Sunday, May 31, 2009

I got distracted :-)

I know — what's new? I cast on again. But I've still only got 14 projects on the needles (down from what, 16 before?) so I think that's okay. Just no going UP!

I had an excuse, or so I thought. Carson's (that's my niece) birthday is coming up on July 10, and her party'll be on the 11th, and I go in for yep, more sinus surgery on July 13th. So I really have to finish her now-traditional summer T-shirt on time. She's turning 4, and I thought a slightly more 'grown-up' shirt would be fun, so I'm knitting Honesty (Ravelry link) by Sublime. Instead of the plain cotton DK, I'm using Sublime's Soya Cotton DK (50% soy/50% cotton). It's a little sheenier, and a little softer, and drapes beautifully. And of course, in deference to a little girl's favorite color, it is purple:

Why do I say "so I thought" I had an excuse? Well, I knit the entire back in just a few days. So obviously I don't need an entire month to knit this little shirt :-)

By the way, I won that beautiful little yarn holder from Knitters for Knockers this year. It's made by Elizabeth Hsu, and if you like it, check out her Etsy shop.

I know, I should be seaming up the Khaki Cables. I had a little setback on that - I seamed up an arm, pulled the seam to stretch it to make sure I hadn't seamed too tightly, and broke the seaming yarn in two places. You know how it is — that made me grumpy with it and I have let it marinate for a week now. Don't worry — it will get done. I have too many other things I want to cast on!

Two of the things on my needles are probably going to be frogged. The fuzzy pink baby cardigan in the bright pink Star yarn was for a baby born about a year and a half ago, now — and I have just always hated the project. Rosminah asked me for a pair of boy shorts and this is perfect yarn for it. As soon as she sends me her measurements I'll frog the cardi and start the shorts. And those Sockotta socks for my mom have long been replaced by a pair I finally finished for her in Fixation. I don't really like how they're going as cuffed socks and I think I'll start over and just make some normal socks. I do want to try out the Sockotta — and maybe I'll try it out for me. I'm so greedy ;-)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Looks nearly done, but...

Sadly, they ain't. I figured out — right when I was adding up stitches for the toes — that I had missed one decrease on the gussets, so I have two more stitches in the body of the foot than the first sock. That's enough that I'll notice it and it'll bug me when wearing them, so I am going to frog back to the end of the gusset. No real worries, though — foot bodies go fast.

I don't really hate frogging that much, honestly. There's always the moment when it hits that I'll have to frog, and then — usually — I take a deep breath and go do it, and it doesn't feel so bad when it's over. I really am a process knitter. (But it's hard not to be overdramatic about frogging on the blog!)

On the other hand, I'm lazy, too, as you'll see below...

I'm getting close on the Khaki Cables cardi! I'm really excited about this, the more so because I just tried it on (with the help of some clips on the uncompleted seams) and it looks like it is going to fit. Going to have to be careful about blocking it (and washing it in future), though, because I suspect it is likely to grow (alpaca-tencel). I might steam-block it for now.

There are a number of booboos involved here. Some are mine, some are the pattern's. For example, the ribbing doesn't match up at ANY of the seams — I'll show you in a couple of days — and honestly, it's not that hard to get it right; I don't know why the pattern writer missed this, unless she calculated it for her size and didn't compensate for the other sizes. I didn't notice (wasn't really thinking about it) until I'd finished the back, one sleeve and one side, so there was no way I was going to go back and fix it. That's the pattern's fault.

Then there's the fact that the first front panel I knit has one fewer rows of ribbing than the rest of the sweater. That would be my fault. Guess what, I am not going to fix it! I actually realized it when I was halfway through the second front panel, at which point I was too eager to finish the darn thing (that was the last panel) to care. I figure I'll block it to be a little longer and no one will notice unless they look closely.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

One step forward, two steps back...

I'm sure I've used that as a blog post title before!

I got some nasty virus on top of my long-running bacterial infection this week, so I was home and just FLAT for three days — barely touched the computer (I know, shocking!). But yesterday afternoon I felt a bit better, well enough to finally knit, and I pulled out my old Khaki Cables project, which has been stalled for too long. I really need to free up some size 5 needles, and this puppy is.. er, WAS .. so close to done... just needed to finish up the right front, seam, and knit the button band.

The hardest part of finishing this darned thing has been figuring out where I was and how many rows I needed to knit. I had done a poor job of keeping track of my hatchmarks (my oh-so-sophisticated method of row counting), so I wasn't sure which pile of them referred to the left front, and I had to figure it out to make the sides match. I go through about 45 minutes of thinking and figuring every time I pick the project up again. Finally I thought I knew where I was (and I was right, at least), so I picked it up and knit about 14 rows. Then I realized that somewhere along the way, I'd dropped a stitch in the long cable, so I dropped that whole 20-stitch cabling section back 11 (!) rows and reknit it with the picked-up stitch. (By the way: it is MESSY to do that.) And I continued knitting until I'd done 27 rows.

And something felt wrong.

I did a lot of counting — of sets of cables, of stitches, on both the finished and unfinished fronts. And it was indeed wrong. On the buttonband/neck edge, I was too far decreased for the distance I'd knit — by about two stitches. Doesn't sound like much, but in this very charted pattern, it was going to be brutally obvious. I knew I had to rip back, but how far?

I found all the decreases in the left front and marked them with split ring markers, then found all decreases in the right front and did the same.

Lo and behold, turns out that two rows BEFORE I was supposed to start the neckline decreases, I'd inexplicably, randomly decreased two stitches. I have no idea why. I had made no note of this.

I ripped back.


Just sayin'. :-)

Sunday, May 03, 2009

I have an idea.

I have a hangover from playing Rock Band (for the first time) with some friends last night. It was a special occasion, or I wouldn't have gone out and yelled for hours, but it was a lot of fun and worth today's uselessness.

I haven't been doing much knitting. My wrist's been a little sore, as happens sometimes, and I know when to back off a little. I did manage to finish the first sock of the new pair a few days back

So I started to have an idea about all this leftover sock yarn (I don't like my socks very tall, and my feet are a pretty medium size, 9, so I always have leftovers). I was thinking about a sock yarn blanket, but the problem is that I didn't actually really love the ones I've seen — I like something just marginally more organized. Plus, I really hate knitting mitred squares (admittedly, I've only knit one or two, but I already hate them).

I thought about entrelac, but it didn't seem like it'd please me either. It's just too many colors all slammed together for me. Plus, I think it'd spoil what's for me one of the appeals of entrelac — the woven effect. I considered alternating multicolored sock yarn rows with single-color, but again — no woven effect. But that made me think of one more, almost too simple thing — strips.

I was thinking that maybe I can knit strips of varying lengths, piecing them together side by side like wood flooring. I could alternate multicolored and single-color, for an overall cleaner effect, or not -- might have to fool around for a little to see what I think. I'm sure this has been done before, but I haven't seen it. It seems like it'd be more pleasing to my eye, and less irritating to knit — in fact, the endless stockinette and small amounts of yarn at a time could make it a really good portable knitting project. I'll have to think how I want to connect the strips — possibly with crochet, as there's a way to crochet strips together to make a fairly nice-looking decorative flat seam, and maybe that's how the solid colors would be used — to connect the multicolored strips. But maybe it'd be better to knit the strips the wide way and just change colors when needed. Hmm,.. decisions. Input welcome.