Thursday, August 31, 2006

So what else is new?

I keep hearing about knitters who are on a "yarn diet," avoiding the LYS like an alcoholic avoids the liquor store. Good for them, I think. I should do that, too. And then I fall off the wagon. Plus, it doesn't help that my planned projects for which I have already purchased yarn are out of hand. What good does it do to avoid the liquor store if your cupboards have three cases of Jack Daniels in them?

So I made a list, a chart, and a plan to complete my in-progress projects, long-planned projects, and Christmas/Hanukkah gift projects. I knew I had to have some new things mixed in with finishing others because I love to start new projects.

I came up with a list of 25 things to complete or make in their entirety by the end of December. Think I overestimate my knitting speed much?

At the top of the list are the large projects: the Samus cardi (from Knitty), the Taste of Aran afghan I started for Nina early in the year, which I told her would likely take me up to a year to complete, my Master Knitting Level 1 project, and my FLAK sweater that I abandoned for the summer.

Here are the items in progress:

The Samus cardi. I'm waiting for my ribbon and zipper to arrive in the mail (I ordered them because all I could get locally were zippers in royal blue). I hope to complete this sweater this weekend.

Here's a close up of the sleeve, my favorite part.
I had to rip out the applied I-cord twice around the sleeves, and countless times down the front left of the cardi until I figured out why it looked so crappy compared to the parts that were done along a cast-off edge. For the cast off edge, I picked up and knit by sticking my needle under both loops of the cast off stitch, which made a very knit looking I-cord. When I used that technique on an edge stitch -- that is, picking up between the last two stitches instead of through one loop of the last stitch, it looked like crap. Took me FOREVER to figure this out, and to find a picture on line of how to do applied I-cord. Most instructions just say "pick up and knit" and don't mention just knitting through the one loop. I love how the I-cord looks so much like the two stitches of the cable next to it.

Nina's afghan
I have just 1 and 2/3 squares (out of 20) to complete of the Taste of Aran afghan. I began blocking squares the other day and may start sewing up before all the squares are done, just to mix things up a bit. She's nagging me about when it's going to be done. I'd actually like to stall giving it to her till later this fall as a Solstice gift or a birthday gift (same day, different gifts)

Master Knitting Level 1
I have knit all the swatches. Some of them several times. A few of them many times. I have been working on this project for more than a year, but take periodic (long) breaks in order to knit actual objects in hopes that my tension issues will clear up. Sometimes I think I've become worse at knitting since I started on this, but I think I'm just a tougher critic. I have to remember that most people take in the entire garment and don't examine it from 3 inches away, fretting about how I row out at each end. All I have left on this is one of the new YO swatches, the hat project, and to finish up the blocking report, which is now a blocking/garment care report. I'm more confident about my knitting knowledge than my knitting ability at the moment. No pictures at the moment, but I will document them after I've finished them all to my satisfaction.

I'm going to rip out the cuffs and redo them flat. I hate knitting Aran in the round. Totally sucks. I'm going to knit the rest of the body flat and seam it. Anything to avoid having to use circular needles for Aran knitting. Blech.

Other stuff:
Socks for my mom
This is Broadripple in the Elann knockoff of Cascade Fixation. Not loving knitting with this stretchy yarn. Too hard to control tension which, as we now know, is not my strong suit anyway.

Pretty Petals in Koigu

Socks for my mom's husband, Al.
These are GI Dennis socks, a free pattern by Jeannie Townsend, available on the Townsend Knit Along yahoo group. Love this pattern, even though I have to purl in the round to do it. Thank goodness for the Norwegian purl.

Mittens for my friend Katie

The colors don't look right here. They are amazingly deep and vibrant, not anything like the garishness in this photo. And they are almost done. Why don't I just frigging finish these? I have 1/2 of the second mitt finished. It would probably take me one evening to complete, once I figure out how the hell I was knitting them. I think I made up my own pattern. I think I don't want to finish them because then I'll have to give them to Katie. I want them for myself, but this is a Fleece Artist Favourite Mittens kit and they only make them in one-of-a-kind colourways.

Mittens for my friend Tina
Thrums are interesting, but somewhat tedious to knit. I have to do another pair for my friend Rosemary, in a varigated purple, with black thrums. Once again, my own pattern, which I will have to figure out again. Blogger won't let me upload this photo. I'll try another time.

Socks for me

I hate orange, but I love these socks. So fast to knit and a nice break from pattern knitting where I have to pay attention to what I'm doing.

In addition to all of these items, I have a knitted bear for the Mother Bear project planned, 4 more pair of socks for my brother (size 13 feet) and his family, who were sensible enough to have much smaller feet, a pair of footies for Sophia, and possibly a snowflake illusion scarf for her, baby gifts for several of the kids' teachers who just had babies or are about to. I think I want to knit the Tulip Toes booties for Sophia's science teacher. Oh, and a mobius bowl because I think they are completely cool. I'm thinking of gifting it to my dad, who is a math professor and will probably appreciate it more than most people.

I think I'm insane. Or I will be, once mid-December hits and I'm only halfway through all this stuff.

So what did I work on last night?


My name is Rox and I'm a knitaholic.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Kit arrives!

The kit from my KSKS buddy arrived yesterday afternoon. I think Sophia was as excited as I was to open the box.

My kit buddy was Margit , who created this little ladybug bag with ribbon handles. Look closely and you'll see my favorite Inox dpns peeking through the secret hiding place in the ribbon strap.

She also sent lots of tips and hints for knitting toe-up, as I'd been trying to find a compelling reason to try them and hadn't come up with one. The pattern she sent, Cookie's Baudelaire from the latest Knitty is a great reason. To complement the pattern, she sent some Knit Picks Palette in a wonderful purple color. I have a hard time finding solid sock yarn locally, and picking it from the Internet can be problematic (as the awful pink Opal in my stash will attest to), so this worked out great for me! She also sent some dark chocolates (I could live on dark chocolate, except that I'd end up in some sort of sugar coma), which Sophia found infinitely more interesting than the knitting supplies.

Now that I think of it, though, which would be harder to live without? Chocolate or yarn? A world without both wouldn't be a world worth living in.