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.


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.


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.



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!


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.


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.)