May 16, 2012
May 6, 2012
as you all well know,
academia has limited my knitting time.
the cruelest iteration of this limitation
is that the weekend of maryland sheep and wool
falls during the final push of the end of my semester.
so while all of you, my yarny friends,
frolic in with sheep, yarn, and bearded men in utilikilts,
i’m still here in my office trying to finish two papers
and my hot pants remain sadly folded in a drawer.
it’s good to know as much as i miss mdsw
my absence has not gone unnoticed.
i received this blurry image via text message.
the text reads, “a beard in a kilt for you!”
and while it came from an number i don’t recognize,
and therefore it’s possible some knitter stalker has gotten ahold my number, the gesture was just the shot in the arm i needed to wrap this shit up so i can knit again.
gotta get back to it.
p.s. stay tuned for what i hope will be a summer of knitterly overcompensation for the yarny dearth of the past 9 months.
April 11, 2012
for some reason i can’t sleep.
and since i can’t bring myself to do ‘real’ work,
i thought it’s high time i attended to my beloved blog.
that’s steven jr. and his mother lucy.
as you can see,
he’s growing up quite well.
though still a mama’s boy, apparently.
i know nothing of alpaca maturation or culture
but shouldn’t he be smoking behind alpaca high by now?
you can’t have much fun snuggled up to mommy.
in yarn news,
march sock club came!the color way is ‘budding twig’ in socks that rock medium weight.i had my reservations about this skein.
first, i never choose such highly variegated yarn.
second, i never choose colors this bright and perky.
third, pink is my nemesis.
but i believe i’ve come to trust tina’s judgement
at least when it comes to color.
so i decided to challenge myself
and cast something on.
in my first two attempts,
i tried to avoid pooling, flashing, puddling,
or any other word for ‘color accumulating in fabric’ that i despise.
both times a failed but learned some things:
garter stitch in the round with sock yarn held double is hideous.
holding two strands of sock yarn for a 2×2 rib is gorgeous!
but is quickly ruined when one transitions into stockinette stitch.
finally i said fuck it,
and decided to let the yarn do it’s thing.
mindless knitting is all i can handle at this point.
and so i began a largish cowl.
mostly stockinette stitch
with enough purl rows thrown in for interest
and to keep the sucker from becoming a big fat neck doughnut.
of course, the colors began pooling
but in a cool, interesting way.
every row stacked up such that
i became mesmerized.
i was in love.
and not only did i love it, i got it.
i understood how the colors went together.
tina is a color witch.
do not cross her.
but just like how god punishes you for not praying, (grew up catholic)
the knitting goddess punished you for lack of knitting.
soon the yarn started pooling differently
and not in a good way.
and! not only did my purl row placement do nothing to curtail curling
they made the cowl look fucking ugly.
thus no photos.
and so, i’ll start over again soon
(when i regain my inner strength)
however! i have one final plan
to avoid the pain of unwanted pooling.
as far as i know, the only antidote for pooling
is heavy texture.
am i right?
will some seed/moss/broken rib do the trick?
finally, a f.o.
one that’s been done for a while now.
i just haven’t had time to clean a surface off
i just had to be home when the sun was up to take a photo.
yarn – blue moon fiber arts twisted in ‘grawk’ color way
this project didn’t go exactly as planned either,
but i am in love with the finished product.
it’s about 9′ long (i swear it grew when it hit water).
i was going for 7′ and thicker,
but i wouldn’t change it for world.
bundled it about my neck, it looks perfect.
i just have one final decision to make:
do i leave the scarf as is, saving it for christmastime
OR do i seam together with that last yard to make an infinity scarf.
cons: me no like seaming
my slipped stitch edge would be for naught
i won’t have that yard as an impressive reminder of major mojo.
pros: it’s a reversible process
potential for enhanced über coolness.
admonishments for lack of writing?
i can take it.
March 18, 2012
believe you me,
the post i wrote was fucking hilarious.
you might even have called it bitches get stitches gold.
but it’s gone.
should i try to recreate it?
will it come off as artificial?
what if i hadn’t even told you?
would you have noticed something was missing?
that ‘thing’, that quality of spontaneity in all my best posts?
i’m not rewriting it.
here’s the spark notes version:
getting yarn as a gift no longer makes me happy.
rather, i see it as an unwittingly hostile act.
i live in a tiny apartment.
my stash is full.
i have no time to whittle it down
to add something new, no matter how beautiful.
so while when tina sent me yarn for my birthday/christmas
i was initially overjoyed by it’s timeliness
and my unexpected adoration for the grawk color way,
i soon realized there was no room in my blue moon bin for more yarn.
those two skeins just sat on my work table
mocking me every time i passed them by.
the twisted skein was particularly shameless.
it flashed its junk.
the mopsy was more reserved.
it only showed a little side boob now and then.
well i refuse to be mocked by wool!
so i put that twisted skein on my swift
and started winding that bitch.
that skein has some generous yardage.
so i realized my winder wouldn’t be able to take it.
i knew i’d have to finish winding it by hand.
(this ain’t my first time at the rodeo!)
what i didn’t foresee, was that
this skein would break my shitty knit picks winder.
yes folks, my winder is now
undeterred, i slid the skein to my nostepinne
(can some give me a definitive spelling on that word?)
and wound the shit out of that skein.
i shed no tears for the crappy piece of plastic.
i wouldn’t give the skein the satisfaction.
but what to knit with it?
i already have the shawl
for those five minutes a week i can knit something complicated.
i needed something easy,
something i can knit in dark
when i’m at the film collective
or between sections.
but the thought of, say, a ribbed scarf
made me want to commit suicide.
the skein would want that.
and i won’t let it win.
the colors are distributing in a way i adore.
if i’ve done my math correctly, it’ll be a little more than 6′ long.
and with the extra yardage, i’m hoping it will be more stole than scarf.
veronica already called dibs.
here is where i had a perfect, witty segue to tell you about some new socks in my life. it was inspired and tied together two seemingly unrelated topics. but fuck it. it doesn’t work now.
here they are:
no, i did not knit these.
they were knit by the official sock knitter of bitches get stitches:
weirdy pants jen
i love jen for many reasons.
many a giggle fit was had over a funny look
or our shared views on parenting, and how you’re doing it wrong.
(really, we owe our friendship to our mutual friend, bessie, god rest her)
but it takes a special kind of knitter to knit socks
just because you ask them to.
they are slightly too big
by which i mean,
they fit perfectly.
by which i mean,
they have no ease,
positive or negative.
socks should have a tad of negative ease.
and while i’ve heard rumors of success with shrinkage,
that’s just not a concept i’m comfortable pursuing.
instead, they will be my new bed socks.
my favorite pair snagged on a trip to the lou
leaving a big hole in the foot.
these are a perfect replacement.
there you have it, folks.
a shadow of it’s former glory,
but a post nonetheless.
ps dear tina,
ignore everything i posted above. it’s all lies. send me all your yarn whenever you please. a space just opened up on my work table!
March 2, 2012
here’s an expert tip for conference goers:
putting the butter packet in the condom pocket of your jeans
is a great way to make it spreadable.
so long as you don’t forget it’s there.
then you’ll have a melted butter mess
and permanent stain on your jeans.
i’ll let you imagine which scenario happened to me this morning.
(and yes, i’m wearing jeans at a conference. i figure if a dude on my panel can wear jeans and a ribbed sweater from the early 2000’s while giving his paper, i can wear jeans when i’m not giving a paper)
February 27, 2012
the last two days of my stockholm trip were the most uneventful.
all i did, really, was go to the symposium,
which was, after all,
the reason i went.
the first thing i noticed
was that i was severely misdressed.
my clothes were stuffy if stylish
but far too formal.
everyone was totally cool euroqueer
with the hair and the boots and such.
i felt like my americanness pulsated from within
and rated a goose egg on the coolness queerometer.
sitting up front and taking notes on my computer was also a bit odd apparently. i looked overeager or like i thought i belonged with
the worst part was that no one was looking at or judging me,
which would allow me to have been like, “fuck them!”
no no. they didn’t even seem to notice.
my standing out was only observed
but there were some cool things that happened.
within five minutes of ann cvetkovich’s talk,
she brought up knitting (it made sense as an example).
a beat later she pointed out that patti white was knitting as she spoke!
i didn’t bring my knitting
since i wasn’t sure it’d be appropriate.
well let me tell you!
the next day i wore my own shit kickin’ boots,
and dressed as comfortably as i pleased.
i mean, if i can’t wear my color work in sweden,
where can i wear it?
i made sure to take a good one of the bohus hat for misa.
had to prove i took it there.
misa a swear i’m weaving in ends.
i promise to get it to you
by rhinebeck lol.
when i arrived a the symposium,
ann cvetkovich sat next to me!
we chatted about the talk,
(which i brought with me to day two)
and she introduced me to jackie stacey.
(these are famous academics.
it’s like being knitting famous
just with a different crowd)
the talks were really impressive
and demonstrated how far i have to go as an academic.
still, it was worth the trip. i learned a lot.
and what a cool location, right?
while stockholm is a cool town,
and i got to see barely any of it,
it didn’t really impress me.
i told the shuttle bus lady at the detroit airport
when she asked if i would ever go back,
no. probably not.
unless i was on some grand tour of europe,
and it was one of many stops,
nothing about stockholm makes me feel like i need to see more.
stockholm’s like that
cute guy you spent that one summer evening with.
it was a fun time, and he was really nice.
you got his digits and plan to keep in touch
but really, neither of you plans to see the other again.
neither pair fits.
the socks are only slightly too small,
and really i can blame lack of experience.
i’m just not sure yet when to begin my toe decreases.
the mittens i can only blame myself for.
i know i’m a tighter knitter,
especially my color work.
so i thought going up a needle size would be enough.
but i never checked my gauge, so i have no one to blame but me.
based on the fit, going up one more needle would have done the trick.
but i couldn’t bring myself to check my gauge
because i knew i couldn’t stomach ripping.
i just couldn’t.
so i’m giving both the socks and the mittens away.
the socks are spoken for.
but i need to find a lady hand
or dainty man hand (franklin?)
on which to put the mitts.
and i still don’t really like shelter.
February 23, 2012
my first day in stockholm, i slept.
i had all these plans of things to do,
places i wanted to go before the symposium began.
because the week leading up to my trip
contained 12 total hours of sleep.
i can’t easily sleep on planes
so my body said, “hey!”
“this bed is super comfy!”
“we’re hanging out here for a while.”
while this meant skipping the gay fun that can only be found on a saturday night, it was probably for the best.
the next day was my favorite because i got to indulge in my favorite of european activities: wandering around the city in the early early morning and just looking around.
i left just before sunrise.
it’s part of my rules of engagement.
then i just wandered, passing people cleaning, stumbling drunk, walking their dog, or coming home from the previous night.
the feeling of the architecture in stockholm is odd.
the older buildings seem like a mix of parisian and russian.
clearly, a lot of the older buildings are gone
creating an odd juxtaposition of old and new.
i found it to be . . .
the most distinct memory i have of that morning is of a sweet smell i couldn’t identify. it was like carmel cooking or cotton candy. something sugary, sweet. i tried to follow my nose, as it were, but i never found the source. i wonder what it could have been.
after a little nappy poo,
i met up with a new swedish friend
and we saw some sights.
but that’s tomorrow’s story.
**i bet you want to see what knitting i got done, don’t you? patience, bitches!
February 11, 2012
the never ending sock
continues on the path
of never ending.
i’ve read over and over how,
if you just take the sock with you
and knit a little hear and there,
it will be done.
clearly the yarn harlot is lying liar bad guy
because this sock will not fucking end.
i even knit on it in the movies! on dpns!
(i was proud. i fixed a drop stitch by feel)
i think i’m simply not a sock knitter
and socks will only end for sock knitters.
i thank heavens my dear reader nancy p.
took a shawl instead of this pair of socks
because she’d still be waiting.
the thing that really gets me?
i don’t even think these socks will end up being for me.
i think they’re just slightly too tight.
so i need to find a man with a)
a foot slightly smaller than mine & b)
will appreciate the socks.
of course i might have years to find this cinderello.
especially if the sock keeps growing at its current rate.
i’m just hoping this sock won’t celebrate its own anniversary
before i graft the fucker shut.
have i mentioned i leave for sweden on friday?
February 9, 2012
January 21, 2012
i’ve made a promise to myself
that i must knit at least an hour every day
and i must blog at least once a week
because i love myself,
and i love my blog.
i haven’t been doing so well with the knitting every day promise
but i refuse to fail on the bloging once a week.
so i here i am,
setting aside my huge pile of work
to show you some progress.
for a long time now,
i have been admiring the work of spillyjane.
there’s something about her designs that i just love.
if i had to put my finger on it, i’d say it’s her color combinations.
i feel pretty comfortable saying they aren’t typical, and yet,
they totally work.
it’s been pretty easy for me to resist casting on one of her designs.
for one, i have a terminal case of second sock syndrome,
which can easily evolve into second mitten syndrome.
but also, while i love her designs,
i just didn’t see myself wearing any of them.
i love them and thought they’d look amazing on other people.
just not me.
that is until i saw these bad boys.
one look and i was harassing her to publish the pattern already.
(really. i emailed and tweeted her. i was pushy)
a copy found it’s way into my mailbox
and away i went.
1) i love colorwork. i. love. it.
2) i love this pattern. i am thoroughly enchanted with the chart. more than once, i have talked to it with a kind of cutesy voice i use to show affection to mo or other adorable mammals. i am not ashamed.
3) i’m glad i went up a needle size. otherwise the mitten would not fit.
4) this does have me worried about row gauge, however. i hope they don’t end up too long. i refuse to do them math to find out.
5) i have some concerns about the thumb construction. i have very strong feeling about how mitten thumbs should be worked. however, spillyjane makes her living on mittens. i do not. i’m gonna let go and let god on this one.
6) the lighter of the contrasting colors could be little more contrasty. however, i did that on purpose. i love the fact that there’s enough contrast to tell that those are skulls without having my mitten scream, “look here! skulls on a mitten!” sometimes my plans work out.
7) i’m knitting them two at a time (on separate needles) in order to avoid second mitten syndrome. so far, it seems to be working. it has instilled in me a kind of “race” like feeling where i can’t let the other mitten get too far ahead. weird? yes. but it’s working.
8) a while ago, i wrote a post in which i listed my concerns about shelter. i decided it was high time i actually tried it out, and the fact that spillyjane used it to knit these mitts seemed like the perfect excuse. now that i’m knitting with it, i have some opinions:
a) i love how it looks. the color is impeccable and the subtle rustic heatheryness of it speaks to the old school knitter in my heard.
b) however, i’m not a big fan of it’s hand when i’m knitting with it. yes, it’s very light, and while i usually love the feel of a wooly yarn, something about this particular blend . . . well i just don’t care for it.
c) it’s also very easy to break which makes me worry about how it will hold up with wear. it didn’t actually break while i was knitting with it. i don’t cut my yarns to switch colors, i just break them. and shelter breaks with very little effort. i’m hoping the fact that the mittens are knit at a very tight gauge will help with the ware factor.
d) i do like the fabric this pattern creates with this particular yarn. it’s knit on much smaller needles than one would normally use. i think it works because the yarn is so lofty. and quite frankly, i feel like shelter would knit more accurately to a dk gauge than a worsted anyway, another reason i think this pattern/yarn combo works with such small needles.
e) i don’t know if d) can be said to be representative of how the fabric will feel for other projects knitted at the recommended gauge.
f) my hypothesis is this yarn would be great for an old school textured sweater, but i doubt i can afford it at this point. american made ain’t cheap!
g) all that being said, when i try the mittens on, they feel comfy and warm. i plan to use them as my driving mitts. i do not regret buying shelter for this project, i think they’re beautiful, and i recommend other people spend the cash to give it a go at least once. but i just don’t see myself buying it again.
9) do you think jared flood will blacklist me for this?
i’ve also got this little lovely going:
pattern: spruce forest by nancy bush
i have a serious love hate thing going on with this shawl.
this is the story:
for about a year now, i’ve wanted to design/knit a lace shawl in marine silk sport in my absolute favorite blue moon color way, ‘spruced’. i wanted it to be a triangular shawl and i wanted it to be a kind of ‘tree’ shaped lace pattern. the fact that i am not a designer and don’t yet intuitively understand how lace works meant that i was seriously struggling to realize this dream. then along comes fucking nancy bush and designs a perfect fucking shawl. (i am not above thinking that somehow she stole the idea using some kind of psychic probe while i was in her sock class). i hate that it’s a bottom up shawl and that, because it is, all the trees will point upward exactly as they should.i hate the nupps that make it so fucking adorable and perfect that i can’t help but be delighted every time i purl 5 together on the ‘resting row’. despite the fact that they totally slow me down and are frustrating, i hate that i love them. (and hate that i would never have thought to put a nupp in shawl, even though they are clearly amazing) i hate that there is a solid garter border because i absolutely believe in a thick garter border and bam! there it is.
and god damn i hate that there’s a perfect looking slip stitch edge so that when i have to pick up stitches for the lace edging, it will be a snap.
god damn nancy bush and her perfect fucking shawl pattern!
i shake my fist at you in gratitude, bitch!
i’m knitting this shawl as a present for someone who i really like and i think deserves to have it. really, i shouldn’t be blogging about it, but shit, i need all the material i can get. i don’t have time for secret knitting!
** ps i am thoroughly annoyed with the fact that i am unable to capture the true color of ‘spruced’. it is much greener than the photo, and has a subtle blue hue in it. my guess is it has to do with the silk and sea cell content being all reflective. any help from my photography peeps?