Holy shit, have I been gone forever or what? The truth is, and honestly I ain't lyin, I have been suffering from what I like to call Post-Christmas-Knitting-Avoidance. Let me just say that my attempts at knitting for people for Christmas were failures. Apparently there is not enough time in an entire year to knit something for each person on a gift list of approximately 45...or at least there isn't when you'd much rather knit things for yourself, for various KAL's and well, basically avoid the Xmas knitting scene period. Call it selfishness, or call it laziness. Either one applies. And actually, I had all the signs of a knitter on the brink of temporary destruction. Strands of multi-colored wool stuck in my hair, all over my clothes like mock-cat hairs, tips of bamboo knitting needles dyed an abominable shade of purple from knitting too much Moonlight Mohair on them, and not to mention the tell-tale crampiness in my finger joints. But no, I was determined to at least TRY and knit for one or two people in my family,and those people were supposed to be my SIL Pam and my little Godson(for want of a better word because I'm pagan and his parents are NOT Catholic) Jeffrey, but wound up being my Mummy's fiancee' Michael (he got a basic 3x3 rib scarf made out of Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande because I'd knit that up like last year and no one had ever worn it) and Jeffrey instead.
And doesn't he look so cute in his slightly too-big, unblocked sweater? I think so. His family loved it! But that's not the point. I was successful in the creation of his sweater simply because I actually WANTED to knit it. I wanted to knit Pam's bag too, but well I think the problem was, I took on a project that was a bit beyond my capabilities as a knitter so I could try to impress the super-knitty and crafty Pam. Big no-no there, et me tell you. I should have stuck with what I knew, but ooooh no. I just thought, "Well, how the hell hard could it be to do this? Pattern shmattern, I'll design her the perfect bag all by myself and it'll be cake!" Ha! Bullshit! I should have looked harder for a pattern and stuck to that one. Oh, don't get me wrong. I consider myself a decently skilled crafter when it comes to the needle, but one should never, ever attempt Intarsia in the round when you've never even really done Intarsia before. I had fooled myself into thinking that I could handle it, however, by knitting this nifty skully dishcloth.
See? Not bad, right? I didn't think so. And it was marvelously easy too. The problem? Well, for this particular cloth I had a pattern to follow, and a chart that I didn't have to make myself...and furthermore, it WAS NOT IN THE ROUND. It was flat. I should have stuck to my original plan and made the bag that I was intending to be for Pam kinda boxy. It would have been easier because then I could have knit it flat and then seamed it (even though I hate seaming). Instead, I get the idea in my head that she needs a bucket bag, because well, she just does. So, I make the chart for the image I want to knit into the bag (A Heartagram...which is appropriate, yes indeed), and then come up with this hairbrained pattern for making the bag (which if I ever re-make it, and I think I will, I will so totally do it a different way) from the top down in one tube and then pick up stitches from the bottom edge and decrease accordingly so the bag can have a roundesque bottom. And I don't care if "roundesque" is not a word...it is my word, and therefore it is a word and that's that. :) I'm being belligerent here. Humor me.
Anyway, so I knit it up, and it looks like it'll be fabulous once it's felted. So what if the red on the bottom is a bit...uhm...skimpy. So what if the heartagram is a bit...ermm...elongated across the middle. It'll look fine. So I felt it. Once, twice. I mean, this sucker was huge so it really needed it. And when I take it out of the machine I hold it up and peer at it in the dim light of my basement and it looks...fine. I was surprised, and pleased. Sounds good so far right? Yeah, but then everything went so wrong! I take it upstairs, where the light is unfortunately much better, and notice something odd. Holes. Holes? Why the hell are there holes in it? Turns out my joins are shit and I don't have enough yarn leftover to kind of gui
nea-rig it so those damned things can be felted together, so now I'm stuck with a sopping wet, holey bag that looks like it could have been really cute if I just felted it once more. Here are the pictures of my failure. Go ahead. You can laugh. I did...after I finished crying and screaming and tossing various projects angrily against the walls of my bedroom.
Doesn't it make you maybe want to hang your head in shame? I was so disappointed because I really had thought that I could do this. In hindsight, I'm pretty sure I can figure out what I did wrong and re-knit it, but that isn't going to happen for a good long while. I'm also not really happy with the way the heartagram came out. The sides were too thick, and it was too, I dunno, stretched out. I was hoping it would be a bit more round. I guess I'll just have to tweak it. But anyway, that bag was my reason for taking a temporary break from knitting. And my excuse for a few weeks of beer festivals at a local karaoke bar.
Mmm...Sammy Adams Winter Lager. He became one of my dear friends, but was also responsible for several embarassing karaoke renditions of 80's and early 90's pop songs. For some reason, alcohol makes you do genuinely stupid things, and I think that the stupidest I've ever done is getting up and singing "I like Big Butts" in front of a room full of strangers (okay and some of my friends were there too) and then proceeding to shake my money-maker like it was nobody's business to demonstrate that I had to like big butts...I have one! Not cool. But at least the beer was good. And the glass was never empty either, thanks to a certain person (mm-hmm...and you know who you are too John).
My wife also enjoyed several pitcherfulls of the stuff. Here she is, chugging back a cold one for the camera.
Ain't she special? :) You should see her after she's had a few Jaegerbomb chasers.
Anyhow,I'm glad to say that I'm back in the land of fibercrafting after several rough weeks of drinking,working, and drinking. Granted, I haven't been cranking out the FO's exactly, but I've gotten a few nifty things done.
This swatch is for my Secret of the Stole II. Of course, that's about as far as I've gotten on the thing as of right now, but still it's a damned good swatch, isn't it? My first attempt at knitting actual lace, and I think it's a-okay! Plus, Swatchy here went a long way to re-affirming my need to knit and even my talent as one. I can, in fact, read charts, and the Great Bag Flunkeroo was in no way my fault. It was an awkward, but inspired first shot at designing, but that's no reason to stop knitting for a long time. I do intend on knitting the stole, but I've yet to decide whether I want to fiddle around with it by adding beads, or if I just want to leave it plain. And while I've been pondering that, I've knit a couple of chemo caps. And that last picture was probably supposed to be revenge for me making the wifey model it for me. Bet she didn't expect me to post it here...Hehehe. I love you too baby. ;)
I also bought MORE laceweight yarn from handpaintedyarn.com even though I have no idea what the hell I'm going to do with it now that I've decided not to do Dem Fischer Sin Fru. It was just so pretty,I couldn't say no. See?
And I've been systematically working on an entrelac (my first time ever doing entrelac - yay!) tote, which I have no pictures of as of yet. But besides from doing a decent amount of knitting, and a lot of stash enhancement, I've also been doing a helluva lot of frogging. I had started a pair of Jaywalkers, a Branching Out, an Anniversary Sock (almost had that one finished too), and had been attempting to design a sock. All of 'em were ripped out three weeks ago and have since been reverted to their former skein state. I haven't a clue what I'm going to do with the yarns as of yet, but I'm sure they'll all soon find a home in a brand-new project. I'll probably re-start the Jaywalkers, but on a size bigger needle so it will fit over my big fat calf.
Agh! Anyway, it's getting late and I must dash for now. I will be back later on in the week with an update, and hopefully a few more pictures!
Let It Be Sunday!
8 hours ago