Thursday, August 31, 2006

Birch 1, Me 0

Birch has won this round. I got to the end of row 4 and instead of 6 stitches left, I had 1. I give up. I'll frog that and re-cast-on with stitch markers every 10 stitches, since the pattern is over 10 stitches. (and am eyeing Kiri as an alternative...)

I've also decided to frog my other KSH project, Branching Out. I just kept making mistakes and getting paranoid, so I'll use that beige color in something else, maybe stranded along with another yarn. I've restarted Branching Out in my Misti Alpaca sportweight in a beautiful aubergine. (No printed gauge on the label! Little Knits says it's 6 sts/in, so it should be fine for this pattern.)

Am slogging away on the blue Tahki cotton sweater, checking rows off on my clipboard. I think I need to frog down to one decrease, though, as I did it in reverse (the k3tog first rather than last; what was I thinking?). I'll get to the V-neck shaping soon!

Am also slogging away at the Redwood Forest socks. I'm on row 18 of the 20 rows of k2p1 ribbing. I hope the 10-row pattern can be clearly charted so this can continue to be a very portable project (unlike the blue sweater).

And finally--am nearing the end with childHood! Finished the 10" of the hood last night. Just need to try it on the Child With The Significant Cranium to make sure it will fit him before I do the 3-needle bindoff. I've heard the hood is absurdly large so we might be just fine. Then I'll have to sew the sleeves on and seam them and the sides, sew on the buttons and snaps, and be DONE.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Shoots and Ladders afghan

I'm now leaning toward making this afghan out of Plymouth Encore. I'm feeling a need to jot down the particulars:

Shoots and Ladders out of Plymouth Encore

Fitted cardigan pattern

How cute is this cardi? And how hot would I look in it?

A: Very cute, and very hot.

Not a lot of news

Once I get my home computer back to where it was, I'll post some photos of updates. Until then, I'll just have to describe things.

Birch: still scaring me, I guess. Still on row 2. (or maybe 3.)

childHood: still about 1/2 way up the hood. The end is in sight! I may decrease a few stitches in the middle so that it doesn't have a silly point when I 3-needle-bind-off the top.

blue Tahki cotton sweater: looks good. I'm about up to the v-neck shaping, which occurs front and back. I have to keep track of my rows on a sheet of binder paper, checking off rows as I do them. I still like the look of it.

And, of course, I have to start a new project, oy! A friend really likes penguins, and I have some Red Heart handy, so I started Pasha. It's going to be kind of big! Not sure I'm up to miniaturizing it, though, so I'll probably just go for the 8" size. Fun to be working on something small, though. I hope she likes it! (it's s surprise)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Finally, someone who went before me

I have barely mentioned the cone of thousands of yards of cashmere laceweight yarnthread I bought off eBay.

Well, someone knit an absolutely lovely stole with the green shade of it!

Ooh, I want. See how quickly she knit it, too? wow

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Rules for two socks on two circulars

As I've knit this second pair of two socks on two circulars, I've come up with some rules to keep me sane.

Rule #1. Don't panic. If you think you're making a mistake (like knitting 3 of the 4 sides onto one circular), you probably aren't. Take a breath, look at it carefully, or look away for a minute. It's probably just fine.

Rule #2. As I said before, you change needles or yarn, but not both. So when you get to the point where both circulars are straight (instead of one curled into a C), you're just changing needles but continuing with the same yarn. If one needle is curled into a C, you're changing yarn but continuing with the same set of needles.

Rule #3. Give a tug. When you change needles, tug on the needle with the stitches you're about to knit. If you don't feel a pull on the needle in your other hand, you have probably picked up the wrong needle. Follow the cable around and pick up the right one.

Rule #4. If you have to count rows (e.g. 20 rounds of K2P1 ribbing), you'll probably want to use an unattached stitch counter (e.g. kacha kacha) or put one in the middle of one sock. If you put one between the two socks, you'll probably drop it off the needles. (voice of experience)

Rule #5. Bask in the knowledge that when you're done, you're done. Begone, second sock syndrome!

This is a good thing.

Just realized that all of my active projects are in states where they're fun to work on. Which is really very cool. The socks are coming along nicely and I'm not messing up the 2-socks-on-two-needles thing quite yet. Birch is looking really lovely even though I'm only on row 3. The blue cotton sweater is still lovely to look at and I think I've figured out all of the decreases I'm supposed to be doing (all charted out on paper finally so I can keep track). I haven't worked on childHood in a while, but am halfway up the hood and it's at a fast and easy place.

How lucky is that?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Want to note this down

You never see the moebius cast-on written down. I'd like to make something like this some day.,2025,DIY_14142_4894528,00.html

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Birch is...

a b!tch. After ripping out the long-tail cast on, I redid it with the knitted cast-on (a.k.a. lace cast-on). Which is really pretty cool; no wondering if you're going to waste several feet or be short, as is the case with the long-tail cast-on. And it goes pretty quickly, even though it's 299 stitches.

So I knit all of row 1 and part of row 2... and then wondered, Why the heck are these needles so small? Looked at the pattern again. It says

5 mm (no 6) (US 8) needles

which was why I was using size 6 needles. See my error? WTF is up with that "no 6" size? I'm guessing it's a UK size. ARGH!

So, I ripped out till my seam ripper, which I was using the back of to rip out the snags of KSH, somehow cut the yarn. sigh.

Then I started yet again with the knitted cast-on, on my Clover size 8 circulars. New problem: they are too blunt. They don't stab the yarn well. And they're a little short (maybe 24"?). So now I'm thinking I want to buy another set of circulars to knit Birch with. She is becoming a spendy project, beyond the 4 balls I already bought of KSH. I think I'll still want bamboo, as they hold the stitches well. What other choices do I have? Crystal Palace, whose circulars are so splitty that my LYS doesn't stock them? Addi Natura? I dunno.

But I'm getting very good at the knitted cast-on.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Back on the horse

Sat down with Birch, my quad-ruled little notebook, and Marianne Kinzel's lace knitting book last night. Charted all 8 rows of Birch and--ta da!--finished the first row. I'm sure I made mistakes (ended up with one extra stitch), but am hopeful that I'll spot them as I purl back.

I'd seriously forgotten how lovely it is to knit with Cracksilk Haze. It is fabulous and I still/again love this color (smoke).

I also found someone else who did the wrong cast-on, like I did!

reading further... Oh crud, she frogged and redid the cast-on! Well, live and learn.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Getting something done.

I don't know why, but I am experiencing a heck of a lot of aversion to some of my knitting projects lately. I continue to feel nervous about Birch and haven't done a lick of work on her. I put down the Hempathy stole for my friend. I am doing some work on childHood (halfway up the hood), but not a lot.

I did, though, finish swatching for the socks, and have cast on, and am knitting. This included a trip to the LYS for new needles, though. The Boye circulars I was using are just awful. One of the two ends is really very sharp, in each one, and they are just unpleasant to work with. I may try to sell them on eBay.

I replaced them with Susan Bates Quicksilver circulars. They do have a long needle, making the cord on the short side, but the stitches slide really nicely on them. (I did end up with size 1s. I wish the size 3s had worked out. Too bad.)

I got the socks cast on and appropriately on the needles. Found a trick there: since I cast on tightly (and these socks are toe-down), I cast on on my size 3 circulars and that made it very easy to transfer the stitches to the size 1 circulars appropriately. Much easier than casting on on the actual needles you're going to use. And I continued to use my mantra of 2 socks on 2 circulars: "You either switch needles or yarn. Never both."

We'll see how stripey the yarn works out to be--or how tight the cast-on is in the end, on my significant calves. I'm glad to have a pair of socks in the works, though.

Oh, and I tried the blue Tahki cotton top on--and it fits! Well!

Maybe someday, I'll pick up Birch again.

But for now, the LYS trip yielded two Fair Isle books and 4 balls of FI yarn...

Friday, August 04, 2006

Finally did it.

I ordered the Herrschner's afghan catalog that I've been thinking of ordering ever since Grumperina noticed one of the afghans as being not awful. I really like that one, and the green/white winter one as well.

And while I was there, got some sale yarn and some cardmaking stuff I need.

Oy, my poor credit card!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Scary knitting.

Updates on all projects:
Ribbed blue Tahki cotton sweater. This is the one whose V@gue Knitting pattern I'm modifying immensely. Instead of knitting parts, I'm knitting it in the round. Instead of a long, ugly, holey peplum, I'm starting it at the waist. Instead of long, ugly, holey sleeves, I'm putting in short sleeves, whose length, I suspect, will be limited by the amount of yarn left over when I'm done with the body.

OK, so chopping off the peplum was a no-brainer. I took the # of stitches that you should end up with as you start the body ribbing and started with that. I added a smidge to the length (oh God, did I? I think I did). I stole all my stitch markers from it for Birch, then added a couple back so I could have two differentiated sections of Front and Back. I cast off 8 stitches for arm holes and started the different decreases for front darts and a narrower back.

Let me tell you, this is hard. This is not for wimps. I have read and written and read and written and I still made the mistake of starting the V-neck shaping even with the armholes, rather than 3.5" above it (easy to correct, but heart attack material).

So, lately? I've been ignoring this one.

OK, just about the same as last time. OK, exactly the same.

I am knitting a circular swatch. The size 3 needles produced way too big a stitch size, the size 2's, too big, so I'm now swatching with size 1s. I just realized that one of the size 1's has an incredibly sharp point on one side. I'm going to try to exchange it. And, big surprise, I hate the Boye needles. Hate, hate, hate them. I'm using the Susan Bates Quicksilver needles on the Tahki sweater and may go to the LYS and buy some size 1's there. Um, I wonder if she has them in size 1.

Anyway, the yarn is producing an interesting striping effect--one stripe in shades of reddish brown and one in deep forest greens. It's not jarring but really quite lovely. And the yarn is fab. I think I'll like these socks. If I ever get to START them, that is!

Did some more work on the hood of this sweater last night. I'd put it down when we had our really hot weather. It's coming along great! I have maybe 5" of the 10.5" done already. Nice to have an easy knit.