Saturday, September 13, 2008


This week has been one of those weeks. You know the sort. One of those weeks when even though nothing major goes wrong (no serious illness, job loss, financial crisis, etc.) and you've still got a lot going for you (you've got your home, food, clothes, family, friends, etc.), the week still seems awful. All the little things pile up until you think this adulthood kick is one lousy deal, and you really wish that everything would just go away and leave you alone for a little while.

This week, while I felt like I was being smothered by a gajillion little things that refused to go right (for instance, the gallon of milk that went sour more than 10 days before its sell-by date), even my knitting wasn't much help.

I've been working on the second Bayerische sock. It's actually going pretty well, and when considered on its own, I'm quite pleased with it. The problem is in comparing it to its mate:

This shows the problem even better:

They aren't the same size. I think to get a matched pair, I'm going to have to knit 3 socks. Fortunately, I have plenty of yarn for doing so. The real problem is that I'm just not that in love with this pattern. While I think it's absolutely gorgeous, I also find it a little fiddly and hard on my hands.

So as my alternative, easy, mindless sock project, I started some Jaywalkers for Mr. Darcy. I really like the Jaywalker pattern. It's easy and smooth and I can knit it while I'm reading. In less than a week, then, I got the first sock done:

Looks pretty good, no? And it even took less than half the yarn I had. There's only one problem. I'm a little nervous about the size. Are size 11 feet really that big?

(Sock that fits a ladies' 9.5 included for scale.)
So it's on hold until I see Mr. Darcy in a week and a half and can make him try it on. There's no way I'm frogging two socks, if it comes to that.

Given the state of things, what's a woman to do? What antidote can there be for all the unpleasantness and frustration, when even the knitting is involved in the conspiracy? There are, I would think, many options such as hiding under the bed, running away, or setting fire to something, but I chose a different path.

I took some very lovely, recently acquired yarn

(Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 in Blue Lagoon)
and wound it into an equally lovely yarn cake.

And then I cast on while watching Sleepless in Seattle. (I did get further than the picture suggests.)

New sock in pretty yarn while watching delightful chick flick = pretty effective antidote.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A Weekend in Which I do no Knitting.

None. Not even a single stitch. Shocking, isn't it?

So, you may be asking, if I didn't do any knitting, what did I do all weekend? In addition to the chores and errands necessary to keep up the appearances of being a functioning adult, I sewed.

I've been on a mission lately (several weeks now), to de-clutter my place. I don't think I have a lot of stuff to begin with, but much of it isn't well organized, and I know that some of it, I really don't need. So as part of de-cluttering, every few weeks (largely as I have the time and motivation), I go through some particular aspect of my belongings, and give it a thorough sorting and organizing. Anything I don't need/wear/use gets thrown out or donated. Everything else gets put away neatly. A few weeks ago, I did my closet. This weekend, I tackled a corner of my office. Yes, just a corner - it's a slow process. One can't rush these things, you know. The corner I picked was the one with my sewing table. I use the term loosely, since prior to Saturday, I hadn't once used it as such, but it did hold the sewing machine. And a bunch of stuff.

Incredibly, much of the stuff on the sewing table was sewing related, specifically projects that I'd left out in the hopes that looking at them sitting there unfinished would inspire (guilt being more likely) me to do something about them, like actually finish them. Well, it turns out that all I really needed was a tropical storm to keep me trapped inside:

(Hanna dumped all kinds of rain on Saturday - I don't think this picture accurately conveys just how wet it was.)

So I sewed. I hemmed and hung curtains. I fixed a sweater (store-bought, an underarm seam had come undone) and a blouse (somehow, the button band had come unstitched near the collar). I lined a headband (the ear-warmer sort). But mostly, I turned this:

into this:

The first is exactly what it looks like - a pile of fabric sitting on a chair. The second is two quilt tops and backs (sitting on the ironing board), just not assembled to each other yet. These are to be quilts for my former roommates - one who loves blue

and one who really likes orange.

The plan for next weekend is to attach the backs and quilt them!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Blue Scarves

So, you may remember a while (like early-July) back, I scored some blue wool for charity knitting. It turned out that the wool was quite nice to knit with, and made two lovely blue scarves. (It would be odd if the scarves had turned out some other color...)

Exhibit A: The Long Miter

This was a fantastically easy, yet somehow not completely mind-numbing knit.
Cast on an odd number of stitches (I think I had 37).
Row 1: Kfb, knit to one stitch before center stitch, do a double decrease (I slip two stitches together, knit 1, pass slipped stitches over), knit to last stitch, kfb.
Row 2: Knit.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until you're running low on yarn. Then continue, but instead of kfb, just knit the first and last stitches in row 1.
Continue until you've got one stitch left. Pull yarn through this stitch to bind off. Weave in ends.

Exhibit B: An Easy Bias Scarf, with a Hint of Lace

This is ever-so-slightly less easy than the Long Miter. For this scarf, you have to be able to knit, purl, and not be scared of a yarn over.
Cast on 2 stitches.
Kfb, K1, turn.
Kfb, K2, turn.
Kfb, K3, turn.
Kfb, K4, turn.
Increase section:
Row 1: K3, YO, K3.
Row 2: K3, P1, K3.
Row 3: K3, YO, K1, YO, K3.
Row 4: K3, P3, K3.
Row 5: K3, YO, K3, YO, K3.
Row 6: K3, P5, K3.
Continue in pattern until scarf is desired width.
Middle section:
Row 1: K2, SSK, YO, K2tog, knit to last 3 stitches, YO, K3.
Row 2: K3, purl to last 3 stitches, K3.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until scarf is desired length or you're running low on yarn.
Decrease section:
Row 1: K2, SSK, YO, K2tog, knit to last 6 stitches, SSK, YO, K2tog, K2.
Row 2: K3, purl to last 3 stitches, K3.
Continue until you have 11 stitches left.
Row 1: K2, SSK, YO, S1 k2tog psso, YO, K2tog, K2.
Row 2: K3, P3, K3.
Row 3: K2, SSK, YO, K3tog, K2.
Row 4: K3, P1, K3.
Row 5: K2, S1 k2tog psso, K2.
Row 6: K5.
Row 7: SSK, K1, K2tog.
Row 8: K3.
Row 9: S2KPsso (slip two stitches together, knit 1, pass slipped stitches over).
Pull yarn through last stitch.
Finishing: Weave in ends. Block. Blocking is especially important to keep this one from curling up.