Friday, January 27, 2006

Proof That I Am Completely Insane

Basically, my current projects.

Projects I have Actually Cast Something On For

Crazy Intarsia Blanket
Since the intarsia disasters of yore, I have actually become rather good at it. I swatched a couple of very complex flower patterns that were fun to knit but too ugly to ever make anything out of. I made a really cute monkey backpack from Stitch 'n' Bitch This lead me to believe that I was the Queen of Intarsia, and could therefore tackle Nicky Epstein's 26-color Royal Tapestry afghan. No, you read that right. Twenty-six colors. And she doesn't make it easy. While there may be only [sic] 5 or so colors per row, some of those same colors are on opposite ends of the afghan. This means I am working with something like 10 bobbins per row. So far. After one false try, where I tried to sneak entirely too much Fair Isle in, I'm doing this blanket again from scratch. I say blanket, but I really mean tapestry, because there is no way I am weaving in all those ends. They will be hidden by a nice carpet backing, then mounted to the wall. (At first I thought about untangling things for the picture, then I realized that it summed up the situation quite well.)

Branching Out Scarf #2

I did one Branching Out scarf in baby alpaca and I was so happy with how it came out . It was my first serious attempt at lace, but I highly recommend it. I was so pleased that I decided to make another one, out of electric blue mercerized cotton. This scarf is almost done. In fact, it could be done right now if I decided I wanted it to be. But I made a mistake about 5 rows ago and I'm too lazy to go back and fix it, but too stubborn to just cast off now and pretend it didn't happen.

Adrienne Vittadini Tank
This is the aforementioned tank. I was shopping with a mission at the best knitting store in the world, Sheep's Clothing in Valparaiso, IN, when a small ball of hot pink yarn started calling me from the corner of the store. It had 400 yards a skein, it was on sale, and it was made of bamboo. "Bamboo?" I said. I had a momentary vision of knitting the bamboo yarn on bamboo needles while eating bamboo shoots with bamboo chopsticks. It could be done. But the yarn was kind of stiff, and a little waxy, soI decided the best thing for that was lace. (Note: I had not actually done any lace at this point.) I found a really cool tank top by Adrienne Vittadini (which I had to look up to spell). Not only is it lace, it also involves cables, and a twist at the front that involves knitting on two pair of needles simultaneously. Although clearly insane, I was happy with this, but it went to the back of my project pile for a while. I was hanging out in Sit and Knit one day, when one woman, clearly an experienced knitter, told me, "One designer to definitely stay away from is Adrienne Vittadini." And yet I'm doing lace and cables in bamboo.

Ribbed Tank
I'm also making a bright blue ribbed tank called Tank Girl from Stitch 'n' Bitch. The Goa was on sale, and I think I'm determined to knit everything in that book at least once. Yes, I've even made the bikini. As for this tank, I've knit the front, and now must move on to the identical back. The only trouble is the 12" of p2k1 ribbing I have to do before I can do any shaping. The thing about ribbing is that not only is it easy, by which I mean boring, it's also rather irritating to switch the yarn every stitch or two. And there are 12" of it. At the moment, iIt's languishing at my boyfriend's house, waiting for me to get involved in a good movie and sit there knitting mindlessly. Due to the knitlist protection program, no photo is available.

Aran Sweater that Hates Me
My mom, who is so incredibly lucky that I knit, requested an aran cardigan out of cotton (she has a thing about wool). Having just completed a fairly nice cashmerino sweater with two large braided cables down the front, I decided I was also the Queen of Cables. Unfortunately, this does not qualify me to be Queen of Bobbles and Other Aran Motifs. My pattern choice is also a vintage one off the internet with one black and white picture, no diagrams, and called for a yarn that has not been made for about 30 years. Still, I was determined. After 2" of ribbing, which we've already discussed, the back piece, of which there is not even a picture, begins its 16-line stitch repeat. The first line calls for bobbles. I don't get bobbles. The other night, reading the directions like a book before bed, it may have finally clicked. Look! Two things that sort of look like bobbles! But I will conquer this beast. Or my mom will get a much simpler cardigan with two large braided cables up the front.

Felted Bag
Here's the thing about felting. No matter how interesting the pattern actually is, there is generally a portion on any felted bag pattern that reads "Knit in the round with stocknitte stitch until the second coming of Christ." I thought this would be a quick and simple project to distract me from the things that give me brain freeze. It was, in fact, a little too simple. There was a point where it became about as fun as the Spanish Inquisition (which according to one of my very Catholic friends, "wasn't that bad"). It was that horrible, terrifying moment where knitting became work. Fortunately, I have knitted past that point of terror and the body of the bag is nearly done. Now I get to knit the straps until whatever theological event follows the second coming of Christ (the third coming?) and the pockets (which are probably related to minor prophets, or until I run out of yarn). And the particularly cruel thing? I will get less fabric than I actually knit. Although I love dropping the finished item in the washer like a naughty child destroying an expensive toy, I have put about 30% more work into this project that I will actually get out. Curse you, second law of thermodynamics!


e's knitting and spinning blog said...

Sarah the back pack is too cute. The Aran sweater is gorgeous too!

I have faith you will conquer Vittadini and the bobble! They(bobbles) are not so bad just makes sure all those stitches you knit together are very loose and it will be a piece of cake:-) I have no advice for the Vittadini-two sets of needles I have not done(at least in that manner).

Amy said...

did you have any trouble knitting the bikini? i'm trying, but the cup doesn't seem to be working right. it looks like i'm knitting the top of the cup when i start-is that right?