Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Don't look back

Nikita and Rocky with looking aheadThe comment problems are over and the Wordpress version of Yarn Is My Metier is open for business. To receive notification of blog updates, you'll have to change your subscription.

Thanks for everything. Now go catch up on the latest post!

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

I can take a hint

Breaking up is hard to do, especially if you were best buddies in the beginning. I loved me some Blogger - so much so that I even got the hoodie and wore it proudly. Those were the salad days before Google and big development budgets.

Now they're pulling the plug on support for those of use who publish our blogs via FTP. They may just as well have said, "We don't care where you go, but you can't stay here." This is just the push I needed to revisit migrating to another publishing application. I tried it about 3 years ago but back then, this snappy export tool didn't exist. Makes the once-onerous task a whole lot easier.

I've spent the past few days putting the new blog together. You can take a peek if you like. I'm still having issues with comment notification but if you post, there is a way for me to see them. I do welcome your feedback.

There's another little hitch. I was able to import all previous posts and comments, but I cannot update your syndication subscription. If you want to get a jump on things, you can go ahead and subscribe to the new site by using the new feed. Aside from the "It's Alive!" message, this is likely my last post from Blogger.

Although this migration has taken the lion's share of my time, I did manage to finish one of the legwarmers. The second one is already on the needles. I know this falls under the category of "crossing the bridge before coming to it," but I couldn't resist the charms of "Citron" by Hilary Smith Callis. My only question now is should I make it in fuchsia, pale yellow or wine?

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Instant Recycling's Gonna Get You

charcoal grey legwarmer take 2I was mere inches away from finishing the first of a pair of Lisa Gaskell's Les Cables de Faux (Rav) legwarmers for a frosty friend in Calgary. Feeling pretty proud of myself, I was. Though it is a simple pattern easily memorized, my Swiss-cheese memory seemed to keep getting erased after each 3-row segment.

Once it clicked that I was over-complicating things by merely thinking I couldn't knit without referring to the instructions, I was on cruise control. Then I re-read her email with the sizing information and discovered something that the back of my monkey brain stored but refused to acknowledge: calf circumference is 14 inches. Fourteen. And I was on my merry way making a 9 inch circumference legwarmer. I know she asked for snug but that size could impair one's circulation.

Ripping ensued until I realized I could cheat rewinding to smooth out the bumps by re-knitting as I unraveled. It's not like I was making a different pattern that required smooth stockinette. There will be bumps. I may not enjoy having to play do-over but I think this instant recycling could catch on. Details when I'm actually done. Maybe she'll even model them for us (hint, hint!).



Remember crochet?

I was hoping I'd have a chance to do a few squares from "200 Crochet Blocks" compiled by Jan Eaton. When I originally got the book, I went through it like a mad woman, placing sticky notes on every page that I thought might possibly, remotely be used for some future something or other.

Then the call came in early January. I finally had the chance to break out my Clover Soft Touch hook (size F / 3.75 mm) and get busy. Not sure what I'll make but oh-you-kid, I'm loving the simple tactile experience of Textured Bluebells.

There is downside, and that's the fact that my hands are so out of practice with the hooking and whatnot that they cramp up after working too long. The only way to get past the cramping is to get back into crochet on a regular basis. Until then, it's rest 'em and rub 'em.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

How the french bread cut my finger..

...and other food-related knitting.

It was just one of those unexpected things. I was so hungry by the time I got home with my lunch and the golden-crusted baguette that I didn't take the time to cut off a proper piece. As I rudely ripped into the loaf, leaving a jagged edge, I felt a quick jab at my left index finger. I figured it was my imagination and thought how funny it would be to fashion a knife out of bread then crumble the evidence (too many forensic cop shows).

Later on, as I sat knitting my Super Cupcake cowl, I noticed that the yarn kept catching on my finger. Upon closer inspection, I saw what looked like a splinter and a little dot of blood. It wasn't my imagination. The french bread actually had cut my finger and left a little bit of itself behind as evidence! Laugh if you must, but it took a week for that sucker to properly heal.

Despite the aforementioned grievous bodily harm and a continuously cantankerous shoulder, I managed to finish both the cowl and the slouchy hat, making this pair the second of my Chicago winter warrior gear.

ChicKnits Super Cupcake hat and cowlYarn: Lorna's Laces - (2) 225 yd. / 114g skeins in the Vera colorway
Needles: 16" circular sizes 7 and 8US / 4.5 and 5.0 mm; size 8 dpns to finish
Stitch: Shaker rib

If you're new to Shaker rib (or any of the other brioche-like stitches), it takes some getting used to the whole "knit one below (k1b)" business. It may be counter-intuitive but go ahead and drop that stitch. It'll work out in the end. Promise. The only tricky part you might encounter (or at least I did) comes when you stop paying attention and purl the k1b and knit the purl. Hopefully you find your mistake before you've finished the round. If not, my advice is to frog back to the purl row.

My only other admonition? If you knit loosely as I am doing at present, take the time to check your gauge. Seriously. You see how my cowl looks a bit, um, large? That's because it is. It turned out to be wider than the pattern's 26" circumference and hence not quite as face-hugging as I would have liked. The fault lies not in the pattern, but in myself.

I did a whole lot better on the hat. I tightened up my knitting and plowed through to the finish on that swell chapeau within five days, which is fast for me these days. Love, love, love everything about this hat. It has just the right amount of insouciant slouch. I think it looks adorable and will definitely be baking up more of these in the future.

Now, back to the baby dress.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Now here's a happy snap!

The First Post's Daily Beast feature has just the thing to send you smiling into the weekend. Cape penguins sporting knitted red scarves with green and white pom-poms for the holidays.

Cape Penguins in scarves Cape penguins at Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium in Yokohama. Photo: Yoshikazu Tsuno

By the way, my Super Cupcake cowl is all done and the matching hat is on the needles. More on this terrific looking duo next week, once the fat lady binds off.

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