Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What's your favorite game?

Mine apparently has become "Where the fuck did I leave my car?" Every night I walk out of work and can't remember where I parked. Granted, the parking lot at work is larger than the parking lot at my supermarket, however, I park in the same row every day just to make life less uncertain. Today as I left work I couldn't remember where I parked and had to stop and look around. Makes me wish I had one of those fancy alarm key fob thingies so I could beep the damn thing and find out where it was. But that would take away the charm of the game. It would also seem that my other favorite game has become, "what is the most creative punishment for a 3 year old that isn't cruel and won't land me in jail". Caleb had developed a sassy attitude that rivals most teenagers. Sunday's outburst netted him a 30 minute timeout in his room. Tonight, he was in bed a full 45 minutes early. Give me the terrible two's any day. Nothing new on the knitting front. I am still working on the shawl and have put the tank into a temporary time out. I picked up some yarn on clearance at Joann's last week to knit up into simple hats and scarf sets to sell at the craft fair. I got the orange, blue and purple. Someone explain to me why I keep buying more yarn at Joann's if I don't like their selection?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Off the needles

Finally something is done around here, the RPM socks are off the needles. Grab a cuppa cuz this is fairly picture intensive.

I like this pattern, but would make the purl stripes swirl the opposite direction on one of the socks if I were to knit them again.

Stats: Yarn: Shaffer's Lola - the colorway is no longer on their site. I adore this colorway much more than I had anticipated. At first I didn't like the teal, but it makes what could have been a very bland/boring sock great. I truly love the Lola yarns. I knit them up on US size 2 needles so they go pretty fast and make a very dense sock. This is the second one I have done and they are nice and sproingy. Heel: I changed from doing the heel stitch specified in the pattern and used the eye of partridge stitch instead. I am enthralled with how it comes out in hand painted yarn. Toe: The pattern was written to decrease down to 4 stitches and run the yarn through them all. I have very wide feet, so I increased the length of the foot and did my standard toe, decreasing to 24 stitches and kitchnering. BTW - have I mentioned that I like kitchnering as much as I like seaming? The first toe was fine, but that was last month. This second one was a bit more challenging. It probably didn't help that I stayed up way past my bedtime to get the darn thing done. It took at least 17 dozen tries because I kept repeating to myself "knit, purl" for the front needle. Okay, so far so good. Heading for the back needle now "knit, purl". DOH. *Frickafraca. Undo that. Okay, front needle "knit, purl". Yep, that looks okay. Deep breath, back needle "purl, knit". Yep, okay. No funny misplaced bumps. Front needle "knit, purl". Back needle "knit, purl". Where the hell did that purl bump come from. Repeat from * until no more stitches remain. Seriously. A retarded monkey could have done it faster. Not better, but faster. Eventually I got it right.

How sad is it that this is the one picture in which my ankles are visible that I don't have cankles. It truly is an injustice to an avid sock knitter to be cursed with ankles that would fit The Refridgerator Perry perfectly. Just as a side note, I discovered that I am not as flexible as I used to be. It is very difficult to photograph ones own toes in this fashion.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Seaming sucks

I managed to seam the sides of the tank fairly well for a first timer, especially considering it is reverse stockinette. I am satisfied with it. (I won't tell you about the multiple false starts and panic moments. I don't mind looking stupid, but this would be beyond measure.)

Okay, I will tell you, but there is no photographic evidence. I had to start over/rip out the seams several time because a) I picked up the wrong horizontal bar and moved the seam over a stitch, b) I picked up the wrong horizontal bar and missed a row, c) my tension was all wonky and it looked like ruching not seaming. Bah, I prefer knitting in the round. I am struggling mightily with seaming the shoulders. No matter that I am matching stitch to stitch, the ribbing isn't lining up and I am not satisfied. I looks like crap.

The worst part are the directions for the back. I have seamed the shoulders before I am supposed to because the directions are exceedingly vague.

Cont even on 13 st each side until neckbands, when slightly stretched, meet at center back of neck.

HUH? WTF does that mean? The schematic does not show this as being a halter top. I think that I am suppose to make the neckbands meet the back where I bound off a bunch of stitches, but unfortunately there is no photo of the back. I should have seen that as a red flag when deciding on the pattern. I am wondering if I am suppose to make the neck band go all the way around the back of the neckline to meet in the middle, but it still doesn't make a lot of sense as the neckline on the back is a square. Idiot designers. I checked and there is no errata for this pattern. I am going to try the shoulder seams again, but I am so not happy with this part of finishing.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

A Nearly FO

I have nearly finished the tank top and there are a couple of things that I am not thrilled about. I lovelovelove the front. The shaping (once I fixed the increase issue) is very nice and fits well with the twisted ribbing. But for some reason the same attention to detail is lacking on the back. I am going to seam the sides up and see how it looks. Because it is cotton, I am planning on machine washing and drying it in lieu of blocking. Thank god for knittinghelp.com because I have never done the mattress stitch before and am petrified a wee bit concerned that sloppy finishing make the entire project spontaneously combust in a huge burning ball of flames in my very hands will prevent me from wearing the tank. Someone out there, please hold my hand through this. I have never seamed a garment before. I dislike finishing and really dislike sewing. Sewing is sewing, never-mind if it is with thread or yarn. An Un-Amazing Lace Update Truly, you have to knit a project for any progress to occur. The Peacock Feathers shawl has fallen victim to my perpetual ADD. I must have at least 6 projects on the needles currently. So much for getting the shawl done this summer. It blows my mind that I have done as well as I have with it so far (knock on wood). I found a small mistake on it last night a couple of rows down but I think I will be able to fix it with a good solid blocking. (a left versus right leaning decrease) I am on the 4th of 7 (8?) charts and am on row 97. That's nearly 200 stitches per row. Every odd row adds 4 stitches. There are ~250 rows including the edging. I must stop thinking about how many stitches that is. RPM I am still working on this slowly. I have finished the gusset and have started the the foot. This is just a filler project until the weather turns colder and I am am jonesing for another pair of wool socks. Odessa Yep, another of Grumperina's designs. As always, cleverly designed and meticulously written. This is for sale at the craft fair this fall. I am using yarn from my stash that is finer than what the pattern called for. I didn't make any changes and so it is coming out too small for an adult, but it will be fine for a child. Felted bag I have started this again. The shape is vaguely based on the Sophie Bag, but with some serious modifications. If it works, I may submit this one for publication. For now, it is under wraps. I have come to the conclusion that part of the reason I had been feeling so crappy about work the last few weeks is partly because of hormones (gotta love the ability to reproduce and the wacked out things it does to the female psyche) but also because I had stopped knitting. I was working on stuff at home and not taking any time to do the things that I enjoy. So, this week I decided that this approach obviously wasn't working and decided to knit some more. Not surprisingly, I am feeling better balanced. Hmm, scientific enough proof for me.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Still here

I have started this post a dozen times in my head, but I just never seem to get the opportunity to actually sit down and write it. My life has taken on a whirlwind pace that I am not enjoying hating. Unfortunately, I am quite afraid that it will be like this for a bit longer. I just don't see the stuff at work ending anytime soon. Add to it that I got my hand slapped at work (and rightfully so) today, life has sucked of late. But, on to knitting. My anal qualities are shining through. I have been knitting both the front and back of the tank top at the same time because, well, just because. I've already documented how I tore the whole thing out because it was too big. So, to say that I am experiencing project burn out on this one would not do the feelings justice. I still like it, but I just feel like I have done it already. I got all the way through the bust increases on both pieces and was starting the decreases when I realized that I hated the way the increases looked. (Excuse the blurry focus on the camera - I was playing with the settings and apparently I didn't know what I was/am doing.) The patterned called for a M1 for the increases on either side without reversing the M1 type which left a stairstep look that I didn't like.

So I fixed it.

I fixed all four increase lines.

I ended up doing a raised increase (my favorite increase) on the knit side on the right side and doing a raised increase on the purl side on the way back. Although the increases are off-set by a row, they mirror each other almost perfectly and most importantly (to me) they better match the K2tog and SSK decreases used throughout the garment without leaving the stair-step look.

Because I only have 3 skeins of the Cotton Fleece, once I divided for the neckline, I have been knitting off both ends of the 3rd skein. It drives me crazy. The situations is exacerbated by the fact that there was a tremendous yarn-barf at some point and I ended up with a glob of yarn that tangled around everything. I now have the big skein from which I am knitting off the outside and a smaller center-pull ball that was the yarn-barf that is coming from the inside of the skein. I nearly grabbed the ball winder and a pair of scissors, but ended up light-headed just thinking about joins and ends and whatifIcutinthewrongspot and no spit-splice and howwillthenendsholdupinthewasher. I think I will just suffer through the twisty, crazy-making snarl of yarn that ensues. I can't remember if I mentioned it or not, but at the beginning of summer our next door neighbor who was quite elderly passed away. (This was a blessing, she was in poor health and significant pain. She was able to remain at home until the end, which was exactly what she wanted.) She was an avid knitter and sewer and kept at both until her ailments prevented her from doing so. Earlier this week, I ran into one of the daughters who is cleaning out the house (imagine 50+ years of crap in the attic, basement and spare bedroom!) and we chatted for a bit. She said that they have organized more that 1000 (yes 1000) pieces of fabric to sell, not including what they were keeping themselves. I mentioned that I knit too and that Marie (the neighbor) and I used to talk about it a bit. I told her that I would love to purchase any knitting items that they are not keeping themselves because I collect old needles and patterns. Thankfully she took it properly and said that she would let me know. I can hardly contain my excitement. More stuff!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I was wrong

I was soooooo wrong, life got busier! I feel like I haven't gotten time to myself in weeks. Thankfully it should be getting better in the next few days. Most of the major events have taken place and my life can resume it's normal state of chaos. I will post more as I get time, but I need to check my work email... My boss was apparently online this weekend and actually called me when I specifically told her I would be out of town. I so regret giving her my personal cell number.