Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Winter Knitting

Through the wonders of the Internet, I often learn about yarn I'd like to try. One of them was Dream in Color Smooshy.  I've finished a pair of socks in that yarn.

Merino Lace Socks knit in Dream in Color Smooshy in Dusky Aurora colorway

I like the yarn (although I've felt smooshier), and I like the pattern, but the knitting, relatively speaking, felt like it dragged on and on. I've decided this is because the color is very wintry, and I'm not the kind of knitter who should knit wintry colors during the winter. It becomes too depressing.

Intellectually, I can understand why someone would want to curl up under a blanket, cup of cocoa beside her, and knit miles of gray tweed in January while contemplating the snowflakes.  I accept that I'm not that sort of knitter.  Too much wintry-ness and I become convinced I'm trapped in a dark freezer and will die there alone. Know thyself indeed.

It's no fault of the socks, and I know they'll get a lot of wear, but I'm now working on a pair of pink and purple striped socks.

They're flying.

Friday, January 20, 2012

That Was a Quick One

I finished the Noro scarf.  It was absurdly quick--not because it was necessarily a fast knit but rather because any time I had, I was knitting.  I was enamored by it, capitvated by it, couldn't wait to see how the next color would work.

I fear I may be a simpleton, but I'm a happy one and Andrew will stay warm.

Noro Striped Scarf (raveled here
knit in Knitpicks Cadena in Coal and Noro Kochoran in 69

This is Andrew's humoring look.  What he might be thinking is, "Really? A picture now?  I'm trying to get this work finished so I can go to bed before midnight." What he did instead of saying that, though, was to wrap the scarf around himself and smile.  He's a good one.

And he knows from whence the knitwear comes.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Nope, I Didn't Make It

One of my coworkers, seeing I was knitting something during lunch, told me he had a "giant handknit sweater from Ireland." I incredulously asked if he was speaking of an Aran fisherman's sweater. He had no idea, but he was kind enough to bring it in for me to see.


I don't feel drawn to knit a sweater like this, but I appreciate the heck out of it. Part of me is filled with hope that someday after I'm gone, a knitter will look at something I made and recognize the time and effort that went into it.

Look around. Art is everywhere.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Back in August, I was thinking about projects I'd like to do.

1. Holycrapthat'sanawesomeclock: I made two of these and gave them away. (Blogged here and here.)  Then I couldn't find yarn to go with the clock I bought and I stalled before I made one for myself. Still a possibility.

2.HP bookmark: I couldn't get excited about this. The instructions looked too hard, and I decided I didn't care enough to learn for this project.  So there.

3. Crochet ornaments: Well, I took a crochet class, and I spent part of yesterday reading an intro book to crochet. This is also still a possibility.

4. Noro striped scarf: I started this one last night!

The Internets are true. I do get an enormous amount of pleasure waiting for the next color change.  Think I'm simple?  Shrug. It's better than a crack habit.

5. Naive socks for my mil's bff: Done and given as a Christmas gift! She loved them and sent me a very nice thank you note.  Apparently it is quite difficult to find socks that fit if you're a woman with a size 11 foot. I am pleased to be able to help.

6. Cashmere scarf: Done! I gave away Henry at Christmas. The recipient said he loved it, which was very smart of him.

I'm in a bit of a rut, not excited about any knitting. I blame NO SUN.  Man, I miss the sun. I don't mind the cold, but the dreariness...

Anyway, tonight I'm going to yoga class, and then I'll knit some more on this scarf.  Things will turn around if I keep plugging along.  

Knit on.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Grandpa Sweater for Baby

There's this thing about knitting for babies: The items look fine when you take a picture of them, but they look adorable when you take a picture with the knitwear on an actual baby.

Need proof?
 Baby Sophisticate sweater knit in washer-friendly Lion Brand Vanna's Choice in Barley colorway

That's a cute sweater. But look at this:

My nephew is painfully adorable. Since I draw the line at having a baby so he/she can model for me, I'm going to insist that the parents of every knitwear recipient under twelve sends me a photo.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Life Is Too Short...

Andrew and I have decided we want to buy a coat rack. For years, our coat rack has been our dining room chairs.  We've been looking on etsy, and wow there is a lot of beauty there.

I was looking at wall decals (a natural step from coat racks in my mind), and I saw lovely trees, fun family monograms, and then this...

Link is here

The truth of it smacked me in the face.

However many lives this soul gets, there aren't enough that I can waste one of them.  This saying seems to be the kinder, gentler way of saying,

not just a phase
Link is here

Andrew and I have great families. We're really fortunate in that regard.  But both families probably think I'm a bit of a nutter.  I'm a vegetarian, really liberal, and childless.  Not one of those makes sense to our families.

And it's okay.

Life is too short to be anything but happy.

I hope you are able to live your own happy as well.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Since becoming a knitter, I have developed a deep respect for handmade goods.  I may not really know how to sew, but I can look at something sewn and understand that each one of those seams had to be pinned or ironed or both and then sewn and probably other stuff I don't understand.

It takes a lot of time, and the time and respect that goes into handmade items makes them precious to me. It's a sentiment I fear, actually. I'm afraid that one day a friend will be asking why I have a crocheted orange toilet cover and I'll say, "I bought it at Goodwill.  Think about HOW MUCH TIME it must have taken to make!"  I fear I'll only be able to see how much effort went into its creation instead of realizing that orange toilet covers are ugly.

I've gotten off course.  Give me a minute to steer myself back to my point.

Ah, yes.  I love handmade items, I love supporting small artists, and I love organizing things.

Behold, my most recent purchase:

That, my friends, is what the Internet calls a "dpn roll." It's a fabric holder for a knitter's double pointed needles.  Nonknitters may wonder if there's really a market for that. 

There is.

Now, I own more dpns than you see above, but not a lot more. I own a set of six different sizes of needles most often used for socks, and they already came in a (boring plastic) holder, so I didn't move them to this one.  There are a couple sizes for which I owned more sets than would fit in their pouch, and they're still in their drawer.  But this holds the vast majority of my dpns, and I adore it.  The top flap folds down so your needles won't spill out the end when you do this:

Yes, it rolls up and buttons securely. 

Organization, knitting, and handmade.  It's a trifecta of sexy.  I hope your weekend was this good.

If you're wondering where I bought it, visit madbird.

Friday, January 6, 2012

I think I've done it.

Success! The Off-Rib Cardigan is finished.

It took a lot less yarn than I anticipated. I bought thirteen skeins and only used seven, so I have bunches to use for something else. The yarn is quite beautiful, very soft, and very warm.

I used four buttons instead of five, and my gauge was crazy off, but other than that I followed the pattern.  As I've mentioned before, I lost the ability to read at a critical time in the pattern (read: the very beginning) and knit everything with the wrong needles. I cut off the collar and redid it, and everything else blocked to the correct size. 

I feel stylish when I wear this, and I never feel stylish. Being stylish has never really been a goal of mine, although I admit to being awed and a bit jealous of my friend Holly's wardrobe.*  But wearing this sweater with its off-centeredness and its toggle buttons and its gorgeous yarn makes me feel great.

That's all I can ask of a sweater.

*She's the kind of person who can wear boots and scarves and look natural. It's unnerving.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Because You Can't Own Too Many

I made another pair of fingerless gloves for myself.  Really, I only own two. I gave the other ones away, so I now own a fingering weight pair and this dk-weight pair.

 Emilee Dee fingerless gloves knit in Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Tonos Pima Silk in TPS08 colorway

I added an additional 16-row repeat so it would be longer on the wrist, but that's the only change to the pattern I made.  They are a bright lime green (top picture is closest to the color), and they're exactly the sort of thing I should knit when it's cold and gray outside.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


or, Why not?

Lots of people hate New Year's resolutions, and I understand why.  January 1 is just another day. Nothing magical happens when we flip the calendar and begin writing 2012 on our checks (or, more likely, writing 2011 2012 on our checks).

I get it.  Still, why not be optimistic?

Why not decide to start new habits and reaffirm old habits that have fallen by the wayside? Why not decide to try something new? Why not decide this is the year I'm going to clean out my closet, eat more veggies, and reacquaint myself with the treadmill?

I may not keep my resolutions past January 15, but that's still fifteen days with good habits. There's always the possibility that I will be able to keep them all year.  Why not?

In the spirit of optimism, I say:

  • I will begin tracking what I eat on Weight Watchers most days. I'll shoot for 7 days and be thrilled with 5. Weight Watchers works for me. When I stop tracking, I gain weight. When I track, I eat better. So I'll start tracking again, and I will lose weight. Why not?
  • I will continue to try to work out at least 4 times a week, and I'll pay myself $10 for every week I succeed. 
  • I will try to add variety to my exercise. We are now the owners of a Wii Fit. I've used it two times, and I am sore so it's doing something. I will continue to use the Wii Fit, walk on the treadmill, and go to my yoga class and/or the aquafit class.  
  • In a related resolution, I will not let the Wii Fit get me down when it says nasty things about me not working out. It does not know that I am not monogamous to it, and it behaves out of that ignorance. I will not be stymied by a machine.
  • I will do exercises on the Wii Fit that strengthen my back and abs because that will help compensate for my wonky spine. I don't like doing them because they are hard, but I will do them because a) they will help my back not hurt, and b) they will get easier. Why not?
As I've thought about my New Year's resolutions, I thought they would have to do with knitting. Apparently they don't. This is what feels important to me right now, which is probably a direct result of holiday eating. (Almond bark pretzels, I'm looking at you.)  I choose to be healthier.

I raise my glass of iced coffee (1 point) to the sky in a toast to a healthier, happier me.  Why not?

Bring it, 2012. I'm ready.