Knitting on the Brink

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How Not To Blog January 20, 2009

Filed under: babies,hats,Knitting — reichenbachfalls @ 12:46 am

For me, knitting and writing are sometimes mutually exclusive: not enough hands.

Over the last few months, I’ve discovered that knitting and writing fiction AND blogging are a difficult juggling act indeed.

I have been knitting — almost exclusively hats, but I’m also almost done with the Hanukkah sweaters I started, at the same time, right between second midterms and exams.

First of all, I’ve been trying to find the perfect (for me) stockinette Malabrigo Chunky hat pattern. I sincerely love cabling, but sometimes that is just not where my mind is, part of the reason my Tangled Yoke Cardigan is waiting for me to knit the, ah, Tangled Yoke.

Sometimes, in fact, my mind wants a stockinette beanie that looks like a blue, slightly melted chocolate kiss:

Malabrigo Kiss
In other news, I’m particularly pleased with the Charlie Brown-esque 70s sweater I have almost finished:
Charlie Brown
I used Ann Budd’s one-pattern-fits-all child’s raglan sweater, along with a surprisingly small quantity of Brown Sheep Chunky.

This was supposed to be a less stripey sweater, but I ran out of one yarn color, which I always do, and couldn’t find the right color to match it, which always happens.

Clearly, I worked one short row too many on the back side, but I think part of the bunching in back is that the sweater’s a little too wide in the shoulders. I’m hoping blocking will somehow magically fix this. [prays to knitting goddess in her little rocking chair on Olympus]

I had no idea it was called this, but Double Knit In Join changed my attitude toward color changes. Now I stripe all the time, with something like enthusiasm. I only have about five or six ends left, and there should be approximately one million given how many stripes there are.

Now: back to writing (fiction) and knitting (another hat).

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Little Green Man December 28, 2007

Filed under: babies,hats,Knitting,mission complida — reichenbachfalls @ 4:36 am
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Little Green Man

Originally uploaded by marcelory

I am damn proud of this hat. Why, you ask? It doesn’t involve super-complicated techniques. It only took four or five hours total to make, including weaving in two little ends. Most of the beauty in the hat is conveyed through my beloved Malabrigo Chunky, which I love almost as much as I love cheese. It’s not even the first version of the pattern, called “Clara” from Hip Knit Hats, that I’ve ever made. (It’s my third!) Admittedly, it does adorn the oversized head of my very favorite toddler, but come on! Why am I playing favorites with this FO?

Answer: I have no idea. Maybe it’s that I love fast, symmetrical projects. Maybe it’s that this project taught me the Middle Eastern cast-on, which makes me sound worldly and keeps me from having to seam anything. Maybe it’s that it uses exactly one skein of my favorite yarn, so I can take $12 and make something that, at least to me, looks like a million bucks. Or, I dunno, maybe it’s that the yarn is almost the same color as my favorite toddler’s eyes.

Who can explain love? Even the sages failed.

As soon as I’m done with my term paper (aiee) I’m going to knit two of these in rapid succession for late holiday gifts to clothe the heads of the Pie’s friends. Then they’ll have their own little Gang of Under Three Feet. Aww!

 

Unventing a Hat October 28, 2007

Filed under: babies,hats,Knitting — reichenbachfalls @ 2:35 am


Big Head Baby

Originally uploaded by marcelory

I never tire of quoting the Stephen Sondheim song “Finishing the Hat.”

“Starting on a hat.
Finishing the hat.
Look, I made a hat
Where there never was a hat.”

No, it wasn’t about knitting per se. But it’s definitely about creating, and last weekend I created a hat.

Last Sunday, I discovered that it is possible to “doodle” with yarn. I knit up a little sample hat for the Pie’s baby doll, then cast on 60 stitches of Lamb’s Pride Bulky and set to work, forcibly trying it on his head periodically until it seemed done, then decreasing in a great hurry to make a point at the end.

I figured out that I like to rib and I like to cable without a cable needle, so I worked out in my head a 10-stitch cable and rib pattern that I repeated 6 times a round.

It was so satisfying, caught as I am in the thrall of the endless rows of garter stitch that make up the Warm Shawl, to conceive of and finish something. I didn’t realize that, once I got the hang of this knitting thing, I could just sorta make whatever I wanted. I made a hat for my big headed baby that actually fits him, with no pattern.

The Princess says he looks like a Pecan Elf. “You know, one of those elves who eats pecans.” Does she mean Keebler Elves? I’m clueless here.

 

Another Sweater Done September 9, 2007

Filed under: babies,Knitting,mission complida — reichenbachfalls @ 4:10 am


Princess + Sweater

Originally uploaded by marcelory

The Fibonacci Striped Sweater languished in a basket all summer.

Why? Because I hate doing one-row button-holes, not to mention how much I dislike picking up stitches.

Solution: After ripping the button bands a couple times (gotta love frigging, I mean frogging) I realized that what I really wanted to do was to crochet these things. I like single crochet. It was so fast, I felt sorry for the earlier, dumber self who sat there knitting these little creeps.

Then began the Weaving of the Ends. So many Ends. I had not known knitting had undone so many. The Ends took almost as long as knitting the darn thing, not to mention finding the buttons. It will be a while before I knit another striped cardigan, that is certain.

But it is done! And doesn’t the Princess look happy? She was looking askance at me for a while after I finished the cardigan for the Pie. Being a big sister is hard — there should be some perks.

 

A Sweater for Pie August 31, 2007

Filed under: babies,Knitting,mission complida — reichenbachfalls @ 1:56 am


Pie’s First Sweater

Originally uploaded by marcelory

I finished the Pie’s sweater almost a month ago. I’m still really excited about it!

I’d seen this sweater on a mannequin at Imagiknit for months now, but always thought it would be too hard to do. In fact, it’s a ridiculously bulky one-piece dealy. It took me less than two weeks, and by that I mean several late-evening sessions with Lenny Briscoe. The buttons are Perfect.

At least 6 people approached me during our trip to Children’s Fairyland to ask where I’d bought the sweater. (Admittedly, the supreme cuteness of the model probably helped.) So then I started thinking about crafting my own line of children’s knits, and eventually becoming Debbie Bliss, and then moving to Wales and becoming Brenda Dayne, which is even cooler.

Then I remembered how many projects are currently on my needles and laughed, and laughed, and laughed.

Also, don’t let 2-year-olds wear your knitted garment in the carseat with the velcro . Sweater for Pie is currently in the Inner City Hospital for Knits, forlornly waiting in the hallway on a gurney. Can Michael Moore help?