Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Kujaku Butterfly Update

Here is the back of the cardigan blocking. I'm in love with this colorway.

Here are the fronts which I am working at the same time. I'm not trying to match the colors up perfectly but I wanted it to look somewhat congruous.

And here is the package I received from The Knitters sock of the month club! What a great beginning to my membership. I get to dye my own then knit! I hate orange so I'm going to get some other colors at the store. I plan on making some self striping colors. Yay! This is a great excuse to do some more dying.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Life of Situations - Explained

In case you are curious about the title of my blog let me explain. My friends find it very apt because I am constantly have some situation or another going on.

Laundry is a situation since my boyfriend and I (we live together) only get around to doing it about once every two months. We don't have a washer and dryer in our apartment (its only flaw) so it really piles up. When we do get a day off maybe once a month we don't want to spend all day doing wash. Therefore I came up with the wonderful idea of having our laudry washed for us. So every two months we literally fill the car to the brim with clothes in trash bags (because who has that many laundry baskets?) and have 150 lb. of clothes washed. The people at the laundry place seem peeved which really doesn't make much sense since we pay 75 cents a pound no matter if we bring in 20 lb. or 150. For a day or two while it is being washed we have no sheets. (We actually have extra sets but they are scratchy and I'd much rather wait for my delicious high thread count ones to come back.) But ours is a house that does not lack blankets so that is what we sleep on.

Toilet paper recently became a situation when we realized we didn't have any more! We had bought a whole bunch in bulk about 6 months ago and hadn't thought about it since. Quickly that situation became a crisis...

There are other situations, stories I'll tell another day. The Underwear Nest, Sick Rats, The Garbage (oh yes... the garbage, not quite as bad as the laundry).

*Another* WIP

After realizing that the Kureyon entrelac thing was a bust and will soon be frogged I started a new work in lovely Noro Kujaku ($5 a skein at www.yarn.com !)

This one is showing promise of being correctly sized! It will be a cardigan with a mandarin collar - this project has moved to the top of my priority list. And since it involves a lot of stockinette I can knit by feel in class making my 6 hours of classtime a day really something to look forward to.

The back is almost finished. It would have already been finished if I hadn't decided to do the pretty intarsia butterfly in another contrasting color of Kujaku. I just finished weaving in all of the little ends (and there were a lot!) because finishing at the end all at once sucks.

Of course I have socks on the needles. In addition to my frilly ones I started a pair for my boyfriend on this adorable 8" size 4 clover circular needle. It took a little getting used to but it is quick and easy. My hands are very small so it isn't too crampy. Also I think I have the hang of ribbing that is actually not all loose and yucky, I was quite proud!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

All talk and (almost) no knit

I have a migraine. A massive migraine. I am in the dark with the computer monitor turned down low and knitting is difficult. Yet I persist... and read blogs about knitting.

As you can see I have finished the entrelac border of my noro sweater. It is big - I do not know whether this will become a too-big sweater, a comfy big sweater or an awful monstrosity that I will probably attempt to felt ruining all of my hard work and yarn. I think of ripping it out... but I cannot because according to my swatching it should be a good size and yet the entrelac has come out larger than calculated. Can some shaping in the stockinette save it? Stay tuned.

All this uncertainty has me wanting to avoid this piece. I want badly to make a sweater, just a sweater that I can faithfully knit from a pattern but alas this is not an option. I cannot find small enough patterns. No a child's sweater is not sized appropriately for an adult - not even if you make the sleeves and body longer. There is the matter of a waist and hips and boobs and the armholes come out too small and the neckline is too high and when you are all said and done you may as well have altered an adult pattern - or really just written your own.

This is the most hilarious thing I have seen in a very long time:

Socks finished, new socks begun

I finished my first pair of socks yesterday and proudly wore them today. I believe the shoes I chose showcased them well.

After finishing them I started planning the next socks I would start to make. The only problem I realized is that I had no sock yarn at home. But thankfully my order from knitpicks arrived yesterday while I was at school so now I have plenty of sock yarn but some needles in sizes 1-5 that I ordered elsewhere have not arrived so I ended up starting some socks that would work on the size 2s I have.

I decided to make the socks with an edging as in the "Fancy Silk Socks" of Knitting Vintage Socks but I am doing the "Child's First Sock" Pattern for the leg (obviously not yet begun). This is Knit Picks Dancing sock yarn.

I chose this edging because it is pretty, but moreso because I hate ribbing. I hate it because my ribbing always looks awful. Ribbing is supposed to be easy right? But I'd rather do this! I need some help!

Saturday, February 18, 2006


Here are some projects that are in current knitting rotation.

A scarf in Plymouth's Baby Alpaca Grande. It is yummy soft. The dense warm yarn suits the openwork pattern well.

Check out the bling of those needles. LOL

Of course I get in sock knitting whenever I am out of the house. My constant companion in the purse.

This is the beginning of the border of the hooded sweater/sweatshirt in Kureyon that I spoke of earlier.

A close up of the Entrelac so far. I plan on knitting the main of the body in stockinette but the borders of the body, sleeves and hood will be entrelac.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

One Sock Down!

I finished The First Sock just now and attempted to cast on for The Second Sock but I've been feeling sick today and managed to bungle the cast on! I've decided no more knitting for tonight.

The sock is very ccomfy of course and this is perhaps the only sock that has ever completely fit my foot. I usually can pull a knee sock way up over the knee encroaching on the thigh.

My only regret is that my ribbing is so loose. I tend to knit so very loosely when I switch from knit to purl. I'll have to do the same for the second sock though I think I've found a way to remedy it.

Without further ado:

Another Entrelac project!

Entrelac is totally addictive. Each little square finishes and the next begs to begin. It is like the stitches in a circular knitting project - just one more... even if you want to quit you keep on knitting them.

I started a project for a hooded raglan sweater/sweatshirt in Kureyon with entrelac borders- I have 10 balls and I'm quite small (a size 0) so that should save me on yarn.

I'm coming up with the pattern myself basing it on the Knitters Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, the entrelac hat pattern and the hoodie pattern in The Yarn Girl's Guide to Simple Knits.

I'm knitting the sweater at 5 stitches per inch on size 8 needles. The entrelac border is composed of 19 repeats of an 8 stitch entrelac pattern (for size reference the hat was a similar gauge with a 5 stitch entrelac).

Today one of the girls in my class asked me to teach her to knit! I was very enthusiastic. I'm getting much better at knitting without looking which I am fine at with thick, smooth yarn but this sock yarn was a bit tricky. Now I am improving.

I am very happy with how much I have accomplished knit-wise seeing as I only learned 2 months ago. With time my biggest hope is to get faster. I just need to keep on knitting...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Finished Silk Garden Entrelac Hat!

I finally finished my Noro Silk Garden Entrelac Hat - and this time for good! I finished it twice before on Sunday and Monday but each time it was too short (I have a small head so I overestimated how small to make it). Finally I finished it today during a particularly boring lecture. I like it lots but the sensitive skin on my forehead sometimes gets a little itchy from it. Maybe a washing would help.

The entrelac on this hat was super addictive - I was sad when I finished it.

As soon as I finished it I put it on :)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Sick Rat and Sock Progress

Poor little Valentine rat (whose eyes only glow like that because of the flash) is still not feeling any better. He squeeks and squaks whenever I try to love him or he plays with the other rats. Right now he is alone in a seperate cage which he hates. He is eating and drinking and voiding well but I'm very worried about all the pain he is in. Since he has had so many surgeries in the past I don't think I would want to put him through that again especially since he is allergic to suture and needs to have his incisions managed as open wounds. I'm taking him to the vet today (who is so extraordinarily nice to us it is amazing) and she said she'd give us some pain meds. I'm going to discuss with her having some x-rays and ultrasound on him to see if we can turn up what is wrong. I'm afraid I will have to put him to sleep if he doesn't start feeling any better but I could never forgive myself if I didn't at least try to see if it was something we could easily fix without surgery. I'm hoping he broke a bone in his tail or leg and that is what is causing his pain - but I doubt it is so.

I'm making good progress on The First Sock. Actually I ended up finishing the gusset and turning the heel yesterday and I've been working on the gusset decreases and working the foot today... I feel like I am knitting with a piece of thread though. The yarn is so tiny. I'm also developing a little knitting callous from where I hold my yarn. I <3 knitting.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Entrelac Class

Today was my entrelac class at Yarnworks, the only yarn shop nearby but a very nice one. I ended up being 30 min late - there was some sort of alarm clock malfunction and I was ready just not to go. I called the shop to see if I could at least pick up the yarn and instructions since I had paid for the class and they urged me to come over. Thankfully I caught up and the instructions were well written so I didn't have to ask too many questions.

It is a small bag still needing a zipper. I wonder how long it will take me to get around to doing that... It also needs a good blocking as you can see.

I have been wanting to make this pretty 1 skin of silk garden entrelac hat they have a pattern for at the store. So I had to buy my skein of silk garden...

And I'm also making slow but steady sock progress. I've started to make the heel flap here.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Situations of the day

Yesterday I was extremely upset after my oral exam. I got asked questions about things we hadn't learned and felt really rushed by my examiners. It was to the point that I just cryed, went home and slept and this morning I teared up again just thinking about it. And yet... I got a 95! I wish I felt like I failed more often, usually it goes something like "ooh I thought I did really well" and then I find out I got a C (which for your reference is a steep 75%-85%, A's start at 94!) :/

Anyway after the horrible incident I went the LYS and bought some sock yarn and today I started my first socks on size 2 needles. (As you can see I am a two circulars kind of girl... my stitches fall off of fiddly dpns)

Closeup. I accidentally started with two knit rows instead of going straight to the K1 P1 ribbing so my story is that I wanted a rolled look to the top and I'm going to stick to it. I'm using the wonderful Sockulator for the pattern : http://www.thedietdiary.com/blog/lucia/530

Nicole's hat in progress. Hard to see because of the dark yarn.

Gratuitous shot of my collection of circulars. I also have a Denise set which I much much much prefer to conventional circulars especially for knitting with two circs because the cords don't curl and act all crazy. I've dipped all the regular ones in boiling water and tried to uncurl them but it just isn't the same. I am thinking of getting some Bryspuns because I hear they don't have this problem.

Gratuitous straight/dpn picture. I really need another case but I'm too cheap to buy one (that could be yarn money!) and have no time to make one (I could be knitting!)

In sad news my beloved rat Valentine is sick for the umpteenth time. He had complications after he was neutered and required two additional surgeries for abcess removal. He started squeaking like crazy at everything (the rat version of crying) so the wonderful boyfriend and I took him to the vet. She said she didn't feel any abdominal masses so we took him home and are going to watch him carefully over the weekend to see if it is just GI upset from some antibiotics he was on.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

School and Knitting and Whatnot

I finished my "Amsterdam" scarf this week. It had about a 1/6 left when I took the pictures of it. With that concluded, I had all my projects off of the needles. Amazing! I started a "graphite" colored cabled hat for my friend who says she can never find hats that properly fit her small head. I'm using a bulky yarn I had around and it is being a quick knit. But with my two Neuroscience finals today and tomorrow I haven't worked on it much.

Today's final is oral (!) which is very scary because I do not have a good track record when it comes to oral exams. Tomorrow's is thankfully multiple choice.

I signed up for an entrelac class at the LYS this Saturday and I'm very much looking forward to it. I'm afraid I probably won't be getting my Noro by the weekend which is really sad since now would be the best time to start a project. I'll probably pick up some sock yarn at the LYS, though.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Sweater Virgin No More

The finished object! I went on a knitting spree this morning before class (well actually I was skipping class but I didn't miss anything important).

I look like a gorilla in this picture. I swear I am not 500 lbs. Actually I weigh 97 lbs believe it or not. The sweater has a finished bust measurement of 30", my actual bust measurement being 29".

No I'm not trying to fly away, I'm just trying to show that it does have some definition and is not just a furry ball of bulk. Needless to say, it is very warm and we had a nice cool day today so I wore it.

The sweater definitely has it's pros and cons. My favorite parts are how perfect the length of the sleeves are, how easily it was constructed, how perfectly the sleeves fit onto the body, and the neckline. I do not like how overly fuzzy the yarn is. I am thinking of shaving the extra long strands off with my boyfriend's beard hair trimmer. I haven't blocked it so hopefully when I do I can stretch it a bit longer.

Best of all this project is over so I can dedicate all my time to my beloved Noro when it arrives. And it better arrive by this weekend because I don't have another weekend off until spring break. The life of a medical student does not leave much time for knitting... let along sleeping, washing or cleaning but that is another matter.

I remembered that my mom has two antique spinning wheels as decoration in our house. One is a humongous great wheel that would never fit in my apartment which I know to be in working order. The other is a small wheeel that you can see below. I don't know if it is missing any pieces I need to get a book on these things - my dad can contruct any pieces or repair it is neccessary, I just need to find out what needs to be done.

I know nothing about spinning wheels so any suggestions for books, dvds or videos that could point me in the right direction would be much appreciated. Also if you can spot any problems with this wheel or tell me what this type is called that would also help.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Sirens at 3:30 AM

At about 3:30 am I awoke to sirens blaring down the large-ish road a quarter mile from my apartment. They grew louder and waned, multiple sirens overlapped. In all they came and went for about 15 min. I wondered what was happening, I made prayers for those involved and then I tried to go back to sleep. As you can see that didn't work out so well. I thought about knitting, I envisioned the stitches in my head and worked out the kitchener stitch's mechanics.

To me knitting is not just an enjoyable hobby it is like learning a programming language (I know, I'm a geek!) - knit and purl being the the basic units. Understanding these two stitches - which in reality are only one stitch and it's reverse, open up the world of knitting techniques so much.

This wonderful aspect of thinking, technique knitting has me totally enamored. This coupled with the tactile and visual elements of gorgeous yarns, creativity in design, the portability of the work, and the joy of producing a useful object make knitting absolutely perfect. Why can't everyone see this?

::Sigh:: As you can tell none of my friends knit and I have no one to talk knitting to.

Amsterdam Scarf

My "Amsterdam Scarf" - a heavily modded version of Knitty's Wavy

Amsterdam Scarf

The Amsterdam scarf is so named because I started it while I was on winter vacation in Amsterdam for a week. In the beginning I was knitting while somewhat distracted (such things happen in that city) and lost track of my pattern. Instead of ripping it out I continued on with the pattern and left that blip as a fond reminder of my vacation.

This is made in Gedifra Fashion Stripe #06 from my LYS. I very much like this yarn, it feels nice, knits nice, the colors are great... however the striping between skeins of the same dyelot was VERY uneven. One had very skinny stripes the other had very large stripes. I'm not sure how it would work out in a large garment.

Update One Sleeve Down, Number 2 Cast On!

Sweater Progress - One Sleeve Down

Yay!! Some progress on "the first sweater." I finished the first sleeve and immediately cast on for number 2 so no procrastinating would be going on. I know I would never finish a project if I started more at a time so I am resolving to get through this one so I can knit up some yummy Noro that is on its way from Webs (www.yarn.com). I ordered some Kureyon in #153 and some Kujaku in #20 and 21.

The whole idea of hand washing and wool is foreign to me. I don't own a single wool item! It would be a total nightmare if it accidentally got washed. I'll have to affix a warning tag in case my boyfriend decides to surprise me by doing laundry (wait... who am I kidding). My ambitions are high with this yarn. It deserves a gorgeous garment and I have my ambitions set on a sweater coat (Kujaku) and a cardigan or pullover sweater (Kureyon). I can't wait for it to arrive so I can snuggle up with it LOL. Pictures will be posted!

Some patterns I am contemplating are:
*Noro Vol. 17: **Ribbed turtleneck sleeveless pullover** (for Kujaku) I think I would add cap sleeved or long sleeves however because my boyfriend loathes short sleeved turtlenecks (though I adore them).
*Noro Knits: Butterfly, York, Carraway, Mickee (but shorter)
*Noro Cornelia T. Hamilton Book 2: Klaralund, **Lindebo**

I very much would like to do a large intarsia lotus in contrasting Noro stripes on the back of one of the pieces. Kaffe's work is very inspiring - I love color and this yarn can do some of the work for me.

My favorites are starred. There will be some tough decisions.

This will be a big project for me (especially considering my knitting novice and little free time) and I very much want to work on some socks at the same time.

Can you tell I am totally smitten with knitting? I need to bake brownies for the lovely woman at the LYS whose beginning knitting class I took. I never could have imagined what wonders $20 and 3 hours would open up.

Other wonderful things that have facilitated my knitting:
*http://knittinghelp.com - I even purchased the CD of extra videos - extremely helpful. I learned so much more quickly than deciphering book drawings.
*Knitty's Wavy Scarf - after one repeat I had my epiphany, I *understood* knitting . I promply ripped it and made my own version which has paired increase + decreases to make actual waves. (See following posts)
* The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, The Sweater Workshop, and of course Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmerman.
These book have furthered my understanding of knitting and inspire me to be a "thinking knitter" not a mere pattern follower.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Picture Update... Stash Closet, Sweater WIP, etc.

Today I went to Michaels where I needed to pick up another ball of yarn for my sweater as it was becoming apparent that the other sleeve was going to need an extra 1/5 of a ball or so. I would have been so proud if I could have finished it with only yarn from my existing stash.

Before seaming the sleeve to the body... because it will make things so much nicer when the knitting is over. I also wanted to be able to try the sweater on...

Not the best picture but you can get the idea of what it is turning into. I had just sewn on the sleeve and I was so very proud at how perfectly the sleeve fit - no adjusting whatsoever!

Like I said before I am making it up as I go. Raglan styled but not knit like a regular raglan because I didn't know how to knit one when I started it. The sleeves are being knit top down because I wanted to make sure I fit it onto the body correctly. It is being knit on size 13 needles using a strand of Patons Divine in Night Sky held together with a strand of black Lion Jiffy yarn. Not the classiest of yarns but I didn't want to botch a first project too horribly. The yarns were bought on sale without any particular project in mind so I was happy to find a use for them. I like working with the furry Divine because it hides any boo boos with the fluff :)

I organized the yarn closet. It cheers me up.

And finally some pictures of previous small projects:

My first circular project and intarsia using Jumbo Merino

Cute little slipper made using the "Ridiculously easy" Mary Jane pattern on crafster.

Some Fisherman's Wool I dyed with Kool-Aid and food dye a few weeks ago... waiting for a project.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

On to bigger and better things

After glancing over my previous pictures I'm quite happy with how far I've come within the last monthish. (What sad, sad first projects they were)

I ripped the crocheted scarf. I don't wear scarves. I live in Florida and I'm dressed like such a bum all the time because I'm sleep deprived and miserable that a scarf would just look ridiculous on me. As a knitting convert the idea of finishing *crocheting* the thing is yucky.

Right now I am working on a sweater - my first! I got antsy trying to find patterns that worked with the yarn I had and actually fit my size (well... they don't make patterns in my size I found) so I made up a simple raglan design. I'm finished with the body and I'm halfway through one sleeve. It is a boring project - mostly just to teach myself techniques involved in sweater making. I'll try to post a picture later. Though I'm pleased that I am using my existing stash - which means room for more yarn!

There are so many things I am itching to make - and most especially techniques I am itching to learn. I'm finding I am very much a process knitter. If I had more than 5 minutes of knitting time a day I would have so many projects started. As it is the sweater I started weeks ago and that could have been finished within a long weekend is still awaiting it's release from needle limbo. Shamefully sad.

Current projects I lust to start:
- Socks (especially since I've found how easy it is to knit with two circulars instead of dpns which means I don't have to go out and buy a bunch a of dpns as I have a nice inherited collection of circulars) I don't have any sock yarn... but soon ;)
- Colorful intarsia on a black cardigan or sweater coat... all planned out in my head.
- Lightweight "professional" shells to wear in the Florida heat which is soon to come - ah to knit one in something like a noro silk yarn...
- Some stashbusting fun - perhaps using many stranded intarsia, entrelac, modular knits... the possibilities are endless

After finishing a day of testing... 7 hours to be precise mostly spent trying to get the online testing system working I can no longer go to the LYS which closes too early. Maybe in June when school ends. ::sigh::