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Showing posts from July, 2007

Messiness is Yuckiness

Before launching into the meat of this post, I wanted to take a moment to elucidate that here at Chez Yarn time and effort is always spent in finding just the right word (I will ignore those rolling eyes). Today that word is yuckiness. With that said, please do not hesitate to read on.

I'm one of those bizarro, arbitrarily obsessive neatniks, in that I can't work properly if things aren't "in their place." I think it's because I am an aspy.

One of the ways the syndrome manifests in me is that I am hard-wired to be extremely anxious if my world doesn't meet certain, and don't forget arbitrary, Feng shui-like requirements. Furniture and clutter most be controlled at all costs.

When I need to get a circular needle out of the bin pictured below, well, I may get ramped up to the point of a panic attack.


That thar is some craziness I don't know how to fix.

One of those really nice companies that sends me catalogs, even when I never buy a thing from …

Summer Set Cardigan Finis!

This is my very first FO for the blog. That is, it's the very first piece begun and finished upon my starting this blog last month. So let's get to my first in-depth wrap up.

Yarn:
Summer Set by Classic Elite Yarns in Dune Grass
64% Cotton, 19% Alpaca, 12% Polyester, 5% Lyocel
Just a pinch more than seven (7) 50 gram balls at 95 yards per ball, or approximately 680 yards.

Gauge:
Suggested gauge 5 stitches per inch on size 7 needles. My gauge was 4.2 stitches per inch on size 8 needles.

Needles:
As noted above I used size 8 needles on the body. For the trim I used varying sizes. I used size 5 needles on the the sleeve trim, and size 6 needles on the body trim, button band, and neck trim.

In my first draft of the button band what I knit and sewed up looked like this:


Part of the problem was the loose buttons, but part also was button location. I resewed the buttons so that they were right of center and my end result was much more satisfactory:


The finished object (FO!)



I used a basic …

Missing WIP

Somehow my Rowan Cashsoft Shawl got lost in the shuffle. I'm almost done with my second ball.



I absolutely love this yarn. It's very silky and delicate. It's got a lacey feel to it even though it's a four-stranded yarn.

I'd been using size 9 straights to knit this up and with two stitch increases on each end, eventually I would come to a point where I had to move the knitting onto circulars. When that time came, so came the knowledge I didn't have any size 9 circulars. As I was trying to cut back on the knitting spending the project got a little lost in the shuffle. However, just recently I realized I needed some needles for another project, so I found myself at Joann Fabric on Monday. Wouldn't you know it, they only had one size 9 circular needle. I bought it, but it didn't solve my problem because a) knitting requires two needles and b) I was way too lazy to hit another store.

Yesterday, though, I came across some more blogging serendipity. …

A Pilgrim's Progress

Woo hoo! The folks behind Ravelry must have pulled an overnighter. I swear there were over 1,100 ahead of me just a day or so ago. My time is coming!

You signed up on June 7, 2007You are #7,559 on the list.895 People are ahead of you in line.12,930 people are behind you in line.32% of the list has been invited so far
The first draft of the Summer Set Cardigan:



As I've mentioned earlier, I pretty much made up the pattern on the fly. I have never knit a cardigan, nor did I know how to create a button band. I started with the knowledge of only the basic top down knitting template.

I was really obsessing over the button band while I knit up the body. I thought in fact that I would knit the bottom trim, button band, and neck band all in one go, on one needle. In hindsight that sounds foolish, but seriously that was my initial thought. Then I spent a moment looking at store bought cardigans and it was obvious what I needed to do. And as for the picking up of stitches for the button band, se…

Life post Harry Day 2

I posted a review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on bn.com a few minutes ago. I'm sure my first impressions will change, as I expect the disappointments looming large now will fade, replaced by the overall enjoyment I've experienced reading the series.

My review (slightly edited):
I first picked up HP & The Sorcerer's Stone the year the movie of the same name came out. I dutifully began Chamber of Secrets upon finishing Book 1 but was soured by the formulaic quality of the story in the first few chapters: Once again the book began with Harry going off to school, once again the characters face a farcical dilemma. It read like serial fiction, not something I enjoy, and so I abandoned the books, giving them away to someone I hoped who could appreciate them, my nephew.

In 2005 serendipity had me spending time around my nieces the week HP and the Half Blood Prince came out and being bored in rural NY it was only a matter of time I would pick up one of the stray …

Life post Harry Day 1

I finished the Harry Potter and the Dealthy Hallows last night and today, even after a good night's sleep, I'm exhausted. My brain is befuddled. I thought some knitting might help.

I bought some buttons for the Summer Set cardigan Friday. This morning I tried the cardigan on and decided it's long enough to begin the 2 x 2 ribbing trim. The problem? I don't have size 6 circulars. Big d'oh. I do have have a pair of 12" straights that I attempted to use this morning. Yeah? not really. :-P



I quickly realized it wasn't gonna work. Yet I'm in no shape to do anything about my lack of instruments.

I've also cast on the second Sweet Tarts sock after turning the heal of the first.



It dawned on me late last week I may be suffering from finishitis.

Bloggers are so friggin' helpful!

Poking around the Knitting Blog webring homepage, I happened upon a link to crazycatknitter's blog. That was the best thing I did of recent, and that's saying something considering this.

In a post earlier in the month she gave a shout out to an April 2005 post over at the knitticisms blog that provides a step by step guide to creating your own knitting progress bars. I had been using a skanky "baby is due in X months" ticker from the ticker factory. And today crazycatknitter has a link to a Ravelry widget that will calculate where each member stands in getting their invite to the beta. Woohoo!

My status:
I signed up June 7, 2007I am #7,559 on the list;There are 1,713 people in head of me in line;10,143 people are behind me in line; and32% of the list has been invited so far.Not sure how quickly the line will move, but hopefully within a month or so I'll be in.

Thanks blogland!

Summer Set Cardigan Sleeve Construction

A chronic problem I have with top down knitting construction is that to generate the roomy bosom I prefer I wind up with ginormous armholes. To adjust for this I am attempting what will amount to a form of shaping. On my first run, it seemed to fit and drape well. However, as mentioned in an earlier post, I knit up the remainder of the sleeve by purling in the round which led to a puckering from the much tighter gauge. I decided to frog the sleeve and begin again from scratch. Here is scratch:



I put the entire armhole on a circular needle. I placed four stitches from the back side of the armhole on one dpn and four stitches from the front side of the armhole on a second dpn.



I used a three needle bind off to knit them up and out of the armhole, in a manner of speaking. As you can see this leaves a lovely little hole.








Using a fly-by-your-pants darning technique, I closed up the hole and was ready to knit the remaining stitches into a nice sleeve.







Knitting, and who am I and where is my brain?

Friday, early evening, I put our little basil plant in the bathroom sink for watering. I opened the faucet, letting the water run at a slow pace, just a smidge greater than a trickle. I proceeded to vacuum the house and go on with my life. Approximately six hours later my husband goes to the bathroom before heading up to bed and finds something like this:



Oh yes I let the water run for OVER.SIX.HOURS. And just in case I thought that was a simple oversight, I added a coup de grace the following evening by putting the ice cream back into the fridge, rather than it's customary haunt, the freezer.

Where is my brain? Oddly enough, when I awoke this morning it was wholly preoccupied in composing poetry of unparalled genius, whereas last night it was trying to learn how to take photos of me wearing my Summer Set Cardigan. These shots make me look 30 lbs. lighter. It's miraculous.



The above are pictures of the Summer Set Cardigan at this stage:


Last night I finished up what must now be co…

The only knitting going on here is by Mrs. Weasley and Hermione!

Harry Potter season is beginning at Chez Yarn, at least my part of Chez Yarn. Hubby just goes along for the ride and occasionally finds the inner resources to listen patiently to my earnest discussions of said boy wizard. Luckily for him, I'm not a year round fan.

Prior to 2005 my interest in reading had all but disappeared for what seems like a decade. Was it marriage, home ownership or the "thing" we dealt with in the early aught years? I'm not sure, but in 2005, I took up reading again like a hungry man takes up his first free meal.

For almost 35 years I've been reading at random. My interest had no focal point and so I wandered from one English or American classic to another. But I've never read one author or about one thing for than a month or so. Yet in the past few years I've developed a recurring reading schedule that although in its early stages, feels quite permanent. Summer has been Harry Potter season, fall has been Jane Austen season, and sprin…

Summer Set Cardigan Progresses*

Working on the Summer Set cardigan this weekend has definitely helped me get out of my funk. As of a week from yesterday I was at this point:


But then, I somehow lost a stitch at the end of the row and had to frog a third of the way back. That's not something that's happened to me a great deal. Here I was earlier last night at the end of the third skein:


I'm about ready to move the sleeves off the needles and connect the body. While I toiled away, some lounged. The nerve, eh?


*Finally could edit post to include title. Removed reference of same from beginning post.

Cashsoft Shawl...

Yarn specs: 50 gram ball measuring 142 yards made of 57% extra fine merino, 33% microfibre, 10% cashmere. The proprieter of Now and Zen Yarns went on and on about how well garments knitted with this yarn look and last after repeated washing and use. She even said it was machine washable, using the gentle cycle and cold water. I, never one to believe a thing any sales person tells me, just smiled and expounded on it's overall loveliness. This yarn had me at the first touch. Everything else will be gravy.

No sooner did I buy this yarn than I was thinking furiously of a pattern for it. I wanted a shawl, but I needed a fully knitted pattern (i.e., no lace, no holes). I need it to keep me warm at work during the dog days of the office a/c.

I spent Sunday figuring out how to start the shawl bottom up, what edging to use, and then formulizing what pattern would be optimal. I eventually settled on a diamond seed stitch pattern I so loved with my Dale Baby Ull hat:


It was just a mat…

Long Island adventures in yarn aka Yarn Porn!

Having a blog made it easier to tamp down the inner voice in my head that requires I take the path of least resistance, even if that means missing a yarn store in geographic location I have a) never been at; b) rarely been at; c) may never get a chance to go to again; and d) any combination of a, b, & c.

It would be easy to say I am lazy. That is what it looks like, but it isn't laziness, it's my aspyness. If I decide to go to point A to point B and am en route, any deviation will cause generalized anxiety. This engenders a physical and emotional uneasiness that is better left unfelt.

When I saw a brochure for a yarn store at the New London, CT ferry office on Saturday I took one but I truly believed it would wind up being thrown in the recycle bin with a deep sigh of acknowledgement of my 'limitations.'

Ten minutes later I was in a whole new place. Yes! I wanted to see the yarn store. Yes! There is absolutely no reason on earth we shouldn't stop at the lovely …

How did I get here?

You're just going along and things are going great (for once!), the weather is absofreakinlutely perfect, all is right in the world, you started a new knitting project with the most luscious yarn, and then things.just.go.wrong. But not really very wrong at all. You have all your fingers and your toes, your healthy, your family is healthy. Yet you still can't help tearing up from an inner frustration you cannot put your finger on? That's today. So no yarn porn for you. Hopefully Thursday.

Have you seen our Charlie? Now he can bring a smile to my face. Love you Charlie.





Daytripping WIPs

Saturday the hubster and I took the ferry from New London, CT to Orient, NY (the north fork of LI) for a birthday luncheon. My grandmother turns 85 this year and my Aunt and Uncle put together a surprise lunch at a pub style restaurant in Riverhead, NY. As is my aspy way, I failed to mention to her that she looked great and not a day over 65. This is not hyperbole. We arrived at my Uncle's and she was fotzing around in the pool with her great grandson.

The ferry ride down was brisk. We sat on the upper deck and breathed deep the salty sea hair for approximately one and a half hours. It was all knitting, all the time. I worked on the Brights socks which I've decided to call Sweet Tarts.


The stitch markers are to keep track of the purl stitch decreases I'm making every six rows.


The evening ferry ride back is always colder so I took the opportunity to work on the Burgundy throw. I definitely made some headway into the final set of skeins. Unfortunately, all did not remain peace…