Friday, April 28, 2006

Look, Ma! It's Toe-Up!

I finally bit the bullet and decided to try a toe-up sock. It seems like it's a good skill to have since someday, I may want to get the most out of some very expensive yarn that I bought and won't want to take a chance on running out. If you knit a sock from the toe up, then you can stop when you run out. The nice part is, you won't have your toes dangling out of a 1/2 finished sock! Plus, you can try it on as you go. I have a sock that I started about two weeks ago, but, being the genius that I am, I lost one of the dpn's, so it's in limbo. I'm not fond of it anyway. So, I decided to dive in and try the handspun, hand-dyed yarn that my SP7 sent me. Knowing that I wanted a toe-up sock, I perused my Sensational Knitted Socks book, chose an appropriate stitch pattern, and dove right in. Let me tell you, short row toes are fun! Doing it reminded me of the first time I turned the heel. You sock kniters know what I mean. The anticipation, the disbelief, the trust, the realization, the amazement, the awe, in that order. I just had to go on faith that this whole thing was going to work out, and it did! It was fascinating the way that strategic use of short rows created a little pouch for my toes! Did I mention the yarn? The colors are amazing...totally me...and you can see from the photo that there's absolutely no pooling. It's just maintaining a lovely striping pattern. So far, I'm making decent progress, I think.

I know what you're thinking. Didn't I say on Wednesday that I started Sitcom Chic? Well I had a bit of a crisis with it on Wednesday night. I finished my first ball of Sugar Plum Cotton Ease and started in on a new one. I couldn't believe it when I saw the difference in the dye lots! I've always sort of a laughed off Cotton-Ease dyelot issues. I've basically never paid attention, but it cost me this time. You see, I bought the first one I used in Boston and the others I I bought in San Diego. Luckily, Kris was kind enough to agree to trade me the 6 skeins that I bought her in Boston for 6 that I have, and that should solve the problem. Meanwhile, the project has been stalled out since then.

Check out this photo, though.
Can you see the difference? The one I bought in Boston has more of a red undertone while the ones I bought here are much more blue.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Win One for the Zipper!

As I mentioned on Monday, I finally sewed in my first zipper! I figure I get about a B- for execution, but an A for effort, seeing as it was my first one and all. On Saturday, I went to Joann's to get the necessary tools (i.e. needles, thread, pins), so I figured I'd spend around $5 total. I brought my 40% off coupon figuring that I'd get about 40 cents off of a package of sewing needles - yippee. Well, somehow, I ended up spending $35! Leave it to me, right? While I was picking up the practical, but boring, zipper-sewing paraphenalia, I also picked up Handknit Holidays. Turns out it was a good thing I had that coupon! I also bought 2 skeins of Wool-Ease chunky in order to make my husband a pair of socks from the book. So, overall, I got some good stuff for my $35.

But I digress. Sewing in the zipper took quite a while and I was up until 1 a.m. on Sunday morning finishing it. First, I tried to baste the fronts together, but decided that getting them straight was more difficult than actually sewing in the damn zipper straight, so I skipped that step and pinned in the zipper instead. Then, I basted it in and did my final sewing. When all was said and done, I was exhausted, but I had a finished sweater! I think that I sewed the fabric a little too far from the teeth, and I forgot that the stitches would show on the part of the collar that turns over (whoops), but I figure that just makes it a learning experience. I've basically had the sweater on my back for every second since, except when I'm asleep. It fits great and matches basically everything I own. I really like the way the shawl collar turned out.

I'll give you an update on Sitcom Chic on Friday. I ran into a major crisis today with it that I can hopefully resolve. So much for stress-free knitting.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Knitting Karma

Let's assume for purposes of this post that there is such a thing as karma. Assuming that I would have to say that I did something, and I am not sure what that something is to mess up my knitting karma. My projects all seems a bit off right now. Exhibit 1, the baby blanket won't be done for the shower this weekend. Pulling out the points still doesn't give me enough yarn to do the open work border. I need to buy one more skein of Shine.

Exhibit 2, my new yarn. Isn't it lovely? It will be for that Modesitt twisted float shrug that was on the cover of the fall VK. It is so amazingly soft and will be a dream to work with. How does one, however, swatch a circle? How do you evenly measure your stitches over a curve? I couldn't figure it out. The the twists, I will be dropping yarn every other stitch and twisting the yarn around the other color. I don't think I can do this two handed. Surely there must be a better way that I am not seeing. Then I dove in and tried to start the project. I had a hole in my fabric. This was because I forgot to check the VK errata page, dumb move on my part. Then I started, and tore again, for a reason I can't remember right now. Finally, I decided that since this will be a warm wool sweater and it is kind of spring now, there is no point to starting the shrug and that I will hold off until August or September to start.

Exhibit 3: York, the shoulders/sleeves have what was called an "Edwardian" look to them. In other words there is a raise poof where the sleeves meet the shoulders. Not the best look in the world.

Exhibit 4: After finishing one skein of my Misti lace weight alpaca I decided to reward myself by starting a new shawl. I have been dyeing to make the Frost Flower and Leaves Shawl from A Gathering of Lace. This urge existed for some time, but was increased when I saw the finished version that See Eunny Knit made as her Olympic project (way at the bottom of the link). I bought some Lacey Lamb lace weight yarn when I went out to San Diego in February. I decided that this yarn would be what I would use for the shawl. To start with I know that I only have about 1/2 of what I need, but I decided to be an optimist and start anyway. I think that I have the other 2 skeins on order. That isn't the bad karma part. The bad karma comes in that I needed to start this thing at least 4 times before I really got going. This is NOT typical for me.

Exhibit 5 I will save for another day, but I will tell you that it involves a "cap sleeve" sweater that doesn't have any shoulder/sleeve shaping at all, do I not understand what cap sleeves are?

On a positive note, I did do some more work on fricken Fichu, and may be about 1/2 way done. This isn't because I did a ton of knitting on it, but rather because I decided that it would be a max of 2 skeins of lace weight alpaca and not 3 skeins. As much as I am hating the project I have to admit that it isn't because of the designer. The shawl is meant to be a beginner shawl, and is meant to be knit on size 6 or size 8 needles. Following the instructions I should be done by now. It is just that I decided I wanted to knit at a tighter gauge and am using size 3 needles. I therefore have to include additional repeats to get the shawl done. I am bored. The shawl seems endless. But the pattern is simple enough and short enough that for beginner lace, it would probably be good.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Presenting Savannah's Hoodie!

Yesterday was our weekly get-together at Rebecca's in South Park and we had a really decent turnout. As usual, I had a wonderful time chatting and catching up with everyone. I only brought the hood of Savannah's sweater to work on and I knew as soon as I got started that it wasn't going to be able to occupy me the entire time. Luckily, it lasted me until 5 p.m. so, at that point, we walked over to the Grove to pick out some matching ribbon to serve as a tie. This morning, I worked hard seaming, blocking and weaving in ends, three things I absolutely HATE, but it's done! I delivered it to the recipient just a few minutes ago. She's got a cold, so she was a little grumpy when I arrived, but as soon as she enveloped herself in that soft Blue Sky Cotton, she was all (or almost all) smiles. She quickly drooled all over it and her nose ran on it, too, so it's no longer the pristine heirloom it was this morning, but that's kids for you! I also got a photo of her wearing it. Ain't she a cutie? She's very tactile and she appreciates fine fabrics - a girl after my own heart. Perhaps I'll consider a cashmere sweater for her a little later on.

I also sewed in the zipper on Sam so I wore it all day today. I'll chronicle those adventures in a later post. I can't get a flattering photo of the sweater because it's all stretched out, but next time it's laundered, I'll take a photo. Last night, I put it on as soon as it was complete and practically haven't taken it off. I just LOVE it!!

So, I finished two projects this weekend. What am I going to do now? What's that? Did you say finish some of the WIP's laying all over the house and in my car? Well now, don't be ridiculous! Of course, I'm going to start something new! I'm thinking of starting Sitcom Chic so I have a nice stockinette project to take to school, something that doesn't require me to have all of my tools and something that doesn't require that I look at a chart the whole time. Just stress-free, stress-relieving knitting! Of course, I'm making it out of Cotton-Ease since those seem to be the only projects I'm capable of finishing. More on Sitcom Chic adventures later in the week...

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The good part of this post is that York is finished! The shoulders/sleeves are a bit wonky. The cap shaping The caps were very long and not very bell shaped. This creates a poofiness up at the shoulders. The poofiness isn't awful so I am leaving the sleeves as they are.

The bad part is that I haven't even finished the first side border and I am out of Shine. Without a doubt the triangle thingies on the border are going to be removed so that I can have a border that goes all the way around the blanket.

The ugly...umn, I am having a bad hair day, have a zit on my nose, and the frontal view of me in York made me look fat. Does that work for you all? Really I just felt like Ugly needed to be part of the post title, so I am grasping at straws here.

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Knitting Stream of Consciousness

Progress continues on my WIP's as does the fact that I haven't finished anything in quite some time. I'm closing in on finishing Savannah's hoodie though. I finished the front and the back and I'm almost done with one of the sleeves. The sleeve seems very long to me for a one year old child because I'm supposed to knit for 12 inches before I even start the sleeve cap! Oh well, I've been trying to work on this whole "trust the designer" thing, so I'm going to go with it. When she tried on the store sample at the Grove, the sleeves were too long and the body was too tight, but according to the measurements, it's supposed to be 5 inches too big, so I think the knitter's gauge was off a bit. I'm hoping that the whole thing's too big and she'll grow into it. I'm going to block everything this evening, so I should have photos on Sunday. I may even have a completed sweater to show you by then. Yay!

Starsky has been ignored this week, primarily because the weather here has been lovely, bordering on hot, and the thought of holding bulky alpaca in my lap just hasn't been moving me. I know "June Gloom" is approaching, so the time to knit wintery stuff has not passed completely.

I have a formal wedding to go to in the Hampton's this August and I'd like to knit myself an elegant top to wear. I have a couple of ideas. What do you think?

Last night was the Knit Salon at the Grove and, as usual, it was a great time and a wonderful stress reliever. I have been so stressed lately that my stomach basically doesn't let me eat anymore. I guess I'm doing better than my project partner who has taken to drinking Ensure to make sure she doesn't die of starvation. My body occasionally lets me eat. The good news is that my jeans fit a little looser. The bad news is that I constantly feel ill. The semester is almost over so hopefully, my stomach will recover after that. But getting together with friends to knit did help and I slept well last night. Tomorrow is our weekly get-together at Rebecca's, so if you're around and want to KIP, please drop by. I usually show up around 1 and I'd love to see you! Allison, are you out there?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I am in a crabby mood today, and was yesterday too. I am going to keep this post very brief, you don't need to see evidence of the smaller side of my personality.

York, sleeves. Strange elongated cap shaping. Since shooting the photo one of the 2 sleeves were finished.

WRS: approximately 16 rows. Very slow going.

Finally, the yarn I ordered to make the Modesitt Lorna's Laces Twisted Float Shrug is in. I just have to go to Circles to pick it up.

It is a beautiful day here. It would be a perfect day to ride your bike to work, and home from work. That is, it would be perfect if you could ride your bike.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

New Day, New Project

I needed a break from my same old projects. Lately, I have really, truly been trying to work exclusively on projects already in progress in attempt to do something about the piles of half-knitted stuff all over the house (and my car, by the way - hey, you never know when you'll need an "emergency traffic project"). I could feel myself losing momentum on them and yearning to start other things. In particular, I'm dying to start Hudson with my Big Kureyon. I even went so far as to bring one hank into the house from the trunk of my car. Instead, I decided to knit something for my neice. I figured, part of the problem is that I have too many big projects and not enough quick, instant gratification-type projects, so I cast on today for this hoodie. I started at around 8:30, and by 10:30, I had this. You gotta love kid's clothes. Total short attention span heaven. The yarn is Blue Sky Alpacas Cotton in one of their new colors, Azul, which is an absolutely stunning shade of aquamarine. It's going to be breathtaking with my neice's strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes - can't wait to see it. It doesn't look like I'll have to wait long :)

In anticipation of the fact that it may accidentally get machine washed a few times, I decided to machine wash and dry my swatch to see what happened. I have to say that I'm not pleased with the results. I think there was quite a lot of shrinkage and the fibers got pretty mussed up, but after it had time to relax and cool off, it no longer looked completely ruined. I wouldn't let it happen too often, and maybe if you air dried it, it would be a lot better. I just figured putting it through a worst-case scenario situation was a good experiment.

As far as Starsky goes, I'm obviously straying quite a bit. I'm up to the armhole shaping on the right front. I think what's holding me back is the fact that I have to reknit the part of the back where I made my mistake which means ripping back to the armholes. I'm quite tired of this project, and the promise of being able to wear it is fast disppearing as the weather turns warmer, not that San Diego weather was ever well-suited to bulky weight alpaca. I figure by this weekend, I'll have the right front done and the back at least ripped if not partially re-knitted. Then it's all the unpleasantness of blocking, seaming, finishing (including the collar). Yuck! Geez, I sound really whiny about this, sorry. I think in my heart I'm ready to knit summer stuff so I'm getting a little pouty about my winter projects. Tank tops here I come! Btw, did you guys see the IK Summer preview? It looks really amazing. Lots of stuff I'd like to knit. Can't wait!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Deja Vu All Over Again

What is my problem with yardage lately? Ordinarily when I knit and buy the called for amount of yarn I end up with extra yarn, sometimes as much as a skein extra. With Rogue I barely had enough yarn to finish (ok, not a good example, I didn't actually buy enough yarn). The baby blanket, however, is a really problem. I bought the right amount of yarn and I now only have this much left:
About 1/2 of a skein of Shine to do the borders on the two long sides. I don't think that I can pull of a yarn miracle here. I doubt that I will be able to do all of the border all the way around.

Where do I stand now? You can't tell from the top picture, but I have the top border and the bottom border complete. I ended up going with the original pattern border. It was much smaller than I had anticipated, so I think it will bo alright, not too girly. The plan for now is that I will do the open work section of the border along the long sides, and not the points. Wish me luck that 1 I will have enough yarn to do this, and that 2 it will look okay.

In other news, I started a new sweater using mercerized cotton yarn. It is a Karabella pattern with cap sleeves and a small shawl collar. I am making pretty good progress so far. This is the back.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Grey Goose and the Pink Martini

This week, I proved that when a knitter has one of her valuable, but small, pockets of knitting time forcibly removed from her schedule by a "non-knitter", the results are frightening. I know that I have to share the planet with non-knitters, work alongside them, have them as roommates, etc. I even ended up married to one, and we peacefully co-exist most of the time, that is until he says, "I've got to find space for all of this yarn." Then, it's ON!! But that's another post. What happened to me was that I was working on a school project with one of these non-knitter people (we'll call her the Stick Figure With No Soul) who decided, using all of the wisdom of her 22 years on this planet, that we could get a lot of work done on our project between 10 and 11 a.m., during our hour break in between classes. All semester, this is when I have scurried off to the library to sit and knit quietly in an effort to restore my equilibrium. I figured, if all else fails, this hour cannot be trifled with, even if I have a lot of homework or have to work a lot of hours or whatever, this is my time and I can ALWAYS knit for this hour every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. But the Stick Figure had other plans for me. Apparently, it wasn't enough that we worked on the project every single afternoon and evening, cancelling out all of my other knitting time. No, we had to squeeze in a little extra, too, so that she could go away this weekend. But I felt silly telling her that I couldn't work on the project because I had to knit, even if it was to save my sanity, so I didn't.

So, what happens when I lose those 3 precious hours of knitting? Well, let's just say I was a tad cranky this week. We could also say that I worked myself into an allout rage by Friday. I could feel the heat of my blood as it flowed through my veins and my muscles were coiled into tight little balls. The slightest thing set me off either crying or sneering or yelling. My stomach churned, I couldn't sleep, I was snapping at basically everybody, both people who didn't deserve it (professors, husband, people on the street) and people who did (Stick Figure). By Friday afternoon, all I could think about was having a Grey Goose Cosmo. That's right, 3 hours of stolen knitting time literally drove me to drink. I went to the store, bleary-eyed and on the verge of a mental breakdown, to buy the fixins and I Grey Goosed myself into chemically-induced relaxation. I also happily knitted, free of interference, and finished this!
That's the left front of Starsky done with the braided cable from Josephine. I've started the right front, too and I've finished one repeat of the cable so far. The right front's cable is a mirror image of the left's, which I really like. I also really like that the decreases perfect cradle the cable in the center so it's able to go all of the way to the shoulder. I've very pleased with the way it turned out. Here's a close-up.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Spring is in the Air!

I have had my first true spring time experience, no I am not talking about the daffodils I saw blooming this morning, I am talking expensive cheap beer and outrageously priced ball park fries. A night at Fenway Park, it is truly spring! No photos yet of Fenway, I didn't want to bring my camera (it isn't small), with my luck I would loose it the way the Sox lost the game.

I am still not sold on any edge for the blanket. At least I still have "ABC" to do before I have to seriously think about it. I am so unsure that the other night I asked my mom to check this blog and give me her opinion. After commenting on the cute sweater (me: did K post after I left work?) then changing her complement to the cute afghan, she immediately said she like the original edge. A moment later she is loving Rogue (hmmm, a future Christmas gift?) Then she moves on to seeing York, and asks what it is. A sweater, of course! After mom hears that York will be my 4th completed sweater of this year (when it is done) (hey, don't look at me like that! One of the sweaters was started in '05) she oh so kindly tells me "You need to get a life" Gee, thanks mom, couldn't have figured that one out on my own...

It gets better, next mom tells me about an episode of Grey's Anatomy where a doctor uses knitting to achieve celibacy (she has bad judgment in men, apparently) . Apparently knitting=celibacy, who knew?! I, of course, explain to my mom that that isn't the case (I don't mention the lingerie along I will be participating in though) and I tell my mom that the doctor would have been better off getting a vibrator. Amazingly, that ended the discussion.

The question du jour is what does "having a life" mean? Having a boyfriend? My choice in men has been less than stellar and I think it is very wrong to define your life through another individual. Life has to come from within, not without. Does having a life mean going on vacations? Out to eat with friends? Going to museums? I do do these things. Most Americans sit at home at night and watch tv, when I do that I knit. I do spend more time on the weekends knitting that people I know in relationships, but why is that bad?

Any way, enough pointless and boring ponderings. As you can see, I have both halves of the front of York done, and a good chunks of the sleeves done as well. I may be on track to average 1 sweater a month.

Till later, enjoy the day!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Plea for Cable Help! (Edited)

I was really, really hoping to have knitting progress to show you by this point in the week, but I don't. Let me tell you why. You know my aerodynamics project that I finished early last week? The one that I suffered and sweated over for days and days, causing much stomach discomfort (basically constant nausea) and sleeplessness. Well, on Monday, our professor told my partner and I that we had to redo the whole thing because of a mistake that we'd made. Unfortunately, this one mistake propogated throughout the entire project causing everything to be wrong. Obviously, we were both rather upset, but we regrouped and finished the last of it today. Yay! Better yet, it looks correct this time! :)

So, tonight, I finally got to the task of knitting the fronts for Starsky. Sometime over the weekend, I plotted out the decreases, both for the neckline and armholes, to see if my lovely Ensign's Braid would fit on the front. Sadly, it won't, but I feel like the plaited cables that I have flanking the Braid are too boring to stand alone. Ideally, I'd like a wide cable that serves as the only cabling on the front, kind of the way that the Banana Tree does for the original pattern. I've searched through a couple of pattern books, but can't seem to find anything. I have found some things I like, but I feel like they don't "match" the back, if you know what I mean. I feel like what I use should be a braid-like cable so that it continues the theme. My question for you guys is this - actually I have two questions. First, should I limit myself to continue the "braid theme" for the front? If so, do you have any suggestions for cables I should use? Ideally, I'd like any cable I use to line up with the ribbing, so it should be 15, or maybe 21 stitches wide. I'll have 21 stitches after I have completed all of my decreases, so a cable that wide might be cutting it close. If there's a lovely cable out there with 16 or so stitches, I can always do a M1 to make it work out. Any ideas?

Edited to add: What about the braided cable on the back of Josephine? It appears to be 15 stitches wide.

OK, I apparently have ADD tonight, and totally forgot to post this photo of one of my kitties, Princess, taken by my husband this morning. I don't delude myself into thinking that my cats don't get up on the kitchen table. I guess that would be why it's always covered in cat hair and litter. But in front of us, they show the requisite respect and jump off immediately upon hearing the bedroom door open in the morning. We always hear a big thud as soon as we get up as cats scatter all over the living room. Well, this morning, Princess forgot her manners. She didn't even pretend that she felt like what she was doing was wrong. Don't you love the shamelessness? Pardon the mess as that's the aftermath of my hellish aero project.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

To Edge or Not to Edge

That is the question.
Well, another row of letters in the baby blanket is almost complete. After this is done there will be only ABC left to knit, and maybe a border, but maybe not. The blanket is for a boy, the border is a bit lacy, so I am unsure if I should bother with it.

This is what the edges look like now:

This is the edging the pattern calls for:
So, dear readers, what do you think, should I do the edge or should I leave it off?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Sleeves are done!

Starsky seems to be moving along quickly. In a week, I've done the back and two sleeves! I think there might be something wrong with the sleeve proportions. According to the pattern, the sleeves are supposed to be 30" long. That's about 7 inches longer than the average sleeve that I've knitted in the past. I know it's a bulky sweater, so it's supposed to be a little loose and casual, and I know that the sleeves are cuffed, but I still think they're too long. So, I removed two inches from the length and finished them up. When I held them up, they were still quite long, but I guess I'll cuff them a little more than the pattern calls for. I was going to take a break before starting on the fronts, but since the sweater is moving along so quickly, and since my yarn for the VK Floating Shrug should be in any day now, I should finish this up in time for the knitalong that I'm doing for that sweater.

In other news, my zipper from arrived on Saturday along with my color cards. From this photo, it looks like the zipper doesn't match at all, but it's actually a decent match, just a little darker than the fabric. I'm thinking that I may try to put it in myself, and if I have a lot of trouble, I'll admit defeat. Anybody out there have any idea how to attach it to the sweater fabric? Should I use regular sewing thread? Do I just sew it by pulling the thread through to the right side of the sweater or do I do some kind of whipstitch thing to the wrong side. Am I making any sense at all? I understand that I'm supposed to baste the fronts together first and then pin the zipper in and see how it looks, does that sound right? As you can tell, I'm not much of a seamstress. I just want the satisfaction of being able to say, "I made this entire sweater myself!" To have to say that a tailor helped me just seems wrong.

Finally, has everybody seen the new knitty already? Overall, I'm underwhelmed. I do like the little girls' sweater, and it's timely since I need to knit a delicate little sweater for my neice's christening in August. Other than that, there really wasn't anything that I see myself knitting. The socks were OK, too. I've really been looking foward to this one, too, and I'd heard good advance word. Who knows? Maybe everybody else thinks it's amazing. What do you all think?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Patience, I don' need no stinken' patience!

Some say that patience is a virtue. I think they are just plain wrong. After all, if I had patience, I wouldn't have a finished Rogue! If I had patience I might have ordered a color card from that on-line zipper place, I might then have ordered a zipper, then I might have taken it to a tailor and had a matching zipper properly installed. If I did that though I wouldn't be able to wear Rogue until next season, who can wait? Instead I went over to Windsor Buttons and looked closely at all their zippers. Not a single zipper was the right color, so I decided to buy an off white one. Then, because a tailor would not be able to put it in that very minute, I also bought some sewing thread and sewing needles. Before settling down with some nachos, I picked up the zipper, thread and needle, and figured, why not try it myself. I knew there were directions on-line somewhere, but my computer was at the office, and I was not, therefore I made it up as I went along. By the end of my bus ride yesterday I had a zipper sewn into Rogue, and it was wearable!!!! I have no idea how long the zipper will stay in place, but I can always have it sewn in properly at another time.
Picture of me in Rogue was taken this am, with rogue over my pjs. Sorry it is blurry, but it is a Sat morning after all.

The left front of York is almost ready for armhole shaping, but don't expect insane knitting this weekend, I am not trapped in my apartment any more, and I do have to work and clean this weekend. Urgh!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Finally Some Photos

Well, part 2 of my project is done, so I can breathe, and knit, again. Tonight was the Knit Salon where I got together with my fellow Starsky knitters, Jen, Cora and Allison to compare notes and make some progress. Lucky me, I noticed a major mistake that I must have made yesterday that sometimes looks totally obvious to me and other times, I can't really see. But I've finished with the back, and left the mistake for now. It would only take about 1 day of work to fix it, so I may go back at the end, rip it back and make it right. Since I ripped out half the back already, I'm just not prepared to do that right now. Plus, Polar tends to look crappy after it's been ripped out. We'll see. For now, it's DONE. I really feel like working on other projects. I can't believe I powered through this thing even when I was totally mentally drained this week. It's not the kind of pattern where you sit back and relax, and I think I need that right now. Basically, I need a break from it, even if it's a short one.

More importantly, here are the lovely gifts my Secret Pal 7 sent me. Aren't they great?

She sent me a bag that looks like she made it herself, Knitting Vintage Socks, two candy bars (only one shown since I ate the other one :) ), point protectors shaped like little socks, and several sets of dpn's. I just love that Knitting Vintage Socks book! I can't wait to get started on something from there. So what yarn should I use? Should I use the Koigu I bought at Common Threads a while back? Maybe the Lorna's Laces I bought in Boston. How about my Vesper? Or, maybe, this!

That's hand-dyed and handspun sock yarn in a color specifically designed for me! Isn't that cool?! It's really great yarn and my not-so-secret anymore Pal, Mama-E, sells it, too, so you can have some, too. Just check out her blog.

I finally got over to Knitting in La Jolla today, and she has loads of Lorna's Laces sock yarn and Helen's Lace in stock. Yay! A knitting shop in San Diego finally gets it! We need our Lorna's Laces!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

In Re: Rogue

As I said in my last post, last weekend I got a lot of knitting done. I mentioned briefly that I had some progress on Rogue. Well that progress was to finish the knitting. Yes, I had enough yarn to finish the knitting. How, you may ask, did I have enough yarn? Wasn't I over half way done the last 2 skeins before I even started the knitting straight? Very good questions, and good memory. I ran out of yarn while on the cap shaping for one sleeve, but had enough yarn to finish the other sleeve and to do a few more rows of the unfinished sleeve, but not to finish the sleeve. How then, could I possibly be finished? Did I find another skein somewhere? No, I did not, but I had a secret. All was not as desperate as I made it seem. I had, in among my stash, the dregs of 2 skeins of the yarn. You see, when working on the pockets I had to cut the yarn when there was not much left to the skein. This little left over yarn I decided to save so that I could have yarn for seaming. I didn't really think there was much more than seaming amounts left. Fortunately, I was wrong. From the dregs of one skein I managed to finish the unfinished sleeve, and to do an I-cord edge to the center front. The cardigan mods called for a 4 stitch applied I-cord. I feared this would take too much of the precious yarn, so instead I did an I-cord bind off, and still had some left over yarn from the first dreg! After that I blocked the sleeves (I had previously blocked the body) and called it quits for the weekend.

Last night I took the second dreg and started seaming. Now I have both sleeves attached and one sleeve mostly sewn up. The dreg is all but used up. I may have enough to sew up the second sleeve, but I may have to undue my gauge swatch and use that for seaming, but either way, I will have made my 12 skeins (or was it 13 skeins?) finish the entire sweater, which I knit more tightly than called for, and so followed the directions for the 41 (or was it 43) inch bust, I only had the called for amount of yarn for the 39 inch bust. All I can say is, boy am I lucky. Next step, weaving in ends and finding a tailor to put in a zipper, I have no clue how to do that on my own.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Photo-less post

Yes, indeedy, I'm having that kind of week. I had a great post planned today to show photos of the positively wonderful, generous, creative gifts that my Secret Pal 7, Mama-E sent me. I had them aesthetically perched on my couch for their close-up, a la De Mille, but just when I was ready to snap the picture, my camera went black. No more juice - battery dead. I was frustrated and crestfallen, just like yesterday when I took a few precious moments away from my aerodynamics project to sneak up to Knitting in La Jolla for a little treat...and it was closed! On a Tuesday! For no apparent or obvious reason! I'm definitely cursed this week. So, I promise to post photos of my fabulous gifts soon, hopefully later today if my project doesn't kill me first.

Starsky update: I'm 13 inches into the back. I'll probably get past the beginning of the armholes today. I've barely had any time to knit this week because school has been C-R-A-Z-Y, so at least this is knitting up quickly so far, or else I'd be miserable. How are all you other Starsky knitters out there doing?

Re: the pattern error I posted about last time, I was referring to an error in the Blue Sky Alpacas pattern I linked to, not the Starsky pattern. There may very well be an error in the Starsky pattern, but since I'm modifying it, I wouldn't know. However, the measurements for the tank are totally off because the design is based upon a gauge of 4 sts/in instead of the 4.5 sts/in stated in the pattern. The final measurements are rather drastically affected by this error.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

One Beautiful Weekend + One Broken Toe

So, what do you get when you combine the first beautiful weekend of the year in Boston with one broken big toe? The same thing you would get combining a miserable weekend in Boston with that same broken toe, a lot of knitting.

First, I took my Pity Yarn and made a pair of socks. I did make Thuja from Knitty, and they were a very quick knit. The first Thuja sock was done on one day, the second Thuja sock was finished on Saturday. These socks are made with Artyarns Supermerino which was a gift from Christine. I LOVE the socks, they are so soft and cushy, Supermerino was wonderful to work with, and did I mention that it knits up quickly? I used size 5 dpns and just a smidge over 2 skeins of yarn. I wore the first sock before even casting on for the second one (the upside of my broken toe is that I sometimes need to only wear one sock). I didn't want to take the sock off, and couldn't wait to have a pair of them.

The next thing I did (after taking a nap, now I understand why Isis sleeps all the time, it is exhausting doing nothing) was to cast on for York, a sweater using Noro Kureyon. This sweater I decided to knit combination continental. It is entirely 2x2 ribbing, so I thought that continental might make it go quicker. Additionally, K informs me that combination style knitting is supposed to help with ribbing. As you can see, I have made some decent progress with this sweater.

Then, I took another nap, and continued to work on the baby gift. It is the Debbie Bliss Alphabet blanket, and it is coming along more quickly than I had anticipated. It actually might be done in time for the baby shower at the end of this month, "N" through "Z" is done, which means the center is halfway finished.

I think I may have taken another nap too. So, was the weather really as nice as I hear? Now I have some cabin fever, I may go to the MFA on Sat or Sun, anyone interested?

Oh, there was also progress on Rogue, which I will leave for my next post. Can you bear the suspense?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Scary Knitting Story

This is a cautionary tale for all knitters out there. Even though I generally consider knitters to be honest and trustworthy people, I guess every group has its black sheep. As I mentioned, I started Starsky at Rebecca's yesterday and by the end of the day, I had gotten halfway to the armholes. I did a quick and dirty measurement and it was several inches too narrow. I figured it was because my swatch had been a little narrow, too - you know, another gauge lesson to be learned. I thought that with a good, aggressive blocking, everything would be OK. So, this morning, I continued and for some reason, all of the pieces started fitting together. For you ladies who were at Rebecca's with me, since when has Addi switched to black cords for its Turbos? Again, I just figured they had made a change. I don't know why it was so hard to get it through my head. Then, wait a minute, these are a little small to be 10 1/2's. I wonder what size they are...

Then it hits me. These aren't even Addi Turbos! Check the bag - everything OK there. It's just the needles. But how could this happen? OK, they're size 9's. Why would the Grove do this? I mean, they wouldn't, right? Aha, now I get it - some asshole returned size 9 Susan Bates needles in place of size 10 1/2 Addi Turbos! I swear, couldn't they have returned size 10 1/2 Susan Bates needlesso at least I wouldn't have to rip out everything I'd done so far! God, I was so pissed, as you can imagine. So, I went to the Grove where they were totally shocked and dismayed because they had been ripped off. So much for trusting knitters, huh? I considered buying the right size, but I figured I'll use some cheap needles that I already have and buy myself a little treat to make myself feel better. So, I bought this patern and the Dyed Cotton in Shrimp to match. Btw, I understand that the pattern has MAJOR error in it, so if you're planning on making it, let me know.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Flash My Stash?

Yeah, right. Talk about shame! I've been seeing people bravely taking photos of their yarn stash and displaying it on their blog for all of the world to see. To me, that's like walking around naked. I don't want people to see my private stash! Sock yarn? I have plenty. Sweater quantities? Yeah, I've got that, too. Cotton, wool, bamboo, alpaca? Sure! I've got yarn in my den, my bedroom, my garage. I've even got several skeins in my car. My husband was cleaning behind the computer desk and found a ball of Rowanspun Aran back there. One morning, we woke up with a ball of Felted Tweed sleeping soundly between us. It's bad I tell you. I can't possibly knit fast enough. I wouldn't say I've got SABLE, but I'd say the day when I do is fast approaching. That being said, I also don't see myself sticking to any sort of yarn diet. There's just too much great yarn out there waiting to be bought by me. Even if I don't have a project in mind for the yarn at the time of its purchase, something ALWAYS comes along.

Case in point: Polar. I bought this on ebay almost a year ago because it was being discontinued. I thought I was getting the deal of the century - $7 a ball. After all, it would soon disppear off the face of the earth and then, there would be no more, kind of like Cotton-Ease (do NOT get me started on that!). So what if it's Winter White, roughly the same color as my face and hair. So what if it will wash me out and make me look like a zombie. It's Polar, damnit! It dying, fading away. Well, wouldn't you know it, I've found the perfect project for it. Here are my progress photos after my first day of knitting on Starsky. I really like the way it's turning out.