Wednesday, April 19, 2006

knit....knit like the wind

My last post about knitting was about a month or so ago, and I've had a whole lot of fiber activity going on since then (well, a whole lot for me, at least).

Most of it was done while listening to Brenda Dayne's podcast, Cast-On.

A few weeks ago, Franklin noted on his blog that he would be a guest host for an episode. I was immediately bummed, as I dont have an ipod, but I clicked on the link anyhow so I could rub salt in my lack-of-material-things wound. When I got there, I found out that you dont need an ipod to listen to a podcast. Hoorah!

So the past few weeks I've been downloading back episodes and listening to them here and there. It's absolutely the coolest thing ever. Podcasts are like listening to a radio show (but you get to pick the topic, so in my case, so far...knitting!). I can listen to it "on-demand," playing it back when I want to. I don't need to remember to set a timer to record it. It's like an audiobook, only free....and I dont need to remember to return it, either.

I'd say that Cast-On is basically like an audio knitting magazine with music. It's made knitting alone when I don't neccessarily want to be alone not so lonely (if that makes any sense). And it's made it alot easier to put down the knitting so that I can tend to other chores.
I can listen to a podcast about knitting and organize things like this:

and still feel like I'm at least engaged in knitting while I'm stuck doing the poopy chore (nobody get used to this chore business, though--I much prefer to be knitting while I listen to a knitting podcast, thank you very much).

Pretty lame of me for not taking a before picture...sorry. Must be my very embarrassed subconsious trying to hide from you the nightmare that used to live in that drawer. And no, the rest of my house is not this me.

So Thank You Brenda! Love your show :-)

She links to other knitting podcasts on her blog. I haven't listened to any others yet because I'm still catching up on the back episodes of Cast-On, but I have bookmarked a couple for when I run out and get lonely. Next in my queue to check out is KnitCast.

Knitting Show and Tell

I’ve got more than I can cram into one post without driving us all nuts: A few FO’s (aka "finished objects" for the non-knitter contingency), some new stuff went on the needles, some other stuff is still stuck on my needles, I reclaimed/recycled some yarn, did some swatching, and made several new acquisitions to the stash and my knitting library.

I’m going to show you the FO’s and just one (of the many) new purchases. Hopefully I'll share the rest later in another post. You know. Later.
Like that dance post. Ugh.

Ok. Here we go.


Alrighty. So after my last knitting entry, I finished that little dishcloth we all talked about.

And then I made two more to keep it company.

(yarn: Lily Sugar & Cream)
I love these even more than I did the last time I prattled on about them. Everyone I have time to knit these for is getting them as holiday gifts in a little basket with some handmade soap.
I'm on a mission.
I might even make the soap myself. I've been wanting to try that out for awhile. But no promises (I need another project right now like I need a hole in my head).

Fingerless Gloves
Then I knit up (and more importantly, seamed up) the companion fingerless glove.

(Koigu-KPPPM) compliments of MyFK
I love these. They fit great. They keep that part of my arm warm that has all the plates and screws in it. One little problem though....I can't wear them while knitting with double pointed needles. The opposite ends of my pointy sticks get stuck in the palm of my knit covered hand. I have to roll the glove up my arm and wear it like a wrist warmer. No biggey, but I can see more knitted cuffs on my horizon.

The lesson I learned with this project:KNIT IN THE ROUND WHEREVER POSSIBLE.

The designer wrote the pattern for these to be knitted flat. I assume it was designed flat so as to not scare off newbie knitters who are intimidated by more than two pointy sticks. Looking at the pattern, there is not one good reason for them not to be in the round.

This is the second time I have knit something flat before realizing how totally lame the pattern is (given I'm able to knit socks, and look at the writstwarmers, I mean, basically socks with no heel or toe...duh). I'm such a space cadet that I didn't figure it out until I was at the thumb gusset, and was really cursing myself once I finished the first one and started seaming up it's 90-something little rows. I almost said "screw it" and knit the second one in the round, but I'm anal about things matching, so I submitted myself to torture again on the second one by knitting it flat, too.

I think I've finally learned my lesson about converting things to the round wherever possible. I don't mind seaming so much, and in fact, I'm surprisingly good at it. But I have a bad habit of finishing the knitting of an item and then letting it sit unseamed for a weeks, and I just hate that. It's my version of second sock syndrome.

The next thing I finished was Latifa.

(Elsbeth Lavold, Silky Wool & Silky Tweed...Koigu KPPPM ruffles)
I was about six color blocks into this scarf when it starting calling my best friend's name, even though I'd intended it to be mine when I cast-on. Her birthday is next week, but I gave it to her early because it really is a "just because" gift rather than a "birthday gift". It looks great on her. She's tall, and it's long, and she has this super curly/spirally hair that totally plays off the ruffles.
But let me tell you a little bit about Latifa.
Love her.
I love the colors, the way the soft curve of the ruffles plays off the linear garter stitch. It's really a nice scarf.

This Latifa I made has:
750 rows of just garter stitch (for the non-knitter, read as = meditative, but very boring).
108 ends to weave in.
2772 increases to be made, one after the other (K1FB).
3729 stitches to bind off.
(see, this is why knitting should be taught in school...when you have that much time with repetitive knitting, you can do algebra while you knit)

It was tedious.
And it was hard on my bum writst.
And it came out so nicely, I'd would not avoid doing it again.

More Fingerless Gloves
The next thing off my needles were some fingerless gloves to go with Latifa, using the left-over yarn.

My own design, if you could even call it that. Honestly, they really are quite the silly little things. Just a garter stitch square sewn up leaving a hole in it where the thumb goes. Then I picked up around the edge and knit the double ruffle that matches the scarf. I made them so they could be worn like a glove or turned around and worn like a little cuff poking out of the sleeve (nothing as nifty as Mrs.Beeton, but that's where the inspiration came from). Try to ignore the fact they clearly dont work with a red sweater. I know that.

It turns out that they fit me great (how thoughtful of me), but are a wee bit too small for the recipient. I offered to reknit them, but she admitted (thankfully--what a waste that would have been) that she's not sure she'd wear them anyhow. She's not a glove person. So they’re mine, I guess....although this shade of green is not my color (it's hers) and there is still that little issue with not being able to wear them while knitting with dpn's. Maybe I'll just keep them for by the computer or something.


I've been a bad girl.

I had an unexpected influx of cash from 4 different sources. FOUR. Seeings that I'm already really entrenched in the noodle soup routine, I figured why not just buy knitting stuff instead of steak. Go figure.
(To tell you the truth, the noodle soups are great. I add steamed veggies and baked tofu. With all the rain we've been having, cozying up with a bowl of this stuff while reading the book I bought with the $ I saved has been workin' just fine by me)

But like I said, influx o' cash.

The very first thing I did was visit Carol's etsy shop, Black Bunny Fibers. Didn't even waste a minute. I'd been eyeing her hand dyed yarns for a few weeks, but every time I was about to buy something, it would be gone before I could do anything about it. The morning after some money landed in my lap I went straight to her shop...saw it, loved it, bought fast she didn't even have time to blog about it. I remember that she described the yarn as periwinkle and plum, and added that the photo was doing capturing the yarn color and justice. I can't get a decent picture of it either, actually. Poo.

(added: I just noticed that the etsy shop has a link you can click so that you can see what you've been of items sold along with their descriptions. Congrats, Carol--you've been a busy gal over there!)

Anyhow, here's the best my camera would allow.... one with flash, one without flash, one in daylight...none of them really capture the color, though.

and here it is swatched up.....

The yarn was listed as fingering weight, but this swatch is on US#6 at 5.25 st to the 1", and I'm liking the drape I'm getting. I'm thinking it's feeling closer to a sport weight. It's very soft and yummy and wonderful to knit with.

I was pretty sure I was going to makes something like Ella (from Knitty) out of it. And I may still do that. I love the shape of that shawl. Then I was kind of eyeing the concept of Convertible.

But now that I've swatched the yarn, it is totally screaming baby sweater. Or maybe baby blanket. Except I don't have anyone with a baby (or anyone expecting) in my life right now. So I dunno. I'm going to sleep on it for a day or two. I am sure inspiration will strike. It always does.

(just added more: I've been emailing with Carol, and apparently there was a small mix-up and this yarn is more than likely a sport weight and not the fingering weight she thought it was. She's kindly offered to correct the situation...but I actually like the yarn a lot and cant wait to see what it wants to be when it grows up!)


That's it from me for now. MyFK is out of school this week for spring break, so I'm ultra-busy on mommy-duty.


Carol said...

For some reason, I had not noticed the Latifah pattern on Knitty, but now you've got me tempted.

Swatch looks great, and thanks for being so cool about the labeling snafu. It's very gratifying to see the yarn knit up and to know that it went to a good home, where it will be made into something lovely and loved. I was going to offer to send you some free sock yarn, but I don't know that even I have the balls to make that kind of crack. ;)