Sunday, February 20, 2005

Mitered Squares Stole My Sanity.

I can't stop knitting those 90 degree angled, striped wonders that are the components of the Psychedelic Squares Afghan. When I finish one, I giggle in delight as I get to pick out the colors for the next one, and I can't help but cast on. Rachele, you have a take-home test due on Tuesday. I still have plenty of time, right?

My Lo-Tech Sweat is feeling blue, sitting in my knitting bag under all the little balls of bright-ass cotton, longing to be picked up. So, I think maybe tonight I will finish the piece that is incomplete in there and cast on for the other front half. And don't get me started about how the idea of knitting another Ribby Cardi is creeping into my head. After seeing Half-Baked's finished Ribby, I fell in love with the idea of the mock-turtle neck and the little opposite stripes. Le sigh...

Also, I think I have an idea for getting rid of a bunch of my stash: I have a bunch of cheap-ass, nasty acrylic that I'll never knit anything with, and I might as well just donate it to Good Will or something. I'll be helping myself and someone else! Woo hoo!

On that note... a peach and pink mitered square is bossing me around, so I'd better go tend to it.


Saturday, February 19, 2005

I Should Sock Myself.

Okay, I started a sock using Wendy's Toe-Up pattern (just Google it) and Lion Brand Magic Stripes. Is it just me or does it seem like I only own Lion Brand yarn? Well, I have other types too, but for some reason I've been knitting with Lion Brand for like 90% of my projects right now.

The sock is kind of fun, I guess, because the short-row toe was really interesting, but now I am on the "knit for a year until you reach the heel" part, which is less than thrilling. It will be my second sock ever. (I never made a mate for the first sock I ever knit because it was tooooo big.) Hopefully this one will be successful, but I have a hunch that I will be consumed with mitered squares and then the Lo-Tech Sweat, so that the sock won't get finished until next month. Meanwhile my stash sits, barely dented even though I have finished 3 of the 10 finished projects that I planned on doing this semester. Something must be done...

I'm on the case. Peace out.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Playing Catsup.

I've been doing a lot of knitting, but not a lot of writing, so allow me to update the masses regarding what has been knitted around these parts:

1) Finished Mariah. (Almost.) She needs some closure... I am in a debate with myself (occasionally Mariah puts her two cents in) about what type of closure to put on her. When I figure that out, hey, it'll be too warm for a sweater anyway. Awesome.

2) Finished Stripey Sweater based on Tricot. (Almost.) I wore the SS with all of the ends un-weaved; I just tucked them all in and the wool is so sticky that it grips onto the ends to keep it from looking like Frankensweater. I like this pattern, but it's already getting too hot here to wear wool, even in the form of a light 3/4 sleeve sweater.

3) I started the Lo-Tech Sweat from ChicKnits using Lion Cotton in Maize. Then I poked around and stumbled upon Rachael's FO gallery and realized that she made that same sweater with the same exact yarn and color. Wow. It's a sign; I have to make it. So I'm half-way done with the Left Front.

4) Last but surely not least, I started and have become completely consumed with... the Psychedelic Squares Afghan. Just Google that thing and see the beautiful squares that people have made. I have a whole mess of what I call "Clearance Cotton" which is that cotton in discontinued dye lots. It's always like some Cotton-Ease, but in hot orange or turquoise. Of course with a discount sticker like that it ends up in my basket every time.

It takes me about an hour and twenty minutes to make one of those delicious little squares. I am constantly knitting these things now. I started last night and already I have eight squares made and guess what I'll be doing after I post this... You got it!

Mitered squares rock me!

On that note... I gotta go be a square. Er.. Make one.


Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Why buy yarn?

I have been so envious lately about people "harvesting yarn" from second-hand sweaters that I just had to join in the fun. So, I went to the local Goodwill and scoped out the sweaters there. After picking through a lot of sweaters that were knit at a small guage, and some that were fairisle, and some that were just a hideous color, I found three nice sweaters. I got a red-ish maroon one size XL knit at about 3.5-4 sts/in, a tan one size M knit at about 5 sts/in, and a nice one that is knit with brown and cream yarn held together size XL knit at about 5 sts/in.

I'd say it was a great buy, too! The tags all said $4.95 so I thought I'd pay about fifteen bucks, but it turned out that their winter stuff was 30% off! So I paid $10 for three sweaters' worth of yarn! Go me!

I just realized that every sentence in that paragraph had an exclamation point at the end... Can you tell I'm excited about it? I will definitely try to make this into a habit sinc it's a lot easier on the pocketbook than buying new yarn. Plus, it's like a charity to give money to Goodwill right? See, it's not stash enhancement; it's charity work.

Oh and also, I read this tutorial before I went on my journey, and I made sure that all my sweaters had "good seams" before I bought them.

Ta ta for now; I am working on my stripey sweater! Must... finish... soon. Happy knitting!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

A Quickie.

Here's a quick post before I go to class.

I thought after I put Mariah on (zipperless still!) that I didn't quite like how floppy and loose-ish the collar was. So... I washed her. She shrank a little which is good, but her collar was still too loose. It like folded out a little in the back and was generally fragile and weird. I picked out the bind off and bound off again, but this time every sixth stitch I bound off two stitches together. I chanted "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 2 together, 1, 2, 3..." the whole time like only a knitter would. And guess what... it worked! It's nice when a fudging works out, isn't it?

Okay, I got a few rounds done on my stripey sweater last night and this morning, and I have about one more stripe repeat before I'm up to the armpits! Woo hoo!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Mariah is The Bomb!

I finished Mariah. Okay, so all I have to do is kitchener the armpit stitches and throw her in the wash to see if she shrinks. (I want her to, just a bit.) Then I have to take her to the alteration place that my friend told me about so that some stranger can put a zipper in her because I have seen what damage I have done in the past regarding zipper installation. It ain't pretty, folks.

I gave my Mariah a crew neck collar with the cabled-rib border for the last two inches to make it match the sleeve cuffs, and I like it but next time I do a cardigan, I'll make a higher collar.

So now it's just time to plug away on the stripey sweater! My fingers are itching to make the Lo-Tech Sweat with the Lion Cotton that I have in the color Maize, but I'm going to resist scratching the itch. Not even a pocket will be knit until I finish the stripey sweater.

Happy knitting, all!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

On the Needles

Well, I still have not purchased a digital camera, but I guess I'll give a quick list of the projects that I have on needles and am most currently working on. Here goes:

1) Mariah which is designed by the ever-so-talented Jodi. I am almost up to the armpits on all three pieces - sleeves and body (more on that later). I pretty much bastardized the pattern, but not past the point of recognition. Here are the modifications that I made:

a) I cast on for all three body pieces at once, knitting back and forth across one long piece on a long circular needle so that I won't have side seams. I told Jodi and she said that she had knitted hers that way and that once she got to the armpits with body and sleeves, she had a hard time putting all of the three pieces on a long circ because doing so stretched the armpit stitches to no end and she had to sew up a big hole in the armpits later. So I thanked her kindly because I hadn't thought of that.
What I'm going to do now is put the 10 armpit stitches from sleeve and body on each side on spare yarn and then put the long circ around the other stitches, then later, I'll kitchener the armpit stitches together. I learned this trick from ze Glampyre, here.

b) I lengthened the body by an inch or so. I like 'em long.

c) I made all of the cables lean the same direction. They're all C4F's in other words. I prefer the C4F over the C4B because I don't like to reach behind the stitches to cable. (I do it w/o a needle.) Along those lines, I think the pattern says to maintain the cabling in the increased stitches of the sleeves (bringing in more columns of cables as you go), but instead I maintained the 2x1 ribbing. I wanted looser sleeves, and cables pull in more.

d) Jodi's Mariah uses three repeats of rows 13-52 of Chart C and then uses rows 13-34 and skips to 53-65, but I am almost one-third through repeat three of rows 13-52 and I am about two inches from the armpit. In the picture on Knitty, it looks like row 49 hits Jodi at the armpit. But row 49 is like five inches away for me. I don't know what to do, but I think I'll work only two repeats of 13-52, and then go from there. Then on whatever length I have left up to the shoulder, I'll just do the cabled rib. We'll see on that one...

e) I am omitting that sweet hood because I don't have enough yarn to make it. Maybe instead I'll do a little stand up neck in 2x1 rib and fold it over and sew it down. I've never done that kind of neck before - experimenting is always fun!

f) I am still debating: Zipper, or Button Band. I have been wanting to try Bonne Marie's non-flabby button band. Plus, I've never made a sweater with a button band for myslelf.

Whew! I think that's everything that I tweeked about the pattern. Except that I'm knitting it in Lion Brand Cotton-Ease. Shhh...don't tell anyone.

2) A design that I very loosely based on Tricot, designed by the fabulous Alison. I only used the measuments of Tricot, since I like the idea of "generous sleevecaps," since they produce loose-fitting sleeves. I am knitting it in Lion Brand Wool-Ease (can you tell I am in college?) with chocolate brown, light teal, olive green, and cream colored stripes. It's a really pretty stripe pattern and I swear I'll get a camera soon... I am knitting it as a bottom-up raglan just like Glampyre illustrated, and I'm giving it 3/4 length sleeves (a must-have for Texas weather!) and a loose neck. Or maybe a high neck. I can't decide, so we'll see.

3) The garter stitch baby blanket from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. This one's mostly for stash-reduction purposes. I found that I had seven different but coordinating colors of Wool-Ease (about three balls of each color!) and decided to whip out this blanket. It's not done in baby colors, but who says it has to be for a baby? I am on the third strip out of seven, and trying to plug along on it.

I have several other projects on needles, but I'm not currently working on them. This includes two sweaters which need a mere six inches or so before they are done... I am a new project whore. But, alas, I must finish some projects and reduce the giant yarn stash before the semester is over and I move back home! Mom will flip if she sees all that yarn! And on that note, I gotta knit some more on Mariah before I do some homework. I've got my priorities straight, right?