January 23, 2005
While Winter's "mind" was here in DC, I was off galavanting in LA for the week, courtesy of Moxie. In a brilliant last-minute move, he managed to spirit us away from this insane little town just in time to avoid inauguration week and the onslaught of real winter (which, despite the blog name, is taking me a while to readjust to).* Great fun was had by all, with highlights including many a scenic hike, great food and afternoons at the beach. In addition to the outdoor revelry, I was granted leave to take part in two lovely afternoons of knitting - the first at the Knit Cafe with Suzan (the owner) and Mary Heather (the manager) (MH has a new blog - she's a wonderful chick with killer skills, so definitely go check her out). As I just said to another wonderful knitting friend, I consider LA to be the home of my communal knitting, and these two, Dan (another staffer) and several others at the Knit Cafe to be my brethren. I can easily lose an afternoon talking yarn, technique, pattern, etc. with them and that is exactly what I did. It was completely inspiring to be out there again. Although I love DC and have settled in nicely, it's out in LA that I still feel most at home. It's just a very freeing, fun environment - and the weather doesn't hurt!
My second knitting foray was a meet up with Marnie for the afternoon, which was equally enchanting. (She hinted about this on her blog, and was subtle for my sake, since I'm not a big meeter-upper, but I'm okay with "coming out" this time!) Among the highlights of the day was her hem technique which I think I have successfully coerced her into blogging about ("If you don't post a tutorial, I will!" - though of course I'd give credit - copyright and all that...) Marnie is a great sport - she met me at the hair salon and taught one of the stylists to knit while I was being blown out, and then accompanied me and Moxie to our favorite spot in Chinatown where we raved about the food like lunatics (I doubt anything could have lived up to the expectations we set) and then ate like zoo animals on feeding day. As reward for her patience, I dragged her across LA to hang out in Pasadena and knit for the afternoon (Marnie, I cannot fathom what Friday traffic must have been going back across LA at rush hour - forgive me!) It was really wonderful to hang out and chat about all things "knit". Marnie's knitting style is much more liberated than mine, and it's great to be able to let some of that creativity rub off on me, if only for an afternoon. Her hem technique is brilliant, so look for it soon. I know I'll be using it.
Amidst all this outdoor and knitting talk fun, I also managed to get quite a bit of actual knitting done. I've made substantial progress on Asana (though I have some fear of running short on yarn - I'm going to have to see if Suzan and MH have my dyelot in White ASC at the Knit Cafe, since I've cleaned out my new LYS, Stitch DC) and the Chevron Scarf is fini (lacking only blocking, which it sorely needs). Here, without further ado, are the pattern notes on that one:
The Chevron Scarf
Deja Vu Anyone?
Last Minute Knitted Gifts,
I would highly recommend the rest of Joelle Hoverson's Last Minute Knitted Gifts patterns as well. I think Joelle has done an excellent job of presenting very simple patterns that create intricate-seeming finished objects. She has a keen eye for color and her use of color and discussion of it throughout the book are really instructive for those who don't usually foray into the area (and even for those who do). I usually stick to tomes when it comes to knitting books, but despite the fact that LMNG is no treatise, it serves as great inspiration. I would place this book in league with Erica Knight's books (some of my favs for color and style inspiration), but give Joelle extra stars for actually giving us real patterns (Erica sometimes skimps on this!).
Impressions of Artyarns Supermerino:
Supermerino, however, creates an exception to my Thou Shalt Not Knit Multicolored Yarn for Attire Rule (again, broken previously only for Chrysalis - we'll see how that goes). Its colors are strangely harmonious, the feel is amazing, and for goshsakes it's machine washable. (Every baby I know will soon be swathed in variegated, not-quite-clashing, cozy Supermerino bliss. Machine Washable. I just had to repeat that. It's a joy to work with. Springy, forgiving, with depth of color. Oh yeah, and second only in importance to the fact that it is machine washable, it does not appear to flash, pool, puddle or otherwise create an ungodly mess in the middle of your knitting. I've seen it worked up for a sock as well as in my own scarf and it truly does not offend in its variegatedness (a gargantuan task). It is so true in this sense that I did the unthinkable with it - I didn't bother to alternate skeins every two rows to even out the color balance. I always do this with space-dyed yarns, because otherwise they look like crap. Now, there was some variation among the three skeins, such that for a sweater I would recommend alternating, but in a scarf, the differences were negligible. Very impressive. Artyarns has done a great job. I would place great confidence in their other yarns on the basis of Supermerino alone - sight unseen. Bravo!
Possible substitute yarns:
Tips for Others Making the Chevron Scarf:
*This trip was ostensibly for my birthday, which was a couple of weeks ago, but I have no doubt that the fact that my work has been making me a bit nutty lately played a big factor! Moxie gets BIG BIG points for this one.
**This year is the year of the knitted gift since last year I bailed almost completely on knitting for the fam. I'm going to plan early and knit these gifties throughout the year, rather than attempting the usual knitting cram in late December. Wish me luck!Posted by Julia at January 23, 2005 11:15 AM