Sunday, January 31, 2010

Note to self ... Please check your gauge

Why do I not check gauge? Why, oh why do I not do this? I still think this sweater will be OK, its really not that far off. I'm petite and I made a size 2" bigger, so the fact that my gauge is slightly off should even it out right? Let's hope so.

Pattern calls for 12 sts and 17 rnds per 4". I am getting 14 sts and 20 rnds ... not too bad right?!? At this point I am supposed to stop at 16" on rnd 12. I am at 11 1/2" and have 12 rounds which will get me to about 14" ... if I continue with the chart it'll be another 34 rounds to get back to 12. By then I will be at about 18" ... not good. I have just enough yarn that the pattern calls for and my gauge is off so I am sure I have none to spare. I am going to stop at 14" and go from there, especially since my gauge is off and I don't want to run out of yarn. I measured myself and if I start the arm holes at 14" then the bottom of the sweater should be a few inches below my pant waist line. And I am taking into account that when the sweater is on it'll stretch widthwise and become shorter ... wow thinking ahead now!

Note to self, please, please check your gauge next time you make a sweater!!!!

What to do?

What to do with my day off? Somehow I managed to work overtime at my full time job this weekend, though it was supposed to be my free weekend since quitting my part-time job ... how do I do this?!?! Oh well, I can use the money.

Well one thing is for sure, laundry must be done or I will have nothing to wear to work tomorrow. The washer is running at this moment.

The DVR is 85% full, so I better get watching some shows before it runs out of space, more are scheduled to be recorded this week.

It is a lovely winter day, the sun is shining. Its still quite cold outside and there's a low breeze. I love the way the sun casts shadows from the trees onto the snow.

One thing I love about our property is the hill on one side of the house, which is viewed from the living room and kitchen. There's really nothing back there but more woods (acres and acres of conservation land), but I love the feeling of being surrounded like we're in a protective crater.

In the spring and summer its like a jungle, everything is green and leafy.

The deer come through here in the back from the conservation land and walk through the yard to follow the brook that runs around the property.

I think I will work on my sweater today and see how much of that I can get done while catching up on tv and enjoying the view from my living room.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A lonely sock ...

I know I am not supposed to cast on any new projects until I finish my list of WIPs, however, while I was looking in my odds and ends box I found this lonely sock:

It was a sock I started ages ago on HiyaHiya 9" needles ... which I have no idea how I worked on it on these, I tried finishing on these and transferred the stitches to a 32" circular for magic loop. This sock was about 3" from the toe and I finished it in two sittings. Since I didn't cast on a new project, I'm not considering this cheating.

In the odds and ends box I also found an old pair of socks that I never wore because of the toe. It is a star toe and I didn't like how it fit. I still don't love the toe, but they fit much better now that I wet them and blocked them on my sock blockers.

I also blocked the other socks I spoke of in my last post and they fit a bit better, but are still a little tight, so I am going to try one more time before I find someone with a smaller foot.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Knitting Repairs

I have a few knitting problems I am going to try and fix. One I am just hoping works out on its own. I am knitting a sweater in bulky weight yarn. The pattern called for bulky, which I used and size 10 1/2 needles. After knitting on it for a while I decided to check the gauge ... yeah probably something I should have done before this point. I am getting about 3.75 stitches per inch and the pattern calls for 3 stitches per inch. However, I made size 36" because the next down is 32" ... my actual size is 34" so I think this will fit fine anyway. I slipped approximately half the stitches onto another circular needle and tried it on. It fits a little snug around the hips and I have room at the waist, so all is not lost. I checked the photograph of the pattern on the model in the magazine and that's pretty much how it fits her too. Because it is such a deep v-neck something has to be worn under it, but I can get away with a tank top or very fitted top so that shouldn't be a problem.

Next knitting fix ... I made a pair of socks a while back and haven't worn them because ... oh wow ... gauge was too tight and they are smaller than they should be. I am going to wet them and put them on my sock blockers to see if that blocks some room into them. They are not terribly small, just a little too snug to be comfortable. My toes are squished.

I have another pair of socks that I went to put on a while ago, which I have worn many times and found that the cuff was unraveling, not the entire thing, just a little section, but it was about 4 rows down at this point. Might have something to do with the little monster that lives in my house, but I didn't catch her chewing on them, so I don't know for sure. I think I have some very small balls of that yarn left over in my left overs bag, I am going to try and repair the cuff so that I can continue to wear them, the rest of the socks are in good condition.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Focused Knitting Update

1. Diane's Gloves - need thumb an ends woven in. 1/15/10
2. Derek's scarf - needs to be completed.
3. Leyburn socks - second leg needs finishing. 1/14/10
4. Toe up socks - second heel and leg needs to be completed. 1/25/10
5. Cable bottom up sweater - only the bottom is complete.
6. Reversible Cable Scarf
7. Blanket square
8. Lavitan Mittens
9. Bat Shawl
10. Christmas Stocking

One more down. I figured if I did 5 rows per day on the blanket square this week it would leave 20 rows that I could probably finish over the weekend. So I hope to cross another one off this list soon!

FO: Toe Up Socks

Cast On: 11/22/09
Cast Off: 1/25/10
Pattern: Toe Up Socks with a Difference
Yarn: Knit Picks Felici
Needles: Knit Picks 32" Circ. US 1

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Free at last ...

This was the last weekend at my part-time job and what a relief it is to be free at last. I started this job when we were looking for a house to get extra cash for a downpayment and moving expenses ... that was in February of 2008. The plan was to work until we moved ... well then I kept saying I could use the extra money so I stayed ... another year. At this point it is too much, even though its every other weekend, it is third shift and an hour drive each way. So now I am free!

However, this puts a real strain on my craft budget ... like making it zero. Well OK I am sure I can come up with $20 here and there. But I can't go crazy. I am glad I did go crazy in the past and I have ample stamping and yarn stash to work through, so I am taking a breath and know it'll be OK.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Help for Haiti

I've been hearing all over about different ways to help or donate money. Now, I have no problem donating, just to donate, but I caught wind that Ravelry had some help for Haiti patterns where a portion of the proceeds goes to help with the efforts. Since I had several patterns in my queue that I was just waiting to buy, because there are so many free patterns out there, why spend money I don't have on patterns? Don't get me wrong, I certainly agree that designers deserve to get something for their efforts. But the help with Haiti initiative was just what I needed to be able to spend money on the patterns I wanted while helping a great cause.

I recently purchased Elfrida, Nugatory, Versailles Shell, and
Varese Hoodie

This was a great way for me to get those patterns and help a great cause at the same time. Ravelry also added a feature where you can search your queue for patterns tagged with Help for Haiti.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Reacquainting with my stash

I mentioned before about cleaning up with WIPs and organizing my knitting stuff now that my craft room is usable. I found just the example I was talking about. I was going to purchase size 9 24" needles for a new project ... and I found just that in my stash ... I really don't know what I have for needles. One of these days I will sit down and make a list ... tried before, not sure what happened with that.

This is one of the projects on my list, it was supposed to be a Christmas gift in 2008. As you can see, its nowhere near completion, but getting there. This is one of those projects that isn't easy to take with you. There are 12 different colors and each color uses a different number of rows, so its not easy to figure how many skeins you need to take up x amount of time. I had it on 16" circulars, but somebody decided to floss their teeth with them and now one needle point is all chewed up. So they are on straights now, which I am actually liking better anyway, but didn't need to lose a needle set to find that out!!

I had a real craving to go and buy yarn this weekend, so instead, I took one of the plastic tubs up from the basement and dug through that and touched things. There are some skeins of yarn I forget I have, so its like shopping all over again, but its free!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

FO: Diane's Gloves

Cast On: A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away
Cast Off: 1/15/10
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Solid 1 skein
Needles: US 1 DPN
Pattern: Vintage 1940 from UK

I made these gloves for my friend in England, she saw the pattern in an old magazine and asked me if I could make them. The tops turn over so the fingers are free.

Friday, January 15, 2010

FO: Grumpy, the Lump of Coal

Grumpy, the Lump of Coal is a free pattern from Knit Picks. I saw this an knew right away that I had to make one for the little yarn stealing devil that lives in our house disguised as a cat. It took about 2 hours, with breaks to knit and felt and embroider this one! Also, you can get several out of one skein of Palette yarn which is only $1.99.

I tried several times to get a clear picture of Grumpy, unsuccessfully and finally gave up. Its late at night and the lighting is not good, but I wanted a photo before little one destroyed it .. we'll see how long he lasts.

Focused Knitting Update

1. Diane's Gloves - need thumb an ends woven in. 1/15/10
2. Derek's scarf - needs to be completed.
3. Leyburn socks - second leg needs finishing. 1/14/10
4. Toe up socks - second heel and leg needs to be completed.
5. Cable bottom up sweater - only the bottom is complete.
6. Reversible Cable Scarf
7. Blanket square
8. Lavitan Mittens
9. Bat Shawl
10. Christmas Stocking

Today I finished Diane's Gloves and wove in all the ends. The batteries in my camera are low, so I'll have to wait until I get new batteries to take photos of this one.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Focused Knitting

I am going to continue to post this list until it is complete as a motivator. One down and 9 to go. I also found out that I numbered my original list incorrectly and I actually had 10 projects ... which is funny considering I was trying to come up with 10 since it is 2010.

1. Diane's Gloves - need thumb an ends woven in.
2. Derek's scarf - needs to be completed.
3. Leyburn socks - second leg needs finishing.
4. Toe up socks - second heel and leg needs to be completed.
5. Cable bottom up sweater - only the bottom is complete.
6. Reversible Cable Scarf
7. Blanket square
8. Lavitan Mittens
9. Bat Shawl
10. Christmas Stocking

I so want to cast on something new, but have so much yet to finish! While I was at the local yarn store this past Saturday one of the women mentioned knitting the February Lady Sweater in February. I've known a lot of people who have knit this sweater and thought that was an excellent idea, so I may just do that myself!

FO: Leyburn Socks

Cast On: 10/2/09
Cast Off: 1/14/10
Pattern: Leyburn
Needles: Knit Picks US 2 32"
Yarn: Dyed by me

I had to modify this pattern a little to get it to fit. Initially I was worried it would be too small with 60 stitches, so I used size 2 needles. I found that the leg was indeed way too big with the additional stitches increased after the heel, so I added the increased stitches for the gusset to get it over my foot and not stretch out the pattern stitches too much around the heel, but decreased them back so that the leg was still only 60 stitches.

Monday, January 11, 2010

January - Catch Up Knitting Month

Most people refer to January as selfish knitting month, after they have knit and knit for the holidays and gift giving, they stop knitting for others and knit for themselves. Well I am using January as catch up knitting month. I want to finally finish those projects, either for myself or others that have been languishing on the needles for far too long. I want to actually know what needles I have so I don't buy more for a project because they are stuffed in a bag somewhere! I want to not have bags of unfinished projects all over the house. I want to start fresh and knit things that will get completed here and now, not years from now.

I actually lost my favorite knitting scissors when we moved because they were in a bag with a project and I found them almost a year later!

These gloves have been on the needles for entirely too long! They were supposed to be a Christmas gift in 2008! And the recipient asked for them and has been waiting for them all this time!

2010 will be the year of Focused Knitting. I can have two projects on the needles at a time and once one is finished, then and only then can I cast on a new project. I don't like having too many things on the needles, I get out of the groove of a pattern and feel like I have to start all over, plus I find my tension is not the same, especially if something isn't touched for months or ah hem ... years. Here's my list of WIPs to finish before I cast on new projects:

1. Diane's Gloves - need thumb an ends woven in.

2. Derek's scarf - needs to be completed.

3. Leyburn socks - second leg needs finishing.

3. Toe up socks - second heel and leg needs to be completed.

4. Cable bottom up sweater - only the bottom is complete.

5. Revesible Cable Scarf

6. Blanket square

7. Lavitan Mittens

8. Bat Shawl

9. Christmas Stocking

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Wonderful World of the Web

I spent some time this morning (its Sunday) in my jammies and slippers surfing around on the web, bouncing from blog to blog, following links like Alice and the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole. Here's what I found:

Like to knit dishcloths? Kris Knits is providing a mystery KAL!

Round the Twist a video cast from Carin of Lime & Violet ... why didn't I hear about this before?

Baby Mine (Ravelry Link) pattern by Stephanie Pearl-MePhee. My friend is having a girl in June, they have two boys who I've knit things for before, but now I get to knit pretty, lacey, girly things! Plus if I knit the 6 month size it will be wearable when its actually cold out and I have a year to finish it if it comes to that!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

When life gets in the way

I listen to podcasts often in the car or at work when I have a job that requires sitting for long hours waiting for something to get down to 35K ... Kelvin that is, which translates to -391 degrees Fahrenheit. Often I catch something of interest that I mean to later check out online ... more often then not by the time I get home those things are totally forgotten. Today I actually remembered some of the things I wanted to check out and looked them up when I got home. Sometimes I think to bring a small notepad with me to jot these things down in, but if I treat it anything like my grocery list, I will make it, but not actually look at it when I am supposed to.

Its cold here, not the blistering, biting cold, just he dank, chill you to the bones cold and we are sick of it. I long for Spring and Summer ... and I am not actually a summer person, so when the other day I thought to myself I wish it were summer, I paused and said, I'm sorry, have we met?!?! I think I am more sick of the dark, I wish for summer days when the sun stays out past 8pm.

I am almost finished with Diane's gloves. I think I will be able to finish them this weekend and send them off to her. I really did not enjoy this pattern, its just tedious. The end result is nice and I hope they actually fit her, but I don't think I'll be making anything like that again if I can help it. Give me worsted weight mittens or mitts any day over fingering weight 1940s pattern!

I haven't been able to knit much at home since we got Willow. She's a nasty little yarn stealing monster disguised as a cat. But I know she is something else entirely, this cat charade is not fooling me in the least! I have to lock myself in my craft room or bedroom in order to knit and when I do that I have three furry buggers banging on the door wanting to know why I am not attending to their every want and need ... I am a prisoner in my own house!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome 2010!

I am happy to welcome in the new year. Time for fresh starts and new beginnings. I am really excited that I finished remodeling my craft room a few months ago, so 2010 will be full of space and time for crafting! Last year I didn't get much knitting or crafting done because more of my free time was spent, sanding, painting, nailing, striping, etc. to renovate the room. Now I sit surrounded by my craft supplies and stash yarns displayed as to invite creativity and inspire.

I wanted to review the things I wanted to learn in 2009:

Slip Stitch
Knitting with Beads
Lace Shawl

None of which I actually did, LOL! I did however, learn plenty of other things and do many new things:

- Seam a sweater
- Successful toe up socks that fit
- I am really confident in reading my knitting now and don't have sticky notes with has marks all over anymore, I just cound rows in the knitting

I have several WIPs to finish from previous years. I did some investigating and found old blog posts showing when they were started.

Diane's Gloves - I did noticed that the date on the pattern is August 08. So I might not be so long in knitting these as I originally thought, its really only been one year ... not a few.

Derek's Scarf - Found date on pattern from December 07 ... ok so this one has been around for a while!

Christmas Stocking - October 08.

Reversible Cable Scarf - June ... yes June 07.

Bat Shawl - Wanted to finish this for Halloween 09 ... no such luck.

Another project I wanted to complete in 09 was a year in a blanket. This is where you make a square a month and then put them all together to form a blanket. I have a pattern for a house that is in intarsia I started last year. Maybe I can get a blanket done this year, LOL!

FO: Fetching Mitts

Pattern: Fetching
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Worsted
Needles: DPNs Size 6 US
Finished: 12/25/09 around 1am

This is what happens when you finish something at 1am on the day you plan to gift it. You try frantically to get them to dry from blocking, LOL!