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.