Sunday, January 22, 2006


I'm having a hard time getting anything started. That's part of why I signed up for the Knitting Olympics - without the eXtreme pressure of Christmas knitting, it's hard for me to get motivated. Plus, you know, life. Pssht.

So instead of the scarf that I'm just resisting for some reason, I went ahead and cast on for the Pi shawl/baby blanket. I really need to stop doing projects that grow as you do them - they're very psychologically discouraging. I need to do top-down shawls or something. But the Pi's fun so far, anyway. I'm using the version from Knitters Best of Shawls and Scarves, and it really is easy. My friend (whose baby the blanket is for) is having some problems, and it helps me to send her positive thoughts. Anyway - here it is, up to the first lace chart:

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Olympic Knitting!

I've entered myself in the junior sweater competition. Yarn Harlot has a new challenge up, and it sounds like fun.

I'm going to knit Tubey. Probably. Depending on where my other projects are at the time. I may go with the lace baby blanket instead, but I'm almost certain I can do that in 16 days, and the Tubey I'm not so confident about.

I did buy my first ball of yarn. I hope I like what I've planned for the colors - I'm going with that AC Moore Luxury stuff, in Sky, Denim, Magenta (or was it Plum?), Brown, and Black. And my mom lives somewhere with a Michael's, so she's in charge of procuring the black - she can get two balls a week at the 40% off. So that's my plan.

I finished my first MK swatch, and am most of the way through the second. The plan was to work on it this morning, but Stuff Came Up (tm). So hopefully I'll get to finish it this afternoon. These swatches are harder than they seem like they should be. I've learned two different new cast-ons, and I now know three ways to purl. I'm going with combined on the swatches, but I can't really tell that it makes a difference. (Well, maybe. I should do one swatch "regular" to see, but I feel like I don't have time.) For some reason, there's one visible line in the stockinette part of this swatch. I don't know why. I may rip and redo. Blast!

Friday, January 13, 2006


First, the scarf. Did I even mention I was making this? I got the pattern here and it's the two skeins of Kureyon my knitswap buddy sent. I should try to take another picture - it really does have colors, not just black blobs. And it took me like two days to make and then two weeks to weave in the TWO tails. I suck. But I get to wear it tomorrow!

This is the cabled hat. I should have taken a picture on a head, but this was like ten seconds before I ran out of the house to give it to the recipient. He didn't like it. Too girly? Dunno - I thought it looked better on, but I can definitely understand thinking I'm a freak for making it. Originally got the yarn for the Lion costume, but it was too orange, so no great loss. The pattern was really fun - of course I waited too long to write it out, so now I'd have to refigure it all. I remember it involved casting on 42, and the cable is 9 stitches wide and 1 for the turning (purl) row and the short row part goes from 32-16 and back. Should be enough to recreate it, I think. Oh, and the yarn is Plymouth Encore. Don't remember what size needles - probably 7 or 8 US?

The "Batman Begins" shawl(ette). Finished it this afternoon. The total stitch count was 140ish, I think - I had enough yarn to go one or two repeats bigger but got bored. It's a nice little shoulder wrap. And it makes a nice full-size working shawl for the 2-year-old!

The shawl, again. On. Demonstrating why I am not, in fact, a shawl-wearer.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Dear Internet: Please Work Better

Ok, I think I cleaned up the weird triple-posting thing.

I also found the errata for "The Best of Knitters: Shawls and Scarves". It's here:

And... what was the other thing? Oh, I'm trying to get to this pattern: 3 Hour Hug but it seems to be gone. And the Wayback Machine doesn't seem to be working. I just can't figure it out, and it's bugging me.

No actual knitting news - today's late opening for the LYS, so I'll get my needle/crochet hook tonight, and THEN I'll have something to say. I hope.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Hey, lookit that

Well, I'm glad I did take a little trip out to AC Moore last night. Turns out their "Luxury" is only $6/ball, so with the weekly coupon, that's only $3.60. Well, and gas. But I head out that way at least once a week anyway.

So. Now my problem is figuring out what colors to use, since they have different ones. I'm thinking two shades of purple and... something else. That's the tricky bit. I'd say green, but they don't have the shade I want. Then again, they were out of black when I went, too - maybe there are more colors they were just out of. They don't have it on their website and searching for "luxury" is pretty fruitless. (I mean, I didn't JUST search for "luxury". But adding the word to searches about yarn really doesn't help.) And it's not listed on any yarn review sites that I could see.

Oh no! More yarn shopping is called for! Alas, whatever shall I do?

I also wonder what a "knitting and crochet party" is. It's advertised at all their stores, but I haven't seen anywhere what that means.

Anyway, the other reason it was a good trip is that I got The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns with a 50% off coupon, so yay! I'm not sure if I'm regretting it or not. For a long time I've wanted Folk Bags which they sell there. And I was going to get it. But it's back with the knitting stuff, and I thought, oh, I'll look and see what they have in the book section. And they had the Handy Book, so I got that instead, being too lazy to go all the way back to the back of the store again. Dunno that I'll ever use it, but it's a nice reference to have, I think. Someday. For some reason, I was under the impression that it had more options than it actually does. And I don't even make sweaters! What was I thinking? Well, maybe it'll make a nice gift for a knitting friend.

And I had a dream that Knitty's surprise was up, and it isn't. And I'm surprised! So I guess that works.

Last night I finally got around to watching Batman Begins. And I have two projects that need proper tools before I can start them, and take a lot of concentration. So I grabbed a skein of TLC Amore that I had bought like three years ago to make a scarf out of, cast on, and started knitting. The Batman Begins Shawl! It's even black. Quite appropriate. Anyway, here's the pattern so far, such as it is:

Materials: 1 skein TLC Amore
Size 10 US circular needles - I'm using my Denises and I just stuck on the longest cord, so whatever length that is.

(KFB - knit into the front and back of the stitch)

CO 1

Begin Increase 1:
KFB, Knit across

Repeat until you have 5 stitches on the needle, then complete the Dropstitch Bit

Dropstitch Bit:
Row 1: K1, *yo 2x, K1* repeating ** across
Row 2: K the actual stitches across, dropping all the YOs off the needle. (AKA K1, *drop 2 YOs, K1* repeat ** across)

Knit 5 rows of Increase 1 followed by a Dropstitch Bit until there are 40 stitches on the needle.

This is where I decided that it was getting too pointy, and I wanted to increase the width faster than I was, so I placed 2 markers so that the 20 center stitches were between them (leaving 10 sts on each side) and switched to...

Increase 2:
Row 1-4: KFB, K to last stitch before first marker, KFB, K across
Row 5: KFB, K to last stitch, KBF (yeah. I'm not sure if knitting the back loop and then the front actually makes a difference - I mean, I KNOW it doesn't in the black boucle yarn I'm using, but I wonder if it would otherwise - but at any rate, that's what I'm doing.)

And then doing Increase 2 followed by the Dropstitch Bit. I'm up to 60 sts on the needle - I plan on making it until the yarn runs out and binding off. Great TV knitting, and I mean, I'm only looking for something to throw on around the house, so it works for that. I wouldn't use it for a night on the town or anything.

(Ok, I totally lied about placing the markers - I'm just counting stitches. But it was the easiest way I could think of to explain where I was putting the middle increases. And placing markers WOULD be a good idea, I just don't have any on me right now.)

Thursday, January 05, 2006


I am not procrastinating. I just want to get this down to remember it. You know, I should just memorize the link to Tubey. I type it often enough. Anyway, I want to knit one. And my friend wants one too. But cashmerino is expensive. So the two ways I found around that:

1) WEBS has 25% off orders of $120 or more, so if we ordered the yarn for two sweaters, it'd be $6 per ball. Or if I were just making one solid-color sweater, Discount Yarn Sale has bags of 10 for $60.

2) AC Moore has a similar yarn, Luxury, for I think $6.50 (maybe $7, gotta check that). And they have 40% off coupons every weekend. So I just have to buy one ball a week for 15 weeks - if I got my mom in on the act, I could do it in 2 months. And it'll be at least that long before I have the free time to knit it anyway. Also, apparently, AC Moore will take competitor's coupons, so if you have a Michael's and/or a Joann's, you can get 3 balls a week. I don't, so I can't verify that, but it's worth looking into, I think. Dyelots? It's striped! Ha!

Now, back to that hat - it's looking MUCH better the second time around, and I'm glad I'm redoing it. Really.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Look, it's Orange!

And - the final result! This actually has very little to do with the real color, but I thought it was a pretty picture. Also, see that background? Master Hand Knit Program Level I! w00t!

Lil' K wanted to help. Since we didn't let her help wind up the yarn, she insisted on holding it for the pictures - and, hey, the color came out pretty accurately in this one. It's a little less red than that, but very close. (Of course, that's on my monitor - who knows what it looks like on yours? Hey, if we all started calling "blue" "yellow", would anyone know the difference? Like, woah, man.)

So there it is. One teensy ball of more-or-less fingering weight yarn. (I wound the two strands together and will be using both ends of the ball to knit from. Please don't tell me I should have divided it - I know, I just couldn't figure out how.) I'm having doubts about it actually making a scarf - but it is 440 yards. And both skeins were exactly the same length. So... we'll see.

(And for the record, if you need to make something for your favorite Swami, Jacquard acid dye "burnt orange" is a good way to go.)

Now, for entirely my own reference - the projects I need to finish, in order. Ish.

  1. Multidirectional scarf. I would have had time to do this if KnitPicks and Dharma Trading had been a little lazier.
  2. The cabled hat. I'm going to start from the ball I have left, but I think I may wind up frogging the existing one. Or knitting directly from it. I am lazy. Needs to be done by Saturday.
  3. Dr. Who Scarf repair. This was the first big project I ever did, for my husband on our first wedding anniversary. I don't even know how to fix motheaten knitting, much less when I'm going to get the time to do it, but I need to find out and then make time. Yeah.
  4. The Matthew scarf. Which needs to be done by the end of February, to be on the safe side.
  5. The baby blanket, by sometime in April, I should check on when exactly.
  6. Master Knitting swatches. I did one of my written questions today! The LYS was closed for the holidays, so the husband will be buying me a skein of beige Cascade 220 tomorrow.
  7. Thrummed mittens for my mommy. These don't need to be done before next Christmas, but it's good to plan ahead.

So there you have it. Sweater? What unfinished sweater? Bahhhh...

Sunday, January 01, 2006


Allrighty then. KnitPicks and Dharma Trading are out to get me. I ordered at lunchtime on December 28th. On December 31st, I had both packages on my doorstep, all snuggled up next to each other begging to be torn into and reveled in. Three days! Total! And I picked the cheap shipping specificially so that I'd have time to finish a couple other things before setting off on my journey into a neat new hobby!

Well, I guess I can't complain. Still. Three days! That's crazy. I have visions of picking the overnight shipping and having it delivered all Wiley E. Coyote style, before I even hit "confirm".

The yarn. It actually looks more like "sunshine" in the picture than it did in real life. I would have named it "sand", but then probably fewer people would buy it. (I did have a color card, and wonder if this was a weird batch or something - it looked yellower on the card, too).

A nice bath. Dunno if it's true or not, but one of the KnitList folks tipped me off to KnitPicks yarn sometimes having wossname oil (spinning stuff) or other random gunk in it, so I washed it first. Probably a good idea in general, even if it's not a specific KnitPicks problem.

I added the dye to the water...

...and stirred it up. The amount of dye I bought is supposed to dye two pounds of fabric, and I had about four ounces of yarn, so it was a total guess as to how much to use. (Well, I could have weighed out 1/16th of an oz., but I don't have a scale that's accurate for that small an amount.) The water turned a pretty orange, anyway.

I put in the yarn. The water was hot at this point, but not simmering yet. When it reached 180, I put in the vinegar. I kept it at about 190 for the rest of the time.

Not the greatest picture, but you can sort of see that the water is clearing at this point. This was after about 20 minutes of simmering.

A bath in Synthropol. I'm kind of scared of this stuff. I don't know that I'll use it again.

Rinsed out the Synthropol. I'm a little worried that the water still isn't running clear, but with every rinse I notice that the cotton ties I used on the skeins are lightening, so I hope that the loose dye is only coming from them. If there really is a problem, I should be able to fix it once it's knitted up. I hope, anyway.

Now I'm waiting for the laundry to finish so I can use the washer to spin out the yarn, and I'll lay it out to dry. If the color looks anything like I expect it to, it'll be perfect! (It was Jacquard Acid Dye "burnt orange". I suspect "pumpkin" might have been even better, but I expected the yellow to have an effect on the final color. Of course, it was so light, it probably didn't - we will see, I suppose.)