27 June 2007

It's all happening!

Progress shot, originally uploaded by bunnieprops.

Finally it's starting to make some sense to me.

In lightning speed I was able to redo all the knitting I lost the other day and get further along so that I could actually start to make sense of how it gets put together. Suddenly it's completely clear.

Now it's going to take a little break while I try to keep from melting in the summer heat and humidity. It's no fun to knit in 30°C (~90°F) weather with a growing wool blanket in your lap. I think I'm going to cast on something else while waiting for it to cool down a bit.

I'm thinking it's time to play with my soy. Yes. That sounds like much fun.

25 June 2007

Begin Again

Well, almost anyways. It would seem that I am extremely bad at reading the directions for the Adult Surprise Jacket. And am bad at math. Really I think I was so eager to get to the mindless knitting that I didn't pay close enough attention to what was going to be happening. A simple reread once I was just about done the knitting made me realise that I was way over zealous when deciding how much to decrease (and then increase again).

The double decreases that make the 45° angles are supposed to be repeated every other row until I get to 148 stitches (or reduce by 100 stitches—25 ridges). My misreading of the pattern said that I should decrease to 100 stitches (reduce by 148 stitches or 37 ridges). Yeah. I thought something was wrong when the sweater kept eating ball after ball after ball of yarn, but figured it would all work out in the end. I kept getting antsy about what was coming up next and finally really read the pattern and all my calculations over again and realised my error.

I figure this slight creative reading of the pattern isn't quite as embarrassing as the first time I frogged this sweater. That time I calculated that I was decreasing by 2 stitches every other row instead of 4. That's me. Good at the math. It's a good thing that the world doesn't rely on my math skills.

At least I didn't have to completely start over again. But I did have to frog a good 2/3 of what I had knit so far. I took out 4 balls of yarn. And it's trickier to do when using split spit joins. I had to guess where the join would be by the size of the ball on my wool winder and then look for where I joined the yarns. At least the Noro's changing colours helped make the joins a little more obvious.

Maybe I should just stick to more explicit, row by row patterns. Or to knitting sweaters that are knit in more conventional ways. Maybe I should start drinking coffee again.

24 June 2007

In the middle of many things

Well I did finish my brother's lovely Fair Isle stockings at the beginning of the week. They have had all ends worked in and blocked. I heart Fair Isle cause it only leaves 4 ends to work in and lots of lovely colours. I'm waiting to give them to my brother before taking and posting final pictures (mostly as they don't fit me). They have already been commented on and favourited in Ravelry which makes me a most happy and puffed up knitting person.

Another ego booster is the lovely attention my knitting has had on Flickr. Random comments from international strangers make me most happy. I've even been added to someone's contact list. Terribly good for my ego I must say. I may become tempted to knit in a public gathering type setting.

I also finished one of the Neopolitan mittens and began on the second one. I'm using quite a tight gauge on them to keep them from letting too much wind through once winter shows up again (and so they fit my small hands) but it's causing some wrist angst so I've switched back to the Adult Surprise Jacket for a bit of a break and some (relatively) mindless knitting.

Reading the recipe again I'm not exactly clear on how this thing is going to be put together. I work better when I'm manipulating a real object to go along with written instructions, so I'm hoping that it will become clearer once I'm closer to finishing. One thing that confuses me in the instructions is knowing where to measure from when deciding how long the sleeves and sweater should be. Again this may become clearer once I'm at that part of the game. It's interesting to work on something that doesn't become clearer as you work on it. I think it will all make sense once it's put together. At least I'm hoping.

In the midst of all this I found another knitting blog to read. Cause I really need something else to read in the morning right? Well I'm glad I found Ysolda's Blog. It was such a good read that I was compelled to read it from the beginning up to yesterday's post. I even commented (!!!). I'm usually such a lurker. I'll read diligently, but don't comment on stranger's blogs. I barely comment on my friend's, though I'm getting better at that. I'd say it's not being shy so much as not having anything really to say? Maybe it's just my own crazy. I'll get into the commenting one of these days.

What shall I watch while knitting today? I'm thinking Ruthless People is in order.

17 June 2007

The Attention Span of a Flea

3 scoops of yarn, originally uploaded by bunnieprops.

Right. So Ravelry has completely destroyed my discipline of working on one project at a time. I admit that I did already have two on the go before Ravelry became part of my life, but the excitement of browsing all the projects people are working on, searching through patterns, finding fun Flickr sites via the Forums has put TONS of things into my cue and it getting me thinking all creative like about planning more and more and more and more projects rather than enjoying working on my brother's second sock which has been so so so much fun.

Coming across Hello Yarn's version of these mittens got me started thinking about how much I want a pair.

I heart Fair Isle. And I'm quite a fan of using humour and kitschy imagery into my crafts, especially when they involve 'serious' and traditional techniques and styles. My career at Design school was my personal adoption of the Garden Gnome Liberation Front as defacto organization for projects over several years. I take comedy quite seriously.

I love the idea of knitting with neopolitan ice cream colours. In fact, I'm totallies in love with this trio of colours at the moment. I'm so excited about these colours and this project that I just couldn't help myself from casting on this afternoon while listening to a podcast of This American Life.

K. I'm going to get back to savouring my weekend treat.

15 June 2007

Addictive Fair Isle

Chart to Stripes, originally uploaded by bunnieprops.

One stocking down, another one hot on it's tail.

The Surprise Jacket fever has died down a tad now that I have gotten into the groove of the pattern and how the Silk Garden stripes up. I still love the colour transistions, juxtapositions and the supreme fun of split spit joinging.

But I was suddenly drawn back into the world of Fair Isle. I have feverishly been watching old epsiodes of Friends (from the beginning) and knitting row after row after row of the chart. Loving every second of it. I was tearing through the pattern so fast that I kept messing up one of the mirrored side panels and having to rip out an inch, two inches or even three or four of sock to fix it up again. I didn't get mad, strangely happy to be able to rework the pattern once more.

These stockings are for my brother who likes to follow the 'right' way of doing things so I refused to let myself do my usual crazy-paranoid-wrapping-of-the-yarn-around-itself-a-bazillion-times and quite enjoy the results.

I had all sorts of measurements of my brother's calves, legs, foot, etc. and kept measuring as I was knitting, but quickly realised that his measurements managed to fit perfectly my gauge and the standard sock pattern charts provided and gladly fell into the monotony of blindly following the pattern.

The first stocking was barely off the needles before I immediately cast on for the other stocking. Terribly exciting stuff.

Ravelry leads to the destruction of my living room

Woodward's Sports Yarn, originally uploaded by bunnieprops.

It finally arrived! My invitation to Ravelry! I can't believe it! Yay!

So I just finished spending much of the afternoon adding projects, tracking my needles, adding to my library, taking pictures and posting the contents of my stash on Ravelry. And now my stash is a mess. My desk is a mess. My living room is a mess. I blame it all on Ravelry.

But the lack of motivation to tidy any of it up is all mine.

1 June 2007

When Inspiration Strikes

I'm usually a good girl. I knit one project at a time (unless some outside force causes a project to be paused). But I've barely started my brother's socks and have immediately been inspired and started something else. Completely out of the knitting queue. I don't know what's wrong with me!

I blame the foreign invasion. I have a friend visiting from Sacramento and rainy days (plus lack of motivation) have kept us indoors. She expressed an interest in learning to knit. So I gave her some needles, some yarn and got her started. Reading Brooklyntweed's recent adventures in Garter Stitch, and his two person knit-a-long with Hello Yarn (and her fabulous BSJ) along with seeing my friend's resulting garter stitch scarf has given me inspiration for the Noro Silk Garden that has lived in my stash for several years. I want to make a my-sized version of the Surprise Jacket.

I am using Elizabeth Zimmerman's instructions for the Baby Surprise Jacket in Knitting Workshop to create a prototype so that I can figure out the proportions needed to make one for me. I got so excited about using this pattern that I dropped the Fair Isle socks that I just started two days ago to get going with the Surprise Jacket. So out of character for me. But I'm really really excited about it now that I've started.