A Knitter in Transition

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

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Knitting as Cardio: Melt Fat Away!

Knitting a sweater is a beautiful thing, making stitches and seeing how the fabric works up. Buying the yarn for it is exciting and fun, filled with anticipation of a gorgeous creation. Paying the bill...not so much. But it is truly a "fair" deal, in that, the smaller the sweater, the less yarn needed, the smaller the bill. Not like at GAP where jeans for a 2 year old are damn near the same cost a jeans for my, ahem, curvy posterior.

So, what's the best way to automatically spend less on yarn, whether it's less Debbie Bliss merino ($$$) or Knitpicks merino ($)? Get smaller! So, you'll join me on my "more sweaters with less yarn" journey, and I encourage your encouragement.

I'm gonna be totally up-front with you here: I do not diet. I LOVE food, I LOVE to eat. Nothing short of chinese water torture makes me more miserable than counting calories and fat grams. I love carbs and flat out refuse to eat low-cal/no-cal crappy tasting dressing. Fresh baked bread dipped in extra virgin olive oil is a gift from God. In my defense, I do love veggies and fruit, and healthy crap like yogurt and whole wheat. I hereby make a resolution to increase the incoming produce by 1 fruit and 1 veggie per day. That's a reasonable diet concession.

I plan to get smaller primarily via movement. I.E. less time on my butt, more time on my feet. I've already got a quick start, I got back to work this week. (Yay! This means more yarn!!) I think 25 hours a week on my feet is a good start. But, there's more. I'm living 50 yards from the beach, people. There's miles of boardwalk, and sand and surf right out my front door. I will go out onto the boardwalk for at least 30 minutes, 3 times a week. I've been out there jogging a couple of times, and it's grand. The seascape is gorgeous...pictures later.

What I'm left wondering is: how much cardio comes out of flying fingers? I'll need one of those handy bags so I can knit and walk/jog at the same time. Bonus, needles can be used in self defense. Not to self: dig out the US17 bamboo "vampire stakes."

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Stash Enhancement, Baybees!

Lovely Ladies,

We have some ROCKIN' SEX (Stash Enhancement Experience) goin' on here in rainy VA. Not just that, but I have some WIP's to enhance your yarn/knitting porn surfing experience. It's all about you. And by "all about you," I mean "all about yarn and how I can get my hands on more."

For a nice build up, here are the WIP's.
Our first item at hand (this pun may or may not be intended, your choice) is the remaining glove. Just to prove that the second-glove-syndrome has NOT reached epidemic proportion, there was much progress today. Not only do we have thumb stitches being held, but we are THIS close to putting the pinky stitches on hold. Truly thrilling.

Next, a Christmas present. I know, what self respecting knitter starts holiday gifts before November? This one!! Even sadder, it actually started in March. But, it was not destined for that particular project, and has recently transformed into a fab Magknits scarf. This pattern is nearly as much fun to knit as Clapotis. It's a beautiful thing when you realize (after only 4 years as a knitter...) that scarves don't have to be coma-inducing endeavors into garter stitch. The yarn in Plymouth Encore worsted in colorway Oceans. It's really pretty, and I'm working it on US10s, so it's kind of loose, and pretty soft. I've got a total of 800 yards, so there may be a hat and mittens, too. We'll see how much energy I have.

New Yarn: I got this new yarn at The Yarn Lounge. What an awesome shop! I got to meet Stewart herself, and her shy pooch Homer. They only have 2 100% synthetic yarns, she's all about the natural stuff. Tons of Rowan and Debbie Bliss, lots of yummy alpaca and alpaca blends, and some really great artisan wools, the kind of artsy yarns you see knit into funky little skinny scarves bought for several hundred dollars and flung stylishly around the necks of Jennifer and Cameron.

Here's Homer:

The moment you've all been waiting for: THE YARN.
Feast your eyes on 1800 yards of Harrisville Designs tweedy goodness, 1600 in "garnet" and 200 in "tundra." These two colors are awesome together! I'll use the "tundra" as the cast-on and cast-off yarn, for just a little bit of POP. It's a beautiful acid green color, and I love the contrast.

It's definitely cardigan yarn, being scratchy, I mean, tweedy. So, I'll be creating this:

This little beauty is from the new VK. I almost feel silly picking the plainest knit out of the entire mag, but hey, I'm somewhat practical. For cutting edge stitching, please visit Illana and Hila, the fab trendsetters.

Not gonna lie, I almost needed a cigarette after buying this yarn. I did the "I got new yarn" dance and sang the accompaniment at least twice in the car on the way home. Rhonda thinks I'm insane. I know I am.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Purse Debut

All right, here is is. The felted berry-colored merino purse. While I'm not totally in love with it, I do really like it. The colors didn't quite come out in the pictures, it's not that blue of a purple, it's more a berry-pink.

I learned SO much by doing this purse, and then using it, too.

1. The next time I DIY (Design It Yourself), I'll put more planning into it. I'll actually make a test swatch and do the math on the felting. Well, I say that now, we'll see.

2. It felted beautifully, but the merino is a very soft felt. I'm thinking of lining it with fabric backed in fusible web, to give it more structure.

3. Handle length is key. I'm very picky about where my purse sits on my figure, and this one is too long. I like to be able to hold the bag under my arm, this one hit's me right at my hip. I'm thinking of cutting the handle off, and knotting it, as if it were an i-cord handle.

4. Make sure the next time I graft a handle, that it's not twisted. That's right. The handle is permanently, irrevocably, irritatingly twisted. You can't tell when I'm carrying it, but I know, and it's annoying.

Here's the zipper pull, it started out life as a cell phone thingy, but when I saw little lobster clasp and how perfect it matched, it made the switch. Unfortunately, the zipper-pull met an early demise. I guess zipper-pull is really the wrong term, it should be called zipper decoration, I must have pulled it right apart.

There are more FO's on the way to be published, the Sartene tank, and the Clapotis. They are awaiting their respective photo shoots, and then they'll be out.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A Whirlwind Tour

Here's a quick tour through history, geography, biology, and culture. Enjoy.

This is a shot of the Lt being attacked by a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

One of the best pics I've taken yet. Some type of exotic orchid, currently in residence at the National Botanic Gardens.

My mom and I at the Court of Two Sisters, New Orleans. This is my Bridal Brunch/Shower. My maid of honor and her mom treated us all to awesome food in a beautiful courtyard. That's not a tree we're under, it's a massive grape arbor that covers almost the entire courtyard!

The view out the window of our honeymoon suite in the French Quarter. The FQ is one of the most beautiful places, it's so romantic and kitchy and historic and lewd all at the same time.

A waterfall somewhere outside Asheville, NC. The Lt and I visited 3 or 4 waterfalls that afternoon, and they were all so beautiful. This one was massive. I think it had a drop off of around 100 feet, it made you feel about boot-top high.

Mac being a baby. He's such a teddy-bear. The funny thing is about 30 seconds after this picture, he opened up on someone for walking around in their own yard!

Indian henna painting. I got it at the Asian Festival in Reston, VA. The lady who did it was beautiful, and had the part in her hair henna'ed, and her hair too.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Glove and a Quarter

So I knit one glove, and I'm halfway through the thumb gusset on the second, and life is beautiful. I love it. Love the yarn, love the colors, even love the pattern. While it's got some mistakes (math ones, so I relate), it's easily adaptable, even for a first timer. Now I just have to remember what I did on the first one, so I can do it to the second....

That's right, the yarn came from Knit Happens. It's a great shop, in a beautiful area of town. Old town Alexandria is gorgeous. They have TONS of Debbie Bliss, Rowan, and Collinette hung in great big gorgeous loops. Everyone there is really helpful, they let you browse and fondle as long as you like, and then really help when you need it. They even went online to knitty to help me find a suitable yarn for that pattern!

I'm using Karabella Aurora 8, in Charcoal and Rust. These are for my awesome dad, to wear while riding his Harley, and these are the perfect Harley colors. This yarn is sinfully soft, it feels almost like a little string of microfleece, YUM! It's a little splitty, which at first I hated, but now that the glove is done, I realize the splittiness actually causes the yarn to spread out, and creates a soft dense fabric.

Well, here it is:

And here's one of Mac Himself with the glove: