Thursday, June 29, 2006

Nothing finished, many updates

Finally took some photos of my current WIPs. Well, active WIPs. I keep coming across the Branching Out scarf I started and averting my eyes. I'll pick it up again some day.

First, the Tahki cotton "I am so making this up" sweater. It's looking great! I'm in the middle of the 2nd ball and finally feeling like it's getting somewhere. Maybe 3.5"? The K2P2 rib is slow going and periodically I mess up and K a P or P a K, which astounds me--can't one get a rhythm going with K2P2? The color is a true French blue (the photo looks more like a medium blue to me).

Next, the L!on Brands "Copper Penny" trellis yarn shawl. I thought this would go like lightning! I am not even making clear damage to the first ball of 3. I still love the colors and still wonder if I would wear this (it is not soft and I am all about the softness). The colors are very coppery/autumn. I don't think I captured that.

And then comes the childHood sweater, on which I'd love to get started on the hood... but I messed up the right-hand button band. I counted repeats on the left and tried to match it on the right... but I miscounted--AND cut the yarn! I'll have to rip it all out and start over. I hope I have enough yarn. I hope, I hope. The right-hand band seems just fine.

Finally, the Shrapnel Socks. It's actually going well (pausing to knock on wood) and I have maybe 1.5" left before ribbing. For such tiny needles and yarn, it does go pretty quickly, especially if your dental hygienist is running behind!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Good start on blue sweater

I took the Tahki blue cotton sweater to SF Pride yesterday and knit on BART and while we were waiting to march, and after. I have 2.5" done and finished the first ball! It is very slow to knit (k2p2 rib for 8") but I still love this yarn and the drape seems quite nice. (photo to come soon)

I did one of the front bands on Graham's childHood sweater and slip-stitched it on. Did the other one, thought I'd matched the first, but... cwap. It is shorter and I snipped the yarn already. Ugh. I'll have to rip it completely out and start over. I did have to do the yarns differently for the right-hand lapel band, as the direction of the garter stitch means I have to swap yarns at its outside edge, rather than the inside edge that the left-hand one had. I decided to follow this method:

At each new row, twist the new color with the previous color and knit the first stitch. *Then* wrap the new yarn around the other 4 yarns behind the work and continue to knit the row and its following row with the new yarn.

This way, the bundle of carried-up yarns is behind the edge rather than at the edge. I didn't wrap the just-previous yarn because it is right below the current row and, I think, doesn't require it.

I can't wait to be done with the bands (and not just because I hate slip-stitching!) and start on the hood. I just hope with all this ripping that I'll have enough for the (multi-striped) hood. My calculations said I'd have plenty. Well, nervousness helped the Leaf Lace Shawl!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Blocking again

I blocked Graham's childHood sweater last night. I'd forgotten how hard blocking can be. Blocking the Leaf Lace Shawl was hard, just because it was hard to line up things straight (and with right angles, as for that center stripe) and stretch it out evenly.

But blocking something to measurements? Shew, even harder. Some pieces were slightly too small. No problem; stretch 'em a bit. Several dimensions were too big. Huh? Too big? I measured while knitting! But they must have gotten stretched while I washed and squoze them. Argh. So I crept my hands across them to bring in the width to reasonable size. I gave up on the sleeves and hope they're not too long on him. On the rest, I persevered.

Thankfully, we're having good blocking weather. It's supposed to be almost 90F/32C today.

Got some more rows done on the huge needle/crap-yarn-source shawl. I still love it but feel... dirty when I knit on it. Ha, I'm such a snob!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Yep, another new project

I'm 1cm up the leg of the second Shrapnel Sock (so named because these socks have been through the war) and quite pleased. I think they'll (knock wood!) turn out.

And... started a new project. I nearly picked up Birch, but since the Leaf Lace Shawl is fresh off the blocking couch, I couldn't ponder casting on 299 stitches just yet. I put it back in the yarn-stash box and pulled out my 3 balls of Lion Br*nd ladder yarn in Copper Penny. Still love this colorway. It comes with a shawl pattern on the back of the label (CO 3 sts, K across, then Kf&b, K to last st, Kf&b; repeat last row till you're done). I had bought the size 19 circulars at Websters in Ashland (INOX brand; not bad!).

I was afraid I would hate this yarn once I started knitting with it; not so! I still adore it. I knit some rows this morning. The only odd thing is that the yarn pulls from the outside of the ball. I'm used to center-pull balls. I know better than to wind it on the ball winder; non-stretchy yarn just slumps and makes a huge mess. I'll keep yanking it as I knit. Eee!

I'll be blocking childHood tonight or tomorrow night.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Knitters CAN knit bone!

Very cool news from the knitting world. All those of us who knit and sent our knitterly vibes to Mr. Etherknitter have done it.

He is producing bone at the three appropriate places. Woo hoo!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Half-turned heel

I took the sock with my on my noonday walk-for-exercise. Knitting while walking rocks. I loved getting fresh air, sunshine, and exercise, and getting the heel half-turned.

That's right, my friends: I half-turned the heel already. Woo hoo!

May I have a word?

From Rabbitch's blog, so of course it belongs in my knitting blog.

She writes, "Almost afraid to do this one, here. " I'm definitely afraid.

Please leave a one-word comment that you think best describes me — it can only be one word long. Then copy and paste this into your blog so that I may leave a word about you.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Going great guns

Got the Leaf Lace Shawl blocked. It is beautiful... but kind of itchy. I'm going to try freezing it, as one person suggested, and then (ugh) I'll wet it and put instant hair conditioner on it and see if that does the trick. Freaking mohair. Who knew it was itchy? I didn't. (Photo was taken blind by holding the camera up high)

Anyway, so since I blocked it but am too wimpy to go ahead and weave the ends in, I moved on to other projects. Today, I finished the right front of childHood. Now I need to block the pieces before doing the 3-needle bindoff on the shoulders and picking up stitches for the hood.

Also ripped back my mom's 2nd sock to before the heel shaping. I got more knit of the foot and I think I'm ready to redo the heel (and I'm remembering that the heel only took me one day, or rather, one visit to the zoo, so I'm hoping it'll be as quick). Then an inch or so of st st and some ribbing, and Bob's your uncle. (well, he is mine; isn't he yours, as well?)

And I haven't started Birch yet. Quite proud of myself for holding back. Ha!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I'm finally getting it

I have a $121 pending order at I keep thinking, "but this is madness! I don't even have plans for some of that yarn!" But they are gorgeous yarns and good prices and I do think I'll use every scrap.

And I'm starting to get, really get, why folks have good-sized stashes. Because once you start accumulating good yarn, man!, it must be fantastic just to look over your cache of really nice yarn and think of the possibilities and really feel... lucky.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Like I need another complex project

But this Wee Fair Isle project sounds compelling (as a hat), and Knit Picks' FI yarn is sooo inexpensive...

Monday, June 12, 2006

Two FOs

Here is the finished scarf for the teacher. I figured it can be wrapped around one's neck as many times as the weather dictates.

Here is a close-up of the pattern. I'm very pleased.

And... ta-dah! The Leaf Lace Shawl is ready to be blocked. Remember
this? Well, check out the end trailing around the side of the LL Shawl. That's all that is left. Talk about exciting...!

A close-up on that gorgeous pattern. Can't wait to have it blocked!

Nearly done with Leaf Lace Shawl

I'm on row 14 of 16 of the edging--the 16th row is actually the bind-off row. I am loving this pattern! Easy to follow, well written... I can't wait to see it blocked.

I blocked Graham's teacher's angora scarf last weekend. Graham picked it up and put it around his neck, pulling slightly on the ends... and it all curled up again. *steam pouring out my ears* So frustrating. I'll flatten it with my hands and wrap it and present it. It does look nice and airy.

I told my friend that I wanted to make a ministry stole for her. We talked about it and decided on chasuble instead, out of a sage green non-insulating yarn (linen or cotton or bamboo or hemp). I knew if I just made her something and presented it that it would not be what she wanted. Now, to find a pattern!

No new work on the sock. Am considering pulling out the heel, no matter how much it pains me. sigh.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Oh, rats!

I was going to post about the great progress I've made lately (OK, I will below), but I just read the blog for my LYS and she's considering selling the shop! It's the best shop in town. Agh! I'm really sad. Bother.


OK, so I'm nearly done with sock #2 for my mom. And... I'm afraid it's not right. My first clue was that the stripes, which were off from the other sock by a smidge in the foot, line up perfectly for the calf. I put it on last night and it felt... snug. On my feet. Which are smaller (but wider) than Mom's. I can't take it any more. Maybe I can block them the same. Oy!

I still have 1 repeat to go on the Leaf Lace Shawl, then the border, then the blocking (still thinking of using my hide-a-bed for that).

I need to locate my camera so I can take photos of the nearly FOs above and the red scarf for the teacher. I want to get it blocked this week so I'm not hurrying (or anxiously waiting for it to dry) next week.

Finally, true to form, I started another project. I've been feeling quite upset about another yarn shop selling me the Waikiki yarn to use for the Leaf Lace Shawl, which would most likely have been an absolutely horrible choice--lots of work for very little lace showing. I poked around in Yarndex, which, bless them, has a keyword "slubby," and found that Waikiki is nearly identical to Cherry Tree Hill Yarn's Ariel. And Googled, and found that there is an Ariel project in Lavish Lace--which I own! So I started it. We'll see how it goes. It looks like kind of a boring shawl but maybe with the gorgeous Waikiki, all will be well. I kinda wish I had more options! All of the patterns I like on the Crystal Palace Yarns website use two yarns together. I don't want to lessen the beautiful colors in the Waikiki at all. And, despite all my other feelings, I still adore this yarn. It is odd to have wound it into a ball and then to have it slump. It has none of the clinginess nor springiness of wool. I'm thinking most cotton yarn would be the same. I rewound a ribbon yarn and had the same problem--if you don't keep a constant tension, it just slumps off the ball!

Tip: I've been using old onion net bags for balls of yarn. They keep the ball from slumping, the yarn from catching on other things, and seem to keep it cleaner, too. And as you near the end of a ball, it doesn't go flying as much. I love this trick and wonder where I got it from.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Phew, an FO

I sat at my computer, watching an episode of Lost that I'd missed, and finished the teacher's scarf. It's about 2" wide and 2 yards long (5 x 183 cm for you sensible metric folks). I expect it to widen and shorten when I block it. I finally got into the rhythm of the pattern by making a piece of paper that says "K1 K3" on one side and "K2 yo" on the other, and flipping it after I did that part of the design. Dharma said she memorized it easily, but somehow, my brain forgets what I just did quite quickly with this one.

I'm going to do a bit on mom's 2nd sock now... two FOs in quick succession would be nice!

Update: I've turned the heel! Yeah!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Um, more WIPs

So I've done a teeny bit more on mom's 2nd sock, a little more on Graham's sweater, and am on the last repeat (I think) of the Leaf Lace Shawl, which leaves the edging to be done (and then blocking), and...

I started something else. Graham's teacher really likes red, and I made her a shrug (the One Skein Wonder) last Xmas, but it was too small for her. I had some wonderful 100% angora in a bright red from Dharma's inherited stash and decided I wanted to make a small scarf from it. There were about 48 ounces of it. I started with using the angora for 2 rows and a red mohair I had for 2 rows, etc., but it just wasn't soft! I asked the KnitList and they recommended stranding it with a red merino wool for strength. I went to Websters while I was in Ashland, and instead of selling me wool, she pulled hard on the yarn (ack!) and told me it was plenty strong by itself and just to knit an open pattern with it. I tried the Airy Scarf pattern stitch from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, but it just didn't work for a worsted-weight yarn.

So I went back to our beloved Knotted Openwork Scarf pattern from the CKDA and used the pattern over 9 stitches, and it really looks very nice. (Thanks again, Dharma, for finding this great pattern!)

Now to finish by June 15...!

(do I have to admit that I found an unfinished scarf for my niece in my stash, if she said she doesn't want it any more?)