Posted on 2005.10.08 at 12:10
As you may or may not know, I'm heading back to Iowa for Christmas this year. Not just that, but I'm spending two weeks
there. My mother guilted me into it, though I still might see if I can change my plane tickets and make it just one week. I really don't like Iowa in the winter. I'm the girl who likes to sit in the sun when it's 105 outside. I think I was a lizard in a past life or something. The cold just kills me.
rewarding myself by knitting some cool winter clothes.
First, the Mariah cardigan
from Knitty. ( it's still just in piecesCollapse )
I was worried that I wouldn't get the sweater done in time for December, but I'm not worried about that anymore. I'll probably get it done this month, even if I do slack on it a little bit (which I've been doing--a lot). I don't know if I should make another sweater after I'm finished with this one, or if I should do something else. There are only so many pairs of mittens a girl needs. Although...I could make a pair that look like puppets and put google eyes and yarn hair on them. Then I could amuse myself when I get bored and scare the people around me.
Posted on 2005.09.04 at 09:12
Current Mood: productive
This year's big project is the Mariah cardigan
from Knitty.com. I've never done cables before, but since my knitting motto is, "Hey, I'll try anything once," I thought I'd give it a go. It's not as hard as I thought it would be.
You start with the sleeves, which is good because sleeves are my nemesis. For some reason, I've always had trouble with sleeves, so it's nice to get them out of the way, first. Also, the sleeves have the heavy cable pattern, which means they go slow. I started two days ago and I'm only about halfway finished with the first sleeve.( progress so farCollapse )
Posted on 2005.08.17 at 00:16
Current Mood: accomplished
Current Music: The Dead Zone on DVD
Continuing my stash busting, I broke out a great book, The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns
. If, like me, you like making things using your own yarn, gauge, and stitch pattern, this book can be a lot of fun. I had two skeins of Noro Kureyon in colorway #148. I did a quick gauge swatch, then started on a pair of ( mittensCollapse )
Posted on 2005.08.08 at 11:50
Current Mood: lethargic
I don't knit gifts for people; that's just not what my knitting is about. I like owning the means of production. I like being able to make clothing that's exactly the way I want it, in colors and textures that please me, with measurements tailored just for me. I am, to put it bluntly, a selfish knitter, though I wasn't always.
I used to knit gifts for people. Then I realized that they don't appreciate it. Non-knitters will never understand the work and love that goes into every piece, especially the work. My cousin's wife is constantly asking me to make her things, in ways that make it abundantly clear that she has no idea what knitting entails. "Hey, I saw this super cute cashmere sweater in a catalog, could you make it for me? You know, since it'd be cheaper that way? I'll pay you for it." Sweetie, if you're worried about cost, just buy the sweater, because that's much cheaper than buying all the yarn and then paying me a decent wage (say, $10 an hour) to knit it for you. "Hey, you know what I want? An afghan. A really big, really fluffy, oversized afghan. Could you make one for me? Maybe, like, in lots of different colors with designs in it?" Sure, I'll get right on that and have it finished by next week, since nothing goes faster than 6 foot by 4 foot intarsia.
And I know I wouldn't be as bitter if I hadn't knitted her things that she took completely for granted. I made her daughter the lacy pink cardigan she requested, and two months later she told me about it as if I hadn't knitted it, because she didn't remember who had done it. Yeah. Thanks. Glad to know all those hours of lace charts at 7 stitches to the inch were appreciated.
I've given people scarves that ended up as dog toys, hats that went almost immediately to Goodwill, bags that were just tossed in the back of a closet. To me, knitted pieces are magical. To most people, they're just things like anything else you can buy at the store.
I have exceptions about people I'll knit for. I'll knit for my sister. She's a seamstress, so she understands the work that goes into handmade pieces. I'll knit for other knitters, crocheters, weavers, or spinners. The favorite gift I've ever received was from a woman I met in fandom who's also a spinner and weaver. She sent me four skeins of handspun yarn with a little tag telling me the name of the sheep the wool came from. To people who don't understand fiber arts, they're probably just skeins of gray and beige wool--to me they're magic. I haven't made anything from them, yet, but I take them out every now and again to touch them and smell them. I can smell the lanolin from the sheep's wool, and I think a little incense. I like to think of her spinning that yarn with a glass of red wine by her side, treadle going steadily, making something out of nothing, making yarn out of tufts of fiber.
I think the main reason I don't make gifts for people is because for me, knitting isn't about the finished project, it's about the knitting. I sit there thinking, "This is me, making something out of nothing, making cloth out of yarn." When I look at objects I've finished, I don't see a sweater or a scarf or a pair of socks, I see the journey I was one while I made them. I remember sitting in my mom's overstuffed green armchair and knitting those socks while my dog, who was just a puppy at the time, gnawed on my toes. I look at the first sweater I made and remember how proud I was when I finally, finally figured out what I was doing wrong that made me have to keep ripping out the sleeves. I made that hat from yarn I bought when I got lost in San Francisco and just kept walking and worrying until I saw the yarn store and knew I could go in and get not just yarn, but also directions. That's the cabled scarf I made because my heart was broken and I needed something to distract me while I healed. That ugly acrylic blanket is the first thing I ever knit and it's lopsided because I knit so tight when I was learning that the day after my first lesson my hands and arms ached. And I love that ugly, acrylic, lopsided blanket because it's a picture of me learning how to knit, learning how to loosen up and trust the needles, learning how to trust myself, to trust the yarn. I know nobody else wants that ugly, misshapen thing, but that's good because I wouldn't give it away for anything; to me it's beautiful, and a reminder of the first time I ever learned to create magic.
Posted on 2005.08.08 at 00:51
Current Mood: dorky
Current Music: Stan Rogers -- Northwest Passage
Some people only work on one project at a time and finish it completely before starting another project. I am not one of those people. I have always got at least four projects on the needles at any one time. Partially because I get bored easily and partially because switching between needle sizes is better for my arms, since I hold size 1's differently than size 8's. But mostly, it's because I get bored quickly and can never decide which yarn I love best at the moment, so I choose them all.( three of my current WIPsCollapse )