Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I've made all kinds of progress on my holiday knitting: I finished a pair of socks, I nearly finished the present/modeling bribe I was hoping to finish my this weekend, and I think the total yarn mileage left to knit is down to 1 mile. Plus, finishing the socks meant I didn't have a portable project, so I've moved on:

A red scarf for the Red Scarf Project. I already have a scarf ready to go, but it's not red and they're not even halfway to their goal of 3000 scarves (the deadline is December 15), so I thought I'd make another. The original 2 miles included a red scarf, but I planned to kit it from a skein of Nichole. Unfortunately, I turned covetous and wished I was making the Nichole into socks for myself before I'd even knit an inch. I don't usually feel that way, so I was relieved when some pomegranate Miss Priss appeared in the mail! As a bonus, it's knitting up about 87 times faster than Nichole--I just started that last night.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Funny Things

1. I stopped at the organic grocery store on the way to the fabric store this afternoon, and while I was checking out, someone came out of the cafe to tell the cashier that "the vegan Philly cheesesteak is becoming a reality." Ok, good to know.

2. I buy yarn and fabric (and patterns for each) in completely different ways. I buy yarn mostly because I like it, then later on I find a pattern that goes with it, and then I knit. (There are occasional exceptions, when I love a pattern and don't have the right yarn, buy some, and cast on immediately, but mostly, it's yarn first.) Sometimes I buy yarn on sale, but I'm just as likely to pay full price.

For sewing projects, I find a pattern, wait till it goes on sale, then buy it. At some point--possibly at the same time--I buy fabric (which I also almost always buy on sale), then I sew whatever it is. What's funny about this scheme is that it's sometimes hard to find the right kind of fabric for a particular pattern--I seem to gravitate towards patterns meant for knit fabric, for example, but I have a terrible time finding non-hideous, me-appropriate knit fabric--and although I know they could be adapted for woven fabric, I'm lazy (and hate installing zippers). On the other hand, there are a jillion me-appropriate yarns in the world, and when I do pick the pattern first, I never have a hard time finding yarn to match.

All this to say that I found some non-hideous knit fabric at the store today, so I'm going to do some sewing.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I Think I Told You...

...about my Lacy Baktus Scarf when I was cataloging recent projects where I've run out of yarn? (A normal person would just have listed them, but I have an MLS...)

See how close I got to finishing it? But I've convinced myself that the asymmetrical dark end adds character--and there was no way I was going to rip back half the scarf in order to start the decreasing side of the triangle sooner.

In other news, as I was starting to think about my holiday knitting a couple of weeks ago, I worried that I might be planning too much for myself, so I pulled out all the yarn I'd earmarked for presents (plus the Endless Thingamajig for me... priorities, you know), and added up the mileage: a little over 2 miles. Totally knittable in 2 months--even if an extra (small) project or two sneaks in. (My average monthly mileage for the year so far is 1.37.)

See--I knew that compulsive tallying would come in handy some day!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Finally, a Picture!

I was determined to take a picture of my dress on Saturday, even though it was rainy:

Little did I know how gorgeous it was going to be on Sunday, or I would have waited!

(Not shown: the pictures where I made faces because I was getting rained on, the ones where I was visibly shivering, or my hair, which objects to drizzle).

Anyway--this is the drop stitch dress, from Classic Elite's Winter Whimsy booklet. I basically followed the pattern, except that I lengthened the skirt (it's knit from the hem up, so I worried about running out of yarn, but I had enough left over to make most of a hat), and worked a few rows of stockinette around the neck, since the shoulders were very narrow as written (naturally, my shoulders are not at fault here!).

It's cozy and comfortable, but the back neckline is the same as the front--very pretty and ballerina-y, but the back of my neck tends to feel chilly, so I wear it with a shawl.

There's the smallest chance I'll have another picture tomorrow--I finished the Endless Whatchamacallit, and am planning to wear it to work.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Coming Soon

I'll have Kevin take some pictures of me wearing the dress this weekend--the way I'm wearing it so far (with a camisole and leggings) seems too informal for work, and it's too dark in the evenings now for photoshoots!

I had the least coordinated morning today (I've been up for 4 hours, even though it's not yet 9:00). I knew I needed to stop for gas on the way to rowing, and there's a 24-hour gas station near my house, but in the opposite direction from the boathouse. So I left 15 minutes early, figuring I could go to the gas station, then pop into the post office to use the automated kiosk thingy to mail a package (once I've gone to the gas station, the post office is on the way). But the gas station was VERY closed (with a chain-link fence around the pumps and everything), and the kiosk kept freezing, or something, because it took a minute to respond when I tapped the screen. I'd left early, but not early enough to wait through all those minutes (and what a 21st century, well-off, healthy person in a rich country problem that is!). Anyway, it's not a good sign for the day when you've already failed at two errands before sunrise!

Then rowing was disorganized, and I felt like I rowed terribly. At least I made my breakfast successfully--yesterday when I tried to sprinkle some cloves on my oatmeal, I instead poured on several tablespoons and had to start over.

On the plus side, I'm 61% done with the endless wrap/shawl/cardi (two of those words actually are in the name, but which two?), and and I'm starting to think about messing with the bind off. As written, there are some garter ridges as you're finishing the body rectangle, then a three-needle bind off to turn a rectangle into a cardi. I tend to be a tight binder-offer, and I'm wondering whether I might be happier with the finished sweater if I grafted the edges instead of following the pattern (I certainly won't be happier at the time--I don't mind grafting, but a three needle bind off is definitely easier!). And while I'm messing with that, I might also continue the stitch pattern so it appears to flow uninterrupted across the grafted edges.

I think the designer chose a three-needle bind off because all that grafting would have turned an otherwise accessible advanced-beginner to intermediate pattern into a bigger challenge (plus, many knitters hate grafting). But what if there's another reason I'm missing now--but will discover as soon as I try on my carefully grafted sweater? I've been thinking about this a lot because do you know what's more annoying than grafting? Picking out grafting. In a mohair blend.

Monday, November 9, 2009


1. It turns out that I don't hate working narrow borders as much as I thought I did. I made the Veyla mitts (pix once I find some buttons), and am now working on the Scroll Lace Scarf. I thought making the lacy borders would nearly kill me, but it's kinda fun. Maybe I would live through a shawl with miles of narrow border after all.

2. Or maybe I just think they're ok right now, because they feel fast in comparison to my other project--the aptly named Endless Shawl Cardi? Since I started it on November 1, I'm seeing if I can finish it as a NaKniSweMo project (that's National Knit a Sweater Month). I calculated how many rows and stitches are in the whole thing, and how many I have to work each day, so keeping ahead of that number is keeping me amused for the moment... but goodness, those rows are long! (More than 360 stitches for my size.)

2b. 51%, as of last night.

3. I went to the opening of a new LYS (Knit New Haven) the other weekend, and then back today for actual shopping. I meant to buy black superwash for a kid's hat, but instead bought... sock yarn! What a shocker! But they didn't have any black superwash, and the owner was really nice. Plus, there's a rumor that they'd like one of the SnB groups to knit there.

4. My sock drawer/collection of handknit socks seemed a little excessive a couple of moths ago, but now that it's cool again, and now that I'm wearing knee-high boots to work most days (tall boots can hide all manner of wacky socks), they seem more reasonable.

5. I don't think I mentioned, amid the debacle of the posts which must not be named, that I made that dress I was obsessed with. I wore it to spinning yesterday. The spinners liked it, and no one thought I'd crossed the line between arty quirkiness and deranged swathing of self in wool (it's possible they're biased, but let's pretend they're not--the dress is quite comfortable and cozy!)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


It's hard to see here, but the fur on Moppet's face was getting so long this weekend that I put it in a ponytail. The ponytail holder is the dark spot on top of her head.

The white and tan fabric behind her is Kevin, and despite her faith that he's the nice one, you'll notice that he didn't stop me. Luckily for her, I trimmed her face fur the night before last (and now she can see where she's hopping).

Monday, November 2, 2009


Well, I almost had enough:

The thumb on the right hand isn't the same yarn as the rest--it's another handspun, made of roving from the same dyer, but a completely different color--in the skein, at least. Here, I think it blends in well enough. (My right hand is on the right here--I used my computer's built-in camera.)

I'm hoping that this is the end of my running out of yarn trend. It's definitely been going on long enough: I tried to knit a pair of socks from half a skein of yarn a few weeks ago (the first half having been enough for a pair), and had to make the foot a little shorter than I'd planned because I ran out of yarn. It turned out fine--I gave them to Jenn.

Then I knit a Lacy Baktus scarf, and even though I weighed my yarn and started decreasing when I'd used half of it... the end is a darker purple than the rest, because I ran out of yarn.

When I knit the Baby Surprise Jacket for Sunflowerfairy (it's the yellow one), I ran out of yarn (handspun) with about 10 sts left on the cast off. I ripped out the previous 10 sts of the cast off, un-plied the yarn, un-plied a coordinating yarn, then bound off with 1 ply of the handspun together with 1 ply of the coordinating yarn. Fortunately, it's on the button side, so it's hidden.

When I made the second BSJ, I'd caught on to the trend, so I added the purple stripes just to be safe--and finished with just a few yards of both yarns. Phew!

Surely that's enough for one knitter? (I may be forgetting a few incidents... it's just too disheartening... especially since I'm usually so good at estimating.)

I hope so, because I've started an Endless Cardi Shawl, and I'll be awfully cranky if I need to do something unexpectedly creative to finish it off!

On the bright side, at least I have a ways to go before I need to start worrying: