30 August 2010

Thick Ankles

Is it possible for a sock pattern to make your legs look fat?  I'm at the trying-on stage of a pair, just before the heel turn.  They look great on the needles but make my calves look Enormous!  I think I'll be frogging.

27 August 2010

Something to Hold My Philosopher's Stone

Here's a quickie.  It's a Harry Potter book bag made from a kit I won way back at an Alterknit event.  Frankly, I had forgotten I had it until I came across it the other day.  The pattern is written in both a crochet and a knit version.  I'm knitting of course but it does resemble crochet doesn't it?  Much twisting of stitches is needed to get that result.
Anyway, the short, fat curse is back.  The bag is supposed to be narrow and deep to carry the book standing up. I've got a shallow and wide bag, and am almost out of yarn.  This despite following the pattern exactly. The two strands of Manos have not been cut, so I considered ripping.  Nahhh...I'm not that invested. The book can just lay on it's side.

23 August 2010

Get Back To The Yarn

At The 2009 TTC Knitalong I treated myself to some beautiful cotton and linen from Americo.  It was enough to knit their Rose Sweater and came with the pattern.  I immediately bought all the required needles, at a fair expense, and cast on.  The body went along like wild fire until it got to the shaping.  It was odd.  So I left it alone and I cast on a sleeve on the prescribed needle, a short circular for knitting a tube shaped sleeve in the round.  It was awkward.  I was fighting the needle.  None of the measurements or yarn requirements were working out either.  Slowly, it dawned on me that this was a very badly written pattern. Bad math combined with awkward techniques equals unsatisfying knitting experience.  In frustration the whole project got tossed in a bag and onto the closet floor where it has languished ever since.
Guilt drove me to pull it out last week.  I studied it for quite a while and knit a bit more.  No good.
Then I remembered the reason I bought the stuff in the first place.  It's the yarn.  I love the feel, the colour and the drape of these two types of cotton.  I love the way they play off each other.  I want a droopy sweater made from this fibre.  I needed to get back to the yarn.
Basically, this is just a stocking stitch pullover with a round neck.  I've knit one or two in my day so why was I becoming a slave to the pattern?   I ripped back to the armhole shaping and started doing my own math.  I added length and then shaped the armholes the way I like them.  I dislike shoulder shaping so I just didn't do it.  The body and neckline are now done.  The stupid, ill fitting sleeve has been ripped out and I've cast on sleeves the way I prefer to knit them - two at a time on straight needles, top down.  When I run out of yarn, the sleeves will be done.  Then I can insert them flat and seam.  See?  Simple.
Funny how just looking at a project differently turns it around completely.  I'm enjoying this project again because I remembered that ultimately it's about the knitting.  And the yarn.

13 August 2010

A Day In The Country

My sister and I spent the afternoon yesterday at the Freelton Antique Mall.  It's a barn size building with row upon row of individually rented booths hawking seemingly endless amounts of china, glassware, collectibles, toys and books.  We spent three hours wondering the aisles.  At times it felt more like visiting a museum than shopping.  At the end of the visit, we emerged parched and stunned from sensory overload and proceeded directly to the nearest cafe for a sit-down.
The view from the second floor.
My sister is surrounded and loving it.
Obviously, all the cool guys hang here.
Sadly, there was very little in the way of knitting this visit, just a few magazines of no interest and a broken swift.  My only purchase was these beautiful buttons acquired for under ten dollars total.

04 August 2010

In Case I Get Accused of Being Too Sunny

Crow's Nerve Fails

Crow, feeling his brain slip,
Finds his every feather the fossil of a murder.

Who murdered all these?
These living dead, that root in his nerves and his blood
Till he is visibly black?

How can he fly from his feathers?
And why have they homed on him?

Is he the archive of their accusations?
Or their ghostly purpose, their pining vengeance?
Or their unforgiven prisoner?

He cannot be forgiven.

His prison is the earth.  Clothed in his conviction,
Trying to remember his crimes

Heavily he flies.

Ted Hughes
Harper and Row, 1971

01 August 2010

High Fashion - Miniaturized

You may recall my love of this late sixties silhouette?  Well...

As I've said before, if it's truly gorgeous, it stays gorgeous.  The passing of forty years makes not a whit of difference.  This pattern is from a 1967 McCall's Needlework & Crafts.  I have several issues and love them because the doll clothes patterns are faithful miniatures of the fashion of the day and that fashion was simply, stunning.  I would wear this jacket.  Well, maybe not in August, but you get the idea.
Sometimes i wonder about my sanity when making thing like this. Especially at times like Friday night when I was struggling to set in the teeny tiny sleeves.  Then, once it's done, it's worth it.  Making pretty little things just gives me a dose of happy.  Who cares that my downstairs neighbour looked at me sideways during this morning's photo shoot on the lawn?