Sunday, May 31, 2009

I will knit socks, I will I will I will

I remain bound and determined to be a sock knitter, despite the difficulties I've had with my attempts thus far. I finally got my hands on some plucky superwash fingering and set out to make ThroughtheLoop's Althea socks.

I wanted to explore textured sock designs, and this pattern seemed like an excellent opportunity. Plus, it had already been tested on plucky yarn! (I'm using the hello lady colorway.)

Despite my whining about small needles, this project is actually speeding along. We'll see how my speed is affected by the heal and the actual leg of the sock, but it's been a satisfying and easy-to-travel-with knit thus far. I'm also taking the opportunity to knit cables without a cable needle. There are many sites with great pictorial instructions out there, and though it sounded a little overwhelming, I do think it's saving time (as well as my sanity. This project is all about the cables.)

And finally, a project that needs a large flat surface and some pins....

My Fathoms Below (mother of pearl in thepluckyknitter Hear Me Now) scarf!

spring planting

This is really the only knitting that I have to show for the spring. An Elm Row scarf in Plucky Knitter Classics Silk Merino Fingering, Container Garden colorway, for a belated birthday gift for my grandma. I knew as soon as this yarn arrived in my mailbox that it was meant for my grandma, and I'm hopeful that she'll like the scarf enough to make up for its belatedness.

I never managed to memorize the lace repeat, so I had to carry the directions around with me, but each row was relatively logical so I could spot mistakes quickly. The only real problem that I had was that there are two rows (of the ten row repeat) that result in fewer stitches than the rest of the rows. Since I assumed that all rows would maintain the number of stitches that the pattern started with, I frustratedly frogged those rows many, many times before I bothered to do the math and figure out that I was supposed to have fewer stitches. After that, it was smooth sailing.

Not having much time to knit recently (as I have whined about a number of times), I had to be a little creative to squeeze this project in. I wish I had a picture of my knitting while sitting on a cardboard box, saving an empty parking space outside of KZ's old apartment while her father went to get the van before we loaded it up and moved her out. I almost got two repeats in.

Here's a picture of it while blocking:
I knit it on US 6s, and only knit three lace panels instead of four as the pattern was written. No other mods than that. Rav deets here.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

an inch here or there

As you all may have guessed from my relative silence, there hasn't been a whole lot of time for knitting lately in the HartBeat. And, unluckily for me, all the projects I had going were fairly complex. So even when I had some time to knit, I was too exhausted to think about trying to work out what was going on in those patterns. (A few times, I picked them up, only to fall asleep before I'd figured out where I was in the pattern.)

Finally, I forced myself to take the time to wind up some lovely Plucky Knitter cashmere lace and am now using it to knit a cowl of my own design. This turns out to be a pretty good solution because the cowl should be relatively simple to show off the yarn, and if I pick it up and don't know what to do, I can make up a new "design feature." I've got a couple of inches done and am hopeful that it will tide me over until I have the time and energy to return to my more complicated projects. (Here are the Rav deets.)

I do have one other project that's very nearly ready to be blogged: a scarf for my grandma that just needs to be blocked. Hopefully in the next day or two!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Gmail Ads are the Best

This website made me laugh and laugh.

However, I must admit. I really want to go on a knitting cruise!

"Lists of local yarn stores and other places of interest will be provided whenever possible."


Sunday, May 24, 2009

in lieu of actually knitting

This is awesome.

I really, really, really want a knit cricket pitch.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Tragedy of the Loose Knitter

I feel like knitting books are full of the stories of knitters who hold their yarn too tightly, who get cramped fingers and have to go up several needle sizes to "get gauge", who have to use two needles to bind on and just can't get the bind off right.

But what about the loose knitter?

I am a loose knitter, and it means that when I bother to knit a test swatch, I start out with a needle smaller than called for by the pattern. That much is a given.

But today, I finally freed up my 2.5 mm circular needle to cast on for a test swatch for a project calling for a 3.0 mm needle. The result? A swatch that's a good one-two inches larger than it should be. FANTASTIC.*

So, I'll probably cast on with my zeros and knit this pair of socks for the rest of the year. Good news is that I think the pattern will be easy to knit on the go, but geez, ZEROS.

So, what about you guys? Tight knitters? Don't knit patterns where it matters? Are there any magically accurate gauge producers out there? And the million dollar question, does this issue come up in crochet??? (Or the sewing arts?)