Saturday, April 14, 2007

You don't know it yet, but you're everything

Just a quick, happy note to excitedly share a bit of beautiful news. (Wow, that's a lotta adjectives...)

My fourth nephew was born yesterday morning. Cooper Eric is happy and healthy, and I simply can't wait to meet him! You can expect pictures and more gushitude very soon.

So... I think I'll knit up an EZ Baby Surprise Sweater in a nice green colorway. Or, does anybody have a great baby boy pattern to suggest? Something in a range of sizing so I can knit one for his big brother Connor (13 mos) would be super. :)

*This little song, it's for you
These lovely years, here with you.
And you, you make me run
And you, you make me want to live

- Fisher "You", a lullaby written when her child was very young

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Take me out!

Don't call in the professionals with the little white coats on me, gentle readers, but sometimes, I imagine my knitting speaking to me. In the oh-so-inimitable words of Alex Kapranos, it sings from my lovely gray pinstriped Ann Taylor purse-cum-knitting bag: "I say don't you know, you say you don't know... I say, TAKE ME OUT!!" Just to take this anthropomorphic thing entirely over the top, I think it needs to go out now and then -- to get a little sun, take in a rugby match, enjoy a glass of pinot with my friends, watch the world pass by on a roadtrip. And I find that I'm increasingly inclined to oblige it.**

That's right, people: I may be new to this scene, but I'm a KIPer. Knitting in public. It's the new black.

The first time I K'ed-I-P (because KIPed is grammatically all wrong), I was by myself. Sitting in a favorite coffeeshop on a frigidly cold January afternoon, killing time before my dinner reservations, I pulled out the cabled scarf I was making as a gift for my sister's birthday. I can't say if it was the live music, the skinny latte I was sipping, Leigh Radford's enchanting pattern or the dusty blue Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk, but I suspect it was synergy of all these things that made for a truly lovely afternoon. No fewer than five random strangers stopped to ooh and ahh and pet the yarn. You see, I live in a community that is both remarkably cosmopolitan for its size (being a University town) and very arts-friendly. Open-minded, free-thinking people who value other people doing their own thing helps with the tolerance factor. I've read and heard a lot about the responses knitters get when they're out among the muggles, but I guess what I'm saying is that in my own city, I (very thankfully) generally don't get the strange stares or the cloyingly back-handed compliments grounded in stereotype, e.g. the whole "knitting grandmother" thing.

"I care less and less what people think..."
But you know... even if I did, I'd knit on.

Here are a few places my knitting bag has visited lately.

I'm going to Las Vegas to visit my sister in June and you better believe the knitting is going with me. It can't wait.

I finished my Noro scarf a few weeks ago. But, as I've been blogless, the wider world has yet to see its loveliness. This project was a sort of Knit-Along with my friend Tiffany (you can take a look at her work in progress here) but I promised that I'd wait till she finished hers to post full pics of mine. :) So here's a sneak peek of where I was with it on a roadtrip to Waco, Texas, last month.


It's occurred to me that I'm so copying my darlingest dear Kathy with the whole song-lyrics-as-blog-entry-titles bit. Well it's an old habit -- both the song-title-ness and the imitating of K :) -- and, hey, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Consider yourself flattered, sister woman!

** Okay, you realize I'm kidding of course. My knitting doesn't really speak to me. It seems my ironic (Alanis Morrisette definition) devotion to a lyrical blog title knows no bounds. Even to the point of making me sound truly nuts.

Monday, April 9, 2007

I do it for the joy it brings*

Hello there.

So I finally got with it, at the urging of a growing number of persuasive people who made compelling arguments: this is my new little bloggythingmeebob. I'm not new to weblogging, but this space out amidst the ether shall be my entrée to the knitblogiverse. I'm not entirely sure that I can sustain a blog of just knitting-related content, so I hope the other bits I share here are of interest at least to some of you -- traveling, books & music most definitely, what I'm whipping up in the kitchen now and then, goofy/interesting/amazing things my friends are up to, fun things I've discovered, and the like. I'll try to keep things interesting. ;) Well, enough with the boring quasi-introduction. I have finished objects to share with you. Oh yes, do I.

Wait, is it okay to start with a clarification? Erm, I've only really been knitting since Christmas. I say "really" because, well technically I started when I was about seven. My endless string of clumsy garter stitch made in horrible acrylic yarn was a good place to start as any, I suppose. My fingers only needed a five minute refresher tutorial from Mom over a cuppa tea to get right back into the swing of things. I was smitten from the (re)start, but since that first blush, we've been working on making it a deep and abiding love. I think this one's for serious.

My very first knitted thing that was not rectangular... Peekaboo Mittens for me!

Pattern: Peekaboo Mittens from Pensive Frog (published in Feb07 MagKnits). I made the larger gauge version.

Yarn: Lamb's Pride Worsted (85% Wool, 15% Mohair) in Aztec Turquoise (I think)

Needles: Vintage Susan Bates DPNs US 7, set of 5. These were my grandmother's.

Mods:My hands are on the small side, so I shortened the body of the mitten by one round. In retrospect, they would have been fine as written. I went with a 2X2 ribbing on the cuff to match the detail around the finger opening.

Isn't this just a great idea?! I really love the concept, and so I was really pleased to find that they work like a charm. I have to say, these are already my most favorite mittens ever. I've only had the opportunity to wear them three or four times as Spring has Sprung in my part of the Southern U.S., but they really do the job of keeping my hands warm (mittens are warmer than gloves, you know) without slowing me down any with having to take them off and on. I've gotten lovely compliments on them everywhere I go, and my dad and sister have already asked me to make a few more. I was thinking that I might do some embroidery on the back of the hands, maybe my first initial. Thoughts?


Pattern: Dashing by Cheryl Niamath (published in Spring07 Knitty)

Yarn: KnitPicks Swish Superwash (100% Superwash Wool) in Dublin

Needles: Clover Bamboo DPNs US 7, set of 5

Mods: None.

I knit these up for my dear friend Tiffany. I have a second pair on the needles already for my friend Samantha, too. And after I finish those up, I think I'm going to have to make myself a pair. The Swish Superwash is very splitty, which is annoying, but I love the way the knitted fabric turns out, so it's worth a bit of hassle on the creative end, I suppose. And the machine-washable part is great too. This is an enjoyable knit. I think the cabling makes for a nice embellishment without making them feel fussy.

I have a few other FOs in the cedar closet, but at the risk of turning an already picture-heavy entry into... well, more of one, I'll stop there. More to come.

*'Cause I'm a joyful girl
Because the world owes me nothing
And we owe each other the world
I do it because it's the least I can do
I do it because I learned it from you
I do it just because I want to
Because I want to

- ani difranco "Joyful Girl"