Knitting on the Brink

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A Mystery To Everybody January 25, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — reichenbachfalls @ 10:16 pm

A Mystery To Everybody

Originally uploaded by marcelory

So, while I was on the vacation, I assumed I’d finish the Warm Shawl AND my Mystery Malabrigo Project (pictured at right) and return refreshed and ready to attack the sleeves of my Tangled Yoke Cardigan.

I assume I am not the first person to make this mistake. My Mystery Project did get many helpful rows finished; I used the plane ride home to pick up and knit several rows of my Warm Shawl. So I did get some knitting done on, essentially, the first and last days of my trip.

When I did KIP I got positive reactions, from both a room service type and a flight attendant on the way home (he kept insisting the Warm Shawl was impossible to knit. For a beginner, maybe, but, as I kept assuring him, if it was really hard I wouldn’t be able to do it!).

It’s funny how, until you knit, knitting seems really hard. It’s just looping yarn, really. It’s beautiful but it’s not (usually) hard.

I didn’t get the chance to visit StitchDC, unfortunately. If the Dowager Princess goes to DC for law school, I will!


Knitting in the Snow, Day One January 19, 2008

Filed under: Elsewhere!,Knitting,mission complida — reichenbachfalls @ 5:15 am

I’m on location in our nation’s capital, totally knitting all our federally-funded yarn. (Thanks, Yarn Lobby!) Being in Washington is like living in a veryEverything in DC looks like this. cold one dollar bill. There’s a statue of a Founding Father on, like, every single corner without exception.

It snows here! I’m so glad I finished my mittens before I left. I’m completely outfitted in knitted accessories — cabled hat, Shifting Sands Scarf, and the super-fast Ann Budd all-purpose mitten pattern. I’m so proud I made these things for myself. They’re so warm! I was afraid that not having Polarfleece technology would leave me shuddering, but that’s just not accurate. News Flash: it’s recently been discovered that wool is totally competent at keeping extremities from freezing.

I’ve been trying to knit on the superefficient DC Metro, but it’s too fast. By the time I get my totally too big to carry around Top Secret Knitting Project out and start knitting, we have to run off the train in a hurry because we’ve arrived at some storied Washington destination in approximately four seconds. The Dowager Princess (AKA Auntie, Esq.) dropped my ball of yarn in the middle of Union Station Plaza and we got about thirty feet of unraveled Malabrigo before she noticed. We yelled at each other like tourists from New York. It was embarrassing.


Warm Shawl Support Group Needed January 9, 2008

Filed under: Knitting,mission completely not accomplished — reichenbachfalls @ 5:36 pm

MIL Shawl

Originally uploaded by marcelory

I am terribly afraid of picking up all the stitches (250+) for my Warm Shawl. I have all the tools I need — Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk, Cro-needle, millions of stitch markers, dogged insanity, rapidly approaching birthday deadline, Trader Joe’s Coastal Chardonnay.

However, instead I have been knitting fun little Malabrigo projects, the latest of which are my “I Hear It Snows on the East Coast” mittens for next week (in Stone Blue).

I’m such a dedicated procrastinator, I even procrastinate on my hobby.


The Sheriff of Yarn Town January 7, 2008

Filed under: hats,Knitting,mission complida,musings — reichenbachfalls @ 5:05 pm

Originally uploaded by marcelory

It was important to me to finish my 30th knitting project within 24 hours of my 30th birthday. No idea why. But I did! Ironically it’s my mother’s birthday present (her birthday is 7 days after mine).

Stranded kitting with the yarn in each hand feels like quick-drawing Mrs. Smith & Mrs. Wesson in the middle of a dusty town square, facing off the ultimate evils of Tangling and Just General Failing again and again. I am the Sheriff of Yarn Town, a badass using her bad ass powers for good.

I want to strand everything now, just like I wanted to cable everything before. Perhaps I will strand and cable everything. And knit these fantasy items with Malabrigo.

Even Malabrigo’s color names are beautiful. The colors in the hat are called Marron Oscuro and Indigo. Glazed Carrot. Burgundy, a deep red with which I will make my first Foliage hat after the Birthday Month is over. Lettuce, a bright spring green that will become a chunky sweater. Rhodesian, the red-brown-orange units making up my stalled Arwen sweater. Paris Night, Rosa Viejo, Tuareg, Olive, Cognac come to me off the top of my head. All are deep, rich colors that imbue my knitted items with a sense of mystery, at least while I’m knitting them.

I’ve been trying to live in color more over the last few years. Malabrigo yarns provide infinite opportunities for me to do so while luxuriating in surprisingly affordable softness. Thanks guys!


Nice Round Birthday Number January 5, 2008

Filed under: hats,Knitting — reichenbachfalls @ 10:01 pm


Originally uploaded by marcelory

30 today.

I think it’s my first grownup birthday age. I spent my birthday doing things I love:

— Spending a big gift certificate at Imagiknit (yay for husbands).

— Knitting my first stranded knitting on the couch in an untidy room while my children played and another adult was in charge/made spice coffee

— Seeing Sweeney Todd with my favorite grownup (dinner AND a movie AND Alan Rickman!)

— Managing to eat a delicious French-Japanese fusion dinner despite needing a shower after Sweeney Todd (so much blahhhhd)

I’m working on Thorpe. It is the smallest hat in the world.
Normally, I would think gauge was the problem. However, today is My Birthday. All my knitting automatically gets gauge. Also toast always falls jelly side up.

I can’t believe I’m two-handed stranded knitting. I feel so ridiculously competent, even though the whole time I’m faintly worried the knitting is just going to explode. Teaching myself new knitting skills that I couldn’t have imagined doing a year ago gives me a nice shot of testosterone. Next, I’ll be steeking.

Big birthday ups to Capricorns everywhere. I probably shouldn’t have gotten the wine pairing with dinner, but may I just say that Journey is frickin’ awesome?


Writing, knitting January 3, 2008

Filed under: hats,Knitting,musings — reichenbachfalls @ 5:09 am

Gang of Two
Originally uploaded by marcelory

I love this knitting, I do, I do.

I have always hung back at the edges of the crafty crowd, awed by their powers but certain I could never create what they did. I used to watch a kid in my class (okay, my first crush) draw anything he imagined in the margins of his math book. I looked on enviously as the cool girls made friendship bracelets. I crumpled the pathetic drawings of the princesses in my head and wrote about them instead.

Writing, you see, was what I did. It was how I got even with the crafters. I couldn’t paint pictures or sculpt or bake or knit, but I could paint sunsets with words, sculpt the perfect sentence. Writing is knitting with letters and a pen. I was not a crafter — even though I read craft books enviously. I was a writer.

I majored in creative writing, then started graduate school in English, then finished with honors, all the time writing. I drew closer to finishing my first novel. Then, with my second child, post-partum depression fell upon me like a mail curtain. With the first baby, writing got me through the darkness of early parenthood. With the second, the words wouldn’t come.

A friend had tried to teach me knitting when I was beached by pregnancy bedrest. I opened the book she gave me. Half in a daze, I went to Craft Chain Conglomerate, bought a skein of Wool-Ease and some size 15 needles, and laboriously knitted the chunkiest, ugliest, most lopsided, scratchiest scarf ever.

Then I wrote a chapter.

Over the past few years, the writing has had its starts and stops, but the knitting flows on. I have another creative outlet, one that engages all my senses, and I’m so proud I can do this. It is not perfect, but it’s my craft.

I guess I should have known this would work. After all, knitting is just writing with needles and a ball of yarn.

P.S.: this is a picture of the Gang of Under Three wearing their Clara Hats. Time to cast on the third one!