Thursday, May 25, 2006

Starting over

I cast on again last night and it is going much better this time. I didn't have much time to work on it so I only got to row 19 but it is looking pretty good and seems to be knitting easier. I am so excited about this project! I feel that I'll have something really wonderful when it's done. Notice I said "when it's done" not "if I get it done". How's that for a positive attitude.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Icarus Shawl Knit-Along

I signed up for my first knit-along. We are doing the Icarus Shawl from Interweave Knits, Summer, 2006. It's also my first real shawl and my first real lace. I'm using Jaggerspun Zephyr 50% merino/50% silk. I love the yarn but it is so fine, I'm going to loose my mind and my eyesight trying to knit this shawl.

I did the first 27 rows but had to frog them because I dropped a stitch and couldn't pick it up again and get it to look right. I'll be more careful the next time. I'm going to try using a lifeline. The photo is what it looked like before I ripped it out last night.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

I finally got an iPod!!!

I created this blog last Friday, May 12, 2006, and I have been looking at other blogs all week. I was interested in podcast but had no way to listen to them other than with the laptop. I got to thinking about an mp3 player. I have wanted one for a long time but never really had a good reason to get one other than plain old desire. I am a geek girl, after all. Then on Wednesday I read a mention of video podcast for knitting and I decided that the time had come. I needed an mp3 player right away.

I should stop and say that my boss is the one who got me started on this. I work for a local government IT department and my boss assigned me to get up-to-date on blogs and podcast in case the county commissioners decided that they might want to move in that direction. He bought me a couple books and sent me on my merry way. Two weeks later and here I am!

So anyway, back to the mp3 player. When I decided I must have one on Wednesday afternoon I started doing some research. Though I have never had much experience with Apple products (except back at the dawn of personal computers when they were the only game in town) I quickly decided that an iPod was the way to go. It has the most accessories and seems to be the one most likely to be around for a while. The price was outrageous but Circuit City had the 30g video model on sale for $284. When my husdand called later that afternoon I casually mentioned that I would like to go to Circuit City and "look" at the iPods. To my amazement he didn't put up much of a fight. Perhap he already sensed that resistance would be futile.

As you already know "looking" turned into "buying". I am stunned at how little actually comes with this thing. Apple must rely on the sales of accessories to make the bulk of their money. The only accessory I bought was a decent case since I heard that they scratch easily and I didn't want anything to mar this sleek black and chrome beauty.

Not being a genXer, I has taken me a while to get familiar with the controls and techniques but I am downloading podcasts left and right. One that have particularly enjoyed is Pointy Sticks. She mixes knitting information and stories with really good musical selections. I totally enjoyed the two I listened to yesterday.

Now, if you will excuse me I must go search for more podcasts.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Karen's socks

These are the socks I made for my friend and coworker Karen, who was kind enough to bring them to work and model for these pictures. They were made with Claudia Handpaints Red Wagon. I loved this yarn and also have a couple skiens in Blue Terra Cotta.

I will let you know more about that pattern later becasue I don't have it in front of me right now.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Soft Shoulder Sleeve

Soft Shoulder Sleeve

This is one of my works in progress. It is the Soft Shoulders sweater from Knitters magazine. I can't remember the month or year right now. I'm knitting it from merino wool (yummie!) and I have both sleeves and the back done.

Why bother to knit it myself

I was looking at a Norm Thompson catalog last night and noticed that they offer quite a few cabled sweaters. This got me to thinking about how a sweater that I hand-knit is different from one that was machine-knit or hand-knit by some underpaid worker in a third-world country.

First of all, I knit because I love the process. It's nice to have something to wear when you're done but let's face it, I don't finish every project that I start. I know! Shocking isn't it? I have been known, just recently in fact, to rip out a sock that was nearly finished and do it over just because I didn't like the way it looked on my foot. And I didn't complain because I love to make socks more than I love to wear them.

Long before I learned to knit I was a hand-knit sweater junkie. I spent a lot of money on sweaters because I loved that warmth, the bulk, the comfort and the style of a hand-knit sweater. While I was buying these sweaters I wondered who made it and what conditions was it made under. I like to think that I was helping a woman earn some money so that she could help her family live a better life. But really, for all I know those sweaters could have been knit by a chlid who knits 10-12 hours a day in exchange for a bowl of rice. Or a political prisoner. Or a grandmother who likes to earn a little extra spending money. I have no idea because the label just doesn't usually give you that kind of information. And even if the label said it was knitted by a cooperative of Peruvian women who would otherwise have little or no source of income, how do I know that's true?

For many years now I have refused to buy anything that was labeled as hand-knit or hand-crocheted. Maybe it's irrational but I just won't take a chance on condoning the exploitation someone who is, in my opinion, creating a work of art. It's one thing to be shackled to a machine turning out widgets and a totally different thing to be packed into a room with piles of yarn and told to knit or crochet. Why do I think it's different? Because people like me look at those hand-made items and we think "Oh, how lovely!". We can't tell whether it was made by someone who loved what they were doing or by someone who had no choice.

I'll get down off my soap box now. Sorry if I got a little carried away.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Why am I obsessed?

It's like a fever or an addiction. When I'm not knitting all I can think about is knitting. I'm in it's clutches right now but I know from experience that it will fade. I've been here before and it always eases up and is replaced (temporarily) by some other obsession.

But never the less I still question it's hold on me. Why can I concentrate on nothing else? I think part of the reason may be the fact that I have finished a few things and am wearing and enjoying them. That makes me want to make more things that I can wear and enjoy. Smaller projects that can be completed in a short time are what I making right now. Shawls, shrugs, stoles, scarves, socks. God, they all start with an "s". What does that mean? Is it a "s"ign?

Monday, May 15, 2006

My First Lace Project

I loved the "Variations on a Frill" pattern on the site so I just had to try it. The fringe portion was a monotonous knit because I was so anxious to get to the lace section. But when I came to end and it was time to drop the stitches it was such a thrill!

Dropping stitches on purpose is an alien concept to me but I made it across the row. Wow! I love the way it looks.

Here is photo of the work so far along with the yarn I am using:

It is Bamboo by South West Trading Company and the color way is drake. The colors suit me very well and I am making this for myself. I'll post more progress photos later.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Maiden Voyage

This is my first post on this blog. I have been knitting for about 3 years. Everything I knit is at least 10% cat hair.

I went to Susan's (Y2Knit) after work yesterday and bought some great yarn to make Variations on a Frill by Sivia Harding. I chose South West Trading Company's Bamboo in Drake. I hope it drapes and blocks ok. I started last night but had to rip a couple rows out this morning because when I put it down and picked it back up last night I inadvertantly turned it inside out on the circular. That's the first time I've ever done that and will be self conscious about it now I'm sure.

I also picked up some yarn to make a coworker a pair of socks. It's Trekking XXL and I've used it before. He said it liked the color so I hope to get started soon. I like to have several projects going a once so I can match the project to my mood and/or location. Susan didn't have enough of the Meditation, lavender scented yarn to make the Oakely shawl so I will have to wait until she gets more in to start that project. I love the smell of lavender so much, it will be a joy to knit with that yarn. Speaking of scents, I need to reschedule our aromatherapy session with Karen at Omnessence. I really think there might be something to that. I told my husband and he was receptive to it. It's like I said, even if it doesn't offer any tangible results at least we'll smell good.

Topics: scarves, y2knit, socks