cafe mama

finding magic every day

knitalong (now with meme) . january 02 . 2007

Wow. It is amazing seeing one's own pattern turn into magic in the hands of so many other knitters! I'm thrilled and a little scared at once. What if they hate my pattern? What if no one wants to wear it? (Val, I'm so glad you found something you loved :)

I've now finished my purples version of the wrap but for the weaving-in, although as I haven't developed film in a good three weeks, photos are hard to come by. I promise I'm going to the photo place tomorrow. Promise! (And then I'll get photos of the socks 101 knitalong, mine in Manos del Uruguay Mallard #36 with Midnight #A heels and toes) It's lovely. It makes me wish for an occasion to wear it.

Alas, in rainy cold Portland, I feel much more appropriate wearing a down vest and warm sweater than a wrap more suited to a draughty Eastern European ballroom than Gladstone Coffee. Anyone have a draughty ball anytime soon?

What's more, Larissa brought it to my attention that my final "sample" is nowhere even close to the pattern. Meaning that I've written a pattern and knit up two versions and neither one is truly appropriate for the book photo shoot. I've sighed, accepted my shortcomings, and purchased a skein of Frog Tree Alpaca (sport weight) in color #307. As Frog Tree doesn't appear to name its colors, only number them, I've named it "cheerleader" because it reminds me of uniforms. It's a deep teal, and will be mixed with bluesy Noro Silk Garden and a handspun yet-to-be-determined (but, in all likelihood, more of the purples).

Finally, I was tagged with a knitting meme! Though I nearly never do memes (something about blogging for work means that I never lack for topics about which to blog) I was flattered and this one seemed perfect for me. Plus it's a little frightening how much alike we are! Without further ado...

roving and a guy at the flock and fiber festival
1. Are you a yarn snob? Do you avoid Red Heart, Lion Brand, etc... or is it all the same to you? Not at first, I picked up several balls of some sort of mauve-y acrylic at a garage sale for a song and thought, score! I ended up knitting one still-unfinished scarf of it, and giving the rest away. Ditto Lion Brand Homespun: six of the seven skeins I bought for $10 off Craigslist have all found new homes (one of the other, knitted into a scarf for my sister-in-law). Now I refuse to touch anything man-made or (ick) found at Fred Meyer/Jo-ann's/Michael's.

2. Do you spin? Crochet? Ix-nay to the pinning-say, although it's begun to look more and more attractive since fingering all that lovely roving at the Flock & Fiber Festival. It's highly unlikely I'll go there in the near future, though, given my fulltime job and this little thing known as "children" ...

I crocheted when I was a child, and when I became an adult and learned to knit, I put away childish things. OK, I'll admit it, the crochet hooks scare me.

3. How long have you been knitting? 2.5 years

4. What other crafts do you like to do? I like to sew, if that can be called a "craft," and I dabbled in scrapbooking. Oh, the horror. I promise to you that I never once used an eyelet hammer. I'm a photographer, but I think of that more as an art, or as I call it a "professional hobby," than a "craft."

But my real craft is making a mess...

5. What are your favorite yarns with which to knit? It changes at least monthly. I'm still hopelessly in love with Noro Silk Garden, and I think I'll have an undying affection for Lorna's Laces Shepherd line. Lamb's Pride is also an enduring love. Frog Tree Alpaca is another that's going to be a favorite purchase (cheap and entirely lovely). But Larissa, darn it all, has recently gotten me hooked on the fabulous and terrifically-pricy Manos del Uruguay ... and I'm fast falling for single-batch-type handspuns and Blue Moon Fiber Arts, all choices that so don't fit in my budget.

6. What are your favorite needles with which to knit? Umm, right now I'm infatuated with my Blue Ribbon Scrap Wrap needles -- 10.5 circulars that seem to be metal. I think they're Susan Bates Quicksilver, and they click so satisfyingly when I knit.

7. What's your favorite knitting gadget? Well, my Chibi, of course.

8. What fibers do you absolutely NOT like? Acrylic, and icky, cheap wool.

9. What are your favorite items to knit? Hats, and cabley-blanket-like things.

10. What are you knitting right now? A baby blanket for my sister-in-law Betsy, a pair of socks for my son Truman, and two things I'm about to begin: a variation on Larissa's Socks 101 knitalong (since I faithfully knitted a pair almost exactly following the pattern), for me, another variation for my son Everett, and a third Blue Ribbon Scrap Wrap as neither numbers one or two truly follow the pattern.

11. What do you think about ponchos?

Ponchos are for natives of Central America, or tall, skinny residents of 2001.

I made one, when I first learned to knit, straight from Stitch & Bitch. I bound off too tightly (word to the wise: don't bind off too tightly) and decided to put tassels on the bottom to loosen things up. Tassels, it turns out, take forever to make and I think I need 40-some more to complete the project. Hence, I think I will never, ever finish said poncho.

12. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Circulars for big projects and hats; straights for socks (no two-circular knitting for me, unless I've lost a couple of my circs and it's an emergency).

13. Are you a sock knitter? Yes, I am now. It was one of my great knitting fears that has subsequently turned into a love.

14. How did you learn to knit? My friend Tanya finally insisted, when I decided to start hanging out at Mabel's, that I must learn to knit. She taught me to cast on, I was hooked, and bought Stitch & Bitch that week. I've learned most from that edgy tome (I'm a book learner) but since have become a renegade make-it-up-yourself knitter.

15. What is -- and how old is -- your oldest UFO (Unfinished Object)? Well, it's the aforementioned scarf, 2 1/2 years old (although I'm embarrassed to admit several projects have similar vintage). I made so many holes in the first 20 rows that I tried to unwind it from the beginning. Big mistake! It still sits in my closet, nicely-bound-off on one end and scraggly on the other. I don't love the yarn, so it would be a sunny January day in Portland before I picked it up again.

paying the bills

read my previous post . happy new camera! . december 29 . 2006