a knitter navigates through life

Saturday, December 29, 2007

so close!

I am so close to completion of the Lizard Ridge I can almost taste it. And I'm pleased to report that the blanket's still being in pieces has deterred me not at all from sleeping with it on my bed every night, and that it is snuggly warm. The kitties have tested it thoroughly.

Alex in a rare moment of levity
Jaymie's testing it out

Thanks for the nice warm blankie you made for us, Auntie Kim.

Monday, December 17, 2007

lizard ridge update, in which there is cursing

For those of you who have been wondering what is adorning my walls now that the Lizard Ridge squares are done (oh, shut up. You know you've been wondering), here 'tis.

The very cool copper spider web sculpture, three swatches, and a Monkey sock waiting for a buddy. (The sock is down now. In fact, they're on my feet.)

The Seaming of the Lizard Ridge continues apace, but disaster struck last night when I proved, once again, that I am not as smart as my Mommy thinks I am.

I'm getting (dare I say it) pretty good at this seaming thing, and I had just finished a really beautiful one, just perfect really, with everything lined up exactly right and no wonkiness or fudging necessary. I sighed, admired my seam's perfection, and picked up the next square . . . which didn't fit right. The bottom and top wouldn't match up. Which, upon closer examination of the squares bound together by my beautiful seam, revealed that I had sewed the bottom to the top instead of the top to the bottom. Damn. Damn damn damn damn damn. Dammit. I did the only thing possible under the circumstances. I ripped the whole damn thing out, stitch by stupid stitch (on the plus side, these seams are really sturdy). I put the whole thing away and spent the rest of the night sulking, eating chocolate, and knitting socks.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Put your money where your mouth is . . .

One of my dear friends, the Mad Crocheter, made a disparaging comment about knitted lace recently, and being that I love lace knitting, I took the comment a little more personally than was perhaps necessary. So to refute her and defend the honor of lace everywhere, I present to you some of my own lace knitting.

This is the Branching Out scarf from Knitty. It's one of the first projects I ever did, and I would highly recommend it. I see lace knitting the same way I see baking. In baking, you follow the directions, and suddenly, like magic, you have cookies! And everyone thinks you're brilliant, when really, all you did was follow the directions. Lace is the same. All you do is follow the directions and boom! Lace. It's fantastic.
Here's a closer view. I was a baby knitter and did not realize that one should not do lace out of nubbly cotton, but it turned out better than could reasonably be expected. The Knitting Goddess smiling on my ignorance, I suppose.

And here we have one of my very favorite knits, the Convertible shawl from Knitty, made with Plymouth Royal Bamboo. It turned out so wonderful, with great stitch definition and fantastic drape, substantial but not too hot on the skin for Georgia summers.

So the take-home message is this: do not be afraid of lace. Lace is your friend and wants to love you.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Monkey! Monkey!!!

At last! Completed Monkey socks!
To recap:
Pattern: Monkey, by Cookie A. free from Knitty.com
Yarn: Artyarns Ultramerino 4, colorway 106

Monkey attack!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

not dead! but still not king.

Lest you were worried about my untimely demise, fear not! I am alive and well, although severely slacking in the blogging department. Real Life has been interfering way more than I find acceptable. Ideally, I would prefer that Real Life interfere not at all, but sadly, this is not always possible. But while I've been shamefully neglecting the blog, I have not been neglecting the knitting, or the Lizard Ridge. Behold! Seaming!

I've sewed up all the squares into pairs, and now I'm going to sew the pairs into groups of four, etc. I like this method. Visible progress = good.

Completely unsubtle segue:
Here's a close-up of the tulip painting on our living-room wall.

More spoils from craft fairs pillaged from Scott Antique Market, where I also found these.

Why yes, that is a vintage set of knitting needles in a very snazzy case, which I got for TEN DOLLARS. Oh, muggles. Bless you and your ignorance of the value of vintage knitting needle sets.

(Thanks to the Mad Crocheter for the "still not king" reference.)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

crocheters, and the knitters who love them

I have a confession to make. I was once prejudiced against crochet. Growing up, I had a nice grandmother who knit (and I really appreciate those sweaters now), and a mean grandmother who crocheted. In addition to being afraid of her, I also had to suffer through stiff ugly acrylic afghans and potholders that linger in our house to this very day. And they will keep lingering. Forever. Because acrylic will not die. So for a long time, I dismissed crochet outright. Didn't like it, didn't want to do it, thought it was ugly. End of story. (I am nothing if not adamant in my opinions, however wrong they may turn out to be.)
Enter: The Mad Crocheter. She completely dissolved all my usual objections to crochet with her lovely yarn choices, fearless creativity, and gorgeous results. She made the cutest summer top , all lavender and girly with a really cute edging that blew me away. It was the first time I had ever envied a crocheter. And then she showed me a book on crocheting Aran sweaters that floored me. You can cable in crochet? Who knew?
Through some massive stroke of good luck, she decided to give me this:

A super-freaking-cool hat made from Cascade Autunno. It's so warm and soft and I just love it. Note the cute picot-esque edging. Here it is on.

Note the glamorous 99 cent shower curtain in the background. My apartment unfortunately doesn't have any good spots for photographing one's own head, so that was as good as I could get.
This hat has hardly left my head since she gave it to me, since I was felled with a massive head cold that very evening, along with menstrual cramps (woo-hoo!). There's something about wearing something that someone made for you that makes you feel loved even when you feel like total crap.
So hop over to her website and give her a shout-out. She's new to this blogging thing and off to a roaring start. And she may just change your mind about crochet. Because remember, it's not whether we use two pointy sticks or one hook that matters, it's that we all need new ideas to hide stash from our loved ones.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

why blogging can be challenging: a photo essay

Mmmm. This is a nice, comfy spot.

What? No, you can't use the keyboard. This is my spot.

Ok, well maybe if you rub my ear. Oh, yeah.

No, no, not that ear.

Oh, yeah. Chin is good, too.

See? Now isn't that so much better than blogging?

What can I say? He's a poor neglected, unloved little kitty. My heart bleeds for him and his sufferings.