Monday, January 25, 2010

Mama Said Knock You Out

Pattern: tiny shoes by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Pigeonroof Studios sock leftovers
Needles: US# 3 DPN

I prevailed. The booties did not defeat me. There is nothing wrong with this pattern, my frustration was all user error- Ysolda says potato and I say mash-tatoes with heaps of cream and scads of butter- the pattern was never to blame. I took a deep breath, gathered my courage, and knit them as made sense to me (notes on ravelry). Win. Epic win.

The euphoria I feel over having soundly defeated my knitting doubt is indescribable, so I'll try to give you some visuals:
*if I was a football player I'd be doing a back flip in the end zone.
*if I was a soccer player, I'd be tearing off my shirt and running in circles.
*if I was a hockey player, I'd be checking my opponent into the boards so hard it would knock his nose straight.
*if I was a hurler, I'd be striking so fast the ladies would swoon over me and my wee shorts.

"It's not the size of the dog in the fight,
it's the size of the fight in the dog."
Mark Twain

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mixed Greens

Pattern: my basic sock formula
Yarn: Pigeonroof Studios
Needles: US #2 DPN

These were born from this, which was born from the Lady Knits shipping the tangled mess to me in exasperation. A year has passed since I untangled the skein and so many things are different in each of our lives, except the fact that absolutely nothing beats wearing hand knit socks on a chilly tile floor. The colorway is a mix of greens with teal and gold bits, like salad. These make me happy. Very happy.

Want to know what doesn't make me happy? The epic fail I am experiencing with Ysolda's Tiny Shoe pattern. Seriously, I have knit sweaters, socks, lace, etc. etc. but these $#&*@! three inch booties are going to be the death of all of my hard earned knitterly zen. I have no idea why this seemingly simple pattern is not intuitive for me. I've tried following the directions to the letter and I can't figure out the whole weird number of stitches on which needle thing. Which does she consider needle 1? Maybe I am trying to make it too simple, like a sock, where the division of stitches is even or close enough and you have a clear heel and sides. Not here. Not for me. I'll try again later, but I fear the frustration will get the best of me. Maybe I'll just knit them like I think they should be knit and see what happens. If I do not succeed this will be known as the Epic Bootie Fail of 2010. Quelle horreur!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Silence, Exile, and Cunning

I finally captured a silhouette of Wilhelm as the sun came up this morning. He stayed longer than usual, so still he seemed a figment of my imagination, until with a piercing cry he dove headlong into the forest. Before I could blink, he was upon the branch again, his prey in his great talons. One fell swoop*as Shakespeare would write, but Wilhelm's efficient nature instantly put in mind this passage from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce:

“You have asked me what I would do and what I would not do. I will tell you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it call itself my home, my fatherland or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can, and as wholly as I can, using for my defence the only arms I allow myself to use . . . silence, exile, and cunning.”

* A large black cat slowly crossed my path on a curving back road yesterday and now I am quoting from the Scottish Play...I'll be tossing salt over my shoulder all day for this.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Turn A Square

Pattern: Turn A Square by Jared Flood
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light 'aurelian' (stash)
Needles: US #4 circular/dpn's

The best way to get a focused picture of Little Man's new hat was to strap him in the car and hand him a pop tart. Fantastic hat pattern (which goes without saying since it is Mr. Flood after all). To create a child's size, I cast on and followed the pattern using a lighter weight yarn and knitting 4 inches before beginning the decreases. This is a bit too wide in the brim, but he'll grow into it. Especially if he keeps eating those pop tarts.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Post #250

Well, we've all survived the holiday madness again. Glad to see you back on this side. According to popular culture, I should be buying plastic storage bins, eating clear broth soups with strange twig like vegetables floating in them, and resolving to not break my resolutions. You know me well enough by now to understand when I choose to do none of these things. I am reveling in routine again. For all of the posturing I do about change, the month of December usually serves to remind me there isn't much I'd change about my day to day life. Spiritual and philosophical change I embrace, but the boring routine? I need it. I'm a balloon type; without a tether like a reliable daily routine, I would drift off, my head in the clouds, never to be seen again.

My brother read my book, the short story that turned into 80,000 plus words, and he enjoyed it. I know his opinion might be biased, but after I got off the phone I felt so damn proud of myself for having written a story someone else found pleasure in, and more importantly, understood. He got the subtleties, the hidden jokes, the characters were real for him in almost the same way they are for me. Writing this is an accomplishment in itself, but I'd like to see how far I can go with the book. My goal is to get it as far as as I can down the publishing gauntlet. I know it may never actually be published, but that is really not my goal. My goal is to believe in myself enough to accomplish the baby steps: the tedium, the boring details, the slogging through. A new tether to a new aspect of my daily routine; the doubting less and doing more. Happy New Year- I have a feeling it will be an excellent one.