Wednesday, November 30, 2005

She can be taught!

I have decided that I finally have enough lace to show you a good picture. So here it is. This is the pattern that may have (finally) cured my of my lace ills. (Don't go around saying that too loudly though, or I shall be smited for my insolence and over confidence).
This is a little over three repeats of the pattern. I think it's a beautiful stitch, and if I have screwed up, you can't really tell -- which in my world is key. Also, it's producing a far heavier fabric that I thought it would, which makes the scarf more versatile. This is important to me because I thought with the buttery yellow color and the lacey pattern that it would only be useful in the spring time, say around Easter, but that doesn't seem to be the case. As long as my grandmother has something that it matches, then I'm good to go. My only fear is that it's going to block out to be this enormous beast, but I'll take my chances.
Here is a close up of it. Apologies for the blur factor but if you don't stare at it too long, it is a semi helpful photo. I like it because it looks to be little snowflakes. Perhaps I should make this in blue. I definately think I want one for myself, but out of something not so itchy. And perhaps a heavier yarn so the pattern would be more obvious.
Also, the best part of this whole thing is finding the life line. Last night I knew I shouldn't do another row, but I haven't been working on it and I was on a roll, so I went for it. It didn't work out too well, but it was okay. I ripped back to the lifeline, two rows of lace and one row of purl, and it was all better. I'm just pretending I never attempted it in the first place. I'm sure the scarf is much better off losing the row that wasn't right and some extra than it ever would have been if I had tried to make my way backwards. I know that my emotional well being is much better off as well.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

If you knit fast enough.... won't run out of yarn. This was my theory last night as I sat working on the last little sweater that I could sqeeze out of this skein. I wouldn't have worried of I had ordered more yarn, or had some, or had any plans to get more, but none of those things were true, so I had to make it with what I had. So I knit fast and furious - intent on seeing whether or not I was going to run out. I would try not to look at the sneaky ball of yarn in the hopes that it would not sense my fear. They can sense fear you know. If they think that you're the slightest bit worried about running out, then you surely will. Thankfully the ball did not know that I was worried, but still all I had left was this

Size 5 needles for reference

You can see why I was just a little nervous. It looked even worse when it was this part of skein flopping around all over the place. The only thing that I can do now with this little bit is entertain the cat. I'm sure that she will be pleased. But she will tell me that she hates it. You know cats.

Anyhow I have pictures of the scarf for my mom! It is complete. I blocked it last night

Apologies for it being so fuzzy, but I guess I was having flash issues or something. At least this gives you a good perspective on the size of the thing. It's layed out on our full size futon.

And here is a far lovlier photo of it close up. Ah morning light makes things so much prettier. Well some things, anyhow, but let's not get into that.

So, this is a 6" x 5' (roughly) scarf done in 2x2 ribbing on size 6 crystal palace needles with 3 hanks of Manos de Uruguay cotton stria in white.

I loved this yarn, I loved these needles. I would do it all over again, except for the boredom and time factor of knitting 2x2 forever and a day. Let's call it endurance knitting. I'm glad it's done, I'm happy with the finished product, and I hope to never do another one in the future =)

Sure, why not?

You are Mohair
You are Mohair.
You are a warm and fuzzy type who works well with
others, doing your share without being too
weighty. You can be stubborn and absolutely
refuse to change your position once it is set,
but that's okay since you are good at covering
up your mistakes.

What kind of yarn are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Real post to come shortly. I promise.

**Edited to put all of the code in. Duh.

Monday, November 28, 2005

My inner yarn snob

"A woman was accosted earlier today in the yarn store by a figure known as 'the inner yarn snob'. The snob, who has yet to be identified, gently coerced, and later forced, the woman to purchase 100% wool (cascade 220) over a (cheap) acrylic yarn. The tactics that the snob used were both underhanded, and some reports say, dastardly. The woman says that the snob coerced her by saying that the Cascade wasn't *that* much more expensive, that the yarn was destined to become gifts, and thus, was okay to splurge a little on, and that if she didn't buy the yarn she would regret it. For the rest of her life. (Threats might be exagerated. The woman was highly distressed during the interview). Authorities are still looking into the situation and the woman is being held in custody to protect her against futher snobbish attacks. The snob was apparently very stealthy and managed to escape unseen. Fiber experts would like to remind us that if you would like to avoid yarn attacks, prevention is the best medicine. If you don't go into the store, you can't be forced to purchase. If only the woman had heeded these wise words...."

- The Addictive Press

I hope that everyone had a happy turkey day. I know I did, and I'm even happier that the kitchen is nearly back to manageable. I even found a spot in my tiny cabinets for the enormous roasting pan that I got this year. All in all, a good holiday.

I also got a reasonable amount of knitting done as well. Another tiny sweater is off the needles and another is half way done. I realized that I would run out of yarn with this last sweater and have made an attempt to purchase more yarn. I don't think that four is going to cover my growing list of recipients. As
you can see, I got attacked in the store, but I think I'm going to be okay. At least I didn't buy the superwash or Panaz versions that I was looking at. I was able to fight the snob off a little.

The other thing that I'm rather proud of is that I'm three, count them, THREE, repeats into my lace pattern and none the worse for wear. I only managed to truly screw up one row, which I was able to rip back easily from because of my lifeline. Oh, I'm so happy that I learned of this technique. It is definately the way to go for the beginner lacer. Also, this pattern is really awesome. I was a little worried because it was tangy and I seemed to be having so very many problems with lace, but it's truly awesome. I think it's because every row is different but is a very simple repeat. It also helps that there are the same number of stitches on every row. This is great for me because then I can count, makes sure I'm at the right place and then pull the lifeline without fear. At first I was putting it in every row, but now I'm doing it once a motif repeat. I still have the fear of wool in me, but I think that's what's preventing me from having this project cursed like all the others. Hopefully tomorrow I will have pictures for you.

And lastly I would like to leav
e you with pictures of my pumpkin pie pumpkin. Like I didn't have enough to do before the big day, I had to get distracted with dough crafting:

Here it is before it went into the oven

Here it is all baked and chillin' on the rack:

And here it is on the pie:

I'm just so easily amused =)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm sorry that I have no pictures for you today, but I've been a little busy destroying our kitchen in an attempt to get everything ready for tomorrow. I had it completed destroyed last night and managed to get it together so I can do it all again tonight. I am sooo excited. Can't you tell?
This is our first Thanksgiving as hosts. We were supposed to have it last year, but we had some, well....issues surrounding the oven and it's location. So last year we went out for Thanksgiving. It was alright, but it will be nice to have a good (I hope), homegrown Thanksgiving this year. That is, if I can calm down enough to enjoy it. That is yet to be determined.
So let me tell you of the things I've been doing. Hopefully I will have time over the weekend to take pictures to show you. The 2x2 scarf is done. It's lovely. You can hardly tell where I suddenly switched from knitting backwards, or really, what seems to be referred to as "combo" knitting. I think that it doesn't look wrong, because it isn't. What I mean by that is since I was doing both the knit and the purl stitches "backwards" that it was actually turning out "right". Almost. If I had been doing the purl stitches right I would apparently have a much thicker and tighter fabric since I was knitting into the back of the stitch, but since I truly committed to the wrongness of my knitting, it was turning out okay. I hear that this is the way that some regions prefer to knit. You can read about it on the knitty board. I'd go find the link for you now, but I'm tired and lazy, so if you really need it, you can ask =) Maybe by then I'll have gotten some sleep, or coffee. In my world those things are interchangeable.
Back to the FO's. The only other thing that I've actually finished is another mini sweater. I'm not sure how many I plan on doing, but they're so easy, it doesn't matter. (Somehow the list of recipients of the sweater grows everytime I think about it. The skein of yarn does not. I think we know who determines how many people get the sweater. Damn fascist yarn.) I did make a mistake last night and do 2x2 ribbing instead of the 1x1 that I should do for the waist. It looked really nice, and if I hadn't already had the other half in 1x1, I would have left it, but I ripped it out and *fixed* it. I use the word "fix" loosely as my 1x1 ribbing looks like total crap. I mean really, really ugly. The stitches look wonky, they're not in a straight line, it's terrible. I'm pretty sure that I need some practice there, because my 2x2 looks great. In fact, before I realized my mistake on the ribbing, I even thought to myself, wow that looks really nice. What the hell is wrong with the other side? Oh, right. doh! Very Homer Simpson.
The mystery project has also been worked on. In fact, I've gotten to another color change in the Intarsia. Intarsia is really great. An enormous pain in the arse, but very pretty....except for my stitches at the color joins. It doesn't seem to matter how tight I pull those stitches, they always look, and are in fact, loose. I thought maybe I was pulling too tight and that was what was making the stitches look big and ugly, but if you pull at the join you can see all the extra yarn in there. My best guess it that it's because the yarn has that modal stuff in it, which makes it a little more stretchy, and in theory, easier to work. Apparently cotton is a real b*tch to work with, and it needs to be blended with something to make it workable (not that I didn't know that already since that Dale of Norway Stork almost made me clinical) I just think this yarn is a little too stretchy for intarsia. All of my other stitches are quite lovely.
Since I've noticed this trend, I've been yanking the crap out of both stitches at the join and this has been helping a little. The only problem is that with weight and size of the object, as it hangs that joint gets pulled on and kind of goes out of whack. I'm hoping that washing will help.
Speaking of washing, I'm scared to death to wash this thing. There are some pretty dark colors next to some pretty light colors and I fear for bleeding. If it bleeds at all, I think I will have an emotional break down. I know they've tested it, but still. I guess there will just have to be a boat load of pictures before I wash it.
The final thing that I've picked up is the wreath. It was so small and simple. I mean 18 sts. by 3 rows. It took 15 minutes. One small problem, tho. I used worsted weight, I used size 8s, and I got this tiny, pathetic little circle about an inch big. Heather saw it. It was sad. So, I'll be revisiting that pattern. Surely more stitches, and perhaps a couple more rows is in order. Still, it's a short project, but looks nice. I even bought cute little bows from Joanns to attach to them. They will be a nice accompaniment to the sweater.
So I guess that's it. Sorry for the lack of pictures, but I promise to overload you the next time around. Hopefully several things will be blocked and look all nice and purdy. And, now that I think about it I might knit up a little swatch with some stripes of dark and light shine and toss it in the wash. Lord knows I ordered waaaay too much (and some wrong colors), that I could use to test it. If it works, it sure would make me feel better. Maybe I'll put some ugly looking stitches in there in the hopes that Maytag is actually a god and can make it allll better. =)


Friday, November 18, 2005

A plea

Dear Ms. Cranberry WooloftheAndes,

Where are you? Please come back. You've got it all wrong.

I know that unwrapping you and knitting such a small thing and then putting you down was such a tease. I never meant to tease. I'm not that kind of girl.
I have not abandoned you for other projects. I have been planning to come back to you all along. I know you think that little sweater was all the action you were going to see. I know you've seen me hanging around with the scarf. But it's not like that.
The scarf was here long before you arrived and she has all her own issues. She needs the attention. And she is almost finished. As soon as she's done I'll be back to you to knit many tiny sweaters to make people happy at Christmas. Doesn't that sound like fun?
Please turn up for I am so worried for your safety. You don't know what's out there. You're so young. I fear not that you will freeze to death (as you are 100% wool) or that you've escaped the house, but for you chances with the 8 furious paws of doom. The paws like yarn. And not in a friendly way. Don't let the seduce you with the cuddling or playfulness. That can only end badly. They will surely shred you, chew you, unwind you, and worst of all, eat you! Won't you come back so that we can have many happy hours together making adorable sweater to make naked trees happy this year. Please?

The knitter

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

My first sweater!!!!

Not what you expected? Oh c'mon, it's so cute, how does it not count? It took me a whole 2 hours to do (while watching tv).
So what
we can deduce from this is

  • It is an ornament for Christmas presents
  • I in no way followed my plan from last night
  • The knitpicks order finally came.
  • No postmen were hurting in the making of this post.
  • All of the above
I got the free pattern from here, there are several cute patterns on this site. I like this one especially because it was knit flat and not on dpns. I'm sure something like this would be a good starter project for using dpns, but I'm more interested in speed and results right now than learning something new. I will get to dpns later.

This little guy hasn't been seemed yet, but I'll get to that later. Here is a picture of how it comes off the needles. Kind of cool. Just cast on some stitches in the midle to make sleeves. Bind off a few in the middle of that for the neckhole, finish it off and then slap it together. Totally easy. See, I can follow a pattern. The only thing I forgot to do was to do little garter stitch cuffs, but I'll do that on the next one. It looks fine either way.

I plan to also do the wreath pattern that's on that knitting patterns web site. That's even easier, so sign me up. I'm making little baskets for people so these can go in there. I was going to buy some ornaments for the baskets, but this is way better. I'm thrilled. I am also easily amused.

Moving on. I forgot that I hadn't posted a picture of the bags that I made from the picture that I posted earlier. So here it is.

The left one is completely finished. It's hard to see but it has a little crochet chain tie on it to keep it closed. I'll probably embroider little snowflakes on this one and the one on the right. The middle one is busy enough as it is. The two on the right just need to be seemed and have closures made. The one on the right is a little Dr. Seuss or Where's Waldo as opposed to Christmas, but I'm hoping some embellishment will fix that. And hey, even if I don't give it away, at least I figured out how to stripe.

So you see, between making the little sweaters, these bags, and the wreaths, I'm going to have a lot of sewing to do. Which I'm pretty quick at. I'm not extremely fond of it, but I figured I should just do it all at once. That way I don't have to keep dragging out the needles for ten seconds worth of stitching. Plus it's something that I can do when I'm totally distracted. Which is most of the time. I need to save my moments of focus for actual knitting.

And so today, I leave you with two things. First a picture of a puppy completely (and adorably) saddened by her lack of dry land:

She couldn't be anymore desperate to get out of the tub. She was thoroughly pathetic. To be sure there is no water dog in this dog. And no retreiver, but that's another story.

And here is a much happier puppy

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The attention span of a goldfish

That's what I have, and it's pathetic. What I mean is that I have yet to be able to get more than four rows into a lace pattern without screwing it up and starting over. It's really starting to kill me. I have cast on this scarf NO LESS THAN 20 TIMES and have failed (miserably) with every attempt. I've tried different patterns, easy patterns, hard patterns, ones with lace every row, ones with only one row of lace, and I just can't seem to do it. I've checked to see if I was doing something wrong. I mean, honestly, if you knit fine normally, how is it that you can drop a stitch every row, and not be doing some stitch wrong? Apparently, I have found a way. Unfortunately, I don't know what I could possibly be doing wrong, other than spacing out mid stitch and screwing up. I mean, I know my mind wanders, but this is ridiculous. And, anyone that has ever tried lace knows that there is no friggin way to knit back or rip back without losing various YO and intentionally twisted stitches (or adding them, that is). That means, that every time I screwed up I'd have to rip back to a k or p row, which generally meant going back to the cast on, if I was lucky. Mostly I would get frustrated, rip it off the needle and cast on again. I'm really sick of casting on. Really.
Thankfully, through the wisdom of I have discovered the beauty of the "lifeline". See here. So I will definately be using this technique. Seriously, every row I can. That will spare me soooo much pain. Even if it's only that I don't have to cast on again, I'd be happy. I'm so sick of spending so much time trying to knit back or pick up stitches. That's where the real frustration comes. If I could take out that aspect (which is what this concept does) then I could spend more of my time (hours and hours at a time) working the pattern and less, trying to get the needles in the right loops.
So tomorrow, after I buy some new needles, I'm going to cast on this pretty thing, only slightly less wide. I want it to be a scarf and not a stole, and I want the fewest possible repeats as possible. Especially since it seems to be somewhere in the repeats that I space out and screw up. I say that I need new needles because I bought Skaecel bamboo circs thinking they would be Addi Turbos, but bamboo, and in my world, better. But I was mistaken. They are fabulous, unless you're working with fingering weight or smaller yarn. The join at the metal that hold the cable and the bamboo has a small indentation. Now I've yanked the yarn over said indentation several times, and it's not sharp, but it's a HUGE pain in the keister. Getting distracted trying to get the yarn up the needles is really not helping me keep the pattern. So I'm just going to buy some crystal palace straights at my LYS. I have a pair of 6s and they are fab. Hopefully that's some incentive to keep me going.

But having said that, I'll be spending much of my time until the end of the month working on my mystery project. So, there won't be tons of pics here. I will certainly show you my knitpicks order IF IT EVER FRIGGIN' COMES!!

Begin Rant

I can't tell you how infuriated I am right now at the post office. That order was supposed to come on Friday, but it was a gov't holiday. NOT that the post office is part of the gov't anymore, but I guess they consider themselves part when it's convenient. But, I considered the holiday and figured it would be fine and I would expect my package on Sat. Or not. My mail usually comes at 11 am. I think that's great. Not too early, not too late. However, I spent all day waiting around for the mail to come so that I could take Heather her part of the order. Only to have the mail person come (as slow as she could) at 4:30 in the afternoon. I was highly annoyed, until I looked on the doorstep....and there was no order. Then I was pissed. I thought "okay, fine, be that way", I'll just take Monday off and I'll show you! And I did. Take Monday off. But I didn't show them, because the order did not come. Not at 4:30 with the mail. Not ever. If it's not there when I get home tonight, someone is going to hear about it. I really don't know who, but someone. And they're not going to like it.

End Rant

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Inching along

Okay I guess it's more like "Inch Along"....

So things went kind of slow last night. I came home to find out that boyfriends extremely expensive computer was no longer functioning....again. He was frantically ripping apart the office looking for some customer service numbers. It wasn't pretty and the stress of it made me go lay down. I tried to help, but was only getting in the way.

Eventually I dragged out the mystery and worked about two rows on it. It's not the knitting that's slowing me down, it's the untangling the skeins five times a row. I could have d
one more if I hadn't stopped to work out. It was needed, and begrudged.

After dinner I worked on it a little more, but it's just so slow. I get into it, but it takes me forever. Don't get me wrong, I'm only upset that it takes time because there is an impending merry holiday that it's due. The results are beautiful and well worth the wait.
The only thing is that the heavier that it gets, the more it slips off my damn turbos, which is really not helping the slow progress of things, or my attitude for that matter. I can see two places in one color block where I screwed up royally, and every time I pass them, I get annoyed. I need to stop being so perfectionist about it. It's the third big thing that I've cast on, and the first two were freaking knit wrong. I need to be proud o
f the sorely neglected, larger population, of good stitches. Right before I put it up last night, I did give the good stitches (and the dog) a good pet. Both feel much better about life, and I won't have to worry about coming home to angry puppy or angry project.

But, as this project has a deadline, I do have a little leeway. Other projects for the holidays, do NOT have leeway and so I will be casting one of them on today. The yarn is this cream colored alpaca/silk blend from elann. I got it the other night, and I'm in love with it's soft, squishy texture, and it's low price [evil grin]. I'll let you know how it knits up. I'm hoping that it's good. I was going to do that pattern that I showed you the other day, but i think I'm going to do this scarf instead.

I found it on a search for open work knitting scarves. It's simply a lace pattern repeated over and over. Five times should be good. We'll see what the guage is of the yarn, tho. I can't remember, and it's in my bag. Pulling it out at the office might be a little odd. Might get some strange looks. They might start paying more attention to the lack of work I produce, and then I would have to do like, work. And that would suck. So yeah, I'll figure it out while I'm knitting in the car.

ANYHOW...the pattern is from here. She has some lovely FO's and nice pictures. I'm not sure if I'll be putting the beads on, but either way I think it will turn out nicely. As long as I do screw up all the new stitches I have to do.

The funny thing is that this is almost the exact same pattern, except that there is an SSK in there that's not in the pattern from the book. I love the look of this scarf a lot more than the other. Perhaps it's just the yarn of the other scarf that bothers me. The picture of that other scarf is hideous, the colors, the yarn, everything. This scarf is so lovely. I hope that my yarn makes a lovely scarf, and not some ugly hair ball. I have enough of those at home, thank you very much.

Alright, one last thing. About the 2x2 ribbed scarf that is not complete and knit backwards. What should I do about it? I doubt that suddenly knitting the correct way will look the same as the not so correct way, and thus the scarf will have an obvious line and I'll have to rip it out. Do we think I should just keep going, doing it wrong, and hoping that my brain can separate the two? Do we figure that I can frog it and start over doing it right and get it done in time for holidays? Do we think that I can emotionally handle frogging that scarf? It's about three feet long now....and it's ribbing, and, and, waaaaaah! Maybe boyfriend will do it for me while I wind the ball. I need a little emotional support for it, anyhow.

*Sigh*, ofcourse knitting had to be the only thing I didn't have beginner's luck with. Curses! Foiled again.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Mission: Unpossible

First let me say that I saw that Heather tagged me for the knitting meme, but that I have decided to hold off answering it. I have ALOT (read too many) projects planned to be completed before Christmas. Hence I will be getting much needed experience with a lot of different yarns and needles, so I will answer it in the new year when I'm a little more clear on what I like and don't like.

Now back to our sorely overdue post that is going to be waaay too freaking long because it should really have been two posts, but I'm not going to make it two posts because I know that you guys will know that it wasn't two posts in the first place and that they were all put up on the same day anyhow. So who am I kidding? Having written that run on sentence for practice, here is my run on post:

Friday or Saturday this loveliness arrived in the mail. I would tell you what it will be when it knits up, but then I'd have to kill you. You're going to have to wait until it's given to it's recipient before I give you the details. In the meantime, you're going to have to live off of the extreme close ups and the jumbled messes I give you. Afterwards, I will give you better pictures and explain.
Until then. Tough cookies.

However, below are some of those extreme closeups I was talking about. One of the front and one of the back.

All I want to say is that this is a VERY small sample of that actual thing that I 've been working on. Also, I'd like you to notice one small thing. That being that most of what you see here is seed stitch. Now, think about what happens when seed stitch goes just a little wrong. Not alot, just a little, say, one stitch. What does it turn into? [annoying jeopardy music here]

You got it, one by one rib. What a mess. Lets just say th
at I was, oh I don't know, 1400 stitches through this baby when I realized that I had screwed up in a couple of places. Nothing consistent, that would be too easy. I was not a happy camper, I tell you. But, since I had JUST started and didn't want to live with it looking like crap forever, I riiiiiiiiiiipped it out. I was kind of surprised at how much yarn went into that whole process. Seed stitch takes up a lot of extra yarn doing all thosee crossings in front and back. Not only that it takes so. freaking. long. for-ev-er. That would be more the reason that I was upset about the ripping. I vowed to pay far more attention next time, and managed to make it past the edging. I have more of this to do, but it's a ways off, and I'll be happy to do it then because it will mean that I was that close to finishing.
So this is where I was on Monday night, I think. Which is why I took the pictures. Except that the pictures I took were hideous and yellow and had to be redone, hence waiting so long to blog about it. Ofcourse this only means you get to see more progress at once. So, now onto the really fun stuff. d

[Enter picture of disaster waiting to happen]

That's right kids, all five of those skeins are attached to the work. Welcome to Intarsia-madness. I can tell already that this technique is going to look fabulous. And that I'm going to pay for it in the process. Lets just say that this project is no longer what I would call transportable. Not even from upstairs to downstairs. At this point I'm thinking about doing what this woman suggested on the knitty board which is to turn me, instead of the work. I would do that whole knitting backwards deal, but honestly I don't think I need to make this anymore confusing than it is. Really, I'm good. The five skeins are plenty. Thanks.

So this is what intarsia looks like upclose and personal. It's kind of cool to see all those little colored loops sticking out there. At least I don't have to think about where to change colors. Thie project involves straight lines only. No Curves Ahead. I don't need to make that more confusing either. I am, however, thinking of slowing myself down a little to learn how to knit continental. I'm thinking that would be a good thing to know since it's been such a freaking pain doing all those little seed I know it will slow me down a little now, but I'm thinking that it's like learning how to type the right way. Slower at first and then much faster later. Might as well do it now while I'm still impressionable and not stuck in my ways. Although this project might not be the best place. Perhaps on those little bags instead.

Anyhow, that is enough from me and my enormously long update. All I'd like to say is that when this thing drives me batty, I do have a refuge. My elann order came in yesterday so I have four balls of alpaca silk for the lacey scarf to work with. I bought a pair of size 5 addi's bamboo circs to work with. I'm very excited. Especially since, while this may make me extremely unpopular with the greater part of the knitting population, I am not the hugest fan of the metal addi turbos. I do like my size ones, but the bigger and heavier they get, the harder time I have keeping the loops on the needles. They may be faster to knit with, but I guarantee I use up all the time and more trying to get stitches back on the needles or re-knitting because I dropped the damn thing. I'm sure they're lovely for all you coordinated people, but they're giving me a hell of a time.

So that's it from me. Not that that wasn't enough. I mean, if you got this far, you deserve an award since I wasn't particularly humorous or entertaining today. Plus, did you notice how long the post is, I mean it's like it goes on forever, and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever..........

Well, you get it.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

All in good time...

Hello and welcome to "Getting my Act Together". I think we may have some success with today's post.
Last night I went home and cast on my itty bitty needles with my itty bitty yarn and actually got somewhere first, but first let me show where it is I'm trying to get to in the first place.
Here is a lovely picture of the book that I'm working from. It's a pretty cool little book with tons of photographs and no crappy drawings. Very useful for the pictorially challenged such as myself. If only I had bought this one first.


Here is a picture of the project that is bound to make me nuts.

In other peoples reality they are for these little hangers, but in my reality they are going to be red and white with who knows what embroidered on them and they will have a lovely peppermint/candy cane scented potpourri inside that has yet to be obtained. I promise when I find it, it will be lovely.

For now you will just have to use your imagination on this picture and make it red and have some cool little do-hickey on the front that has something to do with Christmas. O, wait, I can help you with the red part, but it might make you flinch a little.

Just don't stare at this photo for too long or you'll burn your rentina and be screwed forever. I really can't have that kind of guilt hanging over me, so please, spare yourself.
With this time change I am unable to take many pictures with fabulous natural lightlight so everything is subjected to the god awful flash on my camera that makes people on the other side of the room go all blinky. It's certainly not doing justice to this fairly red yarn. It's not magenta, I promise. I would never buy magenta.
Anyway, this is my curly-cue stockinette that has forever and a day left to stitch on it, and this is only bag one. Sure there's only 22 stitches to cast on but you have to go 8 inches with fingering weight yarn to construct one bag. You see how this might take awhile when you spend the greater part of your time focusing on wrapping the yarn around the right way and praying that you don't drop a stitch off. I managed to only drop about three times last night and I got them all back fairly quickly. I use the term quick loosely. Very loosely. I have purchased an itty bitty crochet hook for my dollhouse scale yarn which will move up the speed of my picking up broken stitches. In theory, I would never drop the stitches in the first place. Looks good on paper, right, but so does communism. We know how well communism works out.
I believe me neon blue crochet hook to be a wise investment.

Moving on....

Here are some photos of the scarf that I would like to make. I must ask you to use your imagination again. This time with no help. C'mon you can do it!

Okay, okay, don't hurt yourself!

So, picture that there are no hideous stripes in ugly colors and that you can tell that the basic color is a lovely cream. The pictures in the book aren't so fabulous and I have done them no
justice here. Really it is a nice scarf. Hopefully I wll not destroy it when I try to do it. The repeating pattern is fairly easy and doesn't involve too many complicated stitches. Plus it has a bit of a lacey feel to it, but it's still on sport weight yarn. Which I might add is going to feel like a dream after this splitty cotton crap.

I also have one more undisclosable project coming up. In fact the yarn is in the mail, but I'm afraid that it is for one of my only readers and I just can't expose it. I will take all kinds of photos of it while I'm working on it, and perhaps give you little snipets of it here and there. Other than that, my lips are sealed. Or whatever it is you do to seal things when you're typing...

So that's where I'm at right now. At least I'm heading in the right direction and freaking knitting the right way. Not that I'm bitter or anything. Well, not VERY bitter, anyway. Not that I have anyone else to blame but myself, but in the style of my generation I will look for any means to blame society and be looking for someone else to sue for emotional damages. There were a LOT of emotional damages.

Change, Change, Chaaaange

So, as you can see, things are a little different around here. Alright, alright, a lot different. I decided that I never really like my old background and that I wanted white behind my typing, and this is was happens. Something totally unexpected. I'm pretty happy with it, so for now it sticks.

Anyhow, there isn't much else to report, except, I dunno', that I've never knitted right in the first place and I'm back to square one. That's not a little embarrassing or anything. Just thought I'd share.

Yesterday I was thinking that I at least purled right, but after looking at the book, I'm clearly wrong about that too. I must say the drawn images in the first book I was using were not nearly as helpful as that actual photographs in my new Instant Expert: Knitting book. Soooo, it's not like I've been knitting wrong for ages and I'll have to do that whole old dog, new tricks thing, but trying to do it right is like pulling teeth with no anathesia. Especially since I'm again back to using that damn fingering weight cotton crap that was killing me before.

So now, I have a mostly finished scarf, knit entirely backwards, and nothing else. I sat last night for litterally hours, trying to figure out where it had all gone wrong. Obviously being left to my own devices with only the internet and a poorly drawn book, was the first mistake. Especially when you don't find the right site before you start. After that, it was all down hill. If you manage to
  1. Read the directions wrong
  2. Have terrible spacial relations
  3. Cast on backwards
Then you are most likely to knit backwards as well. Hell if you're going to knit backwards, you might as well purl backwards while you're at it. Otherwise it's just no fun. So off I went. One garter stitch scarf with random, pointless, increses and one 3/4 done scarf with mostly lovely 2x2 ribbing are now sitting in my house wondering why none of the other kids will play with them. They think they're fine, but they don't know, and they never will.

Now I must finish a scarf and knit it the wrong way without unteaching myself the right way. We'll see how well that goes over. In the meantime I am repeatedly casting on that damn yarn onto my US1 Turbos, getting about 10 rows, screwing up, ripping or cutting it off, and screaming loudly enough to freak the dog AND the cat out. Last night was good times.

Hopefully I will get a chance to get somewhere tonight. Once I get a few rows in, it starts to go fairly quickly, but I manage to screw up all the same. By the time I realize what's happened the dropped stitch has laddered all the way to the cast on and is gone forever. Surely there's a way to fix it, but who the hell wants to figure that out on really splitty cotton in fingering weight? Not I. I figure that starting over is just dues to pay for all the stitches that I have wrongly knit. Thankfully that isn't a very large number.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


I don't even know what to say. I was looking at these great little tutorials on this site so that I could figure out Fair Isle and Intarsia for some future projects. So I'm watching this movie and I notice that the woman is knitting funny. WRONG! I'm knitting funny. I don't understand how it's possible for it to work, either, because I purl the way she purled in the video.
Let me essplain:
When I knit I don't go to the left of the loop in the front, stick the needle to the back and wrap and pull through. I go straight into the back of the loop from the back of the needle, wrap and pull through. Now I just sat here and looked at the way the loop sits by the use of one highlighter, one pen, and one rubberband, and it just doesn't seem like what I do, and what you're supposed to actually produces the same result. And yet, somehow it does. I really don't get how it's possible. Now I could understand in garter stitch that it might work since knitting is all you're doing, but how can I knit wrong, purl right, and get the same visual results? Have I just been making it harder on myself this whole time? Or is this going to be a huge problem when I get further down the line? I mean, I was just getting to understand the whole k2p2 ribbing thing by looking at the way the stitch faced you and I don't think those rules apply anymore. I think my stitches have been "twisted" or something this whole time. I now have to run straight home and examine my scarf because I'm so perplexed. I'm going to cast on these little satchet bags that I plan to make for Christmas and try doing this the "right" way and see if the results are any different. If they're not I'm going to be terribly confused and completely intrigued. Leave it to me to make something work right the wrong way.

20 Things about me

I got tagged by Heather so here goes:

1. I was born in Germany on an Army Base, in the same hospital my Aunt was born 30+ years before me.

2. I went to college to become a Vetrinarian

3. I graduated from college with a degree in Theatre and a minor in Spanish.

4. I have never had a cavity in 27 years. My father has never had a cavity in 52 years. I intend to die with my teeth intact.

5. I am the most indecisive person on the planet. Well, I mean I think I am, but can you ever really be sure?....

6. I rode horses for 12 years. I quit the winter after I turned 16. That Christmas I got a saddle. It has never been used.

7. My mom is the queen of baking and I can't bake a cake to save my life. I've ruined 4 cakes in a row before.

8. My favorite movie is "How the Grinch stole Christmas." The cartoon version, not the live action. I refuse to watch the Live Action one.

9. Everyone in my family excepting my dad, my aunt, and myself are in the medical profession. Even the kids that are in college are majoring in medical degrees. Even the people that married in are doctors and nurses.

10. I have fainted (several times) before due to fear of needles or the site of (my own) blood.
On one occaission, I calmly took care of my hand, bandaged it, and then layed down on the floor and passed out.

11. I can watch heart surgery on tv and not get grossed out.

12. I have an obsession with accessories. I have more socks, shoes, purses than I care to admit. I am running out of places to store them.

13. I have one pair of jeans that I love and rarely wear any others.

14. I was an only child until age 14. I now have 2 half brothers and 2 half sisters. The youngest is 21 years younger than me. I have never lived with them for more than 2 weeks at a time.

15. My favorite television show was/is Sex and the City. But since it's not running anymore, it might not count. I aslo love Biggest Loser, CSI, House and Survivor (when the teams don't suck).

16. I have an excellent sense of direction. No matter how many times you turn me around, blindfolded, I will always be able to tell you which way I'm facing. I know b/c they did this to me over and over at camp and couldn't believe it.

17. I still cannot get around dowtown DC without getting totally turned around.

18. I am currently addicted to: World of Warcraft (an online video game), Peppermint Patties, Candy Corn, Knitting, Blogging, and breathing. I'm really trying to kick the breathing thing.

19. I have never been under general anesthesia. The two times I had "surgery" I had local. Including getting my wisdom teeth out because there was no one to drive me.

20. I have never broken a bone other than a couple of toes, and have never worn a cast of any kind.

I now tag Char. I would tag other people, but I know of no one else that comes to visit me here =P