Monday, November 28, 2005

post Thanksgiving knitting update

No, I didn't die. Yes, I did make the leg warmers longer. I need to collar the DH and get a picture of me in them for the blog. They look more like leg warmers now, even if the yarn is funky. Man, it is funky.

It's been a Christmas knitting extravaganza around here, with a good rate of small project completion.

Other things I need to post pictures of:
Mary's purple socks.
Haz in her Kitty Hat. (I have some parts pictures, but she's customized it since then.)
The pre and post pics of Kit's Dice Bag and the Felted Nantasket basket.

I took the plunge over the weekend and started the red and black Wool of the Andes Ribbi Cardi for my mom. I started with the sleeves because they always seem to take the longest. I'm doing them both at the same time on my spanking new Addi Nature 24" size 4, which seems to work well. I love Addi Naturas.

However, it is important to THINK about what you are doing when designing things. Like 'I need to have 11 decrease rows over 18.5 inches, and my row gauge is 6/inch.' There's a BIG difference between 'increase every 10 rows' and 'increase every 10 RIGHT SIDE rows', and it's the second I did for ten inches when I should have been doing the first. (I knew there was a reason the little voice in my head wasn't happy with how the sleeves were looking.) I ripped back to where the first increase should be and now things seem to be going well. I will admit that I love how dense and squishy the 2x2 ribbing is coming out... it's making a lovely fabric. I'm thinking my Mom will love it. I'm going to need a in-progress photo.

Hopefully, the sleevage will be the biggest issue of the sweater. When I was working on Haz's kitty hat, I had a gauge issue that made the hat way way too big, and I tried to conquer it by changing needle sizes but decided that I hated the drape, so I just adjusted for my gauge of a plushy 4 sts/inch rather than tight 4.5 sts/inch, ripped out the whole thing and re-cast on, and didn't look back. That was the last problem with that hat, so maybe the sacrifice of ripped back sleeve inches will appease the foul-up fairy again. I hope. I've made the Ribbi Cardi pieces before and it turned out a little small, so I think the lessons learned the first time will show me something about this time. At least I'm making it in wool, not cotton, so I'm not trying to account for shrink on raglan sleeves.

After seeing Haz' hat, (which she got early, as her birthday is Dec 15th and she wanted to sew eyes on it, and I thought she'd rather do that over Thanksgiving than during her finals) her BF asked me for one. Does everyone else notice how the knitting list just seems to keep growing? At least I know I can crank out kitty hats quickly. :)

Monday, November 07, 2005

A Great Debate

These are the leg warmers for Mom for Christmas, modelled by moi. It's Knit Picks Merino Style in Coal, Dazzle in Beach, and Butterfly Kisses in Ruby. This is what Mom picked out of the yarn catalog.

They don't look... right. I'm not sure how to fix it. I'm having visions of mutant muppets. Maybe they're too tight and not 'slouchy' enough. This could be for the You Knit What? blog. Not Good.

Should I make them longer? Looser? Ditch the eyelash? Just close my eyes, put them in a box, and wrap them for Christmas?

(crossposted to my LJ, it's that silly.)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Still here!

Hello guys!

I've been in the weeds of writing for work and Christmas knitting. I'm pleased to note that three of my planned knitted projects are completed. :) I'll show pictures of the ones that are going to people I'm fairly certain aren't going to be looking at my blog. (Which is a goodly portion of the world, which may not be a bad thing in and of itself. :)

First, there was a curious convergence of Knit Picks at my house. I bought a bunch of yarn from them for Christmas projects, and then my Mom bought me most of my Wish List with them for my birthday. I was amazed. Because of a quirk in timing, both packages arrived within two days. After I got to open the giant birthday box, I had THIS pile of yarn.

Impressive, no? This is both the Christmas yarn and the yarn for me. I'm geeked and amazed. I'm also the grateful recipient of a bunch of sock yarn, not to mention the sock yarn I bought at Rhinebeck, so I went out and bought a set of Susan Bates sock needles and Knitting on the Road with my gift certs. I'm looking forward to snuggly merino socks if I can ever get down to a sock gauge. (more on that later)

Here are two of the completed Christmas projects. The pink socks are for my friend Melonnie, who loves all things pink. The black-watchy socks are for my father, who I thought might prefer something that isn't *quite* as pink. These are using Joan's Wool Ease Sock Pattern that I found on the web, using Lion Brand Wool Ease in Blush Heather and Dark Rose Heather for Melonnie, and Black held together with Pines Print for Dad. I did knit them with nylon monofilament in the heel and toe sections, so hopefully that will help wear. I need to make one more pair of socks for Mary, but I've hit a small roadblock in that she requested purple, which isn't a color in my stash. I may need to go buy some Encore Worsted for a nice purple, since the local stores don't carry the Lion Brand in that color. (Well, either that or it's all been purchased in the pre-Christmas Present Frenzy.)

Monday after Trick or Treating I finished the second Mom legwarmer, which was what she asked for for Christmas. I've got to get a picture up of these... I think they're well made, and they fit me nicely, but I'm not sure that they're QUITE what Mom had in mind. I'm tempted to mail them to her and ask if she wants me to re-work them in some way. They're made from Knit Picks Charcoal Merino Style, held together with Dazzle in Beach and Butterfly Kisses in Ruby. I'm just not sure about the eyelash on the leg warmers. Maybe she'll love them anyway.

Presently I'm working on the Nantasket Basket for my Mother-in-Law, in natural cream and charcoal. It's important to note for anyone thinking of trying this pattern that the color of the handles is NOT the color of the bottom of the basket, which isn't shown in the picture. The bottom color is the contrasting 'wicker' color. I got a rather embarrassing amount of the bottom knit in the wrong color before I realized my error. Ooops. At least the pattern seems easy... it's slip stitched instead of Fair Aisle. We'll see if I still think so later this week.

As the rest of my house went elsewhere for a NaNoWriMo meeting, I had a fair amount of time to knit last night, so I did some gauging work for my socks. Now, I'm a Continental knitter, and rather loose, so the prospect of 8-9 st/inch is very daunting. Since I've determined that I just can't seem to get smaller than six stitches per inch knitting Continental, I've been trying to teach myself how to knit English on sock needles. This has been frustrating, but last night I got a few rows down to 7 stitches per inch, which is better. More practice later. I will admit that this motivates me to go back to working on my Christmas knitting, even if the patterns in my new sock book, Knitting on the Road, are very tempting. I bought this at Borders with my birthday gift certificate. I was seriously tempted by Nancy Bush's other book, Knitting Vintage Socks, but I decided to ask for the second book for Christmas. ;)

Okay, I should really go. Have a great week, everyone! I'll try to post the Muppet Leg Warmers of Doom tomorrow. :)

p.s. Check out my roommate and I for Halloween! I'm the one in all the green. I was hoping for Poison Ivy, but everyone thought I was the junior dominatrix to my roommate. Oh well.