Saturday, February 28, 2009

More unknitting....

This sock looks familiar, doesn't it? A lot like the one in my last post, right? But it's not quite the same, because this one isn't quite as big. 

It might look like the matching sock, might it not? One just like the other and intended to be worn on the other foot. As the partner or pair to the other. A pair of socks. 

The only problem is, these socks are supposed to be mirrors of one another so that the tree-like pattern runs up along the outside of each foot, and as you an see, this sock is far too much like the other to be a pair. If this is the second sock, the ribbing shouldn't appear on the right side as it does here AND in the one below. No, if it's to be the mirror of the other, then the ribbing should be running up the left.

But no, this is not the second sock. I am still on the first sock. But, as my little visitor pointed out last week, I am not knitting at the moment. I am unkitting. Again. (I actually do more of that then maybe you think I do. I actually do an awful lot of unknitting. In fact, I think it's safe to say that pretty much everything I knit involves some amount of unknitting. Sometimes just a little bit, sometimes a lot. And when I sew,  I do a lot of ripping out of stitches. This knitting and sewing punctuated with periods of unknitting and unsewing is, I've come to realize, something I need to accept as part of the process.)

But back to my sock. Or what I intend to eventually become a pair.... 

I didn't simply make the mistake of knitting the same sock twice. Nope. What I did was set the pattern as if I were knitting the right sock, and then I faithfully followed the chart for the left. All the way up the entire foot. Plus I set the heel and it was only a couple rows into the leg that I realized my mistake. There was no way to fake it, since the socks are mirrors of one another, the branches start off by branching to the right on the right sock and ... you guessed it, branch to the left on the left sock. 

You'd think that would have been easy for me to track! 

Apparently it was not easy enough for me, so I blithely read what was clearly marked as "Left sock chart" while telling myself it was the right. I've now spent a good part of my morning unknitting (which with fingering yarn and size 2 mm needles, can be a tricky business if you want to end up with the right number of stitches and don't want to leave any behind to unravel when least expected which is, of course, my goal). 

With icy streets out there I'm not wanting to venture too far from home this morning, so I just may be able to catch up with myself before day's end! 

Wish me luck ...

PS: omigosh! It's not just me. Check out this post by the Yarn Harlot... Could it be that winter's getting to us? 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

so little time!

You know you have a lot of projects on the go when you stumble across one you completely forgot about! While tidying up my project corner this morning, I came across this ... 

These are Bacchus Socks  by Alice Bell from Interweave Knits, Fall 2008. Now that they've resurfaced, I remember that I was completely smitten with them this fall and started them in October or November 2008. At that time I was working on cardigans for Maliyah and Aris, the vogue wrap for myself, and was still entertaining insane notions that I could also knit Christmas Gifts (I couldn't and didn't!).

I'm glad I found these. I just finished Cookie A.'s monkey socks and was debating the wisdom of starting yet another project when I already have 3 on needles (nordic mittens, fingerless mittens, and a Gaughan cardigan) and know of 2 more that need to get started in the next little while (shawls for Jennifer and I for her wedding). 

Now I'm saved. I don't need to start a new pair of socks because I've already got some on the go! Whew.  ;-)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

From the mouths of babes ...

My landlord came over to install new doors for my kitchen cupboards this morning (which have gone door-less since November, but that's another story) and he brought his four year old  son with him. He's a delightfully charming boy (I'm talking about the son, now, not the landlord though he's nice too) and after watching his dad for a while came to see what I was up to. 

I was frogging one sweater which I didn't like and am repurposing the yarn for another pattern which I think I'll like much more. 

Whatcha doing? the boy asks. 

I'm knitting, say I. 

Oh, says the boy. What's it going to be? 

Well actually, I reply, I'm taking apart a sweater I knit because I didn't like it and I'm going to use the yarn to knit another one. 

He looks puzzled. He comes closer and taps on the sweater I'm frogging. 

Is this the one you don't like? he asks. 


And what's this one? now he taps on a sweater back lying beside me. 

That's a new one, one I DO like. See, I'm using this yarn from the sweater I don't like to make a new sweater that I do like. 

He looks closely at the one I'm frogging, which is mostly moss stitch, and looks at the new one which has fancy rib, twisted rib, and cables. Then he nods.

Yes, he says with great approval. This one (tapping the one I'm frogging) is just all this pebbly stuff, but that other one has all those nice lines and stuff. I like looking at the new one. 

I smile and nod in agreement. 

He steps back and takes a good look at me. So  --  you're not really knitting then, he declares. 

I'm not? I ask, a little surprised. 

No, he says. You're unknitting. When you finish with the pebbly one and then work on this other one, THEN you'll be knitting again. But right now, you're just unknitting. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


My daughter is getting married in June, in a big boat that will be floating out in the Halifax harbour. It's going to be lovely. Lovely, and probably a bit chilly ... probably about 15 celcius, which means the bride, who will be wearing a lovely off the shoulder gown, will need something to put over her to ward off the cold. Something that won't detract from the beauty of her gown and of the occasion. And it's been driving me crazy! A sweater just didn't seem right... 

But I finally hit on it. I've never knit a shawl before, but isn't this the perfect time to start one? But I was hesitant. Should I really try something new for such an important event? I wasn't sure, so I signed up and took the first session of a two-parter workshop on Knitted Lace for Beginners  at Mouline here in Montreal. I learned that lace is all about yarn-overs and knit 2 togethers, and ssk ... then it hit me. I've knitted lace before.  Rosita is lace!! 

And I learned that lace is also all about using techniques such as provisional cast-ons so you can avoid cast-ons and cast-offs so your lace stays loose and flexible. and I learned how to do that earlier this winter when I was knitting fingerless gloves from Vogue's holiday magazine!! 

Which means I'm not risking anything. I know how to do this already. All I need is a pattern, and time, and Jen's approval! 

I got the pattern the Autumn Arbor Shawl, which Jennifer and I both love, I have the yarn (Misti Baby Alpaca Lace) and since it's only February now and the wedding is in June, I also have the time. 

So why am I not knitting yet? Because I'm waiting for the swatch I knit so Jen can give final approval to yarn and colour, to be delivered by snail mail to her house!!!! You know, I should have sent it courier. These fingers are just itching to get started on it .... 

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Space battle

I have this recurring dream, almost a nightmare, I guess. It's quite late at night, very dark, no moon but there are some stars. I'm usually inside a cabin that has a dirt road running just beyond the trees in the front of the cabin, and just beyond that, a river. Sometimes the cabin is in the bush, sometimes just on the outskirts of the city. I know it's a cabin and not a house because of how rustic it. Sometimes my brother is there, which is really unusual because we don't see each other much any more. 

I'm aware of the sky but not really watching it. I like being able to see the sky so if I am in a situation where I can see it, I'm always kind of half-watching it. The sky always feels very intimate but also so remote and otherworldly. It's part of our world and also the window to every other world, to things we can't possible imagine. So I'm in the cabin, talking to someone, often my brother, and very aware of the night sky which at the point in the dream, feels familiar and comforting and twinkly. 

But I slowly become aware of something happening in the sky. I become aware of movement amongst those stars, of lights darting and flicking, and doing so incredibly quickly. I have to watch for a long time before I'm really sure that I really am seeing movement. And as I watch, it becomes more and more clear. And I slowly realize that this is because whatever it is that's moving out there, it's coming closer and closer. I watch for some time, at one point I send my brother out to do something crucial but when I wake I never remember what it was though I know he's doing something quite difficult and quite urgent and I'm not at all certain he'll be successful. 

As I watch I can start making out shapes. Some are almost crystaline structures -- long and narrow with shapes jutting out at the tops and bottoms that remind me of giant cave crystals. these structures are enormous, bigger than most of our skyscrappers. There are also a lot of other structures more like the ones we've come to expect from watching Star Wars and Battlestar. The swift ships that dart in and out in battle, lobbing small torpedo-like weapons at one another. 

It's clear this is an epic battle. And the radios and TVs are silent, the internet isn't responding. More people appear at the cabin, and who exactly they are changes from time to time. I seem to know something about what is happening, and I'm surprised it's gone this far, surprised it's out in the open, but whatever it is, I cannot quite pull it into full consciousness so I'm left with just this vague sense. 

It's a powerful dream in the sense that it stays with me. The last time I had it was a week and half ago.  I woke up at 3:30 am stayed awake for almost an hour. If I get up like that and then go back to sleep, and I tend to remember dreams I have at that time more than others I might have. I'll have to take care to note if this dream always happens under the same circumstances. 

Anyone else out there dream of intergalactic space battles? ;-)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Petal Halter

I was just looking over the patterns in the soon-to-be-released spring edition of Interweave knits, and here's the top that everyone is going to be knitting. Well, maybe not everyone. I will be, and I'll bet a lot of others too. It's gorgeous. 

I'm curious about how it's made, though. Not being a designer myself I find it hard to figure out other people's patterns. This one looks as though you might be knitting in strips and sewing together? I can't wait to get my hands on the pattern and check it out! Trouble is, I am not sure if my subscription has already expired or is about to expire... I was going to be good and not subscribe to any more knitting magazines (or any magazine, really, but since I dropped the New Yorker knitting mags are the only ones left). I fully intend to not have them delivered automatically and instead only buy those I truly (and desperately!) have to have. And I do have to have this one right? Maybe that warrants subscribing so I don't miss out. Like I did on the cabled yoke pullover a few months back ... 

something to think about. 

Monday, February 9, 2009

LOVE knitting nordics...

Turns out I love knitting nordic mittens. I love watching the pattern emerge slowly (because I am so new to this I am going v e r y    s l o w l y), I love love love the complexity (well, it's complex for me!) of switching between the two colours, of knitting to a graph... I can't believe I've never done this before. I love the craft. I love creating something this beautiful. 

I felt the same way when I was working on the reversible cables for the wrap I just knit. I actually found that I really enjoyed knitting up those shapes, that creating those curving patterns was truly relaxing. And now that I think of it, the rolling hills of the Palouse had a similar effect. There's something soothing about those undulating shapes. 

I wonder why that is? 

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Knitting projects

I'm working on a couple projects that are quite fun... I'm doing my first real lace project, a scarf. Though really Rosita is my first REAL lace project. I'm distinguishing because, being a scarf, my current project is more traditional. I'm actually taking the beginner lace course at Mouline

Here's the scarf

And, I've also begun something entirely new for me, a nordic mitten! I'm working on a pattern called Egyptian Mitten, which is written in some Scandinavian language (the women at last night's Knit night think it might be Finnish but no one there speaks it so we're not sure). I've done the cuff. It was a silly project to take start at knit night. I had to rip out the cuff twice and the first pattern row a half dozen times because I kept losing count. But it's addicting, so even though I got home last night at close to 11 pm, I knit a bit then and  whole bunch more this morning. This is what I've got done so far 
I'm also knitting a lace sock (Monkey from but I'll have to post that later since it's now time for the market!