Okey dokey folkeys, let’s talk knitting. M got me a new camera for my birthday before we headed to NZ, and I have been ROCKING that baby. And its macro setting.
UFOs! (bold text to indicate sub-heading!)
Silver sands scarf: not wild about the striping, but I’ve decided it’s not for me anyway. Hoping to whip up a matching pair of simple cuffs or mitts to accompany it. Plans briefly thwarted when I thought I had reached the last ball of yarn, and much energy was expended spluttering about how such poor yardage was downright criminal (since the scarf was only about 40cm long and I thought I had used three balls) and then much delight ensued when the other two balls were discovered in the bottom of the knitting basket. Hooray for small delights and also forgetfulness!
Mermaid gloves: finished the first while driving around NZ, cast on the second while drinking in NZ (not as dangerous as it sounds) and am now carrying on, plod plod plod, through the second. I might have made it a little snug around the top of the arm, but it’s not so snug as to put me off wearing it (I think). Also, I shouldn’t say ‘plod plod plod’, because frankly the Pomatomus stitch pattern is an utter delight and I’m really enjoying making it.
Gone but not forgotten!
Also, while you weren’t looking, I finished a pair of socks. Plain vanilla, toe-up, short-row heel socks: they were quite seriously the best socks I have ever made, largely because I took the time to increase before the heel, in order to incorporate a wee gusset before I turned the heel. That made such a big difference to the fit and also the pull-on-ability of the socks that I have now completely converted to doing all toe-up socks in this fashion. Sadly, no photos, because these were a birthday gift for my lovely Mumini, and they are now comfortably nestled in her deserving sock drawer. Probably with a cat on them. I like that.
Probably over-thinking the matter!
One of the things I thought a lot about while travelling is why I choose to do or not do things: I’m surprised to discover how many times I’ve deferred decision-making to other people, assuming that differences in taste amounted to superior judgment. I don’t like to think I am really as wussy as that sentence makes me sound. Take knitted skirts. For a long time, I put off knitting a skirt. Specifically, Intolerable Cruelty, the gorgeous skirt from Knitty. I remember seeing that pattern when it first came out, and thinking “that’s awesome; that’s gorgeous: I would totally knit that, except, y’know, it’s a skirt“. See, my Mumini isn’t mad about knitted skirts, and since she has good taste in most other avenues, I assumed it was Good Taste to not like knitted skirts. That liking a knitted skirt was a peculiar kink of mine, best left unindulged. Of course, the idea that liking a garment is some sort of defect or mistake is a peculiar one, now that I hold it up to the light. Which is a roundabout way of saying I have cast on Intolerable Cruelty in purple bamboo. This is another thing I can thank Ravelry for, too: checking out all the Intolerable Cruelties knitted up and flaunted all over Ravelry, plus all the people raving about how sexy it made them feel, was enough to make me start to think perhaps I wasn’t so odd for wanting to make it. Got gauge on the second try, and the gauge is nice and tight, too. Me like.
(Note my sexy macro shot to distract from an essentially dull picture.)
And, oy, if you’ve got the time, let’s talk about that purple bamboo. I have lost count of the number of projects I have cast on with that stuff, only to frog it back and restart it. I’m sincerely hoping that Intolerable Cruelty ends up being the most flawless, flattering, comfortable and sexy skirt ever, because that would at least make me feel that I’d been saving the bamboo for just such a garment. The thing is, bamboo is gorgeous and slinky and nice to handle, but has zero spring and zero memory. It’s also a little on the weighty side — not as heavy as cotton, but heavier than, say, silk — so drapey garments made out of it really tend to drape, but with the effect of sagging and pulling out of shape, as I discovered when I made a Simple Knitted Bodice out of it. (Fantastic pattern, by the way, and my bamboo version looked great, but the sleeves got all dangly and saggy and kept pulling it off me, which bugged me after a while.)
The Knitty winter surprises came out yesterday, including the fantastic sock pattern Skew. This arrived just at the critical psychological moment for me: I had unearthed a skein of multi-toned/semi-solid sock yarn in browns and autumnal blues that I had completely forgotten I had bought (hooray again for forgetfulness!). I don’t wear much brown and I don’t usually like browns and blues together, but this yarn kinda tempted me, nudging me with a raised eyebrow and saying “what are ya, chicken?”. Then when I rediscovered it the other day, I decided that an out-of-the-ordinary-for-me yarn really deserved a pattern that challenged me, or sparked me, or was just somehow different and quirky. Behold: Skew. (Second link there for those of you who didn’t bother clicking the first time.) I offer a tentative thank you to designer Lana Holden — tentative because (a) I haven’t gotten any further than the sixth round or so, so there’s still a lot of room for disaster to strike; and (b) I’d quite like to know how she read my mind and the contents of the yarn basket to such a perfect degree, and until she explains herself, she only gets a tentative thank you. Ya hear me, Holden? Tentative. (But thanks nonetheless.)