Thursday, February 28, 2013

Back To Sock-ing

Every time I did the laundry this winter the worsted socks I knitted in previous years kept reminding me that I could always use more socks to wear to work.  I love those socks.  They're bright and I only ever knit one so I don't suffer "second sock syndrome" so I only need make one, that way I have yarn left for other things too.  When I went through my stash last month this skein of Plymouth Encore floated to the top and on Tuesday my resistance broke and I cast on.  It was the perfect project to have tucked into my purse for waiting room knitting that day.  I like the dark gray stripe that's spiraling around the sock with the speckles between.

I'm liking the way that the Red Gold Cowl is working up, although I do wish I'd have started the mistake rib sooner but I'm guessing it'll all work out in the end.  Plus I can go back to standard rib when I get toward the end to balance it out.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


I like making dish/washcloths.  I get to use colorful yarn and I can mix it up any way I want and no one will say that they won't wear it.  (not that anyone ever says that to me since I'm a mostly selfish knitter but you never know)  Last Friday night at knitting HH was working on a Double Thick Cloth and commented that she'd goofed up a row but was leaving it as a design element.  KW was knitting one with the same pattern and some cotton yarn she'd reclaimed from a failed shawl, and she spent most of her time trying to recover from a mis-knit row.  I said that I wasn't going to pull out my version of that project since the two of them had obviously filled the room with bad dishcloth juju, but then I couldn't resist pulling mine out and proving that the juju was just fine.  It wasn't.  I knit a row and tinked (k-n-i-t backwards) it.  Knit a row and tinked it.  Counted stitches (knit, purl, knit, purl...) and tried again.  I finally succumbed to the bad dishcloth juju and put it away.  When I got home, in better light and not laughing quite so hard, I discovered that I'd screwed up the row that I'd ended up on at home (what is so hard about "knit 1, slip 1"? evidently something but I don't know what it might be); that was what had set me on the road to failure.  It's all fixed now.  This pattern makes a lovely dish or wash cloth.  It's extra thick and squooshy and it doesn't get holey when it stretches out when it gets wet.

It was so un-busy at work on Thursday that Leftover Starfish Dishcloth #2 got finished and I didn't even have to tack on another color of yarn.  I wanted to.  I would have done it in a heartbeat, but the end of the starfish came before the end of the yarn.  There's very little of this color left so it'll make it into random colored dishcloth-land one of these days.  It's all a part of my "use up what you've got" plan this year.

Since I finished the Bandwagon Afghan on Wednesday (yay! it only took 1 year and 10 months of non-continuous work) I got out the next project in my Onesie queue--the Red Gold Cowl.  Once again the yarn's doing the work.  The pattern's a simple "here's how many stitches I cast on and what yarn and size needles I used and what ribbing pattern" type of pattern.  So I read her list of 8 or 10 cowls she'd made with this method, picked one and plunged in.  The yarn doesn't have any give but I think I like the way it's looking.  I might try doing mistake rib (rnd 1 [k2, p2]... rnd. 2 [k1,p2, k1]* repeat) now that I have a bit of k2,p2 ribbing done.  One thing I do like is she says, "I'm not too worried if the round is complete when I bind off.  I'd rather have used up all the yarn."  Now I just have to figure out when to stop knitting and start binding off.  I'll get there.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Climbing Off The Bandwagon

This afternoon here at the dive shop I finished knitting the I-cord edging of the Bandwagon Afghan.  My join is not tidy.  I should have done a provisional cast-on so that I could Kitchener the ends together but I didn't and I am not going back to the beginning.  It'll have to do.

I love the way the afghan looks.  I love the colors I chose.  I love that I used two natural colors of Lion Brand Fisherman Wool for for the log cabin parts of each square.  I may not ever make an entire afghan of it again but I'm sure I'll make more mitered squares.  This is a good pattern.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Oh, I LIke These

sorry for the bad lighting
I took the yarn, needles, and pattern to make the second of my onesie skeins into Red Hot Fingerless mitts to Friday Night Knitting and got started.  I went back and forth on Ravelry trying to figure out how I managed to match a DK weight yarn with a pattern that called for worsted weight yarn but I plunged in anyway.  The pattern's a breeze and well-written.  I finished the cuff and knitted into the body of the mitt before bedtime Friday night.  On Saturday afternoon I plugged my iPod into my ear and kept going.  By suppertime mitt #1 was done.

After supper I cast on mitt #2 and made it up to binding off the thumb in preparation to knitting the top ribbing by bedtime.  This is one quick knitting pattern.

It didn't take long yesterday to knit the 2" of ribbing and bind off.  Voila! a pair of mitts.  I followed the pattern for the middle size (Women) exactly in stitch count and needle size and they fit perfectly.  I think they look a bit odd lying there empty, but they're comfortable and warm on my hands.  I'll be knitting these again.  I like a simple pattern that lets my addiction for variegated yarn carry the day.

Friday, February 15, 2013


I meant to spend yesterday binding off my Psychedelic Shawlette so I could show it off at knitting guild last night but... I didn't, I goofed off instead, so I took it with me.  Lo and behold, TS sat next to me and when I complained about how many stitches I had to bind off and what a royal pain it was she taught me how to bind off with a crochet hook.  Much faster!  MUCH!  Thanks, TS, you're a lifesaver.  I finished it after I got home last night and love it.  Love. It.  I highly recommend this little pattern.  It's free on Ravelry, easy to knit, and (if you read the ruffle pattern correctly) no part of it is a pain.

At the knitting guild meeting last night PH taught us how to put crocheted edgings on our knitting.  She taught us how to do the Crab Stitch or reverse single crochet.  It's awkward at first but it makes a nice edge.  Thanks, PH.

At show & tell time I shared my adventures in writing and charting a pattern.  No one explained to me how a left-facing fish on the chart turned into a right-facing fish in the yarn.  But then the roads were deteriorating so we were all scampering to go.  I don't think I'll be making up any more patterns.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Optimism Misplaced

On Monday I knit on my shawlette at work and ran out of yarn before I ran out of shawlette.  Grrr.  I frowned at it for a while then put it away.  I thought about just slapping the black on and having one black end but decided that was a bad idea.  I searched online to see if I could order another skein and for how much ($18.95, eek! + shipping, don't forget) and I searched on Ravelry to see if anyone had a skein or partial skein they were willing to part with (no one did) but cooler heads prevailed.  When I got home I dug around in my worsted wool bin and came up with a skein of fuschia, one of a lighter purple, and an end of green, all of which coordinated well enough with the colors in the skein that crapped out on me.  I reminded myself that the purpose of this basket full of onesie skeins of yarn is to knit solely out of stash so I plunged in with my 3 solid colors and I don't think it looks too bad.

Yesterday afternoon I started picking up stitches along the edge with the black and didn't like the way it looked so I single crocheted along the edges, then picked up stitches in the middle of the chain stitches so there isn't a thick edge on the back side.  I will confess that it's a long way from one end of the row to the other when you double the stitches on every right side row, and purling back's one whale of a slog.  But I have the second increase row done so a purl row, one more set of increase down and purl back, a knit row, and bind off is what's left.  I was sorely tempted to eliminate the last round of increase and purl but I talked myself out of it becuase a scrawny ruffle would look lazy.  Plus I'm German and I have to follow the rules/pattern.  (my innerHitler's very bossy)

At the Family Supper last Saturday I cast on another starfish dish/washcloth out of leftover cotton to keep my fingers busy so I only ate my share of the "horsey vorzees" (most of the time I could skip the meal and just eat appetizers, I love them)

and because I can't resist casting on, I went downstairs and dug out a skein of Hobby Lobby's I Love This Cotton! to make a double thick washcloth to match my soap caddy.  Tsk.  What a goofball.

Last Friday at knitting I worked exclusively on the i-cord edging of the Bandwagon Afghan, backing up a bit and taking another run at making the corner.  Two rows of detatched i-cord made the corner lay much flatter than the one row recommended on the video I watched.  It actually is going faster than I thought it would.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Cautiously Optomistic

I kept knitting on the Psychedelic Shawlette yesterday afternoon and got pretty far, almost to where the decreases start piling up faster, and I think I might be okay with matching up the remaining stitches and remaining yarn.  As long as I don't run into any more %#$^& knots.

After supper I picked up the Starfish Dishcloth and got into the last wedge before I pooped out and had to go to bed.

The other night I got to turn the first corner of I-cord edging on my Bandwagon Afghan.  I only knit a few stitches past the corner because I need to pick up more edge stitches but I think I might just go back and add another detached row of I-cord so that the corner turns a bit more tidily.  I'm all about the tidy.  Most of the time.  Except when I'm not.


Look at the trees!  I just noticed that they're sparkling with ice.  Pretty.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Knot, Dammit

Yesterday afternoon I got to the halfway point of the little scarf/shawlette I'm knitting.  Last night after our steak dinner out with friends I picked it up to add a few rows, only to discover one of those "extra yarnover" holes in it about 8 rows back.  Gah!  So I frogged back to the boo-boo because it was in with the ssk (slip-slip-knits) and the yo (yarn-over) so I couldn't just drop down a couple stitches and crochet hook the column back up.  Dammit.

It's been pretty quiet here at the dive shop today so I got back to the halfway point today and started working my way back down to a single stitch.  I'm concerned that I'll run short of yarn so I was less than thrilled to find a tiny little knot in the yarn which meant that I had to untie it and waste a few inches of yarn.  Now I find myself knitting faster so that I finish the pattern before I run out of yarn.  That never works, it doesn't even make logical sense, but that doesn't stop my subconscious into goading my fingers to KNIT FASTER, HURRY, HURRY.

I'm liking how this is looking and I'm eager to finish the scarf so I can put on the black ruffle on the slanted edges, another reason to knit, KNIT LIKE THE WIND.  (ooh, that subconscious voice can get so annoying)

Monday, February 4, 2013

I'll Be Edging Forever **

Or maybe just until it's too warm to sit with a wool afghan on my lap.  On Saturday I watched a couple three YouTube videos about attached I-cord.  I liked Cat Bordhi's video for explaining the process and showing it clearly but she works with yarn already attached where she starts.  Then I remembered that another YouTube video showed a lady picking up edge stitches with a long circular needle on the edge of a baby blanket.  So I put the two together and set off.  I started an inch down from a corner and I started with about 3" of neutral, then I grabbed one of the skeins I used to knit the crosses and kept going.  I plan to use all four cross yarns putting a bit of neutral between them to give the eye a spot to rest.  I did this much on Saturday night.

On Sunday night I knitted on the Psychedelic Shawlette to where it says to start shaping the point.  I'm down to 2.25 oz. from 3.5 oz. and there're 36 rows for the point increase, then, I'm assuming, 36 opposite point decrease rows, and the regular decrease rows, so I'm following the pattern as written.  I'll deal with any leftover yarn later.  (See, I was hoping to have figured out these pattern and yarn combos pretty tightly to cut down on leftovers.  We shall see, won't we?)  I'm excited to see the colors mix and blend and I'm anxious to finish the body and start on the black ruffle on the angled edges.  I'm liking it.  A lot.

But first I want to finish off this Dotty Dishcloth today.

** Done by 1 PM.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

I Got To Cast On!

Remember that I said that I had to get the afghan blocks joined before casting on one of my "singles" projects?  Well, I worked and worked at work and at home and got all 12 Bandwagon afghan blocks attached to each other yesterday afternoon.  I went downstairs to gather up the remnants of the 4 cross yarns to use for the i-cord edging (I'm thinking of putting an inch or so of one of the neutrals between the colors on the edge),

and get the needles & dig out a skein of black wool to make the After the Rain shawlette.  I cast it on, decided I didn't like the way the edges were looking, and ripped it right out.  I started again, slipping the edge stitches purlwise, and doing the increase (using the easiest, the ol' knit front & back) in the second stitch.  I knit on it exclusively at Friday Night Knitting and see how far I got?  I was smart and weighed the skein before I started the second time so that when I reach where it says to work the point I can weigh what I have left and keep going if there's way more than half of the yarn left.

Evidently I'm evolving as a knitter because I backed up and made some decisions about how I want to make this pattern MY WAY.  This is going to look awesome with a black ruffle knitted on the edges, I can't wait to see it.