Saturday, May 17, 2008

Quick Update

Thank you to everyone who encouraged me, one way or another, in the difficult decision of whether or not to take part in FringeNYC. I know that if you didn't care, you wouldn't have told me your opinion.

I have declined the honor of performing Ohio Trip in New York in August. While it would have been a memorable experience, the workload and financial expenses were insurmountable in light of other projects I have on my plate this summer.

As an artist, one must learn to treat one's work as a business, not a hobby. Now if I'd been invited to go to New York to knit with seasilk and buffalo fiber for three weeks...

Thank you again, and check back soon for my adventures with gauge, or as I am starting to think of it, gouge.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Summer FO, and a Gauge Mystery

Part of going whole-hog on the Trellis Scarf was that a couple nearly-finished projects were set aside. Here's one that was attended to the day after Trellis saw the way of the blocking pin:

pattern: Bamboozled by Cyn, free online.
yarn: SWTC Twize (100% bamboo, 110m, color: "Twellow")
made for: me
needles: size 6 bamboo circs
notes: The pattern said not to worry too much about gauge. I didn't, and now I have an FO that is about two inches too long. Gah!

I may have to frog the whole durned thing, but first I'm experimenting with button placement to see if this can be saved. In the picture, it's cute. Now can it be cute in motion?

I also spent all my limited knitting time last night swatching three times for this shawl-collared top from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer '06. To my surprise, it calls for the ultra-cheap Lion Brand Microspun. I'm no acrylic-lover, but why get a substitute when the designated yarn is about $12.50 total?

But I've never had so much trouble with gauge. I'm tellin' ya, this is a worsted yarn masquerading as sport. The label says 6 sts/in on size 6 needles. The pattern says 6 sts/in on size 6 needles over the lace. Not so much! Try 4.5 sts.

I went down to size 4 needles. I got to 5 sts/in. I'm tellin' ya, this is not sport.

Finally, I tried some size 2 needles, and pardon me, but the fabric is about as pliable as a steel breastplate. The yarn no longer feels silky-smooth, but stubborn and grumpy and stiff. That is how I will feel if I try to knit this top on size 2 needles.

I may defect and try some Knit Picks Shine Sport. Also inexpensive, and hopefully more workable! What a girl does for fashion...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mystery FO Revealed (Again!)

A true record for me, I finished the Trellis Scarf (Rav link) in five weeks. This included several "7 into 5 cluster" stitches (hard to finish, easy to drop) while riding public transportation. Boo yeah!

Gratuitous blocking shot:

pattern: Trellis Scarf by Evelyn A. Clark, Interweave Knits Spring 2006.
yarn: Knit Picks Shadow (color: Redwood Forest, 100% merino, 440 yds, <1 skein)
made for: she of the late Yellow Turtle blog, as a pre-wedding gift. Sorry to spoil the surprise, dear.
notes: I know they barely show up, but look for the little gold beads added to the pattern just below each cluster stitch. They glitter much more in person.
Also, and I know you can't tell, but I was a total moron. I've been knitting by chart in the round so much that I forgot about the even-numbered-rows-are-reverse rule when you go back and forth, and I knit every other row rather than purl. So, check out the garter stitch, huh? Didn't even figure it out until I was two-thirds of the way done.
If you're thinking of knitting this, check out these mods for the bind-off end.

And a close-up:

Thanks for all who commented on the FringeNYC opportunity. I'll post something when it all gets sorted out.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Good news, and yet.

My show Ohio Trip has been accepted to FringeNYC, the New York International Fringe Festival. This is a big deal. But now that I have the acceptance letter and one week to commit to participating...

It's a BIG DEAL. Occasionally shows go from here to little places like Broadway (not really what Ohio Trip is destined for) or other exciting and profitable ends.

I get some income from box office.

I want to see this show continue somehow. It's a really good script.

Three weeks off of work. I don't know if I can even do that!

Three weeks of feeding myself and finding a place to stay without income.

I have to pay $550 up front, on Wednesday.

I'm already out $750 from the play's first run. We're looking at a total loss of maybe $2500 when I'm done with FringeNYC. Can I take that?

Not to mention trying to rehearse and tech and market and produce a show from 1,000 miles away.

I'd take a pass, but other artists from Austin and around the world find a way to make this happen. (True, those artists have company funds to survive on, but still.) Am I already so old that I am too scared to risk it? I've taken so many risks already, and this one's an awesome one because, hello, FringeNYC. But am I being stupid to take a pass? Do I play it safe or pay up for some crazy memories and a stressful summer?

This isn't just a question of how I will spend my August. This is a question of who I am, and who I'm willing to be.

Damn it.

P.S.: Contest, here.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

World's Smallest Bloomers

What do you do when you have fifteen minutes until the start of a bachlorette party, you're expected to bring a pair of undies for the bride, and you have no more room in your budget after everything else involved in being a guest at a modern-day wedding?

Knit the world's smallest pair of bloomers!

That's 15 minutes with me, some #9 dpn, and a little leftover Lion Brand Wool-Ease. Highly unfunctional, terrible craftsmanship, but dude. I should get a merit badge.