So apparently I have time to either knit, or to write about knitting, but not both (at least not unless I let my commitments to either personal hygiene or basic housekeeping practices slip even further, which isn’t really a viable option at the moment). I can assure you that my prolonged quiet does at least mean there is knitting being done.
Well, not at this particular moment. Right now I’m packing. You see, I’m off for a bit of a jaunt next week to Nova Scotia. I hope to return with completed sock pictures for Gramercy. The pattern is finished (save for the final read through which usually reveals at least one extra space or missing comma), and as soon as I’ve got pictures I’ll be ready to release it. I’d also like to return with some yarn. Nova Scotia is the home of Fleece Artist and their sister company Handmaiden. Their wares can apparently be found at the famed Baddeck Yarns. I could suggest that I mean to be restrained and responsible in my yarn purchases, but I really have no intention of doing any such thing. I more or less plan on buying anything that sings to me, and I’m bringing a large suitcase. Anything else I should check out in NS? I’m totally soliciting suggestions (restaurants and general sights as well as purveyors of yarn of course).
- August 24, 2010
So I have seen lots of examples of brioche stitch, and tend to think they look rather nifty. Then the other day I read a two sentence description of the gist of the process. Armed with this rather scanty information, I decided I could do it. I had seen a picture where two different colors of yarn made vertical stripes, and I decided that would be an excellent place to start. Turns out I’m not that cool. Not even a little. Not by a long shot. I ended up with the mess over there on the left.
Now it’s a bit hard to see exactly what’s going on, as these are two rather colorful yarns, so I did a bit of a solid color swatch to see if I could figure it out. That’s over there on the right.
Alas, they are decidedly non-stripe like. They are a few other things though…namely stretchy, seriously smooshy, the same on both sides, and completely curl proof. It might have potential. But before I get too distracted by it, I should figure out a few things. First, what the heck is it? I’m sure it must have a name other than bungled brioche. Second, where should I go to figure out the proper way to do brioche (as I apparently can’t simply intuit it on my own)? Does anyone recommend a particular book or website?
- August 22, 2010
- tags: tentacle
Yes, tentacles. Grabby, twisty, vaguely menacing tentacles. I strongly recommend you don’t knit your own. They’re maddeningly addictive. You’ll need at least three, likely more (I’m hoping I’ll be able to call it quits at five, but I’m by no means certain). You’ll find yourself peering at your leftover bits of yarn going hmm, are you a sea-monster shade?
So far they’ve been shown to entertain me (not that challenging really), The Boy, the kittens, various other knit-susceptible friends, and a marauding three year old who wandered by. I’ve chosen to keep mine in the little charging caddy I have on my desk (seemed fitting), but they’ve also found themselves posed with coffee cups, absinthe bottles, various houseplants, and wee tiny lego men. The possibilities for wasting alarming amounts of time are more or less endless. Flee while you still can.
I know. It was a shameful lapse. It came without warning. It lasted too long. It’s just been that kind of week around here. There hasn’t been any one dramatic upheaval, just lots of little unexpected changes. It’s just been…busy. Alas, not that satisfying kind of busy where at least you feel like you’re getting lots of things accomplished. Nope. Instead it’s been that really infuriating kind of busy where you feel like you’re working crazy hard just to keep up. And, perhaps worst of all from your perspective, it’s the kind of busy that doesn’t lend itself to knitting. Somehow I doubt you come here to hear that the oven is on the fritz, or to revel in the tale of my (unsuccessful) attempt to summit Mount Laundry.
There is a wee bit of progress on the knitting front, but it’s also a bit scattered. I’m working on the second of the blue lacy socks. They’ll likely be called Gramercy and they’re coming out some time in mid September (assuming of course I can get the second one done and take it out for photos between now and then). I’ve cast on a was-supposed-to-be-mindless-but-then-I-went-and-shot-that-all-to-hell sock that I’ll be able to show you soon. I’ve got Heather’s What Would Madame Defarge Knit socks well underway. They’re damn cool, but the very antitheses of mindless.
And then, somewhere in the middle of all that, I fell pray to the knitting equivalent of crack. I lost all track of my good sense and spent a lot of time knitting tentacles. Yes I mean that in the most literal sense. Stand-alone, three-dimensional tentacles…those grabby squirmy things hanging out on your favorite sea critter. As an aside (and a deeply pedantic aside at that), the things on an octopus, and most of the things on a squid or cuttlefish, are technically arms. Squid and cuttlefish have both arms and tentacles, while some beasties have only tentacles. Arms (well, cephalopod arms, likely not your arms) generally have suckers all down one side, while tentacles usually have suckers only at the tip. Got all that? Excellent. So with that background I can clarify and say that I’ve been knitting cephalopod arms and blithely calling them tentacles. I have every intention of continuing to call them tentacles too, as ‘cephalopod arms’ just doesn’t sound as cuddly.
- August 12, 2010
- tags: gramercy
I’m a big fan of Miss Manners. Don’t look at me like that. Miss Manners is not about shrimp forks or calling cards or white gloves or ladies’ maids. She is, of course, well versed in those things, but she’s not trying either to halt the onrush of progress or to make anyone feel inadequate for not having dedicated their lives to collecting eclectic dinnerware. She’s trying to do something both simpler and far more difficult. She’s trying to encourage people to be mindful of the way their actions effect others…and then to consider modifying their actions to make that effect as pleasant (or at least as unobtrusive) as possible. This is quite a challenge, and of course, she does it with impeccable style and more than a bit of wit.
One of the themes that often pops up in Miss Manners’ writing is that of holding up your end of the social contract. That’s really what you’re doing when you r.s.v.p. promptly or invite your friends over for dinner or send off a thank you note. The goal is to extend kindnesses to others and to return the kindnesses that have been extended to you. The napkins and stationery are just window dressing. They’re nice, but they matter much less than the underlying intent.
So with that in mind, I want to send you all a thank you note. Now I can’t really do this in the traditional sense. I can’t get out a note card and a nice pen and write to each of you. What I can do is realize that by making my socks and testing my patterns and voting for me on SKA and spreading the word about this odd little endeavor of mine, you’re doing me a kindness. I want to thank you for it and do something for you in return. So I’ll be releasing the next pattern (the lacy ones I showed you last month) for free. The pattern is with testers now, and I’ll be working on the second sock over the next few days. I’ll be spending a few days somewhere picturesque at the end of the month, and with any luck I’ll have these ready to release in early September.