I was caught knitting at work today, bored out of my mind, catching glances from customers and coworkers alike as I did my best to pass time. Someone finally asked how long I had been knitting and how I learned. Three years ago I passed a J. Crew window display with the most beautiful sweater I had ever seen, but was dmaned back to reality by the $300 price tag. I was first depressed that my financial situation was so crappy that I couldn't be worthy of having nice things. ("Quality and Expensive are neither the same nor better than one another," my grandmother used to say). Then I grew irritated and pissy that I couldn't have THAT sweater. That irritaton grew into an aggressive stomp to the nearest bookstore where I picked up a copy of "The Idiots Guide to Knitting." From there I went to Joann's and got myself on the mailing list and with each coupon I received, I'd purchase one skien of cashmere. Within 6 weeks I had that sweater, made myself and looking every bit better than the one in the window. The action of knitting is one that can lend you into an active contemplation, where the body and mind are quietly seperated into an almost meditative state. But, even more than this moment of frozen suspension of the world around me, I have found that I have learned tolerance (from patterns poorly written), patience (from mistakes made in haste), and the absolute art of self reliance.
Someone was asking about a side to side sweater. Here is a raglan one I did last winter in Plymouth Outback Mohair: A very good value~ 52" chest sweater in 4 skeins for a total cost of $45. It is very comfortable and light, not too warm, and was a very fast knit. I decided that I prefered it in reverse stockinette, although I have the same yarn in a different color and may do saddle shoulder side to side in regular stockinette, just to compare the finished results.
The decrease bands in "X's & O's" cable were knit separately and added afterwards. The collar and waist rib were added last. (I will probably take off the bottom rib and put on a rolled hem: I don't like the rib in mohair. The collar is doubled over on itself. Note how good the variegated yarn looks side to side: Kind of a rorschach test pattern. I get lots of compliments on this easy and quick sweater.
This was my senior studio thesis project for my BFA in 1990. It is a hand-doubleknit scarf, fully reversible as you can see. Some of the yarn was handspun by me: The fuzzy carmel colored one is Collie (leftovers from a commissioned sweater/blazer that I spun/designed/knit~ I can't find pictures of that creation, don't ask)
The scarf is NOT a tube, but a flat piece of fabric. Similar to double weave, but identical front and back, where as doubleweave is the reverse front to back...like a negative. It is approx 7 feet long and mainly wool, silk, collie, angora, with a little linen, mohair, and rayon thrown in. It has held up pretty well for 16 years of use (although I keep it for "special" as you can imagine).
PS: The collie yarn is fabulous: Incredibly soft and furry, doesn't shed...you just want to "roll around nekkid on it". The sweater/blazer was done for a collie breeder who wanted something to wear while showing his dogs in the cooler months: It was a shaped cardigan like a blazer with a shawl collar: Made in sock weight collie plied with a fine tussah silk. It was gorgeous, and he had it lined. I don't know how warm it was: It was done to his measurements, and
Here is the 1934 "Ladies Home Companion" (Uk version) Christmas stocking. The finished one is by "granny" for client in 1971. It is being knit in fingerling weight acrylic/nylon (hard to find christmas colors these days in real wool). I am turning the heel on the sock right now and should have it completed in an hour or two. I will be swiss darning the name and various details on it.
I think I will detox after I finish the second one by knitting some "Dr. Seuss" Christmas socks...big candy striped ones in red/white or green/white with 7 toes, or something. Or maybe with one long pointy toe, ala "Who-ville". I am just a little cutsie-d out. I need something bizarre.
The chart is in there. I am loathe to post it as it has a copright.
CRAPPY WEATHER. I work outside as long as I can bear it. The flat is halfway turned into a fiber studio, and looks like a tornado hit it. My current projects are mostly repair, BUT I got a coolish commission last night: To knit a pair of Christmas stockings from a 1930ish pattern for two young kids. Evidently granny has knit abot 30+ of these stockings for the family, but is too old to do it anymore, and the youngest are the only ones bereft. It's not hard: The pattern is poorly written, but I have a sample to work from...Just a long skinny stocking with chilren in intarsia, then a panel with santa, and then a panel with pine-trees before it becomes a standard stock bottom. What I stand to make from these will pay half a month's rent. AMEN! And, I borrowed a digital camera, soI can finally photograph some of my knit projects. Hoo hoo!
So I am making my first foray into lace and I am at a loss. How do I not do a stitch and carry the yarn with me in the squares that are marked as black boxes?
I did post about the NEW "Warm Winter Exchange" last post!
Dead Line of "Warm Winter Exchange" is Nov 10 on Veterans Day! MAKE SURE SIGN UP for the COOL exchange coming cold winter!!!
INFO and RULEs are in my blog:
My Sock Wars death has arrived. Actually, I traveled to Portland this past weekend and met my killer, Grandcarriage.
Thanks, Bob, for killing me with such handsome gray socks.
For the next 30 days I'm going to go on a knitting fast. It's NaNoWriMo time! I've failed to complete it for the past two years... here's hoping for a new result (a minimal RSI)!
Wore my crazy new handknit socks last night. They are textured all the way around, and you know, I like the sensation of the texture underfoot. They felt fabulous but are a little loose, I could probably knit the same yarn on needles 2 sizes smaller. I think I will felt these a little and see how that does.
I wore the socks that killed me (SOCKWARS) last night to keep my tootsies warm (I am putting off turning on the heat in the flat: My electric bill goes from $28 a month to $128 a month, and that's just with having it on in the evening. OUCH!). They too, are a little too big: Kept falling off. So I have a question for you guys who felt: If you were to do partial felting for size: Would you hand wash it and let it felt in the hot dryer, taking it out and trying on the size as you go?