Monday, July 21, 2014

Reclaiming With Pride

Years ago, when I first started establishing an on-line identity, I decided I loved the idea of reclaiming "queer" as a term of pride, rather than derision.

Taking On a Bigger Challenge

Now I think it's time to take back the under-nose-only mustache.

I mean why is it that one person can ruin a mustache style for all of eternity?  Especially when it's one of the few mustaches that I could actually grow.

And just think, if enough of us took back the stache and wore it with pride, it would take away the assholes' ability to use it against good people like our president.

I'm thinking this could be a social movement...#reclaimthestache.

Thoughts, concerns, question, suggestions?

Current Knitting

I've made a lot of progress on the top-down raglan I started at the end of last week, although you'd never know it.

Taking a photo of this work-in-progress is almost as difficult as photographing an in-progress knitted lace project, but at least you can see the collar a bit and the striping I'm doing.

I was honestly hoping to have finished all the raglan increases before this morning, but it's starting to feel never-ending.  But I love the color combination...I know the green might seem a bit overwhelming at this stage in the project, but there will be very little more of it used except as an accent in the cuffs and waistband at the bottom.

Thoughts, concerns, question, suggestions?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Finding Inspiration

I've been looking for a new project and I think I've finally found one that I'll enjoy for at least a little while.

New Top-Down Raglan

I went through my stash and found some beautiful brown yarn from Madeline Tosh in DK weight (which is my favorite weight to knit), so I decided to start a new top-down raglan for either me or Thaddeus (we both take about the same size sweater).

As beautiful as the Tosh yarn was, I still wanted to jazz it up a bit with a contrasting color and I found this wonderful yarn that I think I dyed at the Rocky Mountain Men's Knitting Retreat a few years ago.

I've made it past the neck shaping but I still have some increases to go before it's full-circumference.  And for now, the vibrant green is just the two stitches in between the raglan increase stitches.

So far so good.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hope Springs Eternal

I have a confession...I posted a request for positive thoughts on Facebook yesterday and got many lovely (and a couple of odd) responses.  I wasn't requesting positivity because I was doing badly...I requested it to keep the momentum going in my life.

I Got What I Asked For

Regardless of the intention of the request, I got an beautiful array of lovely ideas, thoughts and techniques for bolstering joy in my life and I was very grateful for all of them.

Thank you.

And with that momentum, I decided to redouble my efforts on a New Years resolution that was stalled, and picked up the kid alpaca blanket and started to work on it some more.

Current Knitting

I searched all through Pinterest and in my queue on Ravelry and I couldn't find anything that inspired me to start a new project.  Despite all my efforts, I did the right thing and went back to work on an existing work-in-progress.

The good news is that the blanket is about 6 feet long...I don't know when that happened...I may actually have knitting fairies (other than myself) helping out on this one.  Honestly, I think I just need to do another 12-24 inches (just!...hah!) of knitting on this and then do some border.

It might actually get done by the end of the year...might.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cutting My Losses

Two projects in the last few months haven't really turned out as I had envisioned, so I'm cutting my losses and in one case, ripping out a lot of knitting.

Bad Projects

The latest one is the Fireworks Scarf, which I finished over the weekend.  Can you see the problems with this design?

I mentioned a couple of things I didn't like about this design in the last blog entry.  It's not reversible and it doesn't mix two variegated colorways of yarns like Koigu very well.  I've also come to realize that the fabric curls and is only flat with a lot of steam blocking and I don't think the star designs shows up very well.  

The other design I've screwed up, is the Henry Der Vest.

This is the one I'll be completely frogging.  I realized I tried to do too much with some bias knitting and I also didn't make a waistband that works at all.  The ribbing is way too flimsy with this beautiful Icelandic yarn.

Here's a photo of Finn hunting from the second floor window.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Overlapping Worlds

One of those delightful collisions of two worlds happened yesterday.  And it was accidentally even captured on film.

Major Milestone and Coincidental Meet-up

A good friend of mine, Charles, after working for Princeton University for 52 years, had his retirement reception yesterday.  The photo above shows a blurry photo of his joy in opening his retirement gift from the University (which is a gorgeous Lalique glass Buddha, by the way).  

There were many coworkers and friends attending the reception...after 52 years at the same employer, I guess you get to know a lot of people.  Charles kept his work life pretty separate from his social life, so I didn't know anyone at the reception, except from things I had heard from Charles about a couple people.

After the formal presentation, one of the presenters (possibly shown in the photo case the person would prefer not to be identified) came up to me and said, "You're queerjoe!"  That kind of chance meeting of a blog reader, especially one so influential in the life of a good friend is always surprising in the most delightful ways.  Turns out this reader is a hardcore knitter who is quite involved in the local and on-line knitting community.

It was a joy to be able to meet a reader in such an unexpected way.

Current Knitting

I'm making progress on my new scarf design.  Progress was slow until I got the rhythm of the pattern stitch down, and I also had to rip it out a few times before I got the hang of it.

I like how the scarf is coming out, and it will look even better once it's blocked and the pattern will be more obvious.

But there are some shortcomings to this design so far.  First (and most importantly, in my mind) is that the stitch pattern doesn't work that well with 2 different colorways of Koigu like my three other scarf designs.  I may be able to find two colorways that would work, but the genius of the Bright Lizard Scarf, Crochet Interlocking Scarf and the Cross Stitch Scarf are that even somewhat random colorways of Koigu work together very well.  The second is that the pattern isn't reversible.  Not a critical feature but it would have been preferred.