June 2007


I finished my spiral rib hat with Kyoto! I was mainly making this up as I went, trying to manage to have enough yarn for a decent hat. What I should have done is started at the crown and increased down, but I never make hats that way, so I started from the bottom. I did spiral ribbing until I was getting nervous about having enough yarn for the decreases. I finished the crown and still had some yarn to spare. I thought about ripping out the decreases to make the hat longer (so it would be more slouchy), but instead I picked up stitches around the cast on edge and worked a 1×1 twisted rib with a smaller needle, because I didn’t really like how unstable the bottom was. I still have a little yarn left, which I think I will just admire, because this stuff has to be seen to be believed.

Pattern: made up, with some inspiration from here…basically just a 2×2 spiral rib
Yarn: Artfibers Kyoto, color 26
Needles: US 10 16″ circs and US7 16″ circs (for the ribbing)

The hat came out ever so slouchy, which I like. The spiral rib looks almost like cabling in this yarn. But the thing that really gets you is the depth of color. The saturated color in the silk is just incredible. The stitches are defined, but the mohair helps soften it up with a fuzzy halo. I’ll be interested to see how this yarn wears, because I would seriously consider making a cardigan out of it. It’s so pretty!

In other news, I finally took a picture of my first handspun yarn, which I did a few weeks ago. Regretfully, I haven’t spun again since then, mainly because I have been really into knitting Clementine (I am now halfway done with the straight section of the second half!) and doing a little sewing. It gets hard to divide up my time. But here it is, in all of its feeble glory.

This is the corriedale wool that I ordered as a spindle kit from Hello Yarn, with the Louet top whorl spindle.  That random strand of not-fuschia yarn was the pre-drafted sample that Adrian includes with the kit to get you started.  I actually seemed to be decent at joining.  I’m not so great at drafting, especially as I was trying to move beyond park & draft, but I guess I just need more practice.  I definitely understand the concept now, I just don’t feel like I’m doing it very well.  I have more of this pink stuff, and I’ve also acquired fiber from two other sources.  Hopefully this weekend I will be able to do some more.  I’d really like to get better.

Tonight is the US Air Guitar Championships at The Independent.  Yes, I am going.  Yes, it is going to be awesome.

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Progress on Clementine is going well.  I finished the first half over the weekend and immediately started the second panel so i wouldn’t be tempted to cast on something else (like a lacy yoga bag?) as a “reward”.  I’ve finished the increase section and now have 25 more straight repeats to go, which I can easily finish with a few nights of Heroes and BBC’s Robin Hood.  This project has been almost exclusively tv knitting; the lace pattern is simple and easy to memorize and keep track of, especially once you get into the straight section.  And that triple stranded alpaca feels so nice.

Unfortunately, this means that this lovely alpaca lace shawl will be finished just as summer is heating up, especially in Montana where my Grandma lives.  Do I keep it safely at my house for a few months for a more appropriate time, weather-wise, to send it, or do I get it out the door ASAP to let her admire it, even if she can’t yet wear it?  I’m thinking I’ll hold on to it, because I’d rather she be able to use it when she gets it.

Yesterday James and I went to Angel Island with his old roommate, whom we keep in touch with (somewhat) but always seem to miss hanging out with.  We hiked to the top of Mt. Livermore and back, which took under 4 hours, including our picnic at the top, and lots of stopping on the way up.  There were some completely amazing views of San Francisco and the bridges.  I took lots of pictures, which will be up on my flickr in the next few days.  All in all, it was a really good hike, not too rough, except when James decided to take a shortcut coming down.  Dry, loose dirt and leaves on a steep hill lead to me sliding down the mountain and getting very angry.  I didn’t get a headache though (unlike our Muir Woods trip), and I also didn’t get sunburned, thanks to the $12 sunscreen we purchased after we got there.  So it was a good day.

I’ve been trying to compile a list of things I can make to sell on Etsy.  I need to get back into bookbinding and try and improve my sewing skills.  I’m a little intimidated at the thought of creating original things that people will actually wan to buy, but I think once I get back into being really creative I will gain more confidence.  I have several skills and I’d like to be able to use them.  A little extra income to help cover what I spend on craft supplies anyway, as well as a way to move all this stuff I like to make out of my house, will definitely be welcome.

I’m known to be indecisive, but never have I changed my mind so many time after starting something. At the very least, I typically persevere, and try to let whatever it is I have fallen out of love with organically grow and change and improve. But something about this idea just couldn’t be like that.

Months ago I decided to make my Grandma a shawl. A lace shawl. Inspired by Victorian Lace Today, I knew there had to be a pattern in there that was perfect. I thought I found it. More than once. I pored over the pictures and changed my mind a dozen times while working on Victorian Ruby. I thought Alpine Lace was “it”. But just before it was time to cast on, I found a hidden gem: Victoria. I cast on and worked a few repeats while on vacation in April. It languished a little. I wasn’t loving it.

And then, I saw Ene’s scarf in my new copy of Scarf Style. Love at first sight. I wanted to drop everything and make this for myself. But I refuse to have two lace shawls happening at the same time (unlike sweaters…). But wait! This could be Grandma’s shawl. And then I will see how beautiful it truly is and make for myself in a few months.

I cast on and worked my way through a few of the first long rows. Maybe if I had made it through chart 1, I would have stuck with it. But I put that project down for a few weeks in favor of other things. I felt a little guilty, but told myself “after I finish ____”, I’ll get back to it. I looked forward to it. I knew I had time to spare, because it’s the beginning of summer, and who needs a lace shawl in the middle of summer?

Having finished the knitting on Hot Lava, I thought it was time to get back to it. But then, along came Ravelry. While browsing patterns at work last week, I came across the Clementine Shawlette, from IK Spring 2007. I had liked this pattern, but never thought too much of it. I saw some nice ones on Ravelry. It looked so pretty in other colors. Wouldn’t that make a nice shawl for Grandma?

So I frogged my humble beginnings of Ene. Clementine is easy to get into, because that first little handle goes so quickly. I got halfway through the chart B increases on the first night. After last night, I’m establishing the main body. I’m already to a nice, memorized rhythm that doesn’t require constant chart consultations. I could tuck it in my bag and take it with me. I could stop and start in the middle of a row. It’s both interesting and mundane. It’s perfect. And this time, I really mean it.

let’s be honest. it’s not just a knitting blog. sure, that’s my main content, but i don’t like feeling constrained. i like other things too! lots of other things. and sometimes, i post about them. i want this to be a space where there’s no such thing as “off-topic”. i might trend toward certain categories from time to time, but i’d like this to be a space where i document what i do with my time, in how ever much detail i desire. a lot of it will still be knitting-related. some of it will be related to my other hobbies. i hope that it will all be interesting.

the title of the blog is my online identity. it’s been in the url, but the “yarn owl” title, while i liked it, really never fused with me. “if time exists” is my own, unique persona, and i like it. as a phrase, it questions something most of us take for granted. as a name, it reinforces my concern and fascination with such a question. as a title for a blog, i think it speaks to the multifaceted nature of my interests (will there ever be enough time to truly explore them all?), which i document and discuss here. and it makes my little corner of the internet just that more complete.

in other news, i got my ravelry invite! finally! i had all but given up hope. if you’re on it, it shouldn’t be hard to guess my username. and even if it is, there are links to my projects and queue over on the sidebar. for someone who likes to keep things organized and connected to each other, ravelry is pretty much the best thing ever. they have done a really good job so far of keeping everything connected and easy to find. i love that blog entries link to projects which link to everyone else doing the pattern or using the yarn and then you can go see the pictures and find a user’s flickr and their blog. it’s beautiful.

i am ridiculously close to finishing hot lava, ester is nearing completion, i frogged my half of an endpaper mitt, and i’ve got all kinds of things i can’t wait to start. my house is somewhat more organized. i saw sand sculptures. i also made yarn and started taking a yoga class. all these things, and more, to come.

I found this swap called the Knitter’s Virtual Vacation Swap. I’ve never done a swap before, but this one sounds like so much fun, on both the giving and receiving ends. This is my questionnaire. Also, I added a travel tab up at the top. It has maps of the states and countries I’ve been to, as well as a link to the travel collection on my flickr.

1. If you could visit any state in the US, which would it be and why?
I really want to go to the deep South. Louisiana seems so strange and awesome.

2. If you could visit any country in the world, other than your own, which would it be and why?
I would love to go to South America, probably Peru would be my top choice. Japan is also high up on the list, and may be my next international destination. Also Russia, someday.

3. Have you ever driven across several states/providence/countries?
I love road trips! I’ve driven around and between California and Montana/North Dakota (with lots of side trips) countless times with my family. I also did a road trip from Atlanta, GA to New York, and one from San Diego to all parts of Arizona and New Mexico.

4. Have you ever visited someplace you consider exotic? Where was it?
Iceland! New Mexico was also very strange.

5. What was your favorite “travel” vacation? Why?
My two-month trip to Europe last fall. It was long, and we saw so many wonderful things in 8 different countries. It was amazing.

6. Have you ever played tourist in your own home city/state (if international, country)? Explain.
We like to give visitors the “midnight tour of SF” and go to the places with views when it’s dark and not crowded. We go to museums and parks and show people the fun spots that we like. We try and avoid places like Pier 39/Fisherman’s Wharf, but I have gone there on occasion when people wanted to.

7. Are you a museum visitor, beach comer or an amusement seeker?
I suppose all three, but museums usually take precedence.

8. What’s your favorite type of yarn?
I like things that have silk blended in them. Alpaca is always nice, and so are tweedy wools. Tweed4life.

9. What’s your least favorite type of yarn?
Weird acrylic stuff and really feathery novelty yarn.

10. What items do you like to knit/crochet?
I like to make shrugs, shawls, socks, hats…things to wear. I don’t really enjoy making things with a lot of small fiddly parts to sew together (like toys), though I do like the finished product.

11. What do you pack, knit/crochet wise when you go on vacation?
I usually pack a somewhat small, easily portable project. I like to have knitting with me where ever I go, so I need to be able to carry it around in my purse or a small bag. If it’s a longer trip where I won’t constantly be on the go, I might bring something larger like a sweater or shawl as well.

12. What other crafts do you do/would like to do other than Knit/Crochet?
I sew a little, and I recently started spinning. I like to bake and I’m trying to get better at cooking. I used to collage all the time.  I also have dome some bookbinding and printmaking.  I really would love to make more books.

13. Are you allergic to anything? (Yarn wise or treat wise)
Not that I know of.

14. What is your favorite color? Least Favorite?
I love teal/turquoise. Fuschia is also awesome. Warm coffee browns.
I don’t really like bright yellows (though I like mustard) or pastels.

15. Sweet or Savory (Treat not personality)?
Both…but I’m always in the mood for something sweet.

16. Anything else we are forgetting to ask that you think your partner desperately needs to know?
I really love coffee. LOVE. And I wish I had a kitty, but my boyfriend is allergic.

 

J has a coworker/friend who has been enamored with the fact that i knit. ever since she found out, she has been talking about (in a jovial manner) becoming better friends with me so i would knit her something. she never made a request, other than it be something that i knit. i try not to knit on demand for people, but she really, earnestly wanted something. i could tell she would appreciate it. she is moving to japan next month to teach english, so at the last minute i whipped something up. she bought a slouchy beret in berkeley a few weeks ago that i was visually dissecting, and it looked great on her, so i decided to make something similar, because i knew she would wear it.

 

 

pattern: le slouch
yarn: malabrigo, purple gold, less than one skein
needles: US7 (ribbing) and US9 (rest) dpns
time: one day
mods: i didn’t check gauge, because i was in a hurry. i increased the initial stitch count for the ribbing because i didn’t have size 8 dpns. i kept number of body stitches the same, and i worked to the recommended 6 inches, but it didn’t come out very slouchy. it is beret-like, though.

 

i do like how it turned out, even without the slouch. seed stitch + variegated malabrigo = LOVE. i made a panta out of that yarn when i first got it, and while i liked the colors, i wasn’t crazy about how it looked in ribbing. but in seed stitch? so. beautiful. i love seed stitch anyway, and this just looks gorgeous. i still have nearly a full skein left, and whether i make another beret, or something else, it will definitely be in seed stitch.

 

the recipient was ecstatic. she’s left the area to stay with her parents for a month until she goes to japan, and i hope the hat reminds her of friends when she is feeling lonely across the ocean.

my virtual reorganization last week bled over into the weekend. on sunday, inspired by some ideas i got from the latest issue of readymade, i tackled the daunting task of cleaning out our “office”. we have this little, doorless room attached to our living room, that we call the “office” for lack of a better word. it’s almost a closet i guess, but since it doesn’t have a door, it does have a window, and you can fully walk in and a take a few steps, it doesn’t seem so much like a closet. anyway, we have most of our massive book collection in there, which is somewhat organized on a cheap ikea shelving unit. we also have…all of the other crap that doesn’t have a place. it really got bad a few weeks ago when james put his fermenting beer in there, and then we took a suitcase and a box of my sister’s junk to store for the summer. you had to trip over all that new stuff in order to (maybe) find something in the rest of the mess. so sunday evening while i was home alone, i dove in.

once i got everything out and threw away a lot of junk, i was able to formulate a plan for organizing. cleaning up the office somehow turned into repurposing of furniture, which led to bedroom improvements and more organizing. so last night we went to ikea (!) and bought ourselves an actual chest of drawers, made from real wood and everything, along with some other fun stuff. tonight we need to assemble that, and my next phase can begin. by the end of the week, i will have: 1) an office/storage area that is useful, 2) a bedroom that is more enjoyable to be in, and 3) a more organized and effective way of storing my craft stuff. i’m so excited! perhaps this will motivate me to get back to making those curtains, too.

one project that has been revived is the hot lava cardigan. i started this right before my trip to san diego in april with great enthusiasm (and probably never blogged about it), but after completing half the shrug portion, my enthusiasm died off. last week i picked it up again, to break up the monotony of plain, slowly progressing stockinette on wicked. i’m just rows away from finishing the second cuff, and then it’s onto picking up stitches for the actual body of the thing. part of my renewed interest is sudden flashes when i’m looking through my warddrobe of, “hey, this shirt would look cute with hot lava…if it were finished…”. and with the way the weather’s been around here (less than summery), this is going to be an awesome year-round piece in the bay area. especially in noro silver thaw. bright fuzzy angora bits. and i love seed stitch more and more everyday. pretty!

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