Sunday, February 26, 2006

Half an FO

Sock 1

One sock down, as of yesterday.

These are definitely not the best socks I've ever made, but they will be wearable and I'll like them. They are a bit short in the cuff, despite the fact that I followed the patterns suggestion as to cuff length. The gusset could definitely use improvement, and I think it looks really long in the foot. It fits ok though.

The toe really weirded me out yesterday when I was doing it. I'd never done anything other than your standard old boring toe that results in something of a flat point at the end, so this was new:

toe closeup

Yesterday, it made no sense to me as to why the decreases were done as p2tog on a field of stockinette. This morning, when taking that photo, I saw the reason though. Cool. It's a little wedge!

Tubey is also progressing:

Tubey progress

Most of that progress was actually made last Monday when I camped out at Mojoe and forced myself to work on the engineering of another, top secret project. I think it might make me look a little like a roll of five flavor life savers when I'm done. But as of yesterday's Stitch n' Bitch meeting, I am almost done with one sleeve. Black stockinette on dpns is not the most thrilling thing to work on, but I'm choosing to call it meditative.

I'm really finding the engineering of this pattern to be brilliant. I'm amazed by people who are relatively new designers who can finagle something like this so easily. It's really a kind of creativity that I'm sorely lacking right now.

Knitting is taking a bit of a back burner right now, mostly because roller derby practice keeps me busy three nights a week at the moment. I'm trying to get myself into a schedule where I can get at least a little bit done every day though, because I have several projects I can't wait to get to work on.

Next up, Carlotta will be resurrected, and I'll start some socks for my sockapaloooza pal!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A weekend of engineering. And re-engineering.

I've been slacking off in the knitting world lately, but decided to devote this weekend to catching up and re-organizing my knitting life. Saturday was a Stitch n' Bitch meeting, and I decided it was high time I worked on Carlotta from Rowan 36. You may remember the bead snafu that caused me to rip out 5 inches of stockinette in fingering weight yarn, late last year. Or, like me, you may have pushed this out of your mind.

In any case, it was a moot point, because I found the book, the project so far, and all the yarn, but could only find one needle, and none of the beads, nor the tiny little crochet hook I was using to put them on.

Of course, after I spent 3 hours at SNB, then came home to reorganize my room, I discovered all the missing items, in my *third* knitting bag, which I'd nearly forgotten having purchased. Who needs three knitting bags anyway???

Anyway, after tearing my room apart and not finding the project I needed, I decided the logical thing to do would be to cast one for a new project. (of course!) So I started Tubey by Cassie Rovitti from the latest knitty. I've had all that Mission Falls that I bought in my panic when they announced they were closing last year, so I decided to put it to good use. These are the colors I chose:

I might just look like a roll of lifesavers when this is done.

I got pretty far on this yesterday. Can't wait to get to the stripes, because photos of black stockinette (excuse me, charcoal stockinette) are just not going to rivetting for ye olde blog readers.

I'll try to knit fast. It's not hard on those Crystal Palace circs--my fave needles I think.

After all of that yesterday though, I declared that today would be dedicated to fixing things. See, after all that problem I had with the Crusoe sock pattern last year I had a pair of socks I loved. But, the second time I wore them, one of them decided to bust its toe seam and unravel. Exhibit A:

See, what I'd forgotten was that when I finished these socks, I grafted the toe of the first one closed with kitchener stitch, then realized by the time I got to the end of the second that the pattern just called for running the yarn through the stitches and tightening it up like you would on a hat. So that's how I closed the second sock. I figured the kitchener one was the one that had unraveled, as my grafting skills haven't had much practice. But lo and behold, once I sat down to fix the socks this afternoon, it turned out that the kitchener had held, and it was the other one that had broken.

So I now really hate that pattern more than ever. But I do so love my socks. Especially now that they are a matched set again. I love that yarn too, and have about 75% of a hank left, so I might attempt to make myself some footie socks to match.

The really big news though, is the finishing up of the Skacel circular sweater. This is the fourth attempt at finishing the thing up. The steps were as follows:

1. Attempt to sew sweater together according to incomplete pattern directions. Realize sleeves are at least 7" too long, and arm openings are woefully short.

2. Rip back sweater and sleeves, attach sleeves in the round and do raglan decreases.

3. End up with sweater that approximates the right shape, but has a giant neck. Too big for a roll neck, but not large enough for a cowl. Forget to photograph this travesty before ripping sweater back again, far enough to redo decreases to neckline.

4. Redo (single) raglan decreases, resulting in neckline of approximately the right size, but also resulting in a sweater with far too much shoulder room and armhole depth. This time, remember to photograph it for posterity:

5. Rip back all raglan decreases, and this time do double decreases at each raglan "seam." End result, a sweater that is much closer to fitting. Still not lovely, and the seaming job leaves much to be desired, but it's warm, and mostly comfy. So at the very least, it'll be worn around the house. Once I weave in the ends.

Still, I'm not certain the collar is the right size. I'd like to have it closer to my neck, but I have a hard time doing that and still leaving ample room to get the sweater over my head, so perhaps it's best I didn't attempt that. Otherwise, we might be looking at another go around.

So, after all of that, I proclaim this the first FO of 2006, even if I haven't woven in the ends yet.

For posterity:

Pattern Source: Skacel sent it free after I emailed them looking for the pattern after seeing it in all the Fall knitting mag ads.
Needles: size 15 circulars
Yarn: Rowan Big Wool Fusion in Gooseberry, 7 balls (well, probably 6, but I had to break into the 7th for the largest attempt, and my leftovers are in lots of small pieces, so it can hardly be called a full ball.)

Whew! Time to go to roller derby practice now...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


I went to the LYS the other day to return the extra yarn from my Skacel circular sweater. Sigh. Yes, I'm done knitting it, and from the looks of it, you'd think I just need to seam up the underarms and start wearing it. But, alas, I believe I'm going to have to rip out the neck and shoulders one last time. The line from the picking up of stitches for the top is just hitting me far too low for my taste right now. I'm actually contemplating taking it from a raglan to a yoke type top. Eeek. It's like surgery for knitting!

In the meantime though, I exchanged my extra three balls of Rowan Big Wool (the sweater took a little under 7 full balls) and got myself a few odds and ends for swatching, and got my Sockapaloooza yarn:

I love the colors in this. Hopefully my sock pal will too. Now, it's off to find a pattern. I want something with a cute cuff, but probably a pretty standard, maybe just stockinette foot to fit my pal's requests. Fun!

I'm also making progress on my own wonky sock. Now, mind you, a great bit of this sock has been knitted either at happy hour or in the dark at movies, so please, no comments on that awful gusset.

One of the reasons I love the shorter length of Brittany dpns so much is that I can knit the sock onto all five in the set and get my foot in there without stabbing myself or breaking needles (provided I wait until said sock is long enough).

We'll see the sweater soon...right now, my new schedule (I've joined the local roller derby league) is cutting into my knitting time, but tonight is Project Runway, so I may be inspired to have another go at it.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I think I've decided that I like the idea of knitting exchanges so much better than the Secret Pal. Don't get me wrong -- I enjoyed SP a lot, but I kind of felt like I would fizzle out a bit and get concerned with making good enough packages monetarily or whatever rather than being able to really find out about my person well enough to make three packages that really spoke to them. Must be the introvert in me.

But I absolutely adored being in the Scarf Me! exchange a few months back, and now I'm in Sockapalooza 3. I'm matched with my person now, and I can't wait to get started. I have some free rein with a lot of the choices on color/type/etc. and her prefs match mine as far as type of sock, so this should be both easy and fun. Woo!!!


Who's the other Columbus participant I wonder. I looked at Alison's Google map and found which dot is me, but I'm perplexed about the other one (which could be multiple people I suppose too.) Come out, come out, wherever you are!

The circular sweater is ostensibly done, except for seaming the underarms. I'm not sure it fits yet though. I'll try to snap a pic later on. I may need to ask my readers to vote on whether to give the neck another try or not.

The striped socks are coming along, slowly but surely as well, though I don't think they'll be entered for any awards anywhere. I picked up the instep in the dark without a crochet hook while watching Walk the Line at Studio 35 last weekend. Actually, given that, it looks surprisingly good. But I'm not going to be bragging about this pair. Sockapaloozers, please don't be in fear of getting my socks. I hereby solemnly swear not to knit socks for anyone but myself in the dark.