Friday, September 14, 2007

Oh The Instant Gratification Of An Immediate Download!

I succumbed to temptation last night. (Cries of, 'Oh really?') I'd been wandering around Ravelry you see (yes yes, it's all true, it is a black hole and it does take up all your time, hadn't you noticed how SOME people haven't posted in a month since they got their invite?) and had been sneaking a peek at what other people had queued in their Works Yet To Start (it's great fun, you feel like you're peering in the window or going through their stash basket while they're out in the kitchen making coffee). Anyway, I saw this AMAZING little jacket on Angeluna's page. Yes, it's all your fault, Angeluna, as usual, you knew I'd see it and fall head over heels in love straight away, didn't you? You do this all the time. You do it just to annoy, don't you?

This is the Halfobi jacket by Ivete Tecedor and the best bit about it is that you can download the pattern for a very reasonable amount right away! Now how good is that? OK, some of you, a lot younger than me, probably don't know a time when you couldn't see something, click a button or two, and own the pattern immediately, but some of us remember the bad ol' days when you yearned and desired, planned for the next long trip, sought out a shop, bought the cherished item, and carried it back to the homeland in triumph. Now, joy of joys, it can be Sunday night, or the start of a long holiday weekend, or the beginning of Lent or whatever, but when you suddenly know you can't live without a pattern, the instant gratification is there at your fingertips! Gosh, how I love the world of technology when it works!

Now, lest you think I'm going mad altogether and planning to make a cute little pink jacket, more appropriate for a Barbie-lookalike than an Attila-the-Hun doppelganger, the plan is (was?) to knit this up in Noro Silk Garden certainly (as the pictured one is) but to use the big stash of Noro yarn which was reclaimed from a Klaralund sweater which, although certainly delivering on the colour drama, did little in the way of structure and shape, and so was relentlessly frogged. It's a beautiful blend of blues, greens, turquoises, and will look stunning in this.

I said the plan was... because to tell the truth (as do all of us on our blogs, don't we?) having succumbed to the temptation of instant gratification and downloaded the pattern, I kind of got the taste for that instant grat (like the first heavily salted potato crisp) and began thinking how nice it would be to - well, just - just cast on, you know? Not do anything else. Not work any rows or anything. Just cast on, to see what it would look like.

And then, having cast on, I very virtuously remembered all those sage knitters who intone from their ivory towers that we must check gauge, get gauge, swatch for gauge. No matter if the world is ending, CHECK GAUGE. And for that you do need to work a few rows, right?

OK, so the Halfobi jacket is under way. Not very far, just a few rows up the arm, but it's under way.

So - she's started another project, you chortle. What a wreck, this Celtic Memory is! How many does that make?


What you DIDN'T know was -


Yes, even I got sick of myself and my ever-increasing stack of WIPs. I really lay awake at night and called myself all kinds of things. And finally I got stuck in and knitted constantly. At home, out shopping, in the kitchen, in the garden. Queuing, on the phone, walking the dog, having coffee. Yes, in bed too. (Can you knit successfully in bed? I haven't got the hang of it yet. Either you lie on your back and knit above you, or you lean uncomfortably on one elbow, or you prop yourself up... But I digress) Anyway it paid off. It took a bit of time but it paid off.

Flourish of trumpets The First:

Gazebo Lace crop cardi, front view.

Gazebo Lace crop cardi, back view.

I'm fairly pleased with this. It looks good. I could have made the sleeves a little shorter (and saved myself a few rows) but I'm sure as heck not going back and frogging from the sleeve cap. It's nice and I'll wear it. My own design, progressed from the initial edging pattern by Nicky Epstein in Knitting On The Edge.

Flourish of trumpets The Second.

The Fawkes socks are DONE! Yes, the phoenix rises triumphant from the ashes and soars aloft, glittering feathers fluttering in the breeze and magnificent beak opening in a cry of triumph. This is a superb pattern and I loved it all the way. It's a snug fit, though - to tell you the truth yet again, I could have finished these last night. I finished the first one, grafted the toe stitches and tried it on. Um. It was just that tiniest bit too snug. Could have done with a few more rows before the toe shaping. Tried to persuade myself that negative ease (the new catchphrase) was what I needed. But not that much negativity. On the second sock, reluctantly put in another four rows before toe shaping, and it was divine. Oh all right. Spent this morning painstakingly unpicking the grafting (and had I ever hidden the loose yarn end well inside the first sock...) and ripping back to the beginning of the shaping before repeating as before. But it was worth it. They are beautiful and I will wear them tomorrow with pride and my best clogs.

So that justified starting the Halfobi, don't you think? (Yes, yes, yes, I know there are other projects on the go, don't be a nag, I'm GETTING ON WITH THEM.)

Nice surprise in the post the other day. Dawn Brocco's divine book, Curvaceous Cables, arrived in a far shorter time than I could ever have believed possible. This woman has the most fiendish mind when it comes to cables and how to treat them weirdly and creatively. I can't rest until I've made all the projects in her book. Do you have it? If you do, you know what I'm on about. They are positively addictive!

And then, I was checking out Jane Thornley's blog, as I frequently do, and saw this absolutely incredible free pattern for a wrap she's designed. The things Jane can do with yarn and the way her mind envisages capturing things like leaves or trees or seaweed or rockpools in fibre - I don't know how she does it. There is no help for it, the Green Before The Gold Free Free Range Pattern has got to go on my To Do list.

(And that was before I saw the amazing Noro Ekeby vest listed in several people's Queued lists on Ravelry. Now there's a pattern...)

I don't have this particular Noro pattern book right now, and no prospect of nailing it down in the near future, but I live in hope. Actually I think this vest would look even more effective in shades of silky chenille, don't you?

An afterthought. I love, love, LOVE this idea of downloading patterns instantly and having them right there at the moment you most desire them, but isn't there a risk (as in all instant gratification) that once you've got them you might forget you have them? Downloaded designs aren't quite the same, after all, as thick paper sheets or laminated folders. They tend to get lost in one of your crammed computer files, don't they? I am reminded of this because someone somewhere mentioned Cookie A's amazing Twisted Flower Socks, and I realised that I had downloaded them almost a month ago. A whole month and I hadn't tried a new Cookie A sock pattern!

Now those are going to be a challenge! Lucky I joined the Cookie A group on Ravelry...


Anonymous said...

Oh! I should have known you had finished some projects, because apparently your startitis bug has been passed along to me (that would be me, the virtuous knitter who NEVER has more than 3 projects ongoing at one time). Sigh. The cardigan is wonderful, and the Fawkes are glorious! Of course you can knit in bed - I practically live my life in bed. You need several fluffy down pillows to prop yourself into sitting position, and knitting bags and/or huge piles of yarn on the floor by the bed, within arm's reach (I have both bags and piles, actually). Plus, a laptop so you can blog about all your in-bed knitting and occasionally hammer out a line of your dissertation. If I had a mini-fridge and a chamber pot (and if I didn't have an unending need to earn money to pay the bills and buy fiber) I would probably never leave.

Anonymous said...

I just got my Ravelry invite last night! Which means I'll now have to actually finish things. And photograph them.

Lovely FO's. And the gratification factor of the instantly downloadable pattern is quite spectacular I agree. Anne Hanson over at has some gorgeous instantly downloadable things. You should take a look. ;o)

pacalaga said...

Nice work, Jo! The socks and the cardigan are both lovely - you are completely justified in starting a new cardigan and/or wrap. After all, winter is coming and we must be prepared.
Alas, I am chugging along on my sweet little cardigan, and my hands are giving out on me. Months and months of only socks, and now worsted is doing me in, no matter that I am thrilled about my project. Alas.
And I second Rachel's recommendation for Anne's blog. If you don't read it, maybe you should stay away - you don't need another source of temptation, do you?

Amanda said...

i really like the cardi - the color, the pattern - lovely! and the fawkes socks are just fun...i need to make some...

Charity said...

Ta da, ta da! Hooray, TWO finished projects! :0)

Adrienne said...

That cardi is too cute! Your FO's look great!

Angeluna said...

Good for you, Girlfriend!!! The Gazebo Lace Cardi is smashing and the Fawkes are even better than I thought.

And my tempting you from my queue in Ravelry was only "tit for tat" since I queued one from yours. It is fun to dig around in peoples lists when they are completely unaware, isn't it.

Can't believe you have a CookieA pattern and you haven't started, but I bet you do now that Fawkes is out of the way. Just FYI, I absolutely love Bellatrix and it is going very quickly. BTW, when I download a pattern, I print it on heavy paper in the color printer, then put it in a plastic sleeve. Ta-da...instant gratification AND pretty pattern.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on those 2 finished projects, Jo!
I just *love* those red-gold Fawkes socks. And I've finished a sweater this week too. Yeah, us!!

Tell me about that HP KAL whose button you've snagged in your sidebar, eh? I'm currently in the library's queue to get the #7 audiobook, so don't leak any spoilers yet!

Kit said...

You certainly are entitled to a new project. And isn't Ravelry fun? I love sneaking through people's projects and queues to see what they have and what I could add to my own queue.

I especially love the magazine feature. I discovered new and beautiful projects I never knew I had in my collection thanks to Ravelry.

Also, did I mention that I love your cropped lace cardi? Marvelous!

Emily said...

Love the crop cardi, but love, love, love the Fawkes socks. I might have asked before, but where does one procure such yarn from one such as yourself? A good hunt 'round the ol' eBay? Or is there a direct link I might follow?
Not that I would buy anymore yarn. Especially not sock yarn.
No, not at all. I just want to look. Really. That's all. Just want to take a quick gander.
Mostly just want to take a quick gander...

Ambermoggie, a fragrant soul said...

looks good Jo all the finished items:)
Have that Noro book if you want it???
not that I'd tempt you, oh no indeed:))

Artis-Anne said...

Oh pretty lacy cardy Jo, I like it very much. I too used that edging of Nicky Epstein for a tank top I made up last year.
LOL I hear you on Ravelry and yes I too have downloaded a pattern or two , or three which are still languishing in my list to do's. I wonder how many FO's we would have if we didn't cruise the internet as much as we do ;)

LaurieM said...

Looking good Jo! Your crop cardi design is quite lovely. It's almost architectural. And your Fawkes socks are just in time for autumn color.

Two FOs and only one new thing cast on! You should congratulate yourself!

Sam said...

I absolutely LOVE the Fawkes socks! Divine! Congrats on finishing them and the beautiful cardigan.

I, too, love the ability to download patterns. When I find one, I quickly save it so I don't have to spend time later looking for it. My zest for organization (some may call it anal retentiveness) helps me keep them sorted on my hard drive. There are folders for shawls, one for scarfs, one for blankets, another for baby blankets, etc., etc., etc. I've even entered patterns from books so I can print them out and only carry a couple of pages with me instead of lugging the whole book.

Lene said...

It is just wise to cast on for new stuff when something old gets done! Then you will not end up wasting days not knowing what to knit next... (and to tell the truth, I don't count socks as ufos, they are too small... and easily and quickly ripped if they get to be a burden...)

Jocerane said...

The same happenned to me with Kauni yarn.....It's on the way from Netherland.
And Startitis being very contagious, I have a new autumn sweater on the needles, before having finished several summer tanks and cardigans....GRRRRR!!!!!

Woolly Wormhead said...

Oh yes, immediate downloads are the business! I wouldn't do it any other way... for the indie designer it saves stacks in printing costs and other overheads, and for the customer no shipping costs or waiting.

You could always print the pattern off immediately after download so it looks like paper patterns and won't get lost so easily in all your files...

I must be one of the last folk on Ravelry. Serves me right for not signing up when i first knew about it. Really frustrating, as my patterns are in there before I am!

SueJ said...

Oh yes, Ravelry is one tempting black hole! The Fawkes socks are great by the way! The internet is just one big yarn shop -was it intended for any other purpose?

Needles said...

I was really glad to read you found the needles for your black socks. I am mystified at a world that does not automatically make needles of all sizes and formats available at the same time. (It's like going back 10 years and only having software only available in Apple format or PC format but not both). Only a beginner knitter like me would make such an assumption.

Since I check out knitting things at work, its a very good thing I am avoiding Ravelry in a big way. I know the nature of my weakness, and there is only so much the boss will tolerate. Watching you, lene, and so many others knit is trouble enough for me to resist. No Ravelry yet for this chickie.

The Cropped Cardi is lovely. I love the way the yarn works with the pattern and textures you've choosen. Lovely is really too small a word.

Anonymous said...

Well done!

Your Gazebo is beautiful.

Attila-the-Hun, you? What mirror are you using?

Terrie D. (StarSpry) said...

Both FO's look great! I love the cardigan :)

Dez Crawford said...

Lovely socks and cardi!!!

You think YOU have startitis? I have five pair of socks going, a shawl for my mother for Xmas, no fewer than four adult swetaers, one baby sweater, one christmas stocking, one scarf, two hats and a "gifty" dishcloth. And those are the things in my "curent" bags. That's without even opening the gates of the UFO Cemetery.

Anonymous said...

Love, love ,love the cardi. Where can I get the pattern, or at least the base pattern?? I understand you started with the edging, but I just love the basic shape too/ Thanks Kathy

Kathy said...

Please tell me where I can get the cardi pattern , or the basic shape pattern??? I understand the edging is from a book. Its lovely Sorry if this is a repeat. Thanks Kathy