Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Sock Yarn

Yarn just waiting to become socks.

I am determined to enter the world of socks. No longer will I drool over delicious hand made socks that belong to others, I will make my very OWN!! I've founds some great help online. Cybersocks is a wealth of info and they had this great walk through on toe-up socks. Then there's Queen Kahuna (love the name!) who came highly recommended by Suzanne. And last but certainly not least there's Wendy's generic toe-up pattern. Decisions, decisions. In addition to the sock book I have. I think I've settled on toe-up socks, and for now, something basic will work just fine before I branch out into more creative sock knitting pastures.

Knitter's Night Out

After the sad closing of my favorite LYS, it reopened under new name and new ownership (they bought out the inventory) Knitters Mercantile. Last night was the first gathering - potluck style and a drawing for prizes. Yay! I was lucky and won 4 different sizes of Susan Bates Quicksilver single point needles. Pretty fun.

It was great to gather with other knitters and share projects and ideas. Saw the pattern for Matthews Scarf - really sweet. Julie was swatching Knit Picks Elegance for it. That yarn felt absolutely amazing! Definitely on my list now.

Sara's planning a Knit Along for Knitty's Peek-a-Boob. Carrie had this fabulous wire woven shawl on display. It was amazing - although I can only imagine the time involved. It was such a treat to have another gathering place to meet new people.

Speaking of knitters in real life - I reconnected with my long lost friend Suzanne (hi Suzanne!), a fellow knitting addict and all around very cool person. We've been having great fun swapping photos and patterns. She's made some amazing felted bags, and these cute hooded sweaters for her boys, as well as a gorgeous cabled sweater for her dad that she steeked (gasp!). When I grow up I want to steek :-).

Mariah yoking is complete!

Finally! The yoke that never ended, ended. I was all set to start seaming and then opted (after reading suggestions) to do the right thing and block her before seaming.
Mariah is blocked!

I opted for a collar vs. a hood. It's a better fit for me.

Things I have learned from this pattern (so far, I'm sure more awaits with the whole seaming process):

1. Charts are read right to left AND left to right depending on right side vs. wrong side. Fortunately I realized this before making any deathly errors.

2. If you are tired, do NOT attempt chart reading and cabeling. Something will get messed up requiring more time and effort and irritation.

3. Pay attention if doing both sleeves at a time - it's really easy to add an extra row to one sleeve and wonder why your side cables don't look right from sleeve to sleeve. Which (depending on how anal you are) will once again require more time and effort and EXTREME irritation.

4. It is easier to lengthen a sleeve with blocking vs. shrinking a sleeve with blocking. Those of us with long arms frequently suffer from in between sleeve length issues - the item initially fits until washing and then once it is washed is somewhere between being 3/4 length and looking just plain dorky. Wanting to avoid the dorky syndrome - especially with my first sweater - I opted for a little extra length, then found myself needing a couple extra rows due to where I was in the chart, and have now found myself with sleeves that I know are going to be too freaking long. Won't know just how too freaking long until assembly is complete.

5. Expect mistakes. Then expect to learn to live with them, or drive yourself insane. Some of my cabeling took interesting turns in retrospect. The good news is I kind of like it and fortunately it's consistent on both sleeves.

It's nice being in the home stretch of sweater making. Once she is seamed, I'm taking her to my local dry cleaners so they can put the zipper in. I don't (yet) own a sewing machine and feel better having someone with experience do this.

I'm no longer a monogomous knitter

While working on the endless yoke of Mariah, I treated myself and started Clapotis.

Clapotis in Knit Picks Andean Silk Twist

Close-up of dropped stitches.

I like this pattern. Not too mind bending but entertaining enough and goes pretty quickly. All was going smoothly until the last time I dropped a stitch and realized I had dropped one stitch AFTER the one I was SUPPOSED to drop. Sigh. It's such a bitch when good knitting goes bad like that. I couldn't figure out how the bottom of the ladder was really supposed to be, and yes I admit I did contemplate (briefly) starting over and then the voice in my head shouted "who the hell's gonna notice anyway?!" so I refrained and just threaded the misled stich back up the ladder. I'm sure blocking will also be helpful. So much for my fantasy of perfection..... I'm sure sooner rather than later knitting will break me of that.

Monday, May 23, 2005

New Knitting Toys

New knitting bag from JoAnn's!

Needle case that comes with the bag.

This was such a sweet deal from Joann - the bag was marked off 40% (actually it still is!) so it was $24. I love having a drawstring close to keep things contained. The sides and bottom are fabric covered plastic so it holds its shape nicely. All in all a very good purchase.