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08 April 2006 @ 02:43 pm
I've been trying to figure out what to do with this yarn I have and it's making me nuts. This "easy" project for my knitting weekend is becoming a big pain in my ass. I have only like 810 yards of this bulky yarn, which isn't much. I was thinking of doing a top-down raglan, so I could knit until I ran out of yarn. And also throwing in a stripe or two of a contrasting color just to expand my yardage. I have really short arms too, which helps my case. I have to shorten all sweater sleeve patterns I knit for myself by about 2 inches.

OK, so I swatched. I get 3.25 sts to the inch on 10.5s. That makes a decent fabric. I swatched before on size 11s and got 2.75sts to the inch, a looser but still acceptable gauge. I didn't want to wash my swatch because I have such limited amounts of yarn. So anyway. I wish I could meet somewhere in the middle because I'd like to get like 3sts/inch but I don't want to knit on size 11s, they're too big. I'm afraid the 10.5s will use up too much yarn and I won't be able to finish. But then I could add some stripes. I wish there was a needle between 10.5 and 11, there's such a big jump between the two. From 6.5 to 8.0mm.

But then that adds a-whole-nother piece of fun. This is handpaintedyarn.com handspun in garnet. I bought it for another project but when it came in the mail it was rust orange when I had wanted more of a red. I'm afraid if I buy more of it the color will be completely different, especially for hand-dyed wool with no dye lot. So what the hell do I pair with rust orange for stripes? Black would make me look like a Halloween fool. I already have a bag and a coat that are rust orange and light gray. I'll look like a big dork with a sweater in those colors too. Then if I pick a color that works and buy it from handpaintedyarn, I run the risk of it being completely different or clashing instead of contrasting.

28 March 2006 @ 11:09 pm
I knit on and off for a good part of 6 hours on Saturday, working on this impromptu felted bag to kill time. I'm knitting on big, honkin' size 11 needles, which I'm not used to. My other WIPs are on size 1s and size 7s. I don't like knitting on big needles.

Apparently it made my right finger hurt too. Sunday night I picked up the bag to knit while watching The Sopranos and my finger was killing me. I'm an English knitter, after having initially learning (wrong) continental. I've been wanting to re-learn (for potential 2-handed colorwork) so I had at it. Surprisingly, I remembered how to do it. And I picked up some speed by the end of Big Love. I'm not all that fluid and still need to find my comfort zone where I could do it efficiently and not look at my hands but it works. I suck ass at purling continental but since this bag is in the round, there's no worries about that. I'd like to become an "ambidextrous" knitter, and practicing on something that will be felted is a good idea. My tension seems to be great though.

I've been working on the Mariah sleeves, doing both at one time seems to take f.o.r.e.v.e.r but at least when I am done they will both be done. I haven't touched my sock. I really need to pick up my River stole again, and soon, mom was asking about it. Being that Mother's Day suddenly seems too close I had better work on that again for there to be any hope of finishing it.
23 March 2006 @ 11:16 pm
I've been rejuvenated lately when it comes to knitting. Hooray for that. I got my swatches done for my class next month, they were faster and easier than I originally thought. Those easy, mindless swatches were just what I needed to get back into it.

I've been knitting away at my Mariah sleeves and actually started Wyvern sock #2. I don't think I've yet completed a full repeat but the toe is done :-) But at least I've started.

I need to start a new project tomorrow for this academic tournament I have to go to with K on Saturday. It's going to consist of a lot of sitting on my ass, waiting around because K will be off with her team. I can work on my sleeves for a lot of it, but I have to volunteer for an hour and I can't read sleeve or sock charts while doing that. Volunteering will consist of me sitting on my ass too so I will probably start a felted bag or something. I have this gorgeous bulky weight burgundy yarn with small sections of chartreuse thrown in for good measure. I really would love to make it into a sweater but I have only about 540 yards of it so maybe a bag is a better idea. If I can find some similarly colored burgundy that I might have leftover from another project maybe I could squeak out a top-down raglan if I use a loose enough gauge? Probably not. I wish I had more than 4 hanks of this stuff, but I think it's all they had left when handpaintedyarn.com had a little clearance sale a while back. Crap. It's so beautiful and I've always had a soft spot in my heart for chartreuse.
13 March 2006 @ 02:15 pm
Hey! I finished the orange/pink vest! Well, except for the buttons. I might make them. I might buy them. Gotta decide that soon.

The mood hasn't struck since my Wyvern sock was finished so I haven't cast on for it's mate. Might do that soon too.

I've been knitting my Mariah sleeves and they are going well so far. I'm a bit nervous on the length, but I think it'll work out OK. I'm kinda winging it. I've messed up the cable twice on the sleeves (I'm knitting them at the same time) and I've now proven that I CAN indeed drop down several rows and fix my cable. No more frogging for me! I was so scared of attempting to fix cables on my Rogue that I just fudged them (read: I double-stitched over the mistake to make it look like it should. Unconventional and really unnecessary now.) Now there's no stopping me. I'm doing Mariah with no cable needles either. There are so many cable crossings with these sleeves that I'd go mad if I had to use a cable needle.

But.... I haven't really been knitting much at all lately. I suck. I've really been kind of uninspired. I suppose we all go through these lulls? My knitting weekend is coming up in just over a month's time and I've just gotten my "homework" sheet for the 6-hour finishing class I am taking. I've got to knit 5 swatches for the class - I figured mindless swatching would be good to break up the cabling and eventual sock when I get that going again. But the swatches aren't completely mindless - of course.

I need to pick up some more Paton's Classic Wool for these. I think I've got enough of the light gray leftover from my class in October to do these swatches but I need a contrasting light color to bring to the class. And also, since my size 7 needles are currently in use for Mariah, I'm gonna have to buy more needles for this class. Ah, can't hurt to have another, differing length of size 7 needles anyway.
24 February 2006 @ 12:24 pm
I cast on for a new project yesterday. Bad, tine, bad. I was supposed to fix all my broken projects. I've been doing well with that but since I finished my sock (that I now wish I had gone one more repeat with, but whatever) I had NOTHING on the needles - oh the horror. I couldn't go wait for my car to be serviced without a knitting project, now could I? I couldn't face my week with nothing to pick up at a moment's notice. I have begun my Mariah. I'm doing the sleeves first, which I can likely finish before my knitting weekend in April, leaving the easier body to do there, which is better suited for social knitting than knotwork. And if I happen to finish the whole sweater by then (HA HA HA) I'll do a felted bag or top-down raglan. I'm using dark gray Paton's Classic Wool for Mariah, which is my favorite, it's so soft and wonderful to knit with.

I'm done fixing the orange/pink vest, two more bits of pink edging to do.

I'll cast on for Wyvern sock #2 this week when the mood strikes.
20 February 2006 @ 09:38 pm
An update on the broken projects:
- Natalya mitts are done and I wear them. They are nice, soft and warm. But I wish I made the wrist cuff area a bit shorter and on smaller needles so they wouldn't slip off like they do. I want to make another pair of fingerless mitts with sock-weight yarn for warmth without bulk for only slightly cold days.

- Wyvern sock has been fixed and *gasp* finished! I'll cast on for the 2nd one early this week.

- I frogged the too-long bit of the orange/pink baby vest and am almost done re-knitting it. This should be quick to finish now.

- River stole and Manos cardigan are still in the ignore pile but the Manos is next on the fix list after I'm done with the vest.

I'm trying to think of what I should be knitting next, as my next big project besides the 4 pairs of socks I have the yarn for. I need to find a nice, easy project for my knitting weekend in April too. That needs to be simple and easy for social knitting. Since I'll be taking that intensive 6-hour class I'll want something on biggish needles too. Maybe I'll do a top-down raglan on size 10s or a felted bag.

So I think that means that next-up on the new project list will have to be Mariah. Have pretty yarn, must start.

And on to the pictures
ha, made ya read all that first :-)Collapse )

I still need a pic of Miss Rogue and Kalen's new hat. I'm thinking the Natalya mitts won't photograph well because the yarn is a green so dark it's almost black.
10 February 2006 @ 10:34 pm
I knit a new hat for K today. I know I had a no new project rule until I finished my broken projects but I needed something to do for 3 hours while I got my hair cut and colored. And K lost her hat this week (that I made, argh), and she really needs a hat! It came out really cute. It's like a dusty rose color (Plymouth Encore Worsted) with 2 stripes of a lighter pink which I sized using Fibonacci numbers (because I'm a big geek). I was going to rib the whole thing but ribbing was annoying me today so after 12 rows I switched to plain stockinette. It looks cool and she likes it.

Two days ago I finished my 2nd fingerless glove. Now I've got a wearable pair. Go me.

Next up, I'll probably fix the tiny error on my Wyvern sock so I have *something* to knit when the urge hits and start frogging the orange/pink vest.
08 February 2006 @ 08:35 pm
I think I've decided what classes to take on my knitting weekend in April. I'm going to take the bead knitting class on the Sunday, that was a no-brainer. Saturday I couldn't decide. There's a 6 hour finishing class which includes learning Japanese short rows. Or there's a 3 hour class on making a wind chime scarf, aka potato chip scarf aka spiral scarf. I don't care about those scarves, I hate them, but the class does teach you to knit backwards, which I've never been able to figure out. The scarf class is free, the finishing class is an extra 45 bucks.

I think I'm gonna be out 45 bucks because that class is going to be intense but fun and I'll learn a lot. I don't think any of my friends who are going are going to take that class either so I'm gonna be on my own, which is fine. They'll just go off and have fun while I bust my ass. Apparently Japanese short rows are tricky to learn, but they are great for doing shoulders/sleeves instead of the usual step-like bind offs. Those step bind-offs make me NUTS when seaming sweaters. I'd love to avoid that, so the finishing class it is. It has homework even, or pre-work since you have to show up with certain stuff finished.

As for my broken projects, I have fixed my fingerless mitt and am halfway done with it. I'd like to finish that this week since winter is back and it's gonna be colder over the next week. It goes pretty fast though.

Next up, I'll have to fix the sock so I have something to knit, then the baby vest, then the Manos cardigan and the River stole will have to fight for 3rd place.
06 February 2006 @ 10:05 pm
I seamed her this weekend. Seaming set-in sleeves is not near the top of my most-fun list, although I do generally enjoy seaming. I'm happy it's done, I'm still weaving in ends though. Funny how many of them there are, despite the fact that a lot of this sweater is done in the round.

I like it a lot, it fits :-) The only thing is that it's a big baggy in the armhole area when I hold my arms out. My row and stitch gauges were spot-on so I'm not sure why it's so weird and big there. It looks totally fine normally and since I don't plan on walking around with my arms held straight out I think it's fine.

I still have to block it, especially those wonky spots on the hood where the double decreases are.

I've ignored all my other broken projects. I am going to start with A's vest and fix that first as my Olympics challenge.

Broken project list for my reference:
- Orange/pink vest: rip out edging, unseam shoulder, frog left front back to where I *should* have bound off for the neckline and re-knit the top section. Seam again and re-do edging.

- Manos Cardigan: Un-seam sleeves, frog sleeves back to last increase then decrease for sleeve cap, removing the 1 1/2 inches that were knit straight to shorten sleeves.

- Natalya fingerless mitt: drop stitches down and put in that cable twist I missed.

- Wyvern sock: Figure out what I did to mess up that weird-looking stitch, fix from where I am or frog back half a round to do it right.

- River stole: Fix that one yarn-over I missed.

What the hell? I NEVER make mistakes like these that I've listed!!! Where is my mind? I need to be more careful, methinks.