Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Merry Christmas!

I hope you like stockinette stitch."

Isn't that how the traditional Christmas greeting goes?

Not sure how it happened, but nearly all the gifts I'm knitting are stockinette. Wait--one was garter stitch! It's a bad sign when you're excited about waist decreases (only 12 rows of 300+ stitches away!).

So I've been reading and listening to audio books to fend off boredom. Unfortunately for me, both my heroines are annoying me in the same way--Fanny Price of Mansfield Park and Esther Summerson of Bleak House. So selfless! So sure they're worthless! So irritating! (Or at least, so irritating that they're presented as perfect women.) Poor things, either of them on their own would probably have been fine. Or maybe I'm missing something?

Archiknist: the only person who ever preferred Moby Dick to Dickens and Austen (not all Dickens and Austen, of course, just these books).

Monday, November 8, 2010

Accidental Yarn Tour

Kevin and I went to New Hampshire this weekend for an archives conference, and a half marathon (just him--I spectated). But look what we discovered between the conference and the race!

Harrisville Designs required a detour of about 4 miles off our route,but was definitely worth it.

There's a big shop in a converted factory building, with lovely wood floors and big windows. For some reason, I was too embarrassed to take a real picture inside, but look how nice it is, even blurry.

The windows and the floors and the proximity of actual yarn production (or imagined proximity? Their yarn is spun in the US but I'm not sure exactly where) led to a yarn purchase--some lovely, woolly green wool--enough for a sweater, plus a skein of gold that will become some kind of stranded mittens, with the leftovers of the green.

Yarn shop #2, the Woolery, was a regular yarn shop, so I was able to restrain myself.

It really has been quite the month for yarn purchases--Rhinebeck (1 skein of sock yarn, 8 oz. roving), Knit New Haven (2 skeins of sock yarn), Stitches (3 skeins of sock yarn), plus this week's future sweater. Plus there was all that yarn in September for holiday presents... I've put all of the yarn intended for presents in one basket, to remind me what I should be working on, when I start thinking longingly about things for myself, and to give myself a sense of progress as the basket empties.

Unfortunately, I started with the present knit on the biggest needles first. Finishing it created an illusion of progress which makes it hard to remember that the basket also contains a mile of sock yarn!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I had all kinds of good ideas while I was running this morning, then forgot about them as soon as I got near a keyboard.

I think I mostly thought about the purple sweater (plus it's the one thing I can write about). I took apart the shoulder and sleeve seams over the weekend, removed the collar and front facings, then unraveled down to the beginning of the sleeve cap and armscye shaping. I put all those live stitches on a circular needle, and plan to work a yoke of the Knitting Without Tears variety (except that I may cry if I work tucks in the yoke to match the hem and cuffs--I remember that working the tucks the first time drove me batty).

I'd decided all that before I started, so it was the trim I was thinking about while running. The original trim made the sweater very stiff (possible knitting Cascase 220 on size 7 needles didn't help either)--but I hadn't realized how stiff till I took the trim off--there were places where two layers of trim overlapped (plus the visible, outside layer, of course!), and a number of seams where three layers of fabric were sewn together. I think I'll make a turned hem around the neck to match the lower hem and sleeves--and because that's one place I actually do want some stability! But for the front edges, I think I'll work an attached I cord, like the front of Manu (possibly with similar buttonholes, since I really like them).

All this imaginary refashioning has me thinking about other sweaters which aren't quite right--like my Rapunzel...

I wore it happily for a couple of years, but it's is driving me crazy today (I decided to wear it to see if it continued to annoy me all day, and so far, it's going a great job).

I think it's just that the shoulders are too wide (also a problem for the purple sweater, and this kind of amazes me because my shoulders are fairly wide), which then makes it look too big overall, even though it's not really. Or at least not very much. And it's not helping that even after more than six years, it still has a temporary closure.

Behave yourself, Rapunzel, or you'll be next!