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Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
As the name of the yarn states, this yarn is black. The colors range from black, grey, burgundy. It's a yarn that is just as easily an abyss/absence of color. Because I only knit one of the kits, I won't be renewing my membership. It's for the best really.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
The news on my Queen of Beads socks is that there are no beads matching mine at the store. There going to send me some beads that are closest to them and I'll just use them to finish the rest of the sock. I'm not sure I care all that much at this point. and maybe if I un-knit some of the other sock and mix up the beads, it won't look so pronounced. Meh...no need to worry yet. I'll just have to evaluate the situation once I have more understanding of what I'm dealing with.
Monday, September 28, 2009
I am still hoping that the Sock Club folks might have some leftover beads for my Queen of Bead sock. It turns out they used five different types of beads when putting together everyone's shipments. By my own calculations, after looking over the first sock, I'm short nearly 3 dozen beads. I'm not sure what I'm going to do if I'm unable to acquire more.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
I've also wound the Cascade 220 I need for the Master Hand Knitter hat project. In other news, I've worked the heel of the Queen of Beads socks and have realized I will not have enough beads for my sock. I added an extra repeat at the top of the socks, which was recommended in the pattern. My thought is that when it comes to a pattern and supplies, there should be enough to do the largest of the recommended pattern and well...there just isn't. I'm short 30 or so beads based on the other sock. Hopefully, I'll be able to find more from contacting the Sock Club folks.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
As I reported a few months back, I signed up for the The Knitting Guild Association’s Master Hand Knitting Program (Level 1) and received my instruction package in mid-April. I knit five or so swatches on a size 9 needle shortly after the package arrived. But a few weeks ago I was looking on Ravelry and saw that members could queue the program in their project listings. Before doing this, I looked at other people’s submission and noticed very few knit with this needles size. So I opted to scrap the five swatches and start fresh. Over Labor Day weekend I cranked out 8 swatches and in the interim I’ve finished 15. The last one I have to work on is a “create your own cable pattern,” using some perimeters they provide on swatch length and width. This is a giant pain in the ass. The first swatch I knit came out to long because of the pattern repeat. The swatch has to be balanced so there is no having a half repeat of the pattern as the ending point of the swatch. I’m not sure how long this is going to take me so I’ve once again set it aside.
The somewhat alarming thing that I learned is that I’ve not been casting on in a manner described in any book. I use a slip knot and then proceed to doing a long-tail cast-on. After learning that a slip knot is not traditionally used a in the long-tail cast-on method, I began using the “normal” method, except that when I’d start a new swatch I would always want to resort to my “strange” method so now I’m not sure which swatches are what. I’m going to do a little positive thinking and hope that the master knitter’s on the committee won’t notice my poor little slip knot at the cast-on.
It's a little lazy of me but I don't really want to spend hours re-knitting without being told to by the committee that’s it’s necessary. I know it’s not the best attitude to have but what is a self-taught knitter to do in this situation. Re-knit preemptively? No.
I did double-check my gauge and measured the swatches twice to make sure I wasn’t fibbing on the number of inches they want things to be. I haven’t been entirely lazy. Although, even there I had to look up how one measures gauge because I didn’t know if it was from any ol’ spot on the knitted stitch and well…it’s not.
This weekend, I think I might wind the yarn for the ugly, striped hat (the project for the program) and cast-on.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
I had the opportunity to visit several this weekend at Stitches Midwest. I attended the marketplace and walked out with an awesome braided leather handle for the Formal Boot Bag in Bag Style I plan to knit and 10 skeins of Noro Korchoran. I didn't really plan on either but the Noro is not something I really thought out. It was just too good a deal to pass up and thankfully, I do have a pattern that I can use. My in-laws bought me "Knitting Noro: The Magic of Hand-dyed Yarns" for my birthday, which is awfully handy right now.
I didn't have an opportunty to touch the Noro Korchoran until I was home and it's the softest Noro I've ever felt. Wool, angora and silk are an awesome combination. The colors are rust, red, tan, purple, and gray.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Last month, I finished knitting the cabled headband knit with leftover Noro Tidiori. I probably should have made a test swatch but I wasn't thinking about the implications of what could happen should I not get gauge. Well...when I was finished I was three inches short of the desired length in the pattern. Since a headband is stretched over one's head, it's worked out as okay as it can. The viewer just sees more of the tangled string and less of the headband towards the back. At some point I'll hit up JoAnn's or another craft store and pick up some elastic band (in black preferably). I think I'd be more apt to wear the headband f it has an elastic backing, rather than tying string together.
On a more positive note, I finished knitting the Branching Out scarf using Crystal Palace Merino Frappe. There was a time many years ago when I had considered using this yarn to make the Spiderweb Caplet in Stitch 'N Bitch Nation. Nowadays I wonder what the hell was I thinking.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
While off, I also cast-on a headband using the leftover Noro Tidiori from the Clapotis. It's the Bamboozled pattern on Ravelry. I'm 63 rows in and debating whether to do another repeat of cabling as the pattern suggests or just go straight to the decreasing. I'm afraid I don't have enough yarn. I don't quite have a full skein but I do have some scraps from where the other skeins had knots.
In addition, I made some progress on the TKGA Master Hand Knitting project. I was able to go to the library and pick up some knitting reference books, which came in handy in answering some of the 17 questions. I also stopped by a LYS and picked up some white Cascade 220 for the hat I have to knit, which will be the next thing to knit after the handband.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
This issue of Interweave Knits easily rivals that of 2008. The majority of the patterns in both issues are classic in their composition. I like to think that many of them would be as wearable 10 years from now as they are today. There are few patterns in here that I would not consider making and the one’s I have in mind for the future are:
-Farmer's Market Cardigan
-Double Knit Hat (Bird on a Wire)
This issue of Vogue Knitting featured an article on going seamless. It offers a quick synopsis on converting flat knitted pieces to knitting in the round. It couldn't have come at a better time for me. I have a number of queued knitting projects that I've been putting off because they would require seaming. I still have a sweater from September sitting in a box waiting to be seamed. Hell, I'm not one for weaving in ends either. I always find reasons to put off the finishing require of most knitting items.
As a member of the The Knitters Guild Association, I now receive Cast-On (no subscription necessary). In the last two issues, I have realized I am not really the audience for this magazine. I might marvel at the complex knitting it takes to knit an intarsia sweater with various pattern motifs but I will never attempt to make such a garment. I honestly find them to be a bit busy and unappealing.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
I’ve been scouring knitty.com since 2004 and when the Clapotis pattern was released back then, I was there to view it. At the time, I made a copy and put it in my storage binder for online patterns. I had no idea years later I would come to knit it in Noro TIdiori. As I mentioned earlier, I impulsively bought four balls of this yarn on sale at a LYS but found that this was too small an amount to make anything I’d actually want to wear. So a few weeks ago I scoured the web trying desperately to find Tidiori in the colorway and dyelot (it having been discontinued). I finally came across some at The Woolie Ewe - the last bastion for Noro Tidiori.
The first skein went great. The second skein was cursed. Not only was it riddled with knots--I stopped counting at four--but it also had spots of being thread bare. Who wants that?! To say I was pissed is to put it lightly. I was enraged that a skein could be this horrible and become disheartened with the project’s ability to progress. Shawls that are 100 stitches across aren’t exactly forgiving when on stitch 40 you find that there’s not enough yarn to finish the row because you’ve just discovered it’s two strands tied together.
The remaining balls weren't as fraught with knots or bare spots so I carried along with knitting. I started almost a month ago and have wrapped up the knitting this week. All the stitches are dropped (so much fun!) so in essence it looks like a Clapotis. I still need to weave in the tails. Although I do like the end result, I would never use this yarn again were it still in circulation.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
I just started on a pair of Cable Footies in One Skein by Leigh Radford. I've become an increasingly big fan of this book. The patterns are cute and who can argue with using only one skein. I've looked at the One Skein Wonder books and I can't say that quantity equals quality. All of the patterns in One Skein are easily recognized for their quality and uniqueness.
I'm thinking of giving the Footies away as a gift but haven't decided.
In the interim of my last post, I've knit one footie and finished a lace scarf using two skeins of purple Laines du Nord Mulberry Silk I had in my stash. I bought this on clearance with no clear intention of what I would do with it. After scouring Ravelry, I settled on the FishTail scarf. The finished scarf measures 5 feet; a little short for my taste but it'll do.
I purchased 5 skeins of Noro Tidiori to add to my four skeins. I bought the first few skeins because it was on sale for $5 each. Looking back, it wasn't really the wisest decision to make but I couldn't pass up Noro or sale yarn. I saw a few examples of Clapotis (check out knitty.com) made with Tidiori on Ravelry and it reminded me of Missoni. With a lot of luck, I was able to find a retailer still selling the yarn, which became discontinued a year ago. At some point, after the footies and the mystery project, I'll start on a Clapotis. I really have to stop having incomplete projects laying around. All the UFOs I mentioned back in March are still lingering about the condo.
I'm still queued on the Queen of Beads socks, which means I have have two other Rockin' Sock Club kits sitting in wait. There's a new kit that will ship this month. I'm so terribly behind.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I'm relegated to only reading about knitting. I just started reading The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club. The first 30 pages are interesting but I'm hoping the story will start to pick up. I'm not sure how far I'll get now that I'll be taking muscle relaxers to help ease the strain on my neck, shoulders and back. I imagine not very far at all.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
It's not a colorway I would normally choose but is very lovely. It's a mix of pink, purple, lavender and grey. I hope it knits up in a flattering manner.
The pattern is difficult to see in the photographs. It looks almost like a wavy lace pattern, and lace is more often than not, not easy to make out in darker colors. The squiggly effect of the socks is very whimsical. Having not finished the Queen of Beads, TKGA swatches and the mysterious project, I have no idea when I will ever get to these socks.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
The first three swatches test your ability to increase evenly and unobtrusively, maintain tension and accurately measure the gauge. My K1P1/stockinette stitch swatch is not turning out all that great but I totally kicked the K2P2/garter stitch swatch in the ass. The K1P1 stitches are extremely large and look misshapen compared to the stockinette stitch. I can't tell if that's accurate to what they look like or not. I don't normally knit ribbing on size 9 needles, the size recommended for Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool. I'm going to leave the swatch alone. I've already ripped the swatch once, after knitting a few rows of ribbing. I imagine if the judges don't like it, they'll let me know n their review and offer recommendations on how to change it or at least offer a critique on what is wrong.
I haven't "finished" the swatches because I hate weaving in ends. My plan is to wait until I've finished knitting all of the 16 swatches to start on this task.
I also stopped by the library picked up some books listed on the TKGA Bibliography for the Master Hand Knitting Program so I can start answering the questions and work on the essay.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
What happened exactly? My hat is missing a yarn over, trapping one end of the I-cord inside the hat. To overcome this absence, I just pulled the I-cord through a knit stitch. I know it might cause some undue pressure on the knit stitch but I don't really like the thought of ripping back most of the hat to knit in a yarn over. When I gift the hat, I'll warn the person of this error ("Don't take the I-cord out."). I'm sure they'll understand, whoever they happen to be. Since most of my friends and acquaintances aren't knitters, I'm sure they won't mind. Or so I am telling myself.
I'll definitely knit this pattern again. It's a quick knit and the end result is a very cute hat. I'm going to give it a go in Lion Brand Wool-Ease. I have loads of this yarn and need a means to get it out of my stash.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
- Typed up the questions, and a few answers, in the TKGA Master Hand Knitter packet;
- Looked up whether the recommended reference books are at my local library (many are so hooray!); and
- Ordered/received recommended yarn, Lion's Brand Fisherman's Wool, in a cream color.
This weekend I won't be doing much in the way of knitting. Tomorrow is my five-year wedding anniversary and we're planning on going out over the weekend. I've been looking forward to it for months.
I started on a child-size Children's Cotton Hat in Last-Minute Knitted Gifts.
I'm knitting it in the recommended yarn, Mission Falls 1824 Cotton, and I have very mixed feelings. I love that the yarn is textured. But I absolutely hate that the thin piece of yarn that is wrapped around the larger piece is broken in over a dozen of places. It really makes me sad that I purchased yarn that is this shoddy. It's a lovely orange-sherbet color and fun to knit with but who wants string hanging out every which way. I can't think this is the intent of the yarn manufacturer. I'm willing to give the yarn another shot but just based on this limited experience, I would never want to knit a larger garment with it.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I've tried casting-on a half-dozen times and even made it so far as to have gotten to the row where the piece is joined, only to have then dropped a stitch and been unable to pick it back up. At this time, I've given up.
I've started another project but am waiting to post on it.
It took 30 pattern repeats and two balls of Crystal Palace Merino Frappe to reach 5-feet. I purchased the yarn years ago intent on making a Spiderweb Capelet from Stitch 'N Bitch Nation. Needless to say, I did not make the capelet.
The positive part of using this yarn is that for a wool yarn, it's quite soft from being merino. The downside is that with it being frappe, it is a pain in the ass to rip. By knitting stitches, the felting process starts. It made ripping back on rows with too many stitches a very annoying experience. And wouldn't you know, that all had to happen half-way through the project, which was not very motivating.
Anyway, I just finished reading the Interweave Knits Summer 2009 issue. In having recently signed up for the TKGA's Master Hand-Knitting program, I'm very appreciative of the article, "Beyond the Basics: New Methods for Jogless Stripes in the Round." The hat that has to be completed as part of the program requires jogless stripes and I will definitely be reviewing this later on to make sure I get it right.
There's a bit of difficulty in how I think about clothing's use in my daily life. I have several tattoos on my arms and keep them generally covered while at work. I can possibly get away with 3/4 length sleeves but nothing shorter. This requires that most of my clothes have long sleeves so there's not many short-sleeved jackets or sweaters in my closet, as cute as they are in any given season. Although I can find knitted garments very appealing, I will likely not make them and am dismissive of them. If I can only wear something on the weekend, it's just not worth it to me. With that in mind, I look for long-sleeve sweaters that have enough detail to make me look somewhat fashionable or short sleeve sweaters that won't look "weird" with a long-sleeve shirt underneath.
The patterns I really liked from this issue were the the Grotto Wrap, Great Gatsby Dress, Ribbons and Lace Cardigan. I tend to like the frilly, more complicated garments when it comes to knitted attire. I think they're more visually appealing. The fitted form of the Great Gatsby Dress makes is very flattering and something I'd wear in the summer, on the weekend.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
In other knitting news, I've completed one of the Queen of Beads socks.
Monday, April 13, 2009
I'm a little scared about the other two levels. I've never knit argyle socks or cared to try Fair Isle knitting. The very thought of an Aran or or Fair Isle sweater sounds more like punishment, than fun but I guess that would all depend on the pattern. I don't think I'll be at the Level 3 stage for quite some time. This will soon be my homework:
- 16 knitted samples: three swatches of ribbing and basic stitches and gauge, mirrored increases and decreases, yarnovers, cables and color change.
- 17 questions to research and answer.
- One hat.
- Two-page report on blocking and care of knits.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
After being at this for a month, I'm still far from being done...and it's getting more and more tedious. On this second chart I have had to rip back at least three separate occasions. When you're ripping back over 200 stitches that's a lot of time and effort being for naught. Still, I'm going to stick with it. I still think it's an interesting pattern and am eager for the final result. Pictures at this stage don't really do it justice so that will have to wait until the knitting and blocking are complete. I've found that if I don't count each row and at the halfway and end mark of the row, I invariably end up having screwed up. This last time, I ended up with two extra stitches and it caused me to rip out two rows of work - an hour of my time wasted.
On a side note, I bought a new phone and am somewhat enamored by it.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
- Berroco Brea Bag
- Stitch 'n Bitch Henry Rollins Doll
- Rowan Ribbon Twist Honey Sweater
- One Skein Petal Bib
- Berroco Astrid Shawl
- AlterKnits Felt Circular Coin Purse
I think as part of my spring cleaning (in perhaps May), I should really hunker down and finish these items so that I might enjoy them or at least give them away so that others might.
But back to the shawl. It's turning out quite lovely. I'm knitting with Blue Heron Silk Rayon Twist on size 8 needles. It's not a quick knit but I still find the pattern visually appealing and the pattern repeating every six rows helps to keep ones attention span. I've been knitting the same pattern repeat for over 70 rows and still have a few left. This will be the first project I've ever done that calls for knupps. They sound like a royal pain in the arse. The thought of purling five stitches is something that can't be dwelled on so I'll just have to tackle them as they come up in the pattern. I hope it doens't cause too much pain on my wrists. I found knitting the hat from two posts ago very painful on my wrists.
Anyhoo, when I get far enough along, I'll drop picture.
I swear one day, I'll finish this thing and I'll wear it with the utmost pride.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
As if the socks weren't enough, I also finished an unoriginal hat, courtesy of the yarn harlot's pattern on ravelry. This was a really easy pattern to knit (and this time I followed the chart correctly!). If I were to knit this again, I would use needles one size larger. I used Plymouth Yarn Hand Paint Wool on size 10 needles. It's a bit of tight knit, considering the recommended needle size for this yarn is size 15. I'm not sure of the color way as the yarn was a gift from a few years ago. I had originally knit it into a scarf but didn't like the scarf so I frogged it. There's still close to a full skein left in my stash.
I have another item to report on. I started the Rockin' Sock Club pattern and am now at the part where I work the heel cuff. I do love the colorway for this yarn and have found that knitting with beads isn't nearly as difficult as I had thought. I'm really glad that I haven't run into a knobby bit or part where the yarn is tied. It seemed lots of other people were encountering this problem.
Because of this project, I'm now very interested in knitting the Wild Clover Maxi Clutch pattern from Valley Yarns Stockbridge with beads. I had originally thought of not using beads.
Monday, February 2, 2009
The package arrived last Thursday and it's just as awesome as I imagined. Not only did I get the sock yarn and a pattern but a nifty keychain (of both sock yarn and Rockin' Sock Club) and pin. I have attached my pin to my cubicle, as well as the the spare keychain of sockyarn. I've already had someone comment. It was more of "what is that?!" but still, it's got people talking.
Yesterday, I spent an hour trying to decipher how to get the beads on the yarn and finally succeeded. Now I just have to figure out what how to do a tubular cast-on.
Chris has been nagging me about not knitting him socks for weeks. I finally broke down and purchased some Cascade Fixation in black. Hopefully the color will satisfy him and since the yarn can be knit up on larger needles, it won't take me nearly as long. I couldn't buy just sock yarn so I bought a skein of Cascade 220 in magneta for a Two-Toned Ribbed Shrug (by Stefanie Japel in Fitted Knits) and two balls of Laines du Nard Mulberry Silk to make Candy Wrapper Sachets (by Leigh Radford in One Skein). The lavender I purchased over the summer is still very potent and will work well in the sachets. I really want to start getting into the habit of making little projects that can be given out as gifts--things smaller than hats and scarves.
Monday, January 26, 2009
I'm of the group of people where waiting to open Christmas presents is really arduous so when a club member opted to reveal the contents of the package, I can't deny that I went straight to the website and proceeded to view the pics. And let me just say, the yarn is lovely. Although now I'm kind of sad I purchased Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Potluck in a blue/green palette. Then again, can you have too many hand-knitted blue socks.
My other issue is that I am still working my way through a pair of Flame Wave socks. I'm happy to say over the weekend I made significant progress and have completed one sock. If I continue to knit at this rate, I should be able have the heel turned by the weekend. I'm 3/4 into completing the leg so I don't think this is me being too ambitious.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I've been anxiously waiting and today...I got my username and password for the Rockin' Sock Club. Fantastic! I'm ready for my yarn package to arrive, which reminds me...
I went a little crazy this weekend at the local yarn store: Wool and Company (Geneva, IL). With reckless abandon, I went through almost my entire gift certificate, purchasing:
- 3 skeins of Tahki Donegal Tweed in Charcoal
- 2 skeins of Noro Kureyon
- 2 skeins of Lamb's Pride Worsted and 1 skein of Lamb's Pride Bulky
- 1 skein of Blue Sky Alpalca's Dyed Cotton
- 1 skein of Rowan Wool Silk DK
I do have plans for each skein so I'm off to a better start than normal. When I go on yarn expeditions, I tend to buy whatever is appealing which doesn't always work out with than making it into something. But with my stash being an ever growing beast, I don't know when I'll get around to these projects.
I'm still working on the Flame Wave socks from Favorite Socks, after having ripped back from the heel over Christmas. I choose the smaller size and it turned out to be too small for my feet. I couldn't even get them over my heel. It was quite sad and disappointing to have to rip back hours worth of work. In the end, I'll be able to wear them so it works out in the end.