Things around the old Totally Knitting Universe have been a little slow. Brian hasn't picked up his entrelocks in awhile, and instead is plugging along at a new scarf style project with his blue bamboo yarn and he completed a test knitting project for Annie Modesitt of a hat and scarf that were the bane of his existence because of his desire for them to be 100% perfect. His nephew Xander was born and so we have to do some sort of ticker at the bottom. I may start a ticker for my dear friends Holly and Lois, who are inseminating this week.
I finished the triangle scarf from "Hand Knit Holidays". Because it was so glamorous (and didn't take so much time to make) I donated it to a charity raffle but didn't get a good FO pic of it. I also did a knitted womb for my friend CMolieri, who recently lost her right fallopian tube in emergency surgery. That womb was modeled after her own organ, without the right fallopian tube. She loved it.
In these meditative times of mine, I've become very addicted to knitting "Cross Lane Cables" from Scarf Style. It's on Peruvian Tweed, which I got from Flying Fingers that time we took the Yarn Bus and were featured in the New Yorker. It is a really soft, amazing yarn and looks awesome in the cross lane cables pattern. It's a 7 row repeat, reversible cable pattern and was quick to memorize and is so relaxing and fun to do. Being a DK weight yarn on size 5 needles I anticipate finishing sometime in May, but I really love doing it so who cares?
I've been trying to get around to starting my holiday sweater for Macy, which I will enter in the Knitting Curmudgeon's Christmas Crap-A-Long competition. I have the design done, complete with obnoxious knitted border designed from Nicky Epstein's Knitting Over the Edge. That book has some really great borders but if not used with an intention to be classy you can go really over the top. It is my hope to really work that to my advantage. The prize for the Crap-A-Long is four friggin' skeins of Koigu!
Luckily, Macy is only 11 pounds so sweaters for her are less than a week's project.
As mentioned in a previous post, my girlfriend of three years broke up with me two months ago. I have had the requisite "Oh please, I want to take you back, I regret breaking up with you" plea from her (only after I went on a date with someone else) and have reacted with the Sudden Intuitive Leap of Understanding "We weren't right for each other, anyway. Please move your shit out of my apartment and take your cats."
The break-up has lead me to several knitting Sudden Intuitive Leaps of Understanding.
KNITTING Sudden Intuitive Leap of Understanding ONE
Knitting, for me, is a huge stress releiver. Brian found some study that said knitting is as stress relieving, minute for minute, as yoga. It is also sort of an escapism thing. So for the last few months, when I was in an unhappy relationship, I was knitting all the time at my house. If I wasn't going about the business of getting ready for work, cooking or taking care of the dog I was knitting. Which meant that I wasn't cleaning my house. I let the clutter and bullshit pile up to really outrageous levels. Now, ladies, I was never filthy. My dishes got done regularly and I am fastidious about the bathroom. But clothes and knitting bags and camping equipment from August... The friends that came over always got some excuse about the state of my apartment, but it was what it was and it was ridiculous.
About a month out of the relationship I realized what I had been doing and spend six solid nights straightening, sorting and cleaning out my apartment. No knitting was done, unless on my lunch hour at work. It was hard to forego the knitting but it was important and I am so much happier at my house without the mess. I also sorted through all of my yarn (bags from various yarn binges all over the place) and probably have about $100 worth of sugar and cream. One can only have those moments of "OOOOH! I don't have THAT color yet," so many times. I mean, I have enough balls for about 70 baby bibs or dishcloths. I am insane.
Life is so much easier with all of my SWIPES* and UFOs** in one place, and knowing what yarn is in my stash.
KNITTING Sudden Intuitive Leap of Understanding TWO
Knitting gifts on a deadline is pointless and takes the fun out of it. I have decided to adopt the mantra that I never knit on a deadline unless there's a monetary reward. Crap-A-Long is a constructively monetary reward, see above re: 4 friggin' skeins of expensive yarn. I successfully finished two gifts for Christmas last year, one to my ex's mom and one to her neice. I was literally finishing them on Christmas Eve and that is lame. I want to knit for fun and if I give it to someone, they should be grateful and joyful and I'm not going to add stress to something that should be as awseome for me as for the recipient.
KNITTING Sudden Intuitive Leap of Understanding THREE
Break-ups make SWIPES. When that girl broke up with me, I was literally, at that momemnt, knitting Leroy (her dog, the little white chihuahua) a dinosaur sweater. I had to finish it, it was too adorable not to. Plus, I loved that dog and it was the first week after we broke up, I was still in love and wanted her back.
However, at the same time I had been working on a Christmas stocking for her 3 year old nephew. I was (still am) about halfway done. It is a miracle in fair isle. One section of it (trains, he really likes trains) even has four colors stranded at once. I was thinking originally I was going to finish it and send it to his family, along with one I planned to do for his sister, the 18 month old neice I adored. But I just can't do it. Again, there is the knitting on a deadline thing and also it's just sort of weird now. It is really too bad I already knitted her nephew's name into it in fair isle. Otherwise I'd finish it and gift it to someone else or donate it to charity.
Another SWIPE that will always be a SWIPE is this dress I was making for her neice. This was a SWIPE mostly because it was a dress knitted in DK weight yarn done in seed stitch. I realized about halfway through one side and already done with the intarsia mouse that I really. hate. seed stitch. Don't know what to do with the yarn, it's a really pretty blue cotton. I may finish the dress one day when I manage to learn contininental style knitting, as I hear it makes ribbing and seed stitch a breeze, but until then my english knitting ass is only using seed stitch in borders and accents.
After the Sudden Intuitive Leaps of Understanding
In addition to cleaning, organizing my stash and my life, and having knitting Sudden Intuitive Leaps of Understanding, I have taught two friends to knit. One is my coworker Eldy who is totally getting as obsessed with knitting as Brian and me are. And the above-referenced CMolieri is working on her first scarf. It took both me and Brian to get her going, but she's chugging along.
Brian and I went to Smiley's Yarns Manhattan YARN RIOT. Yes, it was called a Yarn Riot. It was okay. I liked our first Smiley's haul better, back in February when we went to the sale they had at their Queens store. We left with garbage bags of yarn both times, but at their Queens store they sell yarn by the ball and we were able to get a lot of colors and various projects prepared. I had wanted to get cheap felting wools (I have a Nicky Epstein project with 12 colors I want to start) but instead wound up having to buy yarn by the bag at the Manhattan sale. Don't get me wrong, we spent $175 between us and ended up with a big stash enhancement and garbage bags. But mostly I got some camel, burgundy and cream colored skeins of Lion Brand "Kool Wool" for making more masculine scarves ($6 per three ball bag), we split a bag of blue worsted that is a really pretty cornflower color ($10 for 10 skeins), we split a bag of white 100% cashmere ($60 for about 600 yards in four hanks), I got a bag of a chunky pink wool for making a gorgeous '40s style wrap from Wrap Style and girly scarves ($25 for 10 skeins), Brian got an afghan's worth of Lion Brand Cotton Ease, three bags of red and one of yellow ($10 a bag?). And we each bough a bag of six skeins of Jamie yarn, one in baby blue one in lavender for the babies forthcoming in our lives ($6 per bag). Brian was outraged that there were only three options for sock yarn. We felt like Santas leaving that yarn riot with garbage bags over our shoulders.
Not many people were smiling, even though the place is called "Smileys". And there were moments we were scared of the rioters. One time Brian poked a finger into a bag to feel the yarn inside and it turned out that the bag belonged to a woman who was standing with her back to us. She was good natured about it, though you could tell there was a glint in her eye about how outrageous it was that her merchandise was poked by another shopper.
Hopefully our next update will have photos and some FOs. It's time.
*Stalled Works In Progress