Thursday, September 20, 2007

Blogs: The Great Enablers

I really need to stay away from knitting blogs. They mean nothing but bad things...if by "bad things" I mean that they bring the wide world of beautiful yarn and knits into my home and make me covet them so badly find myself in a trance, reaching for my credit card.

Today, for instance, I was minding my own business, reading through my (really too long) list of blogs and I clicked on a link in the Yarn Harlot's blog. This link showed me a rainbow of beautiful yarn and patterns, but unfortunately this site only sells them wholesale to other stores. Not easily dissuaded, I quickly Googled "strickwear yarn" and came up with several sites that will either sell the patterns alone, or the whole kit. YUM! Sadly for me, I just came back from an afternoon of sale shopping for appropriate work clothes so I won't be buying any new yarn for a while.

In regular knitting news, I still haven't had the courage to take a crack at those Tilted Duster sleeves. They are blocked and waiting for me, but I will have to seam one up to see if they fit now and I dread having to seam it up and take it back out...because that will mean I have to rip the entire sleeves out and start them over. I know I will feel better if I just DO IT but...I'm still in denial.

Instead, I have been making quick progress on my Flair. I would probably knit this again, but not in cotton. Blue Sky Alpacas' cotton is very soft to the touch, but I just don't like knitting with it. There is no give or springyness to it and I really miss that. On the other hand, I love how it looks, and it is a bit more stiff than I think wool would be and that does look nice with the boxy concept...*sigh*...we'll see. I always think I'll knit things in multiple colors but when all is said and done, I figure that there are too many other patterns I would love to knit to bother doing one twice. I am also a tad annoyed because I ordered the kit from Kpixie, but quickly realized that I would want to make a larger size than normal and I will need another skein of yarn. I emailed them several days ago and still haven't heard back yet. :( That's the problem with living in an internet age: we're all so used to getting instantaneous results that a 4-day wait seems like an eternity!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

One FO, One Cast-On, and One Bad Project

I finally finished my Mystery Stole!!! As a way to avoid dealing with my Tilted Duster, I told myself I couldn't knit anything else until I finished one (or preferably both) project(s). So determined was I to knit anything BUT my Duster, I stayed up until 2:00 AM the other night and finished up the stole. I have no pictures because a) it's lace, which means it has to be pinned out in order to see anything, and I'm just too lazy to do that right now, and b) I was just making it to have something to do this summer and I'm not too jazzed about it anyway.

As for the Duster, I removed the one completed sleeve and pulled out the seams on both of them. (*sniff!* those seams were PERFECT!) In a last-ditch effort to avoid having to re-knit the sleeves, I soaked and re-blocked them and now I am just waiting for them to dry completely before I check to see if they can be used. If not, it's RRRRRIIIIIPPPPPP!!! Hmm...I never noticed before that 'rip' is the same as R.I.P. How appropriate.

Last but not least, I did cast on for a new project. This one is another sweater I'm really excited about: Flair, by Wendy Bernard. Kpixie has the kit on sale so I ordered it a few weeks ago and cast on yesterday. I'm using Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton, and it's really soft, but like most cotton it just doesn't have any give and my hands are very sore already. Oh well, I really like what I'm seeing so far so I'll just have to get over it. :)

Sorry for the lack of photos today. Half of my classmates came to the center last week with killer colds, and they were kind enough to share. I have been doing pretty much nothing but knitting and watching DVDs for the past few days. I had my second interview for an internship today and I swear I was this close to stuffing kleenex up my nostrils just to get through the meeting. I didn't, and I got the internship anyway. YAY! And now I have until Monday before I have to start working there.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Bad Blogger

Yes, I know I have been a bad blogger lately. But classes started last Thursday (a day earlier than scheduled) and the instructors haven't been shy about giving us a ton of homework. I don't have an internship yet, although I have been on three interviews so far and have another one tomorrow. I turned down two offers because they only had openings for 2 days a week, and I need 4. Today's interview was promising and I'm going back for a second round next week.

Why am I telling you this? Because in the last week, all I have managed to do is knit the collar for my sweater and attach one sleeve, and it will only get worse once I actually start working full-time.

I absolutely love this sweater, but I am at a bit of a crossroads with it. All I have to do is sew in the other sleeve and block it, but when I tried it on again, it became pretty clear to me that the sleeves really are too tight.

We're talking so tight that they bunch up inside my elbows when I bend my arms. These sleeves are so tight that the stockinette is straining to hold together! I'm afraid they will cut off my circulation and I'll end up armless and have to learn how to knit with my toes. (But come to think of it, I could skip knitting sleeves entirely!)

So now I'm faced with having to find a solution to this problem, and I really dread admitting it to myself. I know what I have to do. I have to rip out the sleeves and knit them in a larger size than the pattern calls for. (And I am quite unhappy about this. I knit them and blocked them to spec, and it's not like I have big arms! What gives?!?) So...facing this prospect has left me stranded, knitwise...for the moment. But I am determined not to cast on for anything else until I get this project and the Mystery Stole finished.

In other news, I was out getting my hair cut after my interview today and on a whim I stopped by Barnes and Noble. They had a whole table of knitting books for 50% off! I nabbed The Best of Vogue Knitting: 25 Years, and the Vogue Knitting Stitchionary, Volume 2. All is not horrible in the knitting world, after all. :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Wow...this Tilted Duster knits up really fast! That, or I just really like it so I'm spending more time on it than I normally would. Either way, I like this sweater so much that I have been more than happy to have this giant pile of wool sitting on my lap all weekend, even though it was in the mid-90s the whole time. But this is what I have to show for it:

I'm completely done with the body of the sweater. Now all I have to do is pick up and knit the collar and sew the sleeves in, and I'm done! I tried it on and it fits beautifully (well, except for the skinny sleeves) so I'm very excited. I'll have to make an etsy stop to find the perfect buttons too. :)

I am really quite proud of myself because of the way the skirt is picked up and knit around the bottom of the sweater. I have always been horrible at picking up stitches, but these ones look rather seamless. Yay me!

So now the question is what to knit next? I really do have to finish up that Mystery Stole. But I have the materials for 3 different sweaters that I want to do and I don't know which one to pick! It's really not a huge problem, and I'm sure that when I'm actually ready to cast on for something new I will know exactly what I want to do.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Long Time, No Blog

Yes, I know I have been gone for quite some time, but I started a new semester and my days were busy with orientation trips and interviews and receptions, etc. I have a few days off before things start up again so I have been taking advantage of that fact by working on my sweater.

Progress pic:

I finished the back, the front panels, and the sleeves. I blocked everything and did all the seaming up (much easier after the pieces have been blocked). Now it is waiting for me to pick up stitches from around the bottom and knit the "skirt" of the sweater.

I have just one problem so far: I blocked the sleeves to the exact dimensions given and after I seamed them up I tried them on. The problem? They are very tight. We're talking skinsuit tight. And I have skinny arms! This worries me because I'm not really sure how to stretch sleeves out after they're all seamed up so I'm not sure if I can make them wider when I block the entire sweater again. If not, I'll just have skin-tight wool sleeves, which I'm sure are oh so comfortable in a California winter! :-P

Other than that though, I really like this project and I am very excited for it to be finished. I'm hoping that I will finally have a wearable sweater that I really like! I am seriously considering making it in another color too.

I am also excited to finish up so I can cast on for something new. Itchy fingers! But after the sweater is done I really need to get back to my Mystery Stole and finish that up before I move on to something else. I really can't stand to have it sit there staring at me while I work on a sweater night after night. UFOs just bug me. Can't stand it!