Monday, July 26, 2010

The longer I knit...

...the pickier I get.

I'm trying various sleeves on Persephone.

This is my top town seamless set-in version, which is the first time I've tried this method. I love it (I just love picking up stitches). But it may not work here for various other reasons. But the main thing is, I tried to do this with magic loop. HATE it. Tried it, as you see here, with two circulars. HATE it. If possible, it's even fiddler than the single loop. Don't get me wrong- it's certainly effective- you get a small circumference tube, but it makes the knitting no longer enjoyable for me. I can think of few things more soothing and happy-making for me than rounds and rounds of plain stockinette, but using magic loop or two circulars takes all the joy out of it. The fiddliness frustrates me and, as a result maybe?, my tension is awful. Completely all over the place. Ick. I have no dpns of appropriate size, so it's sitting there until I can buy some next weekend at Knit Nation.

Even when I do have dpns in the right size...

...apparently they are not of the correct material. These alumin(i)um dpns are squeaky and unpleasant to hold. Plus, they are heavy compared to this fairy-hair thin yarn, so they pull at the knitting and again, my tension is all over the place. And, they are too long for this particular project and the heaviness pulls them down and the points stick in everywhere. This project, also, is sitting around in a drawer until I can get proper wooden or bamboo dpns this weekend.

It seems like I should be getting better work out of my tools as I knit more, but it seems I am just turning more intolerant over any teeny drawbacks or imperfections.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Do my eyes deceive me?

Something that's never made sense to me is absence of any shop in Oxford dedicated to yarn, fabrics and fibre crafts. Broad Canvas is good for some other crafty supplies, and Port Meadow has that small yarny bit at the back, but that's it. You have to go all the way down to Abingdon to get fabrics or a good selection of yarn. For such a well-off town, crammed with students and tourists throughout the year, it made no sense.

Well, apparently it made no sense to someone else as well, because ta-da!

A good old haberdashery-type shop! Lots of great fabrics with a vintagey-feel and a gorgeous assortment of buttons. (Also, I swear I've passed that exact storefront before and remarked to The Limey that it would make a great yarn shop.)

Jo, the lovely woman who runs Darn It & Stitch, has just a bit of yarn in at the moment, but she's getting more and more. Right now, it's all dk-ish weight yarns in lovely summery fibres: cottons, corn and the like. I stopped in a couple of weeks ago and we chatted and it turns out she's been asked for patterns by lots of people. As it happens, a lot of my free patterns are summer designs knit in dk-ish weight yarns, so I've lent her some of my samples. If you're in or around Oxford, stop by!

I've also been thinking about getting my patterns printed so that they could be sold at LYSs and shops such as Darn It & Stitch, in addition to on-line. So far, it seems like to get them printed and still be able to make any profit off them, I'd need to do print runs of thousands! So I'm still researching this- anyone with any ideas, I'm dying to hear them.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Where did it go wrong?

When I moved to Dublin nearly six years ago, the big motivating factor was that I could then easily visit other parts of Europe. I'd go on weekend trips to romantic, no longer far-flung destinations. My holiday weekends would be spent drinking in France, eating in Spain, hiking in Slovenia, sunning in Croatia, boating in Sweden...

As it turns out, I've been out of the country three times this year, all of them to the US! The Limey travels so much for work that on weekends, all we want to do is hang around the house and do ordinary things, like buy groceries.

What happened? How did my plans go pear-shaped?