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06 September 2009 @ 08:23 am
I haven't knit in MONTHS. Yes, months. Many months. I think it was mid-Spring when I finished my last pair of socks. Then I kinda lost my knitting mojo. I didn't feel like another tiny-needled project and I had nothing else I really wanted to make. I wasn't feeling up to a big project like a sweater. So I've been reading instead.

Now that the weather turned suddenly cool (seriously, September 1 came and it was Autumn) I think it's time to start up again. Probably a good idea since I'm planning on going to Stitches East in October. I should actually BE a knitter if I'm going to go to that. (aside: start saving yarn money now)

I probably should start with finishing my Mariah sweater. Yes, it was nearly FIVE years since I started that thing. FIVE. How pathetic is that??? Very. It's horribly close to being finished, it's partly seamed and all I've got left to knit is the collar. I'm not doing a hood because I have a Rogue with a hood and that bugs me. I'm just winging it with the collar, of course with the cable rib pattern from the cuffs. It's made me nervous to start, because I had just gotten past a big rip-out-and-redo session when I put that sweater down again for another hiatus.

How nice would it be to actually wear that thing? Oh yes, it would need a zipper sewn in too, which is a whole other barricade to my quest to finish that thing. Doable, yes, but is it something I really FEEL like spending time on? Probably not. Complainer.

The eldest daughter is requesting a scarf. I HATE knitting scarves. Too boring. But this one has an interesting stitch, either it'll keep me interested or make me insane. I might do that next. I've got to find appropriate yarn. Another challenge.

Maybe it's time to look in the stash bins for yarn and inspiration.
17 December 2008 @ 08:23 am
It's been a long time since I've done one of these!!!

I absolutely LOVE this sweater: http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter08/PATTamelia.php Amelia from the Winter 08 Knitty. It's super awesome and I want to make it with that yarn in that colorway. I am forcing myself to finish my two sweaters I have on the needles before investing in the $100 worth of yarn I need for it though... It's knit all in one piece, which is interesting to me as I've never made a sweater that way before. Fun!

The WIP I'm currently trying to finish is based on Mr. Greenjeans (http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall07/PATTgreenjeans.html). It's the same sweater but I'm making it long sleeved instead of 3/4 sleeves. I'm cold all the time so I see no point in 3/4 sleeves for a sweater I'm wearing to keep warm... I'm perhaps 2 inches from finishing the sleeves, so I'm almost done... I also modified it to have 4 buttons down the front instead of just one. I hate following directions, you know.

My eternal WIP... Mariah (http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter04/PATTmariah.html). God, when did I start this sweater? THREE years ago. Seriously. That's pathetic. I remember knitting this during a knitting weekend in Provincetown, and that was, yeah, 3 1/2 years ago. I so totally suck. It was going well and I'm mostly finished but then I ripped out the top of the sleeves long ago because I realized my stitch count was a little off. In retrospect I should have left it, because it would have been fine, but now it's been so long I have no idea where I am in the cable pattern. I've looked at it a few times and where I seem to be vs. where I marked off on the cable chart don't jive. And I haven't had the time to really focus on it so I figured I'd finish Mr. Greenjeans first because that is easier and quicker. I also modified Mariah a bit in that I made it a bit longer (because cropped sweaters make me crazy) and I'm making a collar instead of the hood. I've no need for a hood either. I'll do a collar that matches the bottom edge and it'll be rad.

Thing is too, that I'm finally knitting again after a bit of a hiatus. Not that that justifies my embarrassingly long experience with Mariah. You'd think I'd have finished it by now because it's so fabulous. I'll make that my new years resolution, to finish Mariah before the weather gets too warm to wear it.

Other than that, I have a pair of socks on the needles as I always do. They travel in my purse and are always there for when I'm bored. But I haven't touched those lately either. It's funny though, I knit my socks Continental, but I knit everything else English. But now that I've resumed knitting a bit, every time I pick something up I start knitting Continental... Maybe I'll be switching to that exclusively, but stitch manipulation (beyond the simple knit/purl) is still so much easier for me English style. I will finish the sweaters English because my tension is different enough for it to be noticeable (to me, anyway). But it's funny, because I used to pick something up and automatically knit English. Interesting that's switched.
10 January 2008 @ 06:38 pm
I can't seem to stop touching my new yarn. I bought some Cherry Tree Hill Sockitome in the limited edition Wool in the Woods lottery colors. Ohmygawd, it's so pretty and so soft. I don't think I've knit myself merino socks before... It's handpainted in deep purple, navy (black where those meet), dark green and a burgundy-purple. I had intended on buying some Koigu today but there was none and this yarn is an awesome alternative. Koigu will be next.

The store I was at (Woolcott in Harvard Sq.) also had the new Noro sock yarn. I just recently heard of it. I was tempted, as Noro has wonderfully vibrant colors - but it's so scratchy! I've knitted with Kureyon before and wouldn't think to wear it against my skin. They had a big sock knit up - the woman told me they had tried to felt it because it says hand wash on the skein but it didn't felt. It softened up a lot but they'd probably still be too rough for my preference.

Now I'm quickly knitting the legs of my current socks-in-progress because I'm anxious to start this next Sockitome pair. I'm doing a pair of toe-up socks, 2 at a time on 2 circulars, Lorna's Laces in Mother Lode (LOVE that colorway, my favorite LL yarn to date), doing my own thing. Judy's Magic Cast-On, plain knit foot, short row heel, 2x1 rib on the leg. I probably have about 3-4 inches to go because I'm trying to make my socks a bit taller than I have in the past - just to keep my legs a bit warmer in winter. I'm such a big baby about drafty ankles.
04 December 2006 @ 05:52 am
Yesterday I frogged my newest socks, because I'm sure everyone is excited to hear that. I'm knitting some toe-ups with Regia Wool/bamboo. It's lovely and soft, but it's extremely stretchy so even though I'm knitting it up at the same gauge as I do Lorna's Laces it made sock toes that were clearly too wide. So I ripped out all that work and took out 8 stitches. I'll rib them on the top of the foot even after subtracting those stitches because it just seems to me that they will stretch a lot still. I like the yarn, although it can be slightly splitty when doing increases. My super pointy Knitpicks US1s are ensuring I keep my sanity. I'm kind of sick of tiny sock knitting but I cast on for these to have a project to work on that I don't have to think about. And also because I really, really like Judy's Magic Cast-On.

I finished the girls socks a while ago, although Kalen wants me to double-stitch skulls on the ankles. I need to get around to that. Talyn wants to wear hers every day, I love the flattery of a 4-year-old. Her socks pooled badly, which I dislike, but she doesn't care at all.

I've been avoiding Mariah again, silly girl, because I haven't had thinking time to devote to charts. I'm shortening the sleeves by a lot and kinda winging it. I had been so nervous about them coming out wide enough but now that I've lost 10 lbs I no longer have to worry about that. Now I'm kinda thinking I should make the body slightly longer than it is. Sometimes I really wish I were the type of knitter that could follow patterns completely. All this modifying and re-thinking, much math, and re-modifying many times over makes a project long to complete.

I was knitting a bag to felt, then I LOST MY STRAPS. WTF? How did I lose my knitting? I've looked all over for the damn things. They were 2 i-cords I had planned to twist into a rope before felting. I was almost done with the 2nd one, so that means I've lost the needles they were being knit on, and the ball of yarn. I have no idea what happened to it, the last time I remember putting it down it was at my usual knitting spot by my chair. I've cleaned a million times since then and it's disappeared. I bet someday I'll find it somewhere stupid. Until then, that bag is on hiatus too, because I had intended on using up that yarn for it. It's funky burgundy with sections of chartreuse in it, I think it's cool looking but it surely wouldn't appeal to everyone.
02 September 2006 @ 03:04 pm
Been busy with my mom visiting and now that she's left, Steve's mom is due to be here in a day and I've got lots of cleaning to do. It's chilly and rain is coming soon and I just want to sit and knit, because that's way more fun than cleaning. I had my half-finished sweaters out yesterday to show my mom what I've been working on and now I'm itching to work on them.

One sweater (the Manos one) needs just a button band, which is a really lame thing to have it sitting around for. I was going to rip out the bottoms of the sleeves because they came out a bit long, but upon trying it on last night, they aren't as long as I remembered them being, and they'll be just fine the way they are. That's why I've ignored it so long, I didn't want to rip out those sleeves. They were slightly tight too, around the biceps, but since I've lost 5 lbs they fit perfect now... woo hoo for that. The other sweater is my Mariah, which is gonna be so freaking awesome, but that still needs lots of work. I'm almost done with the sleeves, the back and fronts are done and ready to be joined with the sleeves to finish with the yoke. I'm still thinking that I'm going to nix the hood on this sweater and make a collar instead.

I've started knitting Kalen's socks, they are pink and purple and very girly... I'm slightly nervous that they are going to be a bit big, but she has wide feet and is growing every day so I should just stop thinking about it and just knit. She got the most kick-ass shoes for school, they're really funky mary janes. Her girly socks will look really awesome with those shoes since they'll be visible.

I'm expecting some of the new Knitpicks needles this week. I ordered a couple of US1s, so I can have 2 pairs of socks going at the same time. I also got a US0 needle and a ball of their Gloss yarn (merino/silk) to make wrist cuffs for the girls. I haven't been able to find black fingering weight yarn here locally. (That's not including sock yarns, which I didn't want, because of the nylon content)
19 August 2006 @ 06:06 pm
I am this --><-- close to finishing my mom's River stole, now that I've finished fucking it up. Yes! It's true. I only started it a year and a freakin' half ago. I fixed whatever I was doing wrong by frogging and refrogging the same 4 rows twice over, and I'm now halfway through what is to be my last repeat. Hopefully I will resist the urge to knit just one more, just to make it a bit longer, but I'm so sick of this project that I probably won't get that urge. It's hard to tell how long it's going to be when I block it, being my first lace project. I am so looking forward to getting this thing off my needles. My goal is to finish it this weekend.

Larin's socks are the cutest. They are footie socks with a picot bind-off and are sweet. I need to have her pose for pictures. Now onto Talyn's socks, I think. Kalen and Talyn both want me to do their socks next, but I think I'll start T's, because they are smaller and will be faster. I'm toying with the idea of buying some Knitpicks needles, just to try 'em out, so maybe I could even do both pairs at the same time, keeping both girls happy.

I'm really quite sold on toe-up socks.

I couldn't help myself and I ordered some of the new Regia bamboo sock yarn. I noticed that my favorite online yarn retailer (Two Swans Yarns) happened to carry it so I bought some. I resisted the urge to buy some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Mixed Berries, however. I've wanted that colorway for a while but on top of the LLSS yarn I have for Kalen and Talyn's socks I have a couple of hanks of Motherlode for another pair for me. I need to catch up on my sock knitting before I buy too much more. I'm really looking forward to trying out the bamboo yarn, if it's half as soft as the bamboo yarn I fondled at my LYS I will be happy. Two Swans Yarns rocks because when you shop there you earn points. Your points earn you free shipping. Your points also earn you money off. And Karen who runs the store is very responsive and very nice. Perks, good prices and great service are what keep me going back.
30 July 2006 @ 07:55 am
It's been quite a while. Here's what I've been up to, which isn't much, considering:

- Larin's sock - I "finished" one of them yesterday, binding off during K's karate class after Larin tried them on and said she liked them short the way they are, as footie socks. OK, I did that, adding a cute picot bind-off which she likes. Turns out there isn't enough ribbing at the top to prevent the dreaded stockinette curl so the picots flare out the sides. She likes it that way. But she also wanted me to embroider a flower on each side of the sock. This was a request from long ago, and long unmentioned, until yesterday. There is no room on a short footie sock for an embroidered flower. So today I will rip out my picot bind-off, knit for maybe another inch and go from there. It's a good thing I had the foresight not to cut my yarn after I bound off. Sometimes I am a smart girl.

- The endless River stole - It's mom's birthday at the end of August and she is coming to visit the last week of said month, so it MUST be done. I started this in the Spring of '05, I will be really, really happy to get it off the needles and gift it away. I put this project on knitting hiatus more than anything else, I think. In the beginning it took a lot of concentration, being my first lace project, and it had the tendency to fuck with my brain and make me screw it up. Now, I am in the groove and can knit it well and at a decent pace so it's going faster. Only I'm adding probably 5 repeats to make it longer. I went down a couple of needle sizes so it is shorter than it should be so I'm compensating. I just hope I don't get impatient and make it too short. It is kinda hard to tell how big I can make it with blocking.

- i-cord bag handle - I'm trying to be funny by listing this as a project. I have an almost-finished felted bag that is lacking a handle. I had to go see Garfield 2 with the kids and since I can't knit River in the dark and the last time I tried to knit socks on slippery Addi's at the movies it was a disaster, I started the i-cord strap. It kept me entertained during a bad movie and it's my thing to pick up when I don't want to think but my hands want to be busy. I'm attempting to make a twisted cord type of a strap.

I have 2 sweaters on the ignore list:
- Brown Manos - I'm embarrassed that I haven't finished my Manos sweater. It's knit, it's seamed, it's lacking a button band on either side of the cardigan opening. The sleeves are also too long and one of these days I'm going to unravel it from the bottom, to avoid ripping out the sleeve caps to shorten them. Maybe when the weather gets a bit cooler. I can't stand a pile of hot wool in the summer, especially when it's been 90 degrees and humid. Even with air conditioning I'm not going there.

- Mariah - I haven't touched this since summer started, with good reason: hot, cabled wool. I'm at the top of the sleeves, modifying them as I go to fit my short, stubby arms. The body pieces are ready to be joined with said sleeves and then it's on to the yoke. I really love this sweater so far. I'm a bit scared I am going to fuck up the sleeve increases at the top because I stress about stuff like that even though frogging cables isn't all that bad. I'll dive back into this when the heat goes away. I also think I'm going to nix the hood on it because as much as I love my Rogue, I can't easily wear it under my winter coat since the hood is always bulky and in the way. I don't like the Mariah neckline as it is in the pattern, I think it would work better with a collar instead.
18 June 2006 @ 09:45 pm
I love the excitement of a new project, it motivates me to finish projects that have otherwise been dragging on forever. I finished my Wyvern socks today, largely because I put up our little pool today and the girls spent most of the afternoon playing in it. Knitting is perfect for when I need to be there, watching them in the pool. I can still keep my eyes on them while keeping my hands busy and then I don't get bored. They'll happily play in the pool all day, while I'll happily knit all day :-)

I am going to cast on for Larin's socks. That means I have to decide what I'm doing :-) I think I'm going to do toe-up socks for her, I'm trying to decide if I should do a simple pattern or just keep them plain. I'm knitting them with Lorna's Laces in a colorway that is just turquoise and purple. I think with only 2 colors in the mix and with the small size of the sock it is going to knit up with stripes thicker than what I'm used to with Lorna's Laces that have several different colors going on. Patterns tend to get lost in variegated yarns but I also don't want to do something like a Jaywalker sock that looks cool with a variegated yarn because it's not stretchy enough for a growing girl's sock. If I weren't so damn indecisive I'd get more knitting done I bet.

I've been knitting this silly little cotton towel which will be used to dry dishes on. Mainly to stash-bust but also because I kinda wanted to and it was something to do that I didn't have to really think about. I was using the stitch pattern from the My So Called Scarf pattern. But I don't love it. I don't love knitting with cotton and I don't love the stitch pattern because I have to purl two together repeatedly and I don't love doing that.

When I took this finishing class in April, Susanna Hansson taught us to only knit what you love. She said that you could be working on this project that you've come to hate, it was something you thought you'd like but then you didn't like the pattern, you didn't like the color, you didn't like the yarn, whatever. But you felt obligated to finish it, since you picked it and started it, so you trudge through, hating it all the way while the project you love is sitting in your knitting basket, waiting patiently. But then, you die, and your family finds your unfinished, hated project. They don't know you hated it, so they take that project, and they feel obligated to finish it for you, and wear it, because you died before you had a chance to. Then you're remembered by a project you hated, and the beautiful yarn waiting patiently in your basket gets donated to charity.

I thought of that when I saw my stupid cotton towel project today. I don't love it and it's a waste of my time so I'm going to toss it and buy a towel instead. Then I will cast-on for Larin's socks. I'd work on my mom's River stole but it's way too frigging hot and humid for that. It's gotten on the big side since I'm more than halfway done and I'm not interested in having a pile of mohair on my lap in this weather.
03 June 2006 @ 07:10 am
It's been a long, long time and since Steve's been playing his XBox 360 for the past 8-9 hours, it's a good time to post.

I've been actively knitting (sorry, no pics, I suck):

RiverCollapse )

Wyvern SocksCollapse )

Wine CozyCollapse )

MariahCollapse )

My felted bag has been put in the ignore pile until I decide on a strap strategy.

I think I made something else simple too and I can't remember. Nice.

I also knitted a beaded wrist cuff after my knitting weekend away. I took 2 classes, one of which was a beaded knitting class. Beaded wrist cuffs are pretty big in Nordic countries, apparently, and they have many books devoted just to them. They keep your pulse points warm and therefore keep your body feeling warm. It works! I've only done 1 cuff because I had to borrow my US1s from my Wyvern sock to make it.

I also took a finishing class which was really informative. We learned things such as how using a garter stitch edge makes seaming SO much easier (I'm sold). We were told to do an 8x8 swatch instead of the standard 4x4 and to keep it, not frog it, because then you'll have a great piece of your garment fabric to pick up stitches and play with edgings and button bands, etc... I barely do a 4x2 swatch because I'm both lazy and anxious to start the project. The analogy was that great painters don't sit down with their canvas and just create their masterpiece from scratch, they sketch and plan it out first and that takes time. It makes sense, but it doesn't make me any less impatient.

I also learned Japanese short rows in that finishing class. They are beautiful and fun. I plan on getting much use out of them to shape sleeve caps and shoulders instead of the step-like bind offs that are usually spec'd in patterns. I HATE those step-like bind offs. No matter how well the sleeve is seamed to the shoulder I can always and forever see those spots where the corner is. Makes me crazy.

My summer projects are going to be socks for all 3 girls. I can't bear to knit with anything but thin sock yarn in the summer. I picked a random hank (to make it fair) from the bag for the first pair and it was Larin's yarn. She'll have some great turquoise/purple socks. I've already figured out the # of stitches I need for her feet, but still need to decide on stitch pattern, toe up vs. cuff down, etc... I've got time, as my sock needles are currently still working on the Wyverns.
19 April 2006 @ 09:13 pm
Looks like it'll be a rainy one, which is fine, as I'm planning to be in knitting for most of it. It would be nice to be able to go sit outside and knit by the ocean but hey, if the weather won't cooperate, I'm happy knitting inside too. I'd like to go walk around P-town as well, we'll see if that's in the cards or not, I guess. It *is* still a bit on the early side to predict the weather.

My lawn needs some serious raking, but I've refused to do it all week because I don't want to get blisters and mess up my fingers/hands before this weekend. Nice excuse, eh? They *do* need to be in top shape for that 6-hour class, if it's anything like the 6-hour class I took back in the fall. It is a finishing class so it will probably be a lot of seaming too, but it also covers Japanese short rows and other things too, so there will still be a lot of regular knitting to keep the hands busy.

I'm nearing the end of my Mariah sleeves. I've already shortened them a lot, but it looks like I'm going to have to chop a lot more out of the chart. That's fine, I can work it out with a little more thought and I wanted to continue the cable up through the yoke anyway. I think I might be putting these aside and cast on for the back or one of the sides to work on for the weekend. Easy, plain stockinette is what I need for the social knitting and "downtime" this weekend.