Oh, noes!

February 26, 2008

Ravelry appears to be down for me. Sob!

In other news, the apron is done (see below), the knitting bag is drying (more on that later), and the pi still won’t stand up (arrrrrrrrrrrrgh).

I need to cast on new stuff since the only thing actually on my needles right now is the needing-yarn second pi (that may end up being Fuzzle’s if this one continues to refuse to cooperate).

I think the pi is really getting me down. I’m not wanting to cast on anything. I’ve lost my knitterly confidence. Maybe I should get out my yarn and fondle it until the lust overwhelms the dejection.

Felt #… 4?

February 25, 2008

I refelted the pi again this morning. I think this is the fourth time, so about two hours of hand felting overall. I think I have new muscles!

When I picked it up this morning the sides flopped back into an almost-flat circle. It wasn’t completely dry, so I maybe could’ve just left it, but I honestly didn’t think it would set up any more than it had in the two days it’d already been drying. This time I have it taped into position, so perhaps that will help. Or maybe I’ll just give it a full week so it might actually dry. I think it is fully felted, finally. I don’t see any remaining stitch definition or holes where the light peeks through. It’s nicely malleable, but it was at that point last felting. If this doesn’t work I don’t think I’ll try to felt it any more, just find something smaller to block it on so I can control the blocking better.

Florida humidity + blocking = sigh.

Amused.

February 25, 2008

I can’t sleep tonight so I dug out my beginner practice squares that I’d always planned on seaming together for a blanket for Warm Up America. Oh, dear.

That’s not to say I’m a great (or even good) knitter now, but compared to a year ago? I see the progress.

This is actually the first time I’ve thrown yarn, much less knitting, away. I usually save it for stuffing. If it was wool I’d felt it, but, alas, it’s acrylic. And I do think sometimes, very occasionally (says the greenie in me), it just needs to go. There’s nothing wrong with the fact that I was learning, or the fact that they’re a wreck. I actually keep my awful first socks in plain view in the bedroom and have affectionate feelings for them. But it still feels good to say, I was there, and now I can do better.

I will get back to charity knitting, though (this time without the gaping holes!). I was doing an hour a morning as a meditation ritual and then I got stuck in the Christmas knitting (and anniversary knitting… and bday knitting… and vday knitting) time crunch and out of the habit. I might not go back to an hour, but I do want to make an effort to do some daily.

I can read a pattern. Kinda. I can read through it and see what skills I need, and see if I have them, or am in the mood to get them. If I hit a chart, I freak out until I remind myself I can write it out, duh. If I hit too many charts I panic and start mumbling about how knitters are friends, not food, and then run away. Charts just go all wonky in my brain. I’m too textual.

But beyond that, what I can’t do a lot of the time is Read a pattern and understand how it’s going to turn out.

For example, kitty pi. I was working it on worsted in size 8’s. I didn’t know magic loop at the time, and wasn’t willing to invest in size 11 or 13 dpns, nor had I ever double stranded. Or felted. So, I thought, just take the pattern as is and keep making it bigger. Except, no. Going from the proscribed 144 stitches to doing a kfb up to 288 made a flare.

Instead of having nice, straight sides that would’ve happened if I’d just kept knitting, I have a little skirty thing going on (at least while it’s upside down blocking). And while it’s cute, it’s not was going for. And I’m not sure I really understand why the kfb increases up to the 144 point result in a flat fabric, but the next increase created something entirely different.

So in the end, I wasted yarn that could’ve gone to the second pi and got a different look than I envisioned would happen.

Does anyone have any tips to help resolve this apparent lack of intuition/knowledge about how something will be when it’s off the needles? Or is it just something that comes with time and practice?

Foody Friday

February 21, 2008

Most of my cooking lately has been disappointing. Shawn loved the pudding, I didn’t like it at all. Fried chicken turned out greasy and soggy. Biscuits that were better but not what I’m looking for.

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Valentine’s Day+

February 21, 2008

I spent much of Valentine’s week working on a pair of house socks for Shawn. I’m starting to think Knitpicks’ Onyx Heather is just unphotographable by my camera as an FO. Or it could just be that Shawn is never here in the daytime and our lighting at night is insanely poor. I was hoping to get a better picture before posting. Right. Anyway, socks:

They came out a tiny bit too big, mostly around the ankles, but not uncomfortably so, and I think on soaking they’ll get a bit smaller? They’re standard k2p2 rib, on size 5 & 6 needles with Wool of the Andes. It was my first magic loop project and honestly, I don’t like it for socks at all. I just enjoy double points for some reason. But they’ll keep my love’s feet warm, which was all I really wanted.

In return I got the Lace & Eyelets Harmony Guide. Swatching soon! I think I’m going to make a scarf of Maizy, since using it for socks got such bad reviews on Rav, probably in a stitch pattern from the book. I’ll need some smaller non-dpn needles, maybe. We’ll see how it takes to 5’s, but I have a feeling they’re going to be much to big, even for lace.

I also (maybe) finished the first Pi. I’m hand-felting (apartment dweller + control freak). I did a first felting Tuesday, and left it to dry overnight, but when I got up it was suddenly really obvious to me that it was not felted enough. So I did some more scrubbing/shocking and re-blocked this morning. Could be I think the same when I wake up tomorrow.

I started the second Pi, this time on size 13s and double stranded. It was my first double stranding. And it was going along wonderfully until I ran out of yarn. So, for now it’s all bagged up waiting for more. But I swear I would’ve finished the thing in one afternoon and evening had I not run out. That makes me want to make tons. Especially since it was so much easier just using one needle, magic looping until the circumference was large enough to use the circulars traditionally.

For now, I’m working on the apron when there’s light (it being black and all) and a little felted sock knitting bag in a bright Cascade 220 when there’s not. The Cascade is really nice to work with so far.

And I finally found the pattern to go with my Cherry Tree Hill: Pumpkin Vine Socks. I’ve poured over dozens of patterns, in my queue and not, and wasn’t happy with any of them. Then I came across that one earlier tonight and just went WANT. So I’ll probably cast those on sometime this week.

In (kinda) non-knitting news we put in an offer for a house on Tuesday.

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Heading off

February 12, 2008

Mom’s box is ready to go!

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I finally put together the pudding mix recipe that’s been on my desktop forever. First I couldn’t find any dry milk because of everyone’s holiday baking (and when I did find it, it was $7!), and then I didn’t have any free containers to put it in, and then I was recovering from vacation. So, yay, pudding mix! I used a piece of tape on the outside to write cooking directions on. The recipe is from Good Eats and I dug out information about converting unsweetened cocoa into Dutch-processed here.

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Still crazy.

February 7, 2008

All of it was 70% off. Well, really somewhere around 60% off, because that dark gray is 1 ball of dk, and 1 ball of 4 ply and they accidentally charged me for two of each, and since it was their last day and I didn’t notice that until I went through my receipts that night, really nothing I could do about it. It’s not like it wasn’t an amazing deal anyway.

I do regret the bamboo tape a bit. It was a blush color in the store and definitely a beige by sunlight. I’ll find something to do with it, for sure, and I don’t dislike beige (in fact, the “be bold, not beige” IKEA commercials irk me). I’m just not as in love with it. As much as I love the tweed, I regret that, too. I was rushed and not looking and only noticed after that it contains silk. It’s beautiful, though.

I have plans for almost all of it. Not that they won’t change.

I think in all during their sales I spent $150 for a circular needle, a set of dpns, 2 issues of IK, a thread cutter, and about 3.5 miles of yarn.

Oh, and I got the last color of Lion Wool I needed to finish the Pi, finally! Woot!

Smaller

February 5, 2008

I’ve been almost exclusively working on Mom’s shawl. I’m up to 140-something across, and realizing that if I were to get to 270-something across, it would swallow my mother whole. She is a tiny, tiny lady these days and I really don’t want her to look like she’s wearing a blanket about. And I just like a shorter look for it. At this point, on me, it hits below my back, and I’m an inch or two taller than Mom is. I’m thinking of ending it at 150, and just doing the finishing bit (25 rows).

I did take a day to learn the magic loop. I don’t like it as much as dpns. I’m a freak.