Thursday, March 23, 2006

Swan Scarf - Pics!

(Click for larger photos.)

35 hours of work and this is what I have to show for it? A crumpled rag.

Even better - now it's a soggy, crumpled rag.

Now, this looks promising. (This was my first attempt - I totally repinned the whole thing after taking this picture.) Note fancy blocking board!

And finally - wrapping and boxing it. Did I mention the card? I wish I had taken a picture of the card. Ah well.

I just thought this picture was cool:


Ok, I feel a little better - I had completely forgotten about knitting Mr. Charity Bear. So now staying up 'til 3 this morning to finish that scarf a) doesn't make me feel nearly as guilty for wasting time and b) makes a lot more sense. The whole thing didn't take more than 40 hours, why did it take me so long? (Well, obviously, I remember now. But I had been beating myself up over it, and I now have my permission to stop.)

Boy, I'm really happy with how the scarf came out. I wish I'd had more time to pet and photograph it. But it's winging its way to Hungary right now... ok, well, it's probably more like in the car on the way to the airport right this very second, but close enough.

I'm just so excited having finished it! It was my first time blocking with wires and pins, and I think it came out pretty well, although I certainly learned things for next time. It took me until the seventh wire to figure out the best way to put them in. (The first seven took 45 minutes, the last 5 took 15, I think.) And I wish I had stretched a little more aggressively. But oh, they were right when they talked about the miracle of lace! From crumpled rag to so, so pretty! I think I fell in love with it a little bit.

The color did bleed a little when I washed it, which worries me a bit. Then again, I'm giving it to a man who wears nothing but orange... and it was only a teensy bit of dye. And it should be hand-washed separately anyway. Even if he gives it to someone who wears other colors. (Which I fully expect him to do. It's part of why I was so relaxed about this project, I think - I know that it will wind up with the person who should most have it. Which is... well, a good feeling, I guess.) I do have a vague fear that someone'll stick it in the washing machine on hot. Not so much because I worry about it being wrecked - if it's yours, it's yours to wreck - but because I don't want someone to wreck it accidentally and then be sad about it. Which may be silly, but there you go, I never claimed to be rational about these sorts of things.

Pictures of the whole process to follow - like I said, I was up with it until 3 this morning, and then got up again at 6 to photograph/wrap/pack it. So I haven't really gotten a chance to download pics or anything. I worry a little that I'll find some huge glaring error in the photo that I didn't see live, but see above re: too late now.

Also also, I got a free blocking board, which rocks. I was going to pick up a piece of styrofoam insulation from the Home Depot to use, but didn't realize that it only comes in 8' sheets (which don't fit in my car even a little bit). I happened to be visiting my mom at the time, and she said, oh, you mean you need a piece of this stuff? And pulled out half a board of it, which she gave me. I mean, buying it would have only cost about $9, but free is even better, AND I didn't have to get Aaron to go pick it up in the Jeep. Yay!

Saturday, March 18, 2006


Friend of Bear? Finished Object - Bear!

Dropped him off this morning. Well, technically afternoon, I guess. Now I just have to finish that scarf - ack!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Bear and Scarf

Right then, looks like things are working again. I hope. Anyway. This is what I have so far of the bear that needs to be dropped off at Knit Happens tomorrow. First picture was about the middle of the evening, second was at the end. I've also started a second one, trying to convert the pattern to double knitting, but it's not going to be done in time, which is a bummer. Still, there are lots of uses for bears, I'm sure.

This is the scarf in all it's crumply glory. I meant to stretch it out and take another picture, but I got sidetracked chasing my husband around with the bear on my hand threatening to eat his head. (Were there jokes about my right to arm bears? Do you even need to ask?)

The green circle is the "design feature" I cleverly worked in by doing rows 1-6, then starting a new repeat instead of finishing the one I was on. I am very, very glad I'm working both tails at once, it does look on purpose. Ish. And I really, really don't have time to reknit it. So, hooray! (I think I'm giving up sleep in favor of knitting this weekend.) Although now that I look more closely, I didn't actually get the circle in the right place. Well, we'll all get to see when it's blocked.

Friday, March 10, 2006

More scarf, more of the time

Well, the lace scarf is going... slowly. Doesn't help that I forgot to bring the pattern with me today, so can't do anything on it. Wish I had remembered to take a picture, too, but that seems to be pretty standard.

Also unhelpful: Addi turbos. Blunty McNopoints and I are not getting along at all. It takes two hours for me to finish one inch of lace. For contrast: Tubey (which had four and a half times the number of stitches in an inch*) took 50 minutes/inch.

So I asked the wonderful and helpful husband if he wouldn't mind running to the LYS to replace my bamboo needles for me. No problem, he said, just send him what I needed. And I did! I was very careful to specify that I needed US size 2, not 2mm, and to ask the clerk if he wasn't sure of the difference. And he very nicely brought me home a lovely Clover bamboo circular, size US2. When I go to knit onto the new needles, they're huge. What size am I actually using? US0, aka 2mm, of course. Well, he wanted to get out of the house anyway, right? (He went back again last night, but see above re: no pattern, so I haven't actually knit with them yet.)

I did find a very neat solution to the knitting-both-ends-at-once thing. And it was completely by accident. When I was going to knit the other scarf, I chickened out on the laceweight and decided to use it doubled. My solution to that was to stick both ends of the hank in the winder and wind them simultaneously towards the middle. (Don't try this at home without at least one extra pair of arms.) Now I'm knitting single-stranded - but both ends are at the center of my center-pull ball! I've been going slowly, true, but I haven't had any real twisting or tangling issues, so I think it's been a success and it's definitely something I'd do again if I needed to work from both ends of a length of yarn.

*Not actually true, upon reflection. This is 14 rows/inch and Tubey was... 7, I think. So only a bit more than two times as many stitches, but it still took less than half the time, and I still feel justified in saying, "lace! GAH!"

Monday, March 06, 2006

Maybe not so bright...

Well. I'm up to the part where I have to double the stitches again on the pi shawl/blanket.


The scarf I need to make is... complicated. The recipient isn't going to be in this country this year. So I wasn't feeling the pressure to get it done, which is bad. Then it turns out that a friend is going overseas to visit him, and she's leaving at the end of the month (need to find out exactly when). A deadline! Hooray!

And I decided that the Matthew is... beyond my abilities. Well, beyond my current abilities to get it done by the deadline, anyway. Which is kind of a bummer, but that doesn't mean I can't knit it later. Maybe next year. Nothing wrong with that.

My brilliant plan, though? Design and knit a lace scarf of my own! Yes! Genius! (If by "genius" I mean "misguided and mentally flawed".) I'm swatching furiously now. It's a... learning experience, certainly. I have learned a lot about lace. But I'm not particularly closer to getting this done. It'll be a seaman's scarf, anyway, so it should go fairly quickly once I get it sorted out. The lace, though... why did I pick an asymetric pattern for the central panel, again? Gah. Oh, and I plan on doing it bottom-up both tails at once, so that's good too.

And I had bought a Crystal Palace bamboo circular just especially for this project. I got it out of my knitting bag and one of the needles was SNAPPED! Grr. I never even got to use it, and that wasn't a cheap needle. Luckily (?) I have an addi turbo in the right size, but I really didn't want to use something so slippery for a laceweight alpaca lace project. Well. It should be fine. I'm sure.