Personal thoughts on knitting, crochet, and other aspects of my life...

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

FO's for January

This is the first Test-Along I did for Larissa and her future Knitalong book which has an anticipated publication date sometime in 2008. This was a very quick to knit and comfortable sock pattern using less than 1 skein of Manos. The socks are slightly fulled which gives the stitches a little extra springiness. I finished the pair in about a day and a half which made them a lot of fun to knit. I even bought another skein to make a pair of (house) socks for the hubby.

Pattern: Socks 101 Test-along
Yarn: Manos 25 Shale
Needles: Addi Turbo circular, size #10 40" Magic Loop
Notes: Made Women's Large (CO 36 sts) w/less than 1 skein

The Glaistig hat was also a lot of fun to knit. Not only because of all the things I knit, I probably love knitting hats the most. But, this hat was especially enjoyable to knit because I learned two new techniques while doing the Glaistig hat. The first new technique was the Alternate Cable Cast-On. This cast-on works up slowly; but, looks excellent with the K1, P1 ribbed edge of the hat. In addition to learning the new cast-on, this hat was excellent practice for learning how to cable without a cable needle. The instructions, at Grumperina's blog, use a six-stitch cable as the example. The hat uses an eight-stitch cable and two strands of yarn held together throughout; so, it was a little tricky. However, I really feel like I've got it now. It is hard to see the extent of cabling from this photo, and also, I think, because of the variegated yarn, so take a look at the picture at the is a really cute hat, modeled here by my niece.

Pattern: Glaistig from the AntiCraft
Yarn: Claudia Hand Painted in Ingrid's Blues w/Koigu KPM in Black
Needles: Addi Turbo circular, size #8, 16" and 40" Magic Loop
Notes: Used Alternate Cable Cast On and Cabling Without a Cable Needle

Here is my second Test-Along pattern done for Larissa's book. We were to knit a 7" square using sock yarn in certain colorways following a specified pattern exactly. I basically ended up having to knit this square (almost) three times before I got it right. But, it is done and I have already mailed it off to Larissa. A few dozen of the squares received will be chosen for inclusion in the book's sample afghan. The others not chosen will be made into additional afghans and donated to Warm Up America. So, either way, as Martha would say, "It's a good thing."

Pattern: Square Test-along
Yarn: Socks That Rock Medium Weight color Scottish Highlands
Needles: Addi Turbo circular, size #1(2.5mm) 40" Magic Loop
Notes: Had to go down in needle size (from #2 to #1) to obtain required gauge and square size.

I joined another KAL. It's not as if I don't already have enough projects; but, sometimes it is nice to follow along with others on a small project, where someone else has chosen the pattern. It's the Monthly Dishcloth KAL, which provides a new pattern at the beginning of the month and another one in the middle of the month. Each pattern is given several lines at a time over the course of about a week. And, you don't know what the finished dishcloth will look like until it's done.

Pattern: 2007 January Mid-Month KAL
Yarn: Sugar 'n Cream 100% Cotton
Needles: US #7
Notes: Did cables without cabling needle

Here's the final FO for January. It's Calorimetry from the Winter 2006 issue of Knitty. I completely finished it and bound off only to decide that the yarn I chose is either a little more stretchy or maybe my head is a little smaller than the pattern is geared to. In any case, it was way too big.

So, here we are again...more frogging in January and another restart.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Phew...Crisis Averted

I came this close to losing my place as a member of the fabulous 2007 Rockin' Sock Club.

I signed up for the Rockin' Sock Club at Blue Moon Fiber Arts sometime last November. On January 01, I was invoiced. I paid the fee on January 02. Well, I won't go into the lengthy story of the insanity that BMFA experienced with their (ex)bank, mainly because if you haven't already read the story, you can read about it here, or here, or here. However, after I read the email from BMFA explaining the fiasco, I checked my bank account, saw that my payment had been made, and decided I must be okay because I used a debit card and the payment was immediately deducted from my account.

Not so. But, I would not have known there was a problem if it weren't for the very thorough ladies at BMFA sending a postcard readdressing the payment problem. I checked my account again yesterday only to discover that my payment had also been returned. Yikes! I immediately forwarded payment to BMFA.

Crisis averted.

On another note...the hubby, apparently tired of hearing my complaints of not being able to take a good picture of my knitting, has bought me a new toy.

Ta da! Isn't she pretty?

I really know nothing about photography; but, hopefully, you will notice an improvement in the quality of the photos you see here. I'm hoping...but, I can't really promise anything.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Starting Over

I do gauge swatches...not for everything; but, for most projects. So, usually after I've swatched, I do not have false starts. Not the case in the past few weeks. I have had to completely start over on three simple recent projects.

First, the Bejeweled Scarf for Lolly's KAL. I am using Schaefer's Helene (silk/wool blend) which only has 218 yards in the skein. The pattern has you increase until you get to 32 stitches across, which should be about 6.75 inches wide. I increased until 26 stitches to have a slightly narrower scarf and hoping to keep the length. However, it turned out that my scarf, at 26 stitches, was also 6.75 inches wide. And, when the scarf was 26 inches long, I weighed the yarn I had left and calculated that the scarf would only end up being around 52 inches long. So, I frogged it and started over, increasing only to 20 stitches across, which is now coming out to 5 inches wide and I'm hoping will be at least 5 feet long.

Second, I started the beautiful Monkey socks designed by Cookie A. (one of my favorite sock designers!).

I am using a skein of the Fleece Artist yarn, that I was gifted in December, on a 2.5mm needle, which the pattern calls for and I swatched with. When I started the sock, I felt like I was knitting a little tight, so I consciously tried to knit looser; however, after 2 pattern repeats I tried the sock on, and I could barely get it over my heel. Ugh! I started the second sock (pictured here) on a 3.00mm needle and it fits good and actually looks better. First sock...frogged.

Third, I am test knitting an afghan square for Larissa's Knitalong book. Originally, she suggested several different yarns, one being Socks That Rock mediumweight on size #2 needles. Since I had some leftover STR mediumweight in the requested color range, I started my square. Problem #1, I misread the instructions and bound off my square at, what turned out to be, only halfway completed. I was questioning how tiny my square was and realized what I had done after Larissa added the end stitch count to the instructions. So, after pulling out the bind off edge, I continued my square and bound off (again) at 172 stitches.

Problem #2, my new finished square was way too big. Originally, Larissa wanted 7.5 inch squares; then, revised this to 7 inch squares. My square was a good 8 inches. I did not do a gauge swatch for the square. I had made socks out of this yarn and knew my gauge was correct for the yarn; but, after binding off the square and measuring it, I checked my gauge and it was off...for this square.

On the right of this photo is the beginning of my new square, on size #1 needles. The square on the left is the one I am unraveling as I reknit the square (in the required gauge). Since starting the square again, Larissa has knit her own square with STR mediumweight on size #2 needles, also had a "Yooge" square, and...has revised the sizing now to allow for squares in a range of sizes, anywhere from 7″ to 8.5″. Hmmm.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Another Knitting Quiz...Asked and Answered

What kind of knitting needles are you?

You are "turbo" charged. Fast moving and classy, you get things done with power and grace. Your expensive tastes can be deceiving, since what you really value is quality and efficiency. As you're careening around those corners in life, finishing a dozen knitted objects each month, stop and smell the roses. Don't miss the beauty of process!

Take this quiz!

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