Archive for May, 2013

niddy-nuthin’

May 31, 2013

I have  decided to keep the amount of knitting stuff down to a minimum.  Ish.  I have a set of short dpn, longer dpn’s, crochet hooks, interchangeable circular needles, and a bin of yarn.  (Which seems like too much already, but it all seems kind of necessary.  At least, to me.  Don’t talk to W about it.)  In a token nod to keeping the amount of stuff I do own down,  I don’t have a swift, nor a ball-winder, nor a yarn bowl.  (I found a local purveyor of yarn bowls, who told me that it is dishwasher and microwave and oven safe, which seems super durable, but kind of “what are you expecting me to do with a bowl full of yarn?”)

Instead of a swift, I have this:  windingballs

(It’s the side of my drying rack.)

And instead of a ballwinder, I have the cardboard tube from the center of a roll of paper towels.  (Idea courtesy of here.)

This, I feel, is progress.  I had been using a variety of different systems, from chairs to my neck to my knees.   Protip: the neck is not good for this.  Not if you intend to use your neck at all.

knit vs fic

May 30, 2013

Why fanfic is and is not like knitting.

In a way, knitting fulfills a similar role to writing.  It’s a nice hobby, it fulfills a creative urge, and I get to make things I show to people.

But it’s not the same.  With knitting, I have a physical object.  I have, as yet, (knock on wood) to abandon a project without making the final decision of frogging it.  I’m not embarrassed about it, hell, I even have a local group I take my projects to.  (Knitting, for whatever assumptions other people might have about it, usually doesn’t involve assumptions about poorly executed pr0n (regardless of the actual existence of said pr0n.))

As for writing, well, I’ve got a double sh8tton of unfinished work.  Things I know I might never finish, for whatever reason.

I’m hip-deep in a story and I’m wrestling it into shape.  I don’t know if I’ll ever make this story presentable.  The way to finish is unclear, there is no pattern.  It’s easier to avoid, fewer people to show it to, harder to get into, and it’s best if I do it alone.

So right now, while I’m between projects, I’ll get to wrestling this story.  What happens, whether or not I finish, regardless of how much effort I put into it, is another question.

AU of my life

May 15, 2013

As I ripped back most of the hat I was making, I realized that in an alternate universe, I would never have to rip back a top-down hat.  I would make it fit perfectly, the first time.  (I have ripped back a lot since I began knitting – so if you really calculate it out, I have probably actually near close to twice the yardage that is present on my Ravelry page.   That’s a heap o’ knitting.)

And in that alternate universe, I would never make a mistake.  Never make things too long or too big or too small.  I would never yell at my children.  My kitchen would always be perfectly clean.  My laundry always done, always neatly folded.

Then I realized something.  That other me would probably have an enormous head for all of this perfection and I would probably hate her.

It’s for the best that I will continue to mess up, just so I can still relate to myself.

A Game of Yarn

May 9, 2013

Great big balls of yarn!  I just placed an order of yarn and now I have to use up some stash to justify the purchase!

Here’s a random fact about me (you’ll see how it ties in later): my feet are pretty small, and I like my socks short.

A while ago, I weighed some leftover balls of yarn, just to see what these scraps (mostly sock weight) might be good for.  I don’t have a super-fancy scientific scale, but I do have one that can handle grams (it was originally for cooking).  And it tells me something I’m just starting to get a grip on.  Fact is, I have a lot more yarn than I thought I did.  I re-weighed a bunch of it this evening just to make sure.

There are a couple of solutions, of course.  I can start making socks for other people with bigger feet who also like longer lengths of sock leg, but that is a longer term solution.  Right now, I can make nearly twice the amount of socks the average pattern would suggest, or I can find something entirely different to use up the sock yarn.

Here’s the thing.  I am sort of tapped out of ideas and I’m a bit tired of the yarn, as I’ve looked at it for a while already  making the original project it was intended for.  I kind of don’t want to start something right now.  I have nothing on the needles right now.  I have whatever is the opposite of start-itis.  (Maybe that’s just plain laziness.)  I like looking at pictures of other people’s projects, I genuinely enjoy watching a project develop as I knit,  I love listening to knitting podcasts, I love all the yarn, but I truly dislike starting a project.  The idea of casting on and counting and messing up like I always do is a pain.  I dislike committing.  I try to keep my commitments small.  (Never mind the whole family and marriage thing.)  But casting on means I’m committed.

Sigh.

But I’d best get on it.  To paraphrase: “Yarn is coming!”

mitts

May 8, 2013

So there was that yarn I was trying to make a shawl from – and for some reason, it didn’t want to be a shawl.  Nor did it want to be socks.  It didn’t want to be mitts – at least the first pattern I picked.  So, in frustration, after I had practically rubbed the beginning couple of feet raw, I went for a simple mitt.  And then it worked.

I didn’t really get the concept of things not working until this.  Between my inexperience and lack of technique and trying to develop enough of a ‘bank’ of the different sizes of needles and yarn and being lucky to pick projects that worked – this one was a bear to figure out.  But I wanted a couple of things coming out of this – I wanted to make something useful, something relatively quick, and something that would totally, absolutely, use up this yarn that I was quickly starting to hate.  (I don’t think I was alone.  I bought this yarn on ebay, and when I got it, it looked like somebody else had started it as well, and then unraveled it.)

I couldn’t blame the needles – I’d gotten gauge, I’d had other needles at the ready, but nope.  That part did work.  The pattern was good – lots of people had used the same pattern to lovely ends.  I was learning the new cast-on (tubular).   It wasn’t looking right – felt bad – felt too hard to get anywhere.  (You know what I mean?)

So, in some form of desperation, I dived into Ravelry and just looked up projects for that kind of  yarn.  And there it was.  Simple mitt.  The yarn didn’t need anything complicated going on at all.  Plus, needles one size larger, and suddenly, ZOOM.  Project was well under way.  It was a relief that it was so easy.  (I’m not scorning simple patterns – somedays, they’re all that work, especially for me – maybe I am annoyed at myself that it took so long to figure out what was going on.)

I made two pairs, one for me, one for a friend.

jacoby2

Then another friend saw them and admired them.  I am helpless in the face of admiration so I gave her my pair, even though it had the dreaded bit of rubbed-raw yarn.  I had some yarn left over, so I made a third pair.  And I had a little bit of yarn left.  A tiny, tiny ball.  It’s sort of funny.  I want to keep it just to point out how tiny the ball is.

mittandball

(Safety pin/stitch holder for scale.  See how big the safety pin is?)