Friday, July 10, 2009

Phew, it's done

Finished the tea cozy (felted, steeked, buttons and i-cord applied) and gave it to Mom for her birthday. She seems genuinely pleased. (I'll post a finished picture of it later.) It is still too large for her teapot, but does look nice, really. (Glad I felted it down!)

I had her try on the stranded sweater I had been making her, to prove to both of us that it was way too big. Yeah, by about 7". She does want it to be big, but it's ridiculously big. I unraveled it to the start of the stranding and will try again with size 9 needles, and see if I can still get gauge.

The other projects going on are
  • iPod cozy. This started out as a project for using up leftover sock yarn, and was to be a cover for purse-sized tissue packs. Then I needed a cozy for my new iPod, which was being protected by a cotton ankle sock. Finished it and it works great. (I still have another ball of that yarn and will make a tissue cozy for it. Unfortunately, Ravelry has no tissue cozies written for sock yarn!)
  • Birch from Rowan. I'm definitely getting on to the end, but still have more than 10 sections between stitch markers, so even though they repeats are getting faster as I have fewer stitches, it is not really racing to the end line. No matter; I've finally memorized the pattern and can do it anywhere. Still loving the Smoke-colored Cracksilk Haze.
  • Square for a love quilt. Lovely Witt passed away and we're making a love quilt/blanket for his partner. I struggled with it and forgot the wool at home (because I couldn't bear to think about it, I think) and bought a ball of blue-green Cascade 220 Superwash at a Portland yarn store. Found a neat heart-shaped cable pattern in a Melissa Leapman book, but the swatch is already too wide and I lost my place as to which line of the pattern I was on. *sigh*
In other news, I've worn my Swallowtail nearly every day, as despite the warmer-than-usual weather most days, the house is still a bit chilly, and Mom is averse to turning on the heat or making a small fire in her woodstove. I love that the alpaca is so light yet so warm.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


So I put aside Birch last night, picked up the tea cozy, and zoomed on it. Here it is, draped on my teapot:

Tea cozy, knitting done

What's left to do: wash and block, cut steeks, sew back, put on i-cord loops with buttons for faucet and handle.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I should have known

I recently picked up a project I'd set aside months ago. It's Birch from one of the Rowan mags. I'm still enchanted by the pic in the magazine, and by the Cracksilk Haze in Smoke, a gorgeous medium grey with those enchanting silky highlights.

But my mom's birthday is coming up, and my sister wisely advised me to finish the tea cozy I've started from the Inga hat pattern. If/when I finish, it will be a lovely cozy that Mom will likely love.

The problem is, I can't put Birch down. And I'm not sure I'll have enough time to finish it and the cozy, both. Argh! Blast you, Cracksilk Haze! And you, lace knitting addiction!

Friday, January 02, 2009

How can this be so hard?

I love knitting socks toe-up. It makes so much more sense to my brain.

So I started some socks on vacation with the Turkish cast-on, and went up to 52 stitches (dk weight), and knit along on my merry way. About 2.5" short of the heel, I stopped and went searching for a heel method.

Well, there are so few toe-up sock patterns, and it seems like the majority use short-row heels! I really like the heel-flap heel, so I searched around and ended up on Miriam Felton's blog, and followed her directions for the heel flap, but totally missed Step 2: gusset increases. So once had the heel flap done, I didn't know what to do, and picked up stitches like I normally do for top-down socks. I tried it twice, and they always looked peculiar, with a sort of extra heel at the top of the heel flap, which might work if you have especially large ankle bones that go right in to small ankles.

I finally flipped through "Sensational Socks" (or maybe "More...") last night and she has a GREAT example of toe-up heel-flap socks, all knit in different colors for the different sections. And there, I saw my folly: no gusset increases before the heel flap. I'm so much more used to top-down (as I like patterns and tend to follow them to the letter) gusset decreases that increasing before the flap never occurred to me.

So just now, I looked at the MimKnits link I blogged above and found my error. Back to it tonight.

I also started these on my Knit Picks Options Nickel sock dpns, in size 3 (the largest in that set). They are smooth and sharp (I really stabbed myself in a healing spot while at my sister's, and OMG, that really hurt), but pretty long and stiff. I saw a mention of shorter sock dpns on Ravelry, and remembered I have several sets of Bryspun dpns from when my LYS was closing. I pulled out the 3s, and it is really different. I think I like them better for socks, but am not sure. Also, they go down to 0, which I'll probably have to use for my Trekking. (OMG, people, the set is on sale for $19.99! Snap 'em up!)

I haven't actually done any knitting other than these socks. And I got so much more done over vacation than this week. Darn that work, getting in the way!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Lost my yarn-buyin' mojo

After a serious review of my finances and the Christmas list, I made a vow on November 20 not to buy any more yarn. I kept it, but it was hella hard at first. It seemed like everyone had saved up all sorts of luscious and affordable yarns.

Then, I adjusted. I did buy fiber, but no yarn. (The only exception is some yarn I exchanged at a LYS, for no extra cost.) The pull was still there, but weaker.

I was tried when I got a gift certificate to a yarn store up near my sister. But once I got there, there was no yarn I felt like I just had to have. (It didn't help that the store is a bit upscale and the prices match.) Luckily, this yarn store also supported weavers... and spinners. The fiber room upstairs yielded some beautiful merino/bamboo roving that was calling my name.

Ironically, the above trip was after Christmas. I had forgotten that my vow was to resist buying yarn till after Christmas!

It turned out that I had lost my yarn-buying mojo. My stepsister sent me a GC to an online store I love. I peruse their yarns, and... am not excited, not even for the dyeable yarns. I found a project in my Ravelry queue for which I didn't yet have the yarn, but after I'd put suitable yarns in my shopping cart, I wasn't all that enthused about buying them. I clearly won't get to that project until 2011. I have plenty queued up till then!

My wise sister pointed out the GC won't expire. She says, "Let's just knit what we have."

Sounds good to me.