Posts Tagged ‘indulgence’

“One More Row” and Other Lies

You know those little things we tell ourselves about crafting? Or perhaps you tell them to your loved ones. Those things we swear we mean in the moment, but we all know in reality aren’t ever going to actually happen. Here are my top 10. What are yours?

1. One more row.

I should really get to bed. Just one more row. Man, if I don’t work out soon it’s going to be too late to get any exercise in today. Just let me do one more row. Sure honey, I’ll go take out the trash. After I knit one more row.

2. I’m only going to knit from stash.

I have so much yarn it is overflowing my stash cubicles. There has to be enough in there to last through the yarnpocalypse. So how is it I don’t have any yarn for this project I’ve chosen?

yarn storage

Seriously.

3. This isn’t nearly enough knitting for this trip.

Yes, I’m only going to be gone a weekend. Yes, I will be driving for most of it, and unable to knit. Yes, I am only 25% done with this sweater. But what if I finish it?

4. I don’t need to swatch for this.

I’ve knit patterns like this a million times. I’ve knit with this yarn before. I’m sure it’ll fit fine.

5. I’m just going to hold onto this amazing skein until the perfect pattern comes along.

There is no perfect pattern. Perfect patterns do not exist. Besides, I like sweaters but somehow decided it would be brilliant to buy ONE skein. I have bought yarn art. I should just give up and put it on display as is.

6. I’m not a good enough knitter to do ____________.

Cables? Lace? Colorwork? I can’t do that. Sure, I’m perfectly smart in a dozen other arenas, I know 47 knitters who would be happy to give me tips, and the internet is a big, big place with lots of tutorials and videos. Yeah sure, the LYS offers lessons on this very topic. But I can’t buy this beautiful pattern I’m lusting over. I can’t do cables.

Nope.

Nope.

7. Everyone will notice that mistake.

Did I notice the mistake in my knitting bestie’s new sweater? Or the mistake in that lady’s hat at knit night? Has anyone ever commented on the dozens of mistakes in the photos I’ve no doubt posted on this blog? But this tiny, insignificant mistake on the sole of my sock? Everyone is going to notice. And they will all point and laugh.

8. No one will notice that mistake.

Ah, the other half of the lie. Okay, no one else will notice that little mistake I just found 98 rounds back in this sweater. But I will. I will notice every. single. time I wear the blasted thing. And I will cry. A lot.

9. I can totally knit and wear this whole sweater before it gets warm.

It is March 5, and I’ve never knit an entire sweater in less than a month. This one is also heavily cabled, tunic-length, and extremely warm. But I can totally get some use out of it before the weather turns. This sweater is special.

10. I will knit ALL of my presents!

Because I totally have time for that. And besides, everybody loves unsolicited hand-knits!

cookies

Maybe I should stick to cookies.

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A Knit-full Weekend

Hubby and I went to his unit’s Birthday Ball this weekend (a week early, inexplicably) and there was plenty of knitting involved!

ball

 

It is November, and not warm, so even though we were inside most of the night I brought along my Clapotis. It matched the dress nicely if I do say so myself. It got surprisingly little comment, aside from an enthusiastic, drink-fueled discussion on how funny the word “shawl” sounds.

clapotis

 

What did get a surprising amount of attention from random strangers in the hotel, however, was the September Storms I wore when I wasn’t all dolled up. People were way into it – although I don’t think any of them imagined that I had made it.

storms close-up

 

Then there was all the time in the car. Since there is just so much pretty on sale with the GAL right now, and I do have a field trip coming up this week that will involve several hours of sitting on the bus, I went ahead and indulged in a new pattern. Then, because I am weak and the Black Hole Sweater is endless, I cast on for the new pattern. After all, I need to get it to a point where it will be easy and automatic on the bus, right? Except…our 30 mile trip to the Ball took 2 hours. And this happened.

visiting

 

It’s hard to tell with it all squished on little needles and unblocked, but that hat is 2/3 done. There is no way this Visiting Linda will last even the first leg of the field trip. Oh darn, guess I’ll just have to go ahead and finish it now. And buy another pattern for the field trip. What a shame.

P.S. I finished the first front of the Black Hole cardi too. No photos though, because it really does look exactly the same as last week.

A Quick Getaway

Some friends and my husband and I took a quick trip into the mountains this past weekend to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Sadly it turns out the blue yarn I picked out is kind of unpleasant to work with, so I didn’t get much knitting done. Luckily, there wouldn’t have been much time for it anyway!

cabin

We stayed here.

swim

First we did a little bit of this…

fire

…and then a bit of this…

river

…and then some more of this, just for good measure.

All in all a pretty worthwhile weekend, if not very productive!

Book Review: Knit to Flatter

Last December I took Amy Herzog’s class at my local LYS and expressed excitement about her upcoming book. Well, it’s finally here! It only arrived today and I’ve already eagerly devoured the whole thing. A lot of it was simply recapping what we covered in her workshop, but it is nice to have it all neatly written in one place, with examples and photos for each concept.

knit to flatter

Book!!!

 

Another thing I really love about the book is that once you’ve figured out your body shape, there’s an entire section devoted to it – regardless of which shape that is. There are also mini-sections for other features you might need to consider, such as being larger or smaller than the industry standard B-cup, or having an unusually curvy or straight waist, etc.

catch

Not that any of those would apply to me of course. Nope, not at all. Ahem.

Also exciting is that each of the patterns included in the book is placed in the section for the body type it best suits, BUT with suggestions to modify it to fit the other body types. If there was any doubt in my mind about whether I’d gotten the right idea about my shape from the workshop, right there in the Bottom Heavy section was the sweater I’ve been coveting since December – Flutter. I’m in the unique position of already knowing for sure it will look awesome on me, because I’ve already tried it on! Time to go yarn shopping!

Fiber Therapy

It’s hard to believe this break is almost over. Despite it being a lot more busy than I would have hoped, I still had plenty of time for fibery goodness. First I swatched up a bit of colorwork for a change and sent off a submission for a new design.

unpublished

Then there was also that sleeve I posted about Monday, which I’ve since reworked successfully. I also finished some lovely cabling for a design that’ll probably be released in late summer or early fall. I took the occasion to put together a nice little tutorial on grafting cables as well. That’ll come out next week.

cables

The main thing I’ve actually indulged in this week is spinning, though. I have been on a serious spinning kick. It included an utterly failed attempt at Andean plying which we won’t talk about. It also resulted in all the lovely 2-ply below though, which is growing ever more even but I suspect still not quite even enough to replace store-bought in a pattern. Not a clue what I’ll use it for yet, but it sure is pretty!

handspun

Misty Morning

In the northern hemisphere, there’s still just about one pullover’s worth of cold weather left in this season. If you’re in the southern hemisphere, lucky you! You’ve got months of cold (or cool) weather knitting ahead! Either way, I hope you’ll consider my newest pattern, Misty Morning.

cover

Misty Morning

This time of year is full of cool, grey mornings that really call for an extra bit of cozy. What better way to get your “cozy fix” than cashmere? The recommended cashmere blend is knit at a loose gauge for a bit of drape and elegance in an otherwise simple raglan pullover. Combined with the extra length in the torso and sleeves, this sweater is as comfortable as pajamas, but a lot more stylish!

collar back

 

The dramatic collar, which can be worn multiple ways, also adds a bit of flair. The moodiness of mornings this time of year just sort of demands some flair, doesn’t it? It also keeps the mostly stockinette sweater from being an absolute bore for more advanced knitters (although honestly, cashmere kind of does that all on its own)!

collar front

 

So cozy on up to your next Misty Morning and make the most out of the season while you still can!

Favorite Fibers for Winter

A couple of weeks ago, I posted some tips on feeling good in the endless winter dullness. Since this is a knitting blog, I think a more detailed post is in order about the fibers that make me feel good in winter.

1. Wool

crush

Crush

If you are a knitter or crocheter, this is probably a bit of a “duh”. Wool is even the common term for yarn in many nations. This is not a coincidence. Wool is very warm, but breathes well enough to reduce sweating. It has memory, so it holds its shape nicely and can be coaxed into doing many interesting things. Because it’s available in so many breeds and levels of quality, it can also be a good cheap “starter” for new knitters (or broke ones!) or in forms like merino it can be a luxurious indulgence.

2. Alpaca

esmeralda lace

Esmeralda

Some people call alpaca “the poor man’s cashmere”, but it really is a fantastic fiber all on its own. Pure alpaca is deliciously soft, drapey, and pretty much the definition of “smooshy”. It is also significantly warmer and lighter than sheep’s wool. Alpacas are also naturally lanolin-free, making it nearly hypoallergenic. Those with mild wool allergies can often wear alpaca. Blending with wool adds structure and memory to the yarn, and can also tame the “too hot” and “too fuzzy” issues some people have with it. Personally, alpaca is probably my favorite winter fiber because it is so very tactile and cozy.

3. Cashmere

capra

Not yet published

If we’re going to have “poor man’s cashmere”, we might as well have the real thing too! Cashmere is actually even softer than alpaca  and like alpaca is much lighter than sheep’s wool. The most commonly used Cashmere goats also have white undercoats, thus their wool lends itself well to dyeing. Due to the cost of cashmere, I’ve never used it in it’s pure form. Just adding a bit of it to merino or other quality fibers really does make a noticeable difference though. It’s quite a luxury, and a great pick me up this time of year.

4. Silk

potomac back

Potomac

This one often surprises people, particularly if you recall that I also recommended silk in my summer fibers post. Silk’s innate  absorbency makes it ideal to wear close to the skin in summer, but its low conductivity helps trap warmth next to your body in winter too. Silk is also fantastically strong and holds up to wear very nicely. The sheen and smoothness of silk fiber is a wonderful change from the dull and rough that sort of takes over the region this time of year too. Definitely a nice perk.

What’s your favorite winter fiber?

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