Monday, October 26, 2009

Mega Cardigan vs. Giant Distraction

Featherweight Cardigan
Originally uploaded by craftytails
(Because, quite honestly, seeing Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus tonight cannot fail to make an impression. The clip that sold all of us prompted a quick addition to the Netflix queue.)

The Featherweight Cardigan made an appearance by continuous knitting throughout the movie. I am nearly halfway through the second sleeve and dread picking up stitches for the collar. Unsurprisingly, I failed at picking up the two stitches under the arms when making the sleeves. There are huge holes that need to be fixed during the finishing process. Since I have decided I love this designer and wish to eventually make the Gooseberry Cardigan, I need to find a solid resource that clearly explains picking up stitches and garment construction. So far, all of the books I own don't seem to adequately cover the topic. When I began knitting, I had no idea how many techniques would remain unexplained. It's almost as if it is assumed that people will figure out certain technical aspects without proper training.

A freak storm knocked out most of the electricity in the neighborhood. I will continue to knit until I actually lose power and have to light candles. The thunder this evening was deafening.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Under Lock and Key

Striped Scarf
Originally uploaded by craftytails
Finally, my exhaustion this week is explained. This morning, I was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection. Thankful it isn't the flu! As a result, my doctor has recommended that I stay home from work. There is a lot to do and my body has decidedly inconvenient timing. Perhaps it's better that I am taking sick time because my brain feels fuzzy and the featherweight cardigan is mindless enough to allow me to indulge in some knitting. Surely no one at work wants my sneezing, corpse-like body passing out germs like candy (despite being in the true spirit of Halloween).

Guess my own brand of self-help will be a blitz of new hats that I will rarely ever wear in the Texas heat! I am dying to go into serious production with a few of the patterns in my queue: 1 Across, Piper, Hurricane, Cairn, Phoncible, Noro Spiral One-Skein, Fake Isle, Zinnia Dahlia and Slacker.

For the time being, I will continue the cardigan and perhaps the laziest scarf in all creation (pictured). I have no idea why this is taking me so long to finish, but motivation is lacking. For some reason, I will only work on this while watching recorded episodes of Warehouse 13. Interesting premise, but it really made me crave episodes of the Friday the 13th television series. Incidentally, this is now available for purchase, albeit at a prohibitive price point. Guess this Christmas will be full of requests for Amazon gift certificates so I can buy all of the crappy TV-on-DVD sets my tasteless heart and mind desire.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Getting Back on the Wagon

The title exists for several reasons. All of which are obviously referential to an addiction of some sort. The most important (to me at least) is the breaking of the yarn diet. Some may consider this falling off the wagon, but I feel differently. Honestly, I have not knitted in a while. The needles have felt foreign in my hands and the fiber has been lifeless. This is cyclical and seems to happen at least once a year, but never this long. After taking a trip to NYC and visiting School Products and managing to buy nothing, I feared the worst. Is my favorite hobby dead? Will I no longer feel joy stalking Ravelry patterns and groping strange yarn in small shops? How will I feel without my friends alternating mocking my "weird" hobby with asking for handmade gifts?

Consider my personal myth officially debunked! It all started with a guilty, nagging feeling. My ex-roommate wanted a beret and I was determined to make one for her. After miserably failing one attempt at the Gretel Beret, her hat has been in "time out" for the past year. Thanks to an email newsletter regarding a new shipment of Malabrigo at my LYS, an idea was hatched. I would knit her the Star Crossed Slouchy Beret (Ravelry link only). Never having worked with Malabrigo before, I wasn't sure what to expect.

It was far better than I imagined. The soft merino slid like butter in my hands and the hat was completed within two days. The picture here is the FO (un-blocked) in the Saphire Green colorway and this will surely look stunning on the redhead.

Oh, but did I stop the purchase with just her yarn? Nope! Two skeins of the Velvet Grapes colorway are sitting in a bag on my kitchen table, dying to be handled soon. I am not going to fret too much about what to knit with them because there is a sure feeling in my gut that Malabrigo and I are going to have quite the long-term relationship.

The sewing is progressing in a slow but confident fashion. I haven't been able to meet up with my friend very often and we finally started working on my owl skirt a few weeks ago. Perhaps in two weeks I can finish what I started. Char showed me how to construct flat darts and she continues to challenge me with techniques. Not expected, but definitely appreciated as a newbie. There is no end to my excitement about this owl skirt, guaranteed to beat up lesser, more boring skirts.