December 16, 2009

Tunnel Vision

As NaKniSweModo progressed this year I found that suddenly I only saw sweater patterns. Browsing on Ravelry socks or shawls didn't even register with me. Now that I've completed the sweater challenge I'm a little sweatered-out. What will fill the void? 10 Shawls in 2010, of course! I've had a serious lace jones lately. Damson didn't really help with it since that project had its own issues. Ulmus didn't help because there was barely any lace to it. Now I'm trolling Ravelry and queueing lace shawls like they're going out of style. The rules for the group are simple.
The minimum requirement of meterage is 250 meter (ca 273 yards) for 8 of these shawls, whereas 2 must use at least 500 meters (ca 546 yards) of yarn.
There are no upper limits to meterage if you want to knit 10 big shawls :) Any shapes will do - and you can even be your own designer!

The plunge starts at January 1st and ends 31st of December 2010. NO WIPS count!

With these puny yarn requirements this challenge will be over for many participants around mid-February. I'm fine because I still want to do Knitting Everest too. My goals for that challenge are to finish my Giant Latvian Mitten Cardigan and Frost Flowers and Leaves. Then make Celtic Dreams and a Starmore--most likely St. Brigid.

This seems doable. Seems. Excuse me I'm off to queue another few dozen shawls.

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October 24, 2009

Featherweight Cardigan

Pattern: Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig
Yarn: Kimmet Croft Fairy Hare (4 skeins)
Needles: US6 Addi Turbo Lace
Notes: I don't think I picked up a enough stitches for the edging and it's pulling in a bit. I will decide later if I want to rip it out and reknit it. The yarn is a dream. It's soft, lofty and so warm.

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October 23, 2009

Going Out with a Whimper

My NaKniSweMoDo is over. I finished the Featherweight Cardigan last night. I knit the sleeves as long as I could. Then I ripped out the bind off on the edging and did it again. I looked at Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off then went to watch Project Runway and ended up doing something sort of made up. It's stretchy though. I'm blocking the sweater right now and must face up to two problems. One, it's short. There's not much I can do about that since I had a very limited amount of yarn to work with. I could rip out the edging, rip out a lot of the sleeves, add to the body and reknit the edging. But I don't think I will. The other issue is that I needed to pick up more stitches for the edging. I don't have the energy or enthusiasm to rip out the whole edging and reknit it. Plus it will end up narrower and I'm only just barely satisfied with the width. So this isn't how I wanted to end this challenge. It also reminds me that I wanted to redo the collar on Forestry from way back in January. I haven't worn it once. I have plenty of yarn for that one to get a deeper collar.

So now what do I do? NaKniSweMoDo has made me so sweater-centric that last night when I considered casting on for a hat I thought, "Only a hat? Eh." I need to take a hard look at my queue and do some evaluating.


October 20, 2009

I Need to Find My Camera Battery Charger

The phone camera is just not cutting it. It has been horribly gray and rainy for days and days in Seattle. Every time I try to catch some natural light for a photo the sky turns black and it starts to pour.

As you can barely make out in the photo, I'm on the home stretch with my Featherweight Cardigan. I'm pulling the same stunt on the sleeves that I did for my FLS--knitting the sleeves off of both ends of the same ball of yarn to squeeze out the most length possible. I need to reserve a few yards though. When I cast off for the edging I made it way too tight. It is completely unyielding and pulls in. I need to take out the cast off and do it again using a stretchier technique. At any rate, NaKniSweMoDo will be done for me in a few days.

Then what to knit?!

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May 28, 2009

Georgie and Maybe

The back of Georgie is growing steadily. I'm getting a little bored with the pattern. It's simple but you can't just zone out and knitknitknit. I also just realized that I'm going to camp in less than two months and my Giant Latvian Mitten Cardigan is nowhere close to done. I'm maybe a third done and I'll be traveling for almost all of June. Maybe this weekend I can build up a head of steam and get the body done and cut the sleeve steeks. Maybe...

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May 22, 2009

Yeah, So That Didn't Work Out

That Hepburn vest I started earlier this week? Didn't work out. I was just kidding myself about making that yarn work for that pattern. Ripped it out, put the yarn away and started Georgie (free .pdf pattern) in 4 Ply Soft. Much better.

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May 20, 2009

Knitting On

Time for something simple and portable to knit. While I was working on Lamour I became fond of another pattern in the same Rowan magazine, Hepburn, also by Sarah Hatton. I'm not 100% sure I can pull off this look but I thought I'd give it a go. I wanted to use stash yarn and ran into a puzzle. The pattern calls for Rowan 4-Ply Soft. I just so happen to have a lot of that in my stash in a lovely color called Beetroot. I have more than enough to make this vest. So much more that I would have loads left when I finished. But not enough to make another sweater. Okay, so I'll hang on to that for a bigger project. So what else is in the stash that the right gauge? Rowanspun 4-Ply purchased in December 2005. The original pattern has a beaded pattern on the bodice. I was planning on doing purls instead of placing beads. With this yarn I don't know if the pattern will be visible at all. But I'm worried that it's not strong enough to hold the beads. As always, I'll worry about that when I get there.

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May 19, 2009


Pattern: Lamour by Sarah Hatton from Rowan 44
Yarn: Knitpicks Elegance in Grass (just shy of 10 skeins)
Needles: US3 and 6 Addi Turbos
Notes: I knit the body of the sweater in the round and added waist shaping. When I got to the armholes I split the front and back and knit the pieces flat then joined the shoulders with a three-needle bind off. I tried the method that Lucy Neatby demos in her Finesse Your Knitting 2 DVD. You slip both front and back stitches off the needle, pass the front over the back, knit the stitch then pass the last stitch on the right needle over it. A very firm cast off. I knit the sleeves in the round and then sewed them into the sweater. All in all a very basic, hassle-free knit. The sweater is still damp from blocking. I was shocked at home much dye came out when I soaked it. I didn't noticed the dye bleeding at all when I was knitting but the washing water was very, very green.

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May 12, 2009

A Little Bit of Everything

I'm continuing to make slow progress on my GLMC. I still only work on it while at Purlygirls. I'm just a few rounds from starting the neck shaping.

Late on Sunday night I got to the armhole on the second sleeve of Lamour. I pulled out all the pieces and was preparing to join it all together when I realized that I was too fried and tired to think about it. But I still wanted to knit and made a rash decision to just knit the top of the front and back flat. So I'm working my way up the back.

I'm getting a little nervous about running out of yarn. I think I will make it but it's going to be close.

I've started a Babette blanket. I have 30(!) skeins of Rowan All Seasons Cotton that I've been collecting for a sampler afghan for years. Yesterday I bought a crochet hook and started a few blocks.

I'm quite sure I'm doing something not exactly right at the end of the rounds. I'm not sure I care all that much. They look all right.

I've been spinning a tiny bit too. I bought this "Batt of Beast" from The Artful Ewe two years ago. I started spinning it about a year and a half ago. It gave me a lot of trouble when I first tried to spin it. I spoke with Heidi about it and she suggested just blending it all up as much as I could before spinning. I've been tearing the batt into strips, rolling the strips up, pulling out a roving from the end of the roll, tearing the roving into short lengths and spinning from the fold. It makes a huge difference and the spinning has been much easier.

Just a little more to go. Look at all that cashmere. Yum.

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May 3, 2009

The Fretting Has Begun

I love knitting seamless sweaters. You mindlessly knit the body around and around. Ditto for the sleeves. Join it all up. Decrease, decrease. Voila! Sweater! But I've never knit a seamless set-in sleeve. Lamour, which I am knitting in the round from a pattern written for knitting in pieces, has set-in sleeves. So I started fretting after about 2" of the body had been knit about how to deal with the sleeves and yoke. I could knit the whole body, splitting when I get to the armholes, then knit the sleeves and sew them in. But would I knit the sleeves in the round or flat? Will that be a pain stitching sleeves into a yoke with sewn shoulder seams? Should I knit it seamlessly? Will that be hard? Will there be problems down the road that I'm just not seeing yet? Fret, fret, fret. And then there's the measuring. The pattern, like most lace, needs a severe blocking.


Egg crate.


So when the pattern says knit for 35cm, I--after a quick check on Google to see what 35cm is in inches--just don't know how stretched out the lace should be when I measure it. More fretting. First I think, better to err on the long side but then I worry that I'll run out of yarn. Stretch it this much? This much? I just don't know. Since I am quickly approaching the 35cm mark (stretched) I really need to get a grip on myself quickly and figure out what my next steps will be.

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March 27, 2009

Diminished Diminishing Ribs

Diminishing Ribs has been a pleasingly fast knit so far. On Wednesday night, however, I began the first ribbing (after separating off the sleeves and knitting straight for 4 inches). I didn't have the right number of stitches. After counting everything up I discovered that I hadn't cast on the correct number of stitches under one of the sleeves. It was random and odd and incredibly annoying to have to rip out four inches of the sweater. I'm on the road to recovery now. I will also need to cut off the collar and reknit it when I'm done because it is super-duper-extra-crazy-floppy. I think I'll need to go down at least three or four needles sizes to make it look decent. So with that in mind I'm planning on going down a few needles sizes when I get to the ribbing on the body. This yarn is so slack that it will stretch quite a bit anyway.

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March 24, 2009

What's Up?

The Auburn Camp Shirt is done. Buttons sewn on. Completely, totally done. I don't have pictures. My schedule has been changing lately and I don't have any time during daylight hours to take pictures. Or to blog. I joined a new gym a few weeks ago and am very committed to getting back in shape. I'm doing the Couch to 5k program and am just about done with Week 2. So I won't make any apologies for not blogging as much or as well as usual. Getting fit is more important.

I picked up my Giant Latvian Mitten Cardigan last night after the last ACS button was sewn. I got maybe four rounds done while at knitting last night. It's about 13" long now. Only a few more inches until I cast on the sleeve steeks.

My Diminishing Ribs is growing so fast. It's my at-home-watching-tv knitting and I have less than an inch to go before dividing for the sleeves (it's top-down). Bountiful Bohus will have to wait for this one to finish up I think. Once I get momentum on a project I try to ride it out.

So that's what's new with me. What's new with you?

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March 13, 2009

This Might Really Happen

The Auburn Camp Shirt is seamed and looks like an actual sweater. One side of the collar is underway. Little sleeve tabs also need doing.

But I also cast on another sweater. I can't only have sweaters on size 1 and 2 needles around. It's the Bountiful Bohus from More Big Girl Knits. Coincidentally the same designer, Chrissy Gardiner, as the ACS.

Cascade 220 in Vandyke Brown. Ah, simple knits in a big gauge. Can't wait.

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February 27, 2009

Asymmetrical Cardigan

Pattern: Asymmetrical Cardigan from Knitting Nature
Yarn: Noro Cash Laine
Needles: US8 Clover circulars and US9 Addi Turbos
Notes: I didn't make any changes to the pattern. They yarn is fluffy and delicious. I think I will be wearing this a lot. I tried very hard to take a photo of me in it and they were all awful.

Seriously, this is the best I could do.

Self-Portrait FAIL.

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February 7, 2009


This is knit in one piece. The fronts have been knit to the "armholes" and the sleeves have been cast on. Zooming along. (GLMC is also getting lots of attention but the progress is not so dramatic.)

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January 31, 2009

Cupcakes Make Everything Better

Giant Americano joined by tiny cupcake.

Friday is my day off. Most weeks I completely fail to plan anything and end up kind of wasting the day. Not this week. Amelia was looking for someone to join her for a little knitting and hanging out. We agreed to meet at Trophy Cupcake. Then I found out Rebecca was having a day off too. I invited her along as well. Then Amelia was running late and didn't have my number. She called Jeanne who also happened to be free. So we all got together and had a lovely morning of knitting and chatting. Then Amanda called. She came over too. Amelia had to go before lunch but the rest of us went out and just generally had the nicest time. We wrapped it all up just in time for me to go pick up the kids at school. I wish all Fridays could be like that.

With all that great knitting time I made a lot of progress on the GLMC.

And I started my fourth NaKniSweMoDo sweater too! I didn't mean to. Honest. But I made a swatch and know where that leads. I'm making the Asymmetrical Cardigan from Knitting Nature in Noro Cash Laine. It's long-discontinued 80% wool and 20% cashmere. Mmmmmm. This stuff is nice. Also nice to have something on larger needles that is less chart-intensive than the GLMC.

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January 29, 2009

Granny Smith Fair Isle Cardigan

Pattern: Fair Isle Yoke Sweater Made Entirely on Circular Needles by Elizabeth Zimmermann from The Opinionated Knitter
Yarn: Cascade 220, colors 8914, 8010, 9441, 8401, 9341
Needles: US6 and 4 Addi Turbos
Notes: I added my usual waist-shaping borrowed from the Retro Prep pattern. I made the sleeves slightly wider at the cuff than usual and lengthened them a bit. I didn't put in buttonholes since I never button my sweaters anyway.

I love it.

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January 27, 2009

Another Collar Set Back

My theme for NaKniSweMoDo this year seems to be "screwing up the collar." The first sweater the collar screw up was in the pattern (and I still need to rip it out and reknit it). Tonight after I bound off the last stitch on my fair isle cardi I saw immediately that the collar was HUGE. After a lot of staring and counting stitches I realized that I had forgotten the final set of decreases in the yoke. What a screw up. I was in such a hurry yesterday trying to get the steek sewn before leaving for work that I just skipped the last part of the yoke. I've ripped it all out and am starting again.

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January 25, 2009

Cardi, TNNA and Dog Update All Rolled Into One

I must be having blog-related dementia. I thought I had blogged my progress on my granny smith green fair isle cardigan when I started the sleeves but now I see that I never did. Last night I started the colorwork.

If you recall I choose two dark red/purples that were way too close in hue and value to use in the same fair isle pattern. I started a half-assed mini-swatch yesterday to after sketching out some ideas for color placement. I was thinking that I would go to the shop and get a skein of very dark gray to sub in for one of the too-close colors. As I worked along I kept thinking, "This needs more contrast." I decided to throw the granny smith green in and the colors really popped.

I also nearly forgot to throw in a few short rows to raise the back. I'm glad I remembered because it helps the fit so much on this style sweater.

So I should be done with this sweater in a few more days. Next will be a return to the Giant Latvian Mitten Cardigan.

I never really blogged about TNNA, did I? The winter show is smaller and slower than the summer show. It makes sense. Going into spring yarn shops see a big slow down. I felt the mood was kind of gloomy. Wholesalers didn't have much of anything new to offer. There were new cotton yarns but I don't find those very exciting and we don't stock many. I also didn't see any strong color trends. Last summer the color trends were very clear.

There are a lot of modestly priced shawl pins and sticks coming out. Brittany has one (see picture below); Lantern Moon has expanded their line of shawl pins; One World Button has some; Annie Adams expanded her line (one of hers is in the photo below too). Lantern Moon has also come out with some really beautiful crochet hooks in both ebony and rosewood.

TNNA swag includes the two shawl pins I mentioned above, a chicken kitchen timer from Blue Sky Alpacas and a simple tool case.

Books were being handed out left and right though most of them have been out for some time already. Some new books that I saw preview copies of that look really nice are Sock Innovation by Cookie A. (see preview here)and Simple Style (preview).

One good tip I learned from the ladies at the Eucalan booth is that it makes a good dog shampoo. We tried it last night on Isabella and she is very soft and shiny now. They also pointed out that eucalyptus and lavender are natural flea repellents. The flea population in Seattle is so vigorous that I would not rely on lavender-scented shampoo alone unless I was washing her every day. But it sure smells nice.

We stopped by the vet yesterday to get Bella her rabies shot and we put her on the scale. She weighs 100 pounds! I was so shocked I made Wes reweigh her twice. I knew she was huge but holy crap. 100!

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December 27, 2008

Deep in the Forestry

Sorry for the funky photo. It was a super-gray day.

I'm off and running on Forestry. It's very easy and straightforward once you read the errata and get over the fact that all the stitches you do on the right side are called left-something-or-other and everything on the left side is called right-something-or-other. Kept reversing those. It also features the dreaded "work as for left front, reversing all shaping." Man, I hate that. I knit through Velvet Goldmine and Where Angels Fear to Tread yesterday. Just saw that Horse Feathers is on Hulu. Going to go watch that now while I knit.

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December 26, 2008

You Know What Swatching Leads To

When I listed my possible NaKniSweMoDo choices (which have already started to change a lot) a commenter, Mary, pointed out that the Nature Wool I was thinking of using for Drops 103-1 is too thin to knit at 4.5 sts/in despite what the label says. Reading a bit more on the label I saw that it contains 242 yds/100 grams. That makes it it thinner than Cascade 220. Definitely too fine to knit at 4.5 sts/in. I wasn't worried. After looking at the Drops sweater I didn't think I would have any trouble changing the gauge. So I needed to determine my gauge. I swatched. I really, hardly ever swatch. I know, bad on me. I decided that on 6s I got a fabric that I liked that was 5 sts/in. I went back to my list and studied my queue a bit. Forestry jumped out at me. I didn't like it at all in the magazine. That belt...shudder. But seeing some completed sweaters on Ravelry and Veronik Avery's own photos of the sweater I really fell in love with the design.

So I cast on.

Three times.

I decided to knit this in one piece. It's just a raglan so no need for seaming. I also am solidly between two sizes and my gauge is a little iffy so I changed the numbers slightly. I had a *ahem* difficult time getting my ribbing pattern established. But the ribbing is done now.

I also pulled out some of the Noro Cash Laine I was thinking of using for this sweater. I haven't swatched it yet.

But then, I saw this scarf. I love a good stashbuster. I wanted to use up all my worsted-weight scraps. I started this the night before last. I found the pattern instructions really impossible to understand. I've never done linen stitch before. I ended up looking up someone else's better-written linen stitch instructions and it's going fine. But it's super boring and I hate knitting scarves. Also my scraps are mostly gray or green so it's not really popping.

And sometime last week I had a hankering for a sock project. My leftover Puck's Mischief from Selbu Modern was still sitting out. I started Retro Rib from Favorite Socks. It didn't grab me. For whatever reason the pattern didn't click for me. It's a very simple pattern but I couldn't get into it's rhythm. So I cast on for a heavily-modified Gentleman's Sock for Evening Wear from Knitting Vintage Socks. Much better but I've hardly worked on them.

I even got in a little knitting on my Sock Yarn Blanket while we took the kids to see Tale of Despereaux last night (Very scattered, uninspired movie. Our younger son enjoyed it but overall it was meh.)

So right now I'm all over the map. I'm hoping to pull myself together and focus a bit. Not my strongest suit.

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November 30, 2008

A Possible List

In no particular order.

  1. Araucania Nature Wool for BPT or possibly Drops 103-1

  2. Baruffa 7 Settembre(needs to be dyed) for Sylph Cardigan (longer without the ruffle)

  3. Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran for Saddle-Shoulder Aran Cardigan WG 63/SO 49

These are just sweaters that I have the yarn for in my stash. I have enough yarn for a three or four more but they are all fingering weight so it's not at all realistic. There are also my three sweaters still on the needles, GLMC, Auburn Camp Shirt and Marianne, all knit in fingering or lace-weight yarn. I'd also love to knit the February Lady Sweater and/or Bountiful Bohus during this challenge and probably a dozen more sweaters so there will definitely be a lot of shuffling of this list. But this is the start.

These are all Ravelry links. At this point I assume everyone has joined.


November 28, 2008

It's Crazy But It's My Kind of Crazy

For the last few days I've been wrestling with a dilemma. To join or not to join NaKniSweMoDo. Can I knit 12 adult-sized sweaters in a year? Yes, definitely. Do I want to? I think I maybe kind of want to. I also know that if I don't do it and start reading about it on everyone's blog in January I'm going to wish I did it. I have been known to be a knitalong whore. I have resisted the lure of a knitalong for a long time. I started to resent feeling like I "had to" knit something. But now I think I might be ready to jump back in. And it will be a real joy to finally knit up all that sweater yarn in my stash. Anyone else thinking of joining?