Thursday, January 25, 2007

So since I completed my sweaters I churned out that chunky scarf and also matching scarf/hat set for JF. Now I'm just stuck. I tried to cast on for my "Glittens" convertible glove/mittens. I did the tricky 2x2 tubular cast-on and did the entire cuff before admitting they were just too small for my hands.

So I ripped it out, went up a couple needle sizes but just can't get that cast on to work. Sigh.
Then I picked up a few skeins of Tahki Ghost Print Yarn when I was up at WEBS in Northhampton, MA. I had this idea to make a pretty capelet. First I tried making up my own pattern from the top down with raglan shaping. Two skeins in I decided it didn't look right and ripped it out. Then I attempted the Acapella pattern from Knitty. I had to readjust the numbers for my bulky weight yarn. Again, 2 skeins in I decided it looked like a dead cat wrapped around my shoulders:

So now I ripped it out a second time and am casting on for a vest. If I like the way it's going I'll have to order a couple more skeins but I'm waiting to see if I like it first!
I hate it when knitting is frustrating rather than fun and relaxing. I thought I was over all that beginner frustration but I guess as you advance you keep hitting up against it with each new challenge.
I did fulfill one of my knitting New Year's Resolutions so far. The hat I made for JF was done using Magic Loop. No pic yet. It's blue using Lion Brand Kool Wool-a merino wool/acrylic blend. It came out a little short so I picked up around the brim and knit another inch or so. The only thing was I accidently did the ribbing differently. The original ribbing was a 2x2 rib but with seed stitch in the background rather than straight purl. The second ribbing was your standard knit 2, purl 2 ribbing. JF said he liked it that way and not to change it. Another unintended design feature!
Although I haven't yet gotten to my Fair Isle Sweater Resolution I am using Fair Isle techniques on the Glittens. I've knit with two colors before and just kept them both in right hand twisting them over each other each time. This time I tried knitting with one color in each hand. The yarn in the right hand is knit by wrapping and the yarn in the left hand is knit Continental style. I had heard of people doing that and thought I would never be able to do that. But after reading about it on the Yarn Harlot's blog I thought I'd give it a try. Amazingly I picked right up on it and started two handed knitting like I'd been doing it that way all along. I think it was because I recently showed someone how to knit continental style and even though I pretty much sucked at it something must have clicked in the meantime and Voila! That made it all the more bittersweet to have to rip out those Glittens since I was on a role. Well, I'm not giving up just yet. It's cooooold outside and I vow I will have these finished before it warms up again.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I've been knitting the last month like I've never knit before. I had good and bad news early in December. The good news: My men's cardigan sweater design had been accepted for the Stitch 'n Bitch Men's Book! The bad news: the completed pattern and finished garment were due by Jan. 2nd. That meant I had only 3 weeks from the time I got the yarn to knit a whole sweater and work out all the kinks in the pattern! Somehow I managed to get it all done.

Debbie Stoller gave me the thumbs up when I brought it in since she was on the phone discussing important knitting related business. I'm so proud of myself and now I know that I can knit anything in any period of time if I put my mind to it. I hope everyone had a happy and healthy holiday season.

I think I won the award for most obsessed knitter when I told my family we couldn't have a holiday get-together after I had handed in my sweater in January! Ok, so I know you're all waiting for the picture. But it's top secret so you'll have to check out the book when it comes out later this year.

I finished the infamous "purple sweater" in time to give to JF's dad for Hanukah. It was a perfect fit and he's already gotten complements on it. Pictures forthcoming. Knitting related gifts I recieved:
Secret Santa: a gift certificate to the LYS Knitting and Stitching.
JF'S parents: the book At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much by the Yarn Harlot herself Stephanie Pearl-Mcphee
JF's sister and brother-in-law: the book Dominknitrix by Jennifer Stafford
JF himself: subscriptions to Knit.One magazine and InKnitters magazine, and the 2007 Stitch 'n Bitch Page -A-Day calendar. (Next year my socks will be in it!!)
My family-I'll find out this Sunday when we have our belated Hanukah get-together ;-)

After those labor (of love) intensive sweaters were done I treated myself by whipping up this quick cabled scarf of my own design. I had bought the yarn (Bear Creek from Kraemer Yarns) at P& S Fabrics a couple months ago. It's a craft store in Chinatown that was having this big going out of business sale. I went there with JF and my roomate ND and it was sooooo crazy. It was so crowded we had to wait 15 minutes just to be let into the shop by a security guard. ND saw a couple things she liked and made the wise decision to join the line while I finished scouting out yarn and supplies for us. Turns out she was on that line for an hour and a half! But we did score some great deals. We even bought felt and puffy paint and made ourselves stockings that night:

My knitting resolutions for 2007 are:
Make a fair isle sweater.
Continue to design patterns and get them published.
Learn to make 2 socks at the same time.
Complete some projects using Magic Loop.
Make more handknit items for other people rather than keeping all that yarny goodness to myself! Hmmm....yarny....I just created a new word!