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!!


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.


learn to love what you are

A quick post with a sock-yarn-multi-yarn-scarf-knitting news update. Or something. (Excuse me, I've had quite a lot of coffee.) I finally settled on a yarn combination...originally I had tried to highlight that neon green you see at the forefront, but it turns out that less is more- the chartreuse yarn I had chosen as an accent turned out to be completely overwhelming (and kind of ugly). I also abandoned the giant needles I'd been trying to use...13s were just not working. So Caitlin invents(ish) again! 10 1/2s, alpaca sock yarn and Habu steel wool yarn with a bit of Louisa Harding Jasmine (sparkly!) thrown in. 150-some stitches, knit a row with one, knit a row with the other, toss in Jasmine occasionally. Drink lots of coffee, knit faster!


they ask to behave, i pay them no mind

First: happy Mother's Day! This is my mother, and this is her (finally finished!) sweater. This sweater was the subject of many a beleaguered posting...first I decided that the pattern wasn't good enough for me and changed the construction of the garment completely (OCD front-to-back agreement wouldn't have been perfect). This is what I do NOT recommend doing. You will be sorry! Then I nearly ruined the poor thing by trying to graft garter stitch purely by logic (again, do NOT do this, you will be sorrier). Disgusted, I had thrown the whole thing in the bottom of my knitting basket, hoping for a miracle. When I did decide to pull it out again, I RAN OUT OF YARN. This was the last straw, and bona fide despair set in.

I began to think of any alternative...a contrast collar would have looked tacky, no collar was terrible, I could maybe dye the sweater...like I said before, my solution is/was to send it to the basket. Get thee gone!

A miracle happened a few days later. A miracle. A scraggly little half-skein of this yarn turned up in my closet...it hadn't been kept with the rest of my Cotton Classic and was stuck in a knitting bag where I had previously kept this sweater. Oh, the joy was unimaginable when I finished the collar and wove in all the ends...and there was a sweater! A cute sweater, too! Even after all of that. I'm kind of ridiculously lucky.

It looks really good on Mom, and the color is right, too. :) Now time for cocktails in the yard!


i'm never to keen to leave this place

A few weeks ago I allowed myself to go yarn shopping, something I had denied myself for quite a while. I mean, it's kind of ridiculous to go shopping for MORE yarn when you have a whole closet full...but my intentions had been innocent. I had run out of yarn for a sweater I'm working on, and it's not my fault that they didn't have any more and I had to use my money on something else, right?

So this is what I ended up with! I couldn't resist the colors since they would be equally good for men's or women's socks. The yarn is made by Schoppel Wolle (a German company) and is called Zauberball. Isn't that a great name?! This is the thicker weight (closer to DK than traditional fingering/sock weight) but I'm still knitting it on size 1 needles. I like how it's knitting up, but as my mother observed "it's prettier in the ball than it is knitted." The color runs are pretty long, so you end up with kind of wonky looking stripe patterns. Oh well, it's still fun to work with!

I'm currently stalled on this project (knitting group tonight will help me get through this)- I'm afraid that I won't have enough yarn to do a complete pair and should (ha, ha, who does what they should?) knit contrasting heels and toes. Meh, I don't feel like going out to look for a contrast yarn (I'm usually disappointed with my choices, I'm too picky) so I'm just going to continue this ill-advised sock and you can read the frustrated "I-ran-out-of-yarn-oh-no!" posts later. Lucky you! (Kidding. (Just about the lucky you part.))


the gaudy side of town

KNITERARY CLUB has been launched into the world of current technology! Pictured above (with a very silly pom pom) is my new laptop!!! It's been 8 years since I got a new computer, and as I write this post (no error messages, appropriate text-appearance-to-typing-speed, etc...basically this thing is fast) you cannot even begin to imagine my delight. I had trouble getting Blogger to upload photos today, but I expect it's a temporary problem that my behind-the-timesness caused. Alright, now for the knitting.

This is a very low satisfaction knitting post, I'm afraid. Since this is intriguing and mysterious, I can't really tell you more...but, I give you a pom pom! I have these really cool Clover pom pom makers, except I use them so infrequently that I often forget how they work. As a result, this pom pom is a little less awesome than they normally are...it fell apart while I was removing it from the pom pom device and I had to do my best to salvage what was left. Ha, pom pom fail!

They do have a larger pom pom maker...this one is about the size of, I don't know, your palm? A small apricot? But the bigger ones can be grapefruit sized!!! I must get one of these.