May 22, 2011

odds & ends

apologies for the radio silence. it's been a busy month. sort of. watching quality movies and eating chocolate has taken more of my time lately than expected. of course by quality i mean roland emmerich, and by chocolate i mean double-chocolate. blinding, searing, never-ending nerve pain does have some perks. i thoroughly recommend getting some, if you're into the whole get-all-the-free-time-you-want-but-cry-yourself-to-sleep thing.

anyway, like most of us in the knitting universe, i'm a TV knitter. i can't watch TV without knitting something. so thanks to classics like 2012, godzilla and independence day, i've been able to make a bunch of random things, of which a small selection thus follows.

the first one is another cowl made with the willow pattern. i made it with the same amount of stitches and decreases as the hemlock cowl, but the yarn (flavia baby - yes, again) was thinner so the end result is even snugger. i can barely ram it through my giant head, but once it's in place it looks and feels pretty good.

mom likes the socks i make, and will stop at nothing to get a new pair. so in order to avoid being disowned i made her a simple pair with the extra hank of knitpicks stroll i got from great british yarns. i'll be safe for another month or two.

then there was the suicide mission called trail socks. the yarn is gorgeous. and 20 euros a hank. and yet, only through sheer manic perseverence was i able to finish this pair. have you ever heard of a thing called pooling?

the first sock was perfect from the start. the yarn behaved beautifully and created an almost self-striping pattern. then came the second sock, and all hell broke loose. no matter how many times i started over (and believe me, it was lots) i couldn't duplicate the color flow. every time i ended up with dark splotches and light splotches. i tried different gauges, starting at different points of the yarn, but no. bob the saint (remember him?) wouldn't let me off the hook. and no, pooling is NOT something that makes hand-dyed yarn interesting and/or beautiful, it's fucking annoying, and if anyone tells you otherwise, they're probably on sedatives or have already died inside a little.

then, after five painful days, i threatened bob with a murder-suicide-scenario, and he finally caved. and now i have a killer pair of socks. with no pooling. thank's for playing, bob!

i also made some stitch markers. girly ones. because i'm a girl. i checked.

knitting-wise there's lots of other stuff going as well. there's another lace scarf i'm making, slowly but surely, and a mountain of baby clothes for a certain someone who's expected to pop into this world during the summer. before you ask, it's not mine. dear god, no. but more on those projects as and if they develop.

May 4, 2011

project snooker

here's a little something i whipped together while watching the snooker world champ final on TV. before you say anything, let me just tell you that snooker is a fine and noble sport. played by manly men. with bow ties. go john higgins!

i know the prime season for cervical warmers is pretty much over for this spring, or is for normal people at least. i'm such a freezing douchebag that i need to cover myself with sheepy by-products well into june or july. so it's not too late to make these, especially since they take less than ten hours to make. i'm already working on another cowl because we've now had two earth-shatteringly (is that a word?) hot summers in a row and the notoriously vengeful god probably won't grant us a third one. let the rest of the nation freeze. me and my cowls will be fine.

size modified
fleece artist trail socks hemlock (75g, 3mm)

i made it much smaller than the pattern called for, casting on 120 stitches instead of 160, but left out a couple of decrease rounds so i could use the 40cm circular all the way. the size came out perfect.

the color looked better on the hank than in the finished cowl, although the slouchy texture does cover most of the pooling. pooling makes my eyes bleed. i think a gradient color flow would've been better for this project, but i'll live. winding the yarn was a real fuckin' nightmare too. believe me. 100% silk yarn is easier to wind than this sticky bastard that attracts static electricity like crazy. but it's still a great knit. because it comes from canada.

seven-day cardigan

so i made a cardigan. in seven days. you heard me. to the question, "have you no life" the answer is a loud and resounding "no". but instead i have a sweet cardigan, so, there.

the pattern is a simple top-down model with 13 buttons and some pleats in the front and back. i used a smaller needle and thinner yarn so went one size up to get a nice fit. in the end it took exactly five skeins of yarn, which is odd, because the plain and simple took seven and it didn't even have sleeves. bob, the patron saint of knitting, indeed works in mysterious ways.

size 32" to get 30"
grignasco flavia baby  (250g/2.5-3mm)

i had stashed the yarn sometime during the winter when there was a sale on my absolute all-time hands-down favorite yarn at a local shop. (the final tally came out at somewhere beyond 20 or 30 skeins but, you know, who's counting.) originally i meant to knit the thermal sweater with this color but at some point went "nah" and made this cardigan instead. in seven days. the phrase "zombie madman on acid" is once again a pretty accurate description of my person during that week.

but like most of the stupid shit i do, voluntarily i might add, it was worth it. it fits well and isn't too girly for my butch trucker lesbian style. the color is a bit hard to combine, seeing that i'm just now realizing it's the first blue top i've owned in a decade, but i'm pretty sure i'll find some use for it. if not, i can burn it in a ritualistic fashion and have my universally allotted moment's fun that way. and before you ask, no, i didn't run out of yarn. the sleeves are meant to be that short.

to the pattern designer i raise my proverbial hat for creating realistic proportions as opposed to idealistic. unlike garnstudio seems to believe, people slouch. thank you, jane, for realizing that the back piece needs to have more stitches than the front. and the fit at the shoulders really is freakin' gorgeous, don't you think? yes, you do.