Monday, October 13, 2014

Latest in my library

Both of my newest knitting books are Scandinavian and published by Trafalgar Square Books (not in London, but Vermont).

First is Viking Knits & Ancient Ornaments by Elsebeth Lavold. The designs are what Lavold calls interlace patterns. Think of gorgeous, super-complex cables. There are photographs and sketches of her inspirations. Amid Viking pieces are bits of stone made by Mayans, Roman mosaics, carvings from Nigeria, and lots more. There are patterns for some really beautiful and challenging sweaters. I have no immediate plans to make something from this book, but I expect that I will. Lavold's book Viking Patterns for Knitting is coming out in paperback next year. I've already got it on order at Amazon. Maybe I'll start with that one.

The other book is Norwegian Knits with a Twist by Arne & Carlos. I enjoyed the previous Arne & Carlos books that I have, so I knew I'd like this one. The book explains the various parts of a traditional Scandinavian sweater. It's the kind with bands of patterns and then most of the body is one color with single stitches of a contrasting color on it. I learned that the single stitches are known as lice. Somehow, I think I could've lived my life happily without that particular piece of information. The patterns are based on the traditional sweater but with the twist from the title. Light and dark switch their usual places. Sweater designs appear on hats, pillows, rugs, socks, and even a teddy bear. That last one is probably what will get me first.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Hippo Birdie 2 Me

My name is Paula and I'm a senior citizen. Words like pension and Medicare and social security are actual things that relate to my life. I'm having a bit of a problem facing this fact. Therefore, I bought myself a leather motorcycle jacket for my birthday today. I didn't buy a motorcycle. That would be completely insane. I'm sure that the first time I tried to climb on one, it would fall on top of me. I'd need one of those "I've fallen and I can't get up" necklaces. (That, by the way, is something that's becoming not funny all of a sudden). Anyway, I decided that I needed a hat to go with the jacket. I found a braid of mystery fiber (I think it is wool) in shades of blue and have been spinning it. That's the blue in the picture below.

The other yarns are clue #2 in the Kaffe Fassett KAL. It's the same as clue #1 only with different colors. Bummer. I hope the squares aren't all stripes done on the diagonal. The good thing is that the rest of the yarn for the afghan has arrived. A couple of the colors are a different dye lot from the first batch. I can't see a difference between the dye lots. Even if I could, it wouldn't matter. It's highly unlikely that I'll run so low on yarn that knitting from two different lots would even touch each other.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

D'oh!

I miscalculated the yarn for the Kaffe Fassett knitalong. I hate it when I do things like that. I wanted to finish the first set of squares, so I found some fingering yarn that was very close to the correct color. I knit with it doubled and it worked out. Additional yarn has been ordered so the rest of the afghan should be okay. Here's square 1:

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Happy Blogoversary/Crazy cat lady rant

I've been trying to find out when I started this silly excuse for a blog. I couldn't determine it for sure. My best guess is 2007. It would've been right after I was able to sign up for Ravelry. ::geezer voice:: Those were the good old days. You'd check the queue every day to see when your estimated date to join might be.

I've been cleaning out closets. This has resulted in the discovery of socks. Many, many, many pairs of socks. I never appreciated how obsessed I was with knitting socks until now. I actually have a lifetime supply of hand knit socks. I'm admittedly not a young person, but it's still a ridiculous number of socks.

I think this is why I've managed to complete one sweater start to finish without distraction. I'd have the darn thing washed and blocked except for the Elderly Cat Problem. Misty is 16 years old. Sometimes she chooses somewhere other than her litterbox to perform litterbox-appropriate activities. Most recently, she ruined my purse and soaked my license plate renewal forms. Gross! I can't think of a place where I can put a blocked sweater flat to dry where she couldn't get at it. I don't know what motivates her to behave like this. The purse ruining took some serious effort. I think the sweater will need to be pinned to the foam squares and leaned against a wall.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Knit-a-Long

Did I say I was swearing off of KALs? I lied. Knit Rowan is sponsoring a Kaffe Fassett mystery afghan. Shopping lists have already been released for four different colorways: red, brown, turquoise, and pastel. Instructions will be in multiple languages, too.

I feel a little bit guilty for getting KnitPicks yarn instead of Rowan, but it is less than half the cost this way. At least I have several of Kaffe Fassett's books. He combines colors and patterns in such wonderful ways.

I wasn't able to match all of the colors, but I think these will work. It's my interpretation of the pastel colorway:

It may be called pastel, but I don't think it'll end up looking like a baby blanket.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Blankie Who?

This was done to use up the leftovers from the Longer on the Inside scarf. It was also done to do a bunch of Doctor Who-themed dishcloth squares into a single thing. I ran out of yarn before completing what I'd planned, so I crocheted a border with the leftover leftovers. It needs to be bigger to be useful, so I may expand it in the future.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

I can't do bamboo

This is the very pretty yarn I got from the SpaceCadet Yarn Alliance:
It's 80% bamboo, 20% merino. I haven't met a plant fiber yet that I like. My odd knitting style doesn't lend itself to plant fibers. They cut into my hands as I knit and it's really unpleasant. Hmm, maybe I can play with this with one of my little looms. That would keep my hands pretty much completely out of the mix.

I've been sticking with the Grandpa Cardigan and am within about 5" of the body being done.

I bailed on my mystery mittens. I think I chose a bad combination of yarns and maybe a bad needle size too. The mittens that other people are doing are pretty. Mine are not.