Saturday, April 26, 2003

Woohoo!!!! Less than 30 rounds to go...I think...I hope

click on image for larger view

32 rounds x 3 + 10 rounds = more rounds than I'd rather be doing + 24 rounds of ribbing = *scream* Click for larger picture

As you can see, Caedmon is no longer the neglected red-headed bastard stepchild that he was for the past two odd weeks. Will I finish the body this weekend? Hell no! However, by Wednesday is a great possibility...and this is what I have to look forward to...
Filthy Steeking Rich!!!

My first attempt at steeking. Now, there are two possibilities: 1) Attain a place in history next to Imhotep's first pyramid, the prototype for all of Egypt's pyramids...or 2) go down in history like the Hindenburg, Lusitania, Titanic, etc...disatrous wrecks all of them!!! I'll follow Wendy's instructions and hope for the former.

Oh, and lookie at what else I decided to throw in:

No, it's not a spout, it's a gusset! But that would be an interesting idea for a future sweater design: The Strawberry Pot. No, I'm not suggesting strawberry flavored canibus, but the terra cotta pots that strawberries are typically grown in. But back to the current disaster... Now, ask me, why the hell did I do the gusset in Rice Stitch? As if anyone is going to see it...and besides, with the increases, you can't even see the definition of the stitch anyway. Hmph.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Just all over the place today

It's amazing the wierd places that one can find inspiration. Last night I was watching Bones, being a sap for the occasional horror movie that I am. Anywho, Pam Grier's character--Pearl the psychic--was wearing an interesting poncho in a very blah neutral color. And then a lightbulb went off. I could do that! But could I do better? Well, I'm starting to run out of knittable Celtic knots... All Celtic knots are inherently knittable since they're nothing more than lattice cabling with a few twists, turns, beginnings, and endings. But it's the charting that gets to become a bitch! And besides, Mercury is getting ready to go retrograde, so I'm not exactly in any position to create any decent designs. (After Mercury goes retrograde I'll probably complain about how we're getting 4 retrogrades this year instead of the usual three)

So no major designing from Saturday until May 20th. Good! At least I can finish the Caedmon! So far, I've finished the gussets, started the armhole steeks and I'm already thinking about what I'm going to do for the neck shaping. Steeks of course. I'm just too damn lazy to actually go from circular knitting to flat back and forth knitting. So, I steek...I showered...but I still seem to steek.

Speaking of (talk about a perfect segue) one of the great things about having a counter is that you get to see where people who visit your site came from. A few from the earthaknit home page, a few from other bloggers' sites, some googles and...a few yahoos. Now, it's the yahoos that I'm talking about...specifically one search in particular. The keywords? Curve cologne slut. I understand that yahoo is notorious for tracking one's internet activities, but what I'd like to know is how they were able to put IP address 123.45.6789 and the EarthaKnittery together with the Curve cologne slut? Yes, curve is my favorite brand (which I usually buy at either Bloomies or Strawbridges). And me being a slut...well, some things are just generally accepted as fact. But...*harrumph* big brother watching me? And if he is, I really should stop knitting nekid. (now, erase that picture from your mental canvas *bzzt*)

And last but not least...

Dark Mint-Complementary, my dear Watson!

*Which Flavor Camel Exotic Blends are You?*
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

I'm sure you've all had those incidents when your designs, once knitted, don't exactly match the concept. Well, over the weekend, I had one such incident. You find a yarn that you love, you find a motif that you just adore, you decide to mix the two in what would, under ideal circumstances, be a great marriage of physical and aesthetic texture. And then you end up with blah! I thought that I compensated well for the large gauge of the yarn by using US4 needles instead of the recommended US8. But this is what I was left with:


So, what I ended up with was something that was too big and too small, with unsightly little holes on the top, and a color combination that I'm not too sure that I'd be willing to try again. The main issue that I have with the hat is that, because it is so 'small' it bubbles out when I put it on my head. Then there's the issue of the square, instead of round, top. Am I complaining too much? Hell No! Will I wear this hat in public? Double Hell No! Will I reknit this hat with a different yarn? Keep up to speed with me...I've already finished 20% of it. Will I invest in a good book on color theory? Damn skippy!! Do I think anyone will be willing to actually buy this pattern once it's finalized? *shrug* But feel free to drop me an email, and you'll be among the first to know when the pattern is complete and where you can purchase it.

Saturday, April 19, 2003


The REAL brains behing this operation

Well, our mascot, the ever hardworking Princess Pandora has finally hit the big 2 today. Yes, on April 19, 2001 this little thing was born. Who knew that she'd be computer literate and sending emails and preparing HTML layouts and Access databases before her 2nd birthday?

Pandora, take a bow and thank all the lovely people for the pleasant birthday wishes.
Thank you, thank you, thank you

But pay attention, back to the knitting.....

Of course you all have probably gather that I have a slight addiction to Aran knitting. Last night I was watching So Graham Norton on BBC America (right after Ab Fab) and he decided to show some knitting magazines that the first James Bond had posed in. One of the magazines that he showed was called The Aran Look. Smack dab in the middle of that magazine was an example of the aran look being taken too far. Now we all adore the Aran look for, in Graham's words "the cable here, and the wooden button there". But then he flipped to a page with a lady dressed head to bloody toe in Aran wear. An Aran hood, jacket, sweater, leggings, and boots. Sadly, I googled and found nothing...but believe you was HORRID! Princess Pandora definitely wouldn't like it. But, speaking of the Aran look being taken too far, I made a fish swatch last night that I'm really liking. After I block it and set it up with a few other swatches I'm going to post it on the EarthaKnit Gallery of Knots. This swatch is going to be a hat, haven't decided what type of hat, but I'm going to drop a line to Threadbear to see what they've got in stock that I'd love. Keep your eyes peeled for this design...I just might sell it! LoL

So, what's on my agenda for the day? Well, I'm going to take Pandora out to celebrate her birthday with a nice piddle against a tree. Oddly enough, despite being a female she often lifts her leg when she does her business...I know, TMI! And then I'm going to take her to Petco just too look around (daddy spent too much money on yarn last week...she understands) And then I'm finally going to sit down and knit the green thing, AKA Caedmon. Will I finished at least 1 whole row today? I don't know...but keep your fingers crossed for me. Oh, and yes, that is a piece of Manos tied around Pandora's hair.

Friday, April 18, 2003

Maxine peeking at the new changes from under the covers

As you can tell someone's been a hard working bastard. Pay no attention to the fact that my knowledge of HTLM is practically non-existent (and don't even ask how I was able to create a graphic...but that's okay, the software expires in 18 days) I regret to inform you that we've gone commercial...or rather we're in the process of going commercial. And we're in the process of moving too. will be the future home of the blog formerly known as All Stitched Up. Henceforth, All Stitched Up will be known as The EarthaKnittery. Clever? Hell no! Gay as all hell! Most def'! So, in an attempt to justify the existence of and also to create revenue to pay for the webspace and the cute little email address I set up a cute little Cafepress boutique. Don't worry, I'm in the process of creating a new button, so don't get too used to that ugly little thing I've got down there in the corner. But still feel free to buy stuff. Fortunately, the merchandise is better looking than the button that I created. But 100x100px is such a limited amount of space to get creative with.

So, why the name EarthaKnit? Trust me, it has nothing to do with the fact that Mme. Eartha Kitt herself was mentioned (albeit in passing) in an article entitled The Knitting Revolution. As I said, she barely got an entire sentence. Besides, I just found the link last night. Will have anything to do with Mme. Eartha Kitt? Only in the sense that I hope to seduce knitters worldwide with a few decent patterns. So, what the hell is an EarthaKnit? Well, the tag line is Natural Knitting, Natural Design. We're going for an earthy Barefoot Contessa type of feel. Classy yet comfortable. Shabby yet Chic. And with a tag line Natural Knitting, Natural Design you shouldn't expect to find too many acrylic or novelty yarns. However, I am designing a dog sweater made from an eyelash yarn...if only I could find one that I liked. But the first full collection that the Atelier will turnout is going to be Gaeilge Seanfhocal. I forget how to pronounce it, but it means Gaelic Expression. So basically you can expect to see what would happen if Alice Starmore and Elsbeth Lavold got together and have a love-sweater...*shrinking at the thought that I could come up with a word as corny as love-sweater*

In the meantime, because what would be a knitblog without something signficantly knitworthy mentioned? It's interesting to see how two different designers with two different techniques tackle the same motif. I'm going to study this a bit more and then get back to you on my findings. But, from what I have gathered thus far, both Starmore and Lavold have charted out a pattern which could very easily be interchangeable one for the other. Starmore's version is curvier and done over 19 stitches, whereas the Lavold version is more angular and done over 16 sts. Both consist of 24 rows, both increase the number of stitches by 4, and both are utilized quite nicely in the patterns provided. Of course I'm referring to the flanking panel of St. Brigid (Starmore) and the S-Hitches as seen in the Harald outif of gansey-esque pullover, watch cap, socks and mittens (Lavold) ... and I thought that I was the only one that would dare consider beating a motif to death. Although, I've got an aran, a pullover with set in sweaters, another with raglan sleeves, a hat, an aran coat type of deal, and a cardigan. Note to self...try to figure out pattern for socks, mittens, and underwear. Yes, cabled skivies, for the gentleman of discerning taste. LoL

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Making her debut appearance on the blog soon-to-be-formerly-known-as All Stitched Up: a Diamond and Purl Production, I proudly present you to in all her feline splendor: Maxine

A pensive moment

Cuter than Gage? Cuter than Izzy? Cuter than all those other blog cats? Well, I'm not even going to attempt to start a cat fight, but she is terribly cute! She's so cute, she gets to appear in one blog entry TWO (count 'em 2) times.

So there you have it, per Steve's request...or was that brow beating[?] from the tag-board.

Meanwhile, on the knitting front, Caedmon still sits rejected like the red-headed bastard that he has become. Nevertheless, I'm going to try and work a few rounds on him this weekend. Any significant knitting completely on the other projects today? No! And why?

Well, it begins with me going to the store at half-past General Hospital...come on, you know you tell time by the soap operas too. Now, where was I. It was half-past General Hospital and I decided it was time to hop over to the store to take care of my Mountain Dew/cigarette fix. I had just hopped out of the shower, threw on a t-shirt and some pants and did not a damn thing else. So I head to the store, get my stuff and go to return home. And much to my chagrin, my key was still inside the house, so I was locked out until the individual heretofore known as enabler of dogs got in from work at half-past 11 o' clock news.

But I'm resourceful (and was armed with a Visa shield), so I headed downtown to the yarn shop to pick up some Green Mountain yarn, some sale mercerized cotton, and a skein of a white worsted something or other to put together a gallery of knitted knots...oh, and a pair of US4 needles so I could get started with the Green Mountain yanr that I bought. Of course you probably guessed that I'm making hat #4, to kinda make up for the fact that I wasn't able to work on hat #3...but oh goes on. I know what you're saying...why didn't you just call a locksmith!? Well, that thought did cross my mind...but I'd rather spend that money on booze and and booze, and in that order.

Now, this is where grandparents living directly across the stree comes in handy. And when I say directly across the street, I mean sitting at the bedroom window and picking up the phone to tell my grandfather that his head was in the way and I didn't see what just happened on TV. So, I sat there knitting and watching TV until half-past 11 o'clock news. Handy? Indeed! Rare? Well, not really. In South Philly you can have one third of a block that is the same family. Then they marry someone from their block and move to a different block so as to keep the chances of inbreeding low. They usually stay centralized then move to another block after about two generations. Poor kids...where their version of that famous song goes Over the gutter and through the alley to Nonna's house we go.

Monday, April 14, 2003

The Labors of a Fruit

Ossia 'The Fruits of my Labor'

(click on the image for a larger version)

three hats, only one of which I like

Here's only a part of what's been causing me sleepless nights. The other parts are website graphics stuff, a few more knitting design stuff, and of course neglecting the prodigal bastard, Caedmon. But for today I'm going to blog about the tryptich of hats that I'm knitting.

Jamieson Spindrift

This of course is my favorite of the three. Granted the band is a little thin for my big head, and the shetland is a little itchy for my sensitive-ish skin, but I'm thoroughtly enjoying knitting with this yarn! But guess who ran out of yarn? No, not me. The yarn shop, so of course I called every yarn shop in Philadelphia to see if they carried the Jamieson Spindrift and not a single one (except Rosie's Yarn Cellar) has it. And of course, I should buy the last skein of Pine and Pistachio. So, how many of you think that I'm going back to Rosie's to pick up another skein of Purple Heather and Burnt Umber? Not gonna happen!

Rowan Summer Tweed, Color 515 Raffia

Then there's the first of the two evils. Rowan Summer Tweed. I only bought this yarn because it was so beautiful. In this color it reminds me of some Classic Elite Fame that I used for a scarf (but not as tweedy). But the problem is that this is a cotton/silk blend...and we know what that means. Rowan suggests a US8 needle, but this was knit on a US6 and it's still too loose. But I just adore the way this pic showed up on this photo. Just a shame I doubt that I'll be knitting with it again. Although...there is an idea that I'm thinking about adapting from the Winter 2003 Phildar But, of course, Rowan doesn't have enough colors to fulfill my concept. But the colors they have could constitute a nice adjustment. Of the few colors that Rowan does have they do have some REAL stunners in their color assortment, which is their one saving grace...aside from the wide variety of yarns to choose from.

Rowan Summer Tweed, Color 523 Legend

And here is the second of the two evils. Rowan Summer Tweed again. Remember how I said that Rowan suggests a US8? Well, this one is being done on a US4 and I'm just loving it for an autumn hat! I'm guessing you can call it the lesser of two evils. But I still detest the yarn because of the cotton/silk blend...but being a man of luxury does have it's occasional setbacks.

Now, the problem with knitting with anything that's not wool is that it's a bitch and a half to work with! Mercerized cotton is a thing that I can deal with, but Mission Falls feels like knitting with spun cotton balls. And I really can't put into words how this silk/cotton blend feels. It does have a very chenille-esque quality about it and it does have a certain added stickiness due to the silk content. But I'm almost feeling seducted into knitting that autumny sweater with the Summer Tweed. Do I finally see something for knitty??? Perhaps...but for now, I'm going to be very non-committal about it.

Saturday, April 12, 2003

Oh Sweet Memories...

I'm sure all of you remember your first knitting experience. For many of you, it was at the side of your mother, grandmother, aunt or some other revered knitting female of your childhood. I, on the other hand, wasn't so lucky. My great grandmother did crochet, in fact she made a baby blanket for me, but she passed when I was in elementary school and content with The Smurfs, Thunder Cats, Snorkels, and (dare I go old school) Atari. She did however teach my mother to crochet, but that fancy faded shortly after that first vest was blocked. Besides, with sewing a machine can do all the work for you.

So, how did I come into knitting? Well, one day I was sitting in my favorite coffee shop, minding my own business and trying to snag myself a husband. Then, two semi-middle aged men game in. They ordered their coffee, sat at their little table by the window and took some funny looking flags on teeny-tiny flag poles out of their bags. I watched them, fascinated by what they were doing. I noticed that as they tapped the right flagpole against the left flagpole the flag was slowly but surely moving from one pole to the other. Wait...they were knitting! Wow!!!

Many months later I was in Barnes & Noble and somehow ended up in the section with the arts and craft books. The first book that I picked up with Knitting Without Tears. Good, I thought, I can learn how to knit without the sweater ripping -- because tear and tear are spelled almost the same. And, also knitting would give me something to do to keep my hands busy so that I could quit smoking. I read the book, slept with the book and digested the book and decided that it was time to take this experience from the written page into reality. I remembered this little basement store that had yarn looking stuff in the window that I would pass on my way coming from the violin shop, so I went there. I ended up getting some purple worsted and US7 needles and got busy knitting as soon as I got home, knitting from the left needle to the right needle and from the right needle back to the left needle without turning to the WS. It was time to schedule a lesson.

So I had my lesson with some Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille that I bought that day. I know what you're saying: a lesson with chenille??? Yes, I was forewarned, but ignorance is bliss and I was in the mood to do some skipping!

Time had passed and I acquainted myself with the basics of knitting. I was so acquainted with the basics that I felt comfortable knitting in public without fear of being attacked by a real knitter laughing at the mockery that I was making of the craft. But I had grown weary of the chenille for obvious reasons and decided that it was time to visit the yarn shop again and buy some wool. So I picked up six skeins of Rowan DK Tweed (may that line rest in peace). Now, at this point I knew none of the terminology about knitting, aside from knit, purl, cast-on, and bind-off. I saw Tweed and I thought of those pants that I wouldn't dare wear again on a cold day without underwear. I saw DK and I thought oh, Donna Karan is making yarn now. You see, it was a separate entity from her clothing line, which is why it was DK instead of DKNY. She wanted to appeal to knitters worldwide. I swatched and swatched and swatched, acquainting myself with the techniques and teaching myself a few things.

Of course, it was time to buy some more yarn!!! What I ended up with was 6 50mg balls of some slubby yarn whose name escapes me at the moment, but I got it in Cream, Tan, and Brown and decided that I'd make a sampler scarf using some stitches that I saw in the second knitting book that I bought. And in a week and a half I had my first scarf, which served absolutely no purpose in the middle of summer, except to say: I'm officially a knitter. But not just any knitter...a smoking knitter; because if you follow the laws of physics as they relate to falling ashes and the direction and strength of the wind you can actually knit and smoke without burning whatever you were knitting. Rare and handy? Nope...just common and resourceful.

Friday, April 11, 2003

More quizzes for your viewing pleasure

Congratulations, you're New York City, the Big Apple.
What US city are you? Take the quiz by Girlwithagun.

As the song goes...New York, New York, there's a guy in a gown, in Central Park a drunk hooker fell down, on 42nd Street you get pissed off by a tourist standing in front of the damn wax museum taking a picture with a wax statue grinning from ear to ear as if it's the real celebrity and you just want to tell them to move the fuck out of your way but you resort to throwing your coffee at them then you realize that you're actually enjoying the coffee so you just mutter a few cuss words in Italian and Yiddish under your breath. Wait...that is how Leonard Bernstein wrote the song, right?

Yes I'm a li'l bit cranky this morning. It's past 10:30 and I haven't yet had a drop of coffee. I was up until 5am knitting my 4th swatch which I'm going to turn into a hat just for the sake of feeling like I'm actually accomplishing something. The Green Monster, Caedmon still sits on round 8 of the third pattern repeat. And I bought more yarn than I intended yesterday. So I'm just a little bit pissed. But ooh, the colors! and I get to knit a hat for Steve with one of the yarns that I bought. So, I guess it's not so bad after all...

Your magical style is Priestess.

What type of Magic do you work?. Take the Magical Style Quiz by Paradox

Not just an ordinary vestal virgin (hey, no comments about not even being a virgin), I'm a High Priestess. Well just a Priestess until I've had my coffee... But in the words of the great Iphigenie (the one en Tauride):
Je t'implore et je tremble, ô déesse implacable,Dans le fond de mon coeur mets la férocité: Étouffe de l'humanité la voix plaintive et lamentable. Hélas! Ah! quelle est donc la rigueur de mon sort? D'un sanglant ministère, victime involontaire, j'obéis, et mon coeur est en proie au remord!

Well, what else is there to say? Time to get caffeinated...

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Yesterday on Joe's blog he posted a picture of a drunk and drugged cat with a thingie around his neck. So of course I couldn't resist...

Joe has Gage, Wendy has Izzy and I've got Pandora (Coco doesn't like to get photoed). She's not exactly a cat...but if the landlord asks, tell her that you heard Pandora meow.

She came in after our walk and went straight to my 'public' stash of yarn and took a little nap. Now, ain't it just cute the way a hairless sweater wearing pup can make a jumbo skein of Red Heart and some assorted Lion Brand yarn almost look acceptable in a basket with Vittadini, Manos, and Mission Falls and that bright chartreuse skein of Provence that I finally got around to using.

Meanwhile, I found some decent Celtic Knot software. So, today I'm going to pick up some assorted skeins of Jamieson and start swatching. Woohoo!!!

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Knitting the whole night long...

A Cher concert, a big bottle of Mountain Dew, a rum and coke (with more coke than rum) and a bad case of insomnia are all that it takes. Yep, you guessed it, I'm still designing...

In the middle of knitting, I thought of something that Joe said about that problematic increase that I couldn't coherently put into words. How about m1? I brushed it off. Too simple! And the way that I had charted the motif, a m1 increase would take away from the sense of infinity inherent in an infinite cable. But I thought for a moment in the middle of knitting, which in many cases isn't a good thing, especially when you're smack dab in the middle of knitting a swatch for the third time...but larger and mirrored. When you shift things over just a smidge and cable outward from the m1, [p1, yo, p1], m1 increase, things just might work. And they did. As they say in the backwoods of Pennsyl-tucky: Voylah! Now, to figure out what the hell I'm going to do with the other panels of the aran version of this sweater that Steve prefers. (Sorry, no picture linking your hands inside the car even after the rollercoaster has come to a complete stop!!!)

So many projects...and only two hands to knit with... It's times like this that I'm sure every knitter wishes that they were Vishnu. Knit with both sets of hands (one for the front and one for the back/one for the left sleeve and one for the right sleeve) or knit with one set and design with the other. So far, I've got the raglan sweater for which just the mathematical part remains, an aran version of the raglan sweater that I've got to figure out, re-do the chart for the Iascaire (thanks for the translation Eileen), and do some i-cord experiments. Busy, busy, busy... (typed with a yawn thrown in). Meanwhile back at the ranch, I'm off the brew a pot of coffee and pretend that I got my usual 5 hours of sleep.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

The Designer Guys...

Now, in a perfect world I'd be referring to the TV show that I like to refer to as The Designer Gays. It all depends on my mood, but I'm not sure which one of the Designer Guys I find more delectable: Steven Sabados, the rather handsome, dimpled and trim butch guy or Chris Hyndman the rather handsome, un-dimpled, and slightly voluptuous semi-queen. I guess their fashion counterparts would be a Tom Ford (but with a lower hairline)/Todd Oldham mix(yum) and Isaac Mizrahi (but yummier).

But anywho, that's not what I'm referring to.

Three minds are always better than one. Steve, Joe, and myself. Over the course of the last few days I was designing a swatch, which has become the inspiration for several possible designs. It was an interesting swatch. But now that I've already knit it two times (with a third knit coming up in the near future) I'm severely disliking it! But I'm enjoying the collaboration process, as it not only helps me through the moments when I get stuck, but it also gives me impetus to trudge onward.

Joe and I had a nice lengthy chat yesterday because I was stumped. I 'unvented' a process that I hadn't seen described anywhere before and wasn't exactly sure how to translate it from the chart. In an ideal world, people would understand and embrace the direction: pick the thingie up and purl. But I think that one has to be more specific in knitting, and I'm under the impression that words such as thingie, whatsawhosit, thingamabob, and diddlything are generally to be avoided in writing out knit patterns. But I couldn't figure out for the life of me how to eloquently and coherently put what I was doing into words. I had Joe stumped for a bit, but the stumping could have been originally caused by me sending him an upside down picture of the first swatch. But we finally came up with a comprehensible set of words that wouldn't cause knitters around the world to curse my name and damn me to an eternity in the backwoods of Pennsylvania (AKA Pennsyl-bama). What Joe came up with was 'purl into the stitch below next stitch'. That seems coherent enough. P into the st below the next st, [p1, yo, p1] into one st, p into the stitch below previous stitch. And there we have it an inc4 without that obscene buttonhole that appears when you p1, p1tbl, yo, p1, p1tbl. So, for Joe's present design endeavor I'm going to submit a raglan sweater with the freaky increase...

Then I called Steve. Like I said I had three (trying to be four) possible designs that could work well with this motif and I needed more input, as it would be ghastly to let two of the three designs go to waste (the fourth being a cardigan and I'm just not particularly thrilled about knitting button bands yet). Now, Steve isn't exactly a knitter, but I've never seen him wear anything that looks horrible on him...not that anything could look horrible on him, but I digress. So, I asked Design Idea #1, Design Idea #2, or Design Idea #3. His choice was Design Idea #2. Although his actual words were something along the lines of, I'm really liking the green one (AKA Caedmon). I wonder if he realizes that since he chose door #2 the process will be a bit more involved than just saying "I like #2"? *scratching head* So, Steve, if you're actually reading this, you should expect to be viewing a few more swatches before week's end. Just got to figure out some mathematical things.

So I trudge onward evermore...

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Accentuate the positive

You would think that I'd give up knitting considering how it gives me nightmares. So last night I had another one. Joe and Marilyn can rest easily, as this dream wasn't egged on by sock yarn and a deliciously awesome sock pattern. Celtic Knots were the issue at hand last night. Or, more specifically, the chart that I did up last night for "Fisherman" (note to self: find the Gaelic translation for Fisherman).

Will it look like the original when I actually knit it up??? Well, that's why I had the nightmare. Oddly enough, I clicked my heels together three times and ended up with this:'s the prodigal son, Caedmon. Click for Larger View

Saturday, April 05, 2003

Yippy, it arrived yesterday...and being just a minute or two over 28 hours later, I've already made one swatch and bookmarked each of the patterns that I plan on knitting with red and blue little Post-It(tm) flags. The red denotes stuff that I'm definitely going to knit, and the blue denotes stuff that I've got to let mull around a bit before I commit myself to knitting it. Of course I'm referring to the Alice Starmore Aran Knitting. I'm really enjoying the book, but I severely doubt that it's worth the $100+ that people are paying for it on eBay. Don't get me wrong--it's one of the better and more comprehensive sources out there that specifically deal with the Aran style of knitting. But it still doesn't warrant a $150 (or, dare I say, $300) top bid. But as I've said before, those eBayers are ruthless.

Anywho, I took a visit to Sophie's yesterday. Knowing that I was visiting, the UPS guy delivered several boxes of yarn. The image that I will paint for you is a kid and a freshly raked pile of leaves. You can only imagine what happened. But I bought no yarn, which is an outstanding testament to my will power. Despite buying no yarn, I did leave with quite a bit of inspiration for Gaeilge Seanfhocal 2004. The first source of inspiration was Nicky Epstein's Knitted Embellishments, which provided a rather creative way around a few Celtic knots that are particularly un-knittable on account of horizontal bars. So, I'm going to slap some yarn on the handy knitting machine, crank out an I-cord, and get to experimenting.

Then there was the book New Directions in Knitting. Personally, it's a rather ho-hum book with a few gems placed few and far between. But, despite that, it's prime merits lay in the construction of many of the knits. In fact, I found a less textured, simplified version of a sweater that I designed for the Gaeilge Seanfhocal 2004. And by 'sweater that I designed' I mean it's presently just a sketch in my design book...which is to say that I haven't the slightest idea how I'm going to piece the damn thing together. Pick up and knit down? Or knit up, baste, and graft? Wait...I left something out. So, beginning again: Pick up, knit down, baste and graft? Or pick up, knit up, baste, and graft? Are you thinking what I'm thinking *as I search the environs of my desk for some Excedrin*. This Gaeilge Seanfhocal 2004 should be quite an interesting and fun *gag* collection.

Friday, April 04, 2003

Not a damn thing knit worthy to say. Although, it's amazing how swiftly one can knit when watching ER and they've moved the ever lovable, oh so congenial, ray of sunshine Dr. Romano down to the ER. Knitting faster was the only thing I could do to keep myself from doing unspeakable things to my television. But he got what he had coming to's just a shame that it wasn't someone from the ER that beat the crap out of him. Reason number 1 why I'd never work in a hospital. I probably would have been the first person to do unspeakable things to him...the nerve, removing the coffee pot and outlawing birthday cake. So I finished 6 rows in the course of that one hour, which is quite an accomplishment considering how slow of a knitter I am and how much cabling is involved. But I've finally gotten up to the increases for the gussets on the Caedmon (which will probably be the first thing in the Gaeilge Seanfhocal if only I could bamboozle some knitters into knitting the other crap that I come up with... I might actually have a decent trunk show by 2005).

Blogger issues. It has been brought to my attention that not a single solitary graphic is showing up on my page, which is extremely odd. I never understood how the graphics and stuff can show up on my page when viewed from my computer, but as soon as someone else gives it a gander, it's a blank background and not a single picture. Anywho, I was chatting with Joe yesterday and he told me about this FTP freeware, so of course I downloaded it immediately with the ideation of putting everything onto my verizon web space. And don't you know that because Verizon is doing "upgrades" I won't be able to do a damn thing except organize all of my photos and such into one folder on my computer and twiddle my thumbs until the "upgrades" have been "upgraded". But I'm thinking...Wendy has the nice little knitted masthead...and there are a few other blogs out there with knitted mastheads... so, why not me (once I get working graphics on my site?) I'm thinking about knitting the celtic knot that I've got as my background and using that as a masthead... and *gasp* I'm also thinking about breaking my cheap streak and registering a domain name. Will it ever happen??? Probably not...but it's a nice thought.

Oh, and one knitworthy thing to discuss... I finally designed half a sweater that I'm satisfied with. The only problem is I drew a rough (VERY rough) sketch, but haven't the slightest clue how to go about knitting it up. Hmm...oh well, got to do a bit of thinking...but first I've got to get the coffee pots agoing. You might think it's odd, but having a coffee pot in one's room really comes in handy during times like this.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Back to the Knit Leeches...

I was sitting under the dryer after getting my hair retwisted, kitting away and my loctician asked "Could ya knit me some pants?" Well I bit my tongue and I think I drew blood. I couldn't be my usual to-the-point self with the lady that I see every four weeks and pay good money to yank on my hair and twist until the roots start to pulsate. Besides, her shampooing my hair is as close as I'm going to get to...*cough* relations for a while. So, instead of smiling and saying "how 'bout I just bind your legs in Rowan Summer Tweed until the circulation stops" I kindly smiled and said "I'll think about it...but don't hold yer breath." I could have gone into detail about how much trouble it is knitting a sock for a size 13 foot and left it at that... Or I could have told her the story about the lady from knitting circle who decided to knit one of those stripped unitard type of things for a baby and ended up having to find a 3 month sized teddy bear to wear the damned thing... Besides, I haven't even started my leopard print undies yet...

And Caedmon (just a temporary name for the green aran) is retrogressing nicely. I finished exactly two rows last night while watching Wanda At Large. I never knew that it would be so difficult to knit at a consistent pace when you're doubled over in laughter. But in five more rows I get to start the increase for the gussets. Woohoo!!!!

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Two...2...Two entries in one!

Since I've been so silent since my last entry, I'm doubling up...let's politely refer to it as a menage a tricot. Me, subject one, and subject two...oh what wild fun that should be!!!
1. Plans Gone Wild (available on VHS)
Well, it's been one of those weeks...and it's only Wednesday. The original plan was that I would sit down with my sketch pad and design some amazingly stunning sweaters. Anyway... All that I accomplished was half a maybe, another perhaps and a slew of 'I wouldn't dress my fiercest foe in that' designs. So the secret is out: I suck as a designer...and don't even try to throw multiple colors into the mix. And I have the nerve to call myself a gay man and I can't even mix two decent colors together (with the exception of blue and chartreuse, purple and chartreuse, and neon orange and hot pink!) The real bulk of my talent lies in taking other people's designs and altering them so horrendously that they are unrecognisable from the original. But I did chart two three Celtic knots that I'm semi-satisfied with. Whether I'm satisfied with them when they're actually knit up is a completely different story.
Anywho, the green aran (which I haven't picked a name for yet) is progressing slowly buy surely. I'm on the third pattern repeat and am thinking that I should have thrown in some rice stitch to the center panel where the monotony of the reverse stockinette gets overwhelmingly redundant. Three more inches and I can start the shoulder steeks! Hmm...does that mean that I get to start the sleeve gussets on the next row?

2. Naming Knitwear
You've seen those magazines that give cutsie little names for their knit designs. Names like Jamie, Gavin, Biff, and Charles that say nothing about the garment but speak volumes on the designers ability to pick inept names. I don't know any Jamies, and the only Gavin I know is a once removed porn starlet (so you can rest asured that I definitely wouldn't be wearing that *cough*); I don't know a Biff, and as for Charles...well, I would imagine that garment to be to large to fit a normal human being*double cough*.
Once upon a time, when I was an alcoholic--nevermind the fact that I was only 20...nevermind the fact that I only had a drink once ever 6 months--I had drink inspired designs. There was Martini, because it was an olive-ish green color. There was White Russian--although that was actually named after a person. There was my first piece of knitting: Irish Coffee. But it's been a while since I named a design, except for the Steve-Sleeve and that was because I knitted it for a guy named Steve.
So, now I'm getting back to naming my knitwear. The Brig (that horrendous aran that I finished in February) underwent a name change to Annoying Bastard. But for the green aran I'm thinking about actually going Celtic. So, not being of Irish descent, I went to's Celtic names section and scrolled down the list. Fergus was a name that immediately jumped out at me. It's uniquely Celtic and it means 'of manly strength.' Then there's Kendreague, which means 'loving male.' Donnelly, which means 'brave black man', would be quite fitting...especially considering that I've got two toy-sized dogs in a neighborhood full of pit bulls (talk about your extreme sports!!!) But due to the illusions of grandeur that I occasionally suffer from, I think I'm going to go with the name Derry, which means 'great lover.' Okay, you can stop snickering now. *glowering at everyone who dared laugh* So the name game begins... Have any of you named any of your knitwear?

My Aran Knitting still hasn't arrived yet. *sigh* The waiting is the only sucky part about shopping online.