Based on a True Sweater

Jul. 24, 2006

Four Things And A Knitting Photo

1. Thank You!
Wow, thank you so much for all the great responses to my last post! The comments and emails have given me a lot of food for thought, and it's been wonderful to hear about your experiences with, and thoughts about, knitting and blogging. I've had a few notes from people saying that you want to respond, but have to sit down to write the epic email. Please don't feel you need to write a novel, or answer every question I've asked; any thoughts or information you want to share will be appreciated.

2. New Blog In Town
My beloved mother-in-law has started a blog! She and my father-in-law are making a major change in their life, and I have been enjoying her email updates so much that I entreated her to start a blog. Do check it out, and say hi. She's funny, interesting, and a great writer, and her blog will be worth reading (no pressure, Deb!!).

3. I Promise, It's Not Just Whining
If you read any other Vancouver-area bloggers, you will have already read whining about the heat, but that doesn't mean I can resist whining myself. I do very poorly in the heat, and was quite sick from it on Friday. It's cooled down slightly, but is still on the un- side of bearable. I'm panicking a little, because it's supposed to be hot in Santa Clara this weekend, and I can't lay around in the light dresses and things I've resorted to this last weekend. (I've mostly been wearing the rejected "practice dresses" (muslins) I make to test dress patterns.)

This leads me to ask a question. I think many of us can agree that light skirts and dresses would be the very best clothing choice for hot weather, were it not for one thing: the dreaded Thigh Problem. From an unscientific poll, it seems like people of most body types have issues with thighs that chafe when skirts are worn in hot weather without nylons or tights. I've been thinking about this for the last while, trying to come up with solutions for things to wear that are as cool, comfortable and attractive as skirts and dresses, but will alleviate the Thigh Problem. Shorts are just not as flattering on many people, nor as much fun. (Again, I'm being unscientific here. Highly biased, that's what I am.)

I'd really love to hear about solutions you have found to summer dressing. Please share; I'll compile any answers and post them, along with anything I come up with. Unfortunately, my sewing room is in the hottest part of the house, so I'm not sure if I'll be brave enough to venture in there before I leave for Santa Clara! Your answers, however, will benefit future generations. Really.

4. The Ex-Tee
You may recall this thing which I was knitting with R2 Paper. It was going well, looking hot, taking advantage of Paper's ability to make a great, stretchy fabric, suitable for figure-hugging garments.

Then I remembered that I hate wearing figure-hugging garments, no matter how good they may look when I'm standing up, sucking in my stomach ever-so-slightly.

It has been ripped.

I took this terrible photo for pos-terity. You can clearly see the three radical-ly dif-ferent shades which, I remind you, all came from the same fricking bag.

You will, no doubt, notice that the sweater is rather short. It wasn't really this short; I just knit it without a non-curling edging, so it rolled a lot. The plan was to pick up around the bottom and knit ribbing down, which is a favourite design choice of mine. You can also see the circular needles hanging out of the neckline; I was going to make the neck ribbing a little deeper.

I've started a new sweater at the same tight gauge (16 sts = 10 cm on a 6mm (US 10) needle), with a looser fit. I'll show it to you when there's something to show. I plan to dye the new sweater, because I'm knitting it in that lurid Pastel Green.

One day when Angie and I were callous and strange high school students, we were hanging out at her place, painting. A colour resulted at one point which we tastefully named "Dead Baby Green". This isn't it exactly, but I'd say it's close.

Jul. 17, 2006

The Knit-Blog Community: Stories and Opinions Needed

I do a stupid little giggle every time I think of this (or my stomach falls out and goes "splat" on the floor): I'm on the panel of the "Group Blogging" Room of Your Own session at BlogHer.

After I spoke about knit-blogging on a panel at Northern Voice 2006, Susie suggested that I submit a proposal to BlogHer for a similar talk. I followed my crazy new policy of saying "yes" as a default answer to possible opportunities, and voilĂ ! I am now on this panel.

I'm quite excited about the chance to talk again about the amazing community that knit-bloggers have formed, and about the cool things this community does. I'm a bit anxious about talking about how the community has formed, because I am not among the most active or popular members of this community. Although I have made small financial contributions to a few of the charity initiatives that the community has... uh... initiated, I have not introduced any of my own, nor have I started any knitalongs or swap projects. I have been an enthusiastic observer of these sorts of projects and I find them cool and inspiring, but by nature I am not inclined to be a participant.

This leads me to make a request. I would like to hear about your experiences with the knit-blogging community. Please tell me about your experiences with the charity, knitalong, and swap projects. (What other group projects to knit-bloggers do that I forgotten about?) Even more, please tell me about being a knit-blogger or non-blogging reader of knitting blogs. How did you become engaged with this community? How has it enhanced your life (or not)? These are questions that are based on my own experiences, but please tell me whatever you want to - answer questions I haven't thought to ask, or suggest questions that I may, in turn, ask others! You can leave your story in a comment, or email me (link in sidebar).

Please also feel free to let me know your thoughts about the knit-blogging community, removed from your own experiences. Why is it such an unusually large and ardent group? Why do we leave so many comments? Why do many of these group projects gain so much initiative and popularity? Why (fill in the blank)??

Also, please pass on these questions (or a link to this entry) to any other knit-bloggers or knit-blog readers you know, who you think may have an opinion or story to share.

And incidentally, thank you for reading. :)

Jul. 12, 2006

The Family You Choose

I feel like saying "sorry I've been away", but I think you are all used to me being a crappy, infrequent blogger. I've enjoyed posting more frequently lately, though, so I feel like I really have been away.

Here's why:

Stevie, my "little sister" from Calgary, was visiting.

We had a fantastic week, though we failed to get photos of most of the things we did. We had a lot of fun, and she got to meet many of my Vancouver friends.

Do not fail to see this incredibly cute photo of her, taken by Travis as Stevie spent some quality time with the water. To say "Stevie loves the ocean" would be a bit of an understatement.

She even got me to into the water (the bottom few inches of me, anyways), such is the persuasive force of her will.

To say "I miss Stevie" would be another understatement. I don't say this often about people I'm not related to by blood or marriage (because I am a dreadful literalist), but she is family.

We've been "sisters" since she was 9, and she's 14 now. One of the things I most regret about leaving Calgary, is that I'm not able to be there for Stevie as consistently as I'd like to be, especially at such an... eventful time of her life.

After she left us at the airport, Zak reminded me of a time after Stevie and I had started hanging out, when I had said to him, "I wonder if Stevie will still be interested in being my friend when she gets a little older." I really didn't expect that we'd develop the kind of relationship that we have, and I'm very grateful for it.

I just wish she wasn't so far away.

Jul. 3, 2006

Good News, Bad News, Good News, and a Question

Before I Begin:
Thank you all so much for your comments on my last entry. You've given me some food for thought and for further discussion, which I think I will return to in a later entry. I think, also, that I will be wearing this look, possibly with more makeup than I was wearing in the photo (because I was actually wearing some). But now, the new business.

The Preamble:
Have you seen this insane sale on R2 Paper? I loved the R2 project, I'm quite sad that it didn't fly in the end. I imagine it was more feasible for British consumers, but by the time the yarn made it over the ocean, it was too expensive for the way it was being marketed. I was quite inspired by the R2 books and I continue to draw inspiration from them every time I pull them out, though I find I use the ideas more in sewing than in knitting.

I have wanted to try the Paper yarn since it came out (I'd love to get my hands on some Rag and some Braid, too!), but I wasn't willing to pay the $$$ for it. At this price, however, I could not resist it, and I ordered a bag of grey.

Good News:
It arrived only 2 days later! I swatched and cast on for a sweater at a pretty firm gauge (approx. 16 sts = 10 cm / 4 inches on a 6mm/US10 needle). The yarn was so nice at different gauges, I ordered another bag, and an 8mm/US11 Addi Turbo. I'm into the third ball of the sweater now, and I'm really enjoying knitting it. (I'll rhapsodize more about why I love it in another entry, when I've got something to show you.) But...

Bad News:
What the hell is going on with the colour?? I received a sealed bag of yarn, all one dye lot, but the colour differs so much from ball to ball that you'd almost think I was using 3 separate shades! Of course, it doesn't differ enough that you can see this difference in the ball, it only shows when it's knit up, and it's subtle enough to look like total crap. This yarn is 100% nylon, would you really think it would be so hard to achieve colour consistency between 2 balls of the same freaking dye lot?? (rolls eyes, froths at mouth, shoots steam from nostrils)
Fortunately, however...

Good News:
Nylon is, apparently, easy to dye. I have RIT dyes and acid dyes (which I've never used), so I'm going to try dyeing the sweater when it's done. I suppose this could work out better in the long run, since I really do love the yarn, and I really do hate its pastel colour palette. In fact, this could be a lot of fun. Which leads me to...

A Question:
Dear readers, have any of you had any experience dyeing this yarn, or dyeing nylon in general? If not, do you know anyone who has? I'd welcome any information you could share. I have 2 more bags on the way (one is to make a gift), so this yarn and I will be spending some serious quality time together. Hopefully the other bags will not present me with the same bullshit colour problem, but if they do, I'd like to know what my options are.

In other news, Zak and I had a really nice Canada Day, which Ben has summed up here.

I hope you all had a nice Canada Day! (...or will have a nice Fourth of July, or will have/did have a nice nationalist celebration of your own country, as applicable, whatever.) Last year, we didn't manage to leave the house to celebrate, so it was great to actually get out and enjoy the beauty of Vancouver (and some tasty food) with some friends. Buying take-out before walking to the beach is certainly a very stress-free and enjoyable way to have a picnic.

On an unrelated note, I really, really hate editing glove patterns. Hate.

That is all.