Sunday, July 29, 2007

Something done, something new started.

I finished the Tara stole! Yay! I haven't blocked her yet, because the DH and I have some guests over, who we are very happy to see. His brother and wife came into town as soon as I returned from France, and we have been running around having a great time, so blocking and photos will begin next weekend. In between finishing the Tara stole and leaving for France, I cast on for the Mystery Stole 3. Unfortunately the joining period for this yahoo group is over, so if you are interested in this project, you'll have to wait for it's creator pinklemontwist to self-publish the pattern commercially from her blog. I finished clue 1 today, here's how it looks so far.
I know that a variegated yarn is not ideal for a 'lace picture' type stole, I intend to overdye this a nice deep oxblood red when it's done. The yarn is Knitpicks shimmer in the colorway Flower Garden. I couldn't even make out the pattern until I pinned it out on the bed! No more carzily variegated yarn for me! The pink is just too much. But I am using up the stash, so this is a good thing, even though the overdyeing will make a big mess.

I have been running around a fair bit these last couple of days, yesterday we went to Kassel to check out the Documenta art festival. If you haven't heard of it, it's an art festival that takes place every 5 years, and has international as well as local participants. I snapped a few photos...
The biggest and most striking piece in my opinion is the giant poppy field planted in front of the central art gallery as a protest against the current military activities in Afghanistan. Protest songs sung by Afghan women and children are played at certain times of the day, it's all very moving regardless of your political opinion. I will not share mine here, this is a knitting blog, not a political blog ;).
Dystopia is a common theme at such things, for this piece you walk through a red room with red lights with nothing in it but a staticky radio, then you enter a dark room with a metal train containing metal containers, which is a representation of transportation of biochemical hazardous materials. The train is nearly impossible to see and photograph, but I thought that people leaving the red room all disoriented and nearly blinded by the red light looked kind of cool, so I took a picture of them.
We also took a bus to the mountains outside the city and I took some photos of castles. Unfortunately the giant statue of Hercules is undergoing repairs, so I am leaving you with some links instead if you're interested.



Saturday, July 21, 2007

I passed! (Oh, and here's Trellis)

So, I passed my first PhD defense. This means I will have more time for knitting. The only thing that I have finished in the last 7 months is pictured here. And I only somehow managed to find the time since I was afraid the baby it's intended for would be too big for it if I didn't hurry up. It's Trellis from Knitty. I used knitpicks "Swish Superwash" in Brick. It's a beautiful colour. It bled a lot when blocking, but seems ok. I hope my niece likes it...

Next on my "to do" list is a cute argyle vest from the Debbie Bliss special knits book. It's for 9 months, I've almost finished half of it and the kid is turning 6 months this Sunday. I've really got to hurry up on this one too.

So, it'll be a weekend of knitting and Harry Potter my friends! Until next time...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I'm nearly there!

I'm nearly done my Tara Stole, only one pattern repeat to go! It seems plenty big enough, I was a bit worried because I'm knitting by the seat of my pants (read: I did not swatch or block the swatch. Shame on me.) Unfortunately the blocking will have to wait until things settle down at work, I figure it'll get done in a couple of weeks. I'll post the pattern if people are interested (i.e. delurk and post a comment!). My notes are pretty sketchy, and I'd have to make the charts up on the computer, so I'm only going to take the time to do it if more than one person is interested. So take the opportunity to introduce yourself and say hello!


Saturday, July 07, 2007


Free Online Dating

We got this rating because one of us used the word `crappy'. Whoops! There it is again. Crap. Man, talk about hyper-sensitivity to colorful language. I looked it up on Wikipedia, and it derives from the Middle Englise crappe which was derived from the Latin crappa, which basically means chaff. Would crappa get a G-rating I wonder?

Anyways, the knitting is slow but coming along. I'm super busy, so I have no time to run around the house snapping photos of what's on the needles, and my 2 inches of progress is boring anyways. I have enough time lately to knit, like, 2 rows before bed. But I am planning my craft time for the fall, post beam-time, and I have obtained a sewing machine on loan from a graduate student in my research group, and I have just placed an online order to Butterick for
this pattern. I think it will fill that gap in my wardrobe that requires a Druscilla dress or two to fill it.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

So I promised a tutorial

on how to do the sk2p (slip one, knit two together, pass slipped stitch over) decrease faster, in one smooth motion. Well, here it is, instead of pictures of current knitting. This is partially because I've been concentrating on top-secret gift knitting, so no blogging about it, and also because the progress on Tara is reallly slow, and it looks exactly the same as my previous posts, it's just a bit longer. In other gift knitting news, I found out another friend is pregnant, so I'll be making 2 Baby Surprise Jackets. These adorable baby garments have been popping up like crazy on the internet (check out brooklyntweed's here) so I have to make it. The first recipient knows she will be getting one, and the other dosen't read this blog (I think!). So this way both recipients will still be surprised because they won't know which one they're getting! Hah!

Well, here we go with the tutorial, demonstrated on the Tara stole. I will start with a few words. First, I have noticed that very few patterns tell you if you should slip the stitch knitwise or purlwise. So if there is nothing specified, do it this way if you have a need for speed. Or you could try it both ways and block your swatches to see if there is really any difference. These instructions apply to slipping the stitch purlwise, not knitwise. The time saving step can also be applied to the left-leaning decrease skp (slip one, knit one, pass slipped stitch over) without much difficulty. I figured this out because the sk2p was really driving me crazy and slowing me down. So here we go...
Step 1: Here I am, starting with the yarn forward to make a yarn-over (yo). If you don't want a yo, start with the yarn in the back. So first you pass the left needle purlwise through the first stitch on the right hand needle, which I will have highlighted in yellow for all these pictures. Also note that my right hand (yarn feeding hand) is taking the pictures, so you should pretend that it's actually feeding the yarn instead of my left index finger as shown.
Step 2: with the slipped stitch nestled on both needles, manoever it slightly to the left and stab your right hand needle through the next two stitches. Hold your yarn like you are going to knit those two stitches.
Step 3: Wrap yarn around tip of right hand needle.
Step 4: Scoop loop through. Slide the 3 stitches off the needle. Really, at this point the slipped stitch will just fall around the 2 just knitted together. Now I'm using a loosely plied yarn so I like to give the resulting stitch a tug to see if I missed a ply, because the scooping process can tend to miss a ply every now and then. If you are using a sigle ply yarn this is a non-issue and you are off to the races!
Here's the result. Now you may be concerned that slipping purlwise will look different than slipping knitwise. Here's the unblocked comparison...
It's not noticeably different, the twist makes the slipped stitch sit in a different way, but it's really not noticeable to the casual observer. I'll take more shots when Tara's done and blocked.