Friday, February 29, 2008

Pomatomus Socks. But....

They are finally finished.

I love the colour. I love the texture of the 'scales'. I love the overall look. I even love the name.

I hate the fit. They are too big. They are far too big. In a general kind of way, too. Not too long, not too wide, just too big. The heel, in particular, seems enormous.

This makes me sad. And also brings me to a sad realization. All my socks have been too big. I use the needle called for in the pattern, and it doesn't matter how many books, blogs, and Ravelry posts I've read - I still think I can defy gauge. Or, it's more like my brain is thinking, "Well, sure - of course gauge is important for things like sweaters and even hats. But socks? No way! Gauge doesn't count for socks!"

My brain is wrong. It counts. And it counted after the first sock was done and I tried it on and it was too big. It especially counted after I was done just the leg of the first sock and I tried it on and it was too big. So now my decision is whether to just pretend that they do fit and go on with my life and a new pair of socks, or to rip these out and reknit them.
(Can you spot the difference between this picture and the first? I love my little helper.)

The only pair of socks that I've knit that turned out to be just the right size was a pair that I knit for someone else.

No. I know the right answer here. Sigh.

back to yarn

I like to knit. I like to knit.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Koigu Kismet

I think I shouldn't watch two episodes of Dexter right before bed. I woke up all night from nightmares full of violence. Anyway. On to sunnier things.

The last time I went to the Knit Cafe, I came across a yarn that I absolutely had to have. No choice. In fact, I've needed to buy this yarn ever since I heard that it existed, but hadn't yet come face to face with a skein.

This is the yarn.

The reason I had to have it? It has my name. Basically. This is Koigu Kersti (Ravelry link). (I am Kirstie.)

Then, of course, once I had my little paws on it, I had to figure out what to do with it. My first thought was socks, but the weight is maybe a little too heavy - for me, at least. I knew it had to be something for me, and a small project, since I only had two skeins.

The perfect solution - fingerless gloves. I had knitted myself a pair out of a bulky alpaca blend a while back, but I found them to be a bit too bulky for working with a keyboard and mouse. And they itched.

I clicked around on Ravelry and found that the fingerless mitts pattern by Joelle Hoverson (Ravelry again) from Last Minute Knitted Gifts was available free online, and everything fell into place.

The finished product:

Kersti gloves

I find these a lot easier to work in, and the colours are lovely. If I were to do them again (and I might), I might make a bit of a thumb gusset, rather than having just the slit. And I'd probably make them a little longer, so that they cover more of the fingers. As it is, they come up to just above the knuckles.

Kersti gloves

I have a few more projects to share - one bonus of falling behind in blogging for several months is that you have plenty to talk about when you get back.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Let's Learn Our "One New Thing" for Today

I'm reading a series of books right now that has presented to me something I haven't seen in a long time - words I don't know. Now, I thought that I had a decent vocabulary. I am even known for being a bit wordy in some circles. These books have smacked me down.

The books are The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, by Steven R. Donaldson. I found the first trilogy a bit of a drag in that by the end, I could think of only two or three 'good' things that had happened. The rest of the books were nothing but anguish and pain and heartache. I just finished the first book of the second trilogy, and I'm finding these a bit easier to take. Not that they're all sunshine and light, either, mind. Maybe I'm just innured to the grief at this point.

But these are new words to me, and I like words. I don't really read any non-fiction (if you don't count blogs), so I love it when my novels give me something new to learn. In most cases, when I'm reading along, and come across a word for which I don't know the meaning, I'm most likely to get some idea of definition just through the context, the sentence, the story. But when I kept coming across more and more words that were new, I decided I couldn't just skim along the surface, assuming meanings. So I started to use my bookmark (one of my business cards - I don't meet so many people that I need them all) to jot down each new word and the page on which it's found. I need a bigger bookmark. I ran out of space after just over a hundred pages.

I know that I'm not the only one who likes stuff like this, so I thought I'd share this little list of mine.

For many of these words, I could have guessed at the meaning, but for the purposes of my list, I included each word that I couldn't say for certain that I knew the definition. Here we go:

knaggy - notty; rough; figuratively, rough in temper

incondign - (especially of punishment) inappropriate or disproportionate; be it excessively harsh or lenient.

auto-da-fé - Public announcement of the sentences imposed by the Inquisition.

geas - a solemn injunction, prohibition, or taboo; a moral obligation

gelid - Very cold; icy

coquelicot - the color of the wild poppy; a color nearly red, like orange mixed with scarlet

etiolated -To make weak by stunting the growth or development of

inchoate - In an initial or early stage; incipient. Imperfectly formed or developed

barranca - dry ravine or a steep depression between hills.

analystic - I couldn't find a definition online, but luckily, I wasn't the only one looking. Captain Maybe has delved deep enough to find a rather hilarious quote from the author himself.

It’s an obscure word that literally means, “pertaining to analysis; determining
the basic components”. But to make matters worse, I’ve used the word in an
obscure sense, as a reference to things to heal (by restoring the integrity of
basic components).
In retrospect, that may be a little too much obscurity,
even for me.

Source: Stephen R. Donaldson Official Website

chancrous - of the nature of chancre (gee, thanks).
chancre - classic painless ulcer of syphilis. The chancre forms in the first (primary) stage of syphilis.

sempiternal - having no known beginning and presumably no end (ooh, I like this one)

chryosprastic - An apple-green chalcedony used as a gemstone

roborant - Restoring vigor or strength

catafalque - a decorated platform or framework on which a coffin rests in state during a funeral

Okay, in starting to look up these definitions, I find that I am not alone with these books. As a matter of fact, most of my list already exists - and more, right here. And? When I look up many of these words, the search results bring me to passages from these books.

And just in case you are not fascinated by words and found this extremely boring, I include a sock WIP picture, to prove that I am, in fact, still knitting.

ETA - Strange things were happening with the template today, and I was already kind of unhappy with the way the header invaded the text area. So I've switched to something a bit less interesting, but more functional - for now.