Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Buttony's Progress

It's knitting up fast. I think it's going rather well... although I am speculating whether I have enough yarn at this point (but hard to tell... I don't do that many top-down projects).

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Mariah, Finished at Last

So, first I knit the sweater. Then I spent a million beleaguered years knitting the hood, which I swear took as long as the sweater itself (no small feat given the long cables on the arms). Then I painstakingly plucked all my knit-in hairs out of it, an activity soon followed by knitting and applying pockets.

And then the zipper. I'm a zipper virgin, and I turned immediately to the realm of zipper tutorials (and I found a great one which I mysteriously can't find in my folders of links now). So... the long story: I carefully whipstitched the fronts together, whipstitched on the zipper, trimmed the excess, and carefully sewed it down with matching black thread. Only to find when I turned the thing inside out that I'd committed a crime against knitting.

Yes, I had on my hands one lumpy zipper. So I cut out most of the black thread with the intention of starting over, only to discover that the acrylic I'd used (if I haven't mentioned before that it's really cheap yarn... it's really chap yarn) didn't want to peaceably return the snippets of thread. Not only that, but it seemed to have problems with being sewn in general. So I spent a few hours salvaging things, leaving it very much not to my taste.

Sigh. But it's done, and seems well-appreciated. Just in time for summer.

Maybe I'll be able to get some "on the recipient" photos. The neckline's rather lost to view right now.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Severina's Asphyxiation

I don't really crochet. I've never really liked the look of large blocks of it, I don't often see likeable patterns in it, and, most importantly of all, I'm really bad at it. I like everything laid out on a needle for me to see.

The exception to this rule is crochet lace. I've always admired the gothy steampunk things that can be done with it, so I set out and trained myself how to imitate those gothy steampunk things myself-- as evidenced by the (slightly crude and very unblocked) lace forms below. The left-hand form is a section from Asphyxiation, posted two issues back in the AntiCraft. The right is a modification when I realized that Asphyxiation is tall and intimidating enough to overwhelm my poor little neck. If anyone knows a good crochet lace site, I'd love to hear about it. I would adore a dark little Victorian choker beyond measure.

And a note: I finally put up a list of some blogs I read, mostly because I'm sick of reading them, loving them, then getting busy, forgetting them, and never finding them again. Alas. It is incomplete and will certainly be updated as I remember people.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Buttony Beginnings

So, a friend of mine, she comes to me and says, "Pink, you knitting much? Want to do something for me?" And I sez to her, "What, you want me to knit something?" And she sez to me, "Yeah, I do, Pink. I want you to knit me this."-- and she points me to Katie Knits.

Okay, no more pale attempts at vintage Italian mobster vernacular. If that's what it was. I will block out the growly male voice in my ear and give you the basic bent of the conversation after that:

Me: "You're going to compensate me for that much stockinette, right?"

Friend: "Err, yeah. Yeah... that was the idea."

Me: "Neat-o! Let's go buy yarn!"

I'm not all that keen on raglan, honestly, solely because they're so big and heavy that you can't really carry them around when they're on the needles, but this looks pretty cool (I am a sucker for raglan shoulders), and I think it'll be a fast knit.

Besides, this yarn is awesome to work with. A very favorable switch from lionbrand-- pretty, healthy sheen, and 100% natural. My hands can really tell, and they're appreciating it. The only thing that could make me happier would be having my friend's exact measurements.

(ahem) You can e-mail me those any time, you know.

PS, Friend: And tell me if you want it to button the left or right shoulder, because you know all about the mirror-image lefty conundrum curse. Let me know now, or it'll button over the right shoulder-- the clever knitting equivalent of sleeping with the fishes.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

State of the Knitted

I guess it's insufferably nerdy to run a progress check on your knitting.

But I posted a list of hopeful projects in January, and it's now halfway through the year. So what's a knitter to do?

Green vaguely signifies completed projects. The lighter the green, the less complete. Red means I've changed my mind. I've added and subtracted and changed things liberally.

  • felted green lunch tote with strap
  • red-and-black wide winter scarf
  • wrap with leftover burgundy yarn (my design?)
  • a möbius-style cowl wisp with color #204 mohair (my design)
  • Mrs. Beatons with scrap purple mohair and sexy brown sheep company prairie silk
  • Trellis prototypes in Peruvian alpaca (my design)
  • socks with blue variegated sock yarn (pomatomus)
  • socks with red variegated sock yarn (coupling?)
  • more cat toys with leftover Bernat Disco (they love it-- you’d think there’s coke catnip in that hideous tinsel)
  • finish Samus with thriftstore angora blend
  • drop-stitch cardigan in blue variegated thrift-shop sweater—finish unravelling
  • wide-shouldered cowl with black mohair and lime Ritratto? (my design)
  • Lionbrand homespun scrap sack for cat toys
  • Something not boring in the Jo-Ann simplicity mega-skein (not boring being optional; that yarn doesn’t show stitch patterns well at all)
  • ScarfStyle “interlocking balloons”
Hm. Depressing. What's so sad is how much yarn I've received and how much that's changed my priorities. To this list, I have to add:

  • sew pockets and zipper onto Mariah
  • felt burgundy purse; acquire buckles/belts for straps
  • plastic garbage bag for garbage bags
  • Knitty's Chapeau Marnier by Marnie MacLean in left-over burgundy yarn
  • Nantucket Jacket, Norah Gaugahn, with brick red yarn
  • Buttony Sweater commission with Classic Elite Bazic Wool
  • Cable sweater for sister in "mushroom" Lionbrand

Monday, June 11, 2007

Buttony Sweater

There is a commission in the air...

This stuff swatches up so pretty.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A divertissement

A momentary distraction from my usual course of crafting: I scrounged these photos up at an antique/junk store in Fremont, from a little tabletop rack where they were all mashed in together. From left to right: soldier, WW2, presumably in Europe. There were a whole bunch of these there, single photos and groups of guys with guns, all casual, all developed in the same way, so I'm assuming by the same cameraman for the same reasons. Middle: two women on bench with lunch and palm trees. I'm hazarding it was also taken in the 1940s but that's mostly because their clothes are slightly outside of my historical forte. And the shiny third one: innards of a car. There was a note on the back, it says (sic):

"32 V8 dash. 39 V8 stearing whee and the
ribbon on the gearshift is for good luck. never hit a ditch yet!"

Anyway. I got these because I've been interested in resin-casting for jewellery, etc, lately, and the idea of a lacquered picture frame that has, ta-da, pictures on it is somewhat mesmerizing.

Okay, I also got them because they were crazy cheap and I have a mild fixation with old correspondence. Casual photos count as correspondence. Lithographs, kinda sorta. Photos with notes on them? They're the very best kind... is the note just the where and what of it? Is it addressed to friend or family? Was the note written then, or twenty, thirty, fifty years later in the hopes that the grand-kids would take them out and pour over them?

Aside from the whole morbid interest in the dead that I'm displaying here, I find a strange, vaguely nostalgic finality to that stage when your (the universal your, as it were) words end up in an antiques shop. Your likeness and your words (and a few other hand-made things) are the closest things to your identity that aren't literally you. I mean, sure, you can keep that necklace/cup/trophy in the family for 300-odd years, but it picks up the flavor of other people. Those words? Yours. That picture? You, even if no one remembers who the hell you are. So by the time pieces of you are being sold for .50 a snapshot, there's an end that's been reached. You've reached the end of your arc in the course of human memory; this is the shape and weft of life. Fin.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Bumpersticker Politics. Yay!

Just a quick pic of my next felted project. The yarn was a gift from a friend downsizing her stash, so it’s not labeled… I’m going to have to swatch like crazy before throwing this thing in the washer. I don’t care what size it’s going to be (my plans are for an over-the-shoulder belt-strap purse), but I need to reassure myself that it’s as lambswool as it feels.

Because I have a peculiar sense of humor, I thought it would be funny to contrast this (rather good-sized) project with my last FO (the sweater the size of a quarter). So I spread out a bill as a point of comparison. And… then I realized that bill was the best piece of public art I’ve seen since the awesome adobe civilization in the tree bole on campus.

Admittedly, that was only last week. But… in case you can’t see in the large photo…

Yes, Mr. Jackson. Happy to oblige.