Headless & Crazy

Sometimes the best shots are headless — alas. I’ve finished my Tudor Grace scarf, and I love it! The yarn is Malabrigo Sock in the Rayon Vert colorway, which is lovely. I knit all the way to the end of the skein, but in retrospect this came out a little long; I might have preferred it about six inches shorter. I guess if it really bothers me, I can always rip out the end and bind it off earlier, but that’s probably more trouble than it’s worth. Here it is up close:

I blocked the scarf pretty lightly — I did pin it out with blocking wires, but I didn’t stretch it very much. I’ve seen a couple of these on Ravelry that looked overblocked to me; I like this stitch a little on the dense side. But blocking was definitely helpful; the yarn became more soft and drapey, which is nice. I’m excited to wear this piece; lace scarves are perfect for the “winter” here in southern California.

All right, here’s a shot with my head in it for good measure. I didn’t like this picture as much as the first one because my shirt looks all stretched out and weird:

Speaking of “winter,” I am doing something pretty crazypants, and here it is:

I have started to knit my Big F’ing Red Blanket, aka Jared Flood’s Girasole, at long last. I longed to knit this pattern the minute it came out (about a year ago), but it seemed like a pretty huge & serious undertaking, plus I live in one of the warmest climates the US has to offer, plus if I started it in January I was worried that I wouldn’t be done until April. So I didn’t knit it. A year later all those things are still true, but I have decided that they don’t matter because I am a crazy person. I’m knitting it in Cascade Pastaza, in color 309, “Poppy.” There’s another color called “Poppy” that’s quite a bit purpler, and tracking down 14 skeins of this Poppy was a pain in the ass, let me tell you, but I was doggedly dedicated. Pastaza is the yarn recommended by the pattern, and normally I don’t pay too much attention to that, but after a few weeks of shopping around and fondling yarn at my LYSes, I decided that Jared was right and Pastaza has the heft and durability that I’m looking for in a piece like this. But none of my LYSes had Pastaza in the right color or quantity — if I was going to spend $100 dollars on yarn and spend months knitting what I hope will be an heirloom-quality blanket, I didn’t want to compromise. I eventually found a yarn shop in Nebraska whose website let me place the order, but sure enough, a day or two later I got an email from a lady there saying that they didn’t actually have 14 skeins of  in stock, but they could order it. So I waited, and eventually it came, and it’s perfect — exactly the sort of deep red that my living room needs. So, uh, there might be nothing but this blanket on this blog for awhile as I race to finish it while it’s still chilly enough to be of use.

In other crazy knitting news, the students in my introductory humanities class this quarter are producing, directly or indirectly, not one but TWO Snowflake Dog Sweaters. This quarter the class is themed around “Making” (we’re studying drama and political propaganda, among other things) and so on the first day of class I had everyone introduce themselves by telling us about something that they made that they are proud of. I told them about making Max’s sweater, since it was (a) fresh in my mind, (b) less boring than my dissertation, and (c) less compromising than, say, telling them about stuff I did for Burning Man last year. At the end of my little speech about it I said “hey, I can actually show you pictures” and I projected my blog entry about it. A hand went up at the back of the room, and a girl said “this is really random, but I actually knit that last week.” WHAT? And lo and behold, here it is, adapted for a smaller dog. So that was crazy, but then in the following class a kid in the front row told me that he’d sent the pattern to his mom and she was making one for their family’s dog. So in conclusion, I think it’s going to be a good quarter with these kids — if nothing else, they have good taste!