Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is having a safe and warm, but not too warm, holiday season! This is the extent of my decorating this year:
Which to be completely honest was still on my desk from last year. How pathetic is that.

Historically I have gone all out for Christmas but the past two Decembers I have been in Singapore, an ocean away from friends and family and without any space to decorate anyway. Living in a rented room certainly has its drawbacks. I hope by this time next year I have an apartment I can decorate.

Anyway, I sent a package to my family with a couple pair of mittens and my grandmother's shawl, so stressful deadline knitting is over for now. I stupidly forgot to photograph the second pair of mittens before packing them, which is a shame because I LOVED them. Hopefully my mom takes a few snaps when they arrive, before my brother-in-law wears them to change the oil in the car or something.

The rest of the gifts I am knitting don't need to be finished until March, when I head back to the US. I think my friends back home will be more than gracious about receiving a Christmas gift a bit late.

This is good because my knitting is seriously curtailed right now. My wrist has gotten worse, and four different doctors have given me four different ideas about what the problem is. It's got me thinking that I should just give up on the university clinic altogether and shell out the cash to go to a different office downtown.

I have been working on the Lily sweater (my Rav project page) because it's the largest gauge project I've got on the needles right now (sock knitting is killing my wrist). This sweater is worked in the round from the bottom up. Knit up to the armpit, then knit each sleeve, join all three pieces together and carry on. This is only the second sweater I've knit and the first bottom-up one, so perhaps it's not surprising that I made a big mistake.

This is the first sleeve, ready to be joined to the body. There's the lily of the valley pattern columns, and a triangle of purl stitches in between.

Here's the corresponding section of the body lily of the valley pattern, stopped at the same row of the chart as the sleeve, but there are only two purl stitches in between.

SIGH. I was supposed to work the last few increases of the body in the purl section. I read that clearly in the pattern and realized that I had done the increases differently, but didn't understand why those purl increases were necessary until it was staring me in the face. Lesson learned!

I will finish the second sleeve before ripping back the several inches of body that need to be redone. I am not emotionally ready to do it now hehehe.

Accounting for all the ripping I've had to do because of bad bobbling, the actual amount of knitting done is going to be about double the size of the finished garment!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas is coming and I'm hoping I can finish up at least a majority of my holiday projects.  Right now I am focused on the secret ones so no pics to show.

I'm not sure how much I can actually complete though, since I injured my wrist about ten days ago and it's not getting better.  I can knit, but not for more than twenty minutes at a stretch, less for small-gauge projects.  I've been to the clinic and am waiting to hear back with a diagnosis.  And for the record, this is not a knitting-related injury.  I guess you could call it Pilates-related but I shouldn't have gone to fitness class with a sore wrist so it's really stubbornness-related!

Anyway what's up with a knitter getting a wrist injury the month before Christmas?!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Before I talk about my knitting I wanted to share this video I came across today of a dress knit from fluid-filled tubing:

Fluid Dress from Charlie Bucket on Vimeo.

When I first looked at the video I didn't think it was really knit, but I guess that's what it would look like if you knit stockinette with all the stitches twisted?  The artist made what looks like a big knitting loom to construct it.  Pretty cool.

Secret holiday knitting continues, but I am excited that I may actually finish most if not all of the gifts I have planned!  I think I can get at least three pair of mittens for my family done (for the guys this year, I'll do the girls next year maybe).  Here is the first pair:

 This is pattern 1 from Charlene Schurch's book Mostly Mittens, large size.  The yarn is knitpicks Palette.
 A weird thing is that the mittens shrank vertically with blocking, though I don't really see signs of felting.  Below, the left mitten is fresh off the needles.  Anyway, in this case it was good, because they were freakishly long before a bath.
 Practice really does make a difference when it comes to fair isle knitting style... I am very proud of how nice and even the floats are.  My previous attempts at colorwork should never be seen inside out hehehe.
Yesterday was a holiday (Hari Raya Haji, a Muslim holiday) but I didn't do any knitting, I had to go shopping instead for something to wear to a wedding.  What a waste of time! Even at home, where there's plenty of stuff my size, I have trouble finding things that actually fit properly, it's just hopeless here when perhaps 9 out of 10 stores don't even have carry sizes big enough for me.  I broke down and spent $70 for a shirt from a european (?) brand store, but I wasn't happy about it.  How much yarn would that be?!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

FO: Cleopatra

At long last I have finally finished this lace stole/shawl/scarf thing.

It's the Cleopatra Wrap from the book Sensual Knits.  This thing has been in my WIP basket for so long I think it left a permanent shadow.  I am truly relieved to have finished it, but I am surprised how much I like it now that it's been cast off and blocked.
 I always intended to give this to my Grandma, since she gave me a nice shawl from one of her travels and sighed that she got everyone in our family a shawl except herself.  While I was working on it, I was worried that it wasn't going to turn out well and that the colorway wasn't really my grandma's style.  But in the end I've decided it's right up her alley and I'll be sending it off for Christmas.
This was the first lace project I started, and the lace edges were really fun to knit.  But that center section was interminable.  On the bright side, it made good train knitting, and I noticed how much faster the last ten inches went than the first - I think I've become a noticeably more efficient knitter in the past two years.

The blocking process was a hoot, and my only available blocking surface - really the only surface larger than a laptop in my rented room, my bed - was just barely big enough to fit it.  Whenever I get around to settling down, I will definitely invest in blocking wires, since I anticipate knitting many more lace things in the future. 

I had bought a set of blocking wires pretty cheap (I think it was this set, but I could be wrong) when I started this project a couple years ago, but they couldn't fit in my luggage when I moved so they probably ended up at Goodwill.  I'm not exactly sure what happened to a lot of my stuff. I left an apartment mostly full and two of my girlfriends, who are dear sweet angels, "dealt with it" for me.  I was never a hoarder or anything, but being able to just leave all my stuff behind and not worry about its fate was a milestone in my personal development, I think.

Successfully finishing such a long term project creates the itch to cast on for a bunch of stuff, especially after looking at the new issue of Twist Collective.  But with the holidays coming up fast I need to stick with WIPs and mittens for my family.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I've got plenty of knitting content to post but I am without a camera until this weekend, so it will have to wait.  So today my post is only tangentially related to knitting.

One of the reasons I've finished up some projects recently is because I've allowed a little more silence in my life.  Usually I knit while listening to something - either an audiobook, the news, or some podcast.  This means that projects usually get stalled at the point that they require more concentration than I can devote while listening.

I realized that I felt guilty when I wasn't taking in information.  In a modern, fast-paced city, surrounded by people with completely different life experiences, and with my google reader serving up more content than I could possibly keep up with, my ignorance became obvious and oppressive.  I feel obligated to learn as much as I possibly could just to be a worthy member of the human race.

Recently I took a step back. Being a person isn't about trying to know everything about everything, but about carving out our own little niche in the universe and engaging with it the best way we can.  I've been forcing  myself to turn everything off once in a while and I notice so much of the world around me in a new way.  Even just taking a walk to lunch the other day *gasp* without cramming earbuds into my ears I noticed some things I hadn't noticed since I first arrived in Singapore - the symphony of the bugs in the afternoon, the creamy frangipani flowers on the path to the canteen, students studying and flirting at the picnic tables.  These are things worth noticing, even if it means I only listen to half as much political analysis as I used to.  (On a side note, I am so glad the US elections are over.  If I heard one more highly educated and possibly impactful journalist waste breath and talent making election predictions which are not useful or informative I would have puked.)

A frangipani flower.
I am hoping to make this a permanent life change, because I feel like I am a more peaceful and, counter-intuitively, a more productive person by taking time out.

Is silence a part of your life?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

An abundance of knitting time :-)

Lately my schedule is such that I have almost every weekday evening alone at home.  I've been plowing through audiobooks, clearing out my WIP basket, and thinking about Christmas.

Since I'm on the opposite side of the world from my family and close friends and have all this time to knit, I figure if there's ever a year to try and knit a bunch of Christmas gifts, this is it.  So I've cast on a royal ton of things in the last week or so, even though I said I wouldn't start anything new until all my WIPs were finished.

Since I'm knitting gifts, of course I can't show them yet but I will talk about what I'm knitting for my immediate family, since I don't think they even know what a blog is hehehe.

Here's the deal. I've got all this Knitpicks Palette laying around (21 balls to be exact) from a kit to make a bag.  I really want to make that bag at some point, but even if I cast on today there's no way I would finish it before leaving Singapore, and it would become a headache come moving time.  Meanwhile, I've got six family members who live in a cold place (well, depends on your definition of cold I guess), the need to destash over the next four months, and a burning desire to knit colorful mittens.

The only rational thing I can do is try to knock out six pairs of mittens over the next two months. Right?

I'm going to take patterns from Charlene Schurch's book Mostly Mittens.  First up, surprisingly, is Mitten 1 from the book.  I'm not great at combining colors but here's what I came up with, if it looks awful I'll change out a color or two:
I've only knit one pair of  mittens before but it was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to this megaproject.  And if they don't get finished in time, oh well I'll send a gift card.

I also cast on for something to leave at my desk at work, something uncomplicated and time insensitive (I've been spending less time at the office itself lately, so I can't predict how much time I'll have for knitting at work in the coming months).  I cast on for a scarf using a pattern from Nancy Marchant's book Knitting Brioche.
 This stitch is called "Siemens stitch" in her book. I chose it because it combines brioche knitting, which is a new technique for me, with double knitting, which I've dabbled in before.  It was great to be working them in the same piece, and I think I understand both better because of it. Both require you to slip a lot of stitches, but the brioche sections put a lot more yarn on the needle:

The resulting fabric is thick, reversible, and cozy.  The yarn is Colourmart, by the way, but I'm not entering it in the current contest because I don't think I'll finish it in time.

Taking the pics for this post and the previous one were fun - I took bf to the gardens at my work on a Saturday afternoon.  Don't worry - I am not a crazy workaholic, but I live so close to my work that the gardens there are the closest pretty place.  The heat made us a little silly:
but it was better than staying home and taking pics in my cruddy little room.

We were not the only ones in garden.
I don't know how many of these little guys live there, but I see them all the time. They are lightning fast though, and I'm surprised bf caught a pic of one.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

FO: Socks

I've finished two pairs of socks recently.  One of these pairs was originally cast on something like two years ago (or maybe more?) so it's a relief to finally  be done with them!

Both pair are plain, since the yarn is multicolored.  As you might see from the pic, though, they achieved this end via different constructions.  I'm slowly expanding my sock construction repertoire.  I think it's neat that such a simple functional item, which most (non-knitter) people don't think twice about, can hide a rich topic for contemplation and experimentation.

For the blue-ish pair (which I mentioned before, and is the pair I started recently) I followed the Gusset Heel Basic Socks pattern from Wendy's book. I tried to use up all the yarn but they got too huge, I've got some leftovers.  I usually use 2.0 mm needles, but for these I used 2.5 mm, since the yarn has nylon in it I'm confident these guys are gonna last despite the loose gauge.  This pair goes to my bf, who looks forward to living in a climate where all these things I'm knitting for him will actually be useful.

The yellow-y pair is not from any pattern, I just knit a tube and did an afterthought heel.  I didn't use a particular resource for the heel, but the Yarn Harlot has a clear description.  In fact the first sock's heel was done differently as I mentioned earlier, but the second heel was done as the YH did.  The end result is nice, and the color changes are remarkably uniform throughout the sock.  These will go to a good friend whose has probably forgotten that I promised him a pair of socks, it was so long ago.  I'm not going to remind him before sending these off, because the thought of my friend checking the mailbox one fine random day and finding a pair of handmade socks is too funny!

Anyway, of the two methods of heel construction, I'd say the afterthought heel is more annoying to make but does look prettier.  For self-striping yarn I might do it again, if only because it prevents the heels from messing with the color changes.  With solid yarn though, the boredom of knitting such a long tube from toe to calf of plain stockinette without even and increases or decreases is not worth it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I haven't been blogging, but I have been knitting.

I think I can finish a few WIPs soon and then I'll write something about them. Really, I can only show the same half-finished blue sweater so many times. 

Hopefully this is the last time:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Works in Progress

The last week or two I've lost the knitting mojo.  Work has been a bit overwhelming, and apparently my coping strategy is killing Raiders and Super Mutants - I've been playing a lot of Fallout3 lately. I keep a plain sock at my desk at work and plink away at it when I take a break to listen to the news, but that's about it.

I'm hoping the mojo comes back now, as I've got two sweaters I know I could finish soon.  One of them is entered as a WIP in the round of the Colourmart contest (rav) which starts today.

It's a silk top, untouched since the last Colourmart contest ended a couple months ago.  I had all manner of trouble adjusting the bust to fit my measurements but I think the rest of it should be smooth sailing.  (Famous last words?)  Anyway, I'm planning to pick it up again tonight, maybe it will work some magic on me and I'll knock it out in a couple weeks.

The other sweater I'm working on is the Lily sweater for my friend.

I am so almost to the armholes.  This is like the home stretch!

By the way I switched out one of the stitch markers for this adorable thing I got from home:

He (and his several brothers and maybe a few avian friends) were just too cute to resist.  I'm lucky I didn't have a whole damn menagerie waiting in my mom's mailbox!  There are a bunch more in the etsy shop I got them from.

Anyway, my main problem is that both of these projects are going to need sleeves soon, and both are on the same size needles. Since I only have so many 3.75 mm needles, I'm going to have to finish one before starting the sleeves on the other.  I've chosen to work on the silk top, so that I have a better chance of meeting the contest deadline.

Monday, September 13, 2010

FO: Socks

Pattern: Bavarian Cable Socks, Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy
Woo hoo for finally getting these off the needles - where they have been since Valentine's Day. Yikes!
 First let me give a shout-out to my delightfully helpful boyfriend for the following things: being a patient and inspiring sock model, giving me free reign with his camera, showing me how to use some photo-editing software, and deciding that taking pictures of knitting is so much fun that he'll help me on a regular basis.  This is great news for anyone reading this blog because he's a much better photographer than me.  My next post will have some evidence of that!

About the pattern:  This pattern comes from Wendy's book and it's perfectly well-written.  For someone with average-shaped feet the fit is great.  But. My bf, I have learned, does not have average-shaped feet.  His heels are pointy.  As in, my leg makes a 90-degree angle with the ground and his make like a 75-degree angle.  The heel on this sock (and probably like half of the sock patterns out there) can barely accomodate the extra volume in the heel area.  See:

Luckily I've already found a different type of sock heel that fits him better and will probably stick with that one in the future.  These socks have already been knit though.  Oh well.

 I took so long for these puppies because all those twisted stitches making up the "cables" are painful to knit.  My right pinkie always cramped up after about 20 minutes of knitting.  This problem was probably exacerbated by the needles I was using - 2.0 mm circs with a short "needle portion" (the hard part at either end).   Definitely a fault of the knitter and not the design.

About the yarn: I have already mentioned that this yarn is a little disappointing for me.  I mean, the color is beautiful, really I could ogle this yarn all day.  However, the yarn itself gets quite thin in places, and pills like anything. Trying to compensate for the delicate yarn, I used much tinier needles than recommended, and this just gave me a pilly fabric that was also stiff. I guess the "Smooshy" comes from its being loosely spun, so perhaps I shouldn't complain about all this and use it only for low-wear items in the future.  But still it's a bit of a downer to finish my bf's socks after an eternity and have his first comment be, "they're kindof fuzzy, is it supposed to be like that?"

Considering that it's a pattern that I'd rather not knit again with a yarn better suited for something else, I would say the project turned out OK.  On to the next, I guess.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

FO: scarf

Hey check it out I finished something!

Transpacific Scarf

I didn't the entire yarn, because I realized that I wouldn't be able to block the thing if I did.  Before blocking, the scarf was 59" long; it blocked out to 74".  Which you can see is the largest my blocking surface could accommodate. 
The process of blocking lace, which I hadn't had to do before, is pretty straightforward but I can imagine that it's a real pain for a more complicated piece.  But even on this simple scarf, it completely changed how the yarn behaved.  The lumps smoothed out, the YO holes became more uniform in size, the pattern itself became more clear.

I'm not exactly sure what to do with this scarf.  The wife of one of my coworkers is moving to northern Europe next month and I suspect a warm cuddly scarf would be welcome, but I'm not sure if I should gift it to her or not.  It's that weird social distance where we are friendly enough that we can have a conversation without my coworker around, eg when we cross paths at the bus stop, but not friendly enough that I would contact her on purpose.

Regardless, mostly I'm just excited that I finished it!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

travel knitting

Woops, it's been a while since I posted.

One of the reasons that I haven't posted in almost a month is that I took a trip home for a couple weeks. I've never been so happy to see my family and friends and I'm truly rejuvenated after some downtime in my hometown. I'm also a little bit heavier - I made every meal count while I was there. While home I picked up a bunch of knitting-related stuff that will surely pop up on this blog soon, as I'm itching to dig into all the goodies.

I definitely got some knitting done during my travels - flying back and forth through twelve time zones without pulling a two-beers-and-a-slide would not be possible for me otherwise.  Two new projects were started specifically for the journey, even though I had plenty of projects on the needles. I had my circs cut at an airport once (kiss my ass, Peru) and since then I don't pack projects that I'm emotionally invested in.

First up is a scarf knit with some alpaca sock yarn.  I'm delighted at how this is turning out.  I had fallen out of love with this yarn, and chose the pattern not because I thought it looked nice but because I could manage it in the zombie-like state I enter during an eleven hour flight.
Pattern: Adia; Yarn: Classic Elite Alpaca Sock
In combination, though, they make for a fun project. The pattern is easily memorized and the yarn incredibly soft.  A gift-worthy item which works up quickly from stash yarn and a free pattern?  I'm a happy girl.
The full-body shot above doesn't do it justice - it's prettier than I thought it would be.

The other project in my carry-on was a pair of stockinette socks, on wood needles to avoid another Peru incident.  I'm using one of the patterns from Wendy's book - Gusset Heel Basic Socks. I picked up this yarn at a craft store in Singapore (Spotlight to be exact). It's not my favorite yarn - it feels plasticky despite the 75% wool content and the dye is sparsely applied. I can't tell if the thinness of the color is a desired effect or if it's the yarn producer being really cheap.  Anyway, bf is getting these socks and he likes the color so it's no big deal.

Pattern: Gusset Heel Basic Socks, Yarn: Moda Vera Noir
This pic was taken while I was still traveling, currently I am almost done with the first sock.  Bf isn't around to model right now, but this heel is fitting him way better than the other heel I knit from this book.  I did add two stitches' worth of gussett but the difference in fit is more than two stitches can explain.  I'll keep this observation in mind when picking sock patterns for bf in the future.

Now that I'm back in Singapore, it's all about WIPs. Most of the projects on my needles are at least half done, which explains why I've finished, like, 1 project this year despite knitting all the time. I think a dedicated effort can knock all my WIPs out by Halloween.

I understand people e.g. the Yarn Harlot who feel like establishing rules for oneself like "no new projects" or "no new stash" takes the fun out of something which we do purely for our own enjoyment. But I'll be tickled when I see an empty knitting basket for the first time since I started knitting.  And for the next couple months I can ooh and aah at all the patterns on ravelry and change my mind a thousand times about what I'm gonna cast on for in November. That's part of the fun too. I think of finishing WIPs like exercise - I hate making myself do it but I feel better afterwards.

I leave you with a photo of unspeakable cuteness from my trip home.  I assure you, no laws were broken and no nephews harmed in the actions portrayed here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Third time's a charm

It fits! It fits! I want to knit 100 sweaters in exactly the same gauge with exactly the same bust shaping.

Of course I didn't finish in time for the Colourmart contest, but I am happy anyway because the contest forced me to figure it out.

My wraps at the end of the short rows were (as usual) a little wonky, but I found that with a little patience and a slightly smaller needle I could tease the stitches into looking more even and less noticeable.  The photo below is the left side, which wasn't so bad to begin with and the second photo is the ride side short rows, which looked awful before I finessed them.

I did a bit more waist shaping than the pattern called for, and I am at the point now that I need to do some calculations to make sure my shirt isn't going to hit the knees.  I am skipping the eyelets in the pattern but am almost to the lace section at the bottom.

I took copious notes because I have to set this project aside for a few weeks - tonight I am leaving to go home to Cincinnati, Ohio!  I haven't been home since January so I am really looking forward to it.  For so many reasons, but among those reasons are a couple yarny surprises that got shipped to my mom's house recently. ;)

I did finish the other item I entered in the Colourmart contest, my bf's reversible cable scarf:

In the background are my newest acquisitions, both Colourmart fingering weight.  I'm saving them for the fall-winter contest/KAL in the colourmart group, but they'll probably end up being lacy gifts for some people here in SG.

Time to finish up my work so I can finish packing, eat some delicious Indian food, and start my 26 hour journey home.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Boobs are irritating.

In general, you might say that I'm pro-bust. I'm the kind of girl who refuses to buy any bra labelled "minimizer" because I feel that the clothing industry should make clothes to fit my body and I shouldn't make my body fit their clothes. I'm a curvy person, and even living in Asia surrounded by Chinese and people of Chinese descent at work all day, I still prefer my body shape to something slimmer. One of the reasons I got interested in knitting after being a crochet freak for a couple years was the possibility of making flattering clothes for myself that actually fit properly. (I know there are many beautiful tops that can be made with crochet, and I'm not trying to dis a craft dear to my heart, but let's face it crochet doesn't have the stretch of knit fabric and it's hard to get full coverage without stiffness.)

HOWEVER, all that boob love has gone out the window as I have been working on the bust portion of this silk sweater. I had ripped out all the short rows and re-knit them, adding in vertical bust darts, as found here. The problem, as I found at knit group yesterday, was that the bust shaping is now too much and too low. Observe:

Anyway, I'm glad I brought something else to work on at knit group because once I tried the sweater on I didn't have the heart to even look at it. I hunkered down with that blue sock I've been working on for an age.

I want to speak my mind about knit groups, and I hope if anyone from any of the knit groups I have attended ever reads this they don't get offended. I've experienced knit-outs with three different groups. Two of the knitting circles were awful for me and one was great.

I think the one knit group was awesome because I was friends with the core members outside of knitting and nobody in the group considered themself to be a knitting expert.  So it was just a bunch of girls gossiping and doing our best to tackle whatever pattern we were working on.

The other groups just didn't work. One, which I attended a couple times a couple years ago, was more like an expensive-knitting-stuff fan group than anything else. When I went, I felt like I was not sufficiently in awe of whatever new yarn or book was being raved about on ravelry and blogs. Furthermore I felt like I was completely not cool enough to be in the group - my clothes matched and were clean, I don't have piercings and tattoos and I'm missing that hipster factor so highly prized around college campuses. I kinda got the feeling that the core members of the group didn't appreciate strangers coming to their knit group, and I wondered why the hell they posted about it on ravelry if they didn't want people to come.  I think I went twice and never went back.

The third group group is here in Singapore. I must admit that the main problem for me is quite personal, my hearing is bad and I absolutely cannot hear what anyone else is saying because the meeting place is always a coffee shop near an MRT station - cramped, full, and LOUD. (There is no such thing as a quiet cozy coffee shop in Singapore.) So it's really hard for me to follow any conversations that are going on. But the other thing is that most of the people I've met there seem convinced that they are expert knitters. For me it doesn't matter if one is a master knitter or not, it's just the attitude that comes along with judging oneself to be an expert. Also, it usually feels like there are two knit groups happening simultaneously - the Singaporean one and the expat one with very little interaction between the two.  Knit group is the only place that I've seen another American here, and I really wanted to make friends but I just can't find any common ground with the ladies I've met there.

I left the knit-out yesterday feeling down and wondering why I bother to go to those things. It's really hard for me to understand how I can be so anti-social and unable to make friends here when I have never had these problems before. I used to be painfully shy, but people actually enjoyed my company; here the problem is that people don't seem to like having me around. After six months of trying to make friends at work and through my hobbies, I gave up a while ago.  It's been great for getting reading done but not so great for my well-being.

Perhaps this is just a clue that it's time for a trip home to bring my spirits up.

Anyway I am almost ready to rip the sweater - I plan to rip back about half of the bust shaping, since the apex of my boob is just over halfway down the line of the vertical dart - but for some moral support I went out and got my new favorite coffee:

It's the best local-style coffee I've found. The branch by my bf's house is at the Pasir Ris MRT station, and I love going there because the staff is actually friendly. The man who is usually making the coffee there just brightens my day. It's not that he chats with me or does anything beyond his job description, but he somehow manages to be friendly just by saying "Kopi take-away, ah?" with a smile.

Time to start ripping.  Come hell or high water I WILL get to the waist shaping this week!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ugh again

My unfortunate houseguest finally left, but not before a trip to Hong Kong and another night in the emergency room.  I'm just glad to finally have my home back.

Anyway, the Knitting Gods are not done messing with me yet, because the first thing I did when I had some time alone to relax was get back to the silk sweater I'm working on.  I got to the join for working in the round, when I reached a paragraph in the pattern that I couldn't quite figure out.  Like some others (as I saw later on ravelry) I didn't quite get the instructions for the neckline.  In hindsight I realize that the pattern is written correctly, it's completely my bad.  Anyway, I had to rip the 4 longest rows in the entire project.

Then came the bust shaping.  Actually I did most of the short rows on the train (I realized that knitting a sweater on a train near the equator isn't actually the weirdest thing I've done, and there's a deadline coming up so why not?), thus I know it took me a little over an hour. 

Everything was going great, until I had to knit the wraps.  Something inexplicable happened and I ended up with a single stitch dropped off the needles but a holy dumpload of yarn flying around.  And for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to get everything back in order - the yarn is dark, it was late at night, and there were wrapped stitched involved.  After about half an hour of fiddling and cussing this is the best I can do:

I really really don't want to rip and redo those short rows but that gaping hole looks terrible and I'll never wear a top with some weird WTF going on right on one of the boobs.  So, I've resigned myself to ripping out for a second time within like 2 inches of knitting.  On the bright side, I don't think the short rows are going to give enough space in the bust area, so I'm thinking to make some increases as well as doing the short rows.  Of course I need to do a little research first. What did knitters do before the existence of the online knitting community?

As a palette-cleanser, take a look at the yarn I picked up last month in Germany and forgot to blog about.  Nothing special but I am happy about the cotton sock yarn - I can make the bf a pair of socks he can actually wear.

Monday, June 21, 2010


I have a friend in town and the whole thing turned into a disaster - he broke his leg on the first day of a trip that was longer than I would have liked anyway.  He isn't exactly a gracious or easy houseguest and with his injuries, he's taken over my room (ie my home) so life has been stressful to the extreme. Sounds like a perfect time for knitting, right? Except I haven't had a moment to myself, or even a quiet moment, since he got here ten days ago. Ugh.

Perhaps it seems rude to be talking negatively about an injured friend, but believe me if you knew him you would understand. I think most of us have a friend like that, somebody about whom others always tell us, I don't know how you can be friends with that person, he/she is so ______. But whether it's logical or not we stay close with them. And he is one of the few people I have knit for, which is saying something. It's just that he's best ingested in doses of not more than two hours and I've been in near-constant contact for ten days.

Anyway, the Colourmart contest projects are too big to take on the train now so I got back to work on some socks lying around.

Everything was going great until I noticed I was one purl stitch short, and found the problem when I looked on the inside of the sock. A dropped stitch!

Usually I wouldn't fuss about a dropped stitch, I do it all the time, catch the mistakes and fix them no problem. But I don't think it's possible to correct this one without ripping because I dropped it as I was doing a cable - there's no spare yarn in the next row and furthermore I think I've got all the twisted knit stitches in the wrong place now.


Anyway, (knock on wood) at least I had some time waiting at the doctor's office to get some inches in on the Palindrome Scarf without any mistakes.


I'm thinking about hiding in the library tomorrow for "research" and knitting a bit on my lunch because I need a serious injection of sanity so I don't abandon my friend at the airport.