Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Measure twice, knit once.

It turns out that the reason the socks I made for DH are too long (as in, REALLY too long) are that I somehow either mismeasured his foot, or just made up some random measurement and put it into the sockulator. So in fact, I knit it perfectly, and my gauge was spot on, I just screwed up the original number. I'm disappointed. I mean, they're wearable, and if you know my DH, you know he's so not about perfection (thank G-d, being married to me), but still, it's a bummer to have worked so hard on something and have it be WRONG. You can see in the pictures, it's way too long, and a bit too loose. Oh, the details. These were knit on Knit Picks Options, Size 5s with a 40" cable, using the Magic Loop technique. I attempted to learn Lucia's L1A technique, but didn't quite do very well with it. I did better with her L1B. I think this is the Patons Classic Merino Wool, so it's a heavier-weight sock, but DH likes that.

BUT. This does mean that since I FINISHED something, I get to start something new! Baby cardigan? Socks for me? Keep chugging away on the poncho? Maybe I'll just play with my swift and winder tonight and go to bed early.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


One aspect of knitting that I really enjoy is the planning. I love looking up yarns on the web, going to yarn stores and seeing what's out there, looking up patterns, thinking about what I'm going to do next. While I'm certainly no SABLE*, I do have yarn for a variety of projects. I must finish DH's sock. I think I'm going to rip out the scarf I'm doing (more on that later), and then I can start a couple of new projects. I need to do some hats for the NICU, I'm "behind". Not because they expect something from me, but because I want my knitting for them to be a regular and consistent part of my knitting practice, and the last hats I did, I dropped off before Christmas.

So, the's just not singing to me. If the color works with the dress I am planning to wear to a friend's wedding, I may try and do a shawl for that. This may just be another unknittable yarn for me (which would suck, because it was NOT cheap). I don't know, I need to ponder what I'm doing with it. I still have the Magic Waves shawl to do, but I think I won't start that until I finish the poncho. I have some socks to start, and a sweater for a friend's baby. So, lots of fun things to work on! It's a good thing I actually really enjoy the knitting part as well as the planning part!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Knitting Anxiety

I finished the second (of four) diamonds for my poncho. I am feeling anxious about whether I did a couple of things correctly or not. It's hard to even describe what I did, if you're not familiar with modular knitting. But, you're knitting back and forth, moving down the row to the center. The pattern says to knit until you reach the center stitch. Now, first, I can't remember if I moved my marker or not - I know I set it up the way I thought it would be, and the way it was set up (you have the other stitches on a holder), the number of rows worked out. But, I'm worried that I didn't set it up correctly. (I know, this is totally unclear, but it makes sense to me.) So, I just knit it the way the pattern called for - on the last row, you bind off half of the stitches. We'll see in the end if it comes out. And hey, if it's totally wrong, I'll either suck it up and wear it anyway, OR I'll rip it out and (cry) and redo it. Perfectionism be gone! The other thing I was confused on was with the binding off. You bind off to the center stitch, which is an increase. I did the increase, and then bound off the last pre-marker stitch, since it says to bind off all sts to the marker. I don't know, hopefully it's right. It's fine for now, since I'm where I need to be, but it may be kerfuffled at the end, when you're joining two sides together with a three needle bind-off. I am not sure what to do if I have some random different number of stitches.

I don't usually get this anxious about making mistakes, but this is such a big project!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

FOs and a bad yarn store experience

DH was off to London last week for a long weekend (visiting with his sisters), so I took the boys to the ILs. We had a great time, and I got tons of knitting done! I finished one of DHs socks, and got the heel turned on the other, so now I just need to finish the leg of it. Sadly, they're a tad too big. Still wearable, but I'm still figuring out how to size socks. The pattern called for the sock to fit exact to foot length, but I think it really needed to have a small amount of negative ease. Maybe all socks need this? These are in a worsted wool, so they're quite heavy. Pictures to come when I finish the other.

I also decided to jump on the Fetching bandwagon. Overall, I'm fairly happy with how they came out. I didn't actually block them, and perhaps I should have, to stop the top of rolling. These were knit using the Magic Loop technique, with KnitPicks Options size 6 needles and a 40" cord. I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in Red (I think I used 610 or 611). New techniques for me included cabling (not hard at all, it turns out, though like all things, probably difficult to do really really well), and the Picot Bindoff. I bought two skeins of the yarn, but used only one. I was a bit short, which leads to me to the things I am not as pleased with on these. Basically, the thumbs don't match. The left thumb is 4 rows and a sewn cast-off, the right thumb is 3 rows and a regular bind-off. You actually can't really tell that they are different lengths, but the bind-offs do look different. I just wasn't willing to crack open the second skein when I knew that I'd not use the rest of it for anything. I'm also not happy with the regular bind off, as there's a bit of a gap. You can see it on the right palm shot. I did get more of this yarn in purple, and I'll be making myself a pair, and a matching hat. The yarn is delicious! These got sent off to SIL today.

So, this leads to my unpleasant yarn store experience. There's a cute yarn store in the town that ILs live, that has a nice selection. I've not gotten a great vibe (they seem to be of the Snotty Yarn Store persuasion as opposed to the Friendly Yarn Store persuasion, if you know what I mean). I bought the yarn on...Saturday. I finished the gloves on Monday (I think, maybe it was Sunday, they're quick). I went in on Tuesday to exchange the second ball for a color that I like, to make a pair for me. I will admit that I wasn't paying attention and didn't notice the Closed sign. I opened the door and started to go in, and Condescending Lady said "We're closed, we're doing inventory." She sounded beyond annoyed. I said "Oh, I'm sorry, are you open tomorrow?" She said in the snottiest tone imaginable "Yes, at our usual time, 11:00." I left, feeling bizarrely humiliated, and almost in tears. It was very strange. This is a town that makes a living off of tourists, and people are typically really nice.

My first response was "I'm never setting foot in there again." By the next morning, I was able to let it go enough to say "Why should I let her rudeness stick me with a ball of yarn I don't need when I've already paid for it and I can get something I will use?" So I went in, and exchanged it, and left. I will never spend a cent there again though. The other women who work there were pleasant enough (though a bit inept), and I think this woman is the owner. I heard her talking to the other people working and she definitely had that attitude about her, but still. I didn't do anything wrong other than make an honest mistake in thinking the store was open and not noticing the sign. I'm not hypersensitive typically, and I don't look for reasons to feel offended. I was planning to write her a letter, but decided that (a) for spiritual reasons, I need to let it go and (b) she wouldn't give a sh*t anyway. So, I'll express my displeasure with my buying power. There are many independent yarn stores that I can support, not to mention ordering on-line, and I don't need her store, and I really don't need to support a business that treats people badly.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Today's moment brought to you by D'OH!

So remember how I thought I hadn't bought enough yarn for the baby sweater? Iit occurred to me that perhaps I might be a tad off in my calculations. Because, you know, turns out that 100 grams is NOT 1 ounce. 100 grams, is in fact, about 3.53 ounces. The pattern calls for 4 ounces, I have 7.06 (more or less). Yay! That made me simultaneously ridiculously happy and sad for my lack of brain cells.

I finished another baby hat. I think I'll be sending this one off to Hats for Alex. This is in Tahki Cotton Colors, I really like how it came out. The pattern is my own design (well, not really, I mean, it's just a simple roll-brimmed hat with an i-cord knot at the top, I didn't think it up, but I didn't use any particular pattern either). I think I may do a couple of plain hats for "my" NICU, just to get something off to them soon.

I'm still loving doing the hats, but I've also gotten caught up in personal projects. I'm almost half-way done with the poncho. It's so pretty, and a really neat design! I am also longing to get some socks started.

My big excitement is that tomorrow my swift and winder arrive! I had them sent to my parents' house because my DH was there for a weekend, and I figured it would get there during the time he was there. Of course it did not, so it's been there for 3 weeks (something like). Hooray! I have so much yarn to wind at this point, it's silly! I really don't mind winding by hand, actually, though I'm not really all that great at it, but I had some birthday money left and a coupon to Joann, so here it comes! I'm pondering doing some socks on DPKs to try it out. I do love me my Magic Loop technique, but since I didn't hate the DPKs when I did the baby cardigan sleeves, it occurred to me to give it a try. We'll see.

Okay, I'm done for today! Off to do some more poncho.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

No, seriously, I need help.

I bought MORE YARN today!!!
And, silly me, forgot to look at how much I needed (4 ounces) and bought half of that. I did have a project in mind, but I think I'll dedicate this to other things. It's the Fantasy Naturale in a couple of pretty, pastel colorways. Baby hats, baby hats!

Maybe I'll learn to cable.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Darn it.

I had a whole post that I wrote about this hierarchy thing in the world of knitting, and my thoughts about it, and it appears to have vanished. Ah well, probably not that interesting anyway. I do think essentially that people who have a need to feel superior to others have Issues and aren't really that relevant to me. Turns out that I'm a knitter, not a Knitter because (a) there are some projects that I knit with *gasp* the horror, acrylic, and (b) I have zero interest in doing lace. Ever.

But yay, that means I get to do what I want, however I enjoy doing it, without worrying about what people think of me!

Just chugging along on my projects. I got the body of the hat I'm doing almost done during our nursery school meeting last night, and I got some poncho done today. Not much, because then I reminded myself that my son is still barfing, and I can't wash this while it's still on needles.

My gorgeous Tahki Baby Colors scarf (in colorways 27) was a victim of the stomach flu today. I washed it with some dish detergent in the sink, and laid it out on the washer to dry. We'll see how it does. *sigh* We were actually in a yarn store when the incident occurred (I thought he was over it, otherwise I never would have taken him out, I'm not that sucky of a parent!), and thankfully we didn't hit any thing in the store, I bore the brunt of it. Poor boo. Hopefully he'll be better soon.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I need a twelve step program...

...for Yarn Addiction.

I am lusting over a bunch of yarns at the moment, to the point where I'm spending more time on-line looking at them than I am, you know, knitting up what I have so I CAN buy more yarn!!!

Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille in printed colors. I want to make washcloths out of this, I think it would work, and wouldn't it feel luxurious?? I love chenille! You could also do a lovely baby sweater out of this, couldn't you. Baby hats?

Plymouth Yarn Fantasy Naturale. My knitting friend is making this gorgeous baby blanket out of this stuff, and it's SO nice. And she told me about a new yarn store to try out too.

Various sock yarns. What else is new?

Okay, I'm going to do a little knitting on the poncho and then go to bed early, since I was up ALL NIGHT with a barfing baby. Not the most fun I've ever had.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Getting back into it...

Since finishing a few things, I've started a few more. I've got a hat on the needles for the NICU, in a very pretty Tahki Cotton Colors (blues and purples, cute). I started P53 in Supermerino 108, but my skeins are totally different from the picture. It's gorgeous, just a heck of a lot darker than the pictured pattern. I can see that I'm going to need to have smaller projects going too, because this is going to take a long time. It's actually knitting up a bit faster than I though, but it's still a big project - the biggest I've ever undertaken, actually!

I've still got DH's socks languishing on the needles...I don't think I'm inspired to knit two socks at once, so I need to take one of them off the circs. I think I'd like to knit them in parts, serially (feet of each, heels of each, legs of each). That should get me going.

And I am planning my next pair of socks. I think it's going to be Wendy's toe-up Feather and Fan socks, maybe in one of my Lorna's Laces sock wool. I am waiting on some needles and my swift and winder! I had them sent to my mom's house, and they didn't show up before DH left to come back here. My folks are coming down next week to take care of the boys while I have jury duty (on Valentine's Day, fun fun!), so I can wait.

I also need to start Module Two for the CBE program! I got my feedback from Module 1, and it was really positive, which felt really good. I just need to get moving.