Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Another FO!

Actually, I have something else to show you, too. Pictures are going to be slow - I've been busy with EMT stuff, finishing, and dancing, on top of my camera spazzing out! But I'll give you a hint about what else I'm going to be posting as soon as I can get my hot little hands on some buttons:

It's like this, only way, waaaay better.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A tiny secret.

I have something to show you.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Finished Object: Hexacomb Cardigan

One of my goals for the summer was to finish as many wips as possible, and I am happy to say that I have been dutifully (read: obsessively) plugging away at that very goal. After New York, Emily's family was kind enough to send a few boxes home for me. In my excitement to get back to the west coast, I forgot to keep any major projects with me. Which, of course, caused an irrational desire to buttonband, sew, block, and button the shit out of anything I could get my hands on... complicated only by the small fact that my boxes and works in progress were in a UPS facility somewhere in North Dakota. After receiving my boxes a few weeks ago, I warily eyed the crumpled pile of Cotsoy Hexacomby goodness that was shoved in a big canvas Knitty bag in the bottom of a box that was mostly occupied by rice cooker, boots, and an EMT book.

My poor little cardigan, so diligently completed except for finishing before leaving New York, was cast aside for the finishing of scandalous underwear, a scarf, another sweater, and (gasp) a newer, younger lace project. No wonder little Hexacomb sobbed and wrinkled in her box for weeks.

So, as a form of apology, I brought her out into the sun today. We took a field trip to Cultured Purls out in Issaquah, where I have been spending many hours petting yarn and working on my lace project lately. All of the people I've met there have been super nice, and Hexacomb was only too happy to be caressed with a new, slick pair of Addi Turbos and fawned over by interested customers. In return for my renewed interest in her soft hand, simple but beautiful stitch pattern, and drooly amounts of drape, she was very cooperative. I finished her button bands, sewed up her sleeves, and wove in her ends this afternoon; tonight I gave her a bath, tried to shape her with pins (which she did not like) and finally gave up and just put her on damp, shrugged her off, and shaped her with my fingers.
As you can probably tell, the yarn didn't like absorbing water. The discoloration was the result of an impatient soaking, because I wanted her shoulders to lay flat. I can't wait to get buttons, because Hexi... oh, she is damn cute.

Hopefully I can coerce my mother or one of my friends to take some real FO pictures. Stay tuned to see Hexacomb in all of her blue cotton/soy sassiness!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Swingy Pants and a Magenta Bag

About a week ago, I went to the Fireworks in my local mall and fell in love with a bag. It was magenta with green cherry blossoms, leather, and absolutely huge. There was a smaller brown version, but I am particularly enamored of pink in general, not to mention that brown does not look awesome with black pants, which is what I mostly wear. So, after almost an hour of deliberation in the store this morning, I decided that

a) the bag is adorable.

b) it is totally big enough for knitting projects, notebooks, textbooks, and even probably a toothbrush and clean t-shirt for the odd sleepover. Or maybe an elephant.

c) it has pockets so I don't have to scrape the bottom of my bag for my keys and phone. This has been driving me batshit lately.

d) hi, my name is Cory and magenta rocks my socks.

So I bought it and tried not to wince at the price of $95. (Teeny little Coach bags go for much more, right?) The girl at the cash register noticed that I was wearing my crocodile/birdie necklace, which was also from Fireworks. I love most things in there, even if some are wildly impractical. Speaking of wildly impractical, these pants are from a recent vintage haul at Stella in Issaquah, which I can't say enough wonderful things about. The owner goes to estate sales and finds lots of old, often designer things, like high-waisted, flared, black polka dot pants. I nearly died of fabulousness when I found these. I've already worn them twice - once to a 4th of July party at a friend's house, and another time out and about.

In conclusion, my swingy pants and I are going to Charleston class tonight. Yesssss!

Friday, July 11, 2008

A little orange sweater...

I've been knitting for about three years, and even though I'd like to say that I've been able to rise to every challenge that sticks and string have thrown at me, that's not quite true. I have friends whose first projects were entrelac and lace, and have only moved onto cables, colorwork, and design. I've managed to tackle all but two of those things that I consider on my list of challenging knit techniques. I've done Fair Isle, cables, steeking, lace, socks, and sweaters. But now that I've fallen so completely in love with every single facet of knitting, I feel as though it's time for me to try a little designing.

Ever since I was a little kid, I've loved to combine challenging colors. My mother would send me to preschool some mornings wearing a pink floral skirt, kelly green tights, and a red shirt - and all because I demanded that I dress myself. My dad took to calling me Sneech in my teens, due to the stripy rainbow socks that I wore beneath long, hippie-styled skirts, huge black plaid pants, or even jeans and my ubiquitous gray Oberlin sweatshirt*. I've changed my dress sense a little bit since then, but I still love loud colors as accents. Orange, in particular, is a favorite. I have a puffy, knee-length orange winter coat that I fell in love with in a Lands' End catalog when I was seventeen and bought for the long, snowy winters of Ohio. This coat has been loved to death. Buttons are missing, and the cuffs are gray with dirt. I got the coat in the mail the day that I had to leave Oberlin after two of my friends died in a murder. I wore it on the train, napped in it, and went for late-night grocery runs in it. Girls would stop me in the aisles and tell me what a great color it was. So I have a special fondness for both the coat and the color... and luckily, I happen to have a skein of handspun, hand-dyed baby alpaca in almost the same shade, that I bought at the San Juan County Fair the summer after my senior year of high school. This yarn has stuck around with me for two years, and I think that I've finally found something to do with it.

I think I'm going to keep it simple, with details in the picot trim and ribbon right under the bust. I like the idea of the dark purple ribbon clashing/contrasting with the (ridiculously violent) orange of the sweater. I want the sweater to be fitted, but to have enough ease to fit a button-up shirt or camisole underneath it. I haven't figured out how to attach a picot trim to the neckline of the sweater, or how exactly to plan the math in order to make the ribbing fit my 29-inch ribcage, and, two inches later, my 37-inch bust. I'm thinking that short rows might be in order. But I'm excited to swatch for this project. I really hope that I can finish it before school starts, so that I can show it to my knitting students this fall!

*I've been an Oberlin fan since I was fifteen, after walking around campus in the middle of spring during my sophomore year of high school. I bought a sweatshirt and entertained a dream of actually getting in, but I knew realistically that I had very little chance of getting accepted at such a great school. Happily for me, I was wrong!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Summer - The Perfect Time To Knit Mittens!

While I've been away, there has been dancing....

(In the boondocks of Santa Cruz, CA, we did a little swing dancing.)

And knitting:

Basic panties from Knitting Lingerie Style in Cascade Fixation.
Love this book, love this pattern.

Cabled gauntlets from Holiday 2007 IK in baby cashmerino.

Mitered Mittens in Silk Garden color 226; thank you, Elizabeth Zimmermann...

Malabrigo laceweight, colorway cognac, pattern Arctic Diamonds Stole from IK Winter '06.

It's been a productive, if not busy, couple of months. I flew into San Francisco at the end of June to visit the boy person and took the train home. Since getting home, I have a renewed obsession with Malabrigo (see gigantic lace project in progress) and a lot of time in which to work on it.

I'm working on watching as many good films as possible, and I'm heading out to swing class right now. It's a little tough being home with nothing to do but knit... but I think I'll manage.