permafrost.

round 128.

5-st gather.

Knit 5 stitches together without slipping them off L needle, *yarn over, knit into original 5 stitches again; Rep from * once more

fuck you, jared flood;
just fuck you.

it occurred to me that i haven’t done an actual knitting post in a while.
i feel like i haven’t been as prolific as i was over the summer,
but i think i really burned out on the rhinebeck sweater.

so this is what’s been going on;
for the longest time, i’ve wanted a stephen west stripy neck accessory.
i specifically bought some yarn in rhinebeck for one,
but i couldn’t choose which i most needed in my life.

i finally decided on clockwork and i am in love with it.
the rows have gotten epicly long so i doubt it will be done for nyc.

oh well.

tina’s juneberry triangle is still on the needles,

mostly because i misplaced the pattern for a time.
i had apparently decided it belonged with all of my phd application paperwork. makes total sense.

i’ve turned the corner on the edging,
so i still have hope it’ll be done before 2011.

and of course, there’s the sample i’m knitting for blue moon.

anyone recognize what it is?

i was a little daunted when i saw which pattern i was supposed to knit.
i’ve never done a brioche stitch before,
and every other row is knit with laceweight.
that is some serious pressure.
but i’m a knitter. i can knit anything.
so after some practice, i got the body started.

yes that is the body of the sweater,
and before you say that i am in some crazy place of denial,
here are some important facts you need to consider.
this it the small size, with only 136 stitches cast on.
and it’s a brioche rib so it’s all sucked in.
when stretched, i’m getting gauge.

the fabric is slightly looser than i would normally like,
if i were knitting it for someone, i’d go down a needle size
and knit the next size up to have a denser material.
but i’m already working on 5’s.
there’s no freakin’ way i’m moving down to a 4.
it’s already taken a few days to get 5″ of sweater in.

still, sometimes when i look at it,
i get the fear.

feel free to jump in and validate me at any moment.

in other news, i’m may have something exciting to share in a couple days. hopefully. if things go well. if they don’t forget i ever said this.
in fact go ahead and forget i said anything.
i don’t want to jinx it.

obliviate!

i find that sometimes i get writers’ block.
and for days i worry that the few people who actually read what i write on here, will forget me and delete me from their rss feed.
if i’m truly honest with myself,
i know that’s what i’d do.

so i scour ravelry for inspiration.
read a bunch of seriously terrible knitting blogs,
and say to myself, “shit! someone’s got to write something more interesting than that!” (let’s be real. not everyone who knits can write)
then i feel bad, and worry that i’m one of those people.

so i move on, and continue my summer re-reading of stephanie’s blog,
(currently in september of ’04. i’m a bit behind)
and really start feeling bad about my writing.
then i feel blasphemous that,
after only a couple meetings,
i’ve dropped her rightful title,
and i’m referring to her as stephanie.
or worse yet (gods protect me)
steph.

the brazen familiarity horrifies me and my sense of knitterly decorum.

then i realize that it’s 3 bloody am and i need to get a grip.
(i blame an overdose of lasagna)

and suddenly it dawns on me i have too much in the way of knitterly things to write about currently, and i’ll just have to do my best to cover it all.

so….

firstly,
you may remember my boast of starting a blog project called “project ten” where i pose ten questions to what i call the ravelry generation.
it’s basically those fibery people who inspire me, who i want to meet, or i’m jealous of.

that kind of thing.

well,
i’m happy to announce that the first installment comes out this week.
i am thoroughly stoked.

deuxième,
back in early may,
i undertook a stupid challenge.
two of my fellow worker bees started a knit along;
the stora dimun knit along.

as someone who generally wants to fit in,
i thought about joining in the supposed “fun”
but with a shawl that begins with 449 stitches,
i knew i couldn’t afford the yarn,
and couldn’t think who would want the finished item.

my dear friend kelli, whom i love,
said she wanted it but would never knit it.
at least not in a timely manner.
kelli is my mother-sister-auntie,
from day one she’s been like family in a state where i have no kin,
there was no question that i would knit this for her.
plus she was springing for the yarn.

but this shawl is epic.
and mostly plain garter stitch.

(that’s one wing or half the shawl. just to give an idea of scale)

so i’ve been unbelievably unfaithful to it.
i’ve worked on it off and on, but with little joy.
i cast it aside heartlessly for the juneberry for stephanie,
and knit only one row when i was on my retreat.

i decided when i got home,
a meer seven days ago,
i’d work on it furiously,
to honor my love for the kelli,
and to get the fucker off my needles.
it’s all i am going to knit till it’s done.

thirdly,
three days ago i cast on another juneberry triangle.
another gift for a semi-secret recipient.
my roomie will attest that i have declared my personal motto of this summer to be, “i have no shame.”

this is a case in point.
(stats – blue moon luscious silk in the “manly yes, but i like it too” colorway, size 7 (4.5mm) needle)

i think i’ll go knit a row on kelli’s shawl.

but before i go, i want to leave you with a tid bit of gossip.
you may remember that several people have complained about the second chart of the juneberry triangle, i being one of the loudest. the chief complaint is i paid a ton of money for this little canadian magazine, and i deserve a fullly charted pattern, not “work the established pattern into the shawl as new stitches become available remembering that you can only work the yarn over if there are enough stiches to do it’s corresponding decreases.”

don’t even get me started on yarn overs and corresponding decreases!

however! floating around the internets is a copy of the complete second chart, a document supposedly elimnated by the st-denis magazine’s tech editor.

i may or may not have it in my possesion
and i may or may not be able to tell you where to get it.

all i can say is,
if you want to knit this pattern without tears,
find yourself a copy.

à bientôt bitches

a quickie

June 19, 2010

i’m pretty beat so i’ll make this quick.
i blocked my juneberry triangle, and it turned out lovely.

i was a bit nervous about blocking this puppy,
since i’d never done it before.

i mean, we all understand the basic principles:
soak, then pin in place. (threading blocking wires through the edges is optional really, but holy god do i recommend them)

but trust me, if you’ve never blocked lace, there’s a bit of a gap between theory and practice. no one tells you through which stitches exactly one is supposed thread the blocking wires, or how ‘hard’ to stretch the lace. no one tells you precisely how to use the pins to hold the wires in place (fyi, pin at a sharp angle to hold them down). nor does anyone mention how uncomfortable it is to lie on the floor at 1 a.m. repositioning pins again and again to get that sucker into just the right shape, especially if your dog decides that is the perfect time to take an interest in your tush. (dog people, you understand. the rest of you, don’t ask)

i swear, we don’t give bitches enough credit for good blocking.
(maybe i should start a blocking business to supplement my habit)

whips and chains

June 10, 2010

i’m in an s&m relationship with jared flood.
or, to be more precise, his juneberry triangle.
initially, it destroyed my self esteem,
and seemed impossible to conquer.

i dried my eyes, dug down deep,
and countered with my own instruments of pain:
a mechanical pencil, graph paper, and a calculator.
and beat that mother into submission.

(the yarn is madelinetosh “pashmina” in copper penney)

the reason it was so difficult (at first) was because of the second chart.
if you look at people’s notes on ravelry,
all their trouble was chart 2 related.

the reason?
chart 2 doesn’t display a repeat per se.
rather, as the shawl grows
(from the yo’s at the sides and center spine)
one works the pattern into the new stitches if there are enough to do so.
remember, if you have enough stitches to do a decrease, you must do it’s corresponding increase. and vice versa. and you never do a double yo. that tip is key.

when you have completed the eight offending rows,
and are ready to work them all over again, there’s a twist:
the first stitch of the chart doesn’t correspond to the the first stitch on the shawl. instead, you continue working in the established pattern (and death death to all designers who use the phrase “work in patt”), stacking the diamonds on top of each other, and “growing” that pattern outward as more and more stitches are created. this coupled with the fact that there is patterning on both sides made me want to die a little.
here’s a closer look:

see how the diamonds “stack”?
that concept really helped me get over the hump.

i soon got into the grove of it.
since, actually, it’s a fairly easy pattern.
and banged out the second chart in an evening.

go me right?
not so much.

as i was finishing the second to last row of the section,
i saw a little “4” flashing in front of my eyes.
a closer look revealed it to read 4mm.
that would be a u.s. size 6 needle.
not the 7 the pattern calls far.

fuck.

i am fairly sure that i started with a 7.
but must have needed them for a second.
(i use addi clicks so i probably clicked them off)
and then replaced them with 6’s for who knows why.
once again, the juneberry made me it’s bottom bitch.

*sigh*

my main point is this;
contrary to my original feeling,
this pattern is definitely doable.
it was just written in a way that isn’t standard,
at least when it comes to lace/charts i’ve encountered.

in my mind, it’s another example of a of a blight in our community: designers writing patterns, but not writing them for the dumbest possible knitter. if you’re good enough to design something like this, and then have one of your friends test knit it, of course they’ll get it. they’re probably good knitters, and they have you there to ask little questions. you need to have strangers test knit things, people who aren’t as comfortable with their knitting skills so that their problems will aid you in clarifying patterns.

and please, pay the extra money and write out a complete chart!
they’re already tiny so why not nix one photo of the shawl,
and put a chart there?

ok.
i’m done ranting.
something happy?
how about a couple of fo’s:

that’s anna’s february lady sweater,

and plain green socks for mitch,
a.k.a. lisa b.

(isn’t she a great foot model?)

it’s the fo’s that keep me going.
and photos like these remind me why i knit;
i knit because i love the feeling of making something beautiful with my own two hands.

so keep ‘em coming jared.
i’ll knit whatever you can throw at me!.

and the winner is . . .

April 11, 2010

i couldn’t believe how many people entered the girasole contest.
i had to honor that by making a bit of a to do about it.
and in order to be fair,
i had to have someone impartial pick the number

this is my roomie, veronica

she graciously agreed not to enter so she could pick the number.

(and wear an evening gown and pumps)

we had quite a photo shoot for this one

(we were cracking up the whole time)

but you don’t really care about that, do you?

you want to know who won, right?

well, we have a winner

#18

congratulations shara!
her comment was hilarious too:

*flail*
i totally want that, i’ll trade you a kidney for it….or part of my liver, if you’re not too particular.

that won’t be necessary.
mine work just fine.

and thanks again to everyone who played.
i’m sure i’ll make something else one day that i’ll need to give away.

xoxo bitches!

bitch is blocked!

April 9, 2010

first of all, i want to say thanks to all the people commenting on my last post. you’ve been so great.

here are some of my favorites:

kes says
pick me!! oh, can canucks enter? if so, me!

of course! i love my north american neighbors.
i’ll definitely spring for the international shipping.

karen says:
if you want to give it to me, i’d love it! it can join my girasole which is about 8″ across!

somehow karen, i can’t help but think you’re rubbing it in.

erin says
hell yes i would love to win this! enjoy your soupçon of debauchery, too. a blocking party is a good idea.
(ps your chicago knitters miss you.)

erin is from the knitting group i started in chicago
i miss you bitches too!

but these two, they’re my kind of bitches!

brooke says:
i want your girasole, bitch!
stacey says:
you other bitches are not worthy of such a beautiful girasole! I want to win it!

(love the attitude ladies!)

a couple people said i should simply take out the edging and add some repeats. voilà! bigger girasole.

i wish you could see the stink eye i’m giving you right now.

and way too many of you said you’d never be able to knit it.
i’m shocked at your lack of confidence.
while the project is indeed epic,
it’s a simple knit, with great charts.
i know any one of you could do it.

anyhoo, here’s the real story

yvonne, nancy, kelli, and david lent me their hands. . . .


some pins,

a few blocking wires,

20 minutes later, the bitch was blocked!

i can’t believe how fast it went.

nancy found some time to quilt…


(david was suitably impressed)

then i held up my end of the bargain

i fed my friends.

let me tell you, it was a blast!

the next day,

all dry and ready

i laid it out for the obligatory ravelry shot

(please note petey, my roomie’s chief of security)

after blocking, it grew from 4 to 5.5 feet across.
i have to admit, it came out beautifully.
i’ll be sad to see it go.

but i know it’ll find a lovely home with whomever wins it.
see you sunday!

the best laid plans.

April 4, 2010

i have some good news, some not so good news, and some pretty interesting news.

the good news – i finished the girasole

the not so good news – it’s not as big as i wanted it to be

it’s measuring out to be about 4 feet across.
i’m guessing that i can block it out to about 5 feet.
i wanted it to be at least 6 feet in diameter.

though i’d really love to blame the pattern or the designer, this one was all me. when i started, i knew i wanted to make the blanket, not the shawl. the pattern calls for a aran weight. i subbed in a worsted. the pattern called for a 10.5 but that was WAY to big for the yarn i had chosen.

so i used a 9.

plus, i’m a tight knitter.

this failure is all my own.

(but the fact that you have to fudge the last stitch in the edging is jared flood’s. take that!)

i recognize that it’s beautiful and i put a ton of hard work into this project. but the fact is, it’s like making a sweater that doesn’t fit. you gotta give it to someone it does.

which brings me to my pretty interesting news.
i’m giving it away to you!
that’s right, you can win my girasole.
(totally inspired by the yarn harlot’s most recent giveaway post)

the rules of the first bitches.get.stitches giveaway:

  • leave a comment
  • your comment = your number
  • i’ll have an impartial person draw a random number and that person will get the girasole!

we’re on the honor system here people.
i can’t stop you from making a bunch of fake emails and pseudonyms and commenting like crazy. but i trust you bitches.

i’m having some friends/coworkers over on wendnesday to block this bitch. there will be feasting, conviviality, and perhaps a soupçon of debauchery.

and maybe some pinning. maybe.
the drawing will be sunday sunday sunday
(april 11, 2010)

so bitches,

who wants it?

edit: thanks for playing everyone, but we have a winner!

but i do believe in bending the shit out of them.
so even though i haven’t cast off two WIP’s yet,
i have started something new:

(pattern – naalepuder, yarn – mochi plus in autumn rainbow colorway)

now let me clarify for all you non-knitters out there.
the rule i had made for myself was that i wouldn’t cast on a new project until i had cast off two in order to get through my backlog.
this little pincushion is crocheted.
you don’t cast on crocheted items.
i have honored the letter of my rule and evicerated its spirit.
(insert devious laugh of your choice)

gotta love a loophole.

i am still working on my girasole,
but i’m finally at the edging.

aint she perty?

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