I heard back about the scarf/cuff set, too, and I should be getting the yarn to make the sample soon. I thought I had the pattern completely written, but I forgot that I wasn’t sure what yarn I was going to use, so I hadn’t made a gauge swatch yet. And of course my carpal tunnel syndrome is acting up. I’m still working on it, but I have to take breaks. Blah. Once I have the gauge figured, it will be ready for test knitters!
But first, wow, someone searched for “sosoclever knits”?
I have, I think, finished writing the instructions for the Super Secret Felted Project, and am ready to pass it off to a test-knitter (him being the charming bibliogrrl’s boyfriend, he of the envy-making curly hair — why do guys always get the really good hair?). Hopefully he won’t find any huge problems with it, and then I can pass it on to a tech-editor, and then I can see if anyone is actually willing to pay for it. I’m going to knit a final sample, too, making sure I use the instructions as they’re written.
I said he could post pictures as he’s working on it, but I’m still leery of doing so myself. I really think I’ve got something pretty original, and I’m afraid if I release it too soon, I’ll wind up losing out because of it. Someone will see it and manage to reverse-engineer it, and I’ll lose my edge. Yes, I do realize that I’m a little on the paranoid side.
I’m almost finished with the pattern for She’s Purple!
Not the greatest picture, I know. And the pattern as written uses a different yarn with a different gauge. And now that I’m just about done with it, it turns out I’m not actually knitting at the gauge for which I re-wrote the pattern. It’s closer to the gauge I got with the original yarn. Doesn’t that just figure? I’ve decided I want to get that one test-knit, too, probably in size 2 and 16 (smallest and biggest), to make sure my numbers are right, and then I’ll have that one tech-edited (especially since it’s written for eight sizes), and take it from there.
I’m not done with the Hoover Blanket yet. I’ve been working on those other two, and figure I’ve got plenty of time! Of course, that “plenty of time” is now down to two months, so I should get cracking. Not that the Sea Monkey will care if it isn’t done in time.
The only other project I am working on right now are a pair of Clandestine socks for Grace. It’s kind of a surprise, except I can’t imagine that she sees me knitting something in this dark red (KnitPicks Stroll in Burgundy) and doesn’t know it’s for her. It’s the first Cookie A pattern I’ve made. It’s the first not-totally-plain sock I’ve made. I like it. The pattern isn’t my style (to wear, that is), but I like the way it works.
One note for anyone else who makes them, I don’t have a regular stitch marker at the beginning of my row. I’ve got a safety pin down at the beginning, showing which side is the first. The beginning doesn’t really move, at least not on the leg. It’s just that you’re adding stitches before it, and then at the end of the pattern repeat, you move the stitches you added to the end of the row, instead of the beginning. I’ve found it easier to mark it this way, instead of having to move the marker each time.
I do have another project sitting aside and waiting for me. I finally got my five balls of KnitPicks Palette in Celestial (which is a really pretty blue, and not at all purple, which might surprise some people, seeing as how I’m me), and I’m going to make another Shetland Shorty, this time with long sleeves. I’m forcing myself to wait until I don’t have so many other projects going at once, though.
Things would be so much easier if it was.
I have several pairs of INOX circular needles. Most of mine are nickel-plated, but I also have a couple plain aluminum, and one . . . nylon? I like them. They are nice needles, especially the nickel-plates. The cables are smooth and flexible, and the joins are pretty smooth, too. The problem I have discovered just lately is that in the larger sizes (I think the problem starts at size 8, for me at least), the points are too blunt. For the most part, this isn’t a problem for me. I’m not a speed knitter, although I’m not pokey, either (ha!). But I tried doing a cable cast-on for the Two Summer Sundress, and it was a bitch-and-a-half to get the yarn pulled through because the tip of the needle is really wide. I thought about switching to my interchangables, but they might have given a different gauge because they’re just aluminum (not that this stops me from using them as the second set of circs if I’m doing something in the round with one set of nickel-plated, I just like to complain and if you haven’t figured this out about me yet, you’ve obviously never encountered me before), and I didn’t want to have to do another gauge swatch. I finally managed it, but the cast-on edge is maybe a little looser than I would have liked.
I really like the way cabled cast-on looks, though.
I don’t have anywhere near a “complete” set of needles (as if there could ever be such a thing), but I’m wondering what sort I should get next time I buy needles. I know I like Addi Turbos, although I seem to have lost the few sets I had of those. I have one set of KnitPicks circs, which I haven’t really used because it turns out I’m knitting kind of loose again, even with wrapping the yarn around my pinky (I’m thinking of doing something like the woman in the remake of The Ladykillers, where she wraps it around each of her fingers, but I don’t know if I’ll like that), and I had to go up three sizes to get the right gauge for that project (and I think I could honestly have gone up another, but maybe some of it’s the yarn and not my knitting). I have one set of bamboo DPNs that I got to make the Shawl from Niflheim (which, Spricey, is still not blocked), and those are really nice to work with. My interchangable set is a Boye Needlemaster. I have several Susan Bates circs, too.
So, if anyone has any favorite needles they’d like to recommend — interchangables, straights, circs, DPNs, those really long ones they stick in their belts in the Shetlands, whatever — feel free to let me know!
I’m having tension problems. I thought I might, with all the slippy/non-slippy stuff going on with the DPNs. I checked the second legwarmer against the first this afternoon, and the second one looks to be coming up a little short. I’ve had so many problems with these that I’d really like to be able to blame the pattern, but as I’ve faithfully documented all of my screw-ups, it would be really obvious that it wasn’t the pattern’s fault.
Since I’m much happier with how the second one is turning out, I’m going to keep going with it. I’ll try it on in a couple inches — once the bottom of the calf shaping is done — and make sure it fits properly around, and that the calf shaping doesn’t start too far down. As long as that all seems to be okay, I’ll finish it. Maybe I’ll change my mind, again, and rip out the first one and re-do it. I’ll have to see what I think when I get to that point.
In happier knitting news, I did wear (am still wearing) my Shetland Shorty today. I still really, really like it. I’m not so thrilled with how it looked with my camisole tucked into my elastic waistband skirt, but it looks okay with the shirt not tucked in, and it looked great with the shirt tucked into jeans. Elastic waistbands are nice and easy to wear, but they can look really crappy.
I finished the Shetland Shorty last night, and I am pleased as punch with it. It’s just about perfect. I want another one. Now. With long sleeves. In purple.
I started swatching for the re-do of my feathered arrow vest. The original design used up some of my Rio, but it had problems. It was the first thing I ever designed for myself, so I’m not complaining. This time I thought I’d do it with wool, because I want it to keep its shape nicely, so I tried KnitPicks’s Wool of the Andes. I don’t know if it’s working.
The original plan with the vest was that it would be a tank top that could also serve as a layering piece. I think the wool might be too heavy for it to be really comfortable as a tank. It looks like the gauge would be okay, so I don’t know that I really want to go down to a DK or sportweight. Maybe a wool-cotton blend, if I could find one I like . . . I don’t know.
So, right now my choices seem to be, do it with the wool and see what I think or find a cotton or cotton-blend I like and use that instead. Then I’ll have eight skeins of Wool of the Andes to play with for something else. I’m going to finish my gauge swatch, then think about seeing what it’s like with size 5 needles instead (maybe), and then I’ll try to decide what I’m going to do.
I’ve started on the lozenge pattern for the second legwarmer! I don’t know what happened, but when I was working on it last night, I kept dropping stitches again, and I couldn’t get the needles to behave. Hopefully it was just a temporary thing.
Lastly, I have a super secret project (have I mentioned that I’m so old school I still spell it correctly?) I need to start working on. I’m designing something that’s going to be felted and dyed (first dyeing project!), and will be totally cool. Really. Everyone will want one. Of course, after I got the yarn, I decided to see if I could find anything similar already out there, and there is something, but it’s only similar. I looked at pictures of it, but not the pattern, so I won’t be influenced by it. And of course, I think my idea is much better.;-)
Thing Two has already worn through his socks. He wore them for the first time on December 24, and already there are huge holes in the balls of the feet, and in the heel on one sock. He wore them almost every day, and had been putting together his old floor puzzles and sliding across them. He was very impressed with how much more slippery they were than his store-bought socks. Yeah, great. He wore through them in about as much time as it took me to make them. Boys. I have enough of the yarn that I’ll probably try to repair them. I mean, really big holes.
I finished the socks for Thing One today, and she has promised not to wear through them so quickly.
I started socks for Little Cat Z, using the Universal Toe-Up Formula. I decided I don’t really need to do another basic cuff-down sock right now. I think I’ve got that down. I don’t know if it’s just that I’m unaccustomed to this cast on, but I’m using the same yarn and needles as I did for Thing One’s socks (the blue, obviously, since there’s almost no pink left), and so far the fabric seems very loose. If it doesn’t tighten up appreciably in a few rows, I think I’ll take it out and do the crochet chain with a smaller hook. Maybe that will help. If not, I’ll do another gauge swatch and see if I’m doing something different. Maybe I need to drop another size.
Wow, that was fast.
Working with Shine is like petting a kitten. It’s really, really soft.
I think Mom is right and it’s probably five stitches to the inch. I cast on 28 stitches to try it, and that’s what I’m coming up with, and it looks about right.
The instructions for row 2 of the pattern are confusing to read. “P2, repeat [yo, slip yo of previous row purl-wise (new yo lies over top of previous row’s yo), p1]. When you do it, however, it makes sense. Actually, it makes sense to slip the yo from the previous row with the yarn in front, then bring the yarn over and purl the next stitch. It all goes in one motion, and it’s feels kind of neat to do. Then what you wind up with after doing the four row repeat is knitting that looks like crochet.
Anyway, that’s what I’m going to do with it, regardless of what they wind up saying for the gauge in the errata listing.
I did get the yarn from KnitPicks yesterday. I fished out my size 5 circs to start a gauge swatch and noticed that the gauge for the collar says “8 stitches = 4 inches in pattern stitch.” Okay, I’m pretty sure there’s no way you’re going to get only two stitches per inch with a worsted weight yarn on size five needles, not without it being a very interesting pattern. Also, there’s no real “pattern stitch” that I can find. You start off with four rows of one thing, then it switches to decreasing rounds. That’s not all, either. In row five, it says to “k2tog, yo, k3tog, yo, repeat from *.” There’s no *. It does say how many stitches you should have after doing this row, so it was easy enough to figure out that the asterisk belongs before the k2tog.
While I’m typing this, my mom called and said she thinks it should be 5 stitches per inch, based on the number of stitches left and how long it’s supposed to be. I think I’ll work with that and see how it goes. She also noticed there are yarn overs on the purl side, and we’re both sure you should do those differently, but we don’t know how. She’s going to see if she can figure it out. Any suggestions?