Monday, August 27, 2007

In Which I Talk About My Needle Fetish

So, there's several things the world as we know it would be better off without. One of them is humankind's tendency towards cruelty against its fellows. Another is global warming. Uber-capitalism. And... double-pointed needles.

I never thought I'd say that. I used to swear by dpns. I have a (very) small fortune in them. But now it looks like I'm going to need to spend myself silly on matching pairs of circulars, because circular sock-knitting is roughly as addictive as methamphetamines. Probably cheaper in the long run, too, even at $15 a pop like most addi turbos seem to be. I am now on a circular needle rampage.

All this came about because the woman owning Bad Woman Yarns sat me in a chair with a book and told me to figure out circular sock-knitting. I was dubious... but then I learned better.

Speaking of which. I'll be teaching classes in September/early October. One will be (yes) an introduction to circular sock-knitting, and the others will be one-session workshops for gauntlet-knitting. I've been working out some patterns. So far I've finished prototypes for a big-cable gauntlet in New Tweed (prototype above), but I'm a lot more fond of the project currently on my (circular!) needles... a pair of mini-cable gauntlets that are probably going to become convertibles assuming the skein of Ultra Alpaca Light lasts long enough. It should... there's a lot of mileage out of those little skeins. The stuff feels like fleecy butter-- I love it. More on those later.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Saga of Pink Ends

So, it looks like knitting in pink will be well behind me for awhile. I finished my Pink Monstrosity hat; the crown is stolen from Marnie MacLean's Haley's Comet hat, and the bottom, crocheted border came out of my depraved mind some time yesterday afternoon.

Fortunately, it's finished, and looks spiffy and cute, if I may say so myself. Unfortunately, it's nothing I would ever wear and I have no idea who I could possibly gift it to. But what else is a gift stash in the corner of the closet for?

Dust bunnies, of course. And the occasional giftee-less gift.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Close Knit-- Portland, OR

I must absolutely rave about this place. I stopped in while visiting family over the weekend, and its biggest flaw was that I'd forgotten my camera (couldn't possibly be my fault, right? Right?)

Gorgeous space. Yarn surrounds you at all angles but never actually falls off the shelf. The place looks pleasingly overstuffed, and they stock absolutely everything that's worth stocking. Lots and lots of natural fibers; unique, hand-painted/spun artisan yarns and more common stuff. Lots of books. Comfy chairs. Helpful, friendly staff. I was looking for the Norah Gaughan collection Berroco put out, and the owner offered to ship it to me if I couldn't find it here.

Good thing I'm no longer desperate for a friendly lys. I don't really want to move.

But I got the collection, as anyone who looks at this for the pictures can tell; and not only did I get the collection, I bought a completely superfluous skein of black Prairie Silk from an odds-and-ends sale bin.

But more about the book. It makes me highly excitable and forces my list of future wips even longer than it is now (and I tried looking at that thing to sober myself, and failed).

But really. I know for certain that I will be knitting Anais (Nin?). Kaiju has my sister's name on it-- and Manon just might, too. The Justina and Aune skirts will be likely once I procure some yarn that won't turn into a saggy-bottomed monstrosity. Jyri, Kaari, Kirsti, Kaino, Noemi and Chantel all have "people I knit for" potentials. Aamu, I may get some use out of with modifications... the neckline's a little intriguing.

That all sounds faintly silly. I suppose I ought to have thrown in words like "cardigan" and "obi" to make it make more sense. But I am deeply pleased to have found a book I can get so much mileage out of-- let's see how long it takes before I get distracted from it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sage and Camel Roving

After my first day of work, I stopped by the Weaving Works to treat myself to some roving. Merino/alpaca blend, so stunningly cheap I found myself wondering if something was wrong with it. I've done nothing this week (in my snatches of spare time, which have been few) except work the kinks out of my drop spindle technique. I have a lot of kinks to work out, but at least this time around it's much less bulky and much more DK.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Buttony, Finished

Dark yarns can be sixty different kinds of pain to photograph well. But this is Buttony, and it is complete, done, finished, finalized, and bound off.

Alright, a few ends need weaving in. And the recipient hasn't chosen buttons yet. But there is no more stockinette to be had. All said, I liked knitting this: the yarn (Bazic superwash wool) has lovely stitch definition and a good hand. The shoulders simply look gorgeous, if I may say so myself. My one grievance is the amount of yarn this thing gobbled up: I was getting stitch per stitch perfect gauge, but I went over the amount needed in the pattern by about 2000 yards... and those sleeves, I'll have you notice, are 3/4-length. I'm not sure if there was wildly different stitch height between the yarn the pattern called for and the yarn I chose, or what, but taking a commission from a friend and then telling her she needs to buy four more skeins of yarn is not my preferred way of doing social business.

Naturally, appropriate consolation came in the form of two ounces of sage green alpaca/merino blend roving.

Today I met the rest of the yarnstore staff and we planned up some classes. The head yarnmistress seemed willing to consider green knitting/yarn reclamation classes, something that makes me giddy. I'm not going to talk much about that (now, or possibly ever) because I'm not entirely certain about the protocols for dual personal/work blogs. I see fate potentially frowning upon a blog that cheerfully embraces profanity in its middle name.

And that would be dreadful.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Saga of Pink-- I lied

But at least, to my knowledge, no one has died from it so far.

Yes, yes, I know. This is neither an FO nor is it something not pink. Although it looks blue here... I perambulate too much. The story behind it is pretty blasé: the whole project is just a reckless combination of "Oh, I had this in my stash?" + "This yarn is unraveling because I scrapped it badly on three different occasions! Oh the reckless abuse of my youth!" + "Hm, Marnie MacLean has some curious hat patterns."= I'll knit Halley's Comet Hat.

Well, not quite. I already have a pink knit hat with rolled edges (this is really breaking my case against never wearing pink, isn't it?), so I'm probably going to get creative... maybe give it a scalloped lace edge adjusted from her Chapeau Marnier pattern.

Tip for knitting crown-down hats on dpns: instead of trying to balance a tiny number of stitches on a great number of needles, start with the stitches on just two dpns. It's perfectly easy to adjust to and you don't have to play wild games with your tension just to keep the needles in all the stitches. You can switch in more dpns later once you have 10-20 stitches to work with.

Oh yeah, and: I finished Buttony and have freely admitted that my eyes are bigger than my stomach (very, very big eyes indeed). I've been running around too frantically to knit in more than bites and snatches, but as soon as I get back from a weekend out -and possibly before- I'll have pictures of that, and the finished Pomatomus socks I've been picking up here and there, and, maybe, soon after that, a prototype/gift sweater.

Oh, and best of all: I'm going to start working at a new lys. Yarn, matey!