Thursday, May 31, 2007

WIP Fridays, June 1st, 2007

Well, one sock in Pagewood Farms (colorway: wheatfields) wool is done. Finally. This sock is the simplest of constructions

1. 2x2 ribbing

2. stockinette for the leg and foot

so I thought I'd jazz it up a bit with a different heel flap and toe. Forget that this puppy is 9 stitches to the inch on size 0s, which for me is almost making me go blind. Seven, no problem. Eight and I'm getting a little twitch over my eye, but nine.... something does not compute for me. I can never truly be a lace knitter but I'm gonna have to fake it.

So, I tried this groovy heel flap called Eye of Partridge which I learned in Stephanie Pearl McPhee's "Knitting Rules". It's a variation on the standard slip stitch pattern which creates a honeycomb-like structure that really pops when done correctly. About halfway through, I think that I've done something wrong because it looks too flat (no honeycomb hideout action). This causes me great distress because you can't simply rip back because of the slip stitch action. I suppose someone with a bit more experience than I could have done it, but I'm not Meg Swansen or Brooklyn Tweed, so I totally ripped back and started over. About halfway through the second time, I notice the same thing happening again. This time, I decide it's a combination of my tension and the subtle changes in the color that are obscuring the stitch pattern, so I perservered and ended up with this.

Next up was the digital yogic bliss of simple stockinette for the foot until the toe was reached. To tart it up a bit, I decided on a French Toe which I spotted in Nancy Bush's "Knitting Vintage Socks" and thought it would be parfait (not the poor white trash "dessert" of whipped cream and jello... which is more imparfait or "vachement nulle" as French teenage hipsters might say.... but I digress). This might have been okay, but I was using two circular needles instead of Nancy's recommended 3 needles, which translated to a bit of juggling stitches and markers. A slight handicap was introduced by a lovely Merlot that Scott and David gave us for Christmas and about three rows from finishing, I realize that I've been decreasing at the wrong points.

I almost bent the metal tips of my needles with the sheer force of my anger, but decided NOT to rip back until I was sober the following morning. In order to atone for my hubris, I did a standard wedge toe with a kitchener stitch close. And so I present the lovely one sock for Article Pract. They only wanted one because they get stolen if you do a pair. What a lousy world, eh?

Next up is a groovy swatch featuring a pattern from Barbara Walker's "Treasury of Knitting Patterns" (vol. 2) that is testing my ability to count, follow a lace pattern and not split the fine yarn with my crappy needles. I haven't taken any pix yet, but I can report that I have ripped this back twice because I keep forgetting about the border (which is not part of the pattern repeat) and I constantly lose my place in the pattern repeats.

How on earth do I get to work every day with out driving into the Bay? It's truly a miracle of Madrigorial (sp?) proportions. Take care and keep on knitting....

Monday, May 21, 2007

Birthday Surprises

Originally uploaded by mikewade.
A certain someone in my life is getting some delicious art from Liana Kabel. She makes jewelry with vintage plastic knitting needles, tupperware and other recycled poly products. She's a fricking genius.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Work In Progress Fridays

You knew it was coming, right? If I can't win at the game, I gotta change the rules. Finished Object Fridays was starting to make me drink more coffee in the afternoon which required sleep aids in the evening followed by an extra shot of espresso in the morning lattes... you get the picture. It was only a matter of time before our fabulous new apartment became a shooting gallery. Am I watching too much of HBO's "The Wire"... I don't think so. So, in order to keep my sanity, get the requisite 8 hours of sleep *and* think of my knitting as relaxing, I now present Work in Progress Fridays. [cue fanfare]

This lovely little flatland horsie was supposed to have an x, y and z plane, as well as 4 legs and the ability to stand up (see a properly completed one here), but in a fit of hasty sewing up before Renecito's 2nd Bday party, I did him all wrong and ended up getting the birthday boy Duplo. Now, I need to rip out the seams and try again without the pressure of a looming deadline. I have confidence he'll be done this weekend.

I'm still working on my Pagewood Farms yarn sock. It's really turning out lovely and I have to say that I much prefer 2 circulars to DPNs. I'm using my Knit Picks size 0s and there's a little of snag action at the joins. It's not too irritating, but I have a feeling that Addi Turbos would be better. The pricing difference ($5 versus $15) makes me wanna live with the difficulty but I might just have to break down and get the good stuff. I'm worth it, right?

In non-knitting related news, we just finihised a big cleanout of our old rental garage which was flooded by a backed up sewage main. Mmmmmmm. Delicious. Fortunately it only affected the front part of the garage which was practically empty, but the back portion was chock full of crap (our personal crap... not poo) which really needed throwing away or recycling. So, this past weekend and pretty much the whole week nights has been a constant flow of the stuff we're keeping to our new place. The plan is to try and sell the good stuff and donating all the rest to Goodwill. I much prefer to give our stuff to them, because they take EVERYTHING with no attitude.

I hope everyone has a non-poo filled weekend. I know I will. A bientot.

Friday, May 11, 2007



Alternatively titled... I am lame, lame, lame. Geez, I have such respect for folks who can blog and have something fascinating... or coherent to blog about every day. It's a discipline like any formal writing, but I thought I'd have so much to say, or at least in the shower I do. I'm not quite sure what my damage is... but I know a big part of it is energy level. When I get home in the evening, the last thing I want to do is sit down and compose a blog entry. What I really want to do is sit down and knit and have a movie or audio book going. Not at all social and somewhat exasperating to my partner. In my defense, I rarely object to a film he selects (unless it has subtitles), so I'm not completely irritating, just a wee bit. Cutelike.

There's the energy level thing.. and then there's the overwhelming choices thing. Many of you know that I have serious stash and reference text issues (i.e. I'm sure I've been put forward for the next episode of "Intervention") but I make myself feel better about it because 95% of what I knit is for others. I have exactly one thing that I made for myself. Two if you count the socks that I made for Anthony that weren't quite big enough for his wooly mammoth footsies. Which is related to today's title, but more on that at the end...

Finally, there's the obsessive compulsive startitis. Once I see a new yarn, I gotta get cracking on swatching it. I haven't the patience for a full sweater so I like quick fix items like toys, hats, and (ahem) socks. Anyone who has ever knit a sock comes to the realization that sock knitting is not really that fast. This is compounded with the second sock syndrome and you've got quite a long haul until the end is reached. Fortunately, I've discovered a way to knit, earn money *and* be timely with my practice. TEST KNITTING. Yes, folks, I have plunged head first in the knitting pool and I think I might have cracked my head in the shallows.

I have agreed to test knit a sock pattern for the lovely and amazing Sundara. More on that in a future post. Plus, I signed up for test knitting Tofutsie yarn from SWTC with Kat. And, on a local tip, I have joined the army of people who do test knitting for Christina, the amazing shop owner of Article Pract. My first project is a sock and a swatch using Pagewood Farms fingering weight superwash merino, colorway "wheat fields". I've already ripped the sock cuff twice because I'm being hypercritical but I'm on a roll now, as you can see here.

And since I'm two weeks behind, I present two completed items for your pleasure. The first is the Gimp Suit with Ball Gag for my friend, Jon.

It was commissioned by the latter with inspiration coming from Pulp Fiction. I haven't sewn the sleeves closed but I'm waiting to see if Jon would prefer they be open. The second piece is the first of a pair of socks for my big-footed partner, Anto.

I haven't started the second one, because I'm on a deadline with my Article Pract work, but I'm fine putting that on hold. In fact, I want to put most of my WIPs aside and only do cotton, hemp or silk projects during our recent heatwave.

Have a lovely weekend!!!