October 10, 2012 § 6 Comments
I’m not sure how it happened, once I finished my self-assigned interminable sock knitting, that I immediately turned around and started knitting more socks.
Because that’s exactly what’s happened.
These are even Nancy Bushes– they’re the Estonian Socks from Folk Socks (a 1994 classic that was just re-released last year). I’m working in Shepherd Sock, which I’ve never used before. I’m coming to terms with the superwash merino & nylon content.
Namely: is the environmental effect of eschewing superwash wool really worth it if the socks you make wear out in less than a year?
Anyway, it’s fun colorwork & a fun pattern, and I have less than two weeks to make the pair (and on US sz. 0 needles!).
October 3, 2012 § 4 Comments
Nevermind all that I said about spending time sewing this month. I’m knitting something so cartoonishly knitterly that I feel like a look-at-how-kooky-this-girl-is sitcom actress:
CAROLINE sits down at the café table across from NIC, pulls a fuzzy pink half-knit mitten from her bag, and begins working.
CAROLINE: So, how was the show last night?
I mean, this actually is what I did on Saturday afternoon.
Anyway, I’ve stumbled into a newfound but very real love for angora. I haven’t ever worked with it, since it always seemed to be too much for me. It’s not my taste. But I think the qualities I used to find so jarring– it is undeniably fuzzy– are now maybe what draw me to it. Angora cannot be ignored. It does not apologize for itself.
I will leave you with this shocking thought: I’m thinking a good bit about a day-of-the-week set of angora-lined pulse warmers. Lord have mercy.
September 26, 2012 § 1 Comment
I’m having so much fun with these.
Back in early July, my friend Maggie came to visit and casually let it slip that she’d just visited our friend Jay, and that the socks I’d knit him had seen better days (actually, verbatim: “So, I’m supposed to mention to you in a sort of an offhand way that they’re super worn-out, and that maybe you could just make another pair, if you have the time.”).
With that in the back of my mind, I went down to my old-but-new-again LYS last week, in search of something suitable. Lorna’s makes a spot-on Carolina Blue, it turns out (and exclusively for Yarns Etc!), but businesslike, it’s not.
I went with a yarn I’d never used before– Online Supersocke Silk in a granite-like gunmetal grey color. Online, a German yarn company (Ganze Banderole auf Deutsch? Absolutely.), is distributed by JMF’s distributor, so that extra familiarity made it all the nicer. The silk content– 20%– really made the slipped stitches shine, and gives (I think) an attractive look of precision & exactitude to the whole thing. You can tell that these don’t have any mistakes in them.
The pattern, aside from the skyp stitch, is a pretty uncomplicated one, but it’s very popular (also, it’s free! Thank you, Adrienne!). The herringbone running down the center of the ribs is really unusual, but looks especially great, I think, with this yarn.
I’m flying through these, so, soon!
September 19, 2012 § 3 Comments
I’ve been working on this since last year– November 20, 2011– but things have ground to a stop.
This pattern, Kate Davies’ Funchal Moebius, is graphic, striking, and a simple knit. Since it was released last year during Wovember, I decided that I’d use my own fingering-weight handspun to make it– the gold is some Corriedale that came with my spinning wheel, and the white is Tunis from Infinity Farm in Cedar Grove, NC (I wrote about going fishing there, a few years ago).
However, therein lies the problem: I’ve done 4 pattern repeats out of 14, and I’ve run out of the Corriedale yarn. I sure can’t buy anything like it.
I’ve got plenty of roving, luckily, but it’ll be a challenge to replicate yarn I spun 2 years ago. We’ll see how it goes.
February 4, 2012 § 2 Comments
Here is an admission. I haven’t shown much of my January Aran sweater, because, frankly, there hasn’t been too much to show. I am knitting at what is, for me, a positively glacial pace. I have just about 12″ to show for a month of work.
There are so many other irons in the fire– both knitting-related and not– that I haven’t found the time to devote to this.
I’m still pleased with it, of course. It’s just so much easier to crank away at a project when the pattern’s laid out in front of you, instead of waiting to be invented.
It doesn’t help that the weather’s so wretchedly warm, and that I recently re-inherited about 10 of my old machine-knit sweaters from middle and high school (hand-me-back-ups, I guess they are). I’m certainly not motivated to want another sweater, beautiful and handmade or not.
I haven’t given up yet. But this one’s definitely on the back burner, and may very well spend most of the spring there.
February 1, 2012 § 2 Comments
Yesterday, I went to the DMV to get my Virginian driver’s license, car title, license plates, and voter registration. Because I am one of those people who finds a deep satisfaction in doing the right thing, and doing it in the right way (which probably says horrible Jasager things about me), I was pretty excited at the prospect. Knowing full well the godawful wait that, well, awaited, I was also feeling pretty clever that I’d brought my knitting.
However, it wasn’t to be. Two rows in, my number was called, and I was up at the counter, handing over every piece of Important Paper I own. I left, satisfied, with everything I’d come for. I am now an official Virginian– the best part of which is BORROWING PRIVILEGES from the UVA Library system (I’ve been in torment without easy access to a university library. The parking for the library may be a fresh torment, but at least I don’t have an excuse anymore to Not Read Books.).
The knitting I was so excited about is the Jared Flood pattern, Tinder, which I’ve admired since the BT Fall collection was released back in September. I’m making it as a present for someone, and, somehow, I’ve ended up in an inadvertent knitalong with Zac’s mom. She’s going to beat me to the finish. I’m sure of it. It’s not a race.
I’m working in Sabine, which is exactly as described– the yarn that will steal your heart. As a sworn cotton-hater, I was prepared to dislike it. And, of course, I love it. It has all the lightness of cotton, but none of its harshness, dry feel, or inelasticity. It has a beautiful hand, and perfect drape. I’ve worked with it before, test knitting a garment for Marie Grace’s beautiful collection, and knew then that I wanted to use it again. It may end up being my go-to worsted this spring.
This is the 4th big knitting project I’ve taken on this spring– wish me luck and speed (and smaller requests)!
January 18, 2012 § 1 Comment
A little more than a month ago I got an email from my friend Jay that said, basically, “I know it’s in poor taste to go around demanding sweaters from people, but I’d really love a sweater. Maybe we can work something out?”
Since he works for a startup that happens to purvey fine wines and myriad epicurean/artisan fancy edibles, we were able to work out something pretty good (Jay! Those salted caramels were fantastic! Thank you!!!). Also part of the deal is the promise of blog photos in front of the New York City landmark of my choosing, and the accosting of good-looking strangers to do the modeling (maybe)!
So, in a move that catapulted this sweater into quite rare company– I never ever knit anything twice– I suggested the East Hale Cardigan, from the Fall 2011 issue of Knitscene. I’d knit it this past September for another friend of mine, who wore– is still wearing, as I saw on our San Francisco trip– the absolute hell out of it, which pleases me to no end.
That also makes this sweater my Standard Sweater For Dudes in Tech (next in line for a sweater is my friend Ben, who’s been owed one for at LEAST five years, and probably also needs one, living in Ithaca and all. This is because my intarsia-in-the-round was never quite up to the challenge of knitting the Rebel and Imperial insignia onto the backs of fingerless gloves. Understandably.).
Anyway, we sent more emails back and forth, and it looks like the only modifications I’ll be making are to add handwarmer pockets, interior pockets, and breast pockets, of varying zippered status. (He writes, “Warm pockets and hot pockets are all you need to keep a man content.”)
Also per request, an as-in-depth-as-possible account of making this sweater. Seen above is a solid 2.5 hours of knitting, worked last night. The work’s done on US 7 needles (4.5 mm diameter), and begun with a Norwegian Long-Tail Cast On, which is known for its stretchiness and flexibility. On the extreme right and left, where the two sides come together at center front, there’s an incorporated i-cord edging (as opposed to applied, which is where, as a finishing touch, the edging is worked from the picked-up stitches along the fronts. Also, i-cord, short for idiot-cord, is a 3-or-4-stitch knitted tube invented by Elizabeth Zimmermann, and is positively the easiest thing in the world to knit.).
The bottom hem is worked in a 2×2 rib– you knit 2 stitches, purl 2 stitches, and repeat the sequence of four until the end (or, in this case, until you reach the last 8 stitches: there’s a 5-stitch garter stitch front border– more on that later– plus that 3-stitch incorporated i-cord).
Ribbing– columns of alternating knits and purls– makes a piece of knitting much stretchier than it usually would be. A knit stitch brings the yarn up through the front of the stitch below it, pushing the old stitch to the back. A purl stitch brings the yarn up through the back of the stitch below it, pushing the old stitch to the front. (So, the back side– “wrong side”– of a knit is a purl, and vice versa). When you put frontwards-tending and backwards-tending stitches next to one another, the knits push forwards, and the purls recede. So, because they’re filling extra space in the frontwards/backwards direction (I guess that’s z), they’re less able to fill space in the x (left/right) direction, and so they pull in more. And that’s why ribbing is stretchy, and good for the bottom hems of things.
Anyway, Jay, let me know if this is as in-depth as you’d hoped, and if it makes any sense at all. I’m going to figure out how to put little labeled pointer arrows on things, at the very least, so I can explain some more things. I mean, other people do this lots better than I do (TECHknitting comes to mind, plus, her illustrations are 1) awesome and 2) her own), but, anyway, I am telling all.
August 4, 2011 § 7 Comments
The new issue of Twist Collective went live, I guess, in the early hours of Monday morning.
I woke up, say, 7 o’clock, and read it first thing. Saw this, and thought (as did some other folks I know), “That must be RED and it must be MINE.”
I bought the pattern, went out and got some of our Juniper Moon Farm Chadwick, and have only JUST NOW surfaced. Ever since Monday morning, I’ve done precious little except watch cable after cable cross over another, working my way through three heavenly balls of Chadwick. It is absolutely addictive.
This yarn. It is phenomenal. It’s so lightly spun, I’m amazed it holds together as firmly as it does (what with all these complex cables, I yank on this yarn plenty). This makes for a light, lofty softness– and warmth!– that I’ve never experienced from a yarn before. I even picked a few feet of it apart, to try and figure out just how it’s spun as lightly as it is– the only conclusion I can come to is that this yarn is just pure magic. I’m trying to keep myself from planning a winter of nothing-but-Chadwick projects (because that’s just greedy).
Soon (really, really soon, because I’m hardly able to put this project down), I will have an unphotographably-bright, lusciously cozy, perfectly red SHEEP CAPE that I can trip about in– that’s the only possible verb here– all winter. I am WAY EXCITED.
March 14, 2011 § Leave a Comment