Wednesday, August 29, 2007

keep on truckin'

I'm just plugging away at sock #2. I finished the top ribbing and am almost done the first pattern repeat (8 more to go!). I didn't get any knitting done on the way home yesterday because I couldn't get a seat on the stupid Metro (a very tall, very polite gentleman nearly knocked me unconscious with a rolled up newspaper in his rush to claim a seat that became available directly next to where I was hanging onto the overhead rail for dear life--have I mentioned how much I love the Metro?), but I did tackle a few rows this morning on the way in. I was planning to knit through lunch, but my co-workers forced me to have lunch with them instead. Probably a good thing, I'm pretty quiet and I really should be making more of an effort to get to know people. They deduced from this brief lunch that I don't know enough "malas palabras" in Spanish--guess I'd better work on that too. ;o)
Ravelry is too much fun. I've added a bunch of patterns to my queue that I know are way too advanced for me, but I'll get to them eventually. I also found a local knitting meetup, but unfortunately they meet at 7pm on Wednesday nights and I don't get home from work until 7 (if I'm lucky!). In perusing the site, I found out that one of my favorite knitbloggers is in Baltimore--I'm not sure why I find that important, I guess I just luuuurve my hometown so much.
I recently got the Spring 2007 Interweave Knits in the mail. Why Spring? That's a good question. I signed up in June for a free trial issue. Two months later, I had received 2 bills, but no issue. So I emailed customer service, who responded that I should've received the Spring issue by now. I always love when a customer service person tells you what should've happened "by now." Yes, I'm aware of what should've happened, why else would I be contacting you to tell you that it didn't happen? At any rate, about 2 days after that email, I finally received the Spring issue. Definitely some cute patterns, but I'm still up in the air about paying $25 for a full year--most of the patterns are too advanced for me at this point, and there are so many free patterns available in the world. . . yet, I know certain patterns are always becoming "all the rage" (ex: the Tilted Duster) and should one of those happen to catch my fancy, I wouldn't want to pay $5+ for one pattern when I could've had the entire issue for the same price.
I should have waiting patiently for me at home a fresh package from Knit Picks. I ordered the extra sock yarn (grrr), plus the yarn for the adult bonnet and the anthropologie-inspired capelet. Yay!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

hey, look at that, i have a blog!

I really didn't forget, I have just been so busy for the last week, mostly with furiously knitting the socks for my Dad--which still aren't done, so why did I bother?
I finished up sock #1 of the pair last night. It looks a bit on the small side, but I'm going to block a bit to stretch out the heel (which came out quite snug) and then hope that since the yarn has some elastic, they'll fit. The smart thing to do would've been to take some measurements, I'm sure, but then it's hard to make a surprise gift, isn't it? The socks are big on my foot, and my Dad isn't an especially big guy, so hopefully it will all work out. Or, he can hang them up for Christmas . . .

It's beautiful, if I do say so myself, the pattern on the leg turned out quite well. My only problem was myself (as usual!)--at some point I lost track of RS and WS, so when I started knitting in the round again after picking up stitches, the pattern was on the inside of the sock! Oops. Of course, I didn't notice this until a few rows later, so I had to rip out an hour's worth of work and start again. I have high hopes for avoiding this mistake on sock #2.
Today is an historic day--I knit on the Metro for the first time! Well, I didn't so much knit as cast on for sock #2 and divide the stitches. But that's something. It actually almost didn't happen, as I managed to scatter my DPNs all over the platform trying to remove the pattern from my pseudo-knitting bag. And it's Washington, so not a single person tried to help me pick them up. ;o)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Here it is, finally, the A.S.S.!

I'm so sick of this thing. I just want to get it out of my house! Unfortunately, I was too busy today to drive it to my parents' house, so it will remain here for another week.
No major problems with the finishing, although seaming the shoulders was tricky--I could only find instructions for "faking grafting" bound off edges in stockinette. But since this is ribbed, those instructions didn't quite work. Perhaps I should've tried another method, but that was the only option provided for seaming bound off top edges in Knitting for Dummies. Mattress stitch on the sides was tedious, but easy, although one side seam is perfectly invisible, as it should be, and the other, slightly more noticeable (maybe just to me, since I know what I'm looking for).
Now, on to smaller and better things, namely the Guitar Man Socks for Dad and Chapeau Marnier, which, as you may have guessed, is for my One Skein Exchange buddy, lucky girl. ;o) The socks are off to a great start, although I'm slightly concerned that I won't have enough yarn--I guess I wasn't paying attention when I ordered, or assumed 2 skeins would be enough, 1 skein per sock. But the instructions actually call for 3 skeins. I'm not quite sure how to figure this out--my current approach is to continue knitting the first sock, and if it looks like 1 skein won't be enough, I'll have to order a third and hope it ships fast. I may also alter the pattern a bit to make a slightly shorter sock. I love the stitch pattern on these, it looks great and it's very simple, just a combo of knits and purls that I hopefully won't mess up.
I have also started Chapeau Marnier, sort of. I actually knit 3 rows and then had to frog, I lost a stitch somewhere (or probably forgot a YO). CM is my first attempt at using a circular needle, and frankly, I don't love it. Maybe I just bought a cheap needle, but the joins for the cable are quite bumpy--I'm a slow enough knitter without having to stop every 2 minutes to finagle the yarn over the joint. In fact, I think it took me longer to get the yarn off the needle when I frogged than it took me to knit it on in the first place!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

again, i have no pictures

I know, I suck. I swear, I will post some pics in my next blog!
I finished up the A.S.S. front on Tuesday night. It looks pretty great! It's not perfection, but I am satisfied with it. I've decided that I will not be frogging the back, I'm just going to let sleeping stitches lie and focus on how great the front looks. Not to mention, most of the wonky stitches were on/near the edges, so they'll be hidden in seams or under the arms, etc. So, the plan is to block the pieces on Friday night--since they're ribbed, they don't need much, I just want to make both pieces about the same size--and seam everything up on Saturday, ultimately gifting it to my Mom on Sunday. My only concern now (well, besides seaming, which is always frustrating) is that the neck hole won't be large enough for Mom's head to get through. I used a supposedly-flexible bind off for the front (a decrease bind off, which, frankly, didn't seem all that much stretchier than my usual bind off--I'm really bind off impaired), but the back was a regular plain Jane bind off. I guess I'll find out soon enough if the sweater is actually wearable! And then--THEN!--I will have pictures, either of someone wearing the sweater, or someone stumbling around with a sweater halfway over her head . . .
Yesterday I took a break from knitting--I actually brought my knitting to work, thinking about knitting away my lunch hour, but I forgot the stitch markers that I need for Chapeau Marnier-- and tonight I'm going out after work, so it looks like I won't start tackling the hat or Dad's socks until this weekend. I'm annoyed with myself, since I'm kinda on a deadline for both, but I really blame the A.S.S. for being so overly-dramatic.
Less than a month until I mail off my knitting to my One Skein Exchange buddy. I want to come up with some goodies to include with it, any ideas?
Also, I checked in with Ravelry yesterday--only 900+ people are in front of me in line! Sounds like a lot, but it used to be 3,000 or so! Come on, invite!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

knitting: the cause of and solution to all of life's problems

Hmm, maybe Homer actually said that about alcohol . . .
I think I'm starting to develop a knitblogger inferiority complex. I've been reading so many knitting blogs recently (I need to update my blogroll so I can share some good ones!), and finding people who are producing the most amazing stuff, and I can't get through a simple ribbed sleeveless shell without drama. I'm just so eager to be one of those knitters, and instead I'm this knitter: slow, and mostly confused. Boo. I know I'm being ridiculous, given that I just started knitting in January and many knitbloggers I come across have been knitting since they were in utero, but I'm just not a very patient person. I want to be an awesome knitter, and I want to be one NOW!
On to the actual knitting: I got some knitting done on the drive this weekend, though I still haven't started either my Dad's socks or Chapeau Marnier--I really need to get my act together. I've finished the armhole decreases on the front of the A.S.S. and they look infinitely better than the back. I still don't know if they're "right," but I was sure to be consistent in my knitting so they at least match. The problem with the pattern is, the decrease instructions go something like, "k2, p1, p2tog, knit in rib to end of the row." Well, you've just taken away a stitch, so I no longer have an even rib pattern--do I just continue k2p2, which seemingly would throw off the ribs, or do I knit the stitches as they appear? Let's be clear here, pattern writers! I opted for knitting the stitches as they appeared, and that seems to have been a good choice. I'm hoping against hope that I can finish the front tonight, but I think tomorrow is more likely. Mom's birthday is Friday, so if I want her to have her gift at any date close to her birthday, I don't really have time to frog the back and redo it . . . Decisions, decisions.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

knitting knowledge

I come to you during my lunch hour (it's far, far too hot and humid and generally revolting to venture outside for lunch), but I may disappoint some as I don't have much to share. I've knit a few more inches of the A.S.S., but nothing very exciting.
However, I have been somewhat (ok, profoundly and irritatingly) bored at work most of this week (I appreciate them starting me off slow, but really, I'd rather be busy than left staring at my cube partition for 7 hours straight), so I've been doing a lot of reading about knitting. And I wanted to share with you some great ideas and tips I've come across.
Here's a great collection of bind offs from Knitty. And even more.
And, while we're at it, a variety of cast ons, too.
Here's the craziest damn sock knitting gambit I've ever come across.
Here's some great info on not accidently destroying your knitting by attempting to clean it.
As you can see, there all come from I love Knitty's patterns, but the "Features," which are often overlooked, include bunches of great articles (all the back issues are available) on techniques, tips and tricks, etc.
I didn't manage to find, however, what I was originally looking for: some kind of easy-as-pie tutorial, and maybe a swatch or sampler to go with it, on Fair Isle--something like Silver's sock class. Ah, well.
Ok, I do actually have some work to do today, so I should get back to it. Tonight when I get home, I'm planning to join the second ball of yarn to the A.S.S. front and at least knit up to the armhole decreases. I'm afraid I won't get much knitting in this weekend--I've got a wedding tomorrow night, then a weekend trip to the beach with my parents, so I can't exactly be knitting their gifts right in front of them. I may cast on Chapeau Marnier so I can knit in the car, it's a 2.5 hour drive to la playa . . .

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Steady as she goes

I've been working diligently on the front of the A.S.S., but as it starts with 14 inches of k2p2 rib, it's pretty mundane knitting-wise and certainly not worthy of a photo. If you're really curious, you can look back at the picture from the back of the A.S.S. ;o) I've got approximately 7 inches done, so about halfway to the crucial mark--the armhole decreases, which really tripped me up on the back. I certainly hope the knitting gods smile on me for the front and I have more success with it.
If I ever finish the A.S.S. (and to think, I wanted it done by this weekend-hah!), I'm going to take a page out of Leann's knitting book (well, blog) and block them together. This seems like a relatively painless way to ensure that they come out the same size, and will certainly take up less space than blocking them seperately--I think my husband is getting annoyed finding random surfaces in our home covered with knitting. But I don't have a blocking board, so what's a girl to do?
Though I still haven't tried it myself yet, yesterday I saw a woman knitting on the Metro. This isn't the first time I've seen someone doing it, but it is the first time I've seen it since I started knitting myself. So instead of just staring in wonder, I could really appreciate what she was doing--happily knitting a sock on a circular needle with self-striping yarn while everyone pushed and shoved and stunk (stank? Anyway, it's been ridiculously hot and humid here, so the trains are full of sweaty, stinky people!) around her. I was quite jealous, particularly as I have been rather disappointed with the book I'm reading on the train every day. Still, I feel the A.S.S. may be a bit large for train knitting, so perhaps I will wait until I have a more compact project to work on.
(On a side note, I'm trying to win a referral contest at, so if anyone would like to help me out, please CLICK HERE to sign up and complete one offer. It's quick, painless and, most importantly, free; and you can even start earning yourself some extra pocket change. I made $60 last month--it's all for the pretty yarn!)

Saturday, August 4, 2007

a breather

I've taken a short breather from knitting this week, in an attempt to recover from my two most recent yarn disasters, as well as to focus on starting my new job. The job is good so far, everyone is nice and I haven't been overwhelmed with work right off the bat.
The most difficult part is getting used to working in an environment that is primarily Spanish-speaking--it's strange to hear almost no English for 8 straight hours (well, being in the U.S.; I never think it's weird to hear no English in Nicaragua, Peru, etc., obviously). People are very willing to speak to me in English, but I think I prefer using Spanish, it's good practice (of course, I'm sure they feel the same way about using English)! On the downside, by the end of the day I get so used to speaking in Spanish that when I arrive home, I almost forget to switch back to English (and hubby doesn't speak a word of Spanish).
I also find it weird to hug and kiss your coworkers hello, but I understand that that is very normal within Latin American/Spanish culture, so I just have to get used to it. ;o)
It feels like so long ago, but Tuesday I got a special surprise email from my One Skein exchange knitter! I was really excited--I'll admit, I was somewhat worried that no one was knitting for me because there are a few Kristens in the group and the possibility of everyone thinking they were assigned another Kristen seemed very real. But no worries now, as someone is definitely knitting for me, and she seems very nice. :o)
So, I've made it through my first half-week at work, and now I can relax a bit. Today I plan to cast on for the front of the A.S.S. (hee!) and see if that goes any better than the back. Monday I should be receiving my KnitPicks order so I can get started on my Dad's birthday socks and Chapeau Marnier. Maybe next week I will give knitting on the Metro a try . . .