PunkconformityLife, history, and the pursuit of knitting.

Friday, January 15, 2010

In sickness and in lace

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I am sick. As it has been nearly a full year since my last cold, I just wanted to take a moment to announce my misery, and at the same time write a paean of adoration for my vitamins, which - through the magic of folic acid - have kept me from feeling this miserable for the past ten months. As someone who was used to succumb to epic illness if someone so much as looked at me wrong, this has been a wonderful experience, and I cannot recommend folic acid enough to any and everyone who wishes to stay healthy. My latest failure in this regard is due to solely to my inability to remember to take said vitamins regularly, and I exonerate them fully of all wrong-doing in having failed to prevent my getting sick. Today's lesson, children? Take your vitamins every morning, or face the dire and misery-making consequences.

But you know the thing one shouldn't do when one's head is stuffed up like a bag of fiberfill?

Attempt to knit lace.

Lace is the most magical of all types of knitting, for many reasons. One, because the lumpy piece of misshapen fabric you cast off your needles turns into a beautiful work of art when properly blocked. This is probably the most talked-about wonder of knitting lace, and it is a marvel. As the Wendy-lady described a few days ago, a shawl that comes off the needles measuring a lumpy 38 inches in length can become, when blocked, a smooth 52 inch piece of detailed imagery.
Two, because you take the two stitches all knitters know, and increase and decrease the number of them in such a way that amazingly intricate pictures and geometric designs appear where formerly there was nothing. It is exceptionally gratifying to make a dragon, or a rose, appear with two sticks and some string.
And three, because it is exceedingly logical, practical, and orderly. Once you understand how the pattern you are knitting works, it is fairly difficult to make a mistake without it becoming apparent almost immediately.

That is, of course, if you are paying attention. Which is something one finds harder to do when one is stuffy-headed and unfocused. So we'll blame the 45 minutes I spent tinking the Swallowtail a few days ago on the onset of this miserable head-cold, and not on my own stupidity. After all, we know I'm not stupid enough to notice and fix half the mistake, congratulate myself on my keen attention to detail and growing ability to repair mistakes without tinking, and knit four more rows before it became apparent to me that I had failed to fix the other half of the mistake. It must have been the cold. Right?

That's what I thought. I'm putting the Swallowtail aside for the duration.
Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ravelympics: Pre-game Update

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This just in from the Sports Desk of the Knitters' News Network:

Tragic Injury Could Lead to Sock Hockey Upset.
Team Austentatious athlete,
Punkconformity, split open her left index finger during the fifteenth repeat of lace warm-ups on Thursday. Though the injury appeared superficial at first, by the end of the sixteenth repeat bandages were brought in, impeding her performance drastically. It is unclear at this point whether this will impact her performance in next month's Ravelympics, but given the appropriate rest and care, the prognosis seems hopeful.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ravelympics: Committment

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Despite finding the Winter Olympics about as enjoyable as watching paint dry in the Antarctic, I'm committing myself to viewing at least the opening ceremonies, the figure skating, and snow-boarding (assuming those are on TV at times convenient to my viewing pleasure). Shawn White is, after all, just about the only thing that makes staring at a lot of snow worthwhile. I would avoid the whole thing, like I usually do, if not for the small fact that I have decided to participate in the Ravelympics.

For the uninitiated, the Ravelympics are the Olympics of Knitting, which takes place every two years, on the occasion of the actual Olympics. There are teams (Team Hopelessly Overcommitted, Team Bitchcake, etc) and events (Sock Hockey, Hat Halfpipe, Stash Jump), just as there are in the actual Olympics, as well as awards, prizes, and medals. The idea is, of course, to challenge yourself to complete many small projects or one large project during the two weeks the Olympics airs.

I have decided to participate in the Sock Hockey event, and will be attempting to complete 6 pairs of socks in two weeks.
  • July Socks by Lucia Tedesco
  • Norfolk Ramblers by Emma Haigh
  • Hanging Vines Socks by Kelly Porpiglia
  • Basket Rib Socks by Traci Heiner
  • Cathedral Socks by Shana Kreikemeier
  • Ribbon Candy by The Wendy Lady

That's right. 6 pairs. 12 women's size 8.75 socks to be completed in two weeks. Considering my average knitting time for a pair is a week, this is a bold goal, but I don't think it's beyond the reach of my abilities. With a deadline spurring me on, I think I can bash them out with little-to-no trouble, especially considering some of the patterns I've chosen are extraordinarily simple.

Then again, I may be hopelessly optimistic. But that's cool. Maybe that can be the name of my team.