Sunday, December 30, 2007

Commission done!

So, I finished the hooded scarf for my co-worker. However, no photos yet. Also, I wanted her to see it before I called if 'finished-finished'. I was a bit stupid when I was making it. The pattern suggested using size 11 needles, and for some reason, I thought I didn't have any. Even though they were pretty much staring me in the face. So I knit everything quite loosely on 10.5 needles. Hopefully it'll fit. If not, I'll just make another one - the project only took just over 1 skein, and she bought 3.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Experimental hat

Guess what I did this afternoon (before meeting up for dinner)? I knit a hat! I had two skeins of Queensland Uruguay DK that I bought on super-sale at Webs, and I'd always wanted to try the fair isle part of the Cheesylove pattern (without actually knitting the whole sweater of course!), so I thought I'd use the opportunity to put the two together.

I've knit enough plain stockinette hats now that the recipe is pretty much automatic, so I knit a small gauge swatch, cast on 96 stitches, knit some K2P2 ribbing, switched to stockinette, knit the fair isle pattern (bordered by some stripes), and decreased for the crown.

Cheesylove hat_02

After my experience with the Main Street Fair Isle, I figured that I should probably knit the colourwork fairly loosely as I expected the hat to have to stretch a decent amount (my head is 21-22 inches around, the hat was knit to be 18-19 inches around unstretched) and I didn't want to risk the fair isle part being too small. So I knit VERY LOOSELY. The floats were VERY LONG. Too long, in fact. Why is it so hard to get the tension just right? The inside of my hat now consists of a lot of loopy bits. And there are a lot of loose stitches on the outside. Not the most attractive.

Another thing was that I decided that the ribbing was too long after having completed the entire hat, so I had to cut the yarn and unravel all of the ribbing so I could do it over again (from top down). Not a horrid thing, but a bit inconvenient.

Cheesylove hat_03

Will I wear this hat? Who knows? It will probably be relatively warm due to the brim and the fair isle floats, but I may not be brave enough to wear this in public with all of its imperfections. Maybe a good blocking would fix it some?

Sophie doesn't really have an opinion, she pretty much hates hats in general.

Cheesylove hat Sophie_02

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Very Predictable

Ever since I learned how to knit, I've knit my dad winter accessories for Christmas. Usually a scarf, sometimes with an accompanying hat. And this year is no different.

Jaeger cabled scarf_01

This is a modified Irish Hiking Scarf (2 cables instead of 3), knit out of some pretty brown Jaeger Extra Fine Merino Chunky, which has been sadly discontinued. I was originally planning to knit both a scarf and a hat, but I miscalculated when I bought the yarn (and since it's discontinued, it's not like I could easily find more) so he's just getting a slightly longer scarf. Ah well.

Maybe next year I can come up with something different. One can only have so many brown/gray/black scarves, right? =)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Socks for Greg

Originally uploaded by hweishien
So, I've started the socks for Greg, and while they're progressing, I'm finding that I'm getting sick of knitting socks now. I mean, this would be my third consecutive pair! I'm thinking of telling my bro "Sorry, but I just wasn't able to finish your socks in time." I think I just need something different for now. I'm really not feeling motivated to finish these. And besides, I think they might be a little too big for his foot. I'll have him try them on when I see him. I might actually have to frog the whole thing anyway.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snow day!

Today was spent indoors since the weather outside made it very undesirable to venture outside. Long periods of time spent indoors = knitting, and that allowed me to finish the socks for my mom, and start the ones for my brother.

I didn't take a photo of the ones for my brother yet. They aren't at a very interesting stage yet :D

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Musings on Ravelry

So I've had a Ravelry account for just about 2 months now....and I've done virtually nothing with it. Initially it would drive me crazy when someone would refer to something on Ravelry on their blogs and I would be unable to see just what they were talking about. It seemed like a cool idea to be able to type in a pattern name and see pages and pages of photos without having to troll through the results of a Google search. And then there was that whole aura of "hey, here's this cool club that you're not a part of yet!" So I put myself on the waiting list, and obsessively checked my spot in line every few days or so. I passed the time by uploading a bunch of old FO photos to Flickr in anticipation of massive project-updating activity.

And then my invite lands in my inbox during a relatively hectic time, and it just sits there for several days. I make several halfhearted efforts to come up with a username that wasn't stupid or already taken (adrienneknits was the final decision, which is terribly unoriginal but meh, whatever). I poke around in my "notebook" and make a stab at adding some projects. I add some books (I also have trouble remembering which books I have, as they are all in boxes at present). I wait for the crazy obsessive feeling that so many other knitters have experienced to take over me. seems like I just don't care that much. The thought of spending even MORE time updating this additional knitting-related database just makes me feel tired.

I know some people seem to have this inexhaustible energy for blogging, for reading and commenting on other people's blogs, for participating in this whole crazy knitting "community" that exists out in cyberspace, but it seems like I only have so much patience for it. I mean, I've gone months without knitting, and months without touching this blog. Knitting is fun, but I don't necessarily want to be doing it 24/7. Looking at and reading about everyone else's knitting is also enjoyable, but sometimes I'm just not that interested.

Anyway. I'm happy with this little blog that we've got going here (and which we've maintained more or less for a pretty long time!), and it's ok that we don't really advertise it or have a bevy of adoring readers. Sometimes I wish it were different, but most of the time I'm content with just doing what pleases us and not feeling pressure to be constantly producing beautiful knits to serve as blog fodder. And I guess it's also ok that my Ravelry account just sits there most of the time, I suppose it will come in handy someday, and maybe eventually I'll even feel like doing something with it. =)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

ALL for me!

I guess it's my turn to show off my purchases, huh? Unlike Karen, I was not nearly so generous with my shopping. Everything I bought was for ME. Me me me. =)

Socks That Rock Lightweight in Count Cluckula:

STR Count Cluckula

Dream in Color Tulip Cardigan Kit. I love this thing. I didn't buy it with a particular baby in mind, and I will probably never ever give this away. I will knit it up and it will sit in storage forever, and I will look at it and admire it and pet it periodically. Unless for some reason I end up with a baby girl, then she will be dressed up in it and photographed extensively.

Dream in Color Tulip Cardigan Kit

C'est tout. I was pretty restrained and only bought what I was initially planning to. Progress!

Monday, December 10, 2007

One for me, one for you...

And Karen totally fails at stash busting.

Today, the fabulous Adrienne and I met up at Lettuce Knit and had a fabulous time playing with all sorts of beautiful, beautiful yarn. Have I ever mentioned how much I love that store?

Here's what I came home with in terms of yarn:

Believe it or not, I've got projects pegged for all of that. Two of them will be gifts, and two of them will be for me. The green Dream in Colour (Spring Tickle) is slated to become socks for my brother. The dark brown is going to be yet another Baby Bobbi Bear. The blue Malbrigo is going to become a Koolhaus hat (bought the Holiday Knits issue with that pattern too), and the Socks That Rock (in Jasper) is probably going to be a Swallowtail shawl.

Once home, I tried to split the green into two even balls so I could do that 'knit two socks at the same time' trick again. And I fail.

Oh well. I'm sure I'll be able to fix it when I get closer to finishing the socks.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Main Street Fair Isle!

The Main Street Fair Isle is done! Hooray! Cue the trumpets and release the confetti!

This sweater, while not a difficult knit at all, was a relative pain in the ass. I've documented the gauge issues with the sleeve here and then with the body here and here, and then I was worried that the fair isle part would come out too tight. The last time I blogged about this sweater I hadn't knit the neckline yet, it was to be a relatively painless K1P1 rib, no problem right? I originally knit the neckline as directed using the US8s that I used for the body, I figured that since I had done a whole bunch of decreasing just after the colourwork that the neckline probably wouldn't be too loose.

WRONG. In actuality it turned out all floppy and faintly resembled a pathetic turtleneck, totally unacceptable (sorry, no photo!). So it was ripped and reknit on US6 needles by my mom, who knits way tighter than I do and probably gave herself hand cramps trying to be as tight as possible. Several attempts were made at a tubular K1P1 bindoff but they all turned out horribly due to the soft and yielding nature of the yarn (mostly alpaca). So we had to resort to a regular bindoff which my mom has previously characterized in the past as being ugly.

I think it looks ok.

Main Street Fair Isle done_03

Overall, this sweater required a lot of reknitting. But the final result fits! And the recipient is happy!

Main Street Fair Isle worn_03

Of course, not one to waste yarn, she promptly cast on for a ribbed scarf to use up all the leftovers:

Main Street Fair Isle leftovers scarf

I should have taken a photo of all the scary ends that had to be woven in.

This sweater was the 4th sweater project that I've embarked on, the 3rd sweater that I've actually finished, and probably the only one that will get any regular wear (and not by me!). Maybe I'm getting a bit better at this whole sweater thing, I've certainly been learning about how different sorts of yarns translate into actual knitted garments (I haven't always made the best choices), and it's gratifying to look at the final product and think "hey, I made this whole thing!", but I still don't think I'm really into knitting sweaters. Then again, a girl can only have so many scarves, and I'm so terribly vanilla with all my sock knitting (oooh, more stockinette, how exciting!), and I've grown to hate buying sweaters in stores because they're all so expensive (ha! irony) and most of them don't fit properly maybe there's something to be said about this knitting-sweaters-to-fit-one's-size-and-shape thing. If only I could cultivate the patience.

Final thoughts:
- The pattern was relatively easy, but I felt that some of the numbers for the size that I knit (the smallest one) could have been better. For example, starting a sleeve with 28 stitches at 4-4.5 stitches/inch in 3x1 ribbing ended up being way too tight, so I increased it to 32 stitches. I also have a feeling that I could have done the fair isle on more stitches since it ended up being a smidge tight, but I don't know how much of that comes from my own tension and how much from the pattern itself.
- The yarn (Valley Yarns Lenox) is very very soft and comfortable, but as a result the sweater doesn't really have much structure. We're ok with this because the sweater was meant to be more for comfort than style, but just something to think about.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Knitting logic, or lack thereof

Why is it that I'm personally unwilling to spend more than $4-5 on a pair of store-bought socks, feel squeamish at the thought of wearing $12 socks that someone else bought for me, but am perfectly happy to put on a pair of handknit socks after spending $20+ on the yarn and 8-10 hours knitting it up?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Half Finished!

The Modern Quilt Wrap is half-finished. Here are blocks 1-36, taken outside in the snow:

Modern Quilt Wrap Blocks 1-36

The colours are a bit weird probably because it was too bright outside and I don't know how to play with my camera settings very well (or to mess around with editing software -- I'm so lazy!).

The second half is exactly the same as the first. I must admit that the prospect of knitting the entire pattern again is a bit daunting because of all the colour changes and ends to be woven in, but I really want to wear this scarf this winter so I'd better get cracking!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

A little advice

I need some advice. I've finished the foot part of the socks for my mom. I didn't do anything fancy with this part because I know she hates odd bumps and what not on the foot part of her socks. Here's what it looks like so far.

Not too bad, despite the kinda random striping. I'm going to turn the heel tonight, but after that is what I need some advice on. I remember musing that I might put a cable or something on the side. However, now that I can see the way the colour knits up, I'm not totally sure if I should add that cable on the side or not. In my head, cables look kinda funny if it's not a solid colour, but maybe I'm just not experienced enough with cables (all the cables I've ever done just happen to have been on solid colours).

So, what do you think?? Help, please!!

Oh, and on another (rather random) note, here's a photo of how much yarn I had left over after finishing up my dad's socks.

Is it sad that I take great pleasure in knowing that I used up as much yarn as possible for a project?