Welcome to the blog of a young male knitter!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Halloween Miricle

I have got great news. Really great news. Some news that makes me weep salt tears of joy. This sweet, sweet, joy. (Really, if something this small gives me joy, I can only imagine what I'll feel when I get offered my dream job as a book writer. Joy in the small things)

I finished the Christmas socks. Let's have us a crappy little look see. (I lost a camera war) (I think I may need to learn a few new war tactics.)

Never mind. My joy was sucked up by my computer's inability to do what I command it. I don't know if this was machine error, or operator error. Probably a little bit of both, Sigh.

I swear, I just get a little bit ahead and then the universe smacks me like an overcooked pancake. Grr!

But on the bright side, whether or not you were able to see them, the Christmas Socks our done (if only the word socks could be the word knitting).

So tonight I will be casting on for a little knit a-long that I'm doing with some of the Wednesday night knitters. We're all making the Baby Surprise Jacket. (I apologize to those of you who grow tired of the Zimmermann. You may want to stop reading, I think I'll be on this for a while.)

I'm a touch short on babies at the moment, but Tracy (one of the knitters) isn't. She is awash with babies. Tracy is one of those knitters who aren't really sure of themselves, so I'm knitting it along with her, just in case she runs into trouble. She was fairly certain it would happen and asked me how late at night she could call me. Ann is having a grandchild, so she's making a boatload of baby stuff this is just a drop in the baby knitting hat. Denise is knitting it too; she's also short on babies (who's fault is that?) but she likes to have fun.

And in the next few days I will probably cast on some new socks for me. I'm thinking large weight, and heavily cabled.

The V-neck Aran is at the armhole, and and the right one is done, and the left one is almost done. I'm loving this so much that I don't even care if it fits. Except that I do, and I hope it does. So far all signs point to yes, but I'm not holding my breath. You know how it goes. You knit till you turn blue, and then it doesn't fit. Sigh.

I'll try again with pics tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, October 24, 2011

One that's working and one that isn't

I'm here to tell you the news that I have developed a new obsession, and I love it. While these compulsive feelings are nothing new to me, this sweater is. I knit it in little bit here and there when I wanted something fussier than the Tomten Jacket. (We will get to him and his doomed fate in a little bit.)

That is the new obsession. It's Elizabeth Zimmermann's V-neck Aran. (I am nothing if not predictable) I got this in the Opinionated Knitter, and I love it. The yarn is Cascade 220, and it bears no resemblance to the color in the picture. (sorry, the light  here is so bad, it's the middle of the day, and the lamp is lit in what is usually a well lit room. Ohio has become one lightless gray mass) Now that the Tomten Jacket is more or less done, I am free to work on it all I please.

Except I am not free to work on all I please, because Christmas is coming. (I originally wrote Christmas is knitting, which is so true.) I must get to work on my presents. There is surprisingly little to do, but I have a feeling that I'm lulling myself into a false sense of security.

Here is the Tomten Jacket, and it is now stuffed under my desk till I either A) get an urge to finish anything, or B) when I get tired of looking at it.

There are a lot of issues with this little puppy. For starters the collar drapes in a rather feminine fashion. While I think that is a great look for a lot of women, I don't think that it is that great on a six foot tall man. I wanted the collar to be . . . cuddly. (I think that six foot tall thing was just compensating for the cuddly) So I knit a lot of collar. Now, I'm going to have to rip back the collar, re-bind off it. Then that means the sleeves will probably be to short, so I'm going to have to rip out the (sewn) bind-offs on those, and knit about three more inches. I still have to put the toggels on this, and then weave in the ends, then I should be done.

I need a break from it, I'm sure you understand. Just drop me a line every now and then so I don't forget about it. Hopefully one day I'll finally be able to put this sweater in it's place once and for all.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sunday Morning Yarn

This Sunday was one of those days. Those days where I wake up prior to the crack of dawn, and my brain just screams "YOU'RE AWAKE!! GET UP AND DO SOMETHING!!!"

Those kind of days tend to be very productive days. I am usually done with all my usual work by maybe . . .  eleven? It depends on how much I have to do, so those days, I have a whole day to play with. (I made up for it today with my crappy alarm clock and staying up till all hours that night watching Pan Am.)

So yesterday, I made use of my extra time by winding and washing an old sweater that already was missing its seams. The sweater was procured for free, (I heart volunteering!) and I am now in possession of a sweater's worth of 80% wool, and 20% nylon. If it matters at all, the yarn was from Abercrombie and Fitch. It practically reeked of men who had as little sense as they did shirts. I think that's why they let me take it. (Or because it had more pills than a pharmacy.) Now it smells like Dawn and dawn.

Sorry, I didn't get a pic of the original sweater. I don't make it a habit to think that far ahead.

My yarn pre-wash

My yarn drying in the morning light.

And after it started raining.
The Tomten Jacket suffered a painful rip back, because I knit one sleeve inside out. Funny, the same thing happened to me when I knit my baby Tomten Jacket. The directions pick up and knit WITH THE RIGHT SIDE FACING YOU can't really be stressed enough. ETA: Got about four inches left on the sleeve. I've been knitting like the wind today. Give me a minute, and I'm cranking out a row. Please don't ask me how that's different than normal, somehow I'm getting more done, I'm going with it. Woot!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sleeves and leaves

Here is a quick peak at the progress on the Tomten Jacket (the word Tomten is harder to spell than it really should be).

Getting a good picture of this thing is like getting a good picture of bigfoot. You are pretty sure that it's something else.

Really loving this thing as a project. I have the urge to carry it around the house with me. (I also have an urge to put a D in the word urge.) Oddly, this thing is entertaining me to no end. But, the little slip stitch socks bore me to tears. You would think that would be the other way around.

I really love this yarn which is a recycled cotton. The "string-y-ness" of it really appeals to me. And I should have some leftovers. (Rather shocking, I wasn't sure I would have enough to finish it.) Can anybody say "Dishcloths?"

In other news, I have decided to do Nablopomo this year. Just like I did last year. For those of you who don't know, Nablopomo is where the author of a blog posts to their blog every day for a month. Aren't you just jumping for joy at the thought of knowing what I'm thinking at every possible moment. What can I say, It'll be an exercise in narcissism. (Try saying that five times fast.)

Here is few shots from my walk yesterday. Like I said before, I really missed out on Autumn last year, so I have to make up for it this year. A lot of the trees here haven't fully changed, so you'll just have to take what you can get.

I would entitle these pictures "I need to get a better camera." (My apologies to the little-camera-that-could. You know I love you.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Winging it.

The title is a long story, but suffice to say that I am winging it more than I actually know what I'm doing.

I've been reading a lot lately, and I've learned a few things about myself. (Self realization, always startling.)

1. It's okay for me to not always read the intellectual crap. When people see you reading a book, they generally assume that you are a smart cookie. (Usually) I don't have to plow my way through an Austen every week in order to maintain my bookish exterior. Now, I find myself drawn to the kind of books that I actually want to read, and  . . . actually reading them.

2. When I have a good book, I read it. A few months back I was yaking about when I first saw the movie Julie and Julia. (Watch it, you won't be sorry) Well, I just now got around to reading the book that it was based on, and I read that book in about thirty-six hours. It was that good. Better than the movie, and that's saying something.

3. When you don't have anything that you feel like reading, go out and buy or borrow a book that you do want to read. All of our time is too valuable for us to spend it with our nose in a book that is boring us to tears. The librarians will not kill you if you leave unfinished books around the house. (Provided they aren't library books. That's the reason I have to go book shopping. I never have enough money at one time to pay my library fine.) (I go to a charitable used bookstore though, it's for a good cause.)

4. Don't be ashamed about what you're reading. I recently read a book called Lipstick Jungle. (Let me know if you want a link.) It was kind of like Sex and the City turned into a book. Only with a lot more heart. (Both the books are by the same author, that might be why.) It wasn't the sort of thing that I would go for, but I loved it. Made me think about the value of friendship, and the value of a good career.

5. Like the post-it on my desk tells me, LIGHTEN UP! HAVE FUN! (I know it's bad that I have to remind myself to do those things.) And if we apply that to every aspect of our lives, we will be just fine. (Reading, knitting, family, all within limit though, like all things.) I always say, (not really) we are not in this life for toil, anxiety, or stress. We are here for fun and happiness, let your life, in all it's aspects, reflect that.

Jeez, I started talking about books, and then I segway into how people should live their lives, sorry! Didn't mean to do that.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Self realization is indeed a startling thing

And, as I sat at my desk and began to write this, I had a little realization about myself:

If I want to blog, I have to sit down and blog. It's that simple.

I usually start off the blogging process with a little head blogging. I sit there and knit a few stitches while I think about what I'm going to write about. That usually stays in my head for about ten minutes, (if that) and then I'm off to thinking about ways to cook eggplant, or why an eggplant doesn't look like an egg, or why it's called eggplant, not aubergine. (I know my colors.) Generally, I think a lot about eggplant, more than is really healthy. (Or maybe thinking about eggplant has lead me to absorb it's nutrients through thought.)

Now, when I think about writing a little something here just to let you all know that I'm still kicking, I will simply sit down and write something. Anything. I apologize in advance.

Still working on the Tomten Jacket. I'm on the sleeves now, and we've had a few issues. I was going to to some weird thing where I knit half the sleeve from the cuff up to the cap, and then knit the cap and graft the two together.

Ha, Ha!

I'm working from the cap down to the cuff. And I'm not at all bitter about it. On the bright side I'm pretty sure that I will have enough of this recycled cotton to knit the whole sweater in one color. I ripped it out of a sweater that was just right for me, and now I'm knitting it into an oversize sweater. I guess the gauge (Tomten is knit a lot looser than the original sweater) is the difference. Still, let me know if you have any voodoo that you need me to work on any of your knitting. Happy to help!