Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blog Slacker!

Wow - I've been away for far too long!

I've been so caught up with projects that I forgot to write about them and now I must atone.  The one upside to being under-employed is that I have a ton of free time for knitting. Although the BF thinks that knitting isn't a noble enough cause for my off hours it's probably the only thing that's making me feel like a productive member of the household and society at large. I haven't entirely worked out how my knitting projects which I make mainly for myself benefit the household or society at large but that's my story and I'm sticking with it. Wait! I just remembered: I did knit up one scarf with scrap yarn to donate to the that's something. And, if it weren't for the fact that I hate working with double pointed needles I probably would have started on that pair of socks I promised him.

Anyhoo - here's what I have accomplished:

I finished my first sweater which sadly came out a little too large and frumpy for me but it's perfect for lounging around the house. Someday I'll probably pull it out and re-use the yarn for something else as I do love the color.

I also started my first cable projects: a creamy white scarf and a cozy for my droid. I have to admit I'm pretty excited about both and think I will do lots of cabling in the future. Once I figured out what the heck to do with those pesky tapestry needles it worked out fairly well.

And I think I'll take some stashed yarn and make up a quick cozy for the French Press - see! A household project.

In other news: I've also been recently preoccupied with My step-father has uncovered that I am eligible for membership in the D.A.R. and that I'm also related to quite a bit of british royalty (The Plantagenets). Puppy (who is also D.A.R. eligible) and I attended our first meeting together and have been taken on as junior members so I've been busy pulling my paperwork together so I can officially submit my application. Fun! We have grande plans for creating D.A.R. knitting activities!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Double Pointed Instruments of Torture

So I've finished my Honey Cowl and seriously don't let your stitches twist!  It looks great and I love it but that will always bother me about it. I have half a mind to pull it all out and start over but my long-neglected sweater calls to me.

So I finally cowboyed up and started on the sleeves. So far I am not loving it. Those double pointed needles are pesky and troublesome. And do you know how long it took me to realize why I kept getting garter stitch instead of stockinette? I forgot that because I'm working in the round and not flipping my work I need to purl not knit. Anyhoo, the DP needles are seriously a drag right now, it seems like it's going to take forever to finish just one sleeve. They feel awkward and clumsy. On the other hand it's a good skill to have and I realized as I looked at my Droid phone today that it could help me make a cozy for my phone. Away to to research patterns!

P.S. Also... my other sleeve has some busted sticthes in the bound off section. I have NO idea what I did. I will need Sensai no doubt.

P.P.S. StringRBell a.k.a. Tupelo Honey a.k.a Puppy - do not be alarmed by my sweater malfunctions as you prepare to begin your own garment!  I'm just finding all the wrong ways to do it so that your path will be clear and free of worry :)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

In the Meantime...

As my Sensai and her "little distraction" recuperate and I patiently wait to figure out my sweater sleeves I succumbed to buying more Mille Colori yarn at Lovelyarns and have started on a new scarf. I'm doing a cowl which has me working "in the round" and learning more fun acronyms from the pattern. Ex: "wyif" = with yarn in front.  So far so good. I wonder if I should have used a solid color yarn as all the pictures were solid but I'm sorta digging my crazy self-striping dark and stormy yarn.

One warning! When I was figuring out how to work in the round I watched a video on (a most helpful site) and they told me that after I casted on I HAD to make sure that my stitches weren't twisted (that would be a great fucking knitting blog/handle...Twisted Stiches...wish I had thought of that earlier) before I "joined" and starting going around and around. Well of course I didn't listen because I think I'm all that and a bag of Utz Salt & Vinegar chips and now I have permanent twist in the cowl. Nothing earth shattering or unravel worthy...but still.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wait! There's more?

So I'm just cruising on my sweater and feeling pretty good about it - almost at the end of my pattern instructions when I realize...I still have a whole other page of instructions to go! Damn those pesky sleeves. Do I really need them? What if I decide to make it with cap sleeves instead? And what's the deal with the double-pointed do those work?

I need my Sensai and a stiff drink.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sweating the Sweater? Not me!

So when Knitting Sensai uttered the words "OK I think you're ready for a sweater" I have to admit I freaked. I mean do two simple and somewhat sad scarves make you ready for a full fledged sweater?  I mean those things involve like patterns and properly sized holes for appendages and stuff!  When I told some of my other knitting friends that I was making a sweater already I got one of two responses:

1. Ashen-faced fear for my fragile knitting ego which was about to be horribly crushed
2. Ashen-faced fear for my fragile knitting ego which was about to be horribly crushed covered up by very well   meaning but not entirely convincing encouragement that I'd be just fine.

But Sensai kept telling me I'd be fine. In fact she'd make the same pattern with me for moral support.

I bought the pattern, I bought the yarn and needles I made my gauge swatch and dove in with fingers crossed.


So far so good. I've made a few mistakes that Sensai kindly corrected for me. I'm back on metal needles which are highly troublesome for me and my yarn keeps splitting but I'm learning all the fun pattern acronyms and my sweater actually fits!  So next I have to learn how to do decreases and soldier on but I must say that I'm feeling pretty good about diving into the deep end of the pool... the water is just fine ;)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Frankenscarf Lives!

I can't believe I actually finished. I thought the constant undoing of my knitting would be my mental undoing!  Because I started the scarf at home without my Sensai, I was unsure of how to fix my bad stitches and decided (rather intrepidly I think) to soldier on regardless - which basically meant I just kept pulling out all my work and starting over and over and over....and over.  Boyfriend had to finally step in and make me promise not to pull out any more work since apparently I kept cursing up a storm and getting very angry. Personally I thought I was handling it just fine, but he did mention something about being worried I was gonna "hulk out".

So, by the time I got to the end I had dropped a stitch I had to pick up with a crochet needle pretty much up the entire length of the scarf. My crochet skills are not great and it came out rather tight and zipper-like (hence the Frankenstein reference). There are also some random parts: apparently I managed to knit in some holes and seed stitch. So it's a mess. But it's done. And when you wrap it up and "zhuzsh" it properly it looks rather handsome and the yarn is still totally gorgeous so who cares!

p.s. I also realized that I hate metal needles. Slippery little fuckers.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

And so it begins...

After a lifetime of avoiding all things crafty I have succumbed!  I felt myself mysteriously and inexplicably drawn towards the idea of knitting much to my own dismay. Unlike most things I "decide" to do (only to drop them in a few months time after I've announced them to everyone I know ) this plan has been secretly formulating in my mind, waiting for the opportune moment - which was really waiting for my "knitting Sensai" to return from maternity leave.

During our lunch breaks she began to school me in the ways of the yarn and much to my further dismay I discovered that not only do I like to knit but I'm a process knitter to boot! This is a very annoying way to be, but we all have our crosses to bear.

And so now I've been allowed by said Sensai to begin an actual project. A scarf!  I have some metal needles that are slippery suckers that frankly I'm not overly fond of right now, my Italian fancy-pants yarn, a boyfriend who is becoming increasingly jealous of the time I spend with that yarn... and away I go!