See Jane Knit

Friday, October 28, 2005

Kiri is an FO 

I'm really churning things out these days! I'm just as surprised as you are, dear readers, to see 2 FO posts in succession. In this case, it honesly has more to do with the fact that I was getting a little sick of this project, and also needed it of the needles. Now that this is off of my only pair of size 6 needles, I can get to swatching, and hopefully knitting, Samus. The yarn for that has been sitting around for a while now, and I've just been dying to get going on it. I even convinced my dear friend Charlie to fix his sewing machine so that he can help me install the zipper! That's what friends are for, you know. Installing zippers, that is.

Back on track, (I swear, sometimes I pity the people who read this blog) Kiri is a lovely pattern, but at some point, you just start counting the rows until the end. Especially if you're like me, and your favorite part of lace knitting is not the actual knitting of the thing (which is just like knitting anything else, really, but more complex) but the blocking of the thing. Blocking lace is one of the finer pleasures of knitting, because you can mold that shawl like stretchy fuzzy clay in your clammy little hands. Hmm. That sounded disgusting. Anyway, Kiri definitely didn't dissapoint me in the blocking department. It looked nice before blocking, but I am loving it after blocking. It actually makes me want to wear it out somewhere, if it weren't so damn cold outside. I'll probably end up wearing it around my house, and officially scare my housemates once and for all. It is that lovely. This seriously might go into the "Things That Remind Me I Have Some Knitting Skills" hall of fame. That's the one I keep in my head to take a look back at whenever I really screw something up. But enough of me boring you poor people to death! Here are the pictures:

Kiri Shawl (for size)
First up, one mid-blocking, with a typical pair of orange craft scissors to show the size of the shawl.

Kiri Shawl (close up)
A close up of the lace and edging.

Wearing Kiri Shawl! 1
Trying it on!

Wearing Kiri Shawl! 2
An artsy picture. Just 'cause.

Kiri, a free pattern from All Tangled Up
Yarn: Almost all of 1 skein of Karabella Lace Mohair in some light blue color
Needles: Addi Naturas, Size 6
Stuff I Learned: Don't put a highlighter in a bag with your knitting. Bad things will happen.
Notes: Those darn purling rows get really tedious after a while! Other than that, a nice pattern. I will have to make another one with Kidsilk Haze. That stuff is to die (or kill) for. Don't get me wrong, this Karabella isn't bad, but it just doesn't have that incredibly, disturbingly, so-wrong-it's-right softness that Kidsilk Haze has. It also has a slightly smaller halo, so that I had to go down a needle size from what was recommended in the pattern in order to get a more cohesive fabric. I will also say that Rowan makes some beautiful colors, especially in Kidsilk Haze. I'd like to use fuschia, or maybe deep purple. Or some of that new Kidsilk Night, with the sparkle in it, in black, or grey...hmmmmm....

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

First(ish) Sweater! *happy dance* 

I have done it! I have conquered the evil Sweaterbeast! I battled with it up and down the sharp knitting cliffs, and finally I smote its ruin upon the mountain side! YEAH!

Ok, I'll reign in my Tolkein dork now; bonus points to anyone who can tell me what character actually speaks that line. Minus the knitting bits, of course. So, this is my first(ish) sweater (mostly because the real first sweater was a total disaster) and also the first real garment I have designed myself. And beat this: IT FITS. I know. Go ahead and claim you're dreaming, pinch yourself, but this is really happening, folks. I finally knit something larger than a breadbox. That. Fits. Praise to all the Knitting Gods! And what the heck, all the other Gods too!

Seems like a small accomplishment, but honestly, I've had my fair share of badly fitting disaster-garments, so I am so damn glad that this one worked out. And even better: I really like it! It's really cozy and nice! This was also a pretty easy knit, even with the designing math. It didn't come out the way I had originally planned, mostly because I didn't actually plan very much at all. I tend to do things on the spur of the moment anyway, so a lot of the important design choices got made mid-knit. But I like the way it turned out. Here it is folks (with a brooch):

Firstish Sweater (front1)

The front again (in this one I'm wearing it with the hat pin):

Firstish Sweater (front2)

Note to self: try not to make wierd faces when pictures are being taken. And a crappy picture of the back (but the only one I have):

Firstish Sweater (Back)

Pattern: My own, baby!
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky, 11 skeins and just a bit of a 12th for the very last row of ribbing on the button band. The color is named Charcoal, but I like to think of it as Very Ripe Plum Fresh from the Refridgerator. But that's just me.
Needles: Addi Naturas, 6mm - I am a seriously loose knitter, folks.
Other Bits: A vintage hat pin, as well as a cheap brooch from H&M, instead of the button I was originally planning on.
Stuff I Learned: Did I mention the pattern? My own, baby! (I still haven't gotten over how awesomely bad-ass this is.) I also used some top-down-raglan, 1 tablespoon short-rows, and a whole mess of picking-up-and-ass-load-of-stitches. Seriously folks, the 2 by 2 ribbing nearly gave me an ulcer. This was the one part of this sweater that I definitely did NOT enjoy. I originally thought about giving this one a shawl collar, but after knitting 5 rounds of 67 INCHES of 2 by 2 ribbing? Yeah, that idea fell by the wayside. I watched the clock while binding off, and it took me a total of 1 hour and 17 minutes just to bind off the button band. *shakes head* Never again, I tell you.

So, in short, even though it ending up stretching a bit in the wash (and this is not because of the yarn; it is because I am a doofus) I absolutely love it! It is now rather sweater-jacket like, which I am thoroughly enjoying. The hat pin/brooch idea (in place of a button) was an excellent bit of inspiration on my part. That plus the curved back hem and the princess waist shaping remind me a bit of those Victorian riding jackets for women. All in all, I think it's quite cute. Not to mention, this thing is so incredibly warm and cozy. It just got pretty cold here, so it was perfect timing. In short, people, I love this sweater. Go me!

EDIT: I wore the sweater to choir practice today, and got the best compliments EVER. Including, "That pin is so pretty. Did it come with the sweater when you bought it?" (the italics are all mine) and also, "You KNIT that? SHUT UP!" (as in, no way, it's too cute for that!)

*sigh* Bliss!
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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Yarn Shop Battles 

While my finished sweater is blocking and my landry is finishing up, I thought I might treat you all to a bit of a more philosophical knitting discussion. And then I decided that it was a better idea to just rant a bit about the latest scandal in the online knitting community. I'll probably offend someone, but hey, it was bound to happend sooner or later, so why not now?

So apparently Knit Pixie has changed its name to KPixie. In its FAQ section, it explains that this change was because another craft company thought that their names were too similar, and asked them to change their name. Which they did. After the fact, a few smarty-pants knitters on the LJ knitting group uncovered the secret identity of this mysterious "craft company:" Knit Picks, which is actually a part of Crafts Americana. Plenty of people now have their panties in a twist, claiming that this is a situation where another Wal*Mart-type giant is pushing around the little guy, in order to have their nefarious-business way with things.

*Groan* Someone pass the aspirin, please, because I can feel a raging headache coming on, and it's equal parts irritation and hilarity. With a hearty helping of apathy on the side.

First things first: I can accept people having different views. That's ok by me. If you really think that Knit Picks is the devil incarnate, that's your call, my friend. But for the love of all that is green and good in this world, at least know what you're talking about. This is probably one of my pet peeves. I will gladly proclaim that I have ZERO practical knowledge (re: trademark, etc.) to contribute to this discussion. Reading the thread about this at Live Journal, you'd think that everyone and their mother was an expert in corporate law. I'm going to make an educated guess, and say that that's pretty far from the truth. That said, it's really nice to hear from people who DO know something about this stuff. I just wish there were more of those people. *sigh*

My favorite faulty argument? Knit Picks is evil (EVIL I TELL YOU! *insert evil fist shaking here*) because they use underpaid labor to produce their yarn. Aside from being totally unrelated to the topic at hand, it's also pretty hard to ascertain if that's true or not, what with the great differences between a living wage here and a living wage in Peru. The thing about this that really gets my goat (and this is another pet peeve of mine, one that runs rampant on my college campus) is the following: if this is something that you care about, why is it bothering you just now? Have you thought that plenty of the other yarn that you have bought might have been created by underpaid, third-world laborers? Have you ever stopped to consider that this might be a pretty widespread problem? As far as I'm concerned, it's hypocrytical to call one company on their labor practices. If you really believe in it, you should question everyone. And if you don't, don't. But you have to pick one; you can't just take up a cause and then drop it the moment it suits you.

Second: It is so damn funny how excited people get about this stuff! You'd think that Knitpicks had sent a force of fighting ninja assasins to the very door of the owners of KPixie! And that they had had a battle to the death for their trademark! I love how the comments on this go from "Wow that really sucks" to "Grab your pitchforks and burning torches and meet us at the Crafts Americana headquarters tomorrow!" in about five minutes. I mean, it wasn't pretty, but you know, that's the world. The planet didn't explode, no one died, nobody went out of business, so for goodness sake people, relax!

Third: They are both still selling YARN. I said YARN, people. The exact same yarn they were selling before. I could get up in arms about someone keeping me from buying yarn, but this? Nope. There is still yarn for me to purchase. Plenty of yarn. That's all I need to hear about it.

I guess people just enjoy being on the "good" side on a fight, even when it's much less of a black-white, good-bad thing than it appears. What can I say? It's tempting to want to stick it to the man. As a friend of mine says, "Why don't you stick it to the man? He's very stickable."
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Monday, October 17, 2005

Oh yeah, life goes on... 

Not too much to report here. I must admit that I've been in a bit of a "I hate people" mode lately. I have about 3 to 5 friends and acquaintances right now that don't make me want to scream and pull my hair out like a raving lunatic. In short, I need vacation. SOON. Thankfully, October "Study" Days are coming up (the quotes are added because just about no one except me actually studies) so I'll be able to hermit up in my room and just knit for hours and hours. In the words of a song I'm learning: ah, to be all alone. With my knitting.

Speaking of knitting, the sweater is really coming along. I don't have a picture of it just yet, but that's ok. It can be a surprise! And I can have an excuse to be a lazy knitblogger. I've also been knitting a bit on Kiri, because let's face it, it is about time I got that sh*t DONE. I foresee even more knitting time in my future since I have to watch a three hour movie for Italian homework ("Il Gattopardo" by Visconti; Alain Delon! *swoon*) so I'll be able to put in some work on the Chain Link scarf, which has been sorely neglected. I'd love to keep working on Kiri, or the Mystery Sweater, but I just can't do either of those things and read subtitles, you know?

Now for some blogging fluff: a Blogthing.
The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to good manners and elegance.

In love, you feel the most alive when everything is uncertain, one moment heaven... the next moment hell.

You'd like to your lover to think you are stylish and alluring.

You would be forced to break up with someone who was insecure and in constant need of reassurance.

Your ideal relationship is lasting. You want a relationship that looks to the future... one you can grow with.

Your risk of cheating is low. Even if you're tempted, you'd try hard not to do it.

You think of marriage as something precious. You'll treasure marriage and treat it as sacred.

In this moment, you think of love as something you don't need. You just feel like flirting around and playing right now.
What Are The Keys To Your Heart?

I snagged this one from Stephy. I only post this because it absolutely creeps me out how accurate it is. Bizarre.

EDIT: Knitty Fall surprises are up! Neither the pumpkins nor the boobs really do much for me (and what the heck is with Knitty and knitted parts of the female anatomy, eh?) but the skull scarf is to die for. That might actually make me a felting convert. If only I had enough time to make one by Halloween...
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Monday, October 10, 2005

My first time... 

...knitting socks! Yeah baby! I am no longer a sock virgin. Here they are, in their natural habitat:

First Socks! 1

I love them. Knitting socks is officially awesome. I wore these babies out today, and they are so soft and warm and cozy it's practically a crime. I finally understand what everyone's talking about when they say that hand-knit socks cannot even be compared with store bought socks. I feel like knitting as many pairs of socks for as many friends and family members as I can, so that they too can know the joy that is a pair of handknit socks. I've already ordered some more sock yarn from Knitpicks, and eventually I think I might even treat myself to some Lorna's Laces, or Koigu (squee!). I can also understand what everyone's talking about when they say that sock knitting is addictive. Danger, Will Robinson. God knows, I need more reasons to buy yarn like fish need reasons to buy Harleys. But lets not think about the danger of yarn addiction! Back to socks! Most of all, I was surprised to see how little yarn these took up, and how darn fast they were to knit. Here are the vital stats, ladies and gents -
Pattern: Started out with Pom Squad from MagKnits, but ended up coming mostly out of my own head
Yarn: One skein of Knitpicks Sock Garden in Geranium
Needles: Addi Naturas, Size 2 36''
Techniques: Short rows, Figure 8 cast on, the Magic Loop
Notes: Man, I learned alot from these socks! And it felt good too! I loved the whole toe-up construction. The figure 8 cast on was a little wierd at first (take a look at the right sock) but I got the hang of it. And the Magic Loop? AWESOME. I am planning to stock up on 40'' needles, because with God as my witness, I will never go double pointed again. The only problem with these socks was that they came out a little large. It's not that big of a deal. They are now my house socks, so bigger is better. Plus, that little bit of extra room enables me to do this:

First Socks! 2

Good times all around. I also received (finally!) my last package from my SP. It's not her fault it took so long to get to me. No, the fault lies with one of my parental units (sorry, Mom) who decided it was necessary to check and recheck the contents of the boxes she was sending me as though she were planning the invasion of Normandy. But she sent me my yarn, so I can forgive her. Here's the box:

SP Package

And what's inside?

SP Loot

Loot! A bunch of Cotton Ease (I smell some summer tanktops), a pretty little journal, two silly books of dog wisdom, a kit to build your own kaleidoscope, a kit to grow your own bonsai tree (this is just what I need for my dorm room, I tell you), one delicious skein of Classic Elite Bamboo (gahh.........soft.) and a beautiful hank of a cotton viscose blend that's a swirl of greens, blues, and golds. Awesome package, and well worth the wait. Thanks, SP. :)

Sweater Planning

And what is this we have here? Plans for a self designed sweater? Preparations for writing a pattern? A teaser for my next project? All of the above!
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Sunday, October 02, 2005

I rock! 

I did it! I turned a frikkin HEEL! YEAH!

Turned Heel! Woo!

Oh yeah. I'm cool. You know it.
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