Friday, December 15, 2006

It just went bad. Real bad.

Well, on Sunday I settled on the Lupine Lace pattern for my mom's pair of socks, and cast on late afternoon. Things were going well until I got to the heel. Although I followed the pattern, it turned out a little longer than it should have. It was about 8 1/2 inches long. I wasn't crazy about the length, and considered ripping out one repeat of the lace. Then I changed my mind and continued. Gusset was fine. This morning I knit away, thinking I'm about an hour away from the toe decreases (which made me very happy, because I thought that would give me some definite possibility of finishing the first sock today.)

And that's when it happened.

I realized that instead of alternating each row of the lace pattern with a straight knit row, I was doing all lace pattern. For about 2 inches.

I looked at it, willing it to fix itself before my eyes, but that #&%$# thing just sat there and mocked me.

So I ripped back to the end of the gusset, and tried picking up the stitches. Have you ever tried to rework a frog on a size 1 needle?

It's sitting there, over on the ottoman, still mocking me.

I'll have to rip it entirely and start over.

At least I'll be able to correct the length issue, but now I don't think there's any way I can finish the pair by the 26th.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Crunch time

So in the past week, I've finished the first fair isle hat. I'm not sure why it turned into kind of a bell shape. Might have something to do with the lining. And can you see the mistake? I didn't notice it until I was putting the ropes on. Oh well! Sorry brother!

And I finished the second fair isle hat. I don't like the puckered top, and it turned out to be smaller than the first one. I really like the tailored finishing on the first one. But I like the pattern on the second one. HRH tried it on, and it fits. So I might make another one for her in acid green and purple, to match her winter jacket. I enjoyed knitting the snowflake hat much more--maybe because there were much less yarn flopping (that's a techincal fair isle term, right?). So I won't be divorcing fair isle just yet.

Then I started a pair of finglerless mitts (pattern from KnitPicks) in some koigu I've had hanging around for ages. Note to self--don't let koigu hang around so long. It's perfect for this pattern! One skein makes exactly two mitts, and it's so sproingy that the ribbing will fit any size hand. Even my fat one! I'm about to finish sewing up the second one as soon as I finish this post, and then I'm casting on for the final Christmas gift--a pair of socks for mum in Lisa Souza's sock yarn--color garnet. Not quite sure about the pattern yet.

So all in all, I'd say it's been a pretty productive week considering I had a bazillion other things to do. And I also started the holiday bakathon this weekend, in which Jenn tries to bake 50 dozen christmas cookies without swearing and throwing things. I've got 13 dozen down this so far. I'm supposed to finish by the end of the week.

Ask me about the year I made 83 dozen.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Thanks Mr. Postman!!!

My surprise package did indeed arrive, and prepare yourself for some gushing. I read about Yarntini's yarn on someone's blog, but it was all sold out at Wahhhh! I subscribe to her blog, so I was alerted to her adding some inventory to her Etsy shop. By the time I got there, there were only two variegated colorways left--the elusive cherry cordial, and pumpkin twist. So I ordered one of each (fingering weight). Well let me tell you, Yarntini is just a doll to do business with, and they yarn? Oy. It came prettily wrapped in pink tissue. Each skein was in its own plastic bag (great drool protection), AND she included a pot of lip goo in chocolatini flavor. Yikes! Is this the most gorgeous yarn you've ever seen? Love it, love it, love it!

On a sadder note, my love affair with fair isle is over, I think. I don't know what went wrong. Maybe it was the hat. I haven't made one in over a year, and I'd forgotten how niddly it gets towards the end. Maybe it was the monotony of the pattern. I'm committed to finishing this one (there's only 2 rows left), and the second one for my SIL (unfotrunately in the same colors, but a different pattern). After that I'll take a break. Which is unfortunate, because I really do like the end product. I'd like to have one for myself in fact. Anyone out there want to knit one for me? And then I was contemplating making one for Da Man. He wants a hat with the Boston Bruins logo, and I'm wondering if I can take a black background, with yellow B's and turn it into fairisle.

By Christmas.

Friday, December 01, 2006

I've been busy!

I finished the second braided scarf in 10 days. That's less than half the time it took me to knit the first one. I don't think I'll be making that one again. The finished product looks ok, but I'm not a big fan of the ends, and it was just a big pain in the neck to knit. I hope the teachers like them.

Then I cast on for my Mom's Shetland shawl in the Tilli Tomas silk. This took only eight days to finish. I don't know how--it was a very fast knit. The only modification I made was adding an extra repeat on the main body, and I'm glad I did, because it didn't block as large as I thought it would. I guess I should have realized that silk won't stretch as much as wool when wet. This yarn was nice to work with. Blocking, however revealed that this yarn bleeds. A lot. When I lifted it out of the sink after its soak, it look like the sink was filled with blood. It was that bad. I rinsed, and rinsed, and rinsed. It was still bleeding a bit when I called it quits. I'll have to tell Mom not to where it over white, or when it rains!

Last night I cast on for my first fair isle project. It's one of Bea Ellis' hat kits. I discovered these on someone else's blog--can't remember who, and they looked really neat. So I ordered one for my brother, and one for the sister-in-law. I was kinda scared when I started the double stranded knitting. I've read how hard it is. But I found that as long as you keep the two strands separate and untangled, it's not bad at all. The stitches on the first few rows are a bit wonky, but I think I did just fine on my first attempt. I'll definitely be ordering more from Bea Ellis--she is so friendly, and quick to ship.

My next post will include a surprise! I was EXTREMELY lucky to snatch something off an Etsy shop earlier this week. This stuff is in hot demand, and I can't believe I was so lucky! More later...