Tuesday, May 29, 2007
But first, I finally got around to starting the socks for my Sockapalooza 4 pal. They don't have to be mailed until early August, so I've been procrastinating (nothing new there, movin' on). I've actually thought about the socks a lot, and I was going to make some Monkey socks, but then I noticed my pal was making some of those already (not giving anything away there, since the entire internet is making Monkeys)! So, back to the drawing board I went. Lord knows I have sock patterns coming out my ears. My pal was up for anything except pastels, so I thought I'd be adventurous. Thus I'm making the Twisted Flower Socks, by Cookie A. I'm using Louet Gems Pearl as called for, in bright red (surely not pastel!). I'd say the color is pretty accurate. I was actually hoping to use the same green as in the pattern, but the only greens they had at Weaving Works were borderline pastel, and we couldn't have that. Like my pal I'm not keen on pastels. As you can see, I've really just begun. However, we're about to watch The Last King of Scotland, so I suspect some progress will be made! I have a nagging suspicion that it's a mistake making such a complicated pattern for someone I don't even know, but, well, I want to make them more than I want to wear them, so perhaps it's a perfect idea.
Oh, the blanket ends? Not yet woven in. Rachel is going to show me a trick, so the blanket will be heading on into work tomorrow.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
I've done three full pattern repeats (lace panel + reverse stockinette panel) so far. I discovered the knitalong for this sweater yesterday and noticed that all of the finished sweaters seemed really long, and many had an undesirable puffiness in the reverse stockinette panels. Thankfully I don't have that particular problem, so far. However, the length thing is a real issue. The pattern calls for 18.5" before the armhole shaping begins, which to me seems like an awful lot. The sweater in the magazine is quite long, and hits the model at mid/low hip, which on her looks fine, but on me is likely to be a no-go length, since I actually have hips. So, I thought I'd lay my sweater on top of a sweater that I like the length of, for comparison, and this is what I saw: To be fair, the model sweater is a raglan, so I'm thinking the armholes are likely larger than they'll be on the $1.50 cardigan, which has set-in sleeves. But, do you see how close I am to where the armholes start? My sweater is currently 12" long - I'm thinking of doing one more repeat (about 3") and then doing the decreases. 3.5" shorter should work, I think. I've considered doing just a lace panel, and then starting the decreases in the stockinette portion, which would surely be easier, but I think I'd rather stick with the pattern as much as possible since I'm going to need to get two fronts and two sleeves to line up with the stripes on the back. Then I worried that because I'm making this in the 36.25" size, which is going to be a bit large on me, maybe it would be better if I made it longer, so it didn't look boxy. Thoughts? I also plan to shorten the sleeves, but I think I'll do that by making less ribbing. Could I knit the sleeves from the top down and then stop early? Is it harder to decrease on sleeves than increase? That would be ideal I think, for matching and length purposes...Here's a close-up of the lace pattern, which is quite simple to work and looks really nice:Sorry it's a bit blurry - the red yarn isn't the easiest thing to photograph. I haven't just been working on this (of course). I'm still plugging away on some simple stockinette socks, following Wendy's new toe-up pattern (It's the toe-up gusset heel pattern.):
The yarn is Monarch, colorway Purdy Plum. I'm getting to the point where I want to weigh the sock and the yarn to see how far up I can go. I accidently made these a tad too big (the heel was longer than anticipated) so I might be gifting them to someone with slightly larger feet. One Christmas gift in progress already! Wendy's pattern is great - simple and easy to follow. I believe Daisy is making some socks with this pattern as well, so I wanted to post these so she could see how the heel came out...
I went to my first Seattle Stitch & Bitch gathering in over a year tonight, and it was really fun! There were 10 of us I think, coming and going, and everyone was really nice. I hope to start going more often, since it's fairly close to my house and it's nice to get together to knit with other people, instead of on the couch with Dave and Oliver (Not that there's anything wrong with them, of course, but it's good to get out a bit.). Anyway, it was nice to meet all of you!
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
1. I'm afraid of balloons. I'm not sure when this fear developed. As a child I loved balloons, and in high school we bought each other balloons for our lockers all the time. It was practically a competition, who got the most balloons on their birthday. It was great. Now, I hate balloons. To be fair, it's not actually the balloons, but the risk of them popping, that I don't like. I'm not into loud sudden noises.
2. I'm really into reading non-fiction books with single word titles. For instance, I just finishing reading Coal, and I'm currently working on Salt and Tea (Like with my knitting, I'm not always a monogamous reader until something really grips me.) There are others, but these are the most recent. In general I prefer non-fiction - I'm not sure how the single word thing started, but next up is Tobacco...Before anyone brings this up, I realize some of these have subtitles - that is allowed...
3. Although I'm not much into computer games, I have
4. I wake up at 6:30am (or earlier) every day during May to watch the Giro d'Italia, during July to watch the Tour de France, and during September to watch the Vuelta a Espana. Although my faith in cycling is diminished a bit due to all the recent doping scandals, I can't seem to stop myself from being into it, having been a fan since childhood. And I have to watch it live, otherwise it's just not the same...
5. The first piece of music I owned was the Bangles Bangles Greatest Hits and I must admit I still listen to it sometimes.
6. I love dams and bridges. I'm fascinated by large civil engineering projects. It's possible I've made a poor career decision by becoming a microbiologist and not an engineer. Perhaps in my next life...
7. My freshman year of college I attended a party where many margaritas were consumed, and my boyfriend at the time was a bit less than clean-shaven. Suffice to say I woke up the next morning with a very painfully raw red chin. I came up with a story that I did it to myself by wiping my face with a wet towel with salt on it (hence the scratches). And people believed this! Smart people. Or maybe they were just humoring me (Any of my college friends remember this? Did you really believe this, or were you just being nice?). Anyway, it was embarrassing. I've stubbornly refused to date anyone with any facial hair ever since...
You're it! I'm tagging:
Those who are tagged need to write on their own blog those 7 facts as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. Remember to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog!
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Say it with me, I am a lucky girl. Observe Dave knitting, with Oliver's close supervision. What's that he's knitting? It's a baby blanket for Kristin, one of his labmates. She's due in early July but we're rushing because she's getting bigger by the day! We're co-knitting this, but Dave is doing most of it because a) she's his coworker, and b) I have many other things I want to knit! I'll try to get some close-ups soon, but basically it's just a striped blanket. We're choosing colors randomly and using each for two or sometimes four rows at a time. This means there are many ends, and they're all on one side. I'm thinking weaving them all in is going to be quite a chore and I'm concerned that they will make that side of the blanket bulkier than the other. Ideally we'll leave them and make matching fringe on the other side, but I've heard babies like to suck on fringe and that doesn't sound like a good plan. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
Shannon tagged me for the Seven Random Facts meme, and I promise to get on that tomorrow. I hope I can think of Seven interesting things...If you know me and you have a blog, be warned, because you might get tagged next!
Monday, May 14, 2007
I received a couple of fibery presents, including a
I didn't get any photos that really do the place justice. Suffice to say it's bizarre, and exceedingly cheesy. We camped at Lincoln Rock State Park, just northeast of Wenatchee, where a massive windstorm kept us up most of the night. It was like camping on Everest (I expect). The sides of the tent were shaking and the wind was really loud. I've camped in thunderstorms and I think this was worse. The scenery was nice - the park is on the Columbia River just above the Rocky Reach Dam. This was taken Sunday morning, before the sun made an appearance.
Because I didn't get much sleep, I had to drink some diet pepsi:Let it be said that I can really hold my soda...
Knitting content soon. I took a sock and my Endpaper Mitts but hardly knit at all because it was really too cold to sit outside with hands exposed...
Thursday, May 10, 2007
The wrapping was so nice I had to take a photo - inside the box each item was individually wrapped with little tags describing each item. For instance, the note with the hand cream said "For your hard-working hands."In the box were all the goodies you see above. A nice journal (one can never have too many notebooks and journals), a pen, birthday candles (so cool!), chocolate, the aforementioned hand cream (lemongrass and cedar), a cool ring (Which fits! This is amazing because I have really small hands.), and Knitting Without Tears, by Elizabeth Zimmermann. And, check out the cute card! Now, I must admit that despite the widespread adoration of EZ, I've never read any of her books, nor even really looked at them. So, I'm really happy to have this one, and I must say that I read about half of it as soon as I opened it! The writing is great - very witty and quite to the point, which I really enjoy. I've seen some lovely examples of her Seamless Hybrid sweater, and I bet there is one in my future sometime. The lotion is great, I used some this evening and I really like the scent - lemongrass is one of my favorites. My secret pal is very shifty - I know she lives in Raleigh, NC, but I've noticed (because I watch way too much Columbo) that she's mailed my two packages from different addresses! And she has really neat handwriting, the kind I'm always jealous of, because although I have neat handwriting, it pales in comparison to some people's. Alas...Anyway, thank you secret pal! I love my package and I can't wait to find out who you are! The suspense is killing me!!!
In my last post I eluded to having started a new sweater, so without further ado, I present the humble beginnings of my Dollar and a Half Cardigan, from the Spring 2007 Interweave Knits. I'm knitting this using Cascade Sierra, which is a 80% cotton/20% wool blend. This is a new yarn for me, and basically I think it's the Cascade version of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, although I've never used that before either so I can't make any sort of informed comparison. I think my photo is a bit dark, but if you click here, you can see the red I'm using, which is the dark one on the lower left. I sense this is going to be a tough project to photograph, due to the color and the fact that the lace bits want to pull in and the reverse stockinette panel wants to puff out. We'll see. I'm a bit concerned about my gauge, but I took a good stab at getting it right. The reason I'm worried is that the gauge was measured over the lace pattern, not the stockinette portion, which made it a bit tough to measure. If anything I think my gauge is a bit small, just a tad, and that would be okay because I'm making the 36.5" size, which gives me some wiggle room. We'll see. I mostly suspect that my row gauge may be off, just looking at the height of that first lace panel to the stockinette bit above it, but it's really too early to tell. When I block it the lace will stretch more than the stockinette (I suspect), so I imagine it might even itself out. Fingers crossed!
Oh, and how beautiful is this Hanami stole? I really really really want to make one of these! I found this pattern a few weeks ago and kept forgetting to mention it...I especially like the cherry blossom part (bottom in the photo). Simply stunning!
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
I had actually expected this, having requested one when my parents asked me what I wanted for my birthday, but I was surprised to have it come so early, and from Susan and not my parents. Susan got me a ballwinder this past Christmas, but I haven't gotten much use out of it because it's difficult to use without a swift. It's a lovely wooden swift, and it gets quite large so I think it will accomodate anything I can find to throw on it. Thank you Susan, this will get plenty of use!!! Dave thanks you as well, because now he is off the hook when it comes to ball winding, and Oliver is also looking forward to watching a fun spinning gadget!
Then tonight at knitting club I received a most unexpected bag of birthday gifts from Anne-Marie!
There is a lovely skein of Fleece Artist merino sock yarn, which I'm quite excited to try. I've heard great things about this yarn but I didn't have any in the stash, amazingly enough. And she got me my own copy of Latvian Mittens! I had been looking for a good book of Fair Isle patterns, and Anne-Marie just finished some mittens from this book (which are spectacular, by the way). I had eyed up this book when she brought it to knit one day, and now I have my own copy! It's got all kinds of great patterns in it, some crazy complex and others completely manageable even for a Fair Isle newbie like me. So, I'm pretty excited about this. AND she got me a bright teal LeSportSac purse, which I tried to photograph unsuccessfully (it's shiny). I am not worthy - thank you again Anne-Marie!
I've made some headway on my new project (Are you curious? Have I even mentioned what I'm making?), and I think it will be blogworthy soon. Tonight I made some reverse progress at knitting club, having knit an entire row (99 stitches) doing *P2tog, yarnover* instead of *P2, yarnover*. Now, it comes as a surprise even to me that I then knit the entire next row, got to the end, of course having the wrong number of stitches, tried to fix that by knitting two together, all while thinking, "wow, that row seemed really quick," before realizing what I had done wrong. I ended up having to rip out about 4 rows because it's a lace pattern and I didn't see a reasonable way for me to unknit it or unravel and pick up the stitches properly at any point before the stockinette bit at the beginning of the lace. BUT, I've since gotten well past where I started so nothing was really lost, except perhaps some pride, because there were witnesses to this P2tog debacle. Let us not speak of it again. For the next lace section I will be putting in a life line at the end of the stockinette portion, so if I screw up again (not unlikely as there will be shaping in pattern (gasp!)) I won't have to go back too far...
Monday, May 07, 2007
Project Stats: Short-sleeved Cardigan with Ribbing (Jewel cardigan)
Pattern: Short-sleeved cardigan with ribbing from Fitted Knits. I made the smallest size.
Yarn: Cascade Jewel, slightly less than 4 skeins. Yarn acquired from Little Knits. I've not seen it for sale anywhere else, so I'm glad to got my hands on it, because it's great yarn! Needles: Clover bamboo circulars, size 10.5 and 9. I'm a tight knitter so I had to go up a needle size on both needles to get gauge. I believe my gauge was spot-on, which is a miracle for me. Usually I'm pretty good with the stitch gauge and I wing it on the row gauge. That's actually what I did here, now that I think about it, but it worked out pretty well.
Time to knit: April 12-May 6, 2007. Just over three weeks, and it could've gone faster but there were some pauses while I found buttons and then blocked the sweater. The actual knitting was super speedy. Big needles = fast progress!
Knitalong: The Fitted Knits Along was great for help and inspiration! Thanks to all of you for dropping by!Impressions: I'm really happy with the way this turned out! It's not the most slimming sweater I've ever seen, but such is life with a tight-fitting bulky sweater! The fit is great, despite my concern about the bottom ribbing being too tight. I was able to block it out quite a bit and the added width from the buttonbands was all it needed to fit perfectly. It could be a bit smaller in the bust region, but it's fine. I will concede that it might enhance the cleavage, but that's not really what I was going for. Although there were several errors in the pattern (check the errata), it was easy to follow and well-written overall. This was the first garment I've made from the top-down and I really liked it because the progress seemed so fast, and it looked like a sweater almost immediately. For me the one-piece construction was key to my quick finishing of this sweater. I'm scared to death of screwing up all my hard work in the seaming of garments - hence I have a sweater that is completely finished apart from the sewing together, and has been completely finished for months and months now. The minimal finishing on this meant I wasn't intimidated and I could finish it quickly. The only finishing was the buttonbands, and I'm good at picking up stitches :) I loved working with this yarn, and highly recommend it to anyone who can get their hands on some. It's a bit thick/thin but knits up to be fairly solid, in that I could wear this sweater without anything underneath (although it is slightly itchy, due to the tight fit). I'm really happy with my sweater! Now onto the next - progress photos soon!
Sunday, May 06, 2007
See all those cookbooks behind her? Wouldn't that lead you believe I cook a lot? Ha! Ha! Well, I do sometimes, but not enough for all the cookbooks or as much as I would like. Too lazy you know. Dave and I are into pasta. The big tupperware is full of onion skins for when I try my hand at natural dyes. Anyway, you can see the lovely red that Anne-Marie using, which I really liked. She also had some pink in there, and some slightly lighter reds. I took a photo of the finished painted skein, but it didn't turn out well. Here is a photo of the finished skein, taken by Anne-Marie.I suspect it's more red and less orange than this picture might indicate. It turned out really well, and I think she's pretty happy with it. The skein I dyed turned out well also, although I think (don't tell) I like Anne-Marie's better. Mine is much more muted, which is what I was going for, but hers is so bright and fun! I suspect she will be back to dye more...
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Rachel's comment has guilted me into this, but surely I would have gotten around to it soon enough. Probably. I imagine it will be dry enough to unpin on Friday, so I will get on with the buttonbands over the weekend. Tomorrow should be a good night for knitting as Anne-Marie is coming over for a dyeing extravaganza. I'm going to help her
get her hands dirty dye some yarn and I'm plan to dye up some bulky thick/thin yarn to send my Secret Pal in her next package. I'm using the same base yarn that I used to dye the yarn I used for this scarf, which was sent to Marisol during the Funky Scarf Swap last fall. Aside - that was a fun swap, I wonder if there will be another? I'm hoping for more subdued colors this time around, as my pal is a jewel tone person. I'm thinking blues and purples, but blue is her favorite so I might just go with shades of blue. My most successful dyeing experiments thus far have been using multiple shades of the same or similar colors, since by using all one color you avoid the potential of the bad-colors-bleeding-into-each-other-brown-black-mess that can arise when you use multiple strong colors. But, for me it's always a bit of a crapshoot what actually comes out the dye pot! For instance, that scarf I made Marisol was bright! That's what I was going for, but it's almost neon in places. I have a lot of that yarn left too, but I'm a bit afraid of it and unsure what to do with it...I'll be sure to document the dyeing for your viewing pleasure!
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
I also mentioned that I'd started a sock, knit with Monarch sock yarn in Purdy Plum. Here is the progress so far: I really like the way that it's striping, and the yarn is very nice to knit with. I believe it's the same base yarn as Socks that Rock, and it feels just as nice. I'm think I'm getting about 8 st/inch on size 2 needles. I'm about at the heel (small feet), so there's been a brief pause while I figure out how I want to do the heel. Have you noticed I'm all about pausing/procrastinating/abandoning projects when they're at a spot where something different must be done? I should get over that. My excuse for the socks is not really that I'm unsure about the heel, but mostly that I was knitting this while watching a movie on Sunday night, and I didn't want to deal with the heel whilst involved in the movie. That said, the movie was awful, so I should've just pressed on. In case you're curious, it was The Good Shepherd, which I had such high hopes for and was quite disappointed in. Dave and I agreed that we were both bored and falling asleep about 30 minutes in but neither of us wanted to bring it up in case the other was enjoying it! The acting was good but none of the characters were likable so it was difficult to get involved in the story. Just bland overall.
I've signed up for Sockapalooza Four, but I've not heard anything about it and haven't been able to log in and find out who I'll be making socks for. There is a blog, but I've not recieved the invite to it, and I've tried several times to log in and check my info, find my pal, etc, without success. It's pretty frustrating but I know I'm in since I found myself in the participants list! There are over 1000 of us, so I'm sure getting all the technical stuff sorted out is quite a pain, so I'm going to be patient. After all, the socks don't need to be done until August 2nd, so there's really no rush!