Thursday, July 22, 2010

Aaand another six months later....

Time warp. Wow, I have been extremely neglectful!

But there's a lot to say now. Let's jump right in. First of all, I have a KNITTING INTERNSHIP, yes, can you believe it?!?!?!

Basically I'm working with Shannon Okey, renowned designer and author, in Cleveland, OH for the summer, helping her with a large publishing project-- a series of ten books, "Fresh Designs", each containing ten patterns from designers on Ravelry. Each book has a theme-- hats, sweaters, kids, etc. So mostly I've just been contacting designers and working out the details and so on.

I am also doing a bit of a side-internship. I work one day a week at Fine Points, an excellent yarn shop in Larchmere, which is about ten minutes away from where I live. I'm learning quite a lot about high-end yarns. When I first started knitting, I always went for the expensive, sexy yarns, but as time went on I began to just stock up at my local craft store with low-end yarns. They worked fine, but only now am I realizing how much I missed out on. There is a WORLD of incredible, gorgeous fiber out there that I am just discovering. I'm not going to touch on just how much money I've been spending on yarn. That's not important. But I now have two projects in process, one which I'm going to start very soon, and two more ideas gesticulating in my head.

So here we go.....


Lacy scarf in Noro Sekku, a cobweb-weight (ever heard that before?) yarn from the famous guys over in Japan. Noro is an incredible company with colorways and textures like you have never seen before. I snatched up a ball of Sekku, a really really skinny cotton/wool/nylon/silk blend, in dye lot 7A. The colorway is: bright magenta pinks which change into a moody purple/brown color, then a gorgeous jade blue, grass green, and beige. I haven't even reached all the colors yet because Noro is well-known for its very long color repeats. One color will go on for many yards before transitioning into the next.

My first idea was a really light summer cardigan, which I'd work with another yarn I bought. I even swatched a few lace patterns with it, holding the two yarns together. But nothing really germinated and I kind of lost interest. I didn't have enough yardage to make any kind of garment, and I'm not really an "accessories" type of person... I don't wear scarves, armbands, shawls, that kind of thing. But I really wanted to do something with the yarn. So I spent a while scrolling through laceweight patterns on Ravelry and I saw a cool scarf done in a kind of seafoam pattern, which creates these kind of waves of long strands of yarn made by dropped yarnovers. Here it is:
Not such a great picture. But you get it.


Bell Curve Skirt from Knitty:

Fell in love. Spent all day at work shopping for the yarn I'd use. Finally decided on Rowan Cotton Denim. A denim skirt!! I just cast on and knit the first few rows and my hands are blue:

Here's a picture of the yarn I bought today for the project:

It's this gorgeous, irresistible deep, deep, deep navy blue. But the dye is coming off on my skin and the needles too. Oy. Once I wash it for the first time, I think it should be okay. But until then my hands will be permanently stained.


It's a Ravelry/KnitGrrl read/knit-a-long. Long story short, it's a group of people who are all reading the same book (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and knitting the same sock:

DISCLAIMER: this is just a picture of the sock, I did not make this!!!!

It's a sock designed by my boss, Shannon, and another sock designer. So I've got the pattern, and Shannon gave me some gorgeous sock yarn to choose from. I choose this blue/jade, despite there being at least two other incredible options. This one just spoke to me. I love these deep colors!!

(I recently realized that most of my knitting falls into the same color palette: purple, pink, and jade blue.)

So I'll be starting the sock soon. I hope I have the right size dpns. Or I can try it with two circs, which I've never done. But I don't think I have two size 3 circs anyway. I'll figure it out.


Bought this GORGEOUS, INCREDIBLE, RIDICULOUS-weight silk lace yarn a few weeks ago when I first got here, along with the Noro:

I couldn't stop feeling it, it was soooo silky soft, and the color is so gorgeous, this beautiful soft purple with hints of pink and variations in shade, and with just the right amount of sheen. Unfortunately, it wasn't long before I realized that I had no idea what to do with it. The gauge is absolutely silly. It's like 12 or 13 stitches to an inch. I mean, it would take years to make anything. But I spent a LOT on the yarn and it IS really gorgeous, so I have a plan. My plan is to make these gloves:

PLAN. It's just a PLAN at this point. But it's basically the only thing I found with a similar gauge that I would ever actually use or wear. I wish I were more of a scarf-wearing type-- I mean, it would make it a lot easier to get rid of my stash while looking stylish. But that kind of fashion ability is completely my sister's arena, not mine. The gloves look ridiculously complicated, but there is one benefit-- they are knit flat. I knit a glove once-- it was my first blog post. And it was a terrible failure. Because knitting fourteen stitches on three dpns is basically a nightmare that I have no desire to ever do again. So the fact that these gloves are knit flat and seamed is definitely a plus. We'll see if it ever actually happens.

POSSIBLE PROJECT #3: Winter hat.

I don't really have a vision for this one, but I do have the yarn. I bought it at the Larchmere Bazaar Bizarre, a craft fair that Shannon helps run. I met a really cool girl who dyes all her yarn in one-skein batches, so there's never any more than one colorway the same. Meaning I only got one skein of this pretty, fingering-weight yarn, and now I don't know what to do with it:

The picture doesn't really do it justice-- it's mostly a maroon, purpley color with browns and a little green and it's got a really nice, soft feel. I tried to make a skirt for a while-- which was part of a dress, and the design is actually really pretty and I'd like to make it someday-- but I kept hating it and pulling it out and finally I just gave up and wound it. There really isn't enough for the skirt of a dress anyway. So now I'm thinking winter hat. Probably won't happen for a while.

And finally, one actually COMPLETED project!

It's a head scarf for my very good friend and former bat sherut, Shira. She's getting married in Jerusalem in two weeks and I decided to make her a tichle, because observant Jewish women cover their hair after they get married. I didn't find any patterns or really know what I was doing, so I just shopped around for a nice white yarn and sketched some ideas and came up with this:

It's Rowan Cotton Glace. I haven't really been a huge fan of cotton in the past because it's really heavy and can be rough and usually splits really easily. But this yarn is soft and very very pretty. I decided to make it white because I thought she might want to wear it on Shabbat, and I put in a neat gold accent on the front edge with a grain slip stitch. I used a little curls stitch pattern from my favorite go-to stitch book, "Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns." The pattern makes little bumps, kind of. The design of the whole thing was totally improvised because I really didn't know how to go about making a knit object that would fit nicely around the head. This was the final shape:

Originally I had planned to pick up from each side front edge and knit a long, thin tie so it could be tied around the back of the head, but I decided to put buttons on the back instead because the edges overlapped. Besides, long thin knit strips would have curled and been bulky. So today I bought some cool wooden buttons and sewed them on. Since I didn't plan for buttonholes, it was a little tricky, but the ladies at Fine Points gave me a great suggestion-- sewing the pretty buttons on the outside of the fabric, and then on the inside right behind them, little shirt buttons that then buttoned into small buttonholes that I simply stretched and whipstitched in the knitted fabric. It looks like this:

Not a great picture, it was a tough angle. But you get the idea-- two large buttons mostly for decoration, and the smaller buttons sewed directly behind the big buttons. The little buttons are therefore a little tricky and I hope they don't give Shira too much trouble. I'm going to mail it to a friend who is going to Israel next week and will be at the wedding. I really hope she likes it and that it is wearable.

PHEW... I hope you are all satisfied, I stuffed a ton into this post. (And by "you all", I mean Mom.)

I'll try to be better with updating. Now that I actually am knitting, there will be more to say.


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