Monday, June 27, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gimme Shelter

I would opine that at least half the fun of knitting--maybe more--is buying the yarn. I frequently buy online because of the convenience factor, but can't pass up the occasional trip to my LYS, where I wander dreamily through the aisles, petting skeins of yarn and hugging them lovingly to my chest, as if someone is going to walk up and forcibly take them away from me. Which I guess might happen if tried to exit the store without paying, but as I would never go yarn shopping unarmed--ie., without a credit card--that seems unlikely.

There's just so much potential in those many, many skeins--what will they become? And will they fight me in my efforts to shape their destiny?

Since I moved earlier this year, my LYS just happens to be the fantastically awesome Fibre Space. And it is beautiful. Their yarn selection is outstanding, the employees are friendly and the store is bright and airy. I could move in.

They probably wouldn't like that, though.

And I don't know if there's a kitchen. You can't really eat yarn.

Anyway, I visited the store a few weeks ago and picked a few stash additions. Just a few. Including this:


And this (squeee):


Maybe this:


And finally, this:


This last one is something I didn't know existed. In fact, I didn't know you could buy Pigeonroof Studios anywhere other than Etsy. I'm really out of the loop. But you can. And this is a gorgeous skein of Cassiopeia DK weight (I knew nothing of PRS other than fingering). It's going to become a pair of gloves. That I design!

Well, the best laid plans and all that . . .

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Word to the wise

I'm back, with four fewer teeth, but hopefully still retaining some wisdom. If I had any to begin with.

I want to start by marveling a bit at sedation dentistry. It works so well, it's a little disconcerting. It requires such deep faith in a doctor you've probably met twice at most and know next to nothing about.

Doctor: "I'm going to put you to sleep, but I swear, I'll wake you back up. And in between, I'm going to yank some teeth out of your head, but I promise not to harm you in any other way, or steal the contents of your purse, even though, let's face it, how would you know?"

Patient: "Ok, doc, whatever you say. Please shoot me full of unknown drugs, I see no conceivable way this could end badly."

Scary, huh?

But, that's pretty much what happened. I hopped into the chair, they strapped my arms down (I guess sedated patients sometimes flail, try to punch the dentist, etc.), and in the IV went. I felt a little light-headed, and the next thing I knew, I was waking up again, IV gone and a mouth full of bloody gauze.

I'm sorry to say that as far as I know, I didn't do anything spectacularly funny--I didn't try to carry on a conversation with an inanimate object, engage in a game of charades with my own shadow, or sing show tunes into a dental apparatus masquerading as a microphone. Not that I enjoy embarrassing myself, but those kinds of stories are always fun to share after the fact. But alas, I'm not that interesting. The best I could do was nab a photo of myself, slightly puffed up and woozy, waiting for the pharmacist to dispense my drugs:

Pretty, huh?

(I don't wear my glasses often, what do you think? Try to imagine them without the chipmunk cheeks and dilated pupils.)

I've been laid up for a few days, though I'm not in severe pain. I took my vicodin the first day, but since then, regular pain killers have been keeping things in check. The main problem is that I'm exhausted, and the soft food diet isn't exactly fulfilling my nutritional or caloric needs. My inner child was really excited about eating ice cream for every meal, but Adult Kristen got over it real quickly. My diet for the last few days has consisted of primarily soup, mashed potatoes, eggs and V8 juice--and trying to eat them slowly, while keeping tiny bits and morsels out of my wounds makes dining decidedly miserable. So far I've managed to lose 4 pounds, despite barely moving all week, so I guess if you're looking for a quick diet plan, this might work for you. Hopefully by this weekend I can graduate to, you know, chewing.

I have been doing some knitting--not as much as I had hoped because knitting almost feels like exercise, but I've made some decent progress on a few different projects. Now, if I go hunting for the camera, I might be attacked by a spontaneous nap, so here's an iPhone grab of the knitting situation surrounding me:

There's a baby sweater, a camisole and a sock in there, plus a hat pattern I haven't actually cast on yet. I'd better get to work, because if I don't complete at least one project, the surprise oral surgery and ensuing "vacation" will have been wasted.

Monday, June 13, 2011

In too much pain to be creative

June is a great month for events, don't you agree? Weddings. Graduations. Dental surgery.

Tomorrow I'm having all four of my wisdom teeth pulled. I can hardly wait. Hopefully this will mean a few days of extra knitting time, but mostly I'll be happy if I can just get a solid night's sleep.

(It's really amazing how quickly sleep deprivation can get to you--just one sleepless, painful night and I'm ready to confess to all manner of sins just to get some shut eye. I would not hold up well under torture.)

I'm totally freaking out about being sedated, so think some positive, wake-up-again thoughts for me!

(Blogiversary prize winners, bear with me; I've been slow about getting your prizes out because I couldn't find any packing materials--I like to reuse them--and now I'm going to be laid up a few days. I promise they'll be out by the end of the week!)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

FO: Skew

Rather than bore you guys to death with a story about the astounding incompetence of the people repairing our condo (don't worry, I'll bore you with that another day. A day when I'm less consumed with rage.), I'm going to jump right into a good old-fashioned FO post.


Pattern: Skew, Lana Holden, Knitty winter 2009
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Select, in African Gray
Needles: Addi turbos, size 1.5 (maybe. Somewhere between 1 and 2, anyway)
Rav project page

I originally thought these were going to be an insane challenge, especially since I was determined to knit them in less than a month, but honestly, if you can increase and decrease, you can knit these socks. That's really all there is to it--the construction is genius, but you don't have to be Elizabeth Zimmerman to tackle these, there's nothing complicated about the stitches themselves. The key is, clear your mind of everything you know about sock knitting.


Well, actually, you should probably hang onto your preferred cast-on method for toe up socks. These are knit from the toe up, with increases and decreases placed so that the one side is much longer, causing the yarn colors to skew. The two sides are kitchenered at the heel and then the leg of the sock is again knit with mismatched increases, and finally evened out with short rows.


The only modification I made was to knit standard M1R and M1L increases, rather than knitting into the stitch 2 rows below, which always gives me trouble.

I love the colorway I used for these. I don't usually buy super-variegated yarns because I don't like the way the color changes obscure stitch patterns. But this skein just spoke to me, so I grabbed it and figured I'd find a use for it later. Finally, arbitrary yarn selection actually works out in my favor!
These almost make me wish for cool weather so I could start wearing them. But alas, tomorrow's forecast high is 97.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

You say it's your Blogiversary!

And another year of Learner’s Per-knit has gone by. It has now been an incredible 4 years since I started this blog, which is just astounding.

But before I start the wistful rambling about the year-that-was in knitting, let’s hand out some prizes, shall we?

I want to note that while in the past I have promoted my blog contests heavily in various groups on Ravelry, I didn’t do that this time. I wanted to make sure these prizes went to regular readers and internet friends, not random crafters cruising for freebies (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, that just wasn’t my target audience this time.)

So, the 3 winners chosen at random are nwheatley (Norah Gaughan pattern book), clumsyknitter (DIC Smooshy) and mindingmyownstitches (Knitting Notions laceweight skeins)! If your blogger profile contains some contact info, I’ll try to get in touch with you that way, or if you’re so overwhelmed with prize-winning joy that you must contact me immediately (or you know I’ll never be able to locate you through Google or Ravelry), you can email me at kristen dot jancuk @ gmail dot com.

Ok, now that that’s out of the way, more rambling! Erm, what should I talk about?

Oh, I know! Knitting! Specifically, finishing my knitting! Since my last blogiversary, I’ve managed to complete what I think is a fairly impressive 34 projects. Of course, some of them were ultimately epic disasters (that means you, Mina’s Tuxedo Vest), but many of them I think on quite fondly (Damask Shawl, Vine Yoke Cardigan, Puff-sleeved Feminine Cardigan). I look forward to churning out many more before my next blogiversary. (I also look forward to swatches not lying to me. Devious little bastards.)

I also managed my first design, the Dungarees cowl, which I hope will lead me on to bigger and better things. (Gloves are currently stewing in my brain, just need to find the time to puzzle them out. I have the yarn. It’s lovely. Look for it in an upcoming blog post about fighting ninjas in a heroic battle for control over Our Nation’s Capital. Or about a Memorial Day Weekend shopping trip. One or the other, they’re so easy to confuse.)

No, I haven’t tried steeking yet, and fair isle is still pretty hit or miss. I don’t magic loop, and I can’t crochet more than a simple chain (and even that’s a generous interpretation of “chain”), but overall, I truly feel like I’m celebrating this blogiversary.

Yes we're going to a party, party
Yes we're going to a party, party
I would like you to dance
Take a ch-ch-ch-chance!
Unintelligible screaming
Thanks for celebrating with me!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

That's a wrap

Or maybe a scarf. I'm really not quite sure, but what I do know is that I finished Saroyan:


Pattern: Saroyan
Yarn: Valley Yarns Stockbridge in soft grape, 2.75 skeins
Needles: size 8
Mods: zip, zero, zilch

This isn't exactly a summer knit, although I guess you could make the argument that leaves = summer. Worsted weight wool/alpaca blend does not. But I zipped through it so quickly, the heaviness wasn't really an issue. This is an easy knit, mostly stockinette, with the leaf edging to keep things interesting.


It's wide enough at its widest point to be more of a shoulder wrap, but also perfectly usable as a scarf.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend modeling it outside in 80-degree weather, but I'm so dedicated, I'm always willing to suffer for my art:


Today's the last day to enter my blogiversary contest, so don't forget to visit this post over here and leave a comment!