Archives for posts with tag: natural slate

Presenting the second rendition of Kureopatora’s Snake. As I mentioned in my last post, I like this much better than the red version I made. Totally 100% more awesome for sure. (Yes, hello, I am from California.)

With the completion of this scarf, I only have 4 more Christmas presents left to make. Or 6, depending on how ambitious I get with gifts for the almost-in-laws. A scarf for my boyfriend, a scarf for my mom (in progress), and I’m thinking maybe a hat for my great-uncle and some felted clogs for my great-aunt. I’m so ready to be done with my Christmas knitting!

Pattern: Kureopatora’s Snake

Yarn used: 2 skeins Patons SWS in 70041 Natural Slate

Needles used: US size 10.5/6.5 mm

Started: 12/10/07

Finished: 12/12/07

Size: Roughly 5″ x 62″ before blocking; roughly 5″ x 67″ after blocking. It stretches quite a bit when worn, so it’s most likely longer and skinnier than that when being worn rather than laid out flat on the floor.

Mods: I made the scarf 26 stitches wide instead of 30 stitches wide, to compensate for the larger needle size, and it came out to a very good size. I just love this pattern. I tried knitting it months ago in Patons SWS in Natural Geranium, kept getting confused and going the wrong way with the entrelac, and frogged it in frustration after just one repeat. I eventually tried again, and was surprised to find that it wasn’t that hard after all, and was in fact a very addictive pattern, unlike a regular, interminable 1×1 rib scarf. I put up more detailed notes about keeping track of the entrelac in my writeup of the previous snake scarf.

Notes: Apparently, I never got over the high school idea that blurry, monochromatic photos = Great Art. In these photos, I’m even wearing a long black dress I bought in high school! (The schlumpy black Ally Sheedy-type cardigan is from Target.) I set out to take some moody, wintry pictures a la Norah Gaughan’s self-titled Norah Gaughan Vol. 1, specifically inspired by the picture of this scarf. Lots of red lipstick and black eyeliner and dozens of totally ridiculous photos later (America’s Next Top Model, I ain’t) I managed to pick out a few photos that I wasn’t completely embarrassed to put up. To my surprise, the scarf came out looking way too warm in color when I converted the pictures to grayscale, so I left the photos in color. If only my skin and my walls were Goth white.

Woe is me, oh, I am so emo.

I thought this one came out kind of neat because my face is blurry but the scarf is not:

Perhaps superior workmanship will make me happy?

I am so tired by the tragedies of my life, I think I need to lean on this wall for a while

I think I just don’t have the kind of cheekbones that lend themselves to great Serious Art photos full of dim light and interesting shadows, and should stick to smiling and taking snapshots of myself like a normal person.

The ones on the balcony of just the scarf came out nicer, I think. Less drama!

Knitting knitting knitting. The media in the rest of my life has been full of knitting lately. I saw a play as part of a series called Sex/Death V the other day that involved someone getting stabbed to death with knitting needles. It reminded me of this Stephen King short story I read where a woman’s drowned husband comes back from the dead and shows up in the living room as a dripping wet zombie, and she stabs him in the eye with her needles.

There’s been a lot of talk about knitwear in the Golden Compass. My favorite from the movie was not the Gyptian garter stitch coat that’s generated so much buzz, but the pointy little imp hat in bulky marled yarn she wore while they were walking towards Bolvangar. It has a rolled brim and a pointed tip. I wish I could find a picture. It looks similar in overall shape to the meathead hat.

I’ve also been reading, and really enjoying, the Fables graphic novels by Bill Willingham. One of the key players in a major battle is a witch who knits. I highly recommend the series to anyone who enjoys graphic novels and/or fairytales.

I saw this link to KnitML on Craftzine and it’s all kinds of amazing in theory, but reading the sample sock pattern made my eyes glaze over. Maybe it just takes getting used to.

Babies first, then snakes!

Pattern: Baby Sweater on Two Needles (February), from Elizabeth Zimmermann‘s Knitter’s Almanac

Yarn used: 2 skeins Nashua Cilantro in Geranium, snagged for $5 a skein from the bargain bin at Uncommon Threads

Needles used: US size 9/5.5 mm

Started: December 5, 2007

Finished: Knitting finished December 8, 2007; ends woven in and snaps attached December 12, 2007

Size: All measurements taken pre-blocking: 8.5″ long from neck to hem, 22″ chest, armholes approx. 7.5″ around, garter yoke approximately 3″ long, yoke worked to length of 5″ before separating sleeves from body

Mods: I ran out of yarn, so I knit the body first, noticed I was running short, and knit only 3 garter ridges before binding off (the pattern calls for 1″ of garter stitch at the border). I bound off the sleeves immediately, rather than knitting sleeves, due to the extreme yarn shortage, so it has cap sleeves rather than long ones–I toyed with the idea of getting another skein of Cilantro mail-order, but decided that this wasn’t going to be worn for warmth anyway, so the short sleeves would be OK.

I also used 4 pearl snaps in the yoke rather than buttons, for fear that the recipient would tear off sewn buttons and eat them. Hopefully the snaps will stay put. They had to be applied with a hammer! I have never hammered a knitted object before, and it was kind of fun.

(When I was going through my button box to find the snaps, I found these sushi buttons I bought from Reprodepot and realized they would have been adorable on this sweater! If only they made sushi snaps.)

Notes: This sweater is so adorable I can’t stand it. I want to make a giant baby sweater (as unappealing as that name sounds) for myself sometime.

Edited because in my hurry to get out of the house to see The Golden Compass (it was OK, but how could they have left out that vital last scene from the book?), I forgot to add my notes about the pattern and the yarn.

The pattern, though pithy, shouldn’t cause anyone any great distress if they understand the basic concept of a top-down sweater. The only puzzling thing was the “pick up 4×7 stitches” instruction. Apparently, this just means to pick up 7 stitches 4 times–14 stitches under each arm.

Stitch markers can be easily employed with the gull stitch pattern, and I recommend it. After knitting across the entire body of the sweater only to find my stitch count was off at the very end of the row, I put in a marker at every repeat and found the going much easier. The only problem was that I used rubber bands, and they have a maddening tendency to get stuck to the needle or cable and slide under the stitches. I clearly need to invest in some more “real” stitch markers.

The yarn, a matte cotton-acrylic blend, was a dream to work with–thick, round, bouncy,  with great stitch definition, and stretchy beyond the point of Rowan Calmer and into bungee cord territory. You can see that the stretchiness exacerbated some tension issues in my garter stitch, but I don’t care–I’d definitely work with it again.

The light these days is not so great, so the red didn’t come out very true in my photos. It’s a bright cheerful red. The last picture is probably the best.

Here is the sweater, fetchingly modeled on my balcony by a bottle of laundry detergent.

My cousin is adopting a one-year-old baby girl from China in the next month or so, so I’m sending the sweater along with the rest of the Christmas presents for the family. Hopefully it will fit the recipient at least as well as it fits the laundry detergent. I don’t know much about babies, but the CYC seems to think it should fit a size 2 baby, whatever that means. She’s small for her age, so I’m hoping she is size 2 or smaller.

Anyway–I have another Kureopatora’s Snake completed! This one will go to my dad for Christmas. I’ll do another photoshoot with the snake scarf modeled before I send it off–just wanted to put up a few pictures in the meantime. As I predicted, fewer colors work best in this pattern. Last time, I used Plymouth Boku in mixed reds and there were just too many colors in it–this time, I used Patons SWS in Natural Slate, and couldn’t be happier with the results. Look at how gorgeous and elegant this is! I totally love it.