Friday, September 29, 2006

Hat's off

My auntie's bright pink hat is finished. The crocheted flower is attached with a pin so she has the option of taking it off. The hat was completed without issue. The flower was a little more difficult given my apparent inability to follow directions. After just four tries it worked out. If nothing else, it's great for peek-a-boo.
The hat is knitted with Debbie Bliss's Cashmerino. Fabulously fun to work with. The pattern is the Yarn Harlot's no pattern hat. I really like the simplicity of it.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

What next

I'm heading to a yarn breakfast at a local craft store on Saturday. What to make next? Tote? Hat? I have the yarn for two sweaters, but it's always more fun to buy new yarn. I'll probably look for something quick so I can get it done and start one of the sweaters. Maybe I should just skip the breakfast and knit.

Hat progress

Yeah, I have started the decreases on the hat. It's very, very pink, however. It looks a little large, as well. It is the measurement she asked for though. Maybe my aunt has a really big head. Better too big than too small?

Decoding the mess

I think I've gotten to the root of my sewing room messiness issue. I'm actually good at organizing things, but I'm lousy at putting them away. I love to create, I just hate to pick up. Usually I work until I run out of time and then walk away from the mess. Then when I go back, I start something else. I have decided that I will look at cleaning up as a gift I give myself so that when I return I find a clean space.

Lessons in knitting

I taught a friend to knit today. She picked it up right away. I thought I was a fabulous teacher, then I learned she' d actually held the sticks before. She did assure me, however, that though she had knit before she hadn't actually completed anything.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fun Felted Finished Tote

I have completed the tote for my secret pal in the International Tote Exchange 11. It was made with Cascade 220 using a combination of two patterns. It's about 12 inches long and six inches tall. It is lined, which turned out to be much easier than expected. It also has a magnetic closure, attached using pieces cut from the gauge swatch and sewn to the purse. It features a pretty silk ribbon embroidery button that my 4yo covets. I hope my pal enjoys.

An expensive free show

Here's the lesson I learned Sunday: It is a bad idea to go to a yarn festival without a work in progress, aka a wip, or at least knitting supplies. This is because you will be truly tempted to get one started. Add to that a need to spend an unspecified amount of time on the playground while the 4yo plays and I was totally sunk.

I had planned to get yarn to make a hat for my aunt, but I hadn't planned on getting sticks, a measuring tape and a cutter. Oh well, these things are always disappearing into the void anyway, so it can't hurt to have extras, right?

I was able to check my gauge and cast on and play tag with the 4yo -- not all at the same time, of course.

I will be using the Yarn Harlot's no pattern hat pattern. I'm getting 4 stitchest to the inch and it needs to be 24 inches around - so that's 96 inches, right? I never imagined when I was struggling math that I would one day need it for my craft.

The yarn is Debbie Bliss's cashmerino chunky. I am in love with this yarn. It is so soft and scooshy. This is very important because my aunt is going through chemo therapy and has lost her hair. I want this to the be softests, most comfortable hat she owns. It will have a rolled brim and be extra tall, per her request.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Though I am loath to admit it, this is my sewing room. Deep sigh. There once was an underlying organization, but you can hardly tell looking around. It wasn't always like this. It was once a neat and well-functioning space. And then, work, kids, and way , way too many projects got in the way. So the next project has to be returning it once more to a workable room. The problem is that there is so much to do, I don't even want to get started; that's why it's this bad. But let me be a beacon of hope for the hopelessly messed and disorganized. Let me be an inspiration, proving that mountains of mess can be tamed.

Another lesson learned

Never leave your sharpest scissors and a set of circular needles anywhere near a four-year-old. The tempation is just too great. While Denise needles are sturdy and will withstand years of use, they are no match for a four-year-old with a sharp pair of scissors.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Cursed Sweater, Chapter 2

This is the cursed sweater. It turns out the back I have won't work because there is shaping for the armhole that is not included on the front of the pattern I now have in hand.

Here's the lessons I have learned so far:
1. Don't let a project languish for months.
2. If you are going to let a project languish for months, make meticulous notes to leave with it.
3. Mixing patterns is a bad idea unless you have a lot more experience than do I.
4. Sometimes it really is more productive to just frog it.
5. Make a photo copy of the pattern (which is legal) then when the book inevitably gets lost, you're not stuck.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Cursed Sweater

Several months ago, I started what was supposed to be the world's easiest baby sweater, or at least close to it. The cardigan was to be for my then six-month old. I think it may be cursed.
Shortly after buying the yarn, I lost the book with the pattern: The Yarn Girls' Guide to Kids' Knits. I was undetered. After all, I had another book with patterns for all sizes and gauges. All gauges except the one that I needed: 2 stitches per inch. Still, I figured I could figure it out and got started.
I happily cast on and quickly knit up the back of the little sweater. I couldn't remember if the pattern was for a v or a crew neck, so I chose v neck. The first side went as smoothly as the back. And then, all progress stopped. I'm not sure why. Other knitting projects demanded to be knitted. My dog died (bad thing.) I quit my job (good thing.) I launched my own writing business (good thing.) My kids got out of school for the summer (good bad thing.) Now, months later, the baby is a toddler and it's time to get this sweater knit before she grows out of it.
But now I can't find the second book. I did what I should have done in the first place and borrowed the original book from the library.
Of course by now I can't remember what size I cast on or what needles I used. I think it was a size 2. I think it was 13s and 15s. I also discovered that the pattern was for a crew neck. Oh well, at least I can use the back.
At this point, I still didn't suspect that the sweater was cursed. But after today's experience with it, I'm sure of it.
First, I cast on two stitches short. I found that out after four rows. Next, I realized the pattern called for a k2, p2 ribbing but I did k1,p1 on the back. I figured that out after five inches knit. Then I knit in garter instead of stockinette - that took just two inches to discover. And finally, I forgot to switch to the larger needled after the ribbing. That took a whopping 8 inches of knitting.
I'm fairly certain I would have knit the whole thing by now if I hadn't had to frog so much!
Now, if I wasn't convinced of the cursedness of this sweater - this blog entry - my first on my first blog - was entirely lost when blogger went down and I had to retype it.
But, I have a sweater back and half of a front. It's a big knit so it should knit up quickly. Right? I will keep hope alive. After all, what is knitting but a great adventure?