Monday, April 30, 2012

Roundup on a Monday


In the past week, I did indeed finish off the foot of that second sock, but when I finally got to the point of being ready to kitchener the toe shut, what did I do? Did I actually do it, weave in the ends, and call it a complete pair of socks?

By this point you should have guessed the answer, since this is not a K'done post.

Nope - I snagged the three newly liberated DPNs, combined them with the two spares that were sitting and waiting in my needle case - I own two sets of 2.25 mm / US 1 DPNs, from Knit Picks, and each set comes with six needles, so even if I've got two socks on the go, there are two needles on reserve - and cast on for a new one, which I haven't got a picture of because my iPhone is my primary knitting photo device, and it's currently charging upstairs. Sorry - maybe next time.

I cast on that new sock on Saturday, while waiting in a line for tickets to the 2012 Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo. I didn't get very far with it though - my time in the line was shortened thanks to the activity of Someone Else, and we didn't stand in other lineups, which I didn't anticipate - I had thought that there might be one or two people we'd decide to line up for to get autographs or photos on a spur of the moment impulse, but I underestimated Someone Else's brother's aversion to lineups. I thought the pull of celebrities would overcome it. I was wrong.

Still, I indulged my inner geek and can now say that I have been within line of sight of LeVar Burton, Jim Cummings, James Marsters, John Noble, Katee Sackhoff, Brent Spiner, Tara Strong, Wil Wheaton, and Adam West. I may have seen Marina Sirtis, but I can't be sure because the woman I think may have been her had her back to me the whole time - talking to some guy standing kind of behind her at the right booth. I wish I had been able to see Adam Baldwin and Patrick Stewart - but alas, the crowds conspired against me, and I saw neither. Another time, perhaps.

Maybe tonight I'll do the final touches on that sock and have a finished pair to show off tomorrow.

Why haven't I done that today? Because I've been working on that stealth-project-with-a-deadline. It's chugging along decently, and I'm enjoying the process.

I still haven't finished up the neckline from my latest sweater - now I'm actually thinking of leaving the neckline alone, the folded collar is giving me pause. More thought is needed.

Good thing I have other projects to occupy my hands.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The way things are going

Well, yesterday I managed to completely wrap up my end-of-semester work, and today I did a bit of housekeeping around the office, getting old exams moved into storage for the requisite year before they can be shredded, stashing away old unclaimed assignments, and I also did a bit of preemptive work for a class I may be teaching in the Spring session, which starts next week.

The notion that this is the time for finishing things has trickled over to other areas of my brain too. I've got a new sweater that is nearly done - I've got to figure out what exactly I want to do about the neckline finishing. See, the pattern was written as a cardigan, but I've pulloverized it, and in doing so I put in a V-neck. I'm pretty sure I want to put edging on the neckline fronts, and because of how I want it to all come together I think I have to make them taper down to the point of the V, but how exactly I'm going to work that out is still a work in progress. I still have to kitchener the underarms, so maybe I'll do that while I think about that neckline treatment.

Or maybe I'll put some more energy into finishing up one of my current pairs of socks. Admittedly, part of the drive in this department stems from a desire to cast on new socks - I'm having thoughts of stripy stockinette socks, but not achieved through colourwork. I have a pretty strong preference for semi-solid sock yarns, but I do keep some variegated ones on hand for when the urge hits, and, well, it's hitting. I've got to decide which yarn is going to satisfy, and free up some sock needles so I can actually do it - I've only got two sets of 2.25 mm / US 1 DPNs, and they're both in service right now. I am onto the foot of one sock, and it happens to be a second sock, so finishing that will free me up to start a new sock, and I'll have a new pair of socks in the drawer.

I've also got some yarn wound up and ready to go for a super secret stealth project with a deadline. While I'm not terribly concerned about being found out here, I'm going to play it safe and withhold details for now.

And I've cast on for a shawlette for me.

And I'm trying to settle on which sweater for me I want to pull from my queue next.

Gotta go. The fingers are itching for some yarn and needles.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

K'done: Twinings Pullover

A long overdue post, complete with sub-par photos. Well. At least I'm giving you something, right?

Pattern: Twinings, by Amy Herzog
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy, in Poma-Grenade
Needles: 5 mm / US 8

I feel pretty terrible about having not blogged this sweater for so long - I wanted to get modeled shots, but doing that is a bit awkward for sweaters, I have a really hard time managing to get a good pose with a decent shot. What would likely help me out immensely would be to just ask Someone Else to take some pictures of me wearing the sweater, but I have a feeling that he might find that a rather odd request, and so I'm too chicken to make it. If I had a decent full-length mirror at my disposal, I might have a better chance at getting good pics - but alas, no full-length mirror around these parts. These shots here were taken by me using the lower-quality front-facing camera on my iPhone. Like I said earlier, better than nothing, no?

The long delay in blogging this sweater, coupled with the admittedly pretty lousy photos, might lead one to suspect that I am less than thrilled with the result. This is absolutely false. I am beyond pleased with this sweater. I've only worn it twice since I finished seaming it up at the end of February, which doesn't seem like I'm wearing it a lot, but I have a strong desire to not become known around my workplace as 'that weirdo who always wears the same handknit sweater', and I guess I swung too far in the opposite direction.

Or maybe wearing it about once a month is just right. I can never tell with these things.

Truly, though, I am really happy about how this one turned out. The colour is beautiful. My futzing with gauge worked out - I was getting 20 sts to 4", rather than 18, and knitting for negative ease in sweaters always makes me worry about ending up looking like an overstuffed pasty with the fabric distorting all over the place in a wildly unattractive fashion, so I was aiming for zero ease by following the pattern directions for a larger size while maintaining my smaller gauge. I ended up with about an inch or so of positive ease, I think, but I'm happy - the sweater doesn't bag off me (does it?), and the fabric doesn't stretch out weirdly.

I thoroughly enjoyed knitting this sweater, which is good, because I believe my sister would like one as well. The pattern was clear, though not entirely correct in my interpretation - I had to fudge the placement of the cable panel to make it line up with the established cabling in the hem, and I think I started moving the cable panel across the front some rows later than the designer intended. This last alteration had the effect of raising the dip of the V-neck, which was just fine by me, since a lower cut might not be so appropriate for work wear. One thing that did trouble me was the knitting of the ribbing for the back of the collar. The pattern directs you to knit the ribbed panels until they reach the centre back, 'slightly stretched'. I really don't know how to interpret slightly stretched, it seems to me that slightly is open to a pretty wide range of interpretations. The version I went with was apparently less stretched than the designer's vision, because my collar sort of stands up at the back - the fabric isn't pulled taut enough for it to lie flat. I could have ripped it back and fixed it, but it doesn't bother me the way it is, so I left it.

Besides. I'd already knit the back twice.

Also, seaming it together at the end was a fair bit of work, and took a lot of time, but wow did I ever feel clever once it was done. I know some folks avoid seaming at all costs, but I don't think I'll ever be one of them.