Wednesday, September 22, 2004

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.


Blogger Amelia said...

Oh I wish I had been able to come with you... It's been such a long time since I have been to France and I am missing la Droguerie, Phildar, Anny Blatt and the others... so thank you for the virtual tour, I almost feel as though I was there :)The green is lovely, do let me know how it knits up - I too had a disaster with some Phildar recently and am feeling a little 'once bitten, twice shy'.

2:40 AM  
Blogger Stinkerbell said...

I'll trade you Amelia ; you are welcome to come over and visit any time you want and we can go together in person to the French stores if you show me the London ones next time I am there :)

but for you at some point here in the future I'll post a virtual tour to my "LYS" the Bon Marche.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goodness, you look like a younger version of Claudia! (Don't tell her I said that, teehee)


10:27 PM  
Blogger Stinkerbell said...

I am going to take that as a compliment of the highest kind being that I love the colors she spins and she knits things I DREAM of knitting one day. I will smile all the way through it.

12:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my you look fabulous in that sweater! i didn't even really look at that sweater when i flipped through that mag, but your version is a must-knit. awesome color on you and the closure is really nice. thanks for the wonderful phildar shop shots and how cool to take a fo pic in the mirror(nice touch) i'm really enjoying your blog and can't wait to come back and see what's next!

10:21 AM  

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