Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hopefully, Not a Wool Allergy

Sockhead Hat
Originally uploaded by craftytails
In the days following the convention, I have managed to contract another sinus infection. Never have illnesses appeared back-to-back before and the need for an allergist has become more urgent. After the Thanksgiving holiday, a number of calls will be made. I am desperate to get an appointment before the end of the year when my insurance provider hikes up the co-pay for specialists. It's quite ludicrous what we are expected to fork over when certain specialists are absolutely necessary. Is skipping my yearly female examination suddenly an option? What a lovely present to receive right before the holidays. The only worse surprise would be finding out I have a severe allergy to wool and bunnies (thanks Ally!).

The convention itself was fairly quiet but nice. Attendees were very sweet and had interesting and thoughtful questions. All in all, I had a good time catching up with old friends and knitting on every panel and autograph session. Some progress was made on the hat (pictured) and more has been completed since the photo was taken. It should be ready for the decreases very soon, if not for one snag. This is really embarrassing to admit... but I never knew there were two different size 2 needles. I truly deserve this slap in the face for not learning my metric sizes. As it turns out, I own the 3.00mm 16" circular, but not the double pointed needles. All of my DPNs are 2.75mm, necessitating an order from Knit Picks. No LYS in my area ever has the sizes I need. This is part of the reason why I miss Yarns Ewenique so much. Their "wall of needles" was unrivaled (at least for my purposes).

Like everyone else I know, my mailbox fills itself with bills every month. To my delight, some publications arrived in time to amuse me during the quarantine. After a few months of mild disappointment, Interweave Knits once again has me excited about patterns. For example, Nora’s Sweater has three of my favorite elements, combining a cardigan with a tailored fit and lovely use of negative space. It probably helps that the model is wearing my favorite color for a sweater (eggplant) and fiber (alpaca). The Alpaca Pleats Jacket is equally tempting in its sheer cuteness and lovely drape. And yes, also because it’s purple.

The entire exercise of pattern-stalking on my part is quite ridiculous. After grousing endlessly about the number of UFOs laying about the house, I need to actually finish something. But in the interim, I will use my sickness as an excuse. *cough*

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Just Sock It

Sockhead Hat
Originally uploaded by craftytails
Happily, the chevron scarf is finally finished and moved out of WIP status in my Ravelry queue. Poor impulse control, however, has caused me to relapse into start-itis. There is a convention in Fort Worth this weekend and I need a mindless project to keep my hands occupied during panels. No one can tell me if they think it's rude to knit while speaking in public. Perhaps it's because the idea that someone would bring yarn and needles onto an anime-related panel is fairly farfetched. Whatever the case, I will accept this reality until someone has a compelling and valid reason why knitting shouldn't be allowed. And for the record, it better be convincing.

This brings me to the pictured project. After languishing in the stash since my last birthday, Dee's stunning Iris colorway is finally getting a new lease on life in the form of a Sockhead Hat. After staring longingly at the skein for quite some time, I decided it was far too beautiful to knit into a pair of socks. Some yarns deserve to be showcased in more public forum. Everyone should know the dyeing expertise inherent in Blue Hands Fibers.

Speaking of talented ladies in my stalking social circle, Zabet Stewart is personally handling a "going out of print" sale on books at the AntiCraft website. There are only 115 copies left at this writing and these projects belong in any interesting crafter's collection. They even have a cephalopod menstrual cup cozy! Seriously, people. If this isn't your cup of tea, then check out the other projects that are not knitting-related. Cross-stitch, sewing, crochet and others represent, yo. And where else can you purchase a discount book that Zabet “may” have snogged? Hotness.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I have completely altered my appearance. Apparently so drastically that various bartenders, the TSA (almost got rejected from airline travel to Oni-Con) and acquaintances (at NYAF) no longer recognize me. After looking at old photos and realizing I looked like a tomboy, this is a good change. New ID pictures will have to be taken, but I am pleased to look somewhat more feminine. Best to let suckers figure out the true nature through personality. Predators in the wild are typically spotted by their colorful plumage or colors. Guess losing 35 pounds and growing my hair out makes this coral snake less poisonous, at least to the casual observer.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

End of the Hiatus

After finally getting over my fall knitting slump, projects have been progressing at a rapid pace. Since the last post, I have made another beret out of my latest soulmate, Malabrigo yarn. Once my next appointment comes up, the gorgeous recipient (my hairdresser) will be photographed. The trend of making her a hat every year was born from her deep, abiding love for beanies. How could any knitter resist such a captive audience?

Next up, I am finishing my chevron scarf. There is very little yarn left and the project needs to finally come off the needles. For some odd reason, most items get about 80% completed before I lose interest. This definitely needs to change and my first order of business will be tackling some old UFOs. My needles have been held captive for far too long. Often, the urge to cast on new projects makes me lose focus.

Speaking of which, the hoochie cozies are quite the temptation. What a great way to use up a lot of excess worsted-weight scraps!

Many ladies I know are having babies these days, so stalking more free patterns became a necessity. Them Apples and Autumn Leaves are begging to be made from stash yarn.

For those of you who want something for yourselves, there is a lovely online magazine containing unconventional patterns. They are on an indefinite break, but pledged to keep their archives available. I would love to hear more information on fit and pattern quality if anyone out there has tried knitting up some of these creations. Although checking Ravelry is nice and addictive, it's even nicer to start a dialogue with fellow knitters. After all, one can only lurk for so long.