November 30, 2005

Just a quick post to clarify some things from my previous post.

On the soup can, which so many of you asked about: Our neighbor is either crazy or on drugs (or both) and we've been having problems with him for a couple months. Last week someone in his apartment managed to throw a full can of soup hard enough to break both his window and our window. His window has a circle broken out of it about 8" in diameter. Our window was shattered. Judging by the happy orange slime on our windowsill and Andrew's desk it was some sort of squash soup.

The neighbor will be gone by the end of December, according to his landlord.

On Fair Isle flat vs. Fair Isle in the round: I normally knit left-handed* (knitting from left to right) holding the yarn in my right hand, AKA mirror Continental style. For FI in the round I still knit from left to right holding one color in each hand. I also like to knit back right handed instead of turning my work and purling for flat items. I keep the yarn in my right hand, so I knit English style right handed. When I first tried knitting FI flat I tried to knit back two handed, but couldn't get the right-handed Continental style to work out. I eventually settled for holding both yarns in my right hand while knitting back and returning to one in each hand while knitting forward. Still kind of awkward, but better than purling while stranding on the wrong side.

*knitting left-handed is my preference, because it is the most comfortable for me. I've read several blogger's posts about how it's bad/wrong/overcomplicated to knit left-handed or how knitting isn't a "handed activity." All a load of BS in my opinion. One day I will right a "Left-handed Knitters Manifesto", but today is not that day.

November 29, 2005

Weekend Wrap-up

I'm still no good as small updates over the course of the week, so here's what I've been up to for the past week.

Tuesday night, while waiting for the police to call me back about a neighbor throwing a can of soup through our window, I turned the heel and finished the gusset of Norwegian Stocking 1

NS - gusset complete

Looking at this picture, I can tell I've really improved my Fair Isle tension over the course of this project. The instructions in the book for the heel didn't make any sense to me, so I used a standard V-heel. I'm not really happy with how the gusset stitches got picked up, which I think has something to do with the heel flap coloring. On the next stocking I'll be sure to twist the colors around each other at the ends of the rows. I did figure out a quicker way, for me, to do the heel flap. I knit back and forth, but I can only knit English style right handed, so on what would have been the purl rows I carried both yarns in my right hand. It was kind of awkward, but less so than trying to strand and purl. I had hoped to finish this stocking by the end of the month, but it's not looking likely right now.

Partially because of this:

Rogue Sleeve 1

A sleeve for Rogue. It only took 3 days to finish (aside from the twisted hem, which I'd done a few days earlier), mostly because the cabling was so much fun. I tried to get a detail shot of the cable without the flash, but the light was coming in at too sharp an angle. It does show a good representation of the color though.

Rogue Sleeve Closeup

I cast on for the second sleeve last night and got through half the hem. The hem is not fun at all, twisted St st on extra small needles, eww. The yarn I'm using is Rowanspun Aran, which come in enormous hanks. But for my gigantic swatch, I would have gotten an entire sleeve out of one hank! I have a whole bag of this yarn, so I'm expecting some leftovers, although I'm sure the hood uses up more yarn than I think it does.

That's all for now. This week will probably be pretty quiet knitwise, as finals are getting close and my birthday is Saturday, so all my fun time will be used for that.

November 21, 2005

Finished sweater!

Finally got some pictures of my Simply Marilyn sweater.

Simply Marilyn

This was my "enough with the pictures" pose, but I think it turned out the best. This sweater is nice and snuggly. If it would just cool down here so I could wear it! It shouldn't be over 80 in November.

Marilyn Back

Here's the back.

Project Stats:
Pattern: Simply Marilyn [.pdf] from Interweave Knits.
Yarn: Rowan Cork in Bug, purchased from eBay user 4to4. 9.5 balls used. I really like this yarn, it has great spring and bounce and is super soft. It does grow a lot with washing though, so definitely wash your swatches.
Needles: Addi Turbos, size 11 for the body and 10.5 for the collar.
Modifications: Lengthened body by about 2 inches, sleeves by 3. Lowered neckline about 2 inches.

I've also got an update on the Norwegian Stockings.

Heel Flap

[click to big-ify]
Knitting Fair Isle flat is a royal pain in the ass. I'll be glad to get through this heel flap - only 2/3 left to go. I love how these socks fit though, and the two circs method makes it really easy to try them on. I think I got the heel flap in just the right place.

November 18, 2005

Goblet of Fire - No Spoilers

I did manage to finish Simply Marilyn in time for the movie. However, it'll be a couple days before I get a picture up - I think the collar needs a good blocking before I can take the official Finished Object photo. The sweater is everything I hoped it would be. It fits great. The body and sleeves are both long enough. The collar doesn't strangle me (it's a little Flash Dance though). It's warm and snuggly without being too warm. All and all a great sucess.

I liked GoF, but will wait to post in more detail until everyone has had a chance to see it. Instead, you all get a rant about irresponsible parents. We got there a bit late to line up - around 9:30 - and were stuck pretty far back in line. We were actually behind the theater, inbetween the dumpster and the wall. The group in front of us included a child that looked about 7 or 8 sleeping on the ground. Why do people bring kids that young to something so late? Then after the movie, as we were exiting the theater, there was a family with two small boys, about 3 and 5, leaving as well. Is it just because a ticket is cheaper than a baby sitter? Do these parents not realize their children are just going to sleep though the movie (if the rest of us are lucky) or scream because they're over tired? Add to that, the fact that GoF would likely be really scary to a 3 year old. It was a pretty dark movie. People, leave your young children at home when you attend midnight movie showings.

November 15, 2005

Anyone have a recipe for a glove cocktail?

My current portable project - tip-less gloves worked from the fingers down. I finished a couple fingers tonight and have been skewering them to keep them in the right order.

Tasty Fingers

I'm using Nona's i-cord finger method, with a few modifications. As I want half fingers, I'm casting on the full amount of stitches after increases for each finger. I'm also picking up more stitches with my crochet hook to close the gap - basically as many as necessary. This is fun times, and it feels like it goes so quickly. Each finger takes about 15 min to make, so I should get two more fingers done during bus riding tomorrow.

In sweater news, I'm about 1/3 through the collar. Hopefully I can wear my completed sweater to the Goblet of Fire midnight showing on Thursday (yeah, I'm a dork).

November 14, 2005

Simply Collarless

Almost done with Simply Marilyn, all that's left is the collar. Here's how it looks after seaming.

Simply Collarless

I'm loving the sleeve length. Extra long sleeves make me happy. I'm a little concerned with how much I lowered the neckline, but I'll reserve judgement until the collar is added. Hopefully I'll finish up soon, just 7" of ribbing to go! It's so snuggly.

November 12, 2005

More stockings, almost finished sweater, and opinions needed

I've been making good progress on the Norwegian Stockings,

Nordic Stocking

although I have to retract what I said about the sizing. Now that I have the fair isle going on, they only make it about halfway up my calves comfortably. I really like how they look so far and think they'll be great socks. It should take another 3.5 repeats to get to the heel flap, and then things should go quickly from there.

The two circ method is really growing on me. As much as I love DPNs, my tension much better on these than it was on my mitten. I'm not having much trouble keeping the stitches spread out on the Addis either, and the slickness has been nice so far. The only problem I've had is with the slipperiness of the yarn. If I drop a stitch, it really wants to fall. All and all, this is a really enjoyable knit, and I think I've been sucked back into the world of colorwork. Maybe my next sweater after Rogue will be a fair isle one. I like the Alice sweater from a couple Magknits ago and there's one in the Dale 126 booklet that I like a lot too.

I also finished and blocked the pieces of the Cork sweater this weekend.

Simply Marilyn

By blocked, I really mean washed and laid flat to dry, as I really didn't need to do any substantial blocking. I'm really glad I washed my swatch, as the gauge on Cork expands quite a bit on washing - almost .5 stitch per inch! The pattern is a modified version of Simply Marilyn from Interweave. I lengthened the body and sleeves and lowered the neckline. Hopefully I'll finish seaming this weekend, so the collar can be my reading knitting this week. The original pattern instructs you to knit the collar flat and then seam, but that seems silly, so I'll be knitting it in the round. I'm looking forward to having a big snuggly sweater, Cork is really soft!

And finally, I need some feedback on this last project. The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill's Ariel, a cotton/rayon blend that is slightly slubby. It's really beautiful yarn and I want that to be the focus of the wrap. I cast on a simple feather and fan wrap last night, but I think it might be ugly...

Is this ugly?

(you can click on it to see a bigger picture) I'm really not sure what to do with this yarn, as it's so pretty but won't really work with a lot of stitch patterns. Any suggestions for something simple yet elegant? I do kind of like the pooling that's going on, but I don't know if the intended recipient will feel the same way.

November 05, 2005

Norwegian Stockings

I cast on for the Norwegian Stockings from Folk Socks last night and got through the first motif.

Norwegian Stockings

I'm using Dale Baby Ull in navy and tan and am loving this yarn. I'd never worked with Dale yarns before and am finding Baby Ull to be soft and evenly spun. It's pretty affordable too.

I'm also trying the two circular method for the first time. It was really fiddley at first - I joined it twisted once, ripped back, then knit the first round with the tail from the cast on, ripped back, and then finally got going properly. This method has definitely improved my fair isle tension, however, so I think the frustration may be worth it.

If any of you with skinny legs are looking to make these, a warning. I'm knitting them with smaller yarn and 0.25mm smaller needles than the pattern calls for, and they are nicely fitting my ample calves, so you may need to use even smaller needles.

I'm really pleased with how these are turning out. They looked a little Harry Potter with just the stripes at the top, but now that the snowflakes are in I'm liking the colors more.

On the other knitting front, I'm on the final sleeve for the chunky sweater. We're heading up to LA today, so I'll work on the sleeve in the car and I just might have a finished sweater by Monday.

November 02, 2005

November Goals

Last month's goals -
1. Stick with WIP along - DONE, I finished 5 WIPs, including my two oldest ones.
2. Not cast on for anything new - not done. I cast on for one new thing, a chunky cabled pullover in Rowan Cork.
3. Finish sock exchange socks - DONE

I did an OK job this month. New goals.

1. Finish Cork sweater
2. Cast on for Rogue and finish one sleeve.
3. Finish a pair of socks
4. Not cast on a ton of new projects
5. Use up more yarn then I buy

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