Thursday, March 29, 2007

Down to one!

Project left on needles, that is. I had a whole post written but then my computer urped and it's gone. So, to try and recreate. Not that it's that interesting or anything.

I pulled out the Berrocco Boho scarf that I was doing in Raspberries, Strawberries, and I was not happy with it. The nature of the yarn means that the width of the fabric varies (at least when doing a small-width project) and I just didn't like it. I'm not sure how many times I can frog this yarn and have it recover, we'll see. So, I just cannot figure out what to do with this yarn! I've got the Sangria and Torero to make the Magic Waves shawl, which I just got really excited to do next once the poncho is done, but what the heck am I going to do with 4 balls of the Raspberries, Strawberries? It's so pretty, but not actually a color I wear all that much (nor will the shawl be, but whatever, it's gorgeous), so I don't know. I don't actually wear shawls at all, really. Maybe I'll make a shawl for a friend? I don't know. I was thinking of doing this pattern with it, would it work, do you think? I know it's a totally different yarn from Homespun, but still, it might work.

So, that leaves me with the Artyarns Poncho. I'm on the last diamond, I've done 9 of the 16 repeats, so the end is almost in sight. I am not sure if I'm going to have to block it or not. It's sort of a lacy pattern, but I don't know.

Ahh, indecisiveness is clearly plaguing me today. I have so many projects lined up, what to do next? I think I'll do some socks, NICU hats, and DS2's red sweater (though he informed me that he wanted EEM green not red). I think I need a mix of big and small projects on the needles, so I am getting some things done.

Hey, I also thought I could do another baby blanket in non-baby colors in Lion Suede, what do you think? It'd be really pretty in the diagonal eyelet-edged pattern, and I know the yarn washes and dries well!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Slogging Through

Holy cow, it's been 10 days since I've updated!

I feel like with every single thing that I do, I hit a point where I just get bored and *enh* about it, if you know what I mean. The exception in knitting MIGHT be some of the dishcloths I've done. I morph from casting on with joyous excitement to frustration (usually) to blah and bored, to DONE and thrilled. This holds true not just for knitting, but certainly for the other crafts I do and have done (cross stitch being the big one), and other things, like, say, my dissertation for my Ph.D. Oh yeah. It was actually finishing my Ph.D. that changed my self-image on a deep level. I'd always thought of myself as someone who didn't FINISH things. Who gave up, got distracted, bailed out. This, of course, wasn't true in the least, but it *felt* true. Then, when I finished my doctorate, I felt like I had something tangible to hold on to (or really, to hang on the wall), to prove to myself that I could do things over the long haul.

That being said, I'm not sure I'm cut out for BIG knitting projects. I'm so bored with this poncho, I just want it finished! I'm not sure I could stick out a sweater for me, at least, not one knit on small needles! I love the thrill of actually completing something, of getting it done. I can't wait to finish the last two projects I've got in flight, so I can move on to something more exciting.

I just read something someone wrote (wish I could remember who) about knitters: that there are those who stash and those who do projects. I'm sort of a hybrid, I have a small but decent yarn stash, all of which was purchased for specific projects.

I also used to be a monogamous knitter - I'd do one project, and work on one and only one until death did us part I actually finished it before I'd cast-on something new. That has clearly changed. I have multiple projects going on most of the time, and sometimes I even work on more than one project in the same evening! I'm not so much promiscuous though, as polyamorous, for I do truly love each project I'm working on.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Off the ledge

For the moment, anyone. I did some more work on the poncho, and f-cked it up majorly. DH convinced me not to rip out the whole thing and start over, yesterday I pulled out my error (including a 1/2 row bind off), and futzed a bit to get to where I can start the 4th diamond. Then I put it aside. Given how sick I've been, I've been working on a simple simple project that requires no brain power other than measuring! (Wise advice from a friend on the previous post!)

I've decided I need to finish a whole bunch of stuff before starting any new projects. I really want to take some time and turn the toes of my socks, so I can plug away on the feet. I'm planning to do Wendy's Feather and Fan socks in a Lorna's Lace, and I'm wondering how hard it would be to do the lace pattern on the foot of the sock as well. I need time to sit down with the pattern and figure it out. Since I like to wear my hand-knit socks with my Keen Maryjane's, having the pattern on the foot would be good. I need more braincells than I have currently as well.

So, at this point on needles, I've got:
  1. The poncho
  2. A gift for someone who might be reading this blog so I can't talk about it
  3. Another gift for someone else who might be reading this blog so I can't talk about that either
  4. One of the socks is cast-on (just the provisional cast on)
  5. A scarf for my sister
Lots to do!!

Friday, March 16, 2007

More poncho anxiety

Okay, I need someone to talk me down off this (very low) ledge of knitting anxiety.
I am making the Artyarns Poncho P53. And I'm feeling like the sizing is just going to be way, way off. I've put so much energy into this already, and I'm really worried that I'm going to finish it and hate it, or worse, be unable to wear it! So, the bummers so far:

1. The actual yarn (Supermerino 108) is an entirely different color scheme than their picture of it (the picture on the pattern is worked in the same yarn as I am using). It's much, much darker. Pretty, but not at all what I was expecting (and those who know me, know I don't do well with unexpected differences).

2. The pattern isn't going perfectly. You make an initial diamond, and you can size it however you want it - I took their suggestion to make sure it covered my back. Then you work 3 diamonds off of it (4 sections total). I have worked 2 of the 3, and I am convinced that it's going to be HUGE. I am worried that the neckline is going to end up so big that there's no way it'll stay on my shoulders.

3. My diamond #2 and #3 and different sizes and I have no idea how it happened. I have an entire extra pattern set (6 rows, one of which is dropped YOs, so big) in diamond #3. So it's an inch or so taller. How big a deal is this? I don't know how to fix it (other than frog the whole thing and start over).

I am feeling really bummed and discouraged, and I'm not trusting that it's going to work out. If it's really too big, the only option is to pull the whole thing out and do it over, and I think I might cry. I love the pattern, but I'm having a hard time seeing how it's going to work.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

No clever titles today.

I don't have the brain cells.

I've been doing some dishcloths lately. I did a small corner-to-corner one just to finish off some yarn, I did a Log Cabin dishcloth that is really pretty! Pictures to come when I'm no longer sick and have some energy. The first time I tried the pattern, I over-thought it and did it completely wrong. There are some knitting pattern conventions that I still haven't learned. I never know when the instruction says "do 11 rows and bind off" if that means, do your 11 rows, then do another knit and bind off row, or if it means bind off on the 11th row. Or maybe something else entirely.

I started another project but I am bummed because it's quite clear that the yarn amount recommendation was just wrong, and I have nowhere near enough. The bummer is that not only will I have to reorder, and pay a second round of S&H, if I had ordered enough in the first place, I would have qualified for free shipping!! Oh well. I've had good experiences with Yarnmarket, so I'll email or call them and see if there's anything they can do to help me out.

The other big thing I've been doing is crocheting! I picked up my book and actually sat down and focused on it. The basic stitches are not hard, though I'm having a bit of trouble with consistency. I'd like to make a baby blanket, but I can't decide if I should do a pattern or just do a basic stitch.

Every thing else is on hold because it takes too much concentrating and my brain is fried. We're all sick and have been for coming up on a week.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

This isn't a good thing to know.

That Yarnmarket has my credit card on file, so I don't even need to have it handy to order!! Uh oh!!

I ended up returning the Berrocco Plush (and being berated by the sales woman for daring to make a credit card return), and I just ordered a bunch of cotton chenille from Yarnmarket. Yay! I made a washcloth out of the sample ball I bought, and it's lovely! It also claims to be handwash, but I put it through the washer and dryer, and it looks great, didn't shrink at all, held it's shape, etc. It's so nice to work with! I'm not sure why some folks are so down on cotton chenille!!

I finished a hat that will be a NICU hat since it's too small for a full-term baby. I didn't actually swatch (BAD), so I figured it would either work for a friend, or for the NICU. It felt really nice to start a new collection of those hats - it's a good perspective-builder for me when I start moping. So yeah, maybe some stuff has happened that's not been great, but DUDE, you don't have a kid in Childrens' Hospital. Come on. :)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I must be WAY more tired than I thought.

So, in addition to the impulse yarn that's being returned, I bought a skein of Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille in Baby. Tonight, for fun, I knit up their freebie washcloth pattern.

It's so cute! I don't love this colorway, but it was what they had, and before I order more, I wanted to try it. The yarn is really lovely to knit with (though, as with any kind of yarn like this, you have to make sure not to knit it too tightly). The fabric it makes is so soft and snuggly! I could totally see this being such a wonderful baby blanket (though one of the more boring projects to would be good to do while watching TV, it's all garter stitch).

I realized, after I knit it up, though, that I must be really, really tired. Here are the needles I used:
The picture may be too small to tell that they are actually two different diameters: one is a size 7, and one is a size 5. Can you believe I didn't notice that??

Err, and then there's that whole "two different length needles thing" that I didn't notice too.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Impulse Buy

And it's going right back to the store. I bought some Berrocco Plush Colors in Taffy, and when I got it home, realized that it's not machine washable/dryable. Since it's to be a baby blanket, THAT ain't happening. I know how often blankets (that get used) need to be washed, and I know how much time a new parent has to do hand laundry. Luckily I can easily return it, it's just getting back to the store.

I think I'm going to do another Webs order soon, and get some Plymouth Heaven. Someone on a knitting group recommended it, and it IS machine washable. Now I just need to figure out what else to get to get my order up to $60 to get the discount. I am thinking of getting some Noro Kureon to make a Booga Bag. For some reason, I am also interested in this bamboo yarn, short-sleeve sweater (I can't find the pattern, but it's in the current Webs catalog). And of course, sock yarn. Basically, I don't think spending the $ will be a problem.

I am going to finish the Berrocco scarf and give it to my sister, who wants more red in her life. I am not feeling inspired to do the Magic Waves shawl...I should start it though, once I finish the pattern. Tonight I'm going to cast-on some socks, I think. I frogged the sweater, I'm going to do some hats (NICU and gifts). Then I need to commune with my stash and figure out what to do next to get out of this rut.


I'm not really feeling the love for any of my projects right now. I've got a sweater just started, a scarf that I think I'm going to frog, and my poncho. The poncho is good, I got a chunk done yesterday, it's just a big project. I'm at that point where I'm about 1/2 of the way through the 3rd (of 4) diamonds, and just thinking "when this is done I have to do another one of these!" I did a dishcloth yesterday just to get something done! That's sort of sad. I'm actually currently wanting to learn to crochet and thinking about this baby blanket that I saw at a yarn store that is crocheted, but I think that it would be not a good thing to go buy the yarn and pattern. Perhaps it's that I feel like I have obligation knitting right now, and I'm having a good time with that. Maybe I need to do a couple of baby hats for the NICU, that should get me back on track, right? I have to keep reminding myself, it's all supposed to be fun! This isn't my job, I don't *owe* anybody a handmade ANYTHING, gifts are just that, gifts, and I need to stop being hard on myself.

I think it's that I feel like I'm failing by not doing the things I think I should be doing...that what I want to do (knit socks for me, learn to crochet) feels selfish.