Sunday, August 30, 2009


I hate knitting for an obligation.  It never ends up being a project I care about. More often than not, there are other things I need to be knitting instead (like the two socks that need to be finished in the next two weeks) and I usually end up having to knit with yarn I really dislike because whatever project it is rarely is knit with a decent wool or wool blend yarn.  I get to knit a chemo cap that's supposed to be delivered in <2 weeks.  Nevermind that I'm travelling for about half that time.  Nevermind that I don't have much knitting time at all right now with the burgeoning novel H1N1 flu outbreak. Oh and after I announced what yarn I was going to use (complete with picture), someone else when out and bought yarn in the same color then expected me to change things.  Since there are apparently several people making hats, I'm tempted to just bail on it except then I would a) feel guilty and b) probably be bashed by the other persons involved, which shouldn't bother me but it does.

Knitting is supposed to be fun. This isn't it. :-(

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Gauge Issues

My sleeve for the blueberry sweater was nicely on gauge with the recommended size of needles. Actually, the sleeve was the gauge swatch. After getting the sleeve to nearly the appropriate pre-underarm length, I decided to start the body of the sweater. Apparently I am knitting more tightly now as I have added 1/2-1 stitch per inch. Now I have to figure out if I want to find a larger needle (I'm already knitting with size 11 needles) or if I want to re-figure the math or if I want to concentrate on knitting more loosely. I'd rather not re-figure the math for the gauge I'm actually getting. EZ actually cautions about knitting this sweater at a different gauge because the shoulder shaping doesn't work right. At the moment, I'm not terribly excited about the idea of going shopping for a size 13 needle. On the other hand, I don't know that I could consistently knit more loosely.

Gauge lately has become a problem for me. My sister's two striped socks are actually at slightly different gauges. I have no idea why. I used the exact same yarn and needles for both socks, but the second sock is tighter than the first. I don't recall being more stressed for sock #2 or knitting particularly tightly, but apparently I did. The difference in gauge means one sock fits more snugly than the other. It will be interesting to see how the third sock fits and whether it's of the tighter or looser gauge. Here's hoping my gauge issues sort themselves out soon and I become more consistent between knitting sessions. It would be nice to have a sweater whose body and sleeves don't have wavy sides due to inconsistent gauge.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Incremental Progress....

The third sock is now about 3 inches tall. The first sleeve is about 3/4 of the way to the armpit. And I'm already trying to figure out what I want to work on next--shawl, sock or sweater. It might be a shawl, but I would feel obligated to finish Errold's Grove first. (For some reason it feels "wrong" to have more than one shawl going at a time. Maybe I think I'll get confused between the two projects, though it's perfectly normal to have three or more socks on the needles.)

If the next project is a sock, I think I'll skip the Monkey Socks I cast on for myself and use the Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the blue/gray colorway that I don't much like. I might make another pair of Zombie socks or Anita Williams' Firenze the Centaur socks. I definitely want to make With a Twist from the Knitters Brewing Company, but with a different colorway than the blue/gray Lorna's Laces. I might use one of the new yarns I bought at Fine Line in July.

If the next project is a sweater, I haven't decided whether to find the Freedom Sweater or whether to start something new, like a Veste Everest or the Must Have Cardigan. Or I could do something completely crazy like finish sweater projects I've already started--like the purple vest or the orange tank or the green polo (that just needs seaming up). Perhaps when I start weeding through the boxes of junk in the spare bedroom, I'll weed through a box of yarn/knitting stuff and put all the works in project into a single labelled tote.

I'm becoming accustomed to knitting in the evenings at least a few nights a week. I've been too tired to do much yardwork lately and there's less of it to do anyway. It's been quite relaxing to knit for an hour or two while watching Hulu or a DVD. I've not quite gotten into listening to a book on tape while knitting, but I'm sure that would be fun too if I had the right book. Perhaps that will be my next task--find a good series of fiction audiobooks with which to knit.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sis' Striped Socks Now With Picture!

Here are the first two socks.
The yarn is Colinette Jitterbug knit on size 2 needles. I cast on 64 stitches and worked in K2,P2 rib for the leg and top of the foot. Basic flap heel. This is essentially my generic sock pattern. (I prefer ribbed socks to stockinette stitch socks as I think they stay up better, being both a bit more grippy and stiff.)

Blueberry Sweater, Incarnation #2....
Some time ago I started knitting a seed stitch pullover in Cleckheaton's Drop Dead Gorgeous (DDG) yarn. It's a bulky thick/thin silk/acrylic blend yarn in blues and purples. I had started using the seed stitch pullover pattern in Simply Beautiful Sweaters but had to fudge the gauge. I wasn't really happy with the body of the sweater and I was really unhappy with the sleeves, so I ended up frogging it last winter. Now I've decided to make one of EZ's Wishbone Sweaters.

I started the sleeve three times last night. The first time I didn't cast on the right number of stitches. The second time I cast on the right number of stitches and started the sleeve in stockinette stitch only to discover that I really don't like this yarn knit into stockinette stitch. The third time I cast on the right number of stitches and have been knitting along in seed stitch. I still get 2.5 sts per inch (was getting closer to 3 sts per inch in stockinette) so I'll still be on target to follow EZ's instructions. It took me a couple of increase rounds to get the paired increases done in pattern correctly. At first I had three stitches in between the two increases, but eventually decided that a single stitch in between was the way to go. And I am absolutely not going to bother with a faux seam and drop the column of stitches down to be crocheted up after. I'd never find the stitches again with this yarn and if I did, you'd never see the "seam" anyway.

After a couple hours of television (and fussing at my increases), I have one sleeve that is about 5 inches tall. If I knit on it pretty regularly during my TV/Hulu watching, I ought to make pretty decent speedy progress.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

New Beginnings!

I still haven't taken a good photo of the finished striped socks. I have, however, cast on sock #3. It'll be a helix-striped sock with one-row stripes.

I've also decided that I need to start a sweater for myself. I've cast on the sleeve (three times now) for one of the Wishbone Sweaters in Knitter's Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmermann. At first I couldn't count right and then after knitting two inches in stockinette stitch, I have decided that I really like this yarn much better in seed stitch. The yarn is Cleckheaton's Drop Dead Gorgeous in the colorway Blueberries. I'm using size 11 needles which gives me a gauge of 2 1/2 stitches per inch, so this ought to go fairly quickly. If things go as planned, I ought to have a sweater to wear in a month or two.

My first idea for a new project today was to start in on the Must Have Cardigan, except I could only find the yarn in my stash and not the pattern book. Then I thought I could start on a Veste Everest, but I couldn't track down the yarn. After that, I thought I would work on my Freedom Sweater pullover but I don't know which bin the the sweater is in, although I do know where the pattern is. (There seems to be a trend here....) What I could find is the DDG yarn, so I might as well get the Blueberry Pullover going again and get a long-term WIP off my list of things to get done.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Sis' Striped Socks Finished!

I just wanted to make the quick announcement. I still have the ends to run in, of course, but as far as I'm concerned, the pair is finished. I'll post a picture tomorrow. And cast on sock #3 of the set. Might get a good chunk of it knit up too, depending upon my energy level and the weather. There's a lot of yardwork that I could get done too.

Monday, August 03, 2009

First First Sock Progress....

Since I was home sick over teh weekend, I got a lot of knitting done. The first sock of Sis' striped socks was ripped back to the end of the first stripe and I started to re-knit. I'm now working on the heel flap. Assuming my head doesn't asplode on me tonight, I might get past the heel turn and another inch down the food. If I feel like death warmed over in the morning, I may decide to call in sick. Oddly enough, I said that about this morning too, but I felt pretty decent until just before the end of the day.

Still trying to figure out the next project. I'm kind of thinking a nice cardi for work would be nice. Let's not talk about the unfinished adult-sized sweaters languishing in the WIP bins....