Productive

The first sock is almost finished.  I haven’t worked the heel flap yet because I am still trying to figure out if the foot is long enough.  I am almost done with the second one, too.  At this point it is straight stockinette until I get to the toe, then adding the heel to both.  I like them – the design is interesting, manly, and simple.  I’m sure the recipient will enjoy them as well.

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In a state of restlessness, I then cast on a baby bonnet for the god-daughter that is due tomorrow (and seems perfectly content to remain in her waterbed).  I was stuck between black and purple, and chose black because – well, I’m not one for gender stereotypes.  And this one has glitter.  Glitter is good.

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It has been difficult to feel productive lately.  At least I have something to show you, but I have been spending a lot of time doing nothing.  I have been so tired lately.  This weekend will change things, hopefully.  I am planning a sleep-in Sunday and Pumpkin pie day.  No plans to leave the house, and hopefully that means I will get motivated enough to 1) clean, 2) list excess stock, 3) work on upcoming patterns.

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A Leif

This is Leif.  I have to weave in ends and block, but I wanted to figure it out before I continue.  I kind of don’t like it.

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I have been assured it looks great.  And, looking at these pictures, it kind of does look nice.  But when I look at myself in the mirror wearing it, I hate it.  I think it’s unflattering.  Or rather, not flattering in the way I want my clothes to be flattering.  I suppose I can be kind of picky about what I wear.

We decided to try it on others in the house to see if it looked good on anyone.

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We like the almost Peter Pan look here on Ellette.  I am half contemplating tearing out the hood and reknitting it smaller, or just doing a collar, and gifting it to her this season.  She looks pretty cute in it.

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Odin, on the other hand, not so much. Sorry babe – truth is harsh.

Just Another Pumpkin Post

I love autumn for the trees, and the apples, and the pumpkins.  I like the crisp air and colorful trails.

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That’s what’s been going on around here.  I am knitting like a fiend to restock popular items before my last weekend at the Farmer’s Market.  Ellette still does not have a Halloween costume.  I want to be a zombie Isadora Duncan but don’t have a party to go to.

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Perhaps part of the reason I like this time of year is because I begin to feel everything slowing down.  That means I can focus on my family, my house, my own personal goals.

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Some Days

Some days, I need a break.  I’ve been looking at my knitting and I have the immensely frustrating realization that – I HATE EVERYTHING!  I do not like anything I am knitting at the moment.

Leif?  Yeah – It’s too short.  It hits the widest part of my hips, it doesn’t pull in enough at my waist, and I don’t know how to fix it.  It’s in time out.

I started a commission – a lego-man ski mask.  I thought this would be pretty easy, and last night I got to the point where I could try it on and see how it looks.  I think it is hideous.

I started them about eight times so far.  I realized the skein was only 100 yards instead of the 200, and that I had gotten so fumigated by the soft, lofty warmth of the yarn that I didn’t stop to realize it wasn’t superwash.  It is an absolute joy last night, but I sort of had a panic attack at knit night last night – would I have enough yarn?  What could I do to prevent felting?  How do I modify the pattern to make the most out of the yarn?  I opted on an afterthought heel in a contrasting yarn that won’t felt, and continuing that motif with the toes.  I think that is my best option, because this yarn is really nice, and the recipient is going to love it, and it’s so very expensive.

As of this moment, I’m just past halfway done with the first sock, and hopefully it won’t take long to get through the second since I know what my gauge is and what modifications need to be made.

Then comes several insane projects simultaneously – a cape for Ellette (just wait until you see it!!), a sweater for myself for NaKniSweMo, another pair of socks, a cute scarf, and a balaklava.  All by December…

I can do it, so long as I don’t end up hating everything when I’m done.

A Circus and Yarn

This past weekend was the Circus in Progress show.  I don’t have any pictures of it since I was in the green room most of the time, but as soon as pictures are made available I will share.  Being in the green room meant that most of the time, I was knitting (when I wasn’t stretching).  Call was one hour before house opened, and our act was in the middle of the show.  After the first show, we were given food and rested before the second show.  This meant I had hours of knitting time.  I knit up the fronts of the Leif pullover.

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And got through most of the back by Sunday evening.  Now, I have to finish the last inch and work on the hood.  I’m so excited to have it almost done.  I just want to wear it already!

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I was not alone, however.  My instructor – Jill – was also knitting when she wasn’t working.  This is us at the tech rehearsal on Friday.  It was awfully dark, but both of us were working away on our projects.  She was working on a beautiful fair isle sweater in super soft alpaca (rusty orange and mossy green).

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I was working on a rather interesting commission – a Lego head ski mask.  Unfortunately, I could not find the right color yellow, except for the Red Heart acrylic.  It doesn’t feel too icky, so I hope it will be alright.  I will share my notes when it is complete.

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My body is still recuperating from the trapeze beating.  I just want to lay down and sleep and knit and not think about anything.  Our house is a mess, and I just realized I mis-counted how many Farmer’s Markets I have left.  I have two more, not one more.  This elicited a hefty groan from me as soon as I realized my error.  I’m not done yet.

Update on a Sweater

Sweater vest, I suppose it’s technical name is.  I just added ball 3 of Lana Grande and reached the short cabling that marks the empire waist before separating for front and back armhole shaping.  Every moment I spend working on it, the more excited I am to finish and wear it.

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The knitting is relatively easy, and the cabling pattern isn’t complex by any means – just a little annoying.  It is a 6 stitch cable (3 stitches to each side) but there is a yarn over in the middle – as in, one side of the cable reads “knit one, yarn over, knit two together” so when it comes to actually crossing for the cable portion, my stitches get pulled really tight.  The crossed rows take forever because I am beating the woolly cables into submission. The effect is kind of cool – although I think I could have gotten the same effect by adding a seed stitch ribbing instead of the yarnover, seeing as how you can’t really tell there is lace within the cables anyway.  Maybe blocking will reveal the holes.

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So, here I am, about 60% complete – utterly neglecting all other responsibilities because I am simply too bored, exhausted, and/or fed-up with the world to do anything else.

The swatch from yesterday’s post was supposed to be the start of my holiday knitting, but the yarn on the needles I used did not match gauge for the sweater it was supposed to become.  I stretched out the swatch a little to get an idea of what the stitches would look like if I used a larger needle, and I hated it.  The yarn is supposed to be worsted, but it is so thin in comparison that I doubt the sweater would be warm – let alone look nice with the gaping holes between stitches.  So, it was decided that the 1500 yards of Knitpicks tweed would be used on a project for myself with smaller gauge requirements.  I am okay with this, since the way things are going right now, knitting that sweater would more than likely incur the wrath of the boyfriend sweater curse.  I have settled on socks.

I am also stuck on deciding what to make for Ellette.  She wanted this hat/scarf/mitten thing we saw at the Shedd Aquarium a couple of weeks ago.  The hat had a penguin face on it, and ear flaps that were actually scarves with mittens on the end.  But, she also wants a unicorn hat.  I am thinking about making the unicorn hat in the style of the penguin hat, and include matching legwarmers.  However – I promised her last spring that I would knit her a fairytale cape, and I have a really cute idea for a chunky cape using Cascade 128 Superwash and large fair isle motifs.

I also have a brilliant idea for my contribution to the White Elephant game this year, which does require knitting and I hope people fawn over (at least, I think Odin will).

So many ideas, yet it takes so long to knit sometimes!

A Monologue

To Swatch, or not to Swatch, that is the question:

Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer

the tinks and frogs of outrageous Gauge,

Or to take math against a fiber of trouble,

and by preempting tempt them: to knit, to count

No more; and by the count, to saw we end

the frogging, and the thousand wanton stitches

that Gauge is heir to?  ‘Tis a consummation

devoutly to be wished.  To count, to knit

to knit perchance to fit; Aye, there’s the knot,

for in that counted stitch, what measurement may come,

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what we have read from our uncoiled tape,

must give us pause.  There’s the stubbornness

that makes Perfection of so long knit,

For who would bear the rips and frogs of time,

the designer’s mistake, the proud Knitter’s contumely,

the pangs of colorful mismatch, the stitch’s growth,

the insolence of Cables, and the yarnovers

that patient merit of the unworthy takes,

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when she herself might her bind-off make

with a bare Bodkin?  Who would Sweaters bear,

to knit and purl under a monotonous life,

but that the dread of something after cast-off,

of miscalculated row gauge, from whose bourn

no knitter returns, puzzles the will,

and makes us rather bear those ills we have,

than to cheat the skein we know not of.

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Thus Knowledge does make Cowards of us all,

and thus the Native hue of resignation

is sicklied o’er, with the false start on sleeves,

and enterprises of great lace and complexity,

with this regard their efforts turn awry,

and lose the game of precision.

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