Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Oh, Halloween!

Very rarely do I get to say "oh no, I have go out and buy some candy!!"

Today is the day.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

stuffed up.

I am really giving in to this whole being-sick-with-a-head-cold thing. Mostly because it's an excuse to be lazy, but also because I will do anything to get better so I can go see Jens on Monday even if that means staying cooped up on the couch getting my body as much rest as possible. In the process I am also reading knitting books and scouring the web for baby hat patterns. Not because I am expecting... no, no. I want to make one for someone else. I really like this pattern (also on a 'knit2', though a different project and person) as an alternative to a classic stockingette stitch hat with an umbilical chord on top, like every pattern book seems to host. Maybe this weekend I will head down to the yarn store to look at fibers and get some ideas from real live humans instead of the web. In the meantime, if anyone has any cute baby hat pattern to show + share please send them my way!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

sick day / photographs

I'm back in New England and have found myself with quite a cold! Between sniffles, coughs and cups of tea I have been knitting cables, and scanning polaroid images to add to flickr. Mostly all pictures I took in New Mexico, though a few from the Vineyard that I took the day that I moved out.

I've been cropping the white borders off of all the Martha's Vineyard images, but I think that for the New Mexico pictures I may leave them on. Mainly because it requires less editing and the drowsy cold medicine is kicking in, but also because I want to separate these new images from the Martha's Vineyard ones. They are two very different series, one that I took when I was living in a place, another when I was visiting. Not to mention two very different places... one surrounded by the ocean, the other by mountains and sky.

you can click on the tree above to take a look at what I am talking about, or just to see more images from NM!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Continuous cables: an update.

I am getting the hang of the this busy cable stitch and it's becoming less and less like complicated math homework. (Or maybe that's just because I have been watching Nick do some real complicated math homework.) Here's what I completed in the week I have been in New Mexico. I must say it's looking quite good!

I've still got a ways to go. This is a photo of the project (completed) as it comes with the pattern.

The pattern is from Michaels if you want to try it out. I am using Lamb's Pride bulky in pastashio and knitting with just one strand as opposed to the double strand of thinner wool that the pattern calls for. And, not to get too far ahead of myself, but I have already picked out the cutest wooden handles. More updates (and more yarn! I've run out!) when I get home.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Walk in the Desert.

Today was sunny but with a breeze, which made it a bit cooler to be out in the middle of the day. So Nick and I decided to go for a hike at Soledad Canyon.

After walking a little ways, Nick asked if I was going to have to stop and take a picture of everything. The answer is yes, I pretty much have to. There is just so much to look at in the desert that I can't normally see at home. Lots of rocks and dirt, bugs, bushes, round things, pointy things and tons and tons of bright open sky.

My favorite thing is seeing things on the ground in the desert that look like they could also be on the ocean floor. It is neat to think that a long time ago there was water right here in the dryness where I am now standing.

If you listen to the wind blowing through the canyon it sounds an awful lot like the ocean. This is amazing to me. I grew up and have always lived by the ocean, so the idea of being landlocked is strange. But in a place like this you cannot doubt its beauty.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Power Cables.

I decided on a challenging project to take with me on the flight to New Mexico. Too challenging, perhaps. The instructions read like a complicated math problem.

Numerous times on the flight I had the urge to throw my knitting out the window, had the windows been able to open. Still I worked away intensely and, like trying to solve a difficult math problem, eventualy finding the answer felt like a huge accomplishment. Still, I think I took out more stitches between Boston and Chicago than I put in. Here's what I accomplished on the first flight.

By the time I changed planes I had a better sense of how the instructions read and how the cables were supposed to look. Chicago to El Paso bought me a few more rows.

What's this going to be when it's done?
you'll see....

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Mom's Knitting.

Since I've been home I've slowly been going through my mom's things. Some of them I am using and enjoying, as I know she would want me to, other things I am leaving as they are. Some things I just cannot touch. The other day I sorted through her yarn and made sense of the many baskets and bundles of fiber she had collected over the years. I found some beautiful scarves, blankets and other special projects that I remember sitting with her while she worked on in years past. This scarf was amongst the projects I found, though I never remember seeing her work on it. The stitch is a fading triangle pattern (made up of knits and purls) that she worked in often. I really like how she added the detail of folding up one end and adding buttons for decoration. Details were always important to her.

Although we were always very different knitters, favoring different yarns and accomplishing varied projects, crafting and creating was a past time we shared and a valuable skill that she taught me. When I found this scarf it was still on the needles, as were several other projects. She never got the chance to complete them. I decided to finish this scarf for her. I completed the last row and simply bound off the stitches so I can wear it this winter and have her style and warmth wrapped around me. Its just one of the many beautiful things she created in her lifetime.

New Music Today: Jens Lekman!

I don't know what your agenda is for today, but somewhere in there give a listen to the new Jens Lekman album, Night Falls Over Kortedala, which comes out in the US on Secretly Canadian.

Jens is a 26 year old Swede who sings quirky pop songs about girls he kissed, the city he lives in and his yearning for love. About a month ago Pitchfork gave the record a rave review (9.0!!) and Jens has begun gaining popularity stateside. Thanks to a very special friend (I don't know if I should put her name here, is it ok?) I received an advance copy of the disc and have been enjoying it non-stop for the past few weeks, as I have with his other releases. His lyrics are nostalgic like Jonathan Richman's and the new melodies are driven by layers of samples and strings from 1960's ballads. If this description is not enough to make you go buy it, just take one more look at that album cover! swooon!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

putting all the pieces together

Yesterday I sewed together all five pieces of my sweater! Boy, sewing knits are tough, but getting this close to completion feels good.

I have already begun knitting a ribbed trim to go up the front of the cardigan, to keep the opening from rolling in the way the stockingette likes to. I put button holes on one side of the trim and will obviously sew buttons on the other. Then I just have to add some sort of collar. I don't know yet what that should look like...

I began this sweater sooo long ago - in the summer of 2006 - and its first incarnation was to be a knit camisole with little i-cord straps. very simple. Somehow I decided that I wanted to knit a cardigan and this (with the back halfway through with completion) became it. Looking at this sweater as it literally comes together, I have to say that I doubt this is something I will be wearing. Several things I learned from making my first sweater:

1) choose a yarn + color that will make a nice sweater, not something that looks pretty in the craft store when it's wrapped up in a ball. The colors I tend to wear and like are not green and pink with gold sparkles, but grey, taupe, brown and BLACK! If this were a black sweater it would not have taken me a year and a half to make. I would have been racing to complete it so I could pair it with every single item in my closet!

2) don't alter the pattern unless neccessary. I don't know why I decided to alter this pattern in so many places. The finished sweater is nothing like the one that Lion Brand originally directed me to make. And now, looking at the instruction sheet, I realize that I like the one in the photo a lot better. It's a lot more like a swing coat and calls for a single button at the neck. cute!! Why didn't I just make that sweater as directed? Also, the sleeves would be real sleeves rather than 3/4 sleeves had I used the correct gauge. (let's pretend that was intentional!) I guess now that I know how it's done, I can knit the real sweater next.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

sew pizza.

I went downtown today to visit the sewing/quilting shop I had seen on Main St. in Plymouth called Sew Crazy, so I could get lining for my dress. I parked across the street and didn't notice until I got out of the car (which I did an amazing job parellel parking!) that the sign on the window no longer said Sew Crazy, but instead read Coming Soon: Domino's Pizza. This just about made me want to run for the boat. I almost took a picture but it was too sad.


I've changed the background a little bit. Do you like? I am also still in the process of moving, unpacking mostly. And I am getting used to living on the mainland and figuring out what to do at stop lights and such. Anyone from the Vineyard, I am sure you can relate...

I've done such a tiny bit of crafting in the last few months. So many reasons, so many excuses. I am getting ready to pick up my needles again. At the moment, my main project is to get all of my stuff (oh and I mean all my stuff) out of the boxes on the porch and the backseat of my car, and into my room. but FIRST, there will be some renovations! stay tuned...