Archive | January, 2010

D’oh! #1 of 2010

13 Jan

I have made my first big foul up this year. Not bad really – I made it thirteen days and four (count ’em -four) finished objects.

The project For Me at the start of the year is the #21 Cabled Pullover from Vogue Knitting Fall 2009. I got the yarn for it in October or so (KnitPicks Wool of the Andes, held double, so 23 balls). I finally cast on a few days ago.

I was praying to myself today to please let my son nap atleast long enough for me to finish the collar and join in the round for the body. He lasted just when I got to the first decrease row. So, while he was eating, I did the decreases and instead of six sts left, I had seven. Mais, pour quoi? Warum ist das? I checked Vogue’s errata. No errata. So … I counted my cast on sts. 91.

I was supposed to cast on 101.

D’oh!

Frog and begin again. As far as I am concerned, today is the cast on day.

I will blog about two of my latest FO’s a bit later. Another will have to wait til the end of the month after my friend visits and receives it. Can’t give away the surprise!

In other news, I found an app for my iPod Touch (by which I am making this post) called KnitMinder. It rocks! And I’m only using the free version but will get the $3 one for sure. Check it out.

Here’s a random photo for you.

Learn by Doing

11 Jan

My son sits in my lap sometimes while I’m knitting. This was not possible until very recently. I love when I catch him with my yarn, not tearing apart so much as trying to imitate his mom.

He’s hard at work on a Christmas gift for a soon-to-be visitor. Go, Lil Guy!

WiP-ping Away

8 Jan

Terms to know for the un-knitiated:

“wip” – work in progress;
“frog; frogged” – the disassembling of a knitted piece. Say it out loud ‘rip it, rip it’, and you get the idea;
“FO” – finished object

Twenty ten has started with a roar, but coming up the rear is ye ole Trepidation. I have already started, and abandoned, two projects (and it’s only day seven).

Endpaper mitts. Lovely, adorable, feisty endpaper mitts.

I have had this pattern printed and waiting patiently for over a year. I originally planned to knit a pair using Koigu, but I am a family woman now; a stay-at-home mom who still rents (and knits), so if I want the good stuff, I gotta save up, but if I want to knit now, I go to KnitPicks (where one can find some great stuff when considering the quality to price ratio. I love KnitPicks). Alas, I have no Koigu to knit these darling Endpaper Mitts designed by Eunny Jang. They are pretty and the pattern is simple, but my stash did not want to cooperate. Or, rather, I did not want to cooperate with my stash. I chose to use KnitPicks Telemark and a Frog Tree sport-weight alpaca for my yarn choices, rather than the fingering weights I had on hand (but sadly were not Koigu. Have I stressed that enough yet?) The result? A stiff tube that sat around my wrist like a cardboard jacket. These will not make it to see day eight. Instead, I will frog them. I have already started anew with two fingering weight yarns: an alpaca I bought while at Rhinebeck in 2007, and a kettle-dyed yarn from KnitPicks, some of which was already used for the Vine and Leaf Beret in Vogue Knitting. I hope these changes bring around the desired result: a warm, snug fitting number for someone’s dainty wrists.

Another project found its early life cut short on the sixth day of our fair year. A garter-stitch striped scarf I was liking very much until I realized that I had much to learn about carrying yarn on the side of a work. It looked like a purple and green car pile up. It was awful. I knew I would never get past it, so frogged it. Despite its untimely but necessary end, knitting it made me realize something: I love garter stitch. In fact, I wonder if I didn’t knit nearly two feet of this scarf with the abysmal yarn-carry simply because the garter stitch was feeling so nice. I think it’s quite possible. Again, I used KnitPicks Cadena. Awesome in a garter stitch.

Horrible, horrible yarn carry

Pretty, pretty garter stitch

However, in this same day, I finished a project: another easy peasy cowl in Blackberry Cadena on size 11 needles (the wham-bam-thank-you-maam cowl). And I found in my jewelry box a great fabric-centered button for it. This will go to a dear friend of mine, and I hope she finds she can wear it and take it with her on her travels, as a scarf can be lost in all that TSA shuffle. I used Jeny’s Slipknot cast-on to be sure all parts stretched enough for any head.

In other WiP news, the #21 Cable Pullover from the same issue of Vogue Knitting is on the needles. For this, I am using KnitPicks Wool of the Andes despite some bad reviews of this yarn. I used it for Sweetness’s Seamless Hybrid Sweater (Elizabeth Zimmerman) and also for my long version of Juliet. I find the yarn to be soft, hang nicely, and dang warm. It can be itchy sometimes, but I don’t mind it so much. So for now, I have nothing bad to say about it. As I have again used Jeny’s stretchy slip knot cast on for this pullover (the collar), let me say a few words about it.

Effin awesome.

I am very excited about the latest cast-on I’ve learned: Jeny’s Stretchy Slipknot Cast On. IT. IS. AWESOME. I like it for several reasons:

1) It is, as the name suggests, stretchy. Super stretchy. Super duper awesome stretchiness here. I cannot believe it isn’t recommended on every pattern. Especially socks. Why? Why?!

2) I love a cast on that doesn’t rely entirely on me to stay on the needles. I have an almost-16-month old who demands my attention. When I have to cast on 140 stitches, I hate the anxiety I feel wondering if I can get them all on before he wakes up or walks in the room. The knitted cast on can slide off and come undone but with JSSCO, you can easily recover it. Also, there is no longtail measuring nonsense. Just go, baby! Pick up that yarn and start counting! No tangles, no guessing, no extra yarn. If you are casting 150 sts on a 16″ circular, and some stitches maybe slide off, that’s okay. The cast-on does not come out. It rocks. And my favorite reason …

3) Your knitted piece just starts. I have used the cast on for both garter and ribbing stitches. There is no braid that announces “I’m the cast on!” This cast on just makes the knitting look like it started growing from the yarn. It’s amazing. With long tail and knitted, your stitches can be wonky too. Like garter stitch can actually look like stockinette in that first row. Not with this cast on. I recently learned tubular as well (Italian tubular) and though that is also stretchy and has this same “knit from the yarn” look to it, it is clumsy to get on the needles and then you have to pull out yarn?? Ha! (but I am using it for the endpaper mitts. Eunny said to!)

The cast-on edge

An extra bonus to discovering this is learning that she has developed an equally stretchy bind off. I intend on using this on the Seamless Hybrid Sweater I knit my son this summer. I wonder if it’ll still fit him. And if it doesn’t, at least I know another baby will scream just a few moments less because I replaced that neck with something more stretchy. Yes!

Click away. Knitting needs doing.

P.S. I love the interchangeable harmony wood needle set my husband got me two years ago. Still fantastic.

First Knit WIP of 2010

3 Jan

I’m enjoying this, though it took some time for my eyes and brain to simultaneously adjust to the pattern and not check the chart every few stitches.

As this is a Christmas gift for a knitterly friend, I cannot say much, except I sure do like the tubular cast on!

2010 – A New Year, A New Breakfast

3 Jan

Thank you, husband, for making 2010 start juuuust right.

It was our plan to bake cookies together on New Year’s Eve. But alas, with a child, such childish expectations are silly. Therefore, sweetness did it all by his lonesome while I looked on, or called out, or rushed to his otherwise aide. And they were scrumptious!

And I had four for breakfast New Year’s Day.

Resolutions are to knit! Not stop enjoying the simple things… like simple sugar. (Eep!)

I do not have a 2009 knits collage put together, but I will be writing posts about past projects as well as moving posts from my old blog to here. In lieu of drawing it all out, here are a few pics for suspense.

The Start, The Return, The Brea Bag

3 Jan

I have intentions for 2010. I will be looking into setting up my own web domain for a comprehensive and introspect knitting blog. Hopefully. Sadly, most posts may come from my iPod Touch which means my TyPo’d Touch (you have been warned). I want a proper relationship with 2010, or as proper as one can have with a moving-quickly-into-toddlerhood baby. The more blogs I read, the more I knit, the more I think about knitting, the more I desperately want to share my knit-spiration. (Oooh… maybe that’s what I should call my blog. ‘Knit-spiration.’ Think it’s taken?)

Without any further ado, let’s get cracking:

Brea and Lining

The Brea Bag by Norah Gaughan
Calls for size 9 needles; I used size 11
KnitPicks Andean Silk
(My Ravelry)

The Brea Bag, started in May, 2007, for my friend Leslie, who had a large part to play in knitter-diction as I tore my way on my knitterly path. But as time wore on and the Brea remained in hibernation on my Ravelry page, I began questioning the color. Did I really choose this color for Leslie? Then I remembered the day I received the yarn (Andean Silk from KnitPicks). It was my first KnitPicks purchase and I was STUNNED. Flabbergasted. Mildly Horrified (can one really be only “mildly” horrified?) to find that the green I received was far more green than I anticipated.

Oops.

In the end, I completed the bag (side two at a larger gauge as my tension is a bit more relaxed now) and will be sending it off Monday to my 13-or-so year old cousin, Carly. Here’s hoping she loves it.

The lining used is the same heavy cotton I got for a highchair cover. I thought it worked great against this uber bright green (some of the photos wash out that green).

My husband took my son out early on Knit Night so I could dedicate some time to sewing the lining. Good thing, because I rushed ahead and made a few small mistakes. Behold:

Oops. Again.

I had a lot of seam ripping to do. I blame this on the dreaded Mommy Brain. I then handstitched the lining to the bag, and though you can see it, I’m proud of the work.

Why is my cast off edge so lousy?

I omitted the gusset. When I started this project, I was new to the craft and so said, “Gauge? Whatever. Let’s do this thing,” and so used the biggest needles I could find (in Leslie’s arsenal as mine was puny). What I got were size 11 needles when the pattern called for 9. Therefore, no gusset. However, I did knit 15 rows of moss stitch for strap attachments. I then sewed (a word?) one on the inside with thread and one on the outside with the Andean Silk while watching Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. And yes, Mommy Brain did not let me down because I did put them through the handle loops before firmly attaching them to the bag.

The final result?

(I know. Some of these photos suck. Eh well. It’s a patience thing. I’ll work on it.)

The Brea was a fitting last project for the ought decade of 2000. A sign of closure since it took two and a half years to complete and will be given to a cousin in my dad’s side of the family, who I hadn’t seen in four or so years until I invited him for Christmas this year. It was awesome. And had he not been here, the Brea would surely be languishing still.

Let’s go, 2010. Up next, a quick preview of my current project (and cookies!).