21 January 2008

quick n dirty

over two weeks have gone by since we got back from MA, and you'd think all those vacation knitting photos would be up and blogged already. but no. i've been working at NLUR (an archaeology company) since i got back, doing (horribly boring) office organization tasks, and something about an actual 8 hour job is throwing off my blogging mojo. the first week we were back was really busy somehow, and at the end of it i finally put away my clothes that i had unpacked but left on the piano bench. this last week i finally sorted through all the mail and accumulated trip junk and cleaned my kitchen counter off.

with that mess at home, i suppose it's no great surprise that the blog is a bit behind too. if i had nothing to say, that wouldn't be a problem. but of course, the whole catch-22 thing is that when things are happening, they take up the time you would have blogged about them. and when nothing's happening, you have plenty of time, but not so much to say.

so i figured the only way i could finally get through this was to throw pictures and thoughts at you quick and dirty, like, just to get them out of my head (and shorten my drafts list). not that i'm particularly good at quick and dirty, but i'll do my best. it may still be a mother of a post, just so you're forewarned.

while i was home, i got some pics of those handknits i gave away (to post on ravelry, of course). some of those are unreachable (some wristwarmers, hats, the first pair of socks i knitted, potholders), given to people i'm not in touch with anymore. but i tried to get at least one picture of each item. some of them aren't very good pictures, and i meant to get re-takes and close-ups of a couple. of course i forgot. at least i've got the one!

my mom had a few potholders (all crocheted). the first two used up random swedish cotton,
green & white diamond potholderswedish checkered
and then i had to make up for the randomness with a proper set. proper seta couple of scarves. the first is the obligatory learning to knit scarf. i actually wanted it at the time, but of course never wore it - i'm just not a scarf gal, so i gave it to my sister, who is. the second one's hers, using the saxon braid from a barbara walker treasury, in some wool-acrylic blend. it's from back in the day when i thought ribbing was queen and hadn't met seed stitch yet, so the edges roll a bit.
striped scarfsaxon braid
speaking of rolling edges, here's a shawl i made for my mom. threw together a bunch of stitch patterns and didn't swatch them together before starting. after a few rows i realized it would flow better if i changed a few details (like the ribbing on the edges, the switch from purl to stockinette background) but i was too lazy to rip it out. my mom still wears it, and that speck to the right is this awesome celtic brooch i got to go with it. alas, the close up of it is one of the pictures never taken, along with a non-blurry close-up of the braid.diamond shawland, let's see, a couple hats. the first (mine) is crocheted and very warm, although i should have made the ties longer and still think about it but never do. the second is sara's (modelled much more amusingly by my mother) in some weird sparkly yarn she picked up. it's a bit heavy so she doesn't wear the hat much.
earflap hat
and plain socks for my mom
mom's ribbed sockslast, but not least, is the first sweater i knitted. (another one i should have got a better shot of) the sleeves were even, the front and back matched up - i may have been a little paranoid about that with all the horror stories of ill-fitting hand knit sweaters. the seams i crocheted together cuz the mattress stitch looked way too intimidating, and they came out lovely. i was quite proud of it.except for one thing (you knew there had to be something, right?). the ease. i made it to fit, and it did, except it should have been a loose fit. so for the style, it doesn't look quite right. i had given it to sara, cuz style-wise it fit her better. but she likes a closer fit, so i took it back. good thing too, cuz where ever she had it, the moths found it. now i can protect it and look at it from time to time and feel like i can knit well.

whew. now that we got the ghosts of knitting past exorcised, we can move on to the present. ish.

for the whole first week in MA, knitting time was lost in the shuffle. after that i made an effort to get in at least a half hour a day, and that really took effort. the hederas i had expected to finish fairly quickly, but that sure didn't happen. i took a shot of chuck's sweater, with 9 of 11 pattern repeats done on the back. irish moss backsince arkansas, the end has been so close i could almost (literally) touch it. but it was at the horror movie stage, where you knit and knit and knit without gaining an inch. finally on sunday the 13th i broke out of it, finished, and put the stitches on hold.

new year's day, chuck and i went to lucy's, to paw through her stash and pick out my prize. which she very kindly offered to spin and ship later, if a fiber rather than a yarn jumped out at me. she had so many different rovings and yarns, it was almost hard to pick. but as soon as i saw this, i wanted it.
lucy's handspunooooooooooo. as far as colors go, i tend towards dark colors. in my family, any color is good as long as it's black. maroon, forest greens, royal purple, and charcoal grey are my favs, with a horrible weakness for sky blue. lately a deep, mellow yellow has been creeping up on me (which i blame solely on sweden - their flag and tendency to have blue/yellow combos). this fiber just grabbed me with the deep blue and lighter sky blue highlights. i think it was goat angora, so silky soft. lucy spun up a little baby hank for me then and there (with a drop spindle - oh so tempting to try! but i resisted) and that's what you see.

the question that rolls around my head now is, what pattern to show it off in. . . . ironically most of my first projects i designed myself, with the help of a stitch dictionary, figuring out the math and what not. but now most of my projects are from patterns. there's just so so many cool patterns out there, and somehow it's like reading a library book versus one i own. mine are going to be here forever (or at least as long as i am) so there's no press to read them, but the library books have to go back, so they always jump to the front of the line. i've looked through my ravelry queue, but nothing seems special enough for this yarn-to-be. luckily i've got time to think on it.

our visit with lucy was actually one of the highlights of our trip. maybe just cuz it was towards the end, and the never-ending bustle of my mom's house was starting to wear, but we stayed a good 2 hours, enjoying the peace. lucy's 2 children were all but invisible (thanks in part to her husband, but still) we definitely hadn't planned on staying so long, but we really appreciated the peacefulness. more than just the quiet, we felt our souls relax. thank you lucy!

the FFF shawl has been misbehaving itself (increasing my desire to call it the F-ing shawl, but i digress), misbehaving horribly. according to my schedule, it ought to have been done by the end of christmas vacation. ought. but i ran out of yarn on the flights to MA. the 2 original skeins ought to have been enough for the summer shawlette i originally planned to make, and i was just hoping beyond hope that they would be enough for the feather and fan shawl too. i knit furiously the week before leaving, hoping to determine if i needed more, and i had this sinking sort of feeling that i ought to buy another skein, Just To Be Safe. but that week was busy too, and on the way to the airport, i sunk a little more, realizing i hadn't bought more yarn. gulp.

so of course i ran out, meaning i had to carry a project i couldn't work on for 2 1/2 weeks. *sigh* once i was back, i got yarn, hoping for the same dye lot (it's a small store, i didn't think it was an impossible hope). apparently hope and the FFF shawl do not go together. i got a different dye lot, which i can't tell apart form the original. shrug. i won't turn my nose up at a bit of luck.

especially since, with this pattern, i'm needing lots of it. lace has not been a problem for me. keeping track of the pattern reps and increases and whatnot has been a piece o' cake. until this shawl. i don't know how many times i've ripped back rows because i got off somwhere. the feather and fan increases by one stitch in each pattern row, so it's never the same twice. after joining the new skein, i discovered the count was off and ignored it for a good week. take that. seeing as it's so far off my internal You Should Be Done By Now scale, i picked it up again. and ripped back about half of it. to pattern repeat 5. *sigh* i'm back up to 9 again, and so far it seems to be behaving much better. i can almost join that last skein again.

there was a question about how our luggage fared. we wondered that too, all day saturday as we magically went from one flight to another.

we did ask the seattle supervisor, who didn't know how to check, if our luggage made it home, but didn't have time to ask anyone else until we got to fairbanks. where we discovered our bags were only checked through seattle (way to go american airlines. again.) so i guess we could have got a change of clothes, if we had only known. luckily our bags got on the next flight to fairbanks and we had them sunday night. my books didn't fare quite as well as they normally do, but everything was there and not broken.

in our first busy week back home, we babysat seth who's walking as long as he doesn't want to get somewhere in a hurry. then he just says screw it, and crawls.

and the knitting group got together. 2 new people showed up - and none of the others. one was a new learner, and the other was looking for inspiration. hehehe. i introduced her to ravelry. she won't ever lack for inspiration again.


Tanya Sio said...

Those look nice. I still have to find time to take a stab at knitting again. :)

aksunflour said...

Work gets in the way of so much! Good to see you back blogging!

Thankfully I only have been knitting for 2 years now and have learned from everyone else to take final pictures. (Now am learning to talk about the process of the project).