24 October 2006

knit one of by land, purl two if by sea

Careful readers (of which I expect there are few) will notice a change of theme—the 'Bunnies Knit' absurdity was a placeholder until I came across something a little more fitting. Now, knitting by sea... I may not do much of it, for certain, but the ocean has always been my home, and the change suits me. It's more serious, and better still, brings together (even if in a purely cosmetic way) two of my greatest loves.

The base image, for those interested, is from a photograph I took on Fire Island (New York). The inspiration comes, perhaps, from a few of my favorite poems, which have been turning over and over in my mind often, as of late:

from 'Exiled', by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I should be happy!—that was happy
All day long on the coast of Maine;
I have a need to hold and handle
Shells and anchors and ships again!

I should be happy... that am happy
Never at all since I came here.
I am too long away from water.
I have a need of water near.

and (unknown), by Anna Akhmatova

Seaside gusts of wind,
And a house in which we don’t live,
And the shadow of a cherished cedar
In front of a forbidden window...
Perhaps there is someone in this world
To whom I could send all these lines. Well then!
Let the lips smile bitterly
And a tremor touch the heart again.

In any case, do enjoy the new theme; it looks to be the final draft of this largely invisible experiment.


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'In the Woods' (a note)

Few knitters inspire in the way that Stephanie Pearl-McPhee does. Do not for once second think that there are not a slew of other knitters out there that leave me in complete awe, because there surely are—but that lovely woman who calls herself the Yarn Harlot (an unfair moral judgement, perhaps—but, I believe, lovingly said) manages to tie in life-lessons with knitting in ways that leave me feeling both breathless and inspired.

Do read her latest entry, In the Woods, if you can spare the time (and I suggest that you do).

Perhaps I should take her advice. I've only been knitting for a year, but I've moved past scarves and other rectangles, and gotten a fair taste of cables, lace, and socks, all without receiving an ounce of help from another person in these endeavors—and that has to be worth something. One day, I'm going to knit an heirloom shawl (perhaps sooner, even, than I expect) and when that day comes, I don't want to feel ashamed at how long it took me, at how many mistakes I made in the process, at how many hours I wasted by ripping back row, after row, after agonizing row. I don't want to feel ashamed of that experience, or act excessively modest of the product, but proud. There is truth in saying that knitting is not difficult; there is an equal amount of truth in saying it is.


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22 October 2006

yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

But why is the rum gone?

It's pretty obvious that I have no use for a pirate-style tricorn hat, but damned if I'm not intrigued all the same. Someone really needs to talk me out of adding this to my list of things to knit (It'll have to wait until I have my own washer/dryer, due to the felting). I mean, it'd never get any use---but it's just so hilarious and awesome that despite the fact that it clearly looks better in leather, the temptation is hard to ignore.

I don't know what it is about the allure of the pirate---but I remember playing games with my cousin when I was younger, and he had the Edward England (or was it the Calico Jack?---my memory fails me) flying from his fort; it's no surprise, perhaps. I've always felt I belonged to a different era, even as a child. There's something lovely about romanticising the past, is there not? Then again, maybe I just long to wear a fancy dress and corset.

Either way, I think the tricorn hat will probably never get knit---but it does seem like a fun project all the same.

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11 October 2006

learn by doing

It's interesting to see how people all over the place can make the same mistakes, without even realizing it. My mistake? The gusset---perhaps unsurprisingly. That whole "pick up and knit" thing that you're supposed to do somehow slipped [knitting pun---get it?] right by me. Literally, I picked up the stitches (just one side, not two), and knit into it through the back of the loop (to keep things tight and neat). Evidently, I did more than make up the ktbl. part; I did it entirely wrong.

I'm in good company, though. Grumperina did the same thing on her first pair of socks. And you know what? I'm happy with this method. I think I'll stick with it. Deviant behavior (and social control?) ahoy.

Either way, I have officially finished my first sock ever, which is entirely too exciting. As seems to be the case with me and learning new knitting-type techniques, learning how to sew up the toe with the kitchener stitch was quite simple. I did make some other mistakes on the toe, mind you (thanks to my own carelessness, more than anything), but we'll come to that next time. Huzzah! :)

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08 October 2006

ah, October, mums!

I've made a bit more progress on the jaywalkers---indeed, since this photo was taken, even---so I think that in a few more rounds I should finally be able to start the toe. It should be quite the adventure!

It looks to me as if the heel flap should have been longer (I guess I really do have big feet---but I'm only a size 8), but they feel fine, so I'm willing to leave it as-is, and I won't make any alterations for the second sock (lest they feel different on my feet, which would drive me bonkers).

In the meantime, I've cast on for the first hedera sock, as well. I think breaking up the pair will help keep me more interested in the second one of each set---but more importantly, I want to do the toe in the quiet of my apartment, so I needed a new travel project (I don't have another size 1 circ. to start the second jaywalker sock). I'm doing it in a deep red color, which I think will look really nice in the end. Pictures will come when I actually have something worthy of taking a picture of. :)

In the meantime, a breath of October---

Ah, mums. I love them so.

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