How Much Knitting Did I Do Today?

The answer… none.

I’ve got one more class to prepare for and two more classes to attend before I send my students out in the cold, mean world for Spring Break. Yee-haw! I am looking forward to being all done, even though I had a particularly nice class this time around.

But I thought I might show off what little bit of spinning I’ve done so far… it’s not much, but it’s definitely something I’m excited about. I’ve already started looking at wheels, but I’m kind of sad that the hubby says I’m not allowed to have sheep. Luckily, these folks can help me with that.

Anyway, here is some extremely novice spinning. This is my first attempt with a drop spindle
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and this is my first attempt with a Louet spinning wheel

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It’s quite a laughable attempt, but honestly, it was lots of fun, and something that will obviously get easier wih more practice… you know, after I buy my own wheel. And all those little bumps and bauble-ly loops? TOTALLY planned.

BTW, I left this little bit at the store so I wouldn’t have to show anyone at home.

To Blog or Not to Blog…

You’ll have to pardon, pretty please, my inexcusable absence. I was really hoping by the end of this weekend that I might have a little more to show than what I do. But, unfortunately, I was catching up on several years of Pride and Prejudice neglect.
Several of my friends have told me that I should really sit down and watch it, but I never seemed to have it at the top of the Netflix queue. Well, TiVo recorded the Masterpiece Theater showing for me, and, of course, I got completely wrapped up in it and was up until the wee hours–once again–enjoying the first two installments. But PBS has broken it into a three part mini-series, and with my level of impatience, there was no hope in me waiting another few days to see how Mr. Darcy would win fair Lizzy’s hand. So I’m afraid I broke down and purchased a copy of it early Saturday morning, which meant not much got done as I’ve been watching it rather obsessively ever since.

Trying to figure out how to knit socks while being totally engrossed by the movie was probably not the brightest idea, yet that is what I was doing. I bought a copy of cat bordhi’s New Pathways for Sock Knitters because she seemed to have a fair amount of detailed instruction regarding the stitches and techniques one would need in order to finish a pair. I’m not sure why, but I’ve found the idea of knitting socks a bit intimidating, so I’ve put it off for quite some time. The idea of a one-stop-shop type book for sock knitting was quite appealing, so I decided this weekend was time to jump ship from hats for a while and dive into socks.

Here’s what I got

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I’m not sure about the book. This was actually my third attempt at the pattern; the pattern wasn’t horrible–there were one or two things that could’ve been a little more clear, but I figured it out–the problem was with the diagrams. They were much more difficult to decipher than at first appearance. After I gave up on the diagrams and just knit the doggone thing, it went much better.

In addition, there were two knots in the yarn, which was relatively disappointing. I can’t imagine that it would be nice to walk around on a knot.

Mostly, I wish I would’ve just started the actual sock instead of bothering with the little teeny one. So that’s what I’m going to do tonight. AND, I’m going to do a little more research and see what other kind of toe shape I can do. I really hate the one suggested, and I know I won’t wear it if that’s how I finish it.

Here’s the yarn I’m going to use for my first pair of socks, my first Koigu!!

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Hmmm… I’m starting to notice a color theme…

Looky What I Got Today!!

I made it out of the house to do some early Saturday morning shopping with the kiddies and our last stop before nap time was to pick these up… can’t wait to start spinning this up to see what I get!

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Merino roving dyed up by Cosy!! I just loved the colors and couldn’t pass this one up!

Introducing…

…the latest FO, my first project with cables…

Conquistador!!

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There are quite a few mistakes, but I didn’t really fuss over them too much; this was a proof of concept hat for me, more of a swatch than anything else. I wanted to try cables, as I seem to be drawn to projects with interesting texture, and I’m really excited about color, so I wanted to see if I could combine them. It didn’t seem like it should be impossible. The problem was that the tension between color changes became too tight, so there was little stretch, and the garter stitch poofed out between cables. It took a few rounds to figure out how to maintain a loose enough tension–I used a yarn over that I dropped in the next round before and after each cable–but once I got into the rhythm, it went pretty quickly. I’m really excited about trying more colored cables… I think I might do a few more hats and try some more interesting cables to see how applicable this method will bewith more complicated designs.

Pattern: Adult Cabled Hat found on Ravelry
Designer: Diana Jordan for Momogus Knits
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash in Celery and Wisdom Yarns Poems color 550
Needles: US size 9, bamboo

I named it Conquistador because of the shape it took off the needles

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All Quiet

Radio silence had to be maintained for a few days due to Project “Preservation of Sanity.”And to my confirmed three readers, I do apologize. I will do my utmost best not let it occur again.

I have been doing quite a bit since I finished the last snowman hat. I, of course, didn’t manage to finish the sister hat by that Thursday, although it is mighty close to being done and off the list. Not only did I have to take some time to recover from the flu, but I also managed to get a little side-tracked while I tried several different stitch patterns for the new hat. Before decided on the baubles, there were at least two variations of garter/stockinette patterns that just didn’t tickle my fancy, and then I frogged three different hat tops until I went back to my original idea which was to hold the two yarns double as I knit the decreases. I think the reason it’s not done yet is because I don’t love it. There’s a definite fondness of which I’m sure, but I just can’t decide if I think the doggone thing is too strange or not. Cute I’m OK with; kooky I like, especially if it is for me. But this one is a struggle to define.

Here’s one in-progess of an early, but frogged patternmaryfrogged2.jpg

Here’s the baubles
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and here’s the doubled yarn top
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ehhh… like I said, no love. And, this was a hard yarn to photo… my little camera kept picking up the halo and overexposing the shot. Yikes.

It’s Done!

It was an awful weekend. The babies were sick with the flu, RSV, and a particularly nasty ear infection, and very lovingly shared their bugs with me. It was hard to feel motivated to get anything done other than curl up under the blanket, watch trashy TiVo TV, crave hot dogs–only when I’m sick–chug OJ, and whine incessantly. I resisted the curling up in bed, but I couldn’t break myself of the other bad habits.

BUT there was a hat to finish. And I needed to get it off of my plate so I can move on to new things. It was supposed to be a gift for Christmas, now I have to see if I can get the others finished to make it a V-day gift. In order to do that, I’ll need to finish two more hats by Thursday… that might be asking a lot with three of the four of us sick.

Here is the final hat…woo-hoo!

Emma Models the Latest Snowman Hat

It’s not the best picture, but I’ll upload a better one tomorrow when there’s actual daylight.

Here are some details:

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The Pom Pom…

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The scarf was created using a modified “knitted on cord” from knitting over the edge by Nicky Epstein with the teal cord on the outer edges of a garter stitch scarf.

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The band of the hat’s hat is also the “knitted on cord”.

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And here’s the heavily textured pattern. I managed to carry strands across garter stitch while knitting in the round. It wasn’t perfect by any means–it caused a little puckering, and there are a few stitches of the carried teal that you can see if you look for them–but overall, I’m happy with the results. I want to play with the stranded garter stitch in the round some more and see if I can finesse it a little bit.

Other project notes:

Yarns used: Debbie Bliss Cashmarino DK in teal and of white (can’t find the colorway and dye lot numbers) and Freedom Spirit, shade 513. Can’t remember what the nose it made out of, but I’ll find out and post it later. All are knit on addie turbo 7’s. The pattern is a highly modified version of Susan B. Anderson’s Snowman Hat out of Itty Bitty Hats.

Making Progess

OK, so after spending so time in Illustrator last night–went to bed at 1.52 am, I’m tellin’ ya there’s a reason I named this blog it’s two am–I think I’ve figured out the stitch pattern for the hat, as well as where to stick the decreases. Instead of going with six stitches of garter and two stitches of stockinette, it’ll be fourteen stitches of garter then two of stockinette. Repeat for the first few rounds, add a round of stockinette, then start the next set of pattern by starting with seven stitches of garter, two stockinette, then another fourteen of garter. This will offset the long garter boxes, which I think will look a little nicer than having the teal line run straight up the whole hat. I’ve decided to decrease at the beginning and end of the long garter sequences every two sets. That should make it a long hat, which I think will be a cute shape variation from what I’ve been working on. There is a little more to the pattern than what I’ve written here, so if you’re interested, drop me a line and I’ll send you instructions.

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One problem I ran into was carrying the second color strand on the back through the long number of stitches. After a few rounds I noticed that the teal was puckering the pattern because it wasn’t running loose enough behind the fourteen garter stitches. So I had to try to catch the yarn twice in the long sequence, which lemme tell ya, was a bit problematic–remember, garter stitch! After about an hour’s worth of experiments–none of which, I might add, worked out–and quite a few rounds ripped out, I gave up and went to bed.

This morning I ran a few searches and found this garter stitch intarsia how-to on “another knitting blog”–uh, in quotes because it’s quite literally the name of the site and I wanted you to know I wasn’t trying be snide. It is fabulous, and between the pictures and the comments, I’ve figured out how to catch the yarn without it showing through. Yippee for the internet! SO! The new goal is to finish this hat (or at least the meta-hat part) by tonight so I can start on its sister. Although maybe I shouldn’t state the goal so I won’t be disappointed that I don’t meet it after a day of dealing with puke-y, cranky babies that need loving, student projects that need grading, a husband who needs feeding, and a house that needs cleaning. Maybe I should stick with hey!! I’m super smart for finding a post that tells me how to carry strands in garter.

Yeah, let’s stick with that. Today’s goal was to feel super smart by using someone else’s creative genius as a means to a good end… add something about seeing far, standing on the shoulder’s of giants…

and on we go!

Frogged Again

Snowman hat number–ahh geez, who’s counting–has been ripped it out again… I’m loving the colors and the butter-soft yearn is knitting up beautifully, but I just haven’t settled on the right pattern yet. The texture of stockinette and garter stitch is really doing wonderful things with the colorways, but the short repeats are making it seem a little too choppy. I think I knowhow I’m going to fix it, so hopefully by tomorrow I’ll be well on my way. Have to take the kiddies to the doc’s tomorrow, so it’ll be a nice little project to toss in the tote.

Frogged Again

In other news, I’m getting ready to upload my entire stash into ravelry… woo-hoo! I’ve found a great spot to photograph the yarns, the light’s relatively diffuse but plentiful, and I can crawl up into the window to shoot from any side. I’ve been taking lots of little snaps these past few days and I have to say that I’ve been pretty happy with the results!

The Bay Window

But back to ravelry… I am really excited to have a place to catalog my stash. Now that I have a cosy little set-up in our bedroom and have found some time to organize a bit I’m starting to realize that there have been some great yarns I’ve overlooked that would’ve been great for a few projects already completed. I also am amazed at how much I’ve amassed, and how much bigger the stash looks when it’s all in one place. Make me think these stash-storing suggestions made by Clara Parks might come in handy in the near future. And there is an old defunct washing machine down in the basement…

Guess What Time It Is…

Yup, that’s right… it’s two am. Once again, another project has me distracted, so I thought it might be apropos to send in a little post to my little spot.

Working on another snowman hat… I’m not sure if I’m going to like it or not, but it’s definitely a jumping off point for other projects. Then again, I might frog the thing tomorrow once I see it in daylight. OK, I’ve decided to rip it out. I’m enjoying the texture, but I think there’s a little too much going on. I’m going to remove the garter stitch and stay with stockinette in the solid… that should help keep the focus on the variegated yarn and push the teal to the background. Both yarns are incredible smoooooooth…and oh so soft.

Guess I’m going to miss my deadline again…
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The First of Many

Yes, folks, I finally did it! After a month and a half of slogging through survey review sites, domain registrars, ISP’s, and gutting myself in front of the hydra that is Movable Type, I’ve found WordPress, and…

I

HAVE

A

BLOG!!

I’m really hoping between this little site’o’mine and ravelry that I can get a handle on all my various projects. I’m expecting this will be a place where I can show progress on current projects, possibly show off the finished ones, keep track of useful links and tutorials, and stay in touch with the rest of the blog-o-sphere. We’ll see how much I accomplish 🙂