and thought they’d look amazing on other people.
just not me.

that is until i saw these bad boys.

one look and i was harassing her to publish the pattern already.
(really. i emailed and tweeted her. i was pushy)

a copy found it’s way into my mailbox
and away i went.

here where they stand:
and here are my thoughts:

1) i love colorwork. i. love. it.

2) i love this pattern. i am thoroughly enchanted with the chart. more than once, i have talked to it with a kind of cutesy voice i use to show affection to mo or other adorable mammals. i am not ashamed.

3) i’m glad i went up a needle size. otherwise the mitten would not fit.

4) this does have me worried about row gauge, however. i hope they don’t end up too long. i refuse to do them math to find out.

5) i have some concerns about the thumb construction. i have very strong feeling about how mitten thumbs should be worked. however, spillyjane makes her living on mittens. i do not. i’m gonna let go and let god on this one.

6) the lighter of the contrasting colors could be little more contrasty. however, i did that on purpose. i love the fact that there’s enough contrast to tell that those are skulls without having my mitten scream, “look here! skulls on a mitten!” sometimes my plans work out.

7) i’m knitting them two at a time (on separate needles) in order to avoid second mitten syndrome. so far, it seems to be working. it has instilled in me a kind of “race” like feeling where i can’t let the other mitten get too far ahead. weird? yes. but it’s working.

8) a while ago, i wrote a post in which i listed my concerns about shelter. i decided it was high time i actually tried it out, and the fact that spillyjane used it to knit these mitts seemed like the perfect excuse. now that i’m knitting with it, i have some opinions:

a) i love how it looks. the color is impeccable and the subtle rustic heatheryness of it speaks to the old school knitter in my heard.

b) however, i’m not a big fan of it’s hand when i’m knitting with it. yes, it’s very light, and while i usually love the feel of a wooly yarn, something about this particular blend . . . well i just don’t care for it.

c) it’s also very easy to break which makes me worry about how it will hold up with wear. it didn’t actually break while i was knitting with it. i don’t cut my yarns to switch colors, i just break them. and shelter breaks with very little effort. i’m hoping the fact that the mittens are knit at a very tight gauge will help with the ware factor.

d) i do like the fabric this pattern creates with this particular yarn. it’s knit on much smaller needles than one would normally use. i think it works because the yarn is so lofty. and quite frankly, i feel like shelter would knit more accurately to a dk gauge than a worsted anyway, another reason i think this pattern/yarn combo works with such small needles.

e) i don’t know if d) can be said to be representative of how the fabric will feel for other projects knitted at the recommended gauge.

f) my hypothesis is this yarn would be great for an old school textured sweater, but i doubt i can afford it at this point. american made ain’t cheap!

g) all that being said, when i try the mittens on, they feel comfy and warm. i plan to use them as my driving mitts. i do not regret buying shelter for this project, i think they’re beautiful, and i recommend other people spend the cash to give it a go at least once. but i just don’t see myself buying it again.

9) do you think jared flood will blacklist me for this?

10) have i mentioned i love these mittens?
(i think the back is my favorite part)

i’ve also got this little lovely going:
pattern: spruce forest by nancy bush
i have a serious love hate thing going on with this shawl.
this is the story:

for about a year now, i’ve wanted to design/knit a lace shawl in marine silk sport in my absolute favorite blue moon color way, ‘spruced’. i wanted it to be a triangular shawl and i wanted it to be a kind of ‘tree’ shaped lace pattern. the fact that i am not a designer and don’t yet intuitively understand how lace works meant that i was seriously struggling to realize this dream. then along comes fucking nancy bush and designs a perfect fucking shawl. (i am not above thinking that somehow she stole the idea using some kind of psychic probe while i was in her sock class). i hate that it’s a bottom up shawl and that, because it is, all the trees will point upward exactly as they should.i hate the nupps that make it so fucking adorable and perfect that i can’t help but be delighted every time i purl 5 together on the ‘resting row’. despite the fact that they totally slow me down and are frustrating, i hate that i love them. (and hate that i would never have thought to put a nupp in shawl, even though they are clearly amazing) i hate that there is a solid garter border because i absolutely believe in a thick garter border and bam! there it is.

and god damn i hate that there’s a perfect looking slip stitch edge so that when i have to pick up stitches for the lace edging, it will be a snap.

god damn nancy bush and her perfect fucking shawl pattern!

i shake my fist at you in gratitude, bitch!

i’m knitting this shawl as a present for someone who i really like and i think deserves to have it. really, i shouldn’t be blogging about it, but shit, i need all the material i can get. i don’t have time for secret knitting!

so that’s what’s on the needles bitches.thoughts?

** ps i am thoroughly annoyed with the fact that i am unable to capture the true color of ‘spruced’. it is much greener than the photo, and has a subtle blue hue in it. my guess is it has to do with the silk and sea cell content being all reflective. any help from my photography peeps?

microblog 10

January 15, 2012


any guesses?

går till sverige

January 9, 2012

veronica and i occasionally send each other academic dream thingies.
we sometimes send other types of dream thingies,
like fashion or food thingies.

the most recent thingie she sent me was about a conference in sweden.

now,
when i get an idea in my head,
i often find it difficult to shake it.
it’s not that i’ve always wanted to go to sweden per se,
but the idea of going to hear people in my field give an interesting talk, and maybe sneak out to see some scandanavian knitting stuff, well,
it was an idea i couldn’t shake.

so i did the american thing.
i charged it.

that’s right bitches,
i’m going to stockholm.
in february.

it’s going to be cold, to be sure,
but i’ve got layers.

coincidentally, as part of my “finish it up” impulse,
i finished my green mist bohus hat.you want to see the inside, don’t you?this knit was definitely a challenge
but absolutely worth it.
i made a couple mistakes
(i.e. skipped like 5 rows on accident)
but it fits my head and looks like a hat.
i don’t recommend it as your first color work ever,
but i feel strongly everyone should knit a bohus design at some point.

in fact, go to solsilke
pick your favorite bohus stickning,
and order a kit from solveig gustafsson.

worth. it.

it’ll make you a better person.

i originally wanted to keep this hat for myself,
and it looks damn good on me.
but i felt someone else needed more.
so once i’ve woven in all those ends,
(a task i am not looking forward to)
it will be sent it off to my fibery friend, misa.
she is a color work queen, and her stuff consistently inspires me.
i can think of no one more deserving.

but i think i’ll take it with me to sweden first.
it deserves to see it’s homeland at least once.

so misa, you have to wait six weeks to get it.
it’ll probably take me that long to weave in the ends anyway.

to end, i leave you with this,
which is by far one of my favorite videos of all time (and also swedish).
(ps can anyone confirm if that’s really cher at 4:27?)

i kissed a boy at midnight

January 6, 2012

and the next day i had the mothah fuckin’ plague.
we’re talking bloody swollen tonsils,
fevers, shaking, mild hallucinations/dreams.
it was like i was in some kind of sweat lodge or something.
(go ahead bible thumpers. use it as evidence)

i called my mom to inform her that i planned on staggering to the hospital. i live a couple blocks away from one. i think ahead.

apparently, that was nonsense.
apparently, going to the emergency room for violent shaking due to a high fever and a pain in my throat so severe i thought death had taken up residence in my mouth would not have been covered by insurance.
apparently, if you can live with that kind of misery (which apparently one can), it does not constitute an emergency.

instead, she dispatched my father
who then brought me to her office
where i was promptly jabbed in the ass with a needle.

twice.

i then spent about six hours in my childhood bed
where my fever convinced me i had figured out the science/math of pain. (i shit you not. i thought i had solved the formula for how pain worked and was measured. a fever is a powerful thing)

i’m better, now.

i love western medicine.

which allows me to tell you of my recent plan to finish up some projects

it clearly goes without saying
that being a phd student cuts into one’s knitting time.
which means i haven’t had a fo to show in a while.

but as the new semester approaches,
i really felt the need to finish something.

and i did.

i got up first thing to try to take a lovely photo for you all.
ok so it was a bit too early.

so i waited and took a few more later.
when i first moved back to michigan, i was heartbroken.
more than once i found myself weeping,
bracing myself against various lintels and such.

i decided to cast on this shawl as way to work through it.

as things got better, (and they really did)
and i found my happiness here,
i stopped working on it.

i didn’t need this shawl anymore.
pattern: terra yarn: mad tosh pashmina in ‘mare’

i modified the pattern to work with a sport weight yarn. i didn’t write down the math but if you wanted i’m sure you could figure it out.

it’s being sent off to nancy, a loyal reader and sock summit stalker.
(literally, she knew what class i was taking and waited outside the door to meet me. that is dedication i can get behind).
she is taking this lovely shawl in lieu of the socks i owe her.
i think it’s a smart trade; god only knows when those socks will get done. and, really, does a lady in san diego need a pair of wool man socks?

i don’t think so.

it’ll be in the mail later today nance!

i should have another fo soon.
anyone want to guess what oldie i’m working on?

big trouble in little china

December 27, 2011

that’s what’s playing on my tv right now.
(gotta love netflix for providing those ’80s classics)

so the other day, i knit a hat.
(it’s a present so i can’t show you)
when i looked at the little leftover ball,
i got the idea that, perhaps,
i could eek out another one.

nothing fancy, mind.

just a simple sailory skull cap.

“what the hell,” thought i,
“let’s give it whirl.”

but as i started my decreases tonight,
it didn’t look like i was going to make it;
the ball, well, it just looked too small.
(that’s what she said)

now, something weird happens when you think you’re going to run out of yarn. you start knitting more quickly, as if you can outrun the yarn or something. at least, that’s how it works with me.

as i got closer and closer and the stitches fewer and fewer,
it became pretty clear that this was a no go,
and i’d wasted all this time knitting.

frankly, the thought pissed me off.
if i’d done all this knitting
and couldn’t finish? well,
it just pissed me off!

i mean, i’ve been doing this for a while now.
i should’ve just gotten new ball.
i felt like such a chump.

but of course,
i didn’t stop knitting.
i refused to believe that i was wrong.
my will is powerful, and i would not be denied!
plus i kinda have this sick curiosity;
i just needed to know how close i was.

well, i’ll show you.
wait.
what’s that?

let’s take a closer look
oh why that would be a finished hat, bitches.
with just enough yarn to close up the top.

so suck it, knitting gods!
i owned your asses tonight!

of course, now i can’t find my chibis,
but i know they’re around here somewhere.

yarn: cascade 220. pattern: my own hat know-how

the metaphor that best describes my life these days
would be something like surfing.
each week is a new wave
and somehow,
i’m on top of this one.

which has allowed me to knit a little on my sock.
those of you who’ve been with me a while
might even recognize the yarn.

anyone?

no?

*sigh* it’s like i’m working with chimps.
it’s the silkie socks that rock that i dyed
a year and half ago at the knot hysteria silk retreat

i remember (though it may be a hallucination)
that i was going for long color runs.
and lookwide stripes. exactly as i planned. i think.

i can’t wait to take a shot in the daylight,
one that shows off the subtle genius of the dyer.

but i have a question:
how much further do you think i should knit
before i begin decreasing?
it’s been forever since
i knit a sock.

thoughts?

p.s. it’s so good to write a post about knitting again.

a new direction

October 8, 2011

when i decided to go fro my phd,
i understood my knitting time would be severely reduced.
however, i don’t think i realized what “reduced” really meant.
i’ve considered that it might be prudent to give up the blog,
since the frequency of my f.o.’s will be greatly reduced.
but that kinda feels like quitting.
i wasn’t sure.

just when i thought this was the end of bitchesgetstitches,
i received a comment on my baltic blossoms shawl:

“This project was the reason I decided on this pattern for my boyfriend’s sister’s wedding present – Thank you!

(She doesn’t know that, but I think she might thank you too if she did)”

and what a beautiful shawl she made!

this was exactly what i needed.
i write this blog because people read it,
because, for some reason, my knitting speaks to other knitters.
and while, in the scheme of things, that might not be a big deal,
it makes me happy.

i want the blog to continue.
and if i want it to remain relevant and interesting,
i’m gonna need to get creative.

for now, i want to thank alyssa
for reminding me of my priorities!

microblog 4

September 26, 2011

it’s 6:30 am.
i’m studying.
i have a fever.
i’m wearing a hat.

the dustland hat.
you should knit one, too.

(this is a microblog. bad web cam photos are part of their charm)

winners

September 24, 2011

well i guess i’ve let this drag on long enough.
it’s time to announce some winners.

first prize, my thendara, goes to tina b.
the random number generator picked her number.
congrats babe!

there was only supposed to be one second secret prize;
it was meant for the person who resposted the giveaway in most creative way. but how could i pick just one when
two ladies really stood out.

first there was tammy.
tammy got her coworkers to harass me into giving her my thendara.
i firmly believe in harassing people to get things you want.
i think it’s an only child thing.

while i couldn’t just give her my thendara
(that would be breaking the rules after all)
i have to applaud that kind of ingenuity.

then we have cynthia s.
she printed out my blog post
and stuck it out on a telephone pole.
that, bitches, is some fucking creativity.

so cynthia and tammy will be getting a copy of westknits book three
compliments of yours truly.

if either of you makes a thendara,
i’d love to see it.

until next time!

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