Friday, November 17, 2006

Sick... Again!

It seems that a month can't go by lately without me getting some virus. I wash my hands so much at work that you'd think I was OCD, but I still catch something. I need to stop working with people who have children under 5 yrs. old, the little germ factories, grumble grumble. These are the purple/green Artyarns Supermerino socks I started for myself and gave to my sort-of-mother-in-law. I've finally started a pair for myself that I'm determined to actually keep for myself - they're cream, black, and light green - but I don't have a picture of the one sock I've completed just yet.

The worst part about being sick the past two days is that I'm falling behind on my knitting / crocheting schedule. Sure, I'm nearly done with one of the flip-tops of the fingerless gloves / mittens I'm making (Sorry! No photo yet!), and I'm about an inch and half into the top of the crocheted dress... and I swatched for a crochet project I'm planning, and did a couple rows on a red Sockotta sock I'm working on, but that just means I can focus a couple minutes here and there. If I felt fine, and didn't have a pounding headache constantly, I'd have those mittens done, as well as half the top. *tortured sigh*

However, not being at work doesn't bother me in the slightest: I get sick pay.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Back of skirt

With the help of Flickr, here is a photo of the crocheted dress thus far:

Chibi for scale.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Crocheting Away

This, in case you didn't know, is the 1920's dress I am crocheting:
It's three pieces: top, back of skirt, and front of some sewing and garnishing. I was feeling panicky all week about whether I'd be able to meet the Dec. 14th deadline of the office holiday party, but I'm happy to say I am 1/3 done! ...give or take some sewing, etc.

Unfortunately, Blogger won't unload the photo I took.

I'll try to get it up in Flickr some time this week.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

This about sums it up.

Except, of course, that the test doesn't ask why you're paranoid.

I'd say my largest personality flaw is my desire to avoid confrontation and just get along. This involves not getting hit by cars, too. I'd say it's pretty natural for someone who doesn't believe in an afterlife to want to stay alive as long as possible, don't you?

I've only taken one other personality quiz on-line, the Harry Potter one, and I came out Severus Snape. Really, I'm not that bad, folks. Honest. Dumbledore ordered me to do it.

Easy One Skein Noro Hat

A very serious hat.

Materials: 1 skein Noro Silk Garden, 1 set 4.25 mm double-pointed knitting needles (or circulars), large darning needle.

Size: One Size

Gauge: 6s = 1” / 10 cm worked in 2x1 (k2, p1) rib, unstretched.

CO 105s and join for working in round, being careful not to twist.
k1, p1, *k2, p1, repeat from * until last s in row, k1.
Repeat in established pattern until piece measures about 7 ½” (19 cm).
If using dpns, divide the stitches evenly onto two needles.
Kitchener* closed (I advise against binding off, since it uses up yarn that could go onto making pompoms.)

This is a great opportunity for beginning pompoms makers. Part of what I like about this hat is that the pompoms are not fat, fluffy, overeager things. They are wimpy pompoms, so don’t worry if your pompoms suck. I made my pompoms by wrapping the yarn around the end of a 2” / 4 cm wide needle gauge ten times, cutting the end, sliding the yarn carefully free and tying it tightly around the middle with a 4” / 10 cm length of yarn. I cut the loops of the “pompom”, threaded the ends of the tie onto a large needle and sewed it onto the tips of the hat. Then I did it again. Just about any other method can be used, provided you don’t run out of yarn.

* There are plenty of free tutorials on the web for either technique if you haven't done this before.

Hats! Hats! Hats!

Just because I'm not posting often does not mean I am not knitting, folks. I am a busy bee.

Especially where hats are concerned.

Basic black seaman's cap. Yes, another one. This one is in superwash merino for my friend, Bob, who was expecting one last winter before I was derailed by all that X-mas knitting. Sorry, Bob!

The only X-mas knitting I am doing this year (Really! I mean it!) is this cabled version of the seaman's cap for my dad, a project that has been largely motivated by my suspicion that my dad has not hand washed the seaman's cap I made him last year, but is still wearing it, nevertheless. This is a humanitarian effort.

If you're at all interested how I worked the cables, leave a comment and I'll post the instructions.

Other stuff
These are not the only hats I've made. I also made a hat from one skein of Noro Silk Garden which I am going to post separately with the pattern.

I'm also still working on the boyfriend sweater, which is an incredible bore. Endless black stockingette! Ugh. I will finish this thing, if just to have it over with finally.

Socks are also happening. The purple Artyarn socks are done, but not mailed, and I've made myself several socks that don't match eachother using the One Sock at a Time Theory of Sock Making that I got from Jeanette this summer - that is, embrace your reluctance to knit that second sock and move on, because you can always get back to the the second sock later when it seems novel again. This worked wonders for her and I'm hoping it will do the same for me.

On the crochet front, I finally have the right yarn to make that 1920's dress. A bit of research revealed to me that it was originally done up in something a lot like embroidery floss. So I took a risk and ordered a 1 lb. cone of 8/2 black weaving tencel - US$25 after shipping for 3360 yds! (You may wonder what I would do with over 3,000 yds of fingering weight yarn if it didn't work out, but unfortunately I do have a few ideas up my sleeve. More than few, actually.) The dress is size 36", with 3 mesh stitches = 1", and the tencel worked up on the same hook to about 3 1/2" mesh stitches = 1", which is what I was hoping for since I am a 34" chest. The tencel is 2-ply, slightly prone to splitting, and slippery as hell. (I admit there was a bit of cursing yesterday when I started, but not enough to scare the cat.) I chose the tencel because it is supposed to have a good drape and sheen and is lighter than cotton. I'm still on the hem of the dress - I'll be there for a while - but I can already tell that this dress will be awesome. I hope to have it done by the office X-mas party since that is the only event I go to all year that is practically black tie.

Crochetting really has an undeserved bad reputation, in my opinion. Of course, I crochetted before I knit, so you could say I have a slight bias, but I'm sticking by that statement. Any craft or technique can create crap. With the possible exception of macrame, this isn't the craft or technique's fault. (I say this because it seems to be about 10x harder to make something tasteful from macrame than, say, knitting or beading. Please correct me if I'm wrong.) Which begs the question: Why is it that the only patterns in crochetting magazines these days that are halfway decent are mainly knitting? Why? Why? Perhaps I should embark on a personal crusade to improve the name of crochet, eh? Right after this dress. And all those knit socks. And the darned boyfriend sweater.