Sunday, April 30, 2006

Plied Handspun

In order to distract you from the fact that my Picovoli still isn't dry and I can't show you photos, I'm going to show off the yarn I finished yesterday. I can't help it, I'm so proud that I made yarn! I think I'm getting a little better, too.

Here are the 2 colors of singles on their knitting needle bobbins, waiting to be plied:

singles

And here is the initial result. Luckily the 2 quantities of yarn were very similar.

plied

Here's a better shot of what it looks like:

closeup

And a shot of the whole skein before it had to take a bath to set the twist. I probably frightened our neighbor by whacking it against the shower wall, but... too bad.

pre bath

And finally an action shot brought to you by Bridalwreath Spirea:

spirea

For the spinning nerds, here's some stats:
2 kinds of wool, pre-dyed (I don't remember exactly what breed); the purple is slightly variegated.
Maybe 5-6 wpi -- this is pretty chunky stuff, although it's thick and thin in places.
And sadly only about 41 yards. Better than nothing, right? But I don't care, I'm too much in love.

And Picovoli (yeah, bet you'd forgotten, too!) -- probably tomorrow.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Just a Little More

The previous post wasn't knitting. It was the opposite of knitting. (Sarah, you shouldn't be jealous of the opposite of knitting, haha.)

Today, however, we have evidence of knitting.

Picovoli almost done

All that's left is sewing down half of the hem, doing the picots on the sleeves, and weaving in ends. Yay!

However, all the other work I have to do is eating my brain, so we'll see how it goes. One thing at a time... one thing at a time.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Third Time's the Charm...

...right?

By my careful estimation, this was a sock with too long of a leg.

prerip2

You know what happens next.

dpns

I'll restart from here.

startover

If the third time trying to get a heel in this sock in the right place doesn't work, I guess I'll have to rip them out and do them toe-up. But I'll be damned if I have to.

I finished the waist decreases on my Picovoli, but it doesn't look different enough to warrant putting up a photo.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Getting there

I knit another ball on the Picovoli yesterday, so this is closer to 60% of it.

Picovoli 60%

I've started the waist shaping, using the only counting system my lazy brain can handle. I make a check box on a piece of paper for each of the rows, labeling which ones are plain and which ones I have to decrease on. Saves me the trouble of actually counting, and it gives me a visual indication of my progress.

Oh, and the waist decreases aren't as severe as they seem -- the sweater is folded under at the corners in the photo to try and get the circular needle to lay flat.

Today is supposed to be dominated by things other than knitting, so I suppose I should get working on those other things.

Friday, April 21, 2006

40%

Judging by the amount of yarn I've used, this is approximately 40% of a Picovoli.

Picovoli Progress

I'm not so sure about the Shine Sport that I'm using. When I knit with this stuff, I suddenly end up covered in 238905749687 balls of hot pink fluff. I'm not sure if that's the cotton or the Modal that is escaping to attack me, but I hope this behavior doesn't continue when I actually wear the thing.

This is one of these patterns where I wish I could see a diagram of the sweater laid out flat. I know this is what it's supposed to look like, but I'd like some reassurance anyhow.

I added some eyelets around the neck and sleeves. I'm still trying to decide whether I should add eyelets and the picot trim around the hem.

And another surprise this morning:

New Leaf

At a smidge bigger than lifesize, another teeny tiny new leaf on my Christmas cactus. Aww. (Sadly, I don't think they put plants on Cute Overload.)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

New Project Parade

I think I have project ADD. This week I've started 2 more projects.

The first is Grumperina's Picovoli, in Knit Picks Shine Sport.

Picovoli collar

I forgot how much I hate knitting with anything that's mostly cotton, and I'm fearing I'm going to run out of yarn, but otherwise I'm happy with how it's looking. I also forgot how crazy the crochet provisional cast-on freaks me out, and how, when you have to do a picot edge, the rotten thing curls the wrong way to escape from you when you knit it back in. But since those stressful moments are over, I can concentrate on the knitting.

By the way, those are my favorite needles ever, the old 100% nylon ones. If you ever find some, do not pass go, do not collect $200, and send them straight to me. They're the perfect needle -- they are unbreakable, flexible, and have perfectly seamless joins. I have no idea why they stopped making them.

When the yarn that I wanted went on sale last week, I had to grab some for the project I had in mind.

Seriously, though, what the heck could I knit out of this:

Vogue Knitting Spring and Summer 1964

If you can't read the date at the top, that says "Spring and Summer 1964". Kicky models, huh?

Pattern Photo

Here's the one I'm making -- and here is the description for it, right next to it:

Pattern description

The who with the what now?!

In any case, I'm not making it in mohair, because mohair makes me crazy. I haven't the foggiest idea what a Hong Kong cable is, but let me tell you, I'm becoming a master of them. Maybe that's what I should do when I meet other knitters: "So, do you know how to knit Hong Kong cables? Yeah, that's what I thought. Ha. My knitting skillz pwns joo." Or something, because I have no idea what I just wrote.

I'm starting with the sleeves:

New sweater sleeves

These are in Brown Sheep Naturespun Worsted, and, as you can see, I'm knitting both sleeves at once. If I don't do that, I inevitably screw up somewhere and worry a lot more while I'm doing it, so this is way easier. The ribbing is knit on #2s and the rest is on #8s. While I originally balked at that, it makes it look really tailored. I'm actually kind of excited to be knitting a fully fashioned sweater with all the sewing and stuff. Don't ask me why. Maybe I'm just a sucker for self-punishment.

sleeve on

Hopefully soon these will move past the wristwarmer stage.

Ciao!

Monday, April 17, 2006

By the way...

Yarn makes excellent bookends.

bookends2

Now I can look at my new yarn all the time without having to dig through the closet.

bookends

If you have a roommate, try this one. See how long it takes them to notice that there's yarn stacked in the bookcases.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Dyeing

eggs

Nothing could be finer than dyeing bunches of Easter eggs with a friend, right?

But there's all this dye left over.

dyes

Whatever shall we do?

Funny, I have some white yarn hanging around.

It needs to be wound into skeins, though.

wrapping skeins

I'll bet you know what comes next.

ready

green

s dyeing

orange

Easter egg dyes require quite a bit of vinegar. So we got out the syringe, squirted away, wrapped these puppies up and gave them a ride in the microwave.

green dyed

The colors kind of bled into each other, but that's okay. When we washed them, the dyes didn't bleed into the water, so hopefully they're pretty fast.

Here they are, drying.

drying

And all wrapped up and ready to go!

easter egg yarn

Happy pastel spring yarn, brought to you by a recycled sweater, leftover Easter egg dyes, and the space of an afternoon. The green skein is mine, the pink and orange one a friend's. Now, what to do with 100 yards of handpaint aran weight?

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Happy Easter

Here's another moment of retrospection here at V knits.

buckfriend

Buck would like to introduce you to a friend of his. While clearly a chick, this very early example of my cross-stitch is carefully labeled on the back "Tweety Bird" with my mom's help. Mom sent this to me in my Easter basket. I'd almost forgotten I'd made it. Thanks, Mom! Now I have some more cute Easter-springy things, and better yet ones that I've made.

There was more Easter-related crafting today, but I have to save it for a future post.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Handspun

About a week ago I embarked on a dangerous journey. I began to learn to spin.

Here are the results. They aren't necessarily pretty, but I've got to start somewhere, right?

first handspun

The first yarn wasn't awesome... thread-thin in spots, hardly spun in others... but I wound it into hanks, washed it, and hung it up to dry.

miniskeins

And when it was dry, I wound it into mini skeins. Now they can be cute decorations.

turquoise singles

Something a little different. I think Natalie said this was merino, and it's behaving much more nicely. I'm trying to practice keeping the yarn uniform, but it's still a little goofy in places.

Monday, April 10, 2006

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

In my zealous sock-knitting spree (during a funny Spanish movie) I mistakenly knit the leg of my sock too long. I made it past the heel before I realized that I was going to run out of yarn.

paradeprerip

Don't counsel me on toe-up socks. I know, I know, you never have this problem if you do it that way, but not being able to do heel stitch bugs me somehow. And I kind of like to graft toes.

So I ripped it out! Hooray!

Ripped Ribbing

I enjoy the physics, such as there are, of knitting. I like the way the knits and the purls fall back and forth when they come off the needles. Or maybe I just tell myself this to negate the pain of what was almost a sock disappearing.

Sock restarted

Here is what's left of the sock, with Buck standing guard. I know I didn't have to rip it out that far, but I didn't like how the all-stockinette leg was fitting, so now it's going to be ribbed all the way down.

Oh, and KnitPicks... sometimes, you're crazy.

"NOTE: The yarn label incorrectly states that Parade knits up at 7-8 stitches per inch. This yarn is actually a bit thicker and knits up quickly into warm socks at 6 stitches per inch." --KnitPicks


This is complete hooey. It knits up perfectly fine at 8 sts/in, and anything less would, in my humble opinion, make socks that were nubbly on the inside and would wear through instantly.

/rant.

Anyhow, to ease the pain, I dug out a skein of Noro Kureyon out of the giant red afghan basket, and started this:

Vogue freebie Noro hat

The afghan didn't quite deserve the Noro, and anyways, I had the same color as the model. You know, you can only make the object in the color the model was made in. Honestly.

And then because I didn't concentrate on anything else...

Vogue Freebie Hat

I finished it.

In other news, but without photos, I fixed C's hat for him that he's been bugging me to fix for months, and ripped out another hat that was ugly and ... well, ugly. But you know what balls of yarn look like, so I won't bore you with them.

Off to practice the other part of taking over the world!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Sock, Indeed

Parade Socks

I cast on this morning, and ended up watching a movie this evening instead of finishing my paper like I was supposed to. So here is my progress on socks out of Knitpicks' Parade. I've just started the heel flap; half a sock a day isn't bad at all.

The base color of the yarn is more natural than white, which I didn't quite expect. But it's not bad. I like the stripes.

And no, I didn't work on that Gossamer thingy today. Sarah, you were right. It's a pain in the butt.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Back to Big Needles


gossamer
Originally uploaded by belleange.

I could only go so long, right? Now I'm back to #11s and feeling clumsy again, particularly because my yarn is so slippery.

I've wanted to make Karabella's Gossamer Ruffle shawl for years and years, ever since I saw it in magazine advertising. Between this and Rosedale, this is becoming the time of fulfilling my long-standing knitting dreams. If only it felt that romantic while doing it.

Suddenly, this thing I have always wanted to make isn't that exciting anymore. What the heck am I going to do with a sparkly shawl, with a big ruffly tie in the front? As you might imagine, my social calendar is not filled with fancy parties that necessitate sparkly shawls. But when the yarn went on deep discount at the store, I couldn't resist, so here I am, fighting slippry skinny yarn on chunky heavy needles.

This must be the part of knitting they were trying to sell as 'meditative'. I don't like to knit slowly. I don't like to have to worry if my next hundred stitches are going to randomly slip off the needles without warning.

Guess who's probably going to start a sock today?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Finally Leafed Out

Here in Delaware, spring is in full swing. Magnolias, forsythias, daffodils, hyacinths, pansies, muscari, cherries, you name it. Everything is blooming. And everything is starting to leaf out -- including me!

Falling Leaves

I finished my Falling Leaves socks today, while also completing that other necessary spring ritual, filing my taxes.

Falling Leaves

I had to wait in line, because I was able to get them done for me for free at the public library (with income from three states this year, I didn't want to do them myself). Note there are no photos of me filing my taxes. It's better that way. I waited in line for three hours.

And of course here's a closeup of the lace pattern.

Falling Leaves Closeup

And the stats:
Yarn: 2 skeins Koigu KPPPM #516
Needles: #1 dpns -- I am whiney about learning the new ways of doing socks on circulars, so I sucked it up and did the shifting lace pattern on dpns anyways. Actually, the leg was fine -- I did it on 3 needles instead of 4, and that solved the shifting problem. I didn't have much of a choice, as I sat on one of my needles in the process and was forced to use one less than normal for a while.
Pattern: Falling Leaves by Jessica Landers.

In other news, I got my Knitpicks order today -- nothing special -- and this sure ain't a Flash Your Stash post. I'm too lazy for that.

kporder04032006

Here's what I got. Some sock yarn (the green appropriately named "Grass" as my current research project is about lawns) and I'm going to try out Shine (even though I'm usually anti-cotton) to make a Picovoli top, in the ongoing hope to be able to wear knitted items in the summertime.

Finally, in the spirit of leafing out, here is a little something that made my day this morning when I noticed it:

xmascactusleaf

My Christmas cactus has a new leaf, which means I'm not killing it, and it seems as if it has the potential to develop a few more. Nothing's more fun than to see light shining through brand new baby leaves. Well, okay, maybe seeing your leg through brand new leafy lace. That's pretty good, too.