Monday, December 31, 2007

Socks! And not slow!

I'm knitting some basic socks for my son in some really cute self-striping Regia yarn (scroll down to "Paris" and imagine if the stripes were deeper). Self-striping is still such a treat for me: "Ooh! What's coming next? A blue stripe!" Yes, it doesn't take much, and I wasn't even liquored up at the time. (or is that correctly spelled 'likkered'?)

I started them, hm, Thursday? And finished the first sock in like 2 days. Turned the heel on the 2nd one this morning. Whee! It is so nice to have the end neatly in sight.

This is not to say that I haven't knitted on other projects or started still others. I cast on for a hot pad mitt for Mom in some gorgeous Taos in the Mesa colorway. Simple garter-stitch rectangle on size 11 Daisy needles, which are so light and plasticky that it thrills me in a very non-serious way. "Look! I'm knitting garter stitch on huge clunky light-blue needles!"

Not a lot of progress on other fronts. It did take me a while to realize that the felted clogs I've started take a lot of concentration in the "Don't TALK to me; I'm counting" sort of way. I guess I haven't knit something like that in a while. I've finally taken to blocking off everything but the line I'm on (or the first half of it) with post-its. I do love the yarn still, though. Yummy. (Color 9926: deep red with black. Kind of hellish. Fabulous.)

Hm, I think that's it. Am hoping to finish the socks today. G has insisted that he will not wear the first sock until the second one is done, because he would hate to lose it. He is so funny. This will be my first complete pair of sock for him. I'm really glad he is so excited about them.

Almost as glad as I am that they are so freakin' quick to knit.

Friday, December 28, 2007


I knit my sister a Palindrome scarf for Christmas, out of very soft "superfine merino" di.Ve' Zenith wool in a soft lime green color. She opened it up, put it on, and didn't take it off till bedtime (if then--I didn't check). *Wow*.

Made my mom a pair of socks out of my hand-dyed yarn. She said all the right things and tried them on then and there. The toes are clearly too long, but after offering to pull them out and re-do them three times, I gave up.

Made my dad a reversible hat in Cal colors. He didn't mention it, so I don't know if he'll wear it. If he does, I think it'll be very warm, which is good, because it gets pretty cold out where they are.

And for my stepmother, stranded mittens, extra long for her long fingers. She hasn't received them yet, as my sister will wrap them and bring them along for their late Christmas with the kids, Sunday, I think. I said to my sister to tell my stepmom that if she won't wear them, feel free to pass them on to someone who will--that I'd rather they get worn than not. She was shocked--"I'll take them! Or you should take them back!" (shrug) They were fun to make and at this point, I'm OK with someone outside the family getting them, if she will wear them.

In any case, it was so gratifying to see my sister ("Don't make me anything; I don't like handmade stuff") really like her scarf. And then she saw some of my handmade cards and liked them so much, she wants a tag punch box like I have... wow!

I'm still reeling a bit from this, but it is nice to have these things recognized. I really do enjoy the artistic outlet in the knitting and the cardmaking.

(But I do have to fight not to say I told you so. Or something.)

Monday, December 03, 2007

What am I, the anti-Grumperina?

A while ago, Grumperina declared, in front of God 'n' everybody, that she was no. longer. interested. in knitting sweaters. They displeased her in many ways, and despite being a capable and creative knitter, she is done with them. She will stick to socks and scarves and shawls, I believe she declared.

I have recently realized that I am just not very good at knitting socks. Or I have bad luck. Or something. In any case, I can knit sweaters, scarves, shawls, and stoles, but socks stymie me just way too damned often.

Not that I'm giving up, mind you. But I do feel rather severe declaring to the world that I Am Not A Good Sock Knitter.

Fortunately, this sentiment is outweighed by my yearning for a drawer full of handknit socks.

Maybe I can get my sister hooked on knitting socks...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Anemoi Mitts are DONE.

I'll likely post a finished pic at some point, but for now, I'm just heaving a sigh of relief. From my notes, I had the new cuff ready to be grafted on about Nov 7. As I finished last night, that shows how much I was dreading it. And it was a PITA... ripping upward, and picking stitches up when the row was a K1sl1 row, is unbelievably frustrating. I finally decided to go for it, even though I had stitches that actually crossed each other (shaking head). It ended up looking odd, but you know what? I'm done. And she may never notice the extraneous purl-looking rows just above the start of the cuff (did I graft it on flipped?). I'll notice, but hell, the colorwork still looks divine to me.

This is one of the last Christmas presents to make, and it's only December 2, so overall, I'm pretty happy. Plus, Dad stopped by yesterday, in town for Big Game (boo hoo), and I shipped lots of the presents off with him. I have one more for each of my nephew and niece, these mittens, and I think that's it. (Well, except for Mom's socks, on which I have 6.5" done--phew!--and I don't know if I'll be shipping it, as she hasn't decided whether she's coming down here for Christmas.)

Heaving a sign of relief... and getting back to Charade to power on down to the heel...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Hello Frogpond, My Old Friend

I've come to rip with you again...

Yep, 72 stitches = too big now. sigh Perhaps this is why I so rarely attempt socks? (I mean, who swatches sock yarn?)

The pattern calls for 64, so by God, I'm doing 64. See you at the shoreline.

ribbet ribbet rippit rippit

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Moving right along

So now I have two items done (but could stand to be washed and blocked), one so close to done (replacing the cast-on for the Anemoi Mittens was not nearly as easy as I had thought), and one with a good start. Well, it was a good start, until my son pointed out that the Charade socks for mom out of my hand-dyed yarn were rather small. My swatch came out to 6 sts/in; my sock is 7.5 sts/in. Ah, me. Frogpond city. Oh, well, I only have about 3" done of them, I'm happy with the pattern (Nancy Bush's "On Your Toes Socks" generic toe-up sock pattern from IK Summer 2007 as a basis, and Charade for interest), and I'm VERY happy with how my yarn looks knat up.

So I'll frog and restart and be even better at it (that cast-on is a bitch). I'm feeling very good about everything (oh, and I finished G's Y-Kids teacher's black fluffy scarf, too!).

Phew. Maybe I'll even pick up Clapotis again.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Steaming ahead

The four main Christmas gifts I've selected are

* A Palindrome scarf for my sister in di.Vé Zenith (in 43394)
* A wide/narrow striped reversible stocking cap for my dad (Cal colors, of course) in Elann "Sock It To Me" Essential sock yarn (no longer available)
* Anemoi mittens in Hyacinth and Ash Knitpicks Palette yarn for my stepmom
* Socks (pattern TBD, maybe Charade) for my mom in the darker hand-dyed sock yarn I did at KnitCamp in April

I'm so happy to write that the first 2 are done, and the third is mere rows from being finished. I have decided that I hate the cast-on of the first mitten and am going to snip a thread (gasp!) and graft on a better start (just the first 6 rows) done on size 2s instead of 0s. (I can barely pull it on, and she has larger hands than I do!) But they are really lovely.

I wound out the yarn for Mom's socks, by weight, and snipped the yarn at 50 g of the 100g skein. Then, out of curiousity, weighed the other ball: sigh 57 grams. Argh. Oh, well, I'll have a little left over.

I'm also considering making a Teddy for G, but he's not terribly decisive these days... we'll see. Also, his is the only gift I don't need to ship. It will be interesting working on a secret project with him around, though. Although if I can continue to stick to his 8:30 bedtime, I'll have a full 1.5 hrs each night to work privately. Aah, private 'me' time. Loving it.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

KIPing brings such odd bedfellows

I have been knitting while walking to/from my kid's school, mostly on Palindrome for my sister. Folks have the funniest comments.

One guy, leaving the school with my son's classmate, says to her, "Hey, she can teach you to knit, honey!" Truth is, I'd actually be happy to, but where are we supposed to do this thing? Plopped down on the blacktop, one day when we run into each other after school and both have time? Chances are slim...

And then today, a woman and her friend, who have commented on the scarf before, commented yet again, and one says, "Maybe tomorrow I bring [sic] yarn and needles and you show me!" And at first I thought, I'll just print out the pattern; that'll be easier. Then I realize that with the language barrier, it might just be easier to show her. Anyone know how to say "cable" in Chinese? K2P2 should be easy enough to communicate.

I'm getting a lot done and haven't yet been hit by a car, so that's good.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The other group of muggles

There is the one group of muggles that sees knitting and things "ho hum."

Then there is the other group that sees a k2p2 ribbed scarf and thinks you're discovering plutonium. It is a member of this group that saw me knitting on Palindrome last week and actually thought my row counter incremented by itself.

This is not the first time I've heard this. How would that work, anyway? Would it increment when you flipped that needle around to knit the other way? When you tapped it on a surface, kind of like one of those handheld stroke counters for golf?

When I then show the questioner how I rotate one side of the counter with my fingers, they are much less impressed. But still thinking that k2p2 is rocket science. And cables? Oh, man. That must be for very advanced knitters.

I frown at them. Learn to knit, people!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Look, a shiny thing!

Yep, I have another WIP. Ravelry has my WIP count as just 7, which is pretty reasonable for me. Well, anyway...

A sweet-talker at my church managed to get me to commit to making at least one knitted item for our upcoming Silent Auction at the annual Hometown Halloween bash. (She is very good.) Thankfully, the one I chose is super quick; I started yesterday and am on the third and final ball already. It's a simple garter-stitch shawl out of a ribbon yarn I picked up at KnitCamp 4/07 from the 'free' pile. It has very pretty colors, which was what first drew me to it, but it doesn't light my fire enough to keep it for me. What I didn't realize at the time is how very soft it is. I hope it will be chosen as a lovely, soft shawl by someone at the auction.

I also took out some other ribbon yarn I had marinating in the stash, as well as a ladder yarn and a viscose blend that is lovely. Maybe I'll make 1 or 2 more things and then get back to my Christmas knitting.

In other news: I bought buttons for Bristow! I looked at quite a few at my local Beverly's, and G offered his opinions, and we settled on a set of green buttons that really match the yarn beautifully. I had been sure I'd end up with gold or antiqued gold buttons, but none of them worked well. Quite a few overshadowed the lovely patterning in the sweater. And the green is such an amazing match. I laid the buttons out yesterday to mark the buttonholes and started picking up and knitting the stitches for the buttonhole band. Then I'll have the neckband to do, and c'est fini!

I took a photo, but not of me wearing it:

I also got a photo of the Anemoi mittens I'm making for my stepmom. I'm on row 26 and still really enjoying it.

Anemoi mitten back
Originally uploaded by RenaissanceWomn

Anemoi mitten palm
Originally uploaded by RenaissanceWomn

Finally, I'm on the 2nd ball of 4 of the Palindrome scarf for my sister. I'm finally humming along on this one. (No pic update yet.)

Good thing I knit! I spent nearly an hour at the police station getting fingerprinted today. (Story at 11.)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Hoping not to jinx things

but I'm on row 16 of Anemoi and it's going (deep breath) well.

Pix soon, I swear!

The mitten seems big, but then I put it on, and it's fine on my hand. I hope my stepmom likes the colors. Realized today that they're really *my* colors. But I never did figure out what her colors are.... They are lovely, in any case. I really like the palm and the thumb. Never knew I was so drawn to regular pattern. It would be boring if there weren't a patterned back, but it really is fun in any case.

Am hoping to get my heinie to Britex tomorrow to buy buttons.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Part V

My charted chart was fine. I am stupid. And am ripping out rows 5-8 for, what, the fifth time?

Anemoi Smackdown, Part IV

After finishing row 10 of the chart last night, I compared the pattern side to the chart. Hm, couldn't make them match. Finally decided I was comparing light to dark and vice versa. Yeah, that's the ticket.

No, it's not. I had decided that I'd charted the chart backwards, and thus must knit from right-to-left...

and had knit the entire back of the mitten mirrored from what it should have been.

Somebody pass me a beer.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The path to Anemoi

Ready to cast on, all needles stacked up, look at pattern... get up. Go to computer. Look up "tubular cast-on." Get confused, because the online directions talk about knitting the stitches, joining them up with the provisional stitches, and continuing on... and the pattern talks about knitting it 'flat.' Hm. Try it on. It's a little tight. Decide to go forward.

Join MC and knit rows 1 and 2 of Corrugated Ribbing. Hey, not so bad. Repeat 11 times, on my way to 17; realize the cuff is rather long already. Reread directions; was supposed to repeat ROW 2 ONLY for the 17 times. Crud. Rip back.

Knit the 11 rows, then start the chart. Knit up to row 5, and find there are too many stitches. Read pattern: I was supposed to be doing fancy stuff during rows 1-4. Crud. Rip back.

Take a break, and chart the chart. Realize partway through the first row that using a black pen and a blue pen isn't going to cut it: they kinda look the same. Get out pink highlighter. Highlight every other number of stitches. Realize (duh) that I can highlight all the way up the page; every other column will be the MC stitches anyway! Get up to row 24; run out of room.

Realize that all of my charted chart rows start at the left, whereas I'll be knitting them from the right. Oh, well, they're still readable. Realize I'll be knitting the palm at the same time as the back of the hand; oh, well, it's much simpler; maybe I don't need to chart it. (famous last words)

Re-start knitting, according to charted chart. Works well. Get to Row 5, and there is an extra MC stitch. Put knitting down, turn off lights, go to sleep. Email Eunny in the morning.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Nearly there!

I packed up the pieces to Bristow for the camping trip last weekend, thinking that seaming a sweater around the campfire sounded fun. Well, it was! I really zoomed along, and got all the pieces seamed together. And at a knitting meetup at the Alameda library, I got the button band stitches all picked up, and three rows done of it! Boy, picking up stitches takes me like five times as long as actually knitting, even in seed stitch. I finished the button band last night. Can't believe how close I'm getting! Next, I need to pick out the buttons and decide how many buttonholes I'll need. Then, the collar, and I can wear it! Cool that it's coinciding with cooler weather.

I also got several more inches done on my sister's Palindrome scarf (which I know Rabbitch is going to finish before me, and I'll have to drive all the way to B.C. just to kill her), and just started the chart for the right Anemoi mitten. I had honestly forgotten how much I love doing charted knitting! And I'm still loving the colors. So pretty together.


P.S. The Alameda library meetup will be at least monthly, on a Sunday afternoon, about 3-5PM.

Monday, September 24, 2007

More fun that should be legal

I scoured two net bags of the fleece tonight. Oh, man, that was fun. I ended up washing it in Orvus detergent three times till I remembered Mom saying to wash it once and rinse it a bunch of times. I had washed, extracted it in the washer, and repeated twice before I decided to rinse 3-4 times and then finally extract the water in the washer.

It is an amazingly different color. The unwashed fleece is actually orange. The washed fleece is the loveliest soft white. But chock-full of bugs. I think I need to skirt it better next time.

Eee! Can't wait to see what it's like tomorrow!

My sister complimented my knitting

This is huge. This is my sister who keeps saying, "You know, you can buy socks in the store" and is amazed that anyone would buy yarn to knit. Yes, that sister. She looked at Bristow drying on the couch and said it looked beautiful. Then, after I'd unpinned all the pieces, she draped them all on me and we were both very pleased. It really looks great. I was worried I'd shortened the pieces too much, but they are exactly where they need to be. Not cropped, but right at 1" below my waist. Maybe I'll get it seamed this week.

She also liked the divé Zenith yarn I chose to knit her scarf in. I already screwed it up--decided I'd done the row count wrong and needed to cable that very row and then, once I'd ripped back, cabled, and looked at it, decided I had been right the first time: I really am on row 3. Argh.

I have also chosen sanity and am not making the cardigan for my mother for Christmas. I'll make her socks with my hand-dyed yarn from Knit Camp and work on the cardigan pattern at my leisure. Phew.

Oh, and I screwed up the Anemoi Mittens like four times now. Am re-doing the currogated ribbing yet again and am hopeful I finally read the directions right this time (I had done row 1 and 2 and then repeated both 17 times, whereas one is mean to repeat merely row 2 17 times. No wonder that ribbed cuff was looking deep after 11 repeats. Oy.)

Onward and upward!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The stink of wet wool

I finally got off my sizeable ass and blocked Bristow today. It honestly didn't take that long, but I was thinking the whole time, "Yep, I would pay someone to do this for me. I hate this!" I also used the Harlot's idea of putting an oscillating fan on while the pieces dry--they are almost dry already! And they were sopping. So much so that they stretched out while I was laying them down. Had to scrunch several pieces back into shape. I can't wait to get that out of my list of UFOs.

I started the Anemoi mittens for my stepmom night-before-last. Had to learn the tubular cast-on, which is pretty damned spiffy, really! Very stretchy but I'm mjassively concerned about my gauge. Stepmom has not-insignificant hands. I'm using Palette again, this time with Ash and Lilac. Am again enjoying knitting with this lovely, lightweight, wooly yarn.

I have maybe 5" done on Palindrome in dive Zenith in a celery green for my sister. I will probably show it to her tomorrow and see if she likes it, as she is choosy, but the hat & scarf I knit to order for her last spring were very pleasing to us both. The yarn is super soft (merino) but Soooo splitty.

Am still swatching for the sweater for Mom in Elann's Peruvian Highland Chunky and Noro Kochoran (for detail for the yoke and maybe cuffs and waistband). I hated the first emblem I tried, but loved the second, and now am thinking that I want emblems (peeries in stranded-knitting vocab) that take up more rows, like 7 or 8, which is about the distance between increases in the pattern.

And at some point, I should cast on for Dad's reversible blue-and-gold stocking cap in Elann Essential sock yarn. (No links--yarn is no longer sold and they took the pattern off, for some reason!)

Hey, at least I limited the list to these! (Oh yeah, and then there's the bear I plan to knit for G...).

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Selfishness has its price

I now have six projects for Christmas lined up. I am not sure if I'll do the sixth. Everything else is family knitting.

But what that means is that the Must-Have Cardigan is pushed to seventh on my Ravelry queue (which is up to four pages and 93 projects, thank you very much). Interesting, since as I've entered projects into the queue, it asks for whom the project will be made, and I almost invariably answer "me" (or, when pretentious, "moi").

So... three solid months with no knitting for me? Whatever shall I do? (Did I mention it's a Me, Me, Me, Me, Me World?)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Another time when it's good to be short

In reviewing the dimensions of Bristow, I realized that the sweater was going to be too long--nearly 4" too long in the body, and I-forget-how-long in the sleeves. It's designed for a longer, leaner body than mine, I think. So I made changes in the pattern (which also involved changing the frequency of the increases or decreases) to shorten the pattern pieces.

Now I'm done knitting and have 5 full balls of yarn left over. Assuming I use a significant amount of one ball for seaming and collar/button bands, I will still only have used about 1200 yds for this sweater.

This is great news: it means I can likely make any sweater with 1200 yds of worsted-weight wool from my stash! I have been looking for sets of 1600 yds in general. (It also means I can make the aran cardigan I've been designing in my head, as Bristow has plenty of cables and other aran designs.) In fact, if a sweater is mostly st st, I can probably get by with less than 1200 yds.

Yay for short bodies!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Done, sorta!

Finished the sleeves on Bristow last night. I made a mistake toward the end; somehow, the eccentric cables (they cross on the 5th and 11th rows of a 16-row pattern) got crossed late on the last set. So there's a good expanse of st st, then two cable twists a little too close together. It's the same on both sleeves, and after all the ripping I've had to do to fix other mistakes, I decided to leave it. If someone notices it when I'm wearing it, I'll give them a candy. I'm still glad I knit both sleeves at once, even if it seemed like I would just. never. finish at one point. (The only difference is that the middle cables twist in opposite ways. The shaping is the same for both.)

Now to block the pieces and start the seaming. I hate seaming. Well, maybe this will be the sweater that changes my mind. I still love the color and this yarn. The sheen is so entrancing. I'll post pictures when they're pinned out.

I've also turned the corner on my washcloth for Rabbitch's drive. I was doing (k1, yo, k to last st, yo, k1) on even rows and (k across) on odd rows. I knew that on the decreasing side I'd still want those eyelets from the yo's so it would look symmetrical. So I decided to k2tog on the stitches inside the yo on every row, and yo on even rows still. So on even rows, the number of stitches doesn't change, but on odd rows, you decrease 2 sts each row. Looks great so far. It's only 7" on the side unblocked; I weighed it and the yarn and decided I needed to rip back a bit so I'd have yarn to finish.

(Which reminds me--I finished binding off the stitches on one sleeve with about 1" of yarn to spare. Exciting! Well, for binding off.)

I think this might be my dullest post yet. Wore my Swallowtail again last weekend. I still love it.

Onward and upward. I think I might cast on for my mother's Christmas sweater while Bristow is drying. Converting the cardigan in Ann Budd's book of patterns to top-down is a bitch. Oy.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Knitting memories into clothing

I am having a rift with a good friend. It is painful to both of us and its origins are not what we thought they were. One of those eye-opening experiences where the eyes were sadly glued shut (sorry for the visual for those of you with eye-injury phobias). Ouch.

I'm still knitting along, almost 100% on my Bristow, and nearly finished with the sleeves. (Really wish I'd gone ahead and blocked the other 3 pieces already.) I was thinking of this pattern and how I got here, and realized that my friend was the one who found it and sent me the link, as she thought it was a good choice for me.

Oh. I will think of her as I'm finishing this, as I admire it, as I wear it. I thought of her kindness, her thoughtfulness, how this sweater is not really her style at all and yet she found it and studied it anyway, to recommend it to me.

This thought process was part of healing our friendship, finding healing in the stitches. Even, bear with me, in the interconnectedness of the stitches, the soothing warmth of the sweater, the shared joy of an object completed.

Hugs and warm thoughts to all of you, and especially to my friend. Thanks.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Bristow: on to the sleeves!

Makes it sound more exciting than it really is, eh? I finished the right front. Woo.

Actually, I'm feeling really hopeful at how quickly Bristow is moving along. I feel like I kind of "get" the pattern now. I'm hoping to knit both sleeves together, once I get past the cuffs (which, on my size 4s, are just too wide to knit at the same time). Then they'll be the same length... be it short or long! I cast on one sleeve at noon today. Funny how I don't mind seed stitch when it's just 7 rows and it's for me me me.

I also got lots done on a new washcloth for Rabbitch's drive. It's from the rest of my Peaches & Cream that I used for my string bag (which I still love but it's holding all that Calmer I bought at the garage sale; I need to stash that so I can use the bag again!). I'm making one of those basic biased garter-stitch washcloths with the yo increases till you get halfway across (I'm going to weigh the yarn to try to use it all up), and it's now my waiting-in-the-car project, since I just finished my other one.

I still haven't started a new lace project... odd, isn't it? I'm once again eyeing Birch, to see if I can master her after all. (There is just no way to write that without it sounding like a sex thing. Or maybe it's just me.)

Monday, August 27, 2007

This monogamy is new

I'm not usually a monogamous knitter--and strictly speaking, I haven't been entirely monogamous. But I have been largely only working on the Olive Bristow sweater, and it is really coming right along! I'm about 2/3 done with the right front, and the left front and the back are already done. I may block them as I start the sleeves. Then, button bands and finishing, and--voilà!--sweater.

And then I can get started on Christmas knitting...!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Still loving the olive sweater

I am 9" up the back on the Olive sweater already. Had some things to juggle, as her length is way longer than I need, and some increases had to be done by her 14" (my 11") mark, so instead of every 6 rows, I'm increasing every 3 rows (which means I have to increase on the purl side every other time; thank goodness for the increase Dharma taught me, where I knit/purl into the shoulder of the stitch below--no holes!). The drape is lovely, the color gorgeous, and the sheen entrancing.

And oh my god I could actually be finished in a matter of weeks.

Plus, don't drop your coffee, I got some knitting done on Clapotis, too. I do like it still. (Wish I didn't have to pay attention quite so much, though.)

The one where I am not thinking

Since I'm still having trouble with finishing the Child's First Socks, I had a thought this morning: why not finish the cuffs early and they'll just be short socks?

Answer: because they're top-down, dummy.

OK, so next coping strategy is to rip back to the heel and finish the foot part plain. Because I have screwed something up, since the foot is supposed to have 3.5 repeats and one foot has 4 and the other, well, not 3.5, anyway.


Friday, August 10, 2007

And now, to enjoy it.

Swallowtail Shawl
Originally uploaded by RenaissanceWomn
Absolutely, truly, finally done. Blocked. Dried. Ends woven in. Lifelines out, blocking unwaxed dental floss out.

I'm still in heaven.

Swallowtail Shawl
Originally uploaded by RenaissanceWomn

Thursday, August 09, 2007

There she lies.

Swallowtail, blocking
Originally uploaded by RenaissanceWomn
She's almost dry, already. And so gorgeous! And the dogs have not managed to sleep on her yet!

But WTF is up with my "100" blocking pins, of which I have 43???

Who cares, I have a beautiful shawl...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Done! Done, done, DONE!

Finished binding off the Swallowtail Shawl just minutes before leaving for hockey last night. I at least was sensible enough not to try to block her before bed (since I got back at 10:30). She is lovely, even unblocked. If you hold her up to the light--breathtaking.

And my mom says, this morning, well, it's more of a scarf... does she not KNOW about blocking? (This, with the added repeats.)

I'm going to have a block-o-rama: I'll block Swallowtail, re-block my Leaf Lace Shawl that got oddly fuzzy and smaller after its romp in the dryer with a dryer sheet (trying to get it less itchy), and finally block Backyard Leaves. Whee!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Soooo close.

I'm on row 15 of 16 of the Peaked Edging. Then I have one row of, I think K2togs and stuff, one row plain knit, then a special bind-off. Nearly stayed up to finish it, but I'm glad I didn't; I was tired.

I didn't really appreciate the Lily of the Valley pattern until Sunday, when I held it up to the light and found it is really lovely. Dharma was being tortured taught to spin at the time, so I don't think she was able to catch a glimpse.

After all I've put into this shawl, the fineness of the laceweight still stuns me. The fact that it is two-ply, of even finer threads, even more so. It is so soft that I'd love a bed of unblocked Budding Lace. People feel it, their faces register shock, and they go on petting even though they've passed the socially acceptable length of time for petting someone else's project.

I think I'll love this one.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Filati in Rocklin

Apparently, I never blogged about my visit to Filati Fine Yarns in Rocklin last July. They do have some store photos, but somehow have failed to capture the appearance of the store. People, the store is bigger than WEBS (OK, sans warehouse). They do have an incredible selection.

But really? The draw is the eye candy. When you enter the store, the racks in front of you are beautifully, tastefully organized by color--by someone who has an incredible eye for color. It ends up being stunning and seductive... absolutely enchanting. You might think that finding this yarn in that color would end up being challenging, but it seemed like you could pretty easily find a specific yarn--and if not, the salesfolk were quite happy to help out. Helpful but not intrusive.

Many of the arranged yarns were high-quality yarns, at pretty close to the expected prices. But they did have plenty of Plymouth Encore and the like, for good yarns on a budget. G was particularly taken with the button array. An incredible variety of creative, playful, and lovely buttons.

I can't wait to go back.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

(spluttering) 1 Week!?!

I was hunting around blogs last night to check up on modifications I might have to make to my Swallowtail Shawl (thought I had to decrease 2 stitches on Lily of the Valley Lace II; maybe not), and found one gal who finished it in one week.

I'm going on four months! Aaagh.

OTOH, I'm unreasonably pleased to have finished the Lily of the Valley Lace I as of last night. Gleeful, even.

But don't take that to mean I didn't put in another lifeline. I'm gleeful, not drunk. (I leave that to Rabbitch.)

The end is in sight!

Adding: I switched to the size 4 Addi Lace Needles for this. Am loving them.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

And, because I can't leave well enough alone...

and because I now own size 4 as well as size 5 Addi Lace needles, I swatched again on size 5s to see if I like it better. No pic yet; maybe I can post a pic of both, wet-blocked, later.

Finished too late last night while IMing. I hate typing one-handed but it was worth it to finish!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Mystery Stole 3 swatched

MS3 Sampler
Originally uploaded by RenaissanceWomn
While finishing HP7 last night, I also finished my swatch, with some beads (as if I have to economize), for Mystery Stole 3. Scary parts: found one dropped stitch about 3 rows below at one point (fine, I can fix that) and was short 2 stitches not long after (no idea where they went). Hm. This may be beyond me. We'll see.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Woo hoo, I finished!

Shedir is done, ends are woven in, and it's ready to be photographed and sent to its new owner.

After my hot date.

And I've now added my 61st project to my queue in Ravelry, spilling over to page 3. This does not include the 7 to 10 projects already on the needles.

But I'm OK with that. Really.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Back in the saddle

I tinked back to my row counter marker last night (just half a row), studied the chart, and found the problem: row 63 is not marked as a "use one stitch from previous round" row, even though you clearly must. On the previous page, it's even included as one of those rounds; it's just the chart that doesn't have that marking. (interestingly, it's not been corrected yet.)

Once I borrowed that stitch, it was easy sailing. I'm up to row 73, down to about 48 stitches, and the end is in sight! I'd photograph it, but it's textured black--I think it would look like a black blob! I'll try to when it's done. So glad to be so close to done. (and, it turns out, Shedir is compatible with HP7! Glad I have a book holder.)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Son of a NUTcracker!

The Shedir I'm working on was going well, very well, in fact. I got to row 60 with no problems (3/4 done!). Everything lined up, did as it was supposed to... then, as I went to change the row counter from 63 to 64, I knew something was wrong, as I'd just done a knit-the-knits-and-purl-the-purls row. Thought maybe I'd skipped changing the counter, so I put it to 65... and then I was knitting purls and purling knits, and clearly something was wrong.

I was so disgusted that I put it aside. I don't remember having this kind of trouble with the last Shedir I made. I want to be done, admire it, photograph it, and send it off!

sigh. I do hate tinking.

Friday, July 13, 2007

It's here! It's here!

I had tried to buy a skein of "Gathering Storm" off Rabbitch's store site, but the gods did not like me and PayPal couldn't process my order ("no country field filled out"--huh?). In a panic, because OMG it was so gorgeous, I emailed Rabbitch directly. She could send it!

Got the package today--and what a boon! Not only a skein of Gathering Storm, even more delicious than I'd expected, but an additional skein titled "Jennie," which is SO SO me, and a niddy noddy. (I'd sent her a bit of change when she was driving on a piece of bent steel and a patch of rubber a way back.)

Oh MAN, what fun!

Don't miss out. Her store still has some Black Orchid available, stunning purple stuff, and No Mean Feets, a gorgeous mix of blues, as well as a tasty Swamp Thing in 100yd or 50yd lengths. Go, now!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Boiled Ass, just for Dharma

Here ya go. All original 14 repeates of Budding Lace done, 2 of 5 extra repeats done. Still soft, still wonderful...!

Click to biggify. In Flickr, click "All Sizes" to bigger-ify.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Mystery Shawl 3

It will come as no surprise to you to find that I am a joiner. When I heard about MS3, I was joined up before I even knew it (and changed to "special notices only" shortly thereafter--4000 messages in the FIRST MONTH?!?).

But the recommended color choices are black, white, and off-white/natural. I don't have any laceweight (in enough yardage) in black or white, and the only laceweight I have in natural is the cashmere thread I bought from ColourMart in a fit of "ooh, cashmere" and "aah, laceweight" but not a jot of "oh, if they'd put a quarter in front of the cone I could've seen that it was more like thread than yarn." And do I want to knit with thread? Do I want to knit MS3 with thread?

I do not know. What I do know is that a friend and I are going to be doing an order with KnitPicks soon enough and there just might be some black laceweight added to that order...

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Progress on Swallowtail Shawl (and, I can do math!)

I got lots of time to work on my Swallowtail Shawl last weekend at my aunt's cabin. I counted sets of markers, did lots of arithmetic, and found that I must have miscounted repeats-- I was two repeats short of the 14 called for (and thus short of the 195 stitches resulting from the 14 repeats). I also figured out that each repeat adds 6 stitches to the total. So, since I wanted a larger shawl than the pattern says (23" deep seems too shallow), I futzed around with the math of the next section (multiples of 10) and figured out how many extra repeats of budding lace II I would need, 5 (x 6 = 30, the first multiple of 6 that is a multiple of 10). I was so pleased when I looked it up online and found several others had come to the same conclusion. The repeats are slow, as the yarn is like thread and the needles plenty slick (Susan Bates Quicksilvr), so I knit carefully rather than my usual tearing speed. But 5 more repeats, even of 6 rows of pattern, doesn't seem entirely daunting. And the result does seem worth it, from what I've read in the blogs.

It really was worthwhile spending a whole weekend on one thing, as this shawl seemed endless only a few weeks ago. Now the end is in sight, and I have the trick for the p5tog nupps (sl 2, p3tog, pass slipped stitches over). I think I can do this! (oof, just found another notation that says I'll be short 2 stitches on a later chart-oh well, I can do that, too.)

I'll post a pic as soon as I've taken one--but it doesn't actually look terribly different than it did before. Just a few more buds in lace.

Friday, July 06, 2007

I sat and crocheted!

String bag
Originally uploaded by RenaissanceWomn
While I was on vacation, I finished a very cool string bag. I had been wanting to knit one, and had a pattern ready, but Beverly's put Sugar 'n' Creme cotton yarn on sale, and oh! the colorways! I was only going to buy a few balls for G for his handweaving ($1.29 a ball!), but there was a pattern for a string bag on the label of one, so I just had to buy three and dig out a G crochet hook (although these days, crochet hooks are metric! Had to find a chart to see what letter-size I needed!) and start it.

Hey, it was kinda fun! Made me remember how much I liked it, just not for sweaters etc., because the look is not as smooth as knitting.

I think it turned out great! See for yourself:

I think I'm scrod

I've been looking forward to finishing the Karabella Shawl-Collar [sic] Sweater ever since I started it (true to form). The Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk is only 66 yds/ball, and the recommended Karabella Marble is 92. Mine knit up at the same gauge. You do the math while I'm in the corner sobbing.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Idea for the Lamb's Pride Polarweight

Just as I'm ready to donate all of it, I find a great idea for making a felted rug with the Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Polarweight I was given. I have smidges of some colors and lots of others. Should be great!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Pondemonium pattern

Is this not the cutest pattern???

More than halfway done with Niece's hat already. It really looks great (but BRIGHT). I'm going to miss the stranded knitting while at family camp. Fortunately, I do not have a dearth of available projects.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Pirate hat number 2!

Finished Nephew's pirate hat last, um, Friday night, sewing down each and every little stitch from the lining directly onto the hat. I realized that this was likely better than my inclination to bind it off and sew it in, as this ensures it'll stretch with the hat. I wove in all the other loose ends except the top ones, realizing that even though the bottom was done, I could still unravel the top and make it shorted if needed.

No need. It's really a perfect size. Huzzah!

I did, in the end, forget to weave in the two ends at the top, so I asked my sister to leave the hat behind (she pointing out that snowy days are far, far away anyway) so I could do that, and maybe I'll get a chance to block it, as well. (It really does look good as is, though.)

"We Call Them Pirates" I
Originally uploaded by RenaissanceWomn

So Friday afternoon, I crocheted a chain of 146 stitches, on which I cast, er, on 144 stitches of the bright Purple from the same yarn as the other. Joined on the Red, and off I went. I'm done with 2 rows of skulls already (2 to go!) and may get it in the mail on time for Niece's birthday (next Monday). I think it looks appropriately hideous, but my sister thought it looked very pretty. (My sister? Admiring knitting? I blame aliens. Or pod people.)

It really is a fun knit, and now I look forward to doing a more traditional Fair Isle design. Maybe a hat again, as they are so danged fast to knit. This is fun.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Added more yarn to my Flickr account. It really does get me excited about my stash! I get to fondle and admire the yarns (and sometimes wish I'd bought more so I could make myself a sweater), and look at all of the photos go up on Flickr. I think I'm more than halfway through.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Finally, photos

Just made my first 'set' in Flickr, of my current WIPs. OK, the most prominent ones. :)

Here you go.

Pirates nearly done

I finished the main knitting on my nephew's We Call Them Pirates last night. It really turned out neat. I hope it's not too big now!

The next step is to take the 144 stitches off of the provisional cast-on and knit them up with a soft liner yarn. Problem: I knit the hat on 3's with KnitPicks Palette. I want to use Rowan Calmer for my liner. It recommends using size 8 needles! That's a lot bigger. I'd also have to do k2 k2tog around to get the right number of stitches to match the circumference. But it's SOOO SOFT. (I bought two balls at my LYS's closing sale, to make another Shedir, which took me one-and-a-smidge balls of Calmer last time. So I have some to spare.)

The other option is to split the yarn and knit with maybe half of it. But would that be worth it for 2.5" of st st?

Pix up soon. It looks so cool. Looking forward to knitting it again. Nephew arrives Thursday night.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Nearly 3 weeks with no update?!?

All right... I guess I haven't had much to update lately.

Working away at the Clapotis (which just enchants me every time I hold it up to view); I think I'm on the 2nd repeat of 6 of the "straight" section. Am toying with the idea of leaving the raveling stitches alone, so I can play with them while I wear the Clapotis.

Nearly done with the Budding Lace on the Swallowtail Shawl, so I'll need to decide soon if I want to do more repeats to make a larger shawl, or to leave the second ball of Misti Alpaca Lace alone and use it for another project, sell it, or give it away.

Finished the felted bowl and it is nice, though hairy (perhaps that's the mohair). Not sure if I posted on this: managed to knit it in circular on two straight needles, inside out! Daisy size 17s (13mm). After contemplating doing a seam, I realized there was another way: I cast on 34 stitches and, joining them in the round(ish), did sl 1 pwise, p1 across. And back. And again and again, only periodically having to fix a mistake (found by reaching up underneath). It made a lovely st st fabric on the inside! I had meant to bind off at the base and pick up stitches with my size 13 dpns (9mm), but feeling to lazy to get up and get them and also relishing a challenge, I dropped & picked up stitches to put two same-side stitches together and periodically did p2tog to decrease, until I had 7 stitches. I pulled the tail through them and voila! a pretty nice little gray bowl.

New project
Mentioned We Call Them Pirates to my niece and nephew on our weekend away, and they were enthusiastic. So I started a hat on 5/30 for my nephew with black as the background but a bright green for the foreground. It is eerie and wonderful! After doing about 17 rows, I tried it on... and found it tight. Checked my gauge, and it was too small: exactly matching KnitPicks' gauge but not OK for Pirates. Unraveled it all, did some math, and re-cast on 144 stitches so I'd get closer to the 21" the pattern predicts. Instead of adding a full repeat of the pattern (32 sts), I repeated the vertical bars twice at the beginning of each of the four repeats (4 more sts, total 16 additional stitches around). Because my row gauge was too small also, I added one more horizontal line and line of pluses at the bottom. I'm already back to where I was and it still looks great. In fact, I'm halfway through the second skull and it's only been 6 days since I started this project. I love quick knits, especially ones that look so cool. The one for my niece will be hideous in red and purple (she will love it).

Pattern: We Call Them Pirates
Yarn: KnitPicks Palette, Green and Black
Needles: Susan Bates Quicksilver in size 3, Silvalume in size 1
Gauge: 7 sts/in, 8 rows/in

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Ooh, this is fun

From And She Knits Too!:

Bold for stuff you’ve done, italics for stuff you plan to do one day, and normal for stuff you’re not planning on doing.

Afghan/Blanket (baby)
Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch

Socks: top-down

Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL

Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental Knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)

Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with DPNs
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting with wool

Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO

Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers

Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public


Monday, May 14, 2007

Give her money, prove him wrong

Dorothy is raising money for the upcoming Relay for Life, and her husband laughed when she said she wanted to raise $2,000. Not only do you get to help prove him wrong, you get entered into a raffle to win yarn. Oh, and the donations are in $CDN, so when you donate $20, you're really only donating $18.55!

Go, Dorothy!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

FO, for a reason

I'm on the 13th repeat of Backyard Leaves, but left off to finish the Tigger sweater for my son (knit and attach ears--that's all that was left).

The occasion? He finally lost his first tooth! He was so proud. Unfortunately, his belief in the tooth fairy has already fled, so he asked me to put something under his pillow. "Or if it's a toy or something, Mom, put it right here by my bed, OK?"

He has a Sacagawea dollar under his pillow and a finished Tigger sweater next to it.

(The ears turned out cute. I cast on 5 stitches, kfb at each RS row end for 2 rows, then started short-row shaping on the next WS row: I purled across 5 [of 9] stitches, wrapped the next stitch and turned, repeating for maybe 4 rows. k2tog at each end of RS rows twice, then bound off all. They're nicely cupped.)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Discount cashmere sweater, meet your un-maker

Went to Goodwill, hoping against hope to find a cheap, great condition spinning wheel today. No such luck (that would be, as my son says, hecka luck).

But I did find a 100% cashmere sweater in a charming brown color. Didn't realize till I spread it out for photographing that it's a size XXL! I may be able to make an entire me-sized sweater with this. The photo has the sleeve pointing toward the one moth hole I found. With the last sweater I took apart that had moth holes, I only lost a bit to them. Yippee!

I've already started to take apart one seam. It really is easy-peasy, and rather addictive once you get the ball winder fired up and the unraveling item thumbtacked to the bulletin board.

I also am working on the 6th repeat (of prescribed 11) for the Backyard Leaves scarf. It is not a mindless knit for me, as I have to keep my eyes on the pattern quite a lot. I may do a couple extra repeats, since I technically have extra yardage, and won't have to estimate for the "other half" since I'm doing both at once. It really is sensational.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Pretty-much FO and (you're not surprised) new UFO

Keeping G home yesterday enabled me to finish his Tigger sweater, all ends woven in, except for the ears. Turns out he doesn't want very big ears (held his fingers 1" apart), so that won't take long. He didn't like my idea of attaching them with buttons so they could be easily removed. Still wants to wear the sweater for Halloween. Not fixated with the matching pants (phew). Photo up soon now.

My pouty model.

And... because I have two skeins of Cascade 220 in a gorgeous green, I just had to start Backyard Leaves, which I've wanted to make forever. IK put the pattern in their Holiday 2006 issue so I didn't have to buy the back issue it first appeared in. The pattern calls for Malabrigo, about 400 yds, so the 220 should be fine. I think I started it 5 times, though. It is confusing that the startup row is a wrongside row, and the pattern is on every row, so you don't just purl back on the wrong side. The directions have you do two halves, then sew them together. I've changed that to casting-on with a provisional crochet chain, which I hope to do a 3-needle bind-off or some such for a better seam, and I'm doing the two at once on straight needles. I've done 2 of 11 repeats and it really is entrancing the way the leaves leap out at you.

I also felted the next 4 coasters. I only have a smidge of the first ball left and want to do some potholders next. It is so fun!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Now I get how this is addictive

I felted the first coasters last night and was over the moon about them. This is so cool!

Then I knitted two more last night. So fun!

Found the pattern online.
Photos: Both together (cool how different they are!), kinda blurry, sorry.

Close-up on one:

And the other:

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

UFO Challenge: April

I just realized the ONLY thing I finished in April were the feltable coasters. How funny that I finished two of them last night! I did get some done on the sand-colored Tahki scarf, got the Swallowtail Shawl well started, new socks started... but nothing else. I think I finished my sister's hat & scarf in March and finally mailed them in April. (She's probably wearing them in France right now!)

I'll put up photos of the coasters soon. They're just lovely and the one ball will probably make 8. I think I'll go ahead and make myself some hot pads from the same directions sheet. Hm, and maybe a soda/beer cozie too. (what fun!)

I do likes finishing things.

Update: here's a pic! Straw Into Gold Crystal Palace's Taos yarn in the Painted Desert Colourway.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Yarn from WEBS and Knit Camp

I posted this photo on my glbt-knit list, but not here. This is my Knit Camp haul, including yarn that I! myself! spun!

Yarn from KnitCamp weekend

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Stop spitting on me from up there! (And UFO update)

I dug out this rainbow yarn that my mom had bought on behalf of my niece, whoah, more than 7 years ago? for me to make a scarf & hat for said niece. The niece picked it out, Mom bankrolled the operation, I was to knit it. I finished the hat first and sent it on. My sister said it was too small. When I saw my niece try it on later, I realized 'too small' was rather an understatement. Whoops!

I think I did finish a larger hat and send it on.

The scarf, though... even though it's a rather variegated wool (seems like every stitch is a different color), I chose a complex, 8-row lace pattern. Took forever and when I'd gotten maybe a foot done, I realized it was awful. Ripped it out, started a k2p2 rib scarf, but got distracted before I had a foot done. Put it away for several years and finally asked said niece if she still wanted it. She said no.

Then recently, I found a pattern for knitted, felted coasters in my set of saved 2006 "Knitting Pattern A Day" calendar sheets. What fun! I thought this rainbow variegated yarn would be just the thing.

So I started one last night, and knitted it up, finishing it this morning:
(modeled by my silly s0n)

Plopped it in the washer in a net bag with a little soap and very hot water, let it agitate, checked it, agitated, checked, agitated, checked and...

realized it's either not 100% wool or is superwash. Cause the danged thing pretty much looks like the photo above still, but damp. RATS! I was looking forward to some lovely coasters.

UFO Update
I couldn't actually find any other projects on which I'd made any amount of progress save these two. First, the Swallowtail Shawl:
Still in Budded Lace II

A close-up. Despite what I know were errors, it actually looks quite lovely!

And my patch-toe Meilenweit socks, one toe at a time:

Toe that starts out a little lighter

Other one

They look rather odd on the needles, because each needle holds the increased stitches from one side of the patch, plus a top, so the foot is skewed. But as I try them on, I'm quite pleased. Doesn't look like the skein, quite, but is really nice anyway.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Oh feck

Have you drooled over these yet? OMG. I think I love every colorway.

I blame Grumperina. She mentioned LL and this seller in her blog recently. Damn her eyes!

Well, after I go back and drool some more.

New projects

I was given a copy of the Wonderful Wallaby pattern by a sweet KnitCamper (thanks, Witt!), so I'll use that to finish the hood on the Tigger sweater. Yippee!

Let's see... the Child's First Socks are languishing for now. I did start a simple pair of socks with the Patch Toe taught by The Fiberqat at Knit Camp, in my Meilenweit that still makes my heart race when I look at it. Yum. They're up to the foot portion, where I just knit around & around, and I love how they don't match even though they're from the same ball of yarn. It seems to have two strands of orange that goes from light to dark and two strands of green that do the same thing, making for different combinations of colors. Gorgeous. (I just realize they look largely brown; it must be the combination of the colors that does that.)

I also started the Swallowtail Shawl, in the hotel room, I think it was. It's another Evelyn Clarke, so well written, of course. I did think there was a mistake in the pattern, but that was just from my stitch markers needing to migrate on a certain row (row 5, I think it is). I'd end up short 1 stitch at the right, but have an extra one at the end. I'm on repeat 7 of 14 of the Budding Lace 2 chart, and despite some early mistakes, it really does look nice. I'm using the yarn specified (that was lucky), Misti Alpaca Lace, in a gorgeous Dutch blue color, on Quicksilver circulars. It is challenging for me, but worth it, so far.

I did some more rows on the Double Rose Leaf scarf, but not a lot. I am really enjoying having a simple pair of socks to work on at soccer games (and maybe church), as the Child's First Socks need a little more attention than is useful for this sort of thing. (And have you seen all the socks-in-progress over at Harlotville?

I did decide, on this trip, that my main objective in knitting in the near future is to have a drawerful of hand-knitted socks. I was so intrigued by everyone's!

I had SUCH a great time. Photos later.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

OMG, I'm a Fancy Fur gal

During my foray at WEBS, I sought out lots and lots of skeins of yarn with sheen to them. Silk blends, pure silk, tencel (tencil?), anything like that.

And I just realized: How different is that than any of those crap yarns from JoAnn? Fancy Fur, glinty stuff, any of that. I thought I was upscale, and I'm bargain-bin low! Waah.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Update on Tigger; new UFO

Here is the latest on the Tigger sweater! I'm very pleased with the fit. I still have decreases to do on the neck, BUT... I want to put a hood on this. This is not in the Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns! I feel like I want to get closer to his natural neckline, but most hooded sweater patterns use pretty much all of the neck stitches, so I should probably start now. Indecision...!

And, of course, I can't resist starting a new project. I'm obsessed with this pattern--Double Rose Leaf from Barbara Walker's Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns. The yarn is a cotton Tahki of which I bought four balls for a scarf for my mother. Turns out, she's good on scarves and would prefer a pullover. So part of this exercise is to see if I want to keep the yarn for myself. It is really lovely and is knitting up beautifully. I think I'll use this pattern for a shawl in some wool laceweight too. Aaaaah. :)

Monday, April 09, 2007

She likes the scarf & hat!

My sister received the scarf & hat I made her last weekend. She likes them! She was so pleased that she wore the hat home. Her teenage daughter pointedly asked, "Are you cold or something?"

She is also thrilled with the scarf, which I blocked to within an inch of its life. I forget if it's 63 inches or 6'3". Long, anyway, and about 4" wide, which is what she specified.

Maybe I'll knit for her again! Although Mom asked for a pullover with a scandinavian yoke for her next knit item. Sounds pretty straightforward.

It's all in the 'tude, man

I had to redo several things on the kiddo's Tigger Sweater yesterday. The latest one was that I incorporated one of the sleeves wrong. I had been knitting them 2-on-2-circulars, so one 'end' was the beginning of the tube, and the other 'end' was halfway across. In this pattern, you bind of 6 stitches centered over the beginning and then knit across the remaining stitches when attaching it to the body.

Well, I bound off stitches and then knit across half of the remaining stitches, rather than from the bound-off stitches, so as I continued to knit, I came across a bald patch where stitches, seemingly in the middle of the sleeve, were bound off. OOPS.

Oh, and the error before that? I knit the other sleeve on, backwards. As in, I knit across the backside of the stitches, producing bumps on the K side. Still can't believe I did this.

Normally, there would have been a buttload of cussing, some throwing of the garment, and then an imposed exile period. For whatever reason (very good therapist?), I went and attended to Easter dinner*, then came back and calmly undid my error and continued on my way.

*A ham, because it is traditional and I like ham, and thought the Kid would enjoy it, which he did; plus homemade mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts. Guess which one the Kid asked for.

I know. I think it's unusual too. But I'm grateful for this new serenity. Especially as these were pretty egregious errors. Oh, well, I'm knitting around the top (what is that freakin' word? can't think of it) of the sweater now, well into the home stretch. Except for the hood I need to make. With Tigger ears.

Good think the Kid's cute.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here!

I didn't really like that movie, but the line really sticks with me.

Just noticed Rabbitch added me to her blog list! OMG!

So now I really have to post more often.

Well, not a lot of knitting news to report! I am still working on the Tigger sweater sleeves, and WTF? How can two little sleeves take so much longer than 11" of sweater with a pocket?? I got tired of marking the six rows (inc 2 on the first), 8 times, in my knitting notebook, so I got out two barrel counters and put loops of scrap yarn in them. One is for the rows and the other is for repeats. I'm on the seventh repeat, so that's good.

I also did more work on my friend's Contrasto scarf. Had a little frisson when I thought, "When the heck is her birthday? Is it soon?" and the topic came up and she said August. Phew!

I also cast on a swatch for the Tahki blue cotton and seriously screwed up the decrease I was trying out and just can't get it all to behave again. So one side is fine, all k2p2, and the other side has like k2p4 followed by k2p2. Ugh. This sweater will be the death of me.

As for the shaping, especially for the Lang 'Viva' sweater, I took out the Sublime sweater pattern and started jotting down measurements for the waist shaping. 17 stitches per inch makes for some crazy numbers, especially when you do it in your head. I do think I can transfer them to the pattern, though, so that was worth it.

I also ran off half of the ball of Meilenweit to start a very basic pair of socks that I can finish before I'm 50. That yarn really makes my heart go pit-a-pat, so I think it will be very enjoyable. Unlike the Child's First Socks, which, now that I've turned the ankle, seem too small (ARRRGH!), and I think I hate them. Can't decide whether to frog them or just finish them and give them to someone with small feet. Dharma, when's your birthday again?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A pox on bullies

I'm maybe 6" up the sleeves (two at once) on the Tigger sweater, and say to my boy, "It's too bad I'm not done with it; you could wear it today." Then he informs me that he has no intention of ever wearing it to school, as kids would make fun of him. "It's just a black-and-orange striped sweater!" (with ears on the hood) Nope, there are girls who would say things, and he doesn't know what to do about them.

sigh I wish his school had an EFFECTIVE anti-bullying policy.

Still knitting...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Update with photos!

The latest on the Tigger sweater. It's up to the armpits and I've bound them off and started the 2 sleeves. Since sleeves are so narrow and fiddly, instead of doing them 1 at a time on dpns, I'm doing them 2 at a time on 2 circulars (you're not surprised, now are you?). I think I'll do twice-as-deep ribbing so I can fold it back now, and unfold it when he's bigger (which'll be in like 2 weeks).

Sunrise ripple scarf. This is the one I lost count in and which I'll redo with stitch markers after every repeat. I like that it's knit sideways and is all ripply. What do you think the yarn is? It's mystery yarn from my mom, no label but nice and shiny.

Second Contrasto scarf is coming along well. I love mistake rib. It rocks.

I've turned the heel on the Child's First Socks. Got messed up on the pattern, though; one part is on row 2 when it should be on row 3. Argh!

The Lang sweater, which is truly nice and soft, but must be frogged to be started over without that front V and with waist shaping. I do think it'll rock when I'm done, though.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Progress on Tigger Sweater

I brought it with me to work today, ostensibly to work on during our company meeting. There I was, right in the middle of the group with every speaker looking my way, so I didn't feel I could pull it out. Went for a walk afterwards instead, and knit on it then.

I'm at 7 1/2", so this round, I'll attach the pocket. I knit 6" on it yesterday, put it on stitch holders and cut the yarn. The body is at 5 1/2" so there'll be 1/2" of ease for hands. On this round, I'll knit up to the edge and k2tog across the 30 stitches of pocket. Then I'll have just 3 more inches till I get to the armholes. G is still loving it. The yarn is very soft, if garish.

Monday, March 26, 2007

An FO (sort of), and two UFOs

What's that "one step forward" thing? :)

I finished knitting my mom's felted hat. Haven't had the guts to felt it yet. The stripe on the brim seems too high by a row. I really don't want to reknit it, but it seems... uneven.

Then my son begged me to start on his Tigger sweater (like the Pooh tiger, not the Knitty sweater). So I cast on, and have about 3" knit already. The yarn is striping really nicely--sections will have a lot of black with some orange, then a lot of orange with some black. I knit while we watched "The Labyrinth," which I'd never seen but really enjoyed.

I knit on it at church and then it struck me that I'd wanted to start another Contrasto scarf, this time for a friend's upcoming birthday. I finished 1 of the 4 balls today and joined on the 2nd. I love that Mistake Rib!

I've decided to rip the Lang Yarns sweater, and redo it from the beginning, without the tummy-revealing vee in the front, and with the waist shaping. I've also decided to swatch the blue Tahki cotton sweater, doing the decreases as a test, as they are not clearly shown/explained in the pattern. I realized that the decreases not being clear were keeping me from working on it. They are one of the things that draw me to the sweater--making the shaping really sharp. So they need to be right.

Friday, March 23, 2007

We are insane (but you knew that)

My mom sent me an email last week, saying that a woman at her pool approached her and claimed that she owned the exact same socks as my mother. At the time, my mother was wearing the socks I knit her. We wrote back and forth indignant missives, calling for lawyers and notarized proof. My mom then forwarded the exchange to my sister.

She has promised to have us committed.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Updates on scarf, sweater, hat, new UFO

I finally got my butt in gear and washed and blocked my sister's skinny scarf. It's 63", which I fooled myself into thinking was 6'3" (duh, it's 5'3") but should be fine. I hope to mail it tomorrow.

I've done some more rows on the Lang sweater and, musing on how the Sublime sweater is a bit nipped in at the waist and gets me so many compliments, I'm wondering if I should rip it out a bit and redo the waist with the same shaping. Here's the irritating thing: they do waist shaping on the XXS, XS, and S sizes, just not on the M size (which I am, apparently; who knew?). Hm.

I am powering forward on my mom's felted hat. I knit up to the brim flap and ran out of contrast yarn on row 8 of 16 rows. Called Mom and we decided to just do a stripe of the contrast amid rows of black, the main color. So I ripped back to the welt, picked up the stitches again, and have already started on the 8 contrast rows. I'm anxious to be done but there's that pesky sleeping thing.

I also started a lacy scarf from the 2007 Pattern-a-day [sic--only one pattern on weekends] calendar. Got to the 5th row and I'm off on stitch numbers. I think I'll restart it with stitch markers (probably yarn, as the needles are size 11). This is an orange/olive/red shiny yarn from Mom; no label or anything. Maybe I'll try the burn tests in Yarn Harlot's Rules book this weekend and see what they actually are.

Oh, and the kid and I finished a green 'snake' from his four-post knitting thimble thingy. He put on two eyes and a long red tongue and loves his 'rattlesnake.'

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

It occurred to me...

I haven't been updating much, as I am still pretty much slogging along on the same projects. Child's First Socks--finished the latest 10-row set, only to decide it's still not long enough, and started the next. Lang Yarns Viva sweater--still not up to the armholes. It is nice and soft and a pretty easy pattern so far. Still haven't blocked the skinny scarf; maybe I'll fit that in tonight.

I did knit a swatch of the to-be-felted hat; of course, I'd already finished it when I read that they recommend at least 20 rows of each color (I did about 6 of the main color, 4 of the contrast, and another 5-6 of the main color). I just went ahead and felted it. Bless its little heart, it only took 15 mins to felt up. I mailed it to Mom today, to see if she thinks they felted at the same rate. It's pretty close. The contrast is a tad looser, but I think it'll be OK. Cascade 220 sure felts easily. I shall have to WATCH IT with the sweaters I knit from it; otherwise, they'll end up on my son.

Anyway, it did occur to me that I don't always have to post about my knitting here. I can jot down patterns that appeal to me, etc. Like the Dollar and a Half Cardigan from the Spring IK 2007 issue. Well, it did appeal to me. Then I was redesigning it in my mind--first, the sleeves: how about making the stripes go *down* them rather than around? Shorter cuffs, and no bells? Then, the back--I need horizontal stripes like I need a mohawk. Make it like the front. So now, do I need to buy that pattern? I think not. I can certainly swatch the front, do some measurements, and make my own pattern up. Done.

I also like the Clementine Shawlette from the same issue, but it doesn't seem too complex to reproduce--it's nearly a rectangle, but with gently tapering ends. I like the foldy end parts.

And, in other news, Mom has said that although she doesn't want a shawl (I had bought 4 balls of lovely sand-colored cotton for something for her), she would love another wool sweater, a pullover maybe with a Scandinavian yoke. What fun! I'd nearly run out of folks for whom to knit sweaters (I still want to knit Chaos for G--upscaled, of course). Whee!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Moving the pointer forward

No FO's to report this time, but I am moving forward on many knitting fronts. Up to row 24 of 31 on my mom's to-be-felted hat, more than halfway through the last repeat on the leg of the Child's First Sock (on the way down, so I'm not halfway through the sock), and I'm within 2" of the armpit/v-neck on the Lang Viva sweater (and it still feels awesome--so incredibly soft).

I am itching to start & finish something fast, but I really need to block my sister's long & skinny scarf and just SEND it to her first.

And I may cast on a simple set of socks at some point--I certainly can't knit on the Child's First without some thinking (I can knit while walking, though, which was good at the Zoo this past weekend).

Oh, and I have resigned myself to having to knit a swatch for the felted hat, to ensure that both yarns felt at the same rate, argh. I was worried about having enough yarn, but I think these 31 rows are the largest part of the hat, and there is tons of yarn left. The 98 yds of contrast yarn should last well, too (God help me there)... and it sure is pretty.