Saturday, April 26, 2008

(quick!) Update

I finished the back of Cressida last night! I started on one of the front panels, but I keep getting holes whenever I cast on new stitches, so I have to do some research and/or come back at it later with a fresh mind.

Studying? Who cares?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wool of the Andes Heathers

I ordered some color cards from Knit Picks, they arrived today. I just had to take a petite break from my massive study schedule to say that the Wool of the Andes Heathered Colors are gorgeous!!! I never expected to see such pretty yarn in the "work horse" wota line, I thought all those pretty colors were reserved for the lace and sock yarns, so I'm pretty damn impressed (and delighted!) My faves: iris heather is a silvery light-purple that reminds me of a crystal, sapphire heather is a stunning blue, and forest heather is the color of my eyes. And, tidepool heather is a colorway I've seen in their other yarns and it's a favorite of mine as well because its such an awesome aqua scheme. The purple and the red are also awesome! I was just getting excited about summer yarns and now all I want to do is knit a whole wool wardrobe out of that mesmerizing deep sapphire blue. Damn you Knit Picks!

Of course, I ordered a few other things as well (*wink, wink*) and some other color cards. I'll have to blog about it all after finals are over though, because if I take it out and play with it I will flunk out of law school, which means I'll never earn the money to pay back my student loans, which means I'll never be able to move to NZ and buy a sheep herd when I'm debt free....

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Rise and Fall of Cressida

Whoo hoo! Cruisin' right along on Cressida. Hmmm... that seems kind of long. I still have one round of increases left and it is already longer than this whole section should be....
CRAP! That instruction really said increase on each end of the row?? Well, I thought it was pretty stupid that I was only increasing on one side. It wasn't even. I should have investigated that gut reaction much sooner! Never mind, I will just frog back down to where the increases should be, drop the stitches, and squeeze the increases in.
Oh, duh. I can't start at the top increase. Let me mark the spots where each increase needs to be and I'll have to drop the stitches all the way down to that first marker.
Wow, this is going to be a real challenge to squeeze two and then three stitches into this space - and since it's on the edge I can only pull some slack from one side.
Well, I am determined not to frog, so I will manage to shove my crochet hook in and add in those stitches with brute force, even if it takes me 40 minutes to finish. But dammit! That finished "fix" is just not going to work out. Those three stitches are at least 1/3 of the gauge of the rest of the piece. (OK, probably exactly 1/3...)
Well, I didn't want to do it, but I'm going to have to frog back to row 10, before all the increases started. But at least I'm not frogging the whole thing! I'll still save my cast on and 10 rows.
Damnit, that breaker needle was just not at all straight. In fact, it was so all over the place that it's going to take me another 40 minutes to even it all out. Fine, knitting goddess, you win!! I will frog this whole damn thing because it will take me less time to cast on again and reknit those 10 rows I'm trying to save than it will take to play your sick little game.
AND THE YARN IS IN A KNOT NOW?!? WHY ME??? (photo enhanced to express emotion)
An hour and a half later, I'm exactly where I was 3 days ago.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Shhh!! Danica is sleeping!

I officially moved Danica into hibernation. I haven't picked her up in months and now I'm all excited for spring projects and a heavy, woolly scarf isn't super appetizing. Maybe I'll pick her up over the summer if I can bear to knit with wool for awhile, because the entrelac is "fun." (Or rather, I hope it will be fun once I get over the pain of learning how to do it).

Sleep tight Danica!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sadness!

I didn't knit at all this weekend and I didn't cast on for Cressida this week... tsk tsk! I have so many projects on the needles and I have tons more I want to start, so all I want to do it sit down and knit, knit, knit!! (I've sort of had knitting ADD lately, I keep starting stuff up then putting it down and starting something new).

I really want to start on Cressida and I need to finish up Sheldino soon. It's "due" on July 10 and I have to knit a second Sheldon with safety eyes in the meantime. My aestetician is having a baby in July so I've got another deadline there to knit either booties or a blanket, which I'm looking forward to. Also, I may or may not have just ordered the yarn for the hexacomb cardigan from the spring IK, which I am convinced is going to be my favorite cardigan of the summer.... tee hee.

Only like 4 more weeks of school and then I'm free to knit whenever I want!! YAY!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I did a bad thing....

It's so easy to order yarn online that sometimes you forget how much you are actually buying:

That's 19 balls.... don't tell mom.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Update

I didn't work on any of my projects over the weekend. Instead I knit up some mice for Roxy and her new friends Danny and Nova. I'm going to write up an FO post on them so I won't spoil you with the darling pictures now.

I just condemned my sassy stripes socks to hibernation. They put me in a bad mood whenever I think of them. Not sure how much knitting I'll get done this week/end because I have a big paper due on Monday (and I'm perpetually behind on my reading & finals are coming up). But I'd really like to cast on for Cressida this week.

In other news, I went on a knitting shopping spree last week and I'm sort of disgusted with myself. I don't have the money for it at all, but I kept saying "my tax refund will cover it!" So now if I spend my entire tax refund on yarn I'm gonna be really mad at myself. (I hoped to use it for buying new work clothes for the summer since my old ones no longer fit because I gained weight). I applied for three grants to fund my summer job at a domestic violence shelter so I'm praying that I will get one. (Hopefully the larger one!) If that happens I will be able to enjoy all my new stuff without feeling anxious every time I look at it.

Anyway, when the boxes start arriving, I'll post pics.*

*the needle-felting box arrived on Saturday... but that's a whole other story...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

FO: Back to School Vest

I started this back to school vest in time to go back to school from winter break, however, I didn't finish it until well after vest weather came and went. I have a love-hate relationship with this little guy. He fought me every step of the way but I think I managed to coax a vest out of him that mostly fits and looks somewhat like the photo in the pattern book.


yarn detail:
Moda Dea Silk 'n Wool Blend in Pewter
85% wool, 15% silk
worsted weight
hand wash cold and dry flat
cost: 80 g / 138 yds @ $4.19

pattern detail:
pattern: "Back-to-School U-Neck Vest" in Fitted Knits
needles: #5, 6 & 7 circular needles
gauge: it's complicated
time: December, 2007 - April 4, 2008
total cost: $13.00
errata available

notes:
  • Read all the blog entries on this vest to get a clear picture of the multitudes of problems I had here.
  • Lesson learned #1: on my very first post dated 12/28 I noted that I didn't like the texture of this yarn for the waffle pattern and that I was having a really difficult time with my gauge. These are the problems I struggled with through the entire sweater (apart from freak accidents). So what is the lesson? I should have aborted this project at the swatching stage until I found a yarn I liked and a gauge I was comfortable with.
  • Lesson learned #2: in this pattern the bottom half was ribbing and the top half was waffle stitch, but the pattern only gave a gauge for the waffle part. The ribbing ended up being super tight so in the future I will remember to do my own little gauge swatch for multiple stitch patterns and do the math.

FO: Mice

I've posted my finished mouse cat toy before, but I never really gave any details, so here ya go! I made this little trio for Roxy and for Christina's kitties, Danny and Nova.


yarn details
Red Heart Sport Solid in Limeade and Hot Pink

Sport Weight
100% acrylic
cost: $1.58/ 240 yard ball

TLC Ultra Soft in Light Yellow
Worsted Weight
100% acrylic

findings

polyfill stuffing
catnip packets (from Petsmart)


project details
pattern: "Catwarming Set" by Michelle Ameron in Stitch 'n Bitch Nation.
needles: size 4 dpns
hours: two evenings for three mice
total cost: $5

notes
- Roxy's mouse was the only one with catnip in it and she destroyed it within 5 minutes. Observe: the catnip pack is in her mouth, mouse guts are all over the floor, and the sad little mouse carcass is by her feet.

thoughts for the future...
- I'm going to try knitting with a strand of button-hole thread held along with the yarn - maybe that will reinforce the mouse a little so it can stand up to 10 minutes of kitty play.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Finished!

I took the vest off the blocking board this afternoon and thank god it shrunk back down!!! Yes folks, after all the hell this beast gave me, it finally fits. Here is a sneek peek pic, I will take some better ones later.


Obligatory critique:
  • Not entirely happy with the see-though effect of the bottom ribbing but I am happy that it stretched out enough so it doesn't shrink-wrap my belly. I would blame this on my needle accident, but the truth is that I intended to knit the whole thing on smaller needles...
  • The armholes could have stood to be a bit larger and the neckline should have been deeper - I'll explain what happened there in my FO post.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I HATE YOU VEST FROM HELL!!!

Off the blocking board:

This vest was made for bizarro Pepper with a 40'' chest. That, or it's for real Pepper if I preferred about 8 inches of positive ease. Why?? Why do I have such awful luck!?! I knew that bust looked huge when I blocked it! AHHH!!!

On the plus side, the bottom ribbing stretched out nicely so that it actually fits around my gut. Look how sheer it got! You can see straight through to my tank top! But that's not a big deal. So... I'm reblocking the top half. I don't even know if it's possible to shrink it back down after I stretched it out so much. We'll see. I just got it soaking wet and squished it up as best I could. This time I triple-checked the measurements. It damn well better fit this time around!!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Starting Over

I finally frogged the cashmere arm cosy last night:

I rolled the mess up into a center pull ball then, I made a lame attempt to swatch onto size 6 needles then I just decided to just go for it and cast on on size 7 dpns. So, I got a few rounds in and realized I mixed up the right and wrong sides and I was cabling backwards (oops!). So, I frogged again, cast on again, got going a bit and then realized that the pattern (written to be knit flat and seamed) left purl ribs on each side for seaming, so in the round there were four purls in a row, messing up the ribbing. So I frogged again and went through the pattern eliminating the first and last stitches of each row.

I was about to cast on again when I realized my yarn was looking really ragged (from being swatched, knit, and frogged so many times). I decided to put it in a loose hank and let it chill out for a while and use a new ball of yarn for now. So, of course with my bad knitting luck, my center pull ball got horrifically tangled when I tried to unravel it and I spent an hour untangling the mess to get it in a hank. I'm sort of hoping that now it's in the hank it will relax on its own and I won't have to wash it or anything.

At this point it was 1:45 a.m. But I still wanted to cast on for the damn thing after this four hours of drama - so I did and made it up to the first cross of the cable and then went to bed. Hopefully everything is ready to go now and there won't be any more frogging!