Saturday, March 22, 2008

And here I am

This is all a matter of keeping organized. I knit and cook and promptly forget what I have knitted and cooked. I forget what yarn I used, I forget how many handfuls of nuts I tossed in, I forgot I even created half the things I create! And so, a blog. As a former "feminist, gender and sexuality studies" major I'm a bit self-conscious about the DomestiCity moniker, but the urge to pun was overwhelming. Every time I tell people about my hobbies they laugh about how "domestic" I am, especially given the whole women's studies thing. Perhaps at a later date (when I am not sitting in my apartment, watching reruns of ANTM with my roomates, I will wax poetic about the multiple meanings of domesticity and femininity and crafting and baking and my perhaps conflicting desires to be a world-traveling, solo-hiking independent woman and to serve people (including, but not limited to, men) baked goods. But not tonight. Tonight, I will post photographs, since that's what people do on their knitting/cooking blogs, right?

So these days I'm working on three knitting projects. The first is Eunny Jang's "print o the wave" stole, which, (probably because it's online for free, and incredibly beautiful) seems to be a common "first lace" project. I'm working it in Malabrigo laceweight, in the Hollyhock," on size 4 needles. It's pilling a bit-my next lace project won't be with something quite so, well, wooly, but it is extraordinarily beautiful, soft yarn. I've finally reached the edging, and in fact tonight finished one long edge, so I have a mere 50 repeats to go... I got the whole body of the stole out of one ball, and am doing the edging in a second, which is significantly lighter in color. I actually like the effect, but it's worth knowing that two malabrigos of the same color may, in fact, be more accurately considered in the same color family...
The second project is an entrelac tote bag. I'm working with four balls of Patons Classic Wool Merino that were a gift from a now ex-boyfriend with excellent color sense-I have New Denim (dark blue), Wedgewood (variegated blue and cream), Paprika (well...paprika-colored), and a cream for which I lost the label (this is why I need a blog). I'm making it up as I go along-I just learned how to do entrelac (and therefore how to knit backwards!)-and knew I wanted to do a bag. Once I finished the two sides (using size 9 needles, of which I have about 6 pairs for some reason), I hemmed and hawed for a week about whether or not I wanted to felt it. I'm not so crazy about felted knitting (and sometimes feel like the only knitter in that club) but I wanted the fabric to be tighter. I was worried that it would shrink away to nothing. I figured if I felted by hand it couldn't get too out of control. So I went out and bought a bucket and some rubber gloves, and

spent and afternoon up to my elbows (literally) in scalding hot water, rubbing and scrubbing and plunging in cold water, ad infinitum. And it WORKED, and it looks GREAT! It only appeared to shrink a couple inches because before wetting it was all scrunched up. Felting took all the "scrunch" out of the entrelac and flattened it out nicely. Now I'm hemming and hawing about how to put the thing together. I want to use the variegated yarn for the strap, but am not sure what kind of strap to make, or what kind of fastener to use. I know that I need to "take the plunge" again, less literally than with felting, and will most likely be pleased. Expect a finished product soon enough.The last project is for the nyc sit and knit meetup sock exchange, and thus I cannot disclose the details for fear of ruining the surprise! Will post when the exchange is through. I will say that the pattern I'm working has demanded that I finally learn to knit fair isle properly, holding one strand continental and one english. I knit english and feel very awkward with all this left-handed business, but it makes things go so much more smoothly.