12.30.2010

needing is one thing and getting's another

Something quick and fun to round out the year. Remember my complaining about these silly socks? Actually it was more like the silly yarn. Either way, I was complaining.

I think I'm done with it...after being wound twice, I was ready to start knitting with the colorful end of the yarn rather than the washed-out, dirty-laundry-looking end. You can even see the colors pooling to create the tie-dye effect they [those tricky manufacturers] promised. I am kind of loving these and will love them.......even if they don't match.

Happy New Year!! Have a glass of champagne, and happy knitting!

12.20.2010

thank you for your love

I really, really love fair isle knitting. Like, really. It's addicting, once you get going; the colors make fascinating patterns and it feels like the rows just fly by. Plus you don't get stuck picking just one color...although you use two colors per row, you change the combinations so often that you can use up to ten colors for one of the stockings below. It's fabulous!

These stockings were actually started last spring/summer as gifts for two couples I knew who were getting married...I just had to wait until well after the gift-giving for an appropriate occasion to feature them. (Yay Christmas!)

The pattern is a free download (towards the end of the page) from Cascade Yarns, designed to use their worsted weight wool, Cascade 220. I was nervous about using wool...there's always the danger of moths finding something that's stored in a basement or attic or box for the majority of the year. And even though you don't wash stockings very often, if at all, I wanted to make sure these were super easy to take care of. I substituted Berroco's Comfort worsted in place of Cascade 220, and I think it was a great choice. The color range was more satisfying than other acrylic options (like Plymouth Encore), and I think it's slightly thicker too...so the stockings are more durable and the stuffers won't escape when it gets put to use.

I didn't quite know what to do to hang them...on the first set I did a braided cord, but it was kind of bulky. The second set I used a matching ribbon, which was much easier and still pretty. These were really fun to knit, and a great introduction to fair isle for those of you looking to venture into new techniques.

Merry Christmas, Kniterary Club!!

12.12.2010

santa laughs this way

It's snowing today! A lot!

I have to apologize for yet another long delay in posting. I really thought that I would be diligent about posts since I finished school, but I lied. A tragedy happened over Thanksgiving, right about the time I was getting ready to post again. My camera died, this time for real! Ever since the falling-from-a-tree incident, it had been acting a little temperamental and would occasionally give me warning messages out of spite. This time it seems to have quit for real...it won't focus, and the lens won't retract. This was its last photograph:

It was a pretty good way to go out, I think.

Anyway, the mittens! I finished a pair this weekend, and have to give them away on Christmas Eve...one more pair to go and I'll be all done with Christmas knitting. This might be the first year I actually reach all my gift knitting goals in time.

Here's what they're made of, and why I'm so excited about it. One of my family members is a vegan, and she doesn't wear wool. This yarn comes from Juniper Moon Fiber Farm, a cruelty-free farm where the sheep aren't slaughtered and they all have names. It's pretty awesome, and you can get a share of it (like a local produce share) if you buy in advance. Then you get a box of yarn when shearing season is over! Check out their website and order some for yourself! If you're a reader in Virginia (you know who you are!), you can visit the farm too. I think it might cost a gazillion dollars, but it's still a Virginia business to be proud of!

This is their Bulky yarn, colors Tangerine (left) and Lagoon Pond (right). One skein is enough to make a pair of mittens (knit densely at 4 st/in) with a bit left over (see the Tangerine ball, that's how much I have remaining). I really like the yarn...it's not super soft, but I haven't washed them yet either. The color selection is also somewhat limited, but pretty.

Anyway! Time to go play in the snow. Yay Christmas! To get you in the spirit, listen to this song: it's the best Bob Dylan I've ever heard.

11.19.2010

a perfect day- before you know, it's gone

The hardest part about this time of year is that I can't blog about anything I'm currently knitting...just things I have knitted. The months before Christmas are always dedicated to gift knitting, sometimes extending precariously late into Christmas Eve. (I really hope that's not the scenario this year...I've employed all my planning skills to avoid this.) The upside is, though, that I get to post about the above-mentioned gifts as soon as they are given!

Instead, you get a project that was actually finished way back in September. This is the Twin Cowl, so named as a joke (you know who you are) and because you can make two cowls (at least) out of the yarn. I used Rowan Big Wool because I wanted something nice, and the minute I saw the colors I knew they were perfect for what (and who) I had in mind.

Here's how you do it:

-Get a bunch of chunky yarn. The bigger the better! I used five colors, but you could use less.
-Get the biggest needles you can find.
-Cast on an odd number of stitches...on size 17 needles, I used 51 stitches. You want it to be about 20" wide (in rib), so make sure you have enough.
-Work in K1, P1 ribbing for 3" or so.
-Change color. Work 3", still in ribbing.
-Repeat above as many times as you want the cowl to be long. By the above calculations, mine's about 15" long, which gives you plenty of space for scrunchy, funky, snuggly, and fashionable impact.
-Cast off in ribbing.

You could knit this in the round if you felt so inclined, but I didn't have circular needles (at least size 17s) that were short enough. I kind of liked the idea of seaming it, though...but do what you'd prefer.

Also notable: the blog will hopefully return to more regular posting. I know I've promised this before and it's fine if you don't believe me, but I graduate in less than a month and all the big projects are behind me! Now I just need to learn how to find a happy balance between knitting and making oboe reeds...

10.30.2010

like a pro i pack your dance floor

It's Halloween weekend, which I swore I would boycott (so, so bad at costumes)...but when I found a tutorial about making a mustache, there was no choice but to do it. It perfectly completed my brother's costume! (It could have been a bit pointier, but oh well.)

I happened to have some really nice natural alpaca roving that I was saving for...well, whenever I decided to try to spin again. The mustache doesn't take too much, so I figured it was a worthy cause. It was really easy! You just stab it over and over until you have the shape you want, and then it'll be felted into a mustache shape. I sped the process along by washing it in warm water with some dish soap while rubbing it; I think it went a bit quicker and yielded a thicker, more secure piece of fabric.

Since it's alpaca, it was a bit fuzzy...but Paul had been concerned that it wouldn't be bushy enough, so I guess the fuzziness added to the ungroomed quality of Eugene Hutz. I trimmed it a little with scissors because it was too big and the shape wasn't quite right; one of the joys of felting is that it won't unravel or fall apart when you cut it. Pretty cool!

Add some eyelash glue and you're good to go!

10.15.2010

a day without a trace of reason

Well, these socks are half done...meaning I have one finished. I'm trying to force myself to knit through the second one (they're intended to be a Christmas gift, so I keep telling myself I have time and then Christmas Eve will roll around with 2" left to go). Luckily I have a trip to take this weekend, so I've loaded podcasts onto my iPod and am only allowing myself to bring this one project with. Now I have no choice but to finish them, right?

I really am happy with the pattern, though. The cabling pulls in a lot- they'll be snug socks- but the color is gorgeous and works really well with the cables. This is adapted-ish from the book Alt Fiber...basically I was being lazy and angsty about what cable pattern to use, and she has a nice, simple one. I was struggling with getting the ribbing to flow nicely into the cables.

Alright, time to go...hopefully knitting pictures will result from this weekend!

10.10.2010

we don't dive, we cannonball

Seriously, interwebs, cats in crochet hats don't work. My cat especially- I don't know how that artist got hers to sit still (although the poor thing doesn't look very happy about his/her hat).

It was my mother's birthday yesterday, and as a gag I thought it would be hilarious to make Kitty the above hat as a much poorer copy of the one from the Etsy artist. Since I took all of ten minutes to make mine and used entirely the wrong size crochet hook for the yarn, didn't weave in any ends, and made the saddest pom pom ever...I'm happy with it. Kitty is not.

She still runs away when I pick it up.

Lesson learned, cats do not like hats despite what Dr. Seuss (and the blogosphere) tells us.

9.21.2010

the lights they fill the air

Before we begin, I hope you all watched this video. It explains everything you are about to see. (Not to make it sound more exciting than it is, but...) Please realize that I suspected this was a bad idea before I even started; for my purposes of scientific experimentation, though, I had to follow instructions exactly. Ah, it was just a couple posts ago when I introduced this yarn, the faaaabulous FLYING SAUCER!

Here's the Flying Saucer in its proper setup (above). Well, sort of. (Excuse the somewhat odd pictures, I was at a cabin and had possibly enjoyed some tequila the night before...so I wasn't really up to par.) Anyway, I have stabbed a pencil through the center of the spool as instructed- well, they suggested a knitting needle but it is HARD to stab through that plastic spool, so really you'll actually need something much sharper (screwdriver?) and something quite forceful (hammer?) to get it through there. I blame tequila for my weakness. Anyway, let's go on, shall we?

Even with help, the simultaneous winding of two balls of yarn from the "proper" wobbly setup was just a disaster waiting to happen. (This is especially problematic if one of the helpers drank more tequila than the other the night before and is therefore much slower at winding.) We had to enlist a third helper to hold the pencil-dowel to regulate its twisting, spinning disastrousness. I really wasn't kidding about enlisting the knitting group, but I did exaggerate...three of us was only half, not all were needed! So we wound, patiently, and got this:

What? It's practically white! With accents of washed-out yellow! It was ugly. IS ugly. After all that, you get a ball of yarn that looks like dirty laundry? I then wound each ball AGAIN (this time on a ball winder, looks more professional) to get back to the pretty colors that had enticed me in the first place:

Ahh, much better! I wonder if I can get through each sock entirely before I get to the colorless length of yarn. I started knitting, and my patterning doesn't much look like the pictures. I don't really care, except I'm still pretending that this is a scientific-ish process and trusting what the label says it will do. They say the socks will knit into a very awesome, swirly pattern and that they will match! I don't know if I believe this. Stay tuned!

9.09.2010

watch out for the paraphrase

A split post, mostly a quick check-in with a couple works-in-progress! Above is a new sock, now in its second version...I started the first one and wasn't happy with how the ribbing flowed into the cabling. This pattern stitch is adapted from the book Alt Fiber by Shannon Okey. I'm going to wing the rest of the sock, but needed a good example of a cabled sock. (It's a cool book, you should check it out!) The yarn is Cascade Heritage Sock, color chosen by my father (who will be the recipient once I get my act together and get these done). I love working with the yarn- the colors are just phenomenal. Very subtle! One of the Yay!Knitters just bought another color of the same yarn, so it'll be interesting to see how hers works out.

And finally, an update on my crochet blanket odyssey...it's coming! This picture was taken at an early stage, Bob Cat making a guest appearance. These are the first 24 centers (out of 96, each octagon with 3 tiers), some of which have their second tier crocheted...there are so many to be done! More progress to come. Crocheting (now that I've figured it out) is fun!

8.31.2010

c'mon now, let's bounce

Knitters are weak people. Lovable and enthusiastic, but weak. And I am one of them.

Sock yarn like this was created for just such weak people. Socks are very easy to justify knitting (despite the 9 other unfinished projects you might have lying around) because you always need socks. You can never have too many. Every year for Christmas, each member of our family buys another new socks (or knits them, if I've been disciplined) so that everybody has new socks for the next year. Socks = practical.

The price of store-bought socks is actually roughly equal to the yarn cost to make them. This doesn't include labor (the knitting), but most knitters won't care. If you buy a pair of nice, Smartwool socks, you'll be spending up to $20. If you buy a skein of nice sock yarn, you'll be spending an average of $20. Socks = economical.

And finally, you generally need ONE SKEIN of sock yarn to knit a pair. This is by far the easiest part to justify when you're among knitters. Non-knitters will appreciate the above reasons, but for guilty knitters who buy TOO MUCH YARN, a one-skein, practical, economical project is very appealing. One skein of sock yarn is very easy to tuck away until such a time that you need it or can't stand to not knit with it anymore. Socks = justifiable.

Sock yarn manufacturers laugh with glee and rub their hands together every time they think about it. Really, I'm sure they do. And who can blame them? We're such easy prey. I walked into the Dutch Oven Yarn Shop a few weeks ago and saw this...I was instantly sold. I never even had a chance! The premise of this yarn (Schoppel Wolle's Flying Saucer, colorway Dr. Air) is that the two strands are dyed at the same time so your socks will match. OCD sock freaks, rejoice!

This was all well and good, until I tried to figure out how to wind the thing. Watch this video and laugh and cry- look how ridiculously clumsy it looks. And then their "get a friend, go faster!" should really be "oh shit! Our knitters are going to riot after this takes 9 hours and gets stuck in a knot- bring help!" I am planning to recruit the entirety of my knitting group, so those of you reading this, I'm sorry.

But really, yarn manufacturers, you can come up with any silly gimmick (functionality aside) and we will buy it. Don't worry.

8.22.2010

nothin but cats and rocketships

Insolence is completed! It took all of about five minutes to knit, but naturally I knit about 90% of it and then left it sitting for a while. I used Rowan R2 Rag (more background here) and ended up going with my first idea: a scarf with the fringe on the long side. I made it as I went along so it's not exactly uniform in length, but the scarf is so dramatic and chunky that I doubt anyone will point fingers at my slightly uneven fringe.

When I debuted this at knitting group last week, a very good question came up- what else could you knit this out of, especially now that R2 is discontinued? I think it would be pretty cool to knit this out of jersey fabric, which can be cut in a continuous strip so you could knit it like yarn. Old t-shirts would work too, as long as you weren't concerned with it being one color. After I recover from the very serious yarn shopping I did last weekend, I'll think about experimenting with this concept. It could be really cool in an Urban Outfitters, recycled-t-shirt way.

8.16.2010

just two kids acting tough


Cute cute cute.

Little picot-edged ankle socks!

When I saw this color at the yarn shop, I was instantly in love. The yellow was so vivid, perfectly variegated...I knew I wanted it. The little voice in the back of my head told me I was insane ("you have so much yarn already, plus I'm getting tired of repeating myself- so just quit it"), and then I went ahead and bought it anyway (little voice gives up: "oh, hell, I'm getting myself a drink"), then stashed it away in my closet for quite some time.

I knew I wanted it to be something obnoxiously cheery, or else ironically cheery. Maybe I'll find an ironic way to wear these socks, but I think using them to warm up icy feet in a Michigan winter is pretty literal.

Here's how you make a picot edge, ironic or no:


1. Cast on your stitches. It should be an even number, you can adjust once the edging is done if necessary. It will only be one stitch off, anyway!
2. If you're knitting in the round, knit (and only knit) for as many rows wide as you'd like your edging to be. If you're knitting flat, alternate knit and purl rows.
3. Once your edging is the desired height (mine was seven rows, ish), work as follows (this should be a knit row for flat knitters): *yarn over, knit two together* to end of round.
4. Knit, or knit and purl, for the same number of rows you did previously (seven, ish).
5. Next, make the edging come alive! As follows (with RS facing, flat knitters): put your needle through the first stitch as if to knit, then put your needle through the first stitch from your cast on row (flat and circular knitters both, make sure you're folding your edge so the stockinette shows!) and knit the two together. Continue in this fashion all the way around.
6. TA-DAH! Instant cuteness. Work the rest of your pattern as required/desired.

YOU CAN NOW KNIT PICOT EDGES ON EVERYTHING.

8.12.2010

we will be victorious

I did it! I have succesfully crocheted the main motif for this ridiculous blanket. Please note the adorable picot edging (equally adorable in both knit and crochet, which guarantees that everything I make from now on will be edged this way) that has the correct number (8!) of picot points. Also, the crochet is not all bunched up from my clutching, pulling technique, but is instead lying flat, with even tension. I AM SO EXCITED!

Next: colors. My bedroom is a jade green, and I think yellow is a really pretty accent. I'm worried about making this too loud, so the colors are going to have to be a little toned down. I like the combination above, but I just don't think it will work with my decor. Then again, I'm a renter and somewhat itinerant, so does it matter if it matches? Especially when I might have moved twice by the time I finish this, like I did with my last afghan?

Let's go yarn shopping!

8.10.2010

every day's a different warning

Moderate success! It's still not right, but it's an improvement. I ended up using a more appropriately sized hook and yarn that didn't split so much, so yay progress! Next step is to actually pick the yarn and colors I'll end up using, find a new crochet hook, and start assembling the 96 pieces this blanket requires. I might be crazy...

Now if I can only figure out how to end up with 8 picot edges instead of 4 on the last round, I'll know I'm golden.

8.08.2010

and i know what a fake looks like

Please take a close look at the picture above, then click here. I am a bad crocheter.

It was not a good idea to make a swatch before finishing my morning coffee...now I'm just frustrated.

Also, Berroco Comfort, the yarn I used above, is not really crochet-friendly (at least, in my opinion). It's a bunch of tiny little strands spun together...which is really great if you want a garment that won't pill when it's washed/worn/etc. However, for my novice crochet purposes, its splitting causes lots of anger, foul language, and wonky looking crochet.

Grr. Tonight I'll try another swatch, and hopefully it'll go better. This was a surprisingly negative post...but isn't that blanket gorgeous? If I can crochet like a maniac, I could have it on my bed for winter. (We won't consider the fact that classes start in about 3 weeks, thus consuming my life and eliminating knitting altogether.)

7.20.2010

somewhere in your habitat

We all have our days.

I hypothesize about this a lot- am I the crazy person here? Most of the time I decide that yes, I am. And I'm okay with it, so I go about my life as a crazy-but-okay-with-it person.

But today, as I look at what I'm wearing, I realize...this borders on too crazy. Check out all the yellow in that picture! I was carrying my ridiculous yellow bag, yellow sandals, drinking my lemon water in a yellow can, and knitting obnoxiously yellow socks. It is kind of a lot of yellow.

The only thing that made me feel better (and took attention away from the blinding sight of my accessories and knitting project) was that, while I was thus attired and occupied, a crazy old man wearing overalls and no shirt boarded the bus carrying only a grill. I felt immediately better: I had been out-crazied!

If you can see it, my newest knitting project is the yellow, picot-edged sock in the forefront of the photo. It's really very cute, if you can see it amongst all the yellow burning your eyes.

Otherwise, my knitting progress in the last few weeks can be seen above. Despondency set in, and even tequila didn't help. You can imagine the depths of my despair.

Thank god for knitting groups and yarn sales! Like I said, the tequila didn't really help the knitting slump...but if I had been alone, I might have resorted to self-destructive behaviors like cleaning a closet out of frustration. So thank you, YAY! knitters, for enduring my whining and trying, with limitless good cheer, to encourage positive progress.

They also found a yarn sale at Knit Around in Ann Arbor, so I went- and got yarn to dye, an insane pattern to start when I'm feeling, well, insane (which is like all the time), and the above book for $5. FIVE DOLLARS. Like seeing the crazier guy on the bus, a book always makes me feel better.

PS: Check out Sleigh Bells. They're loud and awesome. According to NPR (omniscient NPR!) their goal is to "blow up your speakers" for real, and is "one of the loudest live shows of all time." Those might not be exact quotes, but this is: "it's somehow both an aural assault and a piece of pop candy...I recently made the mistake of putting it on at 6:45 a.m., and I don't think they meant for me to do that." Go listen!

7.06.2010

struck dumb but i'll give it a go

Okay, I didn't knit this. Obviously. This is Prada's fall 2010 campaign, which is discussed here. And yes, that is a giant knit handbag. A knit handbag!!! A Prada knit handbag! I wonder what it's made of, and I wonder how we (I, you) could copy it. I kind of really want one.

I'm going to start plotting...join me! Share ideas. What materials could we use (not that Rowan R2 Rag, it has been claimed for a soon-to-be-posted project already)? Kniterary Club, this is your moment to shine!

6.26.2010

i might be a fan of your insolence

I really have been knitting, I promise you. I just can't show you what I've knitted....yet. So that's a great excuse to start new, ill-advised projects.


So: I have some 12 skeins of R2 Rag to use up. A few years ago, the Rowan yarn company decided to publish and manufacture a line of alternative books and yarns...aimed at young, wild knitters who wanted stylish projects to finish quickly. I guess that was me, because I'm one of the few people that bought both the books. It just intrigued me...sort of an American Apparel vibe to the modeling, and the garments were super-weird. Unfortunately, the clientele at yarn stores were just not ready for this and it didn't sell well. If you'd like to see what some of the projects are like: look on Ravelry.

I got a bunch of it at super-closeout price at Needlework Unlimited in Minneapolis and have been hoarding it ever since. It's weird, because I'm relatively sure that I'm one of maybe 3 people in the world who would consider this a treasure! I'm trying to think of things to make with it...it's pretty bulky and I have enough to make a pretty substantial garment. I was initially thinking of a scarf- knit lengthwise with fringe on the long side. (Like this.) Now I'm not sure, and I could knit a vest or a funky cardigan sort of thing...but I'm afraid that, with its bulk, that would look really lumpy. Suggestions?

6.18.2010

are you ready, boots?

Nature provides us such pretty things.

Alright, so I ended up stabbing them with needles...but it was for a good cause. If you live in Michigan you know it's been quite hot lately, which has kick-started my lemonade cravings. It also means drinks sweat ALL the time, and for the first time in my life I have a piece of furniture that I don't want water stains on. The best solution to any problem is one that involves yarn, sharp objects, and wool. Right? (For maybe the first time ever, no knitting was done for this post.)

So here's what you do to make your own coasters at home:

1. Take an old all-wool sweater and wash it- hottest water, longest agitation, lots of sudsy laundry detergent. Normally you would never do this on purpose, but if you've done it accidentally and have a sweater that would now fit a child, here's a useful way to make yourself feel slightly better about shrinking it. (Destruction with scissors is pretty cathartic too.)
2. Use a bowl and chalk to outline circles on the sweater, then cut. You can actually do any shape you want- felted wool won't unravel.
3. Put whatever object you want to outline down on the circle/square/whatever shape. If you can, secure it down somehow so you don't get a weird wiggly outline as you go around. If you're a better artist than I, freehand something.
4. Get your needle felting needles. This is where you could really, really hurt yourself. My needle is in the above picture at the top right, and it is sharp. VERY SHARP. Look at it compared to the blunt darning needle! I sort of laughed at the dire warnings on the package, but after using them once, my fear is real.
4. Needle felting needles are very cool (and dangerous! even cooler!). Basically, they're barbed (and sharp!) needles that agitate the wool layers together when you stab them. So you lay out the yarn and stab it repeatedly until the yarn totally sticks. The cool thing is that you can very loosely stab your design at first, then adjust or pull it out if you don't like it. Once you settle on a final design, just stab the hell out of it.
6. You're done! That's it. Really. It's so easy. I'll probably make a few more at some point and do something more complicated- but for now I can have my iced coffee AND protect my furniture. Mmm.

Kitty is, as usual, unhelpful. Bob doesn't care for knitting in the least (and was probably napping), but catnip or no, Kitty's there.

Finished! The variegated yarn actually suited the leaf coloring perfectly. It's usually easier to needle felt with roving (unspun wool) instead of yarn...but you can also unravel and fluff up your yarn for an easier time of things. Per usual, I was winging it.

Geranium and maple leaves.

6.11.2010

if i'll ever be whole again


Kitty tried to assist with this project...it was distinctly unhelpful.

If you've ever wanted to knit something even your cat will appreciate, though, this is how! Gather these things: a small square of cloth, a half-knit mouse body, catnip (mine is from a set of toys I bought that were already filled), and a little extra stuffing (which I didn't need).

Put the catnip in the cloth square and tie the top securely.

Stuff it in the mouse body!

Here he is! I was going to offer the pattern here, but the way I knit this particular mouse was pretty silly and I'm still trying to think of a good (read: coherent) way to describe this mouse's creation. I started with an i-cord tail and then increased to 24 stitches for the body, then decreased every other round for the nose. His ears are crocheted on afterwards, and the eyes are needle felted on. Try to improvise your own- it really doesn't have to be totally perfect, especially since this mouse's fate is to be licked to death by a blissed-out cat.

This mouse was sent off to a new home over the weekend, where he is being ripped apart by Otis the cat. : ( Poor mouse!


6.04.2010

darling where's your soul

This scarf was finished last summer, I just never got around to taking a picture of it...or should I say, never got around to pressing friends and relations into my service. It's just because they're really good at what they do- my brother puts my modest photography to shame.

The scarf is knit out of Berroco Mica, a yarn I raved and raved about last summer. It's a silk blend (so it smells kind of funny, but if you're a yarn geek like me you'll like it), and when knitted it has a nice shine and texture. This scarf is massive- it used 10 skeins! The crochet edging is my favorite...if you look closely at the bottom right you can see the little baubles (?) crocheted around. It was quite an obstacle to teach myself how to do that since crochet is NOT my forte, but a couple hours of NPR podcasts later I had my edging done.

The scarf itself is absolutely gorgeous. Norah Gaughan at Berroco (their head designer, artistic director, whatever, the word escapes me) is a genius. The only problem with this is that the yarn is SO heavy it kind of feels like you're choking when you wear it...this makes me really sad and also irrationally crabby at the same time. Does that happen to you when your clothes aren't fitting the right way? Anyway. Someday I might re-knit this scarf in a wool-silk blend so it wouldn't be so heavy, would still have a nice shine, and I could wear it in the winter. The pattern was fun to knit so it wouldn't be awful to do again, and like I said before, the edging is just adorable. Someday.

5.30.2010

don't lose my composure in a high speed chase

BIKE HAT! This project had to be classified as "mysterious" so I wouldn't give away the birthday surprise...but now it's done and my brother, The Bikemaster, has an appropriate hat. It was hard to get a picture of him in it since he was so fixated on assembling his latest bike (a fixed gear- ha, ha), but that's pretty normal.

I tried to ride it (in front of all his bike store friends) and almost killed myself...fixed gear bikes are NOT as "easy as riding a bike" at all. As his boss said after seeing a near bike wreck: "you do NONE of those things!" Oh well, I tried. This is why I don't ride bikes and stick with knitting.

Hat details! I used Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran since it was one of the few yarns that had a neon green color...and I was absolutely set on the BIKE! being that color. I probably should have knit this hat flat and sewn a seam up the back; I'm seam-averse so decided (kind of stupidly) to strand the yarn around the inside of the hat. It pulls a little bit in the blue half of the hat and I'm not completely happy about it, but I should have expected this to happen. Next time I'll use full-on intarsia and the hat will look lots better, I think.

Its beginnings:

Knitter's graph paper is one of my favorite things....I will never be without it!!

5.22.2010

my half-breed odyssey

A pair of wonky-ass socks.

Sock yarn is the sort of thing you can buy on impulse and have relatively few qualms about. It's one skein (usually) that makes a complete project; since it's created as sock yarn, you have a built-in purpose for it. I fell victim to this skein- it was named Zauberball (a great name!). The colors were/are awesome. It fell into the no-guilt-easy-project category. It seemed like a win-win.

I mean, I'm not totally dissatisfied with the results...they're just strange. If you're the sort of person who can embrace all-out randomness, this yarn is for you! Like, if you don't organize your sock drawer into pairs, or if you like to wear mismatched socks intentionally, this yarn was MADE for you. It was not made for me.

Anyway, the yarn itself was okay. I think it's sold mostly for the novelty and for buyers like me who snatch up sock yarn impulsively. The quality was okay, but the yarn is two-ply, and one of the plys (plies? whatever) changes while the other stays the same. I ran into several knots in the process of knitting the socks, which was distinctly displeasing...not only does it create more ends, but it disrupts whatever hint of organic transformation this yarn displays. How's that alliteration? Distinctly displeasing disruption of the display. There were also some odd fuzzy sections of yarn.

Bottom line: Zauberball has a cool name, neat colors, and was made to freak out OCD knitters.