Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

Well, I'll wait until I have the pictures from yesterday to post the Halloween costume, but it came out really, really good. I'm exceptionally happy with it, especially since I did all my parts without a pattern. (Mom made the suit from a Simplicity sleeper pattern. I can't sew. But I did the tail and collar, and all the knitted bits.)

I need to photo the scarf, too. I've got it half done - actually more than half done, because I wanted 7" of ribbing on each side, and the one I was working was 5", and then I knitted for "just one more row" and suddenly it was 8". Ribbing - much faster than cabling.

Oh, and I learned a very exciting thing - it's called a "Norwegian purl" (.pdf from Interweave) - I'd never heard of it, but you hold the yarn in back and do a fancy little twisty thing and get a purl. I haven't decided if I'm going to replace my normal purling with it or not, but I'm practicing now - even if I decide it's not faster than regular purling, it'll be a good thing to know, like holding the yarn in your right hand so you can knit two colors at once.

Also learned to knit while walking. Did the cables and everything, so that was cool. It's really easier than I thought it would be - I knit at about half speed, but it is getting knitting and exercise done at the same time, so hey, I win. Plus it showed me that I can knit without looking, so I tried it in the car and hey, no carsickness! Now I'm actually looking forward to taking the plane to TX. (The motion sickness has gotten so bad that I have to wait until the Metro stops to look at the system map. Seriously, it's out of control.)

Next design idea: I want to knit a kimono style jacket. There's a pattern knit in a horrible yarn that costs an insane amount - and the only way to get this particular pattern is "free" with purchase of the yarn for the project. No pattern's worth $175, so I'm going to reverse-engineer the damned thing. And as long as I'm doing that, I'm going to make it better. It occurred to me that I can make a dolly sweater as proof of concept AND Christmas present, so that's my current plan. (Last year I made a really awsome doll for my daughter, and I'd like to start a tradition of giving her something handmade to wear every year. The doll, not the kid - the doll isn't in the habit of outgrowing all her clothes every five minutes.)

Friday, October 28, 2005


Ha-HAH! Some people on the Knitlist wanted to knit the Hexenhut pattern, but don't speak German. So I made a stab at translating it (although I realize I made at least one mistake) and sent it off. Got tagged by the Listmoms, saying it was a copyright violation. Hm. I don't want to violate anyone's copyright, so I wrote to the company and asked if it would be ok to post it. A very nice representative wrote me back and said it would be fine, so I posted my email to her, her email to me, AND my original translation. Too late for Halloween this year, but, well, there's always next...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Oh, crap?

Oops. I just accidentally bought 1000 (yes, one thousand) grams of recycled sari silk off eBay. Um. How to explain this to the spouse? "Sorry, honey, I didn't think I'd win"? Well, it's the truth, even if it is horribly weak.

Um. Well. 10 skeins for the price of 2 (including shipping) - not so bad. No idea what I'm going to make from them. Perhaps small bags? I saw a kit on one website that was little bags with those tiny Indian bells on them - that'd be cute. I'd have bought the pattern if they sold it separately, but I'm certainly not buying more of this yarn just to get the pattern. It doesn't look complicated, I'm sure I can make up something equivalent.

(On the plus side - the whole reason I was on eBay at all was because I found a pattern I wanted for $0.79, and dude, you just can't beat that. Well, $2.50 after shipping. Still. I am a little worried that I'll get a photocopied or stolen pattern, but I guess that's the chance you take...)

Argh, too many inspirations!

So, I'm knitting the Good Ole Cabled Scarf and it's going swimmingly. Only one mistake so far, and it taught me what the cables should look like after every row, so now I don't have any worries. (My very first attempt at cables. It really is easy! I had the pattern memorized after a couple of repeats.) Plus, I love this yarn. It was a $4 black Aran sweater from Goodwill with a big snag in the front, but now it's several balls of soft, warm, yummy wool. Joy!

A friend is having her second child. I want to make the new baby a baby blanket, but I thought it would be nice to make a "big sister blanket" for the current kid. Great idea - but it stops there. What would make a blanket say "big sister"? I have a couple of thoughts, but nothing solid enough to cast on yet. Obviously I'm going to do it in her favorite colors, and I was thinking about a few different intricate patterns, but... well, backburner that for now, I guess.

And I'm in the middle of designing a lacy pair of fingerless mitts for a friend - I'm really, really excited about them! But I have to finish this scarf! Argh! I need an extra 12 hours a day that nobody else gets.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Welll, maybe next time...

So I thought I'd try joining a knitting group. It's hot, it's hip, I might meet some interesting, fun people, right?

I found a group that meets at St. Elmo's on Tuesdays, which is perfect. I email to see which Tuesdays they meet, and don't get any sort of reply. Oh well, it's rainy and cold, a perfect night to walk up and get a cup of coffee! Head on up, and there's two groups of knitters working away, so I go in, buy my coffee, and introduce myself to one of the groups.

No, they're not the Del Ray Knitters. They don't know who they are. They're The Knitting Group, and while I could sit down with them, wouldn't I feel much more comfortable introducing myself to the group on the other side of the shop? Really? And, you know, quicklike, we're trying to knit here and don't appreciate the interruption. Oh. Ok. Who's that other group? We don't know, we've both been coming here for months but haven't said hi. I was astonished, and said something about that being strange, which elicited the best line - "not like we're that kind of people" - yes! Yes you ARE "that kind of people", because the kind of person who would introduce themselves to a group that meets in the same place at the same time to celebrate the same hobby as you would have done it by now. Sheesh.

Right, then. I don't need any more high-school cliquery in my life - and seeing as how the other group had colonized the sofas and made sure to fill up the one available space uninvitingly with their coats and such, and I couldn't even get them to look up to introduce myself - I high-tailed it out of there and headed for home, where I finished the Halloween costume for the sprout and deconstructed a sweater to repurpose as Jimbo's cabled scarf. Sure I'd like to meet people who share an interest with me, but in Yuppidelphia, finding people who aren't crazy snobby jerks is hard, and really, I can meet crazy snobby jerks anywhere, I don't need to go out of my way to knit with them once a week.