Saturday, February 17, 2007

When a knitter's brain implodes.

Maybe some of you are familiar with the Imploding Brain phenomenon, wherein there is so much inside the brain at one time that it collapses in on itself, leaving a mere shell where once a functioning cerebrum was. I am a firm believer that if this does not place you in a mental institution, that you are either
A) A mother, who is used to this kind of thing and has a back-up copy of the really, really important stuff (like kids' names) written down somewhere.
B) A knitter, who is used to this kind of thing and hasn't got a written, typed, or photographic record of a damn thing and has to figure it from scratch.

Frequently, mothers who knit will find that they remember their child's birthday, but not which row they last decreased on. This shows that the Knitting part of the brain, while distracting, does not normally impair function of the rest of the neural functions.

Back to my point. Which I do have. Somewhere.
When a knitters brain implodes, and all pertinent knitting information has left them in their time of need, it is important to sit down with three things.

1. The knitting. (A friend's V-Neck Pullover)
2. A good reference book. (My favourite knitting book ever, actually.)
3. A calculator. (Because it's always the effing numbers.)

My book of choice is Knitting In The Old Way, by Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts. All of the sweaters in this book are designed around percentage systems, which is how I design all of my sweaters.

Right now I'm figuring out the rate of decreases for a friend's V-neck pullover. That number on the calculator is how many stitches I've gotta decrease total.

At least I've got the shop sample of the Pageboy Hat to knit out of Nikki. It should be good bus knitting, since the sweaters have become so unwieldy. I'll have a picture of that when there's more than 2 rows of ribbing on it.

In completely unrelated news: I started teaching my first class today. I am teaching the Advanced class at the shop, where people are making their first garments. We did swatching today, where I discussed swatches, and the importance of gauge. We also chatted about all other kinds of things, family, jobs, schooling.

Ronnie, a nice lady with the most delicious English/French accent, is making a drop-shouldered pullover. The style of construction and the yarn both put me in mind of traditional fisherman's ganseys, except that this pattern lacks the underarm gussets which are a part of the construction of most ganseys. Ronnie's pattern may be a bit too big for her, so I may end up helping her resize it - Her pattern is perfect for resizing using a percentage system, because it's all "Knit until work measures X from X." type of instructions, which means you can easily fill in X with whatever measurement suits you.

Elizabeth is a doctor at OHSU, she is making a neck-down cardigan that has an I-cord tie at the front. She's using the Cascade 220 Superwash in Very Berry. Her pattern's totally different from Ronnie's, but they're both highly adjustable. Elizabeth is in-between sizes on the pattern, but she said she likes a loose fit. I already had looked at that company's patterns and they are fairly true-to-size, that is to say that they are designed to sit exactly at the bust measurement that's given. I think that knitting the next larger size will give her the roomy feel she likes.

I think I'll ask them if I may take pictures of them during class as they knit and work on their projects, and I'll definitely be sure to put up pictures of their finished work if they don't mind.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Oh nooooo...

Last night I picked up a spindle, some roving, and made yarn for the 2nd time in my life.
I liked it. It was fun to see the twist go up the yarn, and to see-HEY I MADE YARN! *ahem* And then possibly my favouritest part is that this time did not end in a spindle flying across the room at high speed, lodging itself into a wall, with the twist slowly coming out of AN ENTIRE PIECE OF ROVING.

You know what this means? I'm going to have to halve my buget for yarn, and I will have less knitting time than ever, and I am anxiously eyeing a Fricke wheel.

I am largely amused to imagine conversations like the following:
Spinner: What kind of wheel do you have?
Me: Fricke!
Spinner: Is there a problem?
Me: No, I have a Fricke.
Spinner: . . . I think I'm missing something.

P.S. Pictures of the cafe are coming, but I am finding the cafe staff somewhat...difficult on the matter of photos. Look, guys, you're gonna end up in a crummy photo on the web in your life - Why not let it be on a blog that all of our customers can read and show their friends?

Friday, February 2, 2007


So, here's how it is. I moved to Portland 6 months ago to go to college and become a Grown Up. In the path to AdultHood, I have gotten myself a checking and savings account, a cell phone, a huge student loan, and a job.

My job. Well. I work at a yarn store. It's called Abundant Yarn and Dyeworks. It's pretty cool, 'cause there's Pat,

who owns the place. She also teaches a lot of the classes. We also have Stevanie and Suzie who are the managers. They're sisters. Also, they kick ass. You'll hear about them a lot on here.

This is Jenna.
Jenna does the plant-dyeing classes, and a lot of the hand-dyed stuff you see in the shop.
She's pretty much amazing.
This is her in a hat that Stev' made out of this yarn we got at the shop.
Jenna just got married too, which is really cool if you ask me. She also doesn't mind if I ask her tons of questions about dyeing or whatever she's doing. I like that a lot.

There's also Hannah - Who really, really likes yarn.
How much?
Uhm. Well. Let's just say she has a very close connection with our stock.
This is her Halloween costume. She's covered in her unfinished projects. Except she kind of does this a lot, the covering herself in yarn thing. Hannah's favourite accessory is a hank of yarn looped around her neck. I think it's pretty cool. Hannah's also a Knitting Geek like me. The hours we have spent pondering techniques and deducting the construction of garments from their finished appearance are only a drop in the bucket in relation to our relative obsessions with Learning Just One More Way To Do Things.

We've also got Brandon, who hates that I take pictures of him without asking.

He was unprepared.
I'm putting this up until he finds it. When he does find it, though?
Well. I probably won't be posting anymore.
Don't see why everyone's so touchy about getting their picture in the morning anyhow.

There's also me. Yes. Secret Ninja Knitter.

And that's just the yarn shop people. 'Cause the shop? We're not just a shop.
We also got a café. A BIG one. I'll show it to you next time. Unless you happen to come in before that and see it for yourself. You can find out everything about us at our webpage,