Some of you may remember my entry about the infamous Knitted Pants Suit. I still consider this one of my all-time favorite knitted items, and for the longest time, I bemoaned the lack of a pattern from which I could replicate this masterful work of art. Well, a while back, I decided to send a private message to the poster of the entry where I first encountered this gem (the second link in the aforementioned blog entry), in the hopes that I might acquire the pattern and perhaps create one of my own… you know, to wear around the house, or for one of those wild nights out for which Lenore and I are truly infamous.
Well, as it happens, not a week or two later, I got a response from the individual in question. Yes, he did have the pattern. And yes, he would get me a copy! And so it was that I came into possession of three PDFs which will enable me to create my very own knitted pants suit.
Of course, it would seem unfair to keep this pattern to myself (it’s bad enough I’ve held on to it this long without sharing it with the world), and so I offer it up here (yes, I realize this is copyright infringement, but I just hope Brunswick will understand). Heck, maybe myself and any other interested knitters could each create our own renditions of this masterpiece, that we may then compare our interpretations, and, in the process, enrich the world with the knitted pants suits that it so woefully lacks.
As I mentioned in my previous post, one of the most important bits of advice given to anyone interested in writing is that it’s vital to write as much as possible. After all, how else does one improve at a craft than by practicing it? Furthermore, if one is really serious about improving, it’s important to set some hard, achievable goal which can be used to goad oneself into action. And so it is that I’ve decided to take on the challenge outlined in King’s book: to write 1,000 words a day.
Now, part of me thinks it’s a little premature to announce this here. And I will freely admit that this is quite an ambitious goal (though, what’s the point of a goal if it isn’t at least a little ambitious?). “What if this is just another passing fancy?” a little voice in the back of my head whispers. “What if you get bored or frustrated and just give up?” Well, what better way to strengthen my weak will than to back it up with a public declaration?
Of course, the biggest challenge the past few days has been finding the right time to do this. On a poorer day, it takes me around two hours to pound out 1,000 words (not necessarily good words, mind you, but words nonetheless), and so I need a block of time that would otherwise be unoccupied. I’m also of the belief that it’s important to pick a consistent time of day, so that this becomes a habit (and also helps my brain switch gears from daytime layabout to evening fiction-hack). Fortunately, the two hours after we get home, between 4:15 and 6:00, should work pretty well. We usually spend that time idle in front of the TV, anyway, so at least I’ll be getting something useful (to me, anyway) done.
But as always, one of the biggest difficulties is finding ideas. Fortunately, in “On Writing”, King outlines a simple little scenario and challenges the reader to hack out a story based on it, and so I’ve chosen that as my first project, mainly as an exercise to just get some words on paper. And at 3,100 words, I think it’s making some decent progress. Of course, I have no idea how long it’ll be once it’s finished, and I will freely admit that it’s no Pulitzer Prize winning piece of work, but it’s something, and it’s mine.
Meanwhile, I’ve discovered another difficulty which I hadn’t anticipated: coming up with new, interesting ideas while working on another piece. This morning, while standing half-conscious in the shower (which, as it happens, is where I often come up with my best ideas, whether they be stories or programming solutions), I suddenly had what I think is an interesting idea for a short story. But, of course, being in the middle of something already, it’s necessary for me to set this idea aside for the moment and focus on the piece at hand, something which is much harder than I had anticipated.
As a bit of an aside, no, I haven’t made any progress assembling Jory’s friggin’ baby blanket. I made an attempt to sew the thing together, one day, but was unhappy with the seam I constructed, and so I’ve since felt rather discouraged. On the other hand, I really do need to sit down and just finish it, so I can dispense with all these little red doilie-esque pieces that are laying about our house.
However, for those concerned readers, no, I don’t think my writing goal will interrupt with the progress of the blanket. For one, I’m not making any progress anyway, so unless I start actively unraveling the thing during moments of blind frustration, I fail to see how things could get any worse. And for another, I tend to knit later in the evening while watching TV, anyway, so it should all work out nicely. I hope.
Given that I’m part of the Men Who Knit webring, it seemed like a good idea to write an entry about, you know… knitting.
First off, I gotta thank Lenore for a lovely christmas present. I’d on occasion eyed the Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needles. This set, which comes in a nice, folding case (with the name Denise stamped on the front in gold embossing… did I mention I really dislike the name ‘Denise’? And gold embossing?), comes with a large assortment of needle tips (ranging from 5 to 15US) and cables ranging from 5” to 19”. In addition, the kit comes with joiners, so you can join cables together for larger pieces, as well as attachable stitch holders (of which I’ve already lost one), so you can transform a cable into a flexible straight needle or a stitch holder.
The result is an incredibly compact, yet very flexible kit, which is particularly handy if you tend to knit on the go, as I do. And at ~$50 bucks, the kit is a huge bargain, as it easily replaces a very large needle collection. Highly recommended!
On the project front, the baby blanket continues unabated. All the components are finished and blocked, so all that remains is to sew it together. Yeah… that’s all. I just have to assemble a blanket from the ~30 parts I’ve made. Oh, and did I mention I’ve misplaced my tapestry needles?
Additionally, in my spare cycles, I completed a new toque for myself from some very cool, chunky yard made from part lambs wool… let me tell you, this sucker is warm. And it’s actually long enough to cover my ears! And with that done, I’m working on another Yellow Goofy Toque for Lenore, though this time slightly larger and in the same yarn I used to make Lenores Mittens and Lenores Scarf.
See? I knit. I’m just too busy to write about it. :)
So blanket construction continues unabated. In fact, in the three days I was in Regina for Thanksgiving, I completed another 4 1/2 panels, which brings me to a total of 9… over one third of the way there! On the hex components, anyway. ‘course, I still haven’t blocked them out, but I’m sure I’ll get around to that eventually.
On a separate but related note, quite a while ago, I embarked on a rather ambitious project: to start a knitting wiki. Unfortunately, as often happens with my projects, I made a reasonable amount of progress in secret before life got in the way and it ended up on the back-burner. However, the recent discovery of another knitting wiki project on Wikia (a Wikimedia-powered free wiki-hosting service) has brough the project back to life. For now.
See, apparently someone else had the same bright idea I did… and the same amount of dedication. Thus, the Wikia site had been languishing for about a year, just waiting to be populated. So I’ve decided to try and adopt the project. I’ve already ported all my content over there, boosting the site from a measley 9 pages to a whopping 31, and I’ve started the process of lightly re-organizing things before generating new material. My ultimate goal would be to generate an all-encompassing repository of knitting knowledge. A resource that could rival those found in traditionally expensive (and difficult to find) knitting books. Of course, we’ll see how long it is before I get bored of the whole idea. :)
Of course, by now, you’re probably wondering where it is. Well, feel free to head over to KnitWiki! And in case you’re wondering, yes, those shots with the green yarn are pictures of me knitting. And yes, taking them required some rather odd contortions…