Sunday, August 27, 2006

Thing One

Remember when I mentioned that I wanted to design my own fair isle (stranded colorwork) sweater? Well, I decided to do two. One is two color, Midnight and Pearl. I had a sketchy sketch, (drawing not being one of my stronger skills), and with a little help from MS Excel, a chart. Well, more than a little help, I was camped out at the computer until I got cramps in my shoulders fine tuning. I started with the traditional X's and O's, turned that into an allover X lattice, and O's inside the diamonds. This made me very aware of the dozen or so lattice type patterns in my house that may slightly influence the creative process. Then to keep things from getting boring, I took the center design from the diamonds, which became more oval than round, and kept some veritical, turned the others horizontal and changed them up a bit, and then the ends come together to form a third distinct pattern that draws the eye. Ahhhh the power of three - I think it's good!

I don't know why I decided I had to swatch since that is all I'm going to be doing for bootcamp, but I had to see if the idea looked good in stitches (and bootcamp doesn't start until Sept 30). I got started first thing in the morning, still in my pj's. I think it is going to work, so I may be in business. Now I have to decide on the shape of the sweater. It will be boxy, I like boxy but with a lower amount of ease to keep it more structured. It will be a cardigan jacket style. It will be cropped-ish, but not too short. This is what I am aiming for anyway. Now I have to figure out how / what size "standards" exist for guidance.

The yarn is Harrisville Shetland. I have read some nice things about it in blogland and thought it would be nice to try it. I didn't prewash it, just knit it up and I will wash the swatch and see how that works. I was surprised but whatever their process is, it makes my nose itch less than Jamiesons. One challenge though is that I'm getting 8.5 to 9 stitches per inch. This could make for a very long knit. I was extremely proud when I got the whole design with it's variable patterning to have the longest float of 6 stitches - easy knitting baby! Stay tuned, this could be fun :) Now to get back to dear Anne and the hounds. And my bootcamp swatches. And packing and house hunting. Oy....

PS - I have to make socks that match, just have to ;)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

New Guy's

Well it has been eventful as always here at Feeling Tangerine. We have some new guys in our lives. This one is Rocky and he's a nutty charmer that is staying with us as a foster until we find him a good home. He's quite sweet and comical - he sleeps with his tongue hanging out of his mouth and has to peel it off the floor when he wakes up! Such a character.

The other new guy isn't as cute but we like him too - it's my new project manager at work! The scary lady? Zero tolerence - she was escorted out last week. Whew! That is a major relief for me. The new guy seems ok, we'll have to see how he works out.

On the fiber front, I haven't decided on the heels for the purple handspun socks - y'all are clear outta suggestions it seems! ;) I ended up having to start the clown socks in the meantime and just use my standard heel. You wouldn't think it would be so challenging would you?

I also have an announcement to make - I have decided to become a "real knitter". Instead of just forever winging it with lots of prayers that my hairbrained ideas will work out, I have decided to pursue proper training and begin proper tracking. So get this, I signed up for "Knitting Bootcamp - Double Duty" - a 3 month intensive double time class to thoroughly dissect the knitting process. Joan equates it with the Masters program in that the class covers darn near everything they can possibly cram in. I have tried to take the self taught path to cover a little of all the major diciplines, stranded color work, intarsia, lace, cables/texture, etc. I'm hoping that the combination, with the intensive class and the original design experience, then hopefully I will be on the way to becoming a well rounded enough knitter to get into Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp. I would love to have an experience like that so it's a goal - hopefully in the next couple of years. It just sounds like a great time :)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Some days it just isn't worth chewing through the restraints........

With an absence of sorts you kind of expect something great must be happening or lots of spinning or knitting or something must be going on. You expect grand hurrahs or taddahs or .... something. Is that what you're getting? Nadda. So what has been going on? Just life getting in the way I guess. Working lots and lots. With all of the overtime I've been pretty much getting home, eating, feeding the dogs, taking them for a walk, and then it's time for bed. And to top it off, weird stuff keeps happening. For instance, I was working diligently to get the bag together for the KSKS swap and somehow it ate my machine so it's in the shop. I dog sat for my mom and she leaves the van in the driveway, runs in to get the dog, goes out and the van is imbedded in my garage door. Took a few hours to get it straight enough to open but now it's manual, yuck. Had a project manager leave on one of my projects. They replaced him and the new lady is a little nuts and went ballistic on me in a meeting. How crazy is that!?! I had to report that she threatened me, not pleasant.

So I've dragged out the simple things since I have been limited to knitting in line, waiting for the dogs, getting an oil change, etc. The handspun superwash merino is knitting up nicely, like your favorite scrunch socks. I thought I would try a new heel on them instead of my standard flap and gusset. What is your favorite heel? There are so many I don't know which to try next.

Still Life with Sock and Coffee

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
[EDIT: Followed Marji's advice for the picture code]

Remember those weird things? Blogger isn't letting me upload photos today for some reason so you just have to imagine the pretty purple marled sock resting serenely in the sun on a restful Sunday morning. The sock is poised, patiently waiting at the exact spot where a decision for the heel will start in the next row. Ahhhh........nice. I can pretend for a few hours that I don't have to go work with the scary lady tomorrow....

On a brighter note (maybe), I decided I need to design my own fair isle sweater. Stay tuned, this could be fun........or something. (are you laughing with me, or at me?? not that it makes much difference but it is nice to know ;)