The pesky thing called a life

•'01/3/07 • Leave a Comment

I have oh-so-much updating to do, but I can’t find the cord to my camera, so the pics are all stuck in there. Since I last posted I have knitted a ton of stuff, including a drop stitch scarf out of a handspun red/pinkish/purple yarn that Jenny of Madwoman in the Attic sent me as a thank you for help with a chart, a cabled scarf out of some unnamed probably acrylic that I bought a one pound bag of for $6. It’s periwinkle blue and it’s going to my grandfather. I also made a lengthwise scarf with matching armwarmers for Aaron and that is just the stuff I have finished. In the works is the Backyard Leaves scarf in Paton’s Classic Merino in peacock, socks in burgundy Knitpicks Essentials and I haven’t even had time to touch the laceweight purple stuff I got from Knitpicks a couple of months ago.

As for the year that went…

Finished stuff:
1. Short Row Rib Scarf and Thumbelina armwarmers for myself.
2. Hearts scarf for Aaron’s coworker.
3. DiagonAlly baby blanket for Tonya(‘s baby).
4. Oh-so-conservative-cabled-scarf for Aaron’s mom (that I haven’t blogged – shame on me).
5. Crocheted “honest to God dreddie tam” for Suz.
6. Fuzzy Feet for my grandfather (that ended up being for me since someone already gave him slippers).
7. Kiri aka my first lace shawl for my grandmother.
8. Bottomless bag for myself.
9. Hybrid, renamed MeshMash bag for myself.
10. Tivoli shirt for myself.
11. Autumn headband + armwarmers for me or my aunt or anyone that wants them.
12. Daisy baby sweater for Irma.
13. Very Manly Striped Scarf + Armwarmers for Aaron.
14. Periwinkle Cables scarf for grandpa.
15. Drops scarf for myself.

Started but not finished (obviously I like to torture myself):

In the category: Things I’m actually working on.
1. Backyard Leaves scarf.
2. Father&Son socks.
3. Jaywalker socks.

In the category: Mostly Finishing Left But God Knows When I’ll have the Time.
1. We Call Them Pirates hat. Needs a lining. Or possibly a different yarn.
2. Fall sweater. Needs two more inches and yarn of the right dyelot.
3. Irish Coronet. Ends only.
4. Via Diagonale. Needs a lining.

In the category: What the Hell Was I Thinking?
1. Gone Fishing baby sweater. Let’s just say: babies have big heads. This sweater doesn’t.
2. Checkerpatterned baby blanket. Note to self: you hate intarsia.
3. Pinwheel baby blanket. Blankets are not my thing. Clearly.
4. 100% cotton diaperbag. Note to self: You hate 100% cotton. And intarsia. Still.

And that’s just the stuff I remember. God knows what my actual track record is. But 15 projects, of which 6 was for myself, 3 were lace, 8 were my own patterns and most turned out pretty good is… well, awesome. I wonder how much I could knit if I didn’t have that pesky thing called a life…

Slightly manic in the best way possible

•'11/18/06 • 1 Comment

I finally bought vitamins, and I have to say that placebo is a wonderful thing. I already feel so much better, although I strictly shouldn’t. Not yet.

I need to get my ass outside and take some pictures of my S’n’B submission. Last day is Monday. Thanks to freshgroundfemm I realized that I have to send a contract in, and uh, before Monday. Which is so not gonna happen, even if I race to the mailbox this very second. I think I’m going to scan the signed contract and attach it to the email when I send the pictures and pattern. Maybe that’ll do until they get the actual contract.

I’m pretty much obsessed with the potstickers from our local Chinese place. I could eat them for the rest of my life. Right now I’m fighting myself whether or not to leave Aaron a couple. Although he did eat all the icecream – twice!

Went to no less than two local yarn stores yesterday. In the first one they wouldn’t even look at us until Tracey slammed what she wanted to buy down on the counter. In the second we were greeted immediately and small talked with the lady (Kathe was not there though, boo!) the whole time. I went in circles petting everything so many times that I lost count. And still I left with nothing. I’m simply becoming too much of a yarn snob and couldn’t justify spending a lot of money on something I didn’t quite have a plan for. The two things I was most drawn too was the following…

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Lady Godiva Renaissance, 50% silk, 50% wool.

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Lady Godiva Paris, 50% silk, 50% wool.

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Lorna’s Laces, 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon.

(Pics were borrowed from Purl Yarns because I couldn’t find a decent picture anywhere else. Sorry! No stole bandwidth and uh, here’s some advertising for you, so don’t be mad.)

In the end though, paying $35 (yes, seriously!) for roughly 200 yards of yarn, no matter if it’s silk, well, it just wasn’t possible. And although I loved the purple striping of the Lorna’s laces I couldn’t justify spending $28 on a pair of socks ($14 per skein, you need two for one pair) when we can barely afford to pay our bills.

I have decided though, that I’m going to find a yarn that is softy soft for a scarf and armwarmer set. The one I have from last year is pretty and purple but oh so itchy. Boo.

Big Bad Irma Blanket

•'11/4/06 • 2 Comments

So, exactly how bad is it to decide to have dinner delivered (Chinese or pizza is the question) because your new Knitpicks order just arrived? Pretty damn bad I’m sure. I’m aware of how boring it is to look at other people’s yarn when it’s not in a project, so I’m just gonna include a picture of my absolute favorite, Shadow in the color Vineyard:

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Yes, I did stick the yarn in the scanner because it’s too dark in here to take a picture that makes the color justice. And that’s with every lamp on. Clearly I need to invest in a new camera. The color on this picture is pretty much exactly the color of the yarn, so much more beautiful than it is on the site, and that’s why I love my scanner, even if it smoshes my beloved yarn.

I think I’m going to use this to try a pattern I’ve been thinking about. It’s a shawl with zig zags going down into a point, and well, I really hope that hasn’t been done yet. It’s meant to be a symbol for lighting and Thunderbeings and all that stuff. I don’t know much about them, but Aaron does and came home one day with an idea for a lace shawl drawn on the back of a napkin. So that I’m trying, with the help of Eunny Jang‘s awesome article about shaping in Interweave Knits (how did she know I was thinking of how to do exactly that? She must be psychic). I’m most likely getting in over my head thinking about designing lace, but hey… humor me (that is, the three or so people reading this).

Other than that we got quite a bit of Wool of the Andes (when you can only afford to buy yarn once every six months or so you gotta splurge), some for a simple striped shawl for a friend, a bear (that was requested to be white with a red sweater… and please don’t ask why because I have no idea!) and of course some so that Aaron can get his own hat/scarf/armwarmers set now that it’s getting cold.

I didn’t get much yarn, just the Shadow and a couple of skeins of burgundy Essential, because I wanted to know what it felt like to knit with before ordering every skein they had for Serrano from Knitty that I’m deeply in love with, but little apprehensive about, because a cardigan with sock weight yarn on size 1.5 and 2.5 needles? So far I’m practicing with my brand new DPNS (size 1) making the Father-and-Son socks from Interweave Knits. I think I have a kid sized leg (but it’s hard to tell since they don’t tell you where on the leg to measure…), and I’m just gonna make a longer foot. I hope it works, because I love the design.

We also got a couple of cords and interchangeable needles in the sizes 4, 6 and 8. I know it would be cheaper to buy the whole set, but I’ve had my Denises for like three years and can count the times I used anything bigger than 8 on one hand. So, we’re starting with these three. I’m working on a needle case in my head for it. I don’t want to pay $20 for what looks like a planner with a few plastic sheets in it. We’ll see how it goes.

Anyway (God, I’m rambly today) the reason I’m posting… I’ve got a finished object. The Big Bad Baby Blanket renamed Irma after the girl that’s receiving it. I’ve read so much about what a pain in the ass it is to finish, but I only worked on it for about three weeks. It was not the most stimulating knitting I’ve ever done, but perfect because I could study and knit at the same time.

What? The Big Bad Baby Blanket.
Pattern: From Stitch n’ Bitch. You know where to find it. Everybody and their mother has made this thing.
Yarn: Bernat Baby Coordinates Sweet Stripes (75.2% acrylic, 22.2% acetate – what the hell is that? – and 2.6% nylon, 404 yards), about a skein and a half, so 600 yards total or so. Color Splash Stripes.

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The acrylic is surprisingly soft and the stripes are almost completely even. I like this blanket a lot, although the perfectionist in me is a little sad that I can’t block it to an exact square. I didn’t swatch, I just cast on 150 stitches and hoped for the best. It worked out pretty well, since the pattern says 29×29 inches unblocked and 32×32 blocked, and mine is roughly 30×30 inches. As you can see Elliot likes the blanket a lot more than he likes to be on pictures.

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Here is a close up of the cast off edge, where I used Elizabeth Zimmermann’s cast off and although it takes time I absolutely love the result. So stretchy and neat and completely amazing.

What if she doesn’t want to be “pretty in pink”?

•'10/13/06 • Leave a Comment

It’s funny how you sometimes knit and knit and knit, but you have nothing to show for it. I’ve been redoing the Very Secret Thing I’m making for Linn about a hundered times. So I finally put it down and grabbed the first yarn I could find, which happened to be Bernat Baby Coordinates Sweet Stripes. I think Aaron bought it for a blanket and never got around to start it. Or rather, started over so many times that he got totally tired of it and put it aside.

I never knit blankets. I hate the monotony of it all. But then I saw all these pictures of Linn’s daughter and all she has is pink! Clothes, blankets, you name it. And I just wanted to do something different for her. So I started the Big Bad Baby Blanket in green/blue and now I’m trying to decide if the green is too bright or if it’s an OK color combination. What do you think?

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I have also spent an enormous amount of time unraveling a thrift store sweater. It’s 100% silk and the yarn is fragile and strong at the same time. I still have to get the kinks out, so it still looks like Ramen noodles, but isn’t the color beautiful? 

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And last but not least I have to show you just how big a Maine Coon can get. And Elliot isn’t even a pure breed. He’s at least half unknown-shorthair-stray, but he still has the body of a Maine Coon!

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And keep in mind we have two. That is, we have three “normal sized” kitties and two Maine Coons. Everywhere kitties!

Since the last time I wrote…

•'09/25/06 • Leave a Comment

- I have knitted and ripped out the same bag about 40,000 times. Or maybe it’s six. I’m not sure.

- I’ve decided to knit Serrano out of Knitpicks Essentials. Probably burgundy.

- Tried to narrow down my list of stuff to buy from Knitpicks. I’m down to a sweater’s worth of Merino Style for Aaron, two hanks of either Shadow or Alpaca Cloud, a shitload of Essential for me, a circular needle, size 2 or 3 (I’m leaning towards 2, my pattern calls for 2.5, but the size that fits me has zero negative ease, and 2 or so inches is recommended, so maybe a size 2 would give me that…) and Aaron wants size 8 needle tips from the Options line. Because he only knits with 8′s. Weirdo.

- I’ve learned how to knit two-handed, continental with my constrasting color and English with my main color. It’s really exciting and the result is great. So much more even that my earlier method, also known as “drop one yarn, pick up the next, twist them around each other a lot and say “fuck” loudly when the result is mediocre at best”.

Um yeah. That’s about it. I’m busy. Unfortunately not with knitting.

Daisy is not a girl

•'09/14/06 • Leave a Comment

I haven’t written in this blog for so long. Mostly because my knitting has consisted of a lot of ripping and not so much knitting. I made a dish cloth, and I love it, but it’s very not pretty after being used for a week or two. Maybe after I wash it I will take a picture. I also made this:

What? Baby cardigan in the six month old size.
Pattern: Daisy from Knitty.
Yarn: TLC Cotton Plus (51% cotton/49% acrylic, 186 yards), about one skein of Spruce and little bits of Lavender for the sleeves.

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An itty bitty cardigan to send off to Linn instead of the Gone Fishing sweater since I really don’t feel like fixing the neckband on that one. It’s so itty bitty and so cute and oh my God, that Yarn Harlot really knows her shit when it comes to baby sweaters. I really loved that I could mattress stitch the sleeves because of the raglan shaping. Now I just gotta resolve my button issue…

Gone fishing with a mesh bag

•'08/21/06 • 1 Comment

I finished the baby sweater. (Yes, I ripped out the sleeve and reknitted it with more decreases, what did you expect from Ms Pain-in-the-Ass-Perfectionist?) And I hate it. It’s all bunchy and weird, and worst of all, if the baby doesn’t have a head the size of a small apple he will not be able to get it on. I guess there is a reason they say to put buttons in. My choices are now:
a) rip out the neckband, start over with a bigger size needle (the reason I went down to 5′s from 6′s was that I can’t pick up stitches to save my life without making each one the size of Texas – imagine a baby with x number of Texases around his neck; not pretty!,
b) undo the three-needle-bind off of the shoulders and put snap buttons in since I, obviously, didn’t do any button holes.
The problem is that I really don’t feel like doing either. I have to wait and see if blocking helps the unevenness first. Either way, I’m putting it here as a sort of Finished Object for now.

What? Gone Fishing Baby Sweater
Pattern: My own, mostly. When I’m done I will write it up, but for now I’m way too frustrated with the damn thing.
Yarn: KnitPicksShine & Shine Twist, like it was called when I bought it, aka Shine Sport, which they call it these days (60% pima cotton/40% modal, 110 yards), 2-3 half used skeins, probably about 150-200 yards or so, and a little bit of TLC Plus (51% cotton/49% acrylic, 186 yards), too little to even estimate yardage.

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Here are the bunchies that annoy the crap out of me in all their glory. But at least you can see how much better a sleeve with decreases look.

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A second picture to show the fishies on the sleeves and how they correspond with the ones on the chest. Except for being fatter. Smaller, but fatter.

A while ago I posted the finishedness of a mesh bag, a hybrid between Kitchen Sink from Knitty and Saturday Market Bag from MagKnits. I still don’t have a pattern, but I am armed with pictures. Lots of pictures!

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This is what it looks like hanging from our laundry cart. It’s a good thing the strap is sturdy with all the crap i put in it.

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This is what it looks like empty and all flattened out on a bed (aka nothing like it will when you’re actually using it).

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I can’t do closeups to save my life. As much as it looks like a blurry, psychedelic pattern it actually is a close up of the mesh.

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The sides are mesh too, surrounded by a great deal of seed stitch. It’s good for the soul. Or so I’ve heard.

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Hanging out on my bed.

 
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