Archive for September, 2007

September 30, 2007

Hallowe’en update #1

I almost feel like there’s no point to my following a pattern, since I’ve changed so much of it. I’m not using the yarn it calls for; I’m making it larger; and I’m doing it in the round instead of flat.

I cast on 48 stitches for the front and back instead of 44, and knit each piece until it was seven inches long (and I’m inordinately pleased with myself that they had the same number of rows and were the same width), then joined them. So now I’m knitting garter stitch in the round, which is kind of weird. Anyway, I’ve got about 12 inches knitted, which should be enough for me to have Thing One step into it after her shower, so I can be sure it’ll go over those hips I’ve mentioned.

It’s very boring knitting. I’m glad I’m doing it in the round instead of flat, because I’m sure I’d be thrilled when I finished the first piece . . . and then crestfallen when I realized I had to knit another one exactly like it. I’m trying to keep my mind not only on the actual process, but also on what the finished piece will be.

I’m sure that’s part of my problem lately. I get bored with things too quickly because I’m thinking more about the individual stitches or patterns. Even a complicated lace or cable pattern can seem boring when you’ve done it fifty times and have it memorized. I know I didn’t think that way before (before what? I’m not sure), though.

Anyway, I went ahead and ordered some yarn from KnitPicks myself (and told my mom that I think she’s an addict, to which she had no reply). I’m going to substitute Shine Worsted for the Cascade Pima-Tencel for the jewelry. It’s about half the price, and KnitPicks shipping rate is better than any other I saw. I should have that in the next couple of days. This is good, because I think the tunic is getting to be a bit long for me to be knitting while walking, particularly up and down stairs.

September 23, 2007

Born in Babylonia, moved to Arizona*

I bought the super cheap Caron One Pound for Thing One’s Hallowe’en costume. I’m sure my mom will be upset that she can’t order something else from KnitPicks, but I figure she’ll find something for herself.

Thing One has hips. She’s had hips since she was a baby. If it weren’t for those hips, I’d probably be able to get away with just making the tunic a couple of inches longer. At least it’s just a straight sheath, all in garter stitch. I am going to knit the jewelry, too. We went to Cost Plus World Market yesterday to see if they had anything appropriate, but they didn’t have necklaces that I thought would work.

My mom has gotten the yarn for Sheldon, so I’ve got that lined up, too.

Now I have to decide if I should make the other sock first, or get going on the costume.

Oh, who am I kidding? I already know, from past experience, that I’ll still be making the costume on Hallowe’en, no matter when I start it. I should probably start it today, so at least I’ll be able to get some sleep on October 30th.

*”King Tut,” Steve Martin

September 23, 2007

Sock update #4 (Taking the plunge)

I finished the first sock yesterday. I took some pictures while it was still on the needles, but our digital camera is a little cheap-o thing with no flash, and they didn’t turn out well.

I did have one problem with it. When I was doing the decreasing on one side (K2tog, k2, SSK), I apparently only knit one in between the decreases. I almost did that several other times, too, but I caught myself. I noticed it two rows later, and didn’t feel like ripping them out to fix it. I don’t think anyone will look that closely at my toes.

It fits quite well, but I wonder if I should have used a size smaller needles, or knit a smaller size . . . or both. It doesn’t exactly hug my foot. Of course, questions like this are why I picked a really basic sock pattern, and used the GCUC yarn.

Now I just have to knit the other one.

September 21, 2007

Sock update #3 (Taking the plunge)

I’m almost finished with the first sock. It fits . . . okay. I think it might turn out to be too big. I’ll survive.

I’m pretty sure the yarn is acrylic.

If I make another pair of socks, I want to make Cable net. Only, I don’t want to pay thirty dollars for the yarn for a pair of socks. The blueberry is very pretty, though.

September 19, 2007

My mother, the addict

I think my mom may have a KnitPicks problem. I knew that she liked the yarn she’d gotten from them, so last week when I decided to get the yarn for Sheldon, I asked if she was going to be ordering more soon.  That way I could lump mine in with hers and save on shipping. Well, yes, actually, she was, so we combined the orders.

I talked to her the other day about how I need to get yarn to make the “Walk Like an Egyptian” dress from New Knits on the Block for Thing One’s Hallowe’en costume, but I don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for the Cascade yarns the pattern uses. It’s just a Hallowe’en costume, after all. If I make the whole thing (except the wig), the yarn would cost nearly fifty bucks! So, what does Mom suggest? “Let me look in the KnitPicks catalog. I’m sure they’ll have something.” I tell her I’m thinking about going really cheap and use Caron’s One Pound. (Hey! I’m poor! And it’s just a costume!) She says she’s sure that KnitPicks would have something. I say that I can pick up the super-cheap acrylic stuff at the store and not pay shipping. She says she’ll just have a look in the catalog for me. What is this? She can’t think of anything to order for herself, but she needs to get her fix?

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September 19, 2007

Sock update #2 (Taking the plunge)

I finished turning the heel and started picking up my stitches along the selvedge. Did I mention that I need to actually keep track of my rows while doing them? There were supposed to be fifteen selvedge stitches. I got sixteen. Okay, I got sixteen on the first side and then somehow found seventeen when I worked my way down the other side. I ripped them out and counted several times. I gave up and went with sixteen (I ignored the 17th stitch on the other side), so now I’m working on decreasing. Naturally, since I’m doing this on two circs instead of dpns, the instructions are very specifically for dpns. Grr. At least I don’t have problems counting stitches, like I do counting rows.

September 18, 2007

Sock update #1 (Taking the plunge)

I’m almost finished turning the heel.  I’ve tried them on, and so far they seem fine, although maybe a bit looser than intended.  I don’t mind somewhat slouchy socks — I am an eighties girl, after all — so that’ll be okay.

I did the ribbing for only five inches, instead of the nine or so total the pattern suggests. I’m pretty sure I know how to do 1×1 ribbing, and I didn’t feel I needed the practice.:-P I do need to remember to keep track of my rows, because I hate trying to count them afterwards.

September 18, 2007

Stealing time to knit

Last night when I left work, I had just started work on the heel flap. I still had to get all of the non-heel stitches off my working needle (I’m doing them on two circs instead of dpns), but I decided, hey! I can stick my water cup (with lid) in my bag, where it will be propped up by the Gigantic Cone of Unknown Composition, and work on transferring the stitches while I walk! I need to practice knitting while walking, anyway, because then I can increase the amount of time I have for knitting. So, that’s what I did.

Of course, half-way down the stairs, I started feeling cold drips on my leg. The GCUC is not sufficiently weighty to keep a full water cup vertical, at least not when there are several skeins of yarn around, not to mention a book and a case of needles, just begging to get wet. I wound up walking the rest of the way to the car (I park all the way in the back, of course) clenching the cup between my arm and ribcage, with water still dripping out of the bag. I did manage to get all the stitches transferred, though. Then I pulled the various other skeins, pieces of paper, and my tatting shuttles with the unfinished doily on them and spread them on the dashboard to dry while I drove home. I got a few funny looks from people on the road, needless to say.

Last night for supper, I made a casserole, so I could sit and knit while waiting for it to cook.

This morning, I tried the knitting while walking thing again, this time without the water cup mishap. I got a few rows done before I got to the stairs. I want to start taking walks on my lunch hour, and knit while doing that, but I have to wait until I find my watch, so I don’t stay out too long. We think it’s very likely that the cats thought the watch was yet another toy that for some reason got left on the kitchen table (it’s amazing how many cat toys — pencils, small Post-It® pads, sunglasses — get left up there). We’ll probably find it right after I break down and buy a new one.

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September 16, 2007

Taking the plunge

I’m giving in and knitting a pair of socks for myself — purple socks, to be exact. I’m using the yarn from the Gigantic Cone of Unknown Composition. It is a huge cone of yarn I got at The Yarn Exchange in DeKalb, IL in 2002. I’m sure that when I bought it, I knew what kind of fiber it was. There is a label on it, so maybe some day I’ll call the store and see if they can figure it out for me. For now, I’m assuming that it’s acrylic, maybe a blend.

Looking at the website for The Yarn Exchange, it doesn’t look like they’re set up the way they used to be. When they opened, they carried some Brown Sheep, and a couple of other brands, but mostly they had shelves lining the store, filled with these gigantic cones. You could either buy a specific weight, which they’d wind into balls for you, or you could buy the whole cone (by weight), and if you were done with it in a reasonable amount of time (I think it was thirty or sixty days), you could take it back, they’d weigh it, and refund you the difference. It was really neat. Of course, that would be difficult to do on-line, so maybe they just don’t have that on their website, and they still do it in the actual store.

Regardless, I’m making the socks. I’m using the generic sock pattern from The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns, from Interweave Press.* I don’t anticipate becoming one of those people who can’t stop making socks. I’m actually getting tired of all of the sock patterns that are out there (although Q from the new Knitty is really interesting). I did need to learn something new, though. Hopefully this will help pull me out of my funk.

*This completely confused me at first. With a title like that, I assumed it would be from the publishers of Knitter’s magazine.

September 14, 2007

What am I doing?

I suppose if I’m going to start a knitting ‘blog, the day the new Knitty comes out is as good as any.

I like a lot of the patterns this time, especially the little Woodins. We’ll see if I actually have time to make any of them.

My hope for this (yet another) ‘blog is that it will inspire me to knit more. I’ve barely been knitting, or doing other crafts, lately, and I’d like that to change.

For now, I need to go delete the account I set up at Vox. It’s too MySpace-y for me.

I imagine I’ll get the hang of WordPress‘s way of doing things soon enough.