Sunday, June 23, 2013

Take a look at my sock

I have another FO, but it's more of an FFO this time -- Failed Finished Object. Oh, it's finished, and yes, it looks lovely -- just not on me. I finished it up, seamed the sides and the straps, and lying on my table it looked gorgeous. I love the color, the fabric, the pattern, everything. And then I put it on. And I went "Oh. I would never wear this."

It's too short, too baggy and just doesn't quite work. But I'm proud of the work I did to make it, especially since I successfully sized up the pattern. It's just never going to get worn.

So admire it while you can, before I decide to frog the whole darned thing and make something else.
Last night I finished up the first of my pair of Broadripple socks while watching the Olympics. (poor Paul Hamm! But such grace under pressure.) I did a much shorter cuff than the pattern indicates, because I like shorter cuffs! The pattern was lots of fun, very well written and quite easy to do. . I love the way the color worked up, and it has a nice, soft feel. It took less than one skein to do the whole sock, so I'm going to have two skeins left over even when I finish the second sock. I'll have to think about what to do with those.

In the meantime, take a look at my sock!

 used the two-circular method for these socks, as you can see, and I loved it. So much faster! Fewer pointy bits poking me! I've never quite managed to master dpns as well as I should, so discovering this method was really a godsend for me. I don't think I'll ever use tiny dpns again, if I can help it! 

I'm in the midst of seaming Aquafresh, too, so hopefully that will be done very soon and I can get pics up to show you! Hard to believe that as August comes to a close, I've actually managed to finish all my summer projects. I'm not usually that productive, but having a whole month off in Maine certainly helps.

Okay, well not quite, but the knitting is done, and now the "making up," as the Rowan books put it, begins. Tonight I finished the neck bind off (which looks beautiful) and seamed one side and sleeve, and I have to say, my seams look beautiful. Truly gorgeous. I'm so proud of them -- you can't even see the seam! Yes, I probably sound like a crazy person, but I've had trouble with seams before and these look yummy. Invisibly, perfectly yummy. 

Tomorrow, more seaming (the other side and sleeve), then lots and lots and lots of end-weaving-in because, I kid you not, there are about twenty different ends. ARGH! My least favorite part. But I will be motivated because when it is done, I will have a beautiful sweater! That fits!! (Yes, I've been trying it on in pieces and in weird, almost-poncho form when only the raglan seams were done and none of the sides or sleeves and it fit! And the sleeve I seamed fits!)

I'm the Queen of Seaming!!

The real thanks, of course, as always, goes to my Secret Little Helper,The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques, that guru of all things finishing.  

PSA Winter

So, first, a public service announcement to (I flatter myself) regular readers: we have internet!! Yes, a delightfully helpful Comcast employee named Vinnie showed up this morning and hooked us up with high speed internet! I'm willing to put up with the slightly irritating 10-minute timeouts on our wireless network since I can actually check my email at home again! (Have I used enough exclamation points yet? Clearly not!!)

On to more important things, namely the newly announced Winter IK projects. I give you my take.

Diamond Seed: cute! I'd make it in a brighter color, but it looks like it'd be a fun and fast knit, especially for a Christmas pressie or something. 

Te Rosada: my irritation is that I can't see the sweater very well in this pic! (Yeah, I know, it's just a preview, but still -- can't tell how long it is.) I love the colorway, though, and it looks like a nice, cozy, chunky sweater. I'll withhold further judgment, or as we say in law school, remand for further review consistent with this opinion.

Shocking: have I professed my love enough for Veronik Avery? I dig her, that's pretty much the long and short of it. In particular, I dig the shape of the jacket and I'm loving the skirt. I've never been drawn to making a knit skirt before, but ... all that might have just changed. Lovely.

Old Way Gansey: thus far, ganseys ain't my thing, so I can't tell you anything about it. Plus, the picture's too small. 

Nordic Mittens: oooooooh, nice! I'm fairly certain, however, that I would prove to be waaaaaay too impatient to make them myself. If I'm going to attempt fair isle (a first for me), I'd rather start off with something a little simpler, maybe three colors, tops. Plus, um, I need to learn to knit continental.

Nattrojer: I like the square-cut neck. Other than that ... can't really tell.

Mohair Cowl Pullover: I'm pretty sure that sweater is being eaten by the cowl. Sure, maybe it's just the pic, but you can't be sure, can you?

Airy Cardigan: Cute, but so not for me. I can see it on some friends, though. I like the three-quarter sleeves and the little ruffle. 

Retro Rib Socks: very cute.

Felted Daypack: this looks remarkably similar to my booga j backpack, except not striped. 

Felted Pullover: *cough* fringe! *cough* Plus, the yarn is 50 wool/50 acrylic, so isn't it going to felt weird? Remanded.

Tilted Jacket: on first look, this looks lovely. I like the sideways-knit aspect of it (if I identify that correctly). I use the world lovely too much, I think.

Pulse Warmers: I'm thinking of making something like these out of a skein of KPPPM I picked up, mostly because I wanted to try knitting with Koigu and because my wrists get cold in the winter I get that gap between my cuff and my mittens. 

Pine Cone Scarf: that yarn looks yummy! (The model's not bad either.)

Fair Isle Sampler Hat: see comments above for Nordic Mittens. 

Chevron: Like the pullover, not the capelet, but that's mostly because I'm just not a capelet kinda girl. 

Colorwork Classic: black and yellow ain't my thing, either.

Ties: um ... they're ties. I'm not going to knit anyone a tie. 

Interlocking Cables: wow. Lotsa cable work. I'd be interested to see how they get those inside-out ones to work.

Sideways Pullover: beware the horizontal stripes -- not good for me.

Fringed vest: no thanks.

Flower Hat and Lace Knee Highs: um. Dunno what to say about those. Not for me.

Lush Cables: Ugh. Oh I wants it. Oh it will look so bad on my body type. Oh but the yummy yarn and the cables and the guh! Wants. 

Cascade Cardigan: cute shape, I like cropped sweaters.

Up-Town Gaiters: I would so totally make these if I had even remotely the right shoes! But somehow I just don't think they'll look so cute over my Merrell mocs. 

Okay, that's it, and just in time. I'm off to Brookline to drool over Gael Garcia Bernal in the Motorcycle Diaries. Yum.

Classes have started up again

Oh, am I ever!! Classes have started up again, and as if that weren't enough, I have a brief due on Friday (not a real one, a fake one for my Legal Practice class). But you know I still find time to knit - it helps that 24started this week, with two long, lovely, knittable two-hour blocks. Lucky Clapotis has been getting some attention, thanks to that.

I finally got to the dropped-stitch section!! It's such fun, and yet there's a certain amount of trepidation with which I drop that all-important stitch. Did I remember to knit the right stitches twisted? Will the stitches all drop nicely, or will all my hard work unravel horribly? So far, so good. I'm knitting Clappy in some beautiful, incredibly soft merino worsted from - it's sort of variegated, but really it's more just tonal variation. I love it to pieces.
Okay, this picture is half-terrible. The color is really a much richer, deeper, darker green - picture a pine forest from a distance - but you can still get a relatively good feel for the variation in tone. Anyway, I love this pattern, even if purling a hundred-odd stitches does get ever so slightly tedious after a while, especially since I can't purl the fast way. (When I first learned to knit, I knit combined, although I didn't realize that for a long time, and so I usually purl combined - so much faster!)
While we're at it, I took some pictures of my finished Wavy! Okay, so I haven't woven in the ends yet - it's my least favorite part and sometimes I need to let things settle for a bit before I do that. I swear, soon.
I love the way it turned out in the Manos - I used two full skeins (bought a year apart, no less!! You can't tell, though) and got a scarf just about as tall as I am (5' 2"). I'm very pleased with it. It was a fun pattern to knit, although I will say you really do have to pay attention - I was working on it the day I taught a friend to knit, and when I got home I realized I'd swapped the pattern around somehow and had started "wave"ing back in the other direction. Not exactly mindless knitting.
This weekend, I've got a loooooong weekend, so I'm hoping to make some more progress on Clappy and maybe even cast on for the first mitten. If I end up being less ambitious, I'll work on my flame hat that I'm re-knitting, or maybe start Dad's hat again. Sheesh, I've got a lot to do!! Better get to bed - I'll need to rest up if I'm going to get a lot of knitting done this weekend.
In advance of making my first real Latvian mitten, I decided that a gauge swatch was in order, especially since this book is somewhat loose with the gauge and specific pattern directions - it's really just charts that you have to figure out how to expand and apply yourself. Also, I haven't done any fair isle in a while, so I needed to refresh myself on how to do the floats, etc. I did it in the round, though, so that my gauge, hopefully, would be accurate.

You know Knitty's nosewarmers? Well, I appear to have made the accompanying finger warmer. Perfect for that most-used finger!
Adorable, innit? Twenty-seven stitches turns out to be the perfect size for my middle finger!! I love it. It's sitting on my desk, just in case anyone pisses me off tonight. Hehe - my friend Nisha and I also decided that I should make three more and give them to a Chihuahua as legwarmers. I can't get that mental image out of my head! I'm snickering even now! It would be cute ... (good thing I don't know any Chihuahuas).
Here's a slightly closer view of the pattern.

It looks pretty nice in the blue and cream. I need to tighten up my gauge, though - anyone have any suggetions? I'm knitting on size 2 double-pointeds and I find that some of the stitches (particularly the last stitch of a given section of color) tends to get a little elongated when I knit it on the next round. I'm doing okay with the floats, though, and had surprisingly few problems with laddering. Plus, you can't see it very well, but the two-color cast-on is really cool - I love the look of it. I might just cast on these mittens this weekend!!
By the way, if you all don't already know about the Harlot's amazingly successful fundraising drive for Doctors Without Borders (MSF), check it out. It's an incredibly worthy cause.

Need Some Mittens

The ever-popular model shot. Yes, I had just woken up and had to move quickly to take advantage of the natural light (although this shot doesn't have any) - so no comments about my scrumfy hair. Clappy works quite nicely as a scarf, actually, and even though I'm not a shawl/wrap person, she's good for that, too. And warm!!
All in all, Clapotis is a wonderful pattern - very easy to follow, very well-written, and fun to knit, too (those dropped stitches!). I have to put in a word for HPY, too - the merino I knit with was wonderfully soft and had lovely stitch definition, too. I washed it to remove the vinegary smell (from setting the dyes) and it fuzzed up a little bit, but not too much. The one thing I would point out is that the yarn does sort of stick to itself a bit (it is wool, after all), so when you drop the stitches, they don't just fall on their own, you have to sort of pull them apart. But all in all, I'm very, very happy with my Clappy and I would absolutely work with the yarn (and the pattern) again. In fact, I may very well knit more for Christmas next year - I think my grandmothers would each love one.
 Or in this case, the Marsan Watchcap for my dad. Yes, I'm running out of yarn for Clappy. Eeeek!! Fortunately, a kind sould out in blogland has saved me and happens to have another skein of the luscious Merino Worsted Weight yarn from (in Cypress) - what luck! It will be winging its way to me on Thursday, thank goodness - HPY doesn't have any more in Cypress right now, so I'm not sure what Clappy's fate would be if not for this save.

However, since I've had to sideline Clappy, I had to pick up something new, of course. The solution? Well, according to Alison, February is for Fixin' (yes, I know it's still January) and what's a better fix than to reknit Dad's poor abandoned cap? I should actually finish it while it's still cold out, after all. So tonight I cast on (somewhat laboriously - where did all my 16" circs go? Must hit Elann for more) for the Marsan Watchcap in the same yummy Blue/Black tweed. I dig the twisted rib, and I'm praying that it'll be stretchy enough to fit Dad's head. If not ... well, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it (but I haven't forgotten about you, Dad!).
My favorite flat-knit mitten pattern + 2 balls of Anny Blatt Rustique in Imperial = One wonderfully warm, soft pair of mittens. The colors pooled a bit (more visible on the palm) but I really love the colors and with such a bulky yarn, they knit up very quickly! (I did actually finish the first mitt during the Pats game, then finished this one today.)

I'm cranking along on Clappy, too, but she resists being photographed, at least accurately. I've got a few more straight row sections to go, then decreases! I'm convincing myself that I'm nearly done because while I absolutely love this pattern, I have to admit ... I hate purling. I hate it. I think this is mostly because I learned to knit combined, and for Clappy I'm knitting traditionally and, more importantly, purling traditionally - and it takes so much longer!
Nevertheless, Clappy's growing, growing, growing! What with the copious amounts of snow we're expecting in Boston this weekend, I think I'll have lots of time for knitting.
My mom told me the other night that she can tell when I'm really busy at school because I don't update my blog. Yep, it's a pretty good indicator! This week, I had a lot going on, including a brief that was due first thing Friday morning. All done now, though, and what a relief!! It's especially nice to follow up my long, tiring week with a three day weekend, too.

And of course, that means lots of time to knit. On my way out to hang out with a friend the other day, I realized I didn't really have a portable project to take with me these days - Clappy's getting so big it's impossible to take her anywhere. So, what to do? Well, do I really need an excuse to start another project?
Well, I do really need some mittens. This one is being knit out of lovely, lovely Anny Blatt Rustique that I had in the stash from last year sometime, in a color called Imperial, if I recall correctly. This yarn is so wonderfully soft and the colors are really nice, too. I've got about another inch and a half to go before it's time to decrease. With the Pats game on, this first one might even be done tonight! (I'm knitting these, by the way, using my favorite knit-flat pattern - it's so easy and fast and I've made so many of these that I've about memorized the pattern.)
But never fear - Clapotis is not being neglected (although several other projects are ... poor hats, they're just not getting enough love. I really will re-knit your hat, Dad, I just need to get the right needles, or finish a project that's on them) - I'm roughly a third of the way through the increase section (the fun part where you get to drop stitches - SO my favorite part) and it's zipping along as fast as a 100-odd stitch row can go. Has anyone else had a problem with the right number of stitches, though? I keep having one less stitch than I'm supposed to - it hasn't been a big problem, I've just increased an extra stitch once in a while. I just wondered if I'm the only person who's had this problem?
Alright, back to the game. Hopefully this week should be a quieter one, so maybe you'll even get some more updates!


Hat Hats and Hats

Shock! Amazement!! Consecutive posts? On consecutive days!?! No, nothing's wrong, I've just been weirdly productive lately. Well, actually, that's not true - I would have finished Clapotis last week if I had had enough yarn. In the meantime, while waiting for my savior yarn, I had to work on something else. Thus enters ...

... the finally completed Chubby Ribbed Hat for my dad!! Yep, I finished it up last night while watching The Apprentice (go Street Smarts!) and decompressing from finishing my brief. It turned out pretty well, I think - it's very stretchy and very comfy. I used the stitch pattern from the Marsan watchcap, but I didn't do those spiffy turned decreases, mostly because I didn't have the pattern printed out and it was just easier to work my own. I kitchenered the top rather than pulling the yarn through so that it wouldn't make that little hole that happens sometimes. It looks slightly funny in the picture (can you see the ridgy bit at the top? I can.), but it doesn't show up when worn.
How do I know? Well, of course I had to try it on.

Gee, I'm doing really well at taking flattering pictures this week, eh? Well, that's what you get when I'm the photographer AND the model. Plus, well, it was late and dark out. I do have hair, I promise. You just can't see it.
Anyway, the hat turned out nicely, and frankly, Dad will be lucky if I ever give it up. It's awfully comfy. But I did promise him a hat, and so he shall have it (but if it doesn't fit, you know it'll have a good home, just in case you were worried).
But you know what this all means, don't you? It means I am *gasp!* OUT OF KNITTING PROJECTS!! It probably also means I'm due for a case of startitis - what to do next!?
Never fear, I'm planning a little trip to the yarn store tomorrow, to reward myself (within reason) for finishing my brief. I'm sure something there will inspire me. I'm also expecting some yarn from KnitPicks - some of their new line - soon (hopefully tomorrow), and I have a few projects in mind for that, too. Socks! In the meantime, I need to finish my never-knitted second red beefy mitten, so I think that will get picked up tonight, and maybe I'll do some long leftover ends-weaving-in on Clapotis and another project or two.

Sunny Scarf Day

This weekend has been absolutely gorgeous - warm, sunny, clear - perfect. So yesterday, I decided that I should celebrate the lovely weather with a little trip out to Brookline Village, to visit a new-to-me yarn store, A Good Yarn. It was quite a quick little trip, actually, and I even got exercise by walking down to the Hynes T stop so I wouldn't have to change trains. Anyway, the yarn store was absolutely lovely, with a great selection. I had fun giving a new knitter tips on what yarns to start with and how to get enough to make a scarf. I'm pretty sure she ended up going away with some Cascade 220, the ultimate beginner's yarn (at least in my book - there's nothing better to start on).

And what did I go away with?
The picture is dark, but that's four skeins of Karabella Aurora 8, in color 16 (a rusty orange color, doesn't appear to have a name) and two skeins of KPPPM, in a beautiful, muted green/brown colorway. (Masculine, eh? Someone I know is getting socks!) Yum. I could have spent a LOT of money in that store, let me tell you, but I was good, and both of these selections have projects attached. The Koigu will become socks (although I'm not sure what pattern - can anyone recommend a good, masculine pattern that would look good in Koigu?) and the Karabella is going to be some kind of scarf, though I'm not sure what kind yet. I thought perhaps the Annie Modesitt leaf scarf from Scarf Style, since that's actually the same kind of yarn, but now I'm thinking something simpler, maybe something cabled.
In the meantime, though, I have started another project. A red scarf, for the Red Scarf Project! This came in the mail yesterday morning:
Yarn from the new Knit Picks line! That's four skeins of Wool of the Andes in Blueberry, four skeins of Merino Style in Maple Leaf and two skeins of Sock Garden in New England Foliage. (Why, yes, I have been on a bit of a yarn-buying binge lately, why do you ask? I promise, I'm done now - at least for a while.) I haven't checked out the WOTA (destined to become a felted bag project that's percolating in my head) or the Sock Garden (although it's very soft), but by the end of last night, the first skein of Merino Style had become ...
A very sweet, mock-cable ribbed scarf! Or, six inches of one. I pored through my 365-knitting stitches calendar and found this mini-cable that's actually not cabled at all, and it seemed perfect.