Green green green

It has long been a running joke at the Needlecraft Guild (alas, useful websiteless), that everything I do is green. It’s not (entirely) true, I mean I do tend to work in green an awful lot, but I really do use other colours! At the moment, however, my world is a sea of green. Green motherboards and computer components that need replacing at work, a sad little green plant…

If anyone happens to know what this poor little thing is, exactly, I’d be grateful. It’s but a pale shadow of it’s former perky upright self. I don’t think it much liked sitting next to the very cold and drafty window once winter hit.

The most green, however, comes from the sweater. I promised pictures, here’s pictures. Look at the sweater, do not look at the messy messy desk under the sweater. Messy desk is a sign of creative productivity, I’m sure of it. I heard it on the radio.

It really is starting to look like a sweater. If it’s a sweater that will fit me, that’s a whole different kettle of fish, but I have hopes. I should sew up the sides and try it on, but I’m chicken to know the awful truth. Even if it doesn’t fit me now, surely it will eventually, right? Here’s a bit of cable porn for the sleeve junkies.

Hrm, that might get some really unexpected hits and surprised people. Hee hee.

Tweak? Design?

One of my email lists recently asked ‘Are you a designer? Do you ever want to be a designer?’ as their Question of the Week and I had to ask.. So what /is/ design? Where does tweaking end and designing begin?

It is a good question, and one that comes up often on the knitting lists. Especially in the context of how many changes do you need to make on a basic sweater to call it your own and be able to claim intellectual property of it. There really are some basics that don’t change from one piece to another.. is changing the colour a design choice? The yarn? The gauge? The fit? Adding short rows? A little pattern instead of knitting it plain? Enough of these changes and you’d never think it was the same sweater or shawl, but how many is enough?

I don’t know the answer. I don’t think of myself as a designer, but I equally don’t feel obligated to knit a pattern as written. I take it, I make it my own. I’ve often wondered how this is different from say.. a pianist who plays Mozart. They take someone else’s music and puts their own mark upon it and it becomes their own. They are an artist.. by common words.. But that’s a whole different rant. *grin*

I did, however, spend the weekend playing D&D and knitting. And knitting and playing D&D. My paladin is level 4 and I’m down to 290 stitches in a row. I need to get to 218 (ish.. see comments about tweaking). 9 more decrease rows. Wow. That’s a reasonable number! We will see if it’s long enough at that point, there may be a couple more rows tucked in. No picture today, too tired to fight with it to get a good one, and I stopped mid row. I will try and have one for tomorrow, I promise!

Poor broken body..

Have mercy on my poor broken body.. it’s a (mis)quote from (in my mind at least) the Muppet Christmas Carol by Rizzo the Rat, as all the good quotes are really. Today, the quote comes to mind because of this.

Look closely.. see how the needle tips are twisted the wrong way from each other? I grant you, they’ve been doing that for years, but finally, the little connector from needle to cable is starting to break. *Sigh* Broken enough to catch every other stitch. I finally surrendered and knit the green sweater of doom onto a different 4.5 mm needle, but it’s not an Aero. Yes, I’m an Aero snob. I like my knitting needles to have points that can be used as the weapons that all the paranoid people on planes think they are. (If any of them think I’m going to get blood all over my knitting by stabbing them, they really just don’t know knitters.) This needle has been with me nearly since the beginning of my knitting career.. it’s been the default ‘I have aran/worsted/kitchen cotton, lets swatch with 4.5 and see’. It’s like a favourite pair of jeans, just when you’ve gotten them broken in nicely, fitted to one’s curves.. it means they’re on the edge of death.

So goodbye my favourite knitting needle. It’s a good thing Len’s is open late tonight.

Paper clips and ball point pen caps…

A conversation about cables this morning devolved into a litany of what sorts of things I’ve used in lieu of cable needles over the years. Everything from the cap to a ballpoint pen, dpns, earrings (the dangly fish hook ones, not the little stud earrings), pencils, nothing at all and my miscellaneous tool of choice.. paper clips. *Wistful sigh* Paper clips. So may uses, knitterly and in my other life as a techie. I mean they move seamlessly from Disk Extraction Tool to stitch holder to stitch marker to cable needle to marking a place on the pattern sheet to.. well I think that’s enough for the poor little paperclip, isn’t it? A knitting tool I am never without in my little box of goodies.

For the record, the little box is about 10 cm (4 inches) long. Measuring tape, paper clips, stitch markers, tooth picks (also excellent cable needles), wool needles, tapestry needles, emery board (for both my nails when catching on wool and my wooden and bamboo needles), and as always a little bit of yarn.. just in case. So what do you keep in your knitting bag with useful bits in it?

Neverending green…

Happy National (alright so not my nation, but I’m willing to co-opt) Pie day. This is a holiday I can get behind, even if thanks to my currently aim to have less of me ultimately, I don’t think I will be celebrating by baking a pie. Have some pie on my behalf!

Anyhow, yes. Neverending green. I came to the realization today that my two never ending projects are both green. There is the sweater of doom.

See that little bit of connected knitting under the stitch marker? That’s where it went from pieces to rows of doooooom. 402 stitches currently, should be 394 by the end of lunch hour. *yawn* I am eternally grateful for the continued cable up the sleeve or this project would be yet another UFO.

The other green project that is stalled is the fir cone shawl that I’m doing in green laceweight. It is quite so stalled that I don’t even have photos of it. A triangular shawl that is at the long rows and memorized pattern stage. *yawn* I really don’t have the attention span for this. Green green green. Green green green. It’s not easy being green you know.

434, 426, 428…

I suppose I should be grateful that unlike most of my work, the numbers are going down rather than up. Raglan shaping takes 8 stitches out on every frontside row and unlike my usual from the centre out lace, every other row is just a few less to work. I have no photos today, the sweater looks very much like the last photos of it. A big heavy blog of blue-green wool. Unless it’s green-blue wool. I never really have worked out what the difference is between the two. I think it is the never ending rows of sweater than has caused me to lose my mind.

Knit off 2007. Because somehow in getting slaughtered mercilessly in Sock Wars, I’ve decided that I should be a competative knitter. I knit slowly and I’m easily frustrated with the attention span of a ferret on pixie stix. This should be amusingly brief.

Month late and a dollar short…

Or something like that. I do hate this time of year, there is something about Jan/Feb that is instant blah for me. Which means a lot of sitting around staring blankly and not doing anything. I have, however, momentarily shaken off the blah and dug out some photos of things I’ve been working on when I dredge up the attention span to do anything.

Finally I am making progress on Mariah. I’ve finished the bits in pieces and am now doing the join it all together on one big circular to do the shoulders and yoke. It has gotten unwieldy and distinctly not photogenic. See?

I’ll provide a little sleeve cable porn just to appease folks that there really is more to the sweater than greenyblue blob of yarn. Isn’t this just lovely? If I do say so myself?

Nothing like keeping track of sleeve shaping and cable patterns with distinct repeats that aren’t all the same all that same time. I did most of the sleeves in Scotland at my grandmother in law’s dining room table with papers spread out everywhere to keep notes. I expect every time I look at the sleeves I’ll remember the quiet, the smell of the coal fire and have a wee bit of Scotland along with me.

When I haven’t been working on the sweater, I’ve (of course) got a sock on the go. This sock yarn is to die for. Apple Laine fingering weight yarn, 50% merino, 20% silk, 20% kid mohair and 10% nylon. Yum. Yum. Yum. The silk and mohair takes the dye and makes the colours just glow. Honestly, I think I knit this just to pet the yarn. I’m knitting Apple Harvest sock pattern with the Sea Breeze colourway. Even better, the yarn company is based just outside of Ottawa, where I grew up. It might not be local to me anymore, but it still feels local. I’ve only just started the second sock. I should (thank you having little feet) have enough for a second pair of ankle socks. Maybe. Pretty darn close at least.