Secret Mojo Dumbs It Down for You

October 30, 2006

Anna plays dirty

Filed under: Knitting — secretmojo @ 6:09 am

Anna’s initiation yarn treat arrived today. Yyyesss!

I must admit, I’m a touch miffed that she spent extra money on me; I was under the suspicion I’d get some leftovers from her skein cornucopia (also known as her house), and not two incredibly classy hues (blue and green) of wool bought from Knit Picks topped off with a knitting gauge.

All I can say is, “Holy crap, Anna, do you fight dirty! Thanks!” Clearly, she is experienced at spreading her disease. I mean, “craft.” Now, I must think of something special to knit with these beauties, something worth their quality. Which means I better get cracking (practicing?) on this scarf.

Too classy for me.

Winter Night (blue) peruvian highland wool, Pine (green) marino wool, and something called a “knit gauge,” which I speculate, if I were a better knitter, I could use to draw perfect circles on paper. Delicious! Thanks, Anna!

October 29, 2006

Hey, don’t be teaching that cast on, peoples!

Filed under: Knitting — secretmojo @ 11:42 am

I ripped my scarf. Since there’s no deadline, I feel great about doing it. It was way too wide (30+ stitches), and revealed, in ragged fashion, a lesson I will share with everyone:

Do not do that reverse-loop cast on thingie.

It’s an easy cast on, which is why beginners like me are lured into it. You begin with a slip knot on your needle, and, by stacking up a row of folded loops, you give yourself strands to knit upon for your first row.

Problem is, the twistiness of the yarn makes the edge inconsistent and the loops drift in a spiral around the needle. It’s impossible to knit above it — especially with Homespun yarn — without creating scragglies. Unfortunately, you’ll realize this only three rows later — unless you’re lucky enough to read this post, which means you’ll realize it now.

Your welcome.

The better, though weirder, cast-on is the “double cast on,” where, using needle-magic, you both knit a row and cast on in one pass. Clever! Elegant! Some brilliant knitter from days gone by devised this technique, and it hurts my brain to imagine what kind of mental process and finger gymnastics they had to go through to invent it. But whomever you are: thanks! Check out a video of the niftiness here.

Anyway, the double cast-on is not that much harder to perform than the reverse ‘e,’ unless you’re talking about children. It gives a solid edge without fuss, and if you’re a beginner, it is the cast on you should learn for any project you’d like to use when finished.

Oh, and stop teaching the reverse e! It’s ugly, hard to knit on, and not worth the simplicity it offers.

Hm. I just realized that anyone curious enough to read this post already knows everything I just said.

Ah well!

October 25, 2006

Next shall be a perfectly boring scarf

Filed under: Knitting — secretmojo @ 12:45 am

I’ve decided to knit a scarf from my leftover Homespun yarn. I realized from the happy hat that my consistency was rather poor, crooked stitches and such. Furthermore, I felt like I was in a hurry all the time, and that, because someone else would be asked to wear this on her head, everything should be perfect — not a good philosophy to have when you’re beginning anything.

So I’m going to kick it down a notch. Go for a straight knit. No fancy cast-ons, no knit-purl, no seaming. I almost succumbed to knitting a mixture of the blue and white for texture, but this Homespun yarn is hard enough to grab with only one string, let alone two. My NOOB fingers have other challenges to pass through.

Anyway. Back to basics. Or rather, the basics of the basic basic. I’m sure Yo Yo Ma still plays his scales, so there could even be a bit of pride here in taking the simplistic route. I might sneak in a color change here and there, but I’m not going overboard. This is a hobby, after all.

Simple scarf it is.

October 21, 2006

This is not normal

Filed under: Knitting — secretmojo @ 4:23 pm

In all honesty, I didn’t want to send my Happy Hat to Made by Hand. This is as absurd as it is selfish. But I must acknowledge my separation anxiety here. I spent no small amount of time trying to recover stitches inside a rather bumpy, obfuscating bunch of yarn. I cheered at each color change. I cursed a few times. And when it came time to sew it up, let’s just say my fatty fingers and the hat saw far too much of each other.

But, I like the way it turned out. I liked that the bind off went flawlessly. I even liked the funky rat of the tassels after I washed it. It’s no longer a skein, but something more. It has worth. The stitches are crooked, of course. And I think it may be too large. But dammit, I married this hat, and I didn’t want to let go of its poofy goofy self.

Nevertheless, it’s in the mail. I suppose if I were an experienced knitter, one who could toss off two hats while driving, this would be nothing. Like throwing candy in a parade. But being my first creation, I couldn’t stifle this urge to play with it. To, uh, keep it.

Shameful. Greedy. But true.

Good bye happy hat. Do your duty. Make someone happy.

October 20, 2006

F.O.

Filed under: Knitting — secretmojo @ 7:12 am

happy happy

Finally!

Happy hat articulated

The hat, articulated by “MysteryMagic.”

Thanks to everyone for all the encouragement to complete this hat. I was thinking of each and every one of you whilst clicking needles. I realize I haven’t been posting like a good boy should for nearly two months now. I have summarily spanked myself for this transgression (I have long arms), and, provided that the tediously boring Doldrums Brigade decides to leave my fine mind alone, I shall be posting more frequently.

September 2, 2006

Pointy objects in the dark

Filed under: Knitting,Poetry — secretmojo @ 11:39 am

Currently: Firefly’s corn rows

I felt my way in crepuscular light
watching a movie, knitting it tight
Purling away by the touch of my tips
Needling two for future unrip

Row by row, I bury the hole
clueless, heedless, watching my show
Damon is good, Price is better
Gilliam rocks, knit two together.

Later I find: horror. SHIT!
It’s a gaping, goatse, unknit knit
Rippit, rippit, down to the blow
(Don’t tell firefly I screwed up her rows)

The dark is an absent trapeze net
Experts can do it; but I can’t yet
So take my wisdom if you want to know:

Knit with lights on; save four rows

August 29, 2006

Non-sequitur danger for future historians

Filed under: Knitting,Links — secretmojo @ 7:26 am

What will the archaeologists of 3051 make of this?

August 27, 2006

The Happy Hat is full now.

Filed under: blogging,Blogroll,Knitting — secretmojo @ 12:45 pm

I didn’t want to change my hat layout, especially stripe 7 because of its symbolic value. But I felt I needed to honor Bloglily, who, with one itty bitty post at Best Blog, opened the door for a stampede of knitters that eventually bowled me over so hard that when I came to, I had needles in my hands.

I ‘m also labeling one tassel for Kisknit’s mom, since Kisknit was planning to pass it on to her anyway.

hat-layout2.jpg

The Fencer Belt: done

Filed under: games,go,Knitting — secretmojo @ 11:51 am

Like Fencer’s writing, this section was executed with poise and grace (though not with the precision—yet). I think I’m getting the hang of it now.

fencer_belt.jpg

The left-handed needle executes a tricksy riposte and scores a point. Also: White to play and live.

Next up: Firefly’s corn rows.

August 26, 2006

The addiction of progress

Filed under: Knitting — secretmojo @ 4:32 am

Currently: The Fencer Belt

Observation: it is very difficult to type while knitting.

But since the Fencer Belt section of this hat is going so smoothly, I think I’ll set these crack-laced things down and write about something else for a change.

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