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Yarn & Writing (to bloggers and more)

20 Sep

I’m trucking along on the emma peel for my niece. I’m halfway up the upper body of the front piece. Part of me wanted to knit this in the round, but the other part of me knows that seams will hold the cotton drape a little better since it does tend to sag. In my last post, I said I was using a size 4 needle but that was a mistake; I’m using a 3. I think this is actually a better needle for it, but again, as always, I’m nervous about the size and if it will fit her. Pattern says to knit the size 6 to a 17″ length before starting the armholes, but I think I’m going to do 18″ as my niece is a tall girl. I’m okay with this. For those who want to see what emma peel is, here’s a link to the book on KnitPicks (all books are 40% off right now!), and the patterns link has a photo of a purple emma peel. Cute, non?

I read a lot of blogs out there (and should make sure my blogroll is updated). I always want to leave comments and say hello, and I often do – except my phone or iPod loses the damn things and I get so frustrated futzing with a small browser screen that I just forget the whole thing. I wish I could read blogs on the laptop at my leisure. You all would be hearing a lot more from me, I swear! I might try bookmarking, or sending myself the links for blogs I want to comment on, and then when I get to something more reliable, leave them then. But it seems like such an overworked process. WordPress blogs can be easy. I can’t be as wordy, as trying to fix all my typos on the small screens, etc., is also frustrating. But I do my best. Anywho, one blog I read is Caffeine Girl. She’s fun. I like her down to earth-ness about knitting and the trips and trials of getting something beautiful off a needle. And she just seems like someone you’d want to chat with next door, standing in the shade on your street or something. She’s currently working on the Shalom Cardigan. I was looking through In Style magazine, and came across this photo of Sienna Miller:

Doesn’t it look similar, except with a collar and bell sleeves? I really love it! It looks like it may be a swing-Shalom. What I love most about this whole thing is that I saw that photo, sitting on my couch, minding my own business, and suddenly thought of a woman whose blog I read (don’t think I’ve ever left a comment, but I’m not sure), hundreds of miles away… me and Caffeine Girl, brought together by Sienna Miller and In Style magazine. We are two very fashion forward ladies. Ha!

Another blog I love to read is Turtle Girl’s Bloggy Thing. I think she’s beautiful and I really do love everything she knits. I also like her shoe choices. *smile* She has made four sockhead hats from bohoknits, and I wanted one as soon as I saw them. So I finally chose the yarn to use: last year at Knitter’s Day Out here in my neck of the woods in Central PA, I bought a skein of Altobish (last time I checked, there weren’t many projects on Ravelry with this yarn. In fact, I think there was maybe one? It’s 60% superwash wool, 30% bamboo, and 10% nylon. I wanted to make a shawl with it but don’t think there’s enough – 400 yards). It’s beautiful. The dyer was inspired by various passages in Jane Austen novels. This one spoke to me especially:

I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun. I cannot fix on the hour, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation.ย  –Pride and Prejudice

Awesome, right? For two reasons: most notably for me, I feel the exact same way about writing. Start in the middle. That’s where the story is. The rest will follow. (NaNoWriMo is almost here!) and two, which honestly only just occurred to me, it’s how I feel (and I’m sure other knitters) when I first lay eyes on a yarn that I just want. Already, before you even realize you want it, you see a sweater, a sock, a hat, a tea cozy, a freakin’ tea cozy! You just want it. And you know it’s already something. Just like that.

I decided this sockhead hat will be my writing hat. This NaNoWriMo hat is going to be the best one yet. I’m putting all my heart into this one. It will be above and beyond. I might even cry. I was so proud when I finished last year, staying up until my eyes were closing as I typed, nursing my little guy when he woke up and I was midsentence, so exhausted during the day taking care of my baby that I had no idea what I was going to do next when I opened the laptop after he was tucked into bed. But it happened. It worked. The book was written. Well… 50,000 words of it. The story is still unfinished, but I’m proud as dickens of what I was doing. …Should ‘dickens’ be capitalized there?

And did you see this?

A proof copy of my NaNoWriMo accomplishment. LOVE.

So… a writing hat. I think it’s a good idea. In fact, I love the idea. Some writers toke on cigarettes and cigars. Some sip from cognac glasses and clink ice cubes. Some tap pencils and bite their nails. I’ll wear a hat. And know I have my thinking cap on. Hehehehe…

That really does tickle me.

A risky phone post – ten on tuesday

14 Sep

image

I am going to attempt an entire post using my new phone, a Motorola i1, which has a swype keyboard, much faster and more fun than a regular typepad, but prone to placing the wrong word. Expect typos.

Today’s ten on tuesday is term reasons to watch football.

1. You can knit something complicated under the guise of social gathering and react acceptably using cues from the cheering and booing in the room. Sure it’s dirty, but so is football. Stand strong.

2. Experimenting with food. I used a Ravens game to make popcorn buffalo chicken using pancake batter and cayenne pepper sauce. It was awesome. And messy.

3. Drink beer. Good beer. This is a no brainer.

4. Drink wine. Duh.

5. See friends and have something in common, be it football, knitting, food, beer or wine.

6. Sometimes I can really get into a game. It’s exciting. It’s also interesting to feel that rush of passion so prevalent in men when it comes to sports. It’s science!

7. Understanding what people are talking about on facebook.

8. Something took forward to if your plans are “i have no plans and that sucks!”

9. If you root for an out of town team, and have friends who live in that town, invite them over for a game weekend! Yay, friends!

10. Cheering. It’s good mojo.

Quick picture of a new project, the emma peel dress from Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines.

See you soon!

10 on Tues./WiP Weds./iPod Death

17 Jun

Let’s start backwards: iPod Death.

My sonย  has finally done it. He dunked and dunked and dunked, and the iPod cum donut is toast. I’m terribly sad. I did so much on that thing. Contacts, calendars, reminders, photos, Facebook, emails, books, audiobooks, videos for the little guy during long car rides, music, podcasts, games for brainless “help me through the day” moments, NaNoWriMo, text messages, skype alerts, googling, maps, zen gardens, wikipedia, KnitMinder, HuffingtonPost, my newsfeeds and blog feeds.

It took me forever and a day to catch up with the blogs I’d missed when I first got my iPod. I do not have time to read blogs on the laptop with my little one. It’s just not going to happen. I fear my husband does not understand exactly what that iPod has done for me since he’s very hesitant to purchase a replacement – not another iPod (another $300 is asking too much – but it is what I really want), but perhaps a Droid Hero for $80 after a rebate? I guess it can be a hard sell because he already bought me a replacement iPod when my son dunked it the first time, but that was before we called Apple and found it could be replaced (the liquid indicator strip had not been activated since it wasn’t actually donut-ized), but this time, it will not be covered because they don’t cover water damage and it is most definitely and obviously water damaged.

This sucks. No more WordPress app.

I’m sad.

WiP Wednesday, as today is Thursday, that seems most appropriate:

First up, the Double V Cardigan in the Spring issue of Interweave Knits (I’d like to know why I haven’t yet received my Summer edition… hello, IK? Where is it?). I’m using KnitPicks CotLin in Island Coral. I’m using needles two sizes smaller (called for 6 and 4; I’m using 4 and 3). And because my swatch was so big, I’m making the small size rather than the medium. I think it will still have some positive ease when I’m done. That errate is primo importanto! That one little stitch change makes all the difference. My first gauge swatch was awful.

I really like the comfortable look of this sweater. It can be dressed up or down, and it just looks so darned... cozy! And sweet! And if fitted, vintage-sexy.

The CotLin feels very soft and I hope it hangs well.

Love the stitch pattern. I see it with gray, white, black, blue undershirts.

I still have to block the next project, a sweater vest made by SweaterBabe, but published in Knitty called Talia. I had some trouble at first, and my stitch count was off two times by two stitches, so I just added them in where I saw appropriate. But I misjudged my gauge. I made the small size and it’s definitely more fitted than I’d like, but I still haven’t blocked it and as you know: “Don’t Knock It Till You Block It!”

I probably could have picked up more stitches around the neck and arms, but alas, I did not. I love the scalloped, dragon scale lace motif around the edges. I think a heavier yarn and a bigger size would make this more flattering on me. I’ll have FO pics soon. I’ll be in Vermont next weekend and my sister in law is a tiny pretty lady so this should look nice on her.

I used KnitPicks Wool of the Andes in Iris Heather, left over from the Jane sweater when it really was meant for the Cabled Pullover from Vogue Knitting in the winter. Plans change. ๐Ÿ™‚

And finally, my last WiP for now, a Tomten jacket for my son:

He likes to wear his dad's hat and look totally awesomely cool.

I think it will fit him perfectly come Fall/Winter. Or close to, at least. For this, I’m using Patons Classic Wool in a brown Tweed, rose and cream (the cream is left over from the Hermione Eyelet and Cable hat I made for my cousin).

And this week’s 10 on Tuesday is 10 reasons to do the Ten on Tuesday. Oh! And there’s a new icon to use for it as well.

1. A weekly blog post guaranteed (unless you’re me; then it’s not so guaranteed. Especially with the demise of my iPod).

2. The topics force me to think about myself and what I might like in those categories. Like one week there was a 10 favorite musicals. I didn’t do it. Mostly because I just couldn’t find the chance, but I did think about it – and I couldn’t come up with many musicals because I rarely watch them. So now I think I should watch some! See how that works?

3. It’s nice to know I’m sharing a piece of the internets with other like-minded folks who are thinking about the same thing I am.

4. It’s like a pleasant homework assignment – something that forces me to take a few minutes to think about myself. Is that the same at 2?

5. It makes me wonder what I would want to know about other people if I were coming up with the topics.

6. Makes my blog more personal, so stalkers can find me an easy prey.

7. Reminds me that I know how to count to ten. Which is AWESOME!

8. I know at least one other person is reading my blog because I’m on that list (are you? I’m kinda guessing/hoping).

9. I can’t just rush through the post like I usually do because I have to actually think and though that can be irritating in one way because I want to do so much while I have a few precious moments on the laptop, I’m kind of glad for the forceful sit-down.

10. Why not? I used to do a Friday Five thing too… that was fun.

Peace out, homies. Nod your head to my wonderful iPod, still sitting in rice because I’m desperate and dumb and don’t want to give up, and if you have it in your powers, find a way to persuade my husband to graciously allow me another gadget that assists me in my sanity. I need it. Truly.

The Jog in Wanida – 2aaT

26 Mar

I had to do a google search looking for a way to smoothly accomplish the jogs in Cookie A.’s Wanida pattern from Sock Innovations, whilst knitting two-at-a-time (or 2aaT, something I learned in my googl-ing).

I admit that my search did not, at first, include the fact that I was knitting them both at the same time on one circular. I simply didn’t understand the instructions that, in the below photo, the grayed stitches were to be used only at the end of the round, not the end of the repeat. So I thought: but there are no more stitches. Perhaps I start the next row with those 8 stitches and the new beginning. Okay. But then I have 8 stitches left when there are 16 more needed. Had I been knitting these on DPNs or even using Magic Loop with one sock, I would have been able to see how that the stitches do shift, and that I do, effectively, knit the same eight stitches twice in the same round. But with 2aaT, it wasn’t so easy to see.

Thank you, Ravelry. I found deb293 who also knit Wanida using 2aaT. I first found her in a forum and noticed the picture and said, “Hey! Is that…?” So I PM’d her and she responded with a great visual to help me out: picture the socks on the needle as one complete circle with the beginning of the round being able to start anywhere. That helped me immensely. Afterwards, yeah, I felt like a bit of a dork. (How amazing is it that, understanding the complexity of explaining knitting in an email, she offered to talk to me on the phone while she was at work! So awesome.)

That night, as I was drifting off to sleep, I realized how I was going to do it. A DPN. I wouldn’t have to transfer ALL the stitches. I just had to move 8. Here’s how I did it.

The pattern (cropped so as not to give away anything – this book is fantastic and you should get it right away!)

Here are the socks, after a complete knit round. But the rounds aren’t over. I still have 8 stitches on each sock left before the round is completed (the 8 in gray).

Using the DPN (hopefully yours is the same size as your main needle), knit the “last” 8 stitches of the round. You’ll save them for the end of the round, completing the 64 stitch round you’ll need. (The jog is repositioning the beginning of round 8 stitches to the left. So you will need 8 more stitches at the end of the round; these 8 stitches on the DPN will be those).

Now you can start the new pattern repeat – the new round.

Make sure you use your main needle. You’ll start behind the DPN. It will feel weird, especially because the first stitch in the new round is a yarn over. When you get to the end of the first half of stitches for sock A, and if you’re like me, you’ll want to move the next 8 stitches to the front by pulling the cable through 8 stitches from where you are. This will put you back at the nice half/half split most 2aaT knitters prefer.

At the end of the round, you’re left with only half a repeat done. Now you need the 8 stitches from the DPN. Knit them off.

Now do the same for sock B.

Hopefully you don’t split that last stitch like I did. ๐Ÿ™‚

Continue as you did for the first sock.

For the first jog, I only needed one DPN to work both socks because the jog was at the end of the knit round/beginning of the new round. But for the second jog, I needed two needles to hold the stitches at the end of the round to use for the beginning of the next round, rather than vice versa. (It makes sense when you’re knitting).

Thanks to deb293 and also to pynnski, who clearly explained to me where those mysterious 8 stitches were going. It’s unbelievable, but I’ve known pynnski for 10 years now – ONLINE. We’ve never met. Crazy, huh?! She knows her stitches, folks.

I hope this was helpful! I just thought I’d post it for the next google-er. I know I could’ve used it. I found answers in other ways, though, and it was great. Knitters rock. They’re all so nice and helpful!

WIP Wednesday on Friday

12 Mar

The only project I have on the needles are these Monkey socks. I started them before Christmas for my sister-in-law, but I sometimes get bored with them or just couldn’t decide if I liked the crazy pooling. I certainly was not in love with the yarn when I started. It was frayed in far too many places so there was no chance the socks would look like each other. I hope to have them done this coming week. I have already finished the gussets.

I love knitting socks two at a time and can’t imagine being stuck with second sock syndrome ever again, unless it’s a colorwork project or something mirror-images and too complicated to figure out on two at a time. This is my third pair of socks done this way. I’ve done two fingerless mitts this way as well.

I also finished Jane! I’ll post about it very soon. After blocking, it’s lovely.

Because I said I would

28 Feb

I have no pictures yet (must find that battery charger), but I am close to finishing Jane, by Wendy Bernard in her book Custom Knits. Two or so more rows before I bind off the body and then I have only sleeves and the collar. For the tie, I’m debating two options: knit a thin seed-stitch or double moss stitch belt using fingering weight yarn, and using either a button or hook-and-eye closure; or, search for a simple leather strap with a sleek closure. For ease, I may go with option one. For some reason, a ribbon does not appeal to me.

I have a sick child in my arms. He is teething a molar and now also fighting a cold. Thank goodness we are nursing or else I fear the poor kid would starve. He isn’t very interested in food. We went ice skating today (I met a knitter and spinner!), and so he missed his nap. And I feel the pain. (It is 12:45 am, after all).

I hope I can finish Jane by Wednesday for knit night. And tomorrow, I may cave and buy a new battery charger for my camera. I really don’t think it will make an appearance. So, pictures soon (we hope). In the meantime, here’s a random photo for you:

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.