Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Just Me and a Needle

Somebody looking for a blog post about drug addiction is going to be highly disappointed by this post.


I was talking about this:

Just me, a nascent cardigan, and a crazy desire to make the bind off as invisible as possible. I blame Eunny Jang. Ever since she talked about the cast on for ribbing, I don't look at ribbing the same way. I used her instructions when I cast on for Andrew's welldigger hat, and I think it was worth the effort. (The fact that this is a worsted-weight hat and therefore not a million kajillion stitches is now something I've considered.)

Needing a way to make a bind off pretty, I searched and found these instructions. Let me tell you: This is not for the faint of heart. I should have suspected that when I saw that the title of the instruction post included the word "masochistic." She's not lying.

I'm just going to keep telling myself that it's all going to be worth it in the end. If I come up to you and insist we discuss the fabric's edges in depth and with great passion, please go along with me... at least for the first couple of times.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Smooth Beginning on Rocky Coast

I've been making some Christmas presents, and I think I'm in a pretty good spot (famous last words). I decided to celebrate fall and start a sweater for myself.

Rocky Coast Cardigan (mine raveled here)
knit in Cascade 220, colorway 2409 Palm 

It's worsted weight yarn knit on big needles, and I'm loving it so far. I can tell where the cables go, so I'm not tied to the chart, and there's no waist shaping so I can knit on autopilot now that I'm past the raglan shaping at the top.

I feel quite optimistic about this. Bring it, Winter. I have wool.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Well, HUH.

You know how sometimes you pop your head up from your life, look around, and think, "Well, HUH. How the heck did that happen?" I had one of those moments on Friday.

I was at Andrew's grandpa's house, and he had a stuffed bear wearing a Get Well Soon sweater. It was being aggressively loved by a great-grandchild, and one of the adults realized unraveling was happening.

They asked me if I could fix it. I could, but I didn't have a yarn needle, so I took it home with me for repair.

I was sitting at my dining room table, repairing this crappy stuffed bear sweater, and I had a moment.

How the heck did I become the person who knows how to fix sweaters? 

How did I become the mender, the maker, the knitter, the creator?

It's mostly knitting, but not exclusively. Case in point: In the background of that photo, you can see wax paper. That's because I was making Christmas ornaments earlier in the day. I spend a startling amount of time making things. This is surprising since I spent the first 25 years of my life living almost entirely inside my head, devouring books and thriving in academia.

Life is surprising and weird, folks. Huh.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Don't Should On Yourself

I have gotten bogged down by the shoulds:

  • I  should eat that butternut squash my cousin gave me. She grew it! It's horrible to let it go to waste.
  • I should cook more.
  • I should figure out what to do with the strainer full of tomatoes from the garden that are getting old in my fridge.
  • I should eat the mushrooms I got in the bin. Organic produce is a luxury, and I should not be wasting it.
  • I should read more books, especially the ones people have given me.
  • I should do more yoga.
  • I should be tracking my food on Weight Watchers more faithfully.
  • I should be making more Christmas presents.
  • I should be making something other than Christmas presents so I could blog about them.
It's gotten overwhelming, this litany in my head. How to combat it? I should meditate more.


Friday, October 3, 2014

Easy Is

I just finished a test knit (my first--so exciting!!) and have moved back into the world of gift knitting. Christmas is coming, y'all, and there's a lot less knitting time after Thanksgiving than I would like. All those family functions and shopping and cooking and wrapping take precious knitting time.

Although I've never felt the urge to knit two socks at once, I really like some of the patterns in Melissa Morgan-Oakes' 2-at-a-Time Socks book. I decided to try the Sailor's Delight pattern, partly because it looks pretty and partly because the name makes me laugh. What is Sailor's Delight, and does it end with the sailor in need of a prescription for a topical ointment?

I started with the women's medium size, but it looked too big. The person I'm knitting for likes patterns with a lot of rib so they don't slip, so I thought I would just alter the stitch pattern to throw in some ribbing.

After three or four false starts, a few attempts at charting, and some foul language, I decided this yarn really wants to become a plain, old 2x2 broken rib pair of socks. I'm throwing in a right twist a couple of times in every fourth round just for fun, but so far they're not very visible.

Easy is not to be despised.