20 July 2006

Productive Evening

I went to the Burbank SnB gathering last night. It was a very productive evening. I got instruction on how to start two socks on one circular. I'm not sure I could do it again, without more instruction, but I've got two socks started.

I weaved in the ends on the red circular madness. I guess I'll wash it this weekend so I can mail it next week.

I finished the heel flap and turned the heel of the uncle socks.

I think that's all that's going on for me right now.

Pictures to follow in a few days.

14 July 2006

It's Magic!

When I started attending the Atwater SnB gatherings I crocheted. I was reluctant to even think about knitting again, and certainly wasn't ever going to knit socks. On my first visit there, Dixie sat quietly in the corner of the couch knitting some thing impossibly small with toothpicks. She smiled at me a lot, made me very comfortable and that's why I kept going back, but I thought she was crazy to be knitting thread with toothpicks.

After a bit of cajoling and the purchase of some bamboo needles I've been off and knitting. I'm not sure when I decided it was okay to use a knitting needle smaller than say a pencil but it happened, and for a hot second I had one upped Dixie on the crazy-lady-knitting-with-needles thing....I still wonder how the black paint thing turned out for her. Anyway, back to the subject at hand, I also don't remember when the sock fever hit me. I think it was when Dixie had this post and I thought, OMG! I want to hang up socks that I made on hangers that I bent myself. And so it began. I think I've only completed two pairs but the urge to start new ones and buy more sock yarn is out of control.

I am also obsessed with perfecting the many sock making techniques. I've got the DPN way down, but can't figure out how to start them toe up or how to do a short row heel. I'm probably not going to learn either of those techniques any time soon. I did however, or should I say: I was able to figure out how to use the magic loop after watching Knittinghelp.com's video...whoa, she shows how to do a wrap stitch, it may be possible for me to learn it yet!

So, I've learned the magic loop. I'm not positive I handled the gussett and heel correctly, but I'm almost done with the first one. So, drum roll please...... Here is my Magic Loop Sock!

Oh, and I am SO buying knittinghelp.com's DVD. Just on GP!

10 July 2006

In all it's round glory!

I'm done with Tooraj's round red blanket. I love it, not enough to want to keep it, but it came out really well. Tooraj, for those of you who don't know, is my gay boyfriend. He and his man are sweethearts. Tooraj is who I call when I need to cry in the presence of another. I discovered his love and compassion one day as I arrived at work.

He and I marketed books together at an academic publisher in NYC....35th betwee 5th & 6th. I'd purchased Acoustic Soul months before the day in question. I'd listened to it, but only lightly because I had e.badu's Mama's Gun to keep me busy. So, one morning I popped India.Aire's first into my CD player when I got on the train. I hadn't listened to the album enough for my mind to wander during the listening, so I listened. And as each song played I got more and more centered. It was like I was looking back on my life and the things I'd done and the life I'd lived. I'd had some accomplishments, but for the most part things seemed bleak. By the fifth song I was walking to my office from Penn Station, still listening to India.arie near tears; thinking: I'm not going to cry. Why the hell would I cry?

As I approached our building I saw Tooraj standing at the mailbox with his coffee having a cigarette, and that's when I lost it. Not in a dramatic, draw all sorts of attention sort of way, but a tear simply fell from one eye. He saw me and said, "Honey, what's the matter?" I managed a tear choked, "I'm listening to India.arie," and the flood gates opened. He said, "Oh, I understand." as he put his coffee on the mailbox, snuffed out his half-smoked cigarette and embraced me while I cried. It was a muggy summer morning in New York City in the shadow of the Empire State Building, and I fell in love with a gay man. It makes me teary just thinking about it.

Anyway. He's Iranian, and he got a rug from his mom, Persian, and shortly after I moved here I promised him that I would make him an afghan to match it. I have been "working" on his afghan for over two years. About two months ago a woman came to the Burbank SnB with a round blanket she was making out of Debbie Bliss Cathay (I think). It was a pricey yarn, but in the exact color of the yarn I'd purchased for Tooraj. It was like divine intervention because I was feeling VERY guilty about not having finished the afghan for him. It went relatively quickly, and here it is in all it's glory, you can even see one of my MANY lions in the top left corner:

Here are the center and edge shots:

I got the idea for the edge from a gallery of other pinwheel blankets. I decided to do a row of eyelets and then a few rows of seed stitch, I believe I ended up with five rows total of the seeed stitch.

I don't have floor space large enough to lay it out smoothly and snap a photo, so a couch shot will have to do. I really hope he likes it. All I need to do now is weave in the ends, wash it and mail it off.

That's all I've got for now.

05 July 2006

Almost Done...

I'm almost ready to give up on the pinwheel blanket. I'm at over 600 stitches and done with it...not the same kind of done as Clare with the jaywalkers, but I'm ready to give up and mail it off. I actually found a gallery of them, and there are a couple I'm really impressed with. I was trying to decide how to "finish" the blanket when I came across the gallery. Since I've been incapable of finding a pattern that I can knit onto the current live stitches I decided to put a row of eyelets and a 'few' rows of seed stitch. Whether or not I like the effect I'll be sending it off that way. Because I'll be damned if I knit an edge to graft onto this thing, and there will be no tinking back on this one.

I learned to do the magic loop, and am almost done with my first sock. I queried a sock maker at the Burbank gathering about making two socks on one circular, and she tried to explain, but I didn't get it. I'm a visual learner, and to narrow that down even further I need to actually see it done. I can't learn it from a book....well, I can, but it's not easy. However, I decided to try to "learn" the process from a tutorial on the net. I cast on the requisite 28 stitches and then the 56 for the second sock from the second ball as instructed, then I cast on the second 28 stitches from the first ball. It didn't look quite right, the instructions did not specify which end of circular to cast on the second half of the first sock's stitches, but it did say that the live ends of the cast ons should be on the same side of the needle. Yeah, mine were all in a row on two different ends of the circular and no amount of magic was going to make what I came up with work.....So, I'm hoping that Dixie will have the time to show me what I'm doing wrong.....perhaps at Burbank tonight or even Atwater tomorrow.

I made a comment last post that I don't have witty or interesting things to say. It's not that, it's that I think people are generally not very nice and use your weaknesses against you. That is why I refrain from broadcasting my hopes and dreams and fears on this page. I admire Crazy Aunt Purl's bravery.

Well, I'm off trying to look busy. This non-busy is a lot different than the Pasadena not busy...no couch to lay on here, no yahoo im to keep me entertained, no tree lined streets to wander...I miss the freedom, but not enuf to wish I was back there.

Pictures next post!