Monday, May 21, 2007

New Project Feeling

So since I am 99.9% done with the sweater, just need those toggles, I have been on a new project kick. Which is good and bad, as all of the new projects I've been interested in come from stash yarn, and all of the new projects are presents for people, but they are still new projects. And they are rather quick knits, so methinks I may bust through that requirement of the number of new projects being at most half of the number of finished projects. I have some wiggle room, especially once I finish the Lopi Cardigan, so I can start and finish up to four projects before killing my numbers. Problem is that I have between five and eleven new projects in the works. One is a quick sock pattern, Thuja, which I have knitted before, I have leftover yarn to knit this pair, and it takes a very short amount of time. The last time I knitted them, it was around 12 hours total for the pair, and each time I make them it gets faster. This is a graduation gift, and gets rid of approximately one full skein of yarn.

The other four to ten other projects are belated Mother's Day gifts. I had an idea for matching washcloths and handtowels from the yarn I already own, and I'm really, really, really liking the way it's turning out. I have one washcloth done so far and would have two or three had I not transferred my scissors to my other bag this weekend. They are still in the other bag. I definitely want to make the washcloths for my Aunts and Grandmother, who I will be seeing in a few days, so that's the first four, and if I finish the socks and the washcloths in time, I will be working on matching hand towels. I'm not sure how many washcloths and towels each ball will make. I know the balls will make at least two washcloths, I'm thinking more like three or four. The handtowels may be more ambitious than my stash will allow me to be. I have four balls, two vareigated and two in a complimentary solid. Best case scenario, I get four washcloths from the vareigated balls and two handtowels from the solids. Then I can give two vareigateds and one handtowel (or really give one matching set of each color to everyone as the Sugar and Cream is currently on sale at Jo-Ann's for $3/2 skeins) to each person. I was also considering making a set for my mom if I have the materials and time. I probably won't do that though, as my mom is getting the Broomstick Lace blanket, which is still going to be discussed in its own glorious post at a later date in order to keep me from being more long-winded than I usually am. And to provide me with filler fodder when I have nothing new to say.

I also have two draft posts waiting to be completed once I can integrate pictures. Both posts have to do with my beautiful Lopi Cardigan, which is soooo freaking close to completeness that I wore it last night even though it still does not have toggles (and I had no crochet hook when I finished so had that last bit of yarn just hanging off the collar - oh well).

Now I just need to stop in my craft storage space to grab that Thuja yarn and see if I can find that blue Sugar and Cream for the blue/green vareigated set. I have millions of skeins of blue yarn (actually probably more like 10) so I may have just overlooked it, or it could be in one of four other places. Because though I have a storage space especially for yarn, not all the yarn is in it, due to space and laziness. Hey, I think I remember putting it into the secondary yarn bin, the one with the Broomstick Lace blanket yarn (I have yarn for two more of those...) because it didn't quite fit last time I moved my crafting stuff. I'll have to check that out...

Speaking of moving, the stash-busting-ness is actually a really good thing as I'm a college student and moving for an internship in a little over a week. Which means it's time to pull everything out and try to fit it into as small a space as possible. I like to do my craft stuff last, as I actually really like spending the time going through everything and playing tetris with the bins to get it all to fit in some semblance of order. Like Lopi yarns go here, sock yarn there, acrylic fingering weight on this side, Red Heart worsted over there, Patons Classic Merino thisaway, random novelty yarns thataway, etc. And of course sorting by color a bit too. Ooohh, I just figured out what I can do with my leftover Lopi from a vest I made! I can make the hat from my Lopi Cardigan pattern and possibly give it as a gift...or keep it...

Since my Broomstick Lace blanket has been finished, and I've gotten a bunch of worsted yarn out of the bin for presents, and if I can use up all this Sugar and Cream and the Thuja yarn, I think I'll actually have less yarn this move and be able to pack it all up better. Awesome.

I'm off to try to find some scissors!

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Well, the pelts are off the blocking board. And since I have all of the live stitches of all of the pieces on the same circular wire, they really do look like pelts when I grab them all up. At this point, I have 2.5 out of the four raglan seams complete, and then four more seams to go. This is the first time I've seamed an adult-sized sweater, and the first time playing with mattress stitch and raglan seams. It's coming out beautifully so far. I showed Lee how wonderful it was to just tug on the yarn and have the seams come together so nicely. He rolled his eyes. He doesn't get it.

Have you ever used Lopi? I'm using it for my cardigan, and it's breaking a lot as I seam. I'm not sure why this keeps happening. I'm spit-splicing it back together, but it's really making me wonder if the seams will hold up. Granted, they shouldn't have too much tension on them, but I'd still rather have seams that I can be happy with, both while seaming and wearing.

On the plus side, I have pretty sidebar stuff up now, so take a look! It's not a comprehensive listing at all (as you can tell from the Score), though it is the stuff I will most likely be working on. Or at least, it was a good grouping to put up. I was just going to add things as I blogged about them, but oh well.

No pictures today, I didn't photograph the pelts or the beautiful seams. I also have my Hourglass Eyelet sock that I'm working on while in school. I'm down to the foot, but for some reason this sock just seems to be going veeeeery slooooooowly. I worked on it for a couple hours yesterday, and I only got 2". It's my in school project for the moment, so hopefully it gets done by the time school is out. Then I can make the second one. Oy. Right now I just want something I can finish quickly and be happy about. The cardigan is so close, but needs buttons before it can really be finished. I have to make a second sock to finish the Hourglass Eyelet socks. And my closest cross stitch piece needs backing fabric once I finish it, so that will take kind of awhile too. Instant gratification please!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

New Knits on the Block

I finally dug out the blocking board to block some things. My first two attempts at spinning yarn (now in square form as hot plates for putting under hot pots on the table) and my Lopi Toggle Cardigan are now drying, pinned into the shapes they will stay in forevermore. Actually, I'm probably going to re-block the Lopi Cardigan once it's completely done. The pattern doesn't give any measurements for how big the individual pieces should be, so I'm just kinda guessing. It's all stockinette which made the pieces all roll horrendously when I was thinking of seaming before blocking. That was not going to work, so I decided a quick block was the answer, just to straighten out the edges and allow me to sew it all up. Which is why I may re-block when it's all together, to make it all nice and homogeneous.

Here's all the pieces bathing (and a couple of Baudelaires that I had thought were washer safe, so threw in, and they felted slightly, so now they are hand wash only). See the curling? Yeah, seaming was just not going to work. Mmmmm, I love the smell of wet wool...

And here's the back, on my lovely blocking board. What I was going to do was block the back and the handspun on the front of the board, then block the sleeves and the fronts on the back of the board. Turns out the sleeves are too wide to block side by side, and as I have the open stitches (to make a collar) all on the same cord of my Boye set (I gotta get more cords), rearranging was not so much an option. So, pinned to the floor they are:

My pelts (as Lee calls them) are still drying. We've had amazing weather here this past week, but trust me to block as a storm system comes in, bringing a whole bunch of humidity that is not conducive to fast drying. Oh well, it will be done eventually. This will be my first cardigan that is adult-sized. I also made Knitty's Reid for an adorable little girl, but that was quite different.

Step Next is the seaming and knitting of the collar, then the picking out of the closures. I'm not quite sure how I feel about the toggles; the model cardigan hangs open more than I like with the toggles, so I'm going to have to try it on to see what it wants. I was thinking maybe pewter clasps, but if it sits nicely, toggles it will be. Yay button shopping! I told Lee he has to come with me to help me figure out what closures to get. He rolled his eyes. I don't think he really cares. But don't tell the cardigan that.

Monday, May 14, 2007

First is the Worst!

Apparently Gmail and Blogger do not play nice. I had a beautiful first post full of charm and wit, but it was erased when Gmail refreshed and made Blogger sign me back in. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

Well, we'll see how much of the wit I can remember. I am a college student, working on my combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. To note: This will be a fiber blog, focusing on knitting, with a bunch of crochet, needle felting, cross stitching, and spinning thrown in for flavor (and when I have the time). Yes, yes, yes, the world doesn't need another, but there you go.

Why do I feel I should add my two cents to the world of knitblogging? I think some people might get a laugh or a tip while reading about my trials and tribulations with Fair-Isling and sockage. I attack lace, cables, and anything else I haven't tried before when I can. Some people have been put on this earth to serve as a warning to others, and I fear that may be true in my case...

So, about me and my fiberliciousness:
  • I have a spindle and handcarders for spinning (and four llama fleeces and three pounds of alpaca...)
  • I have a set of Boye interchangeable needles for knitting (and really should buy more cords...)
  • I have a set of Boye crochet hooks for crocheting (and a bunch of smaller ones for holiday snowflakes...)
  • I have a sewing machine (that I haven't had time to try out yet, though I definitely have a few items that have been looking at the machine longingly...)
  • I have a couple of beginner's needle felting kits (and a cute little penguin, just waiting for me to buy the needle I need to put him all together...)
  • I have a bunch of cross stitch kits, fleece bits, yarn earmarked for projects, and fabrics just waiting for me to find the time (as well as a healthy stash of random yarns and groovy '70s pattern books, hand-me-downs from when my mom crocheted...)
  • And I can't quite seem to stay with one project long enough to finish (Hi, I'm AnaMarie, and I'm a fiber-aholic...)
I also have a sock sitting on the desk next to me, asking why I'm blogging instead of knitting. I just got to the heel flap and I'm going to stall? Blasphemy! But quite within the norms of my crafting world. The Hourglass Eyelet sock will be done when it is's that for philosophical? And it's languishing because the computer is right here, while the pattern is in my backpack on the floor (and on the computer screen so I can get the link for the pattern, so sue me!).

Finishing things is a problem for me. Though I did finish a blanket yesterday (more on that later...). I've always kept a list of what projects I'm working on and have the supplies for. Projects I want to do I don't actually write down, because if I really want to make them, I'll remember when I have the money for them. At the bottom of my daily planner, I keep a tally of how many projects I have started this quarter (I go to a college run on the quarter system; this quarter started first week in March) versus how many I have finished versus how many I have ongoing. The goal is to get the ongoing below ten. Ha. The requirement is to keep the started at less than half of the finished, at least until the ongoing is at a much more reasonable number. Well, here it is: 9-19-36. As you can see, I'm winning by one. Yay me? I have two projects that just need blocking, and one that needs to be seamed after it's blocked, but that requires getting out the blocking board and playing with wet wool, and as it's almost the end of the quarter and finals are approaching, that just hasn't happened yet.

I do have a camera, and will be regaling those of you who will willingly stop by with photo proof of my knitting inabilities. Including the blanket I finished yesterday. You can "ooh" and "ahh" at my beautiful finished objects, marvel at the creativity of my designs, and see what stuff I made. Do you ever want to put the pictures of your finished objects on the 'fridge? I do. Kinda like, yup, I made it all by myself, aren't you proud of me? So I coulda stayed within the lines better, so what, mom always loved it anyway, right? Yeah, a lot of things fit in that category. I blame it on the college student budget necessitating acrylic (and the fact that many of my projects are from when I didn't know any better...) and Goodwill sweaters. I can also show off my stash, which is rather small compared to many I've seen. It's all just sitting there, waiting for me to attack it with inspiration, but the problem is that the inspiration usually desires yarn I either don't have or yarn that costs more than I make in a week. Oh well. That's why I'm going to school for engineering, maybe some day I can afford that Tilli Thomas for that beautiful Simple Knitted Bodice by Glampyre.