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« February 2004 | Main | April 2004 »

March 29, 2004

Knit Happens

Yesterday, 'the' Michelle and I met up with Genia and her daughter Myla for the grand opening of Knit Happens in Alexandria, VA.

Knit Happens

We arrived just about at the stroke of noon when the store opened. [I guess we were a bit anxious]. We browsed around the charming shop, taking in the impressive selection of yarns. The shop has a great atmosphere.

Oh, I was sorely tempted! I picked up and petted several little fellows who were eager to come home with me. However, in the end, I left with just a copy of Simply Noro. [I'm saving my yarn budget for Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival]. This is certainly a prelude to Noro yarn purchases yet to come.

A highlight of the visit was getting to meet Kristine, one of the co-owners whom I first knew as a fellow knit blogger.

Kristine

She was a wonderful hostess [Thanks for the tour of the back room!]. I hope she, and all the others who were working so hard to make everyone feel welcome, were able to get some rest today.

I definitely want to go back once things settle into their normal groove. I want to sit and relax in the comfy chairs and contemplate the walls of yarn. Since I have every other Friday off, I may even make it over for a Knit n' Nosh when the opportunity arises.

Michelle, Genia, and Myla check out the Manos selection [Michelle, Genia, and Myla check out the Manos selection at Knit Happens].

Before our afternoon was over, we also visited the other yarn resource in the area, Springwater Fiber Workshop, and The Torpedo Factory art center.

When Michelle and I stopped into Knit Happens again on our way back to the car several hours later things were still hopping. Good luck Kristine and Elizabeth. May knit keep happening.


07:48 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

March 26, 2004

Illogical?

If I wasn't going to start knitting my Everyday Cardigan right away, why was I so eager to get the Peace Fleece?

That's a silly question. It's always better to have yarn than to wait for yarn, although waiting for yarn can be fun too.

Since it's arrived, I can't stop admiring the Grass Roots Peace Fleece. Mary commented that this yarn is pleasing to all the senses. I have to say that while it's stealthily silent and not all that tasty; it looks amazing, has a pleasant lanolin fragrance, and feels wooly with being scratchy. It's so full of color; every time I look at it I see something new.

I'm not knitting with it yet, but I'm definitely enjoying it.


Hey look, one of those quizzy things.


which art movement are you?


You should know something about this, it's the Renaissance! As for style, "...artists studied the natural world, perfecting their understanding of such subjects as anatomy and perspective." (artcyclopedia.com.) They loved science-y things and labored for perfection and harmonious beauty, a goal with which you sympathize. You're probably pretty smart, too. Anal-retentive much?
Famous Renaissancers (lots!): Michaelangelo, Da Vinci, Raphael, and You.

which art movement are you?

this quiz was made by Caitlin

[noticed at martinimade]

08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

March 23, 2004

At Peace

Everywhere you look, a different color

I got out of work today and managed to hustle over to the post office in time to pick up my package [with five minutes to spare!].

Grass Roots is just as colorfully flecky as I hoped it would be.

07:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (9)

March 22, 2004

Two steps forward, one step back

I think I have solved the neck problem on CPS; however, I am now fighting the battle of the buttonholes.

I put off posting all weekend with the hope that I might even have a finished project to show by the end of the end yesterday, but that was not to be. This morning before I left for work, I removed the button band that I spent most of yesterday knitting and most of last night sewing on.

[Pooh!]

Oh well, here's the good news:

First, I crocheted across the back of the neck to stabilize it.

holding it together

Second, I tightened the stitches around the gaps.

looking better

Third, I knit the collar about eight rows longer than specified.

not bad

I can now transfer my wrath from the collar to the button bands. [rotten button bands].


Somebody stop me!

An effective method for putting the brakes on runaway yarn acquisition? Expensive and necessary repairs to the brakes on the car.


ARGH!!!

Speaking of yarn acquisition...

There was a slip from my mail carrier waiting for me when I got home today. I'll have to go to the post office to pick up my yarn for the Everyday Cardigan. I won't be able to make it to the post office until Saturday.

[ACK!]

I think I'm going to console myself with a relaxing night of working on Rain Forest.

06:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (11)

March 18, 2004

healing

I'm still here and probably not as upset as I may appear to be. Yes, yes, it is only knitting. But there is truth in knitting, isn't there? Hiding problems doesn't make them better in knitting or in life.

Hopefully though, it's not all problems. I'm not showing my little wound without hope that it can be healed. Quite the opposite.

I think it's necessary to show our problems, and also our solutions. I haven't completely solved the problem of CPS [Jo Sharp's Country Plaid Shirt] yet. When I do, I'll let you see. It's my hope that someone else can be encouraged by my small triumph over a roadblock.

Bonne Marie encourages me all the time when she bosses her knitting around. I'm always inspired by the way she solves her knitting quandaries. [Of course, she does it with humor and aplomb. I tend to be more dark and clinical (not to mention, cynical)].

And how about Alison's perseverance with the collar of Chickie, or Mary's chronicle of her emergency surgery on her Everyday Cardigan? Problems and solutions everywhere!

OK, I'll lighten up. [Well, I'll try].

First, thanks for the encouragement and suggestions.

Sarah even took the time to give me a very helpful and detailed answer with an illustration. [Thanks, Sarah!] With her permission, I'll share some of it with you.

I should have picked up at the arrows

In the picture, she's indicated with arrows where I could have picked up my collar stitches to avoid the gaps. If you compare her suggestions with what I actually did, you can see that changing just two of the pickup points would have helped considerably.

She writes,

"See that arrow in the corner (fourth from the left, fifth from the right)? If you pick up a stitch there (in that “V” on the fourth red row), that will help close up that corner."
How helpful is that!? I see exactly what she means. Genius!

Before I rip the collar out and start again, I'm going to do what several other people have suggested and just try and snug up the gapping stitches. If I'm not happy with that, I'll try again, following Sarah's advice.

Janine also had the very intriguing suggestion of a knit on I-cord to stabilize the shoulders and neck. Another excellent potential solution! [Put that in the bag of tricks].

So, even though I probably could have done without a bit of the melodrama, by presenting my problem, I have started on the road to solving it.

Hmm, I haven't gotten around to actually solving the problem though. I've been to two knitting gatherings in two nights, which makes for much knitting progress, but not much time to concentrate on fixing CPS. When I'm knitting in public I need something that doesn't require much concentration, like Rain Forest.

The rain keeps falling

08:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

March 15, 2004

wounded

It's hard not to want to be right all the time. At least it's hard for me.

It's even harder not to want to be right when you know that people are watching you.

No one wants to look like a fool. In fact, people are often less worried about being a fool than they are worried about looking like one.

I wish I could only show you successes and beautiful accomplishments that flowed from my knitting needles like sweet music. However, for all my experience and skill (I claim advanced intermediate status), I strike a fair number of sour notes.

Case in point: the ill-fated CPS.

The initial unpleasantness was the result of picking up too many stitches for the collar around the already roomy neck opening. In addition, the stitch pickups near the shoulder seams were horrendous.

After brooding and sulking for a couple of weeks, yesterday, I finally found the nerve to face my demons where this sweater is concerned.

I picked up fewer [fewer, I say] stitches around the neck in an attempt to control neck-opening sprawl. I worked about an inch and then changed to larger needles to try and get the collar to lie more smoothly.

I think I'm going to try knitting the collar a little longer than called for. The sweater is turning out very oversized (even though the sleeve length is spot on) so it will be able to handle a slightly larger collar.

Besides, I'm going to want to do a better job of covering this up.

It's just too awful.

This feels like showing you an open wound.

These are the horrible stitches at the shoulder seams again. This time, I tried to tighten them up and stabilize them better, but they are still awful and are going to require me to go back and neaten them after the fact. The pattern doesn't have you bind off the stitches at the back of the neck, and usually I prefer not to; however, this time that may have been the best choice.

The honeymoon with CPS is over. Regardless of how things turn out, we will always have this difficulty between us. Nevertheless, I hope that we will able to be friendly again. I've put too much into this relationship already to just toss it aside.

02:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (9)

March 11, 2004

Steek peek

OK, a few pictures.

A steek.

steek

I prefer to do steeks with an odd number of stitches. At the start I had nine stitches, but I decided that I would be more comfortable with eleven. [See where I added them?] Although it's complete overkill, I feel better and that's what's important, right?

I purl both yarns together on the center stitch. This gives me a convenient little ditch that makes it very easy to see where to cut, especially from the back side.

cut here

I learned this technique from Tanya at a K2P2 meeting. K2P2 is coming up again next Saturday at Mayorga Coffee Factory.

In fact, we are coming up on all my knitting meetings.

  • There's a neighborhood meeting the third Tuesday. [Oddly enough, it's not even in my neighborhood. Hi, Ellen!]
  • I've started going to the Knitting Meetup the third Wednesday because it's been meeting at Mayorga too. [Yes, that's two nights in a row].
  • K2P2 is the third Saturday of the month. [Three times in one week].
  • Knitting-N-the-City is the fourth Tuesday.

    After four meetings in a week and a day, I'm ready to knit in solitude for another three weeks.

    inside Rain Forest

    [I ordered the yarn and the pattern for the Everyday Cardigan. It will be here in about two weeks. So, I have a fortnight to get some of these other projects out of the way. As if].

    07:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

    March 09, 2004

    Everyday People

    [Someone's used that one already, haven't they?]

    For the most part, I've been a good little knitter lately. Despite my inability to actually finish a sweater, I haven't started one in almost two months either. [I started Rain Forest on January 11th]. I am exhibiting some semblance of control.

    Alas, it is only a semblance. I have purchased yarn and patterns in the past two months...and I afraid that I'm almost prepared to do it again. However, this one I will begin to knit.

    After about as much temptation as I can bear, I am about ready to break down and get the yarn and pattern to join in the Peace Fleece Everyday Cardigan Knit-a-long hosted by Kim at gibknits. [Yes, this would be my very first knit-along].

    For weeks I've been mooning over the Everyday Cardies being knit by Leigh [see her March 4th entry] and Mary. [Two different ways to go with the button choice: love them both].

    Mooning over such a simple sweater? Well, yes, when it's knit in Peace Fleece.

    And from the moment I saw Mary's ultra clear and close-up photos of Grass Roots, I knew that was the colorway for me, no matter what pattern I used. [That's what Leigh used too].

    I've been looking for an unassuming yarn filled with all that colorful, flecky goodness for a couple of years. To quote the comment I left Mary at the time,

    "I have a ratty old sweater at work that is knit from a yarn of many colors. It's perfect because I can throw it on over almost anything and it will morph to match whatever I'm wearing. This looks like a contender in my quest for a yarn for the Magical Morphing Sweater 2."
    I won't be able to get the yarn in time for the 'official' start of the knit-along (March 15th); but, as I learned earlier when I was pondering knit-alongs, that doesn't matter.

    I am so weak.

    [Enough with these talky-talky posts! There had better be pictures in the next one].

    03:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

    March 07, 2004

    Field Trip to the Mall

    Hmm, where's all the knitting?

    Well, yesterday it rained most of the day. And so (quite appropriately), I stayed inside and worked on Rain Forest. I'm now an inch past the start of the arm steeks. [More on that in a day or two].

    Today was going to be my day contending with CPS; however, the weather this afternoon was so beautiful that I had to get out. I hopped on the Metro down to the National Mall.

    I brought my camera and pointed it at some things. You can check out the new photo gallery on the left [Field Trip] to see some of the pictures I took.

    ready to bloom

    The first place I stopped was the Smithsonian Castle Gardens. I strolled past the carrousel and through the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden. I walked all the way down to the US Botanical Gardens, but there was a line to get in to see the orchid exhibit so I moved on the the National Gallery of Art and the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden.

    Really a beautiful day. Back to knitting tomorrow.

    06:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)

    March 05, 2004

    the state of my knitting

    I'm just about ready to set the arm steeks for Rain Forest.

    RF_swatch.jpg

    Bark is the dark horse. At this point, I don't even have to think while knitting it anymore. If I weren't so enamored with Rain Forest, it would be done.

    bark_swatch.jpg

    CPS and I are still in couple's counselling.

    CPS_swatch.jpg

    I think we may finally be making progress. We have plans to spend some time together this weekend.

    I have also been taking a look at some of the knitting relationship self-help books that Sharon recommended.

    1. Self Matters: Creating Your Sweater From the Inside Out
    2. Sweater Strategies: Doing What Works, Doing What Matters
    3. Relationship Rescue: A Seven-Step Strategy for Reconnecting With Your Sweater
    4. How to Know if a Sweater is Worth Pursuing in Two Dates or Less
    5. Learning to Live With the Sweater of Your Life: and Loving It

    Thanks, Sharon, I hope we are finally tuning the corner.

    [Have you noticed? I like some variety in my knitting. I've got stranded, textured, and intarsia represented. I should start a lace project; then I'd have all four of the major knitting food groups in my diet].

    05:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (8)