Friday, November 23, 2007

I'm a Process Knitter!

My husband came into the bedroom the other day, as I was sitting on the bed, surrounded by a lot of remarkably untangled yarn, winding it up to knit into a scarf. When asked, I told him that I was ripping out a scarf that I never wear to make a new, better scarf. He looked at me and said,

"I think that lately, you've been ripping out more than you've been knitting."

Thinking over my current works in progress... Dude may have a point.

This is the scarf that sparked the comment. Originally a remarkably similar scarf from my brief foray into weaving. The tension was off, it was too wide for me to wear, and too uneven for me to give away. Ripped out (actually kind of fun. Pull on the bits of fringe until the lengths of yarn pop out and leave the curly bits), and being knit into a garter stitch scarf for a friend with relationship problems.

This is another scarf, possibly the only scarf I have ever knit with the full intention of keeping it (I'm not big on the scarves.) Started life out as the leftovers from my wedding veil, dyed to the pretty pink color, then almost completely knit up into PandaBonzai's Anya scarf, before I decided I didn't have enough yarn to make it properly, then ripped. Current incarnation: a modified version of the same scarf.

Third: Eunny Jang's Tangled Yoke Cardigan from Interweave Knits fall '07. This yarn began as the failed Arr-gyle sweater, then was mostly knit up into Starsky Jr. When I ran out of yarn, I gave it a close look and decided that the sweater was probably intended for 14 year olds that don't have DDs on their chest. Ripped. I'm not going to have enough yarn fro this incarnation, either. I'll either buy more yarn, and finish it, or rip it out once again and knit a whole new sweater. There's no telling. There's no picture because I didn't want to drag everything out. It's a black sweater. At a certain level, they all look the same, at least when the picture's taken with the quality digital camera I use.

In addition, Dad's socks, now finished, have been ripped back several times. Once when the first sock was done, and I decided I wanted ribbing, not stockinette, and both were ripped back because of increases and cuff length.

I don't know if this is all because I'm growing as a person, and not holding on to projects that I'm not happy with, or just because I don't have any money to buy more yarn, and am trying to make the yarn I have last as long as possible.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Socks and Scarves

Dad's first sock is finished. It turns out that I wasn't so much in the knitter's black hole as I was amazed by how much longer it takes to knit a sock for my dad's size twelve men's foot than for my size eight women's. But it is finished. I'm a bit concerned about the leg fitting, but am extremely confident about the foot being the right size. Why? Last time I saw my parents, I measured their feet for just such a purpose. Still, I was worried. Socks react differently on a foot. They stretch. I did ask some friends to try the sock on, but I don't think they thought I was serious. So I made this to help me.

A cardboard replica of my dad's foot, based on measurements. Obviously, it's not exact. My dad's feet aren't that flat, that brown, or that cardboard-y. But it should be close enough and it makes me feel better.

Having finished the first sock, I did not immediately cast on the second. I managed to justify this to myself: I needed something that I could knit on without thinking, and the toes of socks are fiddly. Plus, the yarn for the second sock has already tried to be a sock, and having failed, it is sitting in the living room with a toe attached to the ball, and needs to be rewound. So I started this instead:

Scarf of modified seed stitch (idea from Crazy Aunt Purl). More on this later.
Note: This post was actually written a couple of days ago. Problems with blogger, then my computer, then me... and it's here now. But the scarf is about halfway done, and more yarn will be procured at some point to finish it.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Black Hole of Knitting

I kind of skipped out on Christmas presents last year. I was on my own for the first time, far away from my family, and feeling sorry for myself, and did not get anything for my parents. (My friends were taken care of by my husband, who enjoyed his employee discount and picked up a lot of weird things that our friends would like.) I don't think I even sent them a card. This year will be different. I have plans, oh yes I do, and I am determined that this year, my parents will have presents hand-knit by me as an example of how much I love and appreciate them.

To avoid the road to hell (paved with good intentions, you know), I not only have a plan, but I have started working on it. Dad will be getting socks. Hopefully, two pairs, one plain and boring, one fancier and brighter.

The boring one is currently on the needles. Black, 3x1 ribbing. For my dad's big feet. (That's not entirely fair. I'm pretty sure his feet are an average size for a man, but I'm used to knitting for my average-for-a-woman size, so they seem huge. These socks currently measure 8 inches long. They need to be 9.75 inches long before I can start the heel. They have measured 8 inches long since I put them down last night and all through my knitting this morning. It's the black hole of knitting, made worse because these socks actually are a black hole. At any rate, they're black and the middle of the sock is a hole. Work with me here.

Were these socks for myself, they would already be past the heel and partway up the foot.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mom's Shawl

Obviously, I had been knitting on Eunny Jang's Print o' the Wave Stole for a while. It had always been intended for my mom, although the day that I planned on giving it to her had been pushed back a couple of times. Finally, I decided to give it to her for her birthday, last Friday. I had finished the knitting a while ago, but put off blocking it, since I had intended to get blocking wires that would make that easier. I never did get those wires, so Sunday, I broke out my pins, cleared off the bed, and blocked.

It came out... a little bigger than intended. We have a full size bed, and the shawl covered half of that width-wise, and the entire length. It was so big, I could not get a picture of the entire thing blocking. I tried, y'all. I was standing on the inch and a half wide foot board, bracing myself on the ceiling, leaning back as far as I could, and I still could not get all of it.

This was mailed out yesterday, and should be in my mom's hands by Saturday.

Stats: Eunny Jang's Print of the Wave Stole.

Knit on size 4 needles out of Zephyr 50% wool, 50% silk laceweight in the Juniper color, a gift from my dad (very pretty). Finished measurements: unknown.
I kinda want one for myself now.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Magic Socks!

I debated giving up on the whole blogging thing for a while. Then I decided I still wanted to do it, but the motivation for actually sitting down and writing a post was hard to find. But my latest FO deserves a blog post. For these simple, unassuming socks, I believe, are lucky, possibly even possessing magical powers.

I realize, there is nothing in their appearance that belies their magical status, but listen: I finished these socks on Wednesday. Today I wore them for the first time... and class was cancelled. Meaning that today, I have nothing to do but drink coffee and knit.

Even as I was knitting them, before I knew of the luckiness that would unfold in my life, I appreciated these socks. Most socks, I knit complex patterns. I wanted my socks lacier! textury-er! Complicated-er! These socks are just a 2x2 rib, reminding me that I do enjoy simplicity.

Stats: Size 1 needles, Socketta Fortisima sock yarn (given to me by my dad), 68 sts, knitted toe up, k2p2 ribbing. No pattern to speak of.

These socks only took one ball of the yarn. The other was given to a friend in need of something to knit while over at my apartment. I need to give her the heads up on the potential magicy-ness of her own socks.
I also must take care with these socks, and use their powers only for good.