Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Blogiversary Party!

We here at the Purly Gate have had our first blogiversary this past weekend. In the twelve months that we have been blogging there has been a lot of knitting going on, both in San Diego, and in Boston. Some of it has been good, some has been disasterous. How much knitting exactly has been going on? Well, we have knit about 16 pairs of socks since starting the blog, and that is just a part of the knitting. We have both knit sweaters, shawls, scarves, hats, mittens, and other miscellaneous stuff.

We have each made an attempt to design something, though, no sweaters from The Purly Gate have been finished quite yet. I have, however, written up the pattern for the red sock that I made, and you can get the pattern here. To the first person who successfully follows the pattern, makes a pair of my socks, and sends me a photo or a link to a photo of the finished pair will be some replacement sock yarn (I will, within reason, let you choose the type of sock yarn). Warning though, the pattern hasn't been test knit and I have never written a pattern before. Email me with any questions.

In honor of our blogiversary we have another contest for you! The challenge, guess how many sweater's K & I have finished since we started the blog. The prize will be one skein of olive lacey lamb (you may recoginize the yarn name from my recently finished shawl, yes it is the same yarn, same color) One skein has 825 yards, so it should be enough to make a lace project. Leave your guess in the comments, and the person who is closest will get the yarn. In the event of a tie, there will be a drawing to select the winner.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Hodgepodge Scarf

On Saturday, I took a break from studying hell to take a trip to Encinitas with a couple of my knitting friends, Cora and Disentangled. We decided that, instead of our usual (or lately, not so usual) Saturday afternoon at Rebecca's, we would do a little yarn shopping at Common Threads and Black Sheep and then go to the Forum Shops in Carlsbad for a little shopping, a little food and a little chocolate. They also have wine tasting there, but we ran out of time for that. Maybe next time.

None of us went crazy with our purchases. I managed to get out of Common Threads without taking out my credit card. I wasn't quite so fortunate in The Black Sheep, where I picked up this lovely book of patterns from Louisa Harding. I also bought 3 balls of Noro Silk Garden to make a striped scarf. The original child's version of the pattern only calls for two different colorways, but I'm using three. Perhaps using two would have been better, but being the color schizo that I am, I really like the results. Each section of the scarf is completely different from any other part. It challenges my inner Monk, but it's good for me. I think it's fun to have a wild scarf.

I attempted to take some photos of individual sections to show you the differences, but the lighting this morning is crap. I'll upload them anyway. I think if you click on the individual photo and blow it up, you can see it better.

Anyway, it's back to work for me. I forgot to set my alarm clock for the end of daylight savings, so I ended up waking up an hour earlier than I intended. It means I'm awfully tired, but it also means I got in an hour of knitting this morning! Yay!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

It may have come on the back of a pony, but...

...my Skye Tweed finally arrived yesterday! I just have one question. How does UPS survive providing such subpar service, when the post office does it cheaper and faster? You know you've got problems when your company can't compete with a government agency. But anyway...

Here it is! Giselle was busy checking it out to make sure it isn't going to explode. She's like a bomb-sniffing cat apparently. I've already knit a swatch with it and I really like the way it knits up. It's kind of rustic, in a way. Of course, tweed tends to be that way anyway. It's not silky soft, but it's got that comfortable, lived-in quality. It's a lovely yarn, and I think the color is gorgeous! Good purchase, I'd say. I saw that WEBS still has this yarn on closeout, so what you waiting for?! Buy some!!

In other knitting news, I've been working on a sweater of my own design for my neice. I'm making it out of Classic Elite Flash, one of my favorite yarns for kid's clothes. Since the yarn is so busy, I wanted the sweater to be as simple as possible. I'm making what is supposedly a 2T size but it looks like it would fit a petite woman. We'll see. This yarn stretches like mad, too, but little kids can get away with baggy sweaters - no hips or bulges to worry about.

So far, I've done the body up to the sleeves and one sleeve. It's a top-up no-sew raglan with hem edgings. I'm pleased with the results so far. The yarn does most of the work anyway. I think it will look really cute with jeans.

Speaking of Savannah...

Halloween is on Tuesday night. It has never been one of my favorite holidays - the whole costume/dressing up thing never really lit my fire. When it comes to Savannah, though, I can get more into it. I really want to see her costume, but the problem is, I have class on Tuesday night. My classes are really hard (I worked on the same problem for 9 hrs yesterday) and I'm no genious. I'm very hesitant to miss class, but you don't get this time back, ya know? Before I know it, she'll be a teenager and I'll have missed these first few precious years. What do you guys think?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Trekking Sock

Since I had been working feverishly on the Frost Flowers shawl recently finished, I don't have much to share with you. Fortunately, I have taken to working on a sock for a commuting project, so I will be sharing my current sock with you. I recently bought some red tweedy Trekking XXL sock yarn. I have never worked with Trekking before and wanted to try the yarn. I decided that rather than follow any pattern I would make up my own. I was curious to see if what I call star decrease toe (I could have the name wrong, you decrease say every 7 stitches around the toe, then 6, then 5, etc) could work on a toe up, so that was my starting point. It was pretty easy to make this type of toe toe up. I just started with a provisional cast on, which at the end, I will take the tail of Trekking yarn and draw through the provisional loops. I increased until I had 9 stitches per increase area and then I found a couple of 9 stitch patterns to use. (You can't see the stitch patterns very well in the photo on the left, but if you click on it to make it bigger you may be able to see them better). When I came to the heel flap I decided I wanted to do something in a nine stitch grouping so that the stitch patterns have something defining underneath them, I decided therefore, to do a "standard" heel flap for 9 stitches (slip stitch rib?) and then for 9 stitches I did a slip stitch moss stitch type flap, then I alternated for the rest of the flap. I like the way it looks IRL, though, again, the photo doesn't quite illustrate. My problem is that I am bored now with the sock. I still have much leg to go, I have to figure out a cuff, and worst of all, the sock doesn't quite fit right. I can get it on, and it feels fine once one, but getting over the heel requires a struggle.

The question is, should I tear out way back to the gusset increases so that I can add more and make a longer heel flap which I think would make the sock fit easier, or do I leave this sock as it is and when I make it match make the gusset longer, etc.? I am leaning towards the second solution personally. What do you all think?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Little Rant

I have been knitting lately, I swear. The problem is that I've been so overwhelmed by school that the only thing I can handle is garter stitch scarves and other accessories. These things don't make for great photos. I actually took a couple, but decided they belonged with a post titled: "Look Ma, My First Scarf!" So, I icksnayed the photos and decided to rant about something that has been bothering me.

At school, we've been assigned a ridiculous amount of homework. If I worked outside for school for more than 15 hours per week, it would be impossible for me to get it done. In all of my classes, I have been assigned projects that take in excess of 20 hours each all due around the same time and all within 2 weeks of being assigned. In addition, each class continues to assign homework, which takes a couple of hours as well. Many of the people that I go to school with work full time. In fact, I might be the only one who doesn't. So, we had one of these enormous projects (which by the way was also incredibly difficult) due yesterday, and several people weren't able to finish. They went and pleaded their case to the professor, stating that they work full time. One guy who did get his done had to call in sick to work two days in a row.

The professor is a new hire for SDSU and he comes from Brown University. I'm sure it's a great school and all, but I can only imagine that the student that attends Brown is quite different from the student who attends SDSU. For most of the people who attend SDSU, there aren't any parents paying tuition, rent, books, etc. Pretty much everyone is on their own as far as that goes and most people have to work to get through. SDSU also caters to older students and the MS program for Aerospace Engineering caters to people who are working, supposedly. That's why all graduate classes are offered after 5 p.m.

So, anyway, the professor's response is that, while he appreciates that they work, work isn't as important as school and they shouldn't be working at all while they're going to school. They should be going to school full-time. He also felt the need to say that if this class was taught at Brown, it would move twice as fast.

Another one of my professors chastises people for being late to class even if they're coming from work. He says that if they were late to meetings at work, they'd get fired, so they should treat class the same way.

Both of these professors come from Europe, where it is my understanding that very few people attend college and, for those that do, it is very affordable or free. People in middle to lower middle classes can't attend college. I may be wrong about that, but this is what I've heard. Obviously this isn't true in the States where, thanks to the community colleges and state universities, a college degree is attainable by pretty much everyone. However, most students have to work to get through. I feel like both of these guys are completely unjustified in their beliefs that school comes first over a job that pays your bills, puts food on the table, clothes on your back and a roof over your head. It makes me really angry on behalf of these people who struggle just to get through. It's a very un-American attitude, in my opinion. In this country, work is very important and people work extremely hard. It seems very elitist to criticize them for doing it. It makes them, in the words of my esteemed blogmate, Ivory Tower Jackasses.

There. 'Nuff said.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Do men think? If so, how do they think? Advice to the men out there, following a woman you don't know is not flattering. It is threatening. This is true even if you are trying to talk to her. Further advice to men, if a woman has headphones on (and lets face it, everyone knows that those white cords coming out of a person's ears are headphones) is a sign that the subject woman isn't interested in having a conversation with anyone. Also, don't ask a woman you don't know where she lives or what her name is why you are following her. This again is threatening behavior, not flattering behavior.

In knitting news, the brown lump is no longer a lump, it is officially a shawl. I managed to finish the edging on Sunday and blocked it last night (the shawl got my bed, I got my pull out). This is the Frost Flowers shawl from A Gathering of Lace. I knit it using Lacey Lamb, distributed by Jade Sapphire, and size 2 Susan Bates needles. I don't have my book of knitting notes on me today, so I don't remember when I started it, but it was MONTHS ago. The outdoor shots of this were taken this morning down at the Christopher Columbus Park in the N.End. As you can see, dawn is slowly eeking its way into being, but it wasn't that early, it is just fall.

btw, N. End ladies, anyone interested in taking a karate/self defense class with me? I am going to be trying to find info on one.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Friday Musings

I don't have any great knitting photos to show you. I'm still working on the last stupid sleeve for Bristow. Why do sleeves take so frickin' long? Anyway, I was shopping around in the SDSU bookstore yesterday, I found these little cuties for my neice. It's hard to tell the scale in the photo, but they're a 2T size, so they're tiny.

I can't wait to see her in them!

Today, I'm having lunch with one of the gals over at A Little Loopy, Disentangled. We might just end up browsing around in Knitting in La Jolla afterwards. Wouldn't that be a shame?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Hodge Podge

Thursday, the week is nearly over (yay!). My body is recovering well, I am only sore where I am bruised or scraped (basically left elbow, right thigh and left hip). This weekend is the Boston Vegetarian Festival, which I am planning on going to with The Bitter Knitter.

Last work week ended with a high note. I received my tea swap package from Shannan, down in Maryland. My package was full of goodies, there was some vanilla almond loose tea from the Republic of Tea, a green tea sampler from Stash, and some wild orange decaf tea from Tazo, and some cinnamon honey. To snack on, there was a package of Milano cookies, which are gone now, and a box of caramel chocolates (dark and milk) from Bomboy's in Havre de Grace, these chocolates are about half way gone now too. The chocolates would be completely gone, except for the fact that I am trying to savor them. To knit, there were two beautiful skeins of yarn, on is Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn and the other is Sockotta sock yarn. I have never worked with either before. In addition to all those goodies, there were 3 Yankee candles. So far, I have been burning a "biscotti" scented one at home.

I feel like my lump of brown lace will never be done. I had planned on waiting until all of the edging was knit before sharing photos of the piece. That, of course, was when I thought that the edging would be done in a matter of days. The shawl is a square (when done) and each side of the square seems to have between 400-500 stitches, which means that there are almost 400-500 rows per edging size. The shawl pattern is the Frost Flowers shawl from A Gathering of Lace. I knit it at a smaller gauges, and so did extra rows in the center, which means extra rows of edging. I am not yet halfway done the edging, and I spent a good part of Tuesday working on this thing.

A little about my weekend bike ride, first though, I managed to raise $125 for the NYC chapter of the National MS Society. Thanks again to those of you who donated for my ride, sorry that I wasn't able to do the 60 miles I told I would be doing. The ride is really an amazing one. I heard about it from one of my Aunts, who lives in Jersey and worked in NYC. There are/were 4 routes/lengths. A thirty mile ride (which both of my parents did this year) which takes you around the outside of Manhattan island. They close down part of the FDR, a couple other roads, and the Harlem River Drive, for the ride. There were over 4,000 bicyclist this year. The 60 mile ride (which is actually 66 miles long) starts the same as the 30 mile ride, but then takes you through the Lincoln Tunnel, they close one of the tubes, and into New Jersey, and up into the Palisades park (not parkway), you go up and down hills and have lunch at the top of one of the hills, before returning to Manhattan via the George Washington Bridge. If you, for some reason, can't do the 60 mile ride, they have an unadvertized option of doing 45 miles, instead of going into the Palisades you can go straight on to the GW Bridge. Finally, there is a 100 mile ride which takes you further north of the Palisades before returning you to Manhattan via the GW Bridge. Some day I hope to do the 100 mile ride.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sleeves, sleeves all the time

I wanted to show you what I've decided to do with the hem facings on Avast. I am very pleased with the touch of color that Plumberry provides.
I hope you can see the contrast with the black background. My other choice was a beige background, neither of which shows the color very well. Here's what it looks like from what right side:

I think it's a nice touch. I plan on putting contrasting facings on all edges, including the zipper facings and the bottom hem. My October goal was to finish one sleeve up to the raglan shaping, and I'm only two inches away from that, so I'm thinking of adding another sleeve to the goal.

A finished Thuja:

I think I'm happy with it overall.

Right now, I'm working on the last sleeve for Bristow and it may kill me. Sleeves have been known to completely derail sweaters in the past, but I refuse to let it happen this time. Hopefully finished sleeve photos on Friday.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


I am posting today from my cellphone so there are no photos today.

I had a little problem around mile 35 of my ride on Sunday and as a result I did not do the full 60+ mile ride, instead I rode 47ish miles. I rode over a grate in the street, lost my balance, toppled my bike, hit the asphault with my elbow and passed out. I was only out for a couple of seconds and after a couple of minutes I was back on my bike and riding another 12ish miles. Yesterday and today my back and neck have been very sore. I am taking today off to relax and heal. I am bruised and sore but overall well, fortunately I wasn't seriously hurt.

In other news, on Friday I received my tea swap package which was perfect! Photos to come latter. I also have finished about 1/4 of the edging for lump of brown lace.

My cell phone battery looks low, so I will end this post. LATER!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sock Mojo

I've been seeing on a lot of blogs that it is Socktoberfest, and everbody seems to have caught the sock bug. I personally have lost my Sock Mojo. I think it was the Pomatomus socks that did it. It's not that it isn't a great pattern, but I'm seriously tired of it, and it's not the kind of thing you just pick up whenever. To me, that's how socks should be - a project that's suitable to work on anywhere, anytime. In an attempt to get my Sock Mojo back, I cast on for Thuja with some Artyarns Supermerino that I bought on my Rhode Island trip over the summer. This pattern moves so quickly, it's not even funny. I think I may have my mojo back, but to maintain it, I may have to accept the fact that Pomatomus won't be finished anytime soon and it's OK to cast on for another pair. I have yarn for about 4 pairs of socks and it MUST be used. I haven't decided on what will come next, but maybe the pair from Greetings from the Knit Cafe.

I used a tubular cast-on for these for the first time ever. It does create a lovely edge, but my only concern is that it may be a little tight. It seems like it will stretch though.

By the way, did everyone see the Interweave Knits Winter preview? Lots of potential beauties there. I really like the Refined Raglan, but there are definitely a few others that look lovely.

Also, I ordered my tweed last night - 14 balls of Loch Ness Teal. I want it NOW!!!!

Apologies to the winner of my Debbie Bliss yarn. Life was basically hell last week, so going to the PO wasn't in the cards. This week for sure though, come hell (which it will since I have more homework than is reasonable) or high water (the only thing that can save me).

Friday, October 13, 2006

Happy Friday the 13th

Thanks guys for your comments about the vest. I think I agree with you, but even if I didn't, live events have transpired so that I don't have time to do anything but trudge onward if I want to get to the neck steek by tomorrow. School has been nuts this week and promises to be worse next week.

I've been sticking to the mindless project this week, making loads of progress on Avast. I've finished the body up to the armholes and have begun the sleeve. I'm considering doing contrasting hem facings, so I'm playing around with using the Plumberry that I'm using for the vest. When I've decided on what I'm going to do, I'll post photos of it. Here's the body:

I know, you literally can't contain the excitement of looking at 15 inches of stockinette.

Did anybody see that WEBS has Skye Tweed on closeout for $3.99 per ball? They have hundreds of balls in practically every color. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. WEBS is EVIL! Watch for sweater quantities of some color of Skye Tweed, purchased by me, coming to a computer screen near you. You know I can't possibly resist a sale of this magnitude on tweed yarn. What kind of a tweed ho would I be if I could?

Thursday, October 12, 2006


This weekend I will be participating in the NYC MS Ride. I plan on riding 60+ miles. I did the ride last year and it was a challenge, but was fun, you get to ride your bike through the Lincoln Tunnel (very cool). One thing this means is that I will finally get to meet my newest cousin, who lives in Brooklyn. Ages ago I wrote about the baby blanket that I was making for him, well I finished the blanket before he was born, but I never quite got around to going to the post office (next door to my office) to mail it out. Since I will finally be meeting the little guy, I am going to be hand delivering the finished blanket.
The other photo here is of Ballyriche (misspelled) which is Eunny's cabled sock. The yarn is actually more brown and less grayish than it looks in this picture.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Eunny vest dilemma

Over the weekend, I made decent progress on my Eunny vest, leaving myself with only a few rounds to finish before my class on Saturday. Then, I realized that I had done two too many decreases, leaving myself with 8 too few stitches. So, I tried it on to see if it was too small, which it really wasn't. I also blocked it to get an accurate measurement and have taken another look at my gauge. It appears that my gauge has loosened up considerably, although it's hard to tell how much because I can't get a truly accurate measurement on the portion right up near the needles. My row gauge has changed drastically, from 6 rows per inch to 5, so the upper portion of the sweater has to be recalculated. Fortuntely, it hasn't affected the length yet. So, here's my dilemma. Do I rip out? Or do I use it as a strategy to deal with the fact that my gauge is looser? With the 8 stitches omitted, I'm basically making the size I'd started out making - a 40" bust. I could just do the normal number of increases from this point. My conern is that my gauge will be inconsistent and it will turn out too small. However, by ripping back, I'm putting myself in a serious time crunch because I have too much school work to do. I don't know if I can finish what I need to finish if I rip back. I'm really not sure what to do.

Also, here's my progress on Arisaig.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

More Socks

With a three day weekend I was fortunate enough to have plenty of time to knit. My lump of brown lace is close to what I am going to call done, but isn't very picture worthy. The Lump is so close that much of my weekend knitting time was spent working on it, but since it took an hour to go through each row, I needed some quick knitting fixes and I therefore finished the Ripple Weave Sock from the Fall VK. I changed this pattern and knit them from the toe up instead of cuff down. I did this mostly because the 2 skeins of Claudia's Handpainted that I had didn't feel like it would be enough and I didn't want to run out at the toe. I had JUST enough yarn to finish the socks, but my leg may be shorter than that called for in the pattern.

I also bought some Trek sock yarn this weekend and made a toe. I don't know what my actual sock will look like, but I wanted to see if I could do a sock with star decrease type toe from toe up.

Friday, October 06, 2006

New UFO's and no FO's

I had planned to have a post today of a finished Somewhat Cowl. Unfortunately, it turned out rather disappointing, and needs some more work yet. I did wear it though - it wasn't that bad, but the short rows on the sleeves did NOT work out at all and need to be ripped back and redone, and I've decided that the cowl does indeed look better tacked down on the inside. In addition, the yarn grew an astonishing amount during the blocking process so it turned out too big despite all of my efforts ot make a sweater that actually fit. I seem destined to make things that don't fit no matter what I do, so I'll embrace it and just knit for the process. The finished product never seems to work out too well.

I have made some decent progress on my husband's Christmas sweater. No, I'm not making him a fair isle monstrosity out of kelly green and red with intarsia reindeer. But it WILL be a Christmas present. I am making him Avast out of Nature Spun in Ash. Here is the entirety of my progress so far:

I've decided that this sweater has to be done by December 1st in order to have time to order the zipper and have it professionally installed, so I have a couple of intermediate goals. I need to have the body up to the armholes and one sleeve up to the armhole shaping done by the end of the month. Doesn't seem too daunting, does it?

I also started Arisaig for myself. I did some swatches on Wednesday, both for the lace pattern and the ribbing because my gauge was so wonky. The pattern calls for a US 2 but I only have an Addi 2. I don't really want to use another brand of needles, and I DON'T want to knit the ribbing on a size 0 (urgh), so I'm going with what I've got and making a sweater the next size down. We'll see how it works out. Here's the lace pattern in my yarn of choice - Elann's Baby Silk.

I was very daunted by this sweater, thinking that it would take me forever because it's made out of fingering weight yarn, but I'm very pleased with how quickly it's knitting up. This yarn is very soft - I feel like I'm knitting an angora bunny instead of a sweater.

Finally, the winner of the drawing for the Debbie Bliss Cotton DK in seafoam green is..........

...........................flwrhead! Email me at thepurlygate@gmail.com to give me your mailing address and claim your prize!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

First a Rant, Then Some Knitting

Every day (or almost every day) for the past 3-4 years I have been taking the same bus, at the same time. Most drivers are pretty good, they come on time and they leave on time. After 3-4 years I thought I knew the routine. I would get to the bus stop, which is a biggish stop, lots of suburban busses leave from this bus stop. I would stand outside and watch all the busses come, I would look at the route signs on the bus and wait for mine to come. Sometimes I would see my bus and the driver would turn off the sign. This typically would mean that either the bus driver was taking a break (which I understand and respect) or that the driver was no longer doing my route and was doing another route, or going out of service. This morning with my regular driver not on the route, I nearly missed the bus. How can this happen if I arrive at my bus stop over 20 minutes before my bus' scheduled departure? Well, what happened is that the bus driver did not turn on the route sign until he was pulling away from the bus stop! I, and another regular rider ran to try to get on the bus and the driver yelled at us for yelling at the bus and chasing it. The then tried to accuse us of not being at the bus stop and told us that we should have knocked on the bus door to find out what route he was and to get on the bus! I pay $71 per month for a service (and the MBTA wants to increase their prices). That service is the bus ride to and from work. It is not my responsibility to go knocking on every bus to find out where the driver is going. They are supposed to turn on their route signs. The driver claimed that he had no control over the route sign, and when I told him that other drivers did not have a problem with turning on the route sign before they left, he told me not to compare him to other drivers! How is it that this man has no control over when his route sign goes on, but other drivers, of this and other routes, have no problem. Also, the guy never even opened his bus door at the stop!!! WTF?!

Enough rant, onto knitting. Suddenly I have different projects for different things I am doing. Before I worked on each project on every occasion. Socks were not traveling projects for me, because the DPNs would go astray, now, however, with magic loop, socks are my commuting project (ps today I really needed my knitting to help restore some calm). Now, I understand why people like to work on socks when they are on the go, they are much smaller and much easier to carry than other projects, and with magic loop, needles don't get lost and stitches don't fall off the needles.

At home, and occasionally at knit night, I have my Season of Darkness etc sweater to work on. This isn't great for knit night, as I was reminded last night, because I keep loosing my place on the chart. At home this is a great way for me to unwind and relax. I don't find stockinette stitch to be meditative, my mind still runs on over my different stresses when I work on stockinette. This requires enough concentration that my stresses can be temporarily forgotten. This is not good for traveling though because the rows are so long and it is difficult to follow the chart while on a bus or the similar. Also carrying 2 colors of yarn make this more cumbersome to carry. I absolutely can't work on this while I am at work either.
Finally, for your consideration, I have my at work project. I am busy reading thousands of pages of tedious notes, most of which are not relevant to our case. It is only every 50 or so pages that I have to make a short note. While reading this, I need something to keep me awake, and caffeine is not enough. Fortunately I can do stockinette stitch and read at the same time, so I started the Pearl Buck Jacket from Winter 2005 IK, most of which is stockinette stitch. This is my progress on the back so far.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Euuny Vest Confession

Before I cast on for my Eunny vest, I decided to change my colors again. I know, I know. Fickle. Truly, I just don't have an eye for color, and this vest seems to have violated all rules for color that I've ever used in my life. I've always felt that contrasting colors are best, but in this vest, that's not the case.

I'm not really happy with these either. The photo actually makes them look worse than they are. I refused to try a 4th incarnation, though, so I just went with these. As I'm knitting, I feel like they're incredibly ugly, garish and bright, but then when I try it on, I think they're cute and fun. Who knows? I'm seriously beginning to doubt that I'll even wear this thing anyway, so I'm not sure it matters.

I've finished Row 24 of the chart, which means that I'm only 6 rows from being done with the waist decreases. If I wasn't taking this class, and we hadn't carefully analyzed our gauge and re-written the pattern, this vest would be WAY too long for me. I'm so glad we did that. My fair isle gauge is problematic in that, in general, it's too tight, so the pattern comes out looking all squished and too small. So, every time I pick this project up, I have to remember to loosen up dramatically. I'm making a size that, with the gauge I got in class, would not even come close to fitting me, but I've been trying this on as I go, and it seems to be fitting well. Unless it grows dramatically during blocking everything should be fine.

I finished Somewhat Cowl yesterday morning and wet blocked it. It's still drying. Today, I read in the pattern that I'm supposed to fold the cowl neck inward instead of folding it outward, which is what I've done AND I'm supposed to sew it down. Guess it's a good thing I've finally decided to take a look at the pattern. I've pretty much done my own thing with it and have only glanced at it occasionally. I'm not even sure I'm going to do this step, but I'll try it on and decide.

I'm also going to swatch for Arisaig today. Finally. I'm very excited about this.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Finished Piece

Well, I have blocked the shrug and have worn it (2 times already). It is a bit bigger than I wanted (it grew with blocking) and the sleeves are way too long, even by my "I like over long sleeves" standards. Other than that I really like the shrug. Sorry that my photos aren't great, my tripod is here at work and my camera is at home, so the camera was just resting on my stereo, and the focus doesn't seem quite where it should be .

Partial stats for project:
Annie Modesitt's Twisted Float Shrug from the Fall, 2005 Vogue Knitting. Yarn: Lorna's Laces shepherds Worsted in Bucks Bar (multi color) and Douglas Fir (solid) (I think) , and Grace Lilac color, (boucle) for the edging. Size 8 Addi natural circulars and dpns used. Started some time in May or June (I have the exact start date at home) and ended on Sunday, 9/30/06

Over all thoughts, while I like the way the twisted floats worked, the became extremely difficult to work on the out parts of the big circle body. Additionally, I had difficulty measuring my gauge on this due, in part, to the fact that the stitches were curved. This resulted in my knitting being looser than it should have and the sweater being bigger than called for.

Now that I have this monkey off of my back (or on it as the case may be) I can spend more time working on Season of Darkness Winter of Light (my colorwork sweater). I have picked it up again, and while I haven't made great progress, I am reminded of how much I enjoy working on it.

Monday, October 02, 2006

12 Rounds To Go!

I've been working slowly and steadily on Somewhat Cowl, although I have started Avast for my husband AND I'm working on my Deep V Vest. But when I'm watching a movie or TV, I get out the Cowl, and I'm up to 42 rounds completed! I need to finish 54 to say it's done, so I'm getting VERY close. Since the weather is supposed to take a turn for the cooler (finally!), I think I'd like to finish this very soon. I'll put all my focus on it today and who knows? Maybe I can get it blocking tonight or tomorrow morning? Thursday is supposed to be the coolest, so it will be my goal to wear it then.

My weekend was pretty quiet. I did show up at Rebecca's on Saturday but no one else did. I guess, in the future, if I haven't heard from anybody during the week, I'll assume that no one's going. Luckily, I was able to do a little knitting at the Grove, so I wasn't sitting there all by myself, but it wasn't the way I'd planned on spending my Saturday.

I've been reading grumperina's meme on various blogs and it's gotten me thinking that I'd like to see if I can think of 10 knitterly things about me. Some of you who know me may already know these things. Here goes:

1. I LOVE tweed yarn. I have many sweaters' worth of tweed yarn of various colors and textures stashed away. My very first sweater was made out of Tahki New Tweed. I'm basically a Tweed Ho. When I see tweed yarn, I find myself drooling and feeling deep longing sensations.

2. I hate silk yarn. I don't like the way it feels, don't like the way it knits up, don't like the way it behaves once it's knit up, don't like the way it pills, don't like the way it wears. I guess there's not much left to say about that.

3. I have issues with the weight of yarn. Unlike pretty much any knitter I know, I'm constantly checking the density of new yarn I find in order to determine if it will make a heavy garment. In my mind, there's almost nothing worse than knitting something that weighs a ton and then having to wear the damn thing. I don't know if it's claustrophobia or the heat we frequently have here, or what.

4. I also have issues with a yarn's ability to wear well. I get really annoyed when I've spent hours knitting something only to find that the yarn pills like crazy or fades in the wash or something like that. Even if a yarn is soft, cheap and comes in amazing colors I will bypass it completely if it has an inability to wear well.

5. I'm going to make a confession that will make knitters everywhere gasp with shock and horror. I don't like Blue Sky Organic Cotton. See #3 and #4 for reasons why. 150 yds per 100 grams. Get serious! Besides, my Fitted Tank looked like my cats got a hold of it after one washing. Yuck!

6. For some reason I can't quite figure out, I find heavily patterned things more tedious to knit than stockinette. For the first repeat or two of a stitch pattern, I'm intrigued, but after that, it's just plain dull. The problem is, even after the honeymoon is over, you still have to pay attention, even though you're incredibly bored. With stockinette, you don't even have to look. You can chat, watch TV, talk on the phone, read a book. Whatever. It's totally relaxing.

7. Ditto for cables. Besides being tedious to knit and sucking up an incredible amoung of yarn, heavily cabled items look clunky, chunky and busy to me. I do think that a strategically placed cable or two can be a lovely accent.

8. I have a problem with finshing things I start. In knitting terms, this means I have A LOT of WIP's. The older a project gets, the more of a block I have about finishing it. It's really bad and I wish it was something I could change about myself.

9. I think knitty is the best source for patterns out there. Period. I've made more things from knitty than I have from anywhere else. I have years of IK's and Vogues, TONS of knitting books and other misc. patterns, but the bulk of what I've made comes from knitty. Pretty much the rest comes from amateur knitwear designers, i.e. bloggers such as knit and tonic, zephyr and Eunny. There's a lot of great talent out there.

10. A logical progression from that is that I'm not sure I like the trend of the amateur bloggers becoming published knitwear designers. It's sort of like a local restaurant chain being bought out my a national conglomerate. I liked the grass roots quality of purchasing a single pattern from a non-professional for $5. I'm hoping the quality doesn't suffer, but how can it not? The pressure of having to come up with enough designs to fill a book sure MUST mean that each design will be that much less brilliant, doesn't it? I hope not. Nonetheless, I'm awaiting a few of these books with much anticipation and hoping I'm wrong.

There. I'm sure to J, none of these things are a surprise, but to the rest of you, I hope they are. By the way, I've got 8 balls of Debbie Bliss Cotton DK yarn in a seafoam green color that I'd like to get out of my stash. If you're interested in it, leave a comment by Wednesday, and I'll announce the winner on Friday and ship it out to you.