Friday, September 28, 2007

My Only Knitting Rule:

No Empty Needles!!!

... and right now I have two:

The needles from the Adara Chic and the frogged Tangled Yoke Cardigan (so that's a size 8 and a size 5).

So something's getting cast on today! It's a compulsion.

I looked at my projects this year, and I seem to be knitting more and more "simple" stuff. A lot of st. st, garter and ribbed projects. Apart from Matt drop dead gorgeous Son of ARAN, I haven't finished a cable project. Which is very odd for me. I have spent a lot of time on the Fall Back Cardigan this year... and I did start a Son of ARAN for me (in a stunning hot pink Cascade 220). I just seem to be knitting a lot of st. st. Which normally, I find boring.

Okay, and speaking of more stockinette stitch projects, the "swatch" for the Newport Cardigan is actually zipping along... as I've got about 7" done on the back... er, I mean swatch.

I've also been working on my Summer Braids Caridgan. The nice thing about this is that I don't have to measure to see how far to go. Each repeat is exactly 1" long, so I just count repeats... 4 more to go before sleeve shaping.

The good news is that it's supposed to be cooler over the weekend (no more hot and muggy September weather... hopefully) and I can get back to Matt's Sampler Cardigan!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Adara Chic

The Adara Chic is done... as soon as I pick out a button.

Adara Chic
click to enlarge

It took over 24 hours to dry... considering the 90 degree weather and the high humidity... which I guess is expected... in JULY! it's hardly surprising. So let's do the important stuff:

Project Stats:
Pattern: Sitcom Chic
Yarn: Elann's Adara, color: waterfall
Problems with the pattern: it's a pretty straight forward pattern
Changes to the pattern: very minor. I didn't bind off for the underarm on either the body or the sleeves and grafted them closed. I did a crab stitch (reverse single crochet) edge instead of the knitted bands.
Overall Impressions: exactly what I expected. It's going to be a nice cardigan for me. I do know the Adara will grow with wear, and I planned on that when I knit this. I love how the marled yarn looks with simple st. st. patterns, and this fit the bill exactly. So I give it a thumbs up.

Done and Done

The Adara Chic is fini! Well, I still need to get the closure on it, but it's, uh, still wet. Very wet... even overnight. AAAh cotton/linen sure does hold water well... especially in this humidity. I'm going to move it in front of a fan today. I'll do the "project stats" when it's dry and I have a decent photo of it.

I also finished an other project yesterday... or rather, I'm finished with it. I worked on the Tangled Yoke Cardigan yesterday, but the more I was thinking about it, the more I looked at other's versions on Ravelry and having a discussion with Matt and Theresa, there's no way this project was going to fit me. I would have to add bust darts, increase the sleeve width and I'm still not sure the style would be right for me. So it's off the needles... and I'm done with it.

It's way too hot and muggy for this time of year, btw. I wanted to work on Matt's Sampler Cardigan yesterday, but it was just too warm. Same with the Fall Back Cardigan. So I'm concentrating on the Summer Braids Cardigan (Matt asked me last night why I don't make myself pullovers... hmmm, I think that's a blog entry all on it's own. Let's just say I like cardigans).

Sorry for the lack of photos, but it's still dark out this morning, and there's really nothing to get a photo of yet... Adara Chic pictures coming soon!!!

Oh, and I got a comment from Carissa yesterday! It was great hearing from you again and glad to see you're back blogging!!!

Oh, and one more thing! The Xbox 360 has been ordered, along with Halo 3.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hide the Baseball Bats

It's already been one of those frustrating mornings. I still can't get my RSS feed to work properly and I have absolutely no idea why. Matt can find it using his service, but my posts aren't showing up in Ravelry. I am no coder and quite frankly, I don't want to be. Matt is a coder, but not in HTML. (it's like speaking German, but trying to figure something out in French). So screw it. I'm tried of dealing with it.

Then I tried to put my Adara Chic on my dressform. I hate my dress form. I got it back before I got married (as I needed it to make my wedding dress). The base has broken, so Matt built me a wooden one. Which has broken (so it wants to tip over). Somehow while moving it, it added length to the back waist measurement and I can't get it back to my short little self. It's clunky, annoying and only a B cup. This dress form has absolutely nothing in common with me. I'm thinking about going Resevoir Dogs on it. It might make me feel better.

However, let's focus on the positive. First, let's look at the crappy dress form version:

Adara Chic
click to enlarge

As you can see, the Adara Chic is almost done. A few ends to weave in and just the neck and buttonbands, which I'll be doing a crochet edge (ahhh, how we love the crab stitch).

Adara Chic
click to enlarge

It is much snugger than my first one, but hopefully not too much so. The sleeves are a little snug for my heavy upper arms... so much that I can't wear anything with sleeves under it. However, I do know that the Adara will grow with wear, and I'm already seeing just by trying it on that the fabric is growing. Of course, it's also not blocked yet.

So some errands this morning. I need to work on some stitch markers too. However, I should have a project finished by tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sitting with the cool kids

My Ravelry invite appeared yesterday, so I'm busy putting projects in.

I'm knittingpark (of course).

Oh, and Matt laughed when I told him about putting my entire stash into the database. So did Lauren. Matt said "you can't even get it all on your storage shelves. Hrumph.

Anyway, I'm about 10 more rows to go on the Adara Chic before neck shaping. I also went ahead and grafted one of the underarms yesterday. It should be done tomorrow. Yay!!!

Okay, off to finish logging my 2007 finished projects.

Quick Update: I didn't realize my RSS feed was broken (until it wasn't working in Ravelry). However, it has been fixed, so it's up and running.

Monday, September 24, 2007

90 Days is the same as 3 Months, right?

So Matt said if I didn't buy yarn for 3 months, I can get an Xbox 360. Okay, so let's do the math... 3 months averages to 90 days, and I'm sure he didn't mean consecutive days, right? I mean, let's be serious! So. I didn't buy yarn on Friday or Sunday... so that's only 88 more days.

But Cindy, what did you buy on Saturday? Well, I'm glad you asked.

I am a sucker for shop models. I've stated this before. If there's a beautiful shop model knitted up, I leave with the pattern (if I don't already have it) and probably a yarn to make it up (even tho' I'm sure I could find something in my stash for it).

I know and recognize this about myself... yet I continually get convinced to "just take a drive up to West Reading" (oh, wait... that may have been me... I lose track when out with Theresa who enables who).

The yarn shop in West Reading is a dangerous place for both of us. In a completely good way. The Yarn Gallery is a knitter's paradise. Every time I go, there's new shop samples, and new yarns... and dang it, I leave with new patterns and new yarn. (however, I can also thank the shop for my focus on finishing my Shoalwater. While I may not have bought the specific yarn for it, their sample was very motivating. oh, and I did buy yarn for it from them, but I ended up using something from stash. Shocking, I know).

So, I bet you want to know what I got? Why, an other cardigan pattern, of course!

Newport Cardigan
click to go dolce handknits website

They had it made up in RCY's Soft Tweed... ya, so I got some of that, too (in a pretty heathered teal). I'm swatching it right now (meaning I have about 4" done on the back).

Then guilt smacked me in the head, and I buckeled down and worked on this:

Adara Chic
click to enlarge

Ah, my latest Sitcom Chic. I should be able to finish it this week. I'm just a few more decrease rows before I hit the yoke detailing.

My experience with the Adara with the Split V Pullover has come in handy while knitting this. This yarn does grow quite a bit with wear (cotton and linen blend), so while I look at this Sitcom Chic and think it's not long enough, I know the weight of it will cause it to grow on me. I actually washed and delibrately shrunk my Split V Pullover, as it just grew with every wear.

Quick response to my comments from Friday:
Nancy: I'm envious, as we're forcasted to be almost 90 on Wednesday. No cooler weather in sight for us... yet (hopefully a little cooler soon! I need sweater weather!)
Debbie: I really have been sort of blocking out the whole disaster. I'm disgusted with the whole thing. We'll be following the regional cycling from now on. The system is simply too broken to take any of it seriously.

I've got a few errands to run today and some laundry to do, but I will be working diligently on the Adara Chic... unless my Ravelry invite comes today. Then all bets are off.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Quick... Someone Knit Satan a Sweater...

As I think it's getting cold in hell.
Basketweave Ribbed Socks
click to enlarge

Yep, not only did I finish a project, but they're socks!!! Woo-hoo, now I can buy 10 more skeins of sock yarn, right?

Project Info:
Pattern: Basketweave Ribbed Socks
Yarn: Fearless Fiber Superwash Merino Sock Yarn (thoroughbred colorway)
Changes to the pattern: not much, actually. The pattern is written for 2 circs, and I've discovered I really prefer doing the 5 DPN thing. More comfortable for me. I also never use slip stitches on the sides of my heel flap. Yes, it does make picking up those stitches easier, however, it contributes to that loose stitch at the join. I like to keep mine as minimal as possible:

Basketweave Sock join detail
click to enlarge

I also do a make 1 in that corner, and I try not to stretch it out.

Overall Impressions: Great pattern and great yarn. The basketweave rib is comfortable to wear, was interesting to knit and shows off Deb's beautiful dyed yarn. So let's give this project a thumbs up. Don't know how much wear they'll actually get (I find I don't wear my hand knit socks except to knitting events).

Now... which socks to cast on next. I can't leave those needles empty you know!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sometimes I Wonder How I Finish Anything

I have to say, apart from maybe two projects this year, I've had real issues concentrating on finishing things. I've started numerous projects. I've worked on numerous projects, yet I've only finished 13 major projects. I really want 15 finished projects this year, and time is running out.

Yet I continue to cast on new things. This was cast on over the weekend:

Cabled Entrelac
click to enlarge

This is as far as I am:

Cabled Entrelac Bottom Border
click to enlarge

The pattern is from the Winter 98/99 Vogue Knitting*. This has been on my "to do list" since it came out. However, I was still a fairly novice knitter and there's some complex things about it (and I'm still not happy with how my starting cables look) and the pattern didn't go up to the size I needed at the time. I'm smaller now and a more confident knitter.

I got the yarn from Olde Peddler Wools on Saturday. It's Debbie Bliss's Cashmerino Aran in a very interesting shade of pink. I've had some issues with the Cashmerino Aran in the past, and always get a little nervous with it (I made Matt's second Wonderous Woven Cables from it and for only having 100 yds per skein, there were a lot of knots and poorly spun sections. However the second time I used it, I had no problem with it. So while I'm nervous about it, I haven't written it off).

While I was cruising along nicely on both Matt's Sampler Cardigan and my Adara Chic sweaters, I got distracted again by my Fall Back Cardigan:

Fall Back Cardigan
click to enlarge

I'm on the second sleeve:

Fall Back Cardigan (more accurate color)
click to enlarge

A reminder about the project. The pattern is Janet Szabo's Spring Forward Cardigan (from her Twists & Turns Newsletter). I'm using Cascade 220 and I "FLAK'd" it, meaning that I'm custom fitting it.

The good news is that I am still working on the Basketweave Ribbed socks (past the gusset decreases, so just the final foot length to finish up!). Hmmm, maybe one thing WILL get done! Unless I cast something else on today....

*I linked to a place where you can buy the Vogue Knitting magazine, but I have no experience with this shop. I did find it on Ebay, but the auction was ending soon, and knew that it would be out of date. However, I'm sure an other copy will be on Ebay eventually.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

DPN's Rock

If you look at yesterday's photo of the Basketweave Ribbed socks, you'll notice I have the one in progress on 2 circs. Okay, maybe not, as the photo is a little difficult to tell.

Basically when I frogged back to the heel flap on the first sock, I decided to throw them on some circs (Knitpicks, so they're nice and pointy) thinking that it would be easier. Well, it was easier to get the stitches back on the needle with the metal pointy circs, but knitting the heel turn was... well, a nightmare.

So back onto DPN's, thank you very much. I'm still on the gusset decreases, but I'm thinking I'll have these socks done pretty soon.

Meaning I can buy more sock yarn, right? Does it matter that these are the only socks I've knit this year? Or that I've already bought maybe 10 skeins of sock yarn? (so at that ratio... ya. let's not bother thinking about that. Let's just say that I have a lot more sock yarn than I'll ever knit. Right).

Matt and I are trying to adjust to our fall schedule. Meaning that the racing season is officially over. Matt did the last race of the year on Sunday. He did not have a great day. He did the Pro/1/2/3 race at the Yuasa Crit. This is a big race. Lot's of points and the state crit championship race. Plus it had a nice size purse. Lot's of powerful riders showed up. Plus the course was a little wonky (the final turn was a bit of a nightmare) with lots of crashes. Tim (Matt's only teammate in the Pro race with him) was taken down on the first lap in that corner. Luckily he did get back up and was able to get back on (yay for free laps!). However, neither finished. Stephan has a nice summery of the race here.

So now we're in "off season" training. While he'll still ride almost daily, it won't be as hard and he'll do some other workouts (weight training). The main goal this off season is to develop some muscles and keep his weight down. Hmmm, I think those are my goals too!

Monday, September 17, 2007

One Week Later...

Not really much to show for it. We had a busy week entertaining Matt's mother during her visit. However, I still was able to get some progress on a few projects:

Here's the Adara Chic second sleeve.

Adara Chic
click to enlarge

Just a reminder of the project. I'm using Elann's Adara to make Sitcom Chic. Nancy made an excellent comment last week about knitting backwards rather than doing those super long purl rows. I've done some knitting backwards (for things like bobbles and entrelac), but because I'm not very comfortable doing it, the purling is still faster. I know that if I practice more, it would be easier. I do have to say that I like turning my work. I'm not sure why, but I feel very productive when I get to turn my work a lot.

The Basketweave socks that I've had on the needles for a while zipped along.

Basketweave Sock
click to enlarge

That's actually the second sock finished. However, I wasn't happy with how the first sock's heel and gusset looked, so I frogged it back to redo it:

Basketweave Sock re-do
click to enlarge

And here's the reminder about this project: pattern is Stitches of Violet's Basketweave Ribbing Socks and the yarn is the ooooh so beautiful Fearless Fiber's Superwash Wool in Thoroughbred (a much more accurate color representation of the color of the yarn).

Oh, and Matt's Sampler Cardigan has about 3" done on the first sleeve. I need to wind some more yarn and I'll do that today.

Right now I want to really focus on getting some thing finished. However, that's always a challenge for me... I'm so easily distracted! New Yarn! New Books! New Projects! (plus I'm getting antsy for an Xbox 360...)

Well, off to turn a heel.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Clever Monday Title

Busy weekend with a busy week coming up. I have my mother in law visiting for a week (she arrives tonight). So I spent the weekend doing the things around the house that I can't do while she's here (meaning I'm caught up with all my laundry).

Thanks to everyone that left comments about the Lace Crochet Shawl. Did everyone rush over to Etsy and get some of Fearless Fiber's merino laceweight yarn?? (my shawl took 3 skeins).

On the knitting front (no pictures today, sorry), the Adara Chic is progressing nicely... I'm on the second sleeve. The fun part is after the sleeves are attached and I get to do those really really long purl rows. Good times. I'm looking forward to it.

Matt's Sampler Caridgan is also moving nicely. I put it aside due to the "warmth" factor. It's gotten very muggy and the fronts and back are seamed ready for me to do the sleeves and the buttonband... and that's a lot of wool in my lap right now.

I might take today off from all obligation knitting/housework and do a little Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando. I have yet to get 100% on the game (two platinum bolts to collect... and they're tough ones. I have to complete a race perfectly flying thru every ring. Yikes, not my forte'). The main reason I want to get a PS3 is for the new R&C game, but I have to say the last two games haven't been very fun for me. I didn't like Deadlocked at all (it's not in the same style as the other games in the series) and I found the PSP's Size Matters to be very frustrating (while I finished it, I didn't even try the challenge mode or shoot for 100%. I was just glad to have finished the game... very un-Ratchet and Clank-like).

I will say that I'm hearing really great things about Bioshock..and the main reason I'm leaning towards an Xbox360 before the PS3. It's story driven... and when a game is known for it's story, I get very excited. I'll even put up with bad game play for a good story (example: The Thing... while a truely fabulous story as it's actually a sequal to the John Carpenter movie, was a truely horrible game to play. Even my beloved Legacy of Kain series has horrid gameplay... but the story and acting is absolutely fabulous). However, I'm hearing that Bioshock is both: a good game and a good story. Old Grandma Hardcore is currently playing it, and she and I have similar tastes (maybe it's a girl gamer thing?).

Okay, off to play. I'll probably be hit or miss this week with posting. Having a houseguest always throws my schedule off!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Lace Crochet Shawl

Lace Crochet Shawl
click to enlarge

I blocked the lace shawl yesterday and finished up the pattern. I will be selling the pattern in my Etsy shop after Theresa's class finishes up. I did have a minor little set back with the blocking. (note to self: merino wool lace weight yarn will break before size 10 cotton thread). I had a section break on me while I was trying to remove the cotton thread I used to help me block it out. I was able to fix it, so all is well.

Project Stats:

Pattern: Olde Peddler Shawl by me
Yarn: Fearless Fiber's Merino Laceweight yarn (miracle colorway)
Overall Impressions: I did this pattern specifically for a crochet lace class that Theresa will be teaching at Olde Pedder Wools and it's a very straight forward pattern stitch. I can't say enough about the yarn. The colors work perfectly with the pattern and it bloomed so beautifully when it blocked. The drape and softness is just what I would want in a shawl.

So I'm pretty happy with it. Again, I can't say enough about the yarn. This is the first I've worked with wool and crochet (I usually use a smooth cotton) and I'll be doing more. I have 2 more colorways of the merino laceweight yarn in my stash... and I'm thinking of a little lacey cardigan....

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Procrastinating Leads to Production

Nothing like procrastinating on things I NEED to be doing to get things that don't need to be done done.

I'm done with the first pocket of Matt's Sampler Cardigan, and I'm thrilled with how it turned out. I'm sure I'm not the first to do a pocket this way, but I love when I think of something in theory, and it actually works in practice. Still need to do the other pocket yet.

I'm at the armholes on the Adara Chic, with the first sleeve cast on. This is great movie watching (Miss Potter last night).

I also spent half the day out shopping/lunch with my friend Betty yesterday. I made some more stitch markers for my Etsy shop.

I did not block the Lace Crochet Shawl. Nor did I tackle any house work (MIL arrives on Monday...). Nor did I work on the afghan square for Saturday's class. I'm actually not going to finish the August block, as I'm going to be teaching it again and there's some issues with the pattern, so I'll deal with it later. However, I do need to be ready for class and have the next block ready to show how to do the stitch.

Rosie: my first Braids Cardigan was given to my MIL the last time she visited. She borrowed it as she didn't have a sweater with her, and it's one I never wore. The photo of it got lost in one of my "site clean ups", so it's gone. Yes, there were some things I didn't like about the pattern. Mainly the way the buttonband was done. It's a square neckline, but they try to force it to a round neckline, and I didn't like the way it looked. So I kept it square, and I changed it to a neckband and a buttonband (doing them sepertately). I do have another one on the needles (the Summer Braids) in Tatamy Tweed:

Summer Braids
click to enlarge

It's actually longer than that, but I'm feeling lazy and didn't do a new photo this morning. It's an other "full body knit"... as that seems to be the style of the day... no side seams. It's another project that is nice to just pick up and knit, as it's a very straight forward pattern. Hmmm, I do need to work on that as well, don't I? Ah, too many projects, too many obligations...

Okay, must block shawl today!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Easily Amused

One of the very best aspects of having DirectTV's baseball package (apart from the whole day game thing) is that I get to see regional ads from all around the country (oh, if you get the hockey package, you also get some great Canadian ads). Anyway, this is my current favorite one. We do not have Carl's Jr's around here... so we're missing this ad:


I finished up the Lace Crochet Shawl yesterday and I plan on blocking it today... which I'm not looking forward to. Pinning a very long lace project out on the floor is extremely hard on my back.

I also finished the back of Matt's Sampler Cardigan and decided I needed to tackle the pockets (before it was seamed together and much more cumbersome).

Detail of pocket on Matt's Sampler Cardigan
click to enlarge

I'm basically doing an afterthought pocket. Using the same technique as an afterthought heel... but no shaping. I'm also doing a purl stitch on the sides to help it lay flat. I'm thrilled with how it turned out.

You can hardly see that pocket!
click to enlarge

This pattern screams for an inserted pocket, as it's easily hidden between the samples stitch sections. I think Matt will appreciate having pockets, and for some reason I think it'll make it more "manly" (I have absolutely no idea why).

Anyway, after the pockets, I'll seam up the shoulder seams and do the front buttonbands (before I attach the sleeves... again, it will be less cumbersome).

Rosie: I'm actually not doing inserted sleeves, but the dropped shoulder style as the pattern is written. For my next one (as I look like krap in dropped shoulder styles), I'll do inserted sleeves... and since I work flat, it's not that hard to still do top down. I just pick up my stitches, work even for the length of the insert before I start my decreases (actually I usually work farther than that, as I have heavy upper arms and I like to start decreasing closer to the elbow). Then I just seam the inserted area. However, if you want to attach the insert as you go, check out Cabin Fever's Braids Cardigan, they have directions to do that.

As far as side pockets, I've never done them in knitting. I think the Vogue Knitting book has directions for it. I don't think it'll be difficult, but you might have a little extra seaming to do.

Okay, off to procrastinate on blocking the Lace Crochet Shawl...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

It's not even painful!

Somehow or an other, I accidently tripped over a pair of needles and some Adara yarn and ended up with this:

Adara Chic
click to enlarge

It's an other Sitcom Chic. While I love the comfort and feel of my first Sitcom Chic, it ended up too big. I wear it around the house, but I think it's too sloppy looking to wear out. So, let's try it again.

I'm using Elann's Adara (which I loved for my split V pullover) in Waterfall and I dropped down a size. I think when choosing a size for this, don't include any ease. I did my first one at the 44" finished (I have a 42" bust, and that's what I like my pullovers to be). However, since I'm Very full busted, with narrow shoulders, it hangs off me in an unflattering way. So I'm actually making the 40" finished. However, the 40" size is actually a little over 41" if I take the stitch count by the gauge. (Always worth checking when you do a pattern. It's so simple to do with a st. st. pattern... makes me wonder why it's not accurate in the pattern). One or two inches difference in a pattern is actually quite noticable. (btw: if I do the math for the 44" size, it's actually 44.5", I know, not much, but if I had done the math the first time, I wouldn't have chosen that size, as I know that 44.5" was going to be too large... I also begin to question all the other math in the pattern).

On to what else I've been working on over the weekend...
Oh, a little of this and a little of that. I'll be blocking the crochet lace shawl today. The pattern is written and just needs a proofread (and the final photos).

Lace Crochet Shawl
click to enlarge

I still have the other border to put on, but the first side is the hardest (as I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do, so it was redone several times). I did add beads, but they're a soft pink and extremely subtle. They do add the weight that I wanted, and I'm very happy with it. We'll see how it blocks... but I don't think I've ever blocked something and been less happy with it. And I'm pretty happy with it right now.

Matt's Sampler Cardigan is only slightly progressing. I'm on the final section on the back... maybe an other 12 rows to go or so. Then I'm tackling the pockets. I want to block the fronts and the back, then add the front buttonbands. I'll do the sleeves last since I'm working them top down (less seaming).

So lot's to do... short attention span knitting is fun! Let's see if something else gets cast on today (no, no, must finish a project!!!!).