Thursday, November 30, 2006

Happy final day of Norovember!
These are the something something Spring armwarmers from Stitch & Bitch Nation. Hurry Up Spring? Spring Get Here Already? Hey, Spring, You Bastid, Where Ya Been? Something like that. Anyway, they are a gift for my sister-in-law, she of the Perpetually Cold Appendages. The idea is that she could wear them in the cold cold lecture halls and still be able to take notes. (And, to be perfectly candid, I wanted to buy some of this-a-here yarn I been hearing so much about on the internets.)

I'm finished with the right one and about 33-50% done with the left. The left is going more quickly, I guess that makes sense, and I think my gauge is better, too. The pattern calls for size 7s but apparently I am a tight knitter. I'm trying for a more zen-like approach.

Interesting side note: I was kind of disappointed with the stitch definition in the cable/leaf panel on the first one. It didn't look as clear as in the pictures in the book--I thought it was just because I chose a darker yarn, or was knitting too tight. But the stitch pattern looks really clear in my photograph, so I guess it must be a Light Thing rather than a My Knitting thing. Whew.

I don't even remember who organized Norovember, but this is my contribution. Better late than never.

Why o why won't Blogger let me title my entries?

I've done what it asked...downloaded Firefox to work with my creaky Mac...I'm even dragging out my HTML book from last year's web design class to look at ways to modify my page. I want to be a writer online. And I want to use titles.

Ah well. maybe this is Blogger's way of saying, "You can hang on the periphery of this community, missy, but you gots to prove yourself."

Sort of like knitting. Many are the dilettantes in the knitworld. The one scarfers. The garter-stitchers. The three-hatters (as I was; let's not remember the Christmas yarmulke as Hat V1.0.) These people are to be disdained by the bloggers.

Knitting is so personally satisfying, and so should writing be. So am I joining this "community" for me, or to find others? I love reading about others' work; I love the idea that mini-essays and photo-essays can spring up at all times. That I can, as Lucille Clifton said about her poetry, hold an idea in my head all day and write it down at night when the kids are in bed. (That's why, she said, her poems were all so short.)

Why, then, do I keep convincing myself that I shouldn't or can't or won't write? I love to write. I am a published writer. I teach other people how to write.

When I wanted to knit, I bought yarn and needles.

I want to write.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Scarf That Started It All

Ok, technically it was a teeny sweater that started it all. Or, waaaay back in 1997, a neighbor's knitted hat that started it all.

But this scarf is where I really caught the bug.

I had been reading and knitting and reading patterns and knitting and learning as much as I could--absorbing this craft in great theoretical gulps--and I wanted to learn to cable. I bought two skeins of this brown Lion WoolEase and went to work on a cabled scarf of my own design for M.

What I love about it:
1. I designed it.
2. M will wear it. He likes it.
3. I love the chocolatey color. I've since learned that all the cool knitters despise WoolEase the same way the cool girls at school, wearing their REAL Keds, despised the imitation Keds from ShopKo, but it's cozy, was an inexpensive tryout, and gave me cable confidence. Not bad for $5 at Jo-Anns.

What I'd change:
1. the seed-stitch-to-cables transition is a little, um, ruffly. Since it was my first cabling experience, I didn't know about the whole pulling in thing. Next time I'd just start in the cable pattern unless it were a scarf for a woman.
2. I'd figure out how to make it reversible, an important scarf quality about which I was semi-ignorant. Melissa Leapman's new book shows how to do this. I don't actually own this book yet, but, oh yes, it will be mine.