Thursday, October 25, 2007

Knitting Leads to All Things Good

Last night was our second Weekly Craft Night. The first happened last week - I'm still waiting on pictures! So last night was kind of sparesely attended, thanks to the Rockies game. Apparently they're big here. I got to put in a little work on my Fair Isle sweater. One small-but-recognizable pattern band is done! I pray that it fits!

But even sparsely attended, it was nice. We held it at my house, so it was the first time I've hosted a gathering in Colorado. Some non-crafty boys came, too, and set to chopping wood and lighting fires, and by the time we were done knitting the Nordic-style sauna was ready! How lovely!

The sauna is a separate building, wood-burning stove, stone walls, and it sits next to a dock on one of the three ponds on the property. So from 9 to midnight we alternated between the hot, dim sauna and jumping in the pond/sitting on the dock/sluicing off and enjoying the bright, bright moonlight. It was awesome. I don't even think it could have been better with knitting involved. Somehow, moving to the mountains I never expected to spend much time outside in the cold night, semi-nude and sopping wet. But I could get used to it.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Can You Spot the Knitting?

Here is a view on a rainy day from the kitchen of my new place. The leaves already on the ground are mostly from aspens, which at my altitude have turned a beautiful golden-yellow that is startling against the mostly-pine forests that coat the Rockies. And there, nestled in the corner, is the knitting.

Although I said I would not be able to start the fair isle sweater until the blue shawl was done . . . I lied. I decided to use a random pair of smaller-than-threes circs that I found in a cafe a couple of years ago. I was Magic Looping because these needles are literally long enough to make a sweater for a cow. I had no idea that they even made needles that long. Luckily I had decided to go with just a thin ribbed border, so I'm already on to the fun part. Wish me luck.


The other day at my office one of the teachers wore this ridiculously cute orange sweater - some sort of orange cotton, short raglan sleeves, empire waist, and from the bust up it was this amazing waffle-textured stitch that I would never have expected from a machine-knit. I found it fascinating, and I've been trying to duplicate it from my memory of what it looked like. I found a stitch called Rose Fabric that looked very promising, and I've been knitting swatches ever since. Below are a couple:

This is the first swatch I knit, and it's the same yarn as the Fair Isle Socks . I was distressed as I knitted - I had never played with knitting "into the stitch below," and it simply doesn't look anything like the picture of the pattern on the Maggie's Rags site. Ultimately, it's much too loose. But before I gave up, I tried a couple of other yarns, kicking myself all the time that I left most of the yarns that give really good stitch definition with my parents.

This one's knit in the same yarn as the fair isle sweater - I ended up with an extra ball of this red. I have to say - I love this yarn. Love it. The stitch looks lovely, though a lot looser than the picture on the website. I still want a bit better stitch definition, but I am pleased. Maybe there's a project in the works here?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Full Time = No Time

I've finally hit on a solution to this "no time to knit" thing. I just bring a project with me literally wherever I go.

Since I drive, a lot, to get to and from work, and since I spend a little fewer than half the nights away from my house, I keep a lot of things in my car. Tooth brush. Deodorant. Extra shoes and clothing. Now, I keep my knitting there as well.

It's working out. Last night, Friday night, I didn't have anything to do -- don't have many friends here in Boulder yet, and the ones that I do have were away for a retreat. So I found myself a coffee shop with comfy chairs sort of near my house, got myself a delicious slice of quiche, and knitted for a couple of hours. It made for a lovely evening, and it was only possible because the knitting was so close at hand; if I had had to drive all the way home to get it, it would never have happened.

And today: I was scheduled to take a free biking tour with some girlfriends of some local artists' studios, some kind of open house thing, only I didn't know what time it started. So I put my shawl in my backpack along with the lunch I packed and headed to town early. I ended up having a lovely day, which included several stolen moments knitting under trees and in coffee shops. If this keeps, up I'll have that puppy done in no time.

So things are starting to shape up. I'm feeling good. I'm almost - ALMOST!! - at the two-thirds mark for the border of the shawl. I'll have pictures soo soon! But I have to tell you, I'm getting really bored with it. The body of the shawl was very interesting, because by the time I got bored with the y/o k2tog part I'd gotten to the print o' the waves part, where every row was a different story. But knitting the vandyke border is just too much of the same, and it's as boring as knitting a scarf. It makes me very aware that I'm knitting a flat piece of cloth. I have the crazy urge to veer somehow, to give the shawl a handle or a fold or a heel or something.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Not Exciting

Hi, all!

Just a quick update. I'm finally settled in here in Boulder with a rented place and a sort-of job and everything. But I'm working full-time, and most of my evenings are taken up with unpacking and grocery shopping and all that. No new pictures to post. The blue shawl is coming along nicely - I'm about two-thirds around the border! Hoo-rah!

Other than that.. It's beautiful here! I'll keep you posted.