Tuesday, September 30, 2008

One more reason why I'm not blogging, and, socks!

My compulsive nature impels me to blog my projects in sequence. Is it needless to say that my failure to do this, as evidenced by my meager post count for the past three months attests, stifles me? It may be, but it's still cathartic to put it down in black and white, or black and yellow as is the actual case.

Where I seem to have mastered the hiccups to fend off the loss of my coveted knitting mojo, I have not found the magic bullet to regain its blogging cousin.

In the early days of ravelry, there was concern that people would put all their effort into maintaining their projects page and reduce, or omit, their blogging altogether. In my own case, it hasn't held back my blogging as much as it has reduced my blog reading. I find my web surfing time is often spent reading the drama threads (go rubberneckers!) or perusing patterns and projects, rather than lurking my favorite knitblogs.

But in the past few weeks, as I've reflected on my blogging, I've come to realize that the Rav projects page may help me regain my blogging stride.

The one thing I cannot change is that each post I write is fueled by an emotional attachment to a project or an idea, or a commingling of both. It is a long drawn out stream of consciousness revelry that is reigned in and shaped, taking a significant amount of time and energy. Once I am separated by the emotional bond to a project, which happens when I begin to forget the stages of it's evolution, there can be no posting about it.

In the past week or two, I've come to realize that Ravelry may be able to help me with this. It is pretty easy jotting down notes on each project page such as the dates I worked on a project, as well as which part of the project was knit. If in reviewing the notes I can recall the stages of a project, I may be able to reconnect to the emotional vein I need to feed my blogging.

One project I've been taking notes on is my Downpoor Boot Socks. I began this project over a month ago. The pattern is the Uptown Boot Socks from the Interweave Knits Favorite Socks book. I've only used the pattern to glean the cabled motif. As the rest of the sock looks knit up in a basic sock pattern I just reverted to my own, rather than waste the time referencing the book.

These socks will be a Christmas gift to my eldest niece, Sarah. Although I had loved the STR colorway Downpour in it's stranded picture online, I absolutely abhorred how it looked with the colors separated, en skein.


IMG_3025

It was the middle of winter when I received it as a gift and the cool gray tones grated on my sun- and greenery-starved nerves. As predicted by another blogger, Nell of Chicken Knits fame, I think, I did grow to fancy this colorway once the gray days of winter were a distant memory.

40% of the first sock was probably knit around the time I cast on. It then lay for three or so weeks untouched in my knitting bin as I turned my attention elsewhere. Last week, as I lay miserable on the couch home sick, I picked it up with a vengeance while rewatching Season 2 of Heroes on the Roku.


Downpour Boot Socks

It's been a pretty sockless summer, so I had forgotten how fast socks will knit up during a couch marathon; I knit the remaining 60% of the sock that afternoon and evening. And as there is nothing like progress to spur on knitting, I've cast aside nearly everything else, feeding the urge to see these completed ASAP.

I was so happy to see the colors didn't pool too egregiously on the cuff. On the foot it's a different story. It became evident immediately that, even with the same number of stitches, the fact that only half the sock was now cabled changed the tension enough to result in significant pooling.


Downpour Boot Socks

I frogged back once, maybe twice. When my stitch count changes made no impact, I accepted the pooling and moved on. The fear of a too tight (or too loose) sock is greater than my aesthetic concerns over pooling.

This weekend I made headway on the second sock. For some reason, I always make mistakes on the second sock. And the problem isn't my note taking, it is my overconfidence. My mind always falls into the trap of believing that having all the details worked in the first sock will equate to perfect knitting. Nine times out of 10 I ignore some crucial detail and I'm in froggsville.

My problem this time was with the heel. I had to frog it not once, but twice, to get it right. Some yarns look pretty frazzled on the third go around, but the STR holds up very well. I really like the thick sturdy twist of this yarn.

Hopefully I'll have this project finished up by the end of the week. Now I'm off to see how much doo doo I got myself in by commenting in a political thread on Ravelry yesterday.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I now interrupt this blog with a few words from Criminy Jickets...

"Blahbitty blah blah blah.

Blech ... too tight. RIP!!

Blahbitty blah blah blah.

Ug-leeee. RIP!!

Blahbitty blah blah blah.

Is that fabric or armour? RIP!!

Blahbitty blah blah blah.

Grrrr, pattern totally lost in the variegation - RIP!!

Blahbitty blah blah blah.

Boring. BORING!! Rip!!!

Blahbitty blah blah blah.

Why do they call a yarn purple when it's really BROWN?? RIP!!!

Blahbitty blah blah blah.

Row 5 comes after Row 4 four, dude, not ROW 2 !! RIPP!

Blahbitty blah blah blah.

Sigh."

This post was stolen verbatim from the inimitable Criminy Jickets. It more than sums up the past six weeks of my knitting life. Hopefully he wont kill me for stealing it :-/.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

So far behind the curve, there is no curve...


Several forces have kept me from blogging. First, being an aspie, the simple act of nominating favorite blogs and reaching a hand out to them made me crawl back up into my proverbial cocoon. Just the thought of reading my email or checking this blog gave me the heebie jeebies. Putting myself out there is just psychically dangerous. It just is.

The second reason my blogging has lagged recently extends before and beyond the recent anti socializing. It boils down to photographic limitations. Over the passed six weeks I have needed to take far more pictures than my interest would muster, my inspiration could bear, nor my skills produce. The causes are excessive yarn purchases and numerous and fickle FO's.

An example of the bottleneck is my month long attempt to photograph the two lovely skeins of La Digitessa Wollmeise I purchased at the end of August. Nothing I've done with my Canon powershot has come close to capturing the subtle variations of this vivid red yarn. Instead of capturing its pale orangey reds and deep reddish pinks, I just get red. I've tried sunlight, diffused light, cloudy conditions, and my lightbox. The lightbox almost gave me the oranges...



A second multi shoot project is my Malabrigo Entrelac Scarf. It was finished on September 3. Numerous attempts to capture the vivid blue without the green flecks turning neon is a FAIL too.


Entrelac Scarf

Anything I may have wanted to say about the voyage of knitting this scarf is lost to the mists of time.

Today I set aside a good portion of the day to getting my knitting house in some semblance of order. I succeeded in getting some inspiring photos of my Shetland Triangle, finished on September 13.


Shetland Triangle

I knit four extra repeats of the main chart. My shawl, post blocking, at rest, measures 58" wide and 26" long.


IMG_6603b
Shetland Triangle in the wild

I also used the k2, k2tog bind off from Evelyn Clark's Knitted Triangles book, rather than the basic k2, bind off one that I think the pattern calls for.


Shetland Triangle in the wild

The rest of the details have been ravelled.

The new shawl pins I picked up at the VT Sheep and Wool look fabulous with it.


VT Shawl Pin
VT Shawl Pin

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Gift Horse? HEER IZ meee LEWKNG in UR MOUTS

I'm a veteran cynic. Let's face it, any email I receive proffering light bulb! factoids means a browser is soon open and Snopes is being queried. In this day and age, this isn't cynicism, just common sense.

However, when I kindly received the following award from the lovely Ms. Blog-Blethers my natural cynicism was not roused. I was just childishly giddy that someone thought kindly of my blog and that I owed her a hearty "thank you" for her generosity of spirit.

She nominated me for the Brillante Weblog Premio 2008 award:


And I am honored. I have no allusions as to my stature in the blogosphere. My profile is near non existent. I am blessed to have a few people come by and read my musings, and an even smaller few who take time out of their day to write a comment on the things close to my heart. If a blogger wants to shower me with an award, I am pleased as punch.

But. There is always a but. This is where looking a gift horse in the mouth comes in. My natural curiosity was piqued over the wording of the award. The "e" at the end of Brillante and the lack of an i, as well as the word premio, meant this was not an award originating in an English speaking country. So this morning I googled the term and I came up with something at the museum of hoaxes. This website writes that the award is "a viral nuisance" and a gimmick. Essentially all it is is a way for people to congratulate each other.

Well, I could see they have a point from a glass half empty POV.

Maybe there is no central hall of fame for the Brillante Weblog Premio honorees. And maybe all the winners wont be rounded up in the late winter of each year and asked to don their favorite designer duds for a meet up at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California. No, we wont be paraded before carefully selected adoring fans and an even more numerous, but less selectively chosen, horde of paparazzi.

There will be no pomp and circumstance of an internationally recognized prize award, (nor even a major award from the Republic of Fragile). But there is still some comfort to be found in this very simple way for bloggers to take a moment out of their day to stick their hand through the (very, very, very busy) innernets's tubes and shake the virtual hand of one of their favorite bloggers.

So, Hoax Museum, I'll take your glass half empty view and raise it a full stein of Wollmeise! With that said, I am obligated to state the rules of the game:

The rules for award acceptance are as follows:

1. The winner can put the logo on his/her website/blog.... done!

2. Add a link to the person who gave you this award.... done!

3. Nominate at least 7 other websites/blogs..... done!

4. Provide links of the nominated websites/blogs.... done!

5. Leave a message at each website owner that you´ve nominated.... tbd!


In no particular order,

Shannon at Minerva Turkey
Jackie at Yarnish
Nell at ChickenKnits
Kristin at Knitting Kris
Li at domesticrafts
Stacey at Peaknit
Maryse at bag 'n' trash

Thank you ladies for brightening up my life. Your work and your thoughts (whether full of snark or special angel snowflakes) are always inspirational.


--------------

All snark aside, I would just like to make note that today is not like anyother day. My heart still hurts from the remembrance of what happened 7 years ago today. My heart goes out to all the lives irrevocably altered by the death and disease born of the event. The images come to mind no matter how hard I try to forget. Even from this safe distance, I know I can never be the same.

It is my sincerest hope that the president sitting in the white house in February 2009 has the human compassion and skill to turn this day into a day of hope, rather than the horrific reminder of ethnic and religious hatred that spawned it's existence and scarred our national consciousness.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Evolution

I had really hoped this blog would be a place to muse over my projects and what I was, or was not, learning. It's seems to have lapsed into an FO and yarn acquisition gallery. Maybe that is the nature of craft blogging, as one's skill in a craft waxes, the desire to expound on every learning curve wanes.

So where am I? Well, it's kinda been the summer of scarves, for me, rather than a summer of socks. In fact, the only sock news I've got is that the Bayerische sock has been ousted from my knitting basket.


Bayerische, Interrupted

After getting a chance to knit on it again this weekend (after stubbornly ignoring its presence in my knitting basket for a month, maybe two) I realized I'm hating the pattern something fierce. It was a mere day in the frog pond when a post by Domesticat caught my eye. Maybe my Bayerische and I just need an extended vacation from each other. If in six months or so I feel the same, I'll know for certain frogging is the right choice. No need to be hasty after so much work has already gone into it.

Well, there is one other piece of sock news I'm ready to discuss. I sent in an application to enter my second pair of La Digitessa socks into the local county fair. This is totally outside of my comfort zone.

I have to give a shout out to my Aunt Patricia (hi Aunt Patty! are you lurking?) for putting the bug in my head. She mentioned winning a ribbon for one of her rug hooking pieces a few years ago. So long ago, it was when knitting was just a pastime for me, not the way of life it has become. I was in awe of her and I secretly wished I could do something like that. So now I have! I drop the sock off in two weeks.

Up this weekend? Vermont Sheep & Wool with my Dad's wife. I've been looking forward to it all summer even though I have very little left in the yarn budget. A really old teenage friend came back into my life last week and I'm pumped to knit her and her mother a pair of Branching Out scarves (a great excuse for immodest yarn stashing, no?)

And finally, after the initial rush casting on I have yet to post about the Shetland Triangle (rav link) knit-a-long with Peaknit. A gentle nudge or two from her was all I needed to completely forget how I swore up and down to never knit a lace triangle shawl again. Two weeks later, though, it's been languishing, not unloved per se, but just pushed aside to finish another project, as well as to take a break from knitting in general.


IMG_5870b

I'm pretty sure I'm going to make it larger than the pattern suggests. Not too much larger, just a repeat or two. (I definitely have the yardage for a much larger shawl.) The 10 or so hours in the car I'm facing this weekend may be exactly what I need to turn this into an FO.

Happy weekend blogland!

 

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