Sunday, December 17, 2006

Ghost of Christmas Knitting Yet to Be Done


Can't sleep. Yarn will eat me. Can't sleep. Yarn will eat me. Can't sleep. Yarn will eat me.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Feh. Just feh.

Not knitting related, although I knit while watching, plus I'm just ticked. I can't believe Jeffrey won Project Runway. What the hell?! Of course, I am a huge Laura fan. Have been from episode one when she turned a bathmat into a faux-fur collar. And I've hated Jeffrey from episode one. So I am seriously pissed.

But I do love Tim Gunn. He is on the cocktail party list.

And now Top Chef has started. And what the hell is up with the guy with the Woody Woodpecker hair?!

With the exception of these shows, I'm not a reality tv person, but I do dig these two. I like them because they actually inspire me to create things. After watching PR, I broke out the sewing machine, and TC makes me want to cook multi-course tall food.

More knitting next time. I promise. Unless something else irritates me. Which is highly likely.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Apre-Bellum Socks

The war may be over for me, but I'm still kicking when it comes to socks.

Here's the instrument of my undoing-- Grape Kool-Aid Socks of Doom knitted by my assassin, Pollyanna. They smell good and grapey!So now that I'm a casualty of Sock Wars, I'm focusing on the Black Bunny Hopalong and on Christmas knitting.

Here's Falling Leaves in Black Bunny yarn color "Kiss." That's one of my dogs, Georgia, supervising the photography.

That wasn't Georgia's first "participation" in the process. Here she is, shamelessly rolling on the socks in progress. The yarn is near her butt. Lovely.
Here she is feeling shame for what she did.

And here is a detail of the finished sock. I love how the pattern looks. Not sure I'm a toe-up gal, but I'd make them again.

And here is the current project, Pomatomus in Black Bunny color "Lagoon." Pomatomus is fish-inspired, according to pattern creator Cookie, so I'm going for a whole aquatic thing. Perfect Christmas gift for mom before she heads to the Keys! I love this pattern and would absolutely knit these again. I used the tubular cast on and it made all the difference in the cuff-- much more forgiving. Plus it looks very clean. The photos don't do the yarn color justice.

More to come! I've been a knittin' fool these past few weeks. Sock Wars death didn't slow me down at all!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Horror The Horror

We're sorry. Gonzoknitting was offed by the Purple Grape Kool Aid Socks of Doom.

She buried her sorrows by going to a Blue Man Group show.

This blog will return to normal when she stops bouncing off the walls... and as soon as we figure out what normal is anyway.

Thank you.

Monday, September 25, 2006

War Is Heck

I'm sorry. Gonzoknitting can't come out to play right now. She is too busy knitting the International Sock of Doom and plotting the [friendly] death of her Sock Wars target.

She will return when either the sock is in the mail or when she is assassinated. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

When a Chain-Smoking Sheep and a Buddhist collide

Only three inches to go on the Black Bunny Falling Leaves socks! Should finish tonight.

Which means (joy!) a trip to the LYS tomorrow!!!! Mwaaahaaahaaa.

I must wax poetic on the brilliance that is Franklin's Panopticon blog. If you have not checked this one out, go! Now! Not many people can write a blog about knitting and whatnot that goes from rimming sugar one day to Zen musings the next. We won't even get into Dolores.

I've added him to the mental list of people who would come to my ideal cocktail party.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Making a List, Checking it Twice

Didja ever get the psychic blahs? A case of the existential doldrums?

As Joni said, maybe it's the time of year, maybe it's the time of man...
or maybe it's just the craptastic weather.

Anyway, as I sit here trying to counter my angst with a chocotini, some sing buri snack mix, and some Northern Exposure, I figured I'd try to get motivate by writing up my knitting Holiday list, so here it is:

  • for sister-in-law one-- a wire bracelet and maybe socks
  • for sister-in-law two-- fingerless gloves
  • for sister-in-law three-- felted bag
  • for friend who might actually read my blog, well, I ain't saying! Nyah.
  • for my mom-- the golf covers she wants, in this pattern me thinks and socks
  • for niece one- sweater and a ballerina doll
  • for niece two- sweater and bunny from One Skein
  • for mother-in-law-- socks or mittens and felted slippers
  • sachets from One Skein for various friends
Not too outragious, is it?

(an aside here, isn't John Corbet in Northern Exposure just.... yum?)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sunny, Happy Craptasticness!

While in Alaska and at Kripalu, I finished up these babies.

The pattern is from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush. The name eludes me now. Something about boats or sailing or something. I really liked the pattern. Fun to do and it went quickly. The yarn is pure crap, but I love it in the way one might love a hairless cat, or a really ugly dog.

'Tis a rainy day here in PA and frankly socks like this make the day less dreary.

Yes, I know that in the dark of night, in the dark of my sock drawer, this pair will be the pair that all of the other socks, knit out of beautiful, high-quality yarn, will laugh at. And that just makes me want to give these ugly suckers a hug and tell them it's what's on the inside that counts.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Make I-Cords Not Discord

One thing I love about knitting is the amazing scope of the knitting world. There are as many patterns, books, blogs, yarns, and podcasts as there are fish in the sea. And there are as many opinions about all of them.

Lately, I've been seeing more and more comments about "high" knitting (utilizing advanced techniques, lace, cables, high-quality yarn) vs. "low" knitting (easy patterns, novelty yarn) and it makes me sad.

Admittedly, I'm an erratic knitter. I love projects that challenge me- a new way to attach a sleeve, different sock construction, my tentative forays into lace work. And I love really great yarn-- I'm over the moon about Black Bunny, and I do my fair share of obscene fondling in my LYS. But yes, I've used novelty yarns and cheap yarns. Usually for a project that cracks me up, like the Vegan Fox, or for a really so-fugly-I-love-them pair of socks I just finished. And sometimes I like a really mindless pattern, especially after finishing something that really pushed my boundaries. And it hurts a little to hear that it somehow makes me less of a serious knitter.

Same with knitting books. I love Ann Budd's books that give the basics of design for various gages, so one can design their own pieces. And Nicky Epstein's books of embellishments open up a whole world of design possibilities. But I also like having books like One Skein, where I can eat into my stash with some simple, but beautiful patterns, perhaps even creating some handmade gifts for loved ones along the way. I like having options to choose from and really don't want to have to feel shame for my knitting choices.

And now the same kinds of debates are rearing their ugly heads in the podcast realm. It seems that a recent article unfavorably compared Lime and Violet to Knitty D and the City. (To be VERY clear, neither group of women did anything to instigate this.) What a shame. I really enjoy both podcasts so, so much. Yes, both feature two fun, funny, intelligent women talking about knitting. Yes, both have segments talking about yarn. How exactly would one have a podcast about knitting without talking about yarn? It would be like talking about paintings without talking about paint color. I LIKE that there are a variety of podcasts out there. I LOVE that podcasting has put the power of mass communication back in the hands of the people. Shouldn't we be glad to have so many choices at our fingertips? Why would we want to limit ourselves to one podcast, one type of yarn, one type of knitting pattern? The pod-o-sphere is big enough for all of us to play nicely.

Funny that one of Brenda's recent podcasts had a wonderful essay about "older" knitters and "younger" ones (and by the way, what if Brenda had said to herself "Ya know, there is already a podcast out there of a woman talking about knitting. I guess I shouldn't do one too." Wouldn't the world be a sadder place?). This essay was a reminder about our roots as knitters. I frequently remember as I'm clicking away on a sock that my yarn links me back through countless generations of knitters. I am standing on the shoulders of giants. Our knitting traditions, cables, lace, etc. give us roots that we need to keep us grounded, but knitters who look at crazy yarn and say "I can make something really weird with that" remind us that the sky is the limit for our creativity.

I bet there was a time when some knitter made the first cable that he or she was ridiculed by some, and emulated by others. It's a big world and there's room for all of us to knit beautiful things to fill it as we see fit.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Here's the progress on Falling Leaves for the Black Bunny Hop. Love the color. And the Magic Loop is going fine. The toe up construction is a new thing for me, but the construction is really interesting.

It looks a bit like a sad bra..


Finally some finished object photos!

A bowl I made from yarn bought in Alaska. The colors reminded me of thigs we saw- icebergs, flowers, lushness everywhere. This is from One Skein and is my first felted project.

Two purses, also from One Skein. I added the strap and tassle to the round bag.

And the scene of that great epic struggle, Tempting II. I couldn't find a buckle I liked, so I did the ring instead. I like how it came out, very clean and modern.:

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Great Yarn Cage Match Smackdown!

Clearly, I've taken leave of my senses.

Yup. I signed up for Sock Wars. I was pondering it. I was thinking I'd watch from the "sidelines." And then one of the participants left this comment on the website:

"Bring it."

And I thought "oh, no, she didn't!" Next thing I know, I'm hitting the send button on my sign up e-mail.

Yikes. Just yikes.

Thank God I just learned the Magic Loop kniting-two-things-at-one-time technique. I'm using it right now on the sleeves of Cleaves (like the rain in Spain?).

On the lighter, softer side of the web knit-o-sphere, I ordered my yarn from Black Bunny Fibers and can't wait to get it! I'm thinking, well, I was thinking a sock. But maybe I should now rethink that one. Or practice for SW. Hmm. Maybe I should do a toe-up sock, in case that's my first Sock Wars pattern. Good God, this is so silly.
How cool is this? Franklin designed a new button for the Black Bunny Yarn Along:

Awww. Now isn't that nice!? Can't we all just hold hands and get along? Sing a few rounds of "It's a Small World"?


Well, then I'm gonna smack you down with a Potomatus... Tomatopus... Pomatomus . Whatever! Just bring it! Knitta, please!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Knitting Nirvana

Ya know, for an art historian, I'm pretty pathetic with my visuals compared to other bloggers. I even have finished stuff that I should be showing off in all of its (sort of) glory!

I finished a pair of socks while searching for bliss at Kripalu over the weekend. And I finished three projects from One Skein Knitting! (loving that book!)

But the epic finish/ struggle had to be Tempting II. Yes, it is done and it looks pretty good. But that is after ripping out and re-knitting the neck THREE times! THREE! After time number 2, I made the sweater sit in the corner and think about what it did while I went to Kripalu. When I came back, radiating good will and Zen-like calm (uh-huh) toward all, I ripped out yet again, fixed it and with dread in my heart, tried it on. I couldn't believe it fit!

The first time I knit the neck, following the pattern, the neckline was gianormous. I had heard about people having that problem in the KAL, so I followed the example of others and in the row before the band is attached, I k2tog. Now, some people had even found it necessary to do that twice, but I thought nah, this will do the trick. I even contemplated weaving waste yarn in, just in case I had to rip back again, but again I thought nah. You see where this is going, don't you?

But in the end, all is well. And even after all of that, I have to say that I liked the pattern. The 1x1 rib was dull, dull, dull, but the technique used for attaching the sleaves is cool, and I like the band around the neck, so a thumbs up to the finished product. Good thing, too, because if I couldn't get the pattern to work, I was going to swear off sweaters for ever. Or at least until another one lured me with her siren's song.

Next up: two more projects from One Skein-- the baby bolero and the bib for two different expecting friends, and I'm very excited to start Cleaves from I did my gauge swatch for it and I need to get bigger needles (see, I do swatch, I swear!), so that will probably be tonight's cast-on. And I'm WAY psyched about my next knit, I mean, yarn along. This one from one of my fave podcasts, "Knitty D and the City." They are doing a Yarn Along with Black Bunny Fibers. So everyone will use different patterns, but use Black Bunny yarn. I'm thinking a sock, although I could try a shawl. Do I hear the Clap calling? That was done in a silk/ wool blend, so I'll have to think about it. I know it is in my future though!

More pics in next post-- I swear!

Monday, July 31, 2006

knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one, knit one...

Tempting II. Jeezeussss! This is definitely a product over process project. A 1x1 rib. Whooo doggie. Will the fun never end. I think it is going to look great, but for the love of all that is holy, I'm sick of knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one...

My friend Margaret asked me about knitting Nutsy. While the identity of Nutsy must remain a mystery for now, here is a hint-- this project could serve as inspiration. Or this one. And this.

Beats the crap out of knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one...

Friday, July 14, 2006

Back in the Bloggosphere!

Yes, I've been a bad blogger, but I have really good reasons:
1) an amazing trip to Alaska-- pictures coming soon!
2) major life changes in job arena -- details coming soon!

I did finish my World Cup project. Like the Trinidad team, I was a first-timer in this kind of event, and I finished a little short of the goal, i.e.- finished late. But like the TNT team, I showed a lot of heart and saw it through to the end. I'm basically happy with how it turned out. It might not be the best tank for my shape (I think it might make me look a bit thick in the middle) but I think it is a neat style, I love the color, it knit up very quickly, and I learned a few things while knitting it.

I'm now (again a little late) working on my Sexy Knitters Club project (my first one-- awww) - Tempting II. The knitting is a little dull- just 1x1 rib, but I think the final project will be great!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I Think My Zen Is Cowering in the Closet

I strive for calm. I do yoga in the morning (although I get ticked off a surprising amount of the time while doing it. Perhaps that's bad...) I knit as a form of relaxation and meditation. And yet during the course of my day, I want to bitchslap people (bitchslap? bitch slap? hmm) about twenty times a day. So what happens to all the Zen? Where does it go? Why can't I be one of those people who exudes calm, leaving others in a trance-like state?

OK- see- this is stressing me out.

(Deep cleansing breaths. I am standing on a beach. Knitting. With a boozy drink in hand... ahhhh.)

Oh, wait-- here's the problem! I'm knitting with the wrong yarn! Who knew?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Fear and Loathing in the Yarn Stash

What is Gonzo Knitting?

It is knitting in search of a little freakin' inner peace.
It is trying to knit with one hand while holding a cocktail in the other.
It is trying to ignore whatever strange things might be afoot in your yarn stash.
It is realizing that no matter how carefully you check your gage, sometimes the laws of physics conspire against you, and your carefully planned sweater becomes a phone booth cozy.

To paraphrase HST, "When the going gets weird, the weird cast on."