Chartreuse Knits

Where a college student learns--and struggles with--the zen of knitting. It's the process, not the product, though the product is much more fun to wear!


Is it so bad to be a crafty wench?

[mood: crafty as all get-out]
[music: Beatles - Get Back]

Despite the love and devotion I hold toward craft and knitting blogs, there's a rather, um, shall we say, unfortunate (in some ways) reaction that occurs within my brain when I read them. I get hyper-inspired to make all sorts of nifty things.... which is not a bad thing, except when one has mountains of homework to dig through and all one wants to do is revel in craftiness. Yup, those really cute and hip things that young designers make just make me want to make my own because I'm too cheap to pay for one and buy it. Sometimes I'd like to be a handbag/scarf/accessory designer and sell my stuff online. However, there's little money to be made with my *ahem* limited skills and talents. I guess I'll just make 'em for myself.

In the world of Knitting, I'm holding off on doing any sort of knitting this week, so that I can study for my test on Wednesday, read the several hundred pages of novels that I need to get through and write the paper I need to write. But once this week of stress is concluded, there will be so much to create! Yup yup!


Another One Bites The Dust

Well, Clapotis, version 1 is history. I screwed up royally on the fifth repeat of the straight section, and simply couldn't find a way to fix it. Another reason it hit the frog pond is that the mohair in the yarn made the dropping of stitches an absolute nightmare. I had to unpick each one. I'm sure if I hadn't screwed up, I would have continued until the end, or at the very least until a royal mistake happened further along. Now that i've perfected the techniques, I'm going to make myself an acrylic Clapper. I was going to make myself a triangular shawl reminiscent of my stripey shawl from before. However, I want to make a leftover yarn shawl using some of the leftovers I've acquired throughout my many projects. I guess the lovely turquoise that was once Clapotis will find a partial home there. Considering how there was an entire sweater's worth of it, it may very well become another large, pretty project of some sort. We'll see. I've just cast on for the Clapotis version 2.0 in Caron's simply soft. Black, classy, and sexy. All a Clapotis should be. Well, maybe not all Clappers should be black, but they should at least be classy and sexy. Ooh... I have a "lunch date" for tomorrow. :)


Good day!

Yep. Good day today. You may read about it at my other blog. Life is pretty good. I'm on the 5th repeat on the straight section of Clapotis, and I'm very happy with it. It's such fun to knit. I've calculated that it takes me about an hour and a half to do each repeat, without breaks. I am not upset at all about the "slow going" on Clapotis. As she of the Zen Needle says, we don't all knit for the finished object, per se. We knit because it's a form of relaxation, of meditation, of, well, zen. It's the journey, not the destination. Much as I love the Elsie I knit in an afternoon, I'm enjoying the relaxing, steady pace of the Clapotis. A wonderful project that is both entertaining, forward-moving, but not too fast. It's not something I need to knit now or else I'll freeze or something. No. If the weather remains warm till the end of the semester, I won't complain that I haven't gotten to wear my Clappy. There will come chilly days when a lovely little wrap would be nice, and I can wait for the day she's blocked and beautiful and ready. Knitting is so much more than the objects. It is time, love and fiber, woven together into a creation all our own. Whether we love it or not, we've made it. We've given of ourselves and brought the yarn to life.
For me, knitting is a way for me to relax, to move my fingers, and to listen to music while doing something productive. I love music, but I can't listen to it and read or study at the same time. Knitting gives me an opportunity to do this. Despite the instant gratification of knitting, its purpose to me is separate from the mere reduction of stress and finished product. In many ways, I knit to honor those who created the art, and all those who practiced it throughout the centuries. Even if now it's cheaper to buy a store-bought sweater, it's so impersonal compared to a hand-knit one. A machine cranked out the fabric. Yes, a person fashioned it together, but the buyer has absolutely no idea who they were. One of the reasons I've been so attracted to arts and crafts throughout my life is the connection it gives me with the object and with the person it goes to. True art has a way of passing on a bit of oneself to the receiver or the viewer. There are those who will never understand the connection between a handcrafted object and the handcrafter, but knitters are not those people. Knitters understand the profundity and significance of both the process and the product. In fact, virtually all crafters can relate to what I'm saying, I believe.
To all those who create beautiful things, I want to thank you for the gift of understanding you bequeath to the world. You know how to understand and how you need to be understood. Thank you. The world is a more beautiful place because of you.


Ugh.... Crap-tacular day

Since I want to spare the knitting-interested among you, if you choose to read about the day from hell, you may do so here. To deal with this, I am going to keep chugging at Clapotis. I've just finished the second repeat on the straight section, meaning that more dropped stitches are coming up! I guess I have to keep going before I burst out into tears. I hope today has been much better for you than it has for me.


goddam right it's a beautiful day, uh huh

[mood: perky/cheerful]
[music: Eels - Goddamn Right, it's a Beautiful Day/ The Gourds - Gin & Juice (Snoop Dogg cover)]

Yup. Saturday was gloomy, overcast, and chilly. Sunday and today are FANTASTIC days. Sunny, clear, in the mid 70's, a slight breeze... mmmm... this is how Austin should be every day. Looking out my window into the sunny day, I couldn't help but think of the Eels.

In the realm of knitting, I have another reason to be perky and happy: Clapotis has just moved past the increases. What does this mean? Stitch-droppin. If the stitches are a-droppin' don't come a-knockin'. I love everything about this project: the yarn I'm using, the pattern, the ease, and the beauty of it all. I may deconstruct a cashmere or angora sweater to make myself another Clapotis... Yummeh! Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!


Atomic Knittin'

[mood: knitty/content]
[music: Barenaked Ladies - Shopping/ Atomic Kitten - Locomotion]

It certainly has been awhile since the last post, hasn't it? Well, I must say that I do have FO's to show for my absence! In the bevy of finished objects that now litter my dorm room (actually, more like "invade my dorm room") there are many new and fantastic things. Behold:

(another view) (click to see it in progress)
My very first pair of socks. Now, I realize that I have much to learn in the realm of sock-making. We won't discuss how a choice of a) smaller needles and b) checking of gauge would have made these socks smaller, snugger and less cramped in the toe region. The last part is due mainly to my unwillingness to rip back a few inches so that when the toe decreases began, I wouldn't be in a panic over the foot being too big for me. That wouldn't have happened with thinner yarn and thinner needles. Oh well. Now I know. For reference, the yarn was Moda Dea's "Sassy Stripes" on US size 3 needles.

The second finished object is a pair of legwarmers. They are from Knitty. I followed the pattern for the large legwarmers, but I shortened them a bit (this was to accomodate my large calves). In the end, I thought about wearing them, then once I noticed they made it look like I skinned a yeti and wrapped it around my legs, I thought better of it and bequeathed them upon my sister, who has gorgeous legs and who made them look oh-so-stylish. Then again, anything she wears looks fabulous, so I always have a recipient for my too-small knittin's. :-)

(a view for the color)
Next up is the Booga Bag. Here is a view of it in the blocking phase. This was such a fun knit. The bag is absolutely precious and virtually zero stress. Unfortunately, all the items I carry in my purse are too heavy for it on a daily basis, but it's a great choice for carrying just my keys, cell phone, and a bit of money. I highly reccomend it. Oh, I followed the pattern to the "t."

Here follows the Silk Garden Beanie. I desperately needed a hat for the chilly weather, but didn't want to buy one. The pattern put out by "And She Knits Too" seemed perfect, and although I didn't have any Silk Garden on hand, I decided to use the yarn from one of my deconstructed sweaters. It worked just fine, and the pattern was quick and easy, but the hat just doesn't really suit my taste. First of all, it's too short to cover my ears (which is one of the things that should stay warm) and my color choice makes it look like my head is wearing an oversized condom. In response, I knit the beautiful and charming

Elsie by Rowan. In Cork. YUMMY! The yarn is soft, spongy, and perfect. I love the hat. It fits wonderfully, is too dark to be mistaken for a condom, is warm, and looks good on me. I admit, it must be positioned just-so for it to look right, but once it is, I love love love it.

Well, about a week ago, I joined a lace knitting class put forth via the University of Texas Informal Class system (it started yesterday). Last Monday I went to the LYS to pick up the necessary materials, and augmented my stash in this fashion:
. That's where I picked up Cork and the latest Vogue Knitting. Yes, that is Rowan's Kidsilk Haze. However, it must go back to the LYS, for it is useless to me. See, we were required to get some laceweight or fingering weight yarn, so I picked out the only laceweight I saw. Yesterday, my teacher said "That yarn's too fuzzy for what we're going to do." Oh well, I'll get store credit and use the credit for the yarn I need to make the Vintage Scarf from Scarf Style. I have some leftover cotton that I can use for class, anyways.

On Tuesday, I decided to use the ribbon and angora yarn I picked up to make a lovely drop-stitch scarf. There was a kit at the LYS, but it was $40 !!! For half that price, I was able to get this little puff and pair it with some Berroco Zen to create this beauty:
. It's so soft, I can't even believe it. Click here for a close up of the stitches. What I did was knit the Drop Stitch Scarf from Stitch and Bitch Nation until I ran out of yarn, but instead of doing single yarn overs as called for in the pattern, I made double yarn overs for more drape and less yarn. It's a short little thing, but it tucks nicely into my jacket, keeping my neck toasty warm. Finally, my friend Laura's Slytherin Scarf
(pattern here). I have two more to make after I finish that one, but I'm not in a big hurry. It's pretty much mindless knitting, to take to the movies or to while away several hours. I'm about halfway done on that one, but it's certainly going to be soft and warm. It's 100% acrylic from Caron's Simply Soft, but I changed the pattern adding two more rows of each color to make the bands a bit taller. It's pretty cool.

Now, the WIP that everyone and their mother is making: Clapotis (view 2). I have indeed joined the bandwagon, and I totally understand the obsession with this scarf. It's so FUN! Just when you begin to notice the monotony of the repeats, wham! you switch to the straight section and then Shazam! dropping stitches like nobody's business. I'm using a neat little cotton/wool/mohair/synthetic blend that I got from deconstructing a hideous L.L. Bean sweater I picked up at the vintage store. The color is lovely, although initially the turquoise irked me a little. Now I love it. Not an ounce of scratchiness, despite the (relatively) tight gauge of US 7's (I don't own 8's). If you haven't already, Knit it! It's not hard, just a few new techniques you can find instructions and videos for online. Once you get it, though, it makes the knitting insanely fun! One two three, everybody CLAPOTIS!

Have a great week everyone!