Friday, April 24, 2009

Swatch you!

Last night was the perfect example of why I hate swatching. I have finished several WIP's recently (pictures to come later, as I am away from my home computer and camera today), so I wanted to celebrate by starting something new.

I have had something in particular perculating in my mind, so I spent a couple days gathering in preparation. I checked out the book at the library. I jotted down the notes from a blog with my desired midification. I pulled the yarn out of my stash, and decided the best color combo. I was ready.

Last night, I sat down to swatch, to determine the best needle size. Three episodes of "Sex and the City" later (from Season six, on DVD from the library), I had finished my swatch, and decided that I liked the size 7 needle the best, 5 and 6 being too tight.

By then, I was too tired to cast on, and just went to bed. Disappointed, and vowing to start this morning.

This is why I hate swatching. I will hate it even more if I cast on, and decide that 7 is too loose.

I refuse to take a picture of the swatch, so I will just have to wait a little longer to talk about the new project in detail.

Today, it is all about the frustration.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Can I examine your sweater?

Has this ever happened to you?

You see a pretty sweater (or scarf, or some other knitted garment, but today it was a sweater), and you find yourself stuck in its gravitational pull. The sweater tractor beam locks on to you, pulling you closer and closer, until you feel the need to say something as you violate another's personal space. "Excuse me, can I examine your sweater?"

With any luck, this happens with someone I know, preferably someone who knows that I knit, so they won't think I am crazy. (With strangers, I try to be far more inconspicuous, finding socially acceptable excuses for close proximity: standing behind them in line, that sort of thing. I once spent an entire hour of Civil Procedure class sketching the design of someone's Fair Isle sweater.)

I simply have to mentally and knitterly dissect the sweater. What elements are attracting me the sweater? How are those elements achieved? Can I reproduce, modify, incorporate or otherwise use as inspiration for a future project?

Today, is was the color scheme. (Fitting, since I have been studying dye techniques in books and on the web, mentally preparing myself to attempt dying my own yarn.) The look had several colors, but they blended together in a colorful yet subtle palette. Thinking back, it looked like berries and cream, lightly stirred in the bowl. I looked at it closer, and realized that it was three ply: one a darker solid, and the other two varigated with several lighter versions of the same color, including white.

Some knitters are drawn to the feel of the yarn. Some texture. Me? I am a color girl. I love yarns with interesting depth of color. I love it when the colors in the yarn give the illusion of texture.

I thought about that yarn as I moved from courtroom to courtroom, status hearing to status hearing, all morning. After I was done for the morning, I went back to examine the sweater again. (The court reporter didn't even mind. What a sport!) I was glad that I did, because I noticed that it was not monochromatic, as I earlier thought. There were actually two families of color in the verigated yarns: purple to lavender, and berry to pink. A dark purple was the (solid ply.) Interesting. . . .

I did resist the temptation to take a picture of it with my cell phone.

Today, it is all about the restraint.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I love project milestones. Socks have several of them. Maybe it is because socks are so small (relatively speaking) to other knitting, but the milestones seems more special. Ribbing completed, ball bound yarn (the yarn that you wound around the ball band after a big clump of it came out the center when you were looking for the end to cast on) used, heel, foot, toe. Rinse and repeat.

I passed one of those milestones this weekend with my Twisted Tweed Socks. I finished the heel. First sock officially is half finished. It knit on this so much yesterday, I almost got tired of it. Not tired of knitting, just tired of this particular project for the day. I was actually wishing I had brought a second back-up project with me to the family gathering. (Birthday party for my sweetie's youngest neice, then family bonding/Wii time before dogs and brats, complete with an hour drive time either way. I love long drives when someone else is driving.)

Today, it is all about the progress.