Saturday, September 29, 2007

Knitting As Art

Knit XXV
Originally uploaded by goshdarnknit
I'm en media res on several knitting projects right now, at that point where there's a lot of action but not many photogenic results. More about that later, though: I was browsing etsy (I've been told I'm not alone in needing to close my browser quickly to avoid purchasing stuff) and spotted a painting by Rania Hassan on the main page.

The whole series is delightful. I'm something of a fan when it comes to the kind of knit art that gets gallery exhibits; I like peculiar shapes and strange materials and social commentary. So humor me and check out Hassan's blog and etsy.

Now then. About those projects.

To some chagrin, I've decided to quit the dreaded Vogue capecho. No matter how I play with the pentagons, it's going to be ungainly blocky in the bust, and I can't get away with wearing it. Yes, I knitted 9 of those before I figured that out... and oh, those pentagons were fun to knit. My desire to knit exciting things and my desire to wear slightly edgy, possibly even sexy things don't always mesh as well as I like to think, though. That much is clear.

I have a pair of socks on the needles. A sweater for my sister, my design. A crochet afghan. Also, today I cast on for Norah Gaughan's "Anais," in black. I like in progress photos (within reason), so you're likely to see a few if the weather humors my camera.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Malicious Kindness

I have very nice friends. Some of them, I would go so far as calling them maliciously nice-- they do things like buy me hard-to-find 00000000 needles, or yarn enough for several sweaters, or... well... maybe I should start with a picture.
In case the sizing has been distorted by how heavily I cropped down the image (wouldn't want you seeing my stash mess, would I?), that bag is about 18 inches by 24, and every bit of it is bulging with fibers. What you can't see are the hand carders I've been loaned by same said friend.*

Said friend runs a side-business of environmentally dyed yarns and roving. I stopped by her place to meet her cat and socialize when she happened to be cleaning up her apartment, and also poke through some of her store goods (I had my eye on the geoduck roving). Next thing I know, she's thrust a bag full of fiber at me and is saying, "You know, I'm just not going to use these. You comfortable with hand carders?"

Me, I respond with something like "Fiber pretty." And next thing I know, I'm packing into her mom's car with a bag almost too big around for me to carry.

There just went the last gasp of my plan to eat through my stash this year.

*Said friend's website is:, and she has an etsy with the same name.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Post Without Pictures Is No Fun At All

But it's happening, nevertheless. Take heart, I'll keep it brief, and it might even be entertaining.

I scrapped the entrelac blanket today after proving that the color combination (blue+powder blue/charcoal+tannish grey) was awful. I have faint plans for enormous scarves on the haut couture scale of uselessness.

I also taught my first formal class today, and I have to say that not only did I survive, I'm in the process of teaching two new-ish knitters how to knit gloves on two circular needles in the style of Cat Bordhi. They seem to like me! Possibly they're lying to my face, but they repeatedly mentioned that I was funny and a good teacher.

And I'm alive, did I mention that? Totally alive, even though I was so tense that the stitches on my own needles would barely lever over each other. I've never knit a fabric so tight in my life. I could sell it as body armor.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Seven Things of Happy

I'm not much for memes, so bear with me. Jesse tagged me; 7 things meme, and I'm going to go for seven knitting things that have given me pleasure recently, because knitting goodness is something I shouldn't forget.

I'm not going to tag anyone, so you're all safe, and any and all complaints can be directed to... well, me.

1) designers who dare.

2) the store I work at:

3) the fact that people there want to take my classes.

And the rest are pictorial, because I'm short of words today:

4) The complexity of lace

5) basement bargain arty (artful!) yarn

6)lace needle-tipped addi turbos:

7) .... and the versatility of string. This is hanging from my wall.

Capecho: This May Be a Disaster

This is the start of Norah Gaughan's modular capecho from last year's winter Vogue Knitting.

I have no idea what's going to come of it-- but I'm not good at resisting this kind of temptation, so I decided I absolutely must (this is as crucial to my continued existence as air and water, I swear) give the crazy construction a try, and not only that, but I had six skeins of black lion brand wool-ease to do it with. Because, you know, Vogue Knitting would choose lion-brand for a project.

That's the first thing changing the knitting dynamic here-- I'm knitting the size XS, but it's going to shape into a L. That's part of my grand plan, honest.

I should mention: I don't have a copy of the pattern. I'm not going to graft the pentagons onto each other during the knitting process-- I'll sew them together afterward. It's also not going to be a bolero by the time I'm done with it-- I love Gaughan's designs, but I'm too busty for boleros, and I've seen in Flickr pools that Vogue managed to photoshoot it and the model in peculiar ways. So by the time I'm done, this will be a cardigan. Probably V-necked, not sure yet. And my snowflakes are going goth.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fini, Fini, Fini Pomatomus

They're finished and lovely, but I swear I can't get a decent picture of them-- I've given up trying. Just be assured that they're adorable, all right? And I'm going to have to wash this GGH wool, because itchy is something it is very good at.

I actually have a third of these socks lying around-- the cuff was far too long for me, but I only decided this when I was halfway done with the foot. I ended up decreasing the cuff length by one pattern repeat, and the foot by half a pattern repeat. Cute, and fun, but an easy pattern to drop a stitch in (also one that's not terrible fun to rip out. I hate ripping out lace).

I think I need to buy myself a pair of addi's in a size 1 or 2; these socks have been the project in the bottom of my backpack for about three months now, and I was forever misplacing single dpns in the lining of the bag. This meant a lot of cursing at work.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Crushed Hopes and Pranks

I had great plans for this weekend-- I was going to pack myself into a car with a bunch of friends, head out with some GPS coordinates, and spend a day crawling around in damp, cold caves enjoying the last days of summer (when they're not bat habitat).

Sadly, it was not to be. I had a really lame accident (I lost my balance and skidded across some bricks, skinning my knee to the point of losing significant flexibility) that I can set a sort of hip spin to (I collided with a parkour guy). So I'm staying behind, and will spend the weekend consoling myself with Buffy and lots of knitting.

However....These should be making their way into one of my friends' backpacks as we speak. He will, uh, appreciate having enormous pink mittens made from some 1970s acrylic rug yarn.

This picture understates the pink by quite a bit. These things aren't salmon-colored. Oh no. Hardly. They are "folly" pink, by which the manufacturers clearly meant "That color worn solely by five-year-olds that approximates blood on snow, covered with a gleaming varnish."

It's a long story. Suffice to say that he made one too many kitten jokes and, well, kittens have mittens... so I gave him miniature mittens which he sent back (with a marionette kitten that scares me a little) with a note that they were too small.

These aren't.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Skeins of Doom

A couple years ago, in a fit of poor taste and dubious circumstance I now regret (why did you give me yarn, mom? And why, oh why, did I wheedle you into giving it to me?), I acquired two skeins of Sensations Rainbow Boucle in colors that don't really pair up to my satisfaction.

Two skeins. That's 2x 853 yards (lawks, a whole 1706 yards!) of soft, prissy, gormless yarn that's soft, prissy, and gormless mostly because it doesn't have the constitution to knit up into things I would actually, well, knit. I'm not a big blanket/formless sweater person. I gave it a stab, I did: I produced one entirely forgettable 3-ft squared blanket for the family cats.

Aside from that, these blue and grey watermelons have been taking up stash space for a very long time, annoying me to varying degrees depending on how finicky I'm feeling when I remember I have them (they take up a lot of stash space).

Well, no longer. I was glaring at them in a fit of pique yesterday when I had a revelation: I've never knitted entrelac, and that is One of Those Things I Really Should, At Least Once.

So, an entrelac blanket it is. Let's see how many years it stays half-knitted on my floor. Cast your bets now.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Just a note...

I am Jabberwocky at Ravelry. Not very original, but there you have it, for what it's worth. I feel trendy to the point of silliness because of it.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Class: Convertible Glottens

I'm still hammering out the kinks on these mittens (will pick up some stitches on the thumb, write up the pattern, come up with a crafty loop to pin the mitten cap back onto the button when they're in their glove phase instead of their mitten phase). I should write the pattern up this weekend, too.

But this is really just a teaser-- this is the other pattern I said I'd be teaching a class for.