Sunday, May 17, 2009

Screw the judgers, I want instant gratification

Once upon a time, I got in an argument with someone on Ravelry about fingerless mittens. It actually wasn't really an argument, because it was all much more passive aggressive than that. Anyway, she implied that people who knit fingerless mitts are lazy, spoiled knitters who want to buy extremely expensive yarn in tiny quantities and then do really easy projects to show it off. Fingerless mitts are totally impractical, she suggested, but they're good if you're a shitty, unskilled knitter in search of a quick, pretty project that looks good because you shelled out money, not because you put in any effort. I implied, in an equally indirect way, that she was a judgmental bitch. I don't feel guilty about implying that she was a judgmental bitch, but I've come to the conclusion that she was at least partially right. And that's not an insult to fingerless mitts or the people who knit them.

I've put my Endpaper Mitts aside for a while. I'm in a bit of a work frenzy at the moment, and my real life has left my brain completely fried. I am in the mood for totally mindless knitting. I am also in the mood for small projects that get finished quickly, since in my non-knitting life I am completely consumed by a huge project on which I have been working forever. Endpaper Mitts aren't particularly difficult, but they do involve looking at a chart, and that's more involved than I want right now.

My partner in the All About Me swap gave me some pretty, pretty yarn. It's Gjestal Bris, which is 50% soy and 50% wool. It's soft and warm and not particularly easy to find in the U.S. I'm using it to make a pair of super simple fingerless mitts. The pattern is the Maine Morning Mitts from the Knitter's Book of Yarn, and it is, indeed, a really easy pattern intended to showcase tiny bits of exquisite, very expensive yarn. (Gjestal Bris is not incredibly expensive if you can find it, but it is pretty and rare, so I think it qualifies.) Here's a picture of me holding out the first mitt in my "fleeing the papparazzi because I haven't combed my hair and am wearing my pajamas" pose:

Ms. Judgmental Bitch was wrong about one aspect of fingerless mitts, and that was her suggestion that they're impractical. Many knitters think that, and it may be true that they're impractical for a lot of people. My hands are constantly cold, though, and I spend a lot of time typing in over-airconditioned libraries, so they're really practical for me. I suspect I will wear my instant gratification mitts all summer long.

After this, I plan to do a couple more instant gratification projects. I'm going to do a square for a group afghan for a rubbernecker whose husband is in the hospital, and I'm thinking about projects for the KfO charity drive for Sylvia's Place. I'm really excited about that one: a close family friend has done some work with kids from Sylvia's Place and speaks really highly of what they do there. I'm thinking some hats, possibly a scarf, and maybe another pair of fingerless mitts. I'm also planning to make my mom a scarf from one of SMarieKnits' stealth geeky series of cabled scarves. (Stealth geeky because they're all named after Firefly planets, but that's not the appeal of the scarves. Ok, it's a bit of the appeal, if you're a stealth geek like me.) That's not really an instant gratification project, but maybe at some point my brain will have de-frazzled enough to be ready for it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Silly hat pictures

I finished my hat in record time. That is seriously the fastest knit in the history of knitting.

Getting pictures of my hat has been more of a challenge. The cables don't photograph very well in the green yarn, especially not in my dark apartment. I tried a series of increasingly ridiculous poses, all designed to try to get the light to hit the hat in a way that will make the cables stand out. I think these are, as they say on America's Next Top Model, my best shots. And they're not very good pictures of either me or my hat. Sorry about that.

You will notice that I'm not smiling in either of those. That's because when I smile, you can see my terrible teeth. Like this:

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Knitting again

I'm back! My back and arm aren't totally back to normal yet, but they're a lot better, so I've started knitting again. I've made some progress on my slightly altered Endpaper Mitts. Here's what they look like now:
I like it, although not surprisingly, I prefer the original pattern to mine. In an unusual fit of doing more than one thing at a time, I've also started the Cabled Newsboy Cap from Stitch n' Bitch Nation. It's a nice, goofy little project that uses worsted weight yarn and that I can probably finish in a week. It's fun to knit with thick yarn every once in a while, because your stuff knits up so fast.

But that's not what I'm going to blog about. I'm blogging about my very exciting trip to Jo-Ann's today. Ok, not that exciting, but I don't have a lot to blog about.

The first very exciting thing that I got at Jo-Ann's was these very exciting puzzle blocks. I think I've blogged about my blocking woes in the past. Basically, I only have two appropriate surfaces for blocking in my apartment: my bed and my couch. Sadly, I use both my bed and my couch on a regular basis, which meant that in order to block things I had to curtail basic daily activities in pretty disruptive ways. Well, that problem has been solved! You know the Knitter's Blocks, which cost $50? Or this knock off from KnitPicks, which costs $20 and is sold out until the end of June anyway? Well, Jo-Ann's had these guys on sale for $8:

Yay! Blocking problems solved.

My other Jo-Ann's purchase was their new Deborah Norville sock yarn.

This stuff is clearly meant to compete with Paton's Kroy. The price is right: it's $3.29 per ball, and I think you'd need two balls to do a pair of socks. I'm not crazy about the colors, though. These were the two best ones, and they're not colors I'd generally buy. I'm going to play around with it a little bit after I finish my current projects, though, because I'm curious to see how it knits up.