dusktreader knits

June 23, 2010

June 14, 2010

June 4, 2010

Looking at things instead of knitting them

Filed under: Notions — Tags: , — dusktreader @ 5:07 pm

Woven leather shoesWell, I knit a little bit on the plane to the conference. Once I got to the conference though, there was no possibility. We weren’t knitting. We were twittering. There was a strong contingent of tweeters instantly summarizing the main points of any session, planning meetups, commenting on food, propagating inside jokes, and sharing links to resources. And I was among them, oh yes. I have always needed something to keep me engaged during lectures. Knitting did it for me in grad school: I would be more present if I had something to do Socks from the Bata Shoe Museumwith my hands that didn’t distract me. (For some classes, knitting made me TOO present and I had to dial it down a little if I didn’t want to be painfully immersed in some dry subject matter.) Twitter is perfect for helping me to pay attention, while also giving me a record of my reactions.

When the conference was over, I headed to Toronto for the weekend. I saw what looked like some lovely yarn stores in Toronto, but I did not allow myself to go in. I was too pressed for time, and I am not buying yarn right now, especially since I’m not really knitting right now. But! I did go to the Bata Shoe Museum and saw their exhibit on socks, which made me very happy. There were all kinds of things which I would not have thought of as socks, but which were meant to be worn in between a shoe and a person’s foot, and could technically be considered socks by definition. (See the leather socks, on the left, for an example.)  And then there were some beautiful, intricately knit socks that I kind of drooled over (see photo at right). My favorite were the tiny socks knit for the stop-motion movie Coraline. They were made with sewing needles as the knitting needles, and each one had a different design. I kind of want to try that now. I did not get a good picture because I only had my iPhone and there’s no zoom or flash on it.

If you’re in Toronto, I recommend the museum: it’s small enough to be manageable in under an hour (I find myself rushing through big museums because I feel like I need to see everything), and some of the footwear is really interesting. And they have way better postcards than the ROM, just saying.

May 21, 2010

Maybe this will get me knitting

Filed under: What I talk about when I talk about knitting — Tags: — dusktreader @ 10:31 pm

I am packing for a business trip, because I am an adult who goes to conferences. An adult who goes to conferences and packs lightly so that she doesn’t have to check her luggage, might I add. And as usual I found myself trying to pack 3 knitting projects, because WHAT IF I FINISH ONE AND HAVE NOTHING TO KNIT. I haven’t been knitting in weeks, but I wouldn’t want to get stuck for 3 days with nothing to do but read and swim (the hotel has a pool) and, I don’t know, attend a conference or something.

I wonder if there will be other knitters? If it were a library or archives conference, there’d be knitters for sure. Are post-secondary web people the knitting type? Will I be able to knit through all the sessions without raising eyebrows? We shall see.

April 23, 2010

April 10, 2010

April 2, 2010

A little bit of Knistory*

Sorry about the bad play on words, but I’m a feminist, and if there’s one thing feminists like, it’s portmanteaus made from the word history.**  My seafoam scarf.

Lately I’ve been working on my Deep in the Forest mittens. I finished the first one and am about halfway through the second one. It’s slow-going, on small needles, constantly consulting the chart and mixing up which row I’m on. It’s great that I’m working toward one of my 2010 goals–at this rate I’ll be able to wear them in the fall!–but it does not make for compelling knit-blogging.

So I’m going to tell you a little bit of my own personal knitting history. To the left is a picture of one of my favorite knitted objects: my seafoam scarf. It’s made using seafoam stitch in a blue hemp yarn. I’ve worn it for years and it still looks good. But it’s my favorite because it took me so long to figure out the stitch pattern.

From the minute I first saw the seafoam stitch, my first year of knitting, I knew I wanted to make a blue scarf using it. I’d just moved to Vancouver and fallen in love with living by the ocean, and I loved the dropped stitch effect. I bought some navy blue 100% wool and tried to learn the pattern. But I was new, and I didn’t understand the yarn over. For some reason I thought that making a yarn over included making a knit stitch right after. So every time I saw yo k1 in a pattern, I would move the yarn forward, knit a stitch, and then knit another stitch. It didn’t work out so well, and I was getting frustrated, so I put it aside and worked on something else for a few months. When I finally figured out the mechanics of a yarn over (the knit stitch is not included! Only make a knit stitch after a yarn over when the pattern instructs you to) I decided to try again. But I hadn’t figured out how to make multiple yarn overs in a row. I had to put it aside again. I eventually used the yarn to make a fishtail scarf which is actually still in process several years later. (Every now and then I knit a few rows on it when I’m not feeling inspired by anything else, but I’m not very excited about the scarf itself.)

I didn’t buy the hemp yarn intending to make the seafoam scarf with it: I bought it because hemp yarn was fairly new back then and I wanted to try it out. (I love it, by the way: it’s very light, and it’s smoothness is good for making lacy projects look fancy and elegant. I have a skinny black scarf made from hemp that I used to wear with a black dress if I was going out somewhere nice. And it wears well, getting softer as it gets used.) I forget when exactly I figured out that you can make multiple yarnovers by wrapping the yarn around the needle instead of just bringing the yarn to the front of the work before knitting the next stitch. But almost as soon as I did, I knew that I could finally make my scarf. And I knew that I could figure out anything in knitting if I had enough patience and time. I’ve said it before, but one thing I really like about knitting is that there’s always something new to learn when you’re ready.


*Note the difference between kn-(h)istory, and knit-story; the former is a play on history, the latter on story. This post has nothing to do with the Knitstory link I posted a few weeks ago.

**We also like gender equity.

March 26, 2010


Filed under: Projects — Tags: , , — dusktreader @ 9:33 pm

I think I am going to work on one of my 2010 knitting goals this weekend. I am going to unravel the doomed tank top.

I start a new job in April. It’s my first permanent job (I’ve been working on contracts for awhile now) and it marks the beginning of a new phase in my life. An organized phase. A phase where I am an adult who takes care of business. So I’m getting my life in order before I start. Putting in place and/or solidifying good habits. Regular haircuts. A budget that I will actually stick to. UNRAVELLING KNITTING PROJECTS THAT AREN’T WORKING INSTEAD OF PRETENDING THEY DON’T EXIST.

Just think, at the end I’ll have liberated all that yarn that’s been imprisoned in an unfinished project all these long years. I’m a little nervous, so wish me luck!

March 19, 2010

March 15, 2010

Beware the Ides of March

Filed under: Notions — Tags: , — dusktreader @ 11:23 am

You could probably beware the Ides of any month, but March is an especially suspicious month to have Ides in. And so, inspired by Jezebel’s annual list of things to beware of this March 15th, I present you with my own list of things to beware of when you knit. Please feel free to read in your best mock voiceover in a horror movie trailer voice:

  • Dropped stitches that unravel several rows before you notice them
  • Eyelash yarn
  • Yarning forward instead of yarning over
  • Lost lifelines
  • Missing a row in your chart
  • Cats who chew right through your working yarn, forcing you to rejoin mid-row
  • All of your friends plotting to stab you in the back with your own knitting needles

It’s not too late to beware! Share your own things to beware of in the comments.

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