Sunday, January 29, 2006

Not the face of a happy camper

This circular Skacel sweater is doing nothing if not teaching me about the engineering of sweaters.

Last week, I finished up the knitting and sewed it up. I knew the sleeves were too long, but I was kind of ok with that. Until I tried it on right after I picked up for the neck. And found that the sleeves fell 7 inches below my hands. That's beyond my *hands* not my wrists. I have pretty big hands.

So yesterday, at our Stitch n' Bitch meeting, I ended up enlisting the help of everyone else there, and we re-engineered the top of the sweater. I tore out the sleeves, and ripped back the shoulder decreases, then reattached them and picked up. So now I'm doing the raglan decreases on the body, and have attached the sleeves in a somewhat different manner.

So that's where it is now. I fear I've picked up way too many stitches along the top, because I've been decreasing forever now, and the top opening is still nowhere near neck sized. So this may work out to be a cowl neck, rather than a cute little roll neck.

I have since figured out that the problem was not necessarily that the sleeve was too long, but that I sewed it in improperly. Only thing is, I did that because the pattern said to sew the sleeves in at the arrow on the diagram, and my diagram had no arrow, so I was guessing blindly, so I'm not surprised I was that far off.

But, there was good knitting news today too. I can't share it yet, but I've made one of my New Year's resolutions. Celebrations will commence soon, along with lots of work. Yay!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Don't Mess With Knitters!

I've not mentioned this yet here, but suffice to say, as the listmama for the Downtown Columbus Stitch n' Bitch group, this whole Sew Fast Sew Easy trademark debacle peeves me, to say the least.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am a stickler for trademark and copyright issues. I know what it's like to have my stuff stolen. I had a poem published in a wine magazine a few years ago and later found out there was a restaraunt in Connecticut reprinting it on the inside of their wine menus. Didn't make me too happy to be ripped off like that.

But I don't think that SFSE has a leg to stand on when it comes to policing the use of the phrase "Stitch n' Bitch" when they have trademarked the phrase "Stitch & Bitch Cafe." Not the same thing there.

But I am not a lawyer, so I will leave the pontification on such things to those who do know more. In the meantime though, I'll direct you to the newly launched boycott site, which is already serving as a clearinghouse of legitimate information and has links to fundraising, etc. So fight the rumors and go give them a little looksee:

Also, if you're interested in reading more, The Girl From Auntie breaks the whole situation down quite well.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Catch up!

I'm not quite sure what I've been doing with my time so far in 2006, but it's not been a whole lot of knitting. I've gotten some things done, but not tons yet this year.

First off, the argyle socks are officially stalled. While I love the way they are coming out, this isn't a pattern that's conducive to knitting in public or in front of the TV, so I've not been doing much on these. I think I've knitted 2 rows on them since the beginning of the year.

At least the back looks nice:

So, in the meantime, in order to have a good bar knitting project, I started a new pair of socks. I'm using the KnitPicks Simple Stripes my secret pal got me, and decided on the Rib and Cable socks from Interweave Knits. Problem is, I don't think that the faux fair isle of this yarn will look very good with the cables, so I will probably just keep up the ribbing for the cuffs, then do the foot in regular old stockinette.

It's a really stretchy rib. People keep asking me if I'm knitting baby socks because of how small the sock looks (those are 5" needles)

And then I stretch it out and say, "No, they're for me." Magic!

The one thing I've made a fair amount of progress on is the Skacel circular sweater. I have the front, back and one sleeve done. No thanks to my pattern reading ability. I thought I had the whole sleeve finished at Stitch n' Bitch the other night, but when I went to start the raglan decreases, I had half of the stitches I should have. Seems I neglected a whole sentence about 6" in and kept decreasing when I should have been increasing. So I frogged that back and fixed it, and finished the sleeve while watching Project Runway. So now I have a little pile of bulky sweater pieces growing:

I think the front and back look like turtle shells. Partially because of the color, which I'm just in love with. It's called "Gooseberry," leading me to believe those bushes we had in our backyard when I was little really were gooseberries -- they were exactly that color.

This is definitely going to be a slouchy, weekend comfy sweater. Get a load of this artsy shot showing how long the sleeve is:

No need for gloves at all!

I did embark on a stash expedition last night. I had a yarnmarket.com gift certificate from my mom and dad for Christmas, and I was itching to spend it. And I've fallen in love with this pattern from the new Vogue Knitting:

I know, I know, it's 80s looking, and has crochet. But I think, made a little bit shorter, it would look incredible over jeans and boots. Problem is, the amount of yarn it calls for is exhorbitant, so I was going to have to spend well over the amount of the gift certificate. So I ended up spending 3 hours in front of the computer, with all my recent magazines and four or five knitting books trying to get the most bang for my buck. I ended up with Cotton Glace to do the sleeveless Victorian top from the holiday VK, and some Crystal Palace Kid Merino Solid for the Angelina jacket from White Lies. I think I may even be able to wear these together! Thanks mom and dad!

Hopefully this weekend will be productive and the next post will be the circular sweater, all finished up!

Friday, January 13, 2006

It's uncharacteristically quiet around here lately, and that's mostly because the beginning of the year has brought many interesting distractions to me, none of which are letting me get knitting done. There is health stuff, boy stuff, work stuff, and other hobby stuff (I may join roller derby!). Plus, I want to get serious about design this year, which means I may not be able to blog about my knitting as I'm doing it. Sad.

Yet, the circular sweater continues, and I did start a pair of socks last week, because the argyle socks (slowly but surely coming along) are not good bar knitting. So I cast on a cabled sock out of a recent IK with this:

One of my secret pal's got me this a while back. I'm not thinking the patterning of the yarn is going to work for cables, and I have about 3 inches of cuff done, so I'll likely change it up and just go with ribbing, or a plain foot once I get there.

Am still waiting to hear about the shortlist for Amy Singer's No Sheep for You book. I submitted four designs. Cross your fingers for me.

In other news, I'd love it if some of you were to participate in National Delurking Week by letting me know you are reading with a comment. Let me know who you are. There may just be a prize offered to those who participate!!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

2005 Wrap Up

To clean up the sidebar, I'm going to do a year-end-wrap up now.

I completed 27 projects in 2005 -- roughly a finished object every other week. I have 5 FOs in progress at the end of the year: the lace sundress from the cover of Summer IK, my argyle socks, the circular knit pullover I started last week, Carlotta from Rowan 36 and the cross-strap tank from VK, which is actually left over from 2004. Ooops.

Actually, the Hourglass sweater is technically in progress too. I've worn it a few times, but I haven't done the ruffles yet. Still. So it goes on the UFO list because it's not blocked yet and not trimmed.

The smallest project was probably either the arm warmers from January or the flower pins in December. The largest is definitely the Great American Aran Afghan that I finished in July, though the VW cozy comes close, however I only did a part of that.

Pattern sources

I'm surprised to find that my largest source of patterns for the year was myself, with 9. Some of those had help from existing patterns, but several were entirely from scratch. Next up as a source was knitty.com, which I knitted 6 patterns from. Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits each gave me 2 patterns, and the rest were from various books and websites.

What I love the best

By far my most worn FO was Bad Penny, which was off to a rough start when I ran out of yarn less than halfway through, but which turned out well enough that I wore it all the time. Including one time when I was actually recognized on the street during Gallery Hop because someone had seen it on the Bad Penny KAL blog.

The slouchy hippie beret is also one that gets a lot of wear, as is the clapotis.

I also love the Noro Shinano Vest I finished last week, but I need to block it before I wear it much more. I think I did wear it for three days straight around Christmas, just to show it off.

Yarns this year

My favorite yarn to work with this year was either Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb or Alchemy Silk Purse. I love the silk! The Lion and Lamb has pilled a lot in the form of the clapotis, but I think a good washing and once over with the sweater shaver will help it out. I also very much enjoyed Rowan Kid Classic, although it tended to leak dye all over my hands.

My least favorite yarn was Jaeger Chamonix. It's oh so soft and luxurious, but it doesn't hold a shape very well. Perhaps that's my problem for using it for a hat and armwarmers, but it annoyed me to no end. Plus, the ends I wove in won't stay woven in, so I don't use those items as much as I should.


There was an FO or two that was frogged completely in 2005. Most notably, the biggest disaster ever, the x-back tank from knitty. Seed stitch in Rowan Cotton Tape yielded a tank top that could have fit two of me, and seemed to grow by the minute. I also frogged a 2004 FO, the honemoon cami from knitty, as it was in a size that was just far too large for me. I need to learn how to fit tanks to my body better.

The biggest disaster that still needs fixing was the back of Carlotta. I discovered far too late that I wasn't placing beads correctly on the back, so I had to rip back 5 inches of knitting in fingering weight wool on size 2 needles. That scarred me so badly that I've only knitted a row or two on that project since. I need to get cracking on that, because I would like to wear it at least once this year.

And oh yeah, I totally forgot to photograph the slippers I made my grandmother for Christmas. That was kind of silly.

Looking forward to 2006

This year, my knitting goals are to finish Level I and start Level II of the TKGA's master knitter program, to finish Carlotta and enter it into the state fair, and to get at least one pattern published, whether it's on the blog, or somewhere else. That's it. I'm keeping it simple this year.

Projects completed during 2005

Noro Shinano Vest from VK[pic]

Gifts: Kureyon Fuzzy Feet for grandma

Gifts: flower pins [pic]

Gifts: journal covers [pic]

Classic Cloche from Knit One, Felt Too [pic]

Crusoe socks in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport [pic]


Zeeby's Bag [pic]

Trunk for VW cozy [pic]

Double Basketweave Scarf for Scarf Me Pal [pic]

Slouchy Chunky Beret [pic]

Boho Garter stitch scarf [pic]

Women's Fancy Rib Socks [pic]

Boho Loop Scarf [pic]

Great American Aran Afghan [pic]

Twist Front top from Summer VK out of Berroco Denim Silk [pic]

Drawstring bag from Meadow & Pearl Kidsilk Haze[pic]

Bad Penny from Beige/White Binario and Maroon Rotunda [pic]

Sitcom Chic out of Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Orangeade[pic]

Hat from Lamb's Pride & Mission Falls 1824 Wool [pic]

Legwarmers from Cascade 220 & Ironstone New Wool from Weekend Knitting[pic]

Secret Pal Gift[pic]

Cricket capelet from Mission Falls 1824 Cotton, my own pattern[pic]

Rosedale II from Noro Kureyon[pic]

Magic Stripes socks[pic]

Nearly Gloves armwarmers from Jaeger Chamonix[pic]

Hat from Jaeger Chamonix[pic]