Archive for the ‘knitting’ Category

As one sweater ends, another begins

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

My next few weeks: two rows, twelve chapters in.

I finished finishing the Kerouac cardigan on Sunday morning and cast on before bed on Monday night for an EZ Bog Jacket. I’m having a micro knit-a-long, i.e. two-person, with my dearest pal Sean.

Why start one thing when you can start two? I’ve finally cracked open Rachael’s novel, How to Knit a Love Song. I’m pretty smitten with it. I suspect it will be finished long before the knitting.

Not much more to say here. Run on over to Clara’s blog for some thoughts I’m trying to sit with in my own life.

sweatered: finished Kerouac

Monday, March 21st, 2011

A favorite yarn in a favorite color… it only took a year and eleven months. How life has changed since then.

Yarn: WooBu by Blue Moon Fiber Arts in Pondscum and Meet Brown, Joe colorways.

Pattern: Kerouac by Jenn Jarvis (NipperKnits) from Twist Collective.

ez swatchy mc bog jacket

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Rowan British Sheep Breeds Chunky in Suffolk

4.0 mm / US size 6s (on top)
5.0 mm / US size 8s (on bottom)

winning gauge:
4.25 sts / inch using the 4.0 mm / US 6s.

3.3 – I am looking forward to…

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011
  • …going to Rachael‘s book launch tonight. She was a blog-spiration of mine from 2004 and the teacher of my first-ever knitting class (that I didn’t need to take, but did, because I wanted to meet her in person and not just be interweb friends). Now she’s a two-time published author, with book three on the way. I’m moved and inspired by people who make their passions into reality.
  • Camp Jabberwonky sock knitting camp at the end of the month. It’s become an annual tradition for me and my mother. Sadly, I’m no longer just a student. (Sad because I’ve never taken a class with Anne Hanson, but learned her mom’s special cast-on from her, and I enjoy learning from the gigantic and technical brains of JC Briar. Of course, I enjoy taking from Stephanie and Tina, too, but I talk to them almost every day.) I’m thrilled that we have a special guest this year, Anna Zilboorg! My first knitting book was the hardcover version of her Knitting for Anarchists
  • …finishing the many projects on my needles. There’s a cardigan that just needs a button band and sleeves attached, there are at least three active pairs of socks (one may be a gift), and two wraps (one for me, one my first lace project to go to Suzanne). As much as I am a process knitter and enjoy the action of one or one hundred stitches, I do all that work to get to an end product.
  • Sock Summit 2011, again, it’s not just because it’s my job. I love teaching. I love meeting, laughing and learning from the students and other teachers. I love seeing a project be realized. And, it’s no understatement to say that the first one changed my life.
  • …visiting Iceland one day. I’ve been slightly obsessed with Sigur Ròs’ Heima since I’ve seen it. I’ve considered attending my manpal Franklin’s Knitting Iceland trip in October (more so to hang with him and meet Ragga because I do not foresee many lace edgings in my knitting future). Here’s a peek at the concert documentary, that’s as much about the music as a love song to the landscape of Iceland:

(I’m glad to see Debbi, Carrie, Marcy and Sam are all doing 30 Days of Lists too! I look forward to seeing what they are jotting down.)

Casualties of mitten knitting

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

A dog ate my knitting needles. Well, 2.5 3.0mm dpns. Seriously.

No, it wasn’t Janie Sparkles. It was Dudley, the border collie mix that brings to my mother-in-law. I forget what an amazing girl we have, with no nervous chewing, no accidents, no major issues. Just occasionally barfy when she drinks too much, too fast. But couldn’t that describe many humans?

Not to worry, one of the consumed needles was already broken. All that remains are two whole ones and a stub of one. They were vintage (read: brittle) white plastic Susan Bates given to me from a friend’s mother-in-law’s stash (I’m seeing connections here.) So much for attaching the mitten caps onto the fingerless gloves I completed.

Alas, it was just the excuse I needed to indulge in an unbreakable replacement set from Signature. Besides, I like blue better.

(pictured is the pre-consumption breakage that occurred during the 9+ hour drive to Eugene on Wednesday – all my fault, not the dog’s)

Give thanks

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

In recent years, I’ve become quite the Thanksgiving Scrooge. It’s not my favorite holiday. It’s simply a meal whose traditional foods I do not enjoy (fowl, yams and pies).

Mind you, I have plenty of good memories of turkey and tofurkey of yore. And, I’m not one to shy away from the kitchen. I just don’t get into the anticipation and obsession of the ritual eats. I would love a social meal at any time during the year. I don’t need an national holiday to dictate one for me.

For the past few years, we’ve driven up to Eugene to C’s parents’ for the weekend. It’s always relaxing here and Janie loves her duty of protecting the yard from squirrels. I get a lot of knitting done and often have to make a dish. Good times all around.

Something clicked this year. Different. It was a great meal, even without a vegetarian turkey imposter. My gratin with mushrooms and celeriac sizzled. More importantly, I talked with everyone in my immediate family on the phone. I realize how much I really, really miss them. It would have been nice to share this meal with them. Even my brother that no one knows I have.

Not being a dessert guy, I gave one a whirl. I finally made the brown butter rice crispy treats from Smitten Kitchen. They weren’t as life-changing as their name would lead you to believe, but worth the attempt. I’d like to tweak them with more savory next time: sage perhaps?

I’m thankful for having a change of heart and looking forward to my next t-day. I’m thankful for my family, here and across the country.

But mostly, I’m thankful for butter.

Decisions, decisions: sock or sweater

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Carrie posted some lovely photos of her freshly washed socks drying. Having just washed 12 pair myself, and briefly visiting the tens, nay, twenties, (I don’t want to believe it’s over 100) of skeins of sock yarn lying in wait yesterday, I’m feeling the urge to produce more foot coverings. For my own feet, for my mind, for friends and loved ones.

But sock knitting takes time. So does the button band on the cardigan I’m knitting. As do the designs that have yet to be committed to paper. Not to mention the many sweaters I hope to wear that have yet to be wound. Then there are the gloves I promised MiHi when I first started knitting so many years ago. And the Knitspot jacket I’ve loved since Sock Summit and had the yarn since Rhinebeck 2009. Don’t forget the babies. And the woolly pounds more that take up space in this apartment.

There are at least six socks completed or near completed awaiting their mate. I think I’ll start with them first. Maybe I’ll even allow myself to start a simple mindless pair just so I can have a sock sack for all seasons. But first I should really tackle those gloves…

Shaken or stirred? Beer or wine? Ethiopian or pizza? Coffee or tea? Book or blog?

There are so many choices, none of which is the clear winner over the other.

Out of the indigo dye vat, into thin air

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

This is not my piece, nor my dipping. I was lucky enough to watch Kathy at earthues speak and dye during the Men’s Fall Knittng Retreat. (Her place is beautiful, a must-see in Seattle.) I am even luckier to call myself the owner of this fine scarf, now a deep, dark indigo blue. It’s currently drying on the stair railing.

I looked back to see if I posted anything this time last year about the lasr retreat. Sadly, I hadn’t. It was the start of a time of transition, as I was preparing my homework, an hour-long audition, for my current role that would see me leave a nine-year stint at Clif Bar. I was also knitting my wrists off to complete a raglan sweater (that was just published) and another garment (fate still TBD). I remember sitting in the Seattle airport, concerned about the future that I hoped to open up for me.

Much like the indigo dip, the retreat (as with many before it) stands out in my memory as a watershed event. There’s great oxidation & transformation that follows upon exposure to air & life afterwards. I ended up getting that job and what a ride the past year has been. I’ve turned many new shades of me and have come out wildly different than it initially appeared.

In its own special way, this year will similarly have yet to reveal itself. I hadn’t planned on attending this year’s MFKR, but I’m glad they could accommodate a late addtion after an impulsive Labor Day phone call. A stressful project had just wrapped up and I could imagine being social and not stressed again, if imminent a weekend.

I need a forthcoming transformation, boy, do I ever.
Who knows? Maybe it will reveal itself like last year, in just a few weeks.

Dirty birds

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

In the mini-park across from the office, two pigeons bathed in the grimey water that trickles down the wall. Some call it a fountain.

An uncharacteristically warm day, for birds and humans alike.


Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Dinner of a bachelor: canned lentil soup, frozen grilled asparagus and roasted seaweed. Not that exciting tonight. But after three very social evenings, a simple, if culinarily uninspired, evening at home was welcome.

Janie and I sat on the couch as I knit. It’s rare to enjoy a weeknight multiple-hour block of needle time. Elizabeth Gilbert hung out with us, reading Eat, Pray, Love. Funny how the book is different two years after my soul-searching sabbatical and so many changes in my life. We didn’t make it out of Italy, but there’s always tomorrow night.

C comes home from Portland on Saturday. The house feels empty without him, but there have been a few perks to shaking up the routine and being forced to be self- (and dog-) sufficient. The TV hasn’t been turned on once. I’ve seen old friends. I choose what to do next.

Like tonight.