Archive for September, 2009

September 25, 2009

I’m all confoozled.

I can’t decide which is better: keeping detailed project notes in Ravelry, or putting them here. I keep going back and forth.

Anyway, I got through the ten rows of ribbing on the Hallowig, and started the setup for decreasing. I think the pattern is a little unclear on a couple things. Are you supposed to do the first decrease before the second marker on the bangs side? I’m pretty sure that’s what it says to do, and it pretty much makes sense, since the second marker on the bangs side is actually right at the beginning of the round, but the way it’s worded makes it sound like the round should be starting in the middle of the bangs . . . I had to read it several times to make sense of it. Maybe it’s just me, though, since no one on Ravelry seemed to have that problem.

Then, reading ahead in the instructions, trying to figure out if I was right or not, I saw the line, “Work this round every round until 6 sts rem between markers.” This, to me, sounds like there should be twenty-four stitches on the needles at that point (there are four markers). Except, you only decrease between markers one and two, not between two and one (really, it makes sense, go look at the diagram). When I copied the pattern to print it out, I didn’t include the actual photos, just the text and diagrams, so I had to wait until our computer was not being used to check, and yes, you only decrease between one and two. It’s very obvious when you look at the aerial-view picture of the actual wig. So, just a little thing I would have worded differently. Or maybe I shouldn’t have read ahead (isn’t that what they tell you in school?) and then when I actually got to that point, I would have known what was meant. Or maybe this should be a signal to me to stop being so cheap about my printer ink and copy the photos, too.

September 24, 2009

Aye, there’s the rub . . . on the rib.

I swear I had never heard of the problem of ladders in ribbing until I made those legwarmers last year and was looking for tricks to keep them from laddering. A lot of the stuff I found was specifically about ribbing, and how a lot of people apparently have a problem with ladders appearing when they go from a knit stitch to a purl stitch. It was one of those things that I filed away as interesting, but not really relevant to me or my problem at the time.

So today, while I was working on the Hallowig for bibliogrrl, I noticed that I was having a bit of a ladder problem in switching between knit and purl stitches. I’m sure if I’d never found that information, it never would have happened to me. Never.

Anyway, I watched myself knitting for a while, trying to figure out how to correct it. It had only started in the last few rounds, so it’s not a huge problem, but I still wanted to stop. I discovered that for some reason — maybe I did a particularly sloppy row when I was taking the stairs down yesterday in my new high heels — I was still knitting as usual, barely dipping the tip of the needle through the loop to pick up more yarn, but when I purled the next stitch, I really went fishing. I probably put the needle through the loop by an inch. Maybe more. This pushed the loop further onto the left-hand needle, which meant there was more yarn between the last stitch and the next stitch, and also meant that I was wrapping more yarn around the needle than when I just dip the tip. That sounds like perfect ladder conditions to me. With the second purl stitch (it’s in 2×2 rib), for whatever reason, I didn’t go quite as far.

I don’t think it shows, looking at the fabric as a whole, but I certainly noticed it when I was knitting. The next couple of rounds, I took special care to not do that with the purl stitches, and now it all seems to look much better. I don’t know that this is what causes it for everyone who gets ladders in ribs, but I think it’s interesting, nonetheless.

Of course, I’m at work and don’t have my camera, so I can’t take pictures to show what I mean, and by the time I get home I’ll hopefully have knitted enough that I won’t really be able to find the laddery bits.

September 24, 2009

A list.

The forementioned pile of projects on my plate:

The Purse
Hallowig for bibliogrrl, who is shaving her head for Gilda’s Closet in Chicago.
Shirt for Thing Two (almost finished, just needs buttonholes and buttons)
“Chain mail” tunic for Thing One’s Hallowe’en costume
Swordfish fin for Thing Two’s Hallowe’en costume
Trick-or-treat bag for Little Cat Z (thinking about doing a tutorial on how to make one, too)
Dress for Thing One (designing it for her)
Dress for Little Cat Z (based on dress for Thing One, but with different yarn and a much smaller size, seeing how well the pattern can be altered)
Cropped cardigan for me (heavily modifying Ravelry pattern Sweet Little Nothing)
Ripping out first Sweet Little Nothing and finding something else I can make with that yarn (maybe The Amanda Hat)
A skirt for Grace
A skirt for me
A skirt pattern I came up with the other day that may or may not work (although I don’t even have fabric for this, so it probably shouldn’t be listed here)
Finish the super secret felting project (needs I-cord still) and figure out what the heck I’m doing with it

I think that’s far more projects than I really need to have going all at once. Hopefully by the end of this weekend, I’ll have the first three done (although if the first Hallowig works well, I might make more, but we’ll see).

September 24, 2009

So much time, so little to do!

. . . Strike that. Reverse it. (Thank you, Willy Wonka.)

I have far too many projects on my plate right now. I probably wouldn’t if I wasn’t running into stumbling blocks every other day.

I’ve knitted and felted The Little Coco Bag. I used the KnitPicks Wool of the Andes in Pigeon Twist that I already had, instead of doing two colors, and I did 3-stitch I-cord instead of 2-stitch. Everything was going really well until it came time to get the grommets. My mom had some, but the largest she had were 1/4″ (which is what the pattern calls for, but my larger I-cord would have fit too snugly), so I had to go buy some 3/8″ grommets. They had the grommets at JoAnn’s, but not the setting tool. My good spouse was going to try to make one up for me, but before he got a round tuit, we found the setting tool at Michael’s. Of course, I didn’t have enough cash on me for all the other neat stuff I found there, so I wanted to write a check. Unfortunately, I was a bad girl and am driving on a ticket (I should have my license back this week, I think), and Michael’s won’t take a check without a picture ID. So we had to wait another week or so before we could go back (it’s a thirty mile drive, I wasn’t going back until I had more reasons to go than just the grommet tool).

I finally have both the grommets and the grommet tool, all in one place, and I can start working on getting the grommets into the bag. Poking holes into heavy felted fabric is not as easy as it sounds. I couldn’t get my size 13 needles (which is what they say to use in the pattern) through the fabric at all. (I don’t believe they actually used those dpns in the picture on the pattern to make the holes. They’d have punctured their hands. I think they made the holes then put the dpns in because they looked nicer.) I decided to start with smaller needles (10 1/2s), get the holes in there, then stretch them out with the 13s. This worked, but as soon as I took the 13s out, the holes shrank. So I decided to leave them for a day. That seemed to work better. But my troubles weren’t over yet.

When I got home that night, I decided I’d wait until the kids went to bed to set the grommets. In case you’re wondering, this is not a good idea. “Quietly hammering” is an oxymoron. I managed, with the help of my good spouse, to get one in place, but decided not to do any more until another evening, before the kids went to bed.

One thing my good spouse noticed was that there was a 1/4″ snap part in with my grommets. We joked about how they call the grommet parts male and female, so ha-ha, neither of us had to actually finish the thought. This continued to be funny, in my mind at least, until last night, when I finally went to set the last of the grommets.

I was still having trouble getting the grommets into the holes. I could have stretched them out further with 15s, but I didn’t feel like waiting any longer. Then the lightbulb in my brain came on. The size 13 needles are just the right size for the 3/8″ grommets to fit around. I slid a male-part grommet onto a needle, pushed the needle through the hole, and then, with a modicum of effort, pushed the grommet into the hole. It worked perfectly. The perfection continued as I worked my way around, all the way up to the seventh grommet, when I realized that I didn’t still have two male-parts that were just stacked tightly together. I had one, plus the little “baby” snap.

Of course, I don’t have the receipt from JoAnn’s anymore. I’m going to call before going out there (thirty mile drive, remember) and see if they will, without the receipt, take the baby snap part and give me a daddy grommet part, and then they can send the opened package back to Dritz as a faulty set.

I’m really looking forward to finishing this. I’m going to line it with a lighter shade of matching purple fabric that I happily found in my fabric stash (it is just the right amount), and then I’m going to try it out and see if it might actually be The Purse. You know, The Purse for which I have been searching for years. The Purse which will be the perfect size to hold everything I need, plus maybe a paperback book and a few other things I just want to carry.

Hopefully, once I get the correct grommet part (if JoAnn’s can’t do the little exchange I have in mind, I’ll just buy more grommets, seeing as how the package of eight was less than three bucks, anyway), that will be the end of my troubles with this project, and I can move on to solving the problems I’m having with others.