Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Pix and an actual FO!

Howdy! After a short break this week to deal with the insanity at work (which happens fairly frequently) I'm back.

I finished the Lisel. Here are a couple of shots of it. I haven't blocked it yet. Still haven't really forgiven it/myself for it not turning out how I wanted it. And I tried to get some shots of the super cool picot bind off (which, incidentally, I was also doing wrong, but I didn't realize it until I was nearly done with one sleeve so I just kept doing it incorrectly. Still looks cool) but I haven't washed or blocked it yet, so it's not really coming through. And one of these days, I'll actually get a photo of me wearing the silly thing.

And here's a photo of the scarf that I'm working on. It being 5 degrees here kinda spurred me to actually finish the stupid thing instead of futzing around with designs ad nauseum, so I'm just improvising a pattern of dropped yo and garter stitch. It's very squooshy and thick, which rocks. Can't wait to wear it. Will probably be done with it this afternoon.

I did about 3/4 of it last night watching Pirates of the Caribbean II (whatever the subtitle is) with Bruce, which was good fun. Really, how much better can things get than Johnny Depp in eyeliner and things blowing up? The movie didn't seem to have much of a plot, though. Ah well.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

She's a gonna learn me!

I signed up for an online sweater design class with Knitgrrl (also known as Shannon) which I am incredibly excited about.

I've been sewing and crocheting for a long time, so I've got an extremely solid grasp of garment construction. Crochet, is of course, different from knitting, and as you may know, I've got a yen to start designing knitting patterns.

And honestly, creating a garment while you're creating the fabric that makes up the garment at the same time is a total head trip for me. I love it, but it is also difficult to get my head around sometimes.

Classes start next week. I'm stoked! This is going to be way fun.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Designing Process Part II

Right. So on design iteration no. 2 I knitted up about 16 inches and it pulled really diagonally. That's because I had a lot of k2tog, yo in there. Every other row, to be exact.

On my last few rows of iteration no. 2, I switched it up to ssk, yo to see what it would do, and it seemed to pull a little less.

Design iteration no. 3, I started alternating rows of k2tog, yo and ssk, yo so that maybe the pulling didn't happen. And here is my result:

Why yes, it is still pulling RATHER badly.

Back to ze drawing board. (literally)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I've lost my knitting mojo


So. I finished the Liesl yesterday. No pix, as yesterday was so dark and nasty, the light was no where nears good for photography.

However, I managed to screw it up again. Ok, so after discovering that the yarn I was going to use for the sleeves was a TOTALLY different color than the yarn for the body, even though the ball bands said it was from the same dye lot (DAMNIT), and that I had brilliantly started on the sleeves before getting too far down on the body just in case I screwed up again and needed to rip to above the sleevey area, I did one sleeve perfectly, had no problems picking up all the stitches, the math worked out beautifully. I worked my way down further on the body because I was tired and didn't feel like dealing with the other sleeve just yet.

When I went to pick up the stitches for the other sleeve I discovered that I had somehow managed to COMPLETELY screw up the stitch pattern and instead of having *inc 4, dec 4, inc 4, dec 4 - I had the following *inc 4, inc 4, dec, 4, inc 4.


So. What I did was rip out the other sleeve completely, back down to the original stitches, and have a cap sleeved sweater with a picot bind off. Additionally because my 3rd skein was such a different color, I just finished it with two skeins. My Liesl does not have sleeves and is about, oh, 4 inches shorter than I had originally intended.

I just need to find some fastenings for the sweater, and it'll be fully complete.

I did wear it last night to Robert Burns night at St. Andrews in NYC. Which, by the way, is a total blast. Although not so much when you're not feeling well, as I was last night.

My feelings are a little bruised by my lack of ability to make a second Liesl the way I want it.

That, coupled with the screw up on Bruce's sweater (still haven't ripped out the bits I messed up) are leaving me feeling kinda hurt.

And I've started on my first design. I've designed it, and have started knitting it. It is really pretty, but the stitch pattern is pulling it a little out of whack and I'm concerned because it is made out of alpaca yarn, which has absolute crap for memory. So I'm not sure blocking will help.

We shall see.

Again, I'll post pix of that when I get somewhere in the sunlight.

And I'll try to think of a project to help me with my knitting mojo. Maybe I should finish Ella's sweater (finally)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

More pix for Sunday

I was a busy bee yesterday!

The Damson:

The Koolhaas:

Georgia decided to model in the middle of the picture taking enterprise.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pictures for Saturday

Can you tell that I'm home during daylight hours?

Here are a couple of shots of the Liesl in progress:

I discovered after the fact that the yarn I'm using on the sleeve of the Liesl is from a totally different dye lot than the yarn I used on the body. Even though the band labels said they were from the same one. GRR.

And here are some nice shots of the Simple Things Shawl I made back in December/January. It's Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in colorway Envy. It took just under two skeins.

I'm giving the shawl to its intended recipient tonight (finally) so I figured I should actually photograph it before sending it on its way.

I think I'll be finishing up the Liesl today, and then ripping out and reworking Bruce's sweater. I also have to remember to quit knitting when I get tired. I had to tink about six rows on the Liesl sleeve this morning that I had done last night. Oops.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Note to Self

When knitting a pattern for the third time, say, the Liesl, and admiring how quickly it goes, and getting down to the bottom of the yoke, and putting the armholes on waste yarn, it helps if you actually re-read the instructions for said pattern and actually do it correctly. So that you don't, oh, I dunno, realize that you completely missed about three lines of instructions after you've bypassed it by about 20 rows, and then have to rip out quite a bit of work, and spend an entire 45 minute subway ride attempting to get the stitches back on the needles and swearing softly at your knitting under your breath.

Also, patterns that knit up quickly, go much faster when you don't massively screw up.

What's that? There's a set up row for the arm holes? Oh, AND you're supposed to cast on 12 stitches after you put the armholes on waste yarn? PSHAW.

(Hobbygasa, I'm knitting this for the third time because the first one didn't fit and the second one was a total disaster. And I want this damned sweater. The first one didn't fit because I made it out of malabrigo. I'd previously made a sweater out of malabrigo that fit perfectly when I was done knitting it, but when I blocked it, it grew three inches in all directions. So I decided to make the Liesl out of malabrigo, and because the first sweater I knit with malabrigo grew so much, I decided to knit the Liesl two sizes too small. When I finished it, washed it and blocked it... it was still two sizes to small. Goddamnit.

The second Liesl I knit, I had put the armholes on stitch holders which tragically popped open in transit one day and all the stitches came off them and unraveled up to the neckline, rendering it impossible to ladder the stitches back to where I could make the sleeves. So I had to rip out the entire damn sweater and start over (I'd finished the body of the sweater at this point) and by that time I was so depressed about the Liesl I couldn't even fathom doing it again. So now, four months later, I am working on the Liesl again.)

Wow. That was a really long parenthetical aside.

Anyway, despite minor setbacks, the Liesl is again going very well. I'm about four inches below the armpits on the body of the sweater, and should complete this section very soon.

I'll start on the sleeves this weekend.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Liesl the Second

So my second (ok, well, third really) Liesl is coming along just swimmingly. I'll likely break out the arms today and start down the body. One of my favorite things about this pattern is how fast it knits up. It's such a blast to knit, and the feather and fan pattern is super easy (but looks complicated as hell).

I've been reading Clara Parkes Knitters Book of Wool which is amazingly informative. I've been deeply enjoying reading about the science and molecular structure of wool.

One thing she hasn't sold me on is the concept of crunch in wool. She writes about softness being overrated, and that sometimes we need to look for yarns that have a nice healthy "crunch" to it for various projects. Which I understand. I'm a big fan of Noro Kureyon (very crunchy) and I realize that you do need crunchy yarns for felting, etc. However, I'm not really sure that I'd want to make a garment with crunchy yarn. Even if it's not going to be against the skin.

All told though, this is a fascinating book and an excellent resource. It also has some good patterns in the back. I'll probably pick up her other book soon. And I'm also reading her newsletter.

Additionally, I'm listening to the unabridged Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner. It's an exceedingly cool book, and unlike many other authors who get pressed into service reading their own books for the audiobook release, Eric used to be a correspondent for NPR and reads out loud very well.

Although the first day I was listening to it, I forgot to take my iPod off shuffle and didn't realize it. I was very confused about the structure of the book until I realized what I'd done. Heh.

Monday, January 18, 2010

In with the new!

Last Friday I bought some yarn to design myself a scarf with. (Yes, Bruce, I know, you need another scarf. Hopefully your new one will be borne of this one)

It's Baby Alpaca Grande Hand-dyed by Plymouth Yarns. Really gorgeous colors and super soft. We'll see if my neck can handle the alpaca.

Yarn porn!

Also, for the time being, I'm putting aside the Phyllotaxis. I think I'm going to have to knit this one slowly. And yes, OfTroy, I will definitely be writing out the chart the way you suggested. Thank you!

I've discovered that this year, I'm exceedingly grumpy about knitting, and I apparently only want to knit what I wanna knit, and I'm not going to knit anything else. Hmm. Yeah. So I picked up my long gone Liesl today. I'd gotten so cranky about how that poor poor project died that I forgot about how awesome the yarn is. It's Berocco Vintage Wool, part acrylic part wool. I know. Don't faint. I just said a part acrylic yarn is awesome. And it is. It's really soft and it doesn't have that squeaky quality that a lot of other acrylics have. It's also machine washable, which rocks, and I'll probably make quite a few projects for other people out of it. Especially since I have this horrible fear of people shrinking and felting things that I've knitted.

. . .

And, truth be told, part of the reason for the short blog posts lately is that I've been unbelievably cranky. I've been pissed about work, about family issues, about other people BREATHING NEAR ME.. ahem. It might be the season. It might be because I've been sick.

So I'm working through some of my personal issues, and hoping that I'll be able to resolve them before I drive my poor husband crazy.

On the plus side, with the illness, I've been all about changing my diet to get healthier and not have this problem ever ever again. So I've been eating less and making what I eat count more, which is awesome. And I've lost 8 pounds now. YAY!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

First Finished Object of 2010

I completed my Citron the other day, and it rocks. It was a blast to knit, and I'm loving the colors I chose.

I didn't have quite enough of the purple to finish the ruffle on the bottom, so I knitted as much as I could and then cast off with the variegated.

I'm completely unmotivated to do pretty much anything, blogging, knitting, etc. so I'll leave you all with the pix for today.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Oops, forgot one!

I forgot that I'm also contracted to knit the Phyllotaxis Scarf (rav link) by Norah Gaughan for a friend of mine.

The entertaining thing is that the featured photo for the project page is my friend OfTroy's project, which is pretty cool.

Anyway, I cast on for this scarf today, and all but cast off for the Citron yesterday. Almost there.

I need a little bit of quiet time to myself at home to figure out what I did to Bruce's Sweater, if anything.

So. Post Phyllotaxis, I'll be working on a scarf design for myself and one for Bruce (we both need new scarves. It's outright embarrassing that I don't have anything I've knitted for myself to wear most days) and a sweater design for me.

And that's all folks. Don't have much else to say (unusual, right?) at the moment.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

More of the Same

Still working on the sweater of doom. I got up to the point where the next split yesterday, and then I think I screwed up the cable pattern. Oops. I put it down for a bit and I'll go back to it tonight to see if I really did screw up. I'll only have to rip out two or three rows if I did, so that's not a huge problem. Just a slightly sucky one.
And I'm almost done with the Citron. I'm down to my fifth and final section, just about done with the ruched part, and will go on to the final variegated part before knitting on the ruffle. Very exciting.

Next I think I'm going to knit myself some Snapdragon Flip-tops and the Snapdragon Tam by Ysolda Teague. Here are some pics (courtesy of Ysolda's site, here):

Please, please, please support independent designers. If you like her patterns, please purchase them for yourselves.

Ysolda has an amazing site, and does incredible work. (As do many other indie designers)

I heard about a terrible design infringement here. And I heard about a person reverse engineering a knitting pattern because she didn't think it was right to sell a pattern for $5 a pop.

(which drives me absolutely batty. That's so rude.)

Anyway, yeah. Support awesome indie designers. That would be my point. Don't steal their stuff, please.

(and on that note, I hope Ysolda doesn't mind that I borrowed her pix for my blog. Heh. Should probably ask in the future. At least I gave her credit, right?)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Professor, what's another name for pirate's treasure?

Why, I think it's BOOTY!

I won a lovely giveaway from Lyn's blog, From One Mum. And here is a shot of the entirety of my prize:

Two sets of fat quarters (quilting fabric), a bunch of really awesome random fabrics in there. A really cute rabbit fabric that I think will be more than enough to make Georgia a pair of shorts or a skirt or something for this summer. I'm so excited about this!

A shot of some of my favorite little bits, some babushka (fine, Bruce, matrioshka) fabrics. SO CUTE. I'm almost jealous of myself.

Some gorgeous yarn from Knitty Dirty Girl in a color that I absolutely adore. It is a gorgeous squooshy yarn. Can't WAIT to make something from it.

Aside from all the amazing crafting supplies she sent me, there were also these two really awesome British crafty magazines from the 70s. I've spent a good few hours going through them and kinda fantasizing about how it would have looked if the 70s had been goth.

Like what if the picture below was done in shades of black, white, gray and red?

So this photo wasn't goth at all, but it did crack me up:

And the obligatory 70s creepy doll photo:

Also, I went to the Big Apple Knitters Guild meeting on Saturday. I joined back in November, as a way to connect with other knitters. Anyway, it was their yarn auction, and I am incredibly pleased with my small haul. I got two gorgeous skeins of koigu, what amounted to 2.5 skeins of Morehouse Farm lace weight (black and white yarn on the right).

Also, 2.5 skeins of a really lovely mystery black sock yarn and two smaller balls of the same mystery sock yarn in white. No idea what the yarn actually is. They were in with the morehouse, but morehouse doesn't have a sock yarn, and this is definitely sock. It's almost identical to the koigu in twist and feel, but no clue what it might be.

Here's the Koigu. So pretty.

Awesome, right? I'm so pleased with my haul.

Friday, January 8, 2010

No pix for you!

Sorry. Still working on the sweater of doom, and on the Citron. They both look very similar to the last couple of posts, but bigger.

The sweater not too much bigger. The Citron about three inches.

I'm also reading like mad (which is good), fiction, knitting design, other such fun stuff. Lots of blogs to catch up with and twitter feeds to read. And honestly, Kevin Smith's twitter feed is making the entire twitter thing worth any effort it takes to keep up with the damn thing:

Caution: only if you like Kevin Smith, or have a REALLY crude sense of humor. (We're talking lots of dick and fart jokes.)

I did get to the cabled part of Bruce's sweater (that would be the sweater of doom) so it has gotten a little bit more interesting (for a whopping 40 stitches per row).

And apparently I'm going to parenthesize everything in my post today (just to make a point. Or something).

So that's all. Should get a fair bit of knitting done this weekend. Am going to the knitting guild meeting tomorrow. Alexander Hamilton's birthday celebration on Sunday. And I will get started on my sweater pattern this weekend. Really.

Life is good.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I like to look at the blog posts I've done on any given project and Ravelry's blog pickup feature has been particularly craptacular about picking up on my blog posts. And I think a major part of that problem may be the fact that I'm rebelling at putting titles on my posts and stuff.

So I'm titling. Maybe I should also label? That would be... revolutionary. For me anyway.

Did I mention that last night I was dreaming in blog? I was swearing (in my dream) about figuring out how to do strikethrough text in HTML because I had a really funny post I was writing which an incredibly appropos use of the strikethrough, and couldn't effin figure out how to do it. I don't know why it didn't occur to me to, oh, say, google it. Dream logic. Go figure.

I miss the dreams in which I was flying. I only ever got a few inches off the ground, but it was so nice to not have to deal with gravity for a while there. Better than swimming.

And on to actual knitting news...

So the sweater of doom (note ironic and slightly humorous use of strike through there) Bruce's sweater is finally nearing completion. However, I don't think I have enough yarn to finish it off. Heh. Oops. So I went back to the yarn store to buy more, only to discover that the yarn in question has been discontinued, and they're sold out of the color I wanted.

Thank you. I have created for myself quite the wee problem now, haven't I? I googled the yarn and came up with a big fat lot of nothing. I may hit up some of the peeps on Ravelry for their stashed yarn, but the dye lot will probably be different. Do I care at this point? Maybe. But I really just want the effin thing done. This is the longest I've worked on a project somewhat continuously and honestly, it should have gone faster.

I'm taking a little break from all knitting tonight (except for ends weaving-in-ing) because I think I'm getting a little burnt out. Although I am kind of itching to work on the Citron now.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


As promised, the beginnings of the Citron. This is a really fun subway project, not the least of which is because of people getting fascinated with the color changes in the yarn.

And the book I bought myself to help kickstart the entire designing thing. So far it seems pretty awesome. I question some of her design choices, but overall, it seems pretty solid on the basics of designing a sweater.

It's Custom Knits by Wendy Barnard. Her blog is here.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Um. Well. No socks.

But I did start a Citron!

I'm very excited about the Citron, however, I think I'm having sock performance anxiety. Or something. I'm not entirely sure what's preventing me from casting on for socks right now.

Anyway, the Citron is my subway project. I'm through the first two sections, and I'm doing it striped. One in a variegated yarn and one row in a blackberry purple. Same one I did my Whisper Cardigan out of. Morehouse Merino Lace. Yummy.

I'm blowing through this thing, and really enjoying it. But then I absolutely adore knitting with laceweight yarn, no matter what the project is. I have no idea why. And it's so soft...

Hopefully pix will come tomorrow. Right now I got nothin. Sorry.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

First post of the new year!

I haven't been feeling too hot and when that happens, I usually go silent for a bit.

However I have made some awesome progress with Bruce's sweater! Sleeves are attached and I'm working my way rapidly up to the yoke. Or whatever it's called for this sweater.

In my downtime I've also been reading this:

My beautiful friend, the Amazing Miz J. sent it to me for Christmas. It's an awesome book. THANK YOU!