Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A year and a day

It was a year ago yesterday that I started Manhattan. Now it sits on my drafting table with several hundred ends to be dealt with, and I can't seem to make myself work on it. Perhaps I need to cut myself a deal:

When I finish Manhattan and four other things:
+ Capelet #6 from VK Fall 2005
+ Matching Mittens (as yet unstarted)
+ Matching hat (also unstarted)
+ Jade
+ Matching hat (unstarted)
+ Matching gloves (unstarted)

...then I can buy HF Mermaid.

All right, that was six other things. I'm accepting of the fact that I need to buy som aran yarn in the meantime.

Sounds like a deal, though. Deal-making is what, the third stage of dealing with... well, death technically, but perhaps I'm a specially morbid person because I can apply the same system to choosing where to eat lunch.

Denial, Anger, Deal-making, Depression, Acceptance.

#@!$%?; Barbara Walker

My fault, really.

I was here:

Pre-frog Posted by Picasa

And then I went to look at the book to find out how the armhole was going to be handled. I'm doing a set-in sleeve from the top down in the round, and the instructions are... well, spread throughout two or three chapters.

But that's no excuse for what I did. Rather than increasing four stitches every other round, I did them EVERY round. So I ripped it out.

Post-frog Posted by Picasa

That's what, four times now? Five?

I am so sick of this sweater.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Queen of the Frogs

I used to be queen of the universe.

Ugly increases Posted by Picasa

The increases here are really ugly and create a hideous gap.

Hole Posted by Picasa

And here I've created a hole because I did the increase on the wrong side of the pin a couple of times and tried to fix it without ripping it out, but I don't think I can fix that hole without major surgery.

So I'm ripping it out.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Fixed it

Last night I crocheted the shoulders and the sides and back of the neck of the Ribbed Lace pullover, and it feels much better now. It looks pretty much the same, but doesn't have the same sensation of collapsing around me, so I didn't take a picture.

I ripped out Jade to just below the "pickup for armhole" again, and last night during speeches at YMCA volunteer thank you night, I knitted about an inch back onto it. This time, I think I am happy. My increases line up neatly. I have the same number of stitches in each armhole, and across the back and the front. Only 4.5 inches and the stranded portion begins -- so I guess I'd better work on that chart.

And I tidied four blobs on Manhattan. If I do four a day, it will be done in 2005. Maybe that should be my goal.

Monday, October 31, 2005

I was apparently feeling dour this morning. Here I am wearing Ribbed Lace by Norah Gaughan from "Gathering of Lace". I wore it all day. The neckline is an inch lower now.

Rib Lace by Norah Gaughan Posted by Picasa

The sleeves are too long, also. If I had thought it through, I should have set them in. But this was meant to be a mindless project (as if!) and I'm relatively satisfied with the garment. Maybe next weekend I'll throw it on again and decide if I need to reinforce certain parts of it (neckline or shoulders).

While answering the door for Halloween trick-or-treaters, I worked on Jade. I wonder if I can be back where I was (almost at the armhole) by the end of the weekend?

Sunday, October 30, 2005


If you go back a couple of posts to the one with all the pictures in it, you'll see a balled up thing.

It's this now.

Jade... Posted by Picasa

Why yes, you are correct, it was more before. Off to the side of this picture is a big ball of yarn that is most of what I ripped out. There were three problems with it as I see it:

  • The pink wasn't working on the fair isle band. Maybe I'll switch to one of the three shades of blue I have lying around that would work with the peacock. I'm thinking the Danube from harris tweed, but I haven't even pulled it out yet, and I have weeks to decide.
  • For some reason I had six more stitches on the back than the front. I don't know how that happened.
  • My fair isle band was way too wide for my purposes. At 20 stitches across, it made five repeats across the front, and it looked stupid, for all the three rows I did of it. It was also 63 rows long. I think I need to redesign it to be more like 12 x 40.
  • I got over-excited I think on the part where I get to pick up the stitches to start knitting down the sleeves, and I should have done about six more rows first. If my armhole is going to be 21 inches long (that's what I'm guessing) I should have had seven inches from front to back before I started picking up and knitting around. It looks like I have six-and-a-quarter.

That's four. Sorry. It's pinned to my drafting board while I decide if I should rip the whole thing out and start again.

But the good news is, all that's left to do on Ribbed Lace is deal with 40 or so loose ends. I will finish it tonight. Now, to eat something and make a grocery list.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Another week, another ripped out shoulder

If Ribbed Lace was meant to be a pinney, I'd be almost done by now.

This picture doesn't share the hell that was doing the three-needle bind off on the second shoulder. For some reason I couldn't get it to work out right, and then I looked down a couple of inches and realized that I had decreased 12 instead of eight stitches on the front neck on one side, which explained everything. So again, I got to rip out a couple of inches. I am getting heartily sick of this sweater.

I was considering doing the neck next, but then I decided to go the easy route and start a sleeve.

Fortunately I have the first one done, so I really might be done this sucker by Halloween.

Rib Lace sleeve Posted by Picasa

Why yes, that is a still inside-out, still incomplete Manhattan this sleeve is reclining on. Don't say a word.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

In which I try to make up for the lack of pictures

But my camera battery is dead, which isn't an auspicious start. Hopefully the pictures will just fall into place smoothly later on.

Yesterday I started the front neck decreases on Ribbed Lace. I finished the decreases on the right (the instructions say to do both sides at once, but I find that to be living hell, so I was doing them one at a time). I held the work up to admire it...

And then I ripped out six inches. There was a mistake in a whole row right in the middle of one of the knots. In essence, I had forgotten the "rest row", which meant that my knot was two rows too short, squished in the middle. Now, it may be that no one else would ever notice. But as I figure that row is going to fall right across my chest, I would always be self-conscious about it.

That six inches was probably about one ball of yarn.

Rib Lace Front Posted by Picasa

But I was watching "A Fish Called Wanda" on Family Channel at the time -- who knew they had no commercials? And I got a bodhran for my birthday! And I ordered myself some birthday yarn! It's better that I order the yarn myself, becaue then I get the amount and color that I want. I ordered yarn to make Veronik Avery's Victoria Tank from IK Summer 2004. That's one of my favourite magazine issues ever, I think. I also have yarn that is meant to be Shirley Paden's Gibson Girl Pullover from the same issue, and lust after the Mags Kandis Serape Jacket.

Shockingly, I haven't worked at all on Manhattan by Jean Moss. I did buy some ribbon to put in the ribbing a couple of weeks ago, but I don't think I bought enough.

Manhattan by Jean Moss Posted by Picasa

I haven't worked on From Sahara to Selbu.

From Selbu to Sahara sleeve Posted by Picasa

I haven't worked on Jade. I noticed a couple of months ago that my front was four stitches narrower than my back, and that my stranded transition pattern is very large, and needs to be rethought, so I think I have to rip back and basically start again.

Jade by Robyn Posted by Picasa

Oh, and I can't concentrate because the boy is reading Magic cards at me.

Palette from KnitPicks Posted by Picasa

But I did get yarn since I last posted...

Friday, October 14, 2005


Last night I finished the 12th ball of baby silk on Norah Gaughan's Ribbed Lace pullover. I wish I had a better name for it, because I know I'm going to love this sweater. The pattern has five staggered knots, and then launches into just ribs and lace the rest of the way up. I got to the bit above the knots, and then knitted until the ball was finished, because at midnight there was a "World's Best Helicopters" show on Discovery so it wasn't hard to get Ed to stay up past bedtime. I don't have any pictures. This would all make more sense if I had pictures.

And yesterday I got a card in the mail from IK saying they had received my package. I think that's a sweet touch, becuase it gives me the feeling they're considering my designs, rather than just looking at them and saying "There's no way we're printing that!" and shipping it all back immediately.

This is just an excuse to have a visual, since I've got no pictures.

Your Hair Should Be Purple

Intense, thoughtful, and unconventional.
You're always philosophizing and inspiring others with your insights.
As my family knows, I've had a problem in the past with buying too much purple yarn, so I shouldn't be surprised. However, in the past year, most of my yarn purchases have been green. And I may be moving into a pink phase. I don't think there's any green on my list right now, three pinks, one purple, one blue, two greys, an orange and a gold.
That's eight. I would have to finish sixteen projects to buy all that yarn.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Not dead yet

Well, more than a month since my last post, now I owe eight. That would be because I spent most of the rest of September finishing two garments for my IK submission package and doing four swatches.

I still haven't finished Manhattan.

However, two weekends ago I finished the back of Norah Gaughan's Ribbed Lace pullover from GOL, and I'm half-way up the front. Which reminds me, I should measure and plan for the front neck bind-off, since it's lower than the back. I'm shortening this garment by three or four inches, because I'm 5'3" and don't need another 25-inch-long sweater. Oversized isn't my thing these days.

I also started a sleeve on "From Selbu to Sahara" from Norsk Strikkegarn. I'm thinking I'll revise the rules about how many balls a garment knit from a cone counts as, because I just can't imagine only getting nine "points" for this sweater. Maybe if something is knit in fair isle at more than 6 stitches per inch, a sleeve should count as three and a back or a front should count as four. That would make "S->S" be 15 points, far more reasonable.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

I owe 13

I don't know if I've mentioned them before, but I have a set of rules I've invented for myself to keep myself on track. Some are way too stupid for words, like I've never missed a karate class if I've been in town for it on a Thursday evening or a Saturday afternoon.

Others are about knitting.

  1. I must knit two balls of yarn per week.
    I think this rule might have originated because once I said I could knit a ball a week to a yarn store employee (at Romni Wools), and she said "surely you can knit two." So I've been obligated to knit more ever since.
  2. A completed project (finishing) counts as a ball.
  3. A swatch counts as a ball, if I'm happy with the product. This is a good thing, as it coerces me to swatch.
  4. In a project knit from a cone, a front, a back or a sleeve counts as two balls. So the most a project knit from a cone can be worth is nine balls. A shawl also counts as nine balls, if it's knit from a cone or a giant ball.
  5. I can choose at the outset how I wish to count it.
  6. Every time I finish a project, I can buy a new ball of yarn.
    This rule has been stretched over the last year or so to include cones, which means that my stash has increased.
  7. Every time I finish two projects, I can buy a new project. I am often in arrears. Currently, I am at -3, which means that I need to finish five projects before I can buy one.
  8. A submission package sent to a magazine or yarn company counts as a project.

Currently I'm working on my IK Summer '06 submission package. I have one project to complete that will be part of the package, I finished two already and I did two swatches for those, and have another garment to go. To be honest, I probably will not finish the fourth garment, but will just do a swatch and hope they love it (I don't expect IK to accept more than one garment... but if they did that would be cool, since the projects each have taken me about 11 days average so far).

So how did I end up owing 14? I have no idea. But, if I finish the front of the IK garment (its name is Artemis) by tomorrow, it counts as two balls and I'm down to twelve. And if I finish the whole thing next week (it's a tank knit from a cone of Silk City Spaghetti) I'm down to 11. If I finish the swatch as well, I'm down to 1o. If I swatch the last project, Aphrodite, I'm down to 9. If I run out of yarn... Well, I'm screwed.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Yesterday at a truck stop east of Cambridge, Ontario on the 401, somebody did this to my car.

Some people suck Posted by Picasa

Double click on the image to see the total carnage. I am going to put filler on it now.

As a matter of fact, yes, I am peeved. But what can I do? I was standing there with my coffee, in the parking lot, staring at it, and other people came and stood around saying they were so sorry. And then, rather than using this truck stop, they were just driving away. I don't blame them. It's the only way to say "this sucks" that I could think of too. What are the staff going to do, look at the parking lot security tapes?

I guess that's what I get for being a "bimmer bitch".

I finished tying one sleeve worth of loose ends on Manhattan this weekend, and saw "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill", and did a ball of Norah Gaughan's Ribbed Lace from GOL. Maybe I'll have a picture of one of those next time.

Manhattan, still

I started Manhattan on 29 November, 2004, and I think it's never going to end. It was lying around like this:

Manhattan from the inside Posted by Picasa

When I was in Maine and my younger sister saw it. Her comment was "Why would you make something like that?" I turned it right-side out, and it all became clear. But still, I calculated about 700 loose ends to deal with. I hope I'm doing it all right.

I also hope it ends soon.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

"Moor's story

This is Moor.

Moor is from "Yorkshire Fable". You might not recognize it.

I seem to have deviated a bit Posted by Picasa from the pattern. You can see the original here:
It clearly has no skulls or scorpions but whatever.

I knit this sweater in the round, as not specified in the pattern instructions.
And then I did "fair isle short row shoulders in the round" as taught on Janine's blog at

Try it, it works.

The instructions are written for working the shoulder seam with an i-cord bind-off, but I've never done that, and Moor called for a knitted-off shoulder and why would I want to do that, since I had deviated from the pattern so much?

From the outside:

A look at the shoulder. To me it's acceptable, but my standards may be low. Posted by Picasa

This is the same seam from the inside. Posted by Picasa

I three-needle binded (bound?) off the shoulder seams, which involved a lot of yelling at my family to be quiet (why is it that I always need to bind the shoulders together at 1 pm on Saturday, when I have had too much coffee and not enough food, and there are always 11-year-olds who need to practice their quiet inside voices while I'm doing it?)

And then I finished this:

And this is my fakey-fakey Delphine Wilson knock-off, which I call Admonition. It looks fabulous on the mannequin, but those shoulders were hell, I must say. Posted by Picasa

Now, if only I could finish Manhattan. Or, as I now call it, due to the americana colorway, Syracuse.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Norah Gaughan's Ribbed Lace

Yeah, that's right, I've started another sweater, and I haven't finished anything. this means that on the needles, I have four sweaters, all of them winter, and one swatch. Not good. I don't have a summer sweater on the needles at all, and well, it's summer now.

Ribbed Lace from GOL Posted by Hello

The yarn is Elann's Baby Silk in color Pistachio. I started with a sleeve, because that's like making a swatch... right? The gauge is spot on.

But I did make a hat for the wee lad Ian. Ed really wanted me to make him one. And the boy wants one of these now, too. I guess I'll have to make him one, since I have enough yarn left over still.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

My tongue sweats

All right, I finished the fair isle vest. I even wore it all day on Tuesday, and it didn't fall apart. I steeked the armholes and the neck, and the stitches did not start to stick out by the end of the day (I think I took it off at about 10:20 after band practice, so I wore it for about 14.5 hours). You have to understand, I'm always afraid things I made myself are going to fall apart as I walk around. Especially things I sew. But they generally don't. It's the stuff I buy at Le Chateau that usually collapses on my body.

Perhaps I should take a picture of the vest. I'll put that on my weekend list.

Sting - done! Posted by Hello

So I finished one thing. I want so badly to start a new project, but I have three other sweaters started, and a swatch that is abandoned that I foolishly wrote in my project list, so I have to either return to it and come up with a purpose for it, or... well, there isn't an or. I returned to the sleeve of Admonition. I'd like to finish that before it's too warm to knit with aran-weight mohair (that will be tomorrow, now I've said something). I've redesigned the sleeves, and almost finished one, and it's a much funner knit now. Honestly, before it was punishment. Perhaps I'll finish the sleeve tonight and start the other sleeve, and the body.

I've also been working on Manhattan. The back is still done. Maybe I should block it to see if the curl in the ribbing is permanent, and if I have to come up with some clever way to make it stay down. Maybe I'll start a sleeve of that to try to trick myself into thinking I'm starting a new project. It's not going to work. Really, I want to try out AS' Aberlady from CC.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Fair Isle, how I've missed ya! Posted by Hello

These Boots Were Made for Walking Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 21, 2005


A couple of weeks ago a couple of the lists I'm on went dark. What I mean is, they stopped sending mail for a few days. I, being unconnected in any other way with any of these people, had no real idea of course.

Knit Design list on Yahoo: well, it's not a high-traffic list, so they do occasionally have days go by with no new posts. Except that this was the list owner being annoyed about an on-going conversation about whether it was appropriate for someone to use names when talking about slow/late/non-payment of design fees.

KBTH: sending no mails for an entire weekend was just eerie. And this followed on the heels of, a couple of months ago, a KBTH splinter-list I joined (knit mafia) just disappearing one day. In that case, I sent an e-mail to someone I knew was on the list, by finding her e-mail on another list, and she was kind enough to respond and say that the list had been shut down by the owner and restarted under a different name. I never got an invite to join that list, but the knitting content was generally light and most of the talk was about marshmallow peeps and stuff, so I figured I was okay without it, and while my perverse nature means I'm fascinated by the meltdown that happened, really it's none of my business who doesn't get along with whom, and so I let it go. If they don't have the sense to recognize my quiet genius, that's their problem (i.e., they didn't invite me to join).

But it made me think about something. I have no real, non-virtual knitting community. I think that has got to change.

So I went to Knitter's Frolic. I wasn't planning to buy anything, except maybe two skeins each of various lots of KPPPM, or some aran yarn if it was ludicrously cheap, so I was afraid to go because I might get lured into buying something I don't need. But I was good. I only came home with three books:

"Unexpected Knitting" by Debbie New

"Here be Wyverns" by Nancy Spies

"Cable Knitting Handbook" by Annie Maloney

The first two were on my "must have" list. The third was on my "sort-of must have" list.

I didn't talk to anyone, and hardly anyone talked to me. If I'm trying to build a knitting community for myself, I'm going to have to come up with a plan.

Oh, and then next after that, I'm going to have to find myself a writing community. I always envied my friend Erin's writing group.

And then after that, I have to find a better music community. Maybe I need to join a Bulgarian women's choir, or a celtic ceilidh band or hang out in jazz bars or something. Or I could sit writing and knitting in a jazz bar and wait for my community to find me.

Friday, April 15, 2005


So I was walking the boy to school this morning, and I saw a little girl walking along with her hoodie on backwards. She was eating chips, which I thought was kind of gross, because all those crumbs would be getting in the catch basin there. And I thought to myself, "Wow, I am so fashion out of it, that cover on the TKGA magazine a couple of months back, where the hood was being worn in the front, that's actually in style." TKGA is totally fashion forward, and I'm out of it again. And then we got down to the school, and I saw more children dressed like this, and I thought to myself, wow, this trend sure came out of nowhere. And then I saw a child wearing his backpack on his stomach, and the boy said to me, "Oh, mom, it's backwards day!" And he strapped his backpack on his front too.

Phew. Spirit day. I am relieved.

Webs is having their annual birthday sale, and it includes Harrisville Shetland style. I bought two cones of this last year, and it comes in a great range of colors and the price is awesome. So, if I can finish off three more projects, I'd like to buy six cones (a cone counts as a ball, and I have three balls already in the ball-buying bank, BBB for short). But I thought to myself, "Self, what if this stuff sucks to knit with? What if it cuts an actual bleeding hole in my left index finger? What if it skews?" The skewing is more of a concern, because Pat at Kirtland's Yarn Barn told me, when I asked a couple of years ago on KBTH, that she's had customers that had problems with skewing and weren't able to correct it. So on Monday night I pulled out Barbara Walker's "Knitting from the Top" and started a top-down set-in-sleeve sweater. For this, I learned the invisible cast-on. And after two inches, no skewing.

Last night I also learned how to crochet seams. This is not very hard. I would say I inherently knew how to do this already, having picked out an invisible seam before. Picking them out, the trick is to find the strand on the back, and then you can use it as a rip cord. I chose to crochet the seams because I was using a very elastic-y ribbon yarn, Filatura di Crosa Pasta, and I couldn't see running it through a needle, and I couldn't imagine using just regular thread or anything else in a needle. Basically I couldn't imagine poking a needle through this yarn. So, I crocheted the seams. And it worked very well, if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


On Saturday I went over to Chapters and looked at knitting magazines:

Family Circle Easy Knitting - Spring 2005
Everything looked too easy. I didn't buy it.

Knit-n-style June 2005
Nothing stood out to me. There were a couple of nice things -- a sweater with the bottom "rib" worked separately, kind of cables and lace, then the body picked up from there, and a sweater where the sleeves were lace and the body was solid. But nothing struck me as terribly unique. The models did seem less shiny than usual, but still, I didn't buy it.

Knitting (UK mag) April ? 2005
There was one nice all-over cabled cardigan with a stripe of a different color above the ribbing. Nothing else stood out to me. Nothing ever does in this magazine. Wow, another Sasha Kagan floral, too many easy sweaters. I considered buying it for the short row article, but then I thought to myself that I have that covered in books already, so I should save my money for stuff on my list.

Sandra April ? 2005
The shapes were all oversized and boxy. There's always some interesting shaping between cables and stuff like that, but I couldn't really tell how this issue was different from the one I bought about this time last year. So I didn't buy it.

Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2005
I bought it. I knew I was going to even before I opened it up. In fact, I probably went to the store just to pick up this issue. I like the Debbie Bliss Tennis Sweater that Wendy is knitting right now, and a lace wrap thing, and the hoodie (which seems like it would hang weirdly, but if I pinned it, it would be adorable.

Oh, and I finally received my two cones of Frangipani in color Greystone.

Frangipani in Greystone Posted by Hello

I love this color. Now that I have three sweaters worth of this yarn, perhaps I should start a project with it, so I know if I like it or not.

Well, maybe after I finish this.

Minerva Posted by Hello