Friday, February 27, 2009

Crocus in the Snow

If I'm too busy to knit, I'm just plain too busy. I'm not sure where the time goes, but the result is very little knitting getting done.

One thing I did finish, however, is this dishrag I call "Crocus in the Snow".

Pattern: Mason-Dixon Nine-Patch dishrag
Yarn: Lion Cotton, in white, "Sunflower" and another colorway I can't identify
Needles: US6 straights
Modifications: I experimented with slipping the first stitch but I don't recommend it.

Tonight I plan to work on February Lady. Again. Or is it still.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Back in the Groove

A co-worker fixed a couple of pieces of jewelry for me and would take no money. She was willing to accept something from the gift drawer, though, which made me realize my dishcloth collection is getting dangerously low. So I whipped off this one, using a basic pattern:

And then I started this Mason-Dixon Nine-Patch:

The last corner is going to be sunny yellow, and I am going to call the dishcloth "Crocus in Snow".

And, because I am a glutton for punishment, I have been wrestling with twined knitting:

The contrasting color bands around the cuff are not knit correctly, but I tired of ripping and restarting, so we will just let them be what they want to be. The gray yarn does not show the design very well, but the fabric is turning out thick and firm. If it weren't for the yarn wrangling, I think I could really get into this Swedish knitting method.

Friday, February 20, 2009

No actual frogging occurred

After last week's little snit, I did take a timeout from knitting. And all previously threatened projects are still intact. However, instead of picking up February Lady again, I switched to experimental mode and kind of started over with some fresh yarn. I let go of the idea I might get this sweater done in time to wear it this winter and just let myself knit. We'll see how it turns out.

Now for a complaint or two:

Elann Peruvian Wool. I have used this yarn before with success, but for some reason, the current batch seems riddled with what appear to be splices created with epoxy. "Riddled" is a relative term, but most of the skeins have at least one splice buried in a spot sure to become apparent midrow. For a while, I dutifully tinked back to the start of the row, clipped out the offending blob, then continued on. But that happened one too many times and I decided - knitting gods be damned! - that I am just going to fix the problem right where it occurs.

Interweave Knits. I subscribed to this magazine with great anticipation, but I have to admit the spring issue leaves me uninspired. For one thing, most of the projects require that the wearer be something I have not been for several decades, and that is thin. And the one sweater I was somewhat interested in has already been offered on Knitting Daily for free. What did I pay for?!?

On a positive note, there is a fiber festival I am planning to attend next month, and they are offering a class in learning to spin on a spindle. I hope to get pre-registered soon.

Friday, February 13, 2009


I have been obsessing so much about whether February Lady would fit across my shoulders that I totally missed the fact that square necklines do not look good on me. I know, I know! The neckline is the first thing you knit in a top down sweater. And now that enough of it is done to try on, it feels really bulky. I want to rip the whole thing, frog back to stitch one. I'm letting the sweater simmer in the time-out chair, but I fear it is done for.

And then there are the Hedgerow socks. There is nothing wrong with this pattern; it is just me. For some reason, I just can't stick with reknitting the feet. Instead, I want to rip the whole pair, frog back to stitch one. This project is also in the time-out chair.

In an effort to rejuvenate my knitting mojo, I started something new, using the "Poodle Skirt" yarn I bought from Qutecowgirl's Etsy store. First, I tried the yarn on Dublin Bay socks. Then I tried it with Crosswalker socks. So now I have started two socks with two different patterns, and I'm not liking either so far.

Maybe I am the one who needs a time-out.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Crazy love

When my SO's daughter glommed onto the fingerless mitts I made him 'way back when, I said I would knit him a new pair. He picked these from knitty. No problem, I assured him. I even have Cascade 220 in my stash.

Well, I should have read the pattern first, as these employ twined knitting. Last night I gave them a go and determined that these mitts will not be whipped out in an evening or two, especially with the yarn wrangling twined knitting entails.

This morning I looked at what I knit so far, and while I think the knitting is correct, the gauge was off, off, off. Turns out when I did read the pattern, I misread the needle size - I thought it said US5, and since I usually drop a needle size, I started out with US4, but the pattern actually said US3, so I should probably use US2.

This morning I also took a gander at some YouTube videos of twined knitting (and yes, my work is correct), including one that demonstrates an easy way to untangle the yarn. What did we do before the Internet?

Meanwhile, I hit the pause button on February Lady. While I like the fit of the garter yoke and the decrease for the arms, I am having second thoughts about the bulk of all that lace going around my middle. Yesterday I kept trying the sweater on and comparing it to other sweaters and debating what to do. I have been warned that this sweater will grow with blocking, so I am leaning toward frogging back to the yoke and matching the arm decreases with body decreases. It's not like I haven't knit a sweater two or even three times by the time it is finished, but I'm letting this one rest a bit before taking action.

Speaking of reknitting, one of the Hedgerow socks is ready for a do over.

The yarn unkinked beautifully after a 20-minute warm water bath.

If my plan to embiggen the feet doesn't work, I will just have to gift these to someone with tiny feet and cankles.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Felts so good

Saturday the Fuzzy Feet went into the washer. Initially, I was going to ignore the "check every 5 minutes" part of the instructions, but set the timer anyway. Good thing, because after the first five minutes those babies were done.



My SO judged them a perfect fit AND toasty warm.

Pattern: Fuzzy Feet from knitty
Yarn: Elann Peruvian wool, left over from the Pinwheel sweater
Needles: US 10.5
Modifications: None

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Fit to be tried

While the garter stitch yoke of February Lady fits fine across my shoulders, I felt some concern over the lace stitch sleeves. My original plan was to stockinette stitch the innermost 7-stitch pattern repeat, decreasing it gradually to my elbow. Instead, I decreased it over the first eight rows of the sleeve to make a little armpit gusset.

I am quite satisfied with the results!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Remember the Hedgerow socks? In a misplaced surge of confidence, I increased the pattern repeat which resulted in a shortage of yarn which resulted in sock feet that did not fit my feet and sock legs that did not fit my daughter's legs. The socks were so loose on her, they actually fell off. I decided to reknit the feet without the hedgerows, which meant ripping the feet, which meant unweaving the loose end in the toe. I did not realize I wove in loose ends so well. Finally - FINALLY - I was able to unweave the loose end and rip the foot.

Maybe I should unkink the yarn a bit before continuing.