Tuesday, April 26, 2005

How Many Knitters Does it Take...

...to untie this freaking knot? The correct answer is 3. The first 20 mins of Sn'B last night was spent working on Al's shoelace type yarn that had the most confusing knot I've ever seen. In our defense, it was a very tight knot.

The rest of the night, I spent working on this...

I know I'm pretty late to the Clapotis party but it's a great pattern (very fun to knit) and I'm looking forward to finally having one of my very own. I found the perfect shade of espresso bean brown on our shopping trip to Cricket Cove. It's a 50% wool/50% cashmere blend and came in a GIANT 600m+ hank. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed when I saw the price tag (it was $75 and seemed a bit much) but some crazy person had hung this gorgeous stuff on a NAIL!! A cashmere blend casually hung on a NAIL!! It may even have been rusty...

In any event, at some point, this rusty nail had damaged the hank breaking about 8 strands so I got a huge discount on it and walked out a very happy camper. I was a bit worried about the damage but once I started balling it up, it all turned out to be at one end (as I had hoped and the shopkeeper had assured) and I got 8 teeny tiny balls and 1 giant one that should be plenty to finish it up.

Now, because I know that I will never find anything even remotely close to this yarn in that shop or any other (it didn't even have a brand label on it), I'm almost certain to run out. Especially now that I've come out and said it - I should have just carried on confidently. Drat. Maybe I'll play it safe and leave out one of the repeats on section 3. Hmmm...did anyone go over on yarn with Clapotis??

Thursday, April 21, 2005

NBaT Is Finished and Yarn Hags Hit the Road!

Originally uploaded by knittenknots.

I finished seaming on NBaT last night and I LOVE it! It was a perfect fit and actually seamed up quite nicely once I stopped being a space cadet and paid more attention to the stitches that the TV. I am really happy with everything about the T except a tiny problem with the neckline - it's a bit "floopy"...came out slightly wider than I had wanted (had to pull a few rows out of the back to get the right length and that is where the extra stitches came from). It still covers my bra straps so I'm fine with it but would like to tighten it up just a bit so it doesn't gap out when I'm moving around. What would you ladies suggest? I'm thinking once this puppy gets wet, it's going to be more of a problem. Should I try running some yarn around the neck edge to tighten? Should I take apart one of the raglans and bind off the neckline with a smaller needle? I haven't weaved in any ends yet so this wouldn't be as bad as it sounds. Anyhow, I'm planning to debut NBaT at craft night next Monday if I can wait that long - it's so soft!!

This has been a very exciting week stashwise - the Yarn Hags hit the road on Tuesday afternoon for some serious stash additions. First stop:

Red went a little wild at Briggs and Little but who can resist - it's so darn affordable and smells all sheepy!!

Then it was on the road again headed toward Black's Harbour, NB where there is a great little yarn store called Cricket Cove.

I love this little store. We spent 2 hours in there just walking around looking and touching - they've got koigu, Noro, Rowan, Jo Sharp, Karabella...all sorts of Alpaca and Mohair and, yes they have Cashmere. And, yes, I bought some. Just enough for a hat or scarf of course.

So, all in all, Yarn Hags Hit the Road was a smashing success - there is too much new stash to list but you'll be seeing it in the coming weeks. I can't wait to get started on something new!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Getting Closer...

Went to Craft Night last night and will have pics to post later of the scarves completed by the new knitters (very cute) - they are now completely hooked. It was fun and surprisingly productive...even with a glass of wine under my belt I was able to complete the final sleeve for NBaT. And here is the proof:

Now, you may be thinking: "HEY, that isn't the NBaT sleeve" and really it isn't - I changed the top of the T a lot - used ribbing instead of that gorgeous hem (not sure why I did that now that I see all the others looking so sharp) and I also made a raglan sleeve and a wider, lower neckline. Will this all blow up in my face and have me looking completely ridiculous? Most likely. But only seaming will tell...and that starts tonight. My fingers are crossed...

Got some more fun mail yesterday. I traded a couple of balls of my purple Calmer for CathyZ's pink flamingo. It is so cute. I'm thinking I have enough purple left (3 balls) to make a purple/pink striped child sized cardigan so maybe a Xmas present for someone...

And finally, late last week, I decided to try out my Eucalan wool rinse sample on a gigantic blast from the past AlmostFO that has been sitting in my closet for at least 3 years. I loved the pattern BUT I was young and foolish so didn't swatch and didn't think about the fact that without waist shaping, this would look like a giant sack on my short self. So...long story short, the sweater came out WAY too big. I have learned the error of my ways since those dark days and I thought that maybe I had enough experience now to "fix" it so out came the Eucalan. This was my first experience using it and I learned a few things:
1. Eucalan wool rinse really does contain eucalyptus.
2. Eucalyptus soap does not taste like eucalyptus cough drops at all.
3. Teeth are not the proper tool for opening LIQUID soap packets.
4. Even blocking can't fix everything.

The sweater is still too big (especially across the shoulders) but I have managed to shrink it to a size suitable for walking the dog or puttering around the house/yard. I blocked it and then while it was still damp (because I had nothing to lose at this point), I put it through 10 mins intervals in the dryer until it was a reasonable fit - there was a bit of acrylic (25%) in the wool but it still lost several inches off both the length and width. So while I wasn't able to pull off a wool miracle, I will finally be able to get some use out of this sweater. It was an early project and took me MONTHS to complete so that is a good thing.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Just Don't Panic...

Well, first off I need to apologize to Anna... I was in a panic about the length of the neckline on my Nothing But a T-Shirt and I sent her an email that just went on and on and on about it. Only because she's a knitting genius who can design her own beautiful striped Sally though so that makes it ok right?? Sheesh...

Anyhow, moments after hitting Send on my "woe is me, whatever shall I do email", I thought "Hmmm...is it really THAT long?" and for some reason had the presence of mind (finally) to go get one of my favorite t-shirts and measure it against that. I'm blushing as I say this but they were in fact, the same length. To be perfectly honest, my favorite t-shirt was actually longer than the one I've been in a panic over. Yes, I probably do need professional help or medication of some sort - I tend to get very jumpy just before a project is about to come together. So, my ridiculous fit of unfounded panic has now subsided and here is a picture of the progress thus far. I may need to rip a few rows on the back still but nothing as major as what I had thought was going to happen.

In less neurotic news, look what came in the mail on Monday(!) - it's an absolute gem - if you enjoy the Harlot's blog, you'll really love the book. I'm still cracking up over page 25...hee hee!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

True Bliss...

More stash arrived yesterday! This is actually the last of my order so the goodie trail ends here. For now...

Wanna see?? Wanna see??

First out of the box was some Debbie Bliss Cathay - it is absolutely gorgeous yarn (50% cotton, 35% microfibre, 15% silk) - so soft and silky. I can't wait to use it. It comes in some fantastic jewel tone colours but I decided on white for a summer tank top - Honeymoon Cami is what I have planned for it unless something else comes along before I get started. Suggestions are welcome...

And I finally got my DB Cotton Angora for 'Mary'! I fell in love with this pretty wrap cardi the first time I saw it so am definitely looking forward to getting this show on the road.

So that was it for yarn stash but am I the only person who is completely enamored with the little samples that are included in yarn orders?? I am completely tickled when I get to the bottom of the box and there are all these tiny goodies.

One very useful one that came in this order was a Eucalan no rinse wool wash sample - I've been wanting to try that out so now I can.

In other knitting news, I've got the back of my KAL t-shirt finished up to the armhole decreases. This is where the modifications I'm making start to get tricky. I'm not really a "modifier" by nature so this might be a complete disaster - we'll see. No pics today since it's just a big purple rectangle with bites taken out of the sides. So far so good...

Monday, April 04, 2005

Stash and Swatch...

Well, Friday was a very exciting day at the mailbox. My knitwerx.com order came in - yay!! Complete with a hand written note and several samples - gotta love that kind of service. Anyhow, these were the goodies waiting for me when I got home from work on Friday - made my day - ah, who am I kidding, made my week!

I'll start with the least exciting item - I like to work my way up. I got some Emu Superwash sock yarn not because I necessarily needed more sock yarn but because they were having a great sale and I thought I would give it a try it. The pics from this morning were terrible (raining out) so it looks pretty blue but it's actually a dark green mix for man socks.

They also had a great bargain price on Silky Wool so I got enough to make myself something in purple. This might end up being a Clapotis but I'm not 100% sure yet - I really would like a chocolate brown one after some shopping I did late last week. I got a brown tweed skirt that would look really nice with some kind of brown wrap. Hmmm...I could always have a purple one AND a brown one.

Finally, I got some DB Cotton Angora in "Raspberry" to make a couple of baby sweaters for Xmas. Everyone seems to be having little girls and the yarn color is perfect - not quite as popsicle pink as the photo but close. I'm planning to make 2 Poppies from her Cotton Angora book. So that was it from knitwerx but there is a woolworks order that should be here next week that has some stuff for me(!) and will be enough to keep me busy through the Spring for certain.

So, even with all the new yarn in the house, I did manage to stop myself from casting on Xmas presents and did a bit of work on my purple wool socks. I imagine this will get tossed aside for my summer knitting now to be picked up sometime later in the season and finished for fall weather. I'm turning the heel on sock #1...

I also took the time this weekend to swatch my Calmer for the Nothing But a T-shirt KAL. I've got to admit, I cannot get guage on this stuff. I went all the way up to 6mm needles and I'm still way too tight in horizontal guage. I ended up with 22X28 on 6mm but I do like the drape at that size so I think the plan for me is to get out the calculator tonight and start doing some "figuring" to make this work. There is no way I'm going to get down to 19 stitches. My only concern with going this route is that as I get more comfortable with the yarn, my guage may loosen up a little. Oh well...we'll see what happens. I'm loving the calmer despite guage woes - it's just so darn soft.

As far as the t-shirt itself goes, I'm planning to cast on at craft night tonight if I get time. Can you believe I've had 2 friends ask me to teach them to knit in the past 2 weeks?! They're both going to be there tonight so I might be doing more helping than knitting today. I love when someone wants to learn though! I've got another friend who was knitting casually almost as obsessed as I am now...it's highly contagious.

Right...so...back to the Nothing But a T-shirt KAL. I'm planning some "customizations" to the t-shirt design. I didn't have any contrasting Calmer (or a good idea) for a logo on the t-shirt so I decided to add a scoop neck - I think I'll get more wear out of a scoop neck and without the logo, it will be something to break up all this bright purple. I've also decided to add ribbing to the waist, armbands and neckline - the scoop neck may need a bit of ribbing to keep it in and I just like the look of it - saves me whip stitching later as well - my hand stitching is atrocious. So, I'll let you know how it goes tonight with the calculator - fingers crossed that I don't muck it up too badly.