Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Trudging along...

The bramblefly cropped cardi is almost finished. I had been knitting on teeny tiny needles for so long and I just had to take a break, of course it was a bit too long and I'm way behind now. Fortunately, I've finished the back and one sleeve with just half a sleeve to go. It's kind of sad because once i'm finished, I don't think I'll want to wear it for a while. To be honest, I'm kind of sick of the colour pink right now. This is what knitting monogomy does to me, it just turns me off completely. I tried, oh I tried, I tried to be faithful to the little pink cardi that I had such high hopes for, but I'll never be faithful again. I never thought I'd say this, but I'll be happy if I never see you pink sparkly face again. No, no I've found a new love.

I promised myself I'm not buying any more yarn (unless it's sale yarn, of course) until I've put a huge dent into my stash (or at least assigned projects). I'm having a fun time stash-shopping, I've moved all my clothes out of my drawers and into my hanging closet for yarn storage, so everytime I open a drawer it's like a little exciting surprise. I found a ton of purple yarn chumming it up with this lovely bright red yarn. I immediately decided that my style for summer '08 will be circus chic. So I just casted on for these purple and red cabled legwarmers, but they'll be more like boots (which may, or may not have teeth)

And keeping with my stashbusting promise, I went to Lettuce Knit for WWKIPD and also for Franklin Habits, 1000 Knitters project, and didn't buy any yarn. I was thinking about it, I stood there next to the cupcake for a good ten minutes staring at purple and green yarn, and just as I was about to pick some up (and a cupcake) I was whisked away for my photo. Of course, I didn't take any photos of my own (my camera was under two knitting projects) I had a blast. Maytina and I represented our Stitch 'n Bitch by bringing the Optimus Helmet. So all in all, it was a good day.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Beginnings Of A Bramblefly

Of course, I'm not quite sure what a bramblefly is exactly. I had this idea where I wanted to mix the two sides of what has become a very awkward friendship, this really rugged, rough around the edges kind of deal with this really soft sweet side. So as many projects begin I began digging through my stash (which, I must say, is drastically decreasing as I've come up with projects such as this to use them tons of yarn) and found this yarn that is most likely older than myself, but it's pink and it's sparkly. Perfect. So yarn found, I spent about a day going through all of my stitch dictionaries in search of that one perfect stitch. I found the bramble stitch and thought " great, bobbles". Now, normally I absolutely hate bobbles and avoid them at all costs, but this one was small enough when worked with the yarn I had chosen, but textured enough to still get my point across. I began knitting and became incredibly frustrated because it's really a pattern you have to pay attention to until you get the hang of it, and once you do get the hang of it all you want to do is put it down forever because it gets quite tedious.
I knew I couldn't keep going like this, if I were ever going to finish this I'd have to trick myself into thinking that once I'm done the base of this cropped cardigan that there was something new to look forward to. So as I'm knitting, I keep going through the design in my mind, and I keep wondering what stitch I could use for the sleeves but still keeping in mind that it can't be anything too crazy because the bramble stitch is crazy enough for me. I think I've settled on something plain, but a belled ruffled cuff with butterflies. Hence the bramblefly was born.

I've been working on it on and off for about a week, and I've only managed to get the front panels and half the back finished. I'm both incredibly excited and scared for the finished object because it seems as if nothing ever works out quite the way I think it will, but it wouldn't be fun if it did.

Halfway through working on this, I think "I MUST be knitting like a million stitches a day" which just proves how tedious it feels to me to be doing this stitch repeatedly row after endless row on teeny tiny needles. A few years ago, I decided to track each and every stitch I made every day to compare when the project was finished which days I knit the most. I'm a stat junkie, I can't help it, when there' s variable numbers, I'm all over it. So, I decided to try and record my stitches every day that I knit and compile them into a nice little chart that serves no purpose once the novelty wears off. Just my thing.
And then things really got started when I came across a thread on Ravelry about how many hours on average do people knit every day, which really got me thinking and gave me the extra push to finally start recording everything. I started with time, but soon realized that sometimes I'll knit for five minutes while waiting in line...several times a day and am far too lazy to figure out how many of those small knitting breaks there were and how long each one was, but stitch tabulating is really just some easy math.

As it is with the beginning of every project, I'm obviously quite enthusiastic and can't put it down, then the novelty wears off and I only knit a few thousand stitches a day. I'll be examining my stitch stat patterns every Monday and comparing them like the huge dork that I am.

I'm going to pretend as if I've been blogging this whole time, and never took a four month break after my very first post.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My, that's fierce!

There's something that everyone needs to know about me, I am a total Project Runway addict. Because I live in Canada, I don't get the new episodes of the American PR as soon as they come out, so I go to the next best thing: YouTube.
I decided to use Sunday to catch up on season four, so I watched all eight episodes in one sitting accompanied by my knitting. On Saturday I took a quick trip out to get some yarn for the Bold And Bulky Mini Cardi from Stephanie Japel's Fitted Knits. I haven't knit anything for myself in a long time (not counting a mistake in a couple of scarves that I was intending to sell), so I thought that it was the perfect thing for me, it was inexpensive, it's flattering on almost everyone, and it's super quick because it's so bulky. And I measured myself and worked everything out before I left so that I only bought exactly what I needed for the project (I'm trying terribly hard on de-stashing..and so good)

I cast on during the first episode (once I had gotten my cuppa tea and a sammich) and by the time episode eight was over (and I was all caught up on the drama) I was finished weaving in all the ends.
I honestly can't remember the last time I was able to start and finish an entire project in one sitting. Usually I get bored and move on to something else, or I start to cramp up and need to move around. But no, not this time and I had a lovely thing to throw on the next morning.
I think I owe a lot to watching commercial-free Project Runway, though. I was so involved in every episode, I don't even remember knitting most of it. My only complaint is it's sooo hot and it has to be super cold for me to wear it for long periods of time. I modded it a bit because I foolishly forgot to buy buttons and didn't have any that would go with it, but I wanted to wear it immediately and strut my fierce walk in it, so I skipped out on a few border rows and added a sparkly clasp, which also totally doesn't go, but I'll find something else later.

While I was buying the yarn for that I was rocking my very first entrelac project. I improvised the pattern after reading a bit about how entrelac works. The hardest part was finding a nice yarn that I already had in my stash. (I went with Moda Dea's Tweedle Dea in Cinnamon Twist)
Ever since last winter when I was completely ill prepared because I had gifted or sold every scarf I had ever made, I made a small collection just for me, so the last thing I wanted was another scarf I probably wasn't going to wear. I also have an issue with having a really noticeable wrong side on a scarf, I like to wrap my scarves around a lot and I hate when I have to line it or make it twice as wide and fold it in half so no one sees a bunch of ugly wrong sidedness. That, and just about everyone has an entrelac scarf, but because I love the texture it needed to be something that was useful. And nothing is more useful that a nice purse. I had originally planned to sell it, but I fell in love with it and needed to keep it.
So I took this yarn shopping with me (I had finished it about ten minutes before I left) I was so pleased with it because on the inside it's closed with magnetic strips under the lining (which is a nice leaf kind of fabric). But what made me especially happy were all the compliments I was getting on it, I'm usually not very flattered when I do get compliments on my knitting, but this was different. This was my very first entrelac project, I had been fearing it for so long because it looked so very complicated, but much like cables it turned out to be much easier than I had thought, especially because I can knit/purl backwards so I never actually had to turn my work.
There's really nothing better than purchasing yarn with a lovely new knit bag.
When I returned from yarn shopping, I was just about to cast on various projects from all the lovely yarn I had bought that day, but then I remembered I have quite a large stash of UFOs. Luckily there was a Cosmo TV sneak peak on that night, and I ended up watching a bunch of terrible girly things while finishing up a very long-awaited project. I can't even remember when I first cast on for this project but it had been sitting in a pile for a long long time. You know, calling out my name while I neglected it for much fancier yarns, and prettier patterns. it's a top down raglan with a puffed sleeve and crossover buttoned front. (it's hard to see, but the button is a very sparkly blue flower, classy) I had only finished 1/4 of it, and decided it was a rather boring knit because it's mostly stockinette with a couple of increases or decreases here and there. But because it was so boring, it was either finish it now or banish it to the bottom of the bin for years to come. I decided to finish it and I actually rather like how it turned out. It's made with Vanna's Choice in Silver-Blue. I have a soft spot in my heart for Vanna, so I bought a bunch of this stuff when it first came out (and was on sale for like $2) and then I realized it was acrylic, but it's actually fairly soft (and once washed, it's even better) It's a nice bang for your buck, but I probably won't knit a lot with it. The colours are major, though.

And now back to more past-seasons of Project Runway while I await the next episode update