Sunday, December 31, 2006

Y, O Y?


With the Doctor's help, I selected the right green for the superwash Weasley. It is somewhere between Pine and Frog or Moss, and was deemed by the Doctor to be the most "Harry Pottery" of the available greens.

Have now finished the back, so it is about time I got around to swatching. (Haha!)

Seriously, though, I really do need to swatch now.

Because I haven't got a chart for the letter. (We're doing a "Y" rather than an "H.")

Yes, haven't got a chart. All I've got is this:

Print out of a super-large letter "Y" in some font or other that looked about right.

The main trouble is this: The letter "H" looks fairly good knitted -- even in the Harry Potter font, it is mainly straight lines, vertical and horizontal. So it works with the boxy grid of stitches you get in stockinette. The lines of the letter are all smooth.

The "Y," though, presents issues: two diagonal lines. So, if you do normal intarsia or duplicate stitch (we're aiming for intarsia over here), you get what we'd call in another context visible pixelation. In other words, those diagonal lines are jagged.

If working in a smaller gauge or fuzzier yarn (even a slightly smaller gauge and slightly fuzzier yarn, like I would be if using that dratted not-really-machine-washable Felted Tweed), probably this would be not-too-noticeable. And I could backstitch around the letter's edges to smooth it all out at the end, if necessary.

But superwash is unforgiving in this vein. The gauge is fairly large, the stitches are very defined (who ever imagines that will be a problem?), and I'm not sure but I think that backstitching would add an awful lot of bulk.

So, I'm swatching to find the best solution.

Here's my first shot, made from the other shades of green the Doctor rejected:


In this attempt, I've tried decreasing and increasing in the background color, adjacent to the lines of the letter, to form the diagonals. Tried many different styles of increasing and decreasing. It does block out better than it looks here, it does get me straight-edged diagonals, and it does have a certain "Mrs. Weasley" charm to it.

But I think it can be improved.

I'm going to try one more version in this style, then probably try the "normal" intarsia with backstitching. The increasing and decreasing produces distortions in the shape of the fabric, so I figure I ought to at least *try* the "obvious" solution.



Friday, December 29, 2006

Rules of Acquisition

So . . .

I have been carefully considering this "Knit From Your Stash 2007" thing.

And it just won't work for me.

Not their way, anyway.

Nine months is such an arbitrary measure (unless you are planning some Fibre Festival reward at the end of it, which I'm not) that there's no way I could hold to it.

But there are very good reasons why I should try to do something like this.

There is the major problem of inadequate storage space for the growing stash monster, of course. My home is not going to get any larger, and somehow it seems just plain wrong to rent storage space to house the stash. I suppose I could rent storage space to hold the furniture instead? Getting rid of the bed would create a lot more room for yarn.

There is the even larger problem of inadequate time. I do very much want to make several projects for which I already have the yarn. But newer yarn purchases keep distracting me from them. (Yes, yes, everyone should have such problems . . .) Some of them I am sure will naturally fall by the wayside, but others I think I will actually regret if I don't get around to them.

But 9 months is just too arbitrary.

But there's another measure that I think could work for me: No new yarn purchases (outside of the exceptions below) until I finish the rest of those 66 (approx.) Cloud Hats for the Dulaan Project.

I really want to knit those hats.

But I keep getting distracted.

And while it is possible I could decide to knit them to the exclusion of everything else, completing them in the space of, say, three months . . . Well, that is unlikely. More likely, it will take me those nine months or longer. Because I just won't be able to help working through other categories of lovely, lovely stash -- e.g., all that Noro Kureyon slated for Lizard Ridge. (But if I do finish them in just three months, so be it.)

So I'm gonna try this.

No new yarn until I finish the Dulaan hats. (No new yarn, that is, for at least a month, which is generally how far out my New Year resolutions take me.)

So, here are the rules, my way:

  1. No new yarn purchases outside the exceptions outlined below until the Dulaan Cloud Hats are finished. "Finished" includes all ends woven in and hats washed. (Some of that yarn, I don't know where it's been.)

  2. Gifts of yarn are of course okay. (I really don't think that's going to be a "real" problem.)

  3. Exceptions:

  • Purchases of yarn required to finish projects already being knitted. (E.g., I know I don't have the right yarn to edge Lizard Ridge. When the time comes, I'm allowed to buy that.)

  • Purchases of yarn required to make specific, requested gifts that I will start to knit *immediately.*

  • Purchases of single skeins or sock kits in bricks-and-mortar shops and fibre festivals only (my main weakness is that I regularly buy sweater-quantities of yarn from eBay, Webs, and their ilk), and no more than 5 skeins from any single shop per season. ALL such purchases must be blogged. (That could keep me somewhat in check.)

  • If I make it to Knitting Camp, I can buy whatever yarn I want in whatever quantity the budget will bear. Same rule re blogging as above.

Wish me luck!

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Anonymom Wants To Know

Crocheted afghans, made by my great-grandmother (Mom's Dad's Mom):

I am trying to figure out the pattern for Mum, but I think I'm missing something. (I know a bit about crochet, but not a whole lot.) She's interested in learning to make some herself -- they're the "only kind of afghan she likes." (I think that may be a slight exaggeration. I think what she means by this is that she doesn't like granny squares.)

Anyway, when I looked at them, I was confident that they were panels of double-crochet, chain one, repeated, with the double crochet done not in the top of the stitch below but in the hole (eyelet?) formed by the chain stitch in the previous row.

But I've swatched that, and the holes (eyelets?) just seem way too big. Could it just be that the gauge of yarn is too small? I think the yarn in the original is something between sock yarn and worsted (probably sport, but I guess it could be dk). I did the swatch in sock yarn, because that's what I had to hand.

I'm wondering whether instead of a double-crochet / chain stitch pattern, maybe this is just double-crochets, with the stitch worked in between two previous stitches? In my swatch, that seemed closer to the original, but now the holes were too small.

Can any of the crochet goddesses out there identify this stitch pattern for us?

As I Said, Like a Bandit

First, though, I have finally started V's scarf! My theory is that if I slog through a pattern repeat a day, it will be done enough in the next week-and-a-half that I'll be able to push through the rest just in time.

Also, I've decided to go with Valley Superwash from Webs for the green Weasley sweater. Valley is a little denser than Cascade 220 SW, a little less yardage per gm, maybe a little more expensive, but extremely soft (merino). Looks like it will hold up to washing as well as the Cascade. I've got a few balls in the right color, but not maybe not quite enough for the sweater. So I've re-ordered a little more for safety's sake. (Here's hoping for the same dye lot -- given the circumstances, I think this is fairly likely.)

Anyway, back to my haul.

I got the first two of the Barbara Walker Treasuries reprints. Not the Third, though, and I've a hunch (formed after some heavy googling) that those circular cables, or the technique for them anyway, might be found in the Third. So I might have to hunt that one down sometime.

And these, both from the same person:

Absolutely the best gift (in the material sense, anyway) I got this season. Not because it is qualitatively or quantitatively better / more / more-on-point than the other gifts I received. But because it is:

a.) two things I wanted very badly*
b.) for which I didn't ask and that I didn't expect**,
c.) given to me by a non-knitting male***.

(A Holiday Miracle!)

The yarn is gorgeous:

And I'm enjoying thinking what to make with it. I want to be sure before I fiddle around with it too much, but I think it might be a fat little bear. Stuffed with honey! (Okay, polyester fiberfill.) It is extremely cuddly.

Speaking of cuddly, the Doctor gave me several calamitous diseases, including:

How did the Black Death get to be so cute?

The rest was all non-knitting / non-crafty stuff, so I won't blog about it. (Knitting blog.)


*When I was shopping for my holiday gifts, I kept putting the book into and then taking it out of my various shopping carts (mostly online). "I want it." "No. I'm buying gifts for OTHER people." "I need it." "No. I'm not going to be greedy." ETC. As for the yarn, well, YARN.

**I didn't ask for the book because I found out about it long after my "Wish List" was demanded of me. The yarn I didn't ask for because I figured no one would take that one seriously -- I do have a mountain of it. I have more yarn than I have clothes. (And that one I'm NOT making up, although I do have fewer clothes than you might expect.)

***Yes, I am stereotyping here. (Bad Me!) Apologies to any non-knitting males who are offended. (Although why you'd be reading this blog, I can't imagine.) I do think that, statistically speaking, most non-knitting guys still fear the yarn store. (Idiots.) But this one has now figured out that, aside from the fact that yarn stores are quite nice places on their own, they are also good places to "pick up chicks." Chicks who fall immediately under the impression that one is a "good catch" (buying yarn for an absent knitter apparently earns you points right off the bat), and possibly even a future "good provider of yarn." Anyway, he had a blast at the shop, which brings me hope that there may be additional gifts of yarn in my future, too.

The Thing With the Strategic Baby Handknits Reserves . . .

. . . is that it often happens that as soon as you finish (or even almost finish) a handknit planned for the reserves, a baby shows up out of the blue to claim it.

Claimed. (Already!)

We chose the coconut buttons I'd been considering for Freya. Coconut? They look more like chocolate to me. Mmmmmmm. Chocolate. (Does anyone else see it?)

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Last of Freya

So much to share!

First, Freya. She probably could have used still more ease (I'm now convinced it couldn't have been just the sports bra -- I think I also seriously underestimated how much ease the design needed), but it looked so good on her as is, Freya went to Mom:


Together, we chose the greenish buttons:

And a final look at those cables (I just love them):

Why am I not more upset that it doesn't fit me?

Well, partly because this yarn was on a super sale, and when I bought it, I bought so much that there is actually enough left to make another Freya and 1/2. Not that I plan to make another one, at least not immediately.

But mostly because this is par for the course.

I have made four sweaters ever -- not counting kid sweaters, which are pretty much guaranteed to fit at some point -- and none of them has worked out as planned:

1.) A cabled vest thing (out of some truly awful seafoam acrylic yarn -- what was I thinking???), knit before I understood that there was a thing called "tension." It was supposed to be for me, but it could have fit my Dad. Perhaps two of him, which is saying something. I was a teenager, and the older ladies of the lunchtime "Happy Hookers" club (risque, eh?) I occasionally attended were highly amused. This put me off knitting for a while.

2.) The Doctor's Sweater. Also quite a while ago. He chose the yarn. He chose the pattern. What seemed like a few years later, I finished. The neck was too tight and the sleeves were several inches too short. I think I said I would fix it, but he claimed that the yarn was a good deal more scratchy than he thought it would be, so even if I fixed it, he probably wouldn't wear it that much. (!!!) At the time, I was a little . . . uh . . . disappointed. (In him? In the sweater? Who knows.) But now I think he probably realized that it was beyond my powers to fix, and so he'd better get out now and blame it on the yarn. That one is still somewhere in the Doctor's closet, never worn except for the one time the Doctor tried it on. This also put me off knitting for a while.

3.) A top-down raglan, using one of the "Custom Fit Your Raglan" pyramid schemes out there on the web. It fits, in that I can fit into it. It doesn't fit, in that it looks just awful. Baggy in all the wrong places. Too tight in others. (Have no idea how I managed it!) I can't wear it so much in public, but it is good for keeping warm 'round the house. (Wool.) Too bad it is dry-clean only, because that is a lot of trouble and expense for a cr$ppy jumper one only wears at home. Increasingly cr$ppy with each wearing, as it pills. Gobs and gobs of pills already, and the thing was knitted only a year ago. That being said, this one did not put me off knitting. Probably because it was kinda, sorta wearable.

4.) Freya. You know the story there. Totally wearable. Just not by me. I am not put off knitting one jot.

Better luck next time?

I rather thing so. Because if there's any pattern at all to my adventures in knitting bad sweaters, it is that each sweater is a distinct improvement over the last.

Hopefully that is actually the case -- as opposed to a delusion, which is also possible.

You see, I have my eye on a new sweater, and this one I think I would actually be more-than-miffed if I messed it up.

I don't have the pattern yet, but I am given to understand it will be in my super-splurgey holiday gift to myself.

Which hasn't arrived.

But I'll give you a hint.

It begins with "Aran" and ends with "Knitting."

(Gack! I can't believe I bought it either.)

More soon. (I made out like a bandit.)

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Friday, December 22, 2006

This Is What Greed Will Get You

Freya is definately going to be too small.

Not by much, but by just enough.

I am still in the mode where I'm trying to think up clever ways to increase Freya's size so that I can keep her for ME. (So far, I've had plenty of ideas but none have been particularly clever.)

Probably, though, someone I know is going to get an unexpected extra Winter Gift Exchange 2006 present.



Room Temperature Fire?!?

(My GOD, man, what's the POINT?!?)

RULES: "Each player of this game starts with the "6 weird things about you." People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you are tagged" in their comments and tell them to read your blog."

1.) I don't meme. No exceptions.

2.) I am disappointed at what I consider to be an extreme lack of weirdness in the confessions of those participating in the "6 weird things about you" meme.

3.) If a qualified professional tells me it's food, I'll eat it.

4.) Sometimes on my blog, I make stuff up. You know, just to be cagey. Keeps me on my toes.

5.) I like my dentist.

6.) Best Pizza Ever: anchovies, pineapple, jalepeno, artichoke hearts, fresh tomato. (Legendary!)

7.) I have made many of the classic beginners' mistakes, but I am proud to say I have never recruited a third gargoyle.

TAGGED: I tried tagging Sara Half-Elven, but her blog is not accepting comments. So: Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, and sorry!

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I Must Have Been Wearing a Sports Bra

Freya is dry! Huzzah!

Only a few snagged stitches (courtesy of the cats*, who several times defeated the shield o' towels), all easily fixed. Huzzah!

I think she can be ready for the party on Saturday! Huzzah!

I'm afraid she may be too small! Baroo?


I won't be completely sure until I'm done with the seaming, button bands, etc.

But at some point between the pre-knitting measuring and now, I seem to have grown significantly in the bust.


I suppose for most ladies this would not be viewed as a problem, but for the greedy-knitter-of-sweaters-for-oneself . . .


I can't think how this happened. The only thing that comes to mind as a possibility is that perhaps I might have been seriously not thinking when I took my measurements and, as the title says, been wearing a sports bra.

So Freya will definitely have less ease than planned for. (Or, rather, I will have more bust.) Hopefully there will still be enough. (Ease, not bust. I got plenty of bust.) Won't know that until I try it on.

The sunny side of things is that, if it doesn't fit me, I have about a billion female relatives who are -- each and every one of them -- smaller than me.

So if Freya doesn't look fabulous on me, probably it will look fabulous on one of them.

Frankly, even if Freya does look fabulous on me, it will probably look even better on them -- each and every one of them.

They are all -- each and every one of them -- WAY better looking than me.

I must be a changeling.

But enough of that.

Anyway, I'm seeing nearly all of them on Saturday, so one way or another, Freya will have a home.

But what have I been working on in the meantime?

Another Baby Surprise Jacket (surprise!), this one for the Strategic Baby Handknits Reserves.

Rowan Felted Tweed in Pine and Herb. It still needs seams, but I'm going to wait on the buttons, probably until there's a baby for it.

*Now that's karma for you. (Or for me, rather.) Classic example of entirely appropriate cause-and-effect. I neglect to trim their claws because I am "too busy" knitting Freya. Freya gets snagged. I have no one but myself to blame.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

While You Were Drying

The blocking of Freya continues. She must be somewhat dryer than she started (she must, right???), but it sure doesn't feel that way. I had hoped to wear her to a party this coming Saturday, but that is seeming less and less likely.


But not likely.

In the meantime, I am kicking around some ideas for other green washable yarn candidates. I swatched and washed the Rowan Felted Tweed, and found that when they say the "gentle" cycle, they really mean it. Probably the stuff should be called "Rowan Only Partially Felted Tweed." It doesn't shrink dramatically or anything like that (at least not on the "gentle" setting), but it clearly wants to be slightly more felted than it is. Which means that if the sweater accidentally went through the regular cycle with everything else . . . disaster. So. Anyone tried the Valley Superwash from Webs?

On another front, the Doctor asked me for a hat, um, a while ago. (Last January!)

I had cast on for a double-knitted hat like Alison's months ago, but the yarn (127 Print) just wasn't working very well with the double-knitting technique. Or at least not with my double-knitting technique, which admittedly is lacking. 127 Print is a single ply, and I kept snagging just a few fibers every time I slipped a stitch. And there's one slip for every single darn stitch. The hat (all one inch of it) was looking pretty ragged. Also note the yarn is not so nice after frogging.

I was so down about the whole thing that I wasn't even considering it to be a real project.

But here I have some time on my hands. (Not really!) So I picked it up again.

I still wanted the functionality of double-knitting -- although I didn't need the double-knit stripes; my yarn would do that for me. But I wanted the hat to be two layers thick, reversible, and I wanted my cast-on edge to have all the stitches (extra stretchy) rather than later picking up another set of stitches for the inner hat / lining.

I figured I would have just enough time to re-start and finish this in perfect time for Freya to dry.

But I'm already done.

Two hats in one!
The Doctor likes the teal side best, but I'm partial to the black.

And . . . Freya is still quite damp.

But she could be dry any time now. (Really, she could!)

So I really can't start working on anything too big.

I'm actually considering weaving in some of those ends on that pink and green mitered square baby blanket . . .

Anything, really to avoid working on that scarf for V.

(Most of our "Winter Gift Exchange 2006" is actually happening in early 2007, so I've got plenty of quality procrastination ahead.)

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Blocking and Buttons

Major combat operations are ended:

But the blocking process could very easily devolve into a quagmire.

Conditions on the ground are not conducive to drying:

And I need to up-armor the knitting to prevent damage from insurgent attacks:

ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US! (N.B. that this happened in the approximately only 10 seconds I left the knitting to get the shield o' towels.)

I suppose I wouldn't really mind them shedding all over my nice clean sweater. I do have the tools to deal with cat hair on clothing.

But the felines don't know the meaning of the word "gentle":

The shield o' towels, after only a few hours.

So if I want a sweater and not a pile of rags at the end of all this, the towels are probably necessary.

Hopefully Freya won't mildew before it dries!

In the meantime, I'm thinking about buttons:

I was leaning toward the white four-holed ones, but the greenish ones keep catching my eye.

Anyone out there have an opinion?

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Oh, Dear

You've seen this, right?

Knit only from stash (with some exceptions) for 9 months?

I really don't think I can make that sort of commitment. ("Read my lips -- No New Taxes!")

But there are two probable benefits:

1.) Reclaims storage space.

2.) Builds character.

I don't need more character. ("Not that kind of character, you dork.")

But I could probably use the space.

I did go a little crazy with the yarn purchases in October.

And November.

And December isn't over yet.

"Don't you think you've maybe had a little too much? Here, let me take your keys."

"What is this? An intervention?"

Ummmmm, anyway . . .

I think for me, it would probably end up being nothing more than a huge excuse to buy yarn non-stop for the next two weeks. (At the end of the day, I am way more "Mardi Gras" than "Lent.")

And I am not so good with the resolutions. (Hey, did you know that in 2006, I lost weight? And also exercised? HA!!!!)

But I probably should think about it . . .

Anyone actually, really doing this?


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Enough to Cheer *Anyone* Up

So . . . no green yarn. Will have to think about next steps. My snit is over, but I'm still quite frustrated. What I really want to do is go to an LYS and, you know, "get some" (I think you all know what I mean). But I would have done this in the first place if it were an easy option. All my regular haunts don't carry Cascade 220 at all, or don't carry the Superwash. (I guess everyone is into felting these days.)


There are three basic choices:

1.) Mail order some more yarn, but from a different vendor.

2.) Search high-and-low. Again.

3.) Give up on the "Superwash," and make it out of Rowan Felted Tweed. That stuff *can* go in the wash (albeit carefully and on the "gentle" setting). But not in the dryer. But nicer yarn. But no dryer. But nicer yarn. But no dryer. (This is the debate that led me to the Cascade 220 Superwash in the first place.)

Will have to think about this for a few days. (Which, conveniently, may just give me enough time to finish up Freya. Wow! I can't believe that, really.)

But here's the good stuff! Remember these?

Check it out:

Still too big. (Or is it that the twins are too wee? Yes, I rather think it is their fault.)

When I made them (the sweaters, not the babies) I was hoping they'd be right for late spring / summer. That timing might work . . . but babies grow fast. (That, too, is their fault, I'm sure.)



Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Bad Mood

So the reason my green yarn hasn't arrived is apparently that it has arrived.


According to the giant package-tracking database, it was delivered a week ago.

Only I don't seem to have it.

I am hoping, hoping, hoping that it was delivered and that it was delivered on a bad-weather day.

Because if it was cold, wet and miserable, then the postman might have decided to not leave the package at the front door (which is not sheltered) and instead put it in some other obscure (but dry) place. (He really is a nice guy.)

So there is a possibility that if I get home today before it gets dark, and I hunt around a bit, the yarn might magically appear.

Otherwise, it is just plain lost in the mails. (Or stolen from my front door.)

Of course I called the vendor about it.

They "can't help."

Blah, blah, blah.

The explanation goes something like, "If we replaced every shipment of yarn that got lost in the post . . . ."

You know the song.

So, if the package isn't hidden in some cozy nook somewhere, my only recourse will be to "make a claim" with the postal service.

Which will take weeks.

And won't actually result in my getting the yarn.

Which means that in order to make this sweater (assuming the shipment is lost), I need to find appropriate yarn from somewhere else.

You can't blame me for not immediately re-ordering from the same people, right?

All of which is to say . . . bad mood.


(You probably don't want to talk to me right now.)



Help me, oh, help me!

I have just seen a knitted sweater / jacket / whatever in the elevator . . .

It is circular (sort of like the Sunrise Circle Jacket), but with a ribbed shawl-collar, and the entire back is concentric circles of cables.

Rounds and rounds of them . . .

And at the center was what looked like a circular celtic knot.


I need it!!!! (Or the pattern. Or a good look at the thing so that I can unvent it.)

I was so busy freaking out about how great it was (internally, that is; in "real life" I am a little too boring and shy to "freak out" in a public elevator) that I couldn't even open my darn mouth to ask the person who was wearing it ANYTHING about it!



Anyone have a clue???

(I'm thinking Starmore's Aran Knitting, maybe? Maybe the secret is short-rows? This is going to distract me for sure . . . )


Monday, December 11, 2006

Beyond All Expectation

Can you believe it?

I have plowed through both sleeves of Freya and have started the left front:

Bad lighting -- this really is yellow.

Nothing can distract me. (Ha! You might have guessed that the green yarn I'm waiting for still hasn't arrived.) And a closer look at that cable:

Both easier and harder than it appears.

My row tension is still a wee bit off, and I'd like the sweater to be the slightest bit shorter than designed, so I've made some minor modifications. Hopefully they will work out. If not, there will be an awful lot of frogging in my future.

Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool (what I'm using) is really nice. Very soft, a little nubby, nice sheen. And on sale (All hail the mighty Webs!), which makes it all even better.

Here's a proper picture of the color:


Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Wages of Impatience

I am awaiting a delivery of several skeins of green Cascade 220 Superwash for a sweater. Not this one, as you might imagine. Something more like this. (No, sadly, not for me. It will be much too small.)

But I am impatient, and I don't want to work on that scarf, or [insert any one of the shameful number of other ongoing projects here], etc. I want to work on a sweater. One for me, frankly. That would be ideal. But Posy just won't cut it, since there's no way that I'm wearing that for months (cotton lace, in winter?). And what I like best about this sweater idea is the fantasy of wearing the thing very, very soon. (I say "fantasy," because when have I ever finished any new project "very, very soon?")

So . . . I've started Elsebeth Lavold's Freya. (Or Freja, depending on where you're from.) Pattern is in Viking Patterns for Knitting. There aren't a whole lot of examples of this one in the blogosphere, but here's one over at Fiber Dreams, if you're curious about what it's supposed to look like. (Mine, of course, will be yellow.)

I've sped through the back already. Just started a sleeve. My working theory is that if I finish the not-so-interesting pieces first (the back and sleeves are almost entirely stockinette), then I won't drop the project for months and months once I'm done with the extremely interesting fronts. We'll see how that goes.

I guess I'll worry later about what to do when that green yarn arrives.

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Monday, December 04, 2006


Super-quick, that is, if you don't wait a full two months before sewing up the two (2) very short seams, weaving in the two (2) ends, and affixing the five (5) buttons . . .

Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman in mystery fiber (eBay strikes again!).

My copy of the pattern is from The Opinionated Knitter, but it is available on its own for an exceedingly reasonably price ($3, US) from Schoolhouse Press.

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Modified Short-Row Hat

So . . . I think I mentioned, oh, a few years ago, that I was trying to make this hat by VĂ©ronik Avery for one "V" out of Noro Kureyon.

And I think I mentioned that I was having a leeeeetle trouble with the gauge.

Ya see, the fit of this hat depends on both the stitch and the row tension being just right.

Somehow, simultaneously, my stitch gauge was too loose and my row gauge too tight. (Ugh.)

Which meant I was going to end up with a hat that was too tight around and whose brim was too long.

In other words, a hat for a Conehead toddler.

V is neither that young nor a Conehead.

What to do, what to do?

Stubbornly didn't want to change needles. (And, really, in which direction would I go? My tension was both too loose AND too tight. Holy Headache, Batman!)

The compressed row gauge probably isn't too much trouble, really. To fix that, I suppose, I could just add one additional repeat. (Or possibly two . . .)

But the pattern is not easily modified to be shortened, lengthwise.

Only thing for it is to continue to deny the problem and "Knit On!" (I don't think that's quite what E.Z. meant . . . )

Good thing, too, because upon finishing the knitting . . . bolt of lightening.


So, we have:

I have my fingers crossed that this will fit V, because I really don't see any way to make further modifications. It fits me perfectly, and my head is sized in the norm. (Physically, at least.) So there is some hope.

Yeah, yeah, I hear you, I hear you: "Okay, yeah, that side looks okay, but what about that seam issue?"

So here's the flip side:

Yeah, but where's the seam?

Right here:



Required scissors. And possibly too much hubris.

In the original pattern, there are "set up" and "end" sections. They are what make the half-diamonds, etc., at the beginning and ending of the knitting. This makes seaming easy, because you can just use a straight three-needle bindoff. But if the colours of those half-diamonds don't match up perfectly, it looks a little wonky.

My colours definately did not line up. (Who has that kind of luck, I ask you?)

So . . .

I skipped the "end sections" when I got to them. And then I SLASHED OUT the "set up" sections. (Tried unraveling, but you really can't unravel this from the bottom . . . probably a good thing, really, given how much trouble I had picking up stitches on this new edge.) Picked up what I hoped were the right number of stitches from where the "set up" sections used to be. THEN I did the seam, zig-zagging back and forth along the diamond edges.

The garter stitch part of the seam doesn't match exactly (the three-needle bindoff adds a row of knitting). And I wasn't able to perfectly fit the diamonds into eachother. But all in all, I think it is better than the alternative.

If I were to do this hat again (and I rather think I won't), I would skip the "set up" sections entirely. Maybe this would require fewer or additional stitches cast on, but since it is a provisional cast on, I think that it is probably possible to cast on way more stitches than one actually needs and just not use the extras.

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