Saturday, November 01, 2008

the return of autumn, the return of knitting


It's been a while. There are reasons, and I think I'll list them, and then you can decide which excuse flies. (This is the precise opposite of the strategy that works best with parents, teachers and bosses, of course, where the key is to pick one single excuse, any excuse, and stick to it. But you are my loyal readers, and that's different.) So:

  • I just got civilised!
  • I moved city, again
  • I interviewed for a plethora of new jobs
  • I got a new job
  • Which involved a lot of brand new teaching
  • And a lot of brand new commuting
  • Also, I thought for a bit that I would be buying a fancy pants new camera, but it is possible that this might be a little beyond my budget, new job or not, so I held off taking photos for a bit.
Pick your excuse! That doesn't mean I've not been knitting, though, no no. There's been quite a bit of it since the civilisation. As the chilly storms rolled in from the Atlantic and the temperature dropped, even slimfitting angora suddenly looked promising. So I dragged out the infamous Henley Perfected once more, tried it on, and realised, with a sinking heart... perhaps making it Small under the principle that I have never yet met the handknit that didn't stretch was not such a good idea. It was cropped. Britney Spears cropped. Tummy-showing, rolly-uppy, unflattering cropped.

So I took a deep breath, googled, and found that apparently you can actually just pull a thread just above the hem of a garment, snip the thread and pull it out, pick up the stitches and knit to lengthen it. Who knew? It sounded implausible...

but look, it worked! This is the lengthened back hem: the front hem is still three inches too short.

Like this. But my lovely lady friend then spirited the last ball of angora yarn away to complete a cardigan that she is knitting from it. Leaving me to do nothing but try and pick out the right buttons for the completed product:

These are from a hideous black polyester jacket I bought in a misguided attempt to be smart in about 1991. Polyester jackt: long since dead, pretty Victorian-style buttons: have stayed with me all these years. I think they'll work, don't you?

There are a couple of other FOs to show you, but I'll show you one: my jealousy every time my lady wore her Rose Red combined with my stubborn desire to own a beret made out of RYC silk wool, and I knitted my own:

Man, the silk wool grows. I may have to slip in some elastic, because the yarn is heavy and slippery and feels as though it wants to slip down off my brow and engulf my whole body like an expanding jellyfish. But it looks good, doesn't it?
(Pattern: Rose Red by Ysolda
Yarns: RYC silk wool in Greenwood, 2.5 balls
Needles: 4 mm bamboo
Time sucked: about a week and a half)

And I'm being very promiscuous with my WIPs at the moment, but I'll confine myself to one so you're not completely shocked:

These are the Travelling Stitch Legwarmers from Interweave Knits. There's something about tight Austrian legwarmers that's a weird combo of hippy and, cough, trachtlerisch, and I'm not sure I approve of the semiotics of yodelling traditional Germanic costume. But the gorgeous semi-solid Araucania Ranco and pretty stitch pattern have stolen my heart away, even if I actually never do wear them in reality for fear of looking like a stealth Jörg Haider fan...


Prof. Askey said...

Schön, Dich wieder hier zu treffen.
Ysolde's berets are lovely, I agree. I have a Gretel out of some crazy, orange-ist Malabrigo that certainly turns heads.
Re: Jörg Haider reference. Please tell me you read that he had a not-so-secret-anymore (cough) male lover?! Defies commentary, really.

la glitz said...

Danke danke! And thank you for the book, which I also received! When would you like the review by?

I am also in love with my Gretel, which is discreet but yet fashionable. It's just perfectly warm and neat for this weather... And re: Haider, yes, I did hear the story, and was in stitches for days. You can only laugh, right...? especially if you caught any of the terrifying sycophantic coverage of his death.

Tina said...

Hey, nice to read from you again! I do absolutely understand people having more important things to do in “real” life than blogging! I did this lengthening thing already with socks that had holes in the ribbing, and as they were knit top down I couldn’t rip them. But taking up stitches below the ribbing, cutting, and reknitting works really great – then a stretchy bind off and the socks are as good as new!

la glitz said...

Tina - thank you so much! It's good to be back. And I am so impressed with the magic lengthening technique - who knew?