A Dead Computer
It always takes me forever to post here, but now I have a viable excuse -- my home computer has died. Utterly.
Anyway, the project I'm working on is Starsky
and I'm knitting it for myself this time. I'm even sizing it up to fit me. I'm on the right front piece right now. and so far it is going pretty well.
I was in a stand still for a while with designing my own stuff. I was looking for the proper inspiration. Well, this morning I found it and I am full steam ahead on it. What's great about it is that this particular piece of inspiration is limitless. I am so psyched. I'm purposefully being oblique, though, for two reasons: (1) ever since 'Sex and the City' stole the name I wanted to change my name to (long story), I've become very guarded with my ideas; and (2) I don't want to jinx my momentum too much. I promise, though, that I will post my progress as I begin working on the projects.
So I finished my godson's sweater. I'll post the pics when I get back to work next week, but it turned out rather well. I made the torso longer than the pattern called for, but Koby's pretty tall so I wanted to add in the extra length.
Now I'm working on two afghans. One is hot pink and from a pattern on the label. The other is three different shades of blue in a block pattern that I designed myself. The design was inspired by the bathroom tile pattern at a department store I used to work at. Unfortunately, I am not very far along with either.
My grandmother's sweater is still in the UFO holding pattern that it's been in for quite some time. The back is completely done and the right front is almost done. The place that I'm stopped at is the part of the armhole where the decreases are finished and the length of the armhole needs to done and then the shoulder shaped. But the instructions say that I should work the armhole until it equals the length of the back. That's easy enough in principle, but I hate measuring. Unbelievably hate it. I'll get over it, but probably not for a week or two.
So I went to Smiley's on Saturday and bought a WHOLE bunch of yarn. There was this one particular deal that I was very happy about. It was a bag of 10 50 gram balls of wool/acrylic/alpaca blend. It's quite soft and very nice.
I also found yarn for my godson's sweater (left). It's not the Lion Brand yarn that the pattern calls for, but it is a nice chunky yarn that's quite plush. It's by Patons and it's called Melody. It cost more than I would have liked, but results have been wonderful.
The pattern is from the Summer 2005 issue of Knit.1. I was a bit scared of the fair isle aspect of the pattern, but I didn't think that the pattern big enough to justify intarsia.
I think that it turned out well, though, considering the bulkiness of the yarn. I even like the peakaboo aspect of the black under the white.
On a different note, I am in love with a new (to me) cast-on method. I learned to knit using the long-tail method and it was always a pain in the keester to determine how much yarn I needed for the tail. But this new method is great! Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of it, but here's the description: Make a slipknot, then knit one stitch and place the new stitch on the left needle. Then knit a new stitch and place it on the left needle and continue this way until you have the number of stitches needed.
Some of the other yarn I got over the weekend is going to be used in felting and afghan projects for my sitting room. The theme is Punk Princess. Hopefully, pictures will be on the way soon.
Christmastime is Here Again?!
So, I'm making my list of what I'm going to make my family for Christmas. So far I am in the middle of a cardigan for my grandmother. It's the Sienna Cardigan from Interweave Knits' Fall 2006 Issue. (As a side note: the other day I got the Winter issue of Interweave Knits and can I just say how happy I am to see them going back to the way they used to be. I was getting frightened by all of the fair isle they were showing!)
But I like this pattern; it seems like it will suit my grandma. Although, I am a little scared of the sizing. I'm making the medium size, but I'm using sport/fingering wieght alpaca yarn. Now, even though my swatch tells me that I'm working at the correct guage, I can't help but think that it's a bit on the small side. Hopefully, the magic of blocking will get it looking right.
For my dad I'm making the flip-top mittens that Debbie Stoller designed for Interweave Knits' subscriber-only website. Here's the picture, though:
I'm going to make them for him because he's a smoker (even though he should stop) and I want him to be able to keep his hands warm while smoking this winter. I think I'm going to exclude the snowflake, though. my dad isn't a snowflake kind of guy. I'm going to make a matching hat, too, because he lost the one that I made for him last year.
I'm also thinking about giving him the red and black sweater I designed in the early summer. Although I think it will end up being passed around the family men because I didn't use standard male measurements. So, we'll see who it looks best on.
For my aunt I am STILL trying to finsh the green, Amelie- like pullover from Vintage Knits. Everything is knitted now, I just have to attach everything. Boy do I hate finishing.
For my godson I am going to make a skull and bones sweater -- either from an old issue of Knit.1 or Stitch-n-Bitch. I'm not sure yet. I'm going to buy the yarn this weekend, hopefully at Smiley's. For those knitters that don't live in New York or have visited for the yarn stores: I say hopefully because Smiley's -- while being a WONDERFUL discount yarn store -- does not have regular stock. So it'll be a shot in the dark as to what I can find, yarn wise. I'd really love to use Lion Brand wool chucky, but P&S (my other discount yarn source) doesn't carry a large quantity of that style, so it's also a shot in the dark as to what colors and quantities they'll have.
I Haven't Knit a Thing in Days
So I went to the New York Knit Out yesterday. It was okay. I got a lot of patterns and a couple of free things. I also got some info on Project Linus and Warm Up America.
I'm still working on my black shrug. It's very slow progress. So very slow.
Oh Boy This Weekend!!!!
This weekend is the big knit-out in Union Square! I didn't get to go last year so I'm very excited about going this weekend. Although, can you imagine what it'll be like if it rains? All that wet wool...
So I'm still working on my shrug. I keep starting and stopping (dang carpel-tunnel!) But I'm half-way there, if not more, and I think that if I do a marathon on Saturday then I can get it done in time for the knit-out.
Today I got a PatternWorks catalog in the mail. I've never heard of PatternWorks before, but I flipped through the catalog and I wasn't that impressed. The prices seemed a bit high. Of course, I live in New York City where all of the beautiful yarns are sold. If I was still living in Peoria -- where the only yarn stores are Joann's and Michael's -- then this catalog would be a godsend. It did have a few patterns and accessories that look interesting. I would love to get a folding basket for holding my yarn while I knit. I can't afford it right now, though. Maybe when I work down the stash.
You Get a Life for A Couple of Days and They Jump All Over You!
I hate anonymous posts. Why? Because they're anonymous. After my last post I got a comment that said "your resolution failed."
No, it didn't.
What happened was that life got busy and I didn't get a chance to update.
What was I busy with? How about knitting TWO scarves on short notice for my friend's birthday. Both were double-stranded -- one with red Bernat and black Lionbrand Fun Fur, the other with an ice blue Dark Horse and white Patons Gliterrati. I called them Fire and Ice, Devil and Angel.
They looked quite cute when finished. The Fire scarf was warmer than I expected and the Ice scarf was lighter than I thought it would be.
Now it's back to the black shrug that I'm making for myself. It's this retro pattern that I got from a mailing list. The pattern is very simple, but since I have to knit 50" on NO 5 needles it's getting quite tedious.
I'm also still trying to figure out what I can use from my stash for family Christmas presents.
So take that, Anonymous. Blah!
Whether summer is officially over or not, I am very glad. I am not glad, however, that the last time I blogged on here was in APRIL!
Well, I'm making a resolution that I will blog on my knitting blog every other day until at least Thanksgiving. It's very good that I do this, too, since I need to do a stash countdown and birthday/Christmas blow-out.
Before I post about all of that (next blog, I swear), I must say that I am very disappointed in the dirth of hip cross-stitch patterns. What am I supposed to do? I don't want to stitch country crafts, but I also don't want to stitch swear words either (a la Subersive Cross Stitch).
When I try to create something I come up blank. Maybe I should just start cross-stitching a random design. That sometimes works for my knitting.
I Never Stopped Knitting, Just Blogging
I have to be the worst blogger ever!
Anyway, if I have any readers left, here is an update of my works in progress:
- I still haven't finished the Knitting Olympics sweater. It's just been sitting in my room, like the baby in 'Eraserhead', asking "Why? Why did you begin making me if you don't want to finish me?" I'll probably finish it someday, but it's just not important to me right now.
- I am this close to finishing the Hogwart's/Raveclaw scarf! I am on the last large section of blue, but I've come to a halt because I need to begin a new skein of yarn and I'm procrastinating on putting it into a ball. (Skeins are hard to ball when you don't have the right contraptions.)
- I am also in the seventh inning stretch of the green sweater for my aunt. It's the sweater on the front of Rowan's Vintage Knits book. It's coming along really well and the polo neck front and lapel were way easier than I thought they woud be. I just have to sew the pieces together and finish the cuffs. Then it's blockking and sending it off (just in time for the Illinois summer!)
- I've started a fun little scarf that I was iffy about at first, but is turning out much better than I imagined. It was just to be a simple thing, something for times when I wanted to concentrate on something else, but still keep my hands busy. I'm using the Fun Fur yarn my grnadma gave me, doubled with some lite blue Cascade yarn that I had left over from another project. It's knitting up pretty quick because I'm using US15 needles and looking really good. At first I thought it would be for a woman, but the more I work on it, the more I realize that it would be perfect for a little girl.
- The project that I'm really focusing on, though, is a man's sweater that I designed while I was half asleep. It's a design that I've had knocking around in my head for years, but I coupled it with some yarn that I had in my stash and didn't know what to do with. It also incorporates intarsia knitting, which I was very nervous about in the beginning, but now I'm getting the hang of it. I'm about one third of the way through the back peice and so far and it looks great, if I do say so myself!
Plus, over the weekend I was browsing around the crafts section of a Barnes & Noble, looking to see if they had any books on sweater design and I came accross a new and completely ingenious new book! It's called Big Girl Knits and one of the authors also runs Knitty.com. It has plus size garments, but it also tells you how to adapt non-plus size sweater patterns to plus-size!
I also found a sweater design book and it's by the same woman who wrote Knitting in Plain English, which, while I've never used, I've heard it is a very good book on beginning knitting.
I'm Like The Bode Miller of the Knitting Olympics
I could've been great. I could have a wonderful picture of the sweater. But no. I didn't finish.
I was doing great too, but I let my cross-stitch project get in the way. Sure I could blame the tonsilitus I came down with on Friday, but it was my choice to not work on the sweater.
I'm still going to try and finish, but there will always be the stink of failure on it.
An Overly Dramatic Knitting Olympics Update
Hello, everyone. Welcome to my first Knitting Olympics update.
So far my knitting is going very well. Due to a delay on Friday (work) I was not able to begin casting on until 6:00 pm EST. This late start, though, did not hinder my progress over the weekend. Even with periodic interuptions like important appointments, purchasing blizzard provisions and naps I was able to finish the back section of my sweater by Sunday evening.
That same evening I began casting on the sweater front and made it well into the second stripe. Monday I continued the impressive pace and was able to work from the decreasing rows in the increasing rows -- despite the freezing temperatures of my apartment.
But by Tuesday I began to lose steam, leading to an mistake that has become a minor set back. The pattern calls for an increase on each end of the row, but I only increased on one side. The realization of the missed increase came at a devestating time as well, four rows had been worked since the missed increased and I was growing tired since it was very close to my bed time. Frustrated with myself I went to bed with the shadow of the missed increase and ripping looming over me.
This morning I awoke with enough time to get ready for work and insert the needle into my stitches to begin ripping. I felt very proud of myself because I found a way to rip only to the point of where my increased needs to be, thus ensuring the integrity of the row and saving me the hassle of re-knitting the increase row.
Right now the rows still need to be ripped and I'm still feeling rather tired. I hope to be able to resolve the set back and get the sweater to an even better point than before. I also have my knitting circle tonight and the support of my teammates will be quite helpful.
As my project stands, even with the set backs encountered so far I look to be completely finished well before the end of the Olympics. Which leads to think of attempting a second project/competition. So far the choices are Jaywalkers
or a Fortune Cat
. Tell me what you think.
Lastly, in a totally unrelated to knitting topic, this morning I was looking at pictures of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show winner. His name is Rufus and he's a cute dog. But I think this picture is hilarious:
It looks like he's smiling!!!
Swatch The Deck, Matie!
Lately I have been in love with Lion Brand Wool-Ease, mostly in worsted weight. And even though I bought a whole bunch of skeins of black on Sunday, yesterday I got a hankering to buy more yarn. So I rushed down to P&S with only 25 minutes left before they closed and stood in front of the Wool-Ease looking for the perfect colors.
Then I saw the first one -- chocolate brown. It was just right. Not to red. Not too yellow. And the thought of a cute striped sweater with a bateau neck came to me and I started looking for another color to go with it. Pink? Not the right shades. Peacock blue would have been perfect, but they only had one skein left. That's when I picked up one color that looked like a long shot, but the more I looked at it, the more it looked better with the brown. It's this strange green that's called Seaspray. It's not quite green, but I also wouldn't call it a seafoam. It's quite ambiguous, but I can't wait to start knitting it up! (Especially since this will be my first sweater design.)
While I was there I also took a look at their circular needles. P&S doesn't have the best circular selection. It's pretty much just bamboo and Susan Bates. Lately I've been shying away from bamboo (probably because I've been doing so much acrylic knitting) so I went to the Susan Bates. They had the sizes I needed in air-travel-freindly lengths so I grabbed an 8 and 9. I was about to grab a 7 when I saw the 10 and decided to get it instead. Even though I made my test swatch the night before I decided that trying the 10 wouldn't hurt.
What a difference! I cast on the same number of stitches as the 9 swatch, but the 10 swatch 1.5" longer. The thing that ticks me off, though, is that, on the 10s, I was still able to get 8 stitches per 2 inches into the swatch guage, as directed in the instructions. BUT, I'm still getting 11 rows per two inches instead of 10! Is it because I'm not using two strands held together? How is this going to effect the sweater? Will it be too long or too short? Is it going to be terribly baggy?
I'm still going forward with it, though, on the 10s, because part of me is saying that I never paid attention to guage before, so why should I start now. I'll know by the 26th what this daredevil knitting philosophy will mean for the finished item.
Last night I began my test swatch for the sweater I'm making for the Knitting Olympics. I also did the math of how many rows are going to be in each piece so I could determine how many rows should be in each stripe. I think 10 will work.
Today, while I was reading yarnharlot.com I got linked to this great blog post about how to stay in shape during the Knitting Olympics.http://beadlizard.blogspot.com/2006/02/olympic-speed-knitting.html
The tip I loved the most was the one about yarn balls (get your mind out of the gutter). Since I'm using Bernat I was going to keep the yarn in their original skeins, but now I'm thinking that I should turn them. I do have the little hand crank machine, but I do make the tension rather tight (trouble of being a sewer for so long). But this tip will definitely stay with me when I roll other skeins of yarn.
I also went to the Transportation Security Administration website to find out what kind of knitting needles are allowed on planes and I'm quite perplexed. One of the things they suggest are circular knitting needles less than 31 inches in total length and that they are either plastic or bamboo -- no metal. What am I to do? I've having a fling with aluminum needles lately and it looks like things are getting more serious. I mean I really, really l-o-v-e metal needles. The yarn just flies off of them, especially the acrylics and acrylic blends. And what about the length issue? I'm making a sweater and I could only find needles in 36" length!
My only hope is to go through security and look very non-chalant. Other wise I have to mail them back to my apartment while at the airport.
Does anyone know what the restrictions are for knitting needles lately? Have they loosened recently and just not been posted on the internet?
Finally! A Reason To Look Forward To The Olympics!!!!
Last week at my STITCH N' BITCH (take that Sew Fast/Sew Easy)
I met Julie, who also has a knitting blog right here
. While I was at her main site I saw a very interesting button and I pressed it and it took me to the coolest knit off I've ever seen. Here, you try it:
How cool is that?!!
Since I've finished the sweater for my nephew and the sweater for my dad, and although I'm in the middle of the sweater for my aunt, I am going to do this!
I've already decided that I'm going to make the Magnolia sweater from my Rowan Vintage Knits book, but I'm modifying it a bit. Instead of using the Rowan yarn, I'm using Bernat. Instead of using two yarns held together like the pattern, I'm just using one. And instead of the somewhat solid color in the picture, I'm going to make stripes using a dusty rose and a medium charcoal gray. I'm also adjusting the needle size down one for the three sizes required, since I'm switching from two strands to one.
I'm going to start the swatching tonight so I can adjust my guage and I've already started working out the number of rows for the sweater sections so I can determine how many row should be in the stripes. I even bought circular needles so I can take them on the plane to Peoria with me, but I hope they won't be taken because they're aluminum.
I also want to finish my aunt's sweater before the Knitting Olympics begin. I am very, very determined to finish the projects I start now.
Digging into the Stash
So I've begun working on my stash. I've started making cat toys from the Lilly cotton that I bought last winter. So far I've made a couple of cute fish. I'm just putting the finishing touches on the pattern and I plan on posting it by Friday. To tide you over, here's a picture of one of my cats with one of the toys.
I also started the Branching Out scarf
on Knitty with the marigold Misti I have. I want to save the two Misti greens, though, for a different scarf. Although, I think I'm going to make branching out in the lace weight Misti I have in dusty rose.
Seen things are pretty slow at work lately I've been able to read a lot more knitting blogs and I must say that I am feeling rather overshadowed (is that the right word?) by the quality of other knitter's blogs. I mean, they are really terrific. They have custom designed banners and little buttons. When I see these websites it makes me want to learn html!
But I must remember: my blog is just a couple of months old really. It's a little baby blog that needs to grow and develop and one day, hopefully, it'll look just as good as the other knitting blogs.
In my biggest piece of decision making news, I've decided to go to the stitch-n-bitch that takes place in Brooklyn that I haven't had the chance to go to yet. I want to take the sweater that I'm working on for my dad. I got stuck on the sleeves and I have to rip out what I've done so far and ask the girl's and guy's advice on how to read the book's instructions. I am really looking forward to it! Debbie Stoller (that's right! THE Debbie Stoller
) is the moderator of the knitting online community for this particular stitch-n-bitch and, even though I don't think she goes to it anymore, it'll be cool to have actual knitting buddies. (None of my friends knit and the time I tried to teach a friend did not go well.)
First Finished Project of 2006!!!
Hooray!!! I finished a project. I am terrible at finishing projects, but I did it -- I actually did it!
The project I finished was Chocolate Mint, the scarf that I showed a progress picture of yesterday. It looks great and it feels quite soft. I love the dimensions on it too. It's just the right width and it's long, but not too long. It's warm, but not overwhelming. It's perfect.
And I'm done moving this weekend I can begin working on my stash. I'm doing a stash-a-long for the next few months. I'll post my official stash-strategy next Monday.
I'm wondering what to do with my yarn when I move into the new place, though. One of my new roommates has two cats -- very sweet and affectionate -- but I keep imagining what their reaction to all that yarn is going to be. I picture them sitting in front of my wall-o-yarn and staring at it as if they've found the Holy Grail. What do other people with cats do with their stashes?
Resolution #1: Consistency in Knitting Blog
I need a digital camera. I have a camera phone now, but I think everyone will agree that camera phones are pretty crappy (unless you have one of those super-expensive phones that only P. Diddy can afford.) Anyway, here is a couple of very bad pictures of a couple current projects:
Yes, that's me. That's what I look like after spending the better part of the university's week and a half long winter break inside the house. I think I have the the shining now.
Anyway, the hat is just a simple little scully cap. I used Lamb's Pride in "White" and "Spice". I modified the pattern a bit by lengthening the cap so it covers more of the ears. I'm thinking of calling the design The White Stripes because of the color combo and because, when I finished it, I realized that I made something that Jack or Meg might wear. But the name is still a work in progress.
The scarf is just a simple K2 P2 rib with 4 rows per stripe. The colors are not that great in this picture (under/over statement of the year). I'm using Lamb's Pride in "Chocolate Souffle" and "Pistachio".
Maybe it's the weather, but I've been on a real wool kick lately. In the last month I've bought almost exclusively wool. The only other thing I've bought lately is Misti Alpalca in lace and worsted weights.
And may I just take a moment to praise Misti Alpaca? From what I've been reading in other blogs lately and on the Knitty
message board, alpaca is just about the softest, lushiest material there is and I couldn't agree more! The other night I bought two skeins of each of these colors:
I am so anxious to make something out of these -- most likely a stripey, super-long scarf. But I'm also going to mine the back-issues of Knitty to see if I can find a new and interesting pattern. There was also a lace scarf that another blogger was making that I really liked. I believe that she got that from Knitty, too.
Until tomorrow. I promise.
Finally Updating (with Pictures, Hooray!!!)
So I've got about a million projects going on right now (what else is new?) Right now I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever be able to finish a project. It seems that I've got a case of the "eyes too big for my stomach" syndrome -- only with yarn. Maybe if I make a little list....
1. The Ribby Cardi! My plan back in October, when I first got the pattern and yarn as my birthday present to myself, was to make it as soon as I got the yarn. Then I thought, "I'll make it over Thanksgiving!" But I have to begin packing over the holiday weekend (including the stash that could double as a yarn store). Plus I was hoping to get my surgery around the end of November, so I postponed.
But then I thought that I could do it while I recuperated after the surgery in December. Afterall, I'll be home for two weeks with nothing to do. That works, right? Wrong. Evidently, breast reduction surgery leaves you very sore in the chest and the arm area for most of those two weeks, so again I postponed.
Now it seems, though, that I have to move by the end of December (instead of January like I originally planned) so I don't see much point in pulling out the plastic bin and starting a new project since I'm going to be too busy to keep up with it.
2. The Harry Potter: Prisoner of Azkaban scarf.
This one I started back in August! Why has it taken me this long? Two reason: sport weight yarn and a ridiculous length. How ridiculous? Try 95 inches. 95 inches?! 95 inches -- if not longer by the time I'm done.
As you can see in this picture of Harry, Ron and Hermione the carves reach to their knees or below. And it's not just those particular actors. Every stinkin' kid in the movie has an impossibly long scarf!
Typical me, I bought too much of the grey; but, thankfully, I've got enough of the blue. I'm using Louet Sales Gems Sportweight in Indigo and Linen Grey.
I'm three-quarters of the way done and I think that if I stop after two more long panels I might have enough for a hat and a pair of mittens.
3. C'est Beret
! This one I started a couple of days ago on my new US 4 aluninum circulers. I'm using Louet Sales Gems Sportweight again, since it's become one of my favorites to work with (so lightweight, so soft yet sturdy). I'm using the colors Eggplant and Willow.
I think it's going to look great. I did have to increase the CO amount since I'm using smaller needles and thinner yarn, which made me afraid since I had to guess how many CO stitches would be enough. I think I guessed well, though, because it doesn't seem like the brim is too large to fit snuggly.
This is the sweater that I'm making for my dad for Christmas. I'm nearly there, too. I've only got make the sleeves and neck. Can I do it? Can I break the cycle?
5. My Grnadma's Christmas sweater. I don't have a picture of this one, but it comes from the same book as my Dad's sweater.
6. My brother's Christmas sweater. Maybe this will come from the same book. Maybe not.
7. The felted bag in Stitch n' Bitch. You'd think that this would be a snap. Oh, not for me. I've got to make it complicated! It can't just be the solid color. I wanted to fair isle a union jack in on both sides, but I don't think I will anymore.
So this is the first post of my brand new blog all about knitting! I feel so excited...
So today I made a hat for a co-worker of mine. It was only supposed to take the length of two movies to finish it, but maybe the designer meant movies you've seen a million times before because it took me four movies and most of Saturday Night Live to finish it. It's done, though, and it looks great. I just have to weave in the ends, but I'm thinking of making another one tomorrow since this one is so cute. It's seems ideal too for those days when I where my hair down and I want to keep my head warm. I was thinking that I would make it from the same wool I used for the first one, but now I'm thinking that I might use the wool that I'm making one my skinny scarf from... Yeah, I think I like that idea.
Anyway, here's the link to the pattern. You should out the rest of her blog. It's funny and resourceful with great pictures. She's the standard I'm holding myself too =Dhttp://droppedstitches.blogspot.com/2004/11/two-movie-easy-knit-hat-pattern.html