Tuesday, October 17, 2017
yarn is nothing like me, what is this speckle stuff? Purple??? but I had four skeins of it in the stash, so apparently this yarn is exactly like me. I fell for it like I always do, just picking up a beautiful skein here and there, with no solid plan in mind, maybe with vague, long-range notions of making a Find Your Fade (all the finished projects, you guys. I am under the spell.). But I guess I just couldn't wait any longer to see what it would do when I knit with it, and now I see, and hoo! It is good. The pattern I'm working with is Bulb by Veera Valimaki. I love that loose, comfy, tunic shape with the floppy neck. I couldn't even get close to gauge, no matter what needle or which size I chose, so Doc reworked all the math for me (oh, the blessings of having a Doc around the house! There's really nothing he isn't good at) and have been using Andrea's fade strategy to blend the different skeins where they meet each other. I don't know what I'm going to end up with, but working on this has been so lovely already, it is almost beside the point. Right now it is just a lap full of happy rainbows. Shadow by Olga Buraya Kefelian, in the very soft and natural "Fleece" by West Yorkshire Spinners. Neutral. Whew. This is one I really want to wear; wooly, heathery goodness. Those smooshy cables. I've said this many times before, but there really is room for both color and gray in my knitting life, and possibly in my wardrobe as well. As I age and my hair turns more and more white, I am more and more inclined to wear only black every day forever, and honestly, the only thing that holds me back is how boring that would be for my knitting. Well, my hair isn't all the way white yet. Rhinebeck, and part of what I think will be fun about this festival is seeing all the other makers in their most beautiful handmades, and meeting other like-minded souls. I can't wait to see your sweater/shawl/cowl/mittens/hat and I want to hear all about them. I will be wearing this cardigan. There has been much talk out there about how warm it will be over the weekend, but believe me when I tell you that at 72 degrees F, I will still be able to wear a sweater. I am almost never, ever, EVER too warm. Doc, however, does not share my reptilian blood and has decided to forego his sweater this year, and I don't blame him a bit. [Also, whew! It will give me a chance to properly fix that mess.] He will wear a kilt, and his Toirneach hose, though, and will be looking fierece, as always. If you are there on Sunday and you spot us, please come over and say hello? Look for a mustached warrior in a kilt and a girl with glasses and Wensleydale hair who probably has kettle corn stuck to her face. I'd really, really like to meet you.
Friday, October 13, 2017
documentary about George Harrison on Netflix, and forgetting to look down at it, which is a complete shame, because this yarn (Primrose, Adelaide) is really awfully amazingly beautiful. I can't imagine what it will be like when it's finished, and I do hope it will be something I can wear (am encouraged by the surprise success of this) but I am kind of obsessed and compelled by this gorgeous yarn. Every stitch is a new color. Love.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Thursday, October 5, 2017
here. This has been a goal of mine for a long time, and I'm finally getting around to figuring it out. What a week. Love one another, be brave, help if you can, and listen to some Tom Petty. That's what I've been doing. You'll cry, but it'll be a good cry.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Glentrekker by Jennifer Hagan, and it only took as long as it did because I worked on other things at the same time. It was endlessly interesting and engaging as a project, and while there were moments where I needed complete silence in order to concentrate on the different rates of decreasing at the armhole, raglans, and neckline all at once, it was never difficult. And, well, just looooook at the finished result. Guys, I want to wear this, I want to wear this right now, and every day. The yarn (oh man, this is the best part) is an unknown who-knows-what, bought at the thrift store, ten long sausage-shaped vintage skeins of it for four dollars. It is creamy, natural, DK-weight wool, and probably came as part of a kit for either a pretty big sweater or possibly a blanket--somebody had rolled some of it into a ball, probably in an unravel, and then gave up on the whole thing. For four dollars, I was willing to gamble that it would be wool, so when I got it home, I tested it by setting the end of a piece of it on fire. Wait! Hold on! Safety first! If you're going to do this, do it over the sink: take a three-inch length of the yarn in question, and light one end of it. Let it catch and burn for a second, then blow it out. If what's left on the end of the yarn is a hard ball of melted plastic that doesn't easily break off, you have acrylic (or maybe a mostly-acrylic blend). If what's left looks like a ball, but crumbles away when you touch it, you've got wool. (Another way to tell is to try felting it--I did this too, eventually, when joining one skein to the next. If it felts together with any kind of alacrity, it's wool. Plastic won't felt.) I love this thing, so much. Normally, the beginning of Pumpkin Spice Season makes this beach-loving summer girl a little bit sad, but whoo! This cardigan. I can see how a chilly day might not be so bad.
Monday, September 18, 2017
Ann Weaver was having a destash on Instagram, and for one lot of random chunks of spinning fiber from her collection, pieces of who knew what all sorts of sheep or wool or states of prep, I got there first and bought it. So there was this peach and gray and cream fiber from Carodan Farm with no color name, so I spun it all fluffy and gave it a name: "Grilled Salmon." It is as soft as butter. Spunky Eclectic--it is pink and purple and more pink, with a little bit of yellow, possibly accidentally. I called this one "Plastic Pony." (I love good color names. Why wouldn't you give it a great name?) Look. Dyed here, and spun into a two-ply, it looked less like me and more like tourmaline. More jewels. Jill Draper told me it was beautiful and that she loved it, and that I had done a good job. I folded that moment into a little origami heart and tucked it away for a rainy day. Then I took off the sweater and stuffed it in a bag because it was a gorgeous 81 degrees, and bought a whole bunch more yarn. And a fleece. For more spinning.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
these kilt hose, and a new, near-perfect, but not-quite-perfect sweater. Who knows what I'll be wearing. There's a month to go! I'm still knitting.
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Alabama Chanin right now, I will wait. The concept is basically jersey knits + handstitching + texture + no rules, ya'll. I made this one double-layered (the outer layer is from a piece of jersey I found at the thrift store, and the lining is made from two men's XL t-shirts from Target) because I hadn't yet decided whether or not to cut out the stenciled shapes--in the end I decided that this stencil pattern (AC's Magdalena) was a little too fine for me to tackle on the first try. I'm glad I did, though, because the double-thickness of this skirt feels really substantial, and like it might be nice and warm for winter. Which is coming. We will not think about that right now. I feel completely het up about this concept--jersey + handwork + do whatever you want--and I want to make All The Things out of jersey knits and paint and stitch them all up with a needle and thread and wear cottony clothes all day every day. I will wear this with boots and black tights and black or blue sweaters--up there is my Folded, all fixed and fitting me just like it should, hooray! I think my Stormtracker will work with this skirt, too. It's just so good. So satisfying, that it fits so well and comfortably, that it has a place in my wardrobe, and that it was tremendously fun to work on. You can do this too, try it. Just scrounge up a few big t-shirts, borrow one of the Alabama Chanin books from your public library, and make something. I want to make another, longer skirt, with a different stencil and maybe cut out the shapes this time, and then a long-sleeve t-shirt (double-thick, and embellished like crazy) and then a tunic dress, oh, friends, there are so many things to make. I want to show you this, too:
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Fashionary Panels--if you're trying to make your own clothes in any way, you should go get yourself some) this little drawing, imagining the lines of it in a handknit sweater. I gave it ribbed sleeves for ultra-sleeve-slimness, and a folded ribbed collar for maximum stand-up-ness, tall because my neck is ridiculous. I moved the waist shaping fifteen stitches to the front and back of the side seams, for more polish. I dove into the stash for some Cascade 220 in Walnut Heather, a diffuse grayish-brown that seems to crop up in my stash over and over again. It is the most nondescript color in the world, the color of mice, the color of my hair before it started to turn gray. I keep finding myself with a bunch of yarn that's this color, and it must be I love it. I knit a swatch, measured myself, did a little math, and started knitting, and now I have this:
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Rhinebeck this year. It is happening! I feel like an eight-year old getting ready for her first trip to Disneyland. The wall-to-wall woolly-ness. The leaves and the cider and the like-minded people all around. Oh, sigh! Lovely. The first thing to figure out is: what on earth to wear? Rhinebeck is where yarn lovers let their mad skills out and let their freak flags fly, and I thought this would make all my current mostly-stockinette projects fall by the wayside so I could plan some kind of epic garment--there has been a LOT (more than usual, even) of trawling through patterns, but I am as yet undecided. Anything I make specifically for that occasion still has to fit into the regular wardrobe when I get home, and that makes a delicate balancing act. I love the idea of starting something special. I think I will enjoy the lengthy search through pattern options, and if the search turns up nothing that really wants to be my Rhinebeck Sweater, I'll just wear something from the shelf in the closet and be happy. I do have these to show you, little mitts I made while the weather was too warm to be worrying about cold hands, but they will be just right in October. These were designed by me, using up some scraps--the two main colors are Dream in Color Classy, in a discontinued colorway, some kind of antique gold [here are their current colorways, lock up your credit card before you click that link, whoo] and the ubiquitous Patons Classic Worsted in Lemongrass. The contrast colors are all from the leftovers basket--I think the pink is from my experiments in dyeing with avocado pits. I thought about going on ahead and making them into mittens, and once October is over and winter sets in hard and there is no place in my life for naked fingertips, I might do that, just pull out the bind off at the top of the hand and thumb, and do some decreases until the fingers are covered. Meanwhile, though, I like them this way. By the way, the main stitch pattern is from this book, and the contrast color band is something I just improvised.