Tuesday, September 28, 2004

These Boots Are Made For Walking...

And that’s just what they’ll do, one of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you….
One of my favorite things about Fall this year are boots. Yes I love the concept of knitting things this year (knitting things for myself and others), but really I like even more switching to my Fall wardrobe. I am an Autumn coloring girl… and really I just love to snuggle up in a nice warm sweater at a café with a yummy hot chocolate and a heater above my head while reading a book. Normally I am fashion impaired. It is a fight to dress myself daily. But my inadequacy at choosing my own clothes is particularly evident when it comes to things like… erm accessories. And when I talk about accessories I mean things like jewelry, hats, scarves, tights, shoes, belts, bags you get the picture. Now I am starting to take more of an interest in them, and I am beginning to expand my horizons… I think my fun novelty yarns helped with the Scarf Fiasco of 2001. I am starting to have a bit of an obsession with shoes, and since last year's choice purchase, boots in particular. I am dreaming of wearing my skirts with calf length boots again. I am thinking about buying another pair… if only they fit around my calves...
But for today I have this pair, from my more glamorous and employed days. A pair of Donald J Pliner boots. I love the wine color. They are flat, though I normally prefer heeled boots. Hey I am vertically challenged, I need all the help I can get to look all gamine and stuff. Paris can make you feel frumpy you know! And those boots, they went walking today. I love these boots because they are made for walking; they are made for walking while wearing hand-knit Mountain Colors (Mountain Goat in Yellowstone) socks. I love them because when I wear a pair of boots I feel like I can take on anything. And if I can’t take it on, I can kick it HARD. That is my mood today. I snapped out of my rut a bit, particularly on my research. I got some comments from my all important adviser last night. And while they don’t seem effusive (“what you have here is in pretty good shape”) from him they are like drippy, sappy, affectations of glorious proportions. It was a nice surprise; I was expecting to get mowed over and taken to task for what I was sure was a hunk of junk. But nope! Instead it is treat time for me my friends. Break out the rations of the Hidden Valley Ranch and buy me some of the *real* potato chips.
YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY In My Tummy!
And now that I got out of the flat, to the library, research worked on and a start hacked into, with some nice comments… I am ready to kick that Phildar patterns booty, and kick it HARD. I wanna wear this sweater soon and with two sleeves down (well to shape the shoulders but I am calling them down…) and a back about to be started (have I told you how I feel about my pointy needles? well my arm will tell you, at the thought of starting the valium ribbing on the back my tennis elbow kicked up, my arm likes my pointy needles THAT much).
Vrooom, Vroooom, Vroooooooom! I am one boot clad pixie rearing to go and I say:
Let the Sassy Ass Knitting Commence!!

Saturday, September 25, 2004

The Things The French Drive Me To...

Hi my name is Tink and I am a procrastinator. I have been looking for Procrastinator Anonymous meetings for 8 years. I just found me a meeting group and I am gonna go to a meeting... tomorrow. (Cause I got something done today! even if it's not a chapter of my thesis)
I LURVE me the Kaki
So today after going out to lunch with two visiting friends. I got hit on in the Metro by the Drageurs and subsequently psychoanalysed by said dredded (pointing out like they were "Martian Antennae to talk with the Mothership" kind of dreds, not the funky Busta Rhymes kind) and shouting drageur (highly entertaining ride of 8 Metro stops I tell you). Only to have the man who seemed nice enough to commisserate with me while the other freak was screaming at me follow me on my Metro ride- with two changes to my stop to ask me to get something to drink with him (yup I renewed my freak magnet JUST IN TIME! And upgraded too!!). So what does this Procrastinating Goddess of the Metro Men's Desire do? I went and stormed my Phildar. I did it, I bought the rest of the yarn for Pretty Wrappy Top. All of that green goodness. Jury might still be out on the yarn but I love the color. Green it does my pasty body good!
We Only LOOK Innocent
Unfortunately my fellow compartriots that brings me to where I am right now... attempting to read a Phildar pattern in French has driven me over the edge. I am stubborn so I have not given up hope but I have gone back to Pointy Needle Land and started the valium ribbing of my other sleeve. My fingers may not forgive me. Particularly because if I have not figured the shoulder shaping out by the time I finish demolishing this ball of yarn (in its transformation to a sleeve of course) I will start on the ribbing for the back. Then if I still can't figure it out... well I will cry and send out the SOS.
Hummm Hummm Hummm
It is kind of frustrating. I can make some sense of simple words, I have some of the lingo. I went to Phildar's website which has info on how to knit. And while it was informative, it was not necessarily the assistance that I was looking for in terms of how to read a pattern. So the following things will be happening Chez Tink this today. One Fall cleaning; I believe in a good seasonal scrub down (cause I am too damn lazy to do it every week) and I will be organizing things as best I can. Hopefully in that organization (and purge- too much stuff here must get rid of what is not needed!) I will be able to hunt down those Rowan patterns in French. Come on it's 200 sq ft/19sq m how far could they have gotten? I am placing my sweater dreams on those patterns helping me make sense of the Phildar ones. Now I know they arent written in the same style, but I'd like to think they use the same language which would at least move me past square one. A little note for Froggy et al. who might be interested in the sweater I modeled during your virtual tour of my Phildar boutique (which I did not knit, it was a store sample that convinced me I want to knit it- made in Pure Laine: Romarin FYI). It is listed as a free pattern download on Phildar's website. However it too is in French...

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Who Me? LATE???

Because I live in Procrastination Station (what did you think I was paying to get my graduate degree in? Something useful?? HAHAHA 3/4 of the way to an MA in Procrastination Bay-bee) today's post is about two seasons too late. What is that you say? Better late than never... I thought so. And on that sentiment, here is my post on the Spring Fling that Alison Flung. I did knit it in Spring so it should count :) Without further ado I bring you the story of Missy:
Specs:
Pattern: Missy
Yarn: Cotton Glace color: 811 Tinkle
Missy was my first real knitted item for myself that I made with an intent to wear and wasnt a scarf or pair of socks. Sure I knit a Lopi for myself, I have even worn it. But until I move to Scandinavia again it is not a fashion item. Missy is also what I call knitting on the edge. I was on the edge of graduate school mental breakdown... and the knitting helped me calm my nerves.
Miss Missy was my first Rowan pattern, and the first thing I made using a Rowan yarn. Moving to Paris and going to the Bon Marche, I got me edumacated in knitting yarns. I got to peruse the Rowan patterns. I fell in love and this right here... this is where I started on my path to becoming a Rowanette. This project was borne of the love I have for my new Rowanette Wanna-be self. Missy and I in general were on good terms. I chose her as I wanted a tank top for summer. Simple but stylishly fashionable, sounded good to me. And I thought she might make my bust line look good. Besides which anything made on 3 1/4 or above needles makes my fingers happy. She was a simple knit with a few little bits that made her a beginner and a half project. Cotton Glace was a joy to knit with, it made me not hate all cotton (after knitting in Idena cotton with those dratted pokey 2.5mm needles in Norway, I was not fond of cotton). Becky the blessed goddess she is was kind enough to comment to me on how to block Missy. I blocked great, seaming well you know that post a few days ago... Anyways here are a few of the progress shots I took as I went along.
The "Amazon" look is Tres Chic you know
Block That I say
Looks like a Pinata, Versatile too!
What was the fate of Miss Missy... well unfortunately I have lost about 10 lbs this year (weight I had gained while on medications and no I dont know how I lost it while living here, I sure as hades havent been limiting my tartlette citron or stinky cheese consumption) and so after I seamed her up in a quasi-ok fashion; she promptly became way too big. "I'll flash you if I move my arms quick" kind of too big, and I am a half spaniard who flails when she talks. That is what happens when you make the smallest size... GRRRRRR.
She has subsequently been boiled and fried (cause the Europeans are SERIOUS about their washing and drying machines- 90C for a washing and 80c for a dryer) and that has helped, if only slightly. The lace detail bit with the ribbon belt though makes her potentially wearable. She currently resides in Italy in my suitcase of sh*t I dont need, but I am hopeful that I will wear her one day.
Please ignore the dirty kitchen and stare at the illusionary rack
She fulfills her function and design as you can see. She was a pastel color and let me tell you in Spring-time Paris pastel was the Haute of Coture. She was modified, the straps were supposed to be for a tank top, but they were WAY too long. So she became a halter top. And being a wrap halter top she performs magnificent feats of illusion. She makes me look like Missy Busty. I am barely a B cup people, but take a look at that full shot! Would I make her again. Sure deal, except she is not going to be so wide the next go around. Would I suggest Cotton Glace, Yes'sum! And do I think you can do the pattern? Sure... it is lots of stockinette, a bit of garter and some shaping. If you are brave, can patiently read through the pattern and be smart enough to know how to mirror, you too can wear Missy one day.
Don't hate me cause I am Pasty in Pastels
Many thanks to Alison for including me even though I never emailed her with the follow up, well before I saw my name on her blog. And now if you will pardon me Bush is talking on TV and I dont think I should subject you kind readers to my Tourettes Syndrome.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

It's The Little Things

I got a link today. Whee, that made my day. I don’t know who all is making it to the blog and how, but I got me some stats and I am LOVING the comments. Not only did Amelia leave a nice comment, but... Let's just pause for a minute. Not only did I get a comment from one of my favorite blogs Kerstin, but it came in the form of a compliment of the highest rank. It makes me smile un grand sourire! And I need to smile when I have another chapter of my dissertation staring me down to complete people! Funny thing is that I got that link because someone thinks I can speak French. All thanks to the word Voilá. BWAHAHAHA…. Mutter to myself sure, swear like a sailor- no problem, plain old talk in French- ikke so migge (that is Norwegian for not so much). Ok, ok before any of my friends jump mon derriere like Zorro, I know I do kinda speak the French. I did take all my graduate coursework in it (much easier to understand). Dump a few kirs and some calvados in me and I speak “beautifully,” but in general I am by no means fluent. Case and point would be reading my French pattern for Pretty Wrappy Top. It took me and my dictionary about 30 minutes to make sure I started off on the right stitch. Reading the pattern in French is one thing, reading the pattern the way they wrote it is another. They give a guide for the abbreviations, and I manage to fuddle my way through most of abbreviations thanks to my dictionary- I couldn't find the Rowan patterns. But really I want to know: what the hell is this endroit du travail par 2 maille stuff? Something about the right side and 2 stitches?? Huh? QUOI??? See no speakie the knitting French. Then they have all these little code things. Not intuitive to me, come on people this is a sleeve- and it is not an aran. Took me 5 minutes to figure out what that X, Triangle, and Square were all about. Yes some days I need a helmet to ride the short bus. Cecilia and her public have demanded a close up- the color is somewhere in between the two and the ribbing is deceptive. It really is 2x2 I promise. She just wants to look skinny. But if I am one thing it is stubborn, or persistent depending on which adjective you prefer. I was not going to put a challenge down, I was in Vampire-mode (that is what happens when you wake up at 10:30am- note to self go to bed earlier!). So I bring you 15cm of vanilla 2x2 ribbing in Kaki Cecilia I knit last night before bed. Isn’t exciting?? Just you wait and see below the destruction a woman with toothpicks for needles and a ball of yarn can do . The yarn can be a bit splitty. When I am paying attention to Chris Tucker in translation I don’t always notice that I caught one bit of the yarn here or there. Additionally for what ever reason my knitting wasn’t as even as it normally is. But it doesn’t look too bad or anything, so no way in hell am I ripping back. What do I think so far? I think I model a wristlet very well, don't you? Oh the yarn you mean? Well… my fingers are dryer than they normally get when I knit with wool, which is a bit odd to me. I am trying not to be judgemental about acrylic but I am thinking there is a reason I prefer natural fibers and it ain't just my organic, hippie, peace and love roots. The poor finger tips are all poked, but I did get to put those devilish 2.5mm needles away here. I even tried the knit, read and take notes game-I think I might try and find one of those book weight opener thingys...). Then THIS happened. I give you a great big WHAT THE HELL? How did I do that? How did I knit across and all of a sudden not have the knitting be even, but instead FOUR rows off. All I was doing was reading a blog and knitting.... honest judge. I dont have a clue. Well usually don't but we arent going to go there. So I ripped back and reknit. And wouldnt you know it through death and destruction of the horned ball of Cecilia- I bring you to Becky's sleeve island (anyone else expect Tatoo to come out and yell De Plane De Plane? Ok just me...). I am ok with the pattern for now, but tomorrow it is shoulder shaping. Shoulder shaping, I think that might be another issue. I have knit enough to make a decision and I decided that all is a go. The yarn isn't expensive if I turn out to be allergic to the end product I can gift it to someone and I'll know what I am doing when I make the next one for myself. Tomorrow I am going to go to the Phildar and get the rest of the yarn for the project. I don’t have hives, the fabric feels ok and I love the pattern. Umm let me rephrase that I love the design, the pattern I am adjusting too.

Let's Go On A Trip

Today we end the hanging of my head in French knitting shame. Ready to join me on the magic carpet and tag-along on my adventures to Phildar-Land? Good! Hop on, hold on and no back seat carpeters... So I have been experiencing a serious case of INERTIA. "The covers are nice why do I need to get up? I can work on my dissertation from bed" kind of week. But today all that was going to be damned; I was getting rid of this dark knitters cloud over my head. I was droping Pagan which foresakes me. I have ripped out those first 12 rows EIGHT times and I still cant get it right. This does not bode well for Birch. How the hell is it that a pattern comes out right but I dont have the right amount of stitches? I think the Calmer is saying I should not be knitting it. (Should I be frightened that my yarn is talking to me?) I need a new project and I need it now. Could it have come together any better for me to walk the 4 minute and 38 second walk to the local Phildar Boutique? I think not. And with that sentiment I bring you the mirrored hall of yarn. For some it is mecca, for some it is a yarn store. I leave you to your own conscious. I went to MY Phildar Boutique on a mission, a tri-fold mission. To get my Secret Pal's gift for this month, I was going to get the pattern book and Cecilia yarn to gauge up and see what I thought of it, and I was going to get rid of my shame. What does a girl on a mission with a moderate but not extensive French knitting vocabulary do to make sure that her adventure is mission accomplished not mission impossible? After walking through the door and knocking out the clouds, she makes a bee-line to the hallway of yarn. She takes out her camera and takes a picture for the fans (cause Wendy said that she likes lots of pictures, and I aim to please the Royalty of Knit-blogging). She looks at all the pretty colors, and fondles yarn. She gets her Secret Pal's gift. She stops talking about herself in the third person :) Next up the Cecilia line (more on that later); I played around with four colors. I had contemplated making pretty wrappy top in pink like the model, but it is Fall time I am an Autumn Colors kind of gal. Moreover I am practical, if I am wearing light pink in the Parisian Fall-ish/Winter-ish rain it's gonna get dirty. So I narrowed it down to a mauvish berry pink, chocolate, orange and olive green. Oh did you want to know what did I bought? Well I bought my Secret Pal's gift and sorry you dont get to see that... Secret Pal might be reading! I bought me my Tendances Automne Pattern book (for 5 euros and at least two patterns that I want to make it was a steal in my book), and I bought one ball of Cecilia to see what I thought of the yarn. And of course I bought the green. I am a red-ish head pixie with green eyes; I have a particular weakness in the knees for green. You didnt believe me? Well this is the other pattern I want to knit. Dont I look beeeee-u-tiful in green? They had a model of this pattern, a little bit big but dont you love the color. I LOVED that I could try it on to make sure it looked good on me BEFORE I knit it. I wish they would have had Pretty Wrappy Top! Houston I can confirm that I will be knitting this sweater this Fall- color to be decided. And after parting with my hard borrowed money (what else do you call student loans? food money??), I walked home and immediately proceeded in the following order: take pictures, knit me up some Cecilia, post all about it for you voyeurs, and maybe work myself up some bravery to try knitting from my first French pattern. I wasnt afraid of doing it in Norwegian so I don't know why I would be hesistant about French (a language I speak better and have spoken for longer), maybe cause I know "more" about knitting now... Did you know there is a 2.5mm size but no US equivalent? Pattern called it and that is what me and my Knit-Chek found out after my photo shoot. I think the reason might be that if you are going to knit on needles that tiny, they figure you dont need a needle you just need to get some toothpicks. Did you know by random fluke of nature while in Norway I bought a pair of 2.5 needles to make a hat in cotton? How bout dem apples?? Said needles and I however have bad memories. Needles that tiny are pointly little buggers and can make my fingertips swell. Not with pride or joy, but with pain and redness from all the pokey nature of pointy bits of metal. Next on to my assessment of Cecilia. I did some looking and lots of the Phildar yarns are acrylic blends... now I hadnt ever knit with acrylic, though I kind of guessed that I wouldnt want to. Anything I have previously knit that might have had acrylic was novelty yarns used for a scarf, this is for pretty wrappy sweater. It wasnt as angora/mohair fuzzy goodness as I would have wanted, but for 3.2 euros I figured I would take a risk, plus I really do love the color. Cecilia is 70% acrylic, 20% Mohair and 10% Alpaca. The ball of yarn with horns called out to me and I knit me up this... What is that you say? Why are you making Barbie a tube dress, dont you know she wants Poncho's? It is a swatch people. I can hear you all shouting "It doesnt look like a swatch lady..." just keep it down; It is too. I could stomp my foot and say "cause I said it is" but there is a better reason. I wasn't sure what I thought of the acrylic content in this yarn. I still want to make the sweater but not having a store bought sweater made of acrylic to compare with I was a bit hesitant... So what I did for the sake of time (hey I have very few virtues and trust me you, Patience ain't one of em!) was to make a narrow swatch (to count stitches) and make it long so that I could make it into a quasi bracelet to see what my tempermental skin thought of it (you get in water and wear eau de CL2 like I do and see if you dont have skin that talks to you- yes lots of things talk to me, what of it?). The jury is currently out. I LOVE the color, the yarn is "eh" to knit with (not shedding too much, but not a feel good yarn on the fingers like Cashmerino Aran for example) but the knit fabric hasnt made me break out into hives yet either. So.... I am going to go grab my dictionary, the French and English versions of one of my Rowan patterns I bought this spring, my dictionary and oh yeah the yarn and needles to start a sleeve. Yes you heard me right I am going to Sleeve Island first. There are three reasons for this. Becky started with one and if I am going to copy her I might as well copy her correctly. Next, I don't hate sleeves, I don't get locked up on sleeves- it is finishing I procrasinate on. Most of all it seems managable to start with in a foreign pattern. What could be better? Me sitting on the sofa (also known as my bed) watching Rush Hour 2 in French and knitting a sleeve. We are off and on bold adventure my friends.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Shhhhhhhhhh...... Dont Tell Anyone

I have a torrid knitting secret to admit. I live in Paris. And before moving here I knew rien about Phildar. After moving to Paris I found the knit bloggers community and wow have my eyes been opened into my hobby this year! So I went to what has become my LYS- the Bon Marche. And this is where I started on the happy, yet broke path to becoming a Rowanette. It's not like my home LYS but it works, it has a La Drougerie (which home LYS obviously does not) and the Rowan lady is REALLY nice. Right before I left on the advice of one of my favorite blogs I tried a yarn substitution, a Phildar yarn: Licorne. Licorne was used to make Foxy, I say that like its in the past... I need to get one more ball to finish the knitting. Does it count as a UFO if it is in a storage suitcase in Italy?? Anyways I did not have a fun experience with Licorne. There wasnt really any problems with the yarn per se- there werent really any problems, except it pilled while I was knitting it. And when I say it pilled I mean- it pilled EVERYWHERE. My itsy bitsy flat (19 sq m/200sq ft) was rained with little lipstick red pelotes like hail in Italy during this past June. So I kind of turned a bit on Phildar. I know it's not fair, maybe I should have just turned on that yarn. I mean how can so many knitters that I admire be enamoured with Phildar (leading to the name Phildar-phile) if it's not a good option. When I got back to Paris in August, I took a quick flip through Tendances for this Fall but it didnt burn into me. Too much 60's Pop stuff and stripes that I wouldnt wear. Nothing screamed at me enough to want to get it (I have a knitting postponement shoppers maladie). But it has since started to grow on me a bit; much in life happens that way with me. But my secret to admit? I have never been to an actual Phildar Boutique until today. Which doesnt really count. It is Monday, and it seems everything is shut on Monday or it's a French holiday I dont know about. I have known there was one in the quartier for a while. The Phildar boutique is literally not more than 200 meters from me- a 5 minute walk, and I hadn't gone in. Today Becky posted about her "sweater that will never be." I looked at the sweater and thought... hmmmm I might like that wrap sweater. I promptly decided I needed to get up off my derriere, buy me a pattern book and get a ball of yarn to see what I thought of it. It looks a bit of fine gauge too, so I might even get a pair of bamboo circulars to test (the sharp Inox points on my tiny circs make my fingers HURT). It will have to wait till tomorrow as I said my neighborhood Phildar is open every day but today and I am not in the mood to head to the Bon Marche. But tomorrow I will get to take that dirty secret off my list. I will have lived in Paris and I will have gone to the Phildar!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Wow Lots Still To Learn

Welcome to the new digs. I wanted the blog to be more than a template, so I spent all afternoon playing around et Voilà! I am sure I need to tinker more but Voilà! Go ahead, let me know what you think. Following the technology theme (permitting me to ignore the big GAPING HOLE in the Pagan lace section, supporting my denial of needing to rip out AGAIN and start over once more from scratch) I am sorting through my old pictures too. While sorting I found this image of a baby sweater I made 2 years ago. I havent made that many sweaters in general and most of my FO's besides socks or scarves are spread over time. Looking at that picture I realize my evident knitting weakness is finishing. And I have another baby sweater to finish here in front of me... When I knit things I throw caution to the wind and forget about "details." Funny given my control freak tendancies, Huh? I swatch, but keeping that swatch, washing that swatch? Heck no, it's part of the cast on party once I have gauge! Selvedge edges- what are those? Seaming, I seam however I can get the two pieces together. You get the idea. I am getting better, I am also becoming a bit more of a perfectionist about it. But almost 5 years later I am still on a steep learning curve :) Granted it is a baby sweater and we all know how quick little ones out grow anything knit for them in their first year; but after seeing it I realized I need a finishing self-help group. Especially if I want to put the time and money into making projects I want to wear. I miss my LYS, I want to take my knitting classes. Shirley's Finishing and Projects classes should be on my calendar. And if there is anyone who I want to take a Finishing class from (besides Ms. Becky) it is Shirley. Shirley is a knitting Goddess. She knows EVERYTHING; she is no frills, no fuss, no fluff. She does things in a way I understand, and she will tell it to you straight- whether you want to hear it or not. I have never gone wrong on anything Shirley has told me. So as I get ready to put together another baby sweater (Miss Teyha will turn one month old in a week!) to mail off, I have to sit down and seriously look at Miss Becky's links and think about how to make the sweater finish pretty. I know I can knit well, but the finishing... Dontcha know it- the buggers are in the details. And if I am going to spend time making things all pretty it would be a shame to not finish it pretty too. Time to saddle up and figure out how I am going to learn about this.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Lust and Fear

I spend my life making sure each day is filled with as many of the seven deadly sins as I can. Today is no exception. I have yet to knit with Noro but I am in deep lustful desire. I have an unabiding adoration for self striping yarns. And in my "I dont feel like getting up off my arse" type of mood for today (that would be Sloth my friends and no my tummy is still not overly thrilled with me) I caroused the Knit-blogdom. In my recent trip I saw the most DIVINE of Silk Garden colorways (#84!!!), and I WANT it. I cant afford (even at the low prices which can be found here... tip thanks to a friendly "enabler" :) to make Klaralund. Klaralund looks rather appealing, though I must say I am not sure I like the garter stich or the little V at the back... but the over all style is something I would wear! Or at the least would want to make. Seeing that yarn and its pretty stripes made me want it more and more. I have these ideas of getting my hands on some of the yarn, I dont know how (I dont think they ship to France...) but I dream of it. I want to make accessories with it. I want to try something new I think. Maybe something of a challenge- like making a pretty pair of gloves. I dont know the texture of the Noro yarn, I am just absorbed by that #84 colorway and stripes... but I would think it would make a good pair of gloves. So when we get past my unabashed and unabated lust...what have I knit with? Well I have been knitting with Calmer. Process has involved me talking the pattern out loud as I knit it, muttering about how the hell am I supposed to read that part of that row, and I included me starting and ripping out and starting over again the first 4 rows with gusto. Not to mention kipping back through the lace bit of row 7- ce n'est pas sympa! Doing it TWICE is even more aggitating. Lesson: Oh do not scoff at the pattern, show it its proper due respect or it will bite thee in the derriere! I am seriously rethinking Birch. I want to, I dont mind a challenge, but the thought of kipping back with kidsilk haze is a bit ummm... Daunting, you could say. Regardless Calmer is delicious to knit with, though it can get a bit splitty after ripping and reknitting. I love its springy nature, and I will probably make something else from the collection (Hearten or if I am crazy again- Soul). But my current issue is I dont like how the Pass the Slipped Stich overs are looking; I know I am a particular perfectionist. And because the model is sitting in the pattern picture I cant tell if the lace bit is messed up or if I did it right. I was left to make an executive decision; therfore I am doing it right :) But honestly I think I have a ways to go before I have worked up enough bravery for Birch in my lace capabilities. I spent a fair amount of time remembering how to do my yarn forward and yarn round the needle and get it so that I wasnt having to flip the stich on the "other" side. Somedays I think I need a helmet to ride the short bus! But I am knitting, and dreaming and knitting :)

Friday, September 17, 2004

Birchoise

Why make a decision for yourself when the rest of the internet knitting community can do it for you? I love it when other people decide for me. Fate has intervened and made a decision for me. As I sat in front of the computer and hit send on the draft of my dissertation today (of which topic-wise I adore, writing-wise I am not all together thrilled...) I figured I earned a day or two "off" from the Burden (as I now refer to it). And I was thinking about what to knit next... being on a yarn diet without a stash at easy access meant that I was at a bit of a loss. I knew I could go collect more patterns but really I wanted something on the needles, and I wanted it soon. I dont have enough of any one yarn to really do much of anything (I have a random assortment of odd balls here and there but nothing serious) so I really had to think and I was going to try and recycle too (being po' and all). After deep reflection at my 7 balls of yarn stash (no two the same practically), I determined that the only yarn I could do something with right now was the Calmer from Soul (which is on hold as a project). Recycle the yarn and get the extra two balls to make Pagan was what I came up with. I couldnt think of anything to make out of three balls of Calmer and that was my best option. Even though it is winter coming upon us, there is a chance that I could wear it during the Fall if I get to it quick enough! So I took what I had knit up of Soul (that was cut off from the ball- dont ask), rrrrrrrrripped away and I used that to swatch while watching my favorite French cult comedy movie (Tatie Danielle- you can get it in the states to watch and it is hysterical!) Nice start to an evening if I do say so myself (well one in which I am not going out). And then as I was sitting there casting on looking at the internet (never enough stimuli in the room :) I saw a notice for this at at the frogpond. And I knew it was the knitting Goddesses way of telling me that I have to make Birch. I have been interested in her since January when I first saw it and after this intervention, I am putting it on the calendar. I am going to be part of my first Knit-a-long! I have felt the pressure and yes I am caving. I am going to hold off on the decisions (color and shaping) for a while. I give myself till mid October before I make move on Birch though. Hopefully the lace edging on Pagan will give me some hope and bravery to give Birch a go. And in another small sidenote, after all that time with the internet trying to figure out website things... I think I might have done it. I still have bunches more to figure out but step one was figured and done... WOOO HOOO.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Its A Girl, Its A Boy, Its a Finished Object

There is something soothing after having a traumatic morning with the cable people, pulling out the rent money (money going out and only student loans coming in....) about being irresponsible (ignoring my dissertation for the day- Ill hit send later tonight on the crappy version of it and hate myself in the morning for it I am sure) and just plain old knitting for the day. Knitting a simple stockinette sock, that I can knit while I play on the internet again and watch my life flow into the pot of "lost time." A simple sock in pretty hand dyed yarn I bought in a previous and paid life form. I am now realizing that I really wish I would have used the yarn ($10 a skein on sale) to make a nifty kind of sock. Maybe one of those patterned ones that would have shown off the coloring more. But then that might not be soothing and if I am going to be reemed by the internet guy with no warning I am going to stay- use my internet and knit, and I need to be soothed. So today I sit on the sofa, listening to the saxaphone player on the place, with my water bottle and chips (cause I am in hermit junk food mode, I havent gotten to the grocery store for real food in the past three days), the TV on in the background (cause a jitterygirl such as myself needs lots of stimuli, and has an irrational fear of silence) and I knit as I learn how to FTP and as I try to play with some MT things... And as I knit I realize I am going to finish my sock today. I am doing toe decreases and they are going faster and faster and faster around. My hands are somewhat thankful as after knitting for an hour and half with no break when they havent done more than two rounds a day for I dont know how long- they tell me that they know what I am doing and I am going be feeling it. Even more I realize that I am having nothing else on the backburner. So I need to start thinking... who am I kidding I need to start deciding. Guess tomorrow is a trip to the Bon Marche to get things I cant afford and start something new. There is something to be said for removing the pressure, curling under the blanket, and knitting a soothing repetitive pattern, while I hope for a better tomorrow to go with the sunshine that is streaming in my window and the Geranium that is recovering.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Grump, Grump, Grump

Here I come to the computer lab (the cable people will FINALLY be coming to the flat tomorrow to fix my internet, internet at home it will be the down fall of me and my "productive researching" and my joy) all ready to invest time and try and make this knitting blog into a "real blog" and.... I can not figure out the template. I am a computer dummy people. I study POLITICAL science not COMPUTER science. *sits in corner with the dunce cone of yarn on head* I think I really need to figure out this whole web thing cause I have a server, I have space and I have Moveable Type installed. I could make this something!! But because the template had all this weird code in it (weird to me is anything beyond plain vanilla HTML), I got all dizzy from staring at the monitor. I couldnt figure out how to get my Blog Roll up or my Projects portion listed or the SS3 button or even my Wish List (so I am just gonna put it into the entry here for now, if that link doesnt work let me know). HRMPF. So what is a knitting girl to do? She is to make lemonade. She does not go down that easy, going to take more than an iceberg to sink her (*cue the unsinkable Molly Brown song in her head*). Therefore first she is to ignore her deadline for tomorrow (she has the benefit of timezone differences and is 90 percent done anyways) and she is to surf knitting blogs. She did so only to find out that the knitting bloggers ring that she was going to submit to is closed. She needs to stop talking about herself in the third person. Like NOW. UGH. So what next you ask?? I got to find me some pick me up material you know. Well first I go to Knitty. And I find this great pattern. I mean it is made by someone like me petite and tiny! Heck she is from my town and she knows my favorite LYS staffer!! It might just look good on me too. But I am not sure what should be the next project.... I want something for Fall, as it is starting to rear it's chilly little head here. I might just need to place an order like it or not for that Jacke en Apricot... but probably in black- and with out the buttons. Next up then must be a trip to the Rowan yarns web page (too late to make a trip to the Bon Marché for some fingering) and think HARD about Birch. I am this close to becoming a Rowanette, I already am thinking that the next trip to London needs to be timed with a trip to Liberty. But really right now I need a lace pusher or something... First for Birch though I need to think about should I make it a triangle or a rectangle (go here to July 10 to see what I mean) ? Should I make it in color (green maybe or a burgundy or even flaming pink or orange?), or something neutral that I would use lots(ie black or chocolate brown)? Wait will I use Birch lots... I do have that dont make it if you wont use it rule. Should it be the next project or should I think about something else? So many decisions, so indecisive I am... Too much deep thought for me, I need to go and sit myself in the little parc named after Jean Paul Sartre and start pondering the depth of my next knitting project. Tomorrow I shall return to roses and sunshine, I shall also hopefully have internet at the flat :)

Friday, September 10, 2004

Green Eyed Monster

I feel so greedy. I am not posting about my knitting, I am posting all about what I want. I am sorry Secret Pal I am not greedy, really. I do knit too, I promise. Unfortunately the start of this seperate blog, and SS3 coincided directly with a conference and dissertation deadline. Not much time for much else and well wouldnt want to bore you with all that. So suffice to say I am in deep writing mode on my dissertation and not really knitting. I am not paying attention either. I will have to figure out how to get into the SS3 ring and put the button on my site too, make the blog look pretty like that. I am a bit behind the trends, behind in Rowan patterns to catch up on that everyone has done, behind in my deadline, and behind on sleep! I am knitting a small bit though so there is knitting related content to report. I have this gorgeous but sock that I manage to get one pathetic round done a night once I stop the research and the writing, before I crash. That is all for now, I am kintting a plain old normal sock. No fancy pattern, nothing big, just a sock. In hand painted yarn, which does not remotely match its other sock, and I did get teh yarn at the same time. Even better, I do have a project in the hanger. A very nice blogger over at Knitter Natter, offered to ask her friend about getting some info on Birch modifications for me. So I think I am going to do it, I am going to leap and hope that lace doesnt destroy me. I am going to wait a little bit longer, probably 3 weeks before starting it. But I am thinking about it. I should look at colors... Oh and more knitting related content (gosh I feel better about this already...) I dont feel overly consumed by greed, but wait kinda do cause I want it too- but you dont have to get it promise :) I just saw the new Rebecca and I loved a few of the patterns in there. Must put Rebecca 27 and 28 on the list of get it sent over, cause I need English translations! I do Norwegian patterns, I do French ones, I do Italian, and I have even done one in Spanish, but I cant do German ones. Oh well, I have gotten an Amazon list going, I will email it to you cause I cant figure out how to link to it right now, I am tired and out of brain power. It is DVDs, knitting books and books. I probably wont add to it cause I already feel like the green eyed monster... Of to haunt children in their dreams :)

Monday, September 06, 2004

Oh Dear, I Have Been So Remiss:

I started to try and get this posted a week ago, BEFORE my BIG Conference. Obviously that did not happen. Functioning on 4 hours of sleep for 5 days doesnt give me a good grasp of time or date either now does it... Part of the reason I got my act together to separate my knitting from my general ranting and raving about daily life was because of SS3. I am still trying to find the time to develop this blog up, but cut a gal a break pretty pretty please, avec une cerise. Anyways here are the responses to the list from newsletter and a bit more that I thought of. 1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high-end/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you? Well in general I guess I am a snob. I like wool, cotton and novelty yarns, but in general I am not into acrylic. I love novelty yarns to make fun stuff like the trim to a hat or a scarf. But if I had to preference between wool and cotton, since I am trying to make things I can wear in the reasonable future... wool is probably a safer bet. I would love to try out some of the higher end yarns like Noro or Koigu though, as I like the variagated coloring and well Id like to :) 2. Do you spin? Crochet? No I dont spin, at some point I might learn but for now knitting is enough on my hands. I used to know how to crochet, and I want to learn how to make a granny square skirt that one of the "helpers" at my hometown LYS made. But I think I am a ways off from that. 3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.) None that I know of. I take that back I am allergic to ignorant and annoying people, but that doesnt include any of you! 4. How long have you been knitting? Technically since January 2000, but in fits and spurts - I think though that this time it is back for good. 5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? I am working on it, it should be up in the next couple of days (sorry Secret Pal, school, research and a conference have been calling) 6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) I dont have one favorite scent, and it must be said I am a bit of a high maintenance product queen. I make no apologies for it, I have fidgety skin too so- once I find stuff that works, you know it is good stuff! But scentwise I kind of alternate them with seasons in general. BUT.... that said, I adore Lemon Verbena scented things, sweet almond is lovely (think amaretto mmmmmm), cinnamon spicy things (cause Fall's a-comin), lavender and mint. But if you happen to be able to get your hands on Red Flower Italian Blood Orange scented things (I know they can be gotten at Liberty in London) I would die and go to heaven. And if you notice that moisturizer tendancy, its cause wool sucks it out of my hands as does colder weather. 7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Oh HELL YEAH! Why have dinner, let's go straight to dessert I say. I could go for Cherry Fruit Leather or Crasins if I was trying to be healthy, or a box of strawberry Gushers if I wasn't. I have been craving Cherry Tangy Taffy (notice the fruity chewy trend going on here??) so bad I cannot even begin to describe it. But living across the pond its not just sweet things that sound über yummy, and I either cant get these here or they are serious spendy, but they are simpla and in almost every grocery store: Yoshida's Regular Sauce would make my attempts at chicken teryiaki (which I desperately miss) much better. Annies Alfredo with Basil sauce packets for my pasta would make dinner yummy too. Even better is idea of chicken Rice-a-Roni, or dear god I cant remember the brand, (maybe Stouffers? in a red box- some one help a brain dead HUNGRY grad student) San Fransicsco flavored Stuffing. People this is all plain grocery store stuff :) Oddly enough Beef Jerky sounds good right about now, but so do goldfish. And since I didnt have breakfast I would DIE for Quaker Apples and Cinnamon oatmeal. Man am I bi-polar between salt and sugar or what? Oh and the random grocery store buy I would love? Toms of Maine Cinnamint toothpaste. or Bumble and Bumble Super Rich conditioner. Cant do food with out the bathroom stuff now can I? Time to go and eat... condition my hair... and then brush my teeth. 8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Not too many. I used to rubber stamp making my own personal cards, but those supplies are all in the storage unit. Too heavy for the random nomad to carry. Otherwise I am my knits ends. Maybe I will expand my creativity one day, today all I want to do is expand my thesis word count. 9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if you want to make her a CD) I like lots of kinds. I cant handle country and that is about it. I'll try to list some CDs I would love to get. In general any salsa style music is great for dancing in the flat and after that any classical music is good for the reading in the flat. 10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Well since anything I start now is going to be for fall and fall colors are my deal... I am an Autumn coloring girl (pasty white but with yellow undertones) and I actually like them lots. I love red, orange, yellows. Reds in that sunsetty not blood/lipstick tone. Maybe even in burgundy/wine colors (with a berry undertone) as they seem to do well. But for the right shade I would make me-self something in pink (maybe a dusky mauve or a ballerina pink). As for orange- no construction worker orange please, again following the nectar or sunset trend. And as for yellow- well go for the color of the sun (or butter that melts in it :) Earthy Tones are a blessing. Chocolate (cafe au lait or milky true chocolate) colors are fun and I am wearing more brown now. Fail safe color are greens (no lime though please- think olive type greens and the likes) greens invariably make my eyes look even greener! I like having green eyes (and red hair) I would say not too much on blue mostly a seasonal thing as it isn’t too bad on me. Navy is always a safe bet and I could make mittens or something out of a baby blue maybe. Well ok thinking about itI have to take that back as Seeds of Reverie made the R2Tasty sweater and I like it so much that I want to copy and that blue looks interesting. So does her flower pin :) Also I since I know it bugs some people, but not me (I don’t bug that easily contrary to popular belief) I don’t mind variegated (like tweed colors, or that monochromatic type like some of the other kinds of yarn can be). 11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I am a Cancer, I am single and to be tacky yes I do like long walks on the beach, actually make that runs with a swim on the beach too. Now lets stop sounding like a personals ad :) I do have a Border Terrier (who learned real quick to keep his nose away from the knitting and yarn), but beacuse I was moving soooo much he is in the States with a friend until I I have a "stable address." He should be coming over soon, I miss him bunches I call him Monsterboy 12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know) Right now to finish my bloody thesis. Beyond that to stay in Europe till next Fall and then start another graduate studies program then. I am a glutton for punishment, proof- I want to make Birch In Kidsilk Haze, like no one's business! 13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? Well for everyday type projects I have used and loved Rowan Yarns, Debbie Bliss yarns, Cascade 220 and some of the others they have look gorgeous. For novelty well- it was what ever struck my fancy at the LYS. And in sock yarn Opal and Regia are great fun. The pattern books that are tops on my list tend to come from them, though I would really love to try Jacke en Apricot from Rebecca 27 in GGH Java after hearing Fluffa talk about it like that. 14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I dotn have really any problems with any fibers, but as I stated above in general I am a quality over quantity "high maintenance" kind of low maintenance girl and would prefer not to get Acrylic yarns- unless they are part acrylic in a fun novelty yarn or something like that. 15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s? Hmmm... I want to make a cardigan- like NOW and I want to recreate this angora wrap top that I saw at Moonsoon in London last month. Those are serious on the list. Becoming a Rowanette is becoming close to an obsession too. 16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I actually really like scarves and socks, cause they are quick. And mindless, I like doing mindless knitting while watching the TV; my aran died an untimely death as it took TOO MUCH attention. But now that I am finding patterns for myself that I kind of like (I am a bit picky) I really want to make a project that I will wear. 17. What are you knitting right now? Right now just a pair of socks, I need to make a decision and see about getting that next project started soon though. If I ever catch some air from working on this thesis. 18. What do you think about ponchos? (this is really a curiousity question for us) Well some of the ones I have seen look really nice. I wouldnt mind making one, but I am not sure it would look that great on me. None of the ones I have tried on have, but that said there are some AWESOME shawls (I am 20 something who thought I would be talking about shawls??) that might become my next project. Did I mention Birch? 19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? In general I prefer circular needles and besides my Denise set they have all been 20. How did you learn to knit? Well there is a post below on that but short and long of it I lived through a Norwegian winter, and well besides cross country ski up a glacier- lots of Scando people knit. So that is what I did too. 21. How old is your oldest UFO? Really I dont think I have any. I Have yarn that was designated for projects that has gone back into the pool, but leaving the stash mostly behind when I moved across the pond means that I really try to finish UFO's. That said Foxy is waiting for me to get the last ball to finish knitting up and put her together, and Daydream is waiting for a Kir to block and steam her so I can send it to Miss Teyha. Now to my other questions: Ones I thought might be interesting and if nothing else would take up more space in this already long post... if you cant tell either I am a give people every bit of information that they MIGHT need to make their own informed decisions :) Still knitting related: Technically I dont NEED gadgets but I LIKE gadgets. I was pretty restrictive in my trip across the ocean. I am not that picky about needles- I usually do not notice the difference. I know that is bad, but it is true; My circulars tend to be metal (Inox) and I have a few hand-me-down wood straight needles (with pretty balls on the ends) that I love to use (for scarves etc). Gadgets that I have seen which look intersting are the Clover Stich Holders. A Needle Organizer would be extremely useful- hey when you live in 19 sq meters (200 sq ft) you need to organize!!! Another thing that seems like it would be light to port around with me is stich holder making things. I could get really cool beads here at La Drougerie if I had the ring thingys and knew how to make them. Hmmmm... now to non knitting related: Eternal student desires: Well mine would be for books not related to this thesis. I havent read a book not related to my research for at LEAST 4 months. Dave Sedaris sounds good as does Bill Bryson, they would make me laugh and I REALLY need to laugh. I would love to catch up on a few of the classics also, you know that I want to be a well rounded person schtick. But I could use a knitting book or two that have been mentioned as must haves. I'll get that Amazon list up soon I promise! Now if you really wanted to entertain me, DVD's would be great too. I only have 4 of them I can watch (they have to US coded!!! Otherwise my laptop will become unhappy, and I cant afford that). A girl can only watch Bridget Jones so many times with out getting sad. Even better are television series (like ones from the BBC- I love british humor) cause I can get more for the money out of them :) I'll list those too on that Amazon list, now that I am thinking about it. And just cause I want to be really random, what do I mean want- I AM really random. The oddest thing that would make my day? A fitted Jersey sheet for a full size futon/bed (in black). I refuse to spend 90 euros on a nice jersey sheet. I think that is enough of my I want, I Want, I WANT tirade for the day. But really anything will be appreciated! Anything more you could want to know?? I dont think so :)