Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kill the Acrylic

No, that is not the war cry of a fiber purist, at least not in this case. I've finished the Rosebud shoulder shawl, and it definitely needs blocking.

But the yarn is acrylic. What to do? I've seen reference on the Ravelry forums to a blocking process called "killing" acrylic with a warm iron. I need to go back and try to find the details, but I think I'll try it on this. The whole project has been pretty much experimental, so what have I got to lose?

This will have to wait until we get back from the trip, though. I have other things that need to get done today, including a shift at work. And tomorrow we get up (in the middle of the night, really) to catch our plane.

To the Last Saturday knitting group, I really will miss being with you. I'll down an extra beignet in your honor.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Nice Surprise

The new Knit Picks catalog features four of the patterns from A Cuff Above. Whoo Hoo!

It is still always a thrill to see any of my patterns knit by someone else. Thanks Molly Beez for the heads up.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Once I Resigned Myself to Goofyness

the "name bag" project got a lot more fun. I just stopped fretting about the level of technical skill displayed (not high) and enjoyed the process of improvisation.

Though the I-cord I'm working on now is a bit of a bore.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thanking about packing

We're going to New Orleans at the end of the month - just a long weekend - and it's time for me to start figuring out what to take. I find myself stumped by the question "What do you wear in 60 degree weather?" It's been so long since we've had 60 degree weather that I've sort of forgotten. I expect the answer to this conundrum is "layers". And I think it will be safe to leave the long underwear at home.


Thanks to all for the good and helpful comments/suggestion re: the nametag conundrum. I did start one attempt at double knitting my name and ended up ripping it out. I kept losing my place on the chart and having to tink back long rows and then ending up confused as to exactly where I was. Something to do with having sets of two stitches on the needle for every square on the chart, in two colors, made it much harder to "read" my knitting: that and the way the pattern color and background color change every row. I may try again with the letters arranged vertically, or I may go for another option all together.

In the meantime, being in an experimental mood, I deided to go on and try the same thing with stranded knitting, weaving in the floats on the back. And for the heck of it I decided that this was the time to learn "magic loop" instead of using my usual double pointed needles. And, oh yeah, I threw in some crossed stitches on some of the diagonal "serifs".

One result of all the simultaneous experimentation was some serious tension control issues. Ah well, when I'm done I'll have a funky little bag, which may prove Useful, or Amusing, or maybe just a good example of What Not to Do.

At least I took Laura's good advice and added in some extra height to the letters on the chart.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Jazzed and Perplexed

I just recently found out that I will be going to Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp in July. For this knitter, at any rate, that's pretty much like a trip to knitting Mecca. It's something I've wanted to do for twenty years, but one thing or another always stood in the way. Now it's a go, and I'm jazzed.

But I'm also a bit perplexed. The registration materials say "...please knit (or otherwise create) a name tag to wear each day...." The perplexity is in how to do it. Well, I'll knit it of course, but just how? There is a part of me that yearns to create the most wildly inventive, technically masterful name tag that has been seen in the history of knitting camps. The voice of reason tells me that isn't going to happen. Maybe I should aim for something more basic. It might be good to start by just charting out my name.

OK, even at it's most basic, this is over 50 stitches wide. Obviously, I'm going to need to use yarn finer than worsted weight. So there's one design decision at least partially made. Now how to make those letters? Knits and purls? Probably wouldn't show up that well. Cables and twisted stitches on a purl background would be very impressive. I'm not up to pulling that off. I suppose I could do the letters with beads. I keep meaning to try beads.... Two color knitting might be the way to go. No intarsia. I'm lousy at that and don't like working it. Stranded? There are some long stretches between color changes, but I might weave in the floats. Or I could use this to practice double knitting. Given that I'm still a bit fumble fingered with this technique it might not produce the most polished results, but it could be a fun challenge. What about duplicate stitch? For some reason that always feels like cheating. Felt a knitted background and needle-felt on the name? Lace, is there a way to do it in lace? Aargh!!!
Get a grip, Cindy. It's only a name tag.

The Olympics Don't Suck

but the NBC coverage sort of does. I tried to watch the pairs ice skating last night, but with the constant cutting away to moguls and the commercials taking up as much time as either, I just gave up. I don't dislike watching the moguls per se, I just want to watch one thing or the other. I have a few other complaints about the coverage, but this was the one that sent me away.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Happy LOL Cat Valentines Day

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rounding the Bend

I'm working my way round the sides of the little shawl, knitting on an edging.

There are several things about this whole thing that need tweaking, so at this point I'm thinking of it as a "first draft". But it will be OK for a shoulder wrap to wear around the house.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Not Wisconsin

My sister's yard in Maryland. (Last time I posted a picture of it, the azeleas were blooming.)
Just for fun:

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Metro Scarf

Some months back, I had a great deal of fun fiddling with swatches, and trying different things out and developing a new stitch pattern. At least, it's new to me, and I haven't seen exactly the same thing anywhere else. My final swatch grew into a little scarf. And the little scarf has just made it's debut in the current issue of Knitcircus magazine (#9, Spring 2010).

photo courtesy of Knitcircus

With this issue, the magazine has gone from print to online publication. For a preview of all the patterns, plus some good articles and interviews (and some "free for a short time only" pattern downloads), just go to the Knitcircus home page, then click on the image of a little magazine with turning pages. Oh, and there's a killer cookie recipe from Bezzie, and book reviews and... well just go see.