Monday, May 31, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
The last unit of math they worked on was weights and measures and apparently, Caleb has no concept of these (either Metric or Normal American Whatever It's Called) in his head (I will admit that I can't really think in the Metric system, but isn't that what Google's for?) I decided that baking things might help him get a handle on some measures, and of course cookies, cakes and marshmallows make math so much more fun.
With all the running around, I'm getting along pretty well on my Forest Featherweight Cardi. I'm about 3-4 inches below the underarm area now and according to the pattern, I'm supposed to go 9 inches before starting the edging (I'll try it on to double check that when I get there). I don't know what I'm doing differently, but I feel like I'm actually getting some knitting done lately, whereas earlier in the Spring I didn't feel like I was getting anything done. Progress is nice!
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
As I was working on it last week, I kept feeling like I had seen the yarn before (not just this laceweight which has been living in my stash for ages) and then it hit me - the yarn I used for Solace! (Clearly our model has come a long way since he rolled and bit the knitwear.) Sure enough, I pulled out my Solace and compared the yarns and they are identical - one is laceweight and the other is worsted and of course the Forest Heather Shadow (laceweight) is from KnitPicks and the Forest Glade Heather Peruvian Highland Wool (worsted) is from Elann, but clearly they are using the same mill to produce at least some of their yarns. I was surprised, but I guess it makes sense since there are fewer mills out there than yarn retailers.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Pattern is both fully charted and in written out format and includes thorough directions for making the shawlette as well as notes for adjusting the size and using different weights of yarn. As shown, it is 60 inches across the top and 27 inches from the top edge to the lower point. It uses 500 yards of fingering weight yarn and US 6 (4.0 mm) needles. Shown in Spud and Chloe Fine in Glowworm colorway (80% Superwash wool/20% silk, 248 yards/227 meters per 65 gram skein).
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
the pattern (I made an oval bottom instead of the round one Lucy did) and it looks like I won't have to learn any new stitches for the shell edging - it's all dc and slip stitches. (I just realized, I'll have to check and see if those are US dc or UK dc - may have to learn something new after all.) Then I make and attach a handle and add some embellishment. I'm thinking about adding buttons - white ones - instead of flowers, as the embellishment on this bag. I'll have to play around and see what I like. I've got some lining fabric because I was thinking about lining the bag and giving it a sturdy bottom, but again, I'll decide when I get there.
I'm so excited to get this finished! It's so happy and stripy!
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Another Something New
The Featherweight Cardigan to be exact. It's knit of laceweight yarn and its knit from the top down. The genius of the pattern is that you start with the same number of stitches, no matter which size you're making and you just stop increasing when you've hit your size. If you look through the projects for this pattern on Ravelry, you will see a huge number of variations on this design - mostly in the collar section, but some people have made it with fingering weight yarn or even DK weight yarn. I think (I'll know more once I've finished knitting it) this might be one of those patterns that can be used as a template to add different stitch patterns and different details to really make an endless variety of designs. I'm using some KnitPicks Shadow in Forest Heather that I've had in my stash for ages. It's pretty great for mindless stockinette because the markers remind me where to increase, making it easy to watch TV and knit.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Gauge for Something New
Cerisara and I'm going to be using Classic Elite's Soft Linen for it (I'm using Kentucky Blue, AKA Navy). The pattern is written to use DK yarn at a worsted gauge - I'm guessing that's to add drape. This yarn is made of 35% wool/35% linen/ 30% alpaca. The wool adds some memory, the linen and alpaca add drape and the alpaca adds softness. It feels very soft - not as warm as a wool yarn does, but softer than cotton. Oh just go find some and squeeze it and you'll know what I'm talking about.
I started with Size US 7's (4.5 mm) which was the size recommended by Bonne Marie in the pattern (she didn't use this yarn for her sample though). I got gauge. I had a sneaky suspicion that the yarn might relax when it hit water, so I tried it on US 6's (4.0 mm) and US 5's (3.75 mm). Then I washed my swatches. I carefully squeezed the water out and laid them out to dry, but I couldn't help measuring to see where they were. Guess what? They grew! I was now getting gauge with the US 5's. So I wandered off and let them dry (periodically rechecking them just to see what was going on), but got the US 5's ready since that was what it seemed I'd be using. Last night, I was getting ready to cast on and I rechecked the now fully dry swatches and you'll never believe what happened!
They had gone back to their pre washed gauge! I was now back with the US 7's to get gauge. I have seen yarns that don't change gauge when you wash them and I have seen yarns that do, but this is the first yarn I've ever seen that changes when it's wet and then sneakily shrinks back to where it started when you're not looking. So I switched to the US 7's, worked a provisional cast on and swore not to panic when I washed the sweater. I'm two inches into the lace pattern right now, but you can't really see it (pre blocking and all).
Today's lesson? Swatches lie.
By the way, I have a whole bag of this yarn in the Smokey Rose colorway that I'm offering for sale on Ravelry. There are 10 skeins, still in the factory bag. It's a lovely rose color with brown undertones but in artificial light it pulls to a more terracotta color. I can't do terracotta, but someone with warm tones to their skin would look lovely in it. If you have cool tones to your skin (like I do) it won't work. (I tried, I even considered wearing it only when I could control the lighting, but then I realized that would never work in real life and I'd just end up looking like a corpse and someone who had golden undertones to their skin would look so much better in that color than I would but by then it was too late to return it, hence the Ravelry sale listing.) If you're interested, PM me on Ravelry - PinkLemon.
ETA: The yarn has found a new home!
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Something Un-Dramatic (for a change)
Tomorrow, a discussion of gauge!
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
What Once Was Cassidy
I guess the most shocking thing for me through this whole experience is that I'm really not upset about having to frog. I'm not too thrilled about the wasted time, but hey, I was knitting all that time. I do like the design for Cassidy and I'd like to do it again someday, but not right now. I don't know, maybe I'm in shock, but I really feel OK about having to frog all that - hey, more yarn!
Monday, May 10, 2010
Last night I was happily knitting along on Cassidy's hood and I realized that I hadn't really measured any of the pieces of Cassidy. I blocked everything, but I didn't measure it. I didn't check things against schematics, I didn't recheck stitch gauge or row gauge once I got going. I just went. I had just knitted and knitted and knitted and here I was on the last big section before finishing and I realized I hadn't done any double checking. Hmmm...
I went and checked the sleeves - too wide and way too long. I checked the body of Cassidy - the back is fine, the fronts are way too long. I knit the fronts to the same row numbers as the back, which tells me that somewhere between the back and the fronts, my gauge went wrong. It seems to be primarily a row gauge issue, but there's no real way to fix it properly. I could frog the sleeves and fronts and leave the back, but I don't think I have it in me right now to reknit another Cassidy so I think I'll be frogging the whole thing. At some point I'll knit Cassidy in something else, but this yarn will be frogged and used for something else. I'm not particularly thrilled about frogging Cassidy, but I'm honestly not heartbroken. Maybe Cassidy wasn't meant to be in this yarn. I don't know.
Friday, May 07, 2010
Still in the Hood
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, May 06, 2010
Ramius and The Babette
Oh, I also need to clarify a detail that came up in a previous post - something about me making noise in the middle of the night? I have no recollection of any such activity. I would never do anything so vulgar as knock something over accidentally. Clearly there were ninjas that broke into the house without tripping the alarm (they're ninjas after all) and knocked something over. Naturally they were horrified by the ruckus they made and snuck back out of the house to regroup. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
The Stripy Bag
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
I have no fibery stuff to talk about today because I spent the day yesterday on a wild goose chase. I'm looking for a butterfly chair for Caleb and all of the ones in boy colors (that aren't on plastic frames - really? A plastic frame sounds like a good idea for a chair?) are back ordered. (To be fair, Target.com has one with a metal frame and skull on the cover/seat part of it, but I'm not sure how they got the skull on the fabric. If it's screen printed on, it will stick to him when he's wearing shorts, which doesn't sound like fun to me.) This is sort of the "off season" for these anyway (they'll be all over the place at the end of summer before the college kids go back to school), but I wanted one for him now. So anyway, no fiber, but you do get a picture of a noisy cat.
*Just so you don't think Mickael is slacking off on his husbandly duties, I'm the best one to check on stupid pet tricks in the middle of the night, he's in charge of checking on weird noises that aren't pet related. Like if an alien sneaks into the house and uses the bathroom. That's all him.
Monday, May 03, 2010
A Hood For Cassidy
On a non knitting topic, I'm thinking about teaching etiquette lessons to birds. We have some serious pig birds around here who can empty the bird feeder in 24 hours. Unfortunately, most of what they're doing is flipping the seed they don't want onto the ground. After they empty the feeder, I make them eat off the ground for 48 hours before I refill the feeder. They have beaks after all and they are pointy beaks (there are no ducks at the feeder - I'd probably have a heart attack if a duck showed up as I was tormented by ducks as a small child. I have duck issues.) Why can't they take their pointy beaks and pick up the seeds they want and leave the others where they are? Instead they sweep their beaks back and forth in the little seed pile and knock 95% of it on the ground. It does give the bunnies (can't fly to the feeder) and the lump birds (too fat for the feeder) something to eat, but we're going through bird seed around here like Big Bird does. I'm not even asking the baby birds to learn manners, they can keep squawking and fluttering their cute little wings all day, but I think the older birds (who are supposed to be setting an example for the little birds) could do better.