Posts from September 2004
Before the plea some Clapotis (silly rhyme, I know).
This is going to be a beautiful scarf. I could've worn it this morning--it was mighty chilly (7C). It's sweater weather baby! But, today my right forearm is sore from knitting too much I think so I better take it easy. This is my last day off before I start my Post-Doc so Mom and I are doing shopping and lunch--good arm resting time.
Now the business. Run for the Cure. Thanks to everyone for their support of Team Knitty and me. We've raised $5249 (WOW!). And big thanks to Elann for their generous sponsorship. There's still time to donate using the buttons on the right and any amount is appreciated for this important cause. Again, thanks.
I finished the front piece of the Noro coat and decided I had enough of entrelac for a bit. It's time to start something new. I pulled something super yummy out of the stash--Fleece Artist Silken--and started Clapotis. This yarn is really really nice. 100% Silk, handpainted, soft, shiny, pretty. I wasn't sure about the colour in the skein, but once I wound it I fell in love. It's a mix of blues and purples and will look great with a jean jacket or a little black dress. I could see this yarn as a beautiful tee or other fancy sweater--something to think about for the future.
I started Clapotis with my addis and had to change to the Denise needles because it's really slippery. Once I got the feel of it figured out, I knit up a nice chunk while watching the season premiere of Law and Order. I am anxious to get to the part where you unravel the stitches. It figures that on the day I have resolved to start getting back to work on my journal article that I have a gorgeous piece of yarn calling to me. Having a job is going to be tough, all that time with no knitting breaks (well, at least until I get an established routine).
I should also say that this pattern is really easy. It looks complicated, but really everything is nicely spelled out for you--once you get the groove then you don't really need to look at it much.
Today also marks the release of Knit Wit--Amy Singer's new knitting book that contains my yoga mat bag pattern (my first published design!) and a bunch of really nifty things to knit. Do you have your copy yet?
Thanks for all the condolences, suggestions, humour and handholding. Not long after I posted, I ripped. It felt good, except the point where I had to cut the yarn. Yep, cut. At the end of every second row of blocks you actually end up with one stitch that you expand and pull the working ball of yarn through to make a knot. A knot that doesn't like to be undone. I think Kureyon actually felts together in the process of being knit. Once I figured out that there was no way to unknot it, I cut and ripped. I didn't have to rip the whole thing because the first few rows looked fine. I figure what happened was that I didn't pick up the stitches evenly enough to make the blocks look right. The pattern explicitly states how to pick up the stitches but I thought I could do it better. That'll learn me.
I still managed to make progress on this coat. The front right is one row of blocks away from being done. And the back doesn't seem that big (notice the way I talk myself into not being bitter?).
Ever have one of those moments that keeps coming back to nag you? A knitted piece that doesn't look quite right. One that you tell yourself will be just fine, it's in the back, it's not that noticeble. But, it is that bad, that obvious. You can see it from a galloping horse. As you knit the rest of the garment this the unthinkable creeps up on you--you have to rip back, you have no choice. The mere idea of it is frustrating and infuriating, you use the word fuck a lot. You're pissed. However the decision is now made and you know what you have to do.
Well, that was me last night. I knew there was something funny about the back squares--they aren't square. The first thumbnail is the front as it should look, the second the back all skewed and icky. You can click to see 800 pixel versions to see the real mess up this is.
As you can see, most of the back--that huge fucking piece--has to be ripped back. I got Craig to look at it just to confirm what my conscience told me. He apologetically gave me the bad news. I took it like a good knitter. I will not have this done for October 2, but I will have a better coat in the end (whenever the hell that is).
So why didn't I notice it before. Well it is hard to see it when it's on the needles, but I also think I was ignoring it, figuring it would block out. Telling myself it was fine. Next time I need to listen to that nagging voice that says it won't do. I guess I forsaked the process so I could have the product. Crap.
I haven't ripped yet. I'm working on the right front piece first. I stopped any fancy picking up, knitting backwards and other modifications and I am blindly following a perfectly fine pattern. It served me well with the front so this time I'm not fooling around. Crap.
Last night I got to hang out at a new yarn shop, The Naked Sheep in the Beach area of Toronto. It's a lovely little hot pink and white store with a couch to knit on, great light, goodies to munch on Wednesday's Stitch'n'Bitch night and a solid and emerging stock of yarns (Colinette, Rowan, Debbie Bliss, Noro, Filatura di Crosa etc.). Lorena, the owner is friendly and fun and the whole experience was great. I worked on my sleeve, browsed the yarns and patterns and kept fondling the Colinette Point 5 in Summer Berries. We even got to watch a non-knitter buy that Point 5 in Summer Berries and some big needles, and get a knitting lesson. By the end she had a part of a poncho, no dropped stitches and a proud smile--I love that she picked a yarn she loved and went for it.
It was also nice to catch up with Amy, Jenna, Kate and Kathy. Jenna was also the bearer of goodies from Art Fibers--she kindly offered her personal shopping services (with a little extra as a grad gift--Thanks Jenna) on her recent trip out west.
The yarn at the top is Chai Silk. On the bottom left is Hoopla, and alpaca boucle and Samba a wool silk blend. I have 875 yds of yummy bluey-purpley yarn and I'm itching to drop the entrelac coat and whip something up with this. The gauge ranges from dk to chunky so I'm not sure what. I'm thinking a shoulder warmer or Paris loop designed by tres chic Stephanie, or I might just make a big rectangle and turn it into a poncho. Of course, I'm open to suggestions.
I'm off to the book binder today with six copies of my thesis. I decided to go all out on my personal copy--leather, decorative endpapers, tooled edges--I love the idea of a fancy schmancy book, especially because I know I will never write another thesis.
I finished the first sleeve last night and this morning I started the second one. I was asked by Pubah if I plan on matching the sleeves and my answer is a firm NO. I have finally learned that it is absolutely futile to match things in Noro so I'm not going to (though I confess the colourway--80--is easier than most because there is a black stripe between every colour...but I'm not going there). I'm tired of going through the balls looking for the right one, creating a bunch of mini balls where I had to pull out some to make the correct match, only to find a knot that screws the whole thing up. So I'm just working one ball after the other. I guess I'm growing as a knitter.
I also blocked the left front piece that I finished more than six months ago. I like the look of this piece better than the back (which works out well since I won't be looking at my back). My blocks on the back look less square, more skewed. I must have picked up the stitches funny or something. Maybe it was the knitting backward. I actually entertained the thought of ripping it back and then the part of me that talks sense remembered that it is in the BACK and that I won't see it. And, what's that expression that Rachael and Em use about the trotting horse? I'm sure I'm the only one who will notice. And if you do see it, you won't say anything to me about it right?
I know it's a coat, but this back piece is mighty big. The finished bust will be about 50" though I fudge a bit by knitting at a slightly tigher gauge. It really needs a blocking. I'm anxious to see it completed. I started a sleeve last night because I wanted a break from the entrelac and I have to say Kureyon looks really nice in garter stitch (I don't mind garter stitch, sue me).
And to make a girl's Monday this lovely stuff arrived from Elann. It's Classic Elite '03 Tweed in Dried Cranberry.
I really like it and it's quite soft. I think I'll make a simple pullover with it. I know I was talking about the weight of the stash last week, so I'm not going to open the stash cupboard to put this away just yet. Knitting up my kureyon is making space in that cupboard so there will be room in there soon.
Nice new look eh? Even with my minute knowledge of photo editing software and my meagre software (irfanview, MS Picture It, Paint box) I managed to make myself my very own banner. I thought a new look was in order with all the major life changes going on around here. I had been working on this all week but got my butt in gear after seeing Rachael's new look and how she found beauty in the everyday. And, after fussing around with colours and borders and stuff I realize I like the white minimal look. Too bad my apartment didn't look that way (*"Surfaces darling, surfaces")
And I've even been knitting. I got back into the old anniversary, entrelac coat. I want to be done to wear it to the Knit Wit book launch party October 2, which means I have to get going. I'm two rows of triangles away from getting the back done, and I have one front piece. I want to do the sleeves next--simple garter stitch on those--and do the other front piece last.
Thanks to Stephanie, I learned to knit backwards and it saved a lot of turning around. It was really rather easy to pick up and do, maybe because I'm left handed and it was like knitting right handed throwing style for righties (well after I modified the method so I could throw the yarn with my left hand). I knit continental style but now know I could knit left handed if I ever had the inclination (which I doubt will happen). It also means that I don't have to purl the wrong side of stockinette anymore if I choose. Though, I don't mind purling.
However, because this is a garter-stitch entrelac coat, knitting backward only works on the wrong side where all stitches are purled. (I better explained. When making blocks on the right side, all stitches are knit so knitting backwards creates stockinette instead of garter. When making blocks on the wrong side, you purl across and then knitting backwards creates garter stitch--I know, it's weird, trust me on this though.) So I'm going to try to learn how to purl backwards so I can avoid turning on the right side of the work too.
*Ab Fab episode where Edina's old friends 'the minimalists" visit with new baby