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Saturday, March 31, 2007

One Weird Thing About Me

There's this meme going around - six weird things about me - where the subject reveals six weird things about him/her. Well, once I start, I might not be able to stop so I'll just confine myself to one, knitting-related weird thing about me.

I get stressed when yarn cakes start to look like this:

This is a cake of Lanas Puras Melosa - a handdyed, single ply, very soft yarn from South America. When I'm getting close to the end of a wound skein of yarn, I start to worry about the integrity of the skein dissolving and tangled ends. Of course I can't think of a time when this has actually happened (other than that one time a wound skein of Handmaiden's sea silk disintegrated into an unruly mess - that's slippery stuff). I think this discomfort is related to my similarly weird phobia of melting ice cream (okay, so that's two weird things!).

Speaking of ice cream, here's some recent stash acquisition:
It's kidsilk haze in a new shade - ice cream (doesn't that sound yummy?). It's a pale pink/peach/cream color that's very delicate. I think it's going to become that pullover I designed and just sent off.

In other news, the cover of the book I contributed a design to was just revealed. The cover jacket was designed and knit by Olga - go and congratulate her on a job well done! :)
I really like the photography (photography can really make or break a knitting book) and can't wait to see what the other designs are like.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

You know it's late when...

...the Nickelodean channel programming changes from guilty pleasures sitcoms from the 80s/90s (i.e. Full House) to kid shows (i.e. Rugrats) -- for the record, that happens at 6 a.m.

I'm off to sleep!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Pretty yarn, American Idol, and Eunny Jang

Look! Pretty yarn!

After giving myself a two-day break, I'm ready to start my next design project. The yarn is Lanas Puras, a supersoft worsted weight merino handdyed by the talented Yarn Botanika - look at the subtle variation in the cream skein (gorgeous!). The skeins are wound up and ready for swatching. I find that that first stitch is always hardest for me. I like to look at the beautiful yarn and dream of the possibilities. Casting on and actually knitting seems to whittle away these possibilities, making mundane what once was boundless. But lest you think I'm overly negative, I should say that I have been pleased with final products. Still, that mental block can be hard to overcome.

Being out of a job is a weird and kind of stressful experience. I find myself watching American Idol for the first time. I never understood the appeal of this show, but this was before I watched a minute of it. Now, after faithfully watching season 6 from initial auditions to Hollywood week to the current 11-finalist lineup, I am hooked. There is something fascinating about watching these contestants go from unpolished a cappella riffing in a small room with just the 3 judges in attendance to singing in a concert hall wearing stylist-assisted wardrobes. You feel like you know the person, you have an investment in their success, you cringe at their missteps and rejoice in their triumphs. Having said that, I have yet to (and probably never will) vote.

In much the same way as I've come to root for certain Idol contestants, I also root for those bloggers I read regularly. Their successes are exciting; their disappointments sad. I guess that's why Eunny Jang's announcement generated such commotion in the blogworld -- something good was happening to someone we "know". I started reading her blog about a year ago, when her comments numbered in the 50s rather than the 100s. And even then, I joined the bandwagon late, long after her popularity had already taken firm hold. And so while I'm thrilled for her, it's the displaced thrill of a citizen for a celebrity; does that make sense or am I babbling?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


I just sent this:

off to a magazine. I debated how much to show here, but in the end, opted to be safe. I don't think they'd be too pleased if I showed too much of the stitch pattern. Suffice it to say, I couldn't stop petting it - it's very soft and light. When it comes out, I'll post more about this then. I hope it won't be too long a wait - it's very hard to complete something and not share!

I've been intermittently obsessed about making a simple, moderately fitted cardigan out of Jaggerspun Zephyr - a wonderfully soft merino/silk laceweight yarn that comes in beautiful colors. There's an almost tweedy character to the shades due to the shifts in dye intensity when it comes in contact with the merino and silk. I have a cone of the suede (toffee) shade burning a hole in my stash. At first, it was to become this:
I've knit this already for a friend (but forgot to take a photo before it was gifted - drat!) out of the recommended Suss Fishnet Alpaca yarn (a doubled yarn composed of 2 laceweight strands of an alpaca/viscose blend). And I wanted one for myself, but in a slightly less fuzzy yarn. I saw something very similar to this recently at the BCBG Outlet store and still love it; so I think I'll still knit this someday in Jaggerspun Zephyr.

But the moderately fitted cardigan continues to beckon. I'd love to kill 2 birds with one stone and possibly submit whatever I come up with as a design idea for some publication - the problem is that I've rarely seen Jaggerspun Zephyr used for anything other than shawls/scarves in commercial publications. Knitting a long-sleeved cardigan out of a laceweight yarn - even if it's knit in a slightly larger gauge to give a somewhat sheer effect - doesn't have much widespread appeal I guess. Oh well...

The problem with obsessions is that they never quite leave you alone. They interrupt your thoughts, burrow their way into your subconscious, and refuse to be exorcised until they're realized - one way or another.