Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Things That Make Me Ecstatic

Not just happy. ECSTATIC.

1. chocolate truffles from Trader Joe's: Okay, that goes without saying.

2. unagi sushi: HOLY CRAP why didn't someone tell me about this stuff years ago?!

3. Ysolda Teague's pattern Vine Yoke Cardigan: I know it's creepy, but my blog is a place of safety where I can say this: I have never had a rush of endorphins quite like the one I felt last night as I worked the right front of this sweater. All those things people keep saying about Ysolda's patterns? True! All of it, true. They are both pretty and absurdly pleasing to knit.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be disappearing for the remainder of this sweater.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

FO: Emergency Stocking!

My family does stockings at Christmas. Always have. Growing up, my mother made each of our stockings. Now, there's a bit of a split in there, rather like geological strata can explain a past seismic event -- and not all of them match. I imagine she'd rather me not betray the detailed reality of our unmatching stockings, but here's the thing: she made them all, and they're all quite nice.

So it's ingrained in me that you make stockings. You do not purchase ready-made stockings at Target or anywhere else. Christmas stockings must be hand-made.

I got married last summer. The two of us will dash around the Central Time Zone for a total of four Christmases (five counting our own), and for the Christmas with my family, he'll need a stocking.

Thank goodness I had 4.5 balls of bulky green yarn in the form of SWTC Gianna (great stuff, bummer they discontinued it). I'm also of the belief that small amounts of novelty yarn can save your hide from time to time. This is one of those times.

Now, I'm the first to admit that this stocking is perhaps not the most beautiful stocking ever made. I can personally identify at least three major flaws, and as my husband pointed out, "The toes are stumpy."

Dude: That matters not when finishing a Christmas stocking days before it is to be put to use. I will probably frog it after it's done and put the yarn to use again on a better version some other December 14 when I realize suddenly that we are, as ever, a stocking short of a full-fledged Christmas.

pattern: Ann Budd's On Your Toes Socks (well, one of them, anyway)
completed: December 19, 2009
yarn: SWTC Gianna (discontinued, alas), a wool-soysilk blend; and Bernat Baby Boucle in white, an irritating yarn due to the tufty boucle bits but it worked for this.
made for: my fella
needles: size 11 for the Gianna and size 7 for the Boucle

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

FO: Giganamous Gloves

I want to start by saying I have very long fingers. In school, music teachers would see my hands and stare longingly at them, and mention how useful it is to have long fingers when you play the [you name it]. Store-bought gloves never fit me quite right. My index finger is 3" long, and according to the glove sizing in Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, that gives me man-sized hands.

This is how big I had to make my most recent pair of gloves:

The gentleman who asked for them has hands that are so big, they're literally off the chart. I had to work my own math to get the thumb gusset right.

As requested, the gloves have articulated fingers but no fingertips. (Thank goodness - fingertips are a pain in the rear to work.)

Here's another scale picture with the most recent pair of fingerless gloves I made, the Monet Mitts, in a women's M:

The new owner of these gloves happens to be an ENT surgeon, which is very impressive - although I'm not sure how he gets his fingers in there to do his stuff. You have to wonder, does he ever get one of his fingers stuck?

pattern: Basic Glove Pattern from Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns.
completed: December 13, 2009.
yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted. I bought this yarn at a trading post on the Navajo Reservation where they were selling it cheap. It's not locally spun, according to Brown Sheep - the store just doesn't mark it up much for whatever reason. But, the store was selling it in loose skeins, not wound up with ball bands like you see it everywhere else. That means, among other things, I can't be sure of the colorways. I used about 115 yards of the MC (Brown Heather?) and about 50 yards of the CC (Blue Blood Red?).
made for: a giant.
needles: size 7 dpns.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Negative Stash Flow

I am just so clever sometimes, I could squeal.

I'm thinking of knitting resolutions for the New Year, and I've decided to try something new. The Happy Points experiment has worked beautifully, as I've described elsewhere. Now I'm adding a new layer: I want to achieve Negative Stash Flow.

For 2010, I need to have more yarn going out than coming in.

I will evaluate this on a month-by-month basis. I'm going to try out this counter to keep track.

I do believe a movement is in order. I don't have anywhere near the readership to start one myself, but if anybody out there feels like helping to make this viral, post away.

Happy Point Count: 80 flat. About to go down sharply to support my new idea for a sweater design.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Big Step

I've gone and changed my Rav name. Given what a remarkably active dork I am on that site, this was not a decision taken lightly.

I'm now MightyGoodYarn, to match this blog and everything else.

If only changing one's legal name were as simple.

More to come.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Accidental Rainbow

I honestly didn't mean to come up with this:

But there I was, knitting blue, then the yarn when all pink and red on me, and before I knew it, in less than three days, there was practically a whole ROYGBIV thing going on in my lap.

It's enough to keep you up all night with suspense, just waiting to see what comes up next.

For my own re-edification (for the next time I make one of these cowls I will have forgotten how I did it the first time):

CO 73.
Work 4 rounds in seed stitch.
Work almost the entire ball in St st.
Work another 4 rnds in seed stitch.
Cast off using a stretchy bind-off. (Russian is my fav.)

Finished product is 7.5" by 10.5" (when laid flat).

Disclaimer: I'm sure someone else has published the above, so I hereby take no credit for reinventing a wheel.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Headlines Were Never My Thing

A tad scrambled, a lot late. Life, it turns out, is consuming.

In brief:

1. We live in a top-floor apartment that somehow doesn't get any light except in the late afternoon, which during the winter means between 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Today I was home during those hours, but it rained cold rain and the skies were dark. Ergo, please excuse the utter lack of pictures.

2. I have finished many knitted things lately. Four items, to be exact, including one sweater. Do you think I could use a sick day so I could stay home and blog about them?

3. I do believe someone is pulling a prank on us. I-35 has been under construction as long as I've been aware that there was a highway called I-35 - like, 15 years? - yet it remains two lanes wide for most of the distance one has to travel on Thanksgiving weekend. (That is good for finishing socks, as it happens...)

4. Why is writing a cover letter to a resume such a soul-crushing job, when the goal is to say only nice things about yourself?

5. Why have they stopped making thermal blankets? There was nothing wrong with them.

6. Tomorrow, I go to a bar to report on mixed drinks as a professional journalist. This is, in fact, the second time I have been given the assignment of reporting on bars. Now, I had some good times in my early 20s, but overall the whole notion of me being positioned as an expert on Bloody Mary mix and mojito rankings is a bit funny when you realize that my idea of a nice evening is to cuddle with my honey under a thermal blanket finishing a pair of socks as it rains cold rain and the skies are dark.

One does what one can.