The Limits of my Love

I love y’all, really I do.  I confess my frequent knitting failures to you, I reveal the alarmingly bowl-like shape of my head to you, and I spend inordinate amounts of time taking pictures on my porch (baffling my neighbors in the process) so that you can know what I’m knitting.  But today, I found my limit.  Right now the thermometer on the side of my house says 24 F (that’s -4 C for the rest of the world).  That’s not actually all that cold.  It’s not balmy, but it’s manageable.  But it is also windy.  That, too, I might have been able to tolerate.  But you see, it is also raining.  I’m not even sure how that’s possible at that temperature, but I assure you it is.  The rain was the last straw.  I couldn’t bring myself to go outside.

So I chickened out and just leaned out the window.  The goal was to get some more light for a photo.  Unfortunately, it’s so overcast that it didn’t help much.  You’ll have to take my word for it when I say this is much prettier in person.  Alas, it’s actually due for a rip.  I need to go down a needle size.  I had my suspicions while I knit it, and they were confirmed after I washed it.  It grew a bit when it hit the water, and now it’s just too big.  Luckily it’s only a few hours of knitting, and the yarn holds up to ripping very well.  Version 2 will be good enough to be worth it.

That’s Better

I have embraced the idea that blocking is not stretching.  It is smoothing.  Adjusting.  Nudging into place.  It does not need to be a hugely violent process.  Once I got that notion through my head, the reblocking of the cowl went much better.  See? Wee curly lettuce edges, just as I wanted.  Order is restored to the universe.

Nemesis

So I’m just really bad at blocking.  The grafting was fine…fiddly, slow, demanding of a certain amount of focus…but more or less fine.  (Full confession, there’s one stitch where I was weaving in my ends and was off by 1/2 a stitch, but it’s really hard to find and will never show when it’s worn.)  The blocking, however, was my undoing.

The whole point of this exercise was to preserve the frilly, curly, curvy, round edge that appeared as I knit this.  In blocking, I somehow turned all those lovely curves into jagged points.  Now it’s still cute, but it’s not what I was going for.  It’s back in the sink for another soak as I type.  The pins and I will join battle later today.

Morning Routine

Collect camera and knitting and go downstairs.  Make a note of the temperature.  Wish fervently that there were two digits in the number instead of one.  Put the water on for tea (this stuff, I’m addicted).  Put on a pot of oatmeal.  Put on a sweater and hat and shoes.  Go out on the back porch.  Think filthy things about the wind and its effect on exposed skin.  Recall that the pot of oatmeal puts a built in time limit on this little bout of picture taking and get butt in gear.  Whack knitting down on the porch railing.  Waggle fingers around to encourage circulation.  Get a few quick and dirty snapshots totally abandoning artistic merit in the hopes of avoiding frostbite.  Come inside (don’t forget the knitting and the camera) and hop up and down on top of the heating vent for a moment.  Finish oatmeal.  Feed the blog.

And yes, for those plaing careful attention, there are two separate pieces of knitting.  They’re both due to get a wee bit taller, and then I’m due to spend some serious time indulging my unnatural fondness for grafting (no really, it’s awesome, I like it).  The two piece approach seemed the best way to keep the little ruffly edge with which I am so unreasonable smitten.  And it’s lace, it will look amazingly more polished once blocked.  Give me a day or two and it will be much less rumpled.

P.S. The color is a wee bit off.  It’s actually a bit closer to the green in the previous picture.  If I were a good website monkey, or if it were warmer outside, I’d fix it.  But I’m not.  It’s not.  We’ll just pretend the yarn went a bit blue around the edges with cold.

Alarmingly Frilly

This is not a hat, nor is it a sock.  It’s not even a mitt.  It is, I’m happy to say, a cowl.  It is also soft, warm, full of lacy goodness, and a delightful shade of green.  On a less positive note, it also seems to be bedecked with a rather troubling number of cat hairs (from my cat of course, it didn’t come that way from the dyer or anything).  I debated spending yet more time trying to either pick them off or edit them out, but eventually came to the conclusion that this time could better be spent knitting (or brushing the cats and thus addressing the source of the problem more directly).  I kind of love that little flipped over edging thing that’s happening at the bottom and will be carefully blocking it so as to maintain it.  If I’m clever, I may even be able to repeat it at the top, but I wouldn’t count on it.  I’ll get a picture that shows off the design when it’s a bit longer.  For now you’ll have to be content with this one.

Oh, and credit where credit is due, the yarn is the wonderful Galaxy by Barking Dog Yarns in the color Robin’s Hood.  Suzan has such a way with color (it’s her yarn in Peregrinate) and this yarn is no exception.  It’s a total treat to work with.

Patterns and Yarn and Pictures Oh My

Alrighty, after much delay (we’re pretending it’s so I could take the socks far away for a photo shoot, not because I was lazy) the pattern for Peregrinate is out.

I had great fun with these.  They came with me on my trip to DC for Savor and on my trips to Rochester and Pontiac to see Jukebox the Ghost and on a few other smaller trips too.  The vast majority of them were knit on the road, which seems fitting given the name.  I finished them shortly before my excursion to Port Ludlow, so I thought it was only reasonable to take them with me to get some pretty pictures.

The yarn is by Barking Dog YarnsSuzan just launched her new website.  To celebrate, she’s kindly agreed to donate a skein of her sock yarn to one lucky winner.  To enter, head over to her site, look through the sock yarn, and come back and post a comment with the name of your favorite color.  If you win, she’ll send that yarn off to you (and I’ll send you the pattern or refund your purchase if you already bought it).  Just be sure you use a real email address when you leave a comment (I’m the only one who can see it) so I can find you if you win.  I’ll leave comments open through Tuesday or so.

And yes, because someone will ask, the second picture does show the left sock on the right foot and the right sock on the left foot.  I promise it’s ok…your socks won’t suddenly unravel and no one will yell at you if you wear them backwards.  I just wanted to show off the way that lovely acid green ended up in the purl field on both socks.  It happened with no intervention on my part (though I was prepared to force it if I had to) and entertained me to no end.