31 December, 2008
27 December, 2008
There are some that love you to the point of delusion, going on and on about your magical properties of making a project turn out perfectly EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. You make the sweaters fit and tension never change. You control the weather and make crops grow. I would not be surprised if you have been hailed as a fertility idol at some point in time. How your followers love you so, oh Swatch that Foretells the Gauge.
But to me? You are a pain in my side and lie to me every single time. I tried to do the RIGHT thing so many other knitters chastise me for neglecting. "Your sweaters will NEVER fit and you will have wasted money on yarn," they tell me over and over. Since I did not have an actual pattern to work off of, I knit you and with my normal tension (just ever so slightly tight). I got my gauge. I did my math--and I am good at math, none of this "girls can't do math" garbage for me, thanks--and in the banding of the sweater, I should have had zero ease and then gone from there. Things were looking good, but due to some errors and lack of thought about my lace pattern, I needed to take two day's worth of knitting off the needles to rip back to the band. It occured to me while I ripped that perhaps I should try the band on since the sweater was off the needles anyway. What did I find to my horrer? THE BAND WAS FIVE INCHES TOO BIG.
BOO to you, Gauge Swatch. BOO.
(And YES, I DID check my gauge as I was knitting as well. All your lovers would see this and proclaim that I had knit my sweater wrong. OBVIOUSLY my gauge was bigger then the gauge I knit you at. Not true. My gauge was spot on with the swatch.)
All my other sweaters have been knit without swatches and turn out fine. I do a swatch and you send me a sweater that is way too big? You are not worth worshipping and idolizing.
-A very disgruntled me that lost about 7-8 hours worth of knitting and has to start over
26 December, 2008
So what did I get done in 2008?
- 7 Hats
- 7 Adult Sweaters
- 7 Pairs of Socks
- 6 Knitted Toys
- 3 Baby items
- 1 Knit Bag
Not too bad for a year when I spent most of it pregnant and completely wore down. Sadly, I did not stick to my stash busting resolution as a result and ended the year with a tote that is just as full as when I started. (I couldn't work on all the pull over sweaters I had yarn for because starting at 7 weeks, my stomach popped out, making them impossible to do.)
So for 2009, I hope to do better.
- Start a yarn bank and reward myself for each completed project: $2 for a small/easy project, $5 for a medium one, $10 for a large/difficult project. If I buy yarn that was not bought from destash money, gift money, or gift certificates at stores, I lose my bank and it goes to my husband. (I have one authorized buy for the first two weeks of the year that also will not count in this venture. *Shakes a fist at Sundara and her new policy about colors*)
- Obviously, clear out the yarn in my tote and the left overs from previous projects either by destashing or using. At the pace I work, this could take as few as 5 months, or as many as 12. My guess is that by mid-year, I'll be needing some more yarn and can go back to buying some and hopefully only what I have a project in mind for.
I think those seem reasonable enough. :) No point in making a resolution I can't keep.
25 December, 2008
20 December, 2008
The Beret I featured in my last blog is on hold until a second skein of Malabrigo Silky Merino can make it my way. With any luck, it will be Monday. I'm 12 rows from the end--so close. Had I been paying closer attention and not still in newborn mode, I would have noticed that I had 100 fewer yards of yarn then the pattern called for. I'm sure I will not need that many, but I will need to use part of a second skein of yarn.
In preperation for my 2009 knitting resolutions, I've been contemplating ways to use up sock yarns and scraps that do not include knitting socks. So far, I have ideas for two patterns that I'll publish on this blog shortly; the first I just finished tonight. I have a bad habit of buying sock yarns, buying a single skein, and then not knowing what to do with them. ( I can't help myself, I am a color junkie.) Lately, I've been having zero luck destashing on Ravelry and they have to get out of my tote somehow! Thus, "Things to do with sock yarns and scraps," will be born. Though it needs a more brief name that doesn't trip on the tongue.
Tonight, I plan to cast on my second Purl Beret in an attempt to use up part of another skein of sock yarn. The stuff breeds like rabbits, I swear!
What is life without some pretty hats?
16 December, 2008
Malabrigo Silky Merino may be one of my new favorite yarns. MMMmalabrigo. I was afraid to get a sweater's worth so I bought a single skein to try out. It is lovely. And this shade of purple doesn't hate my skin, so I will be purchasing more in the future. I love purple, always have, but most shades do not play nicely with my skin, which is a shame. Plum Blossom, I dream of you as a sweater.
Now back to petting this yarn and marveling at how nice and squishy it is.
13 December, 2008
Yes, I do have to keep telling myself this to push through this knit. Doesn't help that I now have 300+ stitches of garter edging to pick up and then the arms. Though I will admit, I just learned how to do a 3 needle bind off and that is one slick trick. Definitely using that instead of grafting when I can.
It's almost done.
11 December, 2008
10 December, 2008
Things are going relatively well on the Shorty. I'm having to take a lot of length out of it--nothing new there--but having a hard time figuring out exactly where to take it from as I can not visualize how it will come together. For the time being, I'm doing the L size for width and the M size for height of the sweater. I really love the yarn I'm working with. Wollmeise is lovely on the hands and even though the colors are a bit garish when fresh from the skein, they blend together nicely in the knitting. If I can just get to the end of the back, I think I'll be OK. Right now, I'm about 1/3 of the way up the large back panel.
Must be strong. All you other projects, wait your turn.
07 December, 2008
This picture is more true to color then the other one. Not sure I'd use this yarn again though. The color is beautiful, but I wasn't fond of the yarn base. It was a little rough to work with and splitty. The finished fabric is soft enough and rather nice to touch.
04 December, 2008
01 December, 2008
30 November, 2008
2. My favorite pizza is pepporoni with pineapple.
3. I have an obsession with bunny slippers and am on a quest to find or make the perfect pair.
4. I love to read boring non-fiction books like textbooks. If I'm learning, I'm happy.
5. I will put bacon on anything...ok, almost anything.
6. Most days, I do not change out of lounge/PJ pants; I have a great dislike for jeans and will avoid them until I absolutely have to leave the house.
7. I have aspirations to be a pattern creator, yarn dyer and "great" internet blogger.
I won't be doing any tagging as the two people I know read this blog, already have done this meme or been tagged.
27 November, 2008
Second, I'm making good--but slow--progress on my next knit: the Shetland Shorty in Wollmeise. So far, so good.
Yes, it really is THAT bright of a pink, red, and orange. Holy Bright Colors, Batman! So far, I'm really loving it next to green-ish blues and can't wait to have it off needles to wear. It's another stupidly simple lace pattern, so let's hope I do not muck this one up.
25 November, 2008
That went a bit more quickly then expected and my son seems to be happy with his "peanut bear."
I have found that I'm becoming spoiled by my Knitpicks Harmony needles: the Clover DPNs felt too blunt and clumbsy to me. I should look into getting a set of the Harmony DPNs in the larger sizes.
22 November, 2008
Yarn: Cotton Fleece, color Rue
15 November, 2008
(I'm also making slow and steady progress on my Green Gable and should have a progress pic soon: I'm finally to the waist on it and very happy so far.)
09 November, 2008
First the Monkey socks. I've been pleasantly surprised at how much I like the Bayfield Apple colorway. There was color pooling on the Gusset, but everywhere else, it did some beautiful striping.
And my "Green" Gable in Cotton Fleece; the color is Rue and very pretty dark French blue. I've been happy so far and as usual, am having to knit a weird custom inbetween size, but it's coming out nicely.
03 November, 2008
That is my Yarn Love in Bayfield Apple I had been wondering what to do with. It became a pair of Monkey socks that took me over two weeks to knit, which was strange as I'm used to working so fast. (No pictures of the socks for now, I need to get pictures taken of the FO and do an FO post eventually here.) The socks took just under half the skein and I'm unsure of what to do with the rest. I guess I'll eventually make more socks, or I'll be on the look for anyone from Ravelry who may have an equivalent amount in another colorway. Honestly, I'm not sure where the figure that an average pair of socks takes 400yds of yarn comes from anyway: I think at most, my socks take 230-240yds, and my feet aren't even that small, they're average size.
Now, I'm working on my Green Gable after having the yarn for it sitting in my tote for about a year. I mucked up the lace a bit--what is it with me and these easy patterns lately?!--but it's not noticable and I'm not ripping back for that. If all goes well, I'll have pictures and another project in the near future.
13 September, 2008
12 September, 2008
I've finally gotten around to learning a bit more about how to update the look of this blog and have added lists into my sidebars. I need to continue to add projects to my queue as I have tons of yarn and an idea of what I'm going to use it for--I have quite a few varigated sock yarns that I think will become multiple pairs of Jaywalker socks so that they stripe. I'm hoping it will help keep me focused and moving on projects even after the baby is here and the want to refill my tote starts to hit again. Have to clear it in order to make room.
I'm hoping 2009 will be the year to add a few "non-selfish" projects to my list again. This year, I've focused on me and quite frankly, enjoyed it. I can understand wanting to make presents for others, but I have a hard time understanding the mentality of feeling guilty for wanting to use one's time and yarn on herself. (Why yes, I *am* a member of the Selfish Knitters group on Ravelry.) I have lots of little bits of sock yarns left over that would make wonderful toddler socks and I'd like to make both of my children cute sweaters for this coming year.
I'd also like to make DH a new sweater, but am having an issue with it--well, him, about it. If he had his way, he'd get nothing but plain, dark colored crewneck sweaters with no details or very minimal ones on them. The Manly Maze I originally made for him had to be altered to remove more of the maze pattern from the cuffs in order to suit his taste and since then, I haven't been able to bring myself to make him another sweater. Anytime I find a sweater that I think would be fantastic on him, even a simple one, he doesn't like ANY of the details which would make it interesting for me to knit and inspire me to do so. He's asked a few times why I haven't made him another sweater and so far, he's received a rather terse, "You can have one when you decide to wear some color or something interesting," in reply.
Honestly, is this sweater really that bad? I thought for sure he'd go for it since it's basically a ribbed sweater with one very minimal cable on it to add interest. I even tried to tell him that in a darker color and with the buttons matching the yarn that it would be even less ornate, but really, is that sweater ornate to begin with?! He won't go for it and says he'd refuse to wear it. I've been talking to him about it for months now while I wait for ShiBui to put out the pattern. I think it's so perfect for him that I can't get it out of my mind and just let it go. I'd kill to be taller and have a leaner frame and longer neck so I could wear a sweater like that. I think he'd be very handsome in it and I'm sure his mother would agree since she reads this blog.
I'd love to make him the above mentioned sweater, and may still do it anyway and make him just try it on. (he can be so stubborn only to find out, hey, he actually likes it...like collared polo shirts...I don't know how many times I had to ask him to "just try it on" before he finally caved and then decided he liked them so much, he bought a couple. Same with less baggy dark denim jeans. PICKY PICKY PICKY.) However, the new Fall Knitty has a promising men's pattern in it and I may see if I can't ease him into the world of allegedly fancy sweaters with Retrofit. I can already foresee his asking that it not be two different colors, but I may try to make him do just that, even if it's only a subtle difference between the two.
So if anyone has ever wondered why most of the projects I work on are for me, you now know why. I'm hoping my children will be much more gracious recipients of sweaters. Lovely, "FANCY" sweaters.
03 September, 2008
25 August, 2008
23 August, 2008
Overall, the pattern was well-written and enjoyable. I can see why Cookie A is so popular with sock knitters. Definitely makes it easy to justify buying a pattern or two of hers in the future. Part of me balks at the idea of paying $6 for a sock pattern, but well-written ones I think I can make an exception for. It had so many elements that I'm used to seeing in other sock patterns, but a better way to do them. The last couple of patterns I've done have been that way--so much better then the ones SWTC puts with their TOFUtsies limited edition yarns. I'm wondering if I didn't do myself a disservice starting off with their patterns instead of ones like Monkey.
Yarn was also fantastic to work with. This and Lorna's will definitely be go-to sock yarns in the future. It's nice and sproingy. Has lovely stitch definition and subtlely stripes. I did not have any pooling anywhere on the sock this time. Was easy on the hands and felt nice to work with. Overall, lovely.
I forced myself to go slow with these and dragged them out an extra 3 days. On the one hand, it's wonderful to be able to knit so fast: I get a lot of projects done and accomplished. On the other, I go so fast that I run out of project yarn quickly and that enables me to overbuy more yarn. While waiting for this baby and being able to knit all the projects in my tote, I've had to buy lots of yarn to keep me occupied. The more I knit, the more I want to. Have to say, it is one of the better things I've been addicted to doing!
Now I'm working on the larger Sausage dog for my son and wondering where I'll go from there. I still have a lot of time to kill before I can think of starting those pullovers.
10 August, 2008
02 August, 2008
And here's a picture of my test sausage dog, also mentioned last entry. I finally stitched his face on and I will openly admit, hand-sewing and embroidering are not my strong suit. Regardless, he turned out rather well and I now know for sure that I want to upsize the pattern to make a version for DS, even went so far as to purchase new yarn to make sure the colors would appeal to him. I adore Blue Sky Alpaca's various yarns and their sportweight alpaca is no exception. It is so heartbreaking to live in such a warm climate that I can't use it for anything to wear! At least I can make cute toys out of it. They have such nice neutral shades as well; it can be such a pain to find a non-icky brown yarn. I'm debating purchasing a contrasting color to go with some sport weight I already have for DD's future puppy...though some of the current color line is just too pretty to pass up and makes it tempting to purchase new. I will likely work on another pair of socks for myself before I start on the larger sausage dog for DS: toys take such little time to knit that I may as well put it off a short while. And let's face it, I like variety. (And am a rather fast knitter.)
No pictures of my current project. I'm making yet another Jelly Bean Bunny from one of the first patterns I ever purchased. I'd argue that three uses in just over a year is not bad for a $3 pattern. I keep coming back to it because it is so easy but so cute at the same time. (Unlike that putzy Sheldon. Grrr...I still can't make another of those. Even thinking about it makes me twitch. Today I reasoned that by going up a needle size and using bamboo DPNs rather then nickel plated ones, he may not be so painful this time around and I can slightly upsize him.) I upscaled this pattern a bit to use some chunky weight yarn I've had sitting in my destash pile that no one seems to want to take off my hands. It matches perfectly with some tapestry yarn my MIL gave me that was left-over from a sweater she made DS. So, I'm making a manly little bunny for my bunny. There will likely be enough of both left over that DH has requested that he, too, needs a bunny. He seems to have some love for the homemade stuffed animals.
In non-project news, the new Twist Collective online 'zine was pointed out to me and WOW, is it impressive and pretty! It has taken me awhile to wrap my head around the idea that all the patterns are individually priced and have to be purchased as such, but it wouldn't exactly be the first time I've purchased patterns that way from a specific designer's site...so really, it isn't much different. I for sure plan to purchase Pam Allen's Come Together pullover as well as Cookie A's Lissajous knee socks. There are a couple other patterns I'm debating purchasing, but I'm assuming they won't take them down and I have time to decide for sure what I think and if I find it worth it to purchase. This 'zine has by far impressed me more then the fall previews of magazines I usually enjoy. For instance, there will not be a Fall Rebecca, Vogue, or IK in my home--unless IK has some seriously fabulous articles in it. Fall Knitscene is fab, but that's about it. Oh well, less to pile onto my queue from any of them. As if it needs to be flooded with tons more projects.
Speaking of my queue, it's about to get bogged down in items from Kim Hargreave's Nectar collection once I knit up all my Zephyr Gals patterns I have yarn for. After much searching, I was able to find a retailer that had the book in-stock and I went from wanting to make one-two patterns from internet glancing, to wanting to knit almost the entire book. I have a serious designer crush on Kim right now and I may have to see if finding back issues of Rowan is worth it. (She also has another collection that was previously available only online coming to a book available on Monday, if all goes well. *Crosses fingers* This time, I think I'll just pay the extra $10 and order from the UK rather then going through the hassle of finding a copy state-side. Of course it had to be another collection of hers that I'm a fan of and not one of the ones that I have little interest in.)
27 July, 2008
Made and finished a yoked baby sweater out of the aMAIZing yarn I purchased while back home. It was odd to work with. Never worked with a ribbon yarn before, let alone one made out of corn. Since my hands get sweaty, it got to be rather sticky. It also rubbed funny on my fingers as it was passing over. Can't say I'd work with it again, though it was pleasant enough, I suppose. I decided to leave out the contrasting color and the three skeins of the violet I had were just enough to make the sweater with mere inches to spare. (Try to picture the sweater without the ever-so-flattering fluorescent lighting upon it. The color is much more lovely in person and contrasts beautifully with the wood buttons I already had laying around.) I modified it to only button on the top and am not sure exactly what size it is as my gauge was off--ha, imagine that. However, it was a happy incident as it is large enough that I do not have to worry about it being too small for a newborn; though that's the size I made.
Other finished projects include a felted sausage dog that I need to take pictures of...there are plans to make two larger ones. One for DS and another for DD when she gets here. I've been trying to think of special things I can do for him to prepare for the arrival of his sister since so many things are coming into our house for her these days.
Also finished a pair of Zombie socks in the last of my Black Purl yarn from Lorna's Laces. They turned out really well...once again, no picture at this time. Will need to bribe DH with cookies and see if I can't get him to be sweet and take some for me.
My current project is another yoked baby sweater. Not sure if I'll leave it as-is or modify it. I think I want to add some sweet little frilly ruffles to it and girl it up a bit. And I believe, like with the first sweater, I will not run buttons down the entire front, just the top. With a newborn, why futz with all of those buttons? I'm already over half done with this current sweater, it's been a very fast knit, and am looking to finish some other small projects and clear some yarn out of my tote. I think spring forward is on that list, as well as another foliage for my sister with a beautiful alpaca yarn I purchased but is impractical for here. Then the two larger sausage dogs (already linked) and I'll likely knit some more toys.
I'm not sure I want to start my February Lady sweater before September and will likely wait a bit longer on her (I managed to score enough Malabrigo in Hollyhock for it, YUM), but I have plenty of yarn to work with for now. Had a bit of a buying spree for my birthday and my tote seems to be full again. I shall end this post with pictures of my favorite acquisitions of the spree; the ones I keep opening up my tote to pet and admire for their beauty.
First, the Malabrigo. Such a yummy color. One of the things I love about knitting my own clothes is the greater variety of color I can get into my wardrobe. My love of color is also tempting me to learn how to do my own dying so I can get exactly the color I want. One expensive and time-consuming hobby at a time!Second is this absolutely fantastic Elizabeth Bennet sock yarn by Yarn Love in Strawberry Shortcake I managed to score. It's a wool/bamboo/silk mix and it feels so silky and nice. The colorway is just beautiful as well. There's a subtle graham cracker color, lucious pinks, and it's topped off with a creamy color. There's another short sweater pattern I plan to make with this. It's just too lovely to make into socks.
13 July, 2008
01 July, 2008
The first picture is more color accurate, but this gives a better idea of the pretty varigations in the yarn. It reminds me very much of sea glass and it's quite lovely to look at.
18 June, 2008
Overall, very happy with the results of this knit. It fits now--stretches a bit over the belly but that's fine as I won't be pregnant forever --and it's light enough that I should be able to wear it in the "cold" Texas winters. And it makes me smile everytime I try it on to boot. Which in my book makes it a GREAT knit. I'd like to do another one some other time, maybe in a more neutral color or just another color, period. It makes me feel cute. (Yes, I realize I'm not smiling in the picture, it's about the sweater, not me and DH didn't warn me he was taking it at that moment. HA.)
So onto the next project. I originally picked up 5 skeins of this super yummy Dream In Color Smooshy in Beach Fog to make a Thermal, but realized that once again, I will almost never wear it as Texas doesn't get cold enough. BOO. Now, it's becoming a Tempest from Knitty, which I think I'll get more wear out of and I can even work on it despite having a huge bowling ball in my stomach. The fingering weight of the yarn should keep me busy for some time as well...just wasn't in the mood for small projects quite yet so I thought I'd take on another cardigan before using up some random skeins of yarn. I got the first ball wound tonight, should cast on tomorrow, Toddler permitting.
08 June, 2008
Turns out I didn't need to increase past the L size for the pattern and I think I even came out a couple of stitches shy of that. Pattern really does run on the large size. (Good thing to keep in mind for my other Zephyr patterns I'll work on later in the year --> next year.)
Have a new sweater crush, strangely enough, from the same woman who wrote out how to convert the Wicked Pullover into a cardigan and seeing hers was what made me have to make mine. http://www.flintknits.com/blog/?p=151 She converted Elizabeth Zimmermann’s “Baby Sweater on Two Needles,” from Knitter’s Almanac into an adult sweater, and what a sweet sweater it is! I think some Dream in Color in Happy Forest is in my future. Serious sweater crush happening over here.
06 June, 2008
My wicked cardigan it coming along more quickly then I would have originally imagined. Been working at a pace of ~ 100 yards per day since the night I cast on--at this rate, I'll finish the entire sweater in the next 6-7 days. I am quickly finishing my third skein of the Artyarns Supermerino and almost finished with the ragalan increases. It is also becoming easier to work on and causing me less anxiety since it is looking like it will turn out lovely when finished. It's much easier to to use a treasured yarn when you know things are looking good for the final product.
I am very happy with the pattern so far: it's well written and easy to adapt and change if need be. Tentatively, it's looking like I'll be making a size somewhere between the L and XL; the beauty of a top-down is that I can do that and do not foresee any problems it will cause. There's an ~ 40 stitch difference between the two and I'm thinking I may need to do only a couple of extra increase rounds from the large size, maybe hitting the middle of the two numbers. The ribbing down the front gives enough extra stretch that I shouldn't need to increase to the XL size or else it may become too loose for my liking. (I'm also assuming the button band will give me just a little more give on top of that.) I'm liking this pattern so much that it makes me all the less anxious to use my other patterns from the Zephyr Gals--I'm liking this one so much that I may do it again in the future with another color. Now I just need to learn how to do shortrows for bust shaping so I can cast on for a size that will fit me correctly as their patterns are known to run a bit big.
So far, so good. I'm already trying to line-up what my next project will be and keep working on clearing out my tote. I may do another sock project or two as they seem to take about as much time as a sweater does...though I do have some fingering and sport weight yarns that I keep changing my mind about what to do with them. I bought some SWTC aMAIZing to make a sweater for DD due in September, but I'd like to wait on making her project until closer to her due date or right after she's born so I get a better feel for which size will get more wear out of it.
And because I'm always thinking ahead, I've already started on a project list for 2009. (Sort of had to as my pregnancy killed all my pull-over projects that I already had yarn for.)
Green Gable (Already have the Cotton Fleece for)
Rusted Root1 with collar mods (Already have the Cotton Fleece for)
Rusted Root2 with collar mods (Already have the Cotton Fleece for)
Cables and Os (Looking to buy some Knitpicks Cotlin for this one in a newer colorway)
Dinosaur Hoodie for DS (need to decide on fiber and app. amounts)
And I'm sure I'll have random small projects inbetween. I also plan to make another pullover for DH, but I need to give more thought as to which pattern I for sure want to make for him.
04 June, 2008
Finished my Minimalist Cardigan and am overall pretty pleased with it. It fits really well except in the shoulder area where the arm seams fall too far over my actual shoulder and make it look a bit schlumpy. This has been a chronic issue for me with sweaters as to get the bust measurement I need, the shoulder area is usually far too big. At least with a top-down I know how to remedy the issue, but I have to learn how to alter armholes for other sweater types. One of these days, I need to buy a good book on sweater construction and learn how to do more aggressive altering. As I said though, I am happy with it and can't wait for it to be a bit cooler so I can wear my sweater around more.
After finishing my Minimalist, I decided to finally use the skein of Jade Sapphire Maju Silk I purchased on one of my last two trips back home at MIL's shop of choice, The Knitting Tree. As I had only 85 yards, I made a modified version of Elizabeth Miller's "Little Green Clutch" from Interweave's Holiday issue this past year. I was pretty happy until I got to the actual finishing part. If I make the pattern again, I'm altering the finishing directions so that the ucky looking seams are on the inside where they belong and my bag has a more neat appearance. Also, I think the order given to sew in the zipper and lining should be done differently to make it easier to make it all nice and neat, rather then after the knitting was seamed to make the actual bag. As a small bag to hold knitting accessories, it works just fine. Not sure I'd buy the yarn ever again as it was shedding quite a bit as I knit and wasn't the easiest to work with. Very pretty though and I love to admire the sheen. Hey, I even found a use for a fat quarter of my quilting fabric stash that had a shade of teal that matched the yarn perfectly. Look Mom, I used fabric! Right before midmonth and our trip, I started the pattern for the first TOFUtsies yarn I purchased from Yarnmarket over a year ago. This is the yarn that started my obsession and love affair with TOFUtsies limited edition colors. It is all the more lovely in person, especially the stockinette sections of the socks. The first sock, I erred on the side of making it a bit too short again, but on the second one, I think I finally figured out where to start the toe decreases. As the yarn stretches with wear, I'm not worried and the two fit just fine. After they're on, no one is any the wiser. Working this pattern cemented an aesthetic philosophy for me: intricate patterns need plain yarn to highlight their beauty and beautiful varigated yarn deserves a more simple pattern to show off its colorway. Try to mix the two and you end up with a sock that you can't see the pattern for nor truly appreciate the yarn. Just my humble lil' opinion, but I think I'm going to stick to it in the future. I'd like to use this pattern again in the future, but in a plain yarn so you can really see the intricate pattern and the way the ribbing branches and the shapes it makes.
And finally, it's the yarn from the last post. Last night, I took the plunge and gathered all my courage to start my Wicked cardigan. Today, I had to fight with myself for almost a half hour to actually cut the yarn and start the second ball. I had some serious anxiety about it, as silly as that sounds. So far, so good and I'm already almost twice as far as the picture shows. Would have been further along, but I realized 4 rows after the ribbing that I had completely spaced bringing the three twisty ribs down the fronts where the button bands will be. Being the genius I am at times, I thought it surely could not take longer to drop all the stitches down four rows and pick them back up then it would take to rip everything out and reknit. Note to self: ripping would have gone much faster and had neater results. Lesson learned.
30 April, 2008
The picture isn't the best, but I had a very hard time trying to get a decent one of these for whatever reason. I used Knitpick's Essential and for as nice as it felt to work with--and the wonderful price--I can't say I'm in love with it. I found it to be even more splitty then the TOFUtsies and that says alot. The socks also do not have the same light feel my other pair do and I think I'm developing a fiber preference for foot garments. I did a basic ribbed pattern and probably could have done another two rounds before I had started my toe decreases. Overall though, I'm happy with them, but they're definitely not my favorite socks.
As hard as I tried, I still could not ressurect the Central Park Hoodie and I've reconciled myself with the fact that it's going on indefinite hiatus--if it's ever worked on again. When having a discussion with my husband last night, my true feelings about it finally came out: I really like how it looks and all, but learning more about the yarn I used, I realize that it's not practical for that knit and it's going to stretch and grow on me. I spent so little on the yarn for it as it was, that I can't really feel bad about using it as a practice piece. I was already trying to scheme ways to save most of it and not use it as a sweater. Maybe make it part of a pillow or something? I dunno, we'll have to see what the future holds for it. For now, I've told myself to just accept that I don't want to finish it and to stop trying to pressure myself to feel otherwise about it. You can't force a feeling.
On the 17th, I finally cast on one of my cardigan patterns that I have in my stash tote. Despite having to leave four pull-overs' worth of yarn in it, I can at least clear out the couple of cardigans I have yarn for. That way when I go to buy more yarn next year, I will still have room to accomodate a couple. Hehe, that's what I'm telling myself anyway: as long as it isn't more then the tote can hold, I do not have too much yarn. Hubby doesn't really agree with that line of thought, but one of these days I may scare him by showing him some of the monstrous stashes other women on Ravelry have...perhaps that would give him perspective and make him realize that having one small tote is by no means excessive. If we had the means, I could easily fill a small room or large closet with all the pretties I covet! But all in due time.
Learned an interesting lesson in a less-then-pleasant way about my knitting with this latest project. I was informed that I do not purl correctly and that is why my stockinette looks like this.
I had always heard the term, "twisted stitches" and never bothered to look up what it meant, because I assumed it was something more sinister and noticeable then what was going on with my own knitting. I always thought it was merely a tension issue and had even accepted it as it was. Long story short, I've corrected how I wrap my yarn to purl and my stitches are all nice and neat and as they should be and discovered my tension while purling is just fine.
That is part of my minimalist cardigan for myself. After thirteen days of working on it, I am mostly finished and need only finish the sleeves and then block the border.
So far, it is fitting me better then any other sweater attempt to date: for reasons unknown, I can make a sweater to fit anyone else just fine, but have me try to make one for myself and I can't make it fit to save my life. (Well, not entirely true, but may as well be: so far no sweater I've made for myself has been wearable in all parts of it. Usually, the sleeves are the guilty party. Dear pattern makers: not all women have thin arms. If you could find it in your hearts to include instructions on how to make them a larger size and how to alter the arm hole accordingly, you'd make me and a lot of others out there very happy.) My luck seems to have changed with this one and I'm so pleased about it. I'm using Cascade 220 Superwash in a lovely teal color and am very happy with the yarn. I will definitely use Cascade again. It's relatively affordable and comes in so many colors. It feels a little rough, but I suspect with a good soak it will soften right up. I haven't had any splitting issues with it, though as one negative I will say that the center-pull ball it comes in tangles and knots alot. Some balls have been fine, one was horrible and had a knot so bad it took me a half hour just to get it out so I could keep working.
At the rate I'm working, I'm tempted to say that in ten days' time, I'll be finished with this knit and well on my way to working on a few small projects again, including more socks. I can not wait to work with TOFUtsies and make myself another pair of socks from it. After that, I'm going to do my best and be brave and cast on for my second cardigan project. I may have jinxed myself by purchasing a yarn so lovely that I am scared to use it. (That and it's the most I've spent on yarn for myself to date. Definitely not as much as I could have spent and wanted to, but enough that I can't just laugh it off as practice like I did with the CPH.) The aforementioned talk with my husband is where this came up and he told me, in not so many words, to suck it up and work on it anyway: the yarn isn't doing anything sitting in my tote and if worse comes to worst, I can always buy new yarn and try again. Fair enough, dear husband, fair enough.
I will leave you all with a picture of the offending yarn: Artyarns Supermerino. Hopefully by this time next month, or soon after, it will be turning into a sweater. I'm making a Wicked cardigan, oh yes I am.
12 April, 2008
Another quick project I did while visiting back home: I owed my best friend a hat for a Xmas gift. It's another Foliage hat from Knitty. Had quite a few issues with this one because I was stubborn and didn't think I needed to use a stitch marker for the round. Mental note: using a stitch marker will prevent having to frog and restart half a dozen times in the future. They are your friend. Baby gift for my friend's new baby boy! Sheldon from Knitty. Gotta love Knitty when it comes to decent free patterns. This was a really easy knit, but tedious. The four little legs were killing me by the end and I wonder if there isn't a way to work the body of the turtle as one piece. This was the first project I tried to do while coping with my morning sickness. I have yarn to make a couple more of these, but I have to get over the disgust of knitting those small little legs before doing this again. My husband has also requested I make him one but zombify it. Could be interesting if I figure out how to work it. And I have ideas, oh yes I do.
Second new baby present is next up: it's the purple bunny on the right. This little cutie was for the new big sister to celebrate her baby brother. Pattern is Jelly bean Bunny from Amy Gaines on Etsy (She also has an amiguri book due out sometime here!). The white bunny was the first one I made shortly after I started knitting last May. It's crazy to see how much difference a little under a year can make in gauge and tension. The last part of the gift was a Purl Bee beret for my friend. I pulled some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock out of my stash to make it. (It was the only yarn purchase I've ever made that I didn't tell my husband about and I had a hard time giving it up, even for such a good cause and how great a match it was. I kept petting it and thinking, "But it's mine, all mine. It was so hard to find." But in the end, logic prevailed and the second skein is looking to become a beret to be worn on my head.)