Knit by Night

Monday, August 21, 2006

If anyone's curious, I'm sort of, er, abandonning this knitblog in order to move to a better place. Ms. Knitter Knits is now the new place where you can find any of my ramblings about projects, yarn, and other random fibre-related stuff.

Friday, April 07, 2006

My first sheep!

Well, not a full-sized sheep. Not even a baby sheep. Not even in the shape of a sheep, really. But it comes from a sheep, and has yet to be spun into yarn, so by damn, I'm calling it a sheep! It's the closest thing to a real life sheep that I've ever really touched! (Unless you count an escaped goat that I once helped wrestle back into its pen.)

Yes, I was bad and blew some of my hard-eanred paycheque at Cricket Cove, and couldn't resist buying some fleece to (eventually) spin. See, I don't know how to spin yet. I don't have the materials to learn how to spin, either. But this stuff was so delightfully soft that I couldn't resist spending $6 on a length of creamy-white blue face leicester. I'll put it aside and make it into something very nice once I actually learn how to spin.

I did, however, have to restrain myself from getting a set of ebony dpns, and some chunky baby alpaca in a gorgeous red! I probably could have afforded it, but I'd have been living tight for the next few weeks in order to do so. I don't light having to tighten my belt that much. As much as I can be thrifty when it comes to some household expenses, reusing what I can and trying to spend as little money as I can get away with, I do enjoy my luxuries. I mean, if I can save some money by growing herbs instead of buying them, then I can use that money to go to the movies.

Or, as the seductive fleece next to me is saying, I can buy a good drop spindle. And more fleece.

My sweater-unravelling is going nicely, too. I almost have all of the 'clover' yarn unravelled, and I started on a salmon-pink cashmere last night. The yarn is barely plied, but this only means that it's easier for me to take the plies apart and have a load of lace-weight cashmere instead of dk or worsted.

God only knows what I'm going to knit out of it. Maybe I'll combine it with the spring-green cashmere and make something that's an affront to the eyes, just because. Hell, when I only have to pay a couple of bucks for a sweater's worth of cashmere, I'm not going to complain too loudly. It may be second hand, but it's still soft as anything, and that's what really matters, right?

Alas, my knitting is going to be on hold for the next few days, while I finish up my geisha embroidery project. I've put it off for too long, and now it's due to be sent out early next week. Oh well. I'm mostly done it. Just a few more patches to embroider, then some food colouring in various places, a backing of the same kind of material I'm sewing on, and a nice border in some other material from my scrap bag. If I work on it between calls at work, and a little at home, I should have it done to be sent out by Tuesday.

And then I can get back to knitting more often. There are often times I find my hands itching for the movement of needles and yarn.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Simple work knitting

One of the balls of yarn that I bought in a grab bag at Value Village the other day was an almost complete ball of what looks to be Bernat boucle yarn. The same kind that I used to make Luke and Jenny their Christmas scarves. What better to make of it, I asked, than a scarf like that for myself. After all, knit on size 10 1/2 needles, the scarf ends up nicely thick and long, and doing garter stitch at work is far from taxing. Keeps my hands busy in between calls, at least.

Now yes, I know that the weather's too warm now to be making scarves. But meh, what else can I make at work with limited amounts of yarn when I get about 30 seconds to a minute in between my calls. (Besides socks. But for that, I'd needs dpns and some sock yarn. :p)

The scarf keeps reminding me of two different things. Sometimes, the colour and texture reminds me of an oatcake, and sometimes it reminds me of a dirty sheep. I think, with that in mind, that I'll call this scarf "Sheepcake."

Friday, March 24, 2006

Value Village is my god!

Payday today! Of course, this meant I had to go out and treat myself, which meant a trip to Value Village to get some 'new' sweaters to unravel for extra yarn. Found a nice acrylic/alpaca sweater, in what looks like chunky yarn.

I also decided to browse the grab bags of yarn at the back of the store, the odd balls that people bring in that get thrown into bags to be sold at low low prices. I got three bags. Most of acrylic stuff, but in some nice colours, at least. However, I did manage to score some wool blend dk weight yarn, a very big skein of Alafoss Lopi Icelandic Fleece (in a colourway that seems to be nonexistant, but hey, who am I to complain?) and some violent pink mohair. Probably a blend, but hey, when I only paid $3 for the bag that the mohair was in, I'm certainly not going to raise much of a fuss about it!

Most of the yarn is unlabelled, but hey, I can also use bits and pieces to make an odd-lots scarf or shawl or something. No sense in things going to waste, right?

My only regret is that I don't have any knitting needles with me. I have to go through the entire night at work with a huge bag of yarn beside me, and I won't be able to do a thing with it! It's torturous, I tell you!

On a different note, I have a plan for this year, where knitting is concerned. I'll start to buy a few more acrylic and chenille sweaters from Value Village, and once they've been ripped apart and turned back into yarn, I'll knit them up again into scarves. Come November, I'll sell the scarves at the local flea market, with half the proceeds going to the Empty Stocking Fund. What doesn't sell will also be given to the ESF.

What is the Empty Stocking Fund? I'm sure you've all got something like that in your area, even if it doesn't go by the same name. It's a charity set up at Christmas for unprivileged families, the ones that may not be able to afford presents or a good turkey dinner they way a lot of us are used to. There was a time when my family had to use that program to augment what little we had, and I remember getting in that package a pair of mittens, and a knitted toy. And while I've donated money to the program in the past, it was only $20 or so. This year, I'll donate money and items. Keep some kids warm in the bitter coastal winter weather with my scarves, as well as sending money so that they can eat well on Christmas day.

I'm not a Christian myself, and thus don't celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday (it's a family/friends/commercial holiday to me, really), but that doesn't mean I have an excuse to not be charitable during the season. After all Yule falls during that time!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Stashbusting!

My yarn roughly fits inside two garbage bags. Now, call me crazy, but I don't consider that to be much yarn. Some people, however . . . Regardless, my storage space is limited, so I need to start using up some of that yarn.

I have ideas, thankfully. For starters, the laceweight cotton in variegated blues is going to be made into a shawl, just as soon as I find a pattern that I like.

The remaining balls of light green cotton are probably going to make Rachel a DNA scarf.

I have no idea yet what to do with the balls of Peruvian wool that Agnes sent me. Possibly do as she suggested, and make a vest, though I want to lose weight first. No sense in knitting to my current dimensions when they'll change once the pounds start being shed.

The ball of thick grey chenille will probably become a simple scarf.

I want to turn the fuschiaroon (they call it huckleberry. I like fuschiaroon better :p) yarn into hats, just as soon as I, uh, learn to knit hats. (Okay, yeah, so there are a lot of very simple things that I just don't know how to do yet!)

The unravelled crappy wool will go to dyeing experiments, and probably be knit into long strips to replace cotton batting inside the quilts I plan to make. (No better use for cheap scratchy wool, I figure. Wool's good for warmth, and knitting it into strips will keep me busy for hours!)

I need to find a better pattern and better needles to turn the shimmery white yarn into a snow queen shawl.

There. That takes care of about half my stash. Of course, that's not really taking into account the sweaters that I bought to unravel for more yarn. Give me time, and soon I'll be wondering what to do with the laceweight camel yarn, or the miles upon miles of insane-halo white angora. Or the spring-green cashmere (which is probably actually going to be plied with something else and then knit into the softest scarf imaginable).

And, of course, I still do have my crappy acrylic that I'm knitting into small squares during my spare moments at work (except for today, because I was dumb and forgot my knitting at home) that will eventually be pieced into a blanket.

I do need some specific yarn for two projects I have in mind, though. I have two sweaters that I plan to make for Christmas gifts, and I need to do some hunting around for the perfect yarn for them. I need white, pale blue, and green. In large amounts. Ah well. I'm sure I'll come across the right colours eventually. (Let's just hope it's within enough time to actually knit the dang things!)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Branching Out is done!

Finished. Over and out. And just in time for my mother's birthday. I was hoping to make it a little longer, but I was running out of time, and I didn't feel like starting an entirely new ball of yarn for just another 2 or 3 repeats of the pattern. It's long enough to wrap around her neck, and that's what's important.

And I still have 3 balls of that yummy green cotton left. Maybe I'll use it to make the DNA scarf for Rachel.

We're moving on Wednesday! Yee! I'm all happy about that! I can't wait to get all our things unpacked and make that apartment well and truly ours!

I've been tempted to knit some curtains for my room, too. I have a tiny little window there, so something about a foot and a half wide by two feet high would probably cover the whole thing. I've been browsing around, trying to find good lace patterns that I can make. I fancy lacy curtains. My window's high up enough that I don't have to worry about weirdos peeking in.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Stash enhancement!

Since Lewiscraft is going out of business and never will see the light of day again, I decided to be a bit more lenient on my vows to never give them any of my money. I went and took advantage of their Store Closing sale. I bought 5 more balls of Berella, which I hope will give me enough yarn to finish off the blanket I'm slowly knitting. I also picked up two balls of black Gemini yarn. It's a shame I won't be able to get any more of that yarn ever again, since it was a Lewiscraft brand of yarn. Sure, there'll be other yarns like it, but it won't be that yarn.

At least I have two balls for the road. And at 30% off, too, so it made it a little easier to stomach the price. The Gemini's usually rather expensive.

I was tempted to pick up some mohair, too, since it was all on at 30% off, but then I remembered that Cricket Cove has much better mohair. More expensive, I'll bet, but a better blend. Besides, I'm not that fond of mohair to start with. It's soft, but I can't imagine ever really wearing it against my skin. I think it's drive me nuts!

I need to hurry up and get packing. Moving day is on Wednesday, and we don't have nearly as many boxes as we need. Still, I can throw a lot of things into garbage bags in the meantime.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The past week or so has been tough.

I haven't posted here in quite a while, mostly because I've been rushed off my feet and stressed to the nines, to warp a phrase. We've found an apartment, and are moving in on the 15th, provided my parents can get back into town in order to drive the moving van. This is a good thing.

The bad thing, though, is that the dog was put down on Wednesday. He bit someone, and Rachel's parents decided that to be safe, since there are small children that come over sometimes, they just couldn't take any risks, and had to have him put down. He wasn't rabid, or sick, or anything like that. Just old, and a little on the grumpy side, and a stranger tried to pet him at the wrong moment.

It's strange to not have Max in the house. I keep looking at the things of his that are still there and wishing he was there too, but worse is when I see an empty spot where something of his used to be, but isn't anymore, it it feels like the wound in my heart just tears open again.

I'm going to write something about all this on my personal journal at some point, so if anyone's interested . . .

On a milder note, I'm knitting again. Not much, really. Branching Out is halfway done, and I need to get my butt in gear, since my mother's birthday is soon. Lewiscraft is having a Store Closing sale, too (70% off everything!) so I'm going to go in there and take advantage of some cheap yarn, so I can keep working on my blanket squares.

In non-knitting crafts, I'm working on turning a stained glass pattern into a piece of needlework. Satin stitch in cotton embroidery floss, and some random piece of scrap fabric I picked up from the odd-lots bin at Fabricville a while back. I'm doing this project at work, for a geisha swap on Craftster, and it's making the shifts fly right by. Keeps me busy in between calls.

I need to do more craft swaps with people. It's always fun to get mail, and to show other people stuff that I've done. ^_^ I may start that whole crazy Random Act of Kindness thing I see so many people getting in on. If I hang on to this job, I'll certainly have the money for postage and shipping and whatnot. Yeah. I think I will do that!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I am forever losing the pattern for Branching Out, so now I have to go and make yet another copy. I think this will be the fourth copy of the pattern that I've made, now. Ugh. Must get better organized.

I finally went and bought a new set of knittinjg needles in the size that I need, since I still can't find the one that I lost. Bamboo ones were cheaper than the steel ones I prefer, so I got a set of those. I do like the steel ones, but I've heard a lot of people praise bamboo needles. That, combined with a lower price, made me want to try them.

Still no luck finding the pattern for the horse plushie. Oh well. It'll turn up somewhere. We're moving in a month (we have an apartment set up and everything!) so I'm sure I'll be able to find the pattern then.

So now, it's off to my room to knit. Need to hurry up and get Branching Out finished, since it's for my mother's birthday, and that's only about two and a half weeks off. No worries if I do semi-regular work on it, really, but I would like to hurry up and get it done.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

EBay rocks my world!

Well, I no longer worry about having to pay a lot for roving to practice spinning with. Turns out I can get loads of it for low prices on eBay. Works for me!

Theoretically, I could always use the yarn I'm getting from my sweaters and take it all apart until I get a large fluffy mass, and the turn it all into yarn again, but I don't quite think I have the patience to work backwards just so that I can practice moving forwards again. Seems a bit counter-productive.

Now that I know I can . . .

Great. I get the feeling that I'll be spending my night at work browsing eBay, looking at all the handspun yarns that I want and can't afford. I sure know how to torture myself!

Spinning is something I've wanted to learn how to do for a while, but haven't had the materials to learn with. Sure, I do have a bunch of dog hair saved up for when I learn, but that stuff's so special that I don't want to use it to learn with. I'd rather save that for when I know that I know what I'm doing. And otherwise, I have no access to roving.

At least, nothing that's in my price range. I can get a tiny amount of roving from Cricket Cove for about $20 or so, which, while it's nicely dyed, I don't want to spend a ton of money on when I know it's something I'll be messing up on a lot.

I think I just need to go to a farm and steal a sheep. That might be the cheapest way to do all this.

I know that with my recycled sweaters scheme, I'll get lots of practice plying yarns, since a lot of them are so thin that they need to be combined with something else. At least that'll be something.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Not-so-common yarn!

I went shopping at Value Village today and managed to find something incredible. Well, I go there to buy sweaters, you see, to unravel for the yarn, since I'm a cheap/poor little bugger, and can't get my hands on many natural fibres.

Anyway, what did I see poking out from a rack of men's sweaters but something soft and tan. I checked the label, of course, and to my pleasant surprise, it was 100% camel.

I have camel hair sitting in my room! A whole sweater's worth of lace-weight camel yarn, and I suspect it's undyed, too. Ooh, I can't wait to unravel it and knit it up into something good!

I also found a gorgeous angora/lambswool sweater with the biggest halo I'd ever seen! I swear, I could comb that thing and get enough rabbit fur to make a matching scarf! I have no idea how that's going to come apart, given the hugeness of the fluffy halo, but it's worth a shot. If it doesn't work out, I'm only out $8, after all.

I also found a bag of yarn for $2 . . . Rich colours, mostly blue and black, and I'm pretty sure it was wool, but there was no tag, and I couldn't tell. And then there were the three cones of something called jute, which I had to go and look up just exactly what it was. I somehow doubt it'd be very good for knitting. I'm glad I passed it over.

I haven't been doing much knitting lately, alas. My mind just hasn't been on it, and I'm finding my time taken up by too many other things. The most I've been knitting are those never-ending blanket squares. I'd be knitting my mother's present, but I somehow managed to lose one of the needles. Grrr. I think I know where it might be, but so far, searching for it has yielded nothing. I'd better find it soon, or else I might not be able to get her gift finished on time.

Oh, and then there's Shelley's baby, who's due in May. I promised to make a blanket for him to be wrapped in . . . Jeepers, I'd better get back in the knitting groove soon, or else!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Plushies!

Since I recently went out and got another sweater to unravel for yarn, I've been thinking of all kinds of fun things to do with it. I've finally settled on making plushies. The yarn's perfect for it. It's a thick soft forest green chenille that's in good condition, about worsted weight. Maybe a teensy bit thicker, but not by much. Either way, I was thinking of making some plushies out of it, since I also have a crapload of stuffing that I'm probably not going to use elsewhere.

Of course, I probably won't keep all these plushies for myself. I just want to make them. Making them is the fun part. (As soon as I find that damned horse pattern, I'll get right to work, too!) But what can I do with all the rest? I'll only want to keep one, really.

I was thinking of maybe donating them. Going up to the hospital and handing a bunch of them over to the children's ward and saying, "Here. Give a sick kid a plushie. It's 100% acrylic, so it won't mess up any allergies. It's safe and easy to wash, just to be on the safe side. Give a frightened kid something to love and hug, will ya?"

Of course, this simple plan makes me want to just go and buy a whole load of sweaters like that, and make entire garbage bags full of them to give out.

So, what's stopping me?

Absolutely nothing. *goes to find a pattern*

Friday, January 27, 2006

*eyes bug out of head*

Saint John. Is getting. A proper yarn store.

A small store, really, tucked away in City Market, but a real, honest-to-goodness yarn shop, setting up in this dingy little city. They'll be setting up a knitting cafe, too, which I plan to coordinate my work shifts around. They specialize in natural fibres, and had tons of things I'd only previously heard about, but never seen. Debbie Bliss knitting books. kits for thrummed mittens and socks. Mango Moon recycled sari silk. 100% cashmere yarn. Hand-dyed roving to spin (oh, if only I knew how!).

The woman who runs the place also says they sometimes have qiviut. We joked about how you could send kids to college on the money it'd take to make a qiviut sweater.

After walking away from that place (empty-handed, I may add, because due to unforeseen circumstances, I'm in a bigger money-predicament than ever), I felt as though spring had come early. Here was a place where I can go with my knitting to talk about knitting to other knitters. People who also had a weakness for things that weren't neccesarily acrylic or novelty in nature. (Not that there's anything specifically wrong with those things. I'd just like to branch out a little from Bernat and Patons, that's all.)

I think I'm going to like that store. The woman said the rent there is expensive, but heck, those yarns were expensive! If they start selling, they ought to cover the rent on a tiny corner of the Market.

I hope. Finally, this city is getting some cool things. First the tea shop. Then the Japanese restaurant. Then the little place out at the mall that sells Oriental toys and novelty stuff. Now this. It's like the city I've lived in for so many years is finally making a step towards being called home.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Wool Fondlers?

Wool Fondlers! O_O

Damn shame that the days it takes place are all the days I'm working. Of course, I do get paid tomorrow, and I am going uptown early, so I might be able to grab something nice, if there's any happy fibre left for poor old me. (Doubtful that I can aford it, though, since I only get paid $600 tomorrow, and at least $550 of that needs to go to people to pay of various debts.)

This had better start being a monthly occurance, lemme tell ya! Saint John needs a bigger knitting community. It seems quite a few people do it here at work, but they seem to get a little shy and embarassed when people call attention to it. Shyness should not be a part of the knitting world, I tells ya! I knit in public and I'm proud of it!

Maybe this'll start a wooly revolution. I can but hope.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Credit where credit is due.

I mentioned to my mother a little while ago that I wanted to start knitting socks. Not exactly a big monumental thing, here, but when I knit a pair of socks, it will be my first pair of socks. It's a milestone. A turning point. It's one of those things that's fun and useful and throws me into the ranks of thousands of other knitter's who've also knit socks.

My mother mentioned this to my aunt. My aunt apparently replied that she's not sure I'm ready for socks, because I've been knitting for only a year, and knitting socks means using four needles.

Um, a little credit, please. I can knit some lace patterns with little dificulty. The only reason I haven't attemtped a sweater yet is because I can't aford that much yarn at the moment. Knitting a sock on four needles is not going to destroy me.

The hardest part of a sock is the heel. The heel is only one fraction of the whole sock. I think I can handle it.

The part that bugs me the most is that she doesn't think I'm ready because I've only been knitting for a year. As if time is the ultimate measure of talent. When last she spoke to me, she recommended I knit a whole bunch of squares to turn them into a blanket. Which I am doing. Y'know, when I have little better to do. In between other projects. When I'm bored. Small garter-stitch squares are only a tiny part of my knitting life, here. But she seems to think that's all I can do. Row after row of knit-stitch.

It doesn't help that there's a literal ocean between us. I can tell her what I've done, but she may not believe me.

Maybe once she hears tell of the gift my mother's going to get for her birthday (a Branching Out scarf), she'll change her tune.

Now, yes, there are plenty of projects I haven't tackled yet. I have yet to knit a hat. This is because I don't have the right needles for it yet (and most of my money is going to pay of debt and the like). Same thing with mittens and gloves. No sweaters (yarn issues). No pants (not exactly a common request, but I said I'd knit Rachel some long-johns at some point, and dammit, I will!). But these aren't for lack of talent, I assure you. I can knit. I can purl. I can increase and decrease. I realised how to do short rows before I knew what their name was. I can follow patterns easily enough. I've seen and heard enough cautionary tales of common mistakes to know what to look out for. I'm honestly, right now, only hampered by a lack of materials.

Haven't been knitting long enough to know how to do socks. Pffft. I have all the prerequisite skills. I just need the set of dpns, and the right weight yarn, and a pattern. And then I'll be raring to go!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Work post!

I feel like I've been neglecting this blog lately. I don't post in it as much as I used to. I'm a bad bad blogger.

Yeah.

Anyhoo, I've been making tiny bits of progress of my woolen shawl. Not the Snow Queen shawl, because I realised that I bought the wrong sized needles for it. Boo. So I've just been knitting row after row of scratchy cheap worsted weight wool instead. On my crappy curly circulars (which someone gave me some advice on how to straighten a bit!). This thing's for warmth rather than show, and will help a lot on cold nights.

Of course, by the time I get it done, it'll probably be after the cold nights have gone away, and I'll just have to put it aside for next winter. But at least I'll be prepared.

I'm thinking of felting it, too. I've never felted anything before (though I do know how to do it), and I figure my first try may as well be on something that's not too special to me. And since things shrink a fair bit during felting, I'm going to have to knit it bigger than I want. Not that I'm worried about the yarn running out. I have hundreds and hundreds of yards of that wool, sitting in a plastic bag at home. Once the shawl is done, I'll still have a load of it left over for dying experiments.

I'm bringing more of my yarn to work now, too. I've been knitting bits of the Branching Out scarf sometimes. Today, however, I brought that nice silk/angora sweater to unravel. Pulling out a sweater and wrapping the yarn around my knitting needles to hold it in a cocoon-shaped 'ball' until I can get it home and make it into a skein.

It's nice yarn, too. Two strands held together, one thin and smooth, and the other one a teensy bit thicker and kinda lumpy. Lace weight, by the looks of it, and I'm having absolutely no trouble unravelling it. It hasn't split yet. Huzzah!

Well, back to work!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Huzzah!

I bought a sweater a while back, with the intent of unravelling it for yarn. The sweater was a beautiful thing, in shades of turquoise and black, and made from a silk/angora blend. It cost me about $3. Now, because the sweater's a thin one, I was told it might be difficult to unravel, since thin yarns can split and tear easily.

This thing unravels like a dream. I've had no trouble with it. The yarn's a tough bugger, and stands up to a bit of abuse. The yarn turns out to be two strands twined together, and each strand seems to be lace weight.

So, once the sweater's done being unravelled, I'll have some beautiful lace weight silk/angora yarn, in turquoise and black. This makes me very very happy.

Of course, at the moment, I have no ball winder, or anything of the sort. I wound up other stuff by wrapping it around chair legs, but the chair in the bedroom is currently being used to hold up other stuff right now, and so can't be used. As a cheap substitute, I just started wrapping and twirling the yarn around a spare knitting needle. It works well enough, though my hands get sore after a while, twirling the needle and making sure the yarn stays pretty much even on both halves of the rapidly growing ball.

I have no idea what I'm going to make from it, though. There's not enough of one colour to make anything really big. I'm thinking I may make a few nicely-patterned scarves, though. I've no need for them myself, but I'm sure there are people out there who wouldn't mind a nice silk/angora scarf to wrap around their necks.

Or maybe I'll just try and sell the yarn on eBay. Who knows?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Is it wrong of me to be planning for next Christmas/Yule's presents already? I mean, it's only frigging January! Less than half way through it, even!

However, I do have some ambitious projects that I want to try. Ambitious for me, anyway. Given that I've never made a sweater before, having two on the list is pretty high up there. (New knitters . . . Aren't they just so cute?)

I have a plan for Rachel's sweater, at least. She's a big fan of green, and I'm a fan of wanting to try out cables for the first time. This results in (wait for it . . . wait for it . . . ) a green sweater with cables! Yeah. Not the most original suggestion, I'll grant you, but it's still a big project for me, really. And while I don't yet have a pattern for it, I do have plenty of time to look. I'm likely to base it off a cirruent sweater that she has, which is, and I quote, her 'favourite sweater'.

For Dawn, I had flicked through a bunch of old knitting patterns from way back when (read: 70s and 80s) and come across a really nice white one, with a couple of pale blue snowflakes on it. I thought it would look really nice on her, and made up my mind right then that I'd make it for her at some point.

I already have plans to make Robert some thick heavy socks. The ones that I couldn't make for him last year, but now have enough time to learn to make this year.

I'd also like to knit Rachel the DNA scarf at some point, too, since she's such a biology geek that I know she'll love it.

I'd love to knit Evan some funky-coloured socks. Maybe those Jaywalker socks that everyone's going on about.

So that's quite a few ambitious projects for the year. And really, on the whole, they're not that big a deal. Just things I haven't tried yet. But if I stick to scarves and lace patterns for the rest of my life, I'll never get anywhere. (Well, I will, but I won't get very far.) I need to branch out a little more. Learn more things. Make more things. Pick up my knitting needles and just go with it!

I've got a few other ideas on the burner, too, though not as gift ideas. These things are more for myself than for anyone else. For example, I've still got to get back to knitting Branching Out. I love that pattern, and it seems popular and simple. I started it once, but things went wonky, and I had to stop. (It was also at that point that I learned that when working with lace, losing a stitch somewhere along the row does not mean that it's fine and dandy to just make up for it at the end with another YO. *headdesk*)

I'd love to find a better set of circulars (I'm thinking of that set of Boye needles that I saw at Michael's a while back) and make a shawl. Not one for form, but more for function. I was thinking of using that off-white wool that I'm unravelling from a sweater. It's scratchy wool, and I wouldn't use it for anything but those oversocks for Robert, but to use it all up, I'd be making about 15 pairs of socks for him! All white ones. With no variation. Not that he'd mind, I think, but making a shawl out of the wool might be nice too. So I thought that a simple garter-stitch wool shawl might be nice. Good for keeping out the cold, using up extra scratchy wool, and for putting myself in that relaxed state of mind that only seems to come with row after row of garter stitch.

As it is, having none of the materials to make any of these projects, for now I'm stuck with those damned blanket squares. *chuckles*

Well, I could use the pale green cotton that Agnes sent me, to make the Branching Out scarf. Good portable project for work, too, if the calls remain as dead as they have lately. And I think there'd be enough cotton to make the scarf a decent length, too. The right needles for it are free, too, so that's a bonus.

You know, I think I'll go for it. I've wanted to knit it for a while, and no better time like the present. It's no exactly a warming sarf, either, so working on it as I'm coming out of winter (though granted, there are still two months of cold weather to go, at least) is a good idea. It'll be a nice accessory come springtime.

. . . Only since I got into knitting did I start giving a crap about accessories, and the right time of year to wear things.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Circulars = booo~!

Okay, now maybe I just happened to get a really crappy pair of circulars (or is it just one circular?), but the damn thing sucks! The needles are beautifully metal, which is nice, and the join seems good, but the damn part that makes it circular is bound and frigging determined to not straighten out. As a result, I have to fight against it when I'm knitting. Which means it traps yarn around itself when it tries to coil back into its original packaged shape. Which means I got incredibly frustrated with it last night, threw it down, and stomped back upstairs to get my other needles, on which plain old boring blanklet squares were still being knit.

If there's anything that calms me down, it's knitting rows 20 stitches long, or just plain old garter stitch. It's mind-numbing and soothing. Like Novocaine. Works wonders when I'm pissy, because I know that I'll never be too inept to just make simple knit sticthes over and over again.

Now I have to decide if I want to try and straighten out the circulars somehow (god only knows how, really), keep wrestling them into submission and thus getting nowhere on my Snow Queen shawl but yet producing pile after pile of blanket squares, or return them and try to find a better brand.

Option 3 is seeming pretty good right about now.