30 June 2009

partial sock

I am at the gusset of my first sock. I started it on Friday (I think). Friday night we got lots of food from my husband's sister. Saturday we cleaned a bit, I made messy-looking rice krispy squares (making two batches to fill one pan but using different amounts of marshmallow in each results in a very uneven pan of marshmallow rice krispy goodness), and then friends came over. It was great. We hung out, talked, went for sushi, played a few goofy games, and ate messy rice krispy squares. I got a couple rounds on my sock done. On Sunday the sock accompanied us to the church picnic where I got sunburned (forgot the sunscreen again) and got an inch or so done on the sock. There were knitters there who were impressed with the sock and the number of needles I'm using. One told me she knits hats but has only used 4 needles, not 5, like me. I felt like telling her that it's really not that hard. She's been knitting longer than me and I bet she could do a pair of socks. Yesterday I started the heel flap on the bus back from Surrey and finished turning the heel last night.

I started the gusset today after doing some sewing. There are about 6 more rows to go in the piecing of a quilt I've been procrastinating on for months, and I really do want to finish it (it'll probably get an entry or two to itself so I won't talk about it too much here). So I did a bunch of sewing, and then knit for a bit. The heel turn is a little lumpier on one side than on the other, but it looks okay. It's the only knitting project I have going right now. That feels weird. I'm not sure what to start next.

I just realized that "Bibleman: The Board Game" is visible in a corner of the picture. To explain: my husband bought it at Value Village because he thought it was funny. We haven't actually played it (we have other board games that are much better designed), although I think it's hilarious that the picture of the "Villain's Hideout" looks like the outside of a monastery. Not really what I would peg as a villain's headquarters.

26 June 2009

squid sighting!

My friend who now owns Harvey the Squid took him with her to TONMOCON III, a cephalopod con. There are pictures, right here: http://www.tonmo.com/. Apparently, he was a hit.


I sewed the seams of the tank top, and then I tried it on. I have to resew the seams. Darn. But it is technically done. In light of this, I have cast on a sock. I'm only 7 rounds into it, but it is nice to be doing something different with many needles and different yarn. New project!

Our house is full of food. Mostly rice, lentils, and lots of condiments. My sister-in-law and her husband are going overseas to teach English (they leave next week), and we are getting all their food. There are three bottles of balsamic vinegar, two of them unopened. My best friends are visiting tomorrow. We'll try to pawn off a couple bottles on them. It is truly amazing, what we have in our fridge now. There were two partial bottles of black bean sauce. I got out the funnel and combined them, so now there is only one bottle. There's a daiquiri mix. We never buy daiquiri mix. Ranch dressing with bacon (there's something non-vegetarian, although since we're semi-veggie it's okay). There's also some canned foods, and sauerkraut, and the chocolate truffles an aunt gave them for Christmas (she gave us some too--we ate ours, they ate a few and now the rest are ours).

I think I'll be making dal soon to start using up the lentils. Lentils keep for a while, but there are lots of them. Dal with chapatis, maybe. More lentil soup. And rice--I like rice, but I'm going to have to go through my Asian cookbooks to find some more recipes with rice to keep it interesting. Looks like that lovely rice cooker we got as a wedding gift will see some more use now.

My brother-in-law also gave me his saffron. I feel very honoured.

25 June 2009

trying to finish

I am trying to finish a project this week that's been on the needles for months. I work on it on the bus or when I'm really bored with my other projects, and it's so close to being done that I really need to just finish it.

It's a tank top made with a wool-hemp blend. I love the yarn, but I'm at the most boring part of the pattern right now. The needles are 4mm, which seems to be the exact size that makes my hands cramp up after a while. I've had trouble with this project and Fetching, which was also knit on 4mm needles. 3.5 and 5 mm aren't problems. I haven't tried 4.5's yet. So, it goes slowly. I want to finish it, though, so I've told myself that I can't start anything else until this is finished. 7-8 more inches to go.

22 June 2009

thoughts on public transit

Yes, it worked! The squid pattern has been posted. .rtf worked! I'll have to remember that in the future.

My hand is better today. I did a little knitting yesterday and today finished the front half of Askew. I have been working on that for over a month. Since before I started Shipwreck, actually. It's an off and on sort of project. I like the yarn, the pattern's okay, I just don't love it enough to be continually working on it. I have also cast on the back of the top, but I don't know how long it'll be. It's mostly stockinette, so aside from teaching myself to knit backwards and practicing my purling, there's not much variety there.

I finished the second strap on the train, bound off, and promptly cast on for the back. I have to watch my elbows on public transit unless I have an entire seat to myself, so I was sitting there, using long-tail cast-on with a minimum of movement. The guy in the seat facing me was staring. I don't usually get too many stares (ones that are noticeable to me, at least). Once in a while, people comment, ask what I'm making. Most of them adhere to the unwritten public transit code, which prohibits speaking to strangers. You're also not really supposed to stare, but if you do it surreptiously, it's okay.

I think it's too bad that more people don't talk to each other on transit. You're already crammed on a crowded bus or train, often much closer to each other than you would prefer to be. Saying hi probably won't kill you. That being said, silently observing others is an interesting hobby, too. Sometimes I knit. But then I take a break to rest my hands, and I watch the people around me. Many of them have their i-pods on, and they completely ignore everyone else. I sometimes do this, too. Others read or text. Some just stare out the window. I almost feel like taking notes. It's an interesting slice of culture.

the pattern

The other day, I tried to upload the squid pattern. Blogger would not let me cut and paste directly from Word. I am trying it again in .rtf.

Harvey the Vampire Squid Pattern

Yarn: Phentex Chunky (Aran Weight) 100% acrylic, red; about 250-300 yds/229-275m (I think that’s how much I used; you can use any aran to chunky weight yarn for this that you want; I used a picture of the vampire squid for a reference and they are kind of red, so you might want to stick with the same colour if you’re into accuracy) and 1 yd/1m Aran weight blue yarn (for eyes)

Needles: set of four or five 6 mm DPNs, and a set of 6 mm straights (optional)

Notions: yarn needle, crochet hook for picking up stitches.

Gauge: About 17 sts and 20 rows=4 inches/10cm in St st worked in the round.

Finished size: Body length-about 7 in/17.6 cm, Mantle length: about 7 in/17.6cm

CO 26 sts. Join to work in the round.
Knit 12 rounds.
Round 13: (K1, K1fb) to end. 39 sts.
Rounds 14-15: Knit.
Round 16: (K2, K1fb) to end. 52 sts.
Round 17: Knit.
Round 18: K15, P22, K15.
Round 19: K14, P24, K14.
Round 20: K15, P22, K15.
Rounds 21-28: Knit.
Round 29: (K24, K2tog), repeat to end. 50 sts.
Round 30: Knit.
Round 31: (K23, K2tog), repeat to end. 48 sts.
Round 32: Knit
Round 33: (K10, K2tog), repeat to end. 44 sts.
Round 34: Knit.
Round 35:(K9, k2tog), repeat to end. 40 sts.
Round 36: Knit.
Round 37: (K8, k2tog), repeat to end. 36 sts.
Round 38: Knit.
Round 39: (k7, k2tog), repeat to end. 32 sts.
Round 40: Knit.
Round 41: (K6, k2tog), repeat to end. 28 sts.
Round 42: Knit.
Round 43: (K5, k2tog), repeat to end. 24 sts.
Round 44: Knit.
Round 45: (K4, k2tog), repeat to end. 20 sts.
Round 46: Knit.
Round 47: (K3, k2tog), repeat to end. 16 sts.
Round 48: Knit.
Round 49: (K2, k2tog), repeat to end. 12 sts.
Round 50: Knit.
Round 51: (K1, k2tog), repeat to end. 8 sts.
Round 52: Knit.
Divide 8 rem sts onto 2 needles, cut yarn to a length of about 6-8 inches, turn inside out and BO using 3 needle bind-off.

Earflaps (Make 2):
Note: These can be worked on the DPNs or on straights
Cast on 8 sts.
Knit 3 rows in garter stitch.
Row 4: K1, ssk, k2, k2tog, k1.
Knit 3 more rows in garter stitch.
Row 8: K1, ssk, k2tog, k1.
Knit 2 more rows in garter stitch and bind off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing the flaps to the squid’s head. Weave in ends from cast-on. Sew earflaps on 2.5-3 inches below the top of squid’s head on opposite sides (align with eyes).

Eyes: Work oval-shaped eyes in satin stitch with blue yarn on each side, and just below, of the “forehead” ridge.

Stuff squid with fiber-fill to the desired fullness.

Pick up 26 sts from cast-on edge. Join to work in the round.
Knit 1 round.
Next round: K1, k2tog to last st, k1.18 sts.
Next round: K1, k2tog to last 2 sts, k2. 13 sts.
Thread yarn through rem sts and pull to draw tight and fasten off. Weave in ends.

There will be a round of purl bumps from the long-tail cast-on along the base of the squid. Pick up 24 sts from these purl bumps, using a crochet hook smaller than the needles. Divide sts onto DPNs. Join for working in the round.
Knit 1 round.
(Knit 3, kfb), repeat to end. 30 sts.
Knit 1 round.
(Knit 4, kfb), repeat to end. 36 sts.
Knit 1 round.
(K5, kfb), repeat to end. 42 sts.
Knit 1 round.
(K6, kfb), repeat to end. 48 sts.
Knit 1 round.
(K7, kfb), repeat to end. 54 sts.
Knit 1 round.
(K8, kfb), repeat to end. 60 sts.
Knit in stockinette until mantle measures about 7 inches long. (it should be as long as the body or slightly longer, but if you want a longer mantle, the tentacles will need to be adjusted accordingly, because they should be about 2 inches longer than the mantle).

Tentacles (Make 8):
The tentacles are worked entirely in i-cord.
CO 2 sts.
Working in i-cord, k 3 rows.
Continuing in i-cord, kfb, k1, 3 sts.
K 4 rows.
K1, kfb, k1, 4 sts.
K 4 rows.
K1, kfb, k2, 5 sts.
K 8 rows.
K 2, k2tog, k1. 4 sts.
K 4 rows.
K1, k2tog, k1. 3 sts.
K 4 rows.
K1, k2tog, 2 sts.
K 4 rows.
Bind off.

Pin tentacles evenly to the seam along the mantle and body and pin out evenly along the middle and the edge. Sew all in place at the seam and then sew each tentacle along each side of its length. The tentacles should extend about 2 inches or so past the mantle.

19 June 2009


Lessons learned: When your hand starts to ache, stop. Just stop. Knitting, making biscuits, biking. Whatever makes it hurt. Stop.

I have strained my left hand. I am left-handed. This is inconvenient, as I cannot eat with utensils with my right hand. I can use a computer mouse right-handed, drink out of a mug, and even awkwardly brush my hair. I can read. And typing doesn't hurt, so I can type. I use my right thumb for the spacebar, so I'm good. But I cannot knit. I think this happened as a result of finishing first my fingerless gloves (I was hanging onto the needles too tightly at first), and then the squid, and then spending hours trying to finish my shawl. I have a project on large needles right now, and that's not too hard to do, but it still twinges a bit. So I've set it down for now. I want to do things on small needles, but I do know better.

I told myself I was not allowed to knit this weekend. Of course, I get dozens of ideas as soon as I say that I'm not allowed to knit. I have some odds and ends of yarn that won't make anything for me, or balls of cheap acrylic that I won't use for people. If I knit something for someone, it better be something at least somewhat nice. I realized all of sudden, that there are doll patterns out there. They use less yarn, and I can learn some of the shaping required for sweaters without committing to a full-sized one. My American Girl doll's wardrobe is about to become larger.

Instead of knitting this morning, I went to the store to find matches and a bucket. When my husband got home this afternoon, we got on our bikes and headed out to a local berry farm. I couldn't hold onto the handle of my bike properly with my left hand (but of course, this didn't stop me). Anyway, after about 30-40 minutes, we arrived at the berry farm. Strawberries are in. We picked about 7 quarts worth in 15 minutes, paid, and went home.

My family has gone berry-picking in the summer for as long as I can remember. Usually my mom freezes most of what we pick for the winter. I don't have that luxury, since we have a tiny freezer. Instead, I make jam or can the berries for baking. Tomorrow morning: strawberry jam. And maybe a couple jars of canned berries. Tonight: strawberry shortcake. I plan to do a few different jams this summer. The berry farm sells raspberries, currants, gooseberries, and blueberries as well, so I'll do more jam as the summer progresses. I love blackcurrant jam. I don't know about gooseberries. I have to look up a few recipes first.

Well, my hand's starting to say stop. I think I'll actually listen this time.

18 June 2009

completed project

Here, as promised, are pictures of my beautiful shawl. I blocked it last night on the living room rug (I vacuumed and put down a clean sheet first). So there is it, being blocked. Next time I do a lace shawl, I should get some proper pins for it. I used pins meant for sewing and quilting. They worked, but better pins should help the process next time.

After blocking.
I love the way the colours look. There's the darker smudges from the purple, and the bits of green and the grey-lavender. The colourway is called 'Luz de Luna,' which suits it. I originally chose the yarn because the shawl is named Shipwreck and the colours reminded me of the ocean. I used the Misti Alpaca Handpaint Sock Yarn, and it was a joy to work with and it's really soft and warm. I have almost a skein left, so I'll be putting it to its intended use and knitting my first pair of socks. After I do that, I can start on my father-in-law's Christmas present. I just picked up a skein of sock yarn in suitable masculine colours. It's tempting to knit him something in lime green, but I honestly don't know whether he'd like it or not.

This is really exciting. Three projects finished within a week. I have a vest/tank top that is about half-way finished. I worked on it yesterday on the bus, but my left hand is aching today from all the knitting in a confined space, so I'm taking a bit of a break for a day or so. I need that hand.

17 June 2009


Shipwreck is finished! Pictures to come after I block it.

I took transit into Vancouver today. It's always a long trip. Before this, most of what I've seen of Vancouver (except Granville Island and Stanley Park) has been the gritty parts. My anthropology class did some research on the downtown east side, which is an area where many of the residents have very serious problems. It's a sad place, and it's a little scary. So I didn't like Vancouver very much.

Today I got to see some of the prettier parts. I got off Skytrain and hopped on the bus and when I got off, I was standing in front of a Whole Foods. There's one in downtown Portland, in Oregon, where I grew up. Sometimes I'd go there for lunch after I had gone to Powell's. When I walked in, I swear I wanted to cry. All of a sudden, I was homesick. I wandered around the store for a while, hoping no one would look at the crazy lady walking up and down the aisles with a wistful look on her face. It's similar to the one in Portland, but it has a BC flavour. And then after my appointment I hopped on another bus (after walking the wrong way for a while), changed buses five minutes later, and found myself in front of Birkeland Brothers Wool. I picked up some sock yarn for a pair of socks I'm making for a Christmas gift, and headed to the bus stop to go home.

Vancouver crept a little bit into my heart today. I like where I live, which is part of the GVRD (Greater Van. Regional District), but about an hour or so via transit from downtown Vancouver. I live in a nice city which makes up for its lack of consideration for bicyclists and pedestrians with a couple awesome yarn stores, a great library, numerous farms, and an overabundance of sushi. I like it here. But I didn't like Vancouver until today. I like Portland for its quirkiness, its 'smallish city' feel, its beauty, its small movie theaters that serve pizza and beer (oh, and Powell's Books--nothing like that around here, although there are some nice used bookstores that are very small). I've missed that zing that Portland has. And no other city is like it. It's unique. But so is Vancouver, and there's more to it than what I've seen so far. And what I've missed until now have been some of the reasons why people love it here.

So in spite of the lack of sleep, the hours on the bus, and my aching ankle, it's been a good day.


My glorious plans to finish Shipwreck yesterday and block it today have come to naught. I think I'll be able to block it tomorrow, but there are no guarantees. This is what happened:

Several days ago: I looked at my rapidly dwindling ball of yarn, and I looked at my border, and I realized that I was getting tired of the pattern. Yo, k2tog all the way around for 500+ stitches is simple, but tedious. At this point I think I'd just switched up to the next needle size and was not looking forward to 43 more rounds before casting off. I've already put thousands of stitches into the border and I'm tired. So, I decided to make it smaller, partly to avoid joining another ball of yarn, partly so it would be finished sooner, and partly because I am short and the shawl's big enough already.

Yesterday evening: I shortened the border even more and was sitting in a coffee shop waiting for people from knit night (I'm new and I forgot the time, so I was half an hour early; I sat in the coffee shop knitting and watching people, a habit I acquired in ethnography class), counting down (10..9..8..7..6..5..4..3..2..) When I got home, I finished one more round and started the final increase round on big 8 mm needles (...1...).

10:45 pm: (...Cast off!!!) Finish round and rejoice. I can start casting off!

11:30 pm: Man, this is taking a while. I start another episode of Cast-On (thinking how funny it is that I'm casting off while listening to Cast-On) and when my eyes need a break, I go through a page or two of lace patterns, seeing if there's anything interesting.

Midnight: I am tired but determined to finish before I go to bed. I get up and stretch, take a moment to clear my head, and sit down to knit some more.

12:30 am: Another episode of Cast-On.

1:00 am: I take a break from knitting by weaving in all the ends now rather than later. Then, my worst fear comes true. I run out of yarn and I have to get out the last skein. It is not in a ball yet, and I have no swift, no handy-dandy ballwinder. I have to stick it on the back of my chair and unwind some of it so I can knit (I'll wind it up into a ball tomorrow)

1:30 am: Will this ever end?

2:15 am: I finally realize that binding off over 1000 stitches is a time-consuming process, I am exhausted, and I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow. It would be nice if I was awake for it. It would also be nice if my bind off looked good. I reluctantly set my needles down, and crawl into bed. My husband is snoring (he's been in bed for a couple of hours). Then I take a good fifteen-twenty minutes to actually fall asleep.

So I'm working on Shipwreck now for a bit before I leave for my doctor's appointment. I am taking a different knitting project with me. It's simple. Stockinette and garter stitch. Relaxing. Less than fifty stitches in a row. I'll tackle the rest of Shipwreck when I get home.

16 June 2009

yesterday's reading

After I finished Harvey yesterday, I took a celebratory trip to the library. Trips to the library are not unusual for me--I read like a maniac and have done so since I learned to read at five (before that I was a "read me a story" maniac). I had books to return and one to pick up and then there's always browsing. I live two blocks from the local library (for the first time in my life, I live close enough to the library to walk without it being a chore).

Despite being an adult who reads adult books and has a university degree, I can't seem to get away from reading books in the children's and teens' sections. For example, yesterday I returned two Betsy-Tacy books and Marked (a teenage vampire novel). I also have checked out (not returned yet) Middlemarch, Madame Bovary, and The Complete Novels of Jane Austen. I tend to read slower when it comes to classics. Emma Bovary gets on my nerves, as do a few characters in Northanger Abbey. Middlemarch will be accompanying me on the bus tomorrow for my big-city adventure of going to a new doctor (I plan to stop by a yarn shop on my way home to make the trip more interesting). We're looking at about three and a half hours on public transit and possibly more time waiting at the doctor's, so between knitting, Middlemarch, and a couple podcasts from Cast-On, I should be good.

Anyway, back to the books. I wandered through the non-fiction section to see if there were any knitting books I hadn't read yet, and then went over to the teen section. Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale was sitting there on their display shelf. I used to work in a library and shelved this book fairly often. Margaret Atwood is one of those authors whose titles make me curious, but when I see what the book's about, I'm no longer interested. However, yesterday, I guess I was just in the mood for some dystopian society. It is an excellent book. It is well-written, gripping, and (my favourite part) holds some hope. I disliked 1984 because I felt horribly depressed afterwards. I didn't like Frankenstein for the same reason. The Handmaid's Tale is a well-drawn picture of a society that has changed far too swiftly and drastically but there is a way out. There are other avenues, other countries. It is not the only way. So I liked it. I picked it up, opened to the first chapter, and started reading. Suddenly I was hooked. I continued to read while walking home.

So I've read another "grown-up" book. I've read plenty but there are some days when I still feel more at home in the children's section. I haven't quite gotten over the feeling that I'm breaking some rule when I walk into the adult's section, like I'm sneaking into a part of the world where I don't belong.

15 June 2009

A Terrifying Creature of the Deep...named Harvey

My number of UFOs has dropped yet again. This may be a record--two within two days. I have finished the squid. His owner is coming to pick him up this evening. I'm titling the pattern 'Harvey the Vampire Squid.' I don't know why his name is Harvey (just like I don't know why one of my mugs is named Hester and my mini rosebush is Geraldine--they just are).

Harvey on a bottle of laundry detergent

More pictures and a pattern to follow. I don't know if I'll knit this pattern again, but the result has been rather gratifying for a first design knit out of acrylic that I don't particularly like. However, I do like squid. I've dissected one in the name of science and about half a dozen in the name of calimari, and almost wish I could have one for a pet. A cuttlefish would be an adorable pet, too. I think I'll probably settle for a rabbit in a year or so, though.

14 June 2009

project complete!

It is always encouraging when I actually finish a project. I have more FOs than UFOs, but a few days ago, it seemed like ages since I had bound anything off (without the bind-off being a step that was to be followed by picking up stitches and doing some more knitting).

Fetching is finished. The gloves are really pretty, too. I learned the basics of cabling and how to do a picot bind-off, which was a lot of fun. These are a little warm to wear in June, but it's a good time to be knitting them. I knit about half of one Friday night, and all but the thumbs and a few rows of the second one yesterday. I finished them this afternoon.

I worked on Shipwreck yesterday, too, but I was hanging out in the park with a bunch of other knitters and it was mostly too warm to work with alpaca. I want to finish it but it's taking a while. I am thinking about making my border smaller. I am a short person and it's already going to be a big shawl. I'm not sure about it, though. I almost want to take it off the needles so I can get an idea of just how big it's going to be, but the work that would involve makes me cringe. I'll have to make up my mind eventually.

13 June 2009

they are fetching, aren't they?

I started a new project today. I was reading Knitty's newest issue, and the contest for pictures in next year's calender gave me an idea. I got one of those pictures in my head that involved a pair of fingerless gloves that I knit back in February. So, I set the photo up, looked at my gloves, and realized it would not work.

These gloves are serviceable, and I love them because they were the first thing I made that really seemed worth the time I spent on them (unlike the red acrylic horror of a sleeveless top that I haven't frogged because I don't know what I'd do with all the yarn). They don't look so good after I wore them while biking to the class I was teaching on freezing mornings and after being shoved in the bottom of my backpack while I was busy trying to knit a hat during a boring worldview class. I used a soft wool knit at a tighter gauge than recommended. The result has been a pair of gloves covered in pills. I tried lightly felting them to see if that would help (and if it would make up for the gloves, despite being knit in a small size, still being too big for me). They felted a little, enough to make them even warmer and for the colours to meld a bit, but not enough to stop pilling. They look...rustic.

Since I still wanted to take a picture for this contest, I figured that there must be a different pattern out there that I could knit well before the deadline. That's when I found Fetching. Fetching is a lovely pattern that is knitting up very quickly. I have had the yarn since somewhere around 4 pm today (well, yesterday, technically). I did some reading, played a couple rounds of Race for the Galaxy with my husband, went out to dinner, read my husband a couple chapters from New Moon, chatted on the phone with my sister-in-law about what she should bring to university (a stapler is an excellent tool), wasted some time on Ravelry, and still managed to make it about half-way through the first glove, while watching clips from Oklahoma in order to get a song out of my head. It is my "learn to cable" project. The cables are easy for a beginner like me and the result is delightful. I did have to frog the first couple of rows and cast on again because the original design is too big for my small hands. My version has been reduced in circumference by a third.

I love the design so far, and I think more cables will follow in other projects. I might need to take a short break from the pattern because it's been over a month since I've used metal dpns on a project with such a small circumference, and I held on too tightly at first. My thumb is feeling the strain.

I plan to take a couple of projects with me tomorrow to the park, where everyone from knitting group is meeting for world-wide knit in public day. I've knit in public before (on the bus, in the doctor's office, during lectures, at the library), but it should be fun. Fetching will probably come with me, as will Shipwreck. Shipwreck is close to being finished, but it will probably be a couple more weeks before it's done. I have one small project I have to start and finish within a week so Shipwreck will likely be on hold for a day or two.

08 June 2009

knitting thoughts

I've been purling backwards! I've had to re-learn how to purl properly so I won't have twisted stitches when I'm knitting in stockinette. Argh!

On the upside, twisted stitches are more visually interesting. Purling the "right" way seems faster than what I was doing before. I certainly don't mind purling.

I did recently realize that I don't like colourwork. Sure, it produces some great results, but honestly, I just don't like it. The only colourwork technique I've found that I like so far are patterns that use slipped stitches, like brioche or mosaic knitting. Embroidery's fun, too. I'm doing a fair-isle style pattern for a hat and it's more frustration than fun. Lace and patterns that are visually interesting from a texture point of view are much more enjoyable, and the charts seem less likely to give me a headache. Yarns come in multiple colours, so I don't have to bother with fair isle or intarsia unless there's a pattern I really want to do. I'll finish that hat eventually and consider it a learning project. It's got two fair-isle sections and a section that'll probably need to be done in intarsia.

Sometimes it seems like there are way too many techniques out there. I still need to learn cables. Eventually I'll get to mitred squares and entrelac. Lace and cables are probably where I want to focus. Out of about five pages of saved patterns on Ravelry, two pages are tagged with 'lace,' and one with 'cables.' I like garter stitch for its texture. There's something rather fun about it.

Well, back to knitting a lace swatch. It's a nice break from the squid and the giant lace shawl (well, not giant, but one round takes a while when there's over five hundred stitches in a round).

03 June 2009


I am actually getting frustrated with Shipwreck. I'm in the last section now, but it's taking longer than I anticipated. The lace is really simple but there are over 500 stitches in each round. I'm off to the library tomorrow to find some books on tape. There's a part of me that just wants to bind it off and call it good, but that doesn't seem right. And it would be too small if I did that. I really want to block it so my husband will stop saying that it looks weird.

In the meantime, it also makes good TV knitting. I'm re-watching the second season of Slings and Arrows right now. Shakespeare. Their second season was about Macbeth. The first time I saw that show, it was a high school production that was actually quite impressive. It's such a fascinating story. We read it in Shakespeare Lit class back in high school. Interesting that we read Macbeth, not Hamlet. We went through a lot of the comedies, a few tragedies and one or two histories. Sometimes we would just take turns reading the lines out loud, and sometimes we would actually try to act them out. Then there were a few movies, too. Shakespeare was meant to be performed. Just reading on your own--it's just words on a page, then. Actors make it spring to life. Anyway, the show Slings and Arrows--it captures the magic and the hell of theatre. There's that zing, that feeling when it's going well, and there's the chaos when it all disintegrates. It's incredible. It makes me miss theatre and it also makes me glad that I only did theatre in high school and didn't try to convince myself to pursue it as a career.

It does make me want to read more Shakespeare, which can only be for the best. I had better finish Northanger Abbey and Madame Bovary first though. Those books have characters that make me capable of reading only for a few chapters before I have to set the book down.

I suppose I had better do some more knitting tonight. I'm working on a gauge swatch for another project. If I knit the swatch up this week, I can see if the yarn will take to being dyed with food colouring before I start the whole thing. I'm not sure if it will, but beige is a dreary colour for a lace shirt.