Do you ever purposefully put off projects that you’re not looking forward to? I’ve been doing that for MONTHS. I have been working on a pair of fingerless gloves for a friend of mine, and it’s been the opposite of fun.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the pattern! It’s really lovely. Ysolda Teague is an amazing designer, and her Veyla gloves are beautiful and clever. And the yarn is splendid, Madelinetosh DK in Tart, which is a lovely dark blood red. The colors in Madelinetosh yarn gleam and glow and I love them madly. However, as much as I adore both the yarn and the pattern, they just don’t go well together, and I’ve been forcing them together like two positive ends of a magnet. The yarn isn’t a fine enough gauge for the pattern, and I had to reknit the palm of the first glove TWICE to get it to the point where it wasn’t more suited to a giant than a normal human. (And first I tried to shrink a superwash yarn. Not my finest moment.) So once I finally finished all of that chicanery, and had one finished glove, I hid everything from myself and pretended that they no longer existed. “Gloves? What gloves? Pay no attention to the gloves under the bed.” Although I’m mostly a product knitter, I still like to enjoy the process, and the process on these was just me battling the yarn and forcing it to be something it didn’t want to. However, I have imposed my will on the yarn. With the help of my obstinacy and the entire Lizzie Bennett diaries (A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice as a video diary on YouTube. Warning: they are super addictive, and if you click on that link you may be sucked in, never to return until you’ve finished all of them.) I went from this:
*does a little happy dance* I don’t have to knit these ANY MORE!! I had some really nice buttons for these, but I can’t find them anywhere >.< so I guess I’m going to have to go in search of new buttons. But even still, I’m done with the knitting! Eight buttons, and these puppies are DONE! And yes, now that I no longer have to knit them, I think they’re beautiful. Now they will hopefully make their way to the intended recipient, and I think she’ll get a lot of use out of them once fall rolls around.. (Yeah these were supposed to be a Christmas present. My level of denial is positively Olympian.)
Well friends, I got a really nice surprise, and I’ve wanted to blog about it, but I haven’t been able to find the words to say it without sounding either braggy or overly saccharine. But it’s also exciting! So I’ll just tell you. I got this!!! It came from Rachel at All Night Knits, who is just a peach, if you haven’t read her blog yet. (Go read it.)
My first blog award!!! Wooooooo!!! (okay, that’s all the tooting my own horn that I will do, but I am really excited.) I’ve never gotten one before, and it made me blush and smile and even tear up a little bit, because it just felt so good.
A little background on me: I love to write. I’ve been a writer since I was a wee thing. I have journaled pretty consistently since I was a kid, but I got in trouble a few times when I was a teenager for things I’d written in my diary, and so for a while I just kindof stopped. Everyone needs an outlet where they feel safe expressing whatever they want, (even if it’s dumb and whiny, like most teenagers’ diaries) but unless you’ve got a place to lock a journal that has a retinal scanner or something of the sort, a diary isn’t really private. So for a while, all the writing I did was for school. It just wasn’t the same, but I couldn’t really get started on a diary again. It just never seemed to take, you know? It never felt right. Then I started reading blogs. It started mostly because I wanted to learn how to do specific things, but before long, I was inspired. People were creating such amazing things, and being creative wasn’t just in the writing itself, but what people were writing about. Their creations, their struggles, their passions and victories and defeats. And they were all ordinary people, just like me. A wide variety of different people, with different other interests and at different points in their lives as well. A lot of my favorite bloggers are moms, and I’m only 22. But I love hearing about their families, and things they’re knitting for their babies. The Yarn Harlot, the first knitting blogger I ever read, and still my favorite, has kids older than me. It’s amazing how knitting and creating brings people together. We may have nothing else in common, but we have our knitting, and that is plenty.
So this award means a lot to me, and I’m very grateful that it was my first one. Because I’ve always felt like we are some kind of big weird family, and I’ve tried to behave that way. I feel like I have a bunch of great new friends, and you are all AWESOME. I was going to try to pick ten people to give this award to, and I just couldn’t do it. There have been far too many who have extended virtual hands in friendship to pick just ten. So all of you win, since you’re all part of my blog family. Thank you all so much for making this so wonderful and so much fun.
Despite what you might think, it’s not all knitting all the time here at Chez Lolly. I do occasionally get out of the house and have adventures. One such occurred just Tuesday night, when I went to see a Red Sox game!
Now, I will admit that in general, sports don’t really do it for me. I come from a very sporty family, and have been to far more than my fair share of sporting events, but I enjoy neither playing nor watching them in general. However, a trip to Fenway Park is an entirely different matter. It’s a lot smaller than you expect it to be, for a professional sports stadium, and charming. There’s a whole experience associated with a trip there, from the Fenway franks (delicious!) and fried dough to the seventh inning stretch and singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” It’s a lot of fun, and in the midst of a section of rabid, screaming fans, you can get surprisingly into sports!
Unfortunately, my phone decided to EAT some of the pictures I took. Fortunately all but two had multiple copies, but I’m still really mad. So, imagine that along with these other photos, there are two really good, really photogenic pictures of me and Greg with the baseball field in the background.
Here’s at least one picture of the co-conspirators.
And I did manage to salvage one of the park as well. Look!
There’s this nice perk of my job where I can go to Fenway the day of any game, and half an hour after the first pitch, I can buy two tickets wherever they’re available for $5 each. It’s awesome. Granted, these weren’t the greatest seats ever, but we could see the game well enough.
Aaaaand, just when you thought that this post would be completely devoid of knitting content, I will proceed to prove you wrong. Look!
I brought my current project with me to the game, not that it got much attention. It was an exciting game! The Red Sox absolutely crushed the Rangers. (I had mixed feelings about this, having lived in Texas for a while, but you can’t go to Fenway Park and not cheer for the Sox.) That black lump in my lap is actually an alpaca shawl/scarf thing that is going to be for Christmas. Greg thought that you couldn’t see it well enough, so here I am holding it up higher.
It was a really fun time, and the shawl is happy to report that it enjoys sports much more than I do. Unfortunately, it was offended by being stuffed in a backpack for most of the game, and would have you all know that this was grossly unfair treatment, since it wanted to watch. It is still sulking in my knitting basket after this indignity.
Despite the fact that it is totally exaggerating (I let it sit on my lap for part of the game, I just didn’t want to get mustard or powdered sugar on it from the hotdogs and fried dough, respectively.) I bought it some new needles today, as it was outgrowing the ones it was on. It was slightly placated, but wan’t me to feel its displeasure for a little while longer. Temperamental little bit of business, that.
(Am I the only one who ascribes thoughts and personality to my knitting?)
It’s not even at all, and I couldn’t love it more. It’s fat, and squishy, and altogether yummy! The silk content makes it shiny, and the wool makes it all plush and bouncy.
It’s got this lovely rustic fuzzy feel to it, and I still can’t get over the cuteness of my tiny yarn bunnies. It’s definitely not motivating me to go out and get a proper niddy noddy so I can stop using my arm for the purpose. They just come out so adorable and chubby that way!
More gratuitous closeups, so you can all see the gorgeous colors. I think that this yarn reminds me of the pebbles on the bottom of a stream. Greys, blues, and silvers all blending together. The color variations are a lot more subtle now that the yarn is actually spun up, but I like it that way. It has a very slight marled look to it that I find to be completely charming. I have a real love affair with blue, it may actually be my favorite color. It’s hard to actually pick, but I do find myself gravitating towards blue colorways far more than any other.
Now I’m just being self indulgent, but I seriously love this yarn. My first skein of yarn is too small to really be anything but a pet skein. This yarn, on the other hand, was destined for something specific while it was still merely a little fiber. We will see if it actually attains it’s goal. Despite the fact that this is eight ounces, I spun it pretty thick, and I’ll be cutting it a trifle close. Still, fingers crossed!! For those of you out there who are spinners, I have a technical question. I haven’t blocked the yarn. Should I? If so, what’s the best way to do that so that the delicate silk fibers won’t be sad? I adore this yarn exactly as it is, and I don’t want to do anything to mess it up. Any advice is appreciated!
So, spinners, what’s on your wheel/spindle? Knitters, what’s on your needles?
That is the name of the song my little brothers invented while we were in Cancun, (to the tune of Hakuna Matata) and here is why. Feast your eyes upon this gorgeousness.
I’m sure everyone must say this, but the pictures don’t even begin to capture how beautiful it was. The photos are pretty, but they don’t have the same vibrance of the original. I have it in my mind, though, and I brought it back with me. I can close my eyes, and feel the wind on my face, picture the color of the water.
In Cancun was the most beautiful, bright turquoise water I have ever seen, shading through sapphire and royal into cobalt where the deep ocean is. It was beyond beautiful. Words fail me to describe its loveliness. I lounged by the beach and the pool, but my trip there wasn’t entirely devoid of exertion. I did do some swimming in that phenomenal water, but we also went to Cabo, and climbed a Mayan temple!
I couldn’t get a picture that really showed how huge it was, but here’s a view from the top! It was really tall, and the winds at the top were very strong. A few times, I was worried that they were going to lift me off the side of the temple, and I would just fly away. The steps were worn smooth by thousands of years’ worth of feet walking on them, and their slipperiness didn’t help me feel more secure when I was near the top.
That’s my dad in the blue shirt and red hat, taking pictures. We were shamelessly touristy.
Here is proof that I actually climbed the darn thing. It was pretty touch and go there at the top, and I was debating with myself whether I really wanted to keep climbing, or if getting almost to the top was good enough. But I persevered!
(Forgive the up-the-skirt shot. Rest assured, I am wearing my bathing suit under the dress and all is entirely decent.)
It was amazing to stand in a place where there had been an organized, orderly civilization, over a thousand years before. It was also hot enough to give us all mild heatstroke (We had to hike five miles in the heat and the humidity to get to the temple.) but it was completely, totally worth it. I loved it there. It was beautiful, and the air was so humid sometimes it felt like you were swimming through it. My hair was ENORMOUS the whole time I was there, between the humidity, the salt water, and the sea breezes. I even exposed my pasty skin to the sunlight! I felt like I was soaking in vitamin D, after lacking it all winter in Boston.
I didn’t spend as much time on a lounge chair as you might think, my 10 year old brother would come bug me to do something if I looked like I had been sitting still for too long (i.e. longer than 5 minutes) But I didn’t mind. I hadn’t seen any of my family for a long time, and I enjoyed spending time with them, even if it was only a few days. It was even more fun to get to experience a different culture with them. I understand that the beachfront hotels of Cancun are significantly americanized, but there are still odd cultural differences that you might not expect. For example, you can buy individual cans of beer! My brother and I enjoyed a few brews together on the beach, looking out at the ocean. And really, that’s mostly what I did while I was there.
I looked out at the vastness of the ocean, and I felt very, very small, and very, very peaceful.
Hello my friends,
I will warn you in advance, this post shall be nearly devoid of knitting content. The reason being, I am on my way to Mexico to meet my family! Pretty neat, huh? My dad is taking my mom there for her birthday, and us kids (I still fall in the latter category, despite my advanced age of two and twenty years.) are tagging along. In order to counteract the horror of going out and buying a swimsuit (side note: I was unaware until yesterday of all the possible ways for your butt to look weird. I was happy in my ignorance.) I have been promised gorgeous beaches and Mayan ruins! Which is a wee bit more exciting than my normal knitting adventures. I’m sortof hoping to avoid hiking to the ruins today though, as I woke up at 4:30 this morning, after staying up very late last night at a concert. (Iron and Wine, and it was MAGICAL.)
Despite all my recent adventures, I haven’t completely forgotten about my knitting. I do, of course, have the obligatory sock in my handbag, and I intended to work on my friend’s long overdue fingerless gloves, but it appears that I did not bring the proper size of needles. I forgot that I worked the lace cuff and the palm in different needle sizes. I am now inordinately worried that I am going to knit faster than I ever have, and finish the sock in my handbag and it’s mate, and then have nothing to knit. I know this is ridiculous, but the fear is very real. Especially since it took me half an hour to convince myself that two knitting projects was plenty. Now I only have ONE, and it’s making me crazy. In better news, my sock project matches my new bikini. This pleases me inordinately.
Happy Graduation Greg!
We are all so proud and happy for you.
I am so close to the end of this fiber, I can taste it. It’s now finally all been spun up, I just need to ply the singles that are currently on the spindle. I might’ve been a wee bit optimistic for my second project, because this is eight full ounces of fiber. Fortunately for me, I chose a silk blend, which was much easier to spin than my first project, which was primarily merino. This stuff almost spins itself.
I also think that my tiny skeins look rather like bunnies, and I almost can’t get over how cute they are. This might mean that I am somewhat of a simple human.
Aren’t the singles for this really gorgeous? The different blues are all fairly blended in the final product, and while I am completely okay with that, I do like seeing a bit more of the subtle variations. I also have to say, I am in love with silk. It just feels so luxurious and wonderful. I find that I am trolling Etsy, looking at all kinds of different roving with different fiber blends. However, I have purchased enough fiber for my next few spinning projects, and I don’t want to overwhelm myself by getting too much stuff, because spinning is a pretty slow process. I do love it though. I think a lot of us knit and spin because it’s such a relaxing process. I’m naturally a very high anxiety person, and I find that it is so for me. Spinning especially calms me down beautifully. Plus, it’s incredibly satisfying to take a pile of fluff and turn it into yarn. And then, you get to do this.
Just a totally normal picture of me smooshing the yarn bunnies on my face. As one does.
So I have been bitten (and badly) by the spinning bug. I LOVE spinning! I have two drop spindles now so I can work on more than one thing! I am acquiring a fiber stash! (A small one, but still.) I just can’t get over how great it is that I can MAKE yarn. So now I will show you all some of the yarn I’ve been making! It’s a merino/tussah silk blend, and it is just heavenly soft.
Aren’t those colors just stunning? I love how the blues streak, and how the silk makes it so shiny and wonderful. I think the brand for this is Ashland Bay, and it has been extremely easy to spin, not tangly at all! The fibers just sortof drift apart, you don’t have to tug or predraft at all, which is different from the other spinning project I’m working on, but you don’t get to hear about everything all at once
Since I’m new at this, I’m not super consistent yet. Instead of getting all worked up and perfectionist about it (which I can do sometimes) I decided to celebrate the suckage and not even attempt to spin evenly. It actually makes surprisingly charming yarn once it’s plied up. Not even at all, but quite lovely for all that. And soft! This stuff makes a kitten seem positively prickly. Wanna see?
See that? It’s yarn, and I MADE IT! and it’s pretty!
I don’t even care that it takes a long time. It’s restful, and soothing, and nice. Spinning rocks!
My dear friends,
Yesterday, something completely unprecedented happened. Something that I cannot remember happening in my entire existence.
Yesterday, I was too sick to knit.
The horror! I have picked up some sort of nasty bug, possibly the norovirus, and it has laid me out flat. Stupid norovirus. You’d think that something with “noro” in the name would be less terrible. So yesterday I basically just curled up miserably in bed. Today I can knit again. Hopefully by Monday I will be able to return to work and my normal schedule. Fingers crossed!