Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Do you ever want to not go to events and gatherings because you would rather knit? Although I have a very busy social life, I do have to make an effort to go to these various events. That is why I love getting together with other knitters to knit. I can be social, yet still engage in my passion for knitting.
Friday I received the first installment of the 2008 Rockin Sock Club from BlueMoon Fiber arts. I just HAD to cast-on. I had a birthday party to attend Friday night. I waited to the last possible moment to leave the house and I had to bring the socks with me(in my cute Amy's mom project bag - see my last entry).
This is my progress on the sock.
Today I could not knit on it because Greg kept asking me if I was working on homework. He would see me knitting and say "is that homework?".
Yes I worked on homework. What I have been working on is the v-neck. I added 10 additional rows to the front and back of the sweater because my last sweater was just a tad too short. I finished the sleeve cap on one of the sweaters. This photo may look a bit funky and it is because I will block out the 2x2 rib pattern. So it will widen considerably after blocking.
You notice the markers on the sleeve? One color is for matching up the rows on the front and the back side of the sleeve when I attach the sleeve to the body. I will explain more in another post. How it is calculated(what row you put these markers on) is little confusing but this helps to position the sleeve when attaching it to the body of the sweater.
This afternoon I worked on the Kauni cardigan sleeves. Ssshhh. Don't tell Greg!
I tried different things for the bind off. Here is cast-off using a regular knit bind off...
Then here is the one I decided I will use. With the color I planned on binding off I did one row K1, P1. Then I did the Nihon invisible 1x1 bind off.
Now when I look at the photo, I want to do the bind-off in the purple color for this sleeve. Darn. I need to go back and re-do this. I'll be happier with it if I re-do it.
Here are the two methods, side by side. I think the Nihon one definitely looks more "finished".
If you have not checked out Ruth Sorensen's blog lately...you need to especially if you will be taking one of her classes at Madrona or at Village Yarn and Tea(Feb 20). She has samples of all her cute hat designs using Kauni. You will be in for a treat in her design classes. Fun!
Friday, January 25, 2008
My last post showed how my 2 BMFA Laci yarns in Rook-y did not look right.
I wrote to them this morning and JoAnn who has been helping me was so responsive. I directed her to the photo and she said to definitely send the yarn back(they will pay postage) and they will send me replacement skeins.
So I will package them up and send them back. I'll post new photos when the new skeins arrive.
Another reason I love Blue Moon? I joined their Rockin' Sock Club 2008 again this year. I just got the first package today. Yee Haw.
Shhh. I can hear you guys saying "doesn't she have ENOUGH projects on the needles? Shouldn't she be doing her homework like a good little girl?". That would be yes. Does that prevent me from moving forward with these socks? NO.
I am working on rebelling more! :) Rule followers beware. Naomi is on her way to breakin' the rules! (I know. I'll break the rules for about 5 seconds)
I got a new sock bag, sewn by Amy's mom. These are great. They are lightweight, they have a snap yarn guide inside, drawstring closure and a handy dandy hooky thingy so you can hook it to belt loops. It also has a wristlet thing a ma bob if you want to carry it around your wrist. So versatile.
I have to put a new project in there or else it might feel lonely. So I have to start the BMFA rockin' socks(the only clue I'll give you is they are called Serendipity).
Amy gave me a different one for Christmas and I love it. Then she put some up for sale this past week and I had to have this one because it had pink, brown and green colors. Amy - I used your photo - hope you don't mind!
Well last night I met up with Ellen, Melinda and Amy. Amy brought some additional bags her mom had made. While I was looking at some stuff in the store, Ellen had picked out a bag that she wanted. It was the same one I have. No freakin' way.
I was just aghast. Not again. Yes. Ellen had chosen *my* bag. Although Ellen and I are not like Peggy and Rebecca, true twins, somehow through cosmic forces Ellen and I got separated BEFORE birth.
I really want to post a photo of the new Blue Moon Rocking Sock Club 2008 installment but I won't be a spoiler. I don't know how to do one of those fake photos that says "spoiler alert" and you click on it if you want to really see it. If someone knows how...drop me a line and tell me how.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
The reason for my order(do I need a reason?) is I had it in my mind to do Irtfa'a. If you have not seen this design, you must. It is the perfect design for Blue Moon's Raven colors.
Ellen and I decided to do this(I know...when?). So then we had decide what Raven color we wanted.
Originally I waffled between Rook-y and Korppi. I decided Rook-y. Mind you this was not an easy decision. I looked on blogs, on Ravelry and on Blue Moon's website. Finally I made a decision. Rook-y.
I waited for Ellen's e-mail letting me know her decision.
Lo and Behold, she was waffling between Rook-y and Korppi and had decided on Rook-y.
I was surprised, yet not.
You must understand something about Ellen and me. We have these very scary similar tastes. We gravitate to the same patterns. I thought "our color choices can be very different so we probably won't pick the same color". True to our "twin-ness", we chose the exact same color. (We joke that we must have been twins in a prior life. Not just because of our tastes but our personalities as well).
Do these look like the same color? According to my order, these are both Rook-y.
In person, the skeins look very different. Not even close, really. One skein did not even have the yarn band attached. According to Blue Moon, there was some confusion with our order and they wanted to make sure the 2 Rook-y's came from the same batch and that is why it took 3 weeks for the order to arrive. Hence, I was even more surprised when I opened the package because...well...."a picture is worth a thousand words". 01/23/2008-Clarification: I had contacted BMFA because it was taking so long for the order to arrive and I inquired on order status and this is what they said, "Thanks for your email. I apologize for the delay in your order going out! I was on vacation last month, and the person covering for me made in an error in sending your order to production, so only 1 Laci came through, instead of 2. So I sent it back to production to be corrected. It normally doesn't take this long". I interpreted this as them making sure the two skeins came from the same lot.
Maybe these 2 skeins sort of representative of our "twin-ness". We don't look anything like each other(except we are about the same height). Maybe these two Rook-y's are really representative of us...similar, yet different.
What would you do? Send one back? For this particular design I do not like the skein on the right in the photo. What do you all think?
Sunday, January 20, 2008
I have been good about tackling my Nihon homework. Here is the finished crewneck.
It fits great. All this hard work is coming together. There are things I would do differently. It is a tiny bit too short - both in the body and the sleeves.
With each project we do and finish I learn more about how much ease I like. For instance I know I like more ease in the sleeves. I hear many of my fellow students echo this as well.
This particular project we learned how to attach the sleeves to the body with a crochet hook. It is definitely more sturdy but it is time consuming. I know with experience I will get faster with it but at this time, it has been taking me a couple hours per sleeve. That is because as you attach the sleeve, you look at it from the right side, take it out if you don't like it and re-do.
I read the blog Knitspot from time to time and I recognize the pattern of her paris-roubaix mitts, hat, and scarf...look familiar? See her January 17, 2008 post.
So because I got SOME homework done, here is some fun knitting projects I am working on(I get to work on as a treat when I do some Nihon homework.
The project that I MUST get done before Madrona is my Ruth's Kauni Cardigan! I am almost done with the second sleeve. The sleeve will be done tonight. I am going to re-do the cast off of the first sleeve. I am going to use the invisible cast-off we learned in Nihon class.
January 1, 2008 Ellen and I started the Pi Shawl from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac - the July project. Our current plan is to do one row per night. We both have a lot of other knitting to do so one row per day is something I can commit to. This is addicting though! It is the food equivalent of potato chips. I just want to do more but I have to limit myself! I am doing it in Malabrigo's Baby Merino Wool in the Hollyhock colourway. This is oh-so-soft!
I am also doing some fair isle. The Feral's group is doing a sock or tam project. I am doing Sandy Blue's Midnight Sun Tam. Although I am not a "tam person", a fellow Nihon student and Feral knitter, Andrea, made this tam and blocked it on bowl so that the result was more like a hat than a tam. That I would wear. Here is the start of it. I will only probably work it when I attend Ferals every other Monday night. Our *due date* is April 1, 2008. This is a special date for me. I met Greg on April 1....8 years ago.
I want to start some socks...namely something from Cat Bordhi's latest book. I happened to record an episode of Knitty Gritty that had Cat on demonstrating the Coreolis sock. I want to start that. Note: Hey Amy...how are your letter stitch markers coming along for Cat's techniques??? :)
I just got some beautiful yarn from Sundara. I am a member of her Season's Club. I chose the Summer colorway. I must say that because you choose a season, the colors you get are going to be something you love. I have loved each and every installment. I have been a member of a few sock clubs and some intstallments I like, some I am just ok with. With Sundara's Season's club...I have LOVED each one of them. I will definitely re-new if she decides to continue with it.
Here is a quicky photo of the latest installment - sock yarn...this will be perfect for coreolis.
Now for the non-knitting content.
Beanie is looking so darn cute. He just got a haircut. I just have to share a photo of him.
Ok, another one.
I got a new toy this weekend. All I can say is I love this thing. I wasn't too up on the iPhone. I know Amy raved about hers. This is an early Valentine gift from my husband. He got one too. His birthday is Feb 4. This whole trip down the iPhone road is all his fault(of course!). He has corrupted me!!
Amy, I can relate now!
Of course my wallpaper had to be of Chase and Beanie. Aren't they cute???
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
I'm very happy with the fit. Amazing how it all works out. Do a guage, knit to measurements and the thing fits well! I keep harping on guage to people. It is so important. Even though I have had issues with this vest it fits well because I measured the guage before the swatch is blocked, and after. Really. If you are going to invest time in making a garment and you plan on loving the garment by wearing it, take the time to do guage. You will never regret the time you took to make your guage swatch, because it will result in a garment that fits.
Jean actually prefers that we do two swatches. One that is blocked and one that isn't. That way if you are knitting along and the piece just doesn't look like it is going to fit, you can look at your blocked swatch to remind you of what the fabric will be like after blocking.
Here is the front:
And the back:
You may see some yarn sticking down from the ribbing. We are going to learn how to sew up the ribbing in class this weekend.
Thankfully this is done. Now tomorrow night I will block the crewneck pieces. Today at lunch I cast on and made some progress on the 2nd sleeve for the v-neck .
Students in the class got an email today from Suzanne saying that we should have all our homework completed and ready for class! I do believe I will have all my homework done for Saturday morning!
Oh. I laughed at myself and the title I chose a couple days ago, "Spinning my Wheels". I laughed because it could have meant that I actually did some spinning. No. But hopefully sometime soon. The funny thing about the classes I chose for Madrona? All spinning classes-Janel Laidman on Thursday and Judith Mackenzie McCuin on Sunday. The only knitting class I will be attending will be on Friday - I will be Ruth's helper in her Kauni design class.
I think Nihon is keeping me quite up to date on new knitting skills! My confidence is building!
Small but significant note. Thank you all for your comments. They have REALLY helped me slog through. I have learned a valuable lesson to tackle my homework early and have a plan to pace myself. I HAVE to do pleasure knitting. For me it is like having a small sweet after dinner. I have to build in time for that too! (Gotta finish my Kauni cardigan before Ruth gets here - I'm about 1/3 way done on the second sleeve - making progress on that as well)
Next session we will begin pattern drafting for project 5!
Also (yeah a quick post, uh, huh) I'm still communicating with the organization that has rescued cute little Pito, the Yorkie from Puerto Rico. He is doing well. He is eating well, his various tests have come back negative for a bunch O' stuff, he has been neutered and he is getting his teeth cleaned next week. Depending on certain factors it *may* be possible that I may have another baby in my pack. One big IF - if he would get along with Chase and Beanie and vice versa. I don't want to upset the apple cart but it might be even MORE fun to have a youngster in the house! Since Chase is 13, Beanie 11, the vet in the US thinks Pito is 4, not 1. It is heartbreaking to imagine this guy suffering for 4 years. It was bad enough thinking he'd suffered for one, but 4? No matter what happens I have comfort knowing he'll find a family that loves him - after all he should be cherished!
Monday, January 07, 2008
Well I have to have to make a confession of sorts.
My posts from the past few days have been filled with frustration, angst, stress and hopefully some useful information here and there.
I am a *recovering* perfectionist. My background was I was the "perfect" child, "perfect" student, blah blah blah. Straight A's, played sports, was a well rounded person. I followed the rules, I did what I was told, I lived in fear of "getting in trouble" either from my parents, my sisters, elders, teachers or God(that sure covers a lot of people doesn't it?).
So with that information you can understand where my angst has been coming from. Yes I am now a 41 year old adult but I still sometimes feel like that little girl. I NEED to get my homework done AND it needs to be perfect. It needs to be A-level work. I don't want to get in trouble by my teacher for not having my homework done.
I *know* that this course is about learning. I AM learning so very much. I cannot thank Jean enough for what she has taught me so far. Even though the vest is not *quite* right, the main pieces of it fit perfectly.
I *know* that I need to let these things go. Don't sweat the small stuff they say. For a Type A, perfectionist, I mean recovering perfectionist, that is much easier said than done.
As I move forward and document my experience in this class just remember I have baggage. This is a wonderful course. We have some challenges because Jean lives in Vancouver but I would much rather slog through my demons and have this wonderful experience/opportunity than not.
This class is teaching me a lot more than just knitting. I have to remind myself to let go and not take it so seriously. I also need to learn that anything I do, perfect or not, is *perfectly* acceptable. I remember when I went to Amish country in Ohio many, many years ago. I was somewhat into quilting at the time. I just recall so clearly how these artists would do something to make their product NOT perfect because only God is perfect.
I feel a lot better now. For all those perfectionists out there ( I won't mention names but I do know more than just a few ) I hope this helps you get perspective on what is important in life. It is the journey, not the destination and for me, it is the relationships I establish along the way...like those folks that take the time out of their busy days to see what I'm up to, and my fellow students, and teacher, who are daring to really challenge themselves in this art form.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
I think with work stress that I get into this brain space where I think I am thinking coherently and apparently I'm not. The next month at work is going to be incredibly stressful. There is still so much to do and I feel like I should be putting in extra hours but I can't with all I have yet to do for homework. This coming weekend is Nihon class so I want to be prepared. I feel pulled in two opposite directions. The rub is that I invested a lot in this class and I want to be prepared for every class so I can get the most out of it I possibly can. On top of the stress to get homeowork done, we are at a critical point in implementing this budget system. After class this coming weekend I can put in many, many more hours at work. I want to to ensure my portion of the project is ready. It just feels like I'm in a vice right now. I'm a bit on overwhelm.
My husband wonders why I get so stressed about my homework. I know from experience that once you get behind, it really is hard to catch up.
So...as my Saturday post detailed I had to frog front and back of the vest to the armhole shaping. I spent Friday and all day Saturday(from 5:30 am to 11pm) with a couple breaks here and there to finish making up for my terrible mistake.
Today I'm putting all the pieces together and I put the shoulder seams together, seam up the sides and put it on. You know what? I neglected to allow for armhole ribbing.
Translation: I didn't really make that much of a mistake before. Yes. All that re-work and apparently I was closer to where I should be with the prior pieces than where I am currently. No. I won't frog BUT...I did the short rows again, I picked up the neck again, I sewed shoulder seams again. So I got to practice the techniques again. Not all was lost but it sure is a disappointment.
So the end of the front and back pieces(unfinished) are exactly at the shoulder point. Yes Naomi. For the crewneck which will HAVE sleeves, this is the right place for the body to end. For the vest, vest AND ribbing should FINISH at the shoulder point. ARGH.
Lesson to be learned. Slow down. All the garment have to be done by the end of the course. If I am a bit behind, it is ok. If I absolutely have to I can re-knit the vest in something else before the end of term. I will talk to Jean about all this when I see her Saturday.
I will finish the vest as-is and see what she says. I'm not liking this yarn so I probably won't wear it much but I must say this....the rest of the vest fits perfectly! See, all the calculating, figuring, etc. is worth it! I'm gaining confidence(slowly). The more I do, and the more I screw up and learn from it, the more confident I feel.
I thought I would have the vest completely done early today. I'm not. I still need to do the armhole ribbing. I also thought I would have the crewneck pieces sewn. No. I still have to finish the short rows on the crewneck back, block the pieces and sew them together.
I have finished the back/front up to the armhole and one sleeve for project 4, the v-neck(see photo below). I will attempt to finish the other sleeve this week during my lunch hour. Now this yarn is lovely to work with. Berocco Ultra Alpaca.
Thanks for all the support guys!
Saturday, January 05, 2008
I realized after I re-evaluated this whole vest mess that not only did I have to frog the front but I would have to frog the back as well. How does this happen? All I can say is that I am learning. I'm learning a lot, which IS a good thing.
This is when the Nihon concepts really take a firm grip in my brain/memory. It is exciting to really get it. It can just be very hard getting there. Like any valuable lesson in life, it can be hard but the payoff can be tremendous.
I had numerous fits and starts. First problem. The needle size I documented in my notes that I used were incorrect. I firmly remembered using size 6 (4.25mm) but my notes said 7(4.5 mm). I spent about an hour knitting, tearing out, re-knitting. Ok lesson learned. Be very careful in documentation (Lesson #1)
To re-knit I had used the yarn I had just frogged. That will NOT work. I looked at the knitted piece and it looked uneven. I frogged yet again. I should have taken a photo but I didn't. I don't want to keep that memory! :)
I have one(1) yes, one more ball of this yarn. I HAD to use this last skein because the yarn that resulted in my frogging was NOT going to work.
You can kind of see it in this photo. I knit about 4 rows using the bad yarn. I hope this will block out.
Where had I gone awry? Oh...it was in many places.
In the photo about you see two curved lines. The bottom curve is the original armhole curve. The second curve is the adjust armhole which is the one I want to knit to.
After I adjusted the armhole, for the back of the vest, I started decreasing at the beginning of the second, upper curve. My fatal mistake was for some reason I looked at the decrease numbers for the lower curve(Lesson #2).
If you look at the lower curve and follow the line up to the shoulder I somehow knit to that width. The width of the shoulder should be following the line of the upper curve. This is a huge mistake. (Lesson #3)
I took the frogged yarn and wound it around my knitty noddy and spritzed it with water in hopes of it relaxing back close to the original, unused yarn. I think I *may* have enough of the one skein to finish up what I have to re-knit. I will most likely have to use the frogged yarn for the neckline and armhole ribbing.
I have not like working with this yarn and this resulting frogged yarn pretty much puts the nail in the coffin for me with this yarn. Do not use Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran for a class project. It does not have good memory plus I'm finding it pills more than I would like(Lesson #4).
I have my weekend cut out for me. I will be locked in my office.
Since 5 is my lucky number I have come up with Lesson #5. Always put homework first. No more *fun* knitting for awhile(yeah, right). Get the homework done first and THEN you can do other knitting.
Wish me luck. I have a whole lot of work to do before next Saturday.
Since we only meet every 6 weeks or so it is really hard to pace myself in what has to be done. This is one big downside of the long breaks between classes. Up in Vancouver they meet every 2 weeks I think. This would definitely help with questions and pacing. I'm finding this pacing harder and harder the more projects we are juggling at once. Maybe it was the Christmas holiday's that put a crimp in my pacing as well. I did do a fair but of non-Nihon knitting.
I gotta run. Chase and Beanie just came up to my office to tell me to come down for breakfast! I've been up working on homework since 5:30 a.m. I guess I can take a break now. First I have to unchain myself from the desk!
Small side note. I didn't want to say anything but I was going to go down to see a dog in Gig Harbor today. He's a little Yorkie that needs rescuing. He is so darn cute. My heart breaks to know his story and I really wanted to meet him. I know Greg, Chase, Beanie and I could be a great family for him. Greg tells me he will find a good home. I just think our home is the best. There is just no way I could take the time out do see him today. Next week I'm in Nihon class all weekend so I couldn't see him then either. I guess it just isn't in the cards this time. Go check out Animals In Need. It is the start of another year. Start making your charitable contributions now. They could use the help.
If you look at the animals for adoption this little guy is Pito. He just arrived in the states two days ago and yesterday he had to have his hair cut short because it was so matted. How could anyone just leave this cutie pie in the back yard to starve? I'll be thinking of him all day long, wishing I could go meet him.
Friday, January 04, 2008
How are you?
I'm doing very poorly at the moment.
Good thing I have all weekend long (and next Friday) to work feverishly to get my Nihon homeowork done. Here I am getting ready to put my vest together and things don't look quite right.
I count. I calculate, re-calculate. I think, "Oh, this isn't SO bad".
The vest back has 4 extra rows from the end of the armhole shaping to the beginning of the short rows. Not a problem. Just take out the shoulder seams(I already took out the neck ribbing to block my vest pieces), frog back 8 rows and re-knit. Very do-able. Not a big deal.
So I count the rows in my vest front so I can mark where I need to frog back on the front and re-do the short-rows. This is what I found. Something so disappointing....I could SCREAM!
Notice where the armhole shaping begins? Well it is supposed to start on the row where the orange marker is....4 rows up from where it currently is. When I re-calculated the armhole size, I adjusted it and brought it up 4 rows. If I didn't do that the armhole would be too large.
I guess when I knit the back, I did it correctly. When I knit the front, I started at the old, unadjusted point to begin the armhole shaping. You know that that means? I have to re-do the whole vest front from the armhole shaping up.
Someone please remind me why I am doing this course.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Despite lack of blogging I have been doing A LOT of knitting
Here are two gift knits.
For Christmas I knit Greg a pair of socks. I know I *said* I wouldn't knit Greg any other items since he doesn't wear them. These he wore on Christmas. I think these will actually get used/worn! I must say...these seemed to take FOR-E-VER! G's socks take a LOT longer to knit than my socks!
Yarn: Trekking XXL color 71
Needle size: US 0
Pattern: From Favorite Socks by Interweave Press. They are the Retro Rib Socks designed by Evelyn A. Clark
The pattern calls for size 2 needles. I am a loose knitter and usually have to go down 2 needle sizes to get guage. These fit perfectly.
The second gift knit was a scarf for my friend Jamie for her birthday which was December 27. She complains that I don't knit her things.
From experience I rarely knit for non-knitters. How many things I have I knit for non-knitters that opened the package and said "Oh, thanks" and then never wore the item(s). This lack of appreciation does not motivate me to knit for those that don't understand how much time and effort a hand knit item takes.
This scarf is called the Wavy Scarf by Handmaiden Yarns. The wrapping rows were done in Handmaiden silken and the other rows were done in 100% cashmere. I did do one row in-between the wrapping rows(plain knit rows) in the silken as well. In the pdf you use just one kind of yarn. I used two. I also divided up the cashmere into two balls. This way when you go back and forth, depending on what side of the scarf you are on, you need to have the cashmere yarn on each side. I'm not explaining it well am I? Sorry.
I think it turned out beautifully! I just love these colors!
Here she is wearing the scarf. We celebrated her birthday by going to dinner at Seastar. We had a lot of fun. The food was excellent. This is a place you go for a special dinner(like a birthday) but be warned, it can get pricey! (Don't worry Jamie - you are worth every penny).
I had this really yummy spicey Mango Martini. You actually order the number of stars of the hotness you want. Very interesting. If you like spice, this is an excellent way to have a martini.
Before I leave to do extreme knitting (meaning hell-bent-fast knitting) to catch up with Nihon homework, I have to show my finished Raglan. It fits perfectly. Please forgive the photos - bad lighting in the northwest winter does not allow for good photography.
One of my goals for 2008 is to be a bit more regular in my postings!
I'd love to hear what your goals are for 2008 - knitting or otherwise.
I also want to (very badly) come up with a contest so I can give some of my coveted yarn to a very loving home! Time to face the facts. I have a whole-lotta yarn.
One more photo. I just love my boys. You all know that. Here is a photo of Chase at my last monthly knitting. He firmly planted himself next to Melinda. We thought he was drawn to the color of her knitting. Sort of matches his own coloring. You can barely see the knitting because it does blend in with Chase quite well.