Welcome to the blog of a young male knitter!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day Two

This spinning thing really is as addictive as they say it is, I've had my wheel for two full days -- today is the third -- and I've spun about 10oz. of fiber. This is getting to be a serious addiction. Today I sat at the wheel for a minute while I waited for my coffee to heat up. I spun while waiting for a phone call. It's getting out of hand.

While my wheel, now named Clara and will be referred to as such, still remains temperamental, I'm starting to learn how she works. 

On Christmas Day, I spun this:

That's 5 oz. of a nice Lincoln fiber. Great to learn on, and what's more, I actually like the finished product.

Here's yesterday's, and today's spinning.

Here's some merino top, that became this. 

Hopefully you'll see ply-ing tomorrow.

Spinning on a drop spindle is like knitting, it takes a while, and can be very difficult and hard on your arms. Spinning is much more like weaving, fast, but none the less magical.

Can't wait to play with Clara more.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Post Chirstmas!!

I hope that you all had as good a holiday as I did. I walk into my kitchen, and I am thankful beyond belief to think "Wow, how am I ever going to eat all this food." instead of "Where is my next meal coming from.

Moving on from that slightly heavy, but much needed sentiment, I'm here to tell you about the knitty side to my holidays. Or I should probably say, the spinny side of the day.
Any Guesses?
Yes, I am now the proud possessor of an antique spinning wheel. It doesn't work so well, but it does work, as evidenced by the hank of handspun that is drying about three feet away from where I write this. I would show you that, but I had some tec. issues. Still, I did spin 5oz. of Lincoln wool yesterday.

As a spindle spinner for most of my spinning "career" I am amazed by how very quick this goes. People always tell you how much faster a wheel is, but you never really see it until you actually try it. While it took me forever to figure it out (and I was a quick learner, thanks to all that work on the spindle)  I sat down yesterday, and by the time I was ready for bed, I had 5 more ounces of handspun for my (very small) collection of it. Today, here in about five or so minutes, I'll have even more. This stuff, I'll even ply it.

This could get very addictive, stay tuned.

(More about the holidays tomorrow. This was the big news, tomorrow you'll hear about the best reaction to any handknit present that I've ever gotten.)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Even I'm amazed

At how much knitting I can cram into a day. I think it helps when you DON'T STOP KNITTING. Really, I was feeling the burn that both A. Crazy people, and B. Knitters, both feel at this time of year. (Really, A and B are almost interchangeable, it depends on the knitter, and/or the crazy person.) Monday saw one present finished, Tuesday saw a pair of mitts finished -- and it was finished on Tuesday might I add, knitting late at night, party animal. Yesterday saw seems and button bands on the sweater, today it will hopefully see buttons, and woven in ends, (and the recipient RUINING CHRISTMAS*) I hope to do that in additions to weaving in the ends on one giant blanket. Add a few dishcloths to that, and I can call myself DONE. I'm not saying that I'll finish on time, but I'm saying that it doesn't really matter.
Monday, I knit a hat in about six hours, in addition to cooking. My mother guilted my into in by saying those words that she's forbidden to say this time of year, and I quote, "You know, so-and-so, would really like a hat." Well, push me right over and hand my my knitting. She later apologized for planting the idea in my highly suggestive head. Here's Monday's hat. A Prime Rib watchcap in bulky yarn. I got mine from Knitting without Tears. (Where else would I get it.) A little on the small side, but I crossed the finish line with about a yard of yarn -- living on the edge.
Tuesday I was very proud of myself though, because I knit those while doing a lot of my shopping, working a volunteer gig reading at the library (I got a few strange looks as I juggled a book and my needles) and mixing up the dough for several kinds of cookies.
Picture another hand, exactly like this, wearing another one, exactly like this. I did need one hand to operate the camera with.

Here's a sight to make you weep with pride. All the Christmas knitting (or most of it) freshly washed. I did my own then too though, figured while I was at it, right? 

Monday, December 19, 2011

The back of the Not-Jali Cardigan is done. (Of course, this thing is seamless up to the armhole, so it's a lot less knitting then it appears to be.) All I've got left to do on it is the front, (again, only from the armhole up) the button bands, which I'm modifying to make them smaller, and uh, actually close something. Then weave in a few ends, and wham, bam, thank you ma'am, this thing will be done and off my needles. I personally, even though this thing was fun to knit, can't wait to see it go. It's not that I don't like it, it's just that I've been a little too faithfull to it for the past week or two. I'm hankering for a change.

I've added the potential for a few more presents to my list, because what's Christmas without knitting till dawn at least once. I plan to unvent some mitt-mitten flap thing that will sound like a total mystery to you until you see it. Plans are subject to change as always.

Tired today. Is it bad that at a quarter till ten I'm ready for a large nap. Thankfully I've got that no nap rule and a fresh pot of coffee . . .

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Please Work!!

(It's not the best, but at least it's something.)

(For those of you just joining this show, scroll down to the post from earlier today, and it'll explain everything.)

That Operation really did have a lot of benifits

As some of you will recall, this time last year I was flat on my back, bilateral casts from the knee down. While this had the benefit of straightening my feet out, it also made me lose weight (I grew, and I couldn't get out of bed to eat) and I got a huge head start on the Christmas knitting. (I also had an excuse to stay home a lot) You know you have got a lot of free time when you start the yearly round of presents in January. I digress though, and move on to today, and more specifically last night.

Even with all that added knitting, I still wasn't sure if I would make it. I had a lot of my mother's Christmas sweater still to do, and the ends on a giant blanket. So I decided to do what the Harlot (you know what Harlot) was going to do. Hit the knitting hard, and make sure that's it's still possible. And let me tell you something, I don't want to get to cocky, but boy, is it ever possible. While a week ago I was a few skeins short of losing it entirely, I am serene now. (Not to rub it in or nothing.)

Here's some shots of my mother's sweater, which will be finished on Christmas morning, hopefully without any manic midnight (or two or three a.m.) knitting sessions.

Sorry, computer issues, I'll try later today, or tomorrow. I'm really sorry. Suffice to say it's a lot bigger, and actually looks like a sweater, instead of a shapeless blob.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


It's a Baby Surprise Jacket. I finished it up maybe Saturday night while reading a book. (Gotta love that Garter Stitch) Here's what it looks like unfolded.

A very colorful manta ray

 This was made up of mostly little oddments of this and that. Striped at random. I made a lot of mistakes with this, mostly due to my inability to read, and count. Let that be a lesson to all those who plan on knitting this in the future. Count and read.

I haven't sewn it up yet, and that's not due to laziness, or at least not all due to laziness. Tonight I'll be taking it with me to knit nite, and daring all who plan on making it to fold the Manta-ray into a sweater. I'll also be taking the formula (not pattern) for the larger sizes with me, as one of the knitters wanted to see them in the larger sizes. I can't wait to see the look on her face. (It is a lot of math for a Zimmermann. I balk at it if that tells you anything.)

Random thought on blogging, I hate the thought of doing it, but I like it while I do it. Odd as fish as the Harlot would say.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Here's some shots of the knitting that I mentioned earlier this week.

That's the not-so Jali Cardigan. I had a lot of issues with the body so I replaced it with a simple feather and fan. So far a lot better, even though it did take me an hour to knit one row last night. It's moving a lot faster now, and I was even able to knit more than one repeat during an hour this morning. Working on it whenever I can. (kind of.) 

 Here is the BSJ, working on it for a KAL. I'm going to do another one it January, this one it much more of a practice one. I'm going to write down where I ran into problems, and hope that it'll help a few of the less experienced, and less thinking knitters. The pattern isn't hard, but it is one that makes you think, and if you're knitting this for the first time, my advice would be to count your stitches often, and to read through the directions thoroughly. There is one point where she means "at the same time" but doesn't say it. You increase the back while continuing the miter increases. (Sorry for the knitting techno talk, rest assured it will help someone.)
Last but not least is a little top-down sweater that I'm making up as I go along. No gauge swatch, not really much of a plan, knit on the fly, I'm whinging it. Need to get back to this, but I have to work on the two shown above. About two more inches and then I'll be done with the body. I'm not setting a deadline for it, but let's just say I hope to ring in the New Year while wearing this sweater. (Party Animal)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Lazy Blogger

I need to haul out the camera and take pictures of the four (!) active things that I've got on the needles. But I'm to lazy, you know the feeling, where the camera seems so far away, and it seems like so much work to put pictures up on the blog. I'm sure you never get like that, only me.

Anyway, I'm resurrecting the BSJ (Baby Surprise Jacket). It's sitting about a foot from me, which is a very dangerous place because I've got other stuff that I need to do. As a matter of fact, it's on top of the other stuff.

Do you remember the KAL that I was planning with the Wednesday knit knitters. Well, we decided to postpone it till January, and then we're going to work on it then, because we'll have a lot more people. Let's see . . . there should be six of us, seven if you count Ann (She moved to Florida, but will be knitting a-long.) I'm going to knit one now, and one then to make sure that I can help anyone who has problems, and then I'll knit one then. Schoolhouse Press should really like the boost in sales :)

I should take pic's of the Not-Jali cardigan's sleeves. I've got two, and hopefully I'll be able to start the body tonight. Need to work on that, spending a little to much time with my mother . . .

I also should try to remember where I left that sock I started for a little travel knitting. I think it's in with some Christmas presents, but I'm not sure. Don't ask me how I could misplace knitting, it could happen to you.

Then there is the sweater for me, which is almost done with the body. Moving right along with this one, the only one. It's really simple, so I can work on it while I do everything. Needs a few inches and sleeves.

Please heckle me to death if I don't have pictures of this by Monday. Call, comment, visit me personally and poke me with large sticks, whatever it takes.

Monday, December 5, 2011

More Reasons not to like the Tomten Jacket

(I'm wearing it now, inasmuch as I want to hate it, I love it.)

Racheal Herron (link on sidebar) wrote a book about measuring your life in miles of yarn. How what she was knitting at the time helped her remember what she was feeling at the time. This is a very interesting concept for me, the knitter who knits everywhere, and everything that I've made has got some memories in it. Whether that's knitting while watching Desperate Housewives, (Brie, don't do it, don't shoot!) or dying Easter eggs, my knitting all has feelings that are bound to it like glue.

This sweater though, it was a really quick knit. (Over looking the slough of despond era) It doesn't have a lot of memories in it. The only ones I can come up with are me knitting while reading Julie and Julia, in the last cool days of summer. I briefly remember cursing over the sleeve that I knit inside out (I did that on Baby Tomten Jacket too, oddly enough I fixed it this time.) There are a few memories of this sweater being knit on during Pan Am too, mostly because it was touch knitting, not seeing knitting.

I think that these memories are a bit of a done deal though. I can't create them when the sweater is already done, they have to be done while the sweater is on the needles. I create memories in the yarn, not the garment. Make sense to you, because I'm not sure it did to me. I'm a little sick these days, and I'm not sure if this is real, or if it's all a figment of my imagination.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tomten Jacket

And me being done with it.

Yup, I finished my Jacket, though I really don't think that it really deserves the title of Jacket. The Tomten sweater? Nah, The Tomten Tunic? Not exactly Tunic-ie. The Tomten Bathrobe sounds about right, and to me at least, it feels right.

It might have something to do with the all cotton content, or the way that I can wash and dry it in the machine. I really think that it's the (unintential) 3/4 length sleeves. While I like them, I don't like them that much. Like I said, if they were tighter fitting then they would make me feel manly, a feeling that I don't get very often, or really care about.

I intended this sweater to have a very full collar so it would be cuddly. So I knit the sleeves the right length for the intended collar. The collar though, it turned out less cuddly, and more ruffly. The kind of sweaters that are very fashionable for women at the moment. So I stuffed it in the corner for a month or so, until I got the urge for another sweater. That came a few weeks ago, and I'm just getting to around to documenting it.

Here's a few shots. I like it the way it is I'm not going to fix it, mostly because I don't think there is anything wrong with it. This sweater is going to be for when I need an infusion of cozy, which it really is, without the infusion of heat.
Blurry No? Tomorrow, why I need to wear this sweater everywhere.

Friday, December 2, 2011

New/Old Addi

It feels almost foreign to not be blabbing my every thought on this page. (Not my every though, but it does get close.) One day away, and I'm beginning to think that I'm suffering from withdrawal, or something like that. While I may not really need to blog, I like to do it. I think I'll be occupying this space a lot more often, which could be seen as either good news or bad news.

I've got several things that I could talk about. There's Abby's sweater, which I don't think would make a very good blog, and because I don't feel like pulling out the camera and going through the million-billion pictures on it. I could show you pictures of the Tomten Jacket, which has seen new life with it's little collar and 3/4 length sleeves. (If they were a little tighter fitting I would feel like "Big Strong Man. So Big, Grow out of Sleeves" be sure to say that last part like a cave man, otherwise it's just bad English.) But the sleeves feel a little bit more bathrobe-y to me. Pic's, well later when the camera doesn't seem so far away.

Last Wednesday was an odd day as far as knitting goes. I pulled back the body on the Jali Cardigan because it was evil. Possessed, I swear it is. That sweater tried to plunge it's needles into my beating heart.  So, instead of the cable-lace body, it will be a simple Feather and Fan stitch (I love feather and fan). If this sweater was the bible*, the old body would be the Old Testament, all fire and brimstone. This one however is like the New Testament of knitting -- all love and forgiveness. Hopefully I'll be able to end on a lighter note than the bible.

Ripping out the hellish body knitting was really not that bad. It felt good, like I was getting revenge on my knitting. It was made up for when The Generous Knitter (or Sindy as she is known by day) decided that she doesn't like her Addi needles (Can You Imagine?). For muggle readers of this blog, Addis are pricey, but worth it needles. They've always been out of my price range, but I'm now the possessor of three new-ish pairs.

(Sindy really deserves the title too. That V-neck Aran in Cascade 220, that was her yarn. That and a lot more that is happily resting on my bookcase.)

How she distributed them was laying them on the table at knit night, and everybody dove in head first, trying to grab a pair of two. (I got three, ah, being the only male, and younger, I enjoy being a novelty)

As I later said to Sindy (different one) "If you EVER want to start a riot among knitters, that it how you do it."

*I'm sorry if that offends anybody; I intended it for comedic purposes only.