Thursday, December 30, 2010

To Kindle, to Burn

Hey blog!

Just thought I'd drop in to say, Belated Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

I didn't get *all* of my christmas knitting done, but I feel good about how far I got. Next year I'll start sooner, lol.

I'm still working on my two yummy lace projects, but I had to take a break from them yesterday. I haven't been sleeping much and my eyes are...blurry and sore, making it pretty impossible to read the lace charts (Learned the hard way after ripping back the same row twice), so I went looking for a pattern for my new Kindle!

The Pattern is Kindle Cables I'm knitting it with KnitPicks Telemark from an old project that recently got frogged.
So far this pattern is a bit of a mixed bag; I got gauge on my first attempt, but Knitting this thing circularly on DPNS is super awkward, making it the most difficult DPN experience I've ever had.

One clearly brilliant aspect of the pattern, is that it introduced me to the miraculous cast on Invented by Judy Becker.
She is a mad genius and I can't help but wonder why It took me so long to stumble across her work.

It's hard to believe that 2010 is almost over! I've come so far with my knitting this year, and it's been great to be able to blog about my progress here on this blog. Next year is going to be full of even more changes and challenges; My blogging here will probably dwindle down to nothing over the next few months, but it will be a temporary lapse. I already have several exciting projects lined up in my queue for next year, so stay tuned!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Yesterday I started a new project that required a provisional cast-on, which I had no idea how to do. Luckily, the internet is very useful in that department, and I quickly learned two new crochet cast ons; One in which you simply crochet a chain and then pick up stitches through the back loops, and one that involves a kind of contorted use of both crochet hook and knitting needle at the same time, pictured here ;

Despite quickly picking up these techniques in theory it took me an hour to actually successfully start my shawl. Maybe someone out there knows how to fix my problem, but my first provisional stitch was open (had the tail....) and I wasn't sure how to close it/ what to do about it, and so I kept losing it o.0;;

But every-thing's OK now. Despite how fun and exciting small projects like scarves, gloves (and especially) hats, are. They can be a bit wearing after awhile, so I'm really really excited about starting a new lace project ^__^

Friday, December 10, 2010

To do : Knit a blog entry


Blog, I'd like to dedicate today's post as the first entry in a three part love letter to Patons yarns.

True story, I was working on finishing a pair of fingerless gloves last night, and I was really excited/relieved to be so close to being done. I turned to sixer and said "The end is so close I can almost taste it, I can feel the finish of this project...It's practically at the tip of my fingers!" Sixer promptly did her duty as my sister and let me know that puns of that quality were not only beneath me, but quiet frankly an embarrassment to knitters everywhere, and for that I apologize.

Allow me to offer this peace offering;

But lets not get distracted. The gloves in question (now finished, thank you.) were knit up with a single skien of Patons Kroy socks FX. I love this yarn. I have to tell you I was really excited when I found out that both Patons and Red Heart had sock yarn, and that my local craft stores carried them. Craft stores are just so much more convenient for me to get to than your typical LYS, but they have a tendency to lack decent yarns in smaller weights than worsted. In addition, I find drastically veriegated yarn to be a bit obnoxious at times, so the FX yarn, which merely has a slight color gradient, apeals to me a lot. It's soft, it knits up well. I only needed one skien to knit my gloves, and the best of all both gloves have matching strips! I don't know how they make it so that the color pattern repeats at the half-way point of the skien, but the important thing is that they do, which makes them awesome.

Monday, December 6, 2010

X-mas special

Dear blog....

So, I decided sometime around december 1st that maybe I should get started on those christmas presents that I wanted to knit...
probably a bit last minute, but that's what I've been doing ever since! I feel good about my chances of success.... Natrually I wont be able to knit stuff for EVERYONE, but I comfort myself that not all of my friends WANT hand-knit stuff anyway.... and if they do they can go on the top of the list for next year.
I'll tell you what though, after this month I don't want to look at a pair of mittens ever again. I've got five pairs in various stages of completion right now, which makes the idea of knitting hats, scarfs... or pretty much anything else very attractive right now. Brace yourself for a flood of FO posts this new years!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Swallowtail FO

Dear blog,

Yes. The rumors are true, I have finished my Swallowtail shawl.

Lets have a moment of silence to commemorate this occasion.

I've been working on swallowtail for a little less than a year now. I first cast on in January 2009. The yarn (knit picks palette in the pool color-way), was a present from my Gandfather (knit picks gift card FTW!) and I cast on the moment it came in the mail. I loved the pattern instantly. It was challenging, but not hard. Fun, stimulating, exciting. It knit up really fast too, and I have NO idea why I sat it down. Probably it was school that distracted me, and by the time I went to pick the pattern back up my gauge had changed drastically and I'd switched to continental style knitting (learning how to do YOs the correct way at the same time, incidentally ). I knew I wouldn't be happy with the shawl if I finished it with these obvious changes, and that I'd have to frog it and start over, which I dreaded. Procrastinate procrastinate, until finally it's June of this year.

When I re-started knitting this shawl in June I initially didn't have any problems, but I got tripped up because I accidentally knit too many repeats of the budding lace chart. It took me an indecent amount of time to figure this out, but once I did finishing the shawl was pretty easy :)
I really want to shout out to testkitchen45 who has the absolute most straightforward and helpful notes on her project. Thanks to her I discovered that my choices where 1; rip out 6 or 7 rows of lace with out the help of a safety line or 2; do 19 repeats of the budding lace chart thus dramatically increasing the size of the shawl. I chose the second option and I'm glad that I did! I initially started with 3 skiens of palette and it *looked* like I was going to manage to squeeze by with that despite all the extra repeats, but I did end up having to order a fourth skein in order to finish the bind of. It was totally worth it though. I love the size, I love the way the yarn drapes, I think the nupps are charming. In general, I think this is the most awesome thing I've ever knit and I can't wait to get another shawl on my needles.

Before I go I do want to give sixer her due... both for taking the FO pictures once again and for not complaining *too* much that our room (allegedly) 'smelled of sheep' during the two days it took swallowtail to block.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Hey blog!

No pictures today, but I wanted to do a quick update:

The brother's treads are finished. My gauge changed again when knitting the second glove, but overall I think they turned out OK.

Progress on Rasberry Twist has stalled because I ran out of yarn. On a different note, this was my first time working with Debbie Stroller's Full O Sheep yarn and I have to say, I'm not really a fan.

The upside to all of this is that I'm (knock on wood) working on swallowtail again. Yay!
I have this super-secret goal of finishing swallowtail before I ship out to boot camp In January, so we'll see how that turns out.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Fists of Gauge

Hello blog,

Once again my nemesis, gauge, has foiled my knitting plans. And I'm still sitting here scratching my head as to how. In july I knit the pattern treads, Bernat satin, US 2 5 1/2 sitches to 1" gauge. The gloves you'd expect, all snug like except the tread pattern was maybe a smidge t0o long in the hand section.....but they were the right size everywhere else. My brother wanted a pair and so now.... I'm knitting the same pattern, same yarn, same plastic double pointed needles..... and you guessed it.

Noticeably bigger. Roomier. But this is where gauge has really blown my mind....when I measure it, I get the same gauge as my other pair. 5 1/2 stitches to 1". Now, I know that I'm not a math person. I'm so far from being a math person that even reading a ruler is sometimes out of my range of ability....... But seriously? No matter how many times I double-check, I still get the same gauge on both gloves, the gloves are still significantly different sizes, and I'm *still* scratching my head. I've checked over the pattern, I've cast on the right number of stitches, I'm doing everything correctly...... I just don't understand how this is possible.

In circumstances like these, the only option is to go to another knitter for advice. My knitting informant also checked my gauge, and she says that there is actually a 1/2
stitch difference between the two gauges....... which seems like a really inconsequential difference until you try the two gloves on.

Nemesis, you may have won this time, but I promise you; My day will come.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Violetly WIP-ing

Dear Blog,

It is fall. I know this not because the air has turned crisp and sweet-smelling, or because of the changing colors of leaves, but because of the even more deeply and intuitively derived senses that are common to all knitters. What's on our needles? Hats, scarfs, and mittens. What is the fiber of choice? Wool, or to those not inclined, at least something decently warm and cushy.

Something not universal to knitters, but no less a dead give away to the return of Autumn for me is the color of my knitting. For fall it's undeniable that purple is my preferred color. Purple is definitely to be found in my current WIPs.

First a hat, my second go at a beloved pattern : Laural

Second, some glorious spinning

Spinning progress;

The bad : Validating the drop-spindles' name by ubiquitous dropping, continued irregularity of spinning, difficulty in attaching new bits of fiber

The good : Spinning is slowly but surely becoming more consistent. The thick-and-thin sections are mostly clumped around the places where I have to join new bits of fiber. In my head I've worked out a perfect solution to avoid this problem that involves judicious pre-drafting. Perfect in theory but as-yet to be tried successfully under lab conditions.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Slowly slowly WIP


there's a bit of a back log on my knitting, I finished the Penny wristers

I only knit the one glove because there wasn't enough leftover yarn for two.

And I cast on Tswirl using the reclaimed yarn from Hey Teach. This project so far has seen nothing but smooth sailing, however progress is slow. There are many reasons;

- my only US3 needle is a 16" circular, so the stitches are all bunched up tightly on the needles, which is no fun at all
- the pattern while visually appealing is dead boring to knit
- it's fall now, honestly all I want to knit is wool and cables. This project is a cotton tank top so it'll probably hibernate until summer.

In my next post, I'll tell you what I'm *actually* knitting!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

FO: Rivulet

Hello blog,

Admittedly, both knitting and blogging have been a *little* slow lately, but I did recently finish my rivulet scarf!

Rivulet is a very pretty, yet simple lace pattern. I wont do specifics here on my blog, since I knit it with my own handspun (love that feeling!) Once again, it's a scarf not really long enough for wrapping around the neck. I did have some yarn left over, but I decided I liked it at this shorter length.

I really like the combined texture and feel of the yarn - it's got a bit of silky feel to it because of it's tinsel content, but there's also a rough 'homemade' feel to it as well because of my level of spinning ability. I really enjoy the juxtaposition of the luxury feel of the fiber and the variation of the spinning, and the wide diamond pattern really balances the whole thing out visually.

Another thing I liked about this fiber; the clear difference after blocking. Before blocking the lace felt bouncy - like there was a bit of extra tension going on in the whole piece, but after a good half-hour soak and a two-day block, it feels smooth and flow-ish ^__^


BTW, thanks to my sister for taking such good FO pictures for me, you really do deserve a raise ;)

Sunday, September 12, 2010



Shh. Did you hear that? That sound? Listen...


It's the scariest most terrifying sound....The stuff of nightmare's and knitter's ghost stories. A project moaning in it's last throes of death, as it sinks despairingly into the frog pound, unraveling at last, returning to it's base element. The dreaded R.I.P - I'm not talking about simply ripping back a little bit to fix a mistake, I'm talking about all out total unmerciful shredding. We're sending this thing to the stash and back.

At this point you may ask, what project has fallen prey to such an evil fate? Good question! Remember Hey Teach?

I knit it, I sewed it up. Yes I got gauge, but it simply didn't fit. Not going to lie, it was too big and nothing was going to change that. Rather than try to salvage the project, I've decided to completely frog it and knit something else instead. This isn't anything against the Hey Teach pattern, I liked it and may knit it again someday. but for now, I've been there, done that, and now I just want to move on.

The frogging process was hard. Harder than I thought, and I'm not talking emotionally here, I'm talking technically. I did way too good a job seaming - and for now on I'm TOTALLY going to go easier on the weaving-in, because I ended up having to just cut the yarn in places in order to get it to unravel. Yikes! Oh well. I've already cast on a new project with this yarn, fingers crossed it'll have more luck!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Knit Goddess

Dear blog,

Despite the seemingly frequent and successful number of FO's that I have been knitting in recent months, I have not really felt happy or satisfied with my knitting experience as a whole lately. Especially when I remember or think about my swallowtail scarf, which hasn't seen any progress in..... a while. However, I'm getting alot of that good energy back via the very spiritual and enlightened book The Knitting Goddess by Deborah Bergman.

While some of the contents of the book are a bit weird (suggestions on how to build a small alter to isis, for example) I have found it to be quiet a refreshing, invigorating way to step back and look at my knitting and how it effects my everyday life, habits, and thought process. Knitting as a form of meditation is definitely something that I can get behind, and reading this book definitely helps me calm down and reach that mental state necessary for meditative knitting.
I know that everyone approaches knitting differently and has different needs/expectations form their knitting, but finding ways to reduce the stressfulness of my projects and increase their stress-relieving qualities is something that is very important to me (knitting should be fun and inspiring, not frustrating and difficult). To that end , The Knitting Goddess
inspired me to knit my own 'Goddess scarf'; I took the noro striped scarf as my starting pattern, gathered together my most recent (and most yardage produced) spinning project to date, paired it with a fetching store-bought black wool that made the colors pop, and proceeded to knit my own handspan ribbed scarf

This project was such a blessing in so many ways. First, not having to follow a pattern and having the freedom to just knit knit knit for miles without interruption. Second, I've been having serious issues with gauge recently, so not having to worry about achieving a specific gauge was immensely gratifying. Working with my own hand-spun gave me a very nice warm feeling of pride, not unlike that of a small child showing off his most favorite macaroni craft project; I could sit there knitting, fingering my yarn, and grinning to myself. "I made this, this is all me, look what I can do!" I think as I've gotten older I've become more and more afraid of self-praise, because it can so easily seem like bragging or self-absorption, but knitting this scarf has certainly underscored a point that I've been neglecting. It IS important to like what you do, and to be/feel good at it. If you aren't proud of your knitting, then what's even the point of doing it?

I'm not saying it's important to be 'good' at knitting, or to knit perfectly, but it's a good idea to sit back once in awhile, and look at all the cool things you've made. Recognize your talent and let yourself feel good about it, rather than constantly judging yourself. This is your hobby, nobody can tell you that you're doing it wrong, or how to enjoy it.

Good knitting

Saturday, September 4, 2010

FO: Turn a Square

Hey blog.

Whew. I'm beat. Spent all day walking around at the Maryland Renaissance fair, which is always a blast! Anywho, today's FO is another repeat pattern, and a brooklyn tweed design no less, the Turn a Square hat!

I love this hat, I have a dream of someday knitting one in a self-striping yarn. That would rock. For this hat, I used left over yarn from two different projects. The purple is Bernat silky left over from my Treads, and the blueish gray is (I think) Ella Rea left over from the fetching gloves I made back in december....

Notes.... It says in the instructions to knit for 5 inches before doing the decreases.... My head isn't that tall so next time I'll probably just ignore that. Also, I'm clearly doing the jogless jog wrong. But it's not that big a deal, just something else for my list of 'techniques that need polishing'

Huzzah for post that are short & sweet :P


Monday, August 30, 2010

FO : $12 in Pasadena

Drum roll please!

I give you, $5 in Paris!

Tada! 見て!できたよ!

Pattern: $5 in Paris
Yarn: 3 skeins Patons classic wool
Needles: 3US & 6US
Cast on: July 30th
Cast off : August 28th

I really enjoyed knitting this pattern! It's very simple, and with it being top-down, it's very easy to make adjustments until it fits exactly the way you want it. Knitting this as a knit-along with a friend only sweetened the deal. I never would have thought I could knit a whole sweater in a month, but I guess anything is possible with the right motivation ;)

I decided to go with wool rather than acrylic because I'm going through a phase where I really dislike the feel of acrylic while I knit it. I like the crunch of wool on needles and I've been a fan of Patons classic for awhile now, so I thought it was a sure choice. I've knit mostly scarfs and hats out of it before, and I've always been perfectly happy with how they've come out, so I was a bit surprised to find it a bit scratchy to wear knit up as a sweater. I haven't washed it yet, so it's possible it will soften out. Otherwise it wont be a big deal to wear something light underneath. I'll just chalk it up to experience, clearly my skin is more sensitive than I thought it was!

I don't have any actual problems with the sweater itself though. My problem with changing colors was solved easily while weaving in ends, and although the bind-off is tighter than I would like, it certainly isn't a significant complaint. This is definitely a pattern I'll want to knit again!

Currently suffering from a severe case of 'acute boredom', with startitis being one of the primary symptoms. I may not have enough left-over sweater yarn to knit the Penny wristers like I wanted, so I've cast on and frogged that pattern once already. I'm currently working on another pair of Treads and a Turn a Square hat and am actively scanning the queue and other people's favorited items for further inspiration...


Monday, August 23, 2010

Gauge makes no sense

Ever notice how the math involved in gauge makes no sense?

Like, I knit Treads using worsted weight yarn. The pattern says size 5 needles for a gauge of 6 sts to an inch. The Bernat silky was a loose yarn, so somehow dropping 3 needle sizes worked out perfectly. Now here I am with some lion brand worsted trying to knit the same pattern again. At us2 I'm getting a measly 4 1/2 sts an inch, dropping down to 00's gives me only a 1/2 sts increase to 5 sts an inch. What? The majority of the people who knit this pattern did so using size 5 (or bigger!) ??? Is my personal knitting really THAT lose in comparison to other people? Is it really such a shock that Hey-Teach turned out too big for me despite frantic swatching? Am I just really dumb and doing something retarded with my ruler? Only time can tell. (Or, possibly, any knitting goddess that may or may not exist.)

Meh. /rant

In other news, incase anyone was wondering. Apparently, I am still a 12-year-old girl. Was at the mall the other day getting sibblings' hair cut and wondered into Claire's..... and had the teenage girl version of a 'kid in a candy shop' glee attack. I think I was hyperventilating at one point. I spent a lot of time freaking out over all of the zipper themed jewelry.... I scored this ring :

But there were dozens of variations on necklaces and earrings too. This was my first time seeing the zipper motif in jewelry, and I felt like I'd died and gone to heaven. Of course, appropriate time was spent ogling the skull-and-cross-bones jewelry and the skeleton key necklaces, but those are all old hat compared to the zipper.

Oh, speaking of hats.

Ok. I think I'll stop now. Suffice it to say that, what started out as a chore (Mall, kids hair cut, remember? ) turned into an early Christmas for me. lolz.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Sick Turtle...

Hey Blog.

Mostly, things have been going good. Progress on the sweater is... fast - I'm nearly done - and I've made sort of sideways progress on the cursed scarf (I'm probably going to frog it ). Last week I was on this whole crochet kick and I did a half dozen granny squares using leftover yarn... originally I was totally going to go for a whole blanket made out of left over yarn, but I started running out of the original colors, and I'm not sure the perfectionist side of me is ready for patchwork crochet....

Anyway, today I'm a bit sick. I'm thinking of this cold as a 'Summer Storm' because it came on so fast. Literally one day I felt great and the next day - BAMB - I feel miserable. The only warning I had that this was coming was that my sister got it first... I guess I sort of thought popping extra vitamin C and gargling with listerine would defend against it. I was wrong. This phrase "A sick turtle is a slow turtle" is stuck in my head. At college, they'd post this slogan in the bathrooms to encourage hand washing. I always though it was mildly sadistic, because there always seemed to be alot of them posted RIGHT after I got sick, like the universe was mocking me.

Anyway. Unlike Jeanne, I'm finding motivation to finish my sweater to be very low. Once it's finished, I wont have anything exciting to knit. Swallowtail and I are still not speaking, and I don't have any other good yarn on hand. (I have enough acrylic in my stash to make a few hats, but honestly, my acrylic knitting days are numbered. )
Nothing that really excites me is waiting after this sweater, so I'm dragging it out for as long as humanely possible.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Two Hats are Better


Today, a brief review of my two latest FO's. A Chunky knit beanie using the blue Lion brand yarn, and an Irish Hiking Hat in the teal patons chunky.

The chunky knit beanie was kind of interesting to knit. First of all, the lion brand Hometown USA yarn is super bulky, and I didn't have any needles the right size so I had to go out and buy them..... I was insanely lucky and all of the needles and crochet hooks were on clearance at the Jo-anne fabrics that I stumbled into (more on why I care about crochet hooks in another post). Knit this on US15, knit it flat, and then seamed it up afterwards. I've been scared of seaming for awhile but I managed it without a hitch! You really truly can't see the seam from the right side. And the inside looks pretty cool. Check it.

The Irish Hiking Hat.... Not much to say there. It's an awesome pattern, doubly so if you're infatuated with cables, and this is my third go at the pattern. Yeah. Go knit one.

Anyway, don't have much else to say, except I'm almost done with the sweater! (I know, OMG, right? ) I've started the increases for the hips and it's only one stripe, some ribbing and two sleeves between me and a wearable FO!


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Weeks of Sweaters

Today, dear blog, a message for Brent Weeks.

Brent Weeks, if you are out there. I think you are awesome. I've only just discovered your books, and they sucked me right in. I read The way of Shadows pretty much in one go, and yes I was still up reading it at 3AM. But that's not how I know that you will be going permanently to my list of favorite authors. No, what clued me in was that, after reading the first book of the trilogy, my first impulse was not to reach for the second book, but rather, to read the acknowledgments. In simple terms: I love you. My only regret is how much this relationship will cut into my knitting time.

And now, the feature presentation.....

Tada! I did 6 increase rows before setting aside the sleeve stitches, completing one whole stripe and starting on another. At Jeanne's pool, did another 3" after the armpit and then started the waist shaping. So far, so good, as the daring say.
I only have 1 decrease left to go according to the pattern, but I'm thinking of adding one additional decrease round...We shall see. Also there's no actual reference to when to start increasing for the hips... so I'll have to lurk around on Ravelry for more specifics.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

FO: Treads

Hello Blog. S'up?

In all the excitement to start $5 In Paris, poor Treads got pushed into the background and forgotten. Despite sitting pretty and finished on my desk for the past few days, I've only just given it the photo shoot it deserves.
I love this pattern. I think it looks cool, and hip. The texture is nice without being obnoxious to knit, the braids look freaking amazing, and apparently, this pattern is even gender neutral. (My brother has requested a pair. )
This was my first time doing fingers on gloves, and I was grateful to find that they weren't nearly as horrible as I expected. I'm still not convinced about the thumb for this pattern..... It's interesting and I like the fit, but my first love was the thumb from Fetching, which I still think is pretty spiffy.

Pattern : Treads
Yarn : Bernat silky
Needles : 2US DPNS
Cast On: July 26
Cast Off: July 31

This pattern knit up really fast. I knit the first glove from start to finish in one day, while watching season two of Being Human. I attribute the shock of the cliffhanger ending, and the knowledge that I will have to wait until NEXT YEAR to find out what happens next, as a huge factor in why the second glove took so much longer. Other distractions like new projects and 'real life' were only secondary to this first disappointment. In any event, I think these gloves are full of win, and I *gasp* can't wait until it's cold enough to wear them!


PS. The bernat silky is really soft and knits up loosely. *I* like it and I'd recommend it to other acrylic knitters. One thing to be aware of though, is that after only wearing these gloves for small bits of time, they are already developing a bit of a 'yarn halo'. If it doesn't get more pronounced than it already is than it's no big deal but.... Time will tell.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Super Bulky

Dear Blog.

Remember that trip to AC Moore? The one where I went crazy and decided to start a sweater project? Well, I bought more than just sweater yarn. Two additional skeins. One, Paton's Shetland Chunky, in a very romantic shade of soft teal. The other, Lion Brand Hometown USA In a Super Bulky Charlotte Blue. I love these two skeins of yarn, and the fact that I bought them is absolute proof of my ironclad self-control. Twice, two times I went to AC Moore and petted, fawned over, and drooled on these skeins. I wanted them, Oh how I wanted them. But I knew I was on a yarn budget and supposedly working out my differences with my Swallowtail shawl. It was only on that third fateful visit that I finally bought them. If that isn't self-denial I don't know what is!
I absolutely love the color of the Patons yarn.... But the Hometown is so perfectly squishy! it makes me so happy, just squishing and squashing it. I wish I could meld the two skeins together and make one perfectly colored happy, squishy, shetland skein of pure bliss.

If I have my way, they will both become hats. One, full of cabled goodness, and the other a simple stockinette slouch with a seed stitch brim. (Yes, I love this yarn so much I'm even willing to knit seed stitch for it. That's true dedication)

I've got my hands full with other things *chough*sweaters,lace,cursedscarf*cough* but expect to see these two beauties hitting the WIP list very soon.


Friday, July 30, 2010

A Good Start.

Hello Blog!

First, since I know you'll ask; I did not finish Treads yesterday. I'm really close though!
Yesterday, was a bad day for me. I mean, a screaming, shouting, cursing, crying bad day. I know, but it's OK because after it was all over, I went to my friend's house and we went to AC Moore. AC Moore is where all of the pretty, cheap, acrylic yarn lives, and not to dis Michael's at all, but this particular AC Moore has the most amazing selection of brands and colors. It's nothing short of epic.

Suddenly, without really meaning to I had agreed to starting a knit-a-long. A Knit-a-long for a sweater. A SWEATER. There is nothing better for boosting morale, self-esteem, and delusions of grandeur than going to buy yarn with a fellow enabler. ( I might be her dealer but she's just as bad for me as I am for her, and that's the story I'm sticking to.)
What sweater you might ask? Why none-other than the simple and elegant $5 in Paris that has been high up in my queue for a good long time now. I love this sweater, it's really a classic, fitted look and it does stripes in a way that actually looks nice....
I don't want anything to go wrong with this project. I want this sweater to be a roaring success, I want it to fit properly, I want to be able to wear it out in public - or to work - without feeling embarrassed, or regretting some fault or another with the sweater that only I can see. To that end, today I am swatching. Serious swatching. It may be true that swatches lie, but I will swatch the living daylights out of this yarn until it tells me what I want to know.

Gauge is supposed to be 5 stitches to an inch.

on size 9 needles; unblocked 4 1/2 stitches, blocked 3 3/4 stitches
on size 8 needles; unblocked 5 stiches, blocked 4 stitches
on size 7 needles; unblocked 5 stitches, blocked 4 1/2 stitches

Regardless of what needle size I go with for the body, I plan on going down a size smaller for the ribbing. I do not want the neck of this thing draping off of my shoulders!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lateral braid

Hello blog!

I had a great day today, lined up two job interviews before lunch, not to mention casting on a new project and learning a new knitting technique!

Cast on Treads, using the Bernat silky I got on my last yarn crawl. lol. Originally thought I'd knit another Laural, but the yarn is way too loose for that. These mittens are way awesome though ^__^

Check out the Lateral braids :

They look impressive and pretty but they're actually very easy. I was surprised, and delighted. I want to add braids into all of my knitting now!

Hmmm. I cast on this morning and finished before bed. Watching more vampire tv! Being Human, to be exact, from the BBC! Its much better than the watery show The Gates I've been watching.

Will I have a finished set by Thursday? Tune in next time to find out!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Stitch Counts.

Hello Blog,

I appoligize in advance for the rather longish length of this post. I have to rant to you about how much I really, truly dislike my swallowtail right now. But first, something a bit happier.

Progress on the Cursed Scarf:

Not even halfway done with the scarf. Hurray!

And, look what I can do now...

New skill achieved!

I have been given crochet lessons by several different friends in the past, and attempted to teach myself, but it's been slow going for me. Last night I had yet another lesson and met some well-earned success ^_^ Now I just need to learn the names of the stitches I've just made, and how to read those confusing crochet patterns, and I'll be good to go!

And now, swallowtail.

Let me explain what happened. I was supposed to do 14 repeats of chart 2 and end up with 195 stitches, but instead I ended up with 208. Not noticing I started chart three and found that I had 6 stitches left over at the end of the row. I ripped back to the end of chart 2, thought about the merits of ripping an additional 6 rows or enlarging the shawl, and decided to keep going until I reached 255 stitches before starting chart 3.
Right now, I only have 218 stitches. HOWEVER. I feel like I have a problem. Deep deep in my bones I know there's a problem. I have an even number of stitches and yet I'm not coming up with too many or two few stitches at the end of each row, despite the fact that the pattern - and every note that I've read on ravelry - tells me that I need an odd number of stitches. I can't find a flaw in my knitting anywhere, but the numbers don't add up, I don't want to keep knitting only to have to rip back again, but what else can I do? I'm struggling to find an answer - one that I'm sure will be very simple and obvious - but until I do figure it out. I hate my knitting.

Until next time

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Field Report

Hey, blog.
No pictures today, just a brief update on the swallowtail. Had a bit of trouble with the end of chart 2, I missed the yarn over before the center stitch and had to rip back two rows, not once, but twice. Meh, I should learn not to knit at 1 AM. Anyway, I'm on chart 3A now, and something doesn't seem right. It's not lining up, and I don't even know if it's supposed to or not, just that it isn't and I'm uber paranoid. Anyway I've been avoiding kitting it trying to think what to do and working on the cursed scarf in the meantime. But I've decided to finish the row, and if I'm up or down a stitch I'll rip back and try to work out what's wrong, but if I finish the row even I'll take that for a sign that everything is going as it should.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Summer reading & some lace

Hello blog, how are you?

Allow me to indulge in a few short off-topic musings. I really love summer. I love the warm air, I love the bright sunshine, I love complaining about air-conditioning (it's too cold), and I love summer reading. I haven't been doing much 'pleasure' reading lately because college kind of sucks all the fun out of books for me, but I do love reading non-sense and children's books during summer. Dropped by the library yesterday and picked up a stack.

My method for picking these books was meticulous. I typed up a list of books that I wanted to read, then I printed it and took it to the library where I quickly found out that none of them were available. Not daunted, I spent 20-30 minutes in my favorite sections picking out books with interesting-looking covers and reading the flaps. When I'd got as many books as I could carry, I checked out. Impressed? I thought so. This method is so perfect for finding good books in libraries, that I even managed to check out a book that I've already read before : When you catch an adjective, kill it. by Ben Yagoda. I can't wait to re-read it!

Anyway. Back to knitting.

You might remember that I cast on for the popular swallowtail shawl awhile back, in January '09, but quickly dropped it for other projects. Not because I didn't like swallowtail, but for various reasons, the other projects seemed more urgent or appealing at the time. Since my knitting style has changed so drastically in the past year - learning to do YO's correctly and switching from english to continental style knitting - I decided to frog the progress I'd already made, and start over from scratch. Same yarn, same needles. Anyway, I did this on the 15th and have already caught up to and surpassed where I was before ^^;; I'm enjoying this so much that I've barely even thought about casting on for my magic 3rd project, although I've decided what it's going to be. (koolhaas in a barely bearable green acrylic.)

I'm supposed to be doing a bit of hiking today so, I'm going to go eat & change now. lolz.