Sunday, June 27, 2010

Blanket Update...

115 squares completed.

Thanks Gary and Linda!

We finally made beer-can chicken :) It was quite tasty- moist and tender. And it didn't taste like beer at all, which was a good thing in my opinion. The lesson we did learn though- if you don't eat skin (yuck!) season UNDER the skin. Although it smelled divine, we didn't get any of the great flavors. I ended up just eating mine with a bit of cracked pepper. One of the better pieces of chicken I've had in a while.
Yesterday was a very humid, but quite beautiful day. A nice break from the insane rain we've been having lately. Kevin was finally able to mow the lawn (it had been I think 3 weeks and was growing like a jungle) and then just a few hours after he finished, it started raining again.
Today Suzy is supposed to come over to play yarn. I've been knitting on my sock blanket a bit, and working on that test knit for Crazy Girl. I tried it on last night, and I think it needs to be longer than the pattern calls for, but is otherwise quite cute.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Test Knitting... the longest swatch

Isn't this the most beautiful yarn ever! It's Blue Heron Rayon Metallic (I think the colorway is Denim?) I've been eyeing this yarn forever- since a friend used it in a project. It's expensive, and I've kind of been on a wool fingering weight yarn kick lately. But this is what Crazy Girl gave me to test knit a pattern for them, and now that I've got my hands on it, I think I'm very likely to go back and get some in a colorway that really speaks to me. Something with some pink. Look at the sheen in that picture- it really has that, and it really sparkles. I just love it so much.

So as much as I'm in love with the yarn, so far I'm not in love with the design. And I'm not sure it's actually the design's fault. In fact, I haven't even gotten to the design yet. Just the swatch. This swatch is 3 feet long. I think the gauge is impossible, and I really hope it's a mistake. I know I knit kind of tightly- but this is absurd. The gauge is 12 st/40 rows = 4 inches, suggested on size US9 needles. To get 3 st/in I had to go up to size US15 needles, and by that point a row was like 2.5 st. I never got the row gauge, because to do it, I would have had to go DOWN needle sizes from the 9 I started with. I didn't swatch in that direction. I emailed the yarn store and I'm going to just ask them what size needle they think I should use (if the gauge isn't a mistake.) I like the drape of the US10.5 the best, but since it's not for me, I need to do what they want. I'd likely just knit it with the stitch count given, and if it's too small rip it out and start again by adjusting the stitch count- but that's not testing the pattern, that's just doing my own thing.

I did try the stitch pattern last night, and I did it at way too loose of a row gauge so it didn't look lovely, but I can see how it's going to be really cool if the row gauge was tighter. Let's hope I get to the point where I can actually do the pattern. I wish the gauge swatch would have worked out so I could have knocked this project out this weekend. Oh well.... the yarn store will have to wait I guess.

Something new for me...swatching

But first- the DNA scarf is blocked, ends are woven in, and Kevin's worn it. (Then put it away for the winter.) The scarf grew a TON in blocking. It's almost 8 feet long, which actually works well to wrap it around Kevin's neck and then let it hang down on a coat. It has a huge tendancy to curl, which blocking helped, but you have to smooth it out when you put it on. I'm a little disappointed that the blocking flattened out the base pairs (I think) inside the DNA structure. Oh well. I promised him this around 2005, so I'm glad to have finally done it.
I'm also working on a WendyKnits sock in Knipicks Felici, but it's been put aside for the project I'm about to describe. (ooh- and I got new yarns in for my blanket, but I need to do this next thing first...)

So swatching...

I'm test knitting a project for the yarn store. It's a cute little mobius style wrap - one of my friends actually made the basic version of it- but this is a variation with a lace design. The design- I can handle it no problem (though the yarn is so slippery it would be tough to recover a mistake.)

However, it's a good thing I love this yarn- I have spent HOURS swatching. I'm thinking the gauge might be impossible. I've swatched on every needle from size 9 to size 15 and I can't get close to what the pattern calls for. I'm going to bring the swatches to the store and see which needle they want me to go for. If it was me, I'd just pick one, and the design stretches, and I'm sure it was fine, but it's not for me- it's to check the pattern. I need to know what they want.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I really should go to WI

visited 39 states (78%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

Kevin's DNA scarf is blocked and ends are woven in. It looks good- but it's really long and tends to curl :( Pictures soon.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


I posted all about the process of making this, but never showed the final product. Probably because I didn't like it. It's designed not to be blocked (stretched), but instead to be a chunky, rippling scarf. It did nothing for me- it was too short to be worn well as a scarf, and to narrow to be a stole.

So, like many many others, I blocked it. (It's knit on the bias, so it's supposed to be a parallelogram, I blocked it as a rectangle- a bit difficult, but I think I did an okay job.)

Anyhow- now it's a great stole. I need to find a good shawl pin, and then stole-able occasions (cruise!) to wear it.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The urge to spend

Why is it that so many hobbies revolve around buying things for the hobby? Are there any out there at all that aren't like that?

Knitters want yarn, patterns, needles, stitch markers, and more more more
Quilters want fabric. Lots and lots of fabric. Can you ever have enough fabric?
Stamping- omg, don't get me started.

Even my sports hobbies are easy to spend on- skating is a money pit, yoga classes are expensive, and it's just not the same at home. Plus all the cute clothes.

Why is there always an urge to buy?
This morning (and last weekend) I didn't buy more Wollmeise. I'm proud of myself for this, but I have a longing to get more. Why do I need more? I have so much yarn to knit up still. But I have project after project that I really want to do "next". The list of "next" goes on forever... but always there is something new to buy.

Yesterday I cast on for a pair of socks (Mirror Mirror pattern) in Wollmeise 100%. I haven't used this for socks and am a bit worried it won't hold up as well as the 80/20, but my other 100% merino socks seem to be doing fine. I love this fuschia color. I had tried to do "Hearts Afire" in it, but I hated every second of knitting that pattern, and decided to frog after I put the heel on just a little too late and they were too long. I'm on the heel of MM now, hopefully it's in the right position. I hate toe up- it's so hard to tell when to start the heel. Additionally, I'm giving this a go on 2 circs, and it is NOT for me. I keep switching to DPNs for awhile to give myself a break from wrestling the octopus of needles and cords. But I wanted to learn a new technique, so then I go back to 2 circs. I cannot believe people prefer this. Casting on with DPNs is ackward- but the knitting process here is crazy.