Monday, October 29, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Knit weekend

As I was updating this website yesterday (putting in links and all that) I noticed that my Houston LYS had an ad on their website for a class in entrelac knitting starting today. Furthermore, the shop was hosting knitting legend Kaffe Fassett that very same afternoon, for a signing of his newest knitwear book.

Kaffe is famous for his colorwork designs and to be honest, I'd never been very fond of the designs. However, being the celebrity snob that I am, I figured I had to go and see the guy. The shop was crowded with ladies of all ages, many of them sporting their very own handmade Kaffe designs. I got my very own autographed copy of the new book and am, to be honest again, seriously reconsidering my opinion of Kaffe's designs. The samples from the book that he brought to the signing are simply drop-dead gorgeous, in rich earthy and warm tones and have the feel and look of ancient tapestries. So, I guess I have another 20 objects on my to-knit list!

The entrelac class started today. I signed up for it yesterday and also got the supplies: 3 skeins of Noro Kureyon yarn, and I dutifully did my homework of knitting the 8 starting rounds last night. In class today I made the first tier of triangles and started the first diamond tier. I also learned to knit backwards (wow!). So far I'm having such fun that I doubt I'll knit anything but entrelac from now on!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Too much English knitting

You know you're spending too much time knitting in English when your answer to both the questions below is "yes"

a) since you're Icelandic, you usually soliloquize* in Icelandic
b) you call yarn "jadn"** when doing a)

Time to take a refresher course in Icelandic, huh?

*I know, it's a funny word. Blame it on my late English teacher, who was extraordinarily fond of words
*P.S. Yes, I like to talk to myself. A lot. A friend once passed me where I was walking down the main shopping street in Reykjavik and didn't get a chance to greet me for I was too engaged in conversation with myself. Scary, huh?
**The Icelandic word for "yarn" is "garn". Not too far off, but still!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Ordered yarn for the Bubble Pullover from Knitting Nature today (and I plan to make mine quite a bit bigger than the one in the photo for a real eighties look :)) I got one of my all-time favorite yarns, Jaeger Matchmaker Merino DK, on clearance at Webs (that's, in case you wanted to take a look) for only $1.99 a skein. Now that's a bargain if I ever saw one! Which is, however, not to be celebrated, b/c the producer is discontinuing the yarn. DISCONTINUING Matchmaker Merino DK?!?! That's a crime against the knitting community, nothing less.

I hope they're sending this via the beaming machine. I can't wait to get my hand on all that lovely fluffy yarn and start knitting this beautiful pattern that I've been drooling over for months now.

Phyllo monster scarf aaaallllllmmmmooost done

The unbelievable happened: Last night I rolled the phyllotaxis scarf out on the floor, pulled out the measuring tape and read... 60 inches!!! Wow! Tonight I then did the required 10 rows of garter-stitch-in-the-round and cast off. What joy!

But. Adam didn't spend long in Paradise. Or something. Folding the (finished) scarf I noticed that the end of it - the real end, the one I had just finished - is about half an inch wider than the beginning end. Holy guacamole, what happened!?!?! No extra stitches in this pattern, no, it's just my old fiend GAUGE.

WHY, oh WHY??? Why can I not be a human knitting machine who knits always in the Perfect Immutable Tension??

Coming to think of it, that wouldn't be fun. There'd be no rippin' out of and revisiting (A)FOs, no gauge swatches to assemble into a hideous (or lovely, take your pick) patchwork afghan later on, no collection of 16" and 24" and what-length-have-you knitting needles in 4.00, 4.25, 4.5, 4.75, 5.00 etc. mm... so, basically, no fun.

So, the end of the phyllo scarf will be undone and re-knit on smaller needles. It was knit on 4.25 mm and I think I'll use the 3.5 mm ones in the re-knitting. Given the enormous difference between the two garter stitch segments, I think nothing less will do.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Droplets on a hat

Being the Norah Gaughan fan that I am, the time had to come that I knitted the Droplet Hat from her ÜBER-fantastic book Knitting Nature. The hat is intended as a Christmas gift for someone who might poke a nose in here... but what the heck, I'll put the picture in here anyway:

This was an almost embarrassingly quick knit, it took me ~8 hours, from start to finish. Isn't it lovely?!?

I have a skein in a beautiful green color from which I plan to knit one for myself. For the pink one I used the needle sizes recommended in the book but for mine I plan to go down a needle size or two. Apparently my gauge is very loose and the hat as is is roomy enough on me that the leaves aren't really stretched enough. Fortunately the recipient has a bigger head than I do :)

But this issue of gauge is really getting to me. I've been swatching for the Tilted Duster in the fall '07 Interweave Knits, and I can't get gauge unless going 2 whole millimeters down in needle size. That's four US sizes! Bizarre.

Scarf update

I've made significant progress on the phyllotaxis scarf over the past two weeks. I'm three skeins and a whooping 48 inches (!!) (that's almost from the floor to my chest!) into it now and I plan to add one more skein before calling it a day (or a month, as it were).

By now, you do deserve some pictures:

The first one shows my very elaborate marker system. I kept losing track of the pattern, simple as it looks, and had to repeatedly rip out a few rows to get back on track. A major problem after ripping out was to find the beginning of the row, since those move one stitch to the left for every two rows knit. The markers help me keep track of the beginning of rows, and they help me not to get lost if I have to rip out a few rows. Total genius, if I may say so myself ;) They work pretty much like a running belay (for those of you into climbers' parlance); as I start a new row I pull out the bottom marker and use it to mark the new row, and if I make a mistake I have markers to show me the position of the beginning of the last 14 rows!

This little photo shoot took place in the garden of my temporary TX home. My TX housemate Rosie (as seen in this post on my regular blog) has had friends for an extended sleepover during this week, namely Bella and Cricket. Bella is a Chihuahua with a massive personality and a curiosity worthy of killing every cat in sight. She got very interested in the scarf and especially the needles:

Of course, she had to lick them:

And as if that weren't enough, she rolled over on the scarf and pissed on it! What a dog!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Cobblestone abandoned, phyllo update

Before I ever got so far as to testing out how the dreaded boyfriend sweater curse works, I lost the opportunity to do so. My dearest boyfriend took a closer look at the pattern and decided it was not for him.

In my innermost heart of hearts, I'm glad. Because it means that I now have a whole sweater worth of time to knit... you guessed it... for myself!!! I'm thinking of using the yarn for Norah Gaughan's tilted duster from the fall Interweave Knits. Another project I might want to make from it is a textured long cardigan from the Vogue Knitting 25th anniversary issue. That cardigan is shown in light brown-gray in the magazine and I think that the dark charcoal of my wool won't show off the texture well enough. Yep, I think I'll end up using it for the tilted duster.

The phyllo scarf is going well, I'm some 31" into it now. The one inch after the first 30 is very significant, because if it weren't there, I'd only be halfway done. Now, I'm MORE than halfway done. That sounds way better.

However, all this rather monotone knitting on the phyllo scarf is getting kind of boring. The pattern is funny in that it's simple enough that you don't have to pay a whole lot of attention, but complicated enough that you have to pay some. Often I forget the latter part of the previous sentence and pay no attention at all while knitting. Afterwards I almost always have to frog a couple of rows. My guess is that once the scarf is done I'll have knit the equivalent of almost two scarves. Now that's a lot of knitting!