Sunday, August 03, 2008

Most boring post evarr

I know I've been away, and this post will not be any more interesting than the complete lack of content that has been befallen the blog since April or whenever. Such is life.

Babies coming up:
Choir director's preemie girl -- here! (Saartje's Bootees and maybe the ribbed cardi or the Sweet Baby Cap in matching sock yarn?)
Cousin's girl -- October (can I make something for Wally too? In CA, must be lightweight -- maybe the bunny hat?)
Friend's girl -- October (also in CA - something monkey themed)
Coworker's adopted 1-year-old boy -- um... October?

Projects needing photos taken:
Ribbed baby cardigan
Wee doily
Mystery Stole (oy)
Vest yarn
Bunny hat

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Scrolldown Fug

Oy. Where to begin?

So after a layoff of over a year, I finally finished my Noro sweater, made of Silk Garden, for my mom. It had rather strange construction, so I sent it out for finishing by someone who had been recommended to me, and... well...

Here's the model.

Here's the diagram of the construction.

Here's my mom. Please ignore the mid-remodeling wallpaper :P

The top is absolutely PERFECT in fit -- she loves it, and she can comfortably move her arms all around without bunching or riding up -- which is a miracle, considering that neither I nor the finisher put it together using her or her measurements (whatever they were). Don't try this at home, kids. Still, these particular fit problems weren't really due to not modeling it on her; this was the least fitted part of the sweater's "tailoring." The collar could be folded down, but she actually kind of liked it standing up.

We just needed the bottom part to lay equally well... yeah, not so much.


Hey, nice bellybutton!

As you can see, the fit is so nice on the back. When it comes to the cardigan fronts, though, it just puffs out and folds under.




In these pictures, she's pulling it a little to try to flatten it out. The finishing lady sent me an e-mail mentioning that it might need to be blocked more, but I still don't think that'll fix it enough.



So the way I see it, I have a few options.

1) Ungraft the vertical back seam, pull off the button band on the bottom, and see if widening the vertical area a little and making a longer button band loosens it up. The button band is 230 rows long; the directions said to stretch it before sewing it on, and the cardigan edge was 250 rows long. Still, I gave it to the finisher live, with the instruction that she could make it longer if necessary. I guess she didn't think so.

2) Picking out live stitches upside down and turning both the back and front into straight, more standard-looking cardigan backs and fronts.

Any other suggestions or thoughts? Merciful heavens, but this depressed me.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Bits and pieces

First, big ups to Arcadia Knitting, 1613 Lawrence Ave. in Chicago. I'd been there before, as it's near my brother's apartment, but I found myself hanging out there for longer than anticipated when, after stopping there for 10 minutes last Sunday, I found that my car did not want to start. My brother and I hung out for over an hour while waiting for AAA, and they couldn't have been nicer. They even speak Spanish and have Spanish magazines next to their couch. Two thumbs up for them.

I picked up a couple skeins of that Kaffe Fassett sock yarn in bright blues and greens (ya think?) for the Mexicali baby Ole cardigan I've wanted to make. I hope that'll be enough.

The cardigan for my mom is coming along very well. I think it's partially out of seething fury for my ex-boyfriend, who brought it up as an example of things I don't finish. Well, a) it's not your business, and b) that unpainted office, Goodwill decor, non-running car and invisible wine rack of yours say you might want to back off, buddy. I think I'll send him a picture of my mom modeling the finished project with a caption saying SUCK IT.

Bitter much? Naw.

The second sleeve is finished and I'm on to the first button band. Oh, how I love k1p1 ribbing. OH WAIT, NO. I pulled out a couple dpns because they were the closest size 5s lying around (it's only 16 stitches wide), and I remember yet again why I don't use straights. I'll see if I can find a size 5 16" when I get home.

Anyways, I have this first button band, then a matching one with buttonholes (both about... hmmm... a yard long), then the collar in k2p2, and that'll be it. I went on a fruitless button search at the Sow's Ear last weekend, but when I stopped to ask my mom if she had any preferences, she recycled a set of bronze ones from a sweater she'd planned to get rid of, and they work beautifully. Yay!

I plan to send it out for finishing because it's got a weird configuration. Not only does the front loop around to become the back, the back armhole area is 15 rows shorter than the front. I looked and looked at the pattern, checked for errata online and brought it to my executive consultant, but we both agreed that I was spot-on in construction despite this weird design. I am told, however, that the suggested finishing lady is a whiz with seaming, so I have high hopes that she will be able to figure it out.

Of course, completion depends upon the extra three balls of Silk Garden #203 arriving this week. I don't understand how I can knit tight enough to require extra, yet have to go down two needle sizes for gauge.

Will update with pics when I have at least one button band done.


Sunday, March 16, 2008


Ugh, has it really been four months? (As a side note, I'd like to give half a mo' to Andy of The Hunan Scooter, who shares my love of beginning posts after long layoffs with the old Jim Anchower "Hola amigos... been a long time since I rapped at ya." Early '90s Onion ftw.)

Best laid plans gang aft agley and all that. During my attempt to get some more pictorial life into this here entry, I was somewhat horrified to realize that my photo card reader seemed to be covered in something resembling dried marmalade. How did that happen???

But anyways. Where were we?

My Violets by the River shawl was going just swimmingly until approximately December 8. When my gentleman friend and I took a trip up to visit his family for Christmas stuffs, I worked feverishly during both the long car ride and the inevitable sitting around and schmoozing. I got so much done! Oh, how wonderful to only have six rows left on the twenty-row repeat of 400+ stitches. Oh, it'll totally be done by Christmas at this rate, or at least Mom's birthday on January 2!


She received a lovely Swedish calendar for Christmas, and it remains in hibernation. I believe I still need to do a little more surgery before forging ahead once more.

I did manage to finish the Koolhaas hat. My brother loves it and says it looks like the hippest qofi ever. (Pity he isn't Muslim.)

My Merging Colors scarf seems to be on needles that are too short. It is a pain in the rear to knit with its multiple ends getting in the way. Le sigh.

I started the Frosted Ferns doily in January, and it was going very well. I picked up some nice steel dpns and found that they worked WAY better than the stumpy birches I had lying around, so that rocked.

And then I broke up with the aforementioned gentleman friend, whose mother was the intended recipient, with about 10% completed.

Still, I think I'll eventually get back to it. (And me 'n' the boy have gotten back to friendly terms, so that's good.) I do like lace, especially the ridiculously tiny kind, and I have a mounting/framing plan that I think will make it look awesome. I hope to finish it and keep it for myself, so yay.

In the wake of the breakup, I went back to my mom's Noro cardigan, both for the speed of the knitting and the nice meditative stockinette. I'm almost done with the first sleeve, having ripped it out from last time, but it's getting to be boring as hell. Maybe I'll work on Violets a little before starting the second sleeve.

The aforementioned ex-gentleman friend mentioned, in a wonderfully honest conversation after the breakup, that it drove him crazy to see how I didn't finish stuff. Well, a) it's not his freakin' business, hmph! and b) he's probably right. I didn't have a real deadline on my mom's cardigan, but she did remind me that she would have liked to wear it when it's actually a little nippy out. (Last year. Oops.) I will stick with it. Really. And the Violets shawl really should be a Mother's Day present. She doesn't know it's coming.

Thrills and chills, as always... over and out.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Time for hats!

Ugh, was Monday grody out. Here I was, wearing just a fleece, and a cold, rainy hail started up just in time for my afternoon tromp around campus. To add insult to injury, my hat supply is nil. I have one manly striped chullo hat that everybody loves and asks me if I knit... sadly, it came from Target.

Shedir was kind of languishing, and you know what? It looked like crap. I don't know if it was the yarn (Cascade 220 -- I seriously think this skein is cursed; this is either the second or third hat it Does Not Want To Be) or the fact that I lost my place or the fact that blocking had better work miracles on that thing, because I had no definition. It just looked poopy, and I didn't feel like doing all those teeny little cables.

So last night I pulled up my Ravelry queue (oh, the joy!) and checked to see if I had a reasonably simple non-colorwork hat I could whip up in under a week. Turns out I did: the Parrotfish Topper, based on Cookie A's near-ubiquitous Pomatomus sock pattern. I have some leftover superwash fingering weight stuff in maroon, so it's perfect. Right now I'm done with the 10 rows for the cuff, and it just looks so cute and crisp with those snappy little ktbl ribs! Unfortunately, i worry that I have made a mistake in sizing, as I have a head that is, to quote Mike Myers, "like Sputnik," so we shall see whether a pretty pretty hat ends up on the head of me or someone smaller :P

The lovely and excellent Froggy helped me prioritize: hat for me, then baby presents for two important early-December babies, then Koolhaas.

As for Violets... well, I finished the center section, but then there's this weird stitch pickup thing that I don't really get because Hazel Carter was trying to be helpful but it just confused me. I think I might have it, but it doesn't matter -- I'm fighting with my mom again, and we all know I only work on it when I'm not mad. Grrr, grrrr! I'm sure I'll get to it next week or something, though; I just like a little cool-off period, and then life goes on.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Hello, hello!

I have taken to the very grad school pursuit of eating lunch in a locally owned coffee shop near campus. The WiFi is slightly spotty, but I make do. I have yet to find the perfect equilibrium of Awesome Chairs combined with Accessible Plug For Charger (I need at least an hour and a half for my plugless afternoon lecture), but I am here nonetheless. Perhaps me 'n' the blog will see a little more of each other.

This weekend was a good one for knitting. I did a little Violets here and there, but the main progress made involved deciding how big I actually wanted to make it. I think my mom likes slightly small shawls, while I tend toward giant blankets you can wrap yourself in :P Given that Violets has a wide band of edging around the sides, it's not very easy for me to envision how big the finished project will be. Still, between matching it up to a larger sample over at Sow's Ear and having a little discussion with TChemGrrl, I decided to go with 24 eyelet stamps across the top (you enlarge the pattern in increments of three, and the smallest size has 18). I just finished the 21-eyelet iteration, so it's 24 more long rows (8 rows per iteration) to go of the very simple eyelet pattern. Still, though, I always get motivated when I have the end in sight, so I'm very excited to be moving on.

Violets will be my mom's Christmas present. In terms of other holiday planning, my cousin's wife Khrisla found me on Facebook a few weeks back. She has an Etsy shop, and she has been promoting a campaign to buy handmade this holiday season. Given that I am a poor grad student with an overabundance of yarn lying around, I've decided to jump on the bandwagon and either make stuff (for my immediate family) or buy stuff from artisans. I have a lot of friends who make stuff, and I LOVE the hunt for just the right unique little presents, so I think this will be very fun.


In terms of other stuff, I've decided to make Koolhaas for my brother. I love the hat and wanted to make it for someone, especially myself, but I think it will be great for my brother. He has that sort of style (in addition to a shavey head), and he loves the Team Zissou hat that I made him a few years ago. Now, of course I did not end up getting the yarn out of my stash (cheeky stash-plumper...) but I did pick up a wonderful skein of Dream In Color superwash worsted in a semi-solid color called Gothic Rose. (I'd link to the site, but their version is so washed out that it looks pink. It's more like a nice winey color; my gentleman friend pronounced it Fit For A Boy Hat). I think it'll work really well. The only thing I'm a bit concerned about is that a 16-inch unstretched hat seems a bit small for a person with a ginormous melon like myself and, I imagine, my brother. (Okay, more like an orange on a toothpick...)

The Team Zissou hat was made out of plain old Lion Wool. Knowing him, his likely method of cleaning is simply to never wash it, ever, but as he is Lead Fish Guy at a large Whole Foods, I imagine that washing would be nice sometime.

As for my dad... well, that vest is no closer to any stage of starting or completion, but who knows. Sow's Ear has just startd carrying Lamb's Pride Superwash, though, and I love how they're heathered. Somehow the Cascade 220 Superwash colors I see are always so bright and almost primary; I like a little more depth. So his stuff is still out to lunch. Oy.

I'll work on what I have, though, and I am hopeful that the recipients will like them.

Random note for later: I LOVE the Refined Aran from the new IK (not out yet).

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Sunday, October 21, 2007


I love how, in looking over my past blog posts, a good half of the titles have something to do with the fact that I'm either apologizing for my blog absence or simply acknowledging that I am still alive. (I think the rest are complaining about something. Way to be, Mads.)

It is a lazy, lovely Sunday morning, and the sun is out after a dreadfully grody week full of almost-rain and too much wind. Lots of TV knitting took place huddled on my couch :P Yesterday, however, was a perfect fall day. I spent the afternoon out and about, but I think I knit about two rows on Violets by the River while waiting for my bf to finish something on the computer. I THINK I've completed all I need to do for the center section; I'm supposed to end up with 18 little lacy stamps across. Of course, I am not sure if this is big enough -- I like things slightly larger, and I seriously have no concept of gauge. Swatching does jack squat for me and I typically end up way smaller than I should be.

So who knows. I'll stretch it out on my circ (I think it's 29") and maybe pin it out a little. Who knows how big the border will be, either.

I think I should probably do at least two more :P

As for Shedir, it continues apace with one notable change. I switched yarns to a skein of brilliantly teal Cascade 220 I've had lying around since late 2004. It's been frogged a couple times, I think :P The reason was slightly goofy. The Ultra Alpaca was indeed nice, but I realized that it's my mom's favorite color (she likes light, dusky, slate-y greens) and I should probably save it for something for her, since I didn't particularly care what color something was for me. The teal is pretty decent but I'm beginning to wonder if the cables will stand out enoguh with such a deep color. Still, it seems to be okay. I'm a couple rows into the first pattern repeat.

Got the 2007 IK Holiday Gifts issue, and all I can say is WHOA, what a winner! So many great projects, and they're all new. I have to say that I did a bit of public whining with last year's issue, seeing as so many of the projects had been recycled from other IK issues and books. Now, I don't own too many of the books, but I had most of those magazines, so I was a bit perturbed at the lack of new content.

No problem this year! There's a great variety, some of which may tempt me into making some things I normally wouldn't. I LOVE the Koolhaas hat (in fact, I wanted to make that instead of Shedir, but whatevs), and there are a couple pairs of socks that might actually tempt me to pick up the ol' dpns again. That's saying something.

Finally, Ravelry continues to enthrall me. I am always finding new ideas, new tidbits of info, and new (old) friends. What an awesome resource.

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