Monthly Archives: May 2007

Summer Knitting Goals

Annette set her Summer Knitting Goals, as part of a contest held by Ali at Skeins Her Way. The winner will receive 4 hanks of Blue Sky Dyed Cotton in the color of his/her choice and the pattern for the Fitted Tank from Blue Sky. Click here to read all about it! But hurry…the contest closes tomorrow! Make sure you let her know that I sent you.

Here are my summer knitting goals, although not necessarily in this order:

1. CPH – although I technically should have this done before the official first day of summer (June 21), I’ll still put this on the list as a just-in-case.

2. Lace shawl – the top candidate right now is the Flower Basket Shawl by Evelyn Clark using my Handmaiden Sea Silk. Yep, I’ve officially given up on the Lace Wings pattern. I get easily tempted and distracted, so who knows what will actually get cast on, but for now, FBS is the top contender.

3. Dropped Stitch Lace Tank from Fitted Knits – This is one of the coolest new projects floating in the blogosphere. I recently got some Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece for it, and I’d like to knit it in the round. I figured that should make the 2×2 rib in the back go much faster.

4. Socks – Finish two pairs of socks for June and July. One of those two will be for my Sockapalooza Pal and must be mailed by the end of July. I’ll probably make the ubiquitous Monkey pattern by the genius Cookie. I’m hoping to find some nice purple stash yarn for these socks, maybe some Cherry Tree Hill? I just cast on a pair of Feather and Fan socks using stash yarn, CTH in Monet. I think the pattern will really show off the variegated colors.

5. Wobbly Tote – Finish that UFO already! It’s over a year old. I got tired of the fiddly little yarn bundles, but I just need to buckle down and get the first side done. The second side will probably be something much easier, maybe stripes in a Fibonacci sequence.

6. Pink fluff – finish the object also known as Sweetie Girl’s ballet shrug.

Are you done laughing yet? I know; you’re laughing *with* me. I really don’t think I can do all of that in one summer, but figured I might as well set some goals to stretch me a bit. I had eight goals originally, and kept wanting to add more, but realistically, I had to eliminate two of them. After all, as my wise niece, Katie, says, “Reach for the moon. If you miss, you will land among the stars.”

Wednesday WIP Report and a FO!

You’ve seen the pictures of CPH, so nothing new to report there. I’m also still plugging away at Sweetie Girl’s pink fluff, aka ballet shrug. Stockinette stitch with raglan increases. Not too exciting, but here’s a picture anyway.

I also have a FO to report. It’s my May socks for Sockamonth 3. These are for San Jose Steph and they were a breeze to knit up. Here are the details:

Project: Generic toe up anklets
Yarn: Regia Surf (cotton, wool and nylon) in Rosso colorway; 1 skein; double-stranded
Needles: US size 3s, using my inexact technique of dpns and 2 circs. On these I used Addi Turbos, KnitPick Classic Circulars, and Inox dpns.
Start: May 10
Finish: May 29

Thoughts: Doubling the yarn sure makes the projects go quickly, I tell you. These will be footies for wearing around the house, so the thickness of the final fabric isn’t a problem. I did the usual Turkish Toes but used Wendy’s short-row heel this time because I didn’t like the holes I was getting in the PGR short-row heels. The heel on the first sock ended up with small holes at the joins, but not too bad. On the second heel, I figured out where to pick up the extra stitch at the joins, so Eureka! No holes. Not a bad method either. I’ll definitely try it again. I just stumbled across (again!) Wendy’s Feather and Fan toe up socks so I may give those a whirl. Not sure if I’ll do those before or after the Monkey socks for my Sock Pal.

What’s with all the sock needle craziness… still? Turns out, I don’t mind using dpns for doing the foot, leg or even the heel. I prefer doing the toes with 2 circs though. However, I absolutely despise doing ribbing in dpns though. The needles sticking out everywhere really slow me down. Heh, now I’m game for giving magic loop a try. Thought you might get a chuckle reading that.

Have a great rest of the week!

Back to the Hood

When last we talked, I said I had finished the hood. And then I showed you the picture of that pointy, wonky thing that was supposed to pass for the hood. It stewed around in my brain for a while, and then I realized I wasn’t satisfied with it. I was weighing my need to complete the durned project (“Done is better than perfect” is my typical motto.) with my need to have my handcrafted item be as visually appealing as possible (Read: Can’t readily see the mistakes.). So, I ripped it. And I’m glad I did. Here are the before and after photos.

Don’t you agree that it looks much better? I ended up ripping back to the last of the decreases. I continued according to the cable rows, and kept the decreases going, so I wouldn’t get the pointy, wonky thing again. I knit two fewer rows this time too, as I thought there was too much cable at the joined part. Then I grafted, ripped back about half when I saw my stitch count was off, grafted again a few more stitches, ripped back yet again, and grafted one final time. Ahhhh, much better. Lesson learned: don’t try grafting while at the Sweeties’ soccer practice. Do read Nona’s tips before attempting it.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s WIP report, guest starring an actual FO! G’nite!

Greetings from the Hood

Sleeves are blocked. The hood is done. All’s left is picking up about 300 stitches to form the button band, mark where I want the button holes, and do several miles’ worth of ribbing. I actually don’t know exactly how many stitches it would be and how far it would stretch out, although I’m sure it could be calculated relatively easy.

I had decided to graft the hood together, instead of having a seam that shows, as the pattern directs. I came to a bit of indecision when I was supposed to seam. I was on a later row of the cable, then, and if I grafted at that point, I would have had 2 super long cables before they turned.

So I quickly emailed CPH guru Seattle Marie, asking for her opinion, since she just finished her lovely CPH recently. As Marie often does, she quickly replied, and I followed her advice. (Thanks Marie!) I knit two more rows, turned the cables, knit a couple more, then grafted it. The cables still look a bit long before their turns, but much better than what they would have been.

Can you see the funky little doohickey sticking out the top of the hood? You can see by the curve of the top of the hood where I was supposed to seam and what part I added on. Oh well, it’s not perfect, but I’m sure it’ll look fine when it’s bunched and hanging.

I’m hoping after I put the button band on, it’ll be fine. Or I’ll figure something out later when I have the emotional energy to deal with it. Can you tell that I’m ready to move on to my next project? Please don’t get me wrong. I will love this CPH sweater, and love wearing it, for a long, long time. But the ADD knitter needs to move on soon.

Wednesday WIP Report

It’s not a regular week of CPH knitting in the dim sum house unless there’s surgery involved. This time, I forgot to turn some cables. Four of them. I was so darn excited about the cap shaping that I blew past the cable part. Oops. So I fixed it in Annette’s car. Here are the before and after pics.

The good news is that I finished both sleeves, and I sewed the shoulder seams this morning. Whew, that was some tough work. Lots of panic and sweat involved. Special thanks to Patty, Madge and Annette for holding my hand, calming me down, and dealing with my neediness. I am a seaming idiot and this was a challenge. Special thanks also to Michelle for the seaming clips. They helped keep everything where they needed to be. Here’s what it looks like after the seaming.

I’ve picked up the stitches for the hood and now I’m working on that. All 11 1/2 inches of it. Boring. You can probably guess what next week’s WIP Report will feature. What’s weird is I’m kind of thrown off on the row count. When I put the stitches from the fronts onto the holder, you’re supposed to keep track of the row you were on, so you can continue the cable up over the front of the hood. My last row was row 9. Check. When you put the stitches back on the needle and knit them and pick up more around the neck, you’re on the right side of the garment but that row is row 10. Now, all my knit rows, the rows where I usually turn my cable, are now on the WRONG side. Yikes! Turning a cable from the knit side or purl side is basically the same process, but it has me discombobulated. In a big way.

I think I’ll start with a new working yarn and go back to the odd number RIGHT side rows that I was on before. I feel like a loser for doing this, but if my knitting feels wrong or bad, then it’s just gonna bug me for a while and I won’t be motivated to pick it up.

I also cast on a couple of other projects yesterday. The second anklet sock for San Jose Steph:

And a ballet shrug for Sweetie Girl with the new baby pink mohair I got. My fingers were just itching to dive into the new stash and it couldn’t be helped!

Have a great week!

7 Random Things

I was tagged by Silvia Silverknits for the 7 Random Things meme. (How does one pronounce meme? Is it “meem” or “me me?” Inquiring minds want to know useless trivia.) I think I’m the last person on planet Earth (pronounced ee-arth) to do this, so thankfully there’s no one left to tag.

Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those who are tagged need to write on their own blog those 7 facts as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog.

7 Random Things

1. My left forearm was broken during a sparring exercise at Kungfu. The break was a classic nightstick or defensive fracture. Looking at the xray of it for the first time made me queasy. The guy kicked too hard; I blocked like I was supposed to. Crack. No, he isn’t allowed back at the school anymore.

2. I’m a purse ho. And I’m still in search of the perfect knitting purse/bag. Of course, my criteria change on a regular basis, so that just ensures my odyssey will continue.

3. I’m the youngest of six kids. Yep, that’s a whole lotta us. ‘Nuff said.

4. I’m a Bruin through and through. I have early memories of watching UCLA basketball games when John Wooden was still the coach. 5 out of us 6 kids graduated from here too.

5. I am a sweet snacker. You know how some people automatically reach for salty foods for a snack? Not me. Sugar all the way, baby!

6. I learned to crochet when I was in 5th grade, the year of the bicentennial. (Okay, don’t bother with the math. I’m 41.) We double crocheted red and white strips which the teacher was going to piece together to make a flag. It never got done, but I still have that very strong muscle memory of how to hold the yarn and double crochet in me.

7. Flying scares me but I always forget, until I’m sitting in my seat, buckled in and ready to take off. Long flights are definitely better than short ones, because once the plan reaches the desired altitude, you straighten out and stay there for a loooooong time. One hour flights are the worst. Turbulence going up and then the plane starts its descent, and turbulence again.

Okay, that’s it for randomness. If you feel left out that you haven’t done this meme, or if you are an alien just arriving on this planet, feel free to take a crack at this, if you’re so inclined.

The Longer They Go Without Buying Yarn, the Harder They Fall

I tried really hard. Really, I did. I went for seven or eight weeks, ignoring all the posts about it — The Black Sheep Knittery sale. I encouraged other people to go and buy up all of the stuff, so there would be nothing left. I seriously thought to myself, “I can resist this one. Really. I am strong. I am woman. I am invincible. Hear me roar (or whatever).”

Then Annette asked if I wanted to go.
“Ummm, I’m trying to be good here.”
Annette said she would pick me up at my house, and bring me back home in time to pick up the Sweeties from school.
She had me there. She can be very convincing, that Annette. We planned to go on Monday.

At Madgik’s on Saturday, when Ellen, MJ, Jillian and Teresa talked about the even-more loot they got on their Saturday visits at BSK, I was hoping they cleared out the store. But I’m happy to say they didn’t.

This is what I got today.

Lana Grossa Pashmina (cashmere!) in spring green, Katie Ingenua (mohair) in baby pink for a ballet shrug for Sweetie Girl, Debbie Bliss Merino Chunky in deep violet, and Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk in light blue. No ideas yet for what, but I’m sure I’ll find some inspiration.

Rio de la Plata in Rabbit grey fora sweater for Sweetie Boy, and Noro Big Kureyon in color no. 1 for a free cabled stole pattern on Vickie Howell’s blog.

Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Raging Purple, Cherry Moon and Lime Light for the Dropped Stitch Lace Tank from Fitted Knits. The green is for me. I’m hoping to convince my nieces to knit ones for themselves this summer.

Classic Elite Provence in lavender and a couple of Bryspun circulars for some lace knitting in the near future.

Tilli Thomas Salt & Pepper in natural w/chilli and the Holiday Knits book. This will sit in a nice tucked-away corner until Christmas time when it will be gifted to a friend.
Louisa Harding Accessories book for my Secret Pal that is autographed by Louisa herself, and a couple of patterns.
It’s a good thing I waited so long, so the prices would drop even more than they were in April. Yeah, I keep kidding myself by telling myself that.