Saturday, November 25, 2006

Winter Wonderland

The daytime temperatures have dipped just low enough that it looks like Wonderland is finally here to stay for the season.

Friday, November 24, 2006


OK, the thing about drawing spontaneously with needles and yarn is that it's a heck of a lot more work to erase than the flickering pixels.

Lesson learned: when stranding black yarn behind white over very long intervals, weaving it ever so sparingly is still too much because it shows. A lot. Actually I knew this, but opted for a bit of magical thinking regarding the power of blocking. Also some reverse logic about how maybe it wouldn't show so much once I stretched it over my head. Right. My deluded state extended right through weaving in all the ends, darning with white between the stitches and the black strands (not successful enough), and complete wet blocking. I'm not quite ready to tackle the frog job yet.

So I started this.

Remember a few months ago (spring? summer?) Knitpicks had a very brief half price sale on the sampler pack of Andean Silk? I succumbed. The ill fated hat above was constructed from the black and white balls, and this is most of the rest. I'm working up a little cropped cardigan along the lines of Elizabeth Zimmerman's Kangaroo Pouch sweater (so named for the steek and short row construction method, not any pouch like attributes of the finished garment.)

The thing is, I really want a blue cardigan, and I have exactly three balls of blue: navy, turquoise, and sky. The trick is to arrange them so as to pull out the blue hues in the other colours, which I am doing according to the purely intuitive method of how the mix feels as I proceed. Spontaneity (as already demonstrated) is not without risk, but I find the emotional connectedness in this form of colourwork satisfying on a whole different level than mathematical planning. The one concession to quantitative reality is the kitchen scale, which helps me ensure I save enough of a given colour for the sleeves.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Black and White

I found this week that I just couldn't bear to sit in front of the artificial flickering screen and graph more delicate shades of gray. I won't wallow in introspection, but suffice it to say that this sense of uprooted, unsettled, uncertainty will take as long as it takes - in the meantime I crave whatever bits of solidity I can find, and I elected to play with tangible yarn and needles this time around.

I've taken to walking in the mornings lately, while the temperature is still low enough to transform the precipitation into a soft white wonderland. Contrast is the dominant theme now.

I did a whole bunch of swatching and fiddling yesterday, and finally settled down to begin this:

With any luck I should be able to photograph the FO later today. (Hint: it's for me, and just in time for opening day on Blackcomb.)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Mother-in-law Bed Socks

Requested for Christmas: one pair of fine gauge, very warm, snug fitting, ankle-length bed socks, made to measure.

Pattern: my own (sort of - these are basic ribbed socks, top down heel flap construction. I took the opportunity to experiment with using the heel flap as a miniature colourwork canvas - this is a traditional Shetland FI motif.)

Yarn: Knitpicks Essentials sock yarn - superwash wool with a dash of nylon.

Gauge: knitted at 8 stitches per inch on 2 mm (US 0) dpns.

Notes: from my perspective, this was a successful project (although I still don't really enjoy doing stranded colourwork flat.) Christmas morning will reveal whether they are quite up to snuff.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Scraps of Sunshine

It's getting harder and harder to feel creatively motivated in the dim gray light, so I went for a little walk yesterday to soak up the few rays of natural illumination filtering through the interminable deluge. And received this gift with great delight:

There's not much gold at the end of our rainbow, but a good bit of silver to play with:

And a flawless droplet of citrine soothes the soul like condensed sunshine.