Sunday, December 30, 2007

Update

I finally finished my super secret gift project. Once it is safely in the recipient's hands I will reveal the awesomeness. It was 5 hours of finishing work! No joke! Have I mentioned lately that I hate finishing? I did a lot of it while I was cat sitting at a friend's house and their cat politely ignored my yarn and let me work - unlike a certain other kitty cat I can think of.

I realized I left the buttons I was going to use back in Boston. Luckily I inherited a giant box of vintage buttons from my grandmother and it is still in SLC. So I found some that would work.

Next up is to cast on for the vest. I'd like to get it started so I can work on it on the plane ride home. (I don't like casting on in public. I am still a little self-conscious about knitting in public, I guess.)

Will she finish her socks before New Years Day?? The jury is still out.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Knitting

Well, I'm nearly done with my super secret gift project. I tried so hard to finish it up last night before I saw Joe (the giftee), but I gave up. I'm definitely going to finish it this afternoon, then I will post an FO later this week.

So far I haven't gotten any knitting done over this break. I swatched a little for my vest in the airport, but on the plane I just zoned out. My swatch is hideous and probably useless. I swatched in the round, which I hate. I'm not sure I'm in love with how this yarn is knitting up into the waffle stitch pattern. I think I'm just going to start the vest and see if (a) my gauge is completely off and (b) if the yarn is bad for this project. I'll report back.

In other news, for Christmas my parents got me a blocking board. It is awesome, but still in Boston so I don't have pics. Soon, my pets.

Friday, December 21, 2007

It's Here!

Roxy says:
"Yay! My yarn is here!"
I'm done with finals! Yay! Now I can devote all my time to knitting. (Well, aside from the need to clean, pack, say farewell, fill my prescriptions, shop, and go to a job interview....) I spent last night furiously knitting on the one gift I have to get done. I am pretty pleased with my progress. I think another hardcore knitting session tonight and I'll be nearly done. I can finish at home. I would have stayed up all night knitting last night, but I decided I should really be social and go out for a glass of wine, which turned into three - making late night knitting inadvisable.

I have to pick out which project I am going to take to SLC with me. It is so hard! I want to make sure I have enough projects to keep me busy, but at the same time, I don't want to lug a whole bunch of supplies across the country only to haul them all back again. (Especially when I'm sure my suitcase will be loaded down with presents!!) I definitely need to bring the super secret project and my socks which I am determined to finish up before December is out, to get my KAL letter! I also think I'm going to bring the supplies to get started with my U-Neck vest. Then, I'd like to bring Danica.... Now my project bag is getting loaded down. I'm not bringing Roxy's bed because the yarn is way too bulky. (Sorry hon!) I'd also like to bring a few things in case I have time for any more last-minute gift knitting - but whose do I bring??

Maybe if I food-saver all the yarn into a flat little package I will have room to bring it all. But my mom will make fun of me.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Grafting

A tip from today's Knitting Daily: how to graft kitchener-style on the needles.

http://www.knittingdaily.com/posts/legwear/306-1.html

stored away for future use...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Midnight Yarn Run!

I ran out of yarn for Roxy's bed at 1:00 a.m. Thursday night! Anyway, first I cried. I know, it's dumb to cry over yarn, but I've had a stressful month. Anyway, then I was like, "dude, you have enough things to cry about! This is one thing in life that you actually have control over." So I hopped right on the computer and ordered more (FOUR balls, just to be extra sure). Thank god for the internet! What did we do before then? Were there all night yarn stores? (Because if so, damn the internet! ha ha)

Friday, December 14, 2007

yarn porn

I had a naughty photo shoot tonight with a big ole' box of yarn. Now I can drool at it all without pulling everything out from under the bed.

I'm now using my ravelry account to keep track of my stash. Their system isn't perfect (yet!), but I think it is still better that my dopey excel spreadsheet. Plus - PICTURES!

p.s. sorry mom, that's not all of it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Angst

I WANT TO KNIT!!! I HATE YOU STUPID FEDERAL INCOME TAX!! I HATE YOU!!

Yes, I have to study for my tax final instead of knit. Having stared at the revenue code all day, my brain wants to strike back with a vengeance. My skin is just crawling with creative energy! This is awful!!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Crochet, my nemesis!!

Another failed attempt to crochet last night. Probably didn't help that I was drunk. I think it's easier to knit drunk than it is to crochet sober.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

FO: Bluebell

Well folks, it was a long and bumpy road, but I finally finished up our dear friend Bluebell this week. Overall, I'd say I'm pleased with the end result. Here she is:
yarn detail:
Cascade 220 Tweed in Blue Tweed
90% Peruvian Highland Wool, 10% Donegal Wool

Aran weight
cost: 100 g / 220 yds @ $9.15

pattern detail:
pattern: Boatneck Bluebell Sweater by Stephanie Japel (Fitted Knits, pg. 99)
needles: #8 circs from my Boye set
gauge: 18 stitches over 24 rows
hours: 5 months and across the country twice!
yarn used: just under 4 skeins
total cost: $37

notes:
- My boatneck ended up a little wider than I would have liked it, so I will have to wear it with a strapless bra. Or I can have the hip hot pink bra straps showing as I do here. My grandmother loves that look on a young lady.
- Lots of math disasters and pattern misreads in this one, next time I knit out of this book I just need to be super careful to keep my head on. (math notes on 7/27 and 7/28)
- It looked like hell until it was blocked... thank god for blocking.
-Next time I am just going to knit the sleeves in the round for these top down sweaters. I have a wealth of dpns so I might as well use them.
- If I knitted it again I would make the sleeves and the peplum slightly longer. I just prefer a longer top because I wear low cut pants and I don't want my gut hanging out.
- Oh, and I learned an important lesson knitting bluebell: DON'T LOSE YOUR YARN! And for god's sake - write down the dye lot when you first bring it home!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Bluebell Blocking Under the Christmas Tree

Here she is, blocking away. I was able to stretch out the sleeves to 17'', like on the diagram in the book, so we'll see how it turns out. I went back after I took this picture and squared up those shoulders a bit. I wish I could have blocked the arms reaching out in a T-shape, but you can see that my table is not big enough. I could barely manage this configuration. I'm a little worried about the neckline. The diagram says it should be 8'' and mine is more like 12''. I tried to scrunch it up a bit here, but it's nowhere close to 8''. C'est la vie. All I can do now is wait for it to dry and hope for the best.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Danica says "ribbitt"

Danica got frogged last night: part accident and part on purpose. I was thinking about starting over anyway, but I didn't want to lose all the work I already put into it. My carelessness made the decision for me.

I recklessly yanked Danica out of my knitting bag and pulled it off the needles and pulled out some of the stitches, then I couldn't quite figure out where everything went and which way to best pick up the stitches I lost, so I just decided it was messy already and would get messier after I tried to save it, so I just frogged the whole thing.

That SWS is not fun to unravel. It got knotted at the end of almost every row and I had to tear at a bunch of fibers to get it out. The yarn is now a little ragged, but I'm reusing it anyway. I cast on again last night and have the first round done. It already looks much better because I did the correct bar increase for the pfb's and I reviewed the instructions on picking up stitches and my work is much neater now. (It turns out I was picking up stitches under one loop of yarn when you are supposed to do two. It looks a lot better now - no more long, holey stitches.)

Here is a pic of me kicking back, enjoying my act of destruction in a somewhat perverse way:
p.s. Yes, I did buy needle stoppers earlier this week, and yes I'm now going to use them because I have learned my lesson.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

YAY!!

Knitting blues are gone! I got my little Thanksgiving present to myself in the mail today. Mom, stop reading now. I don't want you to know the extent of your daughter's addiction....

First, I went gadget crazy. I got: needle stoppers, yarn sleeves (assorted sizes), more row counters, a snag grabber, and a new cable needle.

Needle crazy? Yup. Two new sets of bamboo sock needles and a few pairs of straights to complete my collection of 10'' straights (up to 13's).

Yarn? Duh. Though, mindful of the pain it would cause my mother I only bought ONE kind of yarn, with a SPECIFIC PROJECT in mind. So, I got some of the new(?) Moda Dea Silk 'n Wool Blend in Pewter. (It's dark gray with tweedy flecks of a silvery gray mixed in) I'm using it for the Back to School vest. It sounded luxurious online, and it feels really great. I hope it is nice to work with!

And notions...? RIBBON!!!! and some lovely navy corduroy. Yummy!

stockinette blues

Whining alert.

I knitted last night in lieu of reading for tax. It was pretty unfulfilling though because I'm stranded in a stretch of stockinette on my socks and an infinite stretch of garter stitch on Roxy's bed. I worked on both projects last night but neither satiated my need to be creative. I didn't want to work on Danica because I was trying to concentrate on what I was watching on TV. (I know, TV is only supposed to be background noise for knitters, but sometimes I still want to pay attention).

Blocking Angst:
I need to block Bluebell, but I have nothing to block on at the moment. I don't want to use my bed because (a) it will take a few days to dry and (b) Roxy will lay on it. I'm probably just going to wet block it and stretch it to shape - I don't think I'll do any pinning or stuffing. I blocked Mrs. Darcy on a sweater drying rack my mom had. If I can haul my butt to Bed Bath & Beyond I will get one and start blocking. The problem is, I have other stuff to get at BB&B and I can't buy it all in one trip because (a) I can't carry it and (b) I like to use 20% off coupons. I'm thinking about just laying some towels on my kitchen table to block on. Roxy isn't allowed on the table so she shouldn't mess with it. Though I'm worried that it will never dry since it's so humid here. It would be better if it weren't on an absorbent surface. My mom is probably going to buy me a blocking board for Christmas. I think I'm just feeling whiny because I don't have it yet. Although, the board probably isn't really appropriate for this kind of blocking anyway. Maybe I should pin it out though, since I need to stretch it so bad. I'll see how it works without pinning and I can reblock if I need to. I don't know how many times you can block, but I think pinning down is really only necessary when you block before seaming. Speaking of, I had the horrible thought the other day that I should have blocked before I sewed up the sleeves. I'm going to have to stretch them out a lot and now my seam might keep it from stretching or at least make it bunch up. I'm not keen on the idea of trying to pick out the seam. What is it with me and sleeves??!! In my defense, I didn't realize how short the sleeves really were until after I sewed them up. And it didn't occur to me that the seaming might limit blocking. I've never read that anywhere. Maybe I'm wrong. It just seems like it would make a difference.

Enough stream of consciousness complaining.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

purl front and back

Someone on Craftster sent me this video of how to do a pfb, to help with my Danica questions. Here is the link so I don't forget...

http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/increases


(it's called a bar increase, worked on a purl row.)

Why I am Flunking Out of Law School

Last night I cast on for my second sock so I would have some mindless TV knitting and I did some major work on Danica while I watched a rerun of Bones. Did all this in lieu of my tax homework.

As for Danica I am presented with two challenges: first, I'm not entirely sure how one purls in the front and back of a stitch. I have tried many different methods and I don't think any of them look very good; second, I suck at picking up stitches. I always get a long piece in between with holes in it. I suppose this will at least be good practice since nearly the whole thing involves picking up stitches. Before I knit again I am going to do some serious research on both of these things and maybe practice on a swatch. Then I will decide if I'm going to frog Danica so far or just deal with a messy start.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Now What??

So, I finished Sheldina and Bluebell (sans blocking), I started Roxy's bed, and now I am free to put something else on the needles! But what to do?

You may notice I added Danica to my list of active projects. I bought that lovely SWS yarn when I was home in October and I just really wanted to try it out. Also, I'd like to learn entrelac. So, I'm gonna put Danica on the needles, but I don't think she'll be a high priority project for me.

What is high priority? That second sock!! I may or may not have already purchased supplies for the next sock project...

In further yarn delights, I want to knit my cashmere arm warmers by the beginning of next semester when it will be cold enough to really need them... and it is the only way to guarantee I get them done before Spring!

As for my next "sweater" to go on the needles, I think I will knit the U-Neck Back to School Vest from Fitted Knits. May or may not have already picked up some supplies.... Blue Bell sort of got me down, so I'm thinking the vest will be a welcome break because it's a wearable, but, no sleeves AND NO FINISHING! Ooh la la.

And.... Sheldino. He needs to get started, but I may need a petite Sheldon break. I have already accepted that the Sheldon army will not be ready to march by Christmas. It's OK. Turtles are slow. I'll just say they started the trip to Washington by Christmas, but they took the course slow and steady.

And, for another quick project: I want to get my second squatty sidekick knitted and maybe a cloche to felt when I am home at Christmas. Those will both be quick knits. I hope I have enough black wool for both. The cloche may have to end up blue tweed, or the ever-popular Mrs. Darcy orange....

I definitely just need to diversify what I've got on my needles. The last couple of months I've been stuck on really boring parts of projects, or finishing, and I haven't felt like knitting so much. With stress of finals coming I have to have lots of fabulous projects going so I can cheer up and calm down!!

I have a couple of gift knits I'd really like to make in time for Christmas, but the ever-wise Kelley Petkun says you need to be realistic about your Christmas deadlines, and realistically, I have missed the boat. There is at least one special project that I'd like to try to get done. It is small, but a lot of finishing will be required. Maybe I can at least knit it and do the finishing after finals. (On the plane? lol! I think finishing would probably freak people out even more than dpns.)

So, that's the revised game plan. Let's go team!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

FO: Sheldina

It's Sheldina! She's pink, she's sassy, and she's gonna take Sheldon for the ride of his life! (Sorry, been reading too many Harlequins....)



yarn details

knit picks shine sport in blush and orchid

sport weight

60% pim
a cotton, 40% modal
50g/110 yd per ball @ $2.49 each


findings
9 mm black eyes from Zims
(note: I am making this as a gift for my niece so I went back to Zims and purchased the appropriate safety eyes. Sheldon just has button-style eyes sewed on.
)
polyfill

project details
pattern: "Sheldon" by found here: http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter06/PATTsheldon.html
needles: dpns in 3, straights in 4
hook: D
hours: shall we calculate this in months? FOREVER!
total cost: ~$5

notes:
- I planned to put a bow on her head, but it just looked stupid. There is really nowhere logical to put a bow. I don't want to be like one of those moms that glues a bow to her bald baby's head.
- Sheldina is a considerably smaller gauge than Sheldon. I have no idea why. I am positive that I used the correct needle size on her, so maybe I accidentally used larger needles on Sheldon. Or, theory #2: I am so stressed out in law school that the tension of my knitting has changed drastically.
- Placement of those safety eyes is key. Ones you snap those suckers into place they are never coming off.
- Still in love with the shine sport, although I am frustrated that it comes out of the center-pull in clumps and I constantly have to deal with it. I listen to Kelly Petkin's podcasts (founder of Knit Picks) and she said that the shinier/slipperier your yarn is, the less likely it's going to stay in a center-pull ball. She suggested typing a string tightly at the top to narrow the opening and help prevent a big clump from coming out. Maybe I'll try that next time.

P.S. Roxy hates Sheldina. I think she is jealous because she wants Sheldon all to herself. Little does she know there is a bun in the oven....

Friday, November 23, 2007

Bluebell (from hell?)

So, I seamed up Bluebell tonight. Words are not necessary:



Say a prayer to the blocking gods for me.

Shell and Tell

I finished up Sheldina's shell assembly last night and might I say it was from hell! ha ha.

First off, I crocheted (two rows) along the edges of the attachment panel to make the little body "bowl" and the bowl was so small! It wouldn't even stretch to fit to the shell. So I ripped out all the crochet stitches and did it again, determined to crochet looser, but soon I realized the same thing was happening. I got frustrated and flung it across the room and drank more wine. Then I realized I wasn't frakking single crocheting it! I was just pulling one stitch through the other - what is that, slip stitching the entire thing? I don't even know. But it's no wonder it was tight as hell. So, I frogged one last time & single crocheted my two rounds correctly and it made worlds of difference. Crochet!! My nemesis!

Second, I had been all excited to try the attached i-cord again but it had been so long since I had done it, it was just frustrating trying to figure it all out! After I was done, something happened and a whole section of the stitches connecting the cord to the attachment panel pulls out and I just sewed them back on because I didn't want to redo the whole damn thing.

Third, I waaay overstuffed the shell. When I tried it on Sheldina's body it was the most ridiculous thing ever - there was no room for her in that thing! I had to gut it big time by sticking a crochet hook in and dragging out the stuffing. It just seemed cruel. I think I ended up taking half of it out. I still might go back for more after I finish the whole thing.

Fourth, I compared Sheldina to Sheldon and she is definitely smaller. The gauges are dramatically different - visible to the naked eye. I double checked that the needles I'm using are the correct size, so the only thing I can imagine is that I must have used larger needles for Sheldon. But I have no idea why I would have done that. As far as I can remember, I had the correct needle sizes at the time I knitted Sheldon. I definitely wouldn't have changed the needles to get gauge - who swatches on a stuffie? Definitely not me. Anyway, I guess it is biologically appropriate for the female to be slightly smaller in stature than the male. I just wish I could figure out the mystery. I think I might like Sheldon's floppy look better.

All that is left is to attach her limbs and then I will post pics.

And in other news, do we think Roxy's bed will be big enough? Maybe she will have to curl up in it like a polite little kitty instead of kickin' it Homer style. All she needs is a can of beer resting on her belly.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

100th Post!

Welcome to the 100th post on my knitting blog. Rock and Roll.

To commemorate this special event, I cast on for Roxy's Princess Bed! I'm using the Princess Snowball Bed pattern from Stitch & Bitch with Patons Carmen on the bottom and Lion Fancy Fur for the sides; I'm using a chunky Bernat acrylic yarn carried throughout. All the yarn was on clearance and my mommy bought it for her sweet little grandchild.

Here is Roxy enjoying the yarn:


And here is Roxy helping me knit. It is so cute! She's already in love with the project; she just sits there and kneads the yarn the whole time. Ha ha.


Some notes:
- It was impossible to check the gauge on this project! It is ridiculous they even gave gauge - ha ha! First, how the hell are you supposed to see the separate stitches with that crazy novelty yarn? And second, I don't even know how to check gauge on a garter stitch swatch.
- I had some trouble with the fur yarn getting tangled since a center pull ball isn't exactly functional with the furry yarn and I ended up pulling large clumps out of the center. Anyway, I ended up putting the blob of yarn in a zip lock bag all sealed up except on one side and it's going a lot better. (Also helps keep Roxy off the working yarn. She can knead the yet-to-be-knit balls.)
- And to ensure I will not forget later - I am using size 11 needles.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

We Have a Shell

Last night I finished Sheldina's shell (after working lots on my homework, thankyouverymuch.) I think the seaming on the bottom is a little messy (ok, FACT: it's messy), but it doesn't really show once it's on her, so I'm letting it slide. I had to focus on watching How I Met Your Mother.
All that is left to do is attach the bottom panel of the shell and attach the limbs.... and add a bow. I've already knit the attachment panel and the legs, so it's mostly finishing work from here. You know, my favorite. Although, I am mildly excited to attach the bottom panel because you use a neat attached i-cord technique that I'd like to perfect - I (perversely) thought it was fun on the last Sheldon. Mainly, I'd like to see if I can make it "flip" down instead of up.

We're almost there folks!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What next?

I can't decide what to cast on next. (Look at me, I'm already antsy to start on a new project with four WIPs!) Obviously, I have to cast on for Roxy's bed. That's one of the WIPs listed and technically it has never been "in progress." Then I really want to start my cashmere arm warmers, but I also feel like knitting something on giant needles that will go quickly. And I want to make another squatty sidekick in black so I can felt it when I go home for Christmas and have a cute holiday purse. Then there is the second sock that needs to get going by the end of November if I want my N on the KAL. And I want to use my pretty plum SWS to make my Danica and try out entrelac. And I've been itching to try some lace lately. And there are a million cozy projects on the list. All my electronics are naked. On top of all that... NO TIME TO KNIT!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

closer to a shell

I knitted the bottom of Sheldina's shell last night. Screwed up and knitted half of it in MC then had to frog because it's supposed to be CC. I need to finish her up - I'm just not keen on all the finishing/assembly work involved with knitting stuffies. Maybe I should have thought of that before envisioning my army of Sheldons?? Nah, I'll get to it. I've declared war on my WIPs. I need an army to fight the war.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Finished!

BUSTED!! Roxy caught in the act kneading my knitting....

Now to the post.....

I finished up knitting Bluebell last night!! Hooray! Will I seam and block in a timely manner?

Here is a pic: It looks really sad and scrunchy. I'm basically praying for blocking miracles. I've been saying that since I started this sweater. If blocking doesn't work miracles I will have wasted a LOT of time...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

almost done!!

I'm nearly finished knitting bluebell - I just have to knit the design on the cuff of that second sleeve, then I'm done. (Then on to finishing... bleh.)

Note: I screwed up on this pattern instruction on both sleeves:
After you finish knitting stockinette until sleeve measures x length it says "end with WS row." For some reason, both times I have read that as "begin with WS row" and I've screwed myself up. So, just to clarify: It's end with WS row, begin reverse stockinette design on RS row!!

p.s. Last night Roxy sat on my knitting, on my lap, for about an hour so I didn't get a whole lot done. Though, seeing as she never sits on my lap, I let it slide. She also kneaded on the sweater a bunch, but I don't thing she did any damage. She was just being so cute and lovely, I couldn't stop her!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Progress Report

Well, I'm over my SSS with bluebell (second sleeve syndrome). I'm actually almost finished- I'm about 2/3 of the way through the bell on the sleeves and then I'll be done.

I was panicking last night because I thought I forgot to write down the number of rows to knit past the increases to get the correct length. I was very careful to keep track of this number when knitting the first sleeve, in an effort to avoid sleeve mishaps. So, I was panicking, then I found a tiny number "20" written on the corner of a post it note on the pattern with a whole bunch of my measurements and stuff on it - so I believe that was my number I wrote down. Nothing like putting it in a safe place, eh? I didn't even frakking label it!! (in my defense, I don't think I planned to be knitting the second sleeve a month after the first sleeve, so I must have assumed I would remember what that random number 20 meant.)

I need to start keeping track of stuff like that. That was the whole point of starting the knitting blog was mainly to keep track of my pattern notes! I suck...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

FO: Dana's iPod Cozy

Last month I made my pal Dana a cozy for her iPod nano for her birthday. It was somewhat of a hell project, so it got pushed to the back of my mind and never posted on the blog, but I just ran across the pictures, so here they are.

First of all, here is the hideous attempt #1 that I made with some self-striping Sugar 'n Creme. However, my project was apparently too small to stripe* - so it just ended up half & half and pretty gross looking. I knit it in the round and seamed up the bottom. Roxy hates it too.I wanted to make Dana something special, so I decided to try out the Fibonacci stripes technique - something I have never done before. (crap! why didn't I post it in the KAL?) Fibonacci is a number sequence where you start with 1 and keep adding the numbers together to get a number sequence; ex: 0+1=1, 1+1=2, 1+2=3, 2+3=5, 5+3=8... creating the sequence: 1,2,3,5,8 <-- the sequence I used. So I striped 1,2,3,5,8,5,3,2,1,1,2,3,5,8... and so on. You can put the numbers in any order you want - I just went with that one. I really liked the Fibonacci method because you end up with stripes that are much more visually interesting. It also looks "random" - the big stripe in the sequence isn't always the same color and it's hard to tell there is actually a pattern.

Some problems I encountered:

1. Knitting one row for a stripe and then switching colors was a total pain! If I do it again I will leave out the ones and have 2 or 3 as my smallest number.
2. The stripes don't all start on the same side - sometimes you are knitting even numbers, sometimes odd - so you can't really carry the yarn along the side. I ended up weaving in 14 ends! Misery!! (but coincidentally, Dana's birthday is on the 14th... I didn't plan that)
3. I desperately wish I had knit this in the round so I could have carried the yarn. I knitted it flat because when you knit stripes in the round they don't match up and I thought on such a small project that would be really noticeable. However...
4. The seam up the side was pretty bulky and also noticeable on the small project, so it's a trade off. Perhaps next time I will try that Russian join. (My edges are always too messy to seam up the very edge stitch with no seam.)
5. I would have liked to put a decorative button or something on the flap, but my button collection is back in SLC and I didn't round up anything else because this was sort of a last minute deal.

Clever things I did:
1. I constructed it so I had to sew a bottom seam and a side seam. I loosely based this cozy on the cozy pattern in Stitch 'n Bitch which has you knit a long strip, then fold it over and seam up both sides. That method would have doubled the number of stripes I had to knit and I would have had to match up stripes on my seams on two sides instead of one.
2. I used that fabulous new iron on velcro for the closure so there was nothing to sew and you get a strong bond better than any glue. This product works great on cotton knits. I also used it on my hair-washing headband, which I use every day and trust me - that velcro is never peeling off of that fabric.
3. I knit it in cotton yarn to ensure there won't be any static electricity issues. I have asked around to tech people and Craftsters about whether you have a static problem with wool or acrylic cozies and no one can answer definitively. People knit them out of these yarns and no one on Craftster, at least, has had a bad experience. But since I didn't want to be responsible for ruining Dana's iPod, I stayed on the safe side. The yarn is Knit Picks shine sport - the darker colors I bought for my army of Sheldons. (You hardly use any of the dark color when knitting Sheldon so I knew I would have plenty left to complete those projects.)
4. At the top where the flap folds down I knit an extra row, then I reversed where I was in the stripe sequence so the stripes match up when it is closed. This may seem obvious, but I'm still proud of myself for thinking to do it.

Without further ado, here is the unfinished piece after I steamed it:
Since I ended up having to knit this second cozy last minute and I spent so much time weaving in the ends, I had no time to take a picture of the finished project. I threw it in wrapping paper the second I finished seaming it up and ran out the door to get to the party. Some day I'll get Dana to take a picture of it "in action" and get it posted.

yarn details:
knit picks shine sport in orchid, river, and grass.
sport weight
60% pim
a cotton, 40% modal
50g/110 yd per ball @ $2.49 each

findings:

velcro: $5 at Jo-Ann

pattern details:
pattern: my own
gauge: didn't write it down... but I obviously got one to calculate the number of stitches I needed for "nano size"... but I actually measured Sheldon instead of a swatch! Is that cheating?
needles: 3's, straights (almost positive! ... if I didn't use 3's that would have defeated the purpose of gauging out Sheldon, right? But knowing me, I might have figured 4's were close enough... I've got to start writing up these FO memos sooner!)
cost: probably $2, give or take (sorry Dana!)
time:5 hours, not including the first botched cozy, which only took maybe an hour.

*Yes, I did swatch it out. I just misperceived a color change in the yarn when there wasn't any.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Out of the Slump!

Last night I picked up the stitches for the second sleeve of Bluebell! ...I'll wait for applause... I knitted the first 14 rows in stockinette, then started the first purl band on the arm.

I was reminded the sleeves are knitted flat! :( I'm dreading sewing them up! And knitting flat on the circulars is really hard on those first few rows! The piece just won't stretch to the other side of the cable and I pulled the hell out of the side stitches - I hope I can fix the loosey-goosey look with seaming. If I ever knit this again I will definitely just use straights for the flat knitting parts. I appreciate Stephanie's desire to use one needle on the whole sweater - but I've got the straights so I might as well use 'em.

But the important thing is that I'M OUT OF THE SLUMP!! Bluebell will be finished in no time. I have tons and tons of work to do over the next week and I'm sure that with old bluey back on the needles she will become my choice vehicle of procrastination.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

I should have knitted....

Spent Friday night moping, Saturday night drinking, and most of today reorganizing my iTunes library. Overall, I wish I had spent all that unproductive time knitting. Have I mentioned I'm getting too old to party like this?

Also, I'm getting DANGEROUSLY FAR behind in my classes because of moping and excessive napping. And knitting cheers me up! Why am I resisting it? Right now, however, knitting is feeling a little stressful. I have GOT to finish Bluebell and Sheldina. I still have Shedino and Sheldon, Jr. to knit by Christmas. Will it happen? Looking doubtful at this point. In addition, I store my stash under my bed and every night I can feel the shame wafting up at me. Maybe that's why I can't sleep? I've got to figure out another place to keep it. Or USE IT!!

Friday, November 2, 2007

FRAKKIN' AWESOME!!

Last night I was suffering from severe emotional distress, so I knitted until about 2 am. AND I FINISHED MY SOCK!! Whoo hoo!! Seriously - it is SO warm. But it's a little slick. I'm afriad I'm going to break my tailbone walking on my hardwood floors in those socks. Ha ha. One down, one to go!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

weekend update: sloth & gluttony

I didn't get any knitting done this weekend. I mostly sinned and napped. Dynamite combination. I would definitely get more knitting (and studying) done if I gave up the sinnin'. I'll look into that.. I an apocalyptic world, it's probably best not to be a sinner. Then if I survive the apocalypse, I can knit. (see previous post)

I'm terribly bummed out that I'm not going to finish my socks in time to get my O for the Do Something New KAL.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Lookie, Lookie!

Uh oh - what's going on here? Would that be a SOCK?! Boo yeah!! (Someone has not been studying...)
But really, in a post apocalyptic world, would you rather know how to knit a sock or know how to deduct lobbying expenses from your tax return? Uh huh. That's what I thought. Building skills for our bleak futures, friends.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A tip on not screwing up....

Here is a helpful excerpt from today's Knitting Daily on not making stupid mistakes following your pattern:
Lesson Number One: Prepare for bouts of brain-out-the-window knitting ahead of time. Read through the instructions before you begin knitting, and HIGHLIGHT anything you are likely to miss whilst in the throes of knitting ecstasy, such as switching needle sizes. (Of course, then you do have to actually LOOK at the instructions now and then.)
This is pretty timely, seeing as I almost screwed up my socks last night because I didn't read ahead. It turns out she had a special "note" on the next page regarding the section of the pattern on the previous page. Now, I just think that's bad editing. Luckily, it turns out I did it right in the first place. But, I think highlighting will save me a lot of anxiety in the future.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Weekend Wrap Up

I did a little work on my sock(s) this weekend - but very little. I'm basically finished with the leg of the sock - next time I work on it I'll start the heel! AH! That's where the anxiety kicks in.

Other than that - I did nothing productive this weekend - on my knitting or much anything else. (Oh, and did I mention I made it a four day weekend? Naughty!) It was a weekend of excesses for me, but that didn't include knitting, because I was in the mood for sin.

I have to get bluebell and Sheldina off my needles! If I don't get an FO this month I may die.

-Pepper

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Russian Join

So, I just learned about the Russian join this morning. How has this escaped my attention all these years?? I can't wait to try it!!! Weaving in ends is literally my knitting nemesis. (I have even gone out of my way to knit with wool just so I could spit splice. Now I am free to use the yarn of my choice!! Cotton - I'm coming back to you, my love!!)

Friday, October 19, 2007

A thought on crochet...

When I learned to knit, the first thing I did was make a garter stitch scarf on size 11 needles. My second project was a garter stitch dishcloth using increasing and decreasing and a little eyelet border using YO (knitting closely supervised by my grandmother). Then I took on a ribbed project, knitting in the round, and so on... It was three years before I tried my first sweater, or even intarsia.

When I learned to crochet, I downloaded the instructions online - knit up a little single crochet swatch, called it a potholder - and immediately began projects involving lace, crocheting in the round, all sorts of fancy stitches in the round... well you see where I'm going. The projects either led to imperfect FOs born from endless frustration or utter disasters that couldn't even be frogged because of all the terrible knots in them. (Most of which I have kept secret.) And now, I'm wondering if my problem with crochet is that I don't actually really know how to crochet.

So, I am going to condemn myself to at least one more project of flat, single crochet - no matter how boring it sounds. Then I will work up from there. In fact, I inherited a half-finished single crochet afghan from my aunt (with the million balls of white yarn, aforementioned in this blog), but I promptly tucked it away because I thought a whole afghan of single crochet sounded boring. The sad truth is, I actually had to post pictures of it on Craftster to figure out what the stitch pattern was. Imagine my embarrassment at my own ignorance when it turned out to be single crochet. Yet, I still scorned it.

I thought maybe at some point I'd bind it off, call it a baby afghan, and gift it somewhere. (It just feels wrong to frog someone else's hard work.) Anyway, now I realize - the best thing for me to do is to finish it. It's the perfect opportunity to work on a large project to practice my basic crochet skills - like pulling a loop through the needle without splitting the yarn and getting a real grasp on what the hell that turning chain is all about. Ha ha. (Brianna, if you are reading this, I'm sure you are laughing at me!)

ppppppppppppl,k <-- Roxy's contribution to this blog entry.

So, in conclusion. Pepper is not a quitter. I will become a crochet goddess if it's the last thing I do!!!

(Why such a long post? I am obviously avoiding working on my note.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Update on $5 in Prague

I wanted to wear my $5 in Prague sweater today, but when I put it on the neckline was super stretched out and it looked hideous!! I think it was okay when I put it on last time - so I don't know if it stretched or if it just always looked like that. It's acrylic, so I feel like it shouldn't change shape! I guess I'll try washing it and see what happens. Sort of disappointing.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I'm a Bad Girl!

So, I've been feeling like a pretty bad knitter lately. I need to be whipped into shape..... by a DOMIKNITRIX!

Yup. I bought the book. It has a sexy black vinyl cover and just flipping through it, I've already seen a ton of stuff that I didn't know before.

p.s. This was another Lexis-Nexis swag item - I'm sure you all think I'm lucky with my free knitting books, but law school really, really sucks. It's not worth it. Ha ha.

Monday, October 15, 2007

second sleeve syndrome

I don't think I'm ever going to finish bluebell. I can't seem to muster up the energy to knit that second sleeve. It's getting colder outside so maybe that will give me an incentive to finish, since I will actually be wearing it. I had no idea this project was going to take so long. I expected to have it finished around the end of August. I'm feeling really disappointed that I haven't gotten much knitting done recently, the bluebell sleeve is just a microcosm of my overall knitting slump. It's all because of stupid school. I work and work and never catch up - especially on my knits :(

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Socks!!

OK, I know I have way too many WIPs and projects on the waiting list, but I couldn't wait to get started on my very first pair of socks.

This is the starter stockinette sock from Knit Socks, I'm about finished with the ribbing on the cuff. I did this last night instead of studying or sleeping:


I'm working with Wool-Ease so I will able able to machine wash the socks when I'm finished with them. Plus, if I screw up, I won't really care so much because it's just Wool-Ease. The color is called "blue mist" and it's one of my favorite colors in this yarn. I first bought a skein of it years ago to knit my mom a hat, then I used it to make the zeeby bag (sp?) from S&B - which was a total disaster and has been sitting in the frog pile ever since. So, I picked up another skein in this color for my socks and since I think I will run out - I plan to finally frog the hideous monstrosity and put it to good use. (Dye lots be damned!) I'm going to make the heel and toe a different color - "natural heather" - leftover from the handle of Scott's Bag. That makes this sock practically knit out of stash yarn, right?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Roxy v. Yarn

I don't know why I let her do this. It's just cute!

Trip to SLC

I lugged the supplies for Sheldino all the way across the country and back and never got a chance to cast on. Stupid homework taking up all my sweet plane time.

But, the trip to SLC wasn't totally fruitless on the knitting front. I went to Jo-ann and stocked up on a few necessaries. I got some pretty plum SWS for my upcoming entrelac scarf, probably from Knitty's Danica. Then I stocked up on a few balls of Sugar 'n Creme for dishcloths, and I bought one skein of Wool-Ease to supplement stash yarn to make my very first pair of socks. See, I'm mostly sticking to my rule of knitting from stash only. The problem is, this yarn is really only available at chain stores and I don't have access to any here, so I really had to stock up. I totally stuck to the minimal amount of yarn purchases as possible! I swear! I only bought yarn with a destined project in mind.

Oh, and I picked up some DPNs for my socks!! I'm so excited to get started on those.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Crochet for Roxy!

I was browsing some featured projects on Craftster while I was in evidence yesterday and I thought the girl next to me was going to bust something when this gem came up:


"That cat does not look happy" - she says.
"I wonder if I can crochet that for Roxy?" - I think...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Choice, Choices....

What should I do this afternoon? Study Family Law, knit some socks, or play with Roxy?

update: I took a nap.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Inspiration: Cherie Amore

I want to knit this sweater from the new knitty with my bling bling yarn I've had lying around for months. I'll need to do some math to see if I'll have enough of the yarn, but I hope I do! (It is so depressing to be stuck to stashbusting and not get to knit any of the fun new patterns I see...)

update 10/3:
I still haven't checked out to see if I have enough of the bling yarn to knit this, but I am a little concerned about the weight. Technically the bling yarn is worsted, but I think it looks way thicker than that, so I figured I could get away with it as a bulky yarn for purposes of this pattern. But the more I look at the pattern, it seems to me those stitches are pretty big. I don't know if a heavy worsted is going to cut it. I'm a little disappointed because I really wanted to use that yarn for something awesome.

Thinking back to my stash I think the only bulky yarn I have that would be appropriate is either Lion Brand Landscapes or Moda Dea Cache. I also have some ribbon yarn, which might be interesting. I'll have to swatch it up.

I definitely have enough of the cache, but I'm a little worried that the colors and the metallic thread will be a bit obnoxious as a sweater. (Confession: I also think it is the prettiest yarn in the world and I almost don't want to use it because I like it too much... make sense? ha ha)

I think the landscapes would be beautiful, but I'm not sure if I have enough. I'll have to check. It's kind of a slubby yarn and I don't know how that would look in the lace part of this sweater.

Man, I hate being limited to stash yarn! It's torture! Ha ha. I want to buy some pretty hand dyed yarn for this project! :(

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Dropped Stitches

I subscribe to the knit picks podcasts and I try to listen to at least the first half, but I usually skip the book reviews. The last episode, no. 22, was on dropped stitches.

I have to say, I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention to the first part which was about how to fix dropped stitches, because I feel like I have an handle on that. (Although, seeing as her explanation was about 10 minutes long, I'm guessing that if I had listened I would have learned something.)

Then she started on an interested subject about how to drop a stitch several rows down to fix a mistake you might have made (vs. ripping out several entire rows to get back to the mistake). Then, she explained how to drop a whole segment of stitches when you realize that you have screwed up a cable. Hmmm... Now that's going to be useful some day. So, I'm noting it here.

The thought of purposely dropping stitches in an FO sounds a little scary. I think some day when I have extra time (ha!) maybe I'll knit up a swatch and practice dropping stitches to use some of her techniques.

Worked a bit on Sheldina's shell last night while watching a lifetime movie about an abused wife who shoots her husband (and that totally counts as doing homework, BTW, since I'm taking a seminar on domestic violence law). The shell is almost done, I think I just have one more repeat of the honeycomb pattern then I 'm done. Sweet! Then I need to reball my light pink yarn because it is really out of hand.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Flower Garden Afghan

I am seriously rethinking the flower garden afghan that I've been working on. I'm up to eight motifs and there are literally hundreds more to go. I tried to work number nine twice last night and had to rip it out both times. So I gave up. Truth is, I'm just really not that confident in my crochet skills and it is just a frustrating project for me at this point. The frustrating part is that I can't tell when I've completed a round, but I don't want to mess with a stitch marker every time because you have to use those little safety pin ones and it's just a drag. Also, I can't quite figure out where I am supposed to start at the beginning of the rounds. I feel like I have an extra loop that shouldn't be there. Right now I feel like all my squares are different and there are tons of split yarns because I have difficulty pulling the four cluster stitches through the last hook on the needle, so I have no idea what it's going to be like when I have to crochet them all together in the end.

....BUT, it is proving to be a great way to use up the white yarn.

Maybe I'll toss it in the UFO pile for now and begin looking for a different afghan to work on - maybe one that is isn't a granny square beast... for now.

five minutes later:
Yup. I've made the decision. It's a UFO. Bye bye hon!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

law student swag

So, one of the benefits of being a law student is that the two rival legal research engines try to woo you into becoming loyal to their databases. You see, using the engines as a law student is completely free, but when you become a lawyer and you run a search on one of these engines it will cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of $100-200 every time you click the search button (billed to your client, of course. Ha ha.) So, to lure you in, Lexis-Nexis and Westlaw give you lots of free stuff and you earn points when you search that you can trade in for stuff -- and in the case of Lexis Nexis, that "stuff" includes knitting books!! Yay!! And I have to say, their strategy works. I am a total LN devotee, primarily due to the fact that I prefer their rewards program.

Anyway.... I just ordered the book Knit Socks with some of my points. (And I'm saving up for Folk Style!)

I'm really excited about Knit Socks because I've heard it is really good to actually teach you about the construction of a sock and not just provide you with patterns. I'm sure I could just blindly follow a pattern, but I would much prefer to actually know what I'm doing - mostly so if I screw up I will have some idea about how far back I have to frog. Ha ha. When I knitted my beginner raglan in the knitalong ($5 in Prague) it was one of those things where knitting the sweater was more about the process of understanding how a top-down raglan is knit and not so much about creating a carbon copy of the sweater in the pattern. This knowledge has helped me immensely as I'm knitting my second top-down, bluebell, because I can actually make modifications and know what I'm doing.

In conclusion - Lexis Nexis may have just helped me in my quest to become an awesome sock knitter ... of course, depending on how frustrating I find sock knitting to be, they may have just turned me into a Westlaw convert. Ha ha.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I am Shetland Wool


What kind of yarn are you?

You are Shetland Wool. You are a traditional sort who can sometimes be a little on the harsh side. Though you look delicate you are tough as nails and prone to intricacies. Despite your acerbic ways you are widely respected and even revered.
Take this quiz!

internet explorer and this blog

BTW, this blog is still IE6 incompatible. I'm working on the problem but it is pretty far down on my to do list. Who wants to mess with code when you can be knitting? (or, when you could be knitting code...) Everyone should be using Firefox anyway. It is superior to IE in pretty much every way - and the people at Microsoft are fascists and deserve to be snubbed.

Bluebell: The Resurrection

I blew off all my homework last night and I watched Star Trek, took a nap, watched a movie, read a trashy novel, and took a bubble bath. Nice! More importantly, I worked on Bluebell! I'd say I'm now about 3/4 through the first sleeve. The sleeves are worked flat and they'll be seamed up later, which I'm dreading - but at least it's a sleeve and not an entire frakking cardigan (reference: Mrs. Darcy; and perhaps I shouldn't jinx myself by talking too much about sleeves?) Incidentally, this is the first time I've ever knit flat on circular needles. It's what the pattern says to do and I decided to just try it out. It's not that bad, but I think I still prefer straights. Though, I'm glad I tried it because I have every size of needles in circs, thanks to my fabulous can't-live-without-it Boye Needlemaster. So now with my new skill I'm never gonna have to buy straights again (or circs!) More money for yarn! Yay!

Anyway, I've made it past the first ribbing design above the elbow and I've finished up the increases for the bell sleeve - now I'm in the straight stockinette phase until the sleeve measures 15.5" [BTW, I hate that kind of instruction because I never know exactly how to measure those things - it seems like I can get 3 different measurements depending on how I lay it down!]

I stupidly stopped counting rows after my bell increases when the "knit to x length" instruction started, but about 8(?) rows in I realized I should be keeping track so the other sleeve will match! Duh! So, I counted my rows as best I could* and I'm pretty sure I was 8 rows in. I'm counting now. :)

I am still a little worried because I've gained weight since I started this project, but I am placing my faith in the miracles of blocking. That's why I love knitting with wool!!

*I'm sort of challenged in this respect because I can never tell which is the official first row after the little increase bump and I never know exactly how to count the last row up by the needle. I should really pull out the old reference books and review.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The game plan

OK, so I now have the rest of my Cascade 220 to finish up Bluebell, and I'm also chugging right along on Sheldina. I haven't even started on Roxy's bed and I have like a million other projects I want to start on!! Plus, I'm in this do something new knitalong and I've totally been a delinquent and have not done anything new yet. Then theres the afghan....

So, the game plan:
I will put away Sheldina and finish up Bluebell, then I'm going to put the cat bed on the needles and work on that simultaneously with finishing up Sheldina (I like to get some variety in). I'd like to get another sweater on the needles, but I think once I'm done with Sheldina and the bed, I should probably work on a smaller project before starting another large project - otherwise the small ones will never get done - and I'm dying to knit up my cashmere arm warmers!

As for doing something new - the problem is that nearly everything I want to try is going to require me buying new yarn, which I am strictly forbidden to do. Some new things I'd like to do are an entrelac scarf (SWS), lace (lace yarn), Kool-aid dying (bare yarn), and, obviously, the mitered squares method in the Modern Quilt wrap that I've been obsessing over (yarn yet to be determined). For Roxy's bed I will be knitting with an eyelash yarn for the first time, and I've heard that can be a challenge, so I'm going to count that as my new thing. Maybe if I hack away at the stash in the coming months I can buy all the yarn I've been dreaming about and get started on my new experiments in knitting.

What about the afghan? Right now it's sitting in a neat little box on top of my ottoman, where it will rest until I work up the energy to hook again. (Funny, yesterday's knitting daily was about the rift between knitters and crocheters and why we should all just get along. And ever since I've started crocheting I still keep thinking - man this sucks! What crazy person actually does this? Crocheters suck. ha ha. On the upside, it is far less dangerous to fling a crochet hook across the room in frustration than it is a knitting needle. In that way, crochet really is best when I'm having a temper tantrum.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

WIP: Sheldina

I started Sheldina's shell last night. I guess up until this point I should have just been calling her "Dina".

As you can see, my yarn is all tangled up. Neither one of the "balls" is actually a ball right now, so it's just a bunch of loose yarn that I don't want to re-ball and it gets tangled all the way. I seem to recall when I worked on my Jayne hat I thought I could get away with knitting straight from the skein... and after I spent about an hour and a half untangling my mess I wished I had just taken the time to roll it from the beginning. Will I ever learn from my mistakes?

note: shine sport comes in a ball, but the light pink is down too far to work as a pull ball anymore and the hot pink, which I just started, was one of those situations where the yarn won't pull, so you yank on it and about half the yarn comes out of the center. I hate that.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Check out those gams!

Finished knitting Sheldina's limbs the other night. Man, those puppies are hard to get started!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mags Kandis on Color

I thought this excerpt from Monday's Knitting Daily might be helpful in the future when I am trying to pick colors for future projects. Here, Mags Kandis provides an exercise to learn the "language of color":
Here's an exercise I've found really helpful: Flip quickly through a book or magazine, looking only at the colors, not the content. Stop when a page speaks to you solely because of its colors— and then spend a few minutes studying the colors that spoke to you. Could you design a version of the Modern Quilt Wrap based on those colors? This exercise is a way of having a Color Conversation with yourself, a way of developing your own "ear" for the language of color. Practice these sorts of color conversations (could you knit a sweater to match a favorite photo?), and you'll gain more vocabulary for, and more confidence in, your color choices.
P.S. One of the reasons I keep this blog is just so I can save ideas and scraps of advice like this all in one place to look back on another time. This is one of those posts.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Case of the Missing Yarn: solved

I just called my mom sobbing, hoping she could at least find an old label on the floor somewhere... and she found the yarn. Yay! Thanks mom.

The Case of the Missing Yarn

I still haven't found my missing skeins of Cascade 220 for Bluebell. I've looked pretty much everywhere I can think of, and it's just not turning up. I decided I better act quick to call the yarn store and try my luck at getting replacement skeins in the same dye lot.... but after searching high and low in all my knitting crap, I can't even find a label with the dye lot number on it. I am so frustrated! I always keep track of that sort of stuff. I could have sworn it was written on my yarn spreadsheet, but it's not. So, basically, I'm screwed. Just screwed. Thanks a lot, universe.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Sheldina's Hot Bod

I finished up Sheldina's body on Friday night.

Here she is right before I stuffed her nose and sealed her up. I think she looks a little bit like Predator.


And here is legless Sheldina, looking a little like a jellybean.


Naked in front of Sheldon?! Sheldina is mortified.


He is such a good friend!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Tax Evasion

So, to put off reading the materials for my federal tax class, I spent a good part of last night organizing my stashbusting efforts for the coming year. I started on my Lion Brand yarn - I went to their website and looked up the yarns I have accumulated and the list of free patterns; here is what I came up with:

For Tiffany: Clever Stripes Scarf
As you may or may not recall, I picked up some Lion Cashmere Blend yarn on clearance over the summer to knit up some armwarmers with. (This is one of the rare circumstances in which I bought yarn with an actual plan for how to use it). What you don't know, is that a month later I went back to the store and the "sister yarn" to the cashmere, Tiffany, was on clearance. So I picked up two balls of the red Tiffany to match my red cashmere. I know this makes no sense, since I already know what I'm using the cashmere for, and there is no Tiffany involved, but I did it anyway. I can't resist a yummy yarn on clearance. So, Tiffany is a fuzzy yarn and I really hate it when I impulsively buy fuzzy yarns because, I very rarely use novelty yarns in anything. (Though, this never stops me from buying them).

This scarf is totally intriguing to me. The fuzzy yarn is only an accent, on an accessory, so I think I can deal with the novelty effect. And, I think the idea of mixing a felting yarn with a non-felting yarn is cool. I will need to pick up some black wool - but I promise not to do it until immediately before I knit the scarf, so as not to add to the stash.

For Moonlight Mohair: FuzzyTurtleneck
I have a Moonlight Mohair addiction. I just love the colorways and the texture and that fun bit of metallic running through it. But it's about $8 a ball which is a lot to spend on something noveltyesque (see above). My favorite color is rainforest, so once I bought two balls of the rainforest with a 40% off coupon and that's all I could bear to spend. Recently, the MM has been coming up on clearance everywhere, but never in rainforest. So I broke down and bought a ton of balls in another blueish color, that I'm not so in love with, but I still like the texture of the yarn. So my stash dilemma here is that I don't really have enough of the color I'm in love with to make much (I'm still looking for a small project), and I have too much of the other color that I have to make something large with it. I think I'll try out this tank, but I probably won't wear it as a vest like she's doing - just over a cami. It looks like a quick knit too. Should be good for some instant stashbusting.

There are also some fun little crochet birds in Happy Hooker that use the MM, that I plan to make - though they use such a minimal amount of the yarn it is hardly helpful in any stashbusting effort.... unless I made 100 of them.

For Incredible: Open Rose & Glittery Flower; houndstooth cardigan
Again, the flowers aren't going to do a whole lot of stashbusting, but they will at least give me a way to use this cool yarn - I can stick 'em to a bag or something. The houndstooth cardigan is awesome - it won't fit me since it's a plus size pattern - but I'd like to experience with that yarn combo & stitch pattern. I think I also have a pattern for a shrug made out of ribbon yarn somewhere, which is what I had in mind when I bought the yarn, but these options might be better.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Yarn Substitutions

I wanted to make note of this awesome article in Knitting Daily about yarn subbing for my future reference: Adventures in Yarn Substitution. I am linking to this not only because I am a serial subber, but also because it deals directly with subbing for the Modern Quilt Wrap, which I will definitely have to sub for since I am poor.

And speaking of yarn, I still haven't found the missing 220.

Monday, September 3, 2007

This scarf stole my heart too!

I absolutely must knit this scarf featured in today's knitting daily:
I am completely in love with it! The colors are totally great, although I could never afford 9 skeins of kidsilk haze, but I think I could make it work with some of Elann's yarns - maybe the baby lace merino, or possibly the highland silk. Really, I can't afford nine skeins of any yarn right now, but it might be a nice little gift to myself for making it back to school. And, I've never tried the mitered square method, so I could get a stamp for September in the Do Something New KAL....

By the way, this pattern comes from the new book Folk Style, which I am completely in love with! The colors and shapes in this books are stunning. I covet the cover project - the skirt - as well.

Addendum, 9/10: I am also considering using KnitPicks Pallette for this pattern; or possibly Andean Treasure. ... or Telemark?

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Sheldina's Booty

I finished up the increases for Sheldina's booty last night and now I'm decreasing for her skinny little waist. What a sex-pot. I need to remember to pull my stitches extra tight when I switch from one needle to the next. A couple of them are loosey goosey - and since they're all in a row it's sort of obvious. I'm not too concerned since this part will be under her shell, but I still need to drill it in my head. When I start knitting socks that's going to be really important.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Casting On: Sheldina

Started work on the army of Sheldons last night. The first up is "Sheldina," a pink girly version of Sheldon; but she's not his girlfriend. She is an independent modern turtle-woman. I'm using KnitPicks Shine Sport (one of my absolute favorite yarns!) in blush and orchid.

So, the cast on for Sheldon is pretty difficult. You start with six stitches divided onto 3 dpns. It is pretty much hell to join in the round without twisting. I had to start over 4 times. But now I've got it started with a nice tight join and a minimal gap at the start point and I'm on row 13 or something. And, might I say, I have no idea how you are supposed to put a stitch marker on dpns without it falling off. I usually just count the needles carefully the first handful of rows, then I'll place my marker and slip over a stitch from the previous needle. That works well, but it can be a little confusing when I put away the knitting then pick it up next time because I always forget what to do with that extra stitch.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Shiny Yarn!

I got a box full of knitpicks shine sport in the mail yesterday. Finally I have the supplies to construct an army of Sheldons!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Monday, August 27, 2007

New Project! Gramy's Afghan

I still can't find my 220, so I decided to put to use the 50 balls of white acrylic that my Aunt Bev gave me this summer. (Yes, that's fifty balls!) And what else should one do with a windfall of 50 balls of yarn other than make an afghan? Am I right?

So, I found a cute pattern in an old Better Homes & Gardens design book, circa 1977, that I inherited from my grandmother. Fittingly, the pattern is called "grandmother's flower garden afghan." It's a series of crocheted hexagonal granny squares ("motifs") that are stitched together in a flower pattern. I'm making the base color white and then I will use the oodles of scrap yarn I have lying around to make the colored pieces. I even have yellow scrap for the centers of the flowers, but I may not have enough. But I think making an entire afghan with only purchasing one ball is pretty good.I made three squares last night, all of which will probably be recycled once I improve my crochet skills. My tension is sort of wonky and I keep splitting the yarn. I don't understand crocheters - knitting is so much cooler! But I want to be a well rounded needle crafter, so I am forcing myself to crochet a little bit. Anyway, there will be 145 white squares and 126 colored squares, so I figure I'll perfect my skills by at least square 50. Right? Then I'll see how many of the early, wonky squares I can save.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Missing: Yarn

I finished up my ball of yarn about halfway down the sleeve of bluebell and now I can't find the other balls!! Grrr!! I know for sure I have at least two left - one balled and one in a hank, but I can't find them anywhere. My mom looked around the house to see if they got left behind, but they didn't - they are just missing! Grrr!! I'd better find it because I don't want to spend another $20 replacing it, plus I doubt I could find the same dye lot.

Bluebell: you are getting to be a real pain in the ass!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bluebell Body Completed (Or ready to frog?)

Well, last night I cast off the body on Bluebell and I have to say that I'm very disappointed with the way it is turning out. As you can see, the ribbing starts way too high, but I'm confident that can be fixed with blocking. But even when I stretch it down, the top three reverse stockinette stripes land straight on my ribs and the bottom ones fall on my hips making me look super fat, then the ribbing doesn't tuck in at the waist enough, so I have almost no waist line.


Here is a close up on the ribbing pulled down below the bust. Okay, looking at this pic, the waistline doesn't look so bad, but I think it's just the angle of the camera - straight on, it looks bad. So, check out the hip increasing - it's a little weird. The increases slant in instead of out. At first I thought I goofed, but then I compared it to the picture on the model and it's correct. Kind of weird, but if I pull the line straight when I block I guess it will create the appearance of flaring out instead of in.Anyway, basically I am relying on the miracles of blocking to save this sweater. If that doesn't work out I'm gonna have to frog (noooo!) because this yarn is too expensive for a sweater that looks bad on me.

I cast on for the sleeves last night - they are knit flat and will be seamed later. I thought this was a little weird since it would make sense to knit it in the round on dpns, but I think Japel might be trying to design the project so you only need one needle, which I can respect. Anyway, I would have knit them on the round since I have a pair on size 8 dpns, but I'm having so many problems with this beast already I decided it is best to just follow the instructions.

p.s. I want to finish this sweater, despite the Boston heat. I'm just suffering.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Knitting Needle Organizer

I made this awesome knitting needle organizer about a week ago and I'm totally loving it!


That's four different motifs on corduroy fabric you're seeing, including one piece on the outside of the roll that is embroidered (kinda pricey, but worth it!). I based it on the design for the "roll your own" case in Stitch & Bitch. The design has an extra long flap that folds over the needles to keep them from falling out of the case - far superior to my old case that had about a 1'' lip that never held anything in.

Well, I guess there is only so much one can say about a needle organizer. Salut!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Roxy's "Mouse"

I picked up some funfetti yarn in the clearance bin at Jo-ann a couple of weeks ago because I knew Roxy would love it. When I showed it to my mother she insisted I knit Roxy a mouse out of it. My mom loves the little cat mice I knit, and I knew it would be an exercise in futility to try explain why I couldn't knit a mouse out of this yarn. So, I just did it. Here is Roxy's "mouse" i.e. giant puff ball with string. I loaded it with two pouches of catnip and she freakin' loves it.

(cell phone pic)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

FO: Amanda's Squatty Sidekick

Here it is: my first felted object! I've been wanting to try felting for a long time, but I've been hesitant to do it since it brings back horrible memories of the time I shrunk my favorite sweater. As the summer has come to a close I've been thinking I should really felt now while I have access to my mom's washing machine, so when this cute bag showed up in my Knitting Daily email, it was the perfect opportunity to give this a try.

yarn details
Paton's Classic Wool in color 238 Paprika (leftover from Mrs. Darcy)
100% merino wool
worsted weight
100 grams/223 yds @ $4.00 each (on sale: 2 for $8!!)

findings:
vintage button from my grandmother's stash, free!

pattern details
pattern: "Amanda's Squatty Sidekick;" available free from Knitting Daily: http://www.knittingdaily.com/freepatterns/felted_items/45-1.html
needles: 10.5 circulars, (large size)
yarn used: ?
time: knit up in two evenings, felted for maybe an hour?
total cost: $4

notes...
-I had some trouble picking up the stitches from the bottom of the bag when I started knitting the sides and ended up with a "holey" seam on one side of the bag (the front, of course). I wasn't too concerned because I was felting it anyway, but that area ended up felting into a seam on the bag instead of being totally smooth. Next time I do this I'll be more careful.
- Also, didn't pay a whole lot of attention attaching the i-cord for the button hole and ended up with it slightly off center, but the button covers it up.
- Felted for a long time - maybe 3 agitation cycles? I think the front load washer slowed it down; took about a day to dry.
- NOTE TO SELF: next time, make note of percentage of shrinkage with this yarn, to perhaps modify later to make larger hobo version of this bag.

Fresh Crop of Knitting Gadgets

I got my regular email from KnitPicks today (one of my favorite yarn sources!). I absolutely must have this bag: Total Tote. So while I was drooling over this sexy lime green bag, I saw these DPN organizers in the sidebar. They are only $6.50 for four, which isn't bad. I was thinking I might use those travel toothbrush holders to organize my DPNs, but these are probably more appropriate. Decisions, decisions.

Oh, and just when I thought I had the most bad ass row counter on the block, I see this puppy: electronic row counter.

Oh, how I loathe being poor!!

Friday, August 10, 2007

New Look

New format for the knitting blog! I've incorporated it into my website, so the design got de-spiced a bit. And I know the sidebar is pretty messed up at the moment. I'm working on it. I reverted the template to classic blogger, so I lost my widgets and my labels, but I'm getting them all back, it just takes a little fancy hacking.

Fun fact: the edit marks on my header are made from the font I made of my actual handwriting. Lol. I used to be as obsessed with fontography as I now am with knitting. It occasionally comes in handy.