Keep Calm and Knit On

Well, I am managing the knitting part, but frustration sometimes replaces calm.  After the christmas crafting, all I could think about were my planned projects that I hadn’t even gotten around to starting.  And so I cast on for TheHusband’s hat, the one where I bought yarn back in September…

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All it needed was to thread the tail through the final few loops. The fit was fabulous but those colors weren’t quite what I was hoping for and TheHusband admitted the same. What can I say, I’m naive in the ways of Noro. I started digging through Ravelry, checking out all the other projects done in potential self-striping colorways, I dug through my stash to see if I could find enough coordinating colors to make my own stripes up, and then the most recent Classic Elite Newsletter dropped in my email box with Dave’s Montero Set (Rav link). Hmmm…, TheHusband approved and so a week after my little almost finished shimmy, I ripped and re-wound the yarn down to the ribbing. Once I rewound the Noro, the colors enchanted me once again (damn you Noro). But this time I had a better sense of the color variation and started knitting again from what was formerly the center of the ball – a lovely vivid green.
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Thus far it is looking good, time will tell as I add in that funky brown color coming up next. But still all is not calm in my knittingverse. To keep good on my selfish-knitting promise I cast on for a hat I’ve been plotting for myself (since…September).

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I am making Nancy Ricci’s Sally Hat (pattern link is a Rav link) out of Malabrigo Worsted. Of course, this yarn does not get gauge when I knit it at the drapiness level appropriate for a hat originally designed for dk weight alpaca-merino blend. Math to the rescue! Knitting math is generally pretty easy and straightforward (really – it is) and worked out perfectly when I knit a version for my sister. This time around I have been thwarted at the decreases – which I totally forgot to figure out when I sat down and crunched the numbers before casting on. Also – my nemesis – counting. I either forgot or miscounted during my increase row. And now I’ve started decreasing twice, only to tink a couple rows, knit and tink again. This morning I was thinking about it and I might have a solution. If I’m right I will be wearing this hat by Sunday night. If I’m wrong – yet more knitting with no progress.

January 29, 2011. Tags: , , , . Knitting. Leave a comment.

frogging

I’m sad.  Last night Wednesday at knit night I had a few other people double check my gauge on my selbu modern, I’m some where between 30% and 40% done (based on my geeky analysis of stitch count row by row that I’m too lazy to recalculate).  We each got a different read (8 sts/inch, 8.5 sts/inch, 9.3 sts/inch) but they all said the same thing – too many stitches per inch (the pattern suggests 7.5 sts/inch) which means my hat is too small (also, as might be expected, L pointed out that my gauge changed as I got more comfortable with the fair isle skill set).  It would fit me, but it is snug and not at all how I want it to fit (as a slightly slouchy beret).

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BTW, thank you all for your input on the sassymetrical length.  I simply don’t have enough yarn to do a longer, long sleeve version though many of those variations look very nice.  I decided to add 2-3″ to the bottom of the sassymetrical, which just about uses up my 4th skein, and will figure the sleeves out once I get there, but each gets no more than half of my 5th skein.  I find all that purling a bit tiresome and only knit on it here and there.  I did 1 1/2″ of stockinette and will do as much seed stitch as I can, ripping a couple rows strikes me as less troublesome than ripping out a cast-off and adding rows.

January 27, 2010. Tags: , , . Knitting, Problems. 2 comments.

Trumpet the Crumpet and other knitted goods

Back in September when I decided to let my unfinished sassymetrical rest for the winter (last seen here) I started working on a series of smaller projects I’d promised various people (and a couple gifts).  There were 3 or 4 projects that each should have taken me a week or two to complete.  In mid November I was still working on nagging details.  Snaps to be sewn on, ends to weave in, seams to be sewn…  it was rather frustrating.  Now we are in the second week of December and I just sent off various fall gifts on Sunday evening (the joys of a 24 hour quick-shop/postal outlet, though the guy helping was baffled that I’d want to hear about the cost-differences between sending first-class/priority mail/parcel-post for even the third package sent while when I’m at an official Post Office they always give me those options without me asking).

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But not as frustrating as trying to work kitchener stitch with manos silky wool in the round over 50+ stitches.  Not pretty.  See, I’ve been siting on the crumpet beret (Rav link) which I’ve made for Fractone of Dear Blank, it felt like it was taking forever when really it was a 2 week project (started at the end of October) but I decided that the 1×1 ribbing was a great project to finally try out a tubular bind-off.  So of course I put off trying tubular bind-off for over a week then I dutifully did my two set-up rows to create double kitting and started to graft, I got about 5 stitches in when I decided it wasn’t going be pretty and undid that work and did  Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off instead. The Knitty pictures were failing me, but luckily Cat Bordhi made a video of this – Thank you Cat!  The bind-off is a little fluttery – I think it is supposed to be that way for the non-squeezing effect.  I hope  the hat stays on nicely and I personally like to find that sweet spot where hats don’t smoosh hair around your face and yet don’t fly off with a random wind gust.

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I also sent off two baby sweaters that I really really hope will fit.  My friend had twins this fall, and she sort of lucked out since I started the first baby sweater with no idea who it was for (odd for me).  This August I was lamenting about the idea of making not one but two baby items, contemplating sewing something instead, when I realized one item was already made and it might just fit.  Maybe.  I don’t know yet.  At some point this fall I decided I wanted to make little flowers to embellish the sweater so I flipped through Crochet Adorned and picked out one of the motifs, the 5-petal pointy flower, from Crochet Adorned’s Garden Party Cardigan (you can’t see it on most of the book’s photos, check page 39 where it is hiding between strands of the model’s hair on her left shoulder) and modified a raised center by picking up stitches in the middle and single crocheting towards the center then pulling the end toward the back.  These two sweaters were the subject of much procrastination mention above.  I finally stitched on the two matching flowers, going around the center about three times to make sure it was good and secure, but leaving the flower petals ends detached for a little more dimension.  And shipped those sweaters off, hopefully before the babes grow out of them.  Now to work on my long backlog of other baby items, I think a few of the babes might reach kindergarten before they get a knitted object from me 😦  The lesson – always have something baby related on the needles so stuff is good to go (great idea in theory).

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Of course what is the best thing to do in November, when you have nagging details to complete and a desire to make christmas gifts?  Cast-on for two selfish projects of course.  I joined a local knit-along and finally started my first lace shawl, Ishbel, as well as took a class to learn fair isle by making Selbu Modern.  Since I hope to start blogging again (actually I never stopped, I just never got past the draft stage of any posts) and can’t use Zarah’s techniques of close-ups (awesome idea) for some of my gifts I’ll tell you more about those projects next time.

December 9, 2009. Tags: , , , . Knitting. 1 comment.