Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Last of the Argyle

As promised, here's a picture of the capelet. I like it, and it's eminently comfortable ... but my row gauge in the pattern worked out to be just a wee bit small at the bottom circumference, so it's not quite as cape-y as I'd hoped. I'll have to find someone with smaller shoulders to wear it, and I think I only need look over to the couch to find someone.

I've also finished my last Christmas present - 2005, not 2006. I'm not THAT ahead of things, and besides, if I were, I'd've given them all as Easter gifts and be starting from scratch for Christmas 2006. I do not have a calling to do intarsia,
so they are labors of love. It's funny, though, that once Labor #2 started (it was postponed in favor of getting a third ball of navy. The one I had left wasn't enough to finish the sock, and the intarsia just worked better with two balls of navy. Truly), it behaved itself and went nicely. (Considering I had only done the ribbing of Sock #2 on Friday, and it's now Tuesday and finished, I think it went very nicely.)

Of course, I have to have a 'next project' now, don't I? I've got yarn to make angora headbands, more yarn to make something to cover the ears and part of the head and tie under the chin with strings .. which begins with a G, but neither I nor the requester has any idea what the rest of the word is. Any ideas? They were fashionable quite a while ago...

Shawls seem to be calling my name as well. Tomorrow I'm going on a yarn hunt for some soft pink fuzzy machine washable yarn for a rectangular shawl. And after that, I will probably succumb to something elegantly lacy. And socks, Latvian mittens, two-end knitting .... plus lace edging. There's simply no shortage of things to knit.

Goals for this week? Headbands.

:) Carolyn

Friday, April 21, 2006

Fluted Rib Capelet

I'm wearing my new capelet, knit with KnitPicks Shine Sport in Orchid. I knit knit knit for close to the 56 repeats specified, and then decided to measure ... and instead of having a 20" neck, I had a 26.5" neck. Oops. I connected the capelet to my ballwinder, frogged about 100 yards, and re-knit the final four rows. I like it. Pictures will come, eventually. Right now, though, just think of me as a walking example of why one should measure one's knitting periodically even after having knit a gauge swatch.

I've got 9 Angora Headbands finished, and will be getting more lucious yummy angora yarn this weekend to make some more. They're grand take-along projects, except for when I am wearing a black skirt. It's one thing not to get the fibers stuck in your olfactory organ, and another thing entirely to keep them off your lap.

Since The Shawl is finished, and the capelet is done, and I'm not ready to start making dd's summer wrap yet (first, I'd like her to find where the room of her floor went, then we'll figure out something appropriate for a 10-can't-I-be-16-yet fashion-conscious lover of pink), I have unearthed The Argyle. I am finishing the pair, and not tossing it in the trash, out of sheer love for my husband. There is no other reason I can think of for completing it. I have thought about completing X amount on it each day, and starting another, more comely, project ... but whom am I kidding? That would just prolong the finishing. It's going to take however long it takes, and the sooner I just do it, the sooner it can get lost in his sock drawer.

Goal this week: Finish the patterned portion of The Argyle. (progress before today: ribbing. progress today: a bit over half of the first (of 3) large diamonds)

And, because one can never have too many pictures of lace around ...

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Frost Flowers and Leaves Finally Finished

Eleven balls of KnitPicks Palette in Purple, five repeats of chart 2, and twenty four feet of edging later, yes, the shawl is Done. Or at least almost done... I have some ends to weave in, but that doesn't count as knitting. If it were knitting, I'd've done it by now.

To the right, you see my long-suffering husband displaying the shawl to advantage. It's large, so I needed to find a model bigger than my 10 year old.

On the left, you see the shawl while it's drying. The little ruler in the picture is a yardstick. Underneath is a close-up of the pattern. Pretty, ain't it?

To block it, I ran a piece of crochet cotton through the edging. I think it would work wonderfully if I had used stronger thread (ie, small rope) and if I had something more than quilting pins in carpeting to hold it. I thought about using tent pegs and staking the shawl outside, but decided that would be best done with two people.

I've one more angora headband to do - for a total of 9 - and then that project will be finished. The books did finally reach the end of their editing process ... only to sprout some blatant typographical errors, omissions, and type-setting faux pas (pax? passes? What is the plural of pas? And does faux change to agree with it? Help, O students of French!). They are all taken care of, and I'm ready for my next editing project to arrive. While I wait, I shall knit.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Weedwacker cord and Basting Pins?

I'm not quite ready to try Rosemary's Circular Needles yet, but having a cable to transfer stitches on to sounds a whole lot better than putting them on a piece of yarn. And so, with 40 ft of cord, leftover plumber's tape, and some packing tape, I embarked on an adventure. If it ends with 1,232 dropped stitches, I will be mildly miffed with myself.

Having finished the main body of Frost Flowers and Leaves, I determined to connect the cord to one of the cables. Wonderfully enough, the cord I chose just fits inside one of my cable connectors, so I secured it with some tape, wrapped it, and nudged, cajoled, tugged, and otherwise manipulated one quarter of my shawl onto the cord. It looked nice.

Nice is pleasant, but when there's brand new edging to knit, the edging calls louder. After a few rows, Ι discovered that the seemingly regular edging isn't. Because of where the repeat was placed, the 'every 6 rows' stitch doesn't happen every six rows. Sometimes it happens after six rows, and the other half of sometimes it happens every 10. Yuck. I do hope it's an error. It sounded like a good question to have answered before I move forwards, so I decided to tempt fate (and 1232 dropped stitches) and moved the other 3/4 of my shawl onto the weedwacker cord.

With a few basting pins, I secured the corners (or something close to the corner, in the case of my 3" of edging) to various coverings on furniture, including our dog's blanket, and snapped a picture. This is *not* blocked dimensions (despite the 5 1/2' diagonal) It's the 'laid out somewhat flat' size. Blocking is going to be fun. Especially if I thread the weedwacker cord through appropriate holes and just pin that out. Flexibile blocking wire!!!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Posting when nothing happens

Not much is happening. The weather outside is getting springy, my children are getting antsy, and I, of course, am still knitty.

If you'd like an updated picture of my shawl, just imagine a purple blob. That's really what it looks like. In some lights it's a red-violet, in other lights, blue-violet. But regardless of the lighting, it's a blob. I'd use some plumber's tape and weed whacker string to de-blob it, but it's just not worth a 30 minute trip into town to get the cord.

I did pretty miserably on my goals this week. No letter written, no books at the end of their editing process, and I have a large chunk of Bible study preparation to do this evening. On the positive side, I did finish off my 7th ball of shawl yarn, and made progress on the headbands. I had to set a gray one aside because there wasn't enough yarn in that shade. There was an *impostor* ball of gray in the bag, but once I started knitting from it, its impostrosity became apparent. I removed the impostor, and placed the headband on waste yarn so it could be finished later when the proper bunny yielded up the proper amount of fur.

My daughter has been knitting. Here's a picture of her first pair of socks. They're not quite identical ... she picked a different heel for the second sock than I had her work for the first and sock #2 has a better foot length. She's not about to frog back sock #1 and add an extra stripe before the toe decrease, though. She's just about finished with her Barbie veil, and has started a scarf out of some stash (working from MY stash?!? Eeeek!) using worsted yarn and size 19 Lincoln logs ... um, needles. Her next official project is a poncho for her cousin. We need to pick a pattern and get some yarn ordered. I'm going to order some Dancing sock yarn, since it's being discontinued and I happen to like it. Machine washable, great feel ... if only it didn't have so much orange and yellow!

Now, *this* week I hope to finish editing a book set. All the finer points have been hashed out, as of late yesterday evening, so it's just me and some files between finishing. I also hope to finish chart three of the shawl - there are 13.5 very long rows to go - and get started on the edging. Will four balls of yarn be enough to do 13 rows and some edging? Time will give the definite answer, but...

I now peer into the future with my Calculator of Yarn Estimation. Careful examination reveals that one ball yields about 11,000 stitches, and I estimate the edging to contain ... 22176 stitches (about 1232 stitches in a row, bound off by knitting edging 12 stitches wide, and four stitches get bound off every 6 rows of edging ... so 1232 divided by 4 yields 308 bind-off groupings, times 6 rows times 12 stitches ) Wow. How's that for close? I only have 16000 or so stitches left in the main body of the shawl, so I think I'll have enough yarn with 4 balls.

I de-blobbed my shawl by draping the center of it on the arm of our couch. You can only see part of chart 1 -- none of the 5 repititions of chart 2 - but it's something!