Is it a monster?

August 7, 2009 § 2 Comments

I always felt like most of my projects have taught me something.

My first scarf taught me to knit. My first hat taught me to join carefully, without twisting, and for god’s sake double-check that. The teal hat taught me that thinking you know the right number of stitches to cast on can result in gorgeous accidents.

My fair isle fingerless mitts taught me the importance of tension. Different socks taught me different heels and toes, and the importance of casting off loosely when you’re doing toe-up. My shrug showed me there are things worth knitting through the night.

Christian’s pixie shoes taught me there is such a thing as too many bells. My first lace taught me to not follow patterns blindly, check what other people have to say about a project, and not worry too much if there’s one row doubled up by accident – nobody’s gonna notice in a shawl that size.

My ambitious Christmas projects attempted to teach me that you shouldn’t start in October if you want to have 11 pairs of socks by Christmas, but unfortunately failed to have any lasting impact. Likewise, the Sock Yarn Shawl failed to teach me to weave in ends as I go.

But no project, ever, has taught me the simple, exquisite joy of binding off after having plowed through 11 feet of garter stitch that are gonna end up even longer once I wash and steam it.

Sometimes it isn’t finesse or a particularly well-thought stitch pattern.

Sometimes it’s perseverance, and a good bit of old-fashioned stubbornness.

Of course, it helps if you’re really, really entertained by the stripes.

**

Edit from August 12, 2009: I just linked this post to all the Ravelry project pages mentioned in here, and it’s hilariously overreferenced. And I didn’t even link all Christmas projects, or all socks I have ever made.

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Coffee black and egg white

April 10, 2009 § 2 Comments

It’s easter, and I’m away from my family, really away, for the first time during this time. I try to surround myself with my ‘family’ here, but it’s just not the same. I didn’t even color eggs this year. Crazy.

Instead, I knit. It seems like it’s the solution to every situation in life. You’re lonely? Knit. You’re frustrated? Knit. Rocks fall, everyone dies? Knit.

I’m done with the main parts of the Tempest cardigan. I ripped back 40 rows of a perfectly good front piece today because I’m obviously too blind and/or stupid to identify the neck decrease as neck decrease and not as mishappen shoulder shaping. Ugh. BUT I’m done, the body was slightly blocked (ie spread out on a towel and misted) and I already put the first two pieces together. I’m pretty excited. Tomorrow the rest of the sewing and the button band and hem (more sewing, yay…) and then I’m DONE with it. Buying buttons on Tuesday, since the stores are closed over easter.

Worked some more on the sock shawl. Tagging along. It’s gonna take a while still, but the stripes make me feel like I’m making progress.

Dinner and movie with Christian last night, plus knitting galore. Just the right thing to banish the attack of loneliness and saudade I had last night. Plus, you know. I enjoy sleeping next to him a lot, I’m guessing mostly because of the knowing that somebody is there. When he left this morning, he’d just started the gusset decreases and was thrilled to have something that looked like it was going to be a sock. Still proud of him. He grasped the concept of short rows really quickly.

It’s interesting to watch him purl though. I don’t know how he does it, but he sort of lifts the yarn around the needle with his left thumb. Very intrigueing. The Yarn Harlot was right about how differently everybody knits.

Saudade again. But I just had Bailey’s, and I don’t feel like knitting anymore. Maybe I should wind some yarn – I bought two 50g skeins of orange lamb’s wool (two different shades) and a 100g skein of blue-green-ocean of regular wool, handspun and handdyed with natural dyes (cochinea and indigo, if I remember correctly) the other day, on the little easter Renaissance fair in the Marketplace. It was pretty cheap too, 5 bucks for each of the orange skeins and 9 for the blue. Gorgeous, I say. I’ll have to take pictures. The only thing is: I wound one of the oranges last night, and it was slightly felty, stuck together quite a bit. It’s gonna make an awesome hat or pair of mitts though.

I have so much left over from the Tempest. I haven’t even wound the last skein into a ball yet. I’m guessing that just calls for some kind of fingerless mitts or a hat or something, to match the cardi. God, matching accessories – I’ve never had those.

In which we’re given Paradise…

April 8, 2009 § 5 Comments

… but only for a day.

I got my Anglistics course! Yay!

In other words, the last two days in pictures:

TUESDAY
7 am: I arrive at the new Uni building in the middle of the city for my Portuguese class. It’s… disturbingly empty.
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9 am: I amble through the morning-lit city, finding random stuff on buildings, like Death on the Old Town Hall.
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11 am: I amble back to the same street, different building. It’s filled up a bit. Apparently, the lazyasses arrive. (When I say lazyasses, I mean lucky bastards that don’t have to get up at 5.30)
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1 pm: We go to the park in front of St Thomas Church, built in 1212, where Bach did his thing and Luther preached back in the day. We hang out, I photograph the Shawl, and have Saskia model it for me. She is the first person to officially do so.

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3 pm: We decide to go to a birthday party in the park.

4.30 pm: After aimlessly drifting through what feels like the entire city and the whole park (since we have no idea where it’s actually supposed to be) and is actually not that much less, we arrive.

approx. 6.30 pm: We are comfortably tipsy. The unthinkable happens: Christian pulls out his sock-in-progress in public AND Saskia asks me to teach her how to crochet. The Best Picture Ever (Even Though Everybody Looks Horrible) is taken.

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There are no pictures after this, but the following happened: The skies grew dark with clouds as the sun set. And then there was something that can only be described as the next Great Flood, except it stopped THE MINUTE we got to the tram stop and the little roof things. Which wouldn’t have helped us anyway, sopping wet as we were. Just between the supermarket (where we got hotdogs before going to the park) and the tram station, we walked over 5km. With me being up and around the city since 6.20am, I don’t even want to know how much I walked that day.

TODAY
This is gonna be less photo-intensive, simply because it wasn’t a particularly exciting day…
I got up early to go to class and meet Christian for Starbucks half an hour before, at 8.45. I came to the city, waited around for a bit – he’s always late, it doesn’t worry me if I have to wait. After all, more time to knit. But he just didn’t come as the clock was ticking by… until I looked more closely at said clock. And saw that it was precisely 7.57am. A whole hour too early.

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So I sat in an empty Starbucks for about an hour, knitting away.
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(It’s crazy, isn’t it? An EMPTY Starbucks! Never have I seen anything like that in my life!) It was nice – no lines, it was quiet, and nobody was looking at me weird for taking pictures of my knitting.

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It’s chugging along. I want it to be at least wingspan, which is 180cm/6ft for me, and I have a bit more than half of that now. Unblocked, though. Should’ve taken bigger needles. What was I thinking, using 3.5mm?

I knit so I don’t kill people… again

April 6, 2009 § 1 Comment

This university is driving me bonkers.

The kinda bad: I got up really early today to get into the Religion module – and didn’t get it.

The good: I got Portugese instead, which was what I wanted in the first place.

The bad: I spent about an hour chasing various Professors around the city (a distinct disadvantage to having the Uni all over instead of on a campus) trying to find out when exactly Portugese is, because they changed it. Again.

The kinda good: I got a bit of knitting in while waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Not much… but a bit. Enough to slightly take the edge off.

The terrible: I still don’t have my Anglistics module that I really, really need. Oh god. Why is this so hard to organize?

I’m a banana tree…

April 5, 2009 § 2 Comments

… and slightly drunk.

We had a barbecue at Christan’s – six or seven people total, and I was sort of in the role of the co-hostess. Which was weird, considering I don’t actually live there. Officially, at least. Considering how much time I spend there… but that’s another topic for another day.

Before everybody arrived, me, Christian and his sorta-bf Jörn sat on the balcony, with him casting on the socks for his mom, Jörn smoking, and me working on shawls. For, lo and behold, I have delivered the Swallowtail Shawl from its impending doom in the realm of Forgetfulness! It’s weird, I thought there was a mistake and there wasn’t one… so it’s been sitting around for a couple of weeks for nothing at all.

Oh well. I’m almost done with the LotV, only one pattern row to go (at least that’s what I think) and then it’s only the two edging charts. And then I can block it. I’m still not sure about blocking alpaca, I think I read somewhere that you should’t block it by full immersion, which is the way I’ve done before, but rather pin it out and spray it with water. Hm. I’m excited though. It’s gonna be HUGE.

The other shawl is coming along fine. I actually took half a backpack of half-balls of sock yarn with me and knit all the way through the bbq AND in the karaoke bar we went to afterward, which might have convinced his friends that I was a little on the loony side. I finished with the pink/purple, did an orange/teal strip, and just now started a plum strip of Trekking. Yay for productivity.

In other news… um. A couple of random bits and pieces that happened or that I learned today.

  • I was blamed for effeminating Christan (even more) by teaching him how to knit, which I took full responsibility for. Proudly.
  • Also, this afternoon I found something the Yarn Harlot linked to, and it’s Barack Obama holding a sock. Omg!
  • I discovered I can knit drunk as well. At least stockinette. Mind you, that’s what I’m thinking now though, tomorrow morning I’ll probably freak out over how much I’m gonna have to frog.
  • My Sand Shawl is keeping my very nice and cozy once the sun goes down. It’s still a nice 12°C outside, but that’s still kinda chilly, and I was glad for it. I never would’ve thought that fabric with that many holes could keep you so warm!
  • Men are weird.

That’s why they call me Mr Fahrenheit

April 3, 2009 § 1 Comment

Sleeping over it solves most, if not all problems.

You can’t wire the money to Ewas Sockenwolle. Problem solved – I ordered at another shop, and just the Harmonies, too. Which is good, because I was just about to order a skein of Merino/Linen to dye on my own.

I knit in my sleep tonight – lots of random shit, I don’t remember, but there was knitting. I also started what I’d been planning for quite some time: a sock yarn leftover shawl. No bells, no whistles, plain stockinette, with a 2-stitch garter edge and YO increases. It’s gonna be warm and comfy and awesome, and I’m gonna ignore the fact that there’s a perfectly good laceweight shawl practically pining for me in its little handwoven basket on my windowsill.

If I can drag myself out of bed (and do the laundry I’ve been meaning to do, and get dressed, and… stuff) I’m gonna take the Roomie socks to the park today to take pictures. I feel bad for the other Sassi, but I think her socks are gonna have to wait until I feel like knitting something dark again. (She picked the charcoal with the orange and teal, which is a beautiful yarn but too dark to satisfy my craving for bright, springy colors)

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