Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Sea Black With Ink


My blogging has been pretty slack over the last month, partly because I've been really busy, and partly because most of the projects I've been working on don't lend themselves to blogging all that well. I'm not totally uncreative, but it's beyond my powers of imagination to make "here's another inch of ribbed sock" sound interesting. Today's post is about a black mostly stockinette sweater, but I haven't posted a photo of this project since APRIL 2007, when I was only halfway through the body.

The pattern is Wicked from Zephyr Style, and I'm using Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece (Rav Link), in black. I like this pattern because it's simple and easily customizable, and since it's top down it was easy to make sure that the length was fine--no running out of steam and then finding that the sweater is too short! I am making this without a front pocket. The photo makes it clear that this sweater is going to attract hair and lint, but considering how long I've been hauling this around, it really doesn't look that bad. I can see a couple of rows with iffy tension close to the neck, but that should block out (fingers crossed).

Part of the reason that I picked this up again with some dedication earlier this month is that after a couple of years of knitting it a few rows at a time, I realized that I only needed an inch or two before the bottom ribbing and then a couple of 3/4 length sleeves. Another reason for finally trying to finish this is that there is a pattern in the newest Elsabeth Lavold book (Aslaug) that I've been waiting for since last winter, when I saw the sample up close. Guess what? It's a lot of stockinette, and I'm likely to knit it in black or grey, so I really need to finish Wicked before I get started on Aslaug. Or at least that's what I keep telling myself--fortunately, the book hadn't yet arrived at Renaissance Yarns the last time I stopped in, so that's helping me keep on Wicked.

I have a couple of other new projects on the needles, one which must remain secret for the time being and another one that is really looking great so far and is a nice alternative to the plain black sleeve that I'm working through right now. I'll try to be a little more lively in October!

"A Sea Black With Ink", Wilco, Sunken Treasure

Monday, September 21, 2009

Synchronizing Every Single Move

Three Nancy Bush Socks

It happened almost without a thought--I'm now working on three different pair of socks designed by Nancy Bush, and I've barely talked about them here at all. Two of the socks are from different books and the other is a standalone pattern, but they've got some similar elements between them that make it easy to switch off between them. They're all really beautiful in their simplicity, too--even the lacy yellow socks have an easy to memorize pattern.

From left to right:

Yellow Mystery: These are the September Sock Knitters Anonymous (Rav Link) mystery pattern, designed by Nancy Bush. I started a number of their knitalongs last year (the SKA year begins in Sept), and I'm not sure if I finished a single pair on time. That's no deterrant, however, especially when the guest designer is someone I'm such a big fan of! I'm a little bit behind, but not as far behind as I was at this time last week, and I'm enjoying the pattern. The front of the leg has a lace panel, and the back has ribbing at the top and stockinette at the bottom. Plus, there's a Vikkel braid (tutorial here), and an eye of partridge heel flap, and still the patterns are all simple enough that I haven't been glued to the chart. I'm knitting this in Shibui Sock from the Loopy Ewe, colorway Finch. One of the requirements of the KAL is that the yarn is yellow. I don't think that there's any question that this sock fulfills that requirement.

Yarrow: I'm making good progress on Sock #2 of the Yarrow socks that I started back before Sock Summit. These are man-sized socks, and the first sock is totally done but not photographed. The yarn is Soft Touch Heather Shelridge Farm in Fury, the pattern is from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks. I don't really have much more to say--I'm just keeping on with these, working on them when I can, and still liking them a lot.

Spey Valley Socks: I just started these last week, when I had some delusion that I was getting too close to the Yarrow heel to take that pair to two Mariners games. I'm not sure what I was thinking, but these are for a friend for Christmas so I figured I might as well get started on them now. The yarn is Soft Touch Heather in Loganberry, and I like it just as much as the green Fury yarn. The pattern is Spey Valley from Knitting on the Road. It's a pretty plain ribbed sock, with a simple knit-purl pattern at the top and a Vikkel Braid above and below the pattern. The heathered color of the yarn makes it hard to see that the knit-purls make diamonds, but enough of the texture comes through to show that the cuff is a little fancy. If you look carefully, you can see the braid in the photo below--it's the row I was knitting before taking the photo:

Spey Valley @ Safeco

I was pretty happy that I could knit the braid at a baseball game after almost a whole beer--I attribute this triumph to having knit the braid on the yellow sock only a week or two earlier.
"Synchronizing Every Single Move": The Minus Five, Retrieval of You. Least creepy stalker / kidnap planning song ever. Disclaimer: I am not planning to stalk or kidnap Nancy Bush or anyone else. I'm just knitting some socks, that's all.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Thinking About Knitting (doesn't actually get you very far)


It's the busiest time of the year at work, and the last couple of weeks have involved longer than normal hours and higher than normal stress levels. I've been knitting very little, and the knitting I've done has been very basic--work on a black stockinette sweater, or on the Yarrow socks, or a row or two on Damson. I'm itching for something more interesting, but other than starting the Nancy Bush mystery sock (which I'll talk about another day), I've been holding off on anything else in an effort to keep my brain from exploding. Back when it felt more like autumn than it does today, I ordered the yarn above, and I'm itching to get started with it. It the "Vintage Appliance" colorway of the Vesper Chevron Love mitten kit. Now I just need to work up to starting it--maybe once I start getting home before 8pm again?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Bumbershoot 2009: And on Monday, Even More Rain

September 07, 2009

Here's how yesterday went:
  1. Weather cloudy, but not raining, so Frieda and I leave for Bumbershoot
  2. Halfway to Seattle, it starts pouring
  3. Then it stops pouring
  4. Then it starts again
  5. Then it lightens up & we head inside
  6. Frieda is fired up--popcorn is everywhere!
  7. Arrive at the Starbucks stage just in time to see the Minus 5
  8. Rain starts again
  9. Frieda is most popular dog around
  10. Show starts a few minutes late
  11. Frieda is drenched, but wrapped in towel and fine
  12. 10 minutes later, she's more wet, and shivering
  13. We bail 1/2 way through the Minus 5's set (which was really good, by the way)
  14. We leave Seattle Center less than an hour after arriving
  15. Parking still costs $15
  16. We stop at Macrina Bakery
  17. I hear someone say "smells like wet dog in here". I suspect she's talking about me.
  18. I drop my iPhone. It seems to be working still.
  19. Except for the screen, which now shows only a few lines
  20. Which means I can't turn it off, access data, or read the two text messages that arrived after I got home.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Bumbershoot 2009: Before it Started Raining

September 05, 2009

clockwise from top left: Message pulled by an old timey plane, Mayer Hawthorne & the County, Space Needle, Old 97's

It's been a wet weekend here in the Seattle area, and I mean torrential rain & thunder & lightening--fall is officially here. I made it to Bumbershoot on Saturday, when it was relatively dry, but it was much too wet yesterday and it's not clear yet today whether I'll get out of the house--I've got to get some work done and get psyched up for the crowds before I make a final decision.

So the photo pool from Saturday is a little light. I got to the Center around 3, saw three or four bands before meeting up with friends for a beer & then the Old 97s (in the top left photo). The Old '97s were the highlight of the day, as they were last year. Possibly because Rhett Miller wore the same shirt? I'm not going to say it wasn't a factor.