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reluctant knitting

ok, well...not really "reluctant", but...

working on xmas gift #3 is like pulling teeth and i don't know why. i don't feel like i can "feel" what i'm knitting, if that makes any sense. my hands have been getting sort of tired, but i'm not sure if that's because of the yarn, the needles, or both. here are the possible culprits:
- pattern - there's an allover 16 row lace pattern. it isn't hard, so i just need to glance at the pattern for each right side row once and i'm good to go. it's easy to tink back and i can't go more than 2 rows without noticing a missing or extra stitch, which is a fabulous combination.
- yarn - it's gorgeous and soft, but...maybe it's too light? is that why i'm having a problem feeling my knitting on this?
- needles - US size 4 14" metal straights. i haven't knit with metal straights in a while, and i think these might be a bit too heavy for my hands. i don't think the size (US 4) is a problem, since i've been knitting with smaller needles lately, in including size 3 (circs and dpns) for shedir.
- all of the above - possibly. i don't know what my deal is.
- none of the above - since i've been so excited about my last few projects, i'm wondering if i need something more challenging (or completely mindless / ignore-able).

so, yeah...good times. this gift will be gorgeous when it's done, but...that's when it's done.


FO - shedir

pattern: shedir from knitty
yarn: just under 1 ball rowan calmer in calm (as called for in pattern)
source: tangled web fibers, store closing sale
needles: 12" US 3 addis turbos, 4 7" US 3 marcia lynn aluminum dpns
gauge: i never checked, actually.
cost: $7.51, including tax
recipient: nadine's thesis advisor
timeline: started 08.23.2006, finished 08.26.2006

pattern notes...
row 10: twisting stitches is hard. (i twisted each M1 before purling.)
15 (and all similar rows): complete and utter cabling insanity!
17: taught myself how to cable without a cable needle. good-bye, paperclip!
a few rows later: ok, so i can cable without a needle when i just need to hold the cable needle to the front and knit the stitches. oh, well. cable needle it is.
27: a knot?
28: 2 knots????? within about 12 inches of each other? screw you, rowan!*
54: for the cable 3 right, i slipped the next 2 sts, held them to the back, knit the next st, purled the 2nd st on the cable needle and left it on the cable needle, knit the 1st st on the cable needle, and then slipped them both off of the needle.
jogless jog: well, i don't know if was just me, but i had a lot of issues with where the rows should start. if i'd just gone by the chart, my pattern definitely would have been messed up. instead, i just paid attention to what was going on and moved the starting poing accordingly. it worked.

*i may actually email rowan about this. since the pattern called for "exactly 1 ball" of calmer and the yarn store i'd gone to only had this one left, i was afraid of just cutting out that piece and ending up with too little yarn.

ok, so...i knit waaaaay too much on this last night because i really, really wanted to get to the top, and my hands were pretty sore this morning. i'm taking a knitting hiatus for today, but it's hard.

how gorgeous is the top of this hat?

the wrong side looks pretty cool, too.

and the tiny bit of yarn that i had left over.

would i make one for myself? well...

as you can see, my Head of Doom would require one more repeat of the main cable part, if not two. i'd go with the calmer again, too, i think. also, i'd definitely use another light color because there's no way i'd do all of that cabling only to have it disappear on some dark yarn.

overall, i LOVED working on this. there was a hell of a lot of cabling, but now i feel capable of doing pretty much anything cable-wise in a knitting project. it is, quite simply, the most beautiful thing i've ever knit. it came out great, i think, and i can't wait for nadine to give it to her advisor.

RIP - razor cami

sometimes, you just need to face facts.

in this case, i just really didn't like how this was stretching or how short the stretching (width-wise) made it.

plus, i was definitely going to purchase more (different) yarn to finish it. oh, and it was heavy on the wool content, and i really, really, really couldn't convince myself that i needed, you know, a wool tank top.

so...good-bye razor cami with your many, many lifelines.

let's frog. *sighs heavily*

i wonder what this yarn will eventually become...

thanks to isa for all her help. it was rough.

would i attempt this pattern again? maybe. i like the (solid) versions other people have made, but i'd definitely make sure that i used a "cooler" yarn.


even more shedir progress

not much to say. my hands are tired (i'm blaming the cotton and all of the cabling.), but i love how this looks. i'd be thrilled if i could have it done by the end of the weekend.


shedir progress

this pattern is kicking my ass, but...i love it.

that said, i'm most definitely looking forward to decreasing.


starting shedir

apparently, i have to have a lot of attention-requiring projects on the go at the same time. what's up with that?

FO - green gable

pattern: green gable from zephyr style
yarn: knitpicks main line in dusty lavender, just over 7 skeins (purchased 8 on sale for $1.97/skein)
needles / hook: US size 6 circs from my old boye set in the flowered case for the body, US size 4 circs (also from the flowered boy set) for the bottom ribbing, set of 4 10" US size 4 susan bates metal dpns, 29" US size 5 susan bates circ to try on the shirt as i went along, g/6 metal boye crochet hook to weave in ends
gauge: 20 sts and 28 rows = 4" in St st on size 6s
size: size 36" bust
cost: $17.75 (for the yarn), including shipping
timeline: started 07.29.2006, messed up lace and started over 08.03.2006, finished 08.21.2006

changes: i pretty much followed the pattern as written. however, since i have a small waist, i did 4 total decrease rounds instead of just 2. i also spaced them further apart.

Removing sleeves:
...Continue knitting in the round until piece measures 2.5 inches from under arm seam.
Decrease round:
as written.
For Sizes XS(S, M) Only. All other sizes skip and move on to Round E.
Work three rounds in St st. Work decrease round.
Repeat these 4 rounds twice more.

the only other change was to knit in the round until the piece measured 14" from under the arm.

overall: i adore working on items that i can try on as i go. also, i liked working on the pattern in general (and the stockinette section was great to work on while watching tv, on the bus, or in the car). i probably wouldn't make another one of these, but thats mostly because it's the kind of piece that would stand out in my wardrobe. one is enough. i wouldn't mind making another one as a gift, though. all in all, i love the way it fits and feels. i'm goig to have to see how this yarn washes, but it was pretty nice to work with.

here's a good pic of the lace...

and the back. (excuse the mess.)

reason #344 why you shouldn't put your camera on the timer when there are other people in the house.


starting butterfly!

i swatched for butterfly today, since i got my knitpicks needles in the mail.

my gauge is a little bit off (and, yes, i realize that i did a craptastically small swatch.), but i think that blocking a bigger piece will let me end up being even closer to gauge.

in other not-so-great news, i really, really need to get another ball of yarn. hopefully, the yarn store i got this one at will have some more in the same dye lot. if not, i might end up going with a different color.

in other news...

green gable is blocked! however, the neck is a teensy bit on the floppy side, so i wet it again, hoping that it would shrink up a bit. i went a little crazy getting the lace part to open up. i'll take another picture (and post my thoughts on the pattern) once it looks more the way i like it. i'm also hoping to take a picture when the sun is out.


xmas progress and spinning

i started xmas gift #3 today, mostly because i was dying to get that debbie bliss pure silk on the needles. i don't know if it's the silk, the needles i'm using (boye metal straights), or a combination of the two, but my left hand is sore. (check out my cute new stitch markers.)

i also did a bit of spinning today. i know spinning isn't that difficult and just takes some time to do well, but i feel completely awkward when i do it. well, maybe not completely, but...yeah. i used some purple and incredibly bright orange wool that i got at the michigan fiber festival on sunday. (that's my green gable blocking in the background.)

also, i plied for the first time! some parts were spun too tightly, so i had to work with that a bit, but i think it came out well enough. i'm calling this my halloween yarn because of the colors. aren't i clever?

also, what does one do with teeny tiny skeins of yarn? i may just end up displaying them in random places...away from the cats.

even more green gable progress

you know what this means...

blocking time!


green gable progress

::saturday morning

::road trip progress

::evening progress

to sum up...i'm almost done. i just need to keep knitting the body until it's long enough, weave in the ends, and block it. hurrah!


green gable progress...and xmas

after doing a bunch of knitting today (thank you, cta, for the seats on the bus!), here's where i was on the way home.

and then, after doing the waist decreases...

unless i get the needles, pattern, and beads for butterfly really soon, i think i'll just keep working on this until it's done. it would be really nice to have it finished by next week, but i'm not sure if that's too optimistic.

so far, the only change i've made to the pattern is that i only knit 4.5" down from the armhole before doing an decrease round, did 3 plain rows, another decrease round, another 3 plain rows, and a final decrease round. it seems to be fitting really well so far, but i'll throw in another decrease round later on if i need to.

my second xmas project is coming along pretty well. i'm about 15% done with it, which is cool with me, since i just started it yesterday.


yarn diet? what is that?

needless to say, the tangled web store-closing sale and stitches midwest thoroughly screwed up my planned yarn diet. however...it was worth it.

::tangled web
i got TONS of yarn here. i didn't do as much damage as i could have, but it was still significant.

debbie bliss pure silk in 27004
this is is slotted for a really cool xmas gift. i'm thoroughly excited about working with this yarn: 100% silk and a gorgeous shade of light yellow. i wanted to cast on the same day i brought it home. (i've also been tempted to keep this stuff for myself.)

rowan kidsilk haze in majestic
after seeing butterfly on domesticat and a few other blogs, i just couldn't help myself. i still need to buy the pattern book (and probably a pair of knitpicks needles, since they look fabulously pointy).

rowan big wool in ice blue
this will eventually be the bulky hooded capelet from loop d loop. i'm making it for nadine.

rowan big wool in gingersnap
this is going to be one floor cushion for the frontroom. i'm using the pattern from last-minute knitted gifts.

debbie bliss cashmerino lot
(don't they look happy sitting all together on my windowsill? i bought a lot of db cashmerino at the sale. i've already used up the charcoal ball on a xmas gift, and not have 3 left in navy, 1 in pea green (this color is GORGEOUS in person. i might end up making something for myself with it.), and 1 in evergreen. (a ball of cashmerino chunky in coral also managed to make its way home with me. i honestly thought it was aran weight. oh, well.)

::stitches midwest 2006
i wasn't too bad here and the majority of what i bought was for specific xmas gifts.

valley yarns bershire in eggplant
more xmas gift yarn. this is a fabulous indigo/purple yarn. it's a bit fuzzier than i thought it was, but it's interesting to be working with a single-ply yarn. it actually reminds me of the yarn i spun a while ago.

berroco ultra alpaca in cranberry mix
and even more xmas gift yarn. i love the color of this. it's got darker and lighter cranberry colors in it. lovely stuff.

skaska designs 55% merino 45% tencel laceweight in green
this is just for me. i've been drooling over shawl patterns using laceweight yarn, ,so i figured i'd might as well grab some. there are 3100 yards in this hank, so this should get me through two shawls, at least. the actual color is much deeper than this. i can't help but buy green yarn, i guess.

i also got some crochet cotton in a dull green color for seaming (i took the invisible seams or whatever class, and it was great!) and the completely unnecessary silk sliver.

all in all, lots of money spent, but lots saved, too. at least that's what i'm going to keep telling myself.

progress shots

::green gable
this is moving along, albeit not quickly. some days, the cotton in this yarn (knitpicks mainline) doesn't bother my hands, and other days my hands are tired after just knitting a few rows. anyway, so far it fits...

i've gotten a bit more done...probably to about one inch or so below the join.

::razor cami
this is probably at about the same place it's been since the last time i mentioned it. i need to find some yarn to finish off the trim on top and the straps.

i just started the second in a not-too-long line of xmas gifts that i'm planning on knitting this year. alls i'm going to say is that it's knit with valley yarns bershire in eggplant...

and that i'm one pattern repeat in so far after casting on this morning.

that will probably the last picture of that one until after xmas.

this one is actually finished, but i thought i'd toss up a progress shot since i have a bunch of them. it was knit with debbie bliss cashmerino aran (in charcoal, i think).

re-FO - odessa hat version 2.0

after discovering that the first odessa was too small, i went ahead and cast on for a newer (bigger) one.

pattern: odessa by grumperina from the february 2006 issue of magknits
yarn: a little over 1 skein of knitpicks shine sport in grass (from stash!)
needles: metal dpns in sizes 4 and 6
timeline: 08.11.2006 - 08.15.2006
comments: even the second time around, this hat didn't get tedious or boring. i'm thinking of making another one for a xmas gift for someone.

this time around, i made the ribbing at the bottom a bit longer because i also noticed the pulling that brooklyn tweed mentioned. also, obviously, no beads again.

here's a good pic of the hat, but a horrible picture of the color. stupid crazy sun.

and here's nadine wearing the hat that actually fits. imagine!


itchin' to cast on

i bought some new yarn (and silk roving - what is wrong with me?) at stitches midwest yesterday*, and now all i want to do is cast on for a new project. it's hard to resist, but that long list in my sidebar is definitely helping.

i didn't get as much knitting as i'd planned (or probably could have, had i really tried) this weekend, but odessa version 2.0 is well on her way. i'm hoping to get more done during lunch and a few bus rides tonight.

*post and pics forthcoming


SIX WIPs??? for real?

that is far, far too many. i suppose the lap blanket doesn't really count, though, since i just work on that if i feel like knitting in bed, which doesn't happen very often. i need to get organized...

i should be able to finish this up today or tomorrow. it's a small thing (things?), but it will be nice to have one completely item in the xmas bin. hmmm...i need to find a xmas bin.

::bell sleeve shrug
this is sort of unofficially on hold for three reasons: 1 - i'm working on other things, 2 - it's for me, so there's no deadline, and 3 - i won't be able to wear it (it's wool.) for a long time anyway.

::razor cami
i need to try this on to see how i like the length. i think i've just been distracted by other things lately. i'm planning on tossing it on some waste yarn tonight and figuring out what to do with the straps, since i don't have yarn for them yet.

::green gable
i was thinking of taking this with me to milwaukee this weekend, but i'd like to be able to try it on as i go, and i don't think that will really work out. i actually tried it on after joining under the arms and it fits really well. woo hoo! i need to upload the progress pictures for it.

i frogged this puppy on monday night. i only meant to frog back to before the decreases, but...it didn't work out that way. this should be a good travelling project for this weekend. it knit up quickly the first time, so hopefully i'll be able to finish it this weekend.


xmas knitting has begun

i started my first xmas knitting project yesterday and it's already half-done. woo hoo! i need to figure out how to keep track of my xmas knitting without giving anything away online for those who may be recipients. hmmm...maybe i'll just have to take notes as i work on the projects and post them after xmas.


progress...or the lack thereof

::razor cami
for some reason, i ended up messing the lace pattern up once i split it for the front and back. nice, eh? to top it off, i hadn't put a lifeline in right before the split, so i had to tink back about 5 rows or so. not much fun. i think i know what i was screwing up, so i'm planning on tackling this again over the weekend.

::green gable
i totally messed up the lace. well, it isn't horrible, but i can't live with it. i hadn't put any lifelines in yet, so instead of try to frog or tink back a bunch of rows (i was pretty much done with the lace section.), i just got a new skein and started working with that. i'm about 5 rows in so far and will be keeping a close eye on how the lace is shaping up. (i may have missed a row of plain stockinette, but i couldn't tell, even after staring at it for a while. oh, well...)