i did it bitches!

February 28, 2010

hours before the torch goes out, and while the usa and canada duke it out for gold, i cast off my sweater at 3:15pm est.
i did it bitches!

(mo is proud of me too)

working this pattern, i learned to do a lot of things i’d never done before including:

short rows
hiding wrap and turns
bottom up sweater
sleeve seeming
yoke sweater
extensive color work mixing english and continental knitting

i also learned that jared flood might be the next ysolda teague. the pattern was definitely unclear at times, and not easily modified to achieve a different fit. i would NOT recommend this pattern for the inexperienced knitter.

i want to say i can’t believe it, i can’t believe that in two weeks, i finished this sweater that was a real challenge for me. but honestly, i can believe it. i’ve learned that i do in fact know what i’m doing and that gosh darn it, i’m a pretty damn good knitter.

so yarn harlot, your team may have won olympic gold, but did any of those hot hockey men knit a sweater?

i didn’t think so.

to review

February 27, 2010

due this week:
two papers
one presentation
one novel
one theory book

and, as you know, tomorrow evening my knitting olympic sweater is due.
of course i have to tink back a few hundred colorwork rows tomorrow before i can move forward.

how am I handling it you ask?

i’ve lost my freaking mind.

>shell shock<

of bloody course

February 16, 2010

i’m having an emotion right now.
it’s mixed.

i received a package today.
from sweden.

that’s right folks, it’s my green mist bohus hat kit.
the one i wanted to knit for the knitting olympics.

isn’t it beautiful?

however, i will continue on with my sweater.
i’ve made my commitment,
and some good progress.

check it out

two sleeves

and for your pleasure, bitches

some ribbing

the first 24

February 14, 2010

when i was little, i was a pretty fast runner.
looking at me now that might be hard to believe.
but it’s true; i was quite the sprinter.

today, i regained a bit of my youthful glory.

one sleeve and one cuff.

maybe i can do this!

seventeen days

February 12, 2010

so i’m sitting here waiting to cast on for the official 2010 knitting olympics

i know there are thousands more of you waiting too

i had originally hoped to cast on a bohus stickning Green Mist hat (Gröna Dimman mössa) but due to many acts of god and pittsburgh being bad at dealing with snow (biggest understatement of the century) it has yet to arrive.

instead am casting on jared flood’s huron (rav link) which may actually be less realistic than the bohus hat.

i’ve trained for this day

(note the washed gauge swatch)

and i’ve been drafted by my nation to be a member of the of the semi-official, self proclaimed natural stitches team

as i sit here dying to cast on yet another project, i just want to take this opportunity to thank the yarn harlot for not only holding these knitting olympics, but for being an inspiration to knitters across the globe.

it moves me to think that, because of her, i know there are tons of crazies out there casting on with me, all knitting toward the same goal.

a gold medal with a naked man on it.

so as i sit here, at the ready, i answer the call and recite The Knitting Olympics Athletes Pledge

I, a knitter of able hands and quick wits, to hereby swear that over the course of these Olympics I will uphold the highest standard of knitterly excellence.

I will be deft of hand and sure of pattern, I will overcome troubles of yarn overs and misplaced decreases. I will use the gifts of intelligence and persistence (as well as caffeine and chocolate) and I will execute my art to the highest form, carrying with me the hope for excellence known to every knitter.

I strive to win. To do my best, and to approach the needles with my own best effort in mind, without comparing myself to my fellow knitters, for they have challenges unique to them.

While I engage in this pursuit of excellence and my own personal, individual best, I also swear that I will continue to engage with my family in conversation, care for my pets, speak kindly with those who would ask me to do something other than knit, and above all, above every stitch thrown or picked, above every cable, every heel stitch, every change of colour, I swear this:

That I will remember that this is not the real Olympics, that I’m supposed to be having fun and that my happiness and self-worth ride not on my success….
but on my trying.


chapeaux et cadeaux

February 8, 2010

i have this pet peeve.
i hate it when people point out a problem in the world, going on and on, and never propose a solution. it drives me nuts and i seem to encounter the phenomenon on a regular basis.

and yet, i kinda did that in my last post

sorry. it was a bitch ass move on my part.

so i propose my real tangible solution to startitis/knitting sluttery


let me explain . . .

finishing a given knitted object is the best way to curb startitis because it reminds one of such joys as, choosing a bind off or contemplating the best method for blocking. if nothing else, it gives the illusions to those non-knitters in your life that you actually do make things, and can create a good level of envy in your fellow knitters who have been toiling away on their tomten for six months.

so why hats?
first because i get to indulge my startitis by casting on something new but i can usually whip one out in a day thereby reminding myself that finishing something feels deeply better than the fleeting sugar buzz high of casting on. they’re also perfect for a forgotten birthdays or the pushy non-knitter aquaintence who wants you to make something for them. And luckily, i have my own basic recipe gleaned from many sources if i can’t find a pattern i like.

this fix of mine does of course presents its own set of problems.

the first, and most obvious, is fit.
(self explanatory i think but just in case: what if the hat doesn’t fit the person? i might do a gauge swatch for a sweater, i’ll even wash and dry it. but i’ll be damned if i’ll do one for a hat. besides, most of the hats i knit are for people i can’t measure anyway.)

the second, and most emotionally trying, is appreciation.
(will the non-knitter understand how much of you got put into this and how crazy fast you knitted it up for them? and if for a knitter, will they only see that twisted stitch and bad color jog, or will they see the love in each spiraling decrease?)

the third and most important, is whether or not the person you are sending your gift/hat to (often a non-knitter god bless ’em) understands how important it is that they take a photo of themselves wearing the hat so you don’t have a white square on your ravelry project page. (i call it the white square of death, but perhaps i’m more anal than most about their ravelry)

for example,
i knit this turn a square hat as a thank you/birthday gift:

Travis is a knitter and therefore photos promptly arrived in my inbox

(note the happy smile of knitterly appreciation)

and i knit this simple beanie (my recipe) for my good friend Kevin:

he does love his hat, and has worn it regularly for months now. however, he is not a knitter (the dear), and after months of begging, it was only when he came for a visit that i was able get the shot. (my ravelry page is that much more complete >maniacal laughter<)

note, not the glee of a knitter, but the toleration of a good friend willing to stand in the snow without a coat so the crazy knitter friend can put a photo on the internet and possibly blog about it.

my solution to these hat problems . . . prayer? that bottle in freezer?

i suppose any solution can be a problem in sheeps clothing and the only real answer is distraction.

so here loves, look at this pretty shiney handspun pghrachell made me on her brand new wheel.


February 2, 2010

so i have this little problem.
with monogamy.
at least when it comes knitting. (shut up you. i can hear you smirking)

if anyone is keeping count, i currently have five projects going, all of which are hundreds, maybe thousands of yards from their cast off. there’s my –

-shetland tea shawl
-noro granny blanket
-dandy neckerchief
-squirrel mittens
-michigan sweater

i realize many knitters share my problem.
and many of you have more projects on the needles than i.
however, i desperately need to complete something.
i need that high of casting something off.
this knitting sluttery cannot continue!

so of course, i cast on a girasole

(yarn is cascade 220 superwash in lichen colorway)

i am in love.