Friday, November 20, 2009

To-do list

Knitting "chores":

Rip out "practice hat" made of pink Cascade 220, roll yarn into ball. Not sure if I'll wash it or just store it. This yarn became practice yarn, which I use when trying to work out a pattern. This hat? Kind of didn't work.

Rip out half-made sweater. It's been on the needles for a long, long time. My first sweater attempt. It's not working at all. I need to admit defeat and try again.

Finish throw blanket. This project was fun at the start, but now I'm bored. Maybe I'll just let it dit on the needles for a while.

Start gift blanket. I usually enjoy trying to work out an original pattern, but this one may have me beat. Not sure how to achieve what I want to achieve with it, but don't want to give up, either.

Fun planned knitting:

New hat. Can't find the pretty blue beret I made last year, so, of course, the only solution is to make a new one! Have a skein of purple Cascade 220, and another skein of black. I'm thinking purple, with cables.

Not sure which category this falls into:

Sort the stash, discard old swatches, plan holidat projects. I'm scared. I'm very scared. This is the sort of thing that leads to planned projects which never come to fruition. It also leads to shopping. Help!

Friday, November 6, 2009


Just received 19 balls of Knit Picks Shine Sport in the mail. Why - WHY - did I think it would be a good idea to make a blanket out of this tiny yarn?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I get excited about little things

I've worked out how to knit a tube on straight needles by double-knitting with a single strand. Someone is getting a scarf made this way for Christmas. Not sure who, but I have to show off my new skill!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

To-Knit List

Saw a woman on the street with a very cool cableknit beret. Trying to figure out how to reproduce it. The knitting math is melting my brain.

Have a sock that's been on the needles for ages. Tired of it, but can't bring myself to abandon it completely.

Have a throw blanket that's been on the needles for over a month. I do it in bits and pieces, but... I can't believe I'm saying this... knitting has not been a priority lately.

Owe someone a combination blanket/housewarming present. Anyone got any intarsia charts or other creative ideas for a Beatrix Potter- themed item?

Saturday, September 19, 2009


I'm still here, and still knitting! Other things have taken up quite a bit of space in my brain, and I've run short on time and energy for blogging. Piccies of recent and ongoing projects will follow, if only to remind myself that I do, sometimes, manage to get things done!

The new quarter began this past week, and once again I'll be in classes every Tuesday and Thursday night.

My Willy, a cat I had for about 10 years, died of congestive heart failure about two weeks ago. He had been sick for about two months, so his death was not a surprise, but I had hoped he could stick around a little longer.

My doctor says I've got irritable bowel syndrome. I thought it was celiac disease (tests confirm it's not) and tried a gluten-free diet for a while. I did feel a little better after cutting out gluten, and considered doing it again, celiac or not. However, I found that when I cut out gluten, I have to cut it out completely. Once my body has adapted to being gluten-free, a small amount of gluten in my food will cause a headache and a bitter taste in my mouth. It's easier (and a whole lot cheaper!) to maintain some gluten in my diet. I was, at least, introduced to the yumminess that is flax bread. It's pricey, but worth the splurge now and then.

My mom had a tumor full of pre-cancerous cells removed, and she seems fine now.

Had a minor bang-up with my car, which was already in pretty bad shape. Have gained some weight, mostly as a result of screwing around with my diet and different meds for months. I like my new apartment, except for a few minor problems. I could use a pedicure. Aaaaaand.... that's about it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Still here

No, I haven't abandoned the blog. There's been a lot going on lately, and blogging hasn't been high on my to-do list. Still knitting, though. That's not on the list, either. Doesn't need to be. I just keep doing it!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Go... what?

In honor of Memorial Day, will someone please tell me the origin of the phrase "Go knit a flag?" Or at least, what it means?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Puts my puny efforts in perspective

There are lots of people who knit for charity. Cari Clement took it to a whole new level.

Rwanda Knits

Through a USAID grant to our sister Rwanda-based NGO, Rwandans Allied for Peace and Progress, Rwanda Knits has enabled over 1,200 women to earn a living through making and selling their knitted goods. The organization has provided over 600 knitting machines and training to women in 17 associations throughout the country. The project has been described as one of USAID Rwanda's most successful income-producing projects. Today these associations have formed 29 knitting cooperatives who are registering as primary cooperatives, soon to be forming the country's first Secondary (umbrella-type) Artisan Cooperative.

That? Is awesome. And they're not just selling their products abroad. They also knit sweaters for the local kids' school uniforms.

Making a pretty

KnitPicks Shine Worsted, in Wisteria. Size 9 needles. Pattern pulled out of my own head. About 3/4 finished. The color in the image is a bit more purply than the true color, which is more of a pale purple-gray. Finished size will be about 32" by about 36", I think.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Checking in

Working on a cableknit baby blankie, using KnitPicks Shine Worsted, in Wisteria.

That is all.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bits and pieces

In new apartment, but not yet unpacked. I think my old landlord did me a favor by not renewing my lease- the last-minute move was stressful, but this apartment is nicer than the old one, and this block is nicer than the old one, and this neighborhood is nicer than the old one, and... you get the idea. The new apartment is a little smaller than the old one, but otherwise, I seem to have moved up in the world.

Picked up some new size 1 dpn's. Will have to try very hard to not break them. Will also have to finish that sock, since I no longer have an excuse not to.

Started a cable knit baby blanket. It's supposed to be a gift for a baby due soonishly. Settled on a pattern, changed my mind, settled on a different patern, changed my mind, settled on something else, changed my mind... you get this idea, too, right? Refusing to change my mind again. Using Knitpicks Shine Worsted, in Wisteria.

Behind on all matter of things related to school.


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Two out of five


I've snapped another size 1 bamboo dpn.

This is getting ridiculous.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

You know it's time to do laundry...

Today I put on hand-knitted socks and wore them out of the house.

I'm not sure I've ever done that before.

Friday, April 24, 2009

"Uh-oh" or "Oh, an opportunity!"?

Just found out my landlord will not be renewing my lease. I guess I should have seen this coming, since I told them I probably would not be staying, but I realized how inconvenient moving would be right now, and couldn't find a decent place I liked well enough to justify the trouble of moving, and during a phone conversation on Tuesday I was told that I could still sign the new lease, no problem, and they'd do all the repairs I keep asking them to do. And today I was told otherwise. So, I have less than a week to find a new place and move my ass into it.

I have an appointment to look at a place on Saturday afternoon, but if that doesn't pan out, I need to know where to look next. If you live in Chicago and know of a place that will accept 2 cats, is available May 1, and is around $650 per month or less, please, let me know! I found my current place on short notice, so I know this can turn out all right... but I'm still panicking a little bit!

It's 8 o'clock on Friday. I can't do anything about this tonight. Got my Knitpicks order today (finally!), and have two gifts to work on, plus my own project. Should I knit, or should I pack? Hhhmmmmm......

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The really cool thing about all this...

If you're someone who doesn't go out much, then suddenly decides it's time to be social, or

If you're new in town and don't know anyone, or

If you just figure it's time to meet some new people, or

If you've got nothing else to do on a given evening, or

If you happen to be shopping when your favorite craft store has their knit night...

You show up, sit down next to someone, and say "What are you working on?"

I've sporadically attended a few local knitting groups, including a brief appearance at tonight's meetup group. It's amazing how anyone from anywhere could just show up and ask "Can I join you?" and... they can!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Now it's an actual toothpick


I broke my toothpick!

And by "toothpick" I mean "size 1 bamboo dpn".

And by "broke" I mean "broke". In half.


Dramatic representation of the tragic event:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I'm in grad school, and spend two evenings per week in class. Tonight's class was interesting and informative, full of useful information, engaging and entertaining, but none of that mattered, because I could not get my mind off the cuffs on the professor's sweater. It looked machine-made, but I'm pretty sure I could have reproduced it, if only I could have gotten a good, close-up look at the way the cables met the cuffs!

Fortunately, I was able to restrain myself from walking up to this poor woman after class and saying, "Excuse me, may I please closely examine your shirt for a few minutes? Would you mind just taking it off and turning it inside out so I can take a look at the reverse side? Please? Just for a minute?"

I'm pretty sure that would have meant an automatic F. And possibly a referral to social services.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Note to self

Dear Self:

The size one needles looked like a good idea, didn't they? Making socks with them seemed like a fine, idea, too, right? But next time? Try something less likely to take weeks and drive you bonkers.



Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Reasons to not finish a sweater

I started the Shapely Tank, from Joan McGowan-Michael at White Lies Designs, last year, and it's still a WIP. Or, to be more specific, it's still only half made. After I'd started, I read in a forum (Ravelry, I think) that the hip measurement is meant to be a high hip measurement, rather than a full hip measurement. Since I sized it based on the measurement at the largest part of my hips, this top was always going to be a little looser than suggested. To complicate matters further, I've lost weight since I started!

The front panel is done to just before the short rows, which may no longer be necessary due to the large size. The back panel is done to the same point, since I wanted to be certain both panels were the right size before I did any further shaping. I pinned the edges of both pieces together, with the active stitches on a string, and slipped it over my torso. And... yep. Too big. And now I can't decide whether to keep going, or rip it and start over, or rip it and start a new pattern.

So there it sits, mocking me with its unfinishedness.

Monday, April 6, 2009

First Post: On My Toes!

For my inaugural post at this blog, I thought I'd discuss my current favorite method of constructing a toe for a toe-up sock.

When I made my first pair of socks, I used a short-row toe. I liked the look of it, and didn't find the wrapped and double-wrapped stitches to be quite as annoying as people on the various online forums claimed. However, when I found the magic cast-on, I was almost an immediate convert. I say almost because, even though it was a quicker and easier way to make a toe, I didn't like those wide "stripes" that occur on both sides of the toe when you work the increases as many patterns suggest: knit a stitch or two at the beginning of the round, increase (I like a lifted increase), knit to almost the midway point, increase, knit a few stitches, increase, and so on, so that there are a few stitches between each increase. I found that the finished product looked a little blocky and somehow not as nice as a short-row toe. After a little playing around, I realized the obvious: all I needed to do to create a smoother and better-shaped toe was to eliminate the stitches between the increases.

After casting on using the magic cast-on (or a figure 8 cast-on, or any other manner of two-needle cast-on), place a stitch marker at the beginning/end of the round, and another at the halfway point of the round. After knitting one plain round, slip the marker, and L1B in the first stitch. Knit all the way to the second marker, and do L1A in the last stitch. Slip the marker, and repeat. Work these two rows until you've got as many stitches as you need for your foot. The result has the look and shape of a short-row toe, but without any wrapped stitches, turning, or purling.

Fortissima Socka in Sea Blue, with size 1 needles:

Mirasol Hacho, with size 6 needles: