Saturday, October 28, 2006

Sneaking In Some Knitting Time

My sister's on her way home, and I did manage to sneak in a little knitting time while she was here. This is (hopefully) the start of my cashmere wrist warmers. I'm designing the pattern, and I'm praying hopeful that the size will work out. I've done a lot of test knitting and frogging, so I hope this one will be the real deal.

I think I should carry a camera with me everywhere I go. Thursday night I was on my way to a family dinner at Cafe Med (good food, great prices, and free entertainment on Thursday nights - how can you go wrong?) , and was totally bowled over by the beautiful sunset. If only I'd had a camera with me, you could be enjoying it too.

At the restaurant, we didn't get to see our favorite belly dancer Papillon, who is cute as a button and a wonderful dancer. Instead, we had three belly dancers who put on a great show, but unfortunately, I didn't get the name of their group - but I think they're there on the 4th Thursday of each month, while Papillon is there on the first three Thursdays (or at least, she has been - I hope she still is).

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

It's Working!

Yeah!! After frogging my Green Gable back to the underarms and adding 4 extra rows, it now looks like it's going to be a good fit. Phew!

But not much time for knitting this week, my sister is visiting me from Massachusetts, and I'll be pretty busy.

I still need to get started on my cashmere wrist warmers. I think I have the pattern all worked out. Maybe I can sneak in a couple of hours here or there...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Butterfly Lace Dishcloth


Butterfly Lace Dishcloth
Originally uploaded by Hither-n-Yarn.
I finally got around to finishing my first dishcloth, using the Butterfly lace pattern and about 50 grams of Lion Cotton. I didn't notice until after I'd finished, but one row of my butterflies has an extra set of wings. I'll just blame it on DDT.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Wasted Days and Wasted Nights*

What's wrong with this picture? This is my first (red) Green Gable, with my new (green) Green Gable sitting on top of it. WTF??? Do we see a slight sizing problem? I went to a conference in Phildelphia, and took along Green Gable. But unfortunately, I didn't take along my first one for comparison. Then, because I didn't end up with as much time to knit as I thought, I didn't get to the underarms (where I could try it on for size) until I got to the airport for my return trip. Yes, I did in fact try it on in the airport restroom. It seemed like it might be too small, but it was hard to tell without a mirror, and I wasn't about to parade around the women's restroom in my bra with a little piece of knitting around my shoulders. So I continued knitting, and waited for my chance on the airplane. Trying on a piece of knitting in an airplane restroom is not exactly an easy task, by the way. And again, it did seem like it was a little too small. However, when I made the first one, I did a couple of extra rows right before separating the sleeves, and had decided not to do that with this one, so I expected it to be a little smaller. So there I was, with a dilemma. A 4 1/2 hour flight with no other knitting to work on. And my book was in my checked luggage. Should I forge ahead, hoping that it was going to be okay, but knowing that I'd have to frog it if it wasn't? Or should I stop and wait until I got home and could compare it to the first sweater? Hmmmm... well, with nothing else to do on the plane but watch a documentary on crossword puzzle tournaments (who picks out these movies????), I decided to go ahead and knit. I thought that maybe if the armhole really seemed a bit small, I could just pick up a couple of extra stitches or something. So I knitted away. After the first movie, they actually put on a second - "The Devil Wears Prada". At least I had something to watch while I was knitting. But alas, this morning I was faced with the sad truth. The top is indeed too small. After reviewing my notes, I realized that I had accidentally done an extra 4 rows in the lace section on the first sweater, in addition to the extra rows at the underarm. Grrrrr. I guess that's what happens when the pattern doesn't have any stitch counts listed other than for cast-on. Nothing to verify against. Evidently I got confused by the "repeat" instructions... how do you "repeat" something unless you've already done it before? So instead of doing the lace sections 5 times in total on the first sweater, I did them once, and then "repeated" them another 5 times - knitting 24 rows instead of 20. Shit. This time around, I knitted the pattern as it was intended, without realizing I'd done it differently before. Crapola! Now I have to decide whether to just rip it back to the armholes and do enough extra rows there to make up the difference, or rip back all the way to the lace and make the same "mistake" I did the first time. Arrgggh... all of that knitting time wasted.

* Wasted Days and Wasted Nights ~ in memoriam: Freddy Fender

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Packing

I haven't been doing a lot of knitting for the past few days for various reasons (too busy), but I've been doing some sample swatches while deciding what to do with my cashmere. I still think I'll do wrist warmers of some sort, but I'll probably make up a pattern and I'm still working out what I want to do.

Meanwhile, I've been packing for my trip to Philadelphia tomorrow. It'll be a lot of hours in the airport and on the plane (plus my evenings in Philly), so I'm trying to make sure I have enough to work on. I'll be taking my latest Green Gable as the main project, but I'm afraid that won't last for the whole trip, so I'm trying to figure out what else I can take, but which won't take up a lot of room. Maybe I'll just take a couple of skeins of cotton and make more dishcloths. Oh but wait... I still haven't finished my first one. I guess I should finish the first one before I think about making more. Well, I'm sure I'll come up with something. And maybe I'll throw a book in my suitcase, too, just in case.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Fino and Cashmere

Here's my Alpaca With a Twist "Fino" purchase from yesterday (color is "ruby slippers"), along with my precious skein of Black Pearl Yarns 100% Cashmere, in colorway "Bamboo", purchased from YarnBotanika. And oh, is it delicious. I think it will become a pair of wrist warmers. Either that or a neck warmer. Something to wear right against the skin. Mmmmmmm. Saw it (Mim's) , touched it, had to have it.


And now, thanks to Marsha for providing us with a button to distract your attention while we post non-knitting-related items. Ahem.



I Don't Get It, Chapter 2:

My cat simply refuses to finish the last few kibbles in her bowl. Ever. I think she'd rather starve for days than eat that last little bit. What gives? Is she leaving something for Miss Manners? She'll whine and cry until we put more in the bowl. And even though the entire bag of cat food sits in the mud room where she could easily get into it (literally), she never touches it. Well, maybe she rubs up against it occasionally, cats are like that, you know. Yesterday morning my husband refused to put any more food in her bowl. We took a photo (upper left photo) and decided to see if she'd actually eat what was there. After all day in the house by herself, she did eat a couple more kibbles, but not much. This is what was still in the bowl at dinnertime (upper right photo). Of course, she complained loudly about it when I got home. And as soon as I filled the bowl, she dived right in. I just don't get it.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Lonesome Skeining


Waist pack and Dish cloth
Originally uploaded by Hither-n-Yarn.
I finished the waist pack I was making as a gift. I knitted it on size 7 needles, and used less than one skein of Lion Cotton. Having several skeins of this yarn, I also started my very first dishcloth - the Butterfly Lace from this site. It's an easy lace pattern, but still I had a few rows go awry that I had to redo. Sheesh. This doesn't bode well for my plan to do Icarus.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I Don't Get It

It's a gorgeous fall day today. I replaced the grass in my (tiny) front yard with water-wise perennials in the spring, and made sure to include plants that would give lots of color late in the year. And they're certainly doing that! It's much more interesting than the grass was.

I picked up a lovely hank of Fino by Alpaca With a Twist today, that will hopefully someday become the lovely Icaraus shawl, designed by Utah's own very talented Miriam. It's a beautiful deep red called "ruby slippers". Mmmmmm... nice and soft.

But there's something I just don't get. The guy renting the house across the street is almost always sitting on the front steps. All day. All evening. All the time. Not doing anything, just sitting. He seems young and healthy. So what's the deal? Now I could understand it in the summer when it was blazingly hot. He has no air conditioning, so it was probably much more comfortable to be out on the porch. Like the people down the street - also renters with no air conditioning. The whole family spent the summer sitting out on the lawn under a big tree. We called them the "tree people". But summer has passed, the tree people have gone inside, and still this guy just sits. I can't understand how anyone could just sit on a porch for hours and hours doing nothing. Day after day. Isn't there something to do? The beautiful city library is only a couple of blocks away, and has lots of comfortable sitting areas. How about reading? Or at least looking at the pictures in the magazines? How about taking a walk around Liberty Park, or a hike up City Creek Canyon? Volunteer work? Some kind of hobby? I definitely don't get it. All of that time wasted, when he could be knitting.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Monday Musings

Last night I worked on my Waist Pack for the Lonesome Skein KAL and cast on for another Green Gable (this time it's actually green!). I'm planning to take Green Gable to Philadelphia with me next week, and I wanted to have it already cast on and at least have a few rows knitted before I left, so that I wasn't trying to deal with the cast-on while sitting in an airplane.

Saturday night I had the pleasure of seeing Lily Tomlin at Kingsbury Hall. What a hoot! It was mostly a very liberal audience, but there were a few people who didn't seem too pleased with her politics. I don't know what they were expecting. Nothing but old Laugh-In routines? Who knows. Anyway, we had a great time, and I'm glad we had the opportunity to go.

"Delusions of grandeur make me feel a lot better about myself" ~ Lily Tomlin

Sunday, October 08, 2006

I'm a Screamer

There are some days ya just wanna scream, aren't there? Especially when you have to rip out hours of knitting. (That never happens, does it?) But screaming is very theraputic. I ran across this cute little doll at Big Lots the other day. If you press her belly, she screams like this. I thought it was so funny that I had to buy a whole bunch of them to pass out to some of my stressed-out friends, and they all love them. It makes me smile just to look at her... and when you feel like screaming, you just give her tummy a little squeeze, and she does the screaming for you. It's amazing how much better it makes me feel. If someone calls and asks me a stupid question, I can just have her scream into the phone for me. Or if someone dumps more work on me, she's more than happy to scream at them, too. She's most useful at the office, but I have a second one at home, standing by in case I have to frog a lot of knitting. I actually did have to frog a lot of the yoke on my Drops pullover the other night because I did two decrease rows in a row, instead of every-other row, and didn't notice it until four or five rows later. But oddly enough, I didn't really mind it too much. I think it's because I was really enjoying knitting it. In fact, I'm going to miss working on it now that I'm done.

But I think she needs a name. Any suggestions? I've sort of been thinking of her as "Screamin' Sally", but I do have two of them, and each should have her own name.

And if you ever feel like screaming, you can just come here and have her scream for you, too. I'm happy to share.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Oceans Away!

My Drops 88-23 pullover is done! Doesn't it look like I'm all set for a nice trip to the Mediterranean? Too bad I didn't have this for my trip to Greece! But never fear, it will see the ocean yet. I wanted to make it for my "Ultimate Caribbean" cruise in February, so now I'm all set.

I used three skeins of Douceur et Soie to knit the pattern in size small, but only used 4 or 5 grams from the third skein. I ran out of the second skein about halfway through the yoke. If I'd made the pattern as specified for the bottom (not increasing the hip size), and hadn't increased the length of the sleeves (and had re-used my swatch yarn), I might have just barely made it with two, but it would have been very close. Douceur is 225 yards per skein, Vivaldi is 305. Kidsilk Haze is 270 yards, so I think two skeins of KSH would have worked. If I wanted to try it again with only two skeins of Douceur, I'd probably decrease the overall length by an inch, just to be safe. The pattern length is 22", so even at 21", it would still be a good length. The upside is that I have most of a skein left for my stash. Susan's Branching Out, perhaps?

Pattern Corrections:
  • In instructions for "Body", where it says to put a marker at each side, the resulting number of stitches on each side should read (49-54-59-66-72) instead of (49-104-59-66-72).
  • The last instruction for the "Sleeve" says to bind off 8 sts each side of marker. This should be 4 sts each side of marker, for a total of 8 sts bound off.

Modifications:
  • Used Douceur et Soie instead of the recommended Vivaldi. I still used the US 10-1/2 needles specified, but used US 15 for the bind-offs.
  • Instead of just casting on normally and picking up the cast-on edge for the hems at the bottom and sleeves, I did provisional cast-ons, because I was worried about the cast-on-edge being too tight. But I think it would have been fine if using the size 15 needles for the cast-on edge.
  • Made the sleeves 2" longer (not necessary, but I wanted the length to be about halfway between elbow and wrist, and the specified pattern length would only have been just past the elbow).
  • Cast on with the same number of stitches as the bust and decreased to the waist, then increased back to the bust. This was a mistake - it's very loose around the hips. If making it again, stick to the pattern!
  • The final decrease row at the neckline made the neck opening much smaller than what is shown in the pattern. I undid my cast-off and tinked the last row (the decrease row), and then just cast off again.
New Techniques Used:
  • Knitting a raglan from the bottom-up instead of top-down
  • Knitting and turning a hem (I liked this method, especially the way the pattern used a row of K2/YO's at the edge to make the edge scalloped.

Friday, October 06, 2006

What Happens When You're Bored

I had an incredibly boring afternoon today.

Normally I don't take an afternoon break because I've got way too much stuff to do, but today was an exception. I was finishing up some projects, and didn't want to get started on a new big project right before the weekend, so I was doing some piddly stuff and trying to find small things to keep me busy for the rest of the day. I thought I might as well take an afternoon break, but then found myself with nothing much to do... so I brought up MS Paint and started doodling. After creating a crude beautiful mountain and lake scene, I decided that it was so childish lovely that Margene should be there in her ribby cardi and Opal socks, knitting something pink. So there you have it. (This is what happens when you don't have any knitting handy. A word to the wise.)

I decided you couldn't really get a good look at Margene and her socks in the main photo, so here's a closeup. Astonishing likeness, if I do say so myself.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Warm Hands, Warm Heart

These are my Mrs. Beeton wristwarmers (made without the beads), and my wrist warmers from Last Minute Knitted Gifts (If you have the first edition of this book, be sure to check the errata, because this pattern has some corrections.) I love how the Mrs. Beetons look with a jacket.

On the LMKG wrist warmers, I know what you're thinking, but I did not run out of yarn. When I was almost done, I thought that with such a neutral color, they looked a bit boring, so I added a bit of dark red at the end for a little zip (same yarn as I used for the Mrs. Beetons). For the main part of the wrist warmers, I used a cashmere blend yarn that I got on sale.

Both of these are for me, me, me... (selfish, aren't I?) And with the weather like it's been, I'm going to be needing them very soon. But for now, we're having a spectacularly beautiful (but rainy) fall along the Wasatch Front.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Shake Your Booties

I decided to post about the baby booties I made earlier this year, because I thought one of them would be a fun project for the Lonesome Skein knitalong, or for anyone else looking for a quick project, especially with the holidays coming up. I'd like to draw your attention to the "ruby slippers" on the right side of the photo. These are the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road booties, and I think they're just too cute. Trust me, the photo does not do them justice at all. You can probably make at least 2 pair from one skein of Glitterspun. The version on the left side of the photo is a similar pattern, but crocheted instead of knitted (I think I got the pattern from Crochet Pattern Central, but it's not there any more. The pattern says it came from Crochet World magazine). The crocheted cowboy booties turned out cute, but I hated making them, so I doubt I'll do them again. Save yourself a lot of headache and buy 'em here instead.

The angora booties in the second photo (my camera couldn't handle the bright white when photographed along with the other booties) are from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, and use one skein of angora yarn. This was an unusual pattern - the toe is double-knitted. It was an interesting technique to learn, but I don't think I'd care too much for the booties if knitted in a plain yarn - the squared toes remind me of little duck feet. But in the fuzzy (and oh-so-soft) angora, they're very sweet.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Feeding and Frogging

I've set up a site feed, so see sidebar for the link to subscribe... if you dare.

I was not a happy camper last night. I had the second sleeve for my Drops pullover just a few rows from completion. But then I noticed a small problem - I'd totally forgotten to do the increases. CRAP! So I had to frog most of the sleeve. Fortunately I didn't have to re-do the hardest part of the sleeve (the provisional cast-on and hem), and surprisingly, it turned out not to be too difficult to frog the Douceur et Soie. So by the end of the evening, I had the sleeve almost back to where I was when I had to frog it.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Let's Get Waisted

This is Glampyre's Waist Pack, made from Lily Sugar & Cream in sage green, on US10 needles. Using the Sugar & Cream, I used a little more than 2 balls, but my gauge was looser than what the pattern specified, so using smaller needles and getting the right gauge, it might be possible to make it out of just 2 balls. The pattern specifies one ball of Lion Cotton, which is 236 yards. The Sugar & Cream was 95 yards per ball, for a total of 190 yards, so I was short of the recommended yarn - if I'd used the Lion Cotton, I'm sure one ball would have been plenty, even at my looser gauge. This was a fun little project, and I get lots of compliments on it. In fact, a friend asked if she could buy one from me - I told her no, but that I'd make one for her as a gift. So I think this will be my project (or one of them) for the Lonesome Skein KAL. I've got several skeins of Lion Cotton hanging around.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Di-aaaaaaa-naaa

Nothing much new to report today. I'm still working on the Drops pullover and have the body and one sleeve done - still need to do the other sleeve and the yoke.

So... I'll get my blog caught up with another project from earlier this year. This one is "Diana" from Hot Knits by Melissa Leapman. I made it with Interlacements "Cheyenne" merino wool (discontinued). It was an interesting knit, and I liked the twisted rib. What surprised me was how the back goes together. The book has no photos of the back, and although the schematic shows the straps coming from the shoulders, I didn't really "get" how it was going to go togther until I was knitting the straps. I followed the pattern instructions and sewed the bound-off ends of the straps together at the back of the neck - but if I were to make this again, I'd graft it instead. (I made this before I learned how to Kitchener.) DH loves this sweater. He likes how it looks in the back, and he really likes how varigated yarn knits up (he's already thinking about another vest). I, on the other hand, always love how the skeins of varigated yarn look, but tend to be disappointed in how they look when knitted. I like this top, but if I make it again, I'll use a plain yarn to show off the ribbing pattern.