Thursday, November 25, 2010

Knit Stalking

 I've been contemplating the ethics of knit stalking. By that I mean, I see what you are knitting. I love what you are knitting. I knit the same thing.

This seems to be an area of questionable behavior to me. On one hand, a compliment. On the other, come on, get your own creativity going. On yet the other hand, it simplifies the candy store of choices that call at me each day that I go to work at the yarn shop. And I get a somewhat tested product: I get to hear about how easy or difficult the pattern is, what it's like to work with a particular yarn, what the fit looks like on the knitter.

Lately, many of us (I am not alone in this stalking thing, I suspect) have been following the lead of a staff member in knitting Brushed Suri mitts from Blue Sky Alpaca. A perfect, quick knit. Nothing but stockinette in the round. You can stuff them into your pocket and knit a row while waiting in line, or sitting in the car, or actually talking and knitting at the same time. One skein makes at least a pair, possibly more (I'm on the second one at the moment).

Here's the fuzzy surface of the mitts. The yarn is incredibly soft and a little bit stretchy, so fit seems to work both on my smaller hands and the long, elegant fingers of another knitter working on them.
I'm also working on the Adam's Rib Cap-sleeved Wrap from Sunday Knits. It is nigh impossible to take a picture of this in process, but here you go:

 There's some crazy mathematical, geometric progression going on here, which is beyond my non-math mind. You knit the whole sweater in one piece, side to side, and somehow hold stitches, pick them up again, do short rows, and eventually end up with  the potential of a sophisticated, knitted item. The directions are well written, and like other things in life, I'm hoping that if I trust, it will come out all right.

Here's a close-up of the surface of the pattern:
And a better view of the color of the yarn: a charcoal with a little bit of striation in it, but overall, muted and quiet.
I haven't been blogging much because I'm not loving the pictures that I've been taking. And I've been busy weaving. Here's my latest sample. Very scary, and as my daughter poitned out, very 60's:
I noticed, as I was waiting for the download just now, that the colors mirror the color of my knitting: blues and greys and greens. How odd. And though I persevered and forced myself to finish this sample even when I wanted to just cut the whole warp off the loom and do something fun (this one is a selection of different types of hand-knotted, cut pile), I'm filing it away as lesson learned. After I finally finished, I reread the directions and discovered that I was supposed to do three different types of knots, not at least three. That error and the crazy, busy colorway going on will force this one onto the reject pile, and I'll have to try it again.

In the meantime, happy thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Komi Mittens

My most recent knitting: another pair of Komi Mittens from Charlene Schurch's wonderful book, Mostly Mittens.

This pair is being knit in Cascade Pastaza, a somewhat fuzzy, halo-ish blend of wool and llama. I've adapted the chart in the book to accomodate far fewer stitches, including truncating the cross panel on the palm. I wear a size 7 1/2 glove; I'm making these with 32 stiches on the corrugated ribbing, 40 stitches on the hand, and 16 stitches on the thumb gusset. You may want to go a little larger if you want room to add a lining, as in Latvian mittens. But this yarn is already super warm, and since I'm winging this pair, I won't have room for a lining.

I'm trying to work through this pattern so that I can figure out the specs for a size Medium. My sister and I are going to do a long-distance knitalong, and I want to graph the pattern for her to minimize the number of new techniques that the project will ask for.

In other news, my very large dog is so cowed by my small cat that last night, when the cat came out onto the stairs to survey the living room below, the dog walked over to the television and pretended to be starting deeply into it, thus to avoid any eye contact with the Very Scary Cat.