Sunday, April 25, 2010

Turn, turn, turn, NOT

The bootie thing is just not working for me right now, so I turned my attention to another baby blanket.  (The first has yet to be seamed, and at this moment, I'm thinking it will probably never be seamed, but instead will magically morph into something else.)  My intention was to knit a garterlac baby blanket, so I traded in the Lorna's Laces left over from the in-limbo baby blanket for a variegated colorway, and started out.  But by the time I reached the end of the base triangles, I had had it with turning the project back and forth and back and forth.  Ugh.  And the colorway was not liking the garter stitch.  Double ugh.

I looked about for an alternative, because the colorway really is luscious, and decided on the twisted lattice motif from Barbara Walker's Learn to Knit Afghan Book.  I tripled the width of the afghan square and knitted up a pattern repeat (24 rows) and definitely like the result.  Except three was not the magical number, as the blanket was too narrow.  (A little foresight and math would have prevented this debacle.)  So I ripped that out, determined to start anew.  And I will, but just not quite yet.

The other projects are creeping along, but I have no progress photos because, once again, the camera batteries are dead and I am tired of feeding that thing two AA's every other day.  I ordered a new camera from Amazon, a Sony W330, which has a 3" display and 14.1 megapixels, but is about half the depth of my current Canon.  It should arrive in a few days, so expect a plethora of pix.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Oh, I give up, sorta

So far, I have not become a fan of knitting socks on two circular needles.  Since I like to knit both socks at the same time, I originally tried to knit two-at-a-time on circs but it was a big FAIL.  Then I decided to try one sock at a time, and that is better, but I am not convinced circs beat DPNs.  The problem is, using one 24" and one 16" works as long as I am knitting stockinette on the 16" set.  Once I get past the heel and need to knit the fancy shmancy lace pattern on the 16" ones, my freakishly large fingers cramp up.  I know I could use two 24" needles, but I don't have two 24" needles in size US1.  But I may have one 32" set, so maybe I will try knitting on one circular needle.  Next time.  Meanwhile, I am finished the legs with DPNs.

And I am not becoming a fan knitting socks toe-up, either.  Knitting top-down, one starts with the hard stuff, and once past the heel, one is in the homestretch.  Or so it seems to me.  Toe-up, on the other hand, starts with the easy stuff, then gets progressively more difficult.  In general.  Not that the socks are all that difficult to knit.  It's more of a psychological thing.  But I do favor toe-up when in doubt over whether there is sufficient yarn.  The legs of socks can always be shorter, but not the feet.

Meanwhile, I actually finished something:  the mistake rib scarf.

Pattern:  Mistake Rib Scarf, from Wendy Knits.
Yarn:  Classic Elite Inca Marl, in "Tobacco Road" colorway
Needles:  US7 straights
Modifications:  I cast on 31 stitches instead of 19, and the scarf is as long as my wingspan is wide.

The above photo is an attempt to showcase the yarn, but my camera just doesn't do it justice.  This scarf will look great with my brown faux shearling coat, but neither will be worn for many a month.

To get into the grandma knitting mood, I ordered a boxful of Valley Yarns Valley Superwash DK, one skein in each color available at Webs.  First up, baby booties:

I think baby booties are quick but difficult.  And these are falling into the classification of "practice" booties, as I'm not thrilled with the decreases (the pattern, from 50 Baby Booties to Knit, is not very specific).  Sometime between now and October, I will get the hang of knitting booties.

In other news, the toilet tank runner grows, albeit slowly:

The pooling looks like clouds.

Lately, between working and gardening, I have been too busy to keep up on blog reading, let alone blog commenting.  And other things are falling by the wayside, like spinning and dyeing.  And sometimes blog writing, although I justify blogging by reminding myself that this is the best way to keep a log of my knitting projects.  I am so looking forward to retiring, someday, hopefully while I can still do the things I want to do.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Can you tell I am busy?

And my shoulders hurt?  Recent knitting has left me with inflamed rotator cuff muscles or tendons or whatever they are.  I am trying to take it easy, but it's not easy.  While I am not burning up the needles, I am making some progress of the two-steps-forward-one-step-back nature.

Socks.  I started a pair of top-down in DK yarn, and they were coming along nicely, the variegated colors working well with the ribbing.  But when I got to the leg portion, my passion cooled.

The colors began to pool in such a way that the socks developed vertical stripes.  I tried to convince myself they would look "unique" but my eyes would not cooperate.  I frogged the yarn and put it away for now.

To replace that pair, I started another pair, these toe-up:

I definitely like how these look, but I have not become enamored with the two-circular needles thing.  And the yarn, a blend of wool and Tencel, is gorgeous but kind of inelastic, like cotton, contributing to my shoulder problem.  And these are 64-stitch socks, which ordinarily would be too small for my gargantuan feet, and maybe it is the pattern or maybe it is the yarn, but these are turning out big on me, even though I feel like I am knitting too tight.  The gauge is spot on, too, so I don't know what to think.  Good thing they are so beautiful.

The latest BSJ is waiting on shoulder seaming, and then I plan to add a hood.

I should do the seaming so I can finish this one up during a 4-hour meeting that is scheduled for next week.

And because I can't not knit, shoulders be damned, I picked something easy and easy on my old arms:  a mistake rib scarf.

My photo does not do justice to the yarn, which is Inca Marl, 100% alpaca.  If I crank the AC up this summer, maybe I can wear it.