Jun 26, 2013

And Finished! Or only halfway done...

I've been doing a lot of knitting recently.  Partially because it's an easy zen project to have at hand , and partially because I have a bunch of yarn that really should be turned into something, especially before I buy any more yarn.

I have a love/hate relationship with making things like socks, sleeves, and gloves.  They're great because they're useful, they can be thrown in my purse to be worked on at any time, they're small so that they are usually done pretty quick, and you can use all sorts of fun complicated patterns.  The downside is that there are two of them.  So just as soon as I finish one and feel proud of myself with a great sense of completion, I realize that I have to do it all over again.  At best backwards (like with gloves), at worst perfectly matching.

It's not the tedium that's the problem.  I'm generally good with zen activities. It's the fact that I will tweak patterns as I go without making notes, I'll not count stitches, and basically do all sorts of things you really shouldn't do if you need to reproduce something.  I may have a pair of socks which includes an extra pattern repeat in one sock.  Conveniently the stitch count was high enough that it wasn't too noticeable, and they're socks, so most people aren't looking that closely at your feet. No, you don't get a picture of those, as that would be circumventing the whole "no one is looking too closely" part.

These sleeves, on the other hand, got their roots from two different pattern.  The basic sleeve pattern and how to add in the thumbhole came from Kristina McGowan's Modern Top down Knitting. The knit pattern is from Alice Yu's Socktopus. I am really happy with the pattern, how the variations in the yarn play with the movement of the stitches in the gloves, and the fact that the yarn is part silk, so they feel fantastic.

These gloves were made from a purple silk yarn that may have mysteriously
jumped into my basket at the store.  Yeah, that's the story we're going with.
At the moment I'm working on a pair of socks from a Knitty pattern for a friend of mine.  They're called Java and I must admit, they've been a little annoying.  If you're a knitter, then you can see from the pattern how many teeny tiny cables there are, all the way down the sock.  If you're not, and you might not even know what a cable is (other than a large rope), just take my word for it, it's a bit obnoxious.  And I am a person who loves cables. I do find the finished effect interesting though.  I will probably just not do this pattern a second time.  If you are just learning how to do cables, on the other hand, it would be a whole lot of good practice for you.
Java socks! Complete with a few hairs from the cats.
They're just trying to help.
As you can see, I have finished one sock so far, and have just finished the cuff for the second sock. For these socks, I ended up learning a new method of casting on.  It took me a little bit to figure it out, but after I got it down I ended up very pleased with the results.

Jun 25, 2013


Recently I had the following interaction at a party with someone I'd just met.

me: I... make things.
other person: That sounds deliberately vague.
me: Well, there's the candy there, this dress, I think I only have one knitting project in my purse right now, the bar in my house, I bake...
other person: oh, so you just make things.
me: Yeah, pretty much.

I like working with my hands, and I like knowing how things work.  I was the obnoxious little kid who would walk up to someone doing a skill and as "What'cha doing?  Can I try?"  As an adorable child growing up with my parents running a motel, this meant that I ended up allowed to play just about every instrument of the bands who were staying there. Conveniently it was a rural small town, and that situation was not the intro to a Lifetime afternoon movie.

See? Cute as a button!

This also meant that between my parents, school, girl scouts, and the wild wild world of educational toys, I had the opportunity to try a lot of different skills. Knitting, crocheting, embroidery, baking, cooking, camping, building potato clocks, circuit boards, bows and arrows, soap carving, knotting, canoeing, hiking, orienteering, macrame, mowing lawns, picking potatoes, skiing, baseball, swimming, photography, drawing, computer programming, to name a few.  If I had the option, I tried it.  As a note, never, ever, ever, invite me to play baseball.  It won't end well.

I grew up to be the type of person who can never do just one thing at once.  To be fair, I am kind of a magpie for projects. And during difficult times, I tend to take to puritan therapy.  Work more, be productive. This blog is dedicated to what I make/fix/do.  Your guess is as good as mine as to where it will end up.