Friday, July 29, 2005

Knitting halted

And just why has my knitting come to a complete and utter halt?

Meet Hanatarou...our new kitten.
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Heh this really knitting related? Well, I guess so since it's why I'm not knitting right now! ^_^ He really is quite adorable, and he and Dany are getting along reasonably well. But he is SO energetic that he is quite the handful. I think I need to wait until he's sleeping before I pull the knitting out. But he doesn't really sleep long enough to allow me to get much done, so I get lazy and usually don't bother.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Summer knitting?

Well, it seems like I've been very bad about writing in this little blog. Then again, I haven't really been knitting all that much! I really should start on the slippers that Jamie wants, but I still have 2 projects on the go that I haven't finished yet.

The first is the Kyoto sweater from Knitty. I've been working on this sucker for probably 1.5 years now. I have one more sleeve to finish before I can start sewing up all the pieces and finishing the edging at the neckline. Lots and lots of stockinette with absolutely no variation. Very, very boring. But after that's done, it's the terrifying stage of FINISHING!!!

The second thing that I've started is my very own Clapotis. Remember that purple variagated Manos that I bought that I was going to use to make a bag with? Well, I changed my mind yet again. So, while I was on my trip to Japan (and sitting on planes for many many hours), I finished all the increases. But I haven't progressed any further with it. Yeah...I totally suck. I also think I might need one more skein of the yarn. I think I'm going to have to order it off the internet or something. You can obviously tell that I'm very concerned about dye lot matching ^_~ I figure, it's variagated and hand dyed anyway, so each sken usually isn't quite the same anyway.

Hopefully you've had a more productive summer of knitting than me...

Monday, July 11, 2005

Counting stitches

Did you know, that the Evening in Eden shawl (shown below) consists of about 22350 stitches? That sounds like a big number, doesn't it? Did you also know that an average sock (knitted from sock-weight yarn) takes around 17000 stitches (hm, that's weird, a single one of my socks probably only takes about 10000 stitches at most)? That's a LOT of stitches. Next time you feel frustrated with the knitting, calculate the approximate number of stitches you've done and voila, an instant sense of accomplishment! No wonder it takes so darned long to finish anything!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Lace, and more lace

Well, I sucked it up and finished the Evening in Eden shawl. And blocked it, and fringed it. And you know what? It didn't turn out too badly in the end. I did one less pattern repeat than recommended (6 instead of 7), but it still came out to a good 5+ feet long, which is plenty long enough in my book. I am resigned to the stupid stockinette border, it curls a little less now that it's blocked.

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In any case, I consider this shawl to be good practice for some other, more complicated shawls that I covet, in particular this Flirty Ruffles Shawl, and possibly this Lotus Blossom Shawl. Yummy.

In the meantime, I've started another little lace project. Last year I bought a lovely skein of Schaefer Anne yarn, to make the Pooling Colors (I'm only using the American spelling because that's what the pattern says!) scarf from the Fall 2004 issue of Interweave Knits.

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I wound the skein (560 yards!) into a ball (it took an hour! Thank heaven there was no tangling involved), and attempted to make the yarn pool. The way the scarf works is that the yarn is space-dyed, so you try to work it so that each row takes up exactly the amount of yarn in a single colour repeat, so that as you knit horizontally you create a vertical striping effect. I thought the concept was pretty cool. As you can see, I've managed to make my yarn sort of pool (except for the cast-on edge and the very first row, but I knew that there was no way I could make that part work so I just let it do what it would....except that it's bugging the point where I want to rip it all out and make it work, even though I've tried it already and know that it won't....the cast-on edge takes up too much yarn....argh....must learn to take a more Zen-like attitude towards the knitting....). It doesn't have an exact vertical striping thing going on like I've seen in some cases, and the colours tend to drift back and forth and get a little muddied in places, but overall it's not too bad. I think it shows off the lovely colours of this yarn pretty well.

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The lace pattern isn't complicated and is pretty easily memorized, so far this is a fairly mindless knit except for keeping track of the pooling. I've taken to inserting lifelines every 24 rows in case I mess up and need to rip back. I'm not 100% in love with it at this point because of the cast-on edge and the drifting colours, so I don't know if I want to keep it or not. Although the last thing I want to do is to earmark this yarn for more socks, I have enough sock yarn as it is. Suggestions? Opinions?

Edited to add: OK, so I decided to rip the scarf out and start again. The cast-on edge looks a little better now (but it still doesn't quite line up, of course), and it's still pooling the way as it is in the picture. So much for letting things be. =)

Saturday, July 02, 2005


So several weeks ago I started this Evening in Eden shawl with some Berroco Softwist that I had bought on sale many many moons ago. I figured that the yarn was a pretty colour and the right weight, and the pattern wasn't bad, so why not? Except now I've made it through half the shawl and....well, I sort of hate it. Well, hate is perhaps too strong a word, but I am certainly not overflowing with affection and goodwill towards this particular knitted item.

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Why do I dislike it? Well, for starters, the pattern, while interesting and easy enough to knit, does not call out to me. At first I thought, hey, look at the cute paw-print-like things! But now I'm thinking, paw prints? Why am I knitting paw prints?! Secondly, the yarn, it is slippery and splitty. I've mostly managed to avoid splitting the yarn, but when it splits, it's rather irritating. Additionally, I realized about 3 (48-row) repeats in that I somehow thought "garter stitch edging" meant "do it in stockinette!" and now my edges are all curly. At the time I didn't want to rip out the whole thing just to fix the edging, but now it's staring me in the face and mocking me for my stupidity.

So, what do I do? Do I rip out the whole thing? Do I throw it in the closet never to look at it again? Or do I suck it up and make a slightly shorter version of the shawl, with 6 repeats instead of 7, and leave it at that? I think I have 8 or 9 skeins of this yarn, not quite enough to make a sweater (not that I would want to even if I did, the yarn was cheap and a reasonable colour, but I bought it during my reckless-yarn-buying stage, and I don't love it by any means), so if it's not going to be this shawl, I don't think it's going to become anything else. I'm leaning towards just making the shortest shawl I can get away with and moving on to something else.

I think I'm more of a process knitter, I enjoy trying new things and watching them take shape much more than actually having the finished product (I've lost interest in most of the things I've finished). So if I don't consider the project (or the yarn) fun/interesting/beautiful my patience drops considerably. Just another example of my fickle nature, I guess.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Happy Canada Day!

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Don't ya think? =)

No knitting progress here. It's too damned hot to knit.