Monday, November 20, 2006

Why we block

Mostly, it's because otherwise, our knitting would look like total crap. See example. I'm going to lightly block here just for ease of seaming, but I'm hoping a full-on soak will make the fabric bloom a bit to fill in those holes where the spin was a bit on the thin side.

I finished the fronts and back of the Equestrian Blazer from just two balls of Rowanspun Aran. I'm trying to figure out exactly how two sleeves and two rows of stockinette around all the edges of the jacket can possibly add up to another 2+ balls of yarn. I WILL however be slightly annoyed if I end up with almost a full 100g ball again when I'm done.

Cuz I'm living on the edge y'all. I decided that since I almost always (except just ONCE) end up with at least one full ball and maybe a partial on top of that after swatching and knitting up a garment that I'd just to hell with it go with what I had in my stash for this project even though I was a full 50 yards short of the specified yarn requirements in the pattern. What the heck. I can always make sleeves shorter to match my smaller frame.

Or inadvertently in this case, take out an inch throughout the body because I can't read directions. Check your pattern schematic, or else you could end up shortwaisted in your sweater. Which, in my case, might actually be a nice surprise.

Since I probably won't be posting again this week, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

One step forward...

Woohoo! I figured out what lace pattern would work for my grandmother's pink knee highs! I knew it had to be relatively simple, so a row of eyelets was about all that could work here, but hotdamn if that doesn't count as lace! I'm using the leg chart from the Petticoat Sock pattern by Veronik Avery in Weekend Knitting. I also came up with a plan (a plan! from the Spaz! say it ain't so...) for how to do the calf shaping relatively in pattern. I won't tell you now for fear that actually vocalizing it will curse me to fugly results.

but as the rest of the saying goes, ... two steps back. In the middle there are DH's Koigu Chevron socks. Clearly I had a serious case of denial going on when DH kept stretching the things THAT FAR just to get them over his toes. Somehow, I thought turning the heel would make it all better. *sigh* If only positive progress were as fast as negative progress. I swear I knit at like 30 sts/min, but gosh darn it if I can't unknit at something like 15000 sts/min. These poor things have been frogged TWICE in one week. I guess Koigu holds up like a champ to frogging.

BTW, did y'all see the Sahara pattern that Knit and Tonic Wendy did for Stitch Diva? That's right up my alley! Only maybe tack up the neckline a bit more... no one wants to see that because let's just face it, cleavage is a whole lot sexier than no cleavage and a whole lotta sternum action. Long sleeves maybe? I'm thinking maybe a bit more fitted sleeves and belled just at the cuff instead of from elbow to cuff. Will have to wait for the pattern to come out and see how I feel then.

And because I haven't done one of these in a long time...

You paid attention during 91% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

Damn! I love taking tests (freak) so I was pissed off at #10 and #14.

Friday, November 10, 2006


It occurred to me that DH hadn't made an appearance on this blog in quite some time, so I thought perhaps that I should remedy that and also show you my WIPs at the same time. So here ya go. That's my Equestrian Blazer on the left, a little bit past the armhole shaping on the back. DH's Koigu Chevron socks are on the right just after turning the heels.

That's DH in the back. How he falls asleep like that (for HOURS I tell you) and doesn't wake up with a charley horse in his neck and rug burns on his knees is beyond me. Why he felt the need to fall asleep sniffing the corner of the couch I also couldn't tell you.

I blame it on the Glenrothes and 17 yo Glenfarclas.

Yes, in fact, I just left him there and went to bed after snapping this picture. What a loving wife I am...

Edited to add: DH wanted me to clarify because apparently I made it sound like he'd had too much to drink and passed out this way. No, in fact, my DH is talented enough to do this stone cold sober. To be fair, he had come over into my knitting space to nuzzle his head in my lap as I knit and fell asleep that way. But when I got up, he didn't seem to notice and just kept right on nuzzling with the couch as a suitable substitute. I still don't get how one can fall asleep kneeling, so I stand by my initial assertion that this is a weird sleeping position.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Just do it!

Yes, I'm one of those people who isn't a well informed voter. I don't know where all the candidates stand on specific issues that I care about. I don't know the pros and cons for all of the fourteen bazillion ballot measures that are to be decided. But I'm still planning on voting. At least I can and I am free to make any decision I want, as uninformed as it might be. So my question is, which is the lesser of two evils: to vote unintelligently or not vote at all?

So when I last left off, I was contemplating the pink socks. Several of you left me fantastic links for lace knee highs and I checked them all out. So, here's where I am now.

Yeah, not so much. I found out after a couple of inches of a very simple lace pattern that this super sproingy cotton yarn has something of a boucle texture to it that looks like CRAP in lace. So I think I might have to revert to plain knee highs here and tell my grandmother that her cotton pink lace knee highs might need to wait a little longer for the right yarn. Knee high Hedera sounds good... I just need to find a mostly cotton, smooth yarn that stretches appropriately for socks. Anyone? Anyone?

But since I couldn't just be stalled doing nothing, I decided to cast on for a pair of socks for DH. That's Koigu in a chevron pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. It looks a lot like the zigzag Jaywalker pattern, but oh well. I tried to swatch for 4 other patterns with the Koigu, and nothing would show up with the short color changes there to muddy everything up. So, back to zigging and zagging.

I also tried a different toe here... something that Charlene Schurch refers to as a star-toe. I have no idea what that means, but I figured that with as mauled as DH's toes are from climbing, his toes tend to curl under slightly. I thought that a more round like toe might fit his feet better than the flat toe that seems to be pretty common to most patterns. We'll see how it turns out. But right now what's bothering me is the cast on. I did a Turkish cast on and then started increasing 4 sts evenly spaced every other round. So now I have stupid pointy places on the toe which I dislike. Do I pick out the cast on and just run the end through the live sts that I free to close up the toe? I'm scared of doing that, but I think it'll work. Anyone think this will be turn into another entry for Dumbest Thing I Did Today?

Finally, I got the Winter 2006 Interweave Knits on Friday. I knew there was a jacket and a sweater in there that I both have a comparable yarn for and want to make. So I started swatching for the Equestrian Blazer. First on US6 (bottom) and then also on US5 (above the purl ridge). Anyone notice a difference here? Yeah, neither could I. What's up with that? I think I'm just going to go with the US5 since neither seems tight enough to meet the gauge, but as it is, my overall size is only going to be 3/4" larger and I can deal with that for a jacket.

And yet again, forgive my inability to photograph red yarn. What's up with that?

Now, off to vote!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Winging it

Okay, so despite the horrific outcome that was my last attempt at winging it, I'm going with it again. This time, I blame my grandmother on it. So you see, something like 5 months ago, she requested a pair of lacy pink cotton over the knee socks. I'm wondering as I sit here and type this if this isn't some sort of sick dress up fantasy she's been harboring for years and years, but ewww, it's my grandmother!

Anyway, that's all the direction I got. I've been looking but just haven't found a pattern that I like, so to heck with it... I'm winging it. I decided that she didn't really want all over lace on the foot anyway, so I went ahead and knit the foot plain. I had read the directions for Widdershins or maybe it was Baudelaire on how to do a heel flap toe up sock, but of course, I decided to start these while traveling and I didn't have the foresight to print out either of these patterns. So, random spazzing ensued, but I managed to reinvent the wheel correctly.

Wow, do my feet always look that flat and squat?

Anyway, I really like this toe-up heel flap thing. DH has extremely deep heel cups, high arches, but very low volume feet, so the short row heel didn't seem to fit his foot type as well. In fact, he can barely get his Jaywalkers over his heel, but once he does, those babies are NOT going ANYWHERE. So I think I'll be using this construction for all his socks in the future.

Another plus... no picking up stitches and the slipped stitch heel flap thingie hides my embarassingly sloppy wrap and turns quite nicely. Now if only I can come up with a better way of hiding the holdes at the top of the heel flap and gusset intersection... something better than Elizabeth Zimmerman's advice of knitting a stitch together with its neighbor. Any ideas?

So now, it's off to research some sort of lace pattern to use on the leg. What do y'all think? A large lace panel up the front of the sock, or two smaller ones on either side? Any suggestions on a lace stitch to use?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

So now what?

I'm sure that anyone who's had a big blowout wedding has probably experienced this... the so now what phase. I've spent most of the last year stressing out about getting married (notice I didn't say planning... my mom took care of everything. I just stressed out) so now that I am married, what the heck to worry about now?

Well, conveniently, the holidays are coming up! I could stress out about how I've spent the past many months selfishly knitting myself 4 sweaters, but I've decided that a stressed out Spaz is an unpleasant Spaz. So, people get what they get if I decide to make them something. I may even NOT knit for one or more of the three newborns coming up this spring. Who'd a thunk it? Does that make me self-centered? Maybe. But does that also make Mr. McSpazzitron happier? I'm quite sure it will.

Decided to finish up a UFO after having absolutely nothing new to cast on for. Yes, I guess that means that technically I was lying about not having anything on the needles, but long forgotten projects don't count, do they? It was a bag that I had looming for quite some time. So long in fact that I can't even remember when I cast on for it. Anyway, it required about 3 balls of Kureyon, and I had visions of an uber-cute flap type bag along these veins. But instead... here's what I ended up with:
I knit fug. I'll admit it. It was best laid plans, but it's just plain fugly. I think it had promise, but it just turned out strangely proportioned: 13.5" wide and 5.5" tall... aesthetically unpleasing. It started out as a good enough idea... knit a multidirectional bag using two circular needles to avoid seaming that still ended up with a three dimensional bag instead of just a flat pouch. If I had it to do over, I would have added an extra ball, shortened the straps and knit it a bit taller and omitted the flap. Yes it would have ended up being a run-of-the-mill bucket bag but the corners knit on the diagonal at least would have provided some interest . I took notes as I went in case anyone else wants to reproduce my fug.

The worst part of it all? Kureyon felts SO slow and I spent an hour and a half of my life standing over a steaming kitchen sink hand fulling this thing, and it's not even completely felted. I'm starting to rethink my luck with knit bags. Witness the tweed misproportioned flatness completely devoid of any function despite its promises of being a "roomy tote". And yet...

BTW, did anyone notice that the top in the picture is actually a real pattern? How did I miss that before? If only I had tons of scraps in the same yarn to play with this. I could totally go for a tartan plaid top... maybe just without the shoulder draping panels though. Whoa. I think I just got my engineering geek on there. Only engineers and the late Payne Stewart can pull of plaid.