Wednesday, June 28, 2006


My sox are on

Take 1 skein of Wildfoote Handpaints in Rock & Roll, and 2 skeins of Bliss Baby Cashmerino in black, combine in a slipstitch pattern, and what do you get? Really Cool Socks. OK, yeah, it's a free pattern from the Knitlist, how uncool, and the pattern title is misspelled. But dude, these are realy kewl socks!

Progress has been very slow on this. There's work, of course, which cuts into my knitting time way more than I'd like, and there's also this:

Meet Jimmy the Gent. His name, of course, comes from DeNiro's character in GoodFellas. He's a longhair Mini Dachshund, AKC papered, and just 8 weeks, which makes him a high-maintenance fellow.

*WARNING* I'm about to become completely sentimental here. First, a quote from the classic Scorsese film:

Ray Liotta as Henry Hill (voiceover): "Jimmy loved to steal."

This Jimmy has stolen my heart.

Monday, June 26, 2006


A hundred bucks' worth of cashmere

*psst...wanna see some naughty pictures?*

One of my guilty pleasures is surfing fiber blogs, and I've been seeing enticing yarn stashes referred to as "yarn porn" or "a money shot." Since I can't quite bring myself to amass my entire yarn collection, I offer the fiber equivalent of the "quick titty flash".

I attended Black Sheep Gathering this weekend, and along with some scented soap made at the Oregon coast and a set of Brittany dpn's size 1.5, I scored 1500 yards of this beautifully colored laceweight by Belisa Cashmere of Bundanoon, Australia. Disturbed individual that I am, I actually Googled Bundanoon. It's a suburb of Sydney, about halfway between Sydney and Adelaide. Bev Cooper, who owns Belisa Cashmere along with her husband Stan, taught me basic crochet at this year's Stitches West in Santa Clara. Not that I crochet, mind you, but I can say that I've had one formal lesson, and was taught by a very good teacher.

What to do with the stuff? I haven't made up my mind yet, I love the Orenburg lace shawl patterns but I know they would drive me crazy. I did see a free pattern, though, on the Yarn Harlot's site called the Snowdrop Shawl. That looks like about my speed. I wonder if the yarn's raspberry swirls would work with the pattern...I guess there's only one way to find out!

Will report back after swatching, which I'll probably get to in July. Of 2009.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


How not to color match?

When oh when will I ever learn...

This is Patagonia/Araucania "Nature Cotton." From the same people that brought us Nature Wool of the maddeningly beautiful and inconsistent color lots, and poorly tied hanks (lay off the crack pipes down there, yo!)

My initial purchase was 5 hanks of colorway 206, to make a vest in the Manos del Uruguay's Cotton Stria booklet. However, that project proved to be fraught with issues, so I changed tactics and began Oat Couture's Albion Vest, an easy, non-lace garment which (I thought) would showcase the beauty of the varigated dyes. Well...I needed 7 hanks, not 5, and was disconcerted, to say the least, at the variance of color within the same colorway! So I did what I could to salvage, alternating rows with different skeins, but the above is what I'm coming up with. A cool artisan look? Or just plain fugly, fodder for the next installment of "You Knit What!?"
Any & all readers, help me out, wouldja? The comment button awaits you.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Dill pickles and grape jelly

Moi? Enceinte? Nope, not by a long shot, not unless there was a star in the East. And I don't even have the necessary equipment anymore. It's just that the colorway--much more pronounced in the Ott-lite--reminds me of the yellow-green of my favorite Vlasic sandwich stackers, paired with the Welch's purple grapey goodness in a glass that I remember from childhood. But maybe the purple in this yarn is more Crayola than that.

I lost my Opal cherry with this project. What can I say--it's the best combination of texture and colorway of all the sock yarns I have tried. To let the yarn do the work, I used the Lightweight Sock pattern from the first Not Just Socks book. But after completing the retro rib socks (which, by the way, I shall never use Knit Picks' Essentials again. Stretchy, scratchy, feh. They just lost a frickin' customer, I know, Kelley's really broken up about it. But seriously, that yarn sucks.) Where was I? Oh yeah, the Retro Rib. After making those, I realized that I can handle a bit more complexity in sock patterns, so as pretty as the colors of the self-patterning yarns can be, I'm going to stick to the Koigus and solid sock weights.


What you've been waiting for

...but first, a disclaimer.

The only person I knit for is myself. But before you go thinking I'm a selfish bee-yatch, let's unpack that statement. I do knit gifts for the people in my life, and I do so with joy and love. And even though I'm mainly a solitary knitter, I do enjoy the company of other women in knitting circles. However, this is where the whole business gets sticky for me. If I knit a top or pair of socks for myself, I invariably hear about how I'm "good to myself." I have only a couple of things to say to that. 1) Why shouldn't I be? and 2) How else am I going to have something that is exactly what I want, and which was made just for me?

The other thing that hangs me up about knitting with others--at least, the ones who know more about the way I knit than I would like--is being subjected to scrutiny and criticism. I am a Shetland-style knitter, meaning that when I work with straight needles, I support the right-hand needle against my body. It is the most comfortable way for me, and the way in which I can work fastest. When I'm in a group, my knitting style draws comments and laughter. Not so bad, but tiresome when it happens over and over again. Also, I've always been a person who learns volumes more from her mistakes than from anything else. Making garments that fit properly was a learning curve for me, which means that I have made some ill-fitting items. I've since learned how not to do that, but there are still some who must impart their sage, and completely unsolicited, wisdom every time I admit to making something for myself.

I now know where the phrase "stick to your own knitting" came from.

So I knit to satisfy myself, to challenge myself, to express myself, and because I have to. At the risk of sounding Curmudgeonly, my knitting is about me, and anyone who doesn't like it should shut her mouth already.


Right on, sister!

Many, many thanks to the Fiber Feminist for these words. There are only two things I can say: 1) I wish I'd written that, and 2) she's reading my mail.

I knit. I knit because knitting is a craft that is accessible to all in its simplicity, but limitless in its creative possibilities. I knit because knitting connects me with other skilled and creative women, across generations, across experiences, across social and geographical boundaries, and in teaching me to respect their talent, ability, and strength, also teaches me to recognize my own. I knit because I believe that finding beauty in functionality and creating functional beauty realize the essence of being human. I knit because I am a woman who is driven to create her world.


Launching the new blog

Welcome to the blog I've been intending to create for the past 4 months...the one I wanted to devote exclusively to my knitting projects. *heh* What knitting projects, you may be wondering, because there's only been a baby jacket and a sock (yes, I did finish the other one) on My Mom Made This since New Year's, fer cryin' out loud!

Fret not. Before the week is out, I'll have pics up of what's on the needles, finished or not. For the time being, I'll keep my original blog for random rants, like when I want to pick up the nearest heavy object and drop it upon the unsuspecting noggin of one of the project managers at work.

A little explanation of why I chose these particular photos, in this particular order--that is, if my train of thought is making any sense this late at night. I guess I just wanted to remind myself that it is easy to change the form of something. I couldn't have participated in National Flash Your Stash Day, because the mountain range of yarn in my possession--from Encore to Koigu to Lavold to White Lies and back again--laid end to end and photographed would just seem too daunting.

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