Sunday, January 22, 2012


A few months back, I got the flutterby pattern as a present. I looked at it, I looked at my calender and saw that christmas was coming up, and I thought to myself; "Yeah, I can knit that during my vacation!" I was so delusional that I even ordered the yarn and had it sent to my parents address, so it would be there waiting for me when I arrived. When the holidays actually came, several problems were quickly made obvious to me. The largest of them being the number off things and people I wanted to see while I was there, measured against the amount of time I had, and the degree to which drinking socially and knitting mix. (Which is, zero. Don't try it.)

The other problem, closer to most knitters hearts, was gauge. No matter what needles I tried, I could not get the correct gauge with the yarn I had chosen. (LOFT ). The closest I got was on these tiny uber size 0 needles, and when I cast on the recommended 72 stitches and started the ribbing, it was much much too big. Unable to go down to a smaller size needle, I opted to decrease my stitches to 52. After that the ribbing looked more reasonable and I finished that I started on the color work. It's probably obvious, but your gauge in sts will be drastically different from your color-work gauge, and my nice-fitting ribbing started to take on a drastic cone shape as my color work pulled and pinched everything together so tightly, that I couldn't even pull the whole thing over my knuckles, much less get it around my wrist.
ripping back and switching up to larger needles (0US ) for the color-work helped, but I think I'm going to rip back again and try it on 1s or even 2s.

I'm already resigned to the fact that these mittens are going to end up either too big, or too small, possible both, before I finish them.

Monday, January 16, 2012

WIP Woops

Dear blog,

I dedicated a huge chunk of this past weekend to my knitting, and as you may have noticed, I have a pretty decent number of WIPs floating around right now. I honestly, sincerely meant to work on each one of them in turn (especially the burnt frost hat, which really only has a few rows of decreases left. ) I also planned on starting the 2nd sock in my Vampire Boyfriend pair, so I'd have something a little more juicy to knit in class if the SHELTER scarf got 'too' relaxing. But I'm afraid I have been very weak.
From the moment I seriously started knitting my No Remorse Sweater, I became blind to all other projects.

The NRS sweater is the reincarnation of an earlier attempt to knit this pattern. It turned out to be way too complex for my current direction-reading skill, so it was frogged in favor of a simpler project. Namely, this one. Of course, I still want to knit sideways-spencer-redux eventually. Just not quiet yet. Anyway, this sweater has consumed me. I'm driven on by the one oh-so-important question : Will it fit? The other projects I know will more or less work out, but I have a lousy track record with sweaters, and I'm hanging by the seat of my pants here waiting to find out how things are going to go down.

Until next

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

FO : Rose Hat

The Rosebud hat was my guilty pleasure knit during Christmas break. I knit it with SHELTER, and it was amazing to work with ^^;; I like hat patterns because they are quick no muss-no-fuss projects on circular needles. It's pretty hard to mess them up, and when you do, it's pretty easy to fix. Also, you can never have too many hats!

And I have to say, I'm in love with SHELTER. It's got this intoxicating crunchiness that I just love. I wont say that it's soft - and some people have told me it feels like steal wool- But I really like the feel of it and enjoyed knitting it up. I probably wouldn't knit a sweater out of it, but hats and maybe a cardigan or something? Sure. I've got a second skien of this in the same color, so we'll have to see if I can cook up a matching something or other.

Pattern : Rosebud
Yarn : SHELTER color Thistle, 140 yards.
Needles: US 4, US 7
CO : December 20
BO: December 26

Thursday, January 5, 2012

FO : Sunshine for Grandma

Dear blog,

I am pleased to announce that the sunshine shawl was completed successfully in time for x-mas! Actually, I finished it on December 30th, which gave me plenty of time to block it before giving it to my Grandmother when I visited her on New Years Eve.

This shawl was the biggest project I knit this past year, and the one that stayed with me the longest. I ordered the yarn ( 4 skiens! ) from a local yarn store when I first moved to DLI, and it took over two months for the order to come in! I started knitting it in June. I've been drooling over this pattern since I put it in my queue in 2008, and I was enjoying every minute of it! When I visited Hearst Castle? This shawl saw me through the long, winding car-ride.

No true epic is without it's trials. Chart H : The knitted edging.
I've knit several shawls before this one, but they all ended with a simple bind-off. A knitted edging is different, it involves creating a certain number of new stitches, and working a charted pattern on just those stitches (using a DPN ) knitting one stitch from the DPN together with a stitch from the main shawl every other row. Now that I've actually done it, it seems pretty simply and I think I can safely say I've tucked this technique under my belt. But friends, I have to admit, I am directionally challenged. The instructions for the edging confused the living daylights out of me. I googled it, I looked for youtube videos. I scratched my head and called my sister on the phone. All of that research ended with me knitting the edging chart as a pattern repeat - around the ENTIRE CIRCUMFERENCE OF THE SHAWL. Apparently, that was not correct.

If you are planning to do a lace edging soon, take this to heart. When instructions say "You are going to need a DPN for this" and you realize that it is very very easy to do it without a DPN, that means you are wrong. STOP KNITTING and figure out a way to follow the instructions that would be impossible without a DPN. Pro tip, the edging chart? Only one repeat of each row. So yeah. I tinked back upwards 600 stitches and pushed the shawl into a drawer where it stayed until Christmas break, where I had my sister show me step by step what to do. Twice. Yup. Makes so much more since now. I felt really really ridiculous and embarrassed, but I will never make that mistake again, and I think I learned something. Plus, four days later I got this shawl, which is gorgeous, and which I am very very pleased with. The next lace thing I knit I'm keeping :K