Saturday, July 21, 2007

'Cause everyone else is doing it!

I don't know if it's just me, but if there's a current popular knitting pattern sweeping the internets, I want to knit it. Witness the Booga Bag Explosion of 2004. The Clapotis Craze of 2005. I had a baby in 2006, so I'm excused from that year, but right now, it's all about the Calorimetry. Once more, I blame Ravelry.

What is a Calorimetry? It's basically a fancy knitted Babushka, a head kerchief designed to keep your head warm when you're wearing your hair up and don't want it to be smushed by a hat. What makes this interesting to knit?
  • It's a great way to learn short rows (that is, if you want to learn short rows that leave holes).
  • It can be knit with any kind of yarn, as long as you get gauge. This one is knit up in Patons new SWS (soy wool stripes); it's fun to knit with, but one skein had three knots in it, which is unacceptable.
  • And it is a FAST knit. I made this in basically two evenings of tv (why, oh why, Nigel Lithgoe, did you send my Hok away?).
So what if I have three UFOs in my knitting bag? I finished something!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The downside of Ravelry

I have been so busy Raveling (Ravelating?) that I have not been knitting much at all in the past week since I got in. I'm a "single parent" this weekend, and last night I knit two rounds of the Placket Sweater before I put it down and dozed off in front of my tivo of "What Not to Wear." This is probably for the best, though, as the more I look at it, the more I think I should frog it and start over in the two year old size. The Cotton-Ease is knitting up like a dream, which is a pleasant surprise.

The good news, for those of you still waiting to get in to Ravelry, is that they've installed a feature that lets you type in your email address and then it shows you where you are in the queue to get in. Every day something new is added, or a function is improved. It's a lot of fun, and I'm really impressed.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Troubling lys experience

I just got back from the lys with Lisa. I'm not going to go into the details because I didn't hear the specifics myself, but I will say that this is the last straw in a series of disappointing shopping experiences at that store. I've spent hundreds of dollars there, but no more. Plenty of online stores that have exactly what I want for less money. As a former LYS employee from long ago and far away, I know how stressful it can be to deal with customers, and hey, we all have bad days, but I hope I never made anyone feel like I felt today, and if I did, I am most sincerely sorry.

I actually feel like a sucker for buying what I did there today, but I'm comforting myself with the thought that I touched their Malabrigo, and now that I know what it feels like, I'll buy a lot of it elsewhere.

Terrible Case of Startitis

Yes, I have one. I blame that Knitting Crack known as Ravelry. I got my KnitPicks order this morning, including the dark blue Panache to start the Men's ("Cashmere") Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I also cast on last night for the Child's Placket Sweater, also from LMKG, inspired by Erin's baby sweater from the Knit and Stitch. I'm using Lion Brand Cotton-Ease, and this yarn snob is impressed so far. The swatch is amazingly soft and the stitch definition is great.

I'm still plugging away on my socks. I realized that one skein of Koigu isn't enough for one sock! What a dirty trick! My options are to make the leg shorter or suck it up and buy another skein. Thankfully I realized I was going to run short while I was still on the leg, so I won't have to frog anything. Sheesh.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I broke our digital camera while taking pictures of my FO's for Ravelry (okay, I dropped it and jammed the power button, but that's fine because we needed a new one anyway) so you will be spared pictures, but my socks actually seem to be working out now that I've got an inch of ribbing completed. I'm still concerned that the gauge is too loose, but I think (I hope) it will resolve itself when I get to the plain stockinette part.

Here's my Ravelry Shout-Out of the Day: two of my photos have been selected for their featured pictures. So if you're looking to make anything out of the Itty-Bitty Hats book, that's my Candy Cane and Rainbow Marley hat you'll see.

And now for some grumpiness: I am mad at KnitPicks and mad at myself. I put two books in my stash there when the 40% off sale was announced. I left them in my stash because I wanted to wait until July 11, the next promised date for CotLin delivery, so I could combine the order and get free shipping. This morning I logged into KnitPicks, and found that the books had been sold out and, yes, you guessed it, still no CotLin. Argh!

Monday, July 09, 2007


Braaaaaaains. I feel like a zombie. Must. Play. With. Ravelry. It's wonderful. It's addictive. And best of all, I have told my husband that it will help me organize my yarn. He's been on me to clean out my yarn cupboards and other hidey-holes for months. I seem to have him thinking that this Ravelry thing is good and he's let me play on it for the past day and a half while he takes care of Henry. Ha! Can I also say that my favorite part of Ravelry so far is the UGH! section? It makes me feel better that other people have disastrous projects sometimes.

Speaking of disastrous projects, yesterday at the Knit and Stitch, Erin asked me if I brought my sock. Well, I had, but I was too embarrassed to bring it out. So instead, I will show it to the entire internets. I have no idea what I am doing wrong except that the needles feel too clunky and the tension is terrible - very loose and shapeless. Is this something that will shake out as I continue, or have I screwed it all up?

In happier news, I'm making a scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts for my husband for our anniversary. Not exactly cotton, but it'll do.

Sunday, July 08, 2007



Dudes, I got into Ravelry this morning! Too bad I can't quite figure out how to use it yet.

I'm AnnaW over there for those of you who are in already.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

First sock attempt

Here's why I've never tried socks before: I hate DPNs. I've used them grudgingly on sleeves and the tops of hats, and figured it was worth it not to have to seam anything. But this is beyond me.

Last night I swatched my Koigu and got the right gauge for the Yarn Harlot's sock recipe. Then I attempted to knit with these skinny, pointy needles and impossibly thin yarn. I can't do it. I made such a mess that I can't even post a picture of it.

Argh! Perhaps I should start with something other than Koigu? Try the Class Sock in Sensational Knitted Socks? Learn to do this on two circulars?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Fun quiz, lame-o graphics

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting and do it all the time. While finishing a piece is the plan, you still love the process, and can't imagine a day going by without giving some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation involves leaving ample space for the stash and supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn ends and you begin.
Take this quiz!

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

In which I attempt to get organized...

...and fail miserably.

Every so often, I think I ought to clean up my yarn cupboard. I virtuously got out my ziplock bags in assorted sizes and put yarn I'd bought specifically for projects into bags, labelled the bags with the name of the project, what book or website the pattern was from, and if I had them handy, put the correct needles in the bag. This worked well for about five minutes. Then I got overwhelmed with all the random crap I have: dishcloth cotton, remnants of past projects, and a surprising amount of stash yarn from the closing sales of the Pittsburgh Knit and Bead. It's a disaster in there. I stuffed everything back in the cupboard and ran away.

I have a project that I need to brainstorm. My husband and I follow the traditional list for anniversary gifts. This year is our second, so the gift is "cotton." He suggested that I knit him something. But what? I don't have time to finish the Manly Sweater from Stitch 'n Bitch. He has two scarves. What can I make for a man that I can finish in a month?

Finally, you know what is really entertaining for a thirteen month old? Watching yarn being wound from a swift. It's enough to make me want to haul out my entire stash and wind it up.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Tempting Sleeve

I am pleased to say that I have Achieved Sleeves. The Ann Norling method worked, and I note that Jenna Adorno changed her directions for attaching sleeves to sweaters knit in the round to basically the Norling method in her pattern featured on Knitty Gritty and Stitch and Bitch Nation. My only problem is that the join is a mess; the stitches are all stretched out, and I hope that can be repaired when I graft the armpits. Well, okay, my other problem is that it looks teeny tiny! I got gauge when I swatched. I guess this is where I trust the yarn and hope the ribbing stretches appropriately.

Speaking of gauge, is it me, or do they never, ever talk about gauge on Knitty Gritty? On the old shows, they would give the specific yarn and a needle size. On the new shows, they don't mention any specific brand but talk about yarn weight in a very offhand, vague way. Granted many of the projects don't require gauge, but I think this does a huge disservice to new knitters who need to know 1. what gauge is, and 2. how to substitute brands of yarn, both in terms of weight and yardage needed.

And now for some Mason-Dixon knitting, which of course I started up again as soon as I got my new needles. I am a junkie for sure. Both of these are gifts and you all will note that none of the ends are woven in, nor are there any buttons. Have I mentioned I hate finishing work?