19 January 2006

We Got Yarn (and a Caribbean Amphibian)

Kermit, who has a lovely singing voice, is displaying the new yarns! That's 11 skeins of Nova, color 890, and 2 skeins of Sockenwolle, color 190. I wish I had some knitting progress to show, but I don't. I did cast on and knit the first 13 rows of Vigdis, but I didn't like the tension (cast-on was too loose, actually, and looked ridiculous underneath all of those lovely cables), so I frogged it.

I'm actually thinking of monkeying around with the gauge (probably a mistake); I'm not sure I really want my Vigdis to be as bulky as its measurements claim it will be. I'm thinking of this as more of a spring/fall coat than a couch-cozy (I have a polarfleece body bag/Penguin Wuzzie for that). I might jump down a needle size. I also want to exchange the pullover for the zippered on/off, which requires that I squirrel around with the whole front of the pattern. What I thought I would do is omit the big cable (that would be identical to the back of Vigdis) and substitute running S-hitches and put the zipper between them. Since there isn't a whole lot of body shaping going on, I'm hoping there will be little bloodshed involved.

In Shapely-Tank land, knitting is progressing. I'm not sure what to make of Turino Silk. I don't think I like it, actually, and that rather makes me sad. I do know that knitting with that yarn is absolute hell on my shoulder and wrists. Why is this? It's knitting up at the appropriate gauge, it's not actually that tight on the needles, but working with it is just sucking the life right out of me. But I want that tank-top, dammit, so I'm sticking with it. The best part of this yarn is that it's nearly impossible to split (that doesn't mean I haven't, but not often).

Does anyone ever find that the colors you most like to wear are the colors you least like to knit with? I'm a black/gray/blue girl (and I've never had a chance to knit anything blue! It's criminal! ...this is mostly because there are certain blues that are not okay, and I don't trust my computer's ability to show me the color of blue the yarn would actually be--it's too risky), but knitting with the gray Turino is dreadfully dull. I really love working with the pastel Venezia (A Little Lace, in the sidebar), but I will not wear those colors. That absolutely must be a gift. *shudder* They're very Easter-eggy. The lovely Nova yarn, which is a touch warmer in person than in the photo above, will be just right for a spring/fall warm cozy that I will love. But I think that knitting that much beige may just kill me. Black yarn makes me buggy-eyed. But that's my favorite color of all to wear!

Why must I be so perverse?

11 January 2006

The Chullo, She is Done!

See, I even added a pom-pom! (I, too, have a problem with "pom-pon," and so I add an m at the end. If that's wrong, I don't want to be right!)

At first I thought it would be too tight, not so much that if I put it on it would never come off, but if I put it on, what little effort I put into my hair would be for naught. Blocking completely solved that problem! A bit of a drenching and some pins, et voila! Hat that pops right on and right off the ol' bean.

I am still not entirely sure how I ended up with a hat in black (normal for Holly), gray (normal for Holly), and red-pink (WTF, captain?). I think it's because the red-pink yarn (it's kind of variegated, very shimmery, and completely impossible for a camera-ignoramus like me to photograph properly) both seduced me with its shinyness and its convenient availability in the ol' stash, right on top. And, I have no blue yarn. Which is heinous. I don't know how that happened, but I have no blue yarn (except for two skeins of some crazy Fun Fur that I don't know what to do with). Must remedy.

In other yarn-tastic news, the yarn for Vigdis has shipped! I decided to go with a yarn called Nova, from Sirdar, in a color that I hope will be a nice, soft light brown, like the color of dry wood. I have little faith in my monitor's ability to show color properly, especially looking at that picture of the hat (the gray is not very gray at all, though I think I'm blaming that one on the camera and the operator of said camera). At any rate, as long as color #890 isn't orange or yellow, we're in business. The most beautiful thing: Nova was on sale (in the discontinued yarn bin) at Carodan Farm. That place, it is magic: friendly, affordable, nice selection even when the yarn is way cheap. I got the yarn to knit Cleo (from Knitty, Summer '03, picture to be in FO's eventually) from them, too, also on sale. (As someone living on a TA stipend, there is no yarn but yarn on sale.)

In the stash, I had 5 balls of Plymouth Turino Silk in color 07 (a tweedy gray flecked with black) that I bought at a yarn store in Cumberland, MD, a year ago, that I had no idea what to do with. So I searched and searched until I remembered the Shapely Tank Top pattern from White Lies Designs. I check the yardage, swatch away, and booya! I have a home for my yarn. I'm interested to see how that turns out. Progress to come as soon as there's more than a few rows of garter stitch, yeah?

08 January 2006

Viking Knitting

I was on Amazon ordering a birthday gift for a friend, and I splurged (as you do). I justify this action by the fact that I didn't get one single bit of knitting swag for Christmas. Anyway, I decided that I needed Elsebeth Lavold's Viking Patterns for Knitting. Not only does that book fuel my love for all things medieval and older, it also has wonderful historical context, amazing patterns and charts, and it has prompted me to get over my irrational fear of charts. As a result, I knit up two of the knotwork charts just to get the hang of reading them.

We have, from bottom to top, knit in leftover Wool-Ease from the Newsboy cap, the happiness sign woven through a ring, the S-Hitch from Ardre with Cables, and also a bit of spinning (not done yesterday but I wanted to post it and I had the camera out) done on a Babe spindle from gorgeous Hello Yarn merino top.

And the cat found the picture pile to look mighty comfy:

Anyway, all of this knitting and such was to give me impetus and courage to start a new project. I have decided on Vigdis, from Viking Patterns. Now I have to decide on a yarn. It was knit in Rowan Chunky Tweed, but I doubt that said yarn is within my budget. Any suggestions for a cheaper, similar yarn that would also make the cables pop?

04 January 2006

What's a KnitBlog without a cat?

This is Hrunting (middle name Danger, last name Stupid). My dear, sweet, only-sometimes-evil Hrunting is just thrilled with my new toy, isn't she? She's 8 months old, and, surprisingly enough, usually lets the yarny things alone in favor of rending the curtains and wallpaper. And crumpled balls of paper.


This is a test post from Photobucket.com

Trial Run and Introductions

Have never worked with a blogging system in HTML before, so please bear with me.

The blog title comes from a (hackneyed) Scots Gaelic translation of "knitting needles made of holly," which combines my name and two of my favorite obsessions: knitting and the British Isles. I am a student working on my Ph.D. in English with a creative disseration in fiction, living in New York's southern tier and trying to cope with the snow. As a native Pennsylvanian, one would expect that I would be used to snow, but even after nearly 24 years, that is not the case.

Knitting to come soon--as soon as I figure out how to bend HTML to my wily will.