Monday, July 30, 2007

In love

I am in love with the special issue of Vogue Knitting. Initially I bought the magazine because it was shiny and had interviews with big, big knitting legends. However, the patterns are also amazing! They are luxurious, extravagant, luscious... When I read IK, I think "this is so clever, I'd love to make that". When I read VK, I think "must have this, NOW!".

Case in point: the red lace pieces. Do I really need a cardigan with shawl fronts? Who cares, I love it! How about a deep red lace dress? Why not. I'll wear it around the house, just to feel glamorous.

I do have to admit, though, that modular knitting will always be fugly. Why, why, why would anyone want koigu pants? Seriously, why? Oh, I know: to use up all those puppy-poo colors (while I like some koigu colors, I do not like ALL their color combos).

On a different note, I am making good progress on the Arctic Lace shawl: I've just finished the 5th pattern repeat and am about to start the 6th (and last!! hurray!!) repeat. Given that it took me more than two months to make 2 pattern repeats, I am hoping that the shawl will be done by Thanksgiving.

Pictures? Why, it's just knitted lace - it doesn't look like anything until it's blocked.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Yarn diet rules!

Ahem. Yarn diets don't rule. I really mean to say "here are the rules for my yarn diet - to begin today!"

But wait, why do I need a yarn diet? My stash fits neatly into two milk crates (yes, the small kind). It's nothing compared to what other people have: if you are on ravelry, you can find people with more than 100 TYPES of yarn in their stash. It would get lost in the roomS containing the world's largest stash. So what's the problem?

The problem is two-fold: yarn takes money, quite a bit of money, especially if you like to work with nice yarn. Secondly, whenever I get new yarn, I am very tempted to cast on for a new project. Evidence:

Ordered on Monday, shipped on Tuesday, received on Thursday (I love elann's shipping speed and rates), cast-on on Friday. The Voyager Stole, done in the original Elann Special Edition Cash Tweed or whatever. Great pattern, great yarn, awesome picot cast-on / cast-off. The problem? I have two other stoles on the needles, plus another shawl just beginning (I haven't even blogged about this last one, in an effort to deny that I have started so many damn things lately!). I don't need yet another lacy stole to take away from the time of the other two.

I want to finish projects. I want to become reacquainted with the skeins hiding in those two milk crates. I know they are beautiful and they deserve to be made into beautiful things. And finally, I need to save more money, I really should. The local yarn stores have received my support for the year.

Rules: there's only one. No more yarn purchases until the end of the current calendar year. If I get really hardcore about this, we might say no yarn purchases until Maryland Sheep and Wool 2008. Includes knitting books, needles, notions, whatever.

Exceptions: running out of yarn for a project (hello, Notre Dame). Breaking a needle in the middle of a project. Winning the lottery or discovering rich aunt who makes me her sole heir. Yarn for Venezia (already ordered, but will take forever to arrive. It looks like they need to shear more sheep on the Shetland Islands, or perhaps wait for next year and raise some more lambs. Why is this yarn taking so long??).

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A week like any other

Not much new to report from the knitting front. I am still working on Mystery Stole 3, I've reached the sole of the second Ute sock and I've restarted Notre Dame de Grace (this time on size 8 needles, which produce a more flexible fabric; I also have a plan for how to deal with running out of yarn early). The yarn for Venezia is taking forever to arive; did they have to shear more sheep over in Shetland to make my 10 skeins?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Socks and circles

For lack of better knitting content (it's almost too hot to hold yarn in my hands), I give you: the wrong side of an Ute sock.

I am extremely pleased with how this turned out, and with the fact that I can get away with carrying the yarn up a few rows, instead of breaking it and thus having to weave in a million more ends. Here is the precise area where the floats happen:

Not too shabby. I am working on the second sock now, and it really seems like color patterns move faster than other patterns.

I've also just finishes reading Ann Hood's The Knitting Circle and I have to confess that I enjoyed it a lot more than I was expecting to. The premise - a knitting circle heals a woman's heart - seemed cheesy and contrived, but the book is well written and thoughtful and not all ends well. It's also a fast read. I highly recommend it.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

And so it begins

After waiting so anxiously for the first Mystery Stole clue to be posted on Friday morning, I took my time to finish the knitting of the first clue. Row 100 was done tonight, and here is a mediocre picture; the tiny glowing thingies are the beads I am using.

I think the light and the color of my bedsheet make the shawl look nicer, but I have to admit this will be a gorgeous design. Check out the edge:

The construction is also going to be very interesting. I am already very much in love. (which reminds me, must put in lifeline before I forget!)

I am also in love with lace these days. I realized that besides socks, I don't wear my knitted items that much - but I would like to wear more shawls when the weather is less sticky. There is also the issue of gauge, cost, beauty... Conclusion: I will focus on beautiful lace from now on. I've just bought a copy of "Best of Knitter's: Shawls and Scarves" or something like that - a collection of great lace shawls with great instructions for designing your own, as well as explanations and modern interpretations of traditional constructions. Together with "Victorian Lace", I think I have enough lace shawl patterns for the rest of my life!