I'm off again!
Olympic Sweater (But which Olympics?)
How interesting then yesterday to see VK feature on its Fall '08 cover, the design work of blogger extraordinaire Brooklyn Tweed and its cover story be that of knitting mittens. (Mittens typically don't spring to mind as the stuff of the uber sophisticate do they?)
If I'm not mistaken and I could well be but I think VK has also moved its newsstand date up into the first week of August, beating IK into the market by 10 days or so.
Then yesterday, a few days? after the release of the Fall VK previews on line I receive a e-notice from IK offering a free pattern on line for fingerless mitts (what a coincidence!) as well as featuring already published patterns for two other fingerless designs.
I see VK acting via its traditional print medium. IK is reacting on line.
If VK is squaring off against IK for readership, its nothing but good news for knitters, our favoured designers and their featured yarns.
If you're in the market to knit anything for your hands this fall and winter you already see what I mean!
Dreaming in Colour
BO all sts.
So I set up everything on the screened porch. Its "outside" in the fresh air and breeze with three sides of screening but safely protected from the raging mosquitos this summer's wet weather is helping to sustain. A pot of hot coffee and the birds for intermittent entertainment through the binoculars were all I needed to crawl through that uninspiring bit of business.So Bonbon is done at last but the FO post will have to wait. We're just back in the city and the week's laundry from two locations - city and lakeside - must be attended to before I can spend time Soaking and blocking. I must admit I'm eager to see what the process does to the colour work as well as the large sections of plain stockinette.
By the way it was so nice to come home to comments on Imprint. Thank you!
Imprint is Done
Pattern: Imprint Tank - Interweave Knits Summer 2008
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Cotton - White (101), Light Blue (#403), Dark Blue (#404)
Start: June 28 Finish: July 15, 2008
Pattern Modifications - None
It even fits! (Of course I'd like to it to look slightly different than it does but as my son pointed out, its a hand knit, not plastic surgery.)
I love the fact the graphic runs up the back! This is a great pattern. I'm kind of curvy and many patterns don't work for me but this one is definitely designed with a woman's body in mind.
As my first attempt at intarsia I'm just guessing but it seemed that the 1824 Cotton's nubby texture aided in making the colour changes look nice and even as the bumps in the yarn kind of grabbed and held each other - I imagine this wouldn't be the case for a smooth cotton yarn.
The way the neckline is installed to continue the graphic up the collar is easy and effective. I was afraid it wouldn't sit properly on the shoulder and/or neck but it's fine.
Similarly the arm holes don't gape and they provide enough coverage that I don't feel like I need to keep adjusting anything while wearing it.
I am a tight English style knitter - the cotton is hard on my hands and I hurt my wrist close to the end of the knitting. While I was working on this my knitting opportunities were fairly limited. Despite this it was just 2 1/2 weeks from store to blocking. It was a fun knit - the circles being quite entertaining all the while it was on the needles. Fortunately my wrist brace didn't interfere with all the sewing in of ends. More care with loading the bobbins would have avoided a lot of the ends I had to deal with. I'll anticipate that aspect better next time I work with intarsia.
I was reading somewhere on line that weaving in cotton ends doesn't work because they quickly work their way out again. As I worked the back I did as that article recommended and tied square knots and closely trimmed the ends whenever I joined a newly loaded bobbin. They stayed tight throughout the knitting of that side and the collar so I adopted the system for the front as well. I may add a touch of fray check at the end of each trimmed piece. I am quite paranoid this knotting and trimming approach won't work. I'll have to just wait and see (and keep a close eye on those joins) I guess.
The numerous ends at collar and bottom edges though were carefully woven in and away from the slightly rolled edge (after tying square knots) so if the inside is ever visible due to rolling there aren't stubby ends sticking out on view.
So it was fun, it fits and it was quick. I'm even wearing it today en route back to the cottage. Hopefully today's trip will be shorter and sweeter than the epic journey last weekend!
Bonbon is on deck for completion over the next couple of days. We will have a house load of friends visiting the kids but that should actually free up some time for me.
Thanks for dropping by - FO's are exciting but more fun to have other knitters with whom to share them! Happy knitting everyone!
Oops my weekend ran a bit long...
There's a lot of work to get us fully installed at the cottage for the summer - last Friday it took me a full 11 hours to get our crew from here to there - from packing and gassing up to groceries through rush hour out of the city on a Friday to dinner en route then unload into the boat (by this time in the dark) to crossing the lake (we have no road to our cottage we must always boat in) to carrying everything up from the boat then unpacking clothes, food, wool. Phew!
If only they disappeared that easily in real life!
I'll have to post about each of these when time allows but does it ever feel good to get two sweaters out of the knitting basket and onto the finished list!
In the days after the majority of our number had returned to the city to work for the week I did also get to enjoy a few other knitterly diversions. I had visited the library before heading north last week and picked up a bit of inspirational reading...
The day we headed into town (For even more groceries etc.) I also made my first visit of the season to fabric and home decor store on the main street that doubles as the LYS. Other than cotton for dishcloths and some Briggs and Little and Patons Wool pretty much everything they stock is novelty yarn but they have a fairly good notions department and tons of patterns and pattern books. Again these run towards the traditional Patons type but frankly its hard to find those things in Toronto.
I bought a few little things for my knitting tool kit and picked up this little booklet after reading Ms. Pearl McPhee's recommendation on it this past spring....
Now I don't want to suggest I was the only one who was busy around our cottage over the past week - it would appear one of our "neighbours" was also working hard...
Hopefully some of the forest will still be standing by the weekend!
I'm off to dig into the stash - two projects end, three more begin - isn't that how it goes?
If I just ignore it, it WILL go away!
I jammed my wrist. I pretended I was fine.
Before bed I took some Advil and donned one of the wrist splints I have from my days of struggling with Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.
It felt better upon waking but after a couple of hours without the splint its starting to pain again.
Mr. Splint and I will now be spending the day together and probably overnight tonight as well. Today will be too filled with weekend prep to fit any knitting in so the fact I won't be knitting will have nothing to do with whatever troubled state my wrist might be in. I have some big finishes planned for the weekend and I don't want a stupid strain or sprain messing with my intended knitting schedule!
I'm stubborn in the extreme - does it show?
Happy Weekend everyone!
Its no use at home with the pattern books...
A Wall of Heat
On the west side of the house I have blinds lined with black out fabric that do a fantastic job of keeping things equally comfortable during the long late afternoon and early evening.
With school out, the house in summer has a mellow, open minded, spontaneous energy. I try to say "yes" to the majority of the kid's requests as well as the odd inclination to just sit down in the middle of the day and knit. I love having cool drinks and seasonal fruit washed and grab able from the fridge. Give me shady coolness over frigid AC-induced cold any day.
Imprint has got to be the perfect summer knitting project and its moving along nicely. I'm about to begin the straight section of the front which will go as quickly and easily as the back did if I can fight my usual habit of having my mind wander around once I think I have the hang of something. This is the moment when disaster typically strikes my knitting projects. The shady back porch under our huge maple tree with a view of the garden is my knitting locale of choice and its all the more so as we await new railings to be installed - I'm enjoying the unobstructed view while I can. I'm not sure this really helps with the wandering mind though...I've moved my knitting to a big antique wash basin. Resting the needle holding the work across the top of the bowl keeps the bobbins all hanging straight and minimizes the time I need to take to untangle them every time I pick up the work to knit. The old crackled white ironstone and bright new cotton yarn is uber summery!
Speaking of "summery" - I'm loving the way this blog evokes the mountains in summer and summer knitting all rolled into one. Quite inspiring while sitting on my little porch in the big city.
My Knitting Heros
As is listed at the side, I currently have a three knitting heroes. Last month, on the occasion of her birthday I went on and on about why Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is one of my knitting heroes. Today I thought I might dedicate the post to the hero at the top of my list... Eunny Jang
I stumbled onto "See Eunny Knit" from a link on the Brooklyn Tweed blog. The post I found had her lamenting she was lacking enthusiasm for knitting from her cue. (I could relate to that!) Her solution was the design of the Endpaper Mitts (I couldn't relate to being able to design anything - especially anything like that!). About them she wrote that they were "...a spontaneous, light bagatelle of a knit" - just what she needed at the time.
A glance into the margin revealed her Bayerische socks. These, she said, "really shine on the foot". "Really shine"? Another huge understatement! They're gorgeous! They're flawlessly knit! She was just giving the pattern away as if people wouldn't pay for it!
I bookmarked the blog and went away haunted that I'd found something special. I would have to return to explore further.
Eventually I poured through all the archives of "See Eunny Knit". There were design insights, illustrated observations on fit, technique tutorials and notes on the performance of yarns. There was also beautiful, beautiful knitting. She described knitting with musical references and references to art history. She effused about the effect a carefully placed line of stitches might make in a design. She modelled shots of F.O.'s while clarifying and illustrating pattern modifications for better custom fit.
She demonstrated it all - skill, artistry, passion, and ability to communicate so as to both clarify and inspire. I wondered how long before she would need to turn her energies to something bigger and better than this incredible blog? Soon thereafter the intervals between posts become longer and the posts more brief.
Then she posted of her appointment as the new Editor of Interweave Knits magazine. Her first issue (Fall '07) hit the stands and sold out. (Its currently the favourite magazine on Ravelry)
In her inaugural Letter from the Editor she writes "The thing I've always loved most about knitting is the sense of unlimited possibility... there's always something new to try, something new to write about or read about or share, and new ways to do it...there's so much in store."
Unlimited potential and possibilities - that's how I view knitting and life in general. Eunny Jang demonstrates the notion of spectacular potential in everything we do - knitting being no exception. This why she is my number one knitting hero.
Flip through a current issue of IK and you see the evidence of that point of view emerging since she took the helm. The changes in format, the number of photos of each design the cross references within the book and to past issues. It all comes together to make the projects so much more accessible and inspiring than in the past. While I may have once seen a sweater or two that I thought about knitting, now, to me, any and all of them seem truly possible. Because of Eunny I may even steek!
She titled her post announcing her appointment March 17th of just last year "Oh the places we'll go!" - also the title of Dr. Suess's last book - the one he wrote about moving onwards and upwards. That's where I'm headed with my knitting. And my hero Eunny with her brilliantly revamped magazine and of course the archives that are still on line of her blog, is helping me get there.
In our crazy world today our two countries have such a unique relationship.
We are lucky here in Canada to count you as friend and neighbour.
(And I feel privileged to host so many of you here in my little corner of the knitblogosphere)
Have a great holiday!
Blue, White, Cool Cotton and No Sleeves!
Bottom line on intarsia is the back of the work right?;)
Tonight's knitting goal ...finish this side - 5 more inches on the armholes (another circle and a half or so of the graphic ) then its onto the stitch holder and cast on, set up the bobbins for side two. There's a softball game that as mom I will be "watching" with knitting in hand so this is doable - I just have to find a spot to sit alone without distraction. I can knit and watch the game, OR knit and chat OR chat and watch. Oh did I mention the prospect of no sleeves to knit is nothing short of thrilling?!
The Call of the Wild (froggies)
That old recurring struggle to find patterns I want to wear and that suit me and that are also entertaining to knit reared its ugly little head again.
The helix socks were entertaining and nothing more. Not enough. And those little froggies across the way just kept pushing me to do something about it. So I ripped. They're gone from my knitting basket and from my list of works in progress.
Happy Canada Day!
Then I learned it was for me and saw that it contained more red goodness! I can't tell you how thrilled I was. I absolutely do not deserve such a gorgeous gift for sitting with her and talking about knitting!