Because many of my fellow bloggers do it, I thought it might be fun to occasionally make posts that have nothing to do with what I'm working on or finished objects. I'm trying very hard to keep this blog craft oriented, so anything I do that veers off my normal course will be craft related just the same. I got to thinking--thanks to LSG--that it might be fun to post random facts about knitting, patterns, etc, in regards to what I like or conversely, what I dislike and turns me off. I suspect that due to my nature, these will often be rants, for good or bad.
My first post is going to be about something that greatly annoys me when I'm surfing patterns on Ravelry. It annoys me so much that I will hiss at my computer scream and start yelling at it if I'm not careful. What annoys me so much?
FOs that are not worn on human bodies. Like...NONE, or the majority of the FOs are. They're just laying there in the picture. Sad little pandas.
Dear women of the world,
I realize that you have been socialized to hate your bodies and being photographed. Really, I get it. When I put up my one FO picture with my mother in it, she about shit a brick when she found out I posted up a picture of her and her face on the internet. Because a few random strangers may see her and judge what she looks like. Which is perfectly lovely if what I think counts for anything.
I'm scared of the camera too. I was even more scared when I found out my weight was ballooning again and that was the only way I knew it was happening. However, I tend to buck up and take pictures in my sweaters; this is not only to continue my work on loving me for me.
This is important.
I also do this because there is nothing more frustrating then not being able to see a handknit on a body at all, or only on a small selection of bodies, none of them seeming to be similar to yours. The one thing that frustrates me as much as not being able to find FOs on real bodies is having to read all of the kvetching about how none of these knits were made for REAL people, blah blah blah, actual complaint will vary depending on if person writing it is older, younger, thinner, heavier, busty, no breasts at all, pear shaped, this list could go on. This is why I make it a point to photograph my FOs on me and post them up. And interestingly enough, everytime I post up a new worn FO, I get at least 3 new friends' requests on Ravelry and lots of positive feedback.
For those that fear the teal deer I'll sum up: wear your FOs in your pictures, damn it. I want to see what it looks like on a person.
Thankfully, only one of these FOs is really old. The other two are from this month. I still need to sew the buttons on The Husband's sweater so I can photograph it and blog it.
Pattern: Multnomah (Ravel it) Needles: US size 5 Yarn: MadelineTosh Sock-William Morris (Lt. edition artist series)
Now, the reason why this took so long to blog, despite being finished in the first 11 days of December, is that this shawl will not photograph nicely. I've tried. The husband tried. This picture, is as good as it got. I've never had to fight this hard with a photograph before. It makes me want to cry, because the colorway is gorgeous in person and it knit up so nicely in this pattern, but the world will never know because of poopy pictures. Many, many poopy pictures. EESH.
I waited way too long to work on this shawl. I saw it the day it came out, picked out my yarn, printed the pattern and then waited 4 months to actually knit it. It had gone viral by that point and took away the speshulness of being able to knit it first. Oh well, lovely pattern, well written, easy to follow. I tried to figure out a way to more easily transition between the lace sections. If I remember correctly, as soon as I'd have enough stitches for the next pattern repeat, I'd switch over from garter to lace rather then waiting until the end. Other then that, no mods.
This is my first pair of replacement socks after the culling of my sock collection in December. These were already on needles when it happened, but after, I was a bit more focused to get them done. The original plan for 2010 had been to have a leisurely, almost lazy, sock knitting year with 2-3 pair being slowly produced during Sunday knit meet ups. Now, the plan has been upped to five, which will almost cover all the pairs that were lost. So this would be 1 of 5. Ooh, sounds like a Borg name. Excuse me, I think my geek may be showing. Ahem.
Super easy peasy pattern. Easy to memorize, rather easy to do. The "sl1, k1 YO, psso"s could be a bit fiddly, but I got the hang of them quickly. The toe on these was a bit different then I've done in the past. Rather then have the decreases 1 stitch in from the end of the needles, they were 3 stitches in, giving the toe of these socks a rather unique look. (Mine are on the boxy side because I waited a bit too long to start the decreases. They fit great, just look a little funny.) This would be an easy pattern to convert to toe-up and I may do that in the future, because I'll be knitting these again.
For these, I decided to try doing socks 2 at a time on 2 circulars. It worked out great and I'll keep using this method. It could be a bit frustrating because of the perceived speed of the knit, but in the end, I was so glad that for once, I was not going to have differing gauges on both of my socks and issues getting them exactly the same.
I already addressed some of the issues with this pattern in an earlier entry. DIY took it down and it's not clearly written out as it was meant as a supplemental to an episode of Knitty Gritty. Not an issue for me, but for a newer sock knitter, or a knitter who needs more direction, it could be.
On Ravelry, I had seen mention in several FOs of the ankle portion of this sock being tight. This was also my experience and I altered the pattern to have 8 extra stitches for the leg. It's snug in the ankle but I can get them on and off. If I were to knit these again, I'd stick with the size 4 needles for the foot of the sock, and then switch to 5s for turning the heel and the leg. Now, if you have thin legs, the pattern as written is probably just fine. The only other mod I made was increasing the number of stitches in the toe for cast on, and I think I probably would have gone just a smidge larger.
To date, these are my FOs (minus one sweater finished in the last days of December). January is already looking pretty good with 2 pair of socks and one sweater. My yardage tally isn't too bad either.
Come on, how could I resist that? It's such a nice set up. I'm a Devo fan; I had to.
I'm attempting to blog a bit more often then just FO catch ups and occasional posts that are musings. Hopefully, WIP it Wednesday will stick around. We shall see.
Here are some peeks at what I have in progress this week.
First, you can see that I've made some more progress on my mother's Featherweight cardigan. I'm coming close to the end of the raglan increases. If not for purling, I'd be way past this section. I'm deciding just how far to take this. Before blocking, I'm already getting a gauge inbetween 5.75 and 6 spi. That pattern calls for a gauge of 6 spi after blocking and from my experience, superwash wool grows a bit upon hitting water. If I had to take a guess, this will end up in the 5.5 spi neighborhood. I was originally thinking I'd have to do a size between the M and L to get the right size for my mother, but now I'm thinking I'll be hovering closer to the M size. I need to work out the math for each respective size so I can figure out exactly when to stop. The great thing about top-down raglans is that you can increase until you want to stop, and not have to worry about stitch count...unless you have a pattern you're fitting in. But in this case, it's plain stockinette all the way and then a little ribbing. 1x1, I believe, so as long as my number of stitches is even, I'm in the clear.
Next, is my second pair of socks for the year. (Yes, this means I'll have an FO post either later tonight or tomorrow.) I decided to do a sportweight pair in some pretty Squoosh I over ordered. Of the ones in my queue, Twinkle Toes has been calling my name. Sadly, DIY took it off of their site, but I did manage to find an individual on Ravelry who has it hosted on a site to download the PDF. It is pretty spare. I am not having issues with it--I have enough sock knitting under my belt as well as a lack of fear to wing things if need be--but looking at project pages, quite a few people seemed to struggle because it's not written out as a true pattern, more a companion to the Knitty Gritty episode that Cookie A was on. (Also could not find that online so I could see what a seemingly pointless note regarding yarn overs is about.)
So far, I'm rather liking these. And at this pace, even working on them just a couple pattern repeats a day, I'm thinking I'll have an FO next week. 2 of 5 pairs of socks in a month is pretty darn good, no?
That's what I'm hoping to do. I decided to take today to do some finishing as well as some knitting. I made it through 2 of the 3 projects I wanted to get fully done. I'm hoping to keep up on them much better this year.
The Girl's Jacket is finally finished, buttons and all! I believe this was my last FO of November.
This little knit was insanely fast. Took a total of 3 days plus 20 minutes of a 4th. The yarn I chose knits up at a looser gauge then what the pattern called for, so I knit the 3-6 month size and ended up with the 12-18 month one. It's a bit big on her, but it will likely fit next year then and be more of a coat then a jacket. Can't argue with a hand knit that will work for more then one season.
Even better, she's in love with the buttons and keeps talking about her "baaaaaiiii!"
Next is my first FO of 2010! Yes, already. And it's a sweater, kittens!
I cast this on minutes into the new year. Midway through the 2nd, I realized that the initial size I chose to knit was going to be way too small. Bummer, since I was about 250-ish yards into the project. So, I had to rip and recast on the next size up. 5 days later, I had a finished sweater that fits pretty well.
This sweater has been an interesting experience. US 10.5s are the largest needles I own. Some will find that appalling, but it's true. I am not a large gauge knitter. Because of this, my sweater turned out rather smaller then the size cast on. In the case of the finished one, I cast on the 46" and ended up somewhere in the 40" range. It pulls very slightly at the fullest part of the bust, but that isn't a huge issue.
Now, when the pattern tells you that the neckline is problematic in the larger sizes, it isn't lying. I had to do a row of single crochet to keep in up on my shoulders where it belongs. Without it, the neckline was sitting halfway off of my shoulders, thinking of falling off. It was HUGE. Other then that, I didn't change anything with this pattern. I made it a longer short sleeve and left it slightly cropped. (I suspect that with time, the silk content may pull the sweater longer.)
I loved working with the Pastoral. It is so soft. It's a shame that it's been discontinued and will no longer be available after MadTosh retailers run out of their current stock.
So, I think this was all-in-all, a great first week to 2010 in regards to knitting. I've already knocked out the first of (hopefully) fifteen sweaters I plan to do this year. I've already cast on my second, a Featherweight Cardigan for my mother in Sundara Sock.
Here's a little peek at it. I usually dislike autumnal colors, but I'm rather liking this colorway. I think she's going to love it.
I'm also working hard on the finishing details of The Husband's sweater and my first pair of socks for the year.
I did these as a test knit to see just how easy to follow the pattern was. Unfortunately, due to circumstances I will go into a bit later in this post, my plans for this have fallen through.
Anywho...great pattern with a heel flap and looks just like a top-down sock. I think I've finally learned just what length my socks are supposed to be and I personally think everyone should start on toe-up socks. I know it would have saved me some grief and I would have realized that I really can't eek a pair of socks out of 200yds of yarn. I am definitely going to use this pattern again and will be using it as a template to toe-up convert some other sock patterns I love. Big thumbs up and it's a shame that almost no one has knit these.
I do not love this particular pair because of how goofy they look, but they were a great test and I was able to try out a cotton blend sock yarn.
I'm going to start off admitting that I do not love this knit. I do not love the yarn. It was a totally different color then I was expecting. I'm not a fan of grey with a tiny bit of a yellowish/goldish cast to it. I dislike the feel of it. It feels somewhat...oily. It doesn't really show off the stitch pattern as it ought to and the acrylic content made it hard to block. I'm sorely tempted to just toss out the last .85 skeins of it I have left and wash my hands of it. Ick, ick, ick. This is my only exposure to Debbie Bliss' yarns and I will say, she has not won me over as a fan. I didn't have any of the notorious pilling issues that I've seen kvetched out, in length, on the yarn's page on Ravelry, but that wasn't enough to make me like it. I will never use this yarn again. End of story.
The hat pattern, however, I would totally knit again in a more fortunate yarn choice. Well written, easy to follow. Good stuff.
Up above, I was a bit cryptic and mentioned cirumstances that have changed some plans of mine. I'll admit, I've been mulling over this for a few days and debating if it is appropriate for me to post the story up on the web in such a public manner. Especially when I never discussed this with the person it involves. Obviously, I've decided to go ahead and do it. I've realized that none of my older relations actually read my blog and if they do, well, I guess I'll deal with that if this gets brought up. I am certainly not posting this up out of bitterness or anger. I just feel that it will save my having to answer questions later on when I talk about how my plans for socks have been upped for 2010 and why I'm working hard to fit those in on top of all the sweaters I'm making.
For the week before Giftmas, we were fortunate enough to have a visit from my in-laws. The last day they were in town, I went to the local Hastings to have a knit meet up with some of my friends and enjoy a bit of freedom from The Boy and The Girl. While I was out, The MIL decided to be nice and do some of our laundry with hers. This included all of my handknit socks. This shouldn't have been an issue--she's a knitter herself and has many a pair of socks--but when I came home, I immediately noticed something was amiss with the socks that were hanging up to dry. Most of them looked OK at first glance, but my wool/nylon blends were all fuzzy. Not solid, felted fuzzy, but looking like the heel flap and bottom of the foot look after they've been worn a bit, especially in shoes. I realized what had happened and looked at the washer. The water was still on warm from pre-shrinking fabric the day before and I suspect the laundry was washed on the regular cycle instead of the delicate one. I didn't say anything since she didn't, but I did text message The Husband right away.
I was unable to bring myself to try on any of the socks until 3 days later; the day after Giftmas. Even though they looked OK at first glance, almost none of them survived the wash. All were .5"-1" shorter then they had been and quite a bit tighter across the foot. All were thrown out, except the one surviving pair. The ugly socks I posted up above? That is my only pair of hand knit socks right now. I am currently working on some Charades and I am upping my plans for socks to knit in 2010. My original goal had been 2-3 pair for the year to slowly replace my ones that are not quite right, but I'm now aiming for at least 5 pair.
So this is how my year ended and I'm working to get it corrected as soon as I can.