Friday, April 27, 2007

fröhlich for Frolic

A Frolic (from German fröhlich - happy) is the act of being playful, merry, fun, or carefree, or of acting jokingly. (source: Wikipedia)

A Knitters' Frolic, therefore, must be all of the above in the presence of yarn and other knitters. I sure hope that carefree thing applies to credit cards...

Okay... so the annual Frolic FINALLY falls on a day I can make it, so I will be there with knits on (as opposed to with bells on... that'd just be annoying). I'd love to meet up with any of you knit-bloggy types who may be there.

Renee and I already have a plan to find each other, and if anyone else wants to connect, send me an e-mail before 8:30am Saturday morning. I plan to arrive around 10am (so if you go earlier than that, please don't get ALL the good stuff before I get there). We can always trade mobile numbers to make finding each other easier.

Can't wait, can't wait...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

thanks, knitters

I've borrowed this from Josie. (although I suspect Mrs.Kent had some gauge issues too)

Thanks to all you knitters for your support in the Jane-frogging crisis. Thanks for de-lurking, thanks for commenting, thanks for gasping aloud for me. It makes me feel better, not to do this alone. I appreciated all the sweater frogging and rescue stories, and I especially took comfort from what Josie said about ripping:

"I've found that learning to rip out hours of knitting is a skill as important as seaming or cabling or anything else. It is always worth the trouble. "

This I can live with. It is an important skill to recognize when something's not working and to do your best to fix it. Even if that means starting over. That's good advice for life, even.

Thanks again, knitters. We'll be back...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

here's the thing...

One of Jane's fronts is all but done. I can totally get this done in time for the frolic.
But I'm about to do something dire...


Yup. The sleeves must be re-designed, re-knit. 'member how I said I didn't like the way the sleeves fit? I REALLY don't like the way the sleeves fit. And this has the potential to be a favourite sweater, if only the sleeves fit properly. I am now working on a plan to make them more like sleeves for a human and less like Chinese finger traps for arms.

Please don't try to talk me out of it... this is the first time I've ripped something out like this, and it's a tough decision. (I could just leave them and still be able to wear the sweater) This is like a small defeat, but there's also some victory in it for me.

(it's good to figure this stuff out)
  • I CAN knit an entire sweater in under two weeks. (even if that means a dearth of laundry-doing, proper meals, the gym, and anything else not knitting)
  • Gauge is a lying sonnova *&^%!$F&^*...
  • I want a sweater I'm really happy with. Especially since this is the first adult-sized sweater I've ever attempted.
  • Just because you can get something on doesn't mean it fits properly, or that it will make you happy. I don't want this to be the sweater on which I screwed up the arms -- I want a favourite that I'm proud of, that I reach for all the time.
  • Gauge is, seriously, a real @$$#0!3.
  • I am neither a process knitter, nor a product knitter.
  • I am a PROGRESS knitter. (it's all about how far I've come, how much I have left, how fast I knit how many inches, how many SPI that translates to, how fast I think I can knit the next so many rows...) "Beat the clock" was VERY satisfying for me as a knitting game.

Sigh. It has to be done. I miss knitting anything else, so I'm going back to my long lost Sea Wool sock tonight and Jane and I are going to stare mournfully at each other from safely across the room for a few nights. Did I mention that gauge is a lying ^M(*)F&^%!C$%S????? I'm never knitting an offering to the gauge gods again. Particularly not a large and generous one. Twice. (this is simply not true, but it makes me feel better to say it now).

See you at the frolic, without Jane... frolic plans posted Friday. I'd love to meet you if you're going!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

a tale of two sleeves

Done, and done. Sewn and everything.

Special thanks to Laura (who knit the LK sample of this sweater) for the emergency cast-off advice via e-mail this afternoon!

Gauge is a lying SOB... the sleeves are really narrow. They fit, but they are closer than I'd like. I'm going to try to block them a bit wider, but I'm not in love with them. :(

I *was* impressed with the unzipping of my provisional cast-on, if I do say so myself. This NEVER works for me, but this time I had only two little snags, and after a little manual un-doing, I was able to get back on the unzip.

And here's a quick ode to this yarn... the fuzzy slubby bits. I love the slubby fuzzy bits.

Thanks for all the support... the front pieces come next.

Monday, April 23, 2007

photo of the day

These are great, no? I don't know who made them or why, but you can view the rest of the herd here.

Yes, I've been knitting Jane, yes there is a sleeve... and 1/3 of a second sleeve, even. I just didn't get a chance to photograph it yet, what with all the crazy knitting going on. I think I can finish sleeve 2 later tonight, sew them up tomorrow morning and get started on the front-pieces. If the fronts can be knit by the end of Thursday I will definitely have a sweater on my back at the frolic. I feel like I'm playing beat the clock, but it's kind of fun. There are so many knitters out there who seem to produce garments at an alarming rate, I thought it'd be fun to press the timer a little. I don't know how they do it.

Bear in mind that I do still have to work, and I have a couple of recording sessions this week that are SERIOUSLY cutting into the knitting time (the nerve of people, expecting me to WORK when there's a -self-imposed- knitting deadline). Also, if I don't do laundry soon I won't have any underwear to wear to the frolic, and since it's not THAT kind of frolic, I should probably take care of this issue (I just considered buying more underwear as a solution to "this issue"... I may possibly have a knitting addiction).

Friday, April 20, 2007

progress report

Yarn: Wound.

Back: Done.
(contrary to pattern instructions "unravel the cast on edge", that's a provisional cast on there in orange... wish me luck unzzzzzzzippping!)
I'm all set to depart for sleeve peninsula (as opposed to sleeve island - it's a construction thing), first thing tomorrow...

(sing it with me now: Jay-a-ay-ane...)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

another cool exchange

Oh yes... I made it into the Knitters Coffee Swap exchange! Can't wait... I do love me some good coffee (and I always say, Starbucks makes me a nicer person).
My origami sweater is coming, coming along... will I make it for the frolic? Who knows??? I already love this sweater, though. It smells good, the drape is lovely, and it feels sheepy. And the colours... I got dressed today, then looked for a good sweater to throw on over top when it hit me -- the soon to be new one would be perfect. It is destined to be a favourite (if the gauge gods are willing...).
Pics soon, promise. Sock ones, too (though I've abandoned my sock jag -- temporarily -- for this sweater sprint).

Sunday, April 15, 2007

sometimes I amaze even myself...

So... first another little rave about Lettuce Knit. I phoned LK on Wednesday, around 11:45 am, ordering a Jane Origami sweater kit that I had previously fondled on Monday (why I did not buy the kit when it was in front of me on Monday is a much longer story...). Thursday morning, around 11:30 am, Canada Post buzzed my apartment, delivering... the Jane kit. I LOVE THESE PEOPLE. Less than 24 hours, Toronto to Kingston. Love. It.

So Saturday, I decide in a frenzy... I'm casting this on. Tonight. I think I can make this in time to wear to the frolic. (why this occured to me, I have no idea).

So I read the instructions. In full.
I sang "Jay-ayay-ane" (BNL) about 47 times.
I got out the needles. For Swatching.
I knit a large and generous swatch, fully intending to bath it, block it, and commit to this sweater the way a sweater ought to be commited to.

Then... what.... WHAT?

Awwww F#$%^&! Did I really do that? Did I really, really do that???
So I have a large and generous USELESS swatch.

So I ripped. (Even the tape measure looks disgusted, no?)

And I reknit. With matching needles.

And I washed and blocked.

And tonight, I am ready to go. May the force be with us. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

hellbent for cashmere (and other tales of an Easter weekend)

It's true, I left for the GTA hellbent for cashmere... it was a priority. But first things first...

As you may recall, when we last left my mom, she had started a sock. She had clear instructions for cuff and leg, and we were waiting until I returned at Easter to flap, turn, pick up, decrease, foot, and toe... how did she do? Well, Mom put the speed on, since she had a live sock tutorial -- I arrived Thursday night, we flapped and turned... next morning, pick-up and decrease. Weekend? Foot, foot, foot... here's the decrease, and.... by Monday morning as I was pulling out of there, we kitchener-stitched the toe and presto:

One happy mom with one happy sock.

Then the following conversation:

Me: You're going to start the next one right away, right?
Mom: I'm going to get my taxes organized first then...
Me: NO! No, no, no! Cast on the next one NOW. Right now. Go. Cast on and knit at least a few rounds of ribbing.

I delayed my departure to make sure we wouldn't end up with any SSS virus in the family. It was close, but we're good...

Friday morning, I awoke to snow on the ground. (WTF? I'm so over this winter thing, but that's another story. Stupid groundhog.) It did, however, allow us to see that the Easter bunny had indeed visited, passing across my mom's driveway.

Saturday I headed for Romni, hellbent for cashmere. (I think if bikers can be hellbent for leather, knitters can be hellbent for cashmere). I received a big ol' gift certificate for Romni at Christmas and had been saving it for a need-to-have moment. I have been coveting two skeins of Handmaiden 8-ply Silk and Cashmere since at least September, and I finally decided to splurge with the GC. Once I had made my decision I was totally paranoid that I would go and the coveted skeins would be gone... but...

I GOT IT!!! It felt like adoption at cash -- everyone was happy for me, happy that the cashmere had found a good home, just happy.

Monday I had plans with several different friends in the city, and one by one through the afternoon, they all cancelled on me. What's a girl to do???

A little sock accident at LK. I realized that I have almost no sock yarn in any light colours, and what if I want to make something with a complicated pattern? When dark yarn just won't do?

Problem solved. Plus I've never used Lorna's Laces, and y'all just keep sayin' how nice it is. And this Sea Wool is very special... I have to show you the socks I've been working on. Next time...

Have a good weekend! I'll be knitting.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Ernie and Bert, Shrinkage, and a Birthday Ambush

All right! My first "Random Wednesday" post!
(although yes, it is Tuesday. Details, details.)

Let's start with Ernie and Bert.

Since I started them (my fourth pair of socks), I've been referring to these guys as my Ernie and Bert socks... it's the stripes, in those colours. They're Regia, Canadian Colours in a colourway called "Kilt". (dunn0... I think E&B is a better name). I finished them on Sunday afternoon (16 days for this pair) and they make me very, very happy.

Add to that these shoes which I purchased last summer before a single sock had been knit, with the intention that they would make good "knit-sock-wearing-shoes". Such foresight. And they do, don't they. More happy.

Next... shrinkage. No, not THAT kind of shrinkage (get your minds out of the gutter). Inspired by Renee, I rediscovered my inner 12year-old (okay, she's actually not that "inner") and HAD to play with shrink film again. Last night I was going to do my taxes, but instead I watched Avril Lavigne's concert on CBC (see? I am a 12year-old girl) and experimented with shrinky-dink stitch markers. The result:

Some of these turned out better than others, but it was basically an experiment in film size, font size, shrinking, shapes... I have a better idea for next time.

And you know what this means... all you awesome "good karma" participants are getting your markers soon... (sorry for the delay... life...)

And these lead me to the birthday ambush. Happy Birthday, (blogless) Emma. Jen (the lady of the knit - one of those markers was for her) and I ambushed her with cupcakes and presents (a Harlot book, of course).

We took our very own "Imagine" photo. Tea, cupcakes, and everyone in the room was wearing handknit socks. (LtoR, that's Jen, Emma and me.) A pretty great morning.