Knitwit's Rambles

My attempt to actually have a knitting blog, and to update it regularly. We'll see how well that works.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Mmmm Geekery

Been tinkering with the look of the blog a bit - basically just changed the Blogger-provided template. They all look kind of weird, but then that's probably because I have a widescreen monitor and the proportions of the blog components don't adjust to the monitor size, so when I look at it, I have two huge blocks of background colour on either side of the content, which just makes it look out of proportion.

Also, Blogger? It helps if you don't randomly change the comment option to "Only Comments from Members of this Blog". Especially if you don't TELL me this. Just happened to be looking through the options and spotted that little detail. Oy.

I've also started trying to use bloglines but am kinda meh on it. I'd like it better if I could get it to display new posts like LiveJournal does on their friendlist feature: posts in order by the most recent, regardless of their source, whereas right now bloglines shows the five most recent posts on each blog. Most of them I had to click on the post anyway to see the whole thing which opens in a separate window anyway, so... Yeah, not sure how much use I'll get out of that.

Anyway, away from the techie stuff and back to the knitting.

First in knitting news, nearly done the Kasshabog Koigu socks. Went through about three or four possible ideas for the tops before I decided to just go with plain garter stitch. I don't really need the ribbing at the top to keep them up as they're all ribbing, and I just want to finish them.

Of course when they're done I'm not exactly free to start the socks that I want to, as I want to do those on a size smaller needles than the Koigu ones, which are currently take up with the world's most boring self-striping yarn. Really, I should have known this stuff was a dog in the skein: light blue, a slightly darker blue and grey interspersed with bands of black & white patterning, and all the colour bands are washed out and kind of mottled, like denim. Really, it's not the most interesting stuff, but now that I'm halfway done the foot on one and at the heel on the other I don't exactly want to tear it all out. See kids, this is why you should never buy yarn in desperation just to have some new yarn and something to knit. Because eventually you will get better yarn, by which time the dog yarn will be hogging the needles you want to use.

The socks I'd like to start once I'm finished the Koigu ones are using the yarn I got in New York, which I've found the perfect stitch pattern for. It was in one of the Regia sock books, a six-stitch repeat, making stockinette squares outlined by garter ridges. Or to me, in this yarn, like the neon lights of Times Square reflected in the grids of windows of skyscrapers. Therefore, they are now officially dubbed the "Times Squared Socks". *is a dork*

Now I just have to finish the Boring Socks of Doom so I can have my 2.25mm needles back. However, at least when I finish the Koigu socks, the BSoD can become my travel projects, and considering my work schedule just got interesting ("Define interesting." "Oh God, oh God, we're all going to die?" Sorry, random geekery) I should be spending quite a bit of time commuting to and from work on the bus.

Speaking of work, my knitting program at the library started today! I've been looking forward to it; particularly as I'm doing it with teenagers as an afterschool thing, instead of kids on summer Saturday mornings. Considering teenagers have more autonomy, especially around that time of day, I'm thinking there's a greater chance that the kids will be there because they're actually interested and want to be, as opposed to some of the kids I had last time, some of whom had less choice in the matter. Today 7 of the 9 kids showed up (Seven of Nine! HEE! Sorry, more geekery) and they were a really good bunch. Most of them already knew each other as they're homeschooled. A few of them already know how to do some knitting, some are starting from scratch, so the ones that already knew the basics basically had a little stitch n' bitch (including the others, of course, once I got them started off) while I taught the newbies.

The newbies did really well, and by the end of the class they were knitting away. It was nice to have them catch on fairly quickly, which I had been hoping would be the case. One of the girls was struggling a bit on her first row, and mentioned that she thought she'd probably stick with beading as "this yarn thing" wasn't really her cup of tea. By her third row she was saying that she could see how it could be addictive. :) Should be interesting to see how the class goes from here on in.

Also, I could really do an entire entry about knitting podcasts, but just mentioning one I've found recently, though they've been podcasting for a while: Lime And Violet. OMG. I love this podcast. I kept hearing about them on Cast On (the other of my have-they-posted-the-podcast-yet weekly addictions) and just downloaded a couple eps last week. These girls are hilarious; incredibly wacky and yarn obsessed. They sound like the kind of people I would love to hang out with because we'd just be howling the entire time. Now every time I see some incredibly delicious yarn I think of Miss Violet saying that she wants to rub it on her good bits. *snigger* Go to the blog or to iTunes or Podcast Alley and download them.

So anyway, there's the updates. Hopefully next time I update I will be closer to starting the Times Squared socks and I will have the Boring Socks of Doom closer to done.

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Attack of the Creeping Crud...and Photos!

Not of the creeping crud. And no self portraits as unfortunately I am not laying back gracefully amongst the pillows wearing a fetching bedjacket. Instead I'm propped up on pillows, nose dribbing everywhere, coughing every half second, with greaseball bedhead.

...I'm sure you really wanted to know all that.

Anyway, as promised, I have pictures of knitting, which I'm sure will be a much more welcome sight to all of you out there in blogland.

I also never did my update for the rest of August and the beginning of September which, well, really, there's not much to update. I worked on my yet-to-be named Koigu socks. I'm kind of thinking "Kasshabog Dusk", as the colours remind me of the colours you see at the cottage we rented a couple times on Lake Kasshabog in the Kawarthas, north of Peterborough. It could also be because while I was working on these socks Mom and Dad were headed up north to another cottage we used to go to and I wasn't. *pouts*

Anyway, I'm almost finished them as you can see in this photo. I'm probably going to start the ribbing soon as they're getting to about the length I like them. However, it also means that I still have the subject of the photo on the right: another entire skein of Koigu (in ball form, of course), as the store owner where I bought the yarn said with Koigu you needed 3 skeins for socks, unless you wanted ankle socks. My feet being of mammoth proportions, I bought the extra skein. Now I'm not entirely sure what to do with it. Lacy handwarmers maybe? Hold it together with the white cashmere/wool blend I was going to use to make myself handwarmers? I'm not sure. Will have to ponder this.

Meanwhile, have been working on a couple other things, of course. I've been doing some destashing by working on a scarf for donation. I had an entire skein of Paton's Shetland Chunky in a charcoal grey, as well as a skein of Naturally Tussock 8 ply in a charcoal grey with little tweedy flecks. Not enough to make a scarf from either alone but held together, and knit on gigantic needles, you get a proper adult-sized scarf. Am doing it in boring garter stitch, but it's going fast enough that I don't care about the boredom of the endless knitknitnknitknitknit... Besides, it's great for talking on the phone and knitting as I don't really need to pay too much attention to what I'm doing.

As for the stash additions, they're mainly single balls for testing out yarns I'd like to use for my first sweater, which I'd like to do sometime soon. Particularly as at the moment my LYS is still having a 40% off everything sale, which would certainly help a lot. The stuff I'd really like to use is Kathmandu DK, in this gorgeous deep plum/burgundy colour (which you...really can't see in the photo at all, unfortunately), with subtle flecks of red and beige. It just screams to be made into a warm, earthy-looking sweater (maybe cabled?) that would be great to cuddle into in fall. Only problem being that even with the sale, and considering how much I'd have to buy to cover my plus-size body, I'd have to be very careful with the pattern; ie. making it one that I Would Not Screw Up. And did I mention the part where I'd be making this pattern up?

There are a couple alternatives, other yarns I'd looked at that I don't remember the names of at the moment, and I'm too lazy and tired to get up off my perch and hunt down the ball bands for. But I am seriously in love with the Kathmandu. The others are nice and soft and very pretty colours (one burgundy, the other teal), but they're solids, and I love the tweedy look, especially as it's getting more into fall and getting cooler.

Eh, we'll see.

Only other news is that the Swallowtail Shawl is proceeding slowly, though I've only been working on it at occasional moments, when the urge takes me, so that's nothing to be surprised at. I also went through my knitting basket ( of them...) and took out a couple UFOs that I really need to work on--including a pair of socks, quel surprise. At the moment, though, I'm trying to finish up another pair of handwarmers in a lovely soft alpaca/wool blend. It'll only take a couple more hours' work to finish them, really, as they go so quickly. I'll post photos when they're done but if you're curious, they look the same as the green ones I did back in April.

Other than the couple balls here and there I'm just trying to save up my $$ for the Creative Sewing And Needlework Festival in Toronto in a month's time. I really want to go this year as I missed both the spring and fall shows the last couple years, and besides, I need to scope out more laceweight...and maybe more Koigu. And some Trekking XXL. Because you can never have too much sock yarn, right?

Oh! And have completely forgotten to mention here that my boss approached me a while back about doing a knitting program at the library and it's scheduled to start in a couple weeks. It's for 12 to 18-year-olds and while there was only one person signed up the last time I saw the sheet, I got an email from one of my coworkers to say that someone else signed up the other day and mentioned that a bunch of homeschoolers they knew would probably be signing up too. More news on that front as I have it. Anyone have any advice for beginner knitters that you think I should pass along? I plan to try and get across that there's nothing to be scared of in knitting, that everything will feel awkward at first and smoothness just comes with practice.

And now off to listen to the new Cast On and get myself some more cough syrup. Fun.

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

In Which I'm Very, Very Lazy

Okay, so I'm tired and lazy today, so you get a voice post. It's about 10 MB, will take a couple minutes to download, and you don't actually have to save it to your hard drive to listen. Enjoy!

Bonus Links:

Peacock Feathers Shawl, Fiddlesticks Knitting
Swallowtail Shawl, Interweave Knits magazine, Fall 2006 Issue
Knit One, Kill Two (#1 in the Knitting Mystery Series), by Maggie Sefton
Died in the Wool, by Mary Kruger
Chicks with Sticks (It's a Purl Thing), by Elizabeth Lenhard

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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Promised Picspam

Okay, finally here are those photos I was talking about.

The Jack Bauer Felted Manpurse of Justice! The flap actually comes down lower than that; it's just kinda wonky in this pic.

The Koigu mistake rib socks! Which have no creative name, unfortunately. And they're much further along than that now; will have to take some updated pics soon.

NYC swag! Cherry Tree Hill supersock in the "Country Garden" colourway.

And here's a closeup of that colourway, though the colours are perhaps a tweege less vibrant in real life. Still undecided what stitch pattern (if any) I want to use with this yarn.

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