Monday, September 24, 2007

Most Requested Picture

Six Months

Six months. Picture taken last weekend in San Francisco. In case you're wondering where I found palm trees in Brooklyn.

Hadn't said anything because... uh, you may notice I don't post much at all - lack of time, not lack of interest.

And? I don't know what else to say about it. There's something horribly formulaic about being a craftblogger being a woman who is or will be home with small children. About women and where we've found we can find satisfying pursuits? About men and where they aren't free to tread?

Those questions are so vague, I'm sure they could invite all manner of comments interpreting and misinterpreting what I'm saying. But that's all I have to say. I don't have any answers or posit any theories, it's just... a funny thing. Blogging about craft stuff is cool and I started just in the hopes of playing a little with the community and to give maybe a little back to the craftbloggers I've gotten so much inspiration and really great information from. Now, somehow, it feels very funny to me to be even more a part of the MotherCraftBlogger gang. There are a LOT of craftbloggers who aren't mothers, who have grown children, who aren't women or childbearers. But, um, I think I'm joining a majority, significant in proportion, and significant in implication.

Now, don't fret - I'm totally excited to have a baby. I have the right partner, it's the right time for us. Of course, it's big and crazy and overwhelming, but the excitement and goodness outweigh that by far. I'm just finding it very strange in relation to craftblogging.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Aiming for the Mitzvah

Kay-n-A for a4A WIP

Once upon a time, Kay and I decided to make a blanket together for afghans for Afghans Mother's Day challenge. Maybe to them it was just a collection, but we made it a Challenge, and decided that we would both knit half a blanket, then put them together and have something to send in.

Kay wrote about how that worked out. I made a half, she made a half, she went to make them a whole and... it was not going to happen. So she made another half to go with my half, finished the blanket, and sent it along. Which left us with her half of the blanket needing a new half from me.

Last week was Rosh Hashana, the beginning of the Jewish New Year, and Kay was writing about afghans for Afghans and other charity knitting, and I was debating what knitting to take for a long plane ride that weekend. It occured to me that the only project I should take on the place was that blanket. I figured I could pick up Kay's half and finish the blanket before Yom Kippur, which is sort of the end of the old year in Jewish tradition. I have a tradition with friends to mark Yom Kippur by eating dinner together (after the fasting ends at sundown) and we all take turns talking about our old and new years, sort of clearing the slate. I've been trying to wrap my brain around all the things I want to make and all the things that I should finish and thought it would be both a good start to the new year and a good finish for the old year to finish this little charity knit.

So I picked it up on Rosh Hashana, started winding the skeins into balls that night after sundown when Rosh Hashana had really begun, and Yom Kippur ends tomorrow at sundown.

Picture above is as of yesterday morning. As of right now, all the knitting is finished, I'm 8" from the end of the last seam, and I've got ends to weave and a border to add.

I'm aiming for the Mitzvah, which Mr. Cake once explained to me as "brownie points with God."

Thursday, September 06, 2007

All that time I wasn't blogging, I was knitting.

Red Scarf

Indeed, I actually finally finished something for myself, essentially unheard of.
No really, I can't think of anything else I own that I knitted. Here's how it happened.

Step 1: Plan fabulous trip to Europe with Mr. Cake.
Step 2: Accept that there will need to be fabulous knitting for fabulous vacation.
Step 3: Realize that now is the time to finally buy some Koigu. You know you've always wanted to, and although it is expensive, it is small! lightweight! will travel well! And the fabulousness is only befitting for such an adventure. Buy three whole skeins so you're sure to have enough for your fabulous scarf.
Step 4: Copy selected stitch patterns from your Barbarba Walker (1st Treasury) for fabulous Koigu scarf, so you won't have to carry the whole book.
Step 5: During vacation, swatch almost an entire skein of Koigu in several of the patterns.
Step 6: Arrive home, and begin intending to wash and block and examine swatch and possibly swatch just a little bit more...
Step 7: Keep intending.
Step 8: Periodically run into giant swatch.
Step 9: Repeat steps 7 & 8 for 14 months.
Step 10: Run into free pattern online with a stitch pattern you hadn't swatched and realize that This Is It. Decide to forgo further swatching and cast on. (Rose of Sharon on MagKnits)
Step 11: Knit through awesome full-day poetry festival, knit through many many subway rides, lunch hours, movies, more subway rides, and get near the end of the second skein of Koigu.
Step 12: Pause. Consider length. Gaze out the window. Reconsider length. Wonder if it might be just about time to finish. Consider whether you might want to add edging? And what kind?
Step 13: Think of something else you've just got to make for someone else. Make that instead. And some other stuff for some other people.
Step 14: For 8 months, periodically consider edging? length? finishing? Ripping out the giant swatch so you can make the scarf longer? Blocking and photographing swatch first? But don't make a move.
Step 15: Pull the bugger out of the depths of the knitting storage and leave it lying about the house looking like the picture below, always being sure to leave it somewhere it's in the way.

Red Scarf in Progress

Step 16: Repeat Step 15 for three weeks (or more!), continually moving it out of the way into the way of something else every time. All the time. Until it's making you totally nuts.
Step 17: On a fine Saturday morning, spend 2 minutes on the internet looking up pattern, now that you've forgotten it, spend an hour knitting the last dozen rows, wash, rinse, block, dance. Let it brighten the rest of your day as you walk by it grumbling about all the other (non-knitting, general life) obligations you have and are working on that day.
Step 18: Photograph. Wonder if it isn't too short. Decide not to care.
Step 19: Wonder if you might give it to someone.
Step 20: Blog it to prevent yourself from giving it to someone, despite not-so-fab picture.

Check me out! 20 easy steps to make a scarf in only 28 months!

Next thing you know, I'll be starting and finishing handtowels in under 2 weeks!

Chevron Face Towel

Dishcloths in under 4 days!

BallBand Dishcloth

Felted boxes in under... oh wait, these aren't done quite yet. They're for me, of course. The others? Gifts.

Felted Boxes in Progress