Thursday, November 18, 2010

Before I talk about my knitting I wanted to share this video I came across today of a dress knit from fluid-filled tubing:

Fluid Dress from Charlie Bucket on Vimeo.

When I first looked at the video I didn't think it was really knit, but I guess that's what it would look like if you knit stockinette with all the stitches twisted?  The artist made what looks like a big knitting loom to construct it.  Pretty cool.

Secret holiday knitting continues, but I am excited that I may actually finish most if not all of the gifts I have planned!  I think I can get at least three pair of mittens for my family done (for the guys this year, I'll do the girls next year maybe).  Here is the first pair:

 This is pattern 1 from Charlene Schurch's book Mostly Mittens, large size.  The yarn is knitpicks Palette.
 A weird thing is that the mittens shrank vertically with blocking, though I don't really see signs of felting.  Below, the left mitten is fresh off the needles.  Anyway, in this case it was good, because they were freakishly long before a bath.
 Practice really does make a difference when it comes to fair isle knitting style... I am very proud of how nice and even the floats are.  My previous attempts at colorwork should never be seen inside out hehehe.
Yesterday was a holiday (Hari Raya Haji, a Muslim holiday) but I didn't do any knitting, I had to go shopping instead for something to wear to a wedding.  What a waste of time! Even at home, where there's plenty of stuff my size, I have trouble finding things that actually fit properly, it's just hopeless here when perhaps 9 out of 10 stores don't even have carry sizes big enough for me.  I broke down and spent $70 for a shirt from a european (?) brand store, but I wasn't happy about it.  How much yarn would that be?!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

FO: Cleopatra

At long last I have finally finished this lace stole/shawl/scarf thing.

It's the Cleopatra Wrap from the book Sensual Knits.  This thing has been in my WIP basket for so long I think it left a permanent shadow.  I am truly relieved to have finished it, but I am surprised how much I like it now that it's been cast off and blocked.
 I always intended to give this to my Grandma, since she gave me a nice shawl from one of her travels and sighed that she got everyone in our family a shawl except herself.  While I was working on it, I was worried that it wasn't going to turn out well and that the colorway wasn't really my grandma's style.  But in the end I've decided it's right up her alley and I'll be sending it off for Christmas.
This was the first lace project I started, and the lace edges were really fun to knit.  But that center section was interminable.  On the bright side, it made good train knitting, and I noticed how much faster the last ten inches went than the first - I think I've become a noticeably more efficient knitter in the past two years.

The blocking process was a hoot, and my only available blocking surface - really the only surface larger than a laptop in my rented room, my bed - was just barely big enough to fit it.  Whenever I get around to settling down, I will definitely invest in blocking wires, since I anticipate knitting many more lace things in the future. 

I had bought a set of blocking wires pretty cheap (I think it was this set, but I could be wrong) when I started this project a couple years ago, but they couldn't fit in my luggage when I moved so they probably ended up at Goodwill.  I'm not exactly sure what happened to a lot of my stuff. I left an apartment mostly full and two of my girlfriends, who are dear sweet angels, "dealt with it" for me.  I was never a hoarder or anything, but being able to just leave all my stuff behind and not worry about its fate was a milestone in my personal development, I think.

Successfully finishing such a long term project creates the itch to cast on for a bunch of stuff, especially after looking at the new issue of Twist Collective.  But with the holidays coming up fast I need to stick with WIPs and mittens for my family.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I've got plenty of knitting content to post but I am without a camera until this weekend, so it will have to wait.  So today my post is only tangentially related to knitting.

One of the reasons I've finished up some projects recently is because I've allowed a little more silence in my life.  Usually I knit while listening to something - either an audiobook, the news, or some podcast.  This means that projects usually get stalled at the point that they require more concentration than I can devote while listening.

I realized that I felt guilty when I wasn't taking in information.  In a modern, fast-paced city, surrounded by people with completely different life experiences, and with my google reader serving up more content than I could possibly keep up with, my ignorance became obvious and oppressive.  I feel obligated to learn as much as I possibly could just to be a worthy member of the human race.

Recently I took a step back. Being a person isn't about trying to know everything about everything, but about carving out our own little niche in the universe and engaging with it the best way we can.  I've been forcing  myself to turn everything off once in a while and I notice so much of the world around me in a new way.  Even just taking a walk to lunch the other day *gasp* without cramming earbuds into my ears I noticed some things I hadn't noticed since I first arrived in Singapore - the symphony of the bugs in the afternoon, the creamy frangipani flowers on the path to the canteen, students studying and flirting at the picnic tables.  These are things worth noticing, even if it means I only listen to half as much political analysis as I used to.  (On a side note, I am so glad the US elections are over.  If I heard one more highly educated and possibly impactful journalist waste breath and talent making election predictions which are not useful or informative I would have puked.)

A frangipani flower.
I am hoping to make this a permanent life change, because I feel like I am a more peaceful and, counter-intuitively, a more productive person by taking time out.

Is silence a part of your life?