Saturday, June 30, 2007

Venez nombreux!!

There is a fun event about to happen and as a French teacher I would be remiss in not coercing gently suggesting it to you all. It's the Tour de France knitalong and is promising to be super chouette...You choose a French-inspired pattern (or one that you'd be not afraid to wear for fear of being ridiculed at a café in France) and then choose your category. You'll receive a special jersey (button) depending on the category that you choose.
Since I am old school all the way, I'm going for the yellow jersey, natch! And because I'm on a major Nancy Bush Knitting on the Road kick, I have chosen the appropriately French Canal du Midi socks and plan on using this lovely Fleece Artist Sea Wool. You don't have to be a Francophile to participate, just someone who loves looking at guys with extremely muscular legs in tight shorts!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bringing Sexy Back?

Every once in a while, I actually begin a project, work on it in a semi-diligent way, and finish it. It happens. To wit: Ginger. I purchased this Rowan Summer Tweed at the Knit Nook in Louisville (go there, it rules) several weeks ago and immediately fell in like with at least three patterns from the Rowan Summer Tweed leaflet by Kim Hargreaves. The yarn itself feels slightly rough before knitting but it really softens while you work with it. The pattern, while somewhat laconic in certain sections in that very British way, is not difficult. Above you see a shot from the back and excuse the inexplicable hunchbackness of my posture: Please note that because we're trying to not earn an NC-17 rating for this blog, there won't be a frontal shot. Why? Well let's just say that from the front, and I quote the DRMC here, "there is major titty action". After seeing it on from the front I had a sudden flash of comprehension as to how the word
torpedos came to refer to a woman's breasts. Yes, we'll just leave that image for you to contemplate and opt to forgo the inevitable psychological damage that actually seeing the front of Ginger would likely induce. You can thank me later.
I am very glad to be done with Ginger as I can now clear the decks for another project, one that has captivated my attention and indeed that of countless other bloggers who are desperately trying to order the yarn from Denmark for--you might have guessed it--the Ruth Sørensen Kauni cardigan sweater. All I can say is WOW this sweater is a sight to behold. Mme Yarn Harlot is currently working on it and there is a kal as well. The pattern itself is a free one, you can find it here(just click on strikning and then you'll see it available in English). Be prepared to drop some serious coin on the shipping of the yarn as it isn't available--that I know of--stateside. I ordered mine from here, but Astrid's Dutch Obsessions--I just love writing that--has it as well. As an example of a gorgeous rendition, below I have linked to Margaret, an awesome knitter whose blog is here. Check her out, her masterful turn at Kauni is impressive. You'll also find K2Karen's beautiful in progress Kauni as well.
While you're at it, check out Ali, she has a new killer contest!!:

Kauni In Progress
Originally uploaded by K2Karen

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Poolside Dishcloth Interlude

Ball Band Dish Cloths in Sugar 'n Cream
'Late to the party' doesn't even begin to cover it. Yes, I have finally discovered the pleasure of the Mason-Dixon Ball Band Dishcloth...about a year later. But that's par for the course for me. I didn't ever see even one single episode of American Idol until early this May, at which time my brother was gobsmacked by my very original and perceptive observation that 'Simon is so mean'. I didn't try a mojito until sometime late last August, and as you might recall, only joined the toe-up, magic loop sock club sometime earlier this month. Sheesh, how sad. Next I'll be gushing about an amazing pattern called 'Clapotis' and a neat blog by someone named 'the Yarn Harlot'...pathetic examples of my permanent state of behindness aside, these dish clothes are perfection. You begin them and finish them in one and half sittings. They allow you to experiment with different colors while perfecting your slip stitch technique. The yarn costs about $1.39/ ball. I have made three so far and plan on making about 5 more to go in the last minute (re)gifting zone, a special shelf for items that will make excellent last minute presents. You can also knit these babies pool side, so when your husband spills his drink on your pool bag, the damage is minimal. I have included gratuitous poolside shots of the junior set, just for kicks:
Tween thingPeeper-lou
Speaking of the junior set, on Monday they are off to Ireland to see the best band ever and then on to Morocco with their dad and his family. I am very excited for them but am dreading their absence. Once the thrill of walking around the house completely naked wears off, I am going to be at loose ends without them, and no amount of knitting will change that. If you want to see Peeper-Lou in action, the Letsknit2gether video podcast was just updated and her 'I knit with corn' interview is the very last item, check her out!

I am sure many of you are Socks that Rock club member--have you received this month's yarn yet? Upon opening the package, I gasped at the utter gorgeousness of the yarn. I have been severely underwhelmed by the first two patterns and yarn, but June's installment has finally made me feel like I'm not a total idiot lemming for having plunked down that cash back in January.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Ass Clown Knitter

In case you haven't picked up on this fact yet, the A.D.D. Knitter has the maturity level of a 13 year old boy. Yes, I think terms like 'ass clown' are funny and I can't help but being incredibly amused with myself for using such nonsensical, vulgar expressions, especially when using them to describe myself. Because really, what other term would you use to describe someone who casts on for the February Baby Sweater with merely two skeins of Koigu held together? (Douche bag maybe, but I've already used that term on this blog, much to the dismay of my mother who told me to grow up). And lest you think that ordering more from Purl is an option, let me also go ahead and mention that I wound these skeins of Koigu over a year ago and have permanently misplaced the ball bands. There is no way I'm going to to have enough for this sweater, unless maybe I go for a cap sleeve modification, which would earn free style points but be totally impractical, right?

This weekend I was reading the class descriptions for Stitches East and one of the concepts of a class is now resonating loudly in my ears. The course is about properly planning for projects and warns that "most mistakes are made within the first 20 minutes of a project, learn how to avoid such errors", etc. Hmm, I'll have to see if that would be worth my precious time. As Tween Thing would say: "Duuur!"...

Well, I'm going to go as far as I can on this baby (i.e. drive it 'til the wheels fall off, so to speak) and hope that I can put my hands on some more Koigu in the near future. If any of you have an idea about the precise color way, that would be a huge help. Other suggestions would also be welcome. It's a shame because I am enjoying the pattern and continue to love the utter simplicity of the EZ touch.

FYI: The Blogger Destash for Cash is dead, long live the Wordpress Destash for Cash! No sooner had the terrible news of the former's demise come down from on high, than had
the creation of the latter been announced. Hooray!

Kenric update: He's made three more purses in the last week. Now I
really feel like a you-know-what...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Putting me to shame!!

I'm back from Louisville. Let me preface my reflections by letting you know that I am the kind of traveler that visits a place, always loves it, and wants to then move there. Louisville: I visited it, I love it and I want to move there! It's neither entirely Southern nor entirely Midwestern nor entirely Appalachian, and thus it has a strongly border feel to it that is very appealing. While there I finished my toe-up socks. I'm sold on this method and may never look back...

As promised here is my review of the Knit Nook, Louisville's primo LYS. I visited twice (I'll be getting into that in a minute). The owner Kristin is a lovely and friendly person who made many helpful suggestions and was patient and welcoming to me and my French teacher clan. Here she is winding the Rowan Summer Tweed I bought for Ginger, a cute-as-pie shell that I am knitting up at the moment:

This pattern is rocking my world right now and was perfect for the airplane. (I can't believe I thought I could work on the Hepburn pattern, you know, the one with the cables, lace and intricate chart, in flight? Sometimes I just need to get real.) Ginger is from the Rowan Summer Tweed Collections leaftlet by Kim Hargreaves. I'm somewhat surprised that more people aren't blogging about these patterns as they are classic, chic and very simple. And unlike many Rowan leaflets, there are at least 5 patterns that I could imagine doing.

In any case, during my second visit to the Knit Nook, while I chatted with Tonya of The Shizknit--she's pregnant and glowing, check out her blog--my NON-KNITTING PAL Kenric was eying some Brown Sheep for the Mason-Dixon Buttonhole purse pattern. He was intrigued. He wanted to know more. He bought the yarn. Can you see where this is going? While I was picking Kristin's brain for color suggestions, he cast on. By himself. We left and at the restaurant, he knit some more on it. At the café afterwards he worked on it and figured out how to pick up stitches by himself while I was on the phone. Yeah, guess what? HE FINISHED IT THAT NIGHT. Sheesh! The kid is a natural. We joked that he should go to Housekeeping at the hotel and ask them to felt it for him in an industrial washing machine! Don't think we weren't serious about that...Things that Babs had to show me 3-4 times this guy just doped them out on his own. It reminds me of how my ex-husband asked me to teach him how to play tennis and then wiped the court with me by the end of the lesson. Ladies and Gents, I think we have a new believer on our hands, as upon returning to CA. he immediately went to a yarn store, and last night he called me to tell me that no yarn shops in San José had Brown Sheep, and could I believe that some suggested that he buy yarn at Walmart? Puh-leeze.
Kenric, welcome to our world. Know that you've signed on to a world of shrinking bank account balances, Maryland Sheep and Wool obsession, Internet trolling (not for porn silly, for patterns!) and other activities that making knitting in the 21st c. such a hoot.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Bonjour y'all!

Since Saturday I have been released from my regular household duties that include but are not limited to shifting money around from various accounts in order to give my husband the impression that I am not spending gobs of money at Target every several days, constantly changing the location of the various Cadbury chocolate confections so that at any given time I am the only one who knows where, for example, a Fruit and Nut bar is, and of course, cooking up ways to embarrass Tween Thing in public, preferably within earshot of local junior high schoolers. The above-mentioned all consuming activities are currently on hold as I am fulfilling my role as AP French exam reader in Louisville, Ky. And I am loving it! Not only am I catching up with various trends in the profession and meeting interesting colleagues, I am also getting to pal around with old friends. And what with all the flights, the breaks in between grading the cassettes of the most adorable high school French you could possibly imagine and the pool side cocktail action, there is also much knitting happening 'round these parts (don't I have such a knack for the local lingo?). Pictures and LYS reviews will follow soon, but I can't seem to locate my camera cable at the moment...

This flurry of professional/knitting activity has me thinking about a curious commonality between being a French teacher and a knitter. Both inspire a rather confessional tone on the part of those that one encounters. "Oh you teach French? (nervous, awkward laughter) "I hated French, I took Spanish." Or "...I took it years ago but I've forgotten all of it". "Gee it must be so hard". Substitute 'knit/did crochet' for 'teach French/took Spanish' and you see what I mean, right? Both tend to produce a sort of anxiety, a need to confess one's own perceived lack or inabilities. Mathematicians have told me the same is true for them. I am sure that every one of you has had a similar interaction regarding your knitting. What is this about?