Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A True Knitter

Rather than writing about my own knitting (and spinning, whee!) life, I think I'm going to dedicate this post to my friend, roommate, and fellow Knitter, Nova.

Nova and I met through a mutual friend, who decided we should start hanging out because we both knit. I believe her exact words may have been: "You knit, and she knits. You should knit together."

At our first meeting, we went to The Weaving Works and spent a good hour simply walking through the store fondling the yarn. At the time I talked her into buying some yarn for a pattern she'd just seen.

Two years later, this is how far she's gotten (I think it's supposed to end up a sweater):

There are lots of things that make us look at each other and say, "And those differences are what makes the world so great." We just have wildly different tastes, styles, and world views. She's a process Knitter, I'm a project Knitter. She's a project cooker, I'm a process cooker. She's quite liberal and a little bit pink, I'm pretty much a libertarian.

Also, remember the yarn I mentioned buying on eBay in this post and how I ended up receiving clown-puke yarn instead? (Okay, I know you don't, but the main words you should pull out of that were: "CLOWN-PUKE YARN")

Nova loves it. She said it reminded her of decomposing leaves and was therefore very desirable. She bought it off of me. She'd even have its babies if it were possible and she actually wanted babies. I caught her making out with it once...

Seriously, though, Nova is one cool chick. She knits things like this sock, with awesome colors, fair isling, and other lovely stuff.

And this? This is her sock yarn stash. We didn't have time to break into her real stash.

So, in other words, Nova rocks. Seriously. And she deserves the title Knitter, with a capital 'K'. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Diet Time

As in, yarn diet. As in, no more yarn. Period.

What brings on this radical stance, you ask? Well, I just did bills for the last few months. I've got this system where I don't budget, and instead save all my receipts, plug them into Excel, and figure out what needs to change. Usually I do pretty well, and my spending habits only need minor tweaking - plus, since this is normally done every month, my spending can't get too out of control without my noticing.

Except, of course, I haven't had time since August to do bills. Having just remedied this problem, I've come to a startling revelation:

I'm spending more money on yarn than on food. And, I just bought a spinning wheel (oh, yeah, post to follow about that soon).

Therefore, I will not be buying yarn. Much as I may love fondling it and making it do my bidding, I've found that food is a much better source of sustenance.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

An Appology from The Empress

Okay, people (pretending that there are, indeed, people reading this...) I'm sorry I haven't posted lately (you know, at all). I'm sorry I've disappeared without explanation. I'm sorry I haven't fulfilled my promise to provide knitting porn at regular intervals.

Life has intervened. However, really, that's no excuse.

To that end, I will attempt to mollify you with a picture of my most-recently-finished project, shown still in its construction phase here:

I've named it The Empress, and someday soon (not too soon, but before Christmas) I'll post more about her, and the other things that have been keeping my fingers busy.
Posted by PicasaPicassa Powered!

PS. I really love Picasa. I highly recommend it. Photo today (and probably from now on) courtesy of Picasa.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Top Three Ways to Murder a Klog

1. Don't Post [check]
2. Post, but don't talk about knitting [check]
3. Post, talk about knitting, but don't post pictures [check]

I've been seriously swamped lately, leading to not posting in general. I just wanted to reassure you all (ha, like there are actually people reading this!) that I'm still alive and that the Klog will eventually be resurrected - probably in the next week or so, with a weekly posting schedule.

Please check back for details.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Ze Current Project

Do you all remember a few posts back when I said that these:

would be my next pair of socks?

Well, I decided to go with the Ripple Weave pattern out of the current Vogue Knitting. It reminded me of Pomatomus, which was the first sock I actually really enjoyed knitting and the thing that kicked off my current sock craze. I liked the look of the ripples, I liked the way they went back and forth, and while I didn't like the heel or the toe, I rarely do and figured I would simply sub in my typical short-row heel and star-toe.

Things did not go according to plan.

First of all, the chart for the pattern had a glaring error in it. It was so bad, in fact, that when I perused the chart for the first time I thought to myself, "Huh, that's funny. I don't think I'll do it that way." As of this posting, the errata page of the magazine still does not list a correction for the chart, but if you've seen it you know it's wrong.

despite the obstacle, I did my revision back to what I think the designer's original intent was, and got about an inch into the pattern.

At this point, I should explain something. The pattern is very, very similar to Pomatomus. It is, in fact, so similar that I thought at first Cookie must have designed it. Unfortunately, I think the designer may have seen Pomatomus, thought it looked cool, and tried to fudge the pattern until she had something she could call "her own". I don't know if the problem came when she tried to make flat knitting instructions round or what, but the chart simply doesn't make much sense. For example, there are two yarn overs right next to each other. These yarn overs exist so that a decrease can be made every row. Personally, I would think it would make more sense to, like Pomatomus, have one decrease and one yarn over every round. There is no structural or patterning reason for having the yarn overs every other row, and every reason not to.

Still, I was ready to knit the pattern as written - I was already an inch in anyway - until I got to the point where the "ripple" comes in. At this point, the pattern kind of...well, it isn't intuitive, let's just leave it at that. I was fed up enough that I pulled the sock off the needles, frogged it back to the bottom of the cuff ribbing, picked up the stitches, and began Pomatomus. At the point where the sock is supposed to "ripple" (now referred to as "wave" as I've renamed these socks "Wavy Weave"), I simply reversed the Pomatomus chart. The yarn overs are nicer, the waves are nicer (in my opinion), and it doesn't make your brain explode to try to understand it.


So...after getting through all that text (and without any Knitting pr0n!), do you want some compensation? Perhaps...

...a finished sock?

Here's the sock in a less dramatic and slightly closer view:

And the sole of the sock:

Perhaps you'd like to see it off of my foot?

In an effort to get through the Second Sock Syndrome, I immediately cast on the second and began knitting. Just to make it interesting, I thought I'd try knitting it on one circular (not a 12" , as Kristi recommends, but I will be trying that technique soon - eBay is my new bank account). Anyway, I've already made significant progress on the Second of the Wavy Weave socks - I project that they should be done within a week, giving me yet another pair of finished socks!

Also, I'm having a love-hate relationship with the yarn. It's Ja Woll, in...something. They don't name their colors, so I see little point in giving you the number. If you ask, I'll post, but otherwise I think you'll recognize it.

The love comes from the colors, the weight of the yarn, the feel of the yarn, and the little bobbin of reinforcing thread they put in the skein for toes and heels. Honestly, I ♥ this yarn.

The hate comes from the colors and the little bobbin of reinforcing thread. Yes, these are both things I love, but they're giving me no end of headaches. You can probably tell from the pictures that the colors are pooling...sometimes. If they were doing it all the time, I'd just accept it, but they didn't pool on the cuff and they don't pool the same way throughout the sock. It's...frustrating. As for the bobbin - well, first of all, I completely forgot to bring it with me the day I wanted to do the heel (the socks are my away-from-home project), so I had to go all the way home to get the bobbin and thus skip out on most of a career fair at my school (we'll refrain from examining at the moment that knitting the heel of the sock was apparently more important than my future career, shall we?). Plus, knitting with both the yarn and reinforcing thread makes the heel, well, reinforced. This means thicker. I don't like thick socks. However, I also want the socks to last a long while. It's a Catch-22 I tell you, and I blame the bobbin for putting me in this position.

In other news (and to make this post really long so you'll forgive me if I don't get back to posting this week), I accidentally bought some new yarn at The Weaving Works. I went in just to look and fondle (really!) but I saw these and couldn't help myself:

I mean, just look at those colors. I'm especially in love with the almost rainbow one:

I love the way the colors seem to just melt into themselves. I can't wait to see what it does as socks.

As for the blue:

I think I already know what I'm doing with this one. I think I'll adapt the print o' the wave pattern for circular knitting and have lacy, wavy socks in the colors of the sea.

If only I had four hands and time to actually knit things...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Ze Curse

Note to self: it is a bad, bad idea to have a discussion about knitting with the person you're not having a relationship with (it's very, very complicated) right before you both fall asleep. It may lead to the following exchange:

Me: I can't knit you a sweater, though. It's cursed.
The Flirtation (so called because I can't think of anything else, and heretofore referred to simply as 'TF'): Huh?
Me: There's a Boyfriend Curse in knitting.
TF: You're going to have to explain that one.
Me: Well, it's a well accepted phenomena that a knitter will knit a sweater for her boyfriend and then they'll break up.
TF: Oh.
Me: But, then again, we don't even have a relationship, so you're certainly not my boyfriend, so you should be safe.

*kicks self*

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I just wanted to let you all know (and by "all" I mean "the random person who manages to find this thing") that, while I have many things Knitting to tell you all about (and pictures!), the posting will have to wait until the weekend.

Real life has intruded.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Past Project Parade, Part 1

Last year, I knitted a hat for a friend. Now, we're both nerds (okay, I'm technically a knerd, but it's really the same thing), so we're Firefly obsessed. When he realized I was a knitter (we really hadn't been friends long at that point) he offered to pay me if I would make him a Jayne Cobb hat.

Do you think I did?

Do I even have to ask?

So, without further ado, here it is:

The boring flat shot.

A much more interesting "action" shot.

And the money shot! A very happy customer.

My only regret is that he asked for it at the end of winter, so he didn't get much chance to wear it. Thank Something it's getting cold again...

Also, the pattern is my own design. If you'd like it, please let me know and I'll send it to you.*

*Disclaimer: pattern has not been published or test-knit, so you do so at your own risk.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I Humbly Apologize

Of course, if I thought I had more than one reader, I might actually feel guiltier about not posting sooner. If ever there was a time to start commenting...

Anyway, while the technology problem that has up to now prevented pictures on this klog has not been fixed, it has been hacked. So without further ado, I give you some knitting pr0n:

This is all the sock yarn currently in my stash. It's not much, but...oh, the possibilities. There will be more someday when I can afford it (and have the time to fondle it stash has been very neglected as late).

After taking pictures of all the yarn individually, I realized the yarn had gathered itself together, and done a much better job than I had setting it out. Really, I like to think of my yarn as progressive--the Sockotta is more than willing to snuggle up to the Trekking XXL, and they'll both welcome in the Regia...

My stash doesn't yet rival Kristi's or Cookie's, and while I don't remember pictures of the full stash (I hear it's hard to get the stash in one place for pictures) of The Harlot, I know she's got miles on me. As a side note, anyone want to hazard a guess as to which blogs I check every single day multiple times a day (just in case)? Still, I'm young. I'm poor. I just started knitting socks this spring.

Soon there will be a post of the socks I've knit since then. I warn you, I started my sock craze with Pomatomus, and kind of went on from there. I also made up the patterns for my other socks. And I slightly modified the Great Pomatomus for my own ends (and heels).

I think I'll leave you all (all one of you...) with a picture of my next pair of socks.

Envy me. You know you want to.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Dead Batteries

Were there working batteries in my house, I would have taken a picture of the clown-puke yarn I found in the package I opened today. As it is, you'll just have to experience that horror tomorrow...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Delayed Problems you all remember when I was working to fix the technology problem, and I accidentally stayed on eBay another hour a little longer to look at yarn? And how I, again totally involuntarily, managed to buy two skeins?

What I didn't tell you at the time was that I'd submitted a bid that wasn't automatically rejected. Somehow, it managed to survive the next couple days until now (I swear, it wasn't even that high...), and I won.

Hoo boy.

Of course, I wouldn't just taunt you with this story without planning to show you the yarn:

Isn't it beautiful? Doesn't it just remind you of the sea and all the different colors thereof? Don't you wish it was yours?

Of course you do.

Unfortunately for you, Dear Reader, it's mine. I won.

Now, if someone were to propose a contest I could run, with the yarn going to the winner...I might entertain that idea.

For this plan to work, though, I'd actually need to know I have a following...which means you'd have to post comments letting me know you're there. you want this yarn?

Come on, you know you want it...

Then let me know why I should give it to you.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Hugs & Kisses

So...that technical issue I was telling you all about? Will be fixed shortly. Seriously. And if not, I've thought of a few hacks I might employ.

However, being a Computer Science major does have its benefits. In my HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) class today, they passed out cell phones for us to program. In theory, we have to give them back soon, but...

...they have cameras on them. Do you know what that means? Of course you do. That means that I can start showing you some pictures (although I warn you, the quality is is, after all, only a free cell phone).

I thought I'd start with my latest finished object, hot off the needles not 3 hours ago. I give you:

The Hugs & Kisses Gloves

This is the back. They're fair isled with an adapted pattern from Vogue Knitting Stitches (or some such...the book is downstairs and I'm tired...I'm quite certain that Vogue made it, and that's about it. If you really care, comment and I'll tell you). The glove construction itself...well, that's all me. The yarn is a combination of Ja Woll in...something, and...uh...something black. *whacks self for stupidity* Again, if you really care, comment and I'll find the ball bands to post pertinent information.

Wanna see the front? Of course you do.

And a couple gratuitous shots of me wearing one of them (my other hand is working the cell phone):

They're a bit tighter than I'd like, but I think they'll stretch to perfection as I wear them over the next few months.

I've got to say, I'm quite enamored with the Ja Woll (it's the colored yarn). The way the colors come together is fantastic. I can't wait to finish the socks I've got cast on now so I can start knitting socks in this yarn. I've even got my pattern already picked out.

What am I planning to knit? Well, my Dear Readers, that is something you'll just have to find out...

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Okay, the technology thing is on its way to being fixed, which means that sometime in the foreseeable future there will be pictures on this klog and I can dazzle you all with my amazing prowess as a knitter.

Or, at least, show you works in progress and my small growing pile of homemade socks.

Unfortunately, Dear Readers, the fix to the technology thing involved a brief trip to eBay, which--yet more unfortunately for my bank account--did not actually end up being all that short.

Luckily, I wasn't willing to bid high enough to win most of the yarn I wanted. And I managed to keep up a pretty constant mantra of, "Okay, that's great, but how much would I pay for it if I was at The Weaving Works with cash?" Somehow, I managed to win only two balls of Sockotta.

Have I mentioned that I love Sockotta. The first socks I ever knit (or at least the first ones I ever really liked) were done in Sockotta. This yarn will always have a special place in my heart and my stash.

Also, my yarn shop has committed the graven sin of only carrying two colors of it. Damn them.

Do you want to see my yarn? Of course you do...

Seriously, how could I resist? It's bloody rainbow!

Can you just imagine the socks this will make? Seriously!

They should be here any day now...or, well, in a week or so. Hopefully by then I'll have fixed the hardware problem and will be able to show you the yarn in person, so to speak.

Plus, as soon as the technology has been fixed, there will be a picture of my collection of hand-knit socks. How's that for incentive?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Oh, We Wants It

Lately, I've been craving a spinning wheel. By lately, of course, what I mean is that I've thought getting one was a necessity since I tried my stepmother's last year.

How I've managed to not buy one so far is beyond me. I've probably spent that much on clothes I haven't worn since then. (Okay, probably not, but I'm sure I would have enjoyed the wheel more than the clothes. I can always spin naked...)

Of course, it doesn't help that I know exactly which wheel I want. Now, I haven't done extensive research. I haven't tried out several different wheels to figure out how I like the handling of different types. All I've done, really, is go to The Weaving Works and look at their spinning wheels.

It's not a coincidence that I picked the least expensive. However, I don't think I'd have picked another even if cost wasn't a factor.

Isn't it pretty? Don't you think we were meant for each other?

To give you the specs: It's an Ashford Kiwi Double Treadle. Oh, how I pine for it. Someday, it will be mine.

In fact, let me make this perfectly clear: if I make it through the holiday season sane and in possession of some amount of money, and assuming my stepmom doesn't figure out what I'd really like for Christmas (keeping in mind that I will be not-so-subtly reminding her), then... will be mine.

My feet are rocking just thinking about it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Uh-Oh...This Might Hurt

Whilst receiving a ride home from choir today, I discovered that my fellow soprano was also a knitter. Furthermore, she knew about a yarn shop not ten blocks from my apartment.

She claims this shop is better than The Weaving Works , where I've been getting all most of my yarn lately. Honestly, I don't have many problems with The WW, but if her shop is better...

Oh dear. I may be in trouble...

Also, I swear the picture problem will be resolved shortly...and then I will inundate you with knitting pr0n. Seriously.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Day One

Okay, first post. Wow. I have a klog. Sweet.

Anyway, I suppose the first post should be about me. Or, rather, it is going to be about me, because I'm in charge of these things, really.

My mom taught me to knit when I was five. I think she did so because I was being annoying and asking a gazillion questions about what she was doing, and she finally found some cheap yellow yarn and some needles she didn't particularly like, cast on, showed me the knit stitch, and parked me on the couch.

I struggled with that yellow yarn. It was an epic battle, really. I was quiet for days, and when I reached the end of the yarn, I had a not-quite-rectangular, extremely holey, very ugly swatch.

I vowed I would never knit again.

About five years later, I found myself with a box of my mom's knitting supplies and no clue what to do with them. I decided to try to knit again, but since my mother had passed away, I would have to teach myself.

Undeterred, I bought some bright, neon pink yarn. I'd never been taught how to cast on, so I made slip knots...for every. Single. Stitch. I also had no concept of gauge, so I figured a hundred was a nice round number and we would do that for a hat.

I knitted along for a few rows, and the years since my last experience had been kind to me. This time, I didn't drop any stitches, didn't create any more, didn't reverse direction mid-row (this might have been aided by knitting in the round...). In fact, I didn't even twist the stitches. Looking back, I'm rather impressed with myself.

Of course, all this is negated by the fact that, two inches into the "hat", I thought it was time for decreasing--four stitches per row. It was a relatively smooth decrease, but it was much, much too soon to ditch those stitches. I ended up with a bright neon pink Yamaka.

By this time, though, the knitting bug had bitten--hard. I had never heard of a yarn shop, so I bought my yarn at Value Village. When I did hear of yarn shops, I made fun of people who would spend so much money on yarn (I know better now. I really, really do).

Over the years I've refined my skill. The slip-knot cast-on was first to change. I found a couple books and taught myself purling, patterning, cabling, intarsia, entrelac. Recently, I taught myself fair isle. I rarely follow patterns because I didn't have any when I was learning (I do, however, drool pretty heavily over pictures...).

That pretty much brings us up to now. I wish I had some pictures of my earlier work, but right now there's a bit of technology gap between my camera and my computer--namely, a cord is missing. As soon as the technology learns to get along, I'll be adding pictures to all my posts (because, really, we all know klogs are all about the knitting porn).