Thursday, September 29, 2005

Yes, another KAL....

In the spirit of the Summer of Lace, it's the Colors of Autumn, hosted by the downtown columbus SNB's very own Delana.

Wanna do some Fair Isle? Intarsia? Some other sort of color-y fun? Join us!

I'll be using this as moral support while working on Carlotta, since I've had no luck getting anyone else to join me on that one.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I'm back!

This weekend was a whirlwind trip to Chicago for the Renegade Craft Fair and general sight-seeing. Unfortunately, the craft fair got rained out about an hour after we got there, so I have no photos of that, but it was very cool. Can't wait for the smaller upcoming version here in Columbus on 10/8 (at Skully's!).

I'll post more later, but wanted to drop in and say "I'm alive!" This week I will be pre-occupied with cleaning out the last bits of junk from my old apartment rather than knitting, but we'll get back to your regularly scheduled content next week.

We visited a brand new store downtown in Chicago called Loopy Yarns (get it? it's in the Loop!) and they carry what looked like the entire line of Lorna's Laces. So I got myself a couple skeins of Lion and Lamb. I wish I'd realized that was the yarn that Clapotis called for, because I'd never felt so compelled to make that before until I saw this yarn. Then I came home and realized it was what the pattern called for and I'd only bought two hanks, when I takes 3! I could have sprung for it because as a result of the grand opening sale, I managed to draw a slip for 20% off, so the damage wasn't as bad as it could have been!

For now, I'll leave you with some fun photographic evidence of our trip. This photo was taken in the reflection of the Cloud Gate at Millenium Park:

That's yours truly in front, my variously crafty friends Dorothy and Beth right behind me, and my friend (and crocheter!) Lisa in the back. I love this shot since we are all working on taking it at the same time...what dorks. :-)

And no, I didn't knit that lace shrug I'm wearing. It's from the Limited, and I knew I couldn't knit it at the price I got it for. Especially with my track record at lace.

I actually did get some knitting done this weekend. I turned the heel and got through the instep decreases on my Crusoe sock and I started my Scarf Me Pal's scarf. I had several false starts last week while trying to figure out what sort of pattern I wanted to use, but I think I've got it now. I'm using one of the staff scarf projects from the Interweave site: the Ann Budd Double Basketweave version, only I'm using much larger yarn and needles. I'm loving working with Rowan cork and can't believe they discontinued it. It's a very soft yarn, and the tiny bit of acrylic in it gives it a kind of spongy springiness that's very cool. Photos soon!

Friday, September 23, 2005

The biggest cozy....in the WORLD!

So not much posting this week because last weekend I moved! It used to be when I moved that the most painful thing to move was the vast numbers of boxes of books and cds.

Oh, how things change. Now the most painful thing to move was 3 underbed boxes, 4 milk crates, a rubbermaid box, and several tote bags full of yarn, knitting needles, patterns, magazines, books, etc.

And just you wait until my latest splurge arrives. Since Mission Falls (my favorite!) is no longer in production, I had to get my hands on some of what was left. I have enough yarn to do 5 sweaters and then some on it's way to me from Ram Wools, which so far has the best price. I'm sad because Heavenly Creations had just announced they were going to carry MF, and now this. But now I have a stash. This to me is way worse than Lion Brand discontinuing Cotton Ease, which I didn't love anyway. MF had it's finger on the pulse of what I like in color. So now I must go elsewhere.

On Sunday, I went to the Ohio Designer Craftsmen Museum to pick up my supplies for the Extreme Knitting team. We are knitting a cozy to go on a VW bug, with lots of embellishments. It will be on display at Winterfair. I volunteered to do one of the car pieces (the trunk) because to me, that seemed a much less daunting task than producing things like rosettes and fruit. Perhaps I'm abnormal in that way though. About half a dozen people came up to me at the end of the meeting and commented that I was exceptionally brave for taking that on. They gave me a tissue paper piece that had been traced around the trunk, so I'm not sure what's so hard.

I figure I can just figure out my increases and decreases as I go, and then lay the piece down on the pattern to see if I'm right. And I have until November 11 to get it done, so that's plenty of time. Not to mention that this is on the biggest yarn I've ever seen. Lion Brand was a sponsor, so they sent all the yarn and needles. I cracked up when I saw the name of the yarn. It's just called "Big." Doesn't get more descriptive than that folks.

It's knitted on US 19s. 19s!!!

I tried desperately to wind this up on my ball winder, but that was pretty much a lost cause. The yarn was actually too big to fit comfortably through the guide on the winder, and so the ball wound way too loosely and came apart in my hands pretty much.

So I had to wind them all by hand, and that means I've only done three of them so far. This picture doesn't really give you a feel for how big those are. I'd say they are about the size of a cantaloupe. 44 freakin' yards of yarn. This stuff is effin' huge, as they say.

I love the color. This is going to be a very fun project. Although I think I'm going to need to find some 40" circs if I want to make it easy on myself as far as trial and erroring out the increases and decreases. I don't think the straight needles are going to cut it.

I should have some more fun photos next week. I am headed to Chicago this weekend with some girlfriends for the Renegade Craft Fair in Wicker Park. I'm so excited!

Friday, September 16, 2005

This is going to be fun!

So I had totally forgotten that I'd done this, but a couple weeks ago when I was at Knitters' Mercantile there was a sign up sheet on the counter for participating in a project to knit a cozy for a VW Bug (like this one) to be on display at Winterfair. It wasn't until my new roomie said I'd gotten mail at my new abode and I opened it that I remembered. There's a kickoff party for it this Sunday where we get to pick up our materials and patterns. Way cool.

This weekend is also A Wool Gathering at Young's in Yellow Springs, which is one of my favorite places to hang out. I went last year, and that's where I first saw the circular sock machine. I'm hoping to get down there this weekend to drop mine off with the woman who refurbishes them, but I think I waited a bit long to contact her, plus I'm moving and having a garage sale, so I may not make it. I can't wait to crank out some socks though!

Knitting progress this week has so far consisted of about 8 rounds on the Crusoe sock, which I'm still not sure is going to fit properly, and about 4 rows on Carlotta. And some "in my head" design progress on the scarf for my Scarf Me pal. I thought about doing something from Scarf Style since I just got it, but I think I want to use some Rowan Cork I have stashed and there's nothing really appropriate for that weight in the book. Here's the yarn:

OK, that would have been a photo of the yarn, but I just went to find it, and it's not there. And, it's discontinued, so I can't even link to it. So pretend there's a photo of about four balls of a nice chunky wool blend in a light blue heather here.

Edit: While searching for the recently discontinued Mission Falls 1824 Wool, I found it. It's this color I think. It might be vapor though. Hard to tell on a monitor.

So anyway, I have some sketchy ideas in my head. I need to ask my scarf me pal a few more questions about her own personal style to know whether to err on the side of traditional or not, but it will involve cables and texture, that much I know. In either case, the knitting will commence next week, after I'm all moved in and settled.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I just want you all to know that it's doing wonders for my self-esteem that the top search enging keyword since I added the stats link to the blog has been "rejected by knitty."

Amusing, to say the least.

Finished...as usual, just in time

So I have to drop off my stuff for the art show at work tomorrow. I found this out late last week, and it gave me one evening fewer than I thought I had to get it done.

But I made it.

The glistening of my skin in this first shot, combined with the fact that I'm wearing a tank top, exhibits the ridiculousness of knitting a mostly wool scarf in this weather. But it shows the colors accurately, so I'll post it nonetheless:

These two show some of the various yarns and stitches that I used, though with a bit less color accuracy:

As you can see, it's mostly garter stitch, with some variety added with occasional wrap-type drop stitch (what *is* this actually called?) and seed stitch and basketweave added at random. The fringe is Colinette Giotto, a heavenly ribbon yarn that's occasionally in the scarf too. That bright green boucle stuff is Alchemy Roots and Leaves, a ridiculously expensive, but oh-my-god-luxurious yarn that is heaven as far as novelty yarns go. I have most of the ball left, but as it was only 55 yards to begin with, I'm not sure what else that will go with.

I love this scarf. I knitted the ends in as I went, so there are some bulky spots where you can see that, and some purl side color changes that I'd normally hate, but it works for the type of "rustic" boho look I was going for. Plus, it kind of reminds me a bit of a Victorian crazy quilt.

I think this one has about 20 hours of work in it. Given that I started it last Thursday, and I knitted it really pretty tightly (on US 6 needles, and some of those yarns are bulky, to give you an idea) my wrists aren't really happy with me. So it's ibuprofen, and off to bed now.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

And now for some positive knitting progress....

Haven't had that much time to knit this week, what with work kicking my ass, and social things, and moving and packing and such.

There's nothing like moving to make you feel a bit too well endowed in the yarn department. I have taken all the Lion Brand and Encore to storage, yet that still leaves me with three under bed boxes, a milk crate, and a large Rubbermaid tote full of yarn (and books and needles) not to mention the yarn for active projects, which is still sitting around in baskets and bags. Fall and winter shall be the seasons of stashbusting for me.

Anyway, I did begin Carlotta finally. I have a whole six rows done. Am starting to believe I may indeed be insane for attempting a sweater on 1s and 3s, but I love it. Yorkshire Tweed 4 ply feels ever so slightly scratchy in the ball, but knits up into soft goodness:

And then, there is Crusoe, which I have been able to work on in the dentist's waiting room and at lunch and such:

I'm still loving the stranded pattern for its ability to break up the pooling of Lorna's Laces, but I must admit that now that the sock is actually going to fit me, that's not working as well as it had been. Sadness.

And today's achievement, is an actual decent start on the second scarf for the art show at my place of work. I realized I actually have to have it done by Tuesday, so I figured I'd better get to work. Finally, I convinced myself that since this scarf is all about showing off the fantastic yarns it's made of, I'd be better off attempting something simpler in the stitch department than I had been.

(What is up with my camera when the batteries start to drain? I assure you, there are no actual neon colors in that scarf, and it's actually much better looking, at least in the color department.)

So there we have it. Garter stitch. With the occasional drop stitch or seed stitch row. Doesn't get much simpler than that. But I think it's working. I'm using odd bits of stuff I find here and there, in addition to my stash of "luxury" scarf yarns. Which means that all the yarn bins I'd so carefully packed earlier this week are now open and sprawling in the living room again. Oh well.

A big hello also goes out to any of the Scarf Me participants who're stopping by. I probably won't be starting my official scarf until next week, so this one will suffice for now.

And a hello to Janet who is our latest Downtown Columbus Stich n' Bitch-er to be infected by the blogging bug!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Negative Knitting progress

So yesterday, I met a couple of the local girls to knit, and had a great time, except I made less than no progress.

I started working on the lace hem to the Summer IK cover dress, but quickly realized I can't read a lace chart and talk at the same time, so I put that away after about 4 rows. So that was positive progress.

Then I got out my Crusoe sock (get it, Crusoe? It's stranded!). Now, when I cast on this sock, I thought 48 stitches seemed a bit small for someone with feet the size of mine, but I decided to press on. Well, lo and behold, one of my knitting cohorts pointed out that many people have had problems getting the sock on over their instep after it's done, since it has a rolled stockinette top, and no ribbing. So I did some quick measurements and realized that there was indeed no way in hell that was going on my foot. So that got frogged, and restarted. I have about 4 rounds done now. So that's about -15 rounds of progress.

Moral of the story: it doesn't matter if you've only done a few pairs of socks before--if the math seems that far off, you're probably right. Learn to trust yourself!

It is a nice pattern though, and solves the problem of the way Lorna's Laces pools quite nicely.

Then I decided to set that aside and start on Carlotta. I got out my trusty eensy weensy crochet hook to do the beads, and set out to cast on several hundred stitches on size ones. Luckily, I noticed after only 50 or so that there are two rows of a contrasting color at the cuffs and hem edge of this sweater. A color, that of course, I did not have with me in my giant knitting bag. Sigh. So that was zero progress, yet again.

And I just now realized I was on the wrong size needle too. Gah!

So today, I think I will take a quick spin by Target to see if the rumors of $1 bamboo needles are true, just to fill out some of those odd sizes I don't yet have. No yarn though. I started packing it last night (I'm moving in a couple weeks) and when I realized how much yarn I have as measured in gallon tubs, I wanted to cry. It's a bit overwhelming. So I think there will be no more yarn purchases until I get at least three or so major projects done.