Sunday, July 30, 2006

while we wait for yarn

Wanted to show you some small projects I've finished up this weekend while I wait for yarn.

Another ball band warshrag ala Mason Dixon knitting. Knit with Sugar and Cream red, hot pink, and pumpkin:

And the felted bowl ala one skein, before felting and after. Knit with wool from the fire ant ranch bargain basket. I may felt it a little more. It's drying now and stands up ok but I can see the stitches still more than I'm used to with felting.

And more Mason Dixon inspired knitting, dh guessed maybe it was Oklahoma

but it's a bib. Also a closeup showing the texture. The stitch pattern is from knitting nonsense. The yarn is a variegated sugar and cream. Lots of white with yellow, green, and blue.

more later,

Saturday, July 29, 2006

movies and margaritas and knitting

Let me just say right off that movies and margaritas and knitting don't mix very well.

Mom is here visiting and we went to see you me and Duepree at the local Movie Tavern. A margarita sounded good... I'm started the felted bowl from one skein last Tuesday at knit night so I took it along. It's lots and lots of stockinette around and around. No row 1, row 2, no turning, no purling. The only thing complicated is that I'm knitting it with two strands so I had to be sure that I was knitting the two strands and not accidentally knitting two together. That would be four strands I know but it doesn't feel that much different. The yarn is from Fire Ant Ranch's bargain basket. Looks like hand dyed, hand spun, kind of like Manos, and has some variability. You know some parts are thicker and some thinner. I do hope it felts and hope is all I have to go on because, I'm confessing, the swatch queen didn't swatch. I think its 100% wool but I can't be sure as there was no label.

But I digress. I knitted while the lights were up before the show started. We were sitting in the back by the entry aisle and it wasn't completely dark so I knitted through the previews. And there were a lot of them. When the movie started, I let my knitting rest in my lap for a while and concentrated on my margarita, I mean, the movie and my margarita. Later the movie seemed slow, and my fingers felt the need to knit so I picked it back up. Seems the icy-ness (oh, there's a -ness word) on the glass had melted some onto the knitting. And there was also a sticki-ness. So let this be the lesson learned. Don't have a margarita at the movies with your knitting on your lap. Skip the margarita or skip the knitting or put the knitting away (can't put it on the floor at the movies so where to put it I don't know). And if you choose the margarita and the putting away choice, bring a wipe to clean your hands if you might need to knit.

We're home now. The knitting is fine and the needles are fine. If there is any residual margarita, I'm certain it will wash out during the felting.

More on the subject of knitting -- The yarn for the shrug, and the yarn for the sweater for dd, and the ebay yarn, and the extra skein for the vest... are all still somewhere in the custody of the post office or UPS or ... In any case, they are not here.

The shrug pattern is spending time in the reading/analyzing phase. I find more problems as time goes on. Gauge is a question but I feel certain I can knit the thing one way or another. Row gauge is the biggest question as it is different between the pattern in the magazine and the republished "corrected" version. But, it seems to me that the row gauge, before correction, would work better. We'll just have to see what gauge I get. I've already decided that the little front triangle will be the gauge swatch.

more later,

Thursday, July 27, 2006

getting ready to shrug

I'm getting ready to knit the fisherman shrug from an issue of knit it a few months ago.

It was pictured on the cover and cinched my decision to buy the magazine. However the pattern had lots of problems and was basically republished with corrections as a free pattern. I was going to post a link but the lionbrand site is not cooperating so you'll have to google it.

I have my yarn on order. Spinnaker in natural from knitpicks. They put it on sale last weekend. 5.99 for 200 grams/132 yards rated gauge 2.5 spi. The yarn should be here soon. I think I can get the pattern gauge or close to it.

I've been doing some blog research for other knitters who have knit this shrug. High Energy Knits has a nice discussion with charts and math. Also see knit two together's snapshots and rant. And it's been discussed on knitters review.

Watch for daily or semi-daily (that would be every other day or so) progress posts. Hopefully, if I stay with it, and the yarn cooperates, and I can make the pattern work for me, it won't take long.

more later,

Monday, July 24, 2006

yarn nerves vest progress

The main body is knitted. That white basting stitch is the end of ball 1. The pink thread at, and dangling from the shoulder is basting thread (Cottontots from the hat a couple days ago). Just for the try-on. [For the record, dh thinks pics at this stage are ridiculous.] The shoulders are on holders of white wool and will be 3-needle bind-off'd later. I'm keeping my options/shoulders open for now.

I swam the vest in Eucalan wool wash (even though it's cotton) and warm water (warmer than I would use with wool) to shrink it. It's blocked and drying. Indications are that it reacted as might have been predicted by the swatch which is shown below with the yarn that is left. Which is 40.7 grams or 59.1 grams including the two swatches. Is it enough? We'll see. I have a plan in case it isn't. What I still need to knit are the bottom band and the armbands and the front/neckline band.

Stats prior to the shrink, all in inches:
21 3/4 overall length
10 sleeve depth
15 3/8 width

Stats wet and blocked:
20 3/4 length
9 1/2 sleeve depth
17 width

What is that square on the center back of picture 2, you might ask? It's 4 dpns marking off a 6 inch square. So I can pick it up and hold it to the light and rub my fingers along the row and do what I need to to get a good count. These are the count numbers prior to the swim and block:

29 stitches/6 inches which is 4.833 stitches per inch
39 rows/6 inches which is 6.5 rows per inch
for a ratio of .7435 -- very close to the expected ratio for stockinette.

More measuring and counting after the vest dries.

Why did I block it now, before knitting on the bands? Well, I expected the vertical shrinkage but was not sure how much. I'll be picking up and knitting on the bands, but they are "width-wise", so I needed to get at least some of the shrinkage "out of the way".

more later,

Sunday, July 23, 2006

July KAL is done ++

The mid-July KAL dish cloth is done. I kept up day-by-day but then finished it a day late because I got "stuck" on the Beaufort baby hat. Well, it's done, except for weaving in the ends. And perhaps trip through the washer to see how much it shrinks.

And I've started another dishcloth in the beestitch. Just had to try out the pattern as I like the pictured texture and it seemed like a good one for the variegated cotton yarn. I didn't see the diagonal stripes forming until just a few rows ago. And they are far more prominent in the picture than in person. I'm knitting it on size 6s using Peaches & Creme Potpourri 178 (dl 7325). The pattern is from knitting knonsense's site. There's a link on the pattern page for "how to knit in the row below". But it left me wondering what to do with the stitch that is on the needle. I knew I couldn't keep it there and knit it as that would result in an increase (and there are no decreases in the pattern). So I just turned it loose with the row-below-stitch. Works fine. I also like knitting knonsense's Darrell Waltrip pattern. Another goody for variegated yarn.

I'm thinking a dishcloth would be a good thing to keep going on the needles to pick up as needed when you need a few minutes of knitting. It seems that if I have my knitting with me to fill waiting time, like at the doctor or dentist's office, I wait less. The thing with this beestitch pattern is that I've figured out how to read it to know what row I'm on but I'm afraid if I put it down for more than a few days I may not be able to read it so well. I guess the answer is to write down what row is coming up.

Now it's back to that vest, more later,

Whoops, almost forgot the woohoo. Blog views are over 1000. For a blog that is about a month old. Somebody is reading, even if not very many of you are commenting. It's ok --- you can lurk.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

yarn nerves

Sometimes, despite our calculations, we wonder if there is enough yarn. Perhaps the proprietor at the lys works with us and says, yes, that will work. That is how much yarn you need. Now this yarn store, where I got this yarn, is not-so-local. And it’s been a few months. And I no longer have the ballbands [well, I'm pretty sure I have them, but who knows where they are. They are with the fleece artist sock yarn band, I'm sure.] so I’m not sure of the dyelot. In any case, I have yarn nerves.

The pattern is by Knitting Pure and Simple. It’s their v-neck cardigan vest (#995). I’m knitting it with Knit 1 Crochet 2 Second Time Cotton. [I started with 3 skeins. Each is 100gr 180 yards.] My gauge is not the pattern gauge but that does not matter to me, well, what I mean is, that is not unusual for me. I just recalculate the cast on and do some reworking on the decreases and knit on. Actually, it is may be working well on this knit, as the size I wanted, between x-small and small resulted in a cast-on, for my gauge, which was very near the cast on for one of the medium sizes so I’m following along with the pattern for that size.

Here’s a pic during knitting of the first ball.

What’s that white yarn at the bottom you might ask. The white yarn is a crocheted piece of dye-yur-own wool used as a provisional cast-on. The pattern calls for an inch or so of ribbing at the bottom. I’m not sure I want ribbing. I may want garter or seed stitch. [This cotton is not going to rib in the traditional sense. It’s just going to lay there with columns of knit and purl.] The provisional cast-on allows me to not make that choice yet. It also allows me to knit to what may seems like a minimum vest length sans bottom border and see how much yarn is left, hopefully, when I get to the shoulders. Hopefully, the prov. caston will also allow me to make a choice, when I get there about length. If need me, I can pick up and knit down a few more rows. That's too many hopefully's for proper writing. But this is my blog, and like "there are no knitting police", I think "there are no writing grades for blogs" (maybe there should be? naahh). And yarn nerves give me the hopefully's.

My knitting has been somewhat distracted recently, and there’s one more pattern needing whispering but hopefully, I can cast it on, try it out, and put it away and get back to knitting on this vest, fairly monogamously and make some progress.

Sometime soon.

more later

Friday, July 21, 2006


Beaufort by Knititude is a pattern that has fascinated me for a week or two. Other projects were on the needles and I try not to start too many things at once. Oh, who are we kidding? I try not to start more than two when I finish one. Someday, when I think I can stand it, I'll do an "in-process" line-up.

Back to Beaufort, what make it swirl? Reading the pattern, whispering the pattern, as JF would say, I couldn't tell. Maybe there was something left out? You know, many free knitting on the 'net should be approached cautiously. JF also sometimes says "you get what you pay for" and she's been paying for her patterns recently.

I considered emailing knititude and asking about the swirl but decided knitting the pattern would prove it or give me something to work with to figure it out. There are YOs and k2togs on every row and the pattern is written for knitting in the round so a flat swatch would never do. I've been picking up and putting away some yarn recently as mom is here for a visit. How does the yarn get into so many rooms anyway? But I digress. I came across a ball of Bernat cottontots that would be good for a baby hat, and had no designated project

so cast on I did. Yesterday. And here we have Beaufort. And swirl it does. Why does it swirl? I don't know. I think it has something to do with the unbalanced YOs. Within a repeat the YOs are near the start and the k2togs are near the end.

I like the swirls and I like the scallops.
What else will we do with this pattern? Watch this space...

Yarn Pink Cottontots
needle 16 inch circ Inox 7US
5US dpns for the crown decreases
I knit the pattern as written, in the smallest size (CO60), without the ribbing. I added one set-up row of P3, K9 all the way around, once.

I think it's newborn size but will have to find out from someone who has one. [A2, will you and the little one be at knit night this week?]

more later,

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

July KAL day 3 & 4+

Here is day 3 of the July mid-month dish cloth KAL:

and day 4:

and 4 more rows past day 4 to finish out the repeat:

The dishcloth group is a yahoo group. Hope it's not against the "rules" to knit ahead. Oh yeah, I almost forgot... there are no knitting police or so the harlot says and I do believe it. What's the worst that could happen? That they change up the pattern and I have to frog 4 rows. Or knowing me, I'd figure out how to work with it.

If you've been reading my blog for long, you may have noticed I don't usually post on Tuesdays. Tuesday is knit night when I get together with my best knitting friends at Starbucks for a long evening of knitting. Pity the poor woman who was sitting in "our" favorite corner trying to read. Last night, I arrived first, and seeing our alternate corner full, I took the comfy chair next to the lady with the book. She had finished her coffee and snack but was still absorbed in her paperback. More of our group arrived and we pulled chairs in to make sort of a circle and proceeded to knit and talk and show and tell and knit and talk more.

Tuesdays are the highlight of my week. We knit usually from 7:00 and some of us don't leave until 10:00 or after... If you live in the Tarrant county area or your visit to the area includes a Tuesday and you want to knit with us, drop me a line and I'll give you the details.

More later,

Monday, July 17, 2006

July KAL dishcloth day 1 and day 2

I'm doing the mid-month KAL with the monthly dishcloth yahoo group. The group is large and generates a lot of mail so I'm not sure I can keep up long term but I thought I'd try it.

Here are pics of day 1

and day 2

I'm actually keeping up.

more later,

Saturday, July 15, 2006

ball band kimono

Presenting my new ball band Kimono:

It's a combination of a couple of patterns from Mason Dixon knitting, the ball band warshrag and the kimono. Knit from sugar and cream worsted cotton in pink (2 balls) , orange, and red. It is from Hobby Lobby's recent 99 cent sale so I guess my cost was about $4.00. And there's plenty left for some dishcloths or maybe a hat. Then there's my time, which I didn't track but that makes it worth well over $100.00 .

Basically, I followed the ball band pattern with the Kimono shaping. My cast-on was 43 to get close to the 40 called for in the Kimono but space out the slip stitches to their best advantage imo. I tried to keep the slip stitches out of the seam area as they would have added bulk in the seam.

Here is a pic full out. Shows all those ends I have to weave in. I figure that will be a good project for Tuesday night knit night. And then a bit of seaming. The baby (a co-workers) is not due until October so I have time.

more later,

Thursday, July 13, 2006

More rpm

Here are some better pics of rpm taken outdoors in the evening light and with a higher resolution. And there's more sock than the nub in yesterday's post. The first pic shows the ball and the sock and the new knitpicks circ. Size US1.5 [2.5 mm]. I'm new to ml (magic loop) and these needles are working well and priced much more reasonably than Addis. The second pic is a closeup that shows the pattern and colors nicely. Purple and blues and orange and some brown but the brown is hidden by the colors. It's a Cherry Tree Hill end-lot that G bought on ebay. She made me a good deal on a socks worth. Thanks again G.

More later


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

rpm pattern whispers

I'm sure many of you read knitty. I recently found that the summer issue had been posted and had to take the tour. I always find something interesting and if I go back through a few months later, something else jumps out at me. The patterns are free, and you know, with free patterns as one of my Sisters of the Wool J says, sometimes you get what you pay for. But the knitty patterns are pretty good quality and if there are probs, a quick email to the pattern writer, and there's a fix up in a jiffy.

This summer issue is the extremities issue and the rpm sock caught my eye. So I have to print it out and skim it and read it and read it some more. It's top-down which is the way I used to always do my socks. I can do this. It has two heel options including a short-row heel, which is one of my new favorites. Check. 'Course I'm of the opinion that you can do any heel on any sock, within reason. But some heels "fit" some patterns better. And some heel patterns fit some feet better than others. But I digress... The short-row heel is a pgr yo style heel and I've been wanting to try that style. Double check. (My short-row heels recently have been of the wrapped stitch variety.)
I have some bright, not dull, not dark, Cherry Tree Hill yarn that needs a pattern. Thanks to G, another of my Sisters of the Wool. This is going to work.

A bit more reading. The spiral pattern has 9 rounds of pattern stitch. Well, shoot. That limits a projects knittability, for me, to times when I can think and count. There are times, like at knit night, when there's lots of chatter, and breaks to look at this project and that new book and more new yarn and and and... Well, patterns that require concentration don't work so well.

Now wait a minute. There's a note that says at the end of each round sometimes you'll have 7 knits or 4 purls instead of the "normal" k6 p3. So I'm thinking, what's up with that? And what if you don't have the end of the round adjustment. What if you... Well, I was a math major way back when and 6+3=9 which is divisible into the suggested cast-on of 54 or 63, but that's what makes the knitter do end of row adjustments to get the purls moving along.
What if you cast-on 53 (or 62)? Well, more thinking, and knitting on my vest project-of-the-moment and I just can't stand it anymore.
I pull out the Cherry Tree Hill.
I off-load the socks that are on my US1.5circs onto the 0 circs.
Cast-on 53. I can't be bothered to knit the ribbing. I have to see the k6 p3 swirl.
Knit a few rows and swirl it does. Sorry it's a little blurry. And it sure is a small nub of a sock.
But that purl3 is swirling right on around the sock and no counting. Just k6p3 on and on and on. You can count to 6 and 3 all the time or just once in a while. Or just read your knitting and whenever you're about to get to a p3 from the prior row, that first purl gets a knit, the last knit stitch of a k6. Then the first knit from a prior row gets the last purl of a p3. I just re-read the last couple of sentences and it's likely they're confusing. Let's just say k6p3 until the sock leg is long enough.

No offense intended to Aija or knitty. It's just sometimes I can't follow directions, and sometimes it just works better for me that way.

More later,

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Socks that rock

I could have titled this post "that darn camera" again because "that darn camera" is hiding from me. I'm sure none of you ever lose anything in your houses but it's happening around here with greater frequency. Last week my Mason-Dixon knitting book was "lost" but now it's found. [It was in the tote bag that I carted to my sister's a week ago.] Now the camera is missing. Yesterday my red birks, that I wanted to wear on the 4th went missing but dh found them. In the laundry room. Who in the heck put them in there? Go figure.

So we'll show a recent FO that has pictures.

The yarn is Socks that Rock heavyweight in the sandstone color. I knit them with US2.5 bamboo dpns.

The pattern is Cat Bordhi's Gingko socks. One of her new sock architectures.

And an in-process picture. Now this construction may look a bit odd to some of you. For two reasons. You are seeing a provisional cast-on just above the toe level because the pattern is written toe-up and I didn't have much toe-up experience and I wasn't sure how this new-fashioned gusset was going to fit me so I started with a row of some leftover Regia 6 the knit a few rows of socks that rock then did Cat's new-fashioned gusset. Look closely. You'll see none of normal gusset decreases.

I do especially like that modified moss stitch at the top.

I'm not so sure about the yarn. STR heavyweight is, well, heavy. It knits up quickly but I am afraid that those bumps in the sole are going to bug me. And I'm not re-knitting the foot with a princess sole. I haven't really worn the socks yet, but I did pull them on for an hour or so at knit night (when I was showing and telling them) because it was a bit too air-conditioned in Starbucks.

I have been fiddling with the picture positions and causing IE errors and lost this post twice now so I'm publishing. (Fortunately I had saved a draft so recovery wasn't so hard.) Please enjoy the pics as they are and imagine that I had a better idea that didn't work out.

More later,

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Socks that match... or not

Now, I understand about hand-painted yarn. There is a quality about it that is well "hand" done and it's not supposed to be perfectly consistent as if it were machine made. Kind of like hand-knits aren't like machine knits. And there's not supposed to be color repeats that are exactly the same. Look at these socks:

And a closer look:

These are knit from one ball of yarn. One from the inside of the ball, one from the outside of the ball. I knit sock 1 from the inside of the ball, on the left, first. When I got close to the heel shaping, I set it aside and knit sock 2 from the outside of the ball up to the same point. When I had 5 or 6 inches of sock knit, I had occasion to see them together and #$% &(*&#@.

What's up with this? One ball of yarn. How could this happen? I certainly don't expect to make a matching sock like we can do with some of the self-stripings but shouldn't there be most of the same colors, in roughly the same amounts? These socks don't even look like they were knit from the same colorway let alone the same ball of yarn.

I know I could knit with one strand from each end and change yarn every couple of rows. But what makes me think, after doing one sock that way, that when I get to the center of the ball that I'm not going to find some other surprise colorway? As the yarn came from the ball, I couldn't see this happening. You pull the yarn, you see some brown, some darker brown almost black, occasionally some blue or purply blue, occasionally some light brown/almost tan. This happened with both socks. Then I get this... These socks are going on holder needles into time out while I ponder their future.

Just for good documentation purposes, the yarn is Fleece Artists hand painted sock yarn. It knits nice and feels good on my foot. The needles were Addi 1s 40 inch. My first foray into magic loop and my first toe-ups in a long long time.

The label is not where I thought it was so I can't give the official color name/number. It will surface at some point and I will update...

More later,