Friday, July 27, 2007

I can't do it. I just...can't.
I can't make a tacky crocheted afghan with crap acrylic yarn from 1962 and the Red Heart has got to go. Life's too short to work with crap yarn, even in the interest of kitsch. It's all going in the yard sale. Moving this part of my stash out allows more room for decent yarn that I like. There are still acrylics in there, but the red heart is gone, so is the mohair/acrylic, and so is the crap yarn from 1962. I know it's from 1962 'cause some of it was wrapped around newspapers, one of which had a comic about a stockbroker knitting. The gods have a wicked sense of humor.I have actually been working on Doc's Socks and have 1 1/2 socks done. I'm on the decreases at the heel gusset and they're looking pretty good. Kitty thought so too. Pretty soon , I'm going to have to write up the pattern, but no worries there. The socks themselves are turning out very well.I've also been working on the Mystery stole, but it's kind of creeping along. Because it takes my full attention, it's not exactly bus stop knitting. It doesn't get as much of my time as it wants, but it is moving along and it's just starting to look like something. I was worried about using my handspun yarn and that it might be too coarse or something, but the yarn is no trouble to work with, has good stitch definition, goes through the beads just fine, and is plenty soft. This picture is kind of crap, but it's unblocked lace. What can I say? (Oh, I wrote myself little reminders on the pattern 'cause I needed encouragement.)I love my Husqvarna so far and have made a couple small things. I made a diaper bag for my neighbor and a KIP bag for myself. My first KIP bag was too small and kind of...bled. I'm getting better at making them as I go along and mine seems to be working quite well. I'm actually working on Jim's shirt and it only lacks sleeves, buttonholes, and buttons at this point. If I'd make myself work on it, it would be finished. Next up is Heather's outfit. I've got the pattern worked out and just need to get started on cutting it out and stitching it together. I'm trading that one for tai chi lessons and at the rate I'm progressing in tai chi, I'll be sewing for bleedin' ever. I'm actually not doing terribly bad and get a little farther each time. In fact, I was able to stand on my right leg in tree pose for about a minute. Progress is good.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The flowerbasket shawl is now blocking on my bed and I've finished one of the Doc's socks. #2 is cast on and I've got to find my notes so that I the second sock. The first one went pretty quickly, so I'm hoping the second will go even quicker. As soon as I get them finished and photographed, they'll be off to warm the feet of a very special doctor I know.
I'm having trouble deciding which picture to send in to "Summer of Socks" for my vacation picture. I like "Birth of an Urban Sock" by the Sears Tower and I like "Chicago Theater at Night." Of course, "El Train Knitting" is also good and has a somber, end-of-the-day feel to it. "Knitting and Spinning" is also good, but I kinda feel like I'm cheating with the picture of Thomas Eakins' work. I'm leaning toward one of the first two.
Like the sheep I am, I've joined the Mystery Stole #3 and will be knitting along with a flock of 6,702 other knitters. I only lack the beads. I've decided to go ahead and use my handspun brown for this instead of for the himation because I never really felt like it matched well. It's a lovely soft yarn and I think it is well suited to this project.
I've got the yarn and pattern for our Man-sweater mini-along with Becky, I've put in my request for Ravelry, and the rest of the yarn for the Worsted-stocking knave is on its way.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

You can take me wool, but ye'll never take me...


Happy July 4th.

So far, nobody's tried to take my wool. There would be blood, wrath, and woe all around. I did, however, send off half of the Peaceful Pastures fleece to the Wooly Knob Fiber Mill. I'm very excited to see how the roving turns out. *squee*

Sock Progress! It's funny how ten hours of riding in a car from Chi-town to the 'Boro opens up knitting time. I'm about halfway down the foot and with a little bit of time and attention, it will soon be an entire sock. I decided on a mock cable to mimic the snake winding around the Rod of Asklepios. The detail at the top shows what is supposed to be the snakes' heads. There are eyelets that make it kind of look like a snake's open mouth. The plant you see is my chocolate mint and it seems to be doing rather well this year.

I finished my Flower Basket shawl! Design by Evelyn A. Clark from Interweave Knits Fall, 2004 (As if you didn't know already!). Stitched in Knitpick's Shadow, Lost Lake colorway on Knitpick's Options needles, size 6. It's unblocked in this picture and I probably won't have time to block it until next week, but there it is off the needles. I'm very pleased.

I keep losing the Art gloves for some reason. But, I found them again and here they are. One done, one just past the ribbing. Now I just have to figure out where I left off. I love how they are both just so different and lovely and soft. Here's a detail of glove #2 as well. Mmmmmmm, color.... It's nice to be just completely in love with what you're knitting. this project brings me much joy.

In other news, I've ordered the rest of the yarn I need for the Worsted Stocking Knave socks and I've got most of what I need to buy me a new sewing machine. I'm short maybe $50 to buy the Huskystar E10 by Husqvarna. I've heard nothing but good about Husqvarna and they are known for their durability. That's what I'm going for - durability. Because the company makes all kinds of small engines and motors, the company's focus seems to be engineering a good motor that will be a workhorse for the consumer. They've been engineering everything from muskets (their original product beginning in 1689) to chainsaws, lawnmowers, motorbikes, and even meat grinders and ice cream machines. They began producing sewing machines in 1872. As a point of reference, Singer patented his machine in 1851. So, they haven't been producing sewing machines as long, but have a far better reputation than Singer. And that's saying something. Singer probably has the best reputation (historically) in the U.S.. Husqvarna Viking, Singer, and Pfaff are all owned by SVP Worldwide which is, in turn, owned by Kohlberg & Company. I'm not sure about the degree to which these parent companies keep their piddy paws out of the design process, but I feel that the Swedes really know what they're doing.