15 August 2012


August is a month of transition for me.  (I was going to append ‘this year’ to that sentence, but realized that this has been true for every August for the last seven years).  Amoeba and I are both searching for jobs and preparing to move to Chicago. Everything is hanging in the air, and the preparations move slowly, and at some point, they’ll kick into high gear. We don’t have a set move date (or an apartment); we don’t know when that time will come.

Everything is transitioning. I’m cleaning out the contents of my childhood bedroom. I’m analyzing the gender(s) of my wardrobe. The books I’m reading are from the selected unpacked few. The knitting projects are small and fleeting, so they don’t become too distracting. I’ve been knitting washcloths. I’ve been enjoying knitting washcloths.

I was going to spend August knitting on fairly minor projects, getting small things finished so that I could start a couple of sweaters and large shawls this fall. Of course, when Amoeba and I went camping near Duluth a couple of weeks ago, and I found these lovely colours, and started another Daybreak.

I knit Daybreak a while back, and have never been completely happy with the tension along the edge with the color changes.  It won't lay flat, and it's the sort of bunching that blocking won't fix. This time, I threw in some extra yarn overs (and dropped them) to loosen things up, but it turns out that the tension problem is actually happening every time I change colors; my fix isn’t helping. So as of tonight, we’re back to yarn.

I’m still madly into this color combination and have full confidence that it will turn into something impressive.  However, I’ve come to an alarming conclusion: There is probably a time for washcloths. That time is probably now.

25 February 2012

Finish and Begin

January and February have been quite cold, which for me has meant a lot of staying inside, burrowing in blankets, and sometimes, knitting. (When your head is the only body part warm enough to be outside the blankets, it's hard to knit, hence knitting being only a sometimes activity.)

Last weekend, I finally got around to weaving in the ends on several projects that had been waiting for this process for months. I always manage to convince myself that I hate the tediousness of finishing. Projects pile up for months, and I try to tackle them in one big heap. A few projects in, I find myself kind of enjoying the process. I swear to myself that I'll remember this the next time I bind off something new, but I know I'll forget, and we'll do this whole dance all over again sometime in August.

So I'm just going to show you the pictures, and let's not talk about how I had worn four of these items outside of the house with loose ends blowing in the wind, okay?

First, we have the cowl/hat/mitten set that I knit for myself so I could have warm things to subject to smoky bars. I used Kamteks Argentinian Wool for the set, I think three skeins of the grey and one of the red.

Purl Ridge Scarf, by Stephen West

Botanic Hat, by Stephen West

Red and Black Celtic Gloves, by Tuulia Salmela

Next up, three shawls which were finished in April, July, and November, respectively.

Lilac Leaf Scarf, by Nancy Bush (from Knitted Lace of Estonia)
in Zitron Filigran

Diamond Triangular Shawl, by Galina Khmeleva
in Misti Alpaca Lace Solids

Vernal Equinox Shawl, by Lankakomero
in Moscow Yarn Company Искра (Iskra)

Last, we have a set of mitts that I designed, using the general idea of Stephen West's Clockwork (and later realized, is quite similar to his Botanic Hat above).

Off the Clock Mitts, by fecknom
in Troitsk Yarn Люкс (Deluxe)

This weekend, I've managed to finish the Firmaments Lace Shawl by Bonnie Sennott, which is purple and needs blocking before it will look impressive enough to be properly photographed. The only other project still on my needles is a lace scarf (from the beloved Knitted Lace of Estonia) that was put on hold after I somehow didn't knit the to-be-attached edging the same width as the scarf. A few West Wing episodes should take care of that, and I'm hoping to kick off the week with something new, which will be very exciting.

After much consideration, I've decided that the alpaca sweater will be no more. I've been wanting to knit this for three years now, and for me, there is so much emotion and value wrapped up in that yarn. The hopes for the end result were incredibly high, and there is no way that a sweater made out of 100% alpaca will be flattering enough and wearable enough to satisfy those expectations. In the end, I realized that it's much more important for that yarn to become something I can be proud of, than for it to become a sweater I'm proud of. (Furthermore, my colorwork skills still aren't quite where they need to be for a sweater.)

So this week I'll be frogging what's been knit so far, and casting on for Stephen West'sChadwick. Girasole (by Jared Flood) will follow.

Even more importantly than the end result, the yarn has been slowly turning into emotional baggage. I have trundled along with this yarn in tow from Ohio to Minnesota to Chicago to Minnesota to Russia, and I can't bear to leave Russia with this still in the same, unknit, unsuccessful form it was in when it arrived. Progress must be made, and it's finally happening.