Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Since Friday...

This has been a busy knitting weekend (well, extended weekend).

Friday was the Indigo appearance of the Yarn Harlot. I met up with Ms. M and the Crazy Knitting Lady and their parents around 6-6:10 and we promptly lined up, which was a good thing since if we'd been much later we would have been among the standing majority. Instead we sat and worked on socks and chatted and estimated how many people were standing up. It was lovely, the YH as hilarious (as could be expected), the crowd was huge, and there was so much knitting going on one could get giddy from the yarn fumes. M and G took many pictures, and M's were mentioned on the YH's blog - so exciting!! Friday night was spent knitting away at M and G's since tiredness and the amount of stuff I had to schlep around (being a turtle has serious disadvantages at times) prevented us from carrying on in public.

Saturday more knitting in the morning. Went home. more knitting - while entertaining company. Then read YH's new book (G - you shouldn't put ideas in my head without also reminding me to insure the water temperature be adjusted up to make sure it stays hot long enough!!)

Sunday - confirmation and first communion - followed by house full of company - followed by trip to Liz's where I - you guessed it - knit some more, as we watched movies until the wee hours.

Monday - tried to check out the yarn shop in Milton - it is closed Mondays. So we went back to Lizzie's and sewed and sewed and sewed - I now have a petticoat appropriate for 1812 and French/Indian and the pattern for a chemise appropriate for either and a serious problem with the pattern for the coat I'll be needing for July (geesh, all this for a camping trip!!) - patter was 3 sizes too small... so I don't have a jacket. Then we watched Pirates 1 and I ... knit (my shawl has gotten a lot of love lately).

Today - went back to yarn shop. I wanted to see if I could pick up or possibly substitute yarn for the nightie in Mason Dixon, however they didn't have the Euroflax or the book... (so I'm not the last person on the planet to get their copy). So that plan fell through. Instead I picked up some more sock yarn - cuz you always need more sock yarn... and a couple of odds and ends, a hard plastic gauge ruler, some stitch makers, and a 4.5mm-32" circular. The store is big and airy and the staff (I assume owner) was very nice. But I was disappointed on a couple of fronts. 1. Nothing irritates me more (well almost nothing) than a store that doesn't clearly price things. There was no system here, somethings had prices some didn't.
2. There didn't seem to be much by way of organization - sometimes it was all a designer (ie. Debbie Bliss) other times it was type (ie. baby yarn).
3. Pattern selection was crap. Lots of magazines, which was good, but almost no books and none of the ones I'd have liked to consult (ie. Mason Dixon...). Also poorly arranged, there might have been good stuff but I would have had to flip through all of the books.
I may end up back there again some time, but I'm not likely to take up residence.

Plans - I have two orders that need to go into knitpicks - with desperate hope that they will arrive in something resembling a timely fashion.
Want to knit-
* knee socks to go with the other re-enactment stuff (probably own design using the shaping from the Clessidra as a starting point) using the bare merino/silk from knitpicks.
*a baby blanket of my own design (with the superwash ww bare again knitpicks) it's going to have cables and a dragon...
*the nightie from MD, not sure whether I'll use the Euroflax or try to sub, we'll see (the book is in the first kp order)

Also - Friday I do my fields (eeek), I'm thinking since many of my friends aren't actually around to celebrate, and I'm planning to come home that night anyway, that I might just go yarn shopping afterwards...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

So it starts, for real this time..

I have decided to design a guernsey. I've never done anything other than socks except with a pattern, and usually those (in the sweater family) kind of suck, generally a little too big and I've had bad luck with yarn choices (I'm working the learning curve for all it's worth).

This sweater is going to be for my 10 year old brother and is going to use up at least some of the yarn I mis-dyed at Christmas last year. (Which means the final product is going to require a dye job of its own, I figure I'll dunk it in some black and let the grey mix with the various shades of turquoise - as long as it is greyish the 10 yr old won't care anyway!)

I was a good girl and did my swatch - see swatch-

Then I promptly did all my calculations and cast on twice as many stitches as I needed. So the sweater for the 28in chest 10yr old started life as if made for a 56in chest...
I thought something wasn't right, so last night when I ran out of the first skein about 4 inches in I rechecked the diagrams and realized I'd doubled the chest (no stupid M's chest is not 28 across it is 28 around!!) So today I frogged it all, rewound the ball, and cast on again - the right number of stitches this time. On the upside I'm getting much better at hand winding centre pull balls.

I'm now past the ribbing and first pattern band and into what I think I'll make a large section of stockinette on the body. It works up so much quicker this size... The patterning really can't be seen because of the yarn, which makes me think that my greyish finished product is just going to look greyish and hide all my cool designed patterning, but oh well it is a test garment after all.

(In unrelated news, I understand using the same actors/actresses as extras and bit parts, but come on X-files season 3 used one actor and one actress in two different episodes, I mean at least have them come a couple of seasons apart!! - also, when in HMV going to put seasons 4 and over on sale?! I am now finished 1-3 people!)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Rather than read another article or book, I will post about knitting and yarn instead.

Kalamazoo proved particularly fruitful on the knitting front, as I finished the pirate socks and knit the other ball of hand-dyed into a pair for myself, which do indeed look like Christmas socks (and are already in the wash and therefore not available for photographing). I am also now approaching the half-way point of my lace shawl, I will hopefully have it done in a month or so.

This leaves me in the odd position of being a one WIP girl, I suppose I have sock yarn kicking around I could knit up, but still. I am thinking that I'll try and use up the stuff I botched the dying of last fall by designing a guernsey for my little brother. I have done the preliminary pattern planning, but still need to swatch, which is being held up by the fact that I have not decided yet whether to dye the yarn grey first or knit the sweater and then dye that. (Also, the yarn is all in skeins and needs ball-ifying before I can do anything with it.)

This project was inspired by reading (and inheriting) a book on the history and knitting of guernseys and jerseys. [The top book on the pile of inherited books]

No doubt the fair-isle book will have the same effect due course.

I'm also trying to see what to do with the yarn I inherited. This is the selection:
Three large cakes of a variegated purple/blue which I think is Fleece Artist and some darker purple mohair (one large one smaller ball) [these are the two back-centre purple things in the picture]. The texture isn't right for socks and it is a little too thick, I'm thinking some kind of lace/shawl, but I haven't found a patter that would show up the yarn to best advantage. There are 8 balls of the silver and 19 of the blue (Filatura Di Crosa, No Smoking), which I'm pretty sure will go into shawls or shrugs of some sort. The black blob in the front-left is boucle of some sort and there is a fair amount of it, I'm thinking afghan... The white off to the right is really nice mohair - sooo soft- in a natural colour, 9 balls worth; I have no idea what to do with it! The stuff in front is 100% alpaca, really soft, and a whole bag full, but the colour is - well - not something I'd have chosen... don't know what to do with that, maybe outer wear for a baby? (my sister suggested teddy bears) [Also, love that the picture captures the Icelandic law codes and box of Pop Tarts that are also on my bed right now...]

In other news, I learned over the week that one of my good friends knows how to spin (really who conceals that kind of talent?!) I will be making her teach me before the end of the year. To that end I've dredged up all my spinning links (from when I was looking into it after my masters) and have been ogling roving for the last couple of days.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Yo ho ho

The shawl continues to progress, but since it is the same, but just (imperceptibly longer) I will be saving pictures for later.

But I've got back to socks, I wanted something calming that I didn't really need to pay attention to for the other night. So I grabbed some of that black Kroy I inherited, some of the left over from those 2in1s, season 3 of Xfiles and I hid in my room and knit and knit and knit.

This is the result... I just need to graft the toes and sew in ends, but you can ignore that part.

The socks are for a friend who loves all things pirate-y.
I have been doing a short-row heel of late on every sock, because after a couple of other projects using short rows and the 2in1 socks, I had the heel turn memorized. This one I did using a heel flap (based on the Yarn Harlot's guidelines in Knitting Rules), now I've got that memorized too, so bonus. The major difficulty with these was trying to centre it for doing the heel after I'd cast on with the set up for the skull motif on the sides.
I'll graft the toes tonight, and then work on the other one over the next few days (ie. at K'zoo). I may bring the other ball of hand-dyed with me too, since while I love the shawl (and will probably tote it too) it doesn't make for very good conference knitting since there is no way to pretend to pay attention while reading a lace chart.