Monthly Archives: December 2010

I love color (or, Goodbye 2010)

Today, I was working on the Sunshine socks. I have a myriad of things to say about the second sock, mostly in the ballpark of that the second sock is naught but lies and deceit. It really is. The stitches lie to me, they slip, the gusset has been uncharacteristically tricky, etc. But, when I was working on them today, I had quite the revelation about part of the reason why I love yarn so much. It’s because I love color to an extreme degree.

Color is wonderful, fascinating, vivid, and really, I guess I love anything that engages the senses. My favorite food in Indian food, my favorite music is anything that makes me want to dance, my favorite smells are intense citrus, and my eyes love to feast on colors and designs that use colors (Gustav Klimt, anyone?). Today I was admiring my sock yarn, ripped back and loosely wound in gloriously springy and squooshy little rounds, all golden and lovely. The beauty of it struck me. Working with yarn as it flows through your fingers and onto the needles is working with a pure manifestation of color, as much so as working with paints or other artistic mediums. This delights me in the deepest and most simplistic sense.

I’m off to go collect lovely yarns, now. I already got a head start!

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Seen above: delicious, delicious DK weight alpaca of about 665 yds, and its companion, two skeins of 440 yds sock yarn! Lovely, lovely. I got them as late Christmas presents. My friend got an entire bag full of beautiful Manos wool in various variegated colorways. I’m exceedingly jealous.

It’s about two hours until the new year, here. I think I’m going to add a sidebar tomorrow of Finished 2011 projects!

Design dreams

(See also, alternate title: A break from the photo montage.)

So, like any knitter, I buy yarn and then it doesn’t turn into what I’d planned. In this specific case, I have roughly 1760 yards of ultramarine laceweight sitting around. This number boggled me when I calculated it. I have no idea why I bought this much yarn when I only needed half of it for the now long-dead dreams of the Advent calendar scarf. I think I’d planned to knit some fingerless mittens with it, too, but who knows. It’s beautiful and I’m glad I have all of it.

In something seemingly unrelated, my aunt got me the most beautiful shawl/stole for Christmas. It’s wonderful, looks like a peacock’s tail, and is from Malaysia. Even though previously I thought that I wasn’t a shawl person, possessing this shawl has immediately reversed this thought process. This shawl is amazing, beautiful, and just wearing it makes me want to knit ten million shawls to wear.

Naturally, my 1760 yards of ultramarine laceweight suddenly gained a purpose. But when I started cruising Ravelry for shawl patterns to knit, none of them seemed to click with me. When I search for a pattern, I have a very specific criteria in mind, and if a pattern doesn’t meet that criteria, then I skip it. What I wanted from the Rav search engine was something rectangular with a nice lace repeat that was repeating, slightly Turkish, and centered out (by centered out I mean something like this, not this). I always go into a search with high expectations and then when they aren’t met, I sulk and pout and frown until…

I’ll just design a damn shawl. And yes, it will probably be grafted together in the center.

So that brings, what? A lace panel vest, a t-shirt cardigan, and now a shawl to my list? (I also want to toy around with making a notoriously difficult music score into a knitted blanket, recreating Hope’s scarf from Final Fantasy 13, and knitting lanscapes… but that’s a blog post for a different day.) I’ve got design dreams, big time.

A sock!

DONE DONE DONE! I’m rather proud of myself. This is the first sock I’ve ever finished ever. The end looks rather pointy, considering that it’s my foot it’s on and not its recipient’s. Ryan has rather large feet.

Two (one and a half?) finished objects this week. I am feeling mighty accomplished.

Now I just need to get the second one finished by 4 PM Monday.

‘Twas the night before Christmas…

… and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Because we’ve all opened our Christmas presents already.

I’ve given up on knitting anything more than the Stranglevine scarf (for now), which was finished a few days ago and given to its lovely owner today.

It was my grandmother’s Christmas present, and she likes it very well. My grandmother does amazing things like get me an appointment for a wisdom tooth removal 24 hours after I told her it hurt. Things like that.

I am also definitely knitting a pair of socks for my aunt, but those don’t need to be done for another ten days. Also, my friend Ryan is still getting his sunshine socks…

… which need to be done Monday. Keep in mind, that’s the first sock. I think I can do this?

Skeptical face says, “Not so much.” (Yeah, that’s my skeptical face. I’m very expressive, no?)

Merry Christmas / Festivus / Solstice / whatever holiday you’re celebrating!

(Why yes, I did get a camera for Christmas. Let the photo whoring begin.)

w.t.f., man.

I didn’t do any knitting today (Monday). I am stupid.

Also, it’s cloudy and I can’t see the lunar eclipse.

Insanity or optimism?

I’m home for the holidays! And you know what that means. What with no school work to focus on, all of this time between me and 2011 is KNIT TIME. So, uh. I’ve got roughly two weeks… to knit… the Hemlock and two and a half pairs of socks.

I can’t decide if this is insanity or optimism. It’s my first year knitting something for anyone for a Christmas present, so I don’t know how my family will respond to a gift still on the needles. But, well, you know, the majority of this knitting is for people not even in my own family, sooo. I’m not honor-bound to give them anything. So I think if I did give them a gift on the needles, it would be okay. It’s not like the socks wouldn’t be finished by the time I left.

I’m speaking like I’ve finished my grandmother’s Stranglevine scarf. I haven’t. Ha. Though it’s getting there. Astute readers of my Twitter feed will say, “But Nicole, you said you were going to finish it last night!” Yeah… I think what happened is that my nephew kicked me out of my primo knitting spot (right smack in front of the television in the spare room) because he had to go to bed. Who knows. The little cake of alpaca is definitely smaller, though.

But in other news, I’m getting a legit camera for Christmas! I told my grandmother that I wanted a camera solely for the purpose of taking pictures of my knitting (and possibly for my upcoming trip to NYC in January). She gave me this look and even went so far as to say, “Are you sure you don’t want an” (exceedingly more expensive) “iTouch instead?” Hah.

Hooray for only slightly shitty photo parades of finished objects! (If you look closely at my last photo presentation, you will notice that the carpet is a different color in every single picture. I took all of those pictures at the same time under the same lighting. I honestly don’t understand how it happened.)

2011 Self-Imposed Sock Club

I think I’m going to do it.

I like socks, I like knitting socks, and I like the idea of twelve completed pairs of socks in a box at the end of the year for me to give away to people who might like them. Or for me to keep to myself, ha.

So: patterns for the SISC of 2011! (All are Rav links)

Cookie A’s Monkey. Haven’t knitted these yet. I should.
Beth LaPensee’s Nutkin.
Cookie A’s Kai-Mei.
Vintage Purls’s Nightingale.
Becca Compton’s Vinnland.
Tiina Seppälä’s Kalajoki.
Emily Johnson’s Paul Atwell.
Nancy Bush’s Fox Faces Socks.
Anna Zilboorg’s 44-Apple.
Alice Yu’s Shur’tugal.
Lisa Shroyer’s Bandelier socks.
MintyFresh’s Leyburn Socks.

I think they’re all pretty challenging and interesting in their own way.