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Sunday, December 04, 2005

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My own private block party

I finished the Lopi Lace Scarf this morning, and then I went crazy blocking all the knitted Christmas gifts that have been sitting around - 2 hats, 1 bag, 2 scarves. Should have some good pics tomorrow. I ran out of blocking pins so I couldn't block the Backyard Leaves scarf. I've been putting that one off because after I block it I will have to seam it together, and it looks like that will be very UN-fun due to the lumpy edge.

I looked for blocking pins at the LYS yesterday, but they only had some ridiculously expensive ones (10 pins for like $8.50 -- geez, those must be nice pins). Anyway, I asked if they had any others and the two older women behind the counter looked at me like I was insane. They said they had "never HEARD of using pins to block your knitting." What??!!?? Then they were all in my face asking me what I was making, etc. I told them I was going to use the pins to block lace -- to open it out more. They just did NOT get that. They insisted that was unnecessary, that it would probably HARM my knitting (how???), blah, blah, blah. Why do I bother talking to these people -- it's just not worth it.

Anyway, I bought a bunch of Cascade 220 to continue my Christmas knitting extravaganza. Enough to make another alien scarf (1st one is currently blocking), another knitted bag (1st one also blocking), and then some to enhance the stash (you know, cuz it was getting low... ;)

This is kind of cute: Make an avatar of yourself!

Oh, and I fixed the problem with the comments. So, feel free to comment away.


Saturday, December 03, 2005

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Persnickety about Xmas Trees

Well, we spent the morning looking for a Frasier Fir Christmas tree that is over 8 ft but costs less than $200. Apparently such a thing does not exist around here, at least not that we found. Tomorrow we will have to look at the cut-your-own places, but in previous years we have not found great looking trees at these places. I guess I may have to be less finicky and get a Balsam (hate those needles that fall off instantly) or disappoint my daughters and get a 7-8 ft tree (which is what my daughters would call a "small" tree). As the years go by I am starting to understand why people buy fake trees...

Well, I'm still messing around finishing up the Ritratto scarf and the Lopi Lace Scarf, so in the meantime I will leave you with another scarf I finished a few months ago. Here are the specs:

Pattern: Thandi Scarf from Jo Sharp Gathering (Book 5)

Yarn: Jo Sharp Rare Comfort Kid Mohair in Romany (brown), Millet (tan), Swamp (green), and Velvet (purple) -- about 1.5 balls of each

Needles: US8

Modifications: Did an extra repeat of the pattern in each color band to make the stripes wider.

Comments: I think this would have been nicer if I used the Kid Mohair Infusion called for in the pattern, but I got this yarn on sale at elann.com. At about the halfway point I decided I hated the color combination and was going to desert the project, but my daughter said she really liked it and convinced me to finish it for her. However, after blocking it and having it hanging around for a while, it's really growing on me. In fact, I think I'll borrow it to wear out tonight.

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Friday, December 02, 2005

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Molly Bolero

I'm soooo close to being done with my Mom's scarf. Can't wait to have another Christmas gift done. Planning on finishing it tonight -- will post a finished pic tomorrow.

In the meantime, to give you something to look at, here is a picture of something I finished a couple of months ago.

Pattern: Molly Bolero from Debbie Bliss Junior Knits

Size: biggest size (ages 9-10)

Yarn: Laines Du Nord Dolly Maxi in Dusty Rose, used 9 balls (from Elann.com)

Needles: US 9 (and US 8 for edging)

Modifications: The body and sleeves of this bolero are knit as one piece (see diagram below) and then the edging is picked up and knit. I used short rows to shape the sleeves rather than using the stair-step cast-on and bind-off specified in the pattern. I used a provisional cast for the sleeves and kitchenered them together to avoid seams. I then knit the ribbed edging on the sleeves in the round (instead of flat, as per pattern). I sewed the short side seams before working on the body edging so I could knit that in the round too (yes, I'm an "in the round" freak, apparently). The edging around the neck uses short rows and the pattern did not say anything about wrapping the turns, but I did it anyway (and I found that it is not easy to hide the wrap in ribbing -- which is probably why the pattern ignored the wraps).

Comments: This bolero came out rather large, but it seems that Debbie Bliss sizes many of her children's patterns to be oversized, and I guess I forgot that. My daughter is 9 and it is pretty big on her (in fact, it fits me, although it did have a tendency to split.

except that the sleeves are a little too short). I probably should have made the ages 8-9 size. The Dolly Maxi yarn was soooo soft. I enjoyed working with it,


Wednesday, November 30, 2005

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On a Scarf Kick

Watched the movie "Run Lola Run" from my Netflix queue the other night. Really liked this movie (gave it a 4). Kind of weird, but in a good way. Also, man, that woman must be in great cardiovascular shape to do all that running without breaking a sweat or being out of breath. And, yeah, I know they probably shot it in small bits, but still -- it's impressive.

Watched it dubbed in English so I could work on the Ritratto scarf while watching the movie. I used to love foreign films with subtitles, but now that I knit constantly through any movies/TV shows I just can't be bothered to pause my knitting to have to read the screen all the time.

I'm about halfway through the scarf I think, but I'm getting sick of all that brioche stitch. It's getting monotonous. Uggh. Not even sure I still like this scarf.

I should have picked a more interesting pattern, but I wanted something kind of loose and sort of open, but not lacey (cuz it's for my mom, who is not really a lacey sort of person). You can't really get a feel for the looseness from the photo -- but I used big needles for this yarn, so it's kind of fluffy and light.

Since I needed a break from the Ritratto I started a new scarf yesterday (yes, fickle -- that's me). This one will be for my sister, I think. It's from the Weekend Knitting book. Pattern calls for Lite Lopi -- ick. The idea of Lite Lopi around my neck just makes me all scratchy.

I'm using Lamb's Pride worsted instead, colors M-77 (Blue Magic) and M-03 (Grey Heather). I had a bunch of the Blue Magic left over from my sister's cabled sweater (I'll eventually post pics of that). Scarf pattern is easy, with just enough going on to keep me interested -- at least, so far. I like the zig-zag edge. This picture is not great, since the scarf is falling off the edge of the couch, but it is really zig-zagged on both edges.

Also, I sewed up a cowl/neck warmer sort of thing my daughter made with some super bulky chenille stuff she got on sale a while back. I'm not sure what this yarn is, as we have lost the label. It lost a ton of fuzz while I was just kitchenering it together. I don't think I am a fan of chenille . . . which doesn't bode well for that Rowan Chunky Cotton Chenille I got a little while ago from Elann. But hopefully that chenille will behave better...

This pic is majorly overexposed, but I just couldn't resist her face in this one.

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Monday, November 28, 2005

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One More Christmas Present Down

Sorry about the quiz yesterday. The link didn't work. Here it is: STUPID TEST

OK, this is only my 3rd posting, but I am already massively annoyed by the way this post editor is replacing my double spaces after a period with single spaces. This is causing me pain. Must...find...a...way...to...fix...it.... Aarrrrrggggghhhhh!

In knitting news, I finished a hat for one of my nephews last night. Here it is, modeled by my lovely daughter.

I think the hat came out pretty well -- overall I'm pleased with it.

Here are the specs:

Pattern: Ribbed Cap, from Vogue Knitting Caps & Hats Two

Yarn: Noro Kureyon, color 163

Needles: US7 (pattern called for 8's but hat was coming out much too large, so had to rip and and redo with 7's)

Notes: Had just enough yarn to make the hat. I was a little worried for a while, but it just made it. I've never used Kureyon before and I really like the color I picked, but I will not rush out to get more -- at least, not for a project in ribbing. The yarn is a little scratchy and rather uneven and it left my left middle finger kind of sore after knitting for a while. I normally hold the yarn in my right hand, but I find that my ribbing is neater (specifically the purl stitch after a knit stitch) and a little faster when I knit continental. However, this was just painful with this yarn because I guess I was squeezing my fingers to get better tension or something. By the end of the project I had a big groove in my middle finger. Oh well, I'm just glad it's done. Ribbing makes me tense.


Sunday, November 27, 2005

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Brioche Sunday

This is what I've been working on today. It's a swatch of 2-color brioche stitch for a possible scarf. Got the idea from the Weekend Knitting book, but I'm probably not going to do the edging like the pattern.

I'm trying to use up stash yarn on some small Christmas presents, but I only have 2 balls of the multi-color yarn so I'm going to try to stretch it by using only black on the edges. The pattern calls for a tubular edging (similar to the edging on Backyard Leaves, but worked a little differently). The bottom shows the edging as given by the pattern; the top shows my two attempts at an all-black tubular edging. When the light color is at the edge it does not connect well with the edging, so I added a pattern repeat in black at both sides. The connection between the edging and the brioche part is less loose that way, but then the edging appears kind of thick. Also the edging gets a little distorted because I have to knit 2 rounds of the tubular edging for every 1 row of black. Also tried two different needle sizes here so the stitches are kind of wonky.

Another Christmas present I've been working on is a brioche-stitch scarf in Stacy Charles Ritratto. Apparently, I am on a brioche-stitch kick. This is coming out a little looser than I wanted, but I don't have the energy to start over. The colors here are kind of off -- it's really much darker and not that orangey. I only have 1 ball, which is probably not going to cut it. Will need to buy another ball tomorrow. So much for using up the stash...

Here's a quiz that's good for the ego:

97% scored higher (more stupid),
1% scored the same,
and 2% scored lower (less stupid). What does this mean? You are 2% stupid. This means...
You are our next Einstein. Wow! Keep up the great thinking.


Saturday, November 26, 2005

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the bad beginning

Well, here's my new blog. Spent a lot of time messing with the sidebar today and figuring out how to add progress bars and whatnot.
I'm hoping to post pics of some FO's soon. Need to get off my butt and take some pictures. Maybe tomorrow.
This is an interesting quiz:
handspun merino You are 100% wool hand-dyed MERINO. You like all things natural and would prefer to do it yourself. You are socially conscious and aware of your surroundings. You are kind to all living things. What kind of yarn are you really?? brought to you by Quizilla
That's fairly accurate... well, maybe not ALL living things...