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!

because if you do,

you will end up with a full bag that in no way adds up to a meal.

all the worker bees who look like 70′s gay porn stars,
riot grrl wannabes, or ysolda teague on meth,
will make you feel bad about yourself.

you will return to the produce section at least two times,
only to emerge with a sad shallot from some mexican hothouse.

you will leave with at least three fall fashion magazines
filled with beautiful things you’ll never fit into much less afford,
and you will feel bad about yourself.

you will try to walk away from the grumpy cashier
without paying for your groceries,
and then say something dumb like,
“it’s just been one of those days!”
and feel worse about yourself.

when you finally get home, crack your last red stripe, and prepare to treat yourself to that cup of shrimp bisque you just couldn’t pass up,
you will notice that you grabbed the whole wheat baguette.
you detest whole wheat baguettes.

the only recourse is to drink that beer real fast,
hug on your french bulldog,
and remember;

never go to whole foods angry.

in knitting news,
the northern summer shawl continues.

the designer, jo kelly, has been furiously charting the pattern.
and apparently triple checking all the stitch counts.
she was good enough to email me the changes
without me even asking.

that is a designer!

i also have a f.o.

my second juneberry triangle.
it’s been done for a while,
but there were blocking issues.
(humidity’s a bitch, no?)
i’ve sent it off to its recipient, but i won’t say who.
they may read the blog, and i want this to be a surprise.

any guesses?

i’m also hoping for another another installment of project ten by the end of the month. fingers crossed that the mitten lady will write back soon.

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

the travels continue

July 8, 2010

in roughly sixteen hours, i’ll again be on a plane headed west.

where am i off to you ask?
why to washington state of course
(port ludlow to be specific) for the knot hysteria silk retreat
a long weekend of knitting, spinning, and dying classes,
taught by some very cool people.
sounds nice right?

once there, i’ll part ways with my juneberry triangle

and its semi-secret recipient will be revealed.

until then

care to take a guess?

for those bitches who already know,
don’t ruin the surprise!

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!.

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