Friday, July 8, 2016

Stripes All the Time

I'm not sure why everything I've worked on lately is striped, but it has been. I feel fine about that.

Gummy Bear Socks (mine raveled here), 
knit in Knitpicks Felici in the Gummy Bear colorway

Diagonal Ribs (mine raveled here), 
knit in Knitpicks Felici, Fanciful colorway

Turn a Square Hat (mine raveled here), 
knit in leftover Noro Silk Garden in colorway 252 
and Knitpicks Swish Worsted in the Cobblestone Heather colorway
And my current project?

Zigzagular Socks (mine raveled here), 
knit in ONline Supersocke 100 in colorway 1317

Stripe on.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Call Me Savior (of the Occasional Plant)

It comes as no surprise that I am weak in the face of clearance plants. I see a rack of half-dead plants, and I am overcome by twin desires of frugality and a need to bolster my savior complex. 

The plant above is some sort of verbena. I planted it in front of a perennial grass in my front flower bed a few weeks ago and hoped for the best. It's been greening up nicely. Yesterday, it rewarded me with this bloom. There are more clearly on the way.

It's this sort of success that makes it more likely I will buy half-dead plants in the future. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but it's definitely one of my things.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Falling Stars Completely Fallen

Well, kids, it's finished.

Falling Stars (mine ravelled here),

It took more than one try, but I finally figured out how to sew the ribbon over the raw edge of the steek, and I'm fairly happy with the way that looks. I'm very happy that the steek has no chance of unraveling.

I hemmed the cuffs instead of ribbing them. I hemmed the body as well. 

The sleeves, even after blocking aggressively, are tight. I wish the whole sweater were a little bigger, to be honest. This cannot be discussed anymore because it will make me weep. Sweaters are a bitch.

I am glad I skipped the purl stitches in the pattern. I think the colorwork turned out great.

I'm glad I knit this. I'm even going to submit it to the State Fair. I want people who get how much work went into it to see it. Done and dusted.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


I am discouraged and heartsick over the violence against LGBT folks, the discrimination against Muslims, the way politics in my country has devolved into attacks that encourage fear and hatred instead of reason and acceptance.

I took a walk yesterday evening, trying to get perspective, trying to get out of my head. It helped, a little.  

Sometimes there just aren't enough words.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


It's amazing how much work can fall into the "finishing" section of a knitting pattern. To the novice, "finishing" sounds like you are actually close to the end. This is a dirty, dirty lie. Case in point: I'm finishing the Falling Stars sweater.

Finishing means I reinforce both sides of the center steek stitch with tiny backstitch in sewing thread.

Andrew, possibly the most patient person on the planet not currently viewed as a major religious figure, looked at what I was doing, looked at me, and said, "Never. I would never do that." 

But I did, in hopes of finishing a sweater.

Finishing means I cut the steek (with the mandatory liquid courage).

Finishing means I pick up stitches all along each side of the steek, knit several rows in 1x1 ribbing, adding buttonholes on one side, and cast off using a tubular castoff that is so tedious yet brain-consuming that it is a form of working meditation.

Finishing means I turn the bottom hem under at a purl row and carefully sew the live stitches of the body (remember that his is a fingering-weight sweater) to the inside of the sweater. This takes so long that I abandon hope of ever finishing (finishing, my ass), sure that I have been sucked into a time warp in which I stitch and stitch and stitch and yet never get any closer to the last live stitch.

Finishing means I wash and  block the sweater. I do it at this point in the "finishing" in order to make sure I hem the sleeves at the correct length, and also sew the ribbon over the steek without making the sweater sag or pull from a ribbon that is too long or too short.

Finishing means I pick buttons, find they don't have enough in stock, shake my fist at the capricious retail gods and then pick other buttons.

Finishing means I spend 20 minutes staring at ribbon wondering why there's seems to be no ribbon in between 1/4" and 7/8".

At this moment in time, I am finishing by attempting to hand sew a ribbon down each side of the raw edges of the steek stitches.

I'm not at all pleased with the way it looks, and I don't really know where to go from here.

Finishing. Yeah, right.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

For the Record

Dear Falling Stars,

I think I've demonstrated that I will abandon your wooly self for a cute self-striping sock yarn with little to no provocation on your part.

This does not qualify as little to no provocation. Straighten up.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Working Up To It

Hand-sewn steeks certainly look tedious.

I did this instead:

Knit in Knitpicks Felici, Gummy Bear colorway (discontinued)