Thursday, June 22, 2006

Library, Meet the Knitter

So, I got this library job, see. It's pretty awesome, the people are nice and the work all makes sense. There's a lot of paperwork, but it's all based on the same stuff, so that's not bad. It's in the department that buys the books, so of course my first thought is knitting.

We have some knitting books already, but for the most part our collection sucks. If you're wanting to learn how to knit, how to design patterns, or want to have anything to do with lace at all, you're basically screwed. So I went up to my department head today, and pitched an idea: What if I get a list of books and other good material on knitting, that basically follows the whole learning curve, contains no (overly) superfluous volumes, is jam-packed of awesome-resource type books for when you're at the top of your game, and then the library buys the things on the list?

Wonder of wonders, she said yes! So now the A&M library is going to be chock-full of knitterly (and spinnerly!) goodness, from the classics to modern stuff, and folk'll come the state over to admire it :D

Or at least, that's my dream. the list begins.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

What's this? MORE math?

So I've done some more fancy fenangling (by which I mean basic math), and come to some conclusions. I am on ball 7, and finishing the third repeat of chart B in Frost Flowers. Doing the pattern as written, the end of this chart would have had me at 30.6% of finished. This would be fine were it an even 1/3 of the way, but that 3% got me nervous. One third of 22 balls? Seven and one third. That's finishing with room to spare. 30% of 22 balls? Six and two thirds. So as you can see, I'd need to get at least 7 balls out of 30% to be comfy here. Ergo, I could either order more yarn with no hope of getting the same dyelot (seriously, NO hope), or I could eliminate a repeat of the chart. I have opted for the second, which will give me a 5-foot shawl instead of a 5-foot-6-inch shawl, but will leave me with my sanity intact, and is still more shawl than I'm likely to need in Texas.

This, of course, needs a new graphic:

Glorious, is it not? So now, instead of being almost 30% of the way finished, I'm almost 35%! Yay Frost Flowers! Yay me!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Beware the Ides of... June.

Yes, I know, technically the ides of June was yesterday. Nevermind that. The first wedding Sweetie and I were invited to last weekend went very well (nobody ran away screaming, which is always a good sign); they had a big Catholic wedding and a big nerdy reception, both of which were intriguing and awesome. Sweetie caught the garter (again), though I missed the bouquet, so I've got to try again at the wedding we're invited to this NEXT weekend. To summarize, work goes well, I'm eating better, I cut 16 inches from my hair (it's to my collarbone now, if that gives you any perspective) and the Jayne hat is sitting atop my bookshelf with half an earflap. In the meantime, LACE!

I have once again gotten Sharon Miller's Heirloom Lace on interlibrary loan. I don't know what kind of crazy-juice my brain was making the first time I ordered it, that I only flipped through in passing and dismissed it as 'not worth the $50'. I was wrong. So incredibly, incredibly wrong. As soon as budget allows, Heirloom Lace and the Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning are both coming home with me. They're just such fantastic resources!

For example, I have decided that the Midnight Fleece Artist mohair is just too pretty for something as easy to knit as Claptois. This may, in retrospect, be a mistake, but hey - it's my knitting, and the thought of getting row upon row of mohair to actually drop didn't seem as easy and fun as it once had. So I had it suggested I write some lace for it - maybe use that giant Miller book I had on hand for once. So I did. And it's awesome.

What I'm doing started out as simple Print o' the Wave, but then I wanted an edging. Use the PotW edging to match? Too easy. Pick an edging with the same row count as my main body design? Too sensible. Pick an edging that's knit on later, neccessitating picking up a million stitches in mohair? Too insane. So in the end, it's Print 'o the Wave, with the full Wedding Veil edging, which is to say a border and an edging, where the border is two rows taller than both the edging and the main body pattern, so that you need to do seven repeats on the outside and center, and six in the middle. Sounds like a fun thing to cast on unprepared using mohair, right? So I'm test-knitting it in some Knitpicks, the paint your own laceweight, and it's a lot of fun. I don't really know how corners are supposed to be addressed - I emailed Eunny about it for Unravelling, can't wait to hear back, so of course I charted away and now have to figure out how to actually work this chart. I'm thinking short-rows?

Anyway, provided any of this works out at all, I will of course provide photos and the pattern. Hell, I may even submit it to Knitty or Magknits - I'd have a better chance on Magknits, I think, since they update more often, but Knitty seems to have better patterns, so I hope I can get in there. It would be a hoot to get the Sul Ross statue to model for me in the pictures - wouldn't he look fetching in a nice lace stole?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

And We're Back!

Well, that was fun, wasn't it? We're all moved in to the new place, though not unpacked by a long shot (all of my clothes are still in laundry baskets. They're usually in laundry baskets, but my yarn is in a similar condition, so you see the gravity of the situation). Gaming has been only slightly interrupted, knitting moreso. A wave of pure sanity hit me yesterday, and I broke down and bought a stole for the weddings, instead of trying to knit 12 square feet in six days. The Fleece Artist mohair/nylon blend in lovely, lovely Midnight is currently sitting on my desk, eagerly awaiting her first stitches into a new life. I'm thinking Claptois - it's dressy enough for her color and composition, simple enough in look that the mohair halo will be a plus, not something hiding all kinds of fancy stitchwork, but intriguiging enough in construction that I don't think I'll get terribly bored. Frost Flowers, sadly, is still on semi-hold while I await the longer needles. It hurts me to not work on my baby. I picked her up today and I couldn't tell where I was from the stitch markers, I had to go and actually check the pattern! Of course, once I (stupidly) realised I was in mid-leaf, everything clicked and I pumped out another few rows. Nothing worth updating the schematics for, but I was happy. I'll take her to work tomorrow.

On a side note, I've thought of a few ideas for hats lately. One is a hat with cables, only instead of a purl background, separate them by exactly one yarn over. They'll float up your head! Obviously, gague will be important. Another idea is that since I seem to have trouble making hats that are exactly as deep as they should be (most are too shallow or swallow your head), putting in a band of garter stitch about mid-hat. It's got a great deal of vertical squish, so you could pull it as shallow or deep as you need it to be for that day. Sounds interesting, eh? eh?

Also, I have started (and mostly finished) a Jayne hat. All that is left is earflaps and the pom-pom. Sweetie looks remarkably cute in it.