A Knitter in Transition

My adventures - in knitting, marriage, and moving across hemispheres.

Friday, July 29, 2005

My Very First Picture!!!

I really hope this works! This is a snapshot of the Lt and I at his graduation, he being deemed the illustrious warfighter, me being deemed the proud wife-type.

Two at once...and other design conundrums

OK. So I knit one glove, and you know what? I didn't hate it, in fact, I enjoyed it, even the fingers! I've even been entertaining giving socks another shot. We'll see. But, the one glove got me thinking. There has to be a way to knit them both at the same time. Not so much having them both going at once, but literally knit them together, separate but together, like twins. I cannot for the life of me think of a way, aside from finger-down gloves, and who wants to do that? I'm thinking there has to be a way to do it with socks. You know, start with one toe-up and then just knit and knit the leg and end with one top-down. Only, there will need to be a hole in there....hm. There HAS to be a way.

Either that or I'm just insane. Your choice.

Am also extremely peeved with the book "Knitting for Two." All of the patterns are gorgeous, I love the colors they chose, very rich. But, the sizing sucks. What about women with boobs BEFORE they get preggers? What about us? Hmmm? Did you forget about us? The patterns didn't seem to accomodate larger than 38-40 chest size. I would like to work something up for a pregnant friend who is beautiful and classy and curvy, and I would hate to knit a size 38 sweater for a size 42 bust. I hate having to modify a pattern. It's like: HELLO. Not all of us have small boobs before the baby and (from what I understand) most of us don't have small boobs AFTER the baby, and didn't you supposedly write these patterns for pregnant and post-partum wear? Seriously. The real dilema, I've never been pregnant so I have no idea what features one would want.

I was thinking of designing something "based" off their designs, a simple wrap sweater with a deep cross over, and a ribbon tie, so it could be adjusted as the bump grows, and then worn tighter after the baby comes. Any input from moms would be AWESOME.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Clan MacWho?

This past week was one of discovery.

I discovered that I can knit a glove. Now we just have to see if I can knit the second one...more on this later.

I discovered that I love and hate J.K. Rowling with equal intensity. Just finished year 6 last night. Was an emotional wreck. LOVED every single page, plot twist, and alohamora. HATE having to wait for the next one. This cannot end with year 7. They need to make this into a soap opera, so I can follow Harry for the next 20 years. (BTW, in a very few years, Daniel Radcliffe will be a HEARTBREAKER!!)

I discovered that I prefer 115 in AZ to 110 in VA. Humidity straight sucks. You might think you're leaving your house to go to the movies, but you are really stepping into a steamy vortex that sucks the life out of your hair and sends your make-up heading for your toes. Screw capris, I want to wear a towel and wet my hair. Why don't I wear shorts, you ask? Trust me, the world does NOT need to see that. Trinny and Susannah would have my head for wearing shorts. So all of you living it up in the dry heat that is AZ, quitcherwhinin.

Lastly, I discovered that I am Scottish. Funny, I've never spoken with a brogue or worn tartan or eaten haggis. Seems, I'm Scots on both sides now. My side: Clan Eliott. His side: House of Gordon. Right now, we haven't "joined" either side, and we're quite torn on the matter. See, Eliott is an actualy Clan, which is obviously better than a house. At least, that's what I've been feeding the Lt. On the other hand, the Gordon tartan is infinitely less ugly than the Eliott. Hmmm...decisions.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Dye-lot 124, I hate you.

Here's the story: I had been working on a mini-Clapotis, really more of a Clapo-scarf, and I had been using the KPPPM that I had bought for some socks. I hate knitting socks, so it became a scarf. Well, it would have been a short scarf and I wanted a long one, so I bought another skein of KPPPM.

I knew I'd have dye-lot issues, so I decided to sandwich it in the middle, so the ends would match perfectly. Little did I know that when Koigu says "dye lot" they really mean "completely different shade that will resemble the other dye lots only in shade number."

The first two skeins are gorgeous, beautiful, woodsy examples of yarn art. The odd-ball (literally) is eeeeehh, nice. The first 2 have shades of tan, chocolate, rusty burnt orange, saffron, lavender, eggplant, and no less than 4 shades of hunter green. The odd-ball languishes in it's beige, olive drab, beige, almost-lavender, and still more beige crappiness. It's the dull, safe female mallard to the two brilliantly colored males. It's boring, it sticks out like a sore thumb, and I hate it. I don't know about you, but I do not buy KPPPM for freaking beige, the ultimate non-color.

The only excuse for beige yarn is that fisherman's sweaters look fab in it because it is by nature so boring that anything you do to it, i.e. cables and textured stiches, will stick out like Lenny Kravitz at church. I vow here and now to never knit anything without cables in beige.

On a nicer note, I am so loving the Clapotis pattern that I have knit quite nearly the entire ball of yarn that I hate so fervently in only 3 days. It is dangerously addictive and heart wrenchingly perfect. It is the pattern to end all patterns. You can make anything from the Clapotis pattern, wraps, scarves, afghans. I daresay I may modify it and knit a three-room tent canopy for my next outdoor dinner party. Patterns this fun to knit are what cause people to make multiples. Heather, I'm right there with you, girl.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Knitting jones

OK. So, I finished the felted bag (post later on that one), I finished the baby bolero, I'm at a screeching halt on the mini-Clapotis, and I ripped out all 400 yards of the scarf thing I was working on as a Christmas gift. For THIS holiday, not the last. For once in my life, I'm not procrastinating. Don't count on ever seeing it happen again.

Now I'm at a loss of what to knit. I find myself with 4 skeins of "cost-effective" baby acrylic that is being worked into a charity blanket, and 800 (that's right) 800 yards of Plymouth encore worsted that I have no idea what to do with. The tricky thing is that it's a gift, so I'm not sure about making a garment with it. I'm not even sure I like the stuff, and even the Plymouth company only sees fit to make ponchos and afghans out of it. Luckily, I have only taken the wrap off of 2 out of 4 balls, so maybe some sympathetic LYS owner out there will take pity on me and exchange it.

OK, so maybe the point of this post isn't that I don't have anything to knit, I just don't have anything EXCITING to knit. There's nothing on the needles that I LOVE. We'll just have to see what becomes of the Plymouth.

There is one exciting development: my illustrious roommate is getting a new computer any day now, and there should be pictures soon. I'm sure I'm far more excited than any of you are, but I'm ok with that!

Friday, July 08, 2005

The Few, The Proud, The (Knitting) Marines

I have just seen one of the most awsome sights a knitter could lay her eyes upon. A Marine knitting in a war zone. But knowing how macho male Marines can sometimes be, I never thought I'd see one knitting. How cool is this!

I spend 8 years and 3 months in the Marine Corps, 3 and a half of those as a knitter. I remember knitting on lunch hours, when the phone wasn't ringing, early in the morning on "phone watch," and late at night on "duty." But I never knit in the field, on a helicopter, or in a war zone. I knit in office chairs, not camp chairs, and my sticks and string came from a long sought-after LYS, not a long-awaited hard-earned much-needed morale-boosting care package from a home half-way around the world. I knit fine gauge beanies for preemie heads, not hard wearing beanies to help keep my buddies warm. I've never knit a tea cozy, much less a rifle cozy. I knit with my cell phone and coffee nearby, not my rifle and helmet.

The Marines are close to my heart, being one and being married to an AMAZING one. But I have respect for every member of the armed forces and their families. The Lt and I pray for the service men and women, and our leaders, every day. Regardless of how you feel about what business the DoD is conducting day-to-day around the world, please never forget that it's knitters and husbands and daughters and friends out there. They're out there not for any political inspiration, but because they want to go to school, they want to see the world, they joined with a friend, they want to send money home, they love wearing the uniform, they love leading Marines, they love saluting the flag, but most of all because they love America.

Here's to him and them. Thanks, and Semper Fi.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Merino Summit

So the "yumm-tastic" merino and I sat down and hashed out it's destiny. We discussed how it is indeed too amazingly beautiful for words, every shade of berry pink and purple, like a Razzleberry pie. Ultimately we came to the conclusion that while yes, some of the delicious softness may be lost on a felted bag, if it were a scarf, it would be hidden away 8 months of the year, in a dark lonely closet. As a bag, everyone will be graced with the presence of it's berry yummness all year round. There is a caveat: I bought 430 yards, there's no way I'll go through that on a bag, the remainder may become a scarf, or some slippers.

I'm trying a new thing. I'm knitting without a pattern, I wanted to make a slouchy hobo bag, so I'm experimenting. Scary, yes, but if it's that bad when it's done, I'll use the second ball to try again. So what I've done is cast on 3 st and knit for about 10 inches, knowing wool felts more up and down than side to side. Then, I picked up and knit the sides of the bag onto the 3 st wide peice. I'm hoping this will create a scrunchy bottom. I've worked in short rows every 1.5 inch, to make sure the sides are shorter, so the bag curves the right way, up toward the handles, I'm also hoping this will help it have a nice "belly" for lots of stuff. I'll be working the handles right onto the bag and grafting in the middle for a nice wide shoulder strap. I also bound off 1 st on the inside of each handle, and then worked about an inch, so I can have some room to have a zipper put in. I'm working the whole thing back and forth, so far I'm done with the first side and picked up for the second side. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Any hints or tips or advise or prayer will be much appreciated.