Sunday, January 22, 2012

Knit through all things

It's been a rough couple of weeks, for various reasons - somehow even reading has seemed to require too much of the wrong kind of brainpower - so I have been knitting.  (I have also been spinning, but haven't taken any pictures of that yet.  Soon.)

In keeping with the plan of moving ahead with projects long-planned but not-yet-executed, I cast on for a pair of socks for Rick.  These are the Blunnie Socks, from last year's Rockin' Sock Club.  And they are knitted* on size zero needles (take that, size 15s!).  I don't have any pictures yet, but the first one is moving along fairly rapidly, and I am about halfway through the gusset. 

I also dithered for some time about the best way to use my precious three skeins of HazelKnits Entice (colorway Violeta), purchased at Sock Summit.  You know how easy it is to get crazy about finding the absolute perfect way to use up yarn that you really love?  It was threatening to get that way, until I finally talked myself down by reminding myself that there is more beautiful yarn out there in the world, and that getting attached is unhealthy (I swear, knitting up luxury yarn is excellent practice in non-attachment).  I decided on Poplar and Elm (silencing the monkey brain that wondered whether a wrap style is a mistake, since Rick isn't fond of them, blah blah blah), and cast on.

I am one sleeve in, and loving every minute of this knit.
This yarn is absolutely scrumdiddlyumptious.  So soft and squishy and happy.  It also took well to the ripping and reknitting I did (twice) at the start of the sleeve.  I decided that I was too impatient to knit an actual gauge swatch, but that I would knit the sleeves first, as a reasonable approximation thereof.  I cast on with the suggested size 5s, but after an inch or so, thought that things seemed too big.  So I ripped and went down to size 4s.  But after four inches or so, it was clear that 4s were going to be too small (and I'm knitting a size which is on the small side in any case, so a bit big is much better than a lot small), so I ripped that and went back to the size 5s.  And did all of this ripping make me cranky?  No, indeed it did not.  Because did I mention that the yarn is amazing?  And that I'm working with my lovely Signature needles, gifts of my beloved SIL?  And that I am NOT working on size 15 needles?  I'm in my happy space.

Yesterday, I also taught a silk hankie class at my LYS - always great fun.  I went in with some mawata that I'd stashed away for my next class, but when I got there, found that a new shipment of hankies had come in from Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks.  And there, right in the middle of the pile, was the perfect colorway to go with my newly-finished purple scarf.  So I snagged that one and used it to demonstrate technique during class (casting on my own pair of mitts in the process).  I finished the first one last night, and the second one today, and I am pleased as punch.  I have long been wanting a pair of mitts for myself, so this is a real treat.
Nice, no?  The colorway is Cabernet, and I am just delighted with them.  The pattern is one I put together for the class, and it seems to do the trick, while leaving plenty of scope for play for students who want to add a little somethin' somethin'.  I also picked up another mawata in a colorway (I think it's Lagoon?) that will go with the second one of these scarves that I'm knitting (although this Cabernet one should go with both of them when worn together).  But I'll probably hold off on knitting those until the scarf is done - a sort of bribe, as it were.

Classes start this week, so it's off to the races for me.  

*I saw a letter in the recent issue of The Knitter from someone who expressed her vast annoyance that the magazine had recently taken on the habit ("appalling" was implied) of using "knitted" as the past tense of "knit", when everyone ("cretin" was implied) knows that the correct past tense of "knit" is "knit".  In keeping with this prescriptivism, I would like to point out that the above usage is not the past tense (in fact, I do often use "knit" as the past tense of "knit", although I now have an overpowering urge to do otherwise, in as Uhmurrikan a way as I can manage), but is in fact the past participial form of the verb "knit", since that is a passive up there.  I contend that the past participle of "knit" is "knitted" and will defend my stance against all comers.**  Hmph.

**Don't you love grammatical curmudgeonliness and chest-beating?  Can't you sense the dripping sarcasm?


patrice said...

I knit, I knit, I have knitted? :)

Willow said...

I knit; therefore I am.
I knit; therefore I was.
I have knitted; therefore I have been.
I had kntted; therefore I had been.

Did I get that correct?

I need to practice the mantra 'other luscious yarn will be produced in the future so I don't need to obsess'.

Nana Sadie said...

Oh dear heaven...I did indeed note the dripping sarcasm...

This reminds me of the number of times I scream at the television when the newscasters (!) say "theirselves" or some such "appalling" ungrammatical something.

I'm getting old.
(and I must check into this silk hanky thing? Where have I been?)
(anything knitted on less than 15s is a joyous day...)

Gwen said...

Lovely and lovely!

I wondered how many men I knew would be willing to wear a wrap cardigan. Then I realized it's for you. Great choice!

I have some silk hankies to knit one of these days. I wonder how much I will drive myself crazy figuring it out on my own? Not that I'm in a hurry. Firmly in the Someday pile of ideas.

I knit to the End of the Universe.

Lynne said...

Older Australians, like me, have always said "knitted" for past actions, as in "I knitted while watching television last night".

It's the word "gift" being used as a verb that sticks in my craw; and the commentators on the tennis at the moment" "he hit that slice really well, Federer" when speaking of Federer not to him! I know language is suppose to evolve but some things are really annoying!

I love that mitten! It does go well with your scarf.

Jane said...

Oh how scrumptious that violeta is!

Brandi said...

omgosh that reminds me of a college english class I took where the professor gave out a sheet of verbs like that. I will never forget. "We will have been being heard" correct english ...yes does anyone talk like that in my life

greenmtngirl said...

I MUCH prefer "knitted" to "knit," as in, "I knitted on my sweater last night." It sounds better to my staid New England ear. And I know, as an editor and a language major, that language is alive and always changing. Maybe that switch from "knitted" to "knit" is on the way. I don't like it, but I sure wouldn't send a fuming letter about it.

And I'm with Lynne--oh, I hate the way "gifted" is used as a verb so commonly now. I guess it's not wrong, but it does stick in my craw. We have a perfectly good word, "gave." I infinitely prefer that.

And then I have to laugh at how important something so essentially minor can be to me.

I love those mawata mitts. I've been wanting to try that technique for some mittens, but haven't jumped in yet. So tempting!

RobinH said...

Heh, I'm reminded of when I loaned my mother (former English teacher and librarian) a copy of Lynne Truss' Eats Shoots and Leaves to read. My mom got to the part where she mentions grammar ninjas, who creep out in the dark of night to correct misspelled signs, and said, "Oh, I'm there-Give me a balaclava! Where do I join?!"

Your mitts are beautiful! And I love the sweater. With yarn that delicious, I'm sure you'll love wearing it. (Unless you're making it for Rick, I think your opinion is more important than his.)

EGunn said...

My rule goes thusly: Make 100% sure you are right, and then be as curmudgeonly about it as you like, so long as you don't stray into pedantry. And who doesn't like a little curmudgeon once in a while? =)

I am on the same page as you with wanting to knit and not read/write/think or do academic-like things at the moment (or pattern writing things, as it sadly turns out). Sometimes the brain just needs a break, and it looks like that yarn is just the ticket for blissful knitting time. Hope you're refreshed for the new semester!

twinsetellen said...

The start to the sweater that you have knitted is simply delicious. And you are so wise to point out that the cure to not using luxury yarn is to knit some. I must go apply that to my stash as I have been stuck in the same spot of wanting the project to be perfect (while standing amid enough yarn to make 100 perfect projects).

AlisonH said...

I so relate to your take on luxury yarns; it is so hard to let them become frozen by my time into one single future entity only.

And whoever that curmudgeon was was wasting precious knitting time, hers and others'. Different people use different words and it's okay. I can remember being corrected as a small child: "kid" as a term for "child" was slang and not appropriate speech for formal company. Seriously. I think my grandmother gave that up by the time I was a teen, though.

Carrie#K said...

How can there be dripping sarcasm in such an important debate? How?

Knitted tends to make me grit my teeth.