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.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Progress Pic

I've been concerned about my stitch gauge, but I never put a lot of thought until my row gauge until I tried on my WIP to see the ribbing starts much too high. But I'm not frogging. I have great faith in blocking.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Weekend Update

I went out so many nights this week that I really needed some downtime this weekend so I spent a lot of time knitting.

1. I sewed the button on my squatty sidekick. It is super cute!

2. I've made a ton of progress on bluebell - I'm 3 rows away from starting the hip shaping. I'm feeling a lot of pressure to finish her up in the next two weeks since I know it will be way to hot to knit with wool in Boston, so if I don't finish it here in the central air I'm going to have to put it away until late fall.

3. I bought a bad ass new row counter.

4. I lost my mind in the clearance bin at Jo-ann. Literally. I tried to hide all the new yarn from my mom because she doesn't want to ship it across the country, but then Roxy had to go ruin it by pulling all the hidden yarn out of the bag one at a time while my mom was sitting in the room. It was actually pretty funny. Oh well. Mom still didn't see the other 10 balls I already shoved in the ottoman. (Do you read this blog, mommy?)

5. I created a massive spreadsheet to catalogue my stash. I've got almost all the yarn I have here inputted, but not the stuff I already shipped to Boston.

6. I bought Roxy some super cute red funfetti yarn and my mom insisted I knit her a mouse out of it. It is pretty ridiculous looking. Looks more like a puffer fish. But I stuffed it with two pouches of catnip and Roxy seems pretty into it.