Saturday, 5 January 2008

Have been busy, et tu?

Hey you guys, welcome to my 2008. In adhering to the new rules I set myself a few posts back, I'm doing something I'll wear, in a colour that's suitable for me, and a little risky. See the pink arm warmers I'm doing. They are from Rebecca no. 30. The original yarn was cashmere, but alas, my finances are more plebeian, so I'm using Louisa Harding's cashmerino dk, her answer to Debbie Bliss' Cashmerino dk. I think the Debbie Bliss' version feels a bit more plush, and is less splitty, but Harding's yarn holds up much better, so I have to 'suck up' how it feels. I just hope that it keeps my hands warm.

The first picture shows me doing the yarns in the round on circular needles. Up to very recently -and by 'very recently' I mean last night- I was a dpn woman. I loved the symmetry of working with dpns, after the initial join and first row I was off into the spiral, not caring until the pattern said 'stop' or the yarn ran out.


But, I've been really curious about knitting small diameter'd things like socks in the round, ever since I saw Nell (a valued knitter at our knatter) doing so. She spoke about the virtues of knitting small things in the round on circular needles, provided that the cord was long and flexible enough. I thought, how Archimedian with a dash of Ariel from The Tempest, give me cable needles long enough, so as I can gird the earth, and make cool socks.

I saw Nell over the holidays and she showed me what to do, but I kept getting my stitches twisted. Last night, when this yarn refused to stay on my bamboo dpns (all my dpns are bamboo, have not felt the need to move to metal dpns as yet, no), I got out my knit picks options with a 60cm cable. So snug, so tight, so right.

Nell recommends 90-120cms - but I don't have those- and I'm knitting small circles in the round. I can see myself doing sleeves like this - but I'd need a longer cable.

That Prima magazine that you see on the front, I bought it the other day because I downloaded a Debbie Bliss pattern (the Catriona vest) from their website, . Thought I'd show some support, even though women's magazines aren't my thing. Yes, I know I need to lose weight, no, I don't need to update my wardrobe, thanks- and there's an unattractive version of Naomi Watts (no, it's not her) type model on the cover.

To be fair though, the magazine is helpful, it has articles on decluttering one's home, how to save on bills, et al. It's like a stylish and more expensive version of Woman's own - with its version of the knitting patterns to boot, and random true to life stories. Yes, there is a fashion segment, but they aren't as aggressive in presenting the fashion choices like In Style or Vogue, where you have to buy this now, or else you commit the cardinal sin of being desperately unfashionable.

In the middle are my Debbie Bliss garter stitch mittens that I need to sit down and organise. You knit these trapezium looking things, and they are supposed to spiral into a design at a 45 degree angle. In my mind, it makes sense. The angle of construction gives the garter stitch structure (because it can sag, left to its own devices), but in real life... I need to ask the hubster to read it aloud to me.

Knitting instructions make jazzy's head hurt.

What to say about the Debbie Bliss cashmere yarn? I got two hanks of it at the John Lewis knitting sale (this is where they get vexed and have a HUGE clearance sale on the yarns that haven't been selling briskly enough) and DB cashmere was one of 'em. I bought two, because the pattern called for two. I refused to buy three hanks because knowing my luck, I'd only need like, a meter to finish the actual pattern itself. So, I said to myself, if push comes to shove, I have the DB rialto aran in a similar colour to finish it off.

So said, so done. It's annoying to have the yarn finish before the end of a project, and for such expensive yarn, you'd think Debbie Bliss would have her pattern support organised. *sighs*

Anyway, I'm enjoying the new process of knitting in the round on circulars. While I'm doing this, I'm wondering what garment I should take on with the yarn I have.

I am also following the race to the white house in the United States and am hoping that Barack Obama might place, if not win. As a visible minority in Europe, at times I find the casual racism here a bit shocking (remember, I was raised outside of the EU). England is not bad, I think due to a fair bit of interracial marriages, and children of all faiths and colours going to the same schools, be it grammar or comprehensive. But I've been teaching English to a fair bit of foreigners (especially some Italians) and I have to pause when I hear some assumptions being made. Europeans aren't the only ones to have this attitude towards minorities, I find Asians (as in, people from the subcontinent, like Pakistan and India) just as bad at times. If a visible minority were to place at the highest pinnacle of the world's 'leader of the free world', it might make people pause a bit, and search their prejudices.

Right, no more seriousness in my blog. Hopefully, I will have an FO to show soon, and decide on which of the four garments I shall knit myself this year.


hunnybunny said...

I'm going to have to check out the prima website. Since I'm in the US I will not be able to buy one which is probably best considering I have a slight problem with the glossy pages, and quick snippets to read. Last thing I need is another must purchase magazine especially considering I keep buying the ones from England which cost so much more here. I liked reading your perspective on the election here, I live near New Hampshire and am waiting to see how it goes there. No matter what happens Obama has taken a huge step forward for our country and I myself am thrilled that he did. Gosh that was a long post. Can't wait to see your FO.

JayJay said...

I find Obama inspiring and straight talking, so he is among my favorite candidates. It certainly would be an exciting change to have someone other than a white male win, wouldn't it!

I can't wait to see your FO! You have chosen some lovely yarns for your projects.