Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Not Our Biggest Problem

In the summer, I like to buy milk at the local farmers market. It comes in reusable bottles, and you get a discount if you bring them back. Less throwaway packaging, local cows, hurray!

But the bottles clank together alarmingly in my bag (sounding like they might break, even though I used to climb a glass staircase and walk on a glass floor every day at work), and water condenses on them, and gets everything else wet, and it's just Not Good.

Obviously, they needed cozies:

Even though this was not our biggest problem (according to Kevin... but what does he know? he barely even drinks milk!), I'm disproportionately amused by them.

What's especially good is that I solved several (OK, very minor) problems at once: I made the cozies, obviously, but I also used part of an unevenly felted sweater from a previous craft project, and eliminated my own slight guilt that I hadn't knit the darn things already. (It's embarrassing, really, how long I'd been thinking about cozies for the milk bottles.)

And now they remind me of a really neat sculpture I saw when I worked at the Corning Museum of Glass (Quick! Guess which previous employer might have had that glass floor and staircase! Hint: not the non-profit in the converted factory building, or the weekly local newspaper.)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

No Coat

For the first time forever, it was warm enough yesterday that I went to work without a coat! What you can't see here is that I'm still wearing books and tights--but the tights are light grey and lacy--so it's clearly spring in New England.

Most springily, I didn't die of exposure vesp-ing home without a coat (the weirdness on top of/beside my head is my helmet--notice that I'm only wearing the helmet, not helmet plus hat! And Kevin didn't wear his balaclava or bar mitts...).

And at long last, here's the revamped purple cardigan. (To review: it was originally a Rowan pattern, meant for Calmer, knit in Cascade 220. I ripped out the collar and bodice, then worked a yoke according to EZ's instructions, with the same welt pattern from the lower hem.)

I think the yoke came out ok--the last yoke I made was a little shallow, so this one's a little deep. Maybe the next one will be just right! The upper body was a little wide to begin with, which I didn't change, but I think that's not as obvious with a yoked sweater as it was with the set in sleeves. I'm still thinking about unfolding the hems on the sleeves to make them a little longer, and looking at this picture, I think I should. Also, someone should follow me around with a steamer, smoothing out my sleeves every so often. How do they get so smooshed? That same person should also block the bodice a little better, and keep the front hems from rolling--possibly I should add some ribbon to the front edges?

Niggling imperfections aside, the most important thing is that now I actually wear it!

Friday, March 11, 2011

All Cowls, All the Time

And here's Idlewood:

Except for lengthening the sleeves, I basically followed the pattern as written--I may also have worked a few more hip increases than called for, since I'm kind of pear-y.

There's a lot of cowl:

If I were holding my head fully upright, and had gotten the cowl entirely unrolled, my head would be completely covered. I was worry about the rolling in theory (although not till it was too late to widen the garter stitch border, of course), but it turns out that I like it in practice. And it helps that I still think all of my handspun is the most beautiful yarn in the world, no matter how wonky it really it.

I lied--it's not all cowls, all the time--I'm making another pair of socks:

The Angee Socks from Sock Innovation. Since taking the picture, I've finished this one, and knit about 5 rows on sock 2. I'm really enjoying the stitch pattern--for the first rep, I checked the chart every pattern row, but now I've internalized it enough that I only need to peek at it occassionally, to be sure things haven't derailed.

There's one correction to the leg chart listed on the publisher's website, but I think there's actually another typo that hasn't been corrected--an ssk that should be a k2tog, or vice versa. I haven't read through the comments on Ravelry to see if anyone else thinks so--I'm just working it the way I think it should be, and it's working out fine.

Despite this, I am showing some personal growth in the area of following directions rather than doing it my way no matter what. The reason I noticed the first error (and the possible second error, for that matter) is that the stitch pattern is charted out three times--the transition from ribs to pattern, then separately for the leg and the foot--and the stitches in question should be the same in all three charts, but aren't. When I noticed the first difference between the charts, I compared them and picked the one that seemed most logical to me--which turned out not to be what the corrected chart said. It was a moment of high drama--would I follow the corrected chart? Would I do my own thing? Would following one direction I disagreed with make up for a lifetime of only following directions that I thought were right? Would anyone even notice the difference between right- and left-slanting decreases on a sock?

Or maybe i haven't grown that much... it doesn't show much improvement in ability to follow directions that conflict with the way you would have done it, if you only follow them when you think it won't show, does it?

Monday, March 7, 2011


I have gone from "hey, I wonder what new knitting books have come out lately?" to "leaving immediately to see if Knit New Haven has a copy, must cast on. right. now." in just over 24 hours. The book in question is Fresh Fashion Knits (hush, it's not the book's fault), and I'm obsessed with Martha. I also have minor, lesser obsessions with other patterns.

If my obsession can overcome my inertia (it's a work from home day, and I'm going to be at KNH tomorrow... but on the other hand, if I go today and they don't have it, then I could get it at B&N tomorrow, but if I don't go today and they don't have it, I would need to wait till Wednesday to get it at B&N! Disaster! Crisis! So minor in the grand scheme of things!), I'm going to use my Harrisville Designs New England Shetland--which has reminded me of Felted Tweed ever since I bought it.

Adrift At Last

Hey, I finally took pictures! (or made Kevin take them... whatever.)

Here's Adrift, in its lazy weekend incarnation.

When necessary, Adrift will also go to work, giving me the illusion that I'm wearing a cozy blanket.

It's pretty similar to Summer Solstice (since I made the extended front version), but contrary to what you'd think, having more fabric in the fronts seems to make them behave themselves better. (If Solstice were spread out like this, there'd be missing sections in the upper corners.) Of course, that may also be the fabric--laceweight alpaca for Adrift, wool/silk sport weight for Solstice.

In any case, I really like it... but I think making it twice was enough.