Friday, March 30, 2007

A Little Sidetracked

First, the Argosy Dishcloth by Vyvyan (based on the Argosy Scarf from Knitty). Seeing Kay's baby blanket reminded me of this great little scarf pattern, but since I don't need another scarf soon, the dishcloth it was. Although, I have quite a few washcloths lying around, so it might not be any more useful. At least it was quicker.

And what's this?

A quick little doodad I'd almost forgotten about. Pattern soon.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Where's the Stitching and Bitching?

Thermal's just clicking along: I'm done with all the sleeve increases and have just a few more inches left to go. Then the other sleeve and the two fronts, and voila! A whole new sweater. I can't remember the last time I was this close to finishing a sweater I was actually still excited about this far into the process. That in itself is exciting.

I'm not sure yet if I like how the seaming is working out on the inside of the sleeve: something about it looks weird. The ribs don't line up together, sort of like stripes not matching. I do like that it is a recognizable "seam" and I probably won't change it on the next one, but I might if I ever make this pattern again.

Spring is finally here too, which is also very exciting. The weather has been warm enough to hang out outside, and some of the flowers are blooming. Soon the flowering trees will open, but not before some storms and cooler termperatures. I can't wait until it's really warm. But then I'll just wish for cooler weather again, especially after Thermal is done. I guess there's just no pleasing me.

P.S. Another first meeting of Stitch and Bitch was tonight, and again, not really anyone came. Is knitting going out of style? Is advertising the answer? All these and more, answered next week when we try again.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

One Down

Picking up the Clapotis after such a long reprieve proves once again what a simple, beautiful design it is. Almost like riding a bike in fact. I hardly had to look at the pattern while I finished it up; it sort of explained itself. I like that in a design, being able to see how it's constructed, how it makes sense, what a decrease or a yarn over will eventually accomplish.

Pattern: the famous Clapotis
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in color 32 Jewel Blue, 2 skeins
Needles: Denise size 7
Modifications: Fewer repeats both width and length wise: I wanted more of a scarf than a wrap, and the second skein yielded much less length than the first, so it also wasn't as long as I was expecting. Still good though, 12" wide and almost 70" long, unstretched.

I haven't decided yet if I'm going to block it. I probably will because anything could use a nice light blocking to even out the stitches, and I can see where the dropped stitches could use some straightening, but I also like the wrinkly aspect of it. I like that it's not exactly flat. Any advice for light blocking? Is steam the way to go? Or a spritz with a spray bottle?

Next to the scarf is the first sleeve for Thermal, not because I've finished the body but because I needed something simple enough to work on while I watched a movie for class in a dark auditorium. A girl's got to be prepared.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Spring Cleaning!

Today marks the first full day of spring, and boy am I glad. There aren't any blooming flowers or trees where I am, or even really any sunshine right now, but the ground is soft from last night's rain and the grass is definitely greener. It's warmer too - a welcome relief from the freezing winter we've just had.

With spring marks the beginning of a new school term for me. I'm trying to be more organized this time around. The desk is clean, I'm shopping for notebooks later, and the sheets are new. Just in time.

The knitting though, is dreadfully behind, wrinkled, and forgotten. This spring will be a time to finish all those wonderful things: a new chance for them and a chance for me to actually finish something.

First up, the Roomie's mittens. I promised myself I'd finish them over the break and be able to give them to her in case it got cold again. As you can see, I'm so close to at least having some fingerless gloves.

Thermal has been distracting me with its interesting pattern and tiny needles. I have made some progess though, all the way to the arm hole shaping. There's something about this sweater that keeps me coming back.

Then in the land of forgotten is the infamous Clapotis, a nearly completely finished Honeymoon Cami, and a Picovoli. The Honeymoon and Picovoli I wanted to finish for last year's summer vacation. I'm making the Clapotis out of some great blue and white Malabrigo, and will really make a great soft scarf when it's done.

And this isn't even mentioning the mitered square afghan and the Northern Lights mittens. Or any of the designs I've been playing with.

Goodness, now it looks like I don't finish anything. But that's what this is all about. All these projects should be finished before summer officially begins around June 21st. I better get to work.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Kiss Me

While I didn't grow up in a strictly Irish or even Catholic family, being Irish was always around, something to explain my red hair or to provide some conversation starter.

But today everybody's Irish. While the green beer is nice, I've always wondered if St. Patrick's Day was actually a good thing for those of us who call ourselves Irish. I suppose emulation is the best flattery, but I still think the green beads, feathers, and kiss me t-shirts are a little cheesy and over done. That is, if anyone's asking. There's more to being Irish than that.

It's great to look at Chicago though, full of green water, with Irish dancers on the local news shows, parades, and a party like the real ones on that little island across the ocean. Looks pretty fun to me.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Beware the Ides

There's not much new to report on the knitting front: I knit for hours on Thermal and it still doesn't feel like I've gotten very far. I'm almost close to the neck, but any pictures I could show you would look identical to all the other pictures I've taken, so I'll spare your eyes.

I'm full of plans these days. Plans for finishing all those wonderful projects that started boring me after they were half done (in some cases nearly done) and I stuck in a drawer somewhere. Plans for starting new projects in all the new books and magazines I've been seeing lately (the downside of working in a bookstore that recognizes the trendiness knitting is enjoying right now). Plans for some new designs I want to work up. Oh plans.

This spring I want to finish all those unfinished things, a kind of spring cleaning you might say. Though if I stop working on Thermal I'm afraid it might be left in a box or basket, not to be seen until it gets cold again (which by the way, it's still very cold). Anyway: first on the agenda are those little mittens for the Roommate. How long does a girl have to wait for some mittens?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A New Read

This book is great. I only just picked it up and I love all the pictures, all the fresh, original designs, everything. Like Kay said, Wenlen Chia has done what I didn't think was possible: these chunky knits don't look chunky.

I positively love this sweater. I really like all the collars and cap sleeves in these designs and how so few stitches can make such detailed shapes.

But take a gander at these models! I've never seen such model looking models. Unfortunately, the patterns match these tiniest of all women and a 2 sweaters out of the whole book make it to a 35" bust. As in that's the largest size. Many of the sweaters have the largest size around a 30". One of them has a small size as a 16.5" with a large as 20.5". I can understand having small sizes on the models, because c'mon, everyone wants their designs to look great on skinny people. But seriously, I can't imagine who Chia think will actually knit her sweaters. I suppose you could argue that those are the only kind of people that should be wearing chunky knits, and I'd probably argree with you, but I'd like to at least have a go at a vest or something before I swear it off.

Thermal is coming along, though the progress is somewhat boring as I haven't reached the neck yet and it's still one big tube. I'm enjoying the little needles though and the process of doing it. The stitch is just enough to keep me interested and the yarn just splitty enough so I have to pay attention. It's turning into my zen. Which I think is a good thing, especially now that I'm on break. It's good to slow down every once in awhile.

Monday, March 5, 2007


Days like this:

Create work like this:

Yes, that's the Thermal that I promised I wouldn't start until some other things were finished, but we all know how well those sorts of things work out.

That much knitting is somewhat deceiving - even with all that accomplished this week has been terribly busy with getting ready for finals, along with seeing some wonderful theatrical shows (more on that in a few days), and my sister was in town for the weekend.

This week will prove to be even busier as I try to finish several papers, a few paintings, and a presentation in order to prove how much I've learned this term. There probably won't be much knitting, as I have yet to master knitting and reading at the same time, but now that I think of it I guess I'll be typing more than reading anyway.

Spring break is coming fast, and with it I'm hoping to get in some knitting, along with movies and books that I've been missing out on. Stay tuned.