Friday, July 28, 2006

Take 2

This is the valiant first try for ene's scarf. I managed to cast on the required 375 stitches and then try the first row. I say try, because when I got to the end I was either 15 stitches short or 5 stitches too many. Either way, it was a bad sign. It was absolute torture for me to have to CO that many stitches to begin with, but to get to the end of the row and realize that you did something very wrong, somewhere, was the worst feeling. I knew it was going happen, though. Me, who can't count, casting on 375 stitches (with the yarn doubled, know, to add insult to injury) there was just no way I couldn't screw up. I'm pretty sure that I CO the right number, and that I got distracted somewhere in that first row and goofed up. Now, I maybe could have tinked back to find my mistake, but I was using size 5s instead of 6s and I could tell that it was just going to make too dense a fabric for the yarn that I got. The yarn, by the way, is Rowan 4 ply soft in Whisper, which I think is the perfect color and I got it on sale (did you hear me squeal?). So, in an angry fit, I pulled off all the stitches and frogged. This seems like a relatively simple task, except that getting the stitches over the join was a nightmare.
As it is my hands hurt just thinking about how obnoxious knitting that first row was to begin with. At first I thought it the needles fault. These are Plymouth Bamboo and it's my first time using them. I was taking Plymouth's name in vain for quite awhile as I worked on re winding the ball so I could CO again. I don't happen to have any other needles (except size 1s) in 32" and decided that I might as well cram all those stitches on another pair of needles. If I couldn't fit them, then I would just have to buy another set of needles (!). I was a little pissy at this point. Can you tell? So, I pulled out the trusty Crystal Palace size 6s (4.25mm). This is a half mm larger than the size 5s, and though the join in the needles is frustrating, I figured nothing could be as frustrating as the Plymouths. So I spent another hour and half getting all those stitches on there. About half way through, it got really hard to move the stitches along and I realized that that's the way it goes when you get that many doubled stiches on the needles. Really, and I knew this, I should have used my 7s to cast on and switched them to the 6s. It would have helped a lot, but I wasn't exactly thinking clearly. At least I had the clarity to stop there, when I got all the stitches on the needles. I was in no state to work the first row of a 375 stitch "scarf". So, sometime this weekend I'm going to sit down in some peace and quiet, when I have a good hour to put aside, and get through that first row and get that lifeline put in. I know there is just no way I'm going to make it through this first chart without one, and if I want to make this baby, which I do, I'd better break out that waste yarn. I think you know what the chances are for me casting on another 375 stitches doubled are. I'll give you two guesses, and the first one doesn't count. ;)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Another type of fiber

Okay, so it's not really a type of fiber, but fiber goes into paper, right? It's a crafty thing, that's for sure. This is a picture of the paper that I picked up from Joann's yesterday. I've been trolling the internet for ideas and papers to use for our save the date cards for the wedding, and have been unable to really find what I was looking for. As a last ditch effort (and because the LYS was closed yesterday) I dropped by Joann's for one last look. Luckily for me they happened to be having a big ol' sale on their scrapbooking papers. If you like paper or make cards/scrapbook, that sort of thing, go now! I'll wait. Really.
Normally the papers go for a little over 2 for $1 and their sale is for 5 for $1! When I saw that, I decided that there must be something that worked for me, and in fact, I found the perfect colors and textured paper in the right weight. So I got all the paper I'd need, and all I had to do was cut it out. Having been a theatre major in school, I happened to have all the tools I'd need to cut down the 12x12 sheets so that I could start the process. I cut a bunch of sheets last night, but I still have a bunch more to cut out. This is the quick part, though. What's going to take forever, and what will probably make me curse up a storm for having come up with this oh so brilliant idea, is the number punching. The blue card there is the top and the coral is the background. The wedding date is punched out with these kicking number punches that I bought off of ebay. Ofcourse, there's a bit of work involved with getting them lined up and such. It's not complicated, but it is going to suck the time away. But, at least I enjoy it, for now =) After that's all done, then I have to write out the saving the date part. Here's where I get a little nervous. I do have good handwriting and all, but it's got to be in a great ink, and it's permanent, seeing as how you can't just go using white out on a blue peice of paper. I could use a stamp, but at the end of the day, I still have to write our names and such on it, so I might as well write the whole thing. So, I'm on the hunt for the perfect pen. Wish me luck!

In the knitting news, DFS is done and blocked. Here's a quick shot. She looks great to me, but I haven't gotten around to taking real life pics of her yet. I'm hoping that Fiance will help me get some pics of this and the pico over the weekend. I just haven't had the energy to get that done lately, and we've been busy busy busy. I hope to have two, maybe three(!) FO reports next week. The third thing is the Jaywalkers. I'm working on the foot of the second sock, and after all this lace knitting, socks are so.damn.boring. Really, I'm ready to poke my eyes out. At least there's some patterning, I think if all it was a plain stockinette sock, I'd be done for. I'd drown in my own boredom. Thankfully it shouldn't be too much longer before my laceweight gets here (I keep thinking, any day now, but it still hasn't come), and perhaps, if my luck hasn't run out, then I can find something at the LYS today to work on. I need fingering weight for Ene's scarf, and she usually keeps that pretty well stocked. Plus I have a coupon, and things are supposedly on sale. If I find something I like, on sale, in the right color, with all the dye lots there, you might hear me cheering. Yeah, even on the west coast.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Running out of yarn

I seem to have a problem lately, where I run out of yarn with just a few stitches left. So.frustrating. I have finished my pico, nearly killing my hands in the process, but I ran out of yarn working on it. I don't know if it was the seed stitch or the attempt to add some length, but I got to the last inch or so before the seed stitch and noticed that the skein was looking a little thin. I thought I might have had another skein, but after searching for a couple of minutes I went back to it and counted ends. Nope, 5 skeins ordered, 5 joins on the shirt. Doh! So I knit and knit until I ran out of yarn. In fact, since I'm constantly thinking I'm going to run out of yarn, and I don't, I decided to give it a try for one more round. I came up about 10 stitches short. Blast! and some other not so lady like words may have been muttered. So I tinked back almost 200 stitches and cut off the excess. I ended up using some cream Shine that I had leftover from the baby blanket to finish the bottom and the sleeves. When I get some energy, and the watermelon stain out of it, I will show the FO.
In the meantime, I haven't had anything to knit except the bind off for the DFS, so last night I got to it. Honestly, I thought it would take me much longer to do, but I did the i-cord bind off for over 200 stitches in about an hour. I was pretty happy with that. What I wasn't happy with was that the above pic is how many stitches I had left, and this pic is how much yarn left I had left to do them and weave in.
So.not.pleased. I ended up having to take the other ball and do a russian join so that I could do these stitches and weave the end in. I sure hope it stays. It's a light shawl, and I sort of doubt it will be used all that much, so I'm optimistic, but we'll see.

So, the shawl is done, but I have to block it. We've loaned our futon/guest bed to someone, so now I don't have a large space to block the sucker. I'm thinking I can throw a bunch of towels on the bed and do it this weekend during the day. Otherwise, I got nothing until the futon comes back. I guess it's not all that important because the wedding isn't for a year, but it would be nice to see what it looks like. Right now, it's pretty silly looking - all wide and short. Tugging on it just isn't the same. Plus, I'd like to know how this yarn blocks so I can decide if I want to use it again for any of the other shawls I plan to do. But more on that later. Hey, a girl's got to save something to talk about when the blogs a little slow and the new yarn is still on it's way. =)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Rilly behind

Well, hello there! I bet you thunk that I had slid off the face of the planet. But not so. I've just been busy busy busy with wedding planning and lace knitting obsession.
I've had oh so many blog entries floating around my head, but none of them made it to reality. So I'll give you the sad tales in brief(ish).

First, this is sadly dark picture is evidence of the knitting. It's the DFS almost done short of the i-cord bind off. By my calculations I have a little over 200 stitches on the needles and that's a LOT of stitches to bind off i-cord style. I've done one i-cord bind off in the past, on the hat that never happened, and it took fricking forever. I am NOT looking forward to it. But, at least I've finished all the chart repeats. I have considered and re-considered doing one more chart repeat, but I only have a little over a hundred yards of yarn left (slightly more than one ball) and I just don't think I can make it. Not only will I run out of yarn, I'll run out of emotional stability. It seems that ever since I got myself into the fifth chart repeat I have done nothing but make mistakes. One of those blog entries was going to be about the disaster that happened when I dropped two stitches. The ones that laddered down four rows. Four rows that I eventually ended up tinking back so that I could figure out what stitches got lost. I am clearly NOT an experience lace knitter because I couldn't figure out how the chart repeats lined up and had to just go back to the drawing board. I am, however, experienced enough to know about a lifeline and to decide not to use it. Note to self, even if I don't do it every row, once a chart repeat is advisable. I ended up tinking back to one row short of the beginning of the chart, and I guarantee you that it would have taken me far less time to rip out that extra couple of rows and reknit it than it was to sit and ponder for hours what was wrong and then end up tinking back. *Sigh* Live and learn, no?

I've also done some work on the Seed-ovoli, but none this week. I was hoping to have it done and ready to wear by Sunday since my Mom is being so sweet and throwing us an engagement party, but I just don't think it's going to happen. I still have a couple of decreases to go and a few inches and five rows of seed stitch. When you're throwing, we know how long that takes (read forever).

So now I have two forever long finishing projects and I will have to FOs to present. Plus, if I could get around to knitting that foot of my second Jaywalker, I'd have three, but let's not get out of control here. I wouldn't want to freak you guys out with that many FOs at once. It would be like I knit rilly fast, and we know that ain't the truth ;)

Have happy and healthy summer weekends. Hopefully be back with more to report soon. Mwah!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Can't keep up

This picture was taking several days ago and I have made so much progress since then, but haven't remembered had time to take a picture. I think that this is one and a half or a little more of chart repeats, and right now, I'm only a few rows short of having the third chart repeat completed. Also, once I purl back this row, I'll have to start my second ball of yarn. There's already enough ends to make it look like I've used two balls, but when I wound up this yarn, there was a nasty bit where the yarn had come unplied and untwisted, so I cut it out. It's more ends to weave in, but with this being lace, there would have been no way to hide that funky bit. It sort of stinks, though, because I'm worried about weaving the ends in the lace and having them stay put. Having more ends to weave in, does not make me feel any better. Thankfully the border is garter stitch, so I imagine it will be a little easier to hide the ends and make them stay put, but if anyone has any words of wisdom about hiding those ends and making them stay, I'd love to hear it!

I'm also rolling right along on my Seed-ovoli. I'm only a couple of rows short of the waist increases and then I go to the edging, pick up and knit a little sleeve and I'm done! It's going really quickly, but that's because it's the only thing I can knit right now while watching tv. I did knit a little on the shawl in front of the tv the other night, and it went pretty well, but I can't be watching anything to visually interesting, or I'm done for. Ofcourse, purling back is starting to take an eternity and I'm not even half way through, so by the time that I get to the fourth or fifth repeat, purling back will take a tv show anyway, and I don't really have to pay attention to that. And believe me, that purling is getting really, really old, and I really need a distraction from it.

Monday, July 03, 2006

August birthday swap

Nothing to see here unless your my swap partner ;)
Update to follow soon about my DFS progress.

What day is your birthday?
August 4th

Are you crafty?
Sometimes. I do random projects with found objects and paper, but usually for gifts around the holidays.

Would you enjoy things like: Buttons, ribbons and embellishments?

Do you dye your own wool?
I haven't yet, but I think it would be fun to try.

Do you like to scrapbook or make homemade cards?
I don't scrap book, but sometimes I do make cards and such. I like fun hole punchers and scissors, but I'm not really into special papers or stickers.

What small project would you be interested in making? Socks, mittens, scarf, hat, baby items, wash cloths, doilies, shrugs etc
I love to make socks, but I'd also like to make the one skein wonder shrug, or something like that.

What are your favorite scents?
Rose, freesia, vanilla

Do you like hand lotions or soaps?
I love lotions, but don't really use hard soaps. I just don't like anything where the scent is overwhelming.

Do you like to sew or embroider items?
I'm thinking about getting a sewing machine, but don't have one yet, and I haven't embroidered for years. If I were to embroider, it would have to be an easy starter project.

Do you like beads?
I don't bead, per se, but I would like to try knitting with wire and beads.

What kind of mail-able snacks do you like to eat?
I love smarties and that type of semi hard candy.

Do you like to wear costume jewelry? Necklace, earrings, bracelets etc.
Not really.

Do you like to play cards or board games?
I like goofy card games and trivia games, but nothing too complicated.

What are your favorite colors of yarn? Solids, varigated, heathers or self stripping yarns?
All of the above. I like blues and greens a lot, but I am fond of lots of light or bright colors and try to stay away from knitting something too dark.

Do you like kitchen magnets or key rings?
Not really.

Do you like picture frames?
I like smaller ones like 4x6 or so because that's what size I can print out. I really like ones with botanical things like pressed flowers or leaves.

Do you like to make/or use stitch markers?
I use them alot. I have a bunch of red and blue ones and I need some other colors.

Do you collect anything?
I love tropical fish things and palm trees.

Do you have any allergies? Smoke, food, fiber, pets, etc.
I'm allergic to cats (but we have a cat, so it's not big deal) and I'm not good with really raw wools or that aren't blends. I'm fine with most wool blends including alpaca.

Do you have any hobbies?
I garden, mostly vegetables.

Do you like scented or unscented candles?
Scented is good as long as it's not too strong.

Are you a fiber snob?
I'm not really a snob, but can't wear scratchy wools or much acrylic.