Deep Space Knit

Yarn arts (knit and crochet) balled up with a heady dose of geekdom. Raise your pan-galactic-gargle-blaster and cheer!

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Location: Vermont, United States

Monday, June 30, 2008

Sometimes You Knit...

Sometimes you knit to remember.

Sometimes you knit to forget.

I don't have any jokes for today's blog.  No witticisims or sarcasm.  No pictures even.

My mother fell off a roof today.  We were very lucky because she slid and landed on her hip rather than falling on her chest or head.  So she broke her pelvis, but hopefully no other injuries.  

It all seems so stupid.  The ladder slipped.  You wonder 'could I have done something different?'  I stepped into the house for a minute or so, trying to get something out of the over before going back outside, and I heard the ladder collapse and her scream.

I don't know.  I don't like to wallow in guilt.  So I spent two hours in the emergency, knitting while I waited to hear about CAT scans and X Rays.  

It will be a long heal.  Two months.  I wish it were me instead of her.  I really do.  I'm much younger and I mend better.  But if all goes well, there won't be any major complications.  She can come home in a day or so.

Knitting is funny.  Stitch after stitch, a way to channel the enegry that could be used for pacing, screaming, shouting, hitting.  Stitch by stitch by stitch.  The same movement over and over and over again.

I think I might give the sweater I make to her.  We are the same size, it'll fit.

A sweater to remember the love, knitting to forget the pain.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Manly Scrafghan

Scrafghan: (noun) scrˈaf-ˌgan : a blanket or shawl knitted or crocheted from many different colors or types of yarns. (scrap+afghan)
~My dictionary of dumb definitions for words that don't exist... but should!

Several days ago my mother entreated my with a quest. Nothing so droll as running out and slaying monsters or beating the hoards of cats back from the basement. No. I was to protect the integrity of the very walls of the farmhouse she lives in. Save the chairs from a cruel fate! Preserve the sheen and appearance of the 1970's fake wood paneling!!

I needed to make her an afghan.

So, the yarn warrior rode again, digging through the nameless trenches of ages old stash. Stash so old everyone had forgotten where it was bought. Stash that surely bore the horrors of things like nameless forgotten scratchy wools and acrylics so cheap they would curdle milk. What would come of thise project... time would only tell.


So, yes. My mother wants an afghan. For the express purpose of putting it on the back of the chair my Dad sits in to watch TV.

Now my Dad is an older man, and the years (and beers) have not worn well on his frame. He has bad knees and therefore has a tendancy to not so much sit as to collapse into any given chair. Therefore the wall behind his favorite chair gets decimated if there is no padding between chair back and wall. That's where the afghan comes in.

He has an afghan on his chair. Oh yes, he does. Or did. It is his afghan. My great grandmother made it for him in the 1970's. Much of my parents house still dates to the 1970's. Anyways, it was a fine afghan, one of the few knit afghans in the house (most of them are crocheted because most of the grandmothers crocheted more than they knit), with wide chevrons done in knit and purl ridges, in dark brown and white. Nothing wrong with it... well there wouldn't have been anything wrong with it had half of the afghan not been made in wool with half made in acrylic.

See how it has big stripes? Some of the stripes are wool. Some aren't.

Well, my Dad sweats. Most men sweat. So when he would use the afghan and get sweaty the afghan got smelly. After decades my mother decided the afghan needed a wash because it was rank. All of the other afghans in the house were either all wool or all acrylic. This one said on a very old card that it was all acrylic, so my mother out it in the washing machine on gentle and washed it before hanging it on the line to dry.

And then she noticed that some stripes had felted, some hadn't.


So I dug through the big old stash of bulky yarns that time forgot. Some I bought (shame on me...). Some my mother bought (shame on her...) and some that we didn't know where the hell they came from. I pulled out everything that was in the olive/gray/brown color scheme and then all the neutrals. I figured if this was a sacrifice afghan, I was going to make it the easiest and quickest way I knew how: interlocking shells of crochet with an N hook.

So now the challenge is to make this big pile of unknown scrap yarns look like something that really meant to be an afghan without killing some of the yarns in the process. (I hate you, Lion Brand Cheille Thick and Quick... do you hear me? )

So far, not so bad!

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Today is...

Jerky day!!!

(yes. This is thoroughly random. But I don't care. Because I have jerky.)

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Ronan's Old Man Sweater

or "Proof Positive that I was not on a Two Month Bender..."

I mean, you can't be drinking and knitting... right?

Anyways, I had bought six skeins of Dalegarn Baby Ull in three colors: lime, sunshine yellow and blue. I throught they looked nice together and wanted to make a baby sweater out of them. I actually get a kick out of making baby sweaters that are in colors most people don;t consider 'baby colors.'

And so one of my best friends, Colleen, announced several months ago that she was having a baby boy. I think I had this in my head when I originally bought the yarn, but I delayed the project for several months. Then I dealyed it until after my Mother's Mother's Day sweater was done, meaning I started Ronan's sweater circa May 21st. The shower was on May 30th. I would have *totally* gotten that sucker done in time if I didn't have to drive from Vermont to Wisconsin in the middle.

That's OK. Ronan isn't born yet (he is due fourth of Julyish) and the sweater is sized so he can wear it in oh, December rather than July. I had enough done so I could show everyone the body at the shower, and most of the guests thought it was a dashing vest. Nope... I just had to add the sleeves. Sleeves, I think, are my nemesis.

Anyways, with the yarn I had, I decided that it would be funny if I knitted a golf style argyle into the sweater with fair isle. Because in my warped mine, making an 'old man' style sweater for a newborn was funny.

I wove a good amount of the fair isle on the body of the sweater. I am getting away from weaving, but I didn't want anything snagging. I didn't Fair Isle the sleeves at all. That isn't because I hate Fair Isle on Magic Loop (ok, I *do* hate fair isle with magic loop...) but more because I didn't want any loops in the sleeves whatsoever so there would be no chance to Ronan catching his itty bitty fingers in them.

I sewed the steeks on a seweing machine, cut them (to the horror of my aunt), sewed them on, and tried about six different variations for the neck. My biggest quandry there is that I wanted a button and a toggle until someone politely pointed out that some babies chew things like buttons off of thier clothes. Yargh! I want to dress the baby, not choke the baby, so I haven't finished the sweater 100%. It also needs a blocking, which will get done tomorrow.

On the bright side, both the mother and the mother's family like the sweater. So goal accomplished! woot!

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mother's Mother's Day Sweater

The complete story.
(or at least as complete as I can make it)

I had come off the Stonewalls vest raring to knit a garment. I signed up for the Monthly Adventures Knit and Crochet along through ravelry, and I was off and running.

The snag came into place when I hit the end of the body. Front and back was knit in the round up to the armpits and it sailed along right up to the shoulders which were finished in a three needle bind off. I breathed a sigh of relief and cast on for the sleeves.

And then I was cornered into working the Full Monty.

Remember that British movie about the six guys who lose thier jobs and decide to become strippers. Yup. That Full Monty.

Well, almost. The musical version is what I would call "Americanized." Set now in Buffalo instead of Sheffield, the musical lacks the gentle subtlety of the British movie and instead opts for beating you over the head with the funny while six guys sing, dance and prance about in thier skivvies. I had to give the actors props for this one, because they took a mediocre script and made it into an entertaining night of theatre. Anyways, spending the bulk of one's free time backstage did not make for good knitting for a week or so. And when I finally got back to the sleeves, I found myself staring in the face of a deadline.

No worries, I thought. I wasn't moving back to the midwest until May 27th. So I really didn't need to finish the sweater on Mother's Day since I could hand deliver it on the 30th. But as May crpt by the worries sunk in.

I was frustrated with knitting both sleeves at once. I found that no matter how much I can do a technique, I hate anything with a high probably of tangled yarn. The fact that I was working against a cord as well as the technique meant well... I chickened out. I knit the sleeves one by one. Magic looped up to the fair isle and then on a 16" circular the rest fo the way up.

Here's a bit of trivia. I knit the sleeves backstage of the show... so I could honestly tell my Mom that her sweater was lovingly knit while six actors got totally nekkid onstage.

Here's another bit of trivia... unlike the British movie, the American stage version of MOnty makes a pretty big deal about the chippendales strippers all being "Fairies" or gay. There is even a role of a gay male stripper. (I chalk this up to the fact that the writers of the show were gay men). So the bulk of the characters are straight men, trying to prove that being straight strippers are better than watching prancy gay men.

Yet the bulk of the cast was gay, with two notable exceptions... one was the main character, the other was the guy who played the gay male stripper.
Nothing is funnier than hearing a very attractive guy pretend to be gay. Particularly when all of his lines are stereotypical, and yet he sounds so... buff.

Anyways... now for the eye candy. I haven't shot a pic of my mother in the sweater yet, but I modeled it. I love the way it turned out. Very light and fluffy!

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Moving and Flooding and Knitting (oh my!)

No, I have not been on a two month bender.

(I can hear the chorus of *snap!* awwww.... now)

I hate moving, so the drive from Vermont to Wisconsin meant less time for internet more time to packing and even more time spent pacing, going "But I don't wanna move, Charlotte, I don't wanna!"

And when I got back to Wisconsin it welcomed me with... rain. Alot of rain. Feet of rain.

But now we have the sump pump merrily chugging the last few inches out of our basement. Wausau came through pretty well, not all that much flooding (though I can't say the same for a few hours south >.<)

So tonight we have stories. The story of Mother's Mother's day sweater, the yarn stash, the ultimatum, the ongoing pile of hats, and the Manly Scrafghan! (I feel like a TV announcer for a teaser.)

And so many blogs to go read. It's like a big ol' treat :D