Monday, July 28, 2008

It was a dark and stormy night...

On Saturday, I got an email from one of my friends along the lines of "Ack! The wedding's in three weeks, what are you getting them?!" To which my reaction was, "Ack! I have no idea! I wonder if I have time to knit dish cloths?"

So, I'm thinking, three weeks, four dish cloths - I already have cotton yarn on hand, so this should be easy! (Thinking that something is going to be easy is usually a nice bit of ironic foreshadowing. I should have known better.) I pulled out the yarn, and went to find needles. Now, I'm pretty sure I own at least one size 7 circular, since I've made dish cloths before, but I couldn't find one for the life of me. I checked the needle stash. I tossed the yarn dresser and the yarn closet. I went through all of the bags in which I'd stuck yarn while traveling at any point in the past few months. No needles.

Okay, the needle situation can be rectified. It just means a trip to my LYS. I had errands to run on Sunday after church anyway, so I just added the LYS to my list (it wasn't even out of my way). Sunday afternoon a thunderstorm rolled through (the only part of the story that was literally dark and stormy), which made it hard to do what I probably should have done.

What I should have done was written down on a sticky note the size and kind of needles I wanted, flagged down some passerby, given them the sticky note and a twenty, and told them they could keep the change if they went in and got the needles for me. That's what I should have done. But did I? No. Of course not.

No, I thought to myself, "It's just needles. I won't even fondle any yarn. I can be strong." In short, I lied to myself. Although, to be fair, I did make it to the needle wall and pick out what I needed without fondling any yarn, but somewhere between there and the cash register, I was overcome by wool fumes. It's the only explanation for how I went in just for needles and came out with these:

Watershed, by the Neighborhood Fiber Co. in Truxton Circle (the colorway). It's a wool/seacell blend that's fantastically soft. And given that I have a distinct fascination with seacell (I love the way it smells like the ocean still), a love of all things purple, and a weakness for local dyers, I suppose I had zero chance of making it out of the shop without this.

Penthouse Silk Lace, also by the Neighborhood Fiber Co. in Randle Circle. It's a two-ply lace-weight in 100% silk and one of the softest things I've ever touched. Plus I absolutely adore the silvery-blue colors and the way it seems to shimmer, even in the hank. When I touched this yarn, I couldn't help but dream about how wonderful a silk stole this would make and how fantastic it would feel on bare arms and shoulders. And I knew that if I didn't get it, someone else would, and I would be plagued with doubt and regret.

But first, I should probably go work on those dish cloths...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I like socks.

I had a friend in high school who would fill awkward pauses with the statement, "I like rice." As a question, it was useful for diffusing tension: there's nothing for breaking up a frivolous but heated argument quite like, "um, I like rice?"

Anyway, I like socks.

I like plain socks.

I like blue socks.

I like wool socks.

I like warm socks.

I like socks.

From the top: Jane Doe socks in Regia Stretch. John Doe socks in Mirasol Hacho, colorwarys Midnight Velvet and Northern Lights. All three pairs were knit from the Jane and John Doe Socks pattern by me and available on Ravelry.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Chinese for wool?

My church is collecting hand knit and crochet scarves for the homeless. To encourage people to participate, they're even providing yarn for those who want it. Since I like knitting and doing good, I stopped by to get some yarn. It was mostly acrylic in various colors and qualities, but I was fortunate enough to find some much maligned wool in the stash. At least, I think it's wool. It certainly feels like wool, but the labels are in Chinese.

Does anybody read Chinese? Can you tell me what this yarn is? Brand? Fiber content? I'd be grateful for any light you can shed on this.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Looking on the bright side

If I'm not my usual, chipper self for the next few weeks, I beg your kind indulgence. I'm going through a bit of a challenging transition right now. You see, Mr. Darcy might actually more appropriately be called Captain Wentworth. He has gone off (under Navy orders that were decided long before we started dating) to seek his fortune. So, like a long list of Navy wives and sweethearts before me, I find myself necessarily left behind. Fortunately, modern communication and transportation mean that we'll be able to talk to and see each other far more often than Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth.

And in the meantime, I'm looking on the bright side and thinking about all the time I have for my things that I didn't before. All the things I'll be able to catch up on, and finish, and start, maybe.

I pulled out Picovoli from the WIP drawer - it's almost finished. Just needs cap sleeves and sewing of the hems.

my first sock? In what is possibly a miraculous recovery from second sock syndrome, I've started it's mate.

I started new lace. This is the Arabesque stole in Jojoland lace-weight.

This pile of fabric? It's destiny is to become two 9-patch quilts - one in red, one in blue.

And then of course, there's my rather lengthy queue on Ravelry, my venture in spinning, and a couple thousand pages of reading I'd like to do. So really, I don't think there's the slightest risk of my being bored. In fact, I might even come to enjoy the extra time to myself...

Monday, July 07, 2008

On the bandwagon

There seem to be some things that every knitter knits at least once. A scarf, a hat, a sock, a baby surprise jacket. And until one has knit those things, one may be faced with many crises of self doubt - am I a real knitter? Can I call myself a real knitter when I haven't knit (fill in the blank)? In almost every case, the answer is yes, you are a real knitter, even if all you've ever made are garter stitch scarves. That notwithstanding, it can be deeply satisfying to knit those items that seem to make "real knitters."

Now, I've never really questioned my credentials as a knitter (at least, not much), but that hasn't kept me from feeling woefully left behind a time or two. Like when it seemed everyone in the blogosphere was on Ravelry and I wasn't. And I'm still sad that I missed the Tulip Jacket rage. But I did recently knit one of those "everybody knits it at least once" items. I made my first baby surprise jacket:

It's knit out of Baby Ull, held double on size five (I think, it was a while ago) needles. The buttons are the small bear buttons from Schoolhouse Press.

The pattern is delightful and ingenious, if a little hard to follow at first. And I don't know that it's possible to say enough wonderful things about Meg Swansen's video guide. All in all, it was great fun to knit, and I'm sure I will knit many more in my time as a Knitter.