Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Glimpse Into My Brain

I'm going to give you a peek into how my monkey brain works. I finally dug out the Judy's Color stocking kit that I picked up about 2 years ago for Dizzle. Her brother has a nice handknit stocking, so I figured she deserved one too. But, I never got inspired to pull it out. Seeing as she's getting old enough to notice, I figured I should maybe get to work on it for this year.

Its knit with Rauma Strikkegarn, a yarn I've never worked with before. It is a wonderful tightly plied 3 ply, not too soft, not super-rough. I really, really love it. It also, as you might imagine from the above photo, comes in a ton of to-die-for colors. As I was happily stocking knitting, it occurred to me that this would be a most-excellent yarn for Babette.

"Babette?", you say. Yes, this Babette (I'm linking you to Maryse's photo of hers, because it was this one that made me want to make one). Two things about this blanket - it is large, and it is crochet. I am not a crocheter, or crochetier, if you prefer, which I do, because it sounds fancy.

About 3 months ago, I picked up a crochet hook in order to teach myself how to crochet, just so I could make this blanket. I've not made any finished objects, but I've practiced granny squares, hexagons, the wool eater blanket, and a few other things.

Back to last week: I was working with the Strikkegarn, thinking it would be perfect for Babette, and my brain decided that I would make Babette now and I would make it with this yarn. I spent embarrassing amounts of time online looking at colors, playing with the random stripe generator and generally obsessing about all things Babette - put yarns into my online cart and nearly bought it all at least 3 different times, but then would doubt my color choices. Adrian saw me Tweet about my obsession, and offered to send her Rauma color cards for me to look at - awesome! But that meant more waiting, if I were to be good and wait to see the colors in real life.

My brain did not want to wait, it wanted to crochet! With pretty colors! An afghan! NOW!!! In order to quell the crochet beast that was taking over my brain, I started a ripple afghan using some Silk Garden and a matchy neutral, both from stash.

That has bought me time to carefully choose colors and order my Rauma, which hopefully will arrive this week.

That is how monkey-brained me goes from knitting a stocking to having 2 afghan projects on the front-burner. Think Dizzle can wait one more year for that stocking?

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sneaky Yarn

You know how sometimes yarn has a mind of its own? I swear my sweater's worth of Araucania Nature Wool in a fabulous tealy-blue was destined to be knit, ripped, knit and ripped over and over. Its first incarnation was as a brioche ribbed sweater called Nieuwmarkt that I knit 8 inches into before discovering I didn't have gauge and it was sized for a 12 year old (do you have any idea how much knitting 8in in brioche is?). Demoralized, I frogged it and left the yarn to marinate in the stash for a while.

When Low Tide Ripples was published, I immediatly associated it with this yarn. I even remembered its traitorous nature and swatched with it before allowing myself to see it completed in my minds eye. I got gauge easily and cast on, making merry progress and enjoying the knitting greatly. It is constructed from the neck down, all on one piece, and if you scroll down to the post below this one, you'll see that I was a mere 3 inches from finishing the body before discovering sabotage that happened halfway back. I dutifully ripped and re-knit, pleased that I went back and fixed my mistake. Does anyone else do that whole internal back and forth about whether or not its worth it to go back and fix, or if you can live with the mistake - I swear it takes me more time to come to the decision to actually re-knit than it does to actually re-knit.

Sleeves were next, and as a made my way through the first ingeniously crafted, beautiful cabley and buttony sleeve pattern, I realized I was knitting them long enough to fit a baby giraffe leg. Once again, the yarn bitch-slapped me when I least expected it, and called for the 3rd frogging of its life. Luckily, I managed not to make the same mistake on sleeve two and in no time I had a well fitting, comfy fall sweater for myself, despite the yarn's deepest desire to not be confined into such a conformist destiny.

I will not be complacent, however, and am keeping vigilant watch for things that might snag or rip my new garment and help the yarn to achieve its desired fate.