Thursday, December 25, 2008

Fuzzy Dreams

So, I read about all these wonderful things people knit for their home. The latest is house slippers which I crave because our first floor is very cold, despite our best efforts at insulation. The idea of toes wrapped in alpaca slippers sounds delicious - to me *and* my cat.

That's right. Delilah Damnit is aptly named because cursing usually follows her name. She likes to eat yarn. She likes to eat cotton. She likes to eat fabric. Hell, she likes to eat *plastic* for crying out loud.

We've tried cat grass, and that mostly curbs her appetite for roughage. Mostly. The occasional sock does make it into her mouth if it didn't make it to the laundry basket first. I guess that's why I don't bother knitting socks. I'd be sorely tempted to make fur lined mittens in a suspicious tabby shade if she ate a pair of hand made socks. Could you really blame me? She ate part of a baby sweater I'd made for my boss, so that's a gift that I'll have to remake. Nothing is safe from her voracious mouth.

So the dreams of a home filled with loving warmth will have to stay just that. Dream. Stupid cat. I fear leaving a knitted throw on the back of the couch. I'd just find it in her litter box for the next 6 weeks.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cooling Cloche

So, I hate winter.

My response to the cold weather has been to create various hats in a vain attempt to block the freezing winds from replacing my earrings with icicles. So far, all attempts have failed. The latest is the felted cloche drying on my head. Tomorrow or Thursday will provide a good time for me to test how well it worked.

I have to say, it feels not a little strange to have a hat drying on your head because you don't have a hat form. I've shaped some plastic bags and squished towels just in case, so the hat can continue to dry while I sleep. It's a strange feeling.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


So, I convinced my parents that they should buy me yarn for acing a graduate level psychology course. Oh, by the way, I'm an undergrad. I placed the order with knitpicks, enough to get the free shipping, by a whopping 29 cents. I WANT YARN. I haven't gotten any sort of confirmation yet, and it's driving me crazy. It's all small project stuff, since I have not felt the pull of a large project with mid-terms hanging over my head. I just want to know the order was processed so I can start the next wait - shipping!

Monday, October 27, 2008

"I'm like an ocean wave that's bumped on the shore..."

So, I can't seem to sink my teeth into a knitting project lately. After a rapid-fire update of all the projects I have on my needles, I realize that I have way too many projects in progress. And none of them really call to me the way the ruffled sweater, or Giselle did.

Then again, the crushing weight of midterms might have something to do with the lackluster desire to make anything. It's kind of annoying. I really want to get to the point where I can knit without looking, but I'm never quite there yet. It's so annoying. I like lace, because it demands that kind of attention, but nothing else I'm making is really that intricate. Unless you count the evil devil known as the nature scene shawl. It's a charted shawl that has NO REPEATED PATTERNS. The whole damn thing is a unique chart from cast-on to cast-off. And I'm doing it in super slippery silk. I must be trying to drive myself insane.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Giselle a go-go

Soooo, I'm nearing the end of the Giselle sweater. The sleeves are done. The bottom extension is done. The top, with all its modifications, is done. I should detail those mods, it was pretty intense. Other than that, I didn't deviate from the pattern.

Well, except maybe for the sleeve flares. I'm thinking of skipping one of the short row flares, because the flare is working out wonderfully. I don't particularly need the long endpoint in the center of the sweater, seeing how prone I am to trailing sweater sleeves everywhere.

Speaking of other unnecessary steps, I blocked the top and bottom half. Whee! Even after all the intense mods of decrease every 2nd row (essentially, every knit row), for 26 rows, the damn thing was still too big. Oh, yeah, I also stopped increasing at the neckline, umm... around row 20-something? Maybe row 22. I think. Anyways, I got it all bound off and it was STILL too large. I was 36 sts short of what the pattern called for, and I refused to frog back AGAIN.

Instead, I shrank it. :D The blocking may have been unnecessary, but it gave me the opportunity to semi-shrink the sweater. Bless ravelry and all their members. The two pieces got hand washed separately in the sink. First wash was warm water with detergent, followed by a cool water rinse, and then a warm water rinse with fabric softener. I must say, the fabric bloomed beautifully - AND shrank wonderfully! I was careful not to agitate the sleeves, which fit me perfectly. Go figure, right? But I agitated the center part of the sweater, shrinking down the neckline and bottom hem. From the amount of bloom from the yarn, I get the feeling that I almost started felting it. Thankfully, the yarn forgave me for putting it through so much stress. The loose gauge still has tons of wonderful drape. I agitated all of the bottom extension of the sweater, but not nearly as much as the top. It survived the process with little to show for it, but it fits well. We'll find out when I start piecing it together.

Which irritates me not a little bit. The pattern says that there's no seaming, however, the crochet trim version has seams! Yeah, the pretty crochet connects the sleeve flares to the sleeves, and attaches the bottom extension to the top. But they're still seams. No matter how decorative they are, they're still seams, with accompanying annoying ends to weave in.

I am happy to report that the bristol buckingham yarn spit splices remarkably well. It is a touch splitty when used at a loose gauge.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Shrinking Giselle

No, not the supermodel.

So, I finished the top bit of the Giselle sweater and it's still big. I'm 6 stitches short of the count, which is fine. I'm glad that I started the neckline much higher than the pattern recommended, it's perfect right where it is. The back seems a little big, but we'll see what happens when I put it together.

I still can't make my mind up on the color, however. It's a strange, fey sort of color, appearing red in one light and brown in another. It reminds me a lot of foxes, particularly the stories about the kitsune. Like the fox-wives of the old tales, the color changes with its background and light. I tried on the top half, and it's almost burgundy against my brown skin. However, it gets quite brown against my red satin bag. It's red in sunlight, brown in yellow light, and so strange. I'm learning to like it, but I'm never sure what to think of it. I don't think I will dye it.

I will say the yarn feels marvelous. It tends to split a little bit, when knitted at a loose gauge. I can't wait till I wash it, and have the yarn bloom. I do wonder about shrinking it before I piece it. I think that might be the best thing to do, since it's just a tiny bit big, even with how much I've changed it, which isn't much. The funny part is that I've made the smallest size of the pattern. And I even made a gauge swatch! C'est la vie.

Sigh. I ripped it. Well, just back to the 4th row underneath the arm. Now I'm doing a decrease under the arm every 2nd row. Somewhere along the line, I'm going to stop with the neckline increases, but I'm not sure where yet. It hurt to undo four inches of knitting though.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

And a good mornin' guv'nor!

Sooo, I've put all my projects on a really brief hiatus while I work on some fingerless gloves. Autumn - winter, rather - has arrived all unannounced, and I cannot stand the cold. The gloves resulted from some beautiful sock yarn that I bought in Nelsonville. Who knew there was a good yarn store there?

Originally, I had bought the yarn to make a drapey wrap from Vogue's Spring/Summer 2006 issue. Except, I hadn't counted on the superwash wool to be so un-drapey. I got 3 skeins of Plymouth's happy feet in their varigated red. As much as I love luxury yarns, I realized I've been buying things that require hand washing. And that creates a need for a LOT of drying space. Which, of course, isn't always available. So yummy sock yarn it is! I thought the thin nature of the sock yarn would make it drapey. Yeah, that didn't work at all. I hadn't counted on the way the yarn fluffs up on itself.

Then, 2 days into the Giselle sweater pattern, the weather literally dropped 20 degrees. It went from being in the 70's to the 50's. Being the tropical bird that I am, I can't stand anything cold. Some digging around produced Bronte's mitts, which I have, of course, modified heavily. They're completely fingerless except for the thumb. I've changed it so that I can have fingers. I used another pattern as a guide for casting on the fingers. Maintaining the lace pattern on the fingers was alot more challenging than I thought it would be.

The glove surprized me, though. It's alot warmer than I would have expected. I'm typing with the half finished glove on, but it's quite warm. I love them.

Talk about your DPN hell, though. I've knit the body of the glove in magic loop, but the fingers are less than 20 stitches each. Yeah. DPNS. And the rest of the edge held on DPNS. Imagine trying to knit with the active stitches on 4 needles, and then there are 2 MORE DPNS at the bottom, holding the other stitches for the rest of the fingers. It's like a bundle of twigs with yarn.

Mod notes: I simply left off 2 stitches on the chart D repeat to make it a smaller lace repeat for the fingers. It works well for the middle finger though, where I had 20 sts. I kept knitting the fingers on size 3 needles because I liked the gauge and it looks like it works well. I also did 6 repeats of the rib pattern before creating the hole for the thumb gusset. i used 10 repeats for to cover my wrists. I did NOT use the secondary lace charts for the tip of the thumb. Instead, I just used the lace rib for 2 rows. On each of the fingers, I used the picot cast off, but I only used 3 sts between each bump. For the arm cuff, I spaced 4 stitches between instead of 5. Pictures soon, but I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I finally get to start on the Giselle Sweater! I'm sooooo excited about it. I've made a gauge swatch that appears to be dead on. The gauge didn't change at all when I washed it, but the yarn did fluff up nicely. So when I knit with the yarn originally, it looked a little thin for the needles I was using. Bless alpaca for blooming when washed.

I'm so excited about this sweater, though. It'll be sheer delight just working with Plymouth's new yarn. It's an alpaca silk blend that I just adore petting. It feels wonderfully smooth when it knits up.

On other happy notes, I've finished 3 other projects. Which sounds impressive, but they weren't all knitted in 24 hours. I just had some ends to weave in on a sweater shrug, and a sleeve to finish on a baby sweater. But it's nice to get hem all done so my projects are cleared out a little.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm flying high on the wings of...

a shawl.

So I'm working on the icarus shawl I'm making for my boyfriend's mother. She saw the icarus I had made and wanted to make one for herself. I sort of discouraged her from making a super nice one since I, ahem, had already bought the alpaca yarn to make her one.

I'd forgotten how nice the pattern is to work on. I think I may splurge on some addi bamboo needles to make the knitting go faster. I've just gotten to the point where I can purl without looking and yeah. I'm deathly afraid of dropping stitches - icarus is SO unforgiving of that. Ahh well.

I've got finishitis, so I'm trying to finish atleast 3 projects. The poet's sweater is ALL done!!! Dance of glee!!! Pictures coming soon, I promise. The neck ruffle stood up alot more than I would have wanted, but that's an easy fix. Someday, I'll probably buy another ball of the yarn and cut off the collar to make another. I would definitely make it wider than recommended, if you're using a mohair yarn, because I didn't realize just how much body the mohair would have by itself.

Hopefully, I'll get some pictures up for the finished projects tomorrow.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Are we there yet?

I've got the same antsy feeling that a 5 year old has after being in the car for more than 10 minutes. I'm so nearly done with the poet's sweater that I can taste it. And it's driving me crazy.

So I picked up 139 stitches or so. I didn't realize there's a doubling row on the ruffle. So now it's 278 stitches. And then there's a row after that where you make a stitch in between the knit stitches of the k2,p1 ribbing. So now it's 300+ stitches. It's a very fluffy ruffle and it's dead boring and it takes forever to finish a row. I have all these other projects that are just begging me to finish them, and I can't get to them yet because this project obsesses my mind.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sqeee! Leggo my legos!

I just had to squeal. I added (yet more) yarn to the stash, courtesy of the bestest boyfriend ever, who gave me the means to buy more yarn as a birthday present. I have a ball winder but I haven't got a swift. So I made one out of the legos he had bought a few months ago. We had intended to make a lego ball winder, but a lego swift will do!

And now, I must think of a pattern for 328 yards of filatura di crosa superior. I've never felt a yarn so airy soft.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Oh me, oh my

What do you do when your broomstick lace silk yarn looks like something the cat threw up after you've tried crocheting the lace?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Whence we shuffle off this mohair coil...

Notes on Poet's Sweater Mods. I didn't do the last two increases before the cap shaping until the sleeve measured just shy of 20 inches. It was maybe one or two rows or a quarter inch short of the 20. There are alot of sleeve changes that I've done, that I'll detail later.

9/17 - okay, finally, got some boring downtime where I can detail the vast changes I made to the sleeve. I cast on 138 stitches instead of 95, and knitted them in the round. Which irritated the crap out of me when I did the decreases, and suddenly wound up with a small diameter sleeve. On one hand, that's perfect for my ridiculously tiny wrists. On the other hand I hate knitting on dpns. Anyways, the decreases went as follows:

After 4.25" of the ruffle, I used a row of SK2P to decrease to 46 sts. Which was still big for my tiny wrists. So, I did 5 more rows of decreases at the beginning of the round - a k2tog at the first stitch and at the 23rd st. Then it was at the 1st and 22nd st. Then at the 1st and 21st... You get the idea.

After decreasing down to 36 sts, I kept that up until the sleeve measured 8 inches. Then reversed the decreases, with a Make 1 at the 1st and 18th st, then at the 1st and 20th, then at the 1st and 21st... Second verse opposite the first, return to 46 sts total.

I must confess, I only followed some of the recommended increases. I think when the sweater measured 10 inches, increased to 48. Four rows later, I increased to 50. Then, when the sweater was like 18 inches, I increased two stitches to the inch in length. So when It was 18, I increased to 52, at 19, to 54, and at 20 to 56. Finally, I arrived at the magic sleeve width number, and did all of the recommended cap shaping.

In retrospect, I would have done something different to hide the rapid decrease/increase at the cuff, but it's barely noticeable.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lights! Camera! Action!

Found the battery charger! So expect pictures of the WIPs within the week.

In other exciting news, I've finished the body of the poet's sweater! The best part is that it fits perfectly with all the changes that I made to it. Using size 5 needles + knitting loosely + in the round + leaving out 4 stitches total = perfect fit. Oh, yeah, I forgot, I also knit an extra inch higher before starting the neckline. I saw a sample of the sweater in the knitting store, and the original neckline plunged straight between the boobs on the mannequin. Since this was not the look for which I was aiming, I knitted an inch higher than the directions said, before starting the split for the neckline. I went and did the recommended decreases until there was the amount of stitches left for the shoulders - 12 total on either side, and it worked out well.

I want fluffier sleeve ruffles, though. I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to pull that one off. I also want them shorter, too. I'm thinking of increasing to 144 stitches, and using K3tog to decrease it to the right size for the sleeve shaping. Or maybe use larger needles before switching to smaller ones. I haven't decided yet.

Actually, I went with a 138 sts cast-on, and then I think I'll do a k2tog, k3tog decrease. I hope it works!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

By jove, I think she's got it!

There's nothing more boring in lab work than:
1)Watching a centrifuge run.
2)Watching alcohol evaporate from a sample.
3)Watching a gel run.

#1 took priority over #2 because centrifuges are louder than heat blocks, making them more annoying even though I am currently waiting for #2.

Anyways, I found a pattern to use for some yarn that has been haunting me for years now! I want to make this dress out of the pound of cotton flake that I ordered years ago from webs. Then, I want to dip dye the tiers.

Yeah, it might be a bit much, but it will be so much fun!

On the happy upside, I'm nearly done with the body of Poet's Sweater. I'm annoyed I can't add any photos of any of my WIP's because of the move. I've got rechargeable batteries, but no clue where the recharger actually is. So I have a camera, I have several works waiting for completion... and no juice for said camera. Such is life. Soon as I find it, I'll get photos up, promise. I've done something unique for me, I've knitted the sweater from the bottom up in one piece, and it works. I think. I have yet to try it on. I'll let everyone know how it's working out with all the mods I made to the pattern.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Objects of Covetion

I so want this yarn to make the Lacy dress from the Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer issue of 2007. How did I make this jump? I think I want to use the acorn lace edging for the cape. That or the lace edging for the flower motif shawl from the winter 2007/08 issue.

Stormclouds, part 2

After studying many pictures of the shawl, I realize what I need to do to make it for myself. 6 to 10 repeats of feather and fan make more than enough body on the shawl to comfortable wrap around the shoulders. For love of numbers, I think I'll go with 7 on size 7 needles.

As for the border, I really must thank my fellow ravelers who took pictures of the lady's circular cape while it was a work in progress. Seeing the lifelines really helped me understand how the shawl was knitted. The border has several construction elements.

1) A provisional cast on at the neck to be able to pick up live stitches for the collar which is constructed out of the lace border.

2) Half of the lovely border edging on the bottom of the shawl is actually knitted after the feather and fan motif is finished. It's predominantly in stockinette and garter stitch as far as I could see.

3) The border is one that I have never done before. Eep! It's one where you start with a little bit of a live edge and pick up stitches from the end of the work AS YOU GO ALONG IN ROWS. It's hard to explain, but I understand the construction. Double EEEP because I don't understand how they did the "corners" at all. With the feather and fan construction there are no real corners, because the shape of the knit rounds them out a little.

I'm going to have to dig around in my books for lace edgings. So far I'm leaning towards point edging, wave lace edging, and cypress from A Field Guide to Knitting. I'll have to dig through my vogue magazines to see if they have anything I like.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Stormclouds of thought

So, I really have to wonder why people publish patterns for books at ridiculous prices when the patterns contained use themes that are over a century old. Said themes have fallen out of copyright protection and are free on the web. For those of you who are familiar with fan and feather - this should look like a certain pattern out of a certain Victorian era inspired book of knitting patterns. Ahem. Needless to say, I'll be nabbing that pattern and modifying it for the cape. Notes on the pattern nabbing so far:
  • 10 sections or less look like the best semi-circle.
  • Atleast size 6 needles or larger.
  • Rowan kidsilk haze loans itself beautifully to this lace. I have 3 balls eager to be used up.
  • Border lace? I haven't stormed that one up yet.

It's just good to know I have an idea for using the last of the silver kidsilk haze Sean got me for our anniversary present. I prefer warm tones, so I usually don't wear grey or silver and had no ideas what else to do with it.

Ironically, this all came to fruition from a search for OTHER patterns. Isn't that just the way things work out? I was looking for a pattern to use up 600+ yards of silk that I bought off of ebay. It's on its way to the good ol' USA from India, so it's got a bit of time to get here. I couldn't resist the dirt cheap price they were selling it at... except I had NO pattern in mind for it. I was eyeing the hourglass jacket, but wouldn't know you know, the yarn I got isn't quite enough. BLAH. Actually... at 120 grams and 600-800 yards a gram, it just might be enough. Hmmm.

On other knitting notes - avert your eyes if you can't bear to hear a word against addi needles. I don't like knitting lace with addi needles. Stop. No error. You did read that correctly. I love knitting socks - well, a sock so far - via magic loop on my addi needles. I'm sure I'll love magic loop on my addi lace turbos. I do not like knitting the Icarus Shawl on Addi lace turbos. I found my pair of clover bamboo US 3 needles and switched the shawl over to them. After switching, I could feel the ahh of relaxation in my fingers as I stopped fighting the needles and got down to the business of knitting. I've given addi their best shot, but I am just a diehard bamboo fan. I'll miss the smoothness of the addi joins though.

I can't wait to try out the addi bamboo needles. There's a pair waiting patiently for me to cast on the giselle sweater, but I have to finish atleast 2 projects before I can start another one.

Speaking of finishing, I do not know why I currently hate making baby clothes. Maybe because they remind me that my clock is ticking. I HATE the pressure of medical advice all steamrolling women into believing they MUST have their babies before they turn 30. I'll be in the middle of graduate school then. Not the best time for a baby. Screw their medical advice. It'd just be even more ironic if I really was going to medical school at the time.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Poet's Blouse - round and round we go

So, I've modified the Ruffled Collar Pullover quite a bit, and it's got me a little bit nervous about how much I risk. I only did about 5 rows of the rib stitch because I don't like the way the sweater looks with it. The rest of it, I've done in stockinette.

I was worried, however, since I decided to use significantly different needles from what the pattern recommends. The smallest size is 37 inches around - and usually I fit 32-34 inches best. So I decided to try size 5 needles knit very loosely. With the yarn all scrunched up on my 16" US 5 needles, I couldn't tell just how big it would be. At the yarn store, I did pick up a pair of 40" addi bamboo needles, which I love. The sweater fit on them, with room to spare. I could block it out to the right size, but the next question is, how do I get a dummy in my size....

Friday, August 29, 2008

Wheee! Giselle!

So, as a reward for miraculously pulling off a B in physics (I don't know how I did it, I blame the curve) I'm going to get the supplies to start Giselle.

I just found this fabulous yarn store, the Knitter's Mercantile. I swear I had a yarngasm there. Of the yarn stores in Columbus, I'm hard pressed to think of one that has a wider variety of yarn. The first time around, I just let the variety of yarns sink in while i tried to decide on what yarn to use.

Oh, and if you haven't figured it out by now, this is going to be a knitting blog.

Current projects:

  • baby sweater for a shower - my supervisor's wife is having a baby.

  • Serrano for me, I'm in no rush to finish it. I figure a slow pace will keep my sanity intact.

  • Kureyon Carry-along- it's all knitted and felted, I just haven't had time to line it.

  • Icarus Shawl - for the bf's mother for christmas.

  • the Superior Ruffled Collar Pullover from

I've modded the sweater, which reminds me of the once popular poet's blouse. I'm going to try knitting it in the round on drastically smaller needles to save on yarn, since the small size listed in the pattern will be ridiculously large on me
Welcome to Crazytown, where my friends have proclaimed me queen. Why did they do that you ask? For some reason, there's very little that I fear about knitting. Hmm, a dress in laceweight done in lace knitting written by vogue? Sounds great! I have very few inhibitions when it comes to knitting, and that sometimes ends disasteriously. Apparently, other people think this signifies a level of crazy that only the royalty can attain. Follow along with my escapades as I dive head first into all sorts of insane techniques and projects without much more than an "Oh! That looks pretty, I can make it!"

Those will probably be my famous last words.