Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Montreal

I haven't posted in awhile because my husband and I were on vacation in Montreal.

We had a fabulous time.



My favorite attractions were the botanical garden and Parc du Mont-Royal. I'm always much more excited about outdoorsy things than museums anyway.

In the car on the way there and back, I was able to do some knitting.



I am about 1/3 of the way through each of the body pieces for Glasgow Lace. I have added some shaping, and it is going well.



It looks exaggerated in the photo because blocking makes the lace grow quite a bit in length. I might be able to meet my mid-September goal after all.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Good News and Bad News

The Good News:

Last night I had my first adventure in blocking lace. I used the 40% off Joanne coupon to buy a blocking board, and it arrived just in time to do the sleeves of Glasgow Lace. Here is a shot taken halfway through pinning the second sleeve.


It had an egg-crate texture before blocking, but now I am thrilled with the way the lace looks.


The Bad News:


The sleeves are freaking huge. HUGE! At first I thought “whatever, sleeves knit flat always look gigantic before they’re sown up, they’re twice as wide as a normal sleeve, duh.” Then I actually used my brain and said “hold on, these sleeves will be 8 inches wide when sown up. Are any of your other sleeves 8 inches wide?” No, no they’re not, and with good reason.

I made two critical errors, one in knitting and one in thinking. First, when I brought the lace pattern all the way to the edge, I didn’t think of how the gauge would differ between lace and stockinette. As it turns out, the lace is significantly wider. Second, I made the wrong size. I don’t remember why I thought that making the 46.5 inch size was a good idea, but clearly I did at some point. No offense to those ladies who do make that size, but it simply is not the size for me. I have a 42 inch bust, and this is not a sweater that calls for a ton of ease. I should make the 43 inch size. If I wasn’t so down on my body all the time I might realize that I can handle a sweater made in my size, but I won’t bore you with that rant right now.


Good News Again:


I cast on for the body immediately after pinning the sleeves, and I will not repeat the same mistakes!


I can’t bear to rip the sleeves out just yet, and they will come in handy. I'll be playing around with the shaping for the body, but I haven't decided exactly how yet. Now I can play around with larger pieces of the finished fabric, and plan the shaping a bit better.


Here, you can see the sleeves laid on top of a finished sweater that I like. If I decrease every 6th row six times, then increase every 6th row again, I’ll get the same slope I had on the ill-fated sleeves. I think it’ll work.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Red Sleeves

I am taking my first stab at corrugated ribbing with this modified Rosedale for my mom.


I LOVE the way it looks, blending the main color into the contrast-color sleeves.


Unfortunately, it is NOWHERE near as stretchy as normal ribbing. So much so that I am considering ripping back and doing plain contrast-color cuffs. The floats are plenty loose, so I don't think my tension is too far off. Do I just have to resign myself to tight sleeves, or is there something I can do about it?

In other news, I have made some progress on my Glasgow Lace sleeves. I should move on to the body the middle of this week.



This weekend I started Broadripple socks, also for my mom.



They are a back-to-school present for her, and I love the color scheme. She is a biology teacher at the high school I went to, and our colors are red and grey. Go team!

Monday, August 14, 2006

My first pair of socks


This is my first-ever completed pair of socks. (Note that I didn't say first-ever started pair of socks.)

Straight-Laced from knitty (of course!) in Knitpicks Memories Rocky Mountain Dusk. I started them about a month ago, but I have certainly not been monogamous.

As I've said before, I had a blast with these. I felt totally free to explore new techniques, and maybe mess up, because hey, they're just socks! I have knit a ton of sweaters, and I didn't "get" socks, but now I can see the fun. I got frustrated with juggling the two circulars, so I did them both on one needle with Magic Loop. Magic Loop is great! There is pretty significant pooling, and the one on the left above is quite a bit darker, but I don't really care. I love wacky socks, and these are MY wacky socks.



Also, I absolutely DO NOT believe that Straight-laced is extraspicy. It just wasn't that hard at all, and I can't imagine that it is harder than, say, Hedera.



I know that there are many more socks in my future, so I have a question for my sock-knitting friends. I have big feet (US 10-10.5) and I feel like the heel on this sock isn't really wide enough for my foot. The "seam" where I knit stitches together while turning the heel is on the bottom of my heel, and I am afraid that it might get annoying to step on it. Next time, should I knit across more stitches before turning so the "seam" ends up more at the side? Or should I just try a short-row heel?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Swoon!



Do I need to tell you what this is? This gorgeous yarn is Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb, in Tahoe. I enjoyed making the gift Clapotis so much that I decided to make one for myself. Initially, it was going to be my birthday present to myself. My birthday is in January, and it will be nice to make something luxurious for myself after all of the holiday knitting is done. Except that I don't think I can hold off that long!

I'm not even into the holiday knitting yet, I'm doing Glasgow Lace. The sleeves seem to be coming along nicely.


The pattern says to increase every 3rd right side row, but to only keep the original 45 (or whatever) stitches in pattern. I've been bringing the lace pattern all the way to the edge, using the pointers in Eunny's tutorial.

It is working out just fine, and I'm glad that I'm doing it because I think plan stockinette would look really weird over that much of the sleeve. I'm also excited because it has emboldened me to shape the body the way that I need to.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Totally Tubular

I am officially in love with tubular cast ons. I started Glasgow Lace, and I decided that I wanted k1p1 ribbing at the cuffs and bottom hem to match the neck line. I figured that this was a good time to try doing a tubular cast on, because the cast on had been too tight on my swatch.


I love the way it turned out. Here is a wide shot to see the progress on the sleeves.


Meanwhile, I began the cuffs on the sweater that I am making my mom for Christmas. It is a modified Rosedale, out of Manos del Uruguay. Using these two yarns...


I am doing a corrugated-rib cuff.


The sleeves will then continue with the brighter red. I'm not totally sure that I have enough of the red to do the whole sweater, so I'll do whatever I need to do in the multi. For now, the bottom hem and collar will definitely be multi too.

I'm really excited about the projects I have going right now. I have some socks, which are portable. I have Glasgow Lace, which I'm modifying and which I have to pay some attention to. Then I have Red Rosedale, that will be very simple and that I can zone out on. After finishing up my WIPs in July I feel kind of silly starting a bunch of new stuff immediately, but I think that it'll be good to move between three projects.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Swatchtastic

I don't normally swatch. I know, I know, I'm a bad girl. I figured that since I am deviating so far from the plan with Glasgow Lace, I should at least try it out, so I did. I even blocked it!

I think it looks pretty good, frankly. I would totally wear a sweater made out of this. My goal is to be done by the middle of September, as this sweater will be most useful in this neck of the woods from mid-September to mid-November. Although, the deep red color would make it fit in well around the holiday season. Oh heck, I'd wear it whenever.

I am also making good progress on Straight-Laced, and should be done with these in a week or so. It will be my first completed pair of socks, and it has been a blast. Socks are so... low-risk. I think I'll like making them.

And, to be fair, I have advanced my Law School Applications progress bar. Not that I did anything today, mind you, but it occurs to me that I have already taken the LSAT and secured one recommendation, and that ought to count for something.