Friday, July 25, 2008

Stash Growth

I took a two-hour vacation today and went down to Knitch. (Where I learned to knit, and possibly the greatest yarn store ever. If you're ever in Atlanta, go. Trust me. Wonderful, friendly, knowledgeable staff, great selection, neatly-organized, and free coffee).

They're doing their duck sale tomorrow and Sunday, and I selected a bunch of stuff (2 skeins of sock yarn for Luna Moth, and some gorgeous teal yarn for A Cardigan for Arwen). They have this new stuff (I forget what it's called since they still have my yarn and will be pulling a duck and ringing it up tomorrow) and it comes in like 40 colors and you get 250 yrds of worsted-weight for 10 bucks. And AND AND best part? Isn't itchy to me. The Falling Water scarf (which I'm wearing today) is itchy. The Bearfoot Mountain is itchy. But this wool isn't.

I'm sensitive to pricklies, not to wool or lanolin itself. Merino is generally not a problem and I suspect wool socks wouldn't bother me at all since my feet aren't sensitive. My hands aren't either, which can make picking yarn a challenge. I generally have to put it up to my face or neck to see if it'll be a problem. Alpaca can bother me, but seems to not be a problem once it's knit. Go figure.

And now my stash won't fit in a bag anymore (I have it all hanging on my bedroom door, in a Whole Foods cloth bag). Guess I need to look into other storage options. Maybe that plastic chest....

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Things that make me happy and things that annoy me...
Addi Lace needles only go up to size 9. Damn them! I want pointy needles in 9.5 and above, darn it.
Victorian Lace Today. I've now cast on 2 projects from this book. I love the Scarf with open Diamonds but I'm not doing the edging (since I only have 350 yards of yarn). Instead of using size 7 or 8 I'm using 5s, since I don't think Northern Lights Bearfoot Mt is really suited to a lacy scarf. It looks really nice at the tighter gauge, and the round holes give it a lovely bit of interest. In other words, I really really like this combo.
I've also cast on A Handsome Triangle, and I think the 4th? 5th? try with the silky merino is the charm. Yes, most of the detail of the lace is lost, but that's okay. And knitting with this stuff, wow. Going from that back to the alpaca-silk, well it feels like twine.

And speaking of Alpaca-silk, the bluejeans leaf lace shawl (which needs a shorter name) is now 68 inches across the back. I transfered all the live stitches to waste yarn (a process that took about an hour) and measured and took pictures. Then I tried wrapping it around myself. Sigh, not big enough yet. I put it back on the needle and haven't touched it since. It's laughing at me, I'm sure of it.

I need to make a lacy washcloth this week for Lughnasa and I have an idea for a gear shawl for Dragon Con. (Probably crocheted, since I'm not sure how you would get a gear shape via knitting and then there's the time issue. Maybe it'll get done for Con next year, or for Hallowcon?)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Anyone got a cure for startitus?

Not much to report. I seem to have an extreme case of startitus, this suckus, froggis. (Aka, I start something, I hate it, I frog it)

So far since June 21 I have frogged...

Luna Moth (wrong, so wrong for that yarn)
A ripple shawl from Knitting Lace Triangles (ditto)
Montego Bay (yup, the thing in the last entry. Just not a happy ufo)
Tiger-Eye Scarf (remember the chart with the non-standard symbols?)
Wine and Roses Mitts (why doesn't the cuff lace pattern stitch count match up with the co count? That's really annoying)
And I had 2 false starts on my Leaf Lace

What I Want to Do...
Make a lace shrug. At this point I am pondering taking my measurements, using the lace pattern from the Retro Redux shrug, and making it up. You make a rectangle, sew up the sleeves, add ribbing to the armholes (if not the entire thing) and you're done. Heck, I could even figure out the provisional cast-on so that I don't need to pick up bound-off stitches. And this is all because I can't find needles with a sharp point in the sizes I need. I have sizes 8 & 9 lace needles, not 9-10.5
Make a shawl from the Silky Merino (one where the pattern isn't overpowered by the color). I'm leaning towards the Handsome Triangle from VLT, as the pattern isn't complicated and it's pretty. Or the Flower Lace from KLT.
Make fingerless mitts. At this point, since I want lace, I may be making the pattern up as I go along. This may lead to doom. Or a cool pattern. We shall see. It might be a good idea to attempt to understand fingerless mitt construction first. Just maybe. I'm thinking using vertical eyelets combined with a bit of ribbing.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

FOs, cast-ons, and failed projects

So, first, the falling water scarf is done. Yay!

Second, I spent quite a bit of time over the weekend trying to figure out what I wanted to do next. I want to make a shrug, since I think it'd be a practical garment, but I discovered this weekend that the needles I have above size 8 (a 9, and a 9.5) are completely unsuited to lace, or at least to the Retro Redux Shrug. The points just don't work for k2togs with thick yarn. So, in the end, I settled on the Montego Bay scarf again, this time with dental-floss weight yarn, and ignoring the pattern to do my own thing. Much easier. I still want to make the shrug, but I don't really have the cash for more needles right now.

I did get some new books. Victorian Lace Today and Knitting Lace Triangles. I love the pictures in VLT, and wow do I want to make the huge circular shawl, even though it would take me FOREVER. I also like all the edgings.
Knitting Lace Triangles is very nice, and it sets out how to make a triangle and the lace patterns and such very well. I would actually recommend this over VLT for a beginner.

I give you lace pr0n.
Finished Object

Works in Progress

Frogged attempts

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Knitting goals

I have some, I just don't talk about them and have a tendency to forget them. So, I'll stick them here and hopefully that will help me remember them.

1. Finish bluejeans leaf shawl

That picture's old, it's a lot longer now. It's crowding the circular, and I think I'm on the 9th leaf for the center. I enjoy knitting this project, but I'm not so crazy about the look of it. I think maybe next time a yarn with a gentle variegation of color would be nice. The alpaca/silk blend is lovely and I like the way it feels knit up. Not so sure how well this is going to block, but since I'll have to figure out where the heck I can block it, I'm not going to worry about it.

2. Finish falling waters scarf

Lovely yarn, nice pattern, but the yarn bugs my hands. Also, the Addi Lace needles have a metallic smell in my hands. Something to do with the brass, I suspect. I like the tips of the needles, but I think when I buy new needles, I'll avoid the lace ones. I like the look of the silver better anyway. This scarf will need to be blocked as well, it's curling. It's about 6 feet long right now, and I'm knitting till I run out of yarn.

3. Luna Moth.
I started last night (thicker yarn and bigger needles are easier on my wrists). I'm using Silky Malabrigo in the Bahia color. Very rainbowish, and I'm vaguely worried about the colors overwhelming the pattern. I love the look of the pattern itself, but I think this one's going to require a lot more concentration than the bluejeans one. I'm using regular addi turbos, and the points aren't sharp enough for this. Picture forthcoming eventually.

4. Finish Canopy scarf and write up pattern. This is on hold because of Summer of Lace.

5. If I finish the first three before Sept 21, I want to make myself a lace shrug. I have various patterns, and I just need to decide what I like best, and what will work best with broad shoulders and big arms.

6. Gathered pullover. I have the yarn, though I should practice the cabling before I do it on a garment. I understand the principle of cabling, and I think I know how it is done, but I've never actually done it.

7. Tank top. Probably the Lutea lace one.

8. Tomato.

In other, not-so good news, my home router is currently throwing a hissy fit. I either need to fix it, or replace it, but I have no idea where I wrote down the settings. That will probably wait till Friday, since I want to go to a stitch and bitch tonight.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Why won't it stop?

So, I am a crazy person. Seriously. My brain is always full of ideas, and I need to get them out. (Otherwise, the plot bunnies multiply and I end up thinking about naked Lucius with a cookie in a meeting, and smiling like a madwoman and my coworkers call the men in white coats.)

Now, generally my brain is full of plot bunnies. Fic ideas, mostly, with the occasional pr0n. But the more I knit, the more I get "Design bunnies". Design bunnies are interesting, to say the least. Knitted garments pop into my head, and they want to be written down and made. This is extremely annoying since I haven't even made a sweater yet. I believe I lack the knitting skills to make these things from scratch right now, but that doesn't stop them from coming. So, like I do with plot bunnies, I will write these down in the hopes that they shut up. The notation may not make sense to anyone else.
Design Ideas
1. Strip Dragonskin skirt
2. Replica of my pink shirt. Maybe purl lines to represent the folds. Is it possible to create raised stitches like that? Also, would need to find a lace pattern for cuffs and collar. Would use same buttonhole idea?
3. Victorian Wrap and Shrug, knitted. (It's a crochet pattern I like, and I want to knit it instead)
4. Combo crochet and knit tank
5. Square-necked sweater. Cables down front possible. Want to recreate a laced bodice sort of thing.

In other news, my left wrist is slowly recovering from Rockband, and knit two together through the back loop is the best substitute for skp and ssk ever!