Sonnet Stitches

Knitting, mostly. With occasional kvetching, lots of adventures, gratuitous cat photos and a healthy appreciation for the absurd.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Fitted Knits KAL

I've never joined a KAL before, because I never stick to patterns. BUT. Stefanie Japel's book is so fabulous (and I've had a heyday modifying her already fabulous patterns in the past) that I couldn't resist.

So, look for me here (unless you're one of my local gang, and you've probably already joined it).

I have two projects to finish before I can justify breaking out my FK-specific yarn to start my first project. Expect a sweater and a pair of socks to pop up in this space with a big "done!" checkmark before the end of the week.

When it's fall, baby, I'm going to be dressed to the 9s.

Had a great weekend -- hung out at The Weasley House and knit all day, after I went on an emergency koigu-matching mission with Jo. We'd had our day scheduled around the fact that we were supposed to go to Carmen's house, since she does live in closer proximity to the Land of the Koigu. But, alas, she first uninvited us from her house, and then, even after getting the triple smackdown from Gwen, Jo, and myself, she told us she'd come over and then totally ditched us for a boy. Hmmph.

But, because there was koigu involved, we drove out of our way and went shopping anyway. Jo survived my driving and everybody was happy. Shots of the koigu-matching expedition can be found here, and do not adjust your screen, the koigu I bought was actually that color of pink.

In other news, Jennifer Weiner is coming! Yay. :) Not only that, I know this because my husband found out from somebody in his book club who pointed him here.

How fun is that! Anybody want to come with?

Also - note to self, must collaborate with local crowd tomorrow night about who is driving to Stich N Pitch at the Royals game, and how many parking permits we'll need, because the deadline for tickets is May 7. Huzzah! Knitting in public. My fave.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Also ran

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Since I forgot to post it, this is Amber, who hates purling, wearing the outlandishly long Tonalita scarf I designed and knit just for her. (Isn't she gorgeous? Even in a dark coffee shop with red-eye, she looks like she belongs on a magazine cover)

I wish I'd gotten scarf pics in better light before I gave it to her, but alas, I forgot.
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Better than a prayer shawl, bigger than a breadbox

This is not news to any of the local crowd, but for anybody else (if there IS anybody else who hasn't given up on my non-blogging funk), this is what I spent much of Lent working on:

Started with this one:
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Which was not sewn together at any point, but knit one piece at a time, with each block picked up and worked from the ones before:
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It has a lot of different colors and textures:
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... and one gauge mistake that really bugs the heck out of me:
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(Never again will I let someone who isn't in our Tuesday Night circle tell me "it looks fine, leave it." The Tuesday Night girls are the kind of friends who will tell you yes, your butt looks HUGE in those pants, and because we love you we will not let you wear them out in public)

But despite the mistake, the blankie was knit with love:
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And it has a sister blanket, which is also made out of the lovely, pettable, washable, Mission Falls 1824 cotton:

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My husband said it looked like one of those "God's Eye" things you make in Vacation Bible School where you weave (probably Red Heart) yarn with popsicle sticks. Maybe he has a point:
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And, if so, it's apropos, because I did a lot of praying for the person who is getting this blanket. At any rate, when I had them finished, I tried to take pictures, but Ella objected to my using her chair for a background:

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By that point, I was late for getting the blankets where they needed to go, and was now going to have to rely on the extreme kindness of friends (and friends of friends) to pass them on for me. And there was someone else of whom I was thinking and I didn't want to leave her out, plus, I had all those lovely scraps of Mission Falls left over. So I bought a pillow form, and I picked up my needles, and this is what happened:

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The side with the ruffles and the side with the entrelac are actually grafted together, because I couldn't decide what I wanted to do. Then I did some more praying, partly because I hoped I had enough yarn for the back. I did. Barely:

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All I had left were short, short, scraps. I had EXACTLY enough yarn left over for this pillow, minus the scraps of the blue that I didn't use (I didn't think it would look as harmonious as just the purples and pinks and greens). A very nice, unsuspecting lady who was shopping at JoAnn's when I was pacing the button aisle helped me find the perfect buttons (I totally whipped the pillow out of my Jordana Paige bag in the middle of the store so I could color compare. Speaking of the bag, yay for my husband for being a good birthday shopper, and yay for The Studio for having a trunk show).

Anyway, after obsessively knitting much and sleeping little, this was the end result:

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(And, yes, that is the back end of Alejandro at the left of the frame. They seem to think it's their furniture.)

That's the first time in awhile I'd knit THAT much THAT fast (I haven't done the Handmade Holiday thing for a couple of years now), and I'd forgotten how much you invest emotionally when you make something for someone in a short time frame. I carried those projects around with me, knit in Scott's car (even though it makes me queasy), knit in Pizza Hut, knit on my couch until all hours of the night, knit in every coffee shop in town and at my friends' houses.

Speaking of friends, Teri is the best knitting friend in the universe, because not only did she untangle Gwen's cobweb laceweight, she also WOVE IN ALL OF THE ENDS on the pink and blue blanket above.

Seriously. You do not make better knitting friends than that (although Shanidy is an exception, having spent all day helping me untangle the Devil Spaghetti Yarn from Hell a few years back! I will never forget that!).

Anyway... the blankets and pillow were a joy to knit; I pictured the recipients with them, hopefully getting some pleasure out of the soft cotton and the bright colors, and since I was working on them 24/7 it was sort of like carrying them around with me, too. People who knit will understand this; other people will probably think I'm a little loopy. But Auntie Gwen was making a gorgeous blanket for her family's soon-to-be newest addition, also out of Mission Falls, so we bonded a bit during the process. It was very weird when they were all completed and I went to put them in the mail - my hands got a little shaky when I was putting them in the box. I felt a little bit empty even though I was relieved that they were now finished and going where they were supposed to go. I'm embarrassed to say that, even after having once been a member of Nervousness, I still freak out a little when something I've worked really hard on goes through the mail, and I'm even more embarrassed to say that I sent a couple of pestery e-mails to the kind soul who had already agreed to be inconvenienced by my lateness and pass the goods on to their new owners for me, only to find out that said kind soul was out of town and had already passed them on, so I was being neurotic about the post office and "my" stuff (which really wasn't my stuff anymore) for nothing. But, now it's where it needs to be. So, that makes me happy, even though the point was really the working and the praying and the good thoughts for the recipients - having a finished object into which I channeled all those things is really secondary. But let's face it, when you make something for someone, especially for a child, you want it to be used and loved and snuggled and probably laughed and cried on and dragged around a bit. That's what you imagine while you're making it. I have a queen-size quilt my grandmother made me with blocks about 1 inch square (I am not kidding - it's like computer pixels). It's white. I'm often a little afraid to use it. But she told me she did not go crazy lining up all those itsy bitsy squares for me to keep that quilt in a closet. She did all that work because she loves me and wanted me to keep it on my bed. So, when it's summer and time to take the heavy blankets and flannel sheets off the bed, that's what I do. Now that I'm a knitter, I understand. Painters and sculptors make museum pieces (and some fiber artists do, too). I create things that are supposed to be part of people's lives. If they get worn out, so much the better - it means they were useful. Nothing is permanent anyway ... (except, apparently, the giant ink spot that will not come out of the full-size pink and blue quilt my mother and father embroidered for me when I was a baby. I'm 27 and I did that when I was 8 and I'm STILL in deep doodoo for it, but the quilt is most definitely still being used and still very special. Quilts don't get ink spots from being stuffed in cedar chests. They get ink spots for being on the beds of little girls who study all of their intricate designs while they're lying on their stomachs with their ankles crossed, doing their homework or writing their first short stories.)

With that over, I'm making some things for myself, and actually trying to use up my stash... although I did a little stash enhancement over the weekend (see Gwen's blog for rather tasteful descriptions of our weekend and rather unnecessary shots of some of us from an unflattering angle). Fun time was had by all!


Who are you calling a liar, punk?

This is for you, Jo.

I took this picture on my television a couple of Wednesday nights ago during "Lost." Fortunately, we taped it, so I could rewind it until I got a good shot of the screen. Note that it flashed by in about .5 seconds, and I still noticed, so that makes me a Warp Speed copy editing goddess.

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