April 14, 2013
on my way to paris,
i decided to knit a sock.
sock knitting is perfect for airplanes, and
i was drawn to the colorway from the last month of last year’s sock club.
since school timing makes going to maryland sheep and wool impossible,
i decided i would treat myself to a knot hysteria retreat this summer.
and since it’s my tradition to always knit something for the harlot when i see her, the sock would be perfect.
and then, the bomb drops while i’m in paris:
tina and stephanie broke up.
no more sock summits.
no more knot hysteria retreats.
frankly, i’m shocked,
and i know a lot of people are.
within 20 minutes of the post, texts were flying between knitters
asking who knew what? how did this happen?*
never would i participate in yarn-dying melée.
never would i learn more about fiber in a day than i have in the past 3 years. never would i get the chance to spin and knit and make friends and steal my favorite soap that looks like a rock from the port ludlow resort’s maid’s cart. (and i’m on my last fucking bar!)
i made some life-long friends at my first retreat
i learned to spin, just so i could go, and now i’m a spinner.
and now it’s all over.
and there’s this sock
that has no mate, as of yet,
and i can’t seem to bring myself to cast on the next one.
it’s really pretty, and i love this pattern,
but the intension that bore it
can never be fulfilled.
so what should i do?
leave the pair unfinished, in honor of the loss of knot hysteria?
quit whining, knit the second one, and give them away?
**my personal hypothesis is that knot hysteria dissolved because tina and stephanie were sick of dealing with the same whackos that showed up to every single event. i mean, there were some awesome folks who went, people that i love. but some of those regulars . . . if you saw them on the bus, you’d get off and wait for the next one to come. just sayin’.
August 17, 2012
i have a confession to make about my last post.
it was what you might call, not entirely honest.
true, that photo was takes in the nest i’d made on the floor,
but i didn’t actually stay there.
it wasn’t for lack fo trying, mind.
it’s just that,
27 is the age at which
one is no longer able to sleep on the floor.
it’s frankly quite sad since my childhood was filled with instances of my curling up in unlikely spaces to rest. my favorite was the floor of the passenger side of my dad’s red chevey pickup.
adulthood is filled with sad milestones.
so where did i end up sleeping you ask?
well, while i couldn’t sleep on the hardwood,
i was able to channel my childhood talent for contortion,
and curled myself around the item on the bed,
covering the ends of the blocking wires
to avoid being impaled in the night.
which i suppose would be more impressive
if the item in question were bigger.
it was still, nonetheless,
mo upped the level of difficulty
by finding the one spot to curl up
that made any movement in the night impossible.
frankly, this item has been nothing but trouble from the start.
before i went to the knot hysteria gourmet retreat,
i suggested to my fellow retreaters
that we all do a knitalong.
i chose the aCute angle
because it had just been released
and seemed easy enough for us to complete in a weekend.
several people finished theirs in the blink of an eye,
but mine refused to even get started.
the first time, i twisted the join,
and didn’t notice for at least an inch.
the second time i cast on a number of stitches
that had absolutely nothing to do with the pattern.
(i think it was off by something like 12 stitches?)
once i’d finally got myself together,
it was the end of the second day
and my modifications* meant
i’d never finish that weekend.
i know i finished knitting it at some point,
but it sat for ages waiting to have its ends woven in.
then i let it have a nice soak and promptly forgot about it.
i don’t think silk is meant to soak for three days.
there’s something about the texture that feels . . . different now.
even this post has been needlessly delayed.
it’s been written for at least three days;
all it wanted was a final edit.
regardless, it came out beautifully,
and i thoroughly recommend this pattern.
it really is a snap for anyone whose mojo isn’t on the fritz,
(though blocking lace in the round presents its own unique challenge)
and this is one pattern where i think the yarn is perfectly matched.
(just note that, on ravelry, it’s currently misspelled as ‘a cute angle‘
losing all the fun wordplay in the title!)
now i just need to figure out who it’s for.
though, it might be perfect for mo.
tomorrow, the most irrelvant post i’ve ever written.
>glares at certain portland-based blogger<
à demain, bitches!
*aCute angle modifications: i added one pattern repeat and did seed stitch for the border rather than garter stitch.
August 10, 2012
though the random number generator refuses to embed today, it did pick the winner for the bitches get stitches third blogiversary giveaway.
it chose number 114, so medora is the winner!
(you can all hate her now)
you should have an email from blue moon with your $100 gift certificate.
(do contact me if you haven’t gotten it)
to everyone else,
thanks so much for entering.
here’s to another eventful year of blogging!
August 9, 2012
***comments are closed, bitches! the winner has been picked and notified. thanks for playing!***
so i got this little notification yesterday,
that today is my blogiversary.
my third, to be exact.
i recall starting my blog roughly around the time i first moved to pittburgh in 2009. i’d left a vibrant group of friends, a burgeoning knitting group, and the best paying job i’ve ever had to pursue my academic career and live with my best friend. i don’t remember why i began blogging, per se, by which i mean, i don’t rememeber the specifics. i do know that all i wanted was to stay connected to the knitterverse, and try to be part of the conversation, as it were.
whatever the reasons, i never imagined what this blog would become. i never thought people would actually read and comment (i love every comment, especially from the regulars) i never thought total strangers would stop me to tell me they read the blog (the first couple times terrified me!) even though it was my goal, i didn’t think my blog would ‘succeed’ and, frankly, i’m surprised i’ve stuck with it this long.
the only reason i have
is because of you, bitches.
if people weren’t reading,
i’d've quit ages ago.
and since it seems like the industry standard
(and because it’s been ages since i’ve had one)
i’m doing a giveaway in honor of my third blogiversary.
the bitches get stitches third blogiversary giveaway!
1. spread the word – you can do that anyway you see fit; reblog, tweet, e-mail, ravelry, phone call, whatever. just let another knitter know about the giveaway. it’s completely on the honor system. i trust ya.
2. leave a comment – it’s the easiest way to assign someone a random number for the all-knowing random number generator to pick a winner. make sure to comment on this post. you’d think i wouldn’t need to specify that but >shakes head from experience< and for the sake of fairness and my personal sanity, please leave only one comment.
3. this one’s most important – you only have the 24 hours from the time i posted to ‘spread the word’ and ‘leave a comment’. the winner will be announced tomorrow, august 10th.
i’ve given this a lot of thought. well, as much thought as i could in less than a day. because it needed to extra special, and because it’s my favorite yarn company, i decided to give away a $100.00 e-gift certificate to blue moon fiber arts.
August 7, 2012
i am frustrated. (get your head out of the gutter and focus, please)
i have literally been swatching for days for my rhinebeck sweater,
and frankly i’m thinking of throwing in the towel.
i want to make dale of norway’s liberec,
but i cannot for the life of me obtain the proper gauge.
(things might get technical and mathy after this)
the pattern was designed for either falk or heilo,
both of which are listed as sport-weight yarns.
i’ve decided to use blue moon fiber arts bfl sport
(which is amazing and if i ever figure this out,
you’ll get to see my amazing colors).
the gauge i’m supposed to obtain is 24sts/4″ on 3mm needles.
(my needle gauge says that’s a u.s. 3 but the internet says a u.s 3 is 3.25mm. anyway) on that needle, i was getting 30-32sts/4″.
i began to worry.
after swatching 5 times (5 times!!),
i’m up to a size 5 needle (3.75mm)
and i’m still not on gauge.
not to mention the fabric is loose for my taste.
how on earth are these norwegians getting that gauge on that needle?
then it hit me.
it’s not a sport-weight yarn. it’s dk.
ravelry says it’s sport.
the dale of norway website says it’s sport.
but it’s not. it can’t be.
i returned to ravelry. yep. heilo and falk are listed as sport.
then i saw the little ‘comments’ tab and my heart sank a little.
i clicked on it and what did i discover?
ravelers say it’s really more like a dk than a sport,
and even thicker than some yarns that are listed as a dk!
the only thing i can think of is dale of norway is calling their yarn sport-weight because they are knitting a dk yarn to a sport gauge on a smaller than standard needle (which will of course make a lovely thick fabric for skiing and improve stitch definition) rather than look at the actual diameter or wpi of their yarns.
in my despair, i considered just finishing the vest i was knitting/spinning for rhineback last year (and have secretly been working on this summer) since i was unable to complete it on time and has been hibernating ever since. then i remembered i’ve been emailing the designer because the pattern is wrong. i found one big error, and they sent me a corrected pattern. then i went to continue and found another. what really baffles me is how several people have ‘successfully’ knit the vest. how? the pattern it wrong! and it’s not something one can just figure out. i need the information from the designer!
(at what point should they offer me a refund?)
i have a decision to make.
since ravelry tells me the only colorwork sweaters i can knit with sport-weight yarn are by dale of norway, i must either do some math to make this sweater happen at the gauge i’m getting (we won’t even go into the horror of row gauge and color work). or i can just give up.
i have a significant amount of extra yarn for the main color.
maybe i’ll just forget colorwork all together.
i need to decide soon if i have any hope of finishing by rhinebeck.
i could use the advice.
July 12, 2012
it has come to my attention,
that the chicken tina named in my honor,
has gone missing in the woods.
i believe she decided that living with her comrades was boring,
and ran off with a lady-coyote with whom it had fallen madly in love.
the only question is, where will they make their home?
(tina thinks the coyote killed her, but that just seems silly to me. right?)
but let this be a lesson to all of you;
never let your daughters out the coop!
ambrosia, wherever you are now,
i dedicate this song, to you:
you’ll be missed, ambrosia.
June 12, 2012
my instructions say to begin the toe decreases 2.25″ shy of the total sock length. when i measured my sock i had about 6.25″ of sock. when i just about finished my toe decreases,
i’d knitting about 2 more inches,
bring my sock length to
now, i’m no math major
but i’m pretty sure 6.25″ + 2.0″ ≠ 7.5″.
therefore, i have come to the only reasonable conclusion;
i am apparently incapable of correctly measuring the length of a sock.
even though these socks are for someone with small lady feet,
i’m pretty sure they don’t have some kind of baby foot;
an inch of negative ease is a bit much
when we’re talking foot length.
7.5″ ain’t gonna cut it.
(that’s what she said!)
last night’s knitting may have been for naught,
but i’ll finish this bitch by tonight.
in life news,
i took my french midterm today,
and it was wicked hard mes amis.
i had to translate a bunch of things
including a passage about mythical creatures in ireland.
to add to that weirdness,
i had the following encounter:
[setting: msu international center courtyard. steven is leaving the atm heading back to the lot where his car is parked]
“hello. how’re you today” says a man in a thick middle eastern accent. unsure that he was addressing me, i turned to see a slight man smiling. apparently, i was being addressed. this is perhaps odd, but not totally outside realm of possibility. we have a large international student population and most of them stay for the summer since it is very expensive to return home. i figured he was just practicing his english or found it amusing to disconcert a stranger by addressing him. soon, however, i realized he was matching my pace.
“i can make friends?” he says.
“excuse me?” i say, confused by the question.
“i can make friends” he repeats more confidently, extending his hand.
while this continued contact enhanced the oddness of this encounter, i was raised to be polite to people. i suppressed initial thought of who is this creepster?! and took his hand, shook it as best one can a limp clammy fish of a hand, and said “sure”. after all, why can’t we all be friends, right?
“what is your name?” he asks.
again, i tell myself he must have just left his esl summer class and is trying to practice his english.
“steven” i say, smiling paternally.
apparently, this is an unusual name to arabic ears since he had a hard time getting his mind and mouth around the phonetics of it. he would ask me that question at least four more times.
“i am __________” he says.
“i’m from saudi arabia. you know where that is?”
i respond affirmatively, trying to hide my annoyance with such a ridiculous question. like i don’t know where saudi arabia is! he continues in this vein, asking if i study here, informing me that he does too and now i’m catching on.
he is practicing his english, i think
since this stuff is foreign language 101.
that kind of thing.
i proceed with the pleasantries, answering politely if succinctly in hopes of signally my desire to end this linguistic exchange
when things take a turn:
“i like your body. you have time now?”
now, this isn’t my first time at the rodeo; i’ve been around the block and i’ve had men step to me in a variety of ways. but never have i had a stranger from a foreign land inform me in broad daylight in the middle of campus with people all around that he likes my body and inquire if i “had time now.” i kindly thanked him and informed him that i did not, in fact, “have time now” and continued to walk hoping that would end things. undaunted, he followed me saying,
“no worries. another time. i have car. we can go somewhere.”
i don’t know what kind of pheromone i was putting off that made this man think that i’m the sort of guy who gets into the cars of foreign (or domestic) business majors simply because they ask.
i mean, maybe if he were a saudi prince. . . .
but i digress.
the rest is a bit of blur.
suffice it to say i walked off
unharmed, if totally weirded out.
when i was sure i was out of his line of sight,
i remember pausing, looking back, and thinking:
June 9, 2012
i have a f.o. to show you,
and another one is soon to follow.
tonight, however, none of that matters.
all that matters is this yarn.
this is this month’s sock club. the color is called ‘wavelength’
i shy away from this level of variegation,
(though part of why i enjoy being in sock club
is challenging myself to experience color differently)
but i think that’s because i never look at a skein like this:
why do i never open the skeins to look at them?
it changes everything!
looking at the skein thusly
it was if it spoke to me:
“you must knit socks”
i never want to knit socks. ever.
i find them to be fiddly and tedious
and if i’m going to knit that many stitches,
i want a sweater out of it.
every now and then
i do get the urge to knit socks
but i’m easily able to fight it off
because i can never find a pattern i like.
most of the time, i think sock patterns are really tacky.
sorry sock knitters. it’s just how i feel.
so there really was no harm in winding the skein.
i found it less tempting as a cake.
i knew that i needed to make something with this
but luckily, in wound form, it couldn’t tempt me to make socks.
little did i know,
this skein is a clever little fucker.
it combined forces with this pattern
and the only thing i could think was
a few episodes of deadliest catch and boom!
a sock is born.
nothing else seems to matter.
i must make these socks.
is this how you sock knitters feel all the time?
June 4, 2012
June 2, 2012
(this was my attempt to take a weaving photo à la the daily purl)
i say it all the time:
almost everything i make is for someone else.
i’ve made a few things for someone in particular,
but the last couple knits didn’t seem to impress.
it wasn’t that s/he didn’t like them
or didn’t appreciate them.
they just didn’t wow,
i want the person to love what i’ve made.
so i’m thinking perhaps weaving is the way to go,
just a plain scarf in one of his/her favorite colors.
i even have some luscious silk in my stash that will work nicely.
it’s going to be fucking gorgeous, regardless.
any tips for weaving silk?
i’ve only woven with wool before
which i know is a much more forgiving fiber.
speaking of making things for people i like,
i cast this little buddy on the other day:
this is going to be for debra m.
we’ve only met a couple of times
but she’s always been so kind to me,
especially at times when i felt a little vulnerable.
frankly, if you met debra and didn’t like her,
i’d question whether or not you were human.
so when she expressed interest in this particular rare gem,
i decided immediately that i would knit something for her.
unfortunately, nothing i found the ravelry machine was right.
(god bless ravelry, but it does fail us now and then)
frustrated, i decided i would take this opportunity to try to design something. i’ve had exactly two design ideas in my entire life and, as we all know, nancy bush stole my other one. this cowl isn’t going exactly as planned, but i still think i like it. if the next part goes well, i’ll be home free. maybe i’ll even publish the pattern.