Knitting Like A Sailor

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Life throwing a curve ball

Loverboy and I were talking about some options that have been presented to us lately, and started joking about life grabbing us and giving us a kersmackity to force us into doing what we want to do but don't really want to do because of the way we have to go about it, when the ceiling fell in our bedroom. Not the whole ceiling, only about half a sheet of drywall's worth. BUT it was right over where our heads are when we sleep. Kersmackity noted, decision made, thank you.

The landlord was really great about it, he came out monday morning, assessed the damage, and had his family out fixing it within an hour. They tore up half the roof, ripped out the rotted subroofing, and properly replaced that half of the roof, all in one afternoon. that's how small our house is. This morning one of them came back and replaced the rotted drywall sheet.
One of the things that makes me so happy with our landlord is he told me yesterday, out of the blue, that he's real happy having us as tenants and he's very glad we're here. *Sniffle* He's always been sweet like that. We were talking outside while I watched the lovely young men sweat up on the roof, and I told him that I spin and knit, and showed him my drum carder and a sock I was knitting. His fingers started twitching when he found out I also have a spinning wheel, it was too funny. He's always been fascinated with the process (He worked at Bibb Textile Mill here in town, maintaining the heating and cooling system for 50 years) so I dug my spinning wheel out from behind everything that got dumped into the living room after the ceiling fell and I'll let him fiddle with it tomorrow when he comes back to paint the ceiling. Who knows, maybe he'll become a convert.
And that's about all the excitement in our lives lately.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Dull and rambling

That pretty much sums me up the past few days. Heat, lack of sleep, and the weather systems moving over us have bowled me over with migraines and general malaise. It's not an excuse, but it's the reason I'm behind in sending out personal thank house to those who have responded to my appeal for critiques on my design.

So far everyone has been really supportive. Thank You. I will do my best to get caught up with the personal responses this weekend. I do have to go back and re-write a few, I wound up sending the emails to the service that was announcing the comments on my blog, rather than the commenters *sigh* (Ingrid, this means you lol) I did switch the comments to haloscan because I didn't like the way blogspot handled them, but I do still have the old ones. I had to hide them when I turned off the blogspot comments or risk blowing up the internet and everything attached to it by having conflicting java crap.

I still have a lot of questions, such as how far is it okay to strand, or should I put a small motif in the empty half diamonds at the edges of the rows to break up the floats? I'm seeing something fleur-de-lis ish to go along with the somewhat crest like motif, but I do like them empty, I feel it gives the eye a rest.

side note here, Mar's June 15th post on her blog covers her take on what makes a good fair isle design, and Joe has designed several wonderful color work sweaters if you're looking for tips on designing one.

how do I figure out where the chart should start and end so I don't have to chart out the whole freaking thing?

how can I get it from my hand drawn chart to a more easily read chart? I do have excel and I know that many people use it all the time for charting but I've had a difficult time figuring it out on my own and I can't find the directions I had for it. I mean, I can take the graph and make it so it's taller than it is wide and use x's to fill in the blanks, but I find the x's difficult to read and I haven't been able to nail the proper box size so the motifs don't squash themselves when knit. The graph paper I used is supposed to be for knitters, but it came out so tiny when I printed it I can't tell.

I know that there are differences between the Dale type sweaters and the Scottish Isle type sweaters, are they both called fair isle or is that more specific to the Scottish type sweaters and I should call this stranded colorwork or some other term I'm not familiar with?

I actually didn't have any pre-conceived ideas of what the design was going to be like, I told my brain design me a fair isle and this is what came out. It took about four hours to get it to the point where it is now, and I think subconsciously I did something more appropriate for two colors because choosing a colorway is still intimidating. In my mind I have been seeing this knitted with two strands of zephyr in this color for the background and this color for the patterning. I have seen reference for zephyr used in fair isles and it's really pretty from what I've seen but I don't know if it was more of a novel, I'm going to do it just because I can type thing or if it's actually an acceptable yarn for such a project. At my current skill level I wouldn't attempt it in anything besides a nice grabby wool but in the future I'd like to try it in zephyr, it intrigues me.

There is a new online magazine that is gearing up right now. I don't know when it's going to be published, but it's called Chiagu and it's being put out by Ivete and Liz. I was hoping to submit it to them when I'm able to get it going as an actual pattern and see if they feel it's worthy of publishing. I may still do that when I'm more certain the design is the way I want it to be. I'll be certainly scoping out test knitters then. Unfortunately I have several issues I need to work out right now both in knitting and personally before I can move forward with it, so it has stepped down a bit on the priorities. Just a bit though, I'm still going to be picking at it, and if nothing else I'll probably have a pillow with a big ass two colored stranded design on it by next spring.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

My Fair Isle design

Now that i seemed to have figured out links last night, I was going to post a pic of the fair isle chart that i have been working on. I tried posting it here to the blog, unfortunately I have it at the geocities site i made ages ago, and apparently they don't allow people to link from blogs to it because it shows up for a split second, then goes blank. So, here's the link
Please, tell me what you think. It's my first attempt, and I feel it's a honking big ass design, and each motif is going to be ten inches wide. I'm seeing it as a two color design, which is why i felt more comfortable making it so busy, and done in a fingering weight yarn, which would scale it down some. Still, Big and Ass are the two words that come to mind when I look at it.
Please excuse the largeness of the jpg, i was having a difficult time seeing the details when it was smaller.

PS forgot to mention last night, while we were in summerville (see, told you most people wouldn't recognize the name) we dined at Sticky Fingers twice. Once a rather lackluster buffet, and the other time, oh my, *hot flash* the other time was all you can eat ribs night. 5 different styles of sauce, dry rub, bbq chicken, and three sides, all bottomless, all delectable. We wallowed in it. Hedonistic food orgy comes close, but not quite, to accurately describing the experience. they do have online ordering, but for ribs it's waaaay expensive and involves fed ex. The sauces are divine, I personally recommend the dry rub, the memphis original and the carolina sweet. *drooling at the memory*

Alrighty Then

Non-knitting Blather
Sorry to have left y'all hanging for a while there. I know you were all just on the edge of your seats waiting to hear from me again, but life intervened as usual. We went to Charleston, had an uneventful time, it was a really nice trip. Loverboy wasn't able to catch up with his buddy, but we did get to meet his sister's new squeeze, and we both liked him a lot.

Knitting Blather
While in Charleston (and I'm fibbing we were actually in one of the suburbs of Charleston but who cares?) I got to visit a better yarn store than i have locally. of course i whipped out the plastic and wore a layer off it. Purchased were:
-1 ball Katia Mississippi 3 in a sort of a spring/neon green, it's really bright and i'm thinking socks for the daughter
-1 ball cleckheaton 8 ply in a silver and white marle, for swatching
-1 ball of regia stretch in the ocean colorway, socks for one of the kids
-2 balls of smart superwash, in gold and royal blue, to swatch a fi design i charted
-1 dale of norway lace and fi tunic pattern (3010 rose is the specific pattern)
-1 knitting pure and simple neck down pullover tunic 9726, it's a basic v-neck long sleeved tunic
-1 reynolds lite lopi pattern 850, it's a twofer, with a pattern for a cardigan/and/or/vest and a pullover, both in fi, nice and conservative looking for the loverboy
-1 copy of I hate to finish sweaters by janet szabo, I did not have a copy when I wrote my essay the other week, although it certainly was on my list. guess it must have been fate.
I also picked up the knitters issue with the lily of the valley lacey thing in it, but i got that at books a million.

Since then i've also received a box of cascade 220 that was on back order from the big webs sale, and I've cast on with it for the same damn sweater more times than i can count. I even got an inch or three into the body once before I had to rip it out. The first two times it was because I have all these lovely colors and I realized i was limiting myself to the more safe less eye-catching colors so I ripped and forced myself out on a more colorful limb. the rest of the times were merely the result of trying to cast on while the toddlers were awake. around the fourth time i cast on i was in the middle of it when all of a sudden the circ zipped cleanly out of the stitches i'd already cast on, out of my hands, and chased my 2 year old across the floor. got her put back down for the rest of her nap, tossed myself back into the chair grumbling something about fava beans and a good chianti, re-started the re-starting process, got about a quarter of the way through when suddenly the yarn is quite wet. WTF? leaned over the arm of my chair and oh, there's the 1 year old teething on a good handful of it, and I heard the 2 yo giggling behind my chair. okay, guess naptime is over today. *sigh* I did finally get it cast on without twisting it, miscounting or loosing count, and have knit three rows of the corrugated ribbing. It's sitting right now because the window ac decided to announce to us that it has no drainage hole. all over the carpet. the carpet the landlord installed just before we moved in here. unfortunately we think the ac had been trying to send us this message for a few days, but the dresser cabinet thingy we had in front of it was holding back the tide while apparently taking up the hobby of mildew rancher. it pressured the wall into the mildew habit too. fortunately the brand new carpeting decided it was too good for mildew, i just hope it doesn't decide mildew ranching is beneath it. So, i've been fighting the war on fungi recently. so far, i've reclaimed the dresser cabinet thingy, the wall has been clean for a few days now but it's still requiring close supervision, and the carpet, well it looks okay but it's young and better capable of keeping up a facade, only time will tell. We did get a different ac unit installed today, one i have had for years, so i know it's properly set up and it drains as fast as wallets at a yarn sale. all there is left to do is finish drying out the carpet (i live in the deep south, the humidity is 71% at 2:30 am, this has the potential to be a life time goal here guys) and figure out how to break the news to the landlord.