Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Stripier, stripiest

Are those even words?

The latest MKAL clue had me add that on to my growing piece of fabric. Once again, I find myself impatiently waiting for the next clue, due out next Monday. (I finished up with clue 3 on Saturday.)

I suppose this means I should clean the sink so I can block the pieces of my sister's sweater that is out of sleeve purgatory.

Or maybe it just frees me up to do some more packing. And marking. Blech.

I sure wish I could just keep going with the mystery object. It's getting pretty big. I'm awfully curious about how it's going to come together.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Who'd a thunk it

I can scarcely believe it.

I'm out of sleeve purgatory on one of my sister's sweaters.

I just bound off the second sleeve today. The body is now ready to be blocked, and then I can seam in the centre entrelac panel, and then do the bottom ribbing and neckband, and that's it. Off to sister it goes.

No pictures for now, mostly because it's now a bit late in the day for decent natural light. Also, the waste yarn holding the stitches at the hem is a bit of a snarl, and the whole thing doesn't lay very nicely because it's unblocked stockinette, and I am vain, so I'm not showing you that.

I also finally cut the yarn and wove the ends in on a washcloth experiment I've made for myself. I feel so liberated.

Turns out, when you actually put in the knitting time, knitting happens. Who knew.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Curiouser and curiouser

On Saturday night - so, four days ago - I finished up with the second clue in the MKAL.

I had to switch to different scraps at the very end of the first clue, and continued with the new scraps for the second clue. The transition point is pretty obvious:

The colour transition is nearly aligned with a structural transition point, though, so maybe it won't leap out at the eye so obviously when I have more knitted object? We'll see.

Once again, two yarns that I thought were really different when looking at the cakes had more similarities than anticipated, so the resulting fabric isn't super stripy.

Still, I'm having a good time.

The only problem? I want to keep going, but the next clue isn't out yet - it's due out on 13 April.

And all my stash is packed and moved.

What's that? Sister sweater sleeves? Oh yeah. Those. My destiny. In perpetuum.

Never mind. I'm on it.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A little intrigue

A while back, I noticed an announcement for a mystery knit-along, run by Jenny Faifel, that promised to use up sock yarn scraps to make a shawl-cowl-thing. Well. I have a pretty decent collection of sock yarn scraps. Most of them I figure I'll use to play with colourwork socks, but there are some odds and ends in there that are 100% merino, and I have since developed a rather strong preference for socks made using sock yarn that has some nylon spun in there for added toughness. So the 100% merino leftovers are just sitting with no end game in mind. This MKAL seemed a good way to use them. Plus, she was offering folks a chance to join in for free, so I took it.

Now, I've packed up all my stash yarn and moved the boxes over to the basement of the new house, but my remnant stash was still here, lurking in the linen closet. So I pulled it out, sorted through what was there, and came out with this little pile:

Um. That's way too much - the pattern calls for roughly 200 g, and that's closer to 300 or 350, I think - I couldn't manage to get it all on the scale without some of the balls running away. That's okay, though - just means I have options as I go.

So the first clue was released on 23 March. Recent days have been not so much with the knitting time, so I just plugged away a bit here and there, and last night, I finished the first clue and found this in my lap:

That bit is mostly done using some Shibui Knits Sock (the burgundy-gold-brown-cream stripes) and some Madelinetosh Tosh Sock (the beige stripes). The cream bits of the Shibui are a bit close to the beige of the MadTosh, so the stripes aren't as vivid and clear as they might have been had I used different colours.

Still, I'm pleased with the result thus far, and am anxiously awaiting the release of clue #2 - tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A great big plan

I'm still here. In the chaos of an unpacked and super cluttered house, waiting for the new-to-me house to be ready for us to move in. Trying very hard not to remember that the original estimates for moving in were for December of last year. (Well, honestly, the guys figured end of November, but even I could see that that was a pipe dream.)

And I have so far successfully not cast on something new - all my yarn is still contained within the cabinet. And, um, its boxes. In fact, I'm even thinking of taping up the boxes, moving the cabinet yarn into more boxes, and then taking it all over to the new house and just sticking it in the basement for the time being. The idea is to try to move as much of our stuff as we can in small trips, and the yarn is sort of the most pleasant stuff to consider doing this with, since everything else will require some sorting and organizing.

I haven't yet finished up the two sweaters for my sister, though. Largely because I've been spending more time surfing the Rav pattern database looking for things I want to make with the yarn I already have, because the budget constraints of our current housing situation mean I really should avoid buying more for a little while, and one of the Mister's friends came by last weekend and happened to see the yarn cabinet and exclaimed, "That's a LOT of yarn!" Which means I caught a bit of grief from the Mister. I better knit the stash down a bit.

So, I've firmly told myself that once we've moved, and the semester has wound up - which might happen at about the same time - I'm going to treat myself to a lot of knitting time. There are many things I'd like to make.

1. Oblique, by Veronik Avery

2. Atelier, by Heidi Kirrmaier

3. Forest Park Cowl, by Liz Abinante

4. Winter Sea Shawl, by Liz Abinante

5. Morrígan, by Beata Jezek

6. Windward, by Heidi Kirrmaier

7. A yet-to-be-determined laceweight shawl, to be a Christmas gift for the Mister's mother

8. Six pairs of socks - TdS 2015!

9. A couple of sock design ideas I've had that I want to play with.

Phew. Now that I've written it all out, it's quite the list. With no items for my sister. Probably a couple of those will get added at some point.

Getting through all of this in one summer is most likely a pipe dream, too.

Ahem. Challenge accepted.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

That thing

You know how it is - you're chugging along on a second sleeve, making decent headway, and about a third of the way through it or thereabouts, you hold it up in front of you, and smile a satisfied smile because you can see the end of this sleeve in the not-terribly-distant future, and then you hold it up against the completed first sleeve, and you keep smiling at your progress.

And then you count how many decreases you've already done, but the number doesn't seem to jive properly. So you count the decreases on the completed sleeve, with the smile sort of frozen on your face, and that's not working out right either. You look more carefully at those two sleeves - or, well, sleeve and partial sleeve - and notice that your decreases don't seem to line up.

And then the smile is gone, and you're counting the decreases, and yes, the numbers are absolutely wrong, so you start really closely examining how many rounds are between those decreases, and realize that you miscounted or something when you picked up the first sleeve to finish off the last two decreases, so the last two decreases are placed every 9 rounds, but the first ten are placed every 8 rounds, and what you've been doing on the second sleeve is every 9 rounds, which is why they don't match up and why you've got so much sleeve with so few decreases.

So you set the whole thing aside while you have a think about how you feel about the sleeves not matching, with the part of you that just wants to be done saying in soothing tones that at this gauge a few stitches' difference isn't going to result in drastically different sized sleeves, while the part of you that wants it done right is insisting that the sleeves should absolutely match, especially since this is a sweater for your sister.

And then you give yourself a shake, yank the needles, and rip back to the first decrease to reposition it, realize it was already positioned correctly, redo the round that really hadn't needed redoing, and carry on from there.

Yeah. That.

I think I'm back on track now.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Patience is a virtue

And we all want to be virtuous, right?

I know. I haven't been here in over a month. What can I say - December happened, as it always does. In my line of work (teaching at a university), December means final exam season - so the first week is spent frantically trying to tie courses up in tidy packages, then we move on to the crush of preparing, invigilating, and marking final exams and submitting final marks. As that's going on, there's the holiday season to prepare for - trying to get cards out on time (I got mine done, except for one for a friend that I thought I should write a little note to go with, and, well, the card is still sitting on my living room table and the note still doesn't exist. Whoops.), organizing gift acquisition, wrangling the wrapping in time for the gatherings at which gifts will be exchanged. Plus the actual get togethers. I was a bit lucky this time around - our house is still a disaster zone because the renovations at the new place still aren't done (but they're close!) so we're still here surrounded by boxes, which means people are not really expecting invitations for large holiday gatherings. So I didn't have the additional layer of meal planning/prep/cleanup to worry about.

Now, we're out the other side, the end of the renos is (sort of) in sight, and I have a plan.

Remember how I mentioned being mildly obsessed with a shawl? Oh, you know, in the last post I made before this one? Well, that obsession still lingers - so far I have successfully avoided casting on - but it's been joined by a couple of other projects I want to make. (Okay, fine. Three. Another shawl, a cowl, and a hat.) I'm still trying to hold off on casting on something new for myself until we get settled at the new place, and that seems to have turned my desire into something just shy of desperation. It's taking a whole lot of willpower to not yank several skeins of yarn out of the cabinet and start winding like crazy so I can cast on like crazy.

What am I doing in the meantime? Well, lucky me, I have a couple of sister sweaters in progress - one that I'm really enjoying, and one that is in sleeve purgatory. Sigh. I may make better headway with the latter in the next little while, because I'm starting to think it really really needs to get finished - not just because I'm sort of mentally done with it, despite the fact that it still needs an entire sleeve in addition to the one that's mostly done plus the neckband and hem ribbing to be done once the front panel is seamed in, but also because one of the projects that I sort of desperately want to start in on is a hat for me, and I want to use the DPNs that are currently in service for the aforementioned sleeves.

I'm trying very hard to be made of stuff stern enough to not just yank the needles from the sleeves so I can make my hat.

This is proving to be especially difficult because the yarn for the hat is actually wound up. I got it out and ready for use because I thought I would need it for a contrast hem and neckline for a sweater I finished up just before the calendar rolled over. (I do hereby solemnly promise to blog it once it's been blocked.) I ended up ditching the contrast idea, but the yarn didn't magically re-skein itself, so there it sits, all ready to go, strongly suggesting that it would make such a cute hat.

I may have to hide it away in the cabinet. For now, sister sweater sleeves should be my destiny.

For now.