Monday, February 27, 2006

A little off

So today, everything is just a little off. Everything I do today seems to be a chore and refuses to come out right. Nothing dramatic. No coffee all down the front of my shirt, but yes both tea and coffee on my coat and gloves. No car accidents, but my shopping cart tried to run away after I had put into the corrall - I caught it right before it collided with a minivan. No accidentally wiping the hard drive, but I've had issues with run time errors, and the infinately loading page all day.
So as you can see, I'm having a bit of a tough time. I'm willing to blame PMS, allergies, not going to bed early enough, and deciding to get out of bed at all this morning. In short I'm a bit grumpy and as a result I have very little focus.
This could explain why when I went to go back to my happy little sock, I proceeded to work correctly back and forth as instructed, and then thought that I had done something wrong. I promptly, but slowly, tinked back the stitches, only to realize that I had done it right the first time. Classic. So along with the lack of focus comes the lack of progress. I find it highly unlikely that I will make any tonight, as my mood is increasingly declining. Usually misery loves company, but this misery wants to be in bed with the covers over its head and some hot tea and chocolate covered pretzels on the night stand. I might just have to give the beast what it wants if I ever want to be free of it. Either way, one of us is going down. Let's hope the happy me comes up the winner, and soon.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Tis Finished!

I will report more tomorrow about this (okay, or the next day), at which point I should have some real pictures. With a little help from boyfriend, and strategic lighting, I should have some photos of me wearing it. For now you will have to endure this shot of me wearing it over several layers of t-shirts, with my pajama pants, and in the mirror with no flash at night. Enjoy!
I actually
finished it yesterday, because I knew that I was going to be out all day today with my Mom at athe American Craft Coucil show in downtown Baltimore. It was pretty interesting, and is likely to be my subject for tomorrow. Anyhow, I hope all that tried finished or are pleased with what they accomplished.
I am proud of what I did, especially since it's my first garment and it actually fits! However, I don't plan on putting the stress of the timed knit back on myself again (at least until Christmas comes again).

Friday, February 24, 2006

Look at that progress!

How pathetic is this? This is my divide for the v-neck progress from last night. I think I managed to actually unknit more stiches than I knitted. What a waste of three hours. A half hour spent staring at two lines of the pattern, being unable to comprehend them, another half hour on the phone confusing the hand holder, and then two hours going forwards, realizing the stupidest error ever, unknitting, and then trying to make some progress before bed. The frustration was tangible. I think I even upset the dog with my growling. The good part is that we finally made sense of the pattern. The bad part is that it means I have twice as many stitches to knit in the next thirteen rows than I thought I did. The difference really isn't that huge, but it's about stamina at this point. Honestly, I can't believe I've made it this far considering how much frustration this pattern, and this (God forsaken yarn!) has been to this point. Who knows what's in store for me in the next two pages of it.
All I know is that following the pattern word for word, isn't always as easy as it sounds.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Nothing much to report

Someone you may know is in jail today.
The jealous tendecies of this little furball got the best of her yesterday. Before I left for work I fed the kitty two little treats, as the dog looked on. Pay no mind that Jordan got her biscuit before Sunshine got her little treats. When Boyfriend returned home yesterday he found our basement covered in little blue peices of aluminum. These peices used to be the bag for the Whiska's kitty treats, but now all the treats, and half the bag, were in this little dogs tummy. That, along with some Neosporin, which I deduce was just collateral damage because it was near the kitty treats. My guess is that the kitty treats fell victim to "chainsaw" as we lovingly refer to her, about 35 and a half seconds after I closed the front door on the way to work. By the time I got home she had suffered no ill effects from eating all the treats and the ointment. Thankfully. It's my deduction, that she is perhaps half German Shepherd and half goat. Who knew?

In knitting news I have nothing to report. I'm shamelessly using this picture of the dog to distract you from the fact that I didn't knit a single stich yesterday. Not. one. stitch. Sad, but I do have an excuse. Well, two. The first is that I felt like poopoo all day, and took quite a bit of meds, but nothing helped. The second is that the pattern made absolutely no sense to me and I had to call in the expert hand holder. With her help we managed to figure out what's going on, eventhough it makes no freaking sense to me. But I'm going to follow my mantra of Do as the pattern says, and hope it works out. I think they call that learning.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The knot of the century

So, my News Gator went a little psycho today and decided that everything on the blogs for the month of February was new. When I logged on I had 363 "new" feeds to read. I mean I know it was a long weekend, but sheesh. Thankfully they were not all new or I'd still be on the first blog! But, I'm still digging through them, I doubt I'll catch up today. Living behind, story of my life lately, but that's another entry.

What you see here is the nearly finished stockinette in the round for the tank top. I would have the required 13.5 inches done if it wasn't for the knot of the century.
When I wound the skein into a ball, everything went fine. Ofcourse the skein flew off the table and onto the floor to entertain the furry things, but that's nothing new. But when it was all done I had my pretty little center pull ball on the winder. I even tied the outside strand to itself so that it wouldn't undwind and make a mess like it did last time. Then, when I pulled the ball off the winder I didn't quite grab it all and had to grab a couple of stray loops off the winder. I should have stopped right then and there and rewound the damn ball, but it was only a couple of loops, right? WRONG. The ball kept getting tangled on itself, no matter what I did, until finally there was no undoing it. So, I set my knitting down and went to untangle the mess. I got some more yards untangled until there was nothing I could do. I spent the next two hours trying to untangle the mess. About half way through I realized there was no way to do it without cutting the knitting free - yay another two ends to weave in, I'm so excited. Can't you tell? Anyhow, I spent the rest of the time untangling until I got to the heart of the matter only to find that there was no way in hell I could get the knot out, and even if I did the yarn would be totally useless. At this point I was so frustrated I just gave up and ate ice cream. So, hopefully tonight I'll finish up that stupid half an inch that I couldn't do last night and start dividing for the v-neck. Apparently some of this is knit flat, which I didn't realize. It's not an issue, but I'm not sure how it's going to work, but at this point, I'm just going to do what the pattern tells me to, and not ask questions. Not necessarily the best policy in life, but this being a beginner's first garment, it might just be the best plan of attack.

Friday, February 17, 2006

I'm just tired

Here is a shot of where I was yesterday on the tank top. It sort of looks like a lot is done, but I'm really not that far. This is only 4 1/2 inches. The shot below this is from today. It's all of 5 1/2 inches. Only one inch got done last night, which initially I thought was going to be enough, until I realized that it needs to be 14 or so inches before I begin the divide for the neck. 9 days left, 14 inches left, an inch a can see how this isn't going to work out.
So in referance to my post title, it's not that I'm tired of the stockinette, it's that I'm literally exhausted. With the house having been worked on all week there was a lot of gravel dust and mold in the air and it got into my not so fabulous lungs and slowed me down big time. Last night was the worst of it (I hope). Boyfriend mopped, and we can clean up some more this weekend, and get rid of it all. Hopefully then I'll get the spring back in my step. Couple that exhaustion along with how tired my fingers get with working with this yarn, and you can see why I'm not really getting anywhere. I've also had limited time lately, so I'm telling myself that's what the reason is. I wish there was something else I could do for this knit to make progress on it, that would be a nice break for my fingers, but there isn't. No way to make progress but knit and take lots of breaks. Boo.
Anyhow, if you look in the top picture you'll see a placket, for lack of a better word, right in the middle. There are two of these on this knit, both nine sitches wide. This is how she made the pattern accomodate the 36" bust, but in my opinion it sucks. The lace repeat is 9 stitches long and it seems like there must be away to make this thing the right size and still keep the pattern going around. I haven't looked further into the pattern to see where you divide for the v-neck, but these plackets split the stitches in the current center front and back. I do not want these things to be dead in the front of the tank top, it would look terrible. So, though I know nothing of patterning or adptation of patterns, I'm going to figure out an easy way to make sure these plackets become the sides, if the pattern isn't already knit this way. I just haven't had enough brain power to figure out this later step yet. I guess I better hurry up and get it together, or I'm going to be in more trouble than just sore fingers!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Random Randomness

In honor of it being Wednesday, which I hear is random - from many a source, but think that MamaCate might have started it, but I'm not sure - I am declaring today a random day. There will be more of these considering that I frequently have days where I lose my grip of the English language altogether and can't get things out right on paper - or blogger, as the case may be. So here is my ordered list update of life's events lately. I'll try to keep knitting stuff at the top so if you're bored you can quickly move on with your life when the knitting content diminishes - as it most definately will.

edited: - Okay so I failed miserably at keeping knitting together. Oops.

Ordered list of not orderly things:
  • I got through the lace last night. That last row seemed to take forever, but it might have had something to do with the fabulousness that is House. By that I mean the television show. I managed to knit four rounds of stockinette. I felt like it was going quickly, and as soon as my gauge evens out after the lace, it will go much quicker.
  • Our actual house is not so fabulous right now. We are having our enormous crawl space worked on, and the contractors intelligence is questionable at best. I feel bad for Boyfriend because he has worked his tail off to help these guys move it along, and in turn they have done their part wrong, aren't answering phone calls, are breaking things, and didn't finish on time. Stupid Heads.
  • Stephanie both scared the crap out of me and made me feel better today. She has a ticker on her blog that counts down the days until the Olympics are over, but that's not what upset me. What got me is the percentage of how much time is passed. We're over 30% already. Eeep! However, she seems to be having the same issues of knitting, tinking, reknitting that I'm having - only her project is really freaking hard, and my issue is the inability to count to 9 correctly.
  • My office is so weird. Monday it smelled like drywall and plaster - yet no work was being done, this morning it smelled like Ode de Dorritos - yet no one had any, and this afternoon the hall smells like my college dorm. Talk about random.
  • Apparently 1-800-FLOWERS sells more than flowers. Witness this:
No wonder the box was bouncing all over the couch when we got it. Silly cat.
  • I'm getting more annoyed with stupid drivers lately. Yes, I know it snowed on Sunday, but guess what? It's not snowing anymore. Not only that, it's over 50 degrees, I promise you that shiny stuff on the ground is not black ice.
  • I'm thinking about getting this pattern. I've heard good things about Wendy's patterns, and to be honest, this is the first one I've really liked. If all goes well with the cami, this might be my first bigger garment, instead of the hourglass sweater. What do you think? Has anyone used one of her patterns before?
  • I must be having some odd subconcious issue with belongings today. I have attempted to leave my wallet in the parking lot of Target, lose my scarf in the lobby of the building, leave my keys in the car - all in the same lunch hour.
  • I am having the weirdest thing going on in my ear. It's like something in there is twitching and when it does it makes this little noise. I've had twitching in my eyelid before due to stress and lack of nutrients, but never in my ear. It's not painful, but it's getting real old. At least when it happens in my eye it doesn't mess with my vision. The ear twitching feels funny and makes a sound. Argh!
  • Sandy blogged about having issues with Tuesdays. I have always had problems with Tuesdays! My fish died on a Tuesday, my ex broke up with me on Tuesday, it's just always been a bad day. It feels good to know someone else has issues with it and that the universe is not just picking on me.
  • I think I have nothing else to say, but I know there's something in the back of my mind. As soon as I hit publish on this post I will may remember it and have to edit. I don't think there's a single post I haven't had to go back and edit due to my complete lack of short term memory. I think I was a really good goldfish in a past life and got reincarnated a little too far up the food chain. This explains a lot.
  • The end (if there ends up being a line item after this, you know why)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

All the lace that fits to knit

Well, almost.....

I have one more row of knits and one of lace and I'm done the lace for this cami! After that it's just miles and miles of stockinette. Well, there's the divide for the neckline and all that jazz that I've never done before, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, shall we?
At this point I'm happy to just move onto some mindless knitting (insert happy dance here). This thing has hurt my brains as much as it's hurt my fingers, and I need a break. I will attempt to not make the obligatory "Omgosh I'm so tired of all this freaking stocking stitch" post that usually follows the "I'm so happy I only have to knit stockinette" post. The good news is that I may be bored, but at least it should be right. No more missing YOs or k2tog. I just need to focus on not splitting the eighty million plies and I *should* be in the clear. I will say no more than that so as to not invite a curse. =)

I am keeping this post short since I usually blather on and on (and on) unecessarily and everyone just needs a break from that. Also, several thousand brain cells are out of commission at the moment due to excessive counting and tinking back. Hopefully they will be back in the game soon - I really miss them - but can't remember why.

I would like to give all of you some virtual flowers for Valentine's Day, so here they are. Sorry you can't smell them, but they sure do look purdy.

Also, Jordan would like to ask you to be her Valentine, but she is too busy doing her interpretation of an Ostritch. Since we have no sand for her to put her head in, she opted for the snow instead.

Monday, February 13, 2006

How not to win the Olympics...

Day 1 (Feb 10)

2:00pm - The better part of the knitting community casts on because they either worked their schedules or scheduled not to work. I work like a maniac and be bitter about work interfering with knitting. Wonder if I will ever get lunch.

3:00pm - Inhale lunch while answering emails. Be bitter about work again and not casting on.

8:00pm - Have too many drinks at bar to feel better about work. Go to friends house to watch a movie (and drink more) in lieu of casting on. Think "I've got plenty of time, right? It's only a tank top." Feel a small amount of remorse at not a) watching the opening ceremonies and b) not casting on.

10:30pm - Drag dead tired butt home, change clothes, fall into bed. Wonder why the hell I decided to schedule my car for maintenance at 8 am on a Saturday. Feel slightly annoyed that I failed to cast on on day 1.

Day 2 (Feb 11)

7:30am - Be extremely annoyed that I scheduled maintenance at 8am. Take pills for allergies. Take pills for hangover. Take tums for stomach upset that's sure to follow pills. Take car to shop. Go to breakfast. Feel better. Go home. Avoid casting on due to sleep deprivation. Resolve to take a nap after picking up car and then cast on.

9:00am - Go back to shop to pick up car.

10:00am - Decide that I'm not tired enough to take a nap right away. Play video games instead.

11:30am - Decide that now I am tired enough and pass out.

1:30pm - Finally get sorry butt out of bed with new found clarity and energy to cast on. Gather yarn and book. Wonder where needles are. Begin searching.

1:45pm - Begin really searching. Visually scanning all flat surfaces has failed to bring needles to light.

1:55pm - Start to get really annoyed at lack of organization and amount of stray, yet empty, bags from yarn store that are carelessly strewn around room formerly used as office, but is now clearly the room where empty boxes and bags go to die.

2:00pm - Begin tearing the rest of the house apart. Dig through stash to find yarn that was purchased on the same day as the needles. Find yarn. Question whether needles were ever purchased to begin with. Check banking account. Confirm that money given to yarn store is too much to just be for that Cascade. Wonder if the cat has taken the needles in an attempt to make a statement about bitterness due to knitting induced lack of lap time.

2:15pm - Become extremely upset and frantic. Go back to former office. Tear through knitting bag for the umpteenth time. Dig through stacks of papers, books, boxes, bags, and other mess.....again. Begin random outbursts involving unlady like phrases.

2:17pm - Consider going to LYS to buy another pair. Resolve that the needles (or cat) will not win this battle of wits. Dive into mess again.

2:30pm - Almost admit defeat. Stare blankly at pile of boxes and bags that I've been through twenty times now. Decide that in lieu of finding needles, I should clean up the mess I've made of the mess. Go through yarn store bags again before throwing them out.

2:31 - Find needles in "empty" bags. Do large dance of joy involving yelling and hopping. Stick tongue out at cat. Raise arms in triumph. Resolve to never throw out "empty" bags.

2:32pm - Examine mess made by attempt to find needles. Get discouraged. Resolve to clean it up at a later date. Quickly leave room and close door.

3:00pm - Settle down with knitting to watch a movie and cast on over 200 stitches.

3:30pm - Count stitches over and over and over to ensure the right number are there. Ponder how someone could pass college Calculus but be unable to count to 200 without issues. Doubt self again. Count some more.

3:45pm - Resolve that all the stitches are there. Attempt to join in the round, but freak out that there must be a twist somewhere. Obsessively check for twist several times. Check again. Finally join. Knit one round. Realize that it would have been brighter to start with a full skein instead of the one that I swatched with. Curse under breath.

4:11pm - Be annoyed that it took so long to knit one round. Wonder why I failed to cast on earlier. Attempt to figure out how long this knit will take at this pace. Start getting into double digits. Freak out and stop counting.

4:17pm - Begin working lace. Look at pattern over and over and over. Wonder why it's taking so long to memorize.

5:00pm - Finish knitting the round between lace rounds and begin second round of lace. Get to halfway mark and realize that the number of stitches is wrong. Go back, count again. Realize that one yarn over was missed all the way at the beginning of the initial round. Consider tinking back. Resolve to rip it out.

5:05pm - Put partly used skein away and get new skein of yarn and a drink. Consider putting alcohol in drink. Consider inability to do lace sober. Resolve to drink alcohol straight, after finishing lace.

5:20 - Cast on a billion stitches again. Go through same questionably sane series of checking and rechecking number of stitches and lack of twisting. Join. Knit one round. Get to end of round and realize that my join was wrong and that it's coming apart. Also that I may or may not have one extra stitch. K2tog to get the right number of stitches. Continue to doubt self about a twist in the round. Start lace.

8:00pm - Finally get through one repeat only after realizing that I'm short two stitches and have to tink back a half a round of lace and full round of knit. Be pissed off at inability to concentrate with no distractions except wandering mind. Consider Riddlin. Consider Vodka. Resolve to decide after lace.

10:00pm - Give up because hands hurt due to crappy inflexible yarn.

10:01pm - Consider how screwed I am.

10:02pm - Head to kitchen to find Vodka.

Day 3 (Feb 12)

All day - Knit round of lace then round of knits. Attempt to knit another round of lace, only to realize there's a mistake, tink back, fix problem, knit lace, knit, knit lace, tink back, scream, curse, knit lace, take break, be annoyed, play video games.

Day 4 (Feb 13)

8:00am - Go to work. Be annoyed that enormous snow storm managed to dump the most snow on the town that I work in and still they did not cancel. Be bitter that it couldn't snow during the week.

2:00pm - Finally able to take lunch. Knit round. Take deep breath. Knit lace. Manage to get through one full lace round without screwing up. Go back to check number of stitches. Do little dance of joy in cubicle.

2:45pm - Hope no one saw dance of joy.

2 minutes ago - Blog about stupidity so the world can see that even someone with the attention span of a goldfish can knit. Just not well. Or quickly. Or make much progress.

Now - Resolve not to think about how bad process has been so far. Get distracted by shiny object. Try to remember what I was thinking about. Plan to post picture tomorrow when there's enough knitting to actually show something.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Yeah, right, like I have time to post.....

In lieu of having any energy to post, I bring you this little bit of trivia. I got this from the lovely Debi. Put your name in the box and see what happens. You may find out things you never knew about yourself ;)

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Jessica!

  1. South Australia was the first place to allow Jessica to stand for parliament!
  2. In Chinese, the sound 'Jessica' means 'bite the wax tadpole'!
  3. The Jessica-fighting market in the Philippines is huge - several thousand Jessica-fights take place there every day.
  4. Apples are covered with a thin layer of Jessica.
  5. Owls cannot move their eyes, because their eyeballs are shaped like Jessica.
  6. There is no lead in a lead pencil - it is simply a stick of graphite mixed with Jessica and water!
  7. Jessica can remain conscious for fifteen to twenty seconds after being decapitated!
  8. The Church of Scientology was founded in 1953, at Washington D.C., by Jessica.
  9. Plato believed that the souls of melancholy people would be reincarnated into Jessica!
  10. Grapes explode if you put them inside Jessica.
I am interested in - do tell me about

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Things have been out of control with life lately. I wake up in the morning and I feel like I set my toe on the line at the race start and have to sprint around in circles until I'm able to come home again. Every day has been more intense and more insane than the one before, with no end in sight. Thus, I have gotten very little knitting in.
By the time I get home, I barely have the energy to stare at the television, or even eat dinner, let along break out the sticks and string and knit. What you see here is my finished (not in this picture) gauge swatch. In this photo it's still on the needles, but last night I bound it off. I HAVE to wash it tonight, to make sure it's going to stay the same, before I go casting on a a full garment out of this crap yarn. That's all I can manage to plan for tonight. Hopefully I can keep my eyes open long enough to get it from the washer to the dryer, let alone finishing that and measuring it. I don't want to get my hopes too high. Especially since tomorrow promises to be just as busy as all the rest have been, so I need to get my sorry butt in bed as soon as possible.
So, tomorrow, some time after 2 EST, I will cast on this camisole. Hopefully things will go smoothly and I can get some serious knitting time in over the weekend. Thankfully, I am off for President's day, so that's (in theory) an extra free day to knit my stix into a frenzy.

I sincerely hope that any of this made sense. I'm barely cognizant at this point, and don't expect to be any better in the next week or so. My blogging is likely to become sporadic and decreasingly sensical. If it turns into complete gibberish, please let me know, as it is likely to make perfect sense to the crazy lady within.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Let there be gauge!

Last night I sat down with my new size 4s in hand (another set of size 4s that is. There is no way I'm swatching on 26" circs) and began my swatch. At this point, I pretty much didn't care what it came out to be, I was going to make it work. I was ready to change the entire pattern to convince something that would fit the gauge I got. Instead, by some miracle yet to be explained, I managed to get gauge. I know it's a little early, and don't worry I haven't cast off yet, but it's looking good. This is the inch that I managed last night and I got another 1.5 inches done at lunch.
Firstly I would like to express how freaking hard it was to get a focused picture of this swatch. I took five pictures and tried every setting on the damn camera to get it to work and this is the best I could do. It's still a little hazy, but it's the best of the bunch. Most of them look like blue blobs decided to have a race.
Secondly, I would like to say that there's no way that I'm going to be able to knit exclusively on this project. This yarn makes me want to drink enough adult beverages to keep several local liquor stores in business. It brings a whole new meaning to splitty. It's microspun splitty. It's giving the addi's a run for their money. I'm not even sure if I'm going to be able to knit this cami on my beloved crystal palace needles that I bought, because they might be too pointy. However, I'm ready to wallow in alcohol cross that bridge when I come to it. The points on those babies wear down a little bit with use (which I like), so perhaps it will be pointy long enough to get me through the lace section at the bottom and worn enough to make it through the stockinette. Otherwise I'll be making my way to the liquor yarn store to deal with the issue.
So the plan is to finish this swatch, wash it, pray, measure again, and put it down until Friday. I need a break from this crap yarn (not that I have strong opinions), until then. Initially I thought that the challenge in this Olympic endeavor was going to be knitting my first garment, but now I see it will be knitting my first garment while on several illicit chemicals.

Moving on brighter things. I received this in the mail yesterday:

Look how nicely she wrapped it up!

This is some Vesper Sock yarn that I had managed to get from Knitterly Things. I'm so very excited. I've been covetting this yarn for some time now and managed to catch it in her shop. She also sells through Kpixie, but I've never caught it when they had stock. People eat this yarn up, and now that I have some, I can see why. It's soft, squishy and beautiful.
My plan is that this will be my reward for making it through the cami without having to check myself into Betty Ford.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Hat, Hat, Hat

Here is my finished Continental Purl practice hat. Please ignore the ribbing oops that happened on the first and second row. I was purling backwards or "combined" if you will, (which I shouldn't have) and I managed to also mess up and do one too few purls along the way. Hence half of the bottom looks a little screwy. Other than that it was pretty spot on. I decided that I really needed the practice in the ribbing, so I carried it all the way up the hat. I must say this hat looks way better on me than the plain stockinette ones do. I just don't have a good close-fit hat head. I do look lovely in all hats with brims and texture.
Anyhow, once I got to the top I wasn't exactly sure how to do the decreases and continue the ribbing. I suppose I could have knit them as I saw them and just k2tog when I needed to, but I thought the stockinette would look okay. I was wrong. It doesn't look so bad in this picture, but in person, it looks rather silly. If I decide I need some more practice, I'll try to continue the ribbing all the way up. I'm fairly certain that would look far less silly, but I've been wrong before. Also, I don't imagine that the ridiculous amount of times I screwed up on the decreases helped any. I had had a very rough day and a worse night on Friday, and I'm sorry to say the hat paid for it. Thank goodness it was cheap yarn. Which I must say that I hated at first (Lion Brand Wool Ease), but really don't mind now. It's stretchy and fuzzy, and pretty soft. It doesn't take a beating very well, and it gets a little splitty, but at $2.50 a 100g (I think) skein, who am I to complain?

So other than finishing that hat and starting this one, for just a little more practice, and mindless knitting, I didn't really get anything done this weekend. Well, by not getting things done, I mean in knitting. What did get done was a major trip to the grocery store, a cleaning like our house hasn't seen in awhile, a bunch of cooking, a dinner out with Boyfriend, and an attempt at a Superbowl Party. So you can see why the knitting didn't get much action. Honestly this hat is the most I knit all weekend, and all of this, including cast on, was done during the super bowl. Apart from having a rib where it's 2k, 1p, 2k and having 4 purls in a row in the back (because I can do math, but I can't divide and watch football) the hat is working out well. I now feel very comfortable knitting continental, even on dpns, and doubt that I will go back, except to finish my socks. Don't really want to switch horses mid stream there. I'm still a little iffy on the purling, but by the end of the ribbing here, I was doing it without thinking and the tension was far more even than it was on the wholey ribbed hat. Also, I'm splitting less plies and cursing less too. Good news, all around.

Hoepfully for tomorrows post there will be a finished swatch in the right gauge to be seen. Keep your needles crossed! =)

Friday, February 03, 2006


When I worked in Opera, I worked with a lot of characters. The one that sticks out in my mind was is this odd little Jewish French man (born in Tunisia, no less) named Bernard. He's a director and I have worked with him on two operas with two different companies. He has a rather thick accent and can come off rather insulting. It's because he puts all his feelings out there. It's especially entertaining (after you know him, that is) when he choreographs a scene and the singers haven't the faintest idea what they are doing. He will sit there with an annoyed look on his face and say "ooooouuufff you are a mess! Do eet again, theeze time wiff talent." For the people that had never worked with him before it was utterly insulting that he could dare to come out and say that something they had done was awful. But that was Bernard. Take him or leave him.
Whenever I do something particularly stupid I hear his words echoing in my head. Bernard has pretty much been living with me today. I heard him when I spilt coffee all over my desk and my white shirt before I even got a sip of it, I listened as I realized that I had gotten strawberry jam on the same white shirt, and I sighed as he ringed in my ears as I noticed that I had enough orange cat hair on my pants to spin up, and knit into a cabled sweater for your favorite barrel chested lumber jack, this despite having attacked my pants with the lint roller before leaving the house. It's been that kind of a day, folks, and I mean that in the last-24-hour-period sort of way. I'm hoping it wears off 2pm, which is when it all hit the fan yesterday. I have a feeling I'm not going to be so lucky.

So, in today's theme of a mess I bring you this:

This is my attempt with the Olympic yarn to get 6 sts/inch. It's on my size 5s. I get roughly 5.5 sts an inch, but it's sort of hard to tell . If I squish a little it's six, if I press a little it's 5.5. I don't really know how to be more precise. I'm sure knitting more would help, but I still don't like this swatch, so I figured, why bother?
In the picture it looks pretty dense, but it still feels a little see through, drapey to me. I like the drapey, but would be willing to give it up to get not see through. So, in that vein, I bought size US4 needles yesterday, but that's only .25mm smaller than the 5s. I feel like that would get me gauge for sure, but here we go for the issue with getting gauge. I would like to be ever so slightly, either bigger or smaller than gauge and here's why: The specs for the pattern are for 36" bust or 40" and I'm a 37". I don't want the tank to be tight, but it's already low, low cut and 40" seems like it would be hanging off me. Maybe I'm wrong. I don't have much experience with this. So, in light of this here's the plan. PLEASE tell me if I'm being retarded, or if this is backwards or wrong:
I'm hoping to get slightly more than 6 sts per inch by using the US4 (and really, if necessary, go down to 3s. I promise to swatch if the plan makes sense), also this will make a denser fabric which makes me happy, and I plan to knit the 40" size. In theory it would come out slightly smaller than the 40" and it would be denser than if I had gotten gauge and knit the 36". Is there logic in this plan? Do I have it backwards? Am I asking too many questions?
Don't answer that last one. =)

And because I have the blasted pictures, and because it's the only place where my knitting is making any progress whatsoever, I give you pictures of another continental practice hat.

Last night was really busy so I only got one hour of knitting time. So, this is what one hour of 2x2 continental looks like, progress wise. Honestly, I don't know if it's fast or slow, but I do like knowing what an hour of work on something looks like. I might do this more in the future for my own reference - especially considering I'm so bad at gauging how long something will take.

Obviously I'm still trying to work out this whole purling thing. I think it's harder to learn the second time because you have to fight your urge to try to do it the way you're used too. It's also harder to manage the difference in tension with my knits and my purls in continental because I'm not able to constantly tug the working yarn with out stopping, tugging, and going at it again. I'm trying to figure out how to keep even tension and not have to re-situate myself every freaking stitch. It's a process, for sure, but at least - despite it's splitiness - Wool-ease is really, really visually forgiving. You have no idea how many mistakes are in there that you can't see. "Oooouufff it eeze a mess!" But you can't tell!
Perfect. =)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Out of Control

My job has been absolutely, positively, COMPLETELY out of control today. I have pictures and everything ready to post, but it's just going to have to wait.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Olympic Yarn

For your viewing pleasure here is my order from Kaliedescope Yarns. That's 7 skeins of Plymouth Wildflower DK in Ociean and 1 skein of the discontinued Mission Falls 1824 wool in Raisin. The blue is for the silk camisole in LMKG and the purple is for some fingerless glove thingies from Wendy's site. (Let us not discuss how I just found a site that offerred more skeins of the DK for less money, because that will just upset me. I plan to pretend like that never happened.)
One of the skeins has already been unwrapped and had an attempt at a gauge swatch. For you to laugh at, I present exhibit A:
How anyone could get gauge using the specifications in the book is beyond me. While the compositions of the yarn that I chose versus the one specified are different, but they have the exact same specified gauge - that being 5.5 sts per inch using US 6. That makes perfect sense to me. I might not get that, but it's about right for sport weight. No? Well LMKG specifies 6 sts. per inch on size 7s. Does that make any sense whatsoever? Do you think you could get that? I know there isn't a snowballs chance in hell that I will get near that, but I tried anyhow. What you see here is an overly drapey, see right through it, hope you are wearing a bra or you're not in public, 4 sts per inch - and that's unstretched. That's not "hey let me reach over there and tug on my tank top a little bit and see what happens" it's "let me sit perfectly still and hope no one gets a view that they don't really need, hope my father never sees me in this shirt". Total silliness. At least I tried it without laughing too hard. I think I'll try US 5 now. Normally I would have no problem doing it on US 6 - that's the Addi 6 of 4mm not the Crystal Palace of 4.25mm - but since I'm doing this continental thing now, I've loosened up quite a bit and will have to go down needle sizes now. I'm glad for that because I'd so much rather go down a size than up. Large needles make me hurt.
After I get gauge I'm going to wash it and dry it to make sure it keeps it's shape and all. It's cotton, but it's also acrylic, so I'm not really worried about it stretching or shrinking - but this is for the Olympic KAL, so there's no room for error really.
Also, I'd like to note in advance that this top is in the 6 hour section of the book, and I laugh at that. This yarn, while lovely and soft, is splitty as hell and is going to require major attention. It's like someone took their favorite sewing thread and plied 80 peices together. I'm sure it will make a lovely top, but the chances of me working with it again after this a very low.
Onto more yarn! This is that stuff that I told you about for the elephant toy. This is the "exclusively for Joann's collection". It's a wool, cotton, nylon blend. I think it will be lovely to work with, but it's going on the proverbial shelf until after the hats that I have in the works and the Olympics, um, and the sock, and...nevermind. It's really planned as a Mother's Day present (I'll explain later why that makes any sense), so I've got plenty of time to work it out.

And lastly, if you ever doubt the difficulty of trying to get a decent picture in my house, I give you this:

This is how close my lovely assistant/stealer and eater of all things wool felt that she needed to be to really provide her input.
I fell over no less than two times in an effort to protect the camera in one hand and the yarn at my feet while taking this picture. Lucky for me, the cat did not feel the need to also be involved in today's picture extravaganza.