Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Xmas knitting: continued...

I suppose it wouldn't surprise anyone if I said that I was still working on my Christmas knitting, would it?


I thought not.

I did, however, finish the vast majority of what I'd set out to do. I knit a hat for my father-in-law, a cup cozy for my brother-in-law's lady friend, and finally finally FINALLY finished J-L's damn hat. And there were a lot of socks involved. Lots and lots of socks.

Because I'm kind of an idiot, I completely neglected to snap pictures of all of these things before I gifted them away. So, some were taken after the fact, and one was not taken at all. I don't know why I always forget to do this... Sigh.

So, first the hat. Plain top-down stockinette with a 2x2 ribbed brim. I used Jason as a model and knit it long enough to cover the ears. I knit it up in Malabrigo Rios in the Azul Profundo colorway, which is lovely without being girly. It was my first time working with Rios, and I definitely see what some people meant when they said it was "limp," especially when compared to the un-superwash-treated worsted. But it did knit up into a soft, firm fabric that looks like it will hold up better than the single-ply worsted. It wasn't quite as deliciously squooshy to knit with as the Twist, but still a pleasure. I will certainly be using it again!

Next up is the cup cozy. Brother-in-law's girlfriend had added a cup cozy from Etsy to her Christmas wishlist. The cozy had the little thumbs up thing from Facebook on it, along with the words "like this" embroidered onto a white felt background. The cozy itself was single-crocheted from blue yarn.

I took one look at that thing and said to myself "What the hell!? Charging $20 for that thing?!? It looks like a five year old did the embroidery!" The cozy itself, while much more neatly constructed, was flawed as well. It was basically a crocheted cup with a slit in one side for a mug handle to go through. I felt that having a crocheted bottom would make a mug wobbly and unstable, and it would only work on a certain-sized mug. So I made a knit version that could be used either with a mug or a to-go cup.

It's secured with two buttons. I wish I'd gotten a pic of the back of it because I'm rather proud of my solution to convert it between to-go cup and mug. For a to-go cup it simply secures with two buttons. For the mug, I knit up two short tabs, each with a button on one end and a button hole on the other, that can be used to make the cozy wider and to fit around the handle. I'm really quite pleased with the end result, and she really seemed to like it.

My other great big knitting conquest was J-L's hat. I hate this thing. I hated it from start to finish. I hated every stitch, every color change, every stupid bit of knotted fringe. I had an enormous tangled pile of yarn, I had issues getting the fringe even, I ran out of yarn, I now have a crap ton of yarn left over that I want to burn because my brain associates it with the nightmare that was knitting this awful thing.

But J-L loves it. I mean, loves it. And that makes every painful minutes spent fighting that thing worth it.

And lastly we have the ongoing sock invasion. I got it into my head to knit socks for Mom and Nani. And not just one pair for each, no, I wanted to knit TWO pairs for each! Of course I didn't finish. I had one pair each of the purple completed by Christmas Eve when we exchanged gifts, and one pair of the blue done by the time I left Tampa. I've got one and a half blue socks left to knit, and then they'll be mailed to their new home. Both Mom and Nani loved them, and the aran weight yarn makes them go pretty quick at only 3-4 hours per sock.

And just like that, the year is nearly over. Of course I'll put together my annual New Year's post (the one time of year my blogging is consistent!) on Friday. I'm eager to see how much knitting I've done as compared to last year. And also the annual tradition of making resolutions that I'll break in the coming months. :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

blargh, christmas

Things have been pretty hectic around here in Yarnia. The last two Christmases were studies in knitting hell. So this year I said to myself, I've learned from my mistakes! I'm not going to knit anything for Christmas this year! Store-bought gifts are definitely the way to go! I love knitting for other people, really I do, but I'm awful at knitting on a deadline. It's stressful and hectic and it makes me feel like crap when I'm not able to finish on time because A) I drastically underestimated how long something would take, or B) something goes terribly horribly wrong causing me to take much longer, or C) all of the above.

Which is why, of course, here I am with less than a week to go until Christmas, frantically knitting away despite the fact that there is No Way in Hell that I am going to finish in time. I've prioritized which projects absolutely must be finished by Christmas, and which I've got a bit of wiggle room with and if I finish them a little late it won't be so bad. My mom and grandmother are getting two pairs of socks each (I made this brilliant decision on the 9th of December. yes, I'm absolutely off my rocker) and I've finished two pairs so far. So if I'm a little late with the other two pairs it won't be the end of the world. The other parts I won't go into detail on because I'm not sure who else does and doesn't follow my blog.

In other happier FO-news, I've gotten some great things taken care of. I've finally finished J-L's hat. That awful evil intarsia beast I've been complaining about on and off for the last year? Yeah. Done. Well, nearly done. I've just got to add braided tassels to the earflaps and felt the whole mess. I'll be posting finished pictures in a blog post of its own with probably a documentation of the whole sad tale.

I've also finished Jon's mitts and scarf. Still haven't presented them to him, because life keeps getting in the way. Namely, my work schedule and his finicky car. But they came out quite nice, and I'm very pleased.

I've also completed Abby's shawlette. I used the pattern Spring Thaw, and Malabrigo sock in the colorway Abril. Lovely yarn, lovely pattern. I did have some trouble starting it. The charts only show half of the shawl, and I didn't realize this at first, then couldn't figure out why the written instructions and charts didn't match up. Two froggings later, it finally clicked. The pattern was quite easily memorizable, and the yarn is a dream. I'm so in love with the color that I want to make myself something with it. Someday, after I downsize my stash quite a bit more...

Abby seems to love it. She's worn it several times since I gave it to her, which pleases me to no end. The best part of knitting for other people is seeing them use and enjoy what I make.

And that's probably why I'm sitting here, half-finished Christmas gift beside me. The thought of it being used and loved is what keeps me going.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

and here we go

Remember last post how I was whinging about this scarf that I was knitting that was taking FOR-EV-ER? Whelp, I finished it. I've currently got it pinned down to the blocking board and drying out, so hopefully it'll be totally done in the next few days and I can take some pretty pretty pictures of it.

In the meantime there's this crappy cameraphone shot of it stretched out. Ignore my messy crafting room.

Now do you see why I was whinging? It'd be one thing if it was just the scarf, but this sucker is knit in the round. It's warm and thick and squishy and I'm kind of in love with it. At some point I plan on knitting me a Hogwarts scarf in this same method, and I'm really super looking forward to it now. Pesky Cold Sheep. Sigh. Someday.

Anyhow! Scarf! The only downside was that the colorwork sections tended to pull in. But not by much, and I'm optimistic that the blocking will take care of it. Because blocking is magical and can fix everything. Almost anything. Well, some things. But I'm optimistic that this is one of them.

This was my first large project with colorwork in the round. The first end took me a week to do. The second only took half the time, it seemed like. Just took some getting used to, but once I fell into a rhythm it just flew.

The fingerless gloves that go along with these are nearly done as well. They just need thumbs. I wanted to wait until I could get my friend to try them on, since I've been tweaking the pattern to fit him better, and that didn't happen for a couple of weeks. However, that delay gave me time to finish up the scarf, so now I'll be able to present them both at once, yay!

It also just occured to me that I've been sadly negligent about posting FO pics here. Luckily I don't have all that many FOs to catch up on.


Apparition Socks. Test knit for a fellow raveler. Knit in Toefutsies in Vic-Toe-Rian which I scored on sale for half off. I'm not entirely pleased with them. The yarn is too "busy" and obscures the pattern, and the leg is a bit loose so it tends to scrunch up. Which of course further obscures the pattern. But the foot fits well, and I have knit some very lovely memories in these socks so they will not be banished to the frog pond. They will, however, probably be worn with jeans.


Munich Multnomah. Knit in Knipicks Imagination in Munchkin. This knit was something of an adventure. I, of course, waited until the last minute before my wedding/honeymoon trip to print out the pattern, and when I did I made the horrifying discovery that the English copy was unavailable and I couldn't read any of the translation languages. However, I picked the pattern originally because it wasn't complicated and thus would make perfect travel knitting, and I was able to cobble together a working pattern by stalking FO pics on Ravelry. I've worn it several times so far, and have gotten tons of compliments every time.

Thirdly: I FINALLY knit up my awesome Jayne hat, and have been proudly wearing it around the 'burgh. Cunning, ain't it?

After seeing me wearing knit items a couple of times, a coworker asked me to knit her something. She purchased the yarn and I'm doing the knitting in exchange for baked goods. She's a phenomenal baker, and I seem to recall the word "cupcakes" being involved in our negotiations. I'm knitting Spring Thaw in Malabrigo Sock (mmm, you see why it didn't take much to convince me to do this knit) in Abril. I am in LOVE with this colorway, and foresee myself doing another project in it for me.

So far it's been behaving itself quite nicely, which in of itself is a little suspect. Makes me wonder what might go wrong...

Oh, and a little update on Cold Sheep. I'm doing well so far, mostly thanks to Jason. Last week he bought me a couple of skeins of Malabrigo Worsted in Burgandy so I've got enough to make a pullover with the leftovers of Mom's February Lady. And that's got me thinking about NaKniSweMo. And then I recall the spectacular failure of last year in which I didn't even manage to cast on.

I think I still might give it a go. I need to rip and reknit my Lichen, which I foolishly attempted while proudly waving a banner that read "I DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' PATTERN!!" in great big glaring letters. It should be pretty obvious how that ended. Anyhow, I need to frog and reknit. It's a bulky yarn so it goes fast, and it's a top-down raglan sweater in stockinette so it's simple. Stay tuned for further adventures on that front...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I apologize for not posting. My apology comes with a picture of my Wollmeise haul and my stupid cat. That's Yarneater. Notice how she is lurking. She's an awful cat.

Not a whole lot is going on knit-wise right now. I'm working on a scarf for a friend that is taking for-ev-er. Um. That's really it.

I really need to knit more so I actually have something to blog about...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cold Sheep

I did something stupid. Something vastly, horribly, fantastically stupid. I made a bet. With Jason. About yarn.

Some of you can see where this is going. Those of you who can are probably already laughing.

See, it all began in Germany...

While on my honeymoon overseas I made the happy discovery that in Germany, there are yarn shop EVERYWHERE. And I mean that. We were there for just shy of two weeks, and we went into a total of nine yarn shops. Only one of them was intentional. (Wollmeise, but that is deserving of a blog post all its own.)

I thought it was interesting to see the differences between German yarn shops and American yarn shops. Shops in America are bigger, and tend to carry a little bit of a lot of things. German shops (at least I noticed from the ones I went into) were much smaller on the average, and didn't seem to carry as much variety. The biggest difference that struck me was that yarn shops in America seem to encourage knitters to go in and just hang out. I have yet to go into an American shop that doesn't have some assortment of chairs or sofas, more likely than not filled with some number of knitters just hanging out and doing their thing. None of the shops in Germany had any seating for customers inside. I'm still not quite sure why that was, but I thought it was an interesting difference.

The other happy discovery I made regarding knitting and Germany was that German yarn is way cheaper than yarn in the US. Of course, the yarns that were cheaper were mostly yarns manufactured in Germany, so I suppose it makes sense. All I know is I scored several skeins of ONline and Zauberballe for the equivalent of 50% off. And Wollmeise, of course. But that is deserving of a post of its own.

Amid all this craziness of abundant yarn shops and cheap yarn, I ended up making this phenomenally stupid bet. For the life of me, I can't remember exactly how it came up. All I remember is I was in Rothenberg ob der Tauber, clutching a bag stuffed full of cheap yarn, and telling my husband that I could go six months withuot buying yarn. I know, I know. I don't know what happened either.

Well, that was in August. The bet officially started in the beginning of September, and I'm now just over two weeks into it. There's not much actually riding on it (the winner gets treated to a fancy dinner out at the restaurant of their choosing) but it's still a bet, and I still want to win, if for no other reason than to prove to myself that I can say I'll do something and actually stick to it! Abandoned KALs aside, I want to show that I can follow through with something I say I'm going to do.

So far I've been doing quite well. Mostly because I haven't really had time to do much knitting, between starting a new job and having work done on the house. I've finished a pair of socks and a shawlette, and I'm about halfway through the second of the abandoned fingerless mitts that I really need to get finished up for my awesome friend. I have a couple of larger projects planned that will hopefully carry me through the bulk of the Cold Sheep time. (two afghans and a sweater)

The really awful time is going to come around Christmas when I'll have a little bit of money that is all mine to spend with no strings or guilty feelings attached to. Maybe I'll save my Wollmeise for that. :)

In the meantime, I need to get my shawlette blocked and photographed, and my socks photographed. Hopefully my next post will have some pretty pretty pictures.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

i'm not dead

I promise. Nor have I forgotten how to type, nor has my computer been kidnapped by evil computer-stealing aliens who have an irrational hatred for blogging. Although if the latter did happen, then I would have a very cool post ready to put up if/when I ever managed to get my compter back.

And for once my lack of posting doesn't stem from sheer laziness. I know, right?! Crazy!

And speaking of crazy, that pretty much sums up my life right now. A great big ball of crazy. Not all of it is the bad sort of crazy, but it's certainly not all the good sort of crazy either. Mostly it's just hectic. And, well, crazy.

I promise promise promise (see! a triple promise! I'm really serious!) that I will start posting again soon. I've got a lot to blog about, and I'm thinking that breaking it up into multiple smaller posts might be more doable than trying to hammer out one massive post. We'll see how that plan goes.

But for now, I'm still here. And still knitting!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I've been on something of a finishing streak lately. I finished my Saroyan, and my Tardis Cowl.

Saroyan first! I knit it up in Malabrigo Twist in Taureg. Now, my love affair with Malabrigo is a long and happy one. Malabrigo Sock is lovely and soft and drapy. The worsted is soft and fuzzy and warm. But oh, the Twist! It's so soft and squishy and the colors are lovely and I never want to knit with another yarn ever again! I want to make a great big blanket out of it and snuggle underneath it and never come out.

I had some measure of problems with this project. (surprise, surprise, yeah?) Accidentally left this sitting out one night and my stupid cats got ahold of it. Woke up to find yarn all over the floor of the bedroom, yarn leading out into the hall and down the stairs, yarn all over the downstairs of the house. Let me tell you, you don't really comprehend just how much yardage comes in a skein of yarn until you see it all spread out like that. Of course, then came the epic detangling session, during with Yarneater and Kleptocat continued to try to make off with it.

Because they'd eaten part of it, my estimations for when I needed to start the decreases were off and I ran out of yarn two repeats early. But I threw in some extra decreases then bound off early and the difference between the two ends is hardly noticeable when it's worn, so I'm satisfied.

I can't wait until it gets cool enough to wear it. It's way too heavy to get away with wearing now. Sigh.

Then I also finished my Tardis Cowl. I was a bit nervous to knit a cowl. I'd never made one before and wasn't sure if it was something I'd actually wear. Now that I've finished it, I'm so in love with it. Knit up in Malabrigo Sock in Persia. The buttons I bought came from Natural Stitches here in Pittsburgh.

Now I'm working on my silk shawl made in bribe yarn. It's so lovely, and I wish I could afford to knit in silk all the time. Knitting it on Knitpicks Options is something of a recipe for insanity, but I'm managing, and the finished shawl (so far) is well worth a little effort. Mmmm, silk.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I really need to be better about blogging. I mean it this time. Really. Aw, hell, who am I kidding?

I've been in something of a knitting slump lately, which, quite logically, means that I've also been lacking in motivation to post in my blog about (*gasp!*) knitting! Since my triumph over the evil Quadrat, I've finished a grand total of.... one project.

Not to fear, however, I have also started a whopping six others. Yep, still me, still living down to expectations.

Project the first: Sweater! I picked up a few balls of James C. Bretty Marble Chunky in the rather lovely and subdued colorway Lichen. I got the fantastic idea into my head that I would knit a sweater without a pattern. Honestly, what could go wrong? I had this pretty mental image of a loose, comfy sweater I could throw on when I got chilly, and it would be soft and pretty and comfy and I would love it forever. I used my measurements to calculate my increases and decreases, and because I'm an idiot who didn't allow for any ease, the thing fits me like a second skin. But it's okay, really, because it's cute and has shaping, and my mental image of the finished sweater adjusted. Then I came to the sleeves. And because I'm also a lazy idiot, I decided I'd just knit them straight because I didn't feel like doing math. Did the first, and it looked like crap and fit like crap, so I ripped it out, and there my poor sleeveless sweater sits to this day, begging for sleeves. But by now, of course, it's the height of summer and I just don't feel like working on something I can't wear for months yet.

Project the second: Fingerless gloves for a friend. I started the first, and had to keep pausing to have him try them on. First one is now finished, second is cast on, I'm just lacking the motivation to keep going on it because, ya know, the whole summer thing makes me not want to work on winter stuff.

Project the third: Saroyan wrap. Bandwagon knitting for the win! This project actually started out with no small amount of promise. Knit in Malabrigo Twist in the colorway Taureg, it was fantastic. I loved the pattern, I loved the yarn, I loved knitting it. Then I left it out one night and Yarneater and Kleptocat got ahold of it. Let me just say this: you don't fully comprehend just how much yardage is contained in two skeins of yarn until you see said skeins of yarn spread out all over your floor. Both upstairs and downstairs floors. Yow. Saroyan, after an epic detangling session, is now sitting in timeout because, despite carefully calculating how many repeats I could get per skein, and the assurance that Other People on Ravelry made it with far less yarn than I started out with, I have three leaf repeats left, and quite definitely not enough yarn to finish it with. I'm not sure why I'm procrastinating on this. It's not as if waiting will make more yarn magically appear.

Project the fourth: Triangle shawl. Years ago I was given a skein of Artyarns Silk Rhapsody in an attempt to win back my friendship and support. (It was a rather good attempt, too. Any of you out there who would also like to buy my love, please take note.) Because it's much more expensive than any other yarn I've ever bought for myself, it spent quite a bit of time languishing on my shelf while I waffled on what exactly I would do with it. I eventually decided on a simply triangle shawl with yarn-over increases. This yarn is so fantastic, why hide it with a pattern? This one I'm actually savoring rather than procrastinating on. I'm only working on this when I'm in a good mood,because I want to have only positive memories attached to the finished project. (Unlike pretty much everything else I've ever made.)

Project the fifth: Socks! I started them, I lost interest halfway through the second pattern repeat. Same old story.

Project the sixth: Because I apparently am a glutton for punishment, and as if I didn't already have enough on my proverbial plate, I joined a KAL for the very lovely Tilting Tardis Cowl. We all know my track record with KALs, but I'm enjoying this one so far. I don't want to jinx myself, but this may be the one I actually finish! Fingers crossed!

Aaaaand if you made it through all that rambling, I feel that I should reward you with some pretty pictures. This is my one and only finished object. I modified the crap out of another Dane Shawl, and I'm really happy with the results. Yarn is Malabrigo Sock in colorway Persia. I ran out of yarn two and a half rows from the end, and ended up having to buy a second skein. I know, I know, having to buy more Malabrigo, how did I ever cope with such a tragedy?? But fear not, the remains of the second skein are slowly but steadily becoming my Tardis Cowl, and it looks lovely so far. I need more pics of my WIPs.

Anyhow, this shawl will soon find a new home with my very lovely mother-in-law, just as soon as I can get my lazy butt to a post office. Or the next time I'm in Tampa, whichever comes first.

All in all, I'm very pleased with how it turned out. Now to finish more things, and hopefully blog about my adventures knitting them!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I fiiiiinally finished my Quadrat. Finally finally finally. Like, this sucker is blocked, ends are woven in, and EVERYTHING!!

And! Most exciting of all! IT ACTUALLY FITS!!

Now I've started another sweater. Plain, top-down raglan in chunky yarn. After this cabledy madness, I needed something blessedly mindless. This definitely fulfills that. Mmmm, stockinette.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ravelympics and other things I should have blogged about a month ago...

Seriously. I fail at blogging. I don't know what the hell my problem with it is. I enjoy blogging, I just never do it. Le sigh.

So. In addition to failing at blogging, I also fail at Ravelympics. I came really darn close, though, and if several key things hadn't gone wrong (mostly my inability to follow a frigging pattern, but also a feline-related incident which was most certainly Not My Fault) I definitely would have finished. So while I don't get to claim success, the experience did teach me one very important lesson:

Monogamous knitting can be magical.

Yeah, that's right. I said it. I knit a sweater in a little over two and a half weeks. That's impressive for me. Really impressive. Like, scary-crazy-bust-out-the-party-hats impressive.

What's even more impressive is the sweater actually came out good. Like, really awesome I'm-not-ashamed-to-send-this-off-to-my-mother good. See??

Yeah, I wasn't making that up.

My knitting self esteem is at an all-time high.

I'm also chugging away at my Quadrat. I've got about 40 rows left on the sleeve, then blocking and seaming which will be a walk in the fucking park after all these rows of cabledy death. I've got high hopes of finishing it up this weekend.

Then April is going to be my WIP-wrasslin' month. I plan to get several of my larger outstanding projects finished up so I can start off my summer knitting with a clear conscience.

Along those same lines, I also spent most of the remainder of my Xmas money on yarn today. (and I actually kept to my resolution of not buying more than one new skein for every two I use up from the stash!) I picked up two skeins of Malabrigo Twist in Taureg, two skeins of Dream in Color Classy in November Muse, and one skein of Malabrigo sock in Persia. AND I have projects in mind for all of them! The twist will become a wrap for me, the Classy will be a cropped sweater, and the Malabrigo sock with become a shawlette for my mother-in-law.

For now I'm going to wander off back to my Quadrat. Almost there!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ravelympics: Day Whatever

So, I've been a bad blogger. I intended to update more about my Ravelympics project, but I ended up getting so frustrated with the damned thing that I could barely stand to keep working on it, much less tell others about it.

So, here's where we're at now:

Pretty decent progress, yeah? I anticipate knitting most of the remaining lace section today, and finishing it up along with the garter stitch border along the bottom by tomorrow (or Tuesday at the very latest) which leaves me most of next week to do the sleeves.

I feel very confident that I can finish it, especially considering that I lost three and a half days of knitting time to my own stupidity and lack of reading comprehension skills. I guess I should start at the beginning...

So, using my own bizarre logic and reasoning, I somehow came to the conclusion that knitting size XS at my smaller-than-specified gauge on my larger-than-suggested needles was indeed the right thing to do. In my defense, I knit tightly so I do generally have to go up a needle size or two to get the correct gauge. Well, clearly I miscalculated. After dividing for the arms and knitting a few inches, I tried it on. And crappity crapfuck, if I'd kept knitting I wouldn't have been able to give it to my mother as planned; I would have had to find someone whose arms are the same width as their torso. Needless to say, that doesn't fit a human being of any proportions, so I had to rip back.

I then spent the next day and a half ripping, picking up stitches, knitting for a bit, realizing I immediately divided for sleeves instead of knitting more, ripping, picking up, knitting, realizing I forgot to place third buttonhole, ripping, picking up stitches, etc etc etc ad nauseum.

Finally got it back on track by Thursday, after creating the strange lovechild of sizes XS and XXS and have been happily slogging through the mindless repetition of the torso. I really do enjoy this pattern and would love to make another one for myself. The lace is pretty but easily memorized, the sweater itself is coming out warm and squooshy, and even though it's a pain in the ass to switch skeins every two rows, so far the Malabrigo hasn't thrown any drastic color variations at me.

For the first time since I started this thing, I'm beginning to think that (barring me being an idiot and screwing up again) I'm actually going to finish this on time! Fingers crossed!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ravelympics: Day 1

So, believe it or not, I've actually got a decent start on this! I'm already worlds ahead of where I was for NaKniSweMo, but we won't talk about that.

I had my pattern all picked out.

I bought the appropriate amount of yarn.

My yarn is wound into balls. (hehe, balls...)

I swatched. Well, sort of. (okay, now this is sounding familiar) I knit a bit and it was coming out too small, so I'm knitting the next size up and it should be fine. I hope. Gauge swatches lie, anyhow.

I cast on during the opening ceremonies last night, and got a couple of hours in. I've put in a couple more hours so far today, and while it is driving home the fact that yes, I do knit slow as hell, I'm actually making decent headway on this. I'm about halfway through the raglan increases, whee!

Also, Malabrigo is soft and squishy and I think I never want to knit with anything else ever again. I loves it, even if it is kind of a pain in the ass to switch skeins every couple of rows. Most of the balls look like they're pretty close to the skein, but I have one that's sort of lighter and one that's noticeably darker despite the fact that I sat in the LYS for fifteen minutes comparing skeins of Burgundy and trying to pick the five that matched the best. I started with the lightest and the darkest in the hopes that the garter section would help to further disguise the dissimilarity in color, and it seems to be working so far.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this progresses well. I'm hoping to be done with the yoke by Monday, then done with the torso by the following Monday, which would leave me two days each for the sleeves, and two more days to do any finishing and blocking. When I first started, I thought there was no way I'd actually finish it in time, but now that I've got some amount of it done, I'm feeling optimistic again!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

excuses, excuses

So, I meant to blog more often. Really, I actually meant it this time. And then I got sick, and have spent the last week and a half fighting off what has to be the worst cold in the history of people getting colds. I've done a fair amount of knitting, and not much else.

I finished my socks.

And, yep, they fit perfectly. I didn't really follow a pattern for them, just cast on a few stitches more than I had for my 48-hour vacation socks. I almost wish that when I recklessly cast on for crap it wouldn't work out, because then I maybe wouldn't be encouraged to do it anymore. Instead, I go "well it worked out last time, it'll be find!" And sometimes that leads to massive, massive disappointment.

I've also been working on my Quadrat again. It seems to be more-or-less behaving itself. I'm up to the neckline, now. So... about a third of the way through it, if yarn usage is anything to go by. Exciting!

I'm also gearing up for the Ravelympics, which is also exciting. I'm going to attempt a February Lady Sweater. In, erm, 16 days? That should be fun. Or crazy. Or another chance to be laughed at for not even casting on. Right.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I'm knitting a pair of socks from an aran weight yarn. I started them late Friday night and am already at the heel turn on the second sock. (and I've been particularly lazy with knitting this weekend, too!)

I may never knit socks out of fingering weight yarn again.

Erm, at least until I set eyes on something pretty and then just omfg have to have it. Because that pretty much always happens.

Sweater is still in time-out on the mantle. I'm going to tackle it when I'm on the high I'll get after finishing a pair of socks in a weekend. That's the plan. What could go wrong?

Uh, don't answer that.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

happy post!

So far 2010 is off to a rather good start. Let's review what I've done so far!

--Case for my netbook.

I'm rather pleased with how it turned out. I designed it myself, just by doing a rough gauge swatch and some quick math (which for once I didn't botch!) Big rectangle, with a droste pattern of alternating knits and purls on the front side. I used Lion Brand Hometown USA yarn for it, which is a super bulky acrylic, which is thick and smooshy enough to make an effective case.


Do you remember a while ago when I went nuts for mittens and queued fifty bajillion patterns for mittens and then proceeded to not knit any of them? Well, this pattern isn't any of those patterns. But it is mittens, so I do feel that's a step in the right direction, at least.

They're actually the mittens that Bella (supposedly) wears in Twilight. I wouldn't know because I refuse to watch it, at least without several sarcastic friends and copious amounts of alcohol. Since that opportunity has yet to present itself, I've managed to abstain from the Robert Pattinson / Twilight mania thus far.

In light of my deep and profound dislike of Twilight, it's not unexpected that I swore to myself that I'd never knit these mittens, no matter how pretty I may think they are. However, I kept seeing them around Ravelry. And then I started seeing them around my LYS. And my obsession grew. Then I came to the horrifying realization that I had yarn sitting in my stash that would be perfect for them. And so here they are. Don't judge me.

--Lastly, I knit a little something for my kitty. See how much she likes it? Squee!

The reason I took the time to knit all these things when I could be working on my Quadrat is that my Quadrat is evil. EVIL.

I know, I know. My sweater is being mean to me. Huge shock. I know.

So. I swatched. Yep, actually swatched, not my usual method of half-assedly knitting a bit and going "eh, close enough!" I knit the ENTIRE square, and then I washed and blocked it, and measured again. Came out bang-on, so I started my sweater.

First off, let me say that the cable cast-on is the devil.

So are sweaters that come with SIX DIFFERENT FRIGGING CHARTS. I knit about thirty rows of the cabling before realizing that I'd switched charts B and D, and the cabling was coming out upside down and generally looked like crap. Before going through the trouble of dropping and reknitting those sections, on a whim I measured....

And.... wait for it....

My fucking gauge is fucking off. It's not coming out smaller, as one would assume with cabling and ribbing. No, it's coming out BIGGER.

So I rip, and start reknitting, and ten rows later I realize I've actually been knitting with one size 7 and one size 8 on my interchangeable circs. Rip, start again. I'm almost done with the sleeve, and I realize that I've made one very made mistake when I ripped. I was so obsessed with not having to cast on 110 stitches with the aforementioned cable cast-on that I didn't rip the nine rows of garter stitch. Which had to be knit in a smaller needle size. Since I went down a needle size, now the cable section and the garter sections are now knit in the same needle size.

Now, the cable section draws in, as cabling/ribbing is wont to do. Which means the garter section is now slightly wider than the cable section, and is now puckery. Which means I get to figure out a way to unravel that section and pick up all 110 stitches and reknit. Because I'm sure as hell not starting this sucker over AGAIN.

Stay tuned for further adventures. I'm sure they're coming.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

off to a good start!

So, 2010... so far so good! I've been super-productive knittingwise. It's kind of exciting!

Started off the new year by organizing my queue on Ravelry. It was already fairly organized to begin with, but I added tabs for easier searching, and moved my next month's worth of projects to the top with added descriptions, plans for what yarns to use, and finish-by dates.

I've (brace yourselves, now...) knit up a gauge swatch for Quadrat. Yes, a real gauge swatch. An actualy4"x4" square with a cute little garter border. And I'm going to wash it and everything, just like I'm supposed to. I know, I know. I'm kind of shocked too.

I've started on my first project of 2010: a case for my netbook. I'm about halfway through with the knitting portion, and then it just needs to be lined. I found the cutest fabric for that, stay tuned for pictures.

And, most excitingly, I've knit about three inches on the leg of Jason's socks. Remember those? The ones I started once upon a time and then shoved in a drawer and forgot about for a couple months? Yeah, those! Maybe I'll even finish the pair of them before springtime!

Let's hope I can keep this ball rolling!