Broken – for now

This blogger?  No, this blogger’s not broken – all evidence to the contrary.  But my theme is.  Temporarily.  That’s why, if you’re visiting the site you’re probably saying, “What is up?  This looks ugly!”

Yes, yes it does.  Sorry.  I was dumb and upgraded to WordPress 3.0 without checking to see if my theme was compatible.  Guess what – it’s not!  Whee!  Good times.  My WP wizard Daisy is working her magic as we speak.

And if you’re reading this on an RSS feed, apologies for the confusion…  I am sure it makes no sense at all.

I admit it.

I don’t get it.

A bunch of my Ravelry friends have queued this sweater out of the latest Knitty.  My not getting it probably has a lot to do with me, not with the sweater: I am absolutely the wrong body type to wear it (strike 1), I am solidly in the anti-bobble camp (strike 2 – also see above re: “wrong body type”), and detatchable sleeves give me 80′s flashbacks of the worst kind (strike 3 – it’s the detatchable sleeves that really confuse me.  What can I say?  I’m way too preppy and square for detatchable sleeves).  I will be very interested to see iterations of this design in the wild, especially in the case of inevitable knitter modifications.

I would, however, like to shout a positively ENORMOUS “congratulations!” to my friend Robynn, whose “Twist and Shout” is lovely (and lovely on her in the photos).

The inevitable Wordle output

jillasmith.com as a wordle picture

It’s not of this site, though – it’s the output from my professional site.

Even though I feel like I’m probably the last person on the planet to do a Wordle, I know one or two of my readers might not know how to make their own, so if you’re one of the one or two, wordle is here.

How to Ease Back into Real Life After Stitches

Take Monday off and spend Monday evening at Woolwinders with Fiona Ellis, of course. She was as delightful this year as she was last year (and it was great fun to have her in a smaller group, outside the general melee of Stitches). This class was about Celtic knotwork patterns, a subject that has intrigued me since Marie made me a Starmore sweater (yes, I am a very lucky girl with delightful friends who are far too good to me). Truth be told, though, I think I would take a class from Fiona if she was teaching how to crochet a potholder. She’s just that fun, and I’m sure I would learn something intriguing about the history of potholders, because her mind is a heat-seeking missile when it comes to interesting stuff.

So, of course, no photos (because I’m an idiot again and didn’t even bring the point-and-shoot that makes me crazy, let alone the SLR). We did a swatch of a Celtic knotwork pattern and were encouraged to adapt it once we had the pattern set. Being me, I didn’t stray too far from the original design, but brought the two final cables together, seeking a sort of candle-flame effect (but we all agreed I’d really knit the Taj Mahal).

A couple of small funnies before I have to dash: Fiona’s approach to figuring out where one has gone wrong in a pattern is an episode of “CSI: Cable Strand Investigation.”  Her insouciance and British accent, combined with the subject matter, made me suggest making up tee shirts that read, “Fiona told me to get knotted.”  Hmm… where’s the login for that Cafe Press account…

I can show you a photo of that – evidence that yes, in fact, I did learn something:

Fiona Ellis class swatch

And now I REALLY need to get back to reality.

Another cure for design woes

Ignore your own process (or lack thereof) and obsess over someone else’s perfect design.

Seriously – does Hanne Falkenberg know she designed the world’s most perfect sweater jacket for me? The woman’s got my number. It’s a lovely colorway, so deceptively simple, structured yet easy, and….

…And I really, really want one of those kits. Santa? I’ve been pretty good this year…

Design Process

I have discovered that I design the way I write. An idea percolates up, there is a small burst of mental activity. This mental burst may be accompanied by a corresponding activity, or it may just add to a picture of the finished product. Notes may or may not be taken. Brain may be cursed at for deciding notes need not be taken.

Basically, there’s no real “process” at all.

Currently, I have a sweater in mind. It should fulfill the same functions as a sweatshirt – a go-to garment for a chilly day – but the design should be more flattering. Casual, but not too sloppy. Yarn should be soft, but reasonably hard-wearing. Comfy. A color that is somewhat complementary to the usual colors I wear. Collar, cuffs and hem in a slightly unusual stitch to add interest, but lying flat and producing no (or not much) extra bulk. Some ease, not too much. Slightly fitted at the waist.

When I visited New York with my mom, I went down to School Products and bought an enormous cone of their (in)famous cashmere/merino. As advertised, knitted off the cone it was sort of sticky and industrial.

After a couple of washings, it bloomed and blossomed and is generally yummy.

I also swatched for edgings – the one on the right is the winner.

Design swatches

Now I just need to finish my “Print o’ the Wave” stole before I launch headlong into this… That’s pretty much the only process here. Otherwise, it’s just swatch, measure, and jump.