Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Of buttons and sleeve caps I sing, o

Well, ya know. So you're designing your own baby T-shirt, basing it on this sweater pattern, and you're humming along, but somehow you miscount something or maybe it just doesn't work in this yarn or row gauge or — heck, I don't know what I did. But this was just not right.

The widest part of the sleeve was still smaller than the sleeve opening (which was probably too big), so the sleeve, when stitched in, ended up looking like a funnel. Or a pig's nose. I wish I'd thought to take a photo before I picked out the seam.

Now, most baby patterns don't come with sleeve caps. They just knit 'em straight out. But I thought, what could a sleeve cap hurt? And there was this handy-dandy sleeve cap computation tutorial in the latest Interweave Knits. And you know how I loves me some math.

Check it out now!

And check out my bumpin' "hemmed" edges. I love that. Though it was a pain to do. They look even better now that I've stitched up the little gap. I'll show you a finished T-shirt in a day or so, just weaving in a few more ends!

And I finished sleeve #2 of Khaki Cables. On to the right front!

On top of that, the Geordie Stripe is now really and completely done, ready to mail to its recipient.

I am a firm believer that the right button makes the sweater.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Much knitting is happening.

I must be avoiding work of some sort!

I started on another of a large number of baby things to be made for several friends who either have little ones already or are due this coming spring. Baby things are satisfying because they're quick, and I think the only people who are getting knitted gifts from me this year for Christmas/Hanukah are under the age of 4. This stripey pullover was going well —

— until I realized that I really should have knit the front first, because I didn't have row gauge, and the instructions for the back were by length while the front were by rows, and I ended up with a front that is about six rows longer than the back. I should either pull out the front part down to the neck and redo it, starting earlier (probably the right idea because then the measurements will be right), or I should make the back longer (easier). Grumpy about doing either one, despite the allure of the fabulous cotton merino yarn, I started another baby item:

This is a 'hemmed' baby T-shirt of my own design (well, so simple as to not really count) in Katia Irina, a festive and machine-washable rayon/cotton blend (with a little polyacrylic in there for the shimmer). I started it last night; it's going so fast I'll probably finish it today or tomorrow.
Then, there is the secret yarnination. There are limited times in which I can work on this, owing to the "secret" part, so it's proceeding slowly...

And it's not like I've forgotten Miss Khaki Cables. I've been working on the second sleeve in various meetings this week and a bunch last night. I forgot to put in the lifeline, but I think I'm going to count back and run it through, because I really don't know if these sleeves are right. Sleeves are my Waterloo. Oh, hell, why did I say that — now I've got the ABBA song stuck in my head. And now you do too. Ha ha.

As partial apology, here is a link where you can find that great "Will Knit for Tattoos" bag I'm using. In case that's your bag, baby.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I know I should be working on Khaki Cables. But I just had to cast on. Twice.

The blue-and-green bit is a Jo Jo Striped Cardigan from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms, for one of my friends' upcoming kids (there are three babies expected next spring amongst our friends!) — the wine bit is, well, Secret Yarnination ;-)

Jo Jo is being done in Gedifra Cotton Merino, which knits into some of the loveliest, cushiest fabric I've encountered. It's a little splitty, but it's worth struggling through that. I want to take a nap on this little sweater.

The Secret Yarnination is in Elsebeth Lavold Chunky AL, also a yummy yarn. Both of these make my fingers very happy. And both are/were on sale at Webs... I think there's still some left in the Yarn Closeouts section.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I loves me some mattress stitch, but...

Okay, you all know that I am a sick puppy that loves seaming. It's just so satisfying to watch the two pieces merge so evenly and smoothly, and I like working the math to set in a sleeve or a collar ("So we have 56 stitches to fit to 39 stitches, let's see..."). But even I will admit this is a darn lot of ends to weave in:

That aside, I'm very pleased with the finished cardigan, a planned Christmas gift for my friend Matt's son Austin. The colors don't show well here but this is the vague idea, unblocked and unbuttoned. Geordie Stripe Yoke Jacket from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms, made a little longer than called for to accommodate cotton's shrinky behavior and adding a little stripe on the shoulder (chiefly because I was that short on orange yarn). There is very little yarn left from the 4 orange, 2 yellow balls of Debbie Bliss Cotton DK that I bought from Webs.

I'll go button-shopping later. Got to pick out some cuties for this guy!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Hallowe'en distractions

Things are slowly getting back to normal around here, though I've yet to refile all the 'urgent' paperwork I took out of the file cabinet to evacuate and reclaim my dirty-clothes-basket (that it's living in), and we had small Hallowe'en party last night so there is a lot of furniture rearranged and all that mess. But I've had a number of pleasant distractions this week that I wanted to share.

First there was pumpkin carving at a friend's house. Here is our end result — mine is a bit hard to see, as it happens; it's the one with the little house and tree and moon. The stars and leaves were just a bit on the small side. I refrigerated the pumpkin between the carving and the 31st, and between the 31st and the weekend, and by the end of it, the flesh had shrunk enough that it was much better silhouetted.

Then there was the fun of trick-or-treaters. "Only" about 60-70 this year, and a few double-dippers (well, I do give out three mini chocolate bars per person, so I told them I knew they were double-visiting but I was going to let them get away with it because I could relate to the desire for extra candy).

Next, there was the office Hallowe'en potluck — well, just our end of the office really. We seem to have a lot of fun-loving souls in the bunch and there was some hilarious holiday-themed food. I was particularly proud of how incredibly disgusting my contribution, the delicious roasted beet risotto came out.

I've never made risotto before and it was a lot of work, but it was really yummy. Which is a good thing, because I made a double recipe (from Epicurious.com, btw), which meant we ate it for lunch and dinner for a week. Heh.

I went to Los Angeles for a couple of days to attend a memorial at UCLA for my cousin Gene Frumkin and hang out with my cousin Suanne.

Finally we had a little Hallowe'en party, and I made Bloody Mary aspic in a brain jello mold. This was tasty and went well with the spread of fancy cheeses, but no one could take too much of it. So there is a lot left over. Hrm. Doesn't it look like it belongs in the Gallery of Regrettable Food?

Knitting! Oh yeah, there's been knitting too. I made some progress on the Geordie Stripe Cardigan from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms:

And I went to the doctor Thursday morning, before I left for L.A., to find out why my throat has felt like it's got strings hanging down it for a month, now. They didn't know, but put me on antibiotics in case it was a lurking infection. I don't know that it's helping particularly but now I'm completely exhausted from the antibiotics :-P I really could use a bit more energy to get through a schedule like the one mentioned above... ;-)