Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Am I crazy?

I mean, outside of the overt "yarn in the dishwasher" kind of crazy.

Here's why I'm suspect:

I hate ribbing. I mean, I love the way it looks, but omg it's so slow. So slow. I've been thinking about the Kathmandu aran tweed and how I want to make a fairly quick sweater -- I was thinking stockinette, but you know, ribbing might just be too smooshy to pass up.

What's holding me back is that I'm so !! slow at ribbing (it's like seed stitch: I lovelovelove it, but I cringe when I think about how long it takes), so what if I knit maybe half an inch in ribbing, then switch to stockinette, and then when I get to the arm shaping I...

(brace for potential crazy)

drop the stitches that should be purled and pick them up so they're correct for ribbing?

Maybe I'm just forgetting how long picking up stitches takes, but it seems kind of preferable to ribbing a whole sweater.

On the other hand, maybe ribbing a(nother) whole sweater would build character and make me faster for the future. Or maybe it just wouldn't get finished.

Friday, February 23, 2007

What do you mean this isn't normal?

Doesn't everyone have yarn in their dishwasher?

Sizzle got the rip and I had to do something about the kinked up yarn. Option one was to weight the skeins and hang them in the bathroom, and option two was something I heard about from Pixie Purls: putting kinky yarn through the dry cycle of the dishwasher and steam it out. So I tried it!

It worked a bit, though next time I'll stretch the yarn a bit rather than just leaving it in skeins. Either way it's easier than throwing it in the shower.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Knitting through quicksand

Between the trip, Big Phone Calls involving both New and Large Feelings, and this cold that has taken up residence in my sinuses (and occasionally vacationing in my chest) there hasn't been much knitting. There could be if I felt like I could take off work, but I'm taking... six times two... 12 days in the span of about six weeks. It doesn't look so good for me to take more.

I have medicine head. Everything's moving pretty slowly right now.

I worked on the sock on my Charlotte-Miami flight, getting all the way to turning the heel (trying on a knee sock while sitting in an airplane seat = tricky) when I realized that I had no idea how the gusset was supposed to look. I thought it might be stripes, but I couldn't remember and there was nothing I could do. . So I put it away and haven't picked it up since.

It is stripes, by the way.

#46. Always keep a picture of the pattern. Just do. Especially if the pattern's being difficult anyway.

Also, somehow my gauge went from 7 spi to 9 spi, and I have no idea what happened. Maybe it's the switch from circular needles to dpns, but...? Might explain why the size is so off, though...

Anyhoo. Lately I've been working on my Secret Sweater Pattern. I'm using my Knitpicks Andean Silk (sizzle is getting the rip) and it'll be a delightful surprise whether there'll be enough or not. Either way I'm going to have to knit it again, I think. Make sure I know what I'm talking about when I write up the pattern. Decide if I really do like where it's going.

In the meantime, here's a peek:

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Good news!

Not dead! Still going!

With the trip and getting stranded in Miami on the way home and having people staying in my apartment this past weekend and some... life craziness, I haven't been able to write (well, knit-based writing, anyway).

I haven't knit much, either.

To come: I did some extreme knitting while I was away, and why you should always bring a picture of a pattern when traveling with WIPs.

(this picture is Definitely Not Staged at All).

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Impending radio silence

The socks... are still going. More accurately, the sock is still going, and let's not even talk about second sock syndome, pls.

I increased a bunch and am now working through the decreases (and please do cross your fingers for me) will end right about where the heel starts, which would just be too keen (cue impending knitter god wrath for my Wicked, Wicked Pride1). It's still a little tight, but not boa-constrictor-esque. The sock's partner isn't going to be a perfect match (at ALL), as I'm increasing/decreasing every 3ish rows.

Here's a 2 stitch increase that I "made up" and used to fix the fact that I forgot to cast on in a multiple of four:

In the same stitch: knit, knit into stitch AND STITCH BELOW, knit. If you use this a lot and/or the stitches are stretched it can result in a little hole that's quite pretty. No idea why it didn't happen here, but I'm not complaining.

At the same time the Mystery Pattern finally arrived:

(click on picture for link to store)

(I have to admit that I wasn't thrilled with the service. It took a week for her to let me know wht my first order didn't go through, and then another 8 days to get to me -- good thing I wasn't too anxious. Also, I got charged $1.50 for shipping when it was actually 87¢, but maybe the extra is for the envelope or similar?).

Thing is... I'm not sure I have enough yarn. The merino/silk I have is dk and the pattern calls for worsted, and the largest size of the pattern requires 630 yards (including underdrawers, which I'm not making), and I have 540 yards (which is what's called for in the next smallest size.

I was thinking that since I'm using smaller yarn I'd make the bigger size (to be double-checked when I do a swatch), but I don't know if it'll work. I may replace the knit straps for ribbon, though, which would free up... YARDS... of... yarn... I hope?

I wish it came with a picture of the back.

ANYhoo, I've also been working on figuring out a sweater pattern. Work, until today, has been really slow and offers plenty of time to sketch and even do some maths. It's a design I saw on a woman in a restaurant, and have never seen anything like it before or since (though it's a tricky search). I've been prototyping with some crap yarn, and hopes are high.

Mysterious? Yes! But I would like to, um, maybe publish it if I can ever figure it out. You understand.

In the meantime, most-if-not-total radio silence is going to occur between this-and-next Thursday because I'll be here:

for this.

St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. Tropical Dance Vacation. A week of contra dancing, tooling around the Caribbean, and rum.

It's my first island vacation without my family, which is going to be strange. I'm staying with a couple of friends, which is brilliant. Scuba diving, snorkeling, getting sun burnt beyond recognition, rum, and diet smashing (rule: only break the diet for something Really Worth It, e.g. biscuits. Or cake. Or -- I should stop).

1 Hey, have any of you seen "Wicked, Wicked Games"? Isn't it awful??

Monday, February 05, 2007


What's your favorite way to join yarns? I haven't found one that I really like.