Archive for 2004

string theory

Tuesday, December 14th, 2004

Last night my world was rocked. Everything I knew about knitting changed. It’s scary. I have real power.

Sure, one can knit and purl and change color, create paterns and stitch in different ways, but as my knitting guru Betsy taught me, you can travel through time.

I’ve made mistakes (in knitting, not just my life). We all have… And, heretofore, that has meant ripping out rows. Working backwards and unknitting until I find the problem. Hopefully, I notice it before I climb too terrible higher in the piece. I’m sufficiently advanced enough to know how to catch a dropped stitch, and, in the same vein, I learned how to change a knit stitch into a purl a few rows later.

I’m working on my first cabling project, a scarf for my mother. Between knitting before breakfast, sneaking in the rogue row at work, and sitting down at Monday’s 3DB knit night, I mistakenly skipped a cabling. And I didn’t find it until three rows later. (Between Indian food, conversation and TV, you might have knitted on by, too!)

I really wasn’t in the mood to work back, stitch by stitch to fix it, nor was I willing to accept the error and hand an obviously hand-crafted (i.e., flawed) gift to Mamman. Betsy, impressed by my self-taught cabling ambition, felt it was time to show me the magic that is selective ripping.

We dropped six stitches (it sounds scary than it was), held them on a spare needles, and proceeded to knit them back correctly using the saggy ladder rungs from whence they were ripped. Who knew? At times it was tricky and tight, but I cabled those three bad boys and climbed back up to my regularly scheduled knitting and resumed.

Emergency adverted. Cabling added after the fact. Knowledge in head. For the disbelievers in SF, I can show you tonight. Otherwise, go forth and knit. But use your power wisely.

Just try not to make mistakes in the first place.

quick inventory (with pics)

Tuesday, December 7th, 2004

I still haven’t photographed my first scarf project, but chances are I’ll be wearing it if I ever meet you in the non-cyberworld.

Of course, I’m late to get to the next SF knitting night, so I’m just going to slam up some images of recent completions.

I was in such a hurry to start the mittenettes in the Weblinks section that I didn’t notice I bought the mittenette and little friendwrong size dpn’s at ImagiKnits.

 No, Virginia, 7mm is not US size 7. Read labels more carefully.

It wasn’t a complete disaster, as evidenced when I reknit them on 8s. These are for Mr. Man’s oh-so-punk-15-year-old niece. Yes, it’s the same gauge yarn.

Proof of the joys of big-ass 15s and the joys of speed knitting, I busted out this scarf over two days. Can you see how the model’s lips really accent the piece? astroturf as scarf

Just some Key Lime Splash carried with a big wooly sale-rack yarn.

I hope my Secret Snowflake/co-worker recipient enjoys it. I was worried that it was too bulky and not drape-y enough… like a giant potholder cowl, but I’m hoping the texture and cuddle-y-ness make up for any design flaws. I promise my next scarf will be skinnier.

Now, I’m late… oh well. Take good care of Neptoon, boys.


Monday, November 22nd, 2004

I had to take a break from the sweater that’s inching along row by row. Millimetering would be a better description. I needed something fast and mildly challenging enough to make me appreciate the droning hours of stockingette the sweater requires. The only logical choice would be Mittenettes.

A Mittenette is basically a fingerless mitten, a tube for your wrist and palm with a thumb gusset. I’ve found other patterns that only make a hole for one’s thumb, but I knew I was ready for at least one digit’s cuff. (Darrel’s Fingerless Gloves were too big of a leap). This was also my first project on double-pointed needles.

They were started on Tuesday and finished by Saturday night. Unfortunately, in my haste to begin the second one, I rushed through the pattern leaving the left two rows shorter than the right. So, I now have a means to tell which is which.

All in all, it was a great experience, providing many knitting lessons:

  • I’m no longer afraid of M1 increases.
  • Paperclips make fine stitch markers.
  • Safety pins make fine stitch holders.
  • Weaving in the ends provides opportunity to "fill in" any gaps.

The biggest gamble in this project, was making a women’s-sized pattern on a larger than recommended needle. (Note to self: don’t rush into a LYS after they’ve closed to grab your first dpn’s, mistaking the metric 7mm for size 7’s.) And, no, the pattern didn’t specify a gauge. The Mittenettes could be a smidge tighter, in order to fit like a glove, but the experiment worked.

I’m still going to buy some smaller dpn’s. Just after a hundred or more rows of the sweater.

squashed knitting

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

I have never knitted in a group before last night. Sure, on occasion I’ve knitted with one other person, but group action was something that wasn’t part of my knitting repartoire.

Until last night…

I had an informal gathering at my house of a female (yes, it’s true) friend and Darrel (a charming lad with a fine taste in music and ginger). After an hour or two of toiling over squash, lentils and rice, we enjoyed a delicious curried stew. But who cares about food?

Knitting together was fun. As I faced having to un-knit a few rounds of my mittenette (like recipes, it behooves one to carefully read a pattern and not assume a thing!), it was great to have company around for their moral support. As always, unravelling was a learning experience, so I feel I’m understanding shaping better, as well as the pattern.

It was three times the usual joy of knitting as I got to watch the progress of not just mine, but two other projects. I look forward to an even bigger future group knits.

Tonight it’s back to solo knitting, as the boyfriend falls asleep in front of the TV. One mittenette will be completed, barring any tragedies. I may even be able to start its partner!

recipe for road rage

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004

Forgive the text-only entry, I will post images of my new scarf. It was finished last Tuesday night as I watched the election returns. I try to comfort myself by thinking that as I was weaving in the ends (it’s a striped scarf), that I was weaving hope for the future. The thing looks great, and will keep my neck and soul plenty warm for the next four years.

On my way to work, I found a new use for red traffic lights. [Kids, don’t try this at home. What follows is completely reckless and should not be condoned.] I’ve started my first sweater and after casting on 189 freaking stitches, not to mention hours spent gaining only an inch in rows, I realize this thing is gonna take a  L O N G  time. In order to avoid freeway traffic to cross over the Bay Bridge, I wind my way through San Francisco to get on on 8th Street.

There are many traffic signals between my home and there, so when safely stopped and no longer moving, I reach over to my passenger seat and grab my knitting bag and knit a few. Every stitch counts, no? I, of course, am very careful not to start a stitch that I can’t finish, so as not to hold up traffic. And, I would never dream of knitting while driving, unless it’s me in the passenger seat. It certainly has changed my attitude to car congestion and I look forward to delays. It’s a little, blissful, knitting gift from the Universe.

As if I didn’t fetishize taking public transporation enough already… think of the knitting that could get done. I’d probably miss my stop just in order to get another row done.

a whole new blog

Monday, November 1st, 2004

darn it, I just lost my first entry. chock-full of witticism, it was. here’s the truncated synopsis:

I’m a new knitter, just started a scant month ago. my dear friend Betsy taught me.

I’m three hats and one scarf (that needs its ends woven in) down. I’ve just started swatches for a sweater.

Here are the fruits of my labor thus far. Size 13 circular needles, CO 48, *K3, P1, repeat to desired length, then stitch up the top. Yarn used: Iceland (100% wool) and Fizz (sorry, K.C.)

my first project

the one I wear, kitty-ear style.

his hat

my man’s, a different orientation, Fizz-free.


my synchronized swiming partner, 1/2 and 1/2.

More photos and projects to follow. Looking forward to the next knitting assembly.

Thanks, D, for creating this. Our revolution will not be woven.