Happy Christmas, all! Here's hoping that everyone's holiday is going well.
As for me, I'm enjoying a rather lazy Christmas Day with Jason's family. Mmm, Christmas.
I'm also still knitting Onerva. But really, who didn't see that one coming? I've only got another two or three repeats left. I don't really know for sure, since I'm just knitting until I run out of yarn, and I'm terrible at estimating amounts. I'm optimistic about having it done by next week. Then just blocking and it's done!
In other happy news, I got in my yarn order yesterday! Mmmm, Cascade Dolce is just as soft and pretty as the name implies. Nine skeins of it looks like it might not be enough. I know that it's MORE than enough, because the suggested yarn is 109 yards per 50 grams, and the Dolce has the exact same yardage to grams ratio. And because I'm paranoid I ordered a whole extra skein more than what I need. I'm going to worry about it until I actually start knitting and I see that it's not using up as much yarn as I fear it will. I wish I were better at judging amounts.
Anyhow, I couldn't resist balling up one of the skeins last night, and mmmm, so soft! I'm going to knit on Onerva today, and tomorrow I'll let myself play with the Dolce a bit. Because, believe it or not, I'm actually going to swatch for this thing. And I mean actually swatch, not the half-assed swatching I normally do. Exciting!
For now, back to knitting for me.
I know I have. I am a bad, bad blogger. I suck. I know.
But! I offer you pretty pretty pictures in return for your forgiveness! Dane shawl is bound off, blocked, and already happy in its new home with Rina. I'm in love with it. I really want to knit another one. For myself. Which I would keep for me and wear all the time. Mmmm, love.
I also finally took pictures of other FOs I'd been meaning to photograph for a while now. My Silk Garden Kerchief, for instance. I'm really happy with how it came out. It's very warm, and I've been wearing it pretty often. I was slightly less than thrilled with how the colors came out, but it's since grown on me...
Then there's my Envy. This was half-finished for a while, but I finally got off my lazy ass and sewed the buttons on it so it's actually, ya know, wearable. I'm pretty happy with this as well. It's a pretty color that looks nice against my grey coat.
And this is my latest FO, which I am so so so happy with. It's for my friend Jon. It's a little big on me, but fits him well, and was very well-received. He put it on right away and went around showing everyone. He's been wearing it all week, which makes me feel all warm-and-fuzzy inside. Nothing like knitting something for someone and having them really appreciate it. Makes me want to knit tons of things for everyone! But I'm too lazy for that, really...
In other news, I'm still knitting Onerva. And still putting off finishing J-L's hat. (hence the blogging! nothing like a good lengthy picture-filled post to put off knitting something I don't want to knit!)
I'm also planning more projects. Yep. I know. Heard it already.
I'm in love with Quadrat from the latest issue of Knitty. Mmmm, boxy cabled sweater. AND I found the perfect yarn for it. I was planning on using Cascade 220 for it, but I stumbled across Cascade Dolce on sale for mega-cheap. Wool/alpaca/silk blend at half off? Don't mind if I do! I ordered it in Silver. Smallest size is for a 33" chest, so I'll be knitting it at a smaller gauge to take off an extra inch or so. I went ahead and ordered more yarn than I'd need for knitting the pattern as-is though, since the reason the Silver is on sale is that it's discontinued. That does make me a bit nervous, but hopefully it'll only serve to motivate me to knit this sucker straight off. That way if something goes horribly, terribly wrong (as it is wont to do) I'll still be able to get my paws on more yarn in that color. Hopefully.
Also in the works are plans for cabled socks, and a hat for Jason. He really liked the one I made for Jon, so he'll be getting one as well. In alpaca. Mostly because I want an excuse to play with alpaca. Also because I love him.
So. Here we are at the very end of November. Remember that sweater I was going to knit? Yeah, didn't happen. I haven't even cast on for it. Hell, I haven't even swatched for it.
Yes, I know. I totally fail. Are we really all that surprised? Nope!
I imagine there must be some sort of hell for people like me.
On the plus side, I finished my Dane Shawl for Rina. I'm somewhat less than halfway through an Onerva for Sarah. J-L's hat is mostly finished. I've been dragging my feet on that because Intarsia is the devil and I would almost rather knit with redhot metal rods than knit Intarsia. I'm going to force myself to sit down and finish it once and for all when I get back to Pittsburgh. We'll see.
Let's talk about happy things! Let's talk about Onerva!
Ever since I saw the gorgeous one made by the infamous RandomCyn, I've had a minor obsession with it. She made hers with Malabrigo sock in the colorway Persia. What a coincidence! thought I, I've got some Malabrigo sock in the colorway Solis sitting in my stash right now! Because, hell, if I'm going to be a copycat I might as well go all the way!
I've done somewhere between a third and a half of this sucker, and my obsession has only grown. I want to make more of these things. I want to make one for me, and for my mother, and my cats, and the postman... I want to go to the LYS and buy out all the Malabrigo sock and knit this for the rest of my life! The pattern is just interesting enough to keep it from getting boring, but easy enough that I can knit while watching a movie and not have to rip back. And pairing it with Solis? Best idea I ever had! The deep green with just the barest touches of lighter green and blues makes me think of vines on a trellis. I love how it's coming out.
I'm so much in love that, aside from a few hours' urge to knit fingerless gloves, I've been completely faithful to this project thus far. Of course, it helps that I've been in Tampa for the week and it's the only project I brought with me. I considered doing my usual ordeal of taking extra yarns and extra patterns and extra needles. Then I stopped, and I thought about it for a minute. I knit slow as fuck. If I'm able to knit this whole damn thing in a week? Hell, I deserve to go to the Tampa LYS and buy more yarn and patterns and needles!! Of course, I didn't come anywhere close to that...
So, no pictures in this post, which I know sucks. I'll post again once I get back to Pittsburgh.
I took a break on the shawl because yesterday was my brother's birthday, and I'd like to finish the hat I promised him back in August by the time he comes up here to visit me next Friday. It's a hat, a frigging HAT, knit in a bulky yarn. I'll have that knocked out in a couple of afternoons easy!
Let me tell you something, ladies and gents. The knitting gods do not appreciate cockiness. In fact, they take great pleasure in beating every last shred of smugness out of you, then they bludgeon out all your optimism just for good measure.
Hm, guess I should start at the beginning...
So way back in December, my brother decided that he wanted me to knit him a hat from a book of patterns I got for Christmas. It's a stockinette hat with earflaps and this fauxhawk made from felted yarn along the top. It's knit in the colors and pattern of a union jack. But he doesn't want it in red, white, and blue. Nope, he'd prefer if I knit it in red, yellow, green, and black. For the less mathematically inclined, three and four are different. Very different. Especially when we're talking about an intarsia pattern.
But, this is what he wants. And it's for his birthday. And I feel kind of guilty that I don't spend nearly as much time with him as I'd like to. So I rework the charts to have four colors instead of three. And then I swatch. And guess what! Cascade 128 and Brown Sheep Bulky aren't really the same thing! My gauge swatch came out waaaay too small. So I jump from size 13 needles to size 15. Still too small. In a stroke of genius, I hold my yarn double, and make gauge with the size 13s.
Fantastic! Except now I have to reskein all my yarn. Out comes the ball winder. I follow the pattern instructions, and divide it up into smaller balls. Midway through, I considered just floating the colors not currently being used along the inside of the hat, then realized that the finished hat would be way too thick. Finally got the balls divided up, and started knitting.
I had so many issues casting on for this stupid thing that after the third botched attempt, I gave up and just decided to use a provisional cast on for the whole thing since, hey, I'm going to be attaching earflaps to most of it anyhow, and I'll just bind off the extra live stitches later! I'm sure that'll be a disaster worthy of its own post, but we'll have that bridge collapse on us when we get there...
So, after an afternoon's worth of work, I get this:
As if that wasn't fun enough, while I was laying this out to take a picture of it I noticed that I completely botched the chart for the last bit of yellow before the red intersects. Rather than rip it out, I'm now trying to replicate my error on the top and on the left panel as well. (for what it's worth, it's not as bad as it looks in the picture, the stupid thing just won't lay flat because yay! stockinette curls like a motherfucker!)
Also, there are a bajillion ends to weave in, and have I mentioned how much I hate intarsia? Because I do. A lot.
Stay tuned for the further adventures of the hat from hell.
Oh, wait, what's that about a sweater? And something about the month of November and a big fat deadline on the 30th??
I have no idea what you're talking about.
I didn't do any knitting yesterday. It was glorious.
I haven't done any knitting today either, but I have done some planning! I sketched out a rough idea for my sweater, and I plan on winding the hanks of yarn I've got for it. Then I will swatch (omfg yes i actually plan to swatch!) and come up with a more solid pattern idea.
I've finished the final repeat on my Dane Shawl, and it still seems a bit smaller than I thought it'd turn out. I'm debating whether I should just knit the edging and hope it blooms when I block it, or if I should go for another repeat. I think I've got enough yarn to go for a second repeat. Maybe. It'd be close. So, yeah, not really sure what to do. I'm leaning toward stringing a lifeline in on the last purl row of this repeat (omfg lifeline who are you and what have you done with biteyfish??) that way if I do come up short on yarn I won't want to scream and throw things and yank my hair out when I rip back. Yeah? Yeah?
But tonight will mostly be winding up my beautiful soft oh-so-pettable sweater yarn. Mmmm, yarn. It'll give me something to do while I watch V (which I am super-excited about!) And that counts as doing something for NaKniSweMo, right? Because really, two days without doing a darned thing for it is bad enough.
So, today I didn't start. Big surprise there, yeah, I know. Today I wrote a page and a half. A rather good page and a half. Maybe I should have gone with NaNoWriMo anyhow...
But no, I've committed. I need to commit. I will knit a sweater.
I don't have a pattern for my sweater yet. I do, however, have yarn for it. A while ago I bought enough yarn to make a Thermal. Then I actually bothered to look at the pattern. The waffle pattern on it involves a lot of k2, p2-ing. I hate ribbing. Hate it with a passion. Knit an entire sweater with ribbing, in fingering weight yarn no less! I would go crazy. Absolutely certifiably crazy. So I need a new pattern.
Rather than do the logical thing and hop on over to Ravelry and search for sweaters that would work well with that yarn, I decided to make up my own sweater. I've only knit two sweaters, one of which I probably have to frog because it completely doesn't fit right, and I've never written a pattern for anything before. Really, what can go wrong?
Anyhow, I spent the evening working on my Dane Shawl. I'd really like to get this done well before Christmas because last minute gift knitting sucks. It's gotten a lot bigger, yay!
It's coming out smaller than the pattern suggests it should, so I'm putting in an extra pattern repeat. I'm nearly done with that, then just have to do the edging. It still seems rather small, and I have a surprisingly large amount of yarn left over, so I'm pretty much just crossing my fingers and hoping that it grows a lot when I block the everloving fuck out of it. We'll see.
I also really need to knit up J-L's hat. I've had the yarn for it for quite some time now, and he's coming up to visit the second weekend of November. It's bulky yarn, so it should go fast. Fingers crossed on that.
Then, yes THEN, I will start my sweater. Um. Yes. I suck. I know.
November is an exciting month for me. The weather's just starting to turn, Thanksgiving's fast approaching and we all know that Christmas and New Year's Eve are right behind it. November has always been the Thursday of fall -- you're past the halfway point and it's almost the weekend! I love it.
A couple of very exciting things also take place in November: NaNoWriMo, and NaKniSweMo.
I had all of October to prepare for this, but on the few occasions I actually thought about it in more than just passing, I was sidetracked by a glorious mental picture of me sitting down on November 30th, putting the last touches on my shiny new novel while wearing my pretty new sweater. Hopelessly unrealistic, yes, I know.
Now it's November 1st and I've actually sat down and thought about it in more than just passing, and I've faced the harsh reality that there's no way in hell I'm going to be able to do both. And thus I have a choice. Knit a sweater, or write a novel? Both appeal equally much to me, and I have done an equal lack of planning for both of them. I fretted for a while, then it hit me that no matter which I chose, I'm probably not going to finish it by November 30th. That took some of the pressure off, but didn't make it any easier to choose.
My darling husband actually made the choice easy for me. While I was wibbling and waffling back and forth about it, he said to me, "Whichever one you do, you're not going to finish it in a month." (yes, he knows me so well!) "...so you should knit the sweater. See, if you do the book, you're going to have a half-finished book that you'll probably never look at again. But if you do the sweater, you're going to have a half-finished sweater that you're going to want to wear, and it may take you until February, but you'll probably end up finishing it."
In the face of such logic, I chose to do NaKniSweMo. Clearly.
My Blue Afghan is going well. My Dream in Color shawl is going well. (still looks like unblocked ass, but I haven't screwed up the pattern. yet.)
It's funny how when all my knitting is behaving itself I have nothing to post about...
Literally. The two projects I'm mainly working on now are blue. I'm really digging it right now, heck if I know why.
So. Anyhow. Last post found me whinging about how I have nothing to knit. Next time I start that crap again, I want someone to point me at this photo:
And the next time I start up my Oh woe is me I've got nothing to knit! the appropriate response to that is "Horseshit! You have enough yarn to cover a queen sized bed. Put on your big girl panties and go knit some of it!"
Which is pretty much exactly what I've done. I've pulled out that one lonely skein of Smooshy I've been meaning to knit up, sat down at Ravelry and dug up an appropriate pattern for it. And then I picked up my needles and started knitting it
(swatch? what swatch? swatches are for the weak, baby, I live life on the edge!)
I'd love to say how much I love it and how happy I am putting this yarn with this pattern etc etc etc. I'm really loving the pattern; it's not too difficult, but looks pretty and complex and, well, lacy. I'm ecstatic over the yarn; it's gorgeous and soft and every bit as smooshy as its name implies it should be. But what's coming off my needles . . . well . . .
Frankly, it looks like ass.
Pretty colored ass, but ass nonetheless. To be fair, this is simply the nature of lace, and it's just a blocking away from becoming gorgeous lace, but right now I look at it and all I see is a garbled messy blob of pretty colored ass. And this right here is why I hate knitting lace. I don't mind following a chart. I don't mind counting stitches and desperately searching for where I missed that one damned yarn-over because my last row came up a stitch short. I don't mind actually having to concentrate at my knitting.
But I do dislike looking at what I'm knitting and going "this looks like ass."
I read somewhere that there are two types of knitters: those who do it for the process of knitting, and those who are motivated by the end product. I'm definitely the latter. The best part of knitting for me is the feeling of pride when I look down at my emerging project, and think to myself "hot damn, I made that!!" or "hey, look! I've knit another two inches!" With lace it's all about delayed gratification because it doesn't get pretty until all the way at the end when it's pinned to the blocking board.
But for now it's rekindled my knitting mojo, so I am grateful for that. Also, it's a gift for someone. Hopefully that will motivate me to keep going on it. Time will tell, I suppose.
I'm off to Virginia this weekend to visit Husband's grandfather. This will be the only project I take along. I'm curious to see how much I'll end up getting done on it. Stay tuned!
I seem to have fallen into another knitting slump. I've got several projects going, but none really seem to be catching my interest. I've recently started a blanket for Jason as well as a pair of socks, but I've been kind of eh on both of them; the blanket is a log cabin pattern done in half-double crochets, and the socks are 3x1 ribbing. Both are pretty mindless, which usually is exactly what I want while I'm watching tv in the evenings. But lately they just end up lying in my lap forgotten. I'm also working on that scarf for my mystery CAL. I love the way it's turning out, but the pattern is a bit to complicated for tv knitting, and I really don't like the way it's written. Urgh.
In other news, I finished my silk garden kerchief, but have yet to block it. I've finished my friend's birthday gift, but have yet to block it and sew the lining and button. I've finished all but the button band on my sweater, but seriously fucked up the seaming on the shoulders despite redoing it several times. I'm hoping a good blocking will fix it, but haven't gotten around to it yet.
(are we sensing a theme here??)
In other OTHER news, my LYS is having a pre-inventory sale. I made the mistake of stopping by last weekend and spent more than I intended to. Mostly sock yarn (whee!) but also some very pretty wool that was clearanced for just $1 a skein. Yeah, I made out like a bandit on that one. Normally buying yarn inspires me to knit, but I don't have a pattern in mind for the clearance yarn, and I really don't feel like starting another pair of socks when I've already got one on the needles that I don't really want to knit on.
I actually sort of feel like knitting a sweater, of all things. Which would be great except for the fact that I don't have a pattern picked out. I also would have to go buy yarn for it, which is normally a nice thing, but I just spent my fun-money for the month on, well, yarn.
I'm hopeless, aren't I?
Keep tuned in, kids, maybe I'll have something to post besides "i feel like knitting but don't feel like knitting anything i have, and I really shouldn't add to my stash even though i just bought more yarn. which i also don't feel like knitting right now." Hell, there might even be pictures.
I honestly have no idea why I suck so hard at posting in this thing. I really need to be better about it.
But I return with some FO hotness in humble offering as a token of my guilt.
Finally got some pics taken of my River Tam Vest. It came out so much better than I though it would, considering there wasn't a very specific gauge given for it, and the instructions were only step-by-step for the side panels, and more akin to "helpful guidelines" for the rest of it. I took pretty good notes, and plan to type up my instructions for the rest of it at some point. Maybe later today depending on how motivated I am.
I used Knitpicks HW City Tweed in Lemon Curd, which is a lovely lovely soft smooshy yarn, which, I incidentally found the first time I wore it, also sheds like a white cat on a black couch. I also severely overestimated how much yarn I'd need for this thing. I bought 5 balls, and I used 2 1/2. I'm currently looking for a pattern to make with the rest of this lovely soft warm sheddy yarn.
I'm still working on my Silk Garden Kerchief. I've mostly been using it as a mindless-keep-my-hands-busy-so-my-brain-doesn't-wander-off project for during D&D, so it's only been getting about 4-5 hours of on-and-off attention a week. We'll see how long it takes me to finish the thing. Maybe by Christmas.
I've also started a mystery CAL, and so far, despite my track record of starting shit and losing interest shortly thereafter, I'm actually keeping up to speed on it. The group is on Part 4 and I am (gasp!) also on Part 4!! No pics of that, since it's a mystery. But I am using Fibranatura Yummy in Hawaiian Ocean and I really really like it. The pattern itself is enjoyable, though is pretty intricate and takes a fair bit more concentration than I'm really used to putting into projects lately.
I've got plans for a few more projects I'm going to be starting soonish. After the Silk Garden Kerchief is vanquished into my closet as a wearable garment, I'm going to start another triangle shawl for Rina. I've decided on Dream in Color Smooshy in Some Summer Sky for the yarn. I'm still looking for an awesome pattern for it.
I'm also going to start the pair of socks I've been promising Jason for about a year now, as well as a log cabin blanket in Lion Brand Homespun. The Ripple Afghan I made in it over a year ago has held up really well, but is too narrow for proper snuggling under, so I'm making a big Log Cabin blanket to replace it. I'm slowly stocking up on skeins thanks to Michaels gratuitous dispensing of 50% off coupons every time you make a purchase. It'll be in different shades of blues and greys. And I'll be crocheting it so it'll go fast!
I'm ALSO going to start a top-down hat in some delicious handspun I bought from a local spinner/dyer. Mmmm, check this out..
Oy, I really need to be better about posting in this thing.
I haven't really been doing anything. WWM09 worked out a lot better than I thought it would. I only cast on one new project in the entire month of July, go me! Finished my River Tam vest, though it still needs blocking and to have the ends woven in. Not much other progress to report.
Started on my Starry Night Kerchief, which I'm in love with. Yards and yards of deliciously mindless garter stitch. Mmmm, mindless. Also going to start a cropped sweater, once I make gauge for it. Yes, my other Sesame Sweater is still in pieces. No, I'm probably not going to be motivated to actually finish it until it gets cool enough to wear it.
So I'm jumping in on the WIP Wrestle Mania event on Ravelry. It might be nice to have some motivation to finish up old projects that have been lying around unfinished for waaaay too long. God knows I need it. And since this is only for the month of July, maybe I'll actually finish it! Unlike the ill-fated knitalongs I've tried to do.
Anyhow, I rounded up all my old WIPs and entered them into random.org, and the list they came up with is this:
- binary scarf
- ocean waves afghan
- simple socks
- granny afghan
- river tam vest
- salto socks
- crochet tank
- stripey sweater
Obviously, there will be some small amount of fudging this list. I need a big project for home, and a small project for when I'm out and about. So, the scarf and wavy afghan will be my home projects, and I'll just work my way down the rest of the list, starting with 3 and skipping 5 of course. Probably won't finish the afghan, if I even get to it at all. I've done another few rounds of the binary scarf, and all it's done so far is remind me just how much I hate colorwork. Ugh. I remember why I stopped working on it in the first place. But once I got it out again, I saw the way Jason was looking at it so I'll be [hopefully] finishing it before next winter. Fingers crossed on that one!
It's a good thing the River Tam vest has fallen somewhere toward the end of the list. I was working on that, and then realized last night that I've completely neglected to start the armhole shaping. My complete and utter lack of reading comprehension strikes again. So I've ripped out several rounds, and it's in time out until I get around to working on it again.
On a less-whiny note, I'm also participating in my very first swap ever, which I am super excited about. I had the day off work, so I did all my shopping for it while I was running errands today. Then I knit up something small but very awesome for the box. It needs a teeny bit of finishing, but then everything will be all ready to go. I'm fairly sure all the post offices will be closed tomorrow, so I'm aiming to get it sent out early next week. I technically have until the 17th to get it mailed, and it's quite a change to have something finished so far in advance of the deadline. Usually I'm rushing around at the last minute, scrambling to get everything all wrapped up. It's nice. I might have to try it more often. :)
It's been a little quieter lately, now that I'm mostly unpacked. I've actually had time for some amount of knitting recently. Still not nearly as much as I'd like, but more than I'd previously been doing in the midst of crazy packing/moving/unpacking craziness. Glad to be done with that! Also, kittens make knitting a study in patience. Woo.
It's late. I suspect I'm babbling. Should go to bed. Happy 4th of July, all!!
It's that time again! That's right! I finished another project! No, it's not a project on my Plan of Attack. Yeah, that Plan has pretty much fallen to the wayside. But it's cute! And so what if it's late June, I'm gonna wear it anyhow!
Is it bad that I want to start anther project?
So, believe it or not, I'm still here, and still knitting. I'm moved into my new house (!!!) and more or less settled. The endless round of visiting family has abated (for now...) and my evenings are once again my own. So what have I been doing with them? Why, knitting, of course!
I finally finished up my Tequila Sunrise socks. Yep, at long last. I know. Just as it's too hot to wear handknit socks. But I loves them, and the temperature is supposed to drop a bit later this week, so I'll get some use out of them, at least.
Still seaming up my sweater. I've more or less lost interest in it at this point; I dislike seaming and weaving them ends, and hoo boy are there ever a lot of ends to weave in. Stupid stripes. Stupid me for thinking stupid stripes are cute. And the fact that now that it's summer I won't be able to even wear the thing for another few months has sapped the last of my motivation. I'm trying to force myself to do a little work on it every few days. At this rate, maybe I'll have it done by autumn... I'm not holding my breath, though.
I did end up buying more yarn recently. (Yes, I KNOW) But since it's for a gift, I'm pretending it doesn't count. J-L picked out some colors he liked, and I'm going to be knitting a bulky hat for him. I'd wanted to get it done before he left, but sadly I don't have needles big enough to make gauge with. So it'll have to wait until I can pick some up.
In the meantime, I've started a Felicity Hat with some Dark Horse Fantasy in Jade Green that I picked up for 40% off while getting yarn for J-L's hat-to-be. I figured some a short project of mindless stockinette that ends in a cute hat might do me good.
Plan of Attack? What Plan of Attack?
Also, most excitingly, I have picked up a couple of knitting helpers. They've been very diligent about performing such useful services as eating my needles and trying to make off with my yarn.