Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I know (hangs head)

I haven't posted in a couple of weeks, but I had an excuse — I had to get over The Need to Frog. You know how that can go. Sometimes you need a deep breath and a big drink to get over it.

See, you'd think I was doing really well on my Joanie sweater, and so did I. I swear, I did try it on as I went, and it seemed okay.

Until I started the sleeve... and realized I had knit a straitjacket.
Excuse the dreadfully unflattering photo. It was early morning. The key here is, I can't lift my arm any further than I'm lifting it.

The problem is that the yoke is just too deep:
Going by the photos in the pattern, the ribbing should stop just before the peak of the bust, but on me it starts at the end of the bust. Now, some of this is because of the fact the buttons aren't on so it's hanging slightly lower than it normally would, but not 4" of it.

I need to rip back the whole body and about 2-3" of the ribbing, and make the yoke the length indicated for size medium. This should not be a surprise to me, since I am short and stocky, but I just didn't realize the yoke was too long until I had armholes as reference. In my defense, I have never knit a yoked sweater before.

Well, as you can imagine... I started knitting something else immediately!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Progress on self-indulgence

A while back, I realized it was kind of annoying to have to pull on well-worn, slightly-stiff sweatshirts when I wanted a layer of warm around the house and, for whatever reason, wanted a pullover instead of a cardigan. I normally choose a cardigan because I don't like to feel things against my throat, but sometimes I just want that pullover warmth, and loose-necked old sweatshirts has been my only option for a while now.

An excellent excuse to knit myself something.

I've planned two pullovers. One's for winter and will be wool; one, for transitional seasons and cool summer evenings, will be a cotton/silk/nylon blend. Specifically, the latter will be Joanie, a recent Knitty favorite, in Classic Elite Classic Silk in a gorgeous cranberry color which is of course impossible to reproduce in a photo despite some fiddling in iPhoto:

Not only can I not show you the color properly, I can't share with you the absolute yumminess of this yarn. Knit into ribs for the collar, it's cushy and irresistible. I've actually already washed and blocked the upper part of the pullover (to check length), so I can tell you that the ribs hold up and it's beyond squishy. I can't wait to be done. It'll be hard to take off.

My health's been getting me down a bit lately, so it's nice to have something positive going on.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Cute but irritating / cute and fun

Knitted toys can go either way. I knitted up a couple stuffed animals for my tiny friend Zoe the other day. One was knit from a vintage pattern as published in Vintage Knits for Modern Babies [Ravelry link here],which is a darling book with lovely patterns that have various errors in them. There are no published errata, but I figured out the errors in this one relatively quickly. However, there is no denying it was a bitch to knit. Traditional knitted toys aren't really designed around the pleasure of the knitter.

It is cute though:

I am constitutionally incapable of creating a pompom. By constitutionally incapable, I mean that I begin to scream and rage after the first disastrous attempt and become physically unable to try again. I proved this yet again on this fellow, and then decided to do a sort of woven-over-stuffing tail which worked out all right, if not awesome:

But then there's the other sort of pattern. The kind your fingers itch to knit, the kind that makes knitting pure pleasure. Ysolda creates that kind of toy pattern, and I have made several hedgehogs from her darling "Smith" pattern [Ravelry link here].

I know I'll be making more, too. Crazy fun to knit, and the only sewing is the embroidery at the end. Highly recommended!

Hope you are all enjoying your Memorial Day weekend. I had a great time during the first half of it and have been basically fallen over during the last half, but I have no regrets.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Been gone so long...

Sorry about that. I tore some ab muscle tissue in early March. Resistance to proper diagnosis on the part of my doc led to resistance to strange referrals (I didn't want invasive tests!) on my part, which led to reinjury.. it's a long story. Mostly, though, I've just been in a lot of pain, especially when sitting, and hence not using my laptop much in my spare time (and missing some work and social life, too). I'm still hurting, but having a proper diagnosis and a plan for healing is giving me a skoche of energy to update the blog.

I've missed you.

I've been doing as much knitting as I can, some of it while horizontal. I have several things to show you, but let's start with this because I am wildly in love with it.

It's Helena [Ravelry link], done in two colors of Debbie Bliss Cathay, one of my favorite yarns for knitting for babies because it's cotton/rayon/silk (and sooooo soft and silky), has a lovely sheen, and is MACHINE WASHABLE. Crazy. Anyway, knit for a friend's baby, not yet blocked.

What have you been up to? Please say you're still out there!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Try, try again

You'll probably remember the vest I knit that didn't fit me. Fortunately, it fit Earin's husband Dick, but I really did want and need a vest!

I decided to try designing my own.

I dug out some cheap yarn my aunt had found in a thrift store. I measured myself. I drew pictures. I did the math (lots of triangles and geometry). And took a deep breath, and knit. I tried to trust the math. It made me nervous. I couldn't believe it would end up fitting. It just all seemed like a leap of faith.

Trust the math.

It fits! Ok, my husband says it is "okay to wear to work if you don't mind looking somewhat barrel-like". I think that's partly owing to using a heavy aran-weight yarn, thicker than I prefer. But it is comfortable, generally follows my curves (I could have made the waist smaller and I will do so next time), and keeps me warm. Plus I really love what I did with the neckline (growing the trim out of the cable).


Spurred by success, I decided to tackle my demon — Fair Isle. Dunno why I'm so afraid of it — I guess mostly because I'm not comfortable yet with yarn in my right hand, and yet for the life of me can't manage to knit with both yarns in my left hand. So I picked a simple project (Ysolda's Cotton Reel Mitts) and dug out some scrap sock yarn (leftover bits of a Kaffe Fassett color extravaganza and a plain light green), and cast on. It is actually going all right...

It does seem the floats are a little odd over the needle changes but I have hopes it'll block out okay. Here's the inside, cuz I know how you knitters are...

I can tell you one thing. I'm going to run out of yarn. (Good thing it's just for practice and I don't care if the mitts match...)

I have no idea what I'm doing.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I mean seriously. I think I've had an error on pretty much every row of every lace section in this silly blanket. I started this in July 2009, intending it for one baby; quickly realized I wasn't going to finish it in time, so I thought, okay, it'll be for this other baby... yeah, that didn't happen either. I'm not going to curse it now by determining what baby it'll be for. Maybe it'll be for me, in my dotage, to warm my ancient bones when I turn 99 or so…

The sad thing is how tired and uneven my stitches look when they've been ripped and reknitted 85 jillion times. Hoping it gets a bit better in the blocking:

Anyway, got the dratted thing straightened out again for the umpteenth time and we'll see how it goes.

You know what I love? I love these socks:

Charade by Sandra Park. Utterly fabulous, addictive herringbone pattern (shown here sideways):

Wouldn't it make the handsomest man's scarf, too? I have managed not to make any booboos on these so far (knocking on wood now!), and I have a feeling I'll make several pairs (as I did with the lovely Conwy socks) because they're so mesmerizing and wearable. Plus a nice 64-stitch sock for my loose-knittin' fingers.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tub saga

Happy New Year all! It's been a while. I didn't knit as much over December as I might have liked. I don't really know why – I even had two weeks off of work — but I seem to have spent the time off differently than by knitting. While I was doing whatever it was I was doing, workman came and removed this:

Ok, I admit that looks pretty reasonable in that picture, but if you looked closely at the surface of the tub, you'd see the whole thing actually looked like this:

and if you stepped in it, you'd find the soft spots, and if you stepped in the wrong spot you were going to go through to the kitchen. I knew where this wrong spot was, and avoided it, but guests didn't, and I really didn't want guests raining into my kitchen over the holidays.

So the postman first delivered this:

I was quite excited, but it turned out to be cast defectively and had to be returned. Sadly, the old tub was already removed by the time we discovered this, so I was tubless for, in the end, three weeks. Fortunately we have a stall shower in our master bathroom. But I missed my baths.

It took a while, and the guests had to use our shower in the end because the tub wasn't done, but now I have this:

I'm pretty happy :-) The bathtub has a lovely, comfy sloping back and I love the little gold tiles I picked out to decorate the otherwise plain white.

I did finish this pair of socks for a friend recently:

They're Cookie's Hedera socks, done in Cookie's leftover yarn (she destashed it and I bought it). For some reason I had a lot of trouble somewhere in the middle of these, so it took me a few YEARS to finish them. Poor Pat was waiting a long time for her socks, but hurrah, they are done and fit!

I do have a couple other knitting triumphs to show you, but I'll wait for another post :-)