The Amazing Adventures of Tom and Bel

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Sharp As A...

Taking a page from Miss Sahara over @ SistahCraft, I am happily swatching for the Boy-O's new hat & scarf. Yes, it's distracting me from the gift knitting for people who don't actually live with me, but I need to be distracted right now. I want to regroup and revisit that list before I go any further. (Heck, I've got to find the list before I go any further.)

So, anyway: swatching! I love swatching. I demand it of all my students and paraphrase what Lily C. said to an advanced cable knitting class once: "Swatchers get what they deserve...non-swatchers deserve what they get." (!)
Despite the fact that some of my favorite knitbloggers are quite loath to swatch, I still feel this way. Different strokes, ya know? Variety makes the world go 'round, and we rabid swatchers aren't gonna change them.

This shot is fairly true to life:

I'm using Jo Sharp Aran Tweed in Ivy, which, if you've seen it is the most non-color of colors.
The spouse loves it. (Sigh. Getting that man to wear something that isn't the color of mud is a miracle!)
At first, I worried that his chosen stitch pattern wouldn't show, but I'm satisfied on that score:

Now I'm more worried about the yarn itself. The first few feet of it have been rather unsatisfactory (thick/thin spots, one break thus far. Anyone out there got some experience with this one?

Monday, November 28, 2005

Postprandial Haze

I once read that expression in a book, and for some reason it stuck with me. (Don't ask which book, for goodness' sake - I was an English Literature major. There were thousands of books to be read and discussed and debated.*)

But that is truly the correct expression of our after-Thanksgiving mood. Wouldn't you feel that way after this?

That, my friends, is Crispy Roast Duck with Fig & Port Sauce, Spicy Rosemary Greens, and a Sweet Potato Casserole which I have not yet named. (It was quite tasty, though.)
Not pictured is the classic Cornbread Stuffing, without which Thanksgiving would be incomplete. I've got to remember to make my cornbread the day before, though - crumbling hot bread is not my idea of a good time.

Since it was just the two of us, we had rather a simpler dinner than we would've otherwise.
For dessert, I made Brandied Peaches. *That* was amazing.

But - on to the knitting! With three days off this week, I did manage to finish the knitting of the Manly Scarf which may or may not be for any one of the fatherly persons I am associated with.
Here it is modeled by the adorable-even-in-illness Boy-O:

He's so cute. I kept asking him about this scarf - if the colors were good, if ti was long enough, etc., and couldn't really get an answer. Finally, he fesses up:

Boy-O: I'm not really excited about this one.
Me: Oh, yeah? How come?
Boy-O: It's not for me.
Me : !!!!
(Use your imaginations. It was somewhere between an unladylike snort of amusement and an exasperated sigh.)

So the upshot of it all is that I've temporarily broken my Yarn Fast in order to supply my loved one with a shiny new scarf. Well, non-shiny, actually, since he is anti-attention-getting anything.
We've ordered six skeins of this (possibly the least shiny yarn ever) to match the yarn he picked out for his honeymoon hat.
Hopefully the dye lots will be similar enough. In any case, he was clever enough to pick out a lovely stitch from The First Treasury (Diagonal Weave) that I can memorize, but not be bored by. Should be a fun project!

* Though it may also have been this book, which I own and love.

Friday, November 25, 2005

I {Heart} Anti-Craft

I officially love the ladies of The Anti-Craft. They're so bitter. Oh, how I relate.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Ask & You Shall

All right, Miz Wanda, this one's for you:

This one as well:

Sideways knit garter stitch fingerless gloves from a single skein of Karaoke (#286 Copper) . I'd hoped this shot would show the color difference from one side of the glovelet to the other, but the real photographer in the family was sleeping. You'll just have to trust me that the yarn subtly transitions from a deep burgundy to a more rusty copper. It's quite pretty.

Since I was only using these to psych myself out of a knitting slump, I can't really comment much on the yarn. It is delightfully soft, but I will need to swatch it again and really pay attention to the quality of the stitches.

Buoyed by my speedy success with the glovelets, I've moved on to a project from the giant holiday gift list. Grumperina's Sharfik pattern reminded me how much I like this simple broken rib, so I'm using it for a very manly, dad-worthy scarf (KnitPicks' Andean Silk on US9s).

Again, sorry for the crap photography...

Although I meant for this to be good travel/TV knitting, I got a little bored and decided to add the stripes you see above. Doesn't really make it any more complicated, but it does give me a marker from which to measure my progress.
The scarf-in-progress has been tested by the Boy-O, who decreed it scratchy enough to be man-worthy (no, I don't understand that either, but it's apparently a requirement).

In any case, I'm sure it'll work just fine for any dad/step-dad/FIL who may or may not be the recipient of this particular item for any winter holiday which we may or may not celebrate.
(No peeking to any of the aforementioned fatherly types!)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Small Victories

Shoot. I was all set to post about my cute little garter stitch glovelets that I made the other day - and then I saw these stunning ones that Marnie made. With yarn that she spun, people.
The woman is a genius.

Still, I feel good to have finally finished something - anything! - and I needed a shot in the arm.
Back to the grind, but I hope to have some new FOs to report soon.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Still Running

OY! It's been so long since I had time for a substantive blog post - but it's November, which means two things:
1) My job gets suuuuuuuuuuuuper busy (yay for food holidays! Eat! Eat!);
2) Once again, Boy-O & I are attempting to do NaNoWriMo. Last year, I crapped out @ 10,000 words. This year, I'm trying for at least twice that . So by my fourth year, I should actually finish a novel. Yay, me!
(If blog entries counted, I'd *so* win.)

Not doing much knitting - feeling so scatter-brained that I can't sit still and focus enough to work on the current projects - or even remember what they are! (Except for that d@!!N tie ... that one will be the death of me.)

To get inspired, I'm planning a crafty night out for work ... more details to come...