Friday, July 31, 2009

On The Needles


I'm in a mode of not actually getting a lot of knitting done, but wanting to knit almost every pattern I see. I think it's because my current OTN (on the needles) project is this cute Scroll Lace cardigan, which requires more attention to detail than I'm used to giving. It's really fun to knit - don't get me wrong - and I'll be so excited when it's done. My first pieced FO (finished object)! That means that the back, front halves, and sleeves are all knitted in separate pieces, then sewn together. This summer when I was at Squam I took two days' worth of classes from Sally Melville (I am not a person who gets easily starstruck, but she did it for me) and she talked about how seamed garments hold their shape much better than those knitted in the round, because they have the seams to act like a skeleton to the garment. Made a lot of sense, so I'm giving it a go! I hope I can actually see it through and sew all the pieces together. It's not like machine sewing at all - each piece is hand-sewn with yarn and a big tapestry needle. It's tedious, but I think I can make it work for me. Find a rhythm and sink into it.

My eyes are popping to knit this sweet coat for my niece; the pattern is "Roo" by Kate Gilbert. Isn't it pretty? At first I thought I might make it out of the 3 skeins of Cascade Yarns Eco Alpaca I have, but now I think it won't be enough - plus I'm not sure that giving alpaca to a child is a good idea care-wise. Now I'm thinking I'll go with some Cascade 220 Superwash, which will produce a warm woolen, but washable coat. I bet she would love it in a prim winter white, or her favorite color, pink. My niece, by the way, is the craziest 4-year-old fashionista I have ever met. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if she grows up to be the next Kate Spade...mostly I'm a little jealous that she can put together a better outfit than I can.

My awesome friend Lisa turned me on to the Twist Collective website, by the way, and that's where Roo and this next one are available. I haven't read much about them yet, but it sure sounds like a cool way to go into business for yourself. I like the idea of collectives, which is why I am naturally sort of steering the theatre company in that direction. After several years in private practice, I relish and so enjoy the camaraderie we have created with the theatre, especially our weekly staff meetings which I really miss out here in Tejas.

Back to knitting...the other pattern I'm salivating over is Mr. Boy by Cristina Shiffman. This one will be for my nephew, who has up to now been the unfortunate recipient of only one FO, my first knitted gift - a button-on scarf made in stiff, itchy Debbie Bliss Donegal Chunky Tweed. Poor kid. I'm trying to make up for it with this one, which I plan to make in either a cream like in the picture, or a forest green. Because he runs hot, I am going to follow the pattern's recommended yarn and use cotton, or maybe a cotton-linen blend. I looked at CotLin by KnitPicks, but wasn't thrilled with the palette so I'm going to check out the LYS (local yarn store) that I found last weekend in Austin, Hill Country Weavers. I'm trying to frequent the LYS's as much as possible to support the local businesses. In this economy, my dollar is my best political voice, my best social and environmental soapbox. Which is why I've gotten much more strict with myself about what I buy, and where I buy it. But that's probably a subject for a whole other blog entry, so for now I'll leave this as-is. Next time, more about my time in (but not really) the Army culture, and maybe a bit about how the depression - sorry, recession - is changing me, for the better and hopefully for good.

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