Thursday, April 26, 2007

A better, easier tubular cast-off

So I'm doing a KAL with someone (more on that later!) and we're making Eunny's endpaper mitts. I was at the bind-off last night and was having a bunch of trouble with the technique that Eunny links to. I had to unpick (^&%*$%!!!) the first few bound-off stitches a bunch of times which really doesn't do good things to single-ply merino.

My sad, sad bind off:

Finally I bound off about four stitches and went to bed, because omgz so many expletives and PROFANITY at the stupid bind off big dumb jerk. And I couldn't sleep. And couldn't sleep. Visions of bind-offs were running through my head when I had a Thought. A potentially Clever Thought.

In case I forgot it in the night I jumped up, pulled out some crap yarn, and cast on 8 stitches. A (very) few rows of ribbing and I tried my idea.

It was pretty! It was easy! I was feeling brilliant. Ready for excitement? This is the super-easier tubular cast-off:

Slide knit stitches onto one needle, and purl stitches onto another needle held behind the first. Kitchener those puppies together. Admire beauty. Feel crazy smart.

But, of course, there aren't Really any new ideas in knitting, and the bind off is presented as the knit-one-purl-one bind off on knitting help.

Still, though, I'm pleased as punch that I don't have to do that darned sewing one anymore.

Friday, April 20, 2007


Oh, y'all, I promised a picture of my extreme knitting and never delivered. Honestly, I was hoping that I'd get a better picture and it didn't happen, so here's the blur-tacular shot I do have. You ready?

That's right! Scuba knitting! Scuk! (Self-Contained Underwater Knitting, of course).

I didn't bring a real project, just cast on a few with some remaindered KP Andean Silk, tucked it and some needles into the pocket of my BC (bouyancy compensator) (that's the vest that you attach your tank and hoses to) and pulled it out at the end of one of our dives in St. Croix.

It was tricky. I didn't bring the whole ball of yarn (that would just be silly!) and the working end flew everywhere. It was not my best evidence of knitting. I was floundering around a bit too, so Lisa (in the pink!) held me fast so I could concentrate.

The delightful part is that I forgot my needles and yarn in the (rented) BC pocket and it got taken out the next day. The knitting went on almost as many dives as I did. Luckily I got everything back. I got a real funny look from the woman who'd been using my vest when I asked if I could borrow the BC and pulled out needles and yarn.

She laughed, too.

Xtreem knitting close up! Whoaaaa! Whoooaaaaaa!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

It's over!

Start date: Let's not discuss that.

Finish date: Apr 17!

Pattern: Arch Shaped Socks from VK Fall 2006

Yarn: Laines du nord 100% merino, 3 skeins each black and purple, size 2 bamboo needles.

Modifications: Oh, ha. Damn near everything. I cast on 82 (pattern called for 80), increased 8 rows to accomadate my shapely calves, and followed my generic top-down sock pattern after that. Adjusted the toes so they weren't quite as square (I had to reknit them a number of times so as to not cut the circulation to my toes off, which was more my problem than the pattern's). Oh, and modified the front diamond pattern because I'd messed it up the first time and then decided it was a design element.

I think they'd've done better calling it a "guideline" rather than a "pattern."

They're damn pretty, though. And DONE! HA HA! THE CURSE IS LIFTED!

...well, this particular curse, anyway. I think that gauge one is going to stick around for a while.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


I was flipping through Domiknitrix's book, and it's cleverly set up and funky-style etc. etc, but there's only one pattern I like (the halter vest). And the book is $20.

Do y'all find yourselves in situations like that? I don't want to fleece the designer, but $20 for a pattern is steep. Ideas? I have a feeling that the library won't have it, and I don't know anyone (offhand) who does.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Some days you knit, some days you frog

This was as far as I'd gotten in the arch-shaped socks when I decided to compare it against the first. While I harbor no delusions about these two being twins, I wanted to make sure they would be the same, you know, length.

They're not.

The decreases in the second sock are more consistent than the first, and so if I kept decreasing every four rows like I was then it'd be another, oh, eight rows longer. Not so good. So I frogged back to where that needle is sticking out.

It's about the knitting, not the product; it's about the knitting, not the product; it's about the knitting...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A sock and some planes

Did you know that knitting needles are prohibited on flights out of the UK? At least on Delta? It's true!

And that, my friends, makes for one exceptionally long flight from Edinburgh to Atlanta (I was much too tired to knit on the Atlanta-Charlotte flight). It's an 8.5 hour flight and I'd finished my book (Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, which is great but not... exactly uplifting, so I wasn't in the mood to re-read just yet), and there wasn't anything good on the tv, so... erg. In retrospect I probably could've gotten by with my bamboo needles, but it wasn't a risk I was excited to take.

So! Knitting news! Yes. I finally finished the first of the stupid arch-shaped stockings. The bottoms were a little tricky because there are no pictures of them in VK, and no description of how they should look. So I faked it and it works, so yay!

The toes, however, are a little square, and I'm not entirely sure what to do about that. They're square in the magazine pictures, too. The other thing is that I really don't want to undo any of the sock unless I absolutely have to.

I started its mate on the flight to Edinburgh (where needles were allowed), and it's going... slowly. I would knit in the evenings while Shell and I were watching tv (she was a goddess and let me stay with her), and she asked how long socks like that would take me to knit, and I realized that boy howdy, I really am a slow knitter.

But I keep reminding myself that I'm a process knitter. I'm doing this not for the final product, but for the love of wool on needles.

It's become my mantra when I peruse knitblogs.

You should, um, make believe you can't see those loose ends...

I wandered into a few places-with-yarn while I was in Edinburgh. Frankly, there's not much there. There's John Lewis department store which carries Rowan and Debbie Bliss and so on, and there's Jenners, which carries Rowan and Debbie Bliss and so on. Decent, but not thrilling. There's also HK Handknits, which looks decent but doesn't seem to carry anything I couldn't find in the states and was a good hike from where I was staying, so I passed on it. Besides, I have enough projects on tap to get more yarn (HAH! Lies. I always need more yarn).

Maybe I should move back to Edinburgh and start a yarn store...