05 August 2006

Victory is Mine! ...more or less

I knitted a sweater in two days. Giant yarn (Cascade's Lana Grande, in black), big needles (US 13s), no sleeves, super-easy. But still. Two days! I have a couple of ends to weave in, and it needs a light blocking, but other than that, it's a whole garment that took seemingly no time at all and I can wear it to work and everything! I made the body about four inches longer than the pattern called for, so it's a little less teenager-y and a little more jacket-y.

So, I'm boring and lazy and technologically not-very-with-it, but Jennie isn't, and she's posted pictures of our Florida trip (scroll down till you see palm trees). Yes, we really were on the Jumbotron at the Devil Rays game!

02 August 2006


Today I'm having something of an off day. Grumpy grump grump. Maybe it was the bickering in the car as I drove my boyfriend to the airport this morning. Maybe it was the loneliness on the drive home. Maybe it's the post-vacation back-to-real-life blues. Maybe it's the impending end-of-summer back-to-work blues. Right now I just feel bleh.

BUT! A new yarn store opened up in Atlanta about two weeks ago. It's everything a yarn store should be. Beautiful layout. Great atmosphere. Friendly service. Cool owner. No snobbery. Their own custom-roasted blend of organic and socially-conscious coffee that is always freshly-brewed and all-you-can-drink. Awesome selection of really nice yarns in a variety of prices, and no novelty crap. Even sample layout copies of books that aren't yet published but for which they are already taking preorders. Seriously, I may never shop anywhere else for yarn ever again. The only bad thing about this shop is that I
used to live down the street from the location, and now I don't anymore. Then again, now that I'll have to drive 20 minutes to get there, as opposed to the six-minute walk I would have if I still lived in my beautiful Blue Apartment at 780 St. Charles Ave., maybe I won't spend as much money there as I otherwise would. But since I really want this shop to do well (and goodness knows we've got a ton of yarn stores in the Atlanta area and nobody seems to understand how they can all stay in business in this market), I could see spending more than I should there anyway. And maybe if I went every day, I wouldn't feel obliged to buy something every time I go in. As it is... I'm thinking of driving to choir a little early tonight and stopping in for some superchunky something that will knit up quickly into this little number.

There are only about four more days of summer vacation. Work starts Monday. In fact, there's a meet-and-greet potluck for the new folks (that's me) this Friday, for which I haven't RSVPed but which I plan to attend anyway. That's two days away. And my knitting goal for the summer had been to learn how to do colorwork. Both intarsia and Fair Isle. I did the intarsia bit. That was way easy. I have yet to bother with the Fair Isle thing, though. I have yet to find a pattern I like enough to want to make it. I haven't done much looking, but I have done a little. I'm just a solid-color kind of gal, really. I always have been. There was a time in my life when I refused to wear any clothing that wasn't completely solid colored -- no subtle floral patterns, no polka dots, no stripes of any kind. And definitely no writing! Not even a tag that poked out from the side seam. Growing up in the label-conscious eighties (when it was the height of cool in the halls of my elementary school to wear sweatshirts with "United Colors of Bennetton" blazed across the chest), I was in trouble. Apparently, I'm still in trouble, when it comes to doing this Fair Isle thing. I want to know how to do it. Knowing that I will never bother to wear it is something of a motivation-killer, though.

One last non sequitur. I've always been something of a "Mary Mary Quite Contrary." Never one to jump on the bandwagon, go along with the crowd simply for the sake of being like everybody else, etc. And so it goes with yarn. I'm a huge fiber snob. I have a very limited scope when it comes to what yarns I will use. Heck, I don't even like knitting with cotton! Or silk! So when I was talking with the owner of my new awesome LYS about possible yarns to use for a sweater I'm going to do someday, she suggested I use Cascade 220, or possibly something by Debbie Bliss, or something else, blah blah blah. "Ugh. 220 is what everyone uses. It's everywhere. Forget it." I thought. But, she handed me a skein of Cascade Pastaza, and pointed out that it's 50% llama wool. LLAMA, people! So I bought a skein to play with. And grabbed one skein of an interesting colorway of 22o while I was at it, not realizing that it was 220. Brougth them home, swatched them up... and oh my goodness, I understand now why everyone loves 220 as much as they do. Geez, it's a beautiful yarn, and so soft to touch, and so easy to work up! Love love love love! It's not my New Favorite Yarn or anything, because that's just going too far, but wow do I like this yarn. The Pastaza's great too (I like the shine it has -- without silk, even!). Never again will I turn up my nose at Cascade yarns. And after Ann Shayne's gorgeous porch chair pillows, I'm inspired to knit some like hers for our porch rocking chairs as well... which means going back to the LYS and buying some Cotton Classic. Breaking all kinds of self-imposed rules here, people! Throwing caution to the wind! Learning how to do that really cool hexagonal stitch pattern is just the bonus.

Also, I purchased two books from KnitPicks last night and am eagerly awaiting their arrival. Also also, I finally broke down and subscribed to Interweave Knits. Lots of inspiration headed my way. It's about time, since I have been feeling somewhat stagnant in terms of my knitting this past month or so.