Monday, March 28, 2005

Kneet From-a dee Stash.

Hi, my name is Rachele, and I'm a yarn ho.

Hi, Rachele.
_____________________

So I have a rather large stash. I have three of those mesh clothes hampers full, but they're attached at the tops to this structure so that they don't just slump down. Let me see if I can find a picture. I got that gem at Wally World.

Okay, I didn't find the exact thing on the website, but just picture this without the top part (looking at the larger picture will help you to see what I mean), so it just has the bottom three compartment thing with the canvas bags hanging down. And it was only 12 bucks, not 50 bucks like the one in the picture.

Anyway, I keep my stash separated into Wool, Cotton, and Acrylic. All of the bags are pretty much full to the top, which may seem like a small stash, but to a college student who shouldn't be spending her hard-earned cash on yarn, it's a lot. And more-so to that poor college student's mother.

"You have yarn. Why do you need to buy more yarn?"

In the timeless words of Will Smith, "Parents just don't understand."

In order to reduce the stash, I decided to adhere to the popular "3 from the stash, then 1 with new yarn" formula. I knitted the PSA blanket, the Lo-Tech, and Clapotis (a WIP), and then I bought yarn for the Copy-Cat Sweater (the CCS).

Now, for a while I have had a total craving to buy some KnitPicks yarn. I mean look at it:







Don't those colors look great together? But, alas, I already bought the new project yarn, so I have to wait until I do 3 from the stash.

So what 3 will they be??

1) The Ribby Pulli
2) Maybe the easy v-neck raglan from Glampyre.
3) Orangina, which I just noticed when I went to find No. 2. How pretty is that design? I have some black Sinfonia cotton that I think would be lovely, especially since it's fingering weight like the Rowan 4 Ply that the pattern calls for.

So that's that. It looks like about a month's worth of work.

Better get on my existing WIPs! Peace!

PSA Finito!

The Psychedilec Squares Afghan is finished, all except for weaving in the ends... I tend to take projects off of the side bar at that point in the finishing, so BAM - only 3 projects on the WIP list.

What will ever become of item 1 on the list: an uber-cute baby blanket that I am making out of Wool-Ease. I haven't touched that thing in like 2 months. I'm afraid that if I don't finish it, I'll use the yarn for something else by accident and I'll never be able to get the same dyelot again.

Only lame-O's with knitting ADD have that problem.

Speaking of knitting ADD, I am already itching to make a cotton Ribby Cardi (or, Ribby Pulli!!) with my purple and white Cotton-Ease. A two-toned Ribby Pulli - simple knitting in the round! - would be so cute.

Ohmygosh - I could maybe make a cute slit at the sides or at the front center or maybe on the sleeve cuffs...

Man, I hate when I get "clever" knitting ideas - It just makes me cast on for ANOTHER project. Perhaps I'll get through more of the Copy-Cat Sweater before I start the Ribby Pulli. Let's say... the back and a sleeve up to the armpit - that will be over halfway done.

Alright, ready, set, GO!

Peace outta heah.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

A Late Night Adventure.

Okay, I SO wanted to blog about this last night as it happened, but I was already wasting time knitting when I should have been working on my paper, so I figured I'd better wait until today.

So, remember when I went and got three sweaters at Goodwill with the intention of leaving then in their sweater state so as not to create more of a stash than I've already got?

Me too. Well, for some reason in the middle of a moment of writer's block, I got a wild hair up my bum to rip out one of the sweaters - the one that I have my eye on to knit Rogue with some day. I looked up the awesome tutorial that I read before I went looking for the sweaters (which informed me about Bad Seams, so I'm glad I read it!) and I got started.

Now, the tutorial says that Virgin Unravellers will take forever cutting apart seams, and so they will have longer pieces of yarn, but it says to Be Free, and cut away if you want to be daring!

So (dot dot dot) I started out taking my time... And it took forever to rip like 5 inches of the seam, so I gave up and said "Be Free!" I cut like there was no tomorrow. And unfortunately for that sweater, there won't be. A tomorrow, that is.

Yeah, I cut majorly into the knitting portion of the sweater, only to find out that the yarn wasn't made up on two plies (one ply brown, one cream) as I thought, but it's made of about six plies. Yuck! So even if I didn't cut the "entire yarn," I still cut into one or more of the plies, and ruined the length of my pieces. It sucked.

Now, I'm going to consider ripping out the rest Very Carefully and maybe making a hat/scarf set with it or something. Lame.

But! There is a happy ending to this adventure!

I was so dissatisfied with my recycling experience that I went and got the second of the three sweaters - the fat-gauged red one - and put it on the cutting board. I was very careful this time, since I noticed that this, too was a yarn made up of several (like 8) plies (what's up with that? the plies on these sweater are TINY!) . But! As I was pulling the little thread holding the seam together, Something Magical happened!

The string went rrrriiiiiiipppp, and the sleeve seam totally came undone!

The marvelous person who knitted this sweater crocheted the seams!!! You couldn't have found a happier knitter last night. I wanted to finish unravelling the sweater, but I had to go to bed. I did a whole sleeve. (Doesn't look like that much yarn, actually.)

Anyway, I just had to write about that - Whew - that was a long post. I'm off to run errands and then (Can you guess?) go knit! I'm feeling... Clappy.

Peace out.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Links Go Here.

Yay for links!

TIPS FROM OTHERS

5/12/05 - Here's another Beaded Stitch Marker tutorial. It's made with pictures!

5/7/05 - Marnie Talks has a great tutorial for No Sew Knitted Hems.

4/30/05 - If you want to make cute beaded stitch markers, here's a great tutorial by Sheep in the City.

4/19/05 - This is a really cool How-To article that has a TON of neat tips, and is really fun to poke around on.

3/24/05 - Here's an awesome tutorial on how to recycle yarn from a sweater. It shows you how to do everything from cutting, to unravelling, to skeining. (Bonus skeining tutorial!)

TIPS FROM ME!

4/27/05 - Tip #1 - Blocking: The Wiggle Method

4/30/05 - Tip #2 - The Selvedge Stitch: Oops, I Screwed up.

COOL TOOLS

5/6/05 - This badass tool is on the EchoEcho website. It's a pop-up window maker that just lets you fill in the info, and you can get the html to put pop-up pics on your post! Awesome!

3/23/05 - The first link is the ever-so-awesome knitpro, which lets you "upload" any image from your computer, and it charts that sucker right out for you! You know, just in case you want to embark on an intarsia endeavor. (Peace be with you if you do!)

FREE PATTERNS FROM OTHERS

4/30/05 - Some free patterns from Wise Needle. The Taco Coat looks especially awesome. I think what I would do is knit it in St st instead of Garter st, and then use the decreasing method that is found in the Psychedelic Squares Afghan.

4/28/05 - This is a Clapotis Hat to go with your Clapotis Wrap! It seems way fun to knit, and is a very clever idea.

4/5/05 - Here are some free patterns. Some of them are admitedly very cheesy, but some are pretty cute. Check them out!

FREE PATTERNS FROM ME!

4/27/05 - Stevie Ray Shell - One size only (to fit 38" bust and 31" waist). Email me if you have trouble with the pattern because it's the first one that I've written out. Also I might tweek it over time.

NOT KNITTING RELATED...


But badass nonetheless!

5/12/05 - LeeboZeebo is a blog by one of my friends, who just happens to be a really likeable, very down to earth guy who is the best writer that I know personally. If you like reading blogs, then add this one to your list.

5/12/05 - The Sneeze is run by a guy named Steve. This man is completely hilarious.

5/12/05 - PostSecret. Enough said.

4/28/05 - This is a hilarious website that will keep you entertained for at least a couple of hours. The most salient page is the romance novel covers spoof. Make sure to look at the other pages that are linked, such as the submitted covers, naughty covers, et cetera. I woke my roommate up a few times with my laughter, so I recommend it.

4/28/05 - Man, I don't know if you're mentally prepared for this. Imagine the most awesome and intriguing piece of artwork that you would ever be able to view in your lifetime. Now, imagine yourself inside that artwork, when suddenly you realize that the piece of art is infinite. Okay, I think you're ready. Here you go.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Bloglines Testy Westy.

Linky Linkerton!!

Monday, March 21, 2005

Spring Brizzie.

A.K.A.: The week that I didn't get to knit as much as I wanted to. This travesty was due to the mother who is an exercise whore who would rather be at 24 Hour Fitness than any other place on Earth. Including Disney World. I know.

Anyway, the long and the short of it (whatever that means) is that I did make some headway on all of my goals... but I didn't finish any of them. Awesome...

Spring Break Knitting Goals:
  1. Mariah - Zipper installation - Nope. The alteration place that I went to wouldn't do it, and then I just kind of didn't get around to looking for another place.
  2. Lo-Tech Sweat - Completion (sleeve, pocket, collar) - Nope. All I have left is a pocket. And some loose ends. Since I'm so close, I took it off of my side-bar listy thing.
  3. PSA - Completion (11 more squares, crochet seams, weave 1,000,000 ends in) - Nope. 3 more squares, a little more to crochet together, and then some serious weavage of about a thousand-hundred ends.
  4. Da Clappah - Six more stitches dropped - Nope. I got around to dropping 3 more stitches.
Yeah. In summation: I didn't get to knit all morning and afternoon from 8 until 4 like I thought I would. Oh, well. C'est la vie.

Of course, it would only make sense that in the midst of all of these unfinished objects, I would start something new, right? Right.

I started my copy-cat sweater, which is a direct eye-balling of this Phildar sweater. It's too bad that the only image creator that I have on my computer is my trusty MS Paint, because I'd love to blow up that tiny picture so that I could see some detail. As of now, I have to trust my eyes with what I see, and then use creative license with the rest. I'ts a really fast knit though, at 18 sts per 4" so I finished the front and some of the back and sleeve within the past 2 days.

Some week soon I should have a finishing party where for the entire week, I do nothing but go through my pile of "Finished Objects" and finish the many projects that are So Close to being complete. You guys do that? I mean come So Close to finishing something only to say, "Well, I'm almost done with this, I'm going to start my next project a little early..." Then you never look back, man, cause you get so wrapped up in the new one. Happens to me all the time.

Anyhoo. I'm gone. Peace.

P.S. Digital camera soon = Many awesome pictures, and many more updates, since I'm a knitting fool.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Weekend Update.

Spring Break has begun, which means that I'm going home, and this workaholic is not lifting a finger over the next week! (Unless it's to lift a knitting needle.)

But seriously, the activities for this week are as follows: Exercise and eat healthy, do homework, knit, relax. That's all. Awesome.

I've finish several mitered squares while successfully failing to finish my Lo-Tech Sweat this week. Therefore, I have four unfinished projects to take home, which includes my Mariah, which is prety much complete. I think I'll take Mariah to some alterer in H-Town that can have her finished before I go back to school.

Spring Break Knitting Goals:
  1. Mariah - Zipper installation
  2. Lo-Tech Sweat - Completion (sleeve, pocket, collar)
  3. PSA - Completion (11 more squares, crochet seams, weave 1,000,000 ends in)
  4. Da Clappah - Six more stitches dropped.
I can do it, man. Knit, knit, knit!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Wow, What a Square!

Well, I certainly attained my goal of finishing four squares this week... Yesterday!

That's right, folks. I finished 4 mitered squares yesterday when I could have spent that 5 hours or so studying for the 2 tests that I have tomorrow. Well, that makes it sound like I just spent 5 straight hours in mitered square bliss, but I didn't - it was more like an hour here and there. I'm not happy that I'll have to stay up uber-late now, but I am happy that I got 4 squares done. I've got the fever again; I'm telling you, once you start one, you can't stop making them. So now I need: 5 more skinny-striped squares, and 11 more thick-striped ones.

Good times. I hope I'll be smart and wait until approximately 1:30pm tomorrow when my second test is over to start another square. Perhaps I'll be lofty and set a goal for 8 squares tomorrow. Just to see if I can do it.

Man, that would be some shit. 8 squares. 1 day. Wow.

If I did 5 thin- and 3 thick- striped, then I'd fill in the gaps that I have right now in the blanket, as the squares are laid out, so I should also pay attention to the colors that I choose.

Sounds fun! Off to study. Peace.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Studying is a Knitting Slower Downer.

I have 2 tests on Monday, so I didn't even start my Lo-Tech Sweat sleeve, which means that I still have the pocket, sleeve, and collar to knit. Le sigh.

I just finished dropping my fourth stitch on the Clappah, but now it's time to study again. Yay...

What ever happened to the Psychedelic Squares Afghan? Hm, good question... I'll make it a goal to knit four more squares this week. Then I'll have 20/36 squares. I've also got to figure out how I'l going to line the thing. I think I'll line each joining of four squares with one square of fleece or t-shirt material or something, and then fill it with batting. I really haven't done this before so I don't have a clue.

I'm just wishing I had access to a sewing machine.

But anyway, time to get back to studying. I think I'll study until midnight, and then knit until I get tired. They ain't gonna knit themselves!

Peace.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

I did it!

Okay, I have to post again because I just got a wild hair up my bum to re-knit the collar of my Mariah (it was toooooo loose).

I ripped back to where I started the collar before, and then I knitted one row where I k2tog on every 4th stitch. ("1, 2, 3, k2tog, 1, 2, 3, k2tog...etc.") Then I knit in a 2 x 1 rib instead of in the cabled rib that is at the cuff and hem, and when I bound off (knit-wise but on the WS so it looks like purl nubs on the front - also I bound off rather tightly), I knitted 2 together every fifth stitch.

It really worked out well., and I'm happy because (yay!) all I have left is the Zippah!

But, first! I must wash and dry this thing because egads, what if it shrinks after I put the zipper in... That would be Not Good.

Alrighty, back to the ol' clappay.

Peace in tha Middle East.

Stuuuuff.

I was pondering a way to attach my mitered squares together to start constructing the Psychedelic Squares Afghan, when I remembered something that a friend at my local Stitch n' Bitch meeting told me: Why sew when you can crochet?

I told her that I couldn't crochet.

Then recently I got to thinking... Crocheting something together isn't really crocheting, is it? So I Googled it, and it took a while to find a tutorial, but I found one.

Oh my goodness, crochet hook, where have you been all my knitting life? Sewing is a thing of the past, my friend! I crocheted my squares together, and I examined my progress... I have 4 large squares finished, and this has taken me so long (yes, 2 weeks is a long time for me to devote attention to one project without abandoning it...) that I think I've decided to shrink my projected finished afghan.

Right now it's supposed to be 5 x 5 large squares, which means 100 mitered squares. Das a lodda squares. So I think I'll make it like 3 x 3 squares, and if I want to add the extra round later, I can. That will mean a total of 36 mitered squares, and I already have 16, so I'm like almost halfway there! Woo hoo!

Anyhow, back to the crochet for a moment: I even crocheted the finished pieces of my Lo-Tech Sweat together, and I love, love, love it. When I get a camera, I'll post a picture of the awesome effect that crocheting raglan seams together creates, because it looks super-unique.

On the Clapotis front, I've been getting accustomed to the straight rows of the pattern, but I keep wanting to slip the first stitch on the RS rows, when I'm supposed to purl it. A year of working selvedge stitches will do that to you.

And that's what I'm going to get back to right now!

Peace out.

P.S. In 5 rows, I get to drop what will be my very first intentional dropped stitch ever! Fun!

Friday, March 04, 2005

I Got the Clap from the Internet.

Well, it all started when my mom asked me to knit her a wrap. We went yarn shopping (Fun!) and she bought 12 balls of Lion Brand Micro Spun in a deep purple. I showed her some shawls (like the Charlotte's Web, and the Flower Basket shawls) and she said that the triangle look is for old fogies, so I had to think of something more "modern."

I tried a few things, like the Cozy cover pattern for the Fall 2004 Knitty, but I kept messing up because it's one of those lacy patterns with all these yarn overs and knit two togethers. I got about six inches into it and abandoned it for this simple lace pattern that I gleaned from this free scarf pattern that I can never remember the name of. But the pattern went something like this:

Cast on a multiple of 3 + 2 stitches.

For example 14 sts = (3 x 4) + 2. You can make a skinny scarf or a wide wrap with this simple repeat, but in my experience the only think to be aware of is that when you work this pattern, you'll be better off using a needle size 3 or 4 times larger than the one recommended. I worked mine in size 10 when the recommended size was 7.

After you Cast On, the repeat is as follows:

Slip 1 purlwise, (Slip 1 purlwise, Yarn over, Knit 2 together) Work this 3-stitch repeat to last stitch, Knit last stitch.

Repeat this row until you reach the length that you desire. You aren't going to be Purling the Wrong Side Rows like you do in most lace patterns, so this pattern can go a little slow at first, until you get used to making the stitched a tiny bit looser so you can purl two together very easily.

That was a nice pattern, and my mom loved it. You would think that I would have just finished the wrap at that point, but one time as I was carrying the project around on the needles, it snagged a teensy bit on a chair arm or something, and it stretched one of the stitches out. I was like man, when she wears this, it isn't going to be practical. So, I ripped that out and it was back to the drawing board.

Meanwhile, I had been of course, reading weblogs left and right, being nosy about what people are knitting these days. I can see that many people are knitting Clapotis, and I ooh and ahh over their work, but it never occurs to me to knit that af my mom's wrap.

Well, tonight, that very idea dawned on me. I got some size 6 needles because that was all that was within my reach, and I cast on my two tiny little stitches for the beginning of the Clapper. A few hours later and I'm already to section 3 - the straight rows. Go me!

So, here's the knitting scoop in this neck of the woods:

Tomorrow, I'll work on my Lo-Tech Sweat sleeve - Only 1 sleeve, 1 pocket, and a collar or hood (can't decide) to go! - and the Clappah.

I'll finish the Lo-Tech Sweat this week, and then over Spring Break, I'll take home Mariah to reknit the collar, tha Clappah, and yarn to start something else in case I finish something. Y'all know how it is when you don't have any yarn and you want to start something new... You buy more yarn, and we don't want that when we're trying to reduce our stash, now do we?

On that note, peace out - I'm gonna get Clappin'.