Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Keep on Knitting, Keep on Knitting...
Yipppeeee! I've finished the left front and the shoulder is joined to the back (3 needle bind off) and the front band is sitting on a holder so I can Kitchener Stitch it to the right front, front band at the center back neck - did you get all that? Now I just have to keep on knitting on the right front, then I can do sleeves. Sleeves, glorious sleeves! Everyone, sing along with me!
OK, you don't have to. I'm just really excited to be done with one of the fronts. As you can tell.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Warm Wooly Hat in Progress
Labels: Stranded Colorwork
Friday, October 26, 2007
Almost a Front!
I have almost finished with the left front of the wrap cardi from Vogue Holiday 2006. I'm up to the place on the shoulder where I'll do a 3 needle bind off to join the front to the back and then I have to keep working the front band section until it's long enough to reach to center back where I'll graft it together with the front band from the right front. I AM going to get this half finished and the right half cast on this weekend. I really, really am! I keep telling myself that if I can just push through these fronts with all the yarns and all the needles, I'll zip through the sleeves in nothing flat. It's just the pushing through the fronts that's the hard part.
I hope you all have a lovely weekend!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Taking time for Solace
I've been working on Solace more and since the weather cooled off yesterday and it's been raining off and on since yesterday morning, it's a very welcome project to spread over my lap. I'm almost 2/3 of the way through with it (I know that because I bought 12 balls of yarn for it and I'm almost through ball number 8 - sometimes knitting is obvious that way) and it's big enough to keep me warm while I knit on it. As long as the weather stays cool, that will be a good thing.
By the way, I've been trying to help Finn work through some dog behavior issues lately and I've been reading Cesar Millan's books. If you have a dog, I really recommend that you read these. I didn't really grow up with a dog and honestly I have no idea what's going on in his head (especially compared to the way I can read Ramius - I did grow up with cats), and I think that's a big part of what's going on, but I feel like I'm starting to understand him better thanks to these books. I've still got a long way to go, but at least we've started the journey. (Wow, I do sound a bit like a fortune cookie today, don't I?)
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Slowly but surely I have felt myself getting back to where I want to be and I have learned some things about myself and what I am willing and able to give. I have learned to say no to some opportunities that have come along because while they might be good things, I've learned to look at the other parts of my life, the parts more important than knitting and give myself an honest answer as to whether I'm willing to commit the time and effort needed to incorporate these opportunities into the rest of my life right now. I hope that I have got a better idea of what I need to do to balance my life and keep my priorities and sanity in order, and if I have learned this, I can only thank MS3.
Like I said at the first of this post, I'm not writing this for sympathy, but I know that the blog has been the one to suffer lately and I felt like those of you who have kept reading through all of this deserved an explanation for the blah posts.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
As of tomorrow, things should have settled down as much as they ever do around here so I'm hoping to get back to regular blogging!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Try to control yourselves
Yeah, I'm losing steam knitting it and the fact that the temps got warm here again isn't helping with the motivation. I keep telling myself that once I get this done and the other front (and it's not taking that long to do once I sit down and actually knit it) that the sleeves will zip by and then I can sew it together and have my first Fall 2007 cardi finished. Unfortunately, because of all the switching yarns and needles, it's not a project I can sit and work on in small moments of the day, or when I'm distracted or when I'm on the phone. I have to sit down and get into a rhythm with it. My goal is to finish this front and start on the right front by this weekend, maybe that will help. No really, it will help.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I'll be back!
Monday, October 15, 2007
I've been thinking about what kind of sweater I want to make with this yarn and I'm leaning towards a cardigan. I might have a cardigan addiction, seeing as I have yarn and patterns picked out for 4 or 5 in my stash and some others on my wish list, but seeing as I have a vast T-shirt collection and I can throw a cardi on over any one of them to make it cool weather appropriate, it makes sense. Besides, I can quit anytime. Really!
Friday, October 12, 2007
Saved from myself!
As you can see in this picture, the right section of the front is worked over a single strand of yarn on one size of needles and the left section (which will be the center of the cardi) is worked with a double strand of yarn and a larger size of needles. So yes, I'm working with two balls of yarn and two sets of needles. And yes, it's REALLY annoying to work like this. I can kind of get into a rhythm with it, but it's slow going. I typically work both fronts at the same time when I do a cardi, but there's no way I could put up with that much going on at once, so I have to knit the left front, then go back and do the right front. After all this, the sleeves should fly.
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
More than 50% More Solace Than Ever Before! (Or something like that.)
Every time I show this project, I get comments that the center section looks like cables in my Solace, but not in my Mom's original Solace for her pattern. I promise there are no cables in the design. It's an eyelet pattern and because the decreases aren't right next to their Yarn Overs, the knitted fabric looks like it changes directions, which gives it the textured look you see in the picture. I think the reason it looks more "cabley" in my Solace has to do with the yarn. My Mom used a Soy Silk/Wool blend and I'm using 100% Wool. Wool is more elastic than Soy Silk, so my yarn is bouncier, making it draw in with the texture, while Mom's yarn relaxed and draped, opening up the design. Once I finish this wrap, I will wash it and lay it out flat to dry and smooth it down. I don't think it will need a hard blocking the way I would do a traditional lace piece, but smoothing it out should make it look nice.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
A New Spinning Project
I haven't sampled what the finished yarn will look like, but I think that since the overall color scheme is close it will coordinate, with the differences making the finished yarn interesting (the Mojito Love is the greenest of the batch, while the Merino top only hints at green and Delia's BFL has a wider range of lights and darks). At least that's what my gut is telling me and we all know - listen to the gut!
Solid colored Merino Top is available all over the place, but I got mine from Ohio Valley Natural Fibers.
Monday, October 08, 2007
A Few Skeins Short of A Sweater
When I got the yarn, it came in with the yarn I'm using for Solace and I remembered thinking that it didn't seem like enough yarn for a cardi, particularly when the front bands and cuffs are knit with the yarn doubled, but I had read the blurb, so surely it would be fine. Over the weekend I decided to begin the cardi, so I cast on (I'll explain changes I've made at the end of this post). As I was working on the back, I looked at the pattern (Vogue Knitting Holiday 2006, design #18) and paid attention to the yarn requirements for the first time. They called for Montera which is 127 yards per skein. I was using the Elann yarn which is 76 yards per skein. Hmmm. My gut was telling me this could be a problem. As a knitter who has learned the hard way to listen to her gut, I paid attention. I had 10 skeins so I had 760 yards. The yardage requirement for my size was 1143 yards or 9 skeins of Montera. This wasn't a case of "maybe I could shorten the length a bit and it will all be OK" this was definitely "Holy Math Challenged Knitter Batman! This thing has no sleeves!" Ooops.
I went back to the Elann site and actually READ the blurb about the pattern and yarn. Turns out, they listed both the Montera yard requirements and their own brand's requirements. I didn't actually read it before - it was more of a skimming. Well, the knitting goddess was smiling upon me, because they still had 50+ skeins of my yarn in my dyelot (thank you, thank you, thank you Elann, for listing your yarns with dyelots). So this story should have a happy ending - there are 6 more balls of yarns on their way to me just as soon as the US Postal Service goes back to work tomorrow! (It's Columbus Day, Federal Holiday, No Mail.)
Since I don't do anything the way I'm told to, here are all the details: I'm using Elann's Peruvian Highland Chunky in Tranquil Lagoon. After casting on, I worked a WS row in Knit, then switched to stockinette stitch, instead of just starting in stockinette. It still needs blocking, but it will help the rolling a little bit. I also added back neck shaping so it doesn't creep down my back all day. On the fronts, since I do intend to wear it with the collar folded back as they show in the magazine (there's a link on Elann's site if you don't have that issue), I didn't like the way the edging (or lack thereof) looked on the collar as it folds back, so I'm knitting an I cord edge on as I go to make the edging look more finished. As you can see in the picture above, I've finished the back and have started the left front. It's not a difficult pattern, but the fronts are a little fiddly since you work with a single strand of yarn for part of them and one needle size for that section, then switch to a double strand partway across the row and use a different needle size for the second section.
Friday, October 05, 2007
A Public Safety Announcement from Ramius
This issue I would like to discuss with you today is far more sinister than the yellow haired terror you all know as Finn. (By the way, we have a yellow dog free to a good home, or even just a home, or pretty much anyone who's interested.) Today's concern is actually for your own safety.
For years now the canine species has allowed itself to be dressed in clothing and "accessorized." That's fine. They look stupid anyway. A pink tutu can only help. The upcoming human holiday Halloween is like a giant free for all with the dressing up of the dog types. Dogs that don't usually wear clothes on a daily basis will put on Yoda suits, bumblebee costumes, and other humiliating gear. This year however, Target (a human store) is marketing something called "Cat Hats." That's right. They are suggesting that we felines need to dress up for a human holiday. Take a moment to sit down if you need to. I was so shocked when I first discovered this I had to sleep for 2 days.
First of all, we are cats. The superior species of this planet. We will not be dressed up and dragged into some silly human holiday at the whim of those who control the tuna. Secondly, if we choose to participate in the human silliness, all we have to do is arch our backs, puff up and make scary noises. WE ARE CATS! We can do Halloween (on a purely voluntary basis only of course) without demeaning ourselves with these so called "Cat Hats."
If you are lucky enough to be allowed to live with a cat, DO NOT, under any circumstances attempt to place one of these "Cat Hats" on the cat who so graciously allows you to live with him. Loss of limb, eyes, and even your life could result from such human arrogance. Unless you dream of being known hereafter as One Armed Sally or Decapitated Dana, just leave the "Cat Hats" at the store and let Target learn their lesson from this unfortunate marketing attempt. Don't worry, they won't take a loss. They'll just repackage them as hats for the smaller dog things.
You have been warned. Oh, and by the way, tuna treats make lovely handouts for trick or treaters. I'm just saying.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Stash Enhancement for Pattern Purposes
Anyway, these are from Yarn 4 Socks, a web based yarn store that specializes in (wait for it) - SOCK YARN! From left to right are Shibui Knits in Breeze, Madelinetosh in Logwood, Fleece Artists Seawool in Spring, and Seacoast Handpaints in Olive Branch. You'll have to wait and see which ones I use for the pattern and the pattern won't be available until after the first of the year, but these yarns are so pretty, I had to share. Also, its fun to cause trouble.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Over the summer I slowly spun the batts into singles.
And this weekend I plied the singles together, ending up with 590 yards of fingering weight 3 ply yarn. It's a firm but bouncy yarn and I think it will knit up into some really nice socks. I think I could have used some more Angelina as the sparkle is less than subtle, but I'd rather it be too little than have yarn that resembles a disco ball - maybe that's just me. As the first yarn that I took from raw fleece (the Romney part), cleaned, dyed and carded it myself, then spun and plied it, I'm pretty proud. I might just spend the next week or so walking around with this on my shoulder like a wool parrot.
*I have a Strauch Petite with the Brush Attachment in case anyone was wondering.
Monday, October 01, 2007
One Sock, Two Sock, Big Sock, Small Sock
The details in case you're interested: the yarn is a Regia color that was discontinued that I got from Elann. I knit them on size US 1's (2.25mm) in my generic sock pattern with a heel stitch heel. I used two balls (these were 100 gram balls) to get all four socks. They were simple and fast to do and a great no brainer project for me, but I'm ready to work on a sock with a little more going on now!