Cowl obsession

I generally don’t tend to care much for accessories. Hats are for when it’s cold (I look sort of silly in most hat shapes). Mittens and mitts should be soft and useful; the pretty isn’t quite so necessary. Scarves? They just sort of get in the way and fall off when small children yank on them. I love knitting all these things, and have given myself something of a glut of accessories that are worn two or three times a year during the fall and winter.

But the cowl. Those infinity cowls are everywhere, and I’m finding that a cowl is an excellent excuse for a pop of color that actually stays on. I’ve been wearing my big chunky cowl (currently in test knitting) constantly, since this winter has been surprisingly nasty for NC, but now, the bulbs are starting to come up. I want something that screams SPRING.

Enter my newest cowl. It’ll be tested by my upcoming Lace Chart Reading class. It’s knit in a linen/rayon/cotton blend  by Plymouth Yarns called Linen Concerto. I’m normally not a huge fan of cotton blends, but this one is yummy. I might need to knit myself something else with it.

Photo on 3-27-14 at 9.34 AM

Blocking will help even it out a little, but the yarn is already so lovely and drapey. (Oh, hey. Look, I’m clearly 28 weeks pregnant. Better get some things done soon.)

 

Things I Would Rather Be Doing…

… than sitting at home with a kid throwing up on me.

1) Taking a standardized test.

2) Sitting in a meeting with half of the participants on speakerphones.

3) Scrubbing the grout in the bathroom.

4) Replacing the price tags on 100 balls of yarn.

5) Cleaning the insides out of a turkey.

6) Going to the dentist.

7) Reading a book on internet marketing.

8) Cleaning a litterbox.

9) Watching a training video at a government agency.

10) ALMOST ANYTHING.

Biggest Needles Ever

My sister is moving to the Great White North and begged me for a cowl for her birthday. She picked it out (super bulky yarn) and picked the pattern.

I didn’t check the needle size. This pattern, cute though it is, uses size 35 needles.

Yep, that wasn’t a typo. US 35 needles. The super bulky yarn is held double.

I think it turned out alright, though, despite the broomsticks for needles and the mad search for the least common circular needle size ever… And it’s certainly WARM.

Photo on 1-26-14 at 6.33 PM

Nerd Wars

For the first time, I’m competing in Nerd Wars, a Ravelry-based celebration of all things nerd. Each round is made up of challenges on various themes, and the teams (paying homage to anything from novels to science to favorite tv shows and movies) compete for points by completing fiber projects related to their team theme.

I was roped in, lured by Gilmore Girls. Though the title of “favorite show ever” would have to go to The West Wing or Star Trek: Deep Space 9, Gilmore Girls is a close runner-up. I love the quick dialogue, the crazy small town characters, and the bond of friendship between the title characters. Since there isn’t a West Wing team, and Star Trek is all lumped under “space shows,” I had to throw my hat in the ring.

So far? I’ve knit a kerchief to “larp” as Sookie, and a snowflake for Lorelei’s obsession with snow, pattern by my fellow Durham designer and good friend, Naomi Parkhurst.

I’m also working on a lace stole. It’s part Christmas present and part future design release, and let me tell you, I’m pretty excited about it! Plus, it’s in sparkly yarn. What’s better than that?

Beast = Fabio?

It’s not about knitting, no…

I went to see Beauty and the Beast tonight at DPAC here in Durham. It’s fantastic to have a great performing arts center here, now! Something blew my mind, though…

The Beast, when transformed to a human, has long flowing locks and a clean shaven face.

Look at that hair, huh?

And here’s the romance novel pose of Fabio.

What a rogue.

Belle totally marries Fabio.

Weird.

Knitty

I might have made this.

I’ve been fighting with WordPress for a few weeks, so this is a bit of a late post, but I was published in Knitty! The hat, Whorled, is related to my other project, the eBook “Our Heads are Spinning.” All the patterns are inspired by spindle whorls unearthed from archaeological sites across the world.

Whorled, in particular, is a combination of different whorls. The chevron lace panels come from a Sassanian whorl (that was a civilization in what is now Iran), the circle with a dot in the center appears in whorls found in China, the Middle East, and Europe, and the lines of yarn overs/purl ridges are symbolic of the deep carved scored lines in whorls found just about everywhere.

I love this hat.

Preschool. How!?

Between preparing for a pattern release and putting together pattern proposals for a few different magazines, the summer slipped away. And now, today, my little boy is starting is first day of preschool.

I’m exceptionally weepy. How is he that old!?

The Language of Spinning

My latest project, chronicled in my designer group on Ravelry, deals with spindle whorls. Not just any spindle whorls, OLD spindle whorls. Digging through archaeological records has been an awesome blast into the past (both mine and the history of the craft)!

Many of the whorls I’ve been looking at have either been on auction sites or in foreign museums. While Google so generously translates many of the pages, now, I’ve been discovering a fatal flaw: it doesn’t know many knitting or spinning terms. It seems baffled when it comes across a spindle or a whorl or a spinning wheel, and a good deal of the time I find myself rushing to copy and paste into a translation website (often another failed adventure) or popping on Ravelry and asking for translation help.

Ravelry is, as always, a treasure trove.

The Swedish word for spindle whorl? Sländtrissa. It’s a compound word. Slända is spindle (the spinning kind, not the manufacturing kind) and trissa is disk. A spindle disk. And the Swedish (particularly Sami) whorls? Yep, you guessed it. They’re the flat kind of whorl (vice the ball or other more unusual shapes).

Arabic? They use the same word for spinning wheel and spindle, as far as I can find. Mighzal (mim, ghayn, zin, lam, for those following along… I need to get this thing set up for some Arabic!)

I want a phrasebook geared just for fiber crafts, with a section for a dozen different languages. Pick up the book, and you can finally knit that amazing German pattern, or figure out what that old Latvian chart direction is saying, or heck, maybe try to do some Japanese crochet patterns. The research that would be involved in such a thing would be immense, but the gratitude of millions of befuddled knitters… now THAT would be a prize.