Saturday, November 2, 2013

Cooler weather brings wool back into my life...

My life is all about string.
Guitar strings in the summer.
Yarn strings in the winter.
Heart strings!!

My co-worker commissioned a pair of fingerless gloves for his Halloween costume: he went as Bofur the dwarf from the recent Hobbit movie. I used stash yarn: a spare ball of Paton's Classic Wool, and size 5 needles. I used 7's at first, because my gauge swatch LIED.... those came out huge, especially after blocking. The pattern I used can be found here

In return he made a lovely dream catcher for me, with a real coyote tooth, an arrowhead and white horse hair from one of his neighbor's horses.

My son really got a kick out of the dream catcher, and I had to put it up HIGH so he'd quit pulling the horse tail!!
What else have I been working on?
A plain garter stitch scarf for my boyfriend's daughter. It's striped and reminds me of a neopolotin ice cream, even though it's like blue and brown. Also a hat for her, but it came out less slouchy than I'd planned so I'm going to work from the top down now and do some short rows... I have no idea how that one's going to work out.
My mom has a sweater in my closet that I'm hoping I can find my pattern notes for soon, since it's supposed to be her Christmas present.

Oh and I've been trying to draw, but I'm learning just how much I don't know about it!! I did this one of my best friend and I.

She's all "OMG I want to keep it forever! I'll call it babyface and retard!" I'm all, THANKS DUDE! LOVE YOU TOO!!! But I Will give it to her, and she will totally frame it bahahahaha

So ...
My life goes on!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How have I been?


... loving...

... living...

...absorbing the atmosphere.

I am happier than I have ever been.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Checking in...

Hi! No knitting related news today, but I wanted to share the reason I've been absent on the blogosphere- I got a new apartment! You can imagine I've been very busy, and I barely got the internet turned on today. For the first time in a long time my life is going WONDERFULLY! It's like the fairy of coincidental happiness came for a visit.

I haven't been knitting much at all, but hopefully I have something to share very soon.

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Six Single Socks.

The cardboard box is FULL of sock yarn. The floral print back (insulated!) is full of Patons Classic Wool. The plastic box furthest to the left contains only Lion Brand Wool Ease. The big tupperware box up front holds worsted weight wools. The box on top of the cardboard box has ugly acrylics that I don't want but won't give up, the box in the very back contains worsted weight wool scraps and partial balls. The hat box has lace weight. The plastic bag is full of things I'm willing to part with. Oh... and I have three more garbage bags full of acrylic in another room but I can't bring myself to go through them!
One Large Stash

Seven Abandoned WIPS

I devoted some time to cleaning my room and you guys!!! I am SUCH a lazy knitter! I never finish anything, and I cast on new things like a madman! I found SO many projects- GOOD PROJECTS- that I had completely forgotten about. The needles above were only pulled from the projects that had no hope to begin with. I still have about 10-14 projects that have potential, AND about 6 or 7 garments that can be frogged for the yarn.
How DARE I buy yarn!?
I am flooded with knitting stuff! It's completely insane! If I only had more days off I could work away the guilt!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

FO: Drop Shoulder Sweater

So Knitting Pattern Essentials has its flaws. 1) The author prefers flat knitting and seaming. 2) It is very much directed toward designing garments for adult women. 3) There is SO MUCH repetition (like copy/paste repetition not re-wording the same thing a different way) that it was annoying to read.

BUT! In spite of that, I thought I would try to unleash my creativity (the reviews were right about one thing, Sally's writing style is very motivating!) and knit my son a sweater (knit flat!) straight out of my head.

So I did.
And um.

The seams are so bulky!
Then I tried to do a chevron type thing at the top to make it look like waves?
That didn't really work.

The NECK! Oh my god lopsided!

I wasn't sure it would fit over Vyvyan's head but it fits over mine so I guess we're good there. I'll never know because I'm not the kind of mother who is going to make my son wear hideous knit goods just because I made them. WELL OK maybe once. When it isn't 92 degrees. And just for a picture. And I'll compensate him for his time with some kind of food item.

The only thing I actually like about this sweater is the detail at the bottom.

I really liked the combination of these three incredibly common stitch patterns!
But other than that, this project was a learning experience. Which is a polite way of saying it was a flop!!

But this blog is for sharing not only my successes but also my failures! If I had knit it in the round I would re-purpose the yarn. But no it's got all those seams that I am SO not undoing. I should really face it: Flat knitting is not for me.

But you know what? If this sweater had been knit in wool, I seriously believe the funky neckline could be blocked into submission. Why do I even BUY acrylic when I know I hate knitting with it! I really don't know, but I do know that I just bought like 7 balls of Wool Ease with which to knit my mom a sweater. Hmmm.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Drop Shoulder Sweater

Yarn: Wool Ease Chunky
Needles: US 11 (8mm)
Gauge: 11 stitches/ 4" in Stockinette
I've been working on a small sweater design for Vyvyan. It's very plain but will be nice and over-sized and washable and will be the perfect size come winter.
This sweater has also served as a swatch for Splash of Blue, also. I'll be working on that one next, I hope, in a dark brown.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Lazy Sunday

I'm so grateful to have the day off! I wandered to the bookstore today and came back with loads of goodies.
My new bookmark is better than yours :-p
I bought the new Knitscene Accessories: I most look forward to the Morgantown Hat, but the Rosita Hat is also adorable. And though I'm not much of a shawl knitter, the Avesta Shawl does look beautiful in the shade chosen.

I also couldn't pass up the new Vogue Knitting, although I don't think to this day I've ever actually knitted anything from Vogue. I do ALWAYS read them cover to cover, though. But this particular pattern stole my heart: The #24 Fox Pullover SO CUTE! Even if I don't knit the sweater, I think I will be using that adorable fox chart for something or another! This V-Neck top is also alluring and there is a dress in there that (which I will never ever hand-knit) is simply inspiring.

I picked up some new blank moleskin journals- I think the 5.5"x8" is the absolute perfect size to fit in my purse. And they are so slim and lightweight. I'm a journal freak. Truly. From where I'm sitting I can see at least 30 journals in my bookshelf!

Tarzan of the Apes jumped off a shelf at me, and at the register I picked up an impulse buy of a Tardis bookmark. Very cool!

Finally, I shelled out a good $25 for Sally Melville's Knitting Pattern Essentials. The subtitle reads: Adapting and Drafting Knitting Patterns for Great Knitwear. Oh boy- this book is chalk full of goodies. It's one of those books that you flip through and it almost makes you nauseous by how much it is going to make you think- but I like that! I don't know HOW many books I have on knitwear design, but I do know that I've read all of them cover-to-cover (With the exception of June Hiatt's Principles of Knitting because omg it's too heavy to read comfortably) and each of them has dished out it's own wealth of knowledge. You probably all know that I'm a sweater knitter at heart and I absolutely adore learning everything I can about the process behind a sweater. So I'll be reading this book over time and hopefully will find time to give you a good review of it sometime soon.

So that's what I've been doing this lazy Sunday!

In non-knitting news, my fish (Mr. Fishy) is sick. He didn't want to eat, which is very incredibly suspicious. In addition to this, he was hanging out at the bottom of the tank with his beautiful lustrous tail fin down. In fact, I thought he was dead and may have poked him to be sure. I'm grateful he isn't, but I'm worried about him. I checked all the tank levels and they seem to be mostly OK. The PH is a little low so I'm balancing that out, but I'm very concerned about him.
My son and his dad went out to the museum where they seem to be having a gay ol' time, but I elected to stay home and watch the fish. I don't know if that makes me seem weird, but every once in a while I wander over and watch his little mouth go...
I do hope he pulls through.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Baby hat

So after I gave my co-workers the sock (and she gave me a hug, expressing all the delightful things one hopes a recipient will do) I found myself with hands itching for something else to knit. The small cardigan I'm designing wouldn't do- I do hate 100% acrylic so much, and after working with the delightful Cascade Heritage I guess my hands had gotten spoiled. In fact, all I wanted to knit with was the leftovers from the sock!
But how much yarn was there?
Out of the blue I suddenly remembered this handy little gadget I had bought at work: A yardage counter!
It worked just like it's supposed to. My only complaints so far are: the stupid suction cups don't stick well enough so I had to hold it down to the table, and it makes a horrible screechy sound as the yarn runs though it. Also, if you're running the yarn through your ballwinder it makes your ball too tight. But that's probably only because I was busy trying to hold it down and wasn't able to tension the yarn.

So with 136 yards and a quick ravelry search (hee hee I said quick ravelry search) I had a pattern in hand and a plan to make my niece's expected baby a cute little hat! Remember how newborns are so small and cute! Yeah. This baby is going to be born in January, and unlike the last batch of babies (where about 5 of my relatives were having babies all at once) s/he is the only one of his/her time so s/he is going to be knit spoiled!

God I hope that sentence even made sense.

Oh well.
Long story short. I'm making a hat.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

FO: Garter Rib Socks

Pattern: 3x1 Garter Rib Socks (from Teach Yourself Visually: Sock Knitting)
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Silk Paints (yum!)
Needle: US 1 (2.25 mm)

What an easy yet satisfying pattern! I cast these puppies on the night of July 4th while the rest of the country watched fireworks. I knit while I watched movies, I knit on my lunches and breaks and I knit
on the long car ride to and from the Monteray Bay Aquarium today. As I watched hammerheads and yellowfin tuna swimming peacefully in their tank, I worked on and on in greens and blues. So many happy memories are knit into these socks!
And they fit wonderfully.

Alas, they are not destined to be mine.... Tomorrow morning I plan on gifting them to a beloved co-worker who deserves hand knit socks!!
Happy knitting, and have fun linking up with finished objects with Tamis Amis for FO Friday tomorrow! I might link this post in, but I work tomorrow so I might forget. I hope I don't because I love seeing everyone's completed projects!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Cardigan Attempt 1

So I've got a sort of idea of what I'm planning on doing with the 100% acrylic I got at work. Searching through Ravelry showed me that there aren't a ton of toddler sized sweaters in bulky yarn, probably for a reason. Maybe it makes them look like oompa loompas, I don't know.

But I've done my swatch, cast on 75 and knit a few rows of garter stitch. To battle garter stitch's propensity toward flaring, I then increased by 10 percent and brought the stitch count up to 82.

I'm knitting the body of the cardi back and forth and will connect sleeves and body for raglan deceases later. Or maybe yoke decreases. Not sure yet- that's the beauty of knitting form the bottom up!
I know I want to add pockets, and may also want to add a hood.
Then again if I don't knit a hood I could work a hat up to go with it.
Then again oompa loompas lose hats.

Then again hats have pom poms and pom poms are hella cute.
Then again I could put a pom pom on the hood if I wanted to.
Then again I hate making pom poms.

So as you can see there's still a lot to think about!
But this yarn works up fast, so I should be knitting the sleeves in no time.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sock Number Two Says...

"When I grow up I wanna be just like my big brother!"
Lots of progress is made when you're in love with you r yarn!
I've decided these are definitely going to my lovable co-worker. And I might have to get me some more of this yarn! Love it!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

My foot is a dangerous porcupine

Last night I knitted through Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and then 2 episodes of Futurama.
More sock than I had yesterday!
In other news I rummaged through 6 repack boxes and found a mere 5 balls of clearance yarn that I could possibly entertain knitting up. There was a lot of Patons Sock yarn, but in awful colorways. What I did end up with is some Lion Brand Tweed Stripes in colorway Orchid. This is a yarn I've been wanting to try, but I've been reluctant to pay the $6 per skein for a yarn essentially made of plastic. But the color is nice and I thought my little niece might enjoy having a cute hat and sweater set this Christmas.
I'm not sure whether I want to start swatching the new yarn or keep working on my sock... I did want to have one whole sock done by tonight!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Sock in Progress

It's a long way down from heel to toe!
Still, I should have a sock by the end of tomorrow.
I'm thinking about knitting another pair in a darker color (maybe a semi-solid brown or dark grey) for a friend of mine. Tomorrow seems like a good day to go to the yarn shop!

Also, the craft store I work at is deleting & clearing out a ton of yarn soon and I get first dibs if I want to. Which, you know... 100% acrylics... fun furs... etc. But on the off chance there's anything good I might have to snatch it up. The only down side is going to work on my day off! And, of course, there's a scary chance I might end up with a cart full of crap I don't really want.

I'm weighing the possibilities- a skein or two of goooood yarn or a cart full of acrylic blends that I could use to knit sweaters for my relatives who don't hand-wash. Both are valid ideas and there could be time for both!

Mini Update

Hello Knittens

I had a very mediocre 4th of July- right up until the part where I realized that fake smiling my way through hours of explosions, drunk people, and loud music just isn't my style. So I went indoors, turned on a movie (The Hobbit) and wound a ball of sock yarn.

Yarn: Cascade Heritige Silk Paints
Needles: US 1
Pattern: 3x1 Garter Rib Socks
I'm not sure what exactly I'm going to do with this pair of socks. They're a mermaid-y blue green color, so definitely my style. I might just have to keep them, although I've recently become aware of just how little I wear my own hand-knit socks. My mom, on the other hand, LOVES my hand-knit socks so they might end up going to her. On the other hand I have a co-worker that wears hand-knit socks from her daughter and she totally makes me yummy baked goods. Since I'm a knitter, not a baker, these could be a good gift for her.

Either way, they're great for knitting at home watching TV but probably not for going to the movies.... Luckily I'm still working on my cardigan. Which is still looking too small. Why don't I listen to my intuition? I'm going tp knit 5.5" k2 p2 ribbing and then do the small 1x1 ribbed belt and then work about 2 inches of the stockinette/cable portion before I finally fess up to myself that, yeah, it's too small.

Just watch.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Every time!

How come I knit a swatch, got perfect gauge, cast on 172 stitches, and my perfect gauge was all gone?
Same needles
same yarn
same hands
same brains

But it's like a kajillion sizes smaller than it needs to be.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Couple things

1) I bought the pattern Bloody Mary by Thea Colman (same talented designer who made Vodka Lemonade and Dark and Stormy)
2) I then immediately recieved my newest guitar in the mail and did not cast on at all
3) I have been playing with guitar strings instead of wool strings

Seriously you guys.
My guitar hooks up to my laptop.
Straight in there.
Loving it!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

FO: Long Leaves Beanie

Back in November I bought Weekend Hats, by Cecily Glowik Macdonald and Melissa Labarre. I actually made a list of the hats I most wanted to make out of the book and I've finally made number 4 in that list. (In fact, of those 5 the only one I haven't yet knitted is the Glashutte Hat.)
Long Leaves Beanie
I knitted this hat up while on the long drive to the ocean with my family for Fathers' day. And on the long way home! I mostly followed the pattern, except that I used a larger needle and compensated by casting on one repeat fewer. Then, of course instead of working the chart twice I had to stop short at one and a half, which then affected the decreases. But it all worked out in the end, and it fits very nicely!

I'm not sure whether I want to give this one up! Usually my knits end up as gifts but part of me really wants to hold on to this one. Especially since it's a memory of a nice beach trip!

And now for the worst picture ever, in which I try desperately to show you the decreases at the top of the hat.
Yeah my house is like 90 degrees and it took a lot of effort for me to actually put on this hat, let alone model it while trying to take a decent picture. (Note: teach Vyvyan to take good photographs that way I don't have to humiliate myself in this way.)

Now to go and play guitar and enjoy the rest of my day off!
I hope you all had a good Fathers day weekend!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Prescription Hat

Is it possible to knit bad energy into things?
I have been so... overwhelmingly full of negativity lately and so s a prescription for my lingering depression, I thought a feel-good movie and chunky knitting just might do the trick. So I just sat down and knit a freaking hat.

It's a pretty freaking hat.
But I'm afraid that I might have knit bad vibes into it, and so I don't think I'm ever going to wear it. Like, if I gave it away the bad vibes wouldn't matter because they're my bad vibes. Like maybe vibes are brain-specific and you can't catch mine from the hat I made? Doesn't make sense, I know, but that's how I feel.
In other news it is 1:30 in the morning and that mockingbird just doesn't quit.
I haven't been working on anything else- perhaps that is why my happiness has been missing.
Chunky knits are such a good thing for the soul. <3

Free pattern is Ardelle and I used some discontinued bulky wool I stashed away long ago. I truly think this hat is gorgeous, but I don't know if I want to add a pom pom. Probably not. I hate making pom poms and if I resist the pom pom urge I might be able to get another hat out of the yarn I have left...
And I kinda sorta want to make another one because
a) I didn't graft it shut I just seamed it which looks a lot less good
b) I think the extra slouch in the back isn't really my style
c) Almost-instant gratification is pretty cool

I can think of someone I want to gift this to for Christmas but I actually haven't spoken to her in years. Maybe it's time to find her on the book of face?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Technically wearable

I mean
Eco wool grows, but not this much.

Always optimistic, I added 4 buttonholes instead of 1, and even went down a needle size, telling myself that I knit loosely and eco wool grows. It's a bit small.
Not incredibly, and it WILL grow.
But there's no way 4 buttons is happening.

The only thing I'm disappointed by so far is that the neckline starts a little high. I should have done as others have and cast on 77 instead.

Doesn't it look wee?
I can walk away from 1 night's work, though. I've set it to block and I'll give it some thought in the morning.
Maybe I"ll frog it and try again.
I wouldn't feel too bad, even though every single one of those purl through the back loops made me feel icky.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

...And Cast On!

This whole week has been in the 90's, and I've been waiting for a day off so I can sit in the sun in my new shorts. Day off comes? Raining.
The answer is to knit. With bulky wool.
In the queue forever, it's finally time.
Cascade Ecological Wool

And before you ask, no I didn't finish a single freaking thing before I carelessly decided to cast on another sweater.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

More paint

For mother's day, I got to sit out in the sun with my boyfriend and our little fat kid, painting to our hearts delight.

(I think you can probably tell who painted what.)

Happy mother's day to all the mommies out there!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sometimes I paint stuff.

Pocket tells all...
Once upon a time I had a rat named Pocket.
She used to lick my hands and sit on my shoulder.
The last movie we watched together was Gran Torino.
Oh, Pocket Mouse.

**~~** ghost pocket **~~**

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Small progress...

Hi. I thought I'd pop in and let you all know that I'm still around and still knitting, though it may not look like it from my recent posts. After all this time and about 10 swatches, I finally have 2 swatches that I consider acceptable to send in for my Basics Basics Basics course. But in between rigorous perfect tension and even increases, I've been working on a few other things.
My ewe has gained a head:
(Patons Classic Wool)
Well, sort of. It's held on by a dpn for now until I find the time to properly pin it down and sew it.

I've cast on and finished an Eiku shawl, but even post-blocking it's too small to even be considered a shawlette.
Lang Yarns Jawoll Magic
Perhaps it's a bandana?
My current big sitting-on-the-couch project is an afghan that's already getting big enough to cuddle up with. (Crochet, of course- I'm too lazy to knit an afghan.) Made with 100% acrylic Bernat, this blue machine-wash beauty is going to my niece and her family come Christmas.

I bought the yarn and started it a few months ago. Then when I picked it up again I realized that the shade of teal I'm using TOTALLY matches my nails. Um... and my sunglasses. And my new shoes. Come to think of it my Eiku had a teal vibe going on too... Suddenly this color is EVERYWHERE!

So there is one other project but I don't have any pictures of it yet. On Sunday my boyfriend and I went out to go see Iron Man 3, but it was sold out and the lines were hecka long, and I don't like seeing movies when the seats are all full and everyone's chomping and slurping and guffawing so we ended up going to Barnes and Noble instead. I found Susan B. Anderson's newest book, Topsy Turvy Inside Out Knits and just HAD to knit the Egg to Alligator for my son. What a fun concept!
In case you haven't heard of this book yet, here's an adorable video showing just what an inside out knit looks like:

Anyways I brought the book home and realized with shock and awe, that I actually don't have any green yarn in my stash.
Not a one!
And that's pretty impressive. I did consider dyeing some white wool green, but I'm sort of using that white yarn for my Basics course, so I put the project off and picked up some Hobby Lobby I Love this Cotton while at work yesterday (on sale plus employee discount!) and started the egg. Let me just say, What a quick project! I knit on it while watching my son's favorite movie (Land Before Time 9- seriously. 9) yesterday and finished the egg and most of the alligator. Then tonight I finished off the nose of the alligator, sewed the egg and alligator together and attached the ruffle. Then I made the mistake of showing it to my son and, well... I can't get it away from him. Not to put the face and feet on, not to take a picture of it, not even to play with it. He keeps flipping it from egg to alligator and back again, singing, "Eggy eggy eggy, OUT!"
I'll post a picture when I can.

So while I'm on the subject, let me talk a little bit about the yarn. First of all, it is very soft. Nothing like the dishcloth cottons you might expect from a big box store. For a little toy it is perfectly snuggly- since it's cotton the decreases and increases are a little more visible, but I think it's worth it to have a nice soft toy a kid can really rub against their face and snuggle. Actually, I hate knitting toys. And actually I hate knitting cotton. But this yarn makes me want to knit cotton toys. Also I hate Hobby Lobby. Yet I would totally go to Hobby Lobby and buy this cotton yarn to make more toys with it. 0_o

I've got quite a bit of yarn left over, and I'm trying to decide what to make with it. Part of me really really really really wants to make a baby sweater. Except that I don't know anybody who is having a baby anytime soon. But come on, cute little stripey green/white cardigan? Snuggly soft baby cardi? Awwwwww! And people are BOUND to have babies, right? This way I'll be prepared! Ughhghg Talk me out of it guys....

Ok longest blog post ever. I'll see if I can't get a picture of that alligator tomorrow night.
Happy knitting!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Basics course progress...

My 5 swatches for the basics course are technically done. Well, tentatively technically done. I still need to block them and weave in the ends.
I'm terrified that once I block them my row gauge is going to change and I'll have to go back and re-do them for length. USUALLY (and even with wool) my row gauge doesn't change after blocking, so hopefully this rings true.
I spent this morning researching the best way to weave in ends, and found a great tutorial video from Very Pink Knits. She actually has one for quite a few different stitch patterns, and I imagine she is going to be a wonderful resource throughout this program.

Tonight I plan on looking critically at my finished swatches (I know at least one of them has the dreaded loose last cast off stitch!) and blocking them before, potentially if not probably, having a re-do for some of them.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Basics Basics Basics

I bought 3 skeins of Cascade 220 at the yarn tasting yesterday so I could start my swatches for the Basics Basics Basics class. This morning before work I wound my wool and read the entire packet. So far, I'm already glad I bought this course. I mean, yes technically I know how to do the increases and decreases taught in the first lesson of this course but in practice I don't use them.

The only increase I ever use are the bar increase (fondly called kfb in my book) when I want to be able to see where I last increased and the m1 that EZ employed, where you just loop some extra yarn in the spot you need another stitch. Then of course yarnovers, which don't really count because I only use them decoratively. Do I use the lifted increase? Do I mirror my increases? No. But I do mirror my decreases, which is kind of strange now that I think of it.

So actually having to take the time to work these different types of shaping and answer questions about them and practice them is definitely going to help open my eyes to different possibilities and, perhaps encourage me to use them more.

I already know that I have loose purls, and I'm going to try to combat this in the swatches by using a needle 2 sizes smaller in my right hand for the swatches calling for stockinette. I also want to knit these swatches when I actually have time to focus on them. Which is not right now. My son is currently pretending to be Littlefoot and trying to get me to buy a quarter from him. (?)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Yarn Tasting

My LYS held a Cascade Yarn Tasting event today, and I'm so glad I got to make it!
I tried:
Venezia Worsted
Venezia Sport
Ultra Pima
Eco Duo
Highland Duo
Eco Alpaca
220 Superwash Sport
Pima Silk
Luna Paints
(My favorite was Venezia Sport)

What a good time! I tried out the Knitter's Pride needles, too, but wasn't incredibly impressed.
Then I got lost on the way home.
Just like I got lost on the way there.
I wish I could plug the GPS into my brains sometimes.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Headless Bodies

Ok Ok OK OK!
I admit it!
I never finished knitting the lamb I started for Easter.
I knitted up until the moment guests arrived.
The pieces are all done. I just have to sew them together.
But what's the point, now that Easter's over?

I'm eventually going to finish it up and give it to one of my many many nieces for Christmas.
Honestly I don't even think I mentioned it before on the blog. But I think part of my extended absence was my fear that regular readers were going to notice that I never actually seem to finish anything.

In other news, I'm NOT finishing anything tomorrow. I'm digging though the stash to find some good travel yarn for a shawl.

It's a sickness.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

More Lace, a new project, and some good news

Yesterday I continued my ventures in lace, and worked up the fourth swatch while watching my son and his little cousins play in the sandbox. It is VERY IMPORTANT for me to mention that I was reading Sherlock Holmes while doing so, even though the author claims that "This is the most challenging pattern in the book."

Swatch 4: Leaves and Ladders Square
This square was not exceedingly fun to knit. Especially since you had to pay attention on the purl rows, too, so I had to break from reading for the middle 20 or so stitches every right side row and every other wrong side row.
But it did come out very pretty.

So this morning I cruised back to my blog, remembering the good ol' days when I used to post more frequently, and I read my comments (I love comments) and realized that swatching is my FAVORITE way to learn things.
So why, exactly, have I not signed up for the Knitting Guild Associations Basics Basics Basics course yet? I became a member of the knitting guild at Stitches West this February, and fully intended to sign up once I got my next paycheck. But continually I put it off and finally, this morning, I did it. After the Basics Basics Basics course, I plan on moving forward and taking the Master Knitter classes until I get my pin. In my dream world, I finish this before I'm 30. So I've got a good 5 years to finish 4 knitting courses. :)

In knitting news, I have cast on a new project.
The lace theme continues.
February Lady Sweater.
It's important to mention that I'm knitting a size that won't fit me, I am not attracted to the shape or fit of the garment at all, and I don't even like the color on my skintone.
Definitely a process knitter.
I swear I should knit sample sweaters for the LYS for money.
Happy knitting!

Saturday, April 13, 2013


So I bought the workbook Fearless Knitting a while back. I got it dirt cheap, used on Amazon, and was looking forward to knitting my way through it. Of course, it started with the knits and purls chapter and the very first swatch was a very boring ribbing sampler. Well I hate ribbing and I already know how to tell my knits and purls apart from eachother and so I put the book away and decided to trash the whole idea.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I didn't buy the book to learn to do knit and purl patterns. I didn't buy it to learn how to knit cables, or work increases and decreases. I bought it for the chapter on lace, so darn it I was going to skip the first few sections and start working on those lace swatches!

Swatch 1:Checkerboard Eyelet Square

This square was quite easy; I thought it went on too long, actually. I got the hang of the pattern repeats immediately (there were only 2 tier patterns, which were basically the same thing but offset from each other.) but it was good experience for reading both the chart, and the knitting itself. I rarely use charts, and it was refreshing to see how easy it was to read. If I ever got lost I could just count the holes and figure out where I was.

Swatch 2: Horizontal Sampler Square
This swatch was the toughest one of the three for me. The bottom third is uses a combination of SSKs and YOs to create a bias to the left, the middle uses a balanced fagotting technique, and the top uses K2togs and YOs to create a right slant. For some reason the bottom was easier for me to do than the top. The middle was very simple because it was just a 2 row repeat. I think what happened with the top was that I kept losing stitches. I frogged it twice actually, before I started really paying attention to find out what my problem was. Now that I look back on the first pattern, which was remarkably similar, and compare it with the third I see what went wrong. The first chart always had you end on a decrease. So you would do your last decrease and then either knit 1 and do your border or just do your border. So I was trying to do the same thing with the top chart. Unfortunately, the top chart asks that you end on a YO instead of on a decrease. So my brain would repeat like this, "yo, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k2tog" regardless of where I started I wanted to end on a k2tog. Then I'd get to the end of the row, do my k2tog and then knit 1 or do my border. When I SHOULD have added one last YO. So then I kept on knitting on fewer and fewer stitches until I finally looked down and was like WHAT? A triangle?
So that was a good learning experience, and once I realized that was my issue I knitted it with no further problems.

Swatch 3: Tessellated Leaf Lace Square
This is my favorite square both to look at and to knit. Because the shapes are so obvious and the brain can see a leaf, your yo's and decreases are almost instinctive. Mistakes are glaring and fixing them is just a matter of envisioning a leaf. Also, though I used the same brand of yarn and size needles for all 3 squares, this one is much drapier and softer than the others.

I used Patons Classic Wool scraps for each of these squares, and size US 6 needles.

On the whole, I think this books is a nice addition to my collection. It is a little exhausting in it's explaining of each and every step, and like I said some of the earlier swatches are really better suited to beginners, but I do like it and I might work backwards towards doing some of the cable swatches as well.

Ya'll know how much I like swatching.

Anyways, happy knitting! I hope all my readers aren't missing me too much- I've been quite busy and my only camera is on my new (less technical) phone so I have been hesitating to post.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Things I learned...

1) I still hate Red Heart
2) I still hate intarsia
3) When part of me wants to follow the pattern and another part of me has a "better idea," I should seriously LISTEN TO MYSELF
4) I can't count, apparently. Or more importantly, when it becomes obvious that I mis-counted, I should probably go back and fix it.
5) Thinking, "Well it's going to be perfect once I steam block it," does nothing when you're working in acrylic.

So yeah. Wasted a bit of time today.

But I'm not ready to let this Christmas stocking beat me. I am going to have a re-do (I'm not even saving the yarn; this puppy went straight to the bin.) in Paton's Classic. I'm not going to do the stupid increases the pattern told me to do, which contradicted the chart. I'm not going to start the letters right after the ribbing, in spite of the pattern's direction, and by God I'm going to count!
And then?
I'm going to steam block the hell out of it and it is going to be so much better than this.

And I'm also going to have to go down a few needle sizes.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Oh did I forget to mention the yarn in my closet?

10 skeins of Malabrigo Twist (colorway Sealing Wax) have been calling out to be turned into the Revere House Cardigan. I'm finishing up a simple self-designed (by that I mean I'm just knitting and then holding it up to my body) vest and it is next in line!