finally!

May 28, 2012

almost three years ago,
when i was but a novice knitter,
i cast on my very first lace project.

inexperience kept me from finishing;
i didn’t have the fortitude for the epic rounds.
i didn’t have the knowledge to correct mistakes in complicated lace,
nor did i have the skill to catch mistakes before they needed fixing.
basically, i just didn’t know enough about lace
to tackle this level of project.

my yarn choice should be evidence enough of my ignorance.

now,
however,
i feel it’s time to wrap this bitch up.
i can no longer allow this project to go unknit.
and i finally, finally am on the lace edging!of course, this edging is completely counterintuitive,
by which i mean,
it goes against all my previous lace edging experience.
ignoring the fact that the pattern tells you you’ll need to fudge the end,
a fact i find beyond infuriating
the fucking thing goes backwards!

every single lace edging i’ve ever knit moves counterclockwise;
this means you knit your row with the last stitch of the edging knit together with a stitch from the shawl. in this edging, you move clockwise which requires you to slip a stitch from the shawl from the right hand needle to the left, then you knit it together with the first stitch of the edging, and then complete that row of the edging.

this is perhaps a confusing unhelpful explanation,
and i don’t have the inclination to make a video.
suffice it to say it’s a stupid way to attach a lace edging;
it just. doesn’t. flow.

which is probably why i’m eyeing these bad boys.where the fuck’s my nøstepinde?!

p.s. stay tuned for a weaving f.o.

and sloe gin fizz

May 26, 2012

my original goal was to blog every day
while i was in the greater portland area.

i also promise myself i’m going to eat better and exercise.

let’s get real for a moment,
and see if i can tell you about my trip.

hmm . . .

day one was a beach adventure/excursion/extravaganza,
a sunny day of photography, sandy toes, and general irreverence.
and of course what day at the beach is complete
without a dead sea lion in a front loader?(sea corpse has a very distinct scent)

i spent the day with tina and her two lovely daughters
who reminded me that teenagers are really just adults
with fewer miles under their belt.
(is that a mixed metaphor?)

when we returned,
i met tina’s other children:
apparently, chickens love to eat kale.
who knew?

the rest of my days were a blur of
cats
rain
cheese
wildlife
gardening
cozy fires
and knitting.

i managed to finish up my spruce forest shawl,
and the rain gave way just long enough for a photoshoot.
i even found a couple models to zhoosh up the shot.
the yarn is marine silk sport in the ‘spruced’ color way.
i’ve given up trying to photograph the true color of this yarn;
the silk content and sea cell make it impossible for an amateur like me.
what i love about this color way is that the dye breaks at some point in the process, leaving patches of blue and yellow in the yarn. this process is apparently unpredictable, and therefore the color way has been discontinued. blue moon will, of course, make it upon request. i highly recommend it, especially in this yarn. just make sure to get it all at once if you want your skeins to be at all similar.

this shawl is beautiful when finished,
but the beauty is matched by it’s fussiness.
i do not care for nupp-knitting,
or the bottom up construction.
it was, however, worth it;
the results speak for themselves.

with one shawl completed,
i decided to dust off my shetland tea shawl.
it was the first lace project i ever cast on
and will soon celebrate its third birthday!
i can’t abide its w.i.p. status any longer.
so i grabbed a cat and got to work.
the cat was really there for moral support.
she’s not good for much else.

but even with the support of a cat
i could barely complete a round a day.
those last few rounds have so. many. stitches!

knitting all those stitches
i became hyper aware of the silence,
the sound of the rain falling on the deck,
heck, i could even hear the humming birds at the bird feeder!
apparently, i must’ve had a crazed look in my eye or something
because tina could tell i was getting a little stir crazy.
so she put me to work in the barn.

i learned a heck of a lot in there,
most of which i can’t tell you.
what i can tell you is
it’s fucking hard work.
i can almost guarantee none of you realize how much work actually goes into the whole process, unless maybe you’ve worked in a factory. i worked about a half shift and i was pooped.
it’s basically a yarny sweatshop in there.
(literally. it’s hot in the barn)

that little bit of work really helped me to appreciate just how special hand painted yarns are. we’re lucky to knit in a time when we have easy access to such beautiful yarns. i would much rather give my money to people who are working their asses off to make something unique and special. i know exactly where my money’s going and, to me, it’s worth the cost. but that’s just me.

luckily,
the next day
i got to play instead of work
and dyed all these rare gems.
it pays to know the lady with a barn.

we ended my visit with a binge at gino’s.
if you live in or around portland,
you must go to gino’s
the tiramisu alone is worth it.
we chose gino’s because deb accuardi owns it and also works at blue moon.
she’s an amazing cook, knows a heck of a lot about gardening,
and had been cracking my ass up all week.
seriously,
if you meet her,
ask her about her salamander story.
i almost peed in the car when she told it.
(i want that tiramisu recipe deb. stat!)

i think that just about covers it.

i survived an epically turbulent flight,
swung by my parents house to pick up mr. mo,
and am thoroughly ensconced in my apartment . . .

. . .asking myself why i don’t live in portland.

lessons learned

May 10, 2010

the great thing about working at a knitting store?
you learn something new everyday.

for instance,
one day, when everyone was singing praises at the alter of elizabeth zimmerman, i impudently remarked,
“she’s not that big a deal.”

a yarn over immediately jumped off my needle.
lesson learned.

recently,
while working on this beauty,

i thought to myself,
“gee, i’m doing really well! i’ll wait to put in a lifeline.”

a number of stitches popped off the needles and fell down several rows.

“shit!”

apparently, arrogant thinking is a sin in the eyes of the knitting gods.

now, it looks like this:

i’ve dropped down.
i’ll attempt to re-knit the rows.
i’ve done it before, though never with knitted lace.
i’ll burn some incense and maybe do a little chant prior to the attempt.

lesson learned.

recovery

May 7, 2010

i’m in a state of recovery.
from my trip to maryland,
and my (second) masters program.

that’s right bitches, i’m graduating.
again.

symptoms?
fatigue, aphasia, loss of time, peeling scalp,
and my room smells like sheep.

course of action?
milk shakes, knitting, find my watch, head and shoulders,
and stay out of my room.

i’m actually doing quite well, and enjoying finding all the pictures of me and my gams floating around the internet.

you can find them on:
linda’s facebook,
kim’s flickr,
anna’s blog,
karen’s photostream,
and elsewhere. i know more people stopped me and asked for my photo than i’ve been able to track down. even with yvonne creating a ravelry thread about them.

but my favorite by far was taken by cristi:

because she kinneared me, and i love her for it.

in knitting news . . .
let’s keep in mind that i’m a relatively new knitter (less than two years),
but there is evidence mounting that my i’m maturing.
for instance, i now have a small stash.
and i have a project that is coming up on its one year anniversary:

my shetland tea shawl.

i find the signs disturbing.
so i’ve decided to fight these manifestations of conventional knitterdom,
and knit the shit out of this before it turns 1.

first step in attaining my goal?
casting on 449 stitches for the stora dimun knit along

(note my yarn ramekin and the perfect alpaca silk soufflé)

what can i say?
i’m a sheep.

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