Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Wow Moment

I realized I had forgotten to sew my "knitted by hand" label on the inside of my poncho. I did that, and then tried on again - the first try on after blocking. I ran to the mirror, where I had my Wow Moment. The poncho looked so cute, surely because it had been blocked, and probably because it was over a closer-fitting, smooth top (I had a thick, long sleeve tee on for the first, pre-blocking, try on).

I was so delighted with the poncho that I packed it for the office this morning, figuring I would be cold at my desk (I often am, plus I feel a cold coming on, and I am wearing a top I always feel cold in). Let me tell you, I am still delighted, and I am warm.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sometimes, Knitting is Hard

Not just from a technical standpoint, either. Sometimes, it is a grind. It was a mixed bag for knitting this weekend. Let's start with the good stuff:

1. The shawl had a night out on Saturday. She went to a play at Stanford, and took DH and I along for the ride. Alas, the theater was too warm for it, but she draped over me elegantly anyway. It was freezing outside, though, so she obligingly made a big, cozy scarf around my neck and over my coat for the walk to the car.

2. I finished the Very Harlot Poncho. I am pretty happy with it. I didn't really have a "wow" moment, like I did with the shawl, but I do like it, and I think it will be nice to have for those cold days in the office.

3. I made a beautiful swatch for Eunny's Print O' the Wave Stole. It is the most wonderful swatch I have ever seen.

4. I put in a few rows on the Floral Gathering Sac, EPS Sweater, and the Noni Garden Party bag.

The bad:

I frogged the scarf I am making for my mom. I lost my place on a row (which annoyed me, because it is a pretty simple pattern), and in trying to count to where I was supposed to be, I discovered an error. I also wasn't happy with how the edges were looking. The pattern says to slip the first stitch on every RS row. This side looked great, but the other side looked uneven and I couldn't stand it.

I overreacted - all I needed to do was frog back a row or two, but instead, I frogged back to the garter edging. It is just as well, I suppose. Now, I can slip the first stitch on the WS rows and both sides will look nice.

And the ugly:

I decided to wind up some KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud for the Print O' the Wave. It didn't go well. It went all tangly toward the end and I couldn't fix it. Most of the ball wound up just fine. But I lost maybe 3 yards in the tangle.

I wish I could say it as pithily as DH did - but after I summed up the weekend as "a complete waste of perfectly good knitting time," he said something like, our failures make our triumphs even sweeter. And he is right - it was just what I needed to hear, and I have a bunch of things on the needles that I really enjoy. It will be a wonderful moment to see each of them finished, too.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Ohh, ohhh, it's magic!*

I finished the garter lace shawl yesterday. I am thrilled of course, but before I go into detail, I have two observations:

1. Yep, blocking lace is magic, as often said by lace-knitting aficionados.

2. It is also a massive pain in the ass, which is occasionally hinted at by lace-knitting aficionados, but is seldom said plainly. You heard it here first.

Let's rewind a bit. I had started an edging (Little Bit O' Lace from an obscure book of otherwise undistinguished patterns called 101 Knitting on the Go Projects**) what seems like ages ago. I knitted and knitted and knitted on it and made... some progress. I was about 3/4 of the way down one side, having, the whole time, worried that I had too many picked up stitches and the thing was going to be all wavy (I was winging the edging - as written, the shawl was not edged).

Unwilling to face the music, I picked the shawl up reluctantly here and there, knowing the edging would be all wrong, knitted a few desultory rows, and put it down again, in favor of my lovely, welcoming and non-judgmental poncho, or one of many small, quickly-finished projects.

Sunday, I cut bait. Sunday, I frogged the edging. I did a little subtle crochet around the edges and blocked it. After much fussing, pushing, shoving and, yes, swearing, it is now pinned out on my favorite beach towel, and two more towels, because the shawl is now quite large. Eminently wearable, but large. After gazing at it for a while, I realized, not only was frogging the edging a good decision in general, a big shawl like this one only needed a little something on the edges, not a major edging. Upon blocking, I am now sure that "Little Bit O' Lace" would have turned into "Ginormous Swingy Curtain of Lace."

I plan to knit lots more lace, this time with borders and edgings, all properly picked up. I will probably continue to swear during the blocking phase, but I can't deny that it is magic.


* You know? I hate that song. But it seemed an apt title.

**I am actually planning to do the Golden Ferns Counterpane at some point, but in a less startling color, such as sagey green. The model is in an insane yellow shade.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Knitting at Tiffany's

Another one from the I Wish I had a Camera Phone files. Note to self: maybe I really should get a camera phone.

I was coming back to the office from my dentist, at 490 Post. As is my wont, even if I take the bus to the appointment, I always walk back via Post Street so I can look in the windows at Sak's and Tiffany. This also reminded me that it is nearly time to take my rings in to Tiffany for their cleaning.

Just as I thunk that last thought, I noticed that the pieces in Tiffany's windows were displayed on balls of yarn and knitting needles!! Unfortunately, I didn't have time to go in and say how thrilled I am, but I will make a point of doing so when I take my rings in this week.

Maybe they are coming out with a knitting-related keyring.... Eeeep!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Onward and, uhm, aroundward

I love knitting in the round. Love it love it.

I started SBT2 last night and it is going swimmingly. Without giving too much away, let's just say that this will be good practice with a system that will generate a larger item of the same type using some yarn I recently bought. How is that for vague? Maybe I am too anal about the secrecy thing.

Anyway. Apparenly, I wasn't anal enough about my size 5 dpns, because I can't find the things anywhere. I might have to buy another set.

In other circular news, I finished a watch cap for my brother, to celebrate his move to Arizona, a new job, and starting school this month. I started it on Friday, finished it Sunday, and mailed it off to him today. It was a fun, easy knit, and something I'd been meaning to make for him for ages.