Monday, April 20, 2009

this post brought to you by many proxy purchases

Now that they have all been gifted, I can finally post about a series of wristwarmers that I knit this winter. They were for some dear friends from law school under the theory that fighting the man is easier when your wrists are warm. (We'll ignore the fact that one of those dear friends is, actually, the man, but, you know, less so than under the last administration. And she was finally transferred to the division that she actually agreed to be in, so now she's the man who prosecutes corruption within the man.) Ideally, they would have made it to this group's mid-January reunion, but a few other knits took up the space in my queue during the months prior. But everyone loves getting packages in the mail, right?

First up: for the friend who's fighting teen dating violence despite the best efforts of non-profit bureaucracy, Easy Lace Fingerless Mittens knit in Plucky Knitter Merino Cashmere Nylon (MCN) Worsted in Vito. (Mods here) Next on line: for the friend who's fighting the creation of a 180-page Constitution that actually reduces rights held by the people, a pattern of my own design in Plucky Knitter MCN Fingering in Riverview Drive. (Rav details here)
(Her wristwarmers are fingering weight because she's dividing her time between the States and the much warmer country where they are considering adopting that Constitution.)

For the friend who's fighting snarky questions from Posner on oral argument, Evangeline knit up in PK MCN Worsted in Montgomery. (Rav link here)
And for the friend who's fighting 200-page memos to help inform the decisions of the highest court in her state, the worsted-weight version of my wristwarmer design and a hat designed to match in PK MCN Worsted in Nectar and Well Read, respectively. (Rav links here and here)
(It was also her birthday, so that's why she got a hat, too.) Well Read has to rank high on my list of favorite colors ever, even though it's not in my usual range. It really looked like the leather on an old book and I couldn't get my camera to capture the pure glow of the yarn. Thinking about it right now, I'm still a little amazed that I managed to ship that hat away from me.

I had a lot of fun designing these patterns and am planning to publish them at some point. The fingering weight version is in the process of being test knit right now, thanks to a wonderful Raveler.

I'm incredibly grateful to EW for the proxy purchases responsible for three of the skeins of yarn represented here. Since she knew I was hunting PK MCN Worsted for this series, she kindly purchased Vito, Nectar and Well Read on my behalf at PK updates that I could not make. Thanks, EW! Way to be!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A little bit of gift knitting

My little sister can be hilariously (and sometimes annoyingly) demanding, but in this case, it worked out for her. I started this cowl without a clear idea of who it would go to, and then happened to be knitting it when visiting my sis in February.

The Plucky Knitter, Merino Seacell in Elegant Elephant
Chickadee Cowl

She went on about how she wanted the cowl and I should make it for her, and then proceeded to knit about 10 stitches herself. Of course, I couldn't convince her to try using the linen stitch the pattern calls for, but since by that time I'd decided she had picked out her birthday present, that was just fine.*

The linen stitch is a new fav of mine, and I highly recommend it. It's super easy, which made this perfect bus and awkward-break-between-classes knitting. Just cast on however many stitches you want, and then
R1: knit 1, slip one with yarn in front (repeat)
R2: slip one with yarn in front, knit one (repeat)

And repeat! Gorgeous and genius.

The little guys nestling into the cowl are Trilobites, and I love them. I should crochet little whiskers to make them more authentic, but...well, I don't have a crochet hook. Whoops!

I also have to preview the other project I've been working on, the Mother of Pearl scarf by Grumperina in my Hear Me Now Plucky Knitter MCN. (You remember.)

I cannot describe how much I love this project. The yarn becomes more gorgeous every time I pick it up (which, seriously, how is that possible?) and I so so love how it works together with the pattern. The way this picture glows (at least in my eyes) really expresses the essence of this scarf. In fact, the only negative that I recently realized is that eventually the yarn will come to an end. I found myself rather distraught and have been creating other knitting distractions in the hopes that I can just knit this forever.

And then, a funny FO picture. Yay!

*May this be a lesson to you all: I am highly suggestible.

Fabric over yarn

I have discovered that perhaps I am more of a sew-er than a knitter. While knitting projects consistently make me want to pull my hair out, I have made two baby quilts, a lap quilt, and one baby dress in the past few months with more or less only joy.

My mom gave us her old sewing machine. It's the sewing machine she got for her 21st birthday, and it is pretty much a case study in how things used to be built to last, and today things are built to break. It's solid metal, and has yet to be serviced in all its years. It still works like a gem! After we figured out how to thread it (a very complicated process, that I often still need a picture to guide me through), Samir and I tried some simple stuff. Thus our quilting hobby was born. We used to fight over sewing machine time, but the novelty wore off and now we're okay.

I can't find my pictures, so instead I'm posting a picture of one of Samir's quilts. (He is even better at quilting than I). He made this hanging quilt ridicluously quickly, and we're hanging it in our office, which is painted a light green that the striped fabric picks up on very nicely. Samir made up this pattern based on the striped fabric he liked, and I was highly impressed by the finished product.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

it all makes sense

So I'm typing this post from a brand new MacBook. It was time for my old computer to be retired: it served me well, but has earned itself a break. (Sometimes when I'd turn it on, it would only let me type in reverse: "gmail" would show up as "liamg" and the only way to fix it was by cutting and pasting. It also could only get through about 10 minutes of any video before overheating and turning itself off.) But, even though I'd reconciled myself to the necessity a few weeks ago, I was still sad that I'd be saying goodbye to my old one. And I thought that I was being totally irrational, until I noticed a striking similarity between my computer and other things that I like.

My latest swatch for knee socks was my first clue:
Some other examples:

Suddenly, it all made sense. And here I pretend that I don't have a consistent favorite color.