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March 2005 Archives

March 1, 2005

Bad Karma

You know things aren't going your way when your computer screen looks like this:

screen

That's my treasured LifeBook screen - now cracked. This is only one of many computers in our house, but it's always been a special one. When Matthew was a baby, I wanted something "really" small so I could work when he was sleeping and so I could easily carry it around the house. The LifeBook is just about the size of a hardback book. Really great.

Really broken.

Really my fault.

I shed my tears yesterday.

I turned it on again today just hoping maybe it wasn't as bad as it'd seemed yesterday.

It was.

The only other time something like this happened was when I spilled a cup of coffee on my red Palm.

That time it was my fault, too.

That's actually a good thing.

It helps me cope.

Adding to the bad luck of this...

I've been checking the mail every day for my WEBS order. I ordered the pattern for the Must Have Too Cardigan from them on 2/20. Today's 3/1. I got email this morning saying my order had just shipped.

Okay. That didn't make me happy. For $6+ dollars shipping, I expect my orders to go out sooner than ten days later unless they've emailed me letting me know there's a problem.

But it got worse...

Then I got voice mail saying that the pattern booklet was backordered. They have no expected date for getting it in. "At least a few weeks" was all they offer.

I don't know. I was all set to get started on this cardigan and join the knitalong.

But, maybe it wasn't meant to be.

It looks like by the time I get the pattern, the knitalong will be sort of "done".

Definitely not happy!

And now I'm trying to figure out "what" I want to be working on (big and small).

(And now I can't find my iPod charger/cord. And I dropped my new cell phone when coming up the stairs. And...)

Bye Bye Bees

Here's a picture of the finished Crenellated Socks in Lorna's Laces Bee Stripe Shepherd Sock yarn:

bee socks

I'm modeling them here. We've got very differently sized feet and calves, but they fit me, too. So, if she ends up not wearing them, I guess they'll move to my personal sock collection!

They turned out not so bad, huh.

March 7, 2005

Pattern Success (I hope!)

cardiganWhile flipping through the new Patternworks catalog over the weekend, I stumbled over the Must Have, Too Cardigan pattern. Yep, the same one I've been having trouble locating. The same one I ordered from WEBS and found out 10 days later that they don't have in stock. I had, initially, checked Patternworks, but I didn't turn it up in my online search. It's in their database as "Must Have Cardigan," so my searching on "Patons" and on "Street Smart" (the booklet name) didn't find it.

So, I've placed another order for it. Maybe I'll get to join the knitalong still!

March 14, 2005

Ninja Knitting

No photos, but I'm stealing a quick minute to update since I've been out of the posting loop for too many days. I have been doing some blog hopping and did catch all three episodes of the Knitcast on my iPod. I found that I really enjoyed that. I'm a reader, but I've never been a book-on-tape listener. I just sort of zone out and suddenly realize I have no idea what I've been listening to. But for some reason, I really liked having the knitcasts to listen to. I sat and knitted and listened to them and halfway paid attention to whatever M had on TV the other night.

(No. I haven't found my iPod charger or the firewire cable, both of which I did have with me in KY in January. But, the USB cable works for now - and charges it, too. So, maybe I'll stumble over the others soon. I'm sure I brought them home and stashed them somewhere safe in the flurry of things going on at the time. I REALLY need those little RFID tags from Brookstone that you put on things and then can press a button later to locate the items when you can't find them!)

So, I haven't been knitting a ton, but I have been working on a new design for the boys in Koigu. Matthew picked out the color from my stash. It's one that I wasn't sure I liked in the skein. I'd ordered it sight unseen and didn't love it in person. But he instantly bonded with it, and once I started working with it, I fell in love. It's a wondeful blend of limes, browns, and some pinkish tones thrown in. Very Nina Turtle. Very celtic in some way. Very postmodern. Very cool.

He also picked the cable pattern I'm using. It's a super basic one, but he liked the "ropes."

So, I was making his version of the design first, but because of the change in tension with the cables, it ended up being Spencer-sized. That threw me a bit, and then I ran into some other issues with the sizing. But, I think I'm on track now in charting the design, and I'm ready to start the second one. I'm going to make a few adjustments this time, though, so it's sort of like a new project and a new pattern.

Still awaiting the Must Have Cardi pattern in the mail...

March 15, 2005

Beautiful and Poignant

I just read the Yarn Harlot's post from March 14, and I had to post a link in case you haven't already ended up there yourself. It's a beautiful post on motherhood. This is one of several Yarn Harlot posts/stories that really struck a chord with me (like this one, which I will remember always). I hope it does for you, too.

Oh, and she says her book, At Knit's End is on the way to booksellers. Cool!

March 21, 2005

My Must Have

Palm Blog... 3/19/05
My Must Have pattern arrived on Friday (of course the day after I finally gave up and contacted customer service in search of its whereabouts). Having been feeling a bit in the dumps, or at least a bit stagnant, about my knitting, especially in the face of the mini heat wave we've been having (and heat makes me miserable), it was with great excitement that I tore into the box.

In addition to the Street Smart booklet, I picked up another Koigu scarf/shawl pattern (which I would make bigger), a crocheted poncho pattern that caught my eye in the catalog, and two skeins of Koigu to make Matthew's Ninja hat (since the one I made him reinforced a valuable lesson about cables and gauge and fits little brother).

poncho patternberries shawl pattern

I originally ordered the two skeins as extras. When I started Matthew's hat, I wasn't sure 1 would be enough - especially since cabling tends to eat yarn. So I ordered 2 thinking that would give me an extra if needed, or two matching for something else if they were not needed. As it turns out, I'll be using both of them for his hat. But that's a good thing because I hadn't realized how dramatically different Koigu can colorways can be between dye lots. The skeins in the box look almost nothing like the original one I was using. The new ones are still beautiful, but more turquoise rather than lime. I even went fishing for the original label to make sure I had ordered the right color. Indeed, I had.

Ironically, the same issue came up with the Woolpak I'm using (from stash) for my Must Have. We have two colorways although we've forgotten whose was whose originally. So I've been trying to decide which to use. Once I realized, with some surprise, that it will only take four hanks (or a tad more), then it was clear I could use either. I was leaning toward the darker of the two (it's just speaking to me), but I went searching in the much-in-need-of-stash-reorganization basement for each colorway to make sure I could put my hands on the right quantity of each.

I found both, and with the darker, I found a hank of what I thought was the 'other' colorway. Looking at it in the murky basement light, I was drawn to its vibrant, intense, almost hyper-color quality. Looking at the streaks of purple and pink in what is basically an earth-tone scheme, I couldn't believe I was even considering the darker colorway. But when I got it upstairs, I realized it wasn't a match. Vaguely, we remember M. buying a hank or two of it at a later date for some other project. Ironically, I checked, and the colorway is the same. Just different dye lots.

So, after much debate, I decided to plunge ahead with the darker colorway - recognizing, of course, that I'm not certain how the cabling will show up.

I thought I was all set to start, but my entrée into this pattern was far from clear-cut. Prior to securing a copy of the pattern, I had monitored the knitalong blog enough to know that there was some issue with matching up the ribbing to the cables. So, ready to cast on, I headed out there to get the down and dirty. Hours later, I was pacing the house in confusion over correcting the ribbing for the front (where I was planning to start), and trying to sort out the cables that need to be flipped, the problem with the Irish Moss on the sleeve, and my own concerns with the sizing. Mostly, the ribbing and sizing were on my mind. I drafted a message to SequinK asking for advice on the ribbing, but I felt too lame to send it feeling certain the answer was obvious - or else really subjective and so I should just move forward.. Finally, I charted my ribbing and cast on, though I was still concerned with having only 1 knit at the ends rather than 3. I couldn't foresee it mattering, but I worried I was missing some reason it might matter in terms of how the button band juxtaposes to the ribbing. I cast on pre-dinner.

Post-dinner, still worried about sizing, ease, sudden change in my chest size, and the altered ribbing, I pulled out the handful of rows I'd done and re-cast, opting to simply increase each front by 2 stitches. I think I'm all set now. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to establish the cables tomorrow - and get a good look at how this yarn plays out.

Of course, I first have to attend a 'housekeeping party' at the preschool. Did I mention that our auction was very successful? No. I know I didn't. My knitting spirit was bruised by the fact that my Clapotis got no bids. The knitted ponchos, hats, and felted bags did well, as did my painted stools. But Clapotis was ignored. I'm not sure what her fate will be at the follow-up school-only mini auction for items that didn't sell (I'm having a Rudolphian Land of Misfit Toys moment), but it was sad to see her hanging unnoticed and unappreciated that night.

Must Have Ease

I hope to post some photos later, but having worked on the left front of the Must Have yesterday, I'm still worried about the 2 stitches I added. Normally you would add stitches like that under the arm, but I've added them on the inside/center to accomodate the ribbing issue. Will 2 stitches throw the panels off-center enough to be noticeable? I think not, but it keeps crossing my mind.

I'm also concerned about ease. I know this pattern doesn't offer much ease in the sizing. It's very close. I just can't decide if this yarn will work with such "closeness" (Woolpak isn't drape-y at all; it's a more traditional wool) or if I'd be better off upsizing (probably using SequinK's mods for a 44" instead of the 41"). I hate to keep going forward and it end up too small. But I hate to make it too big, too, because that's always been my trend, and it's a habit I've been trying to break!

March 22, 2005

'Must Have' Wraps

So... it's been raining like crazy for the last few days, and today, while it rained, I realized I need to rip out my Must Have and start over. I checked the measurements, and it seems like while my gauge seems accurate in the reverse stockinette sections, my cables must be looser than anticipated because the overall piece is slightly bigger than it should be. As we all know, of course, what seems to be a "slight" difference can end up being a difference of several inches overall. So, I think I need to start over on a smaller needle. That's okay. It also pushed me to evaluate what might be going on with my "wraps" which form one of the three distinct cable columns. Part of the wrap is a "yarn forward." I was doing mine by taking my yarn from the back and then laying it "over" my needle, and then doing the next stitch. When I'd get to it on the wrong side, the stitch wasn't on the needle properly for a normal purl stitch, but it was still purlable. So, I continued. The wraps look fine, but I had this niggling sense that maybe all was not as it should be.

I realize that I could also increase a stitch by taking the yarn under my needle and then lying it over it (from bottom to top rather than top to bottom, in other words). So, I went digging around and checked a few reference books. I have to admit I'm not the best at deciphering visual images of how to knit, but it looks to me like the "other" way (bottom to top and over) is the way the yarn forward should be done.

I swatched three repeats of the 4-row wrap stitch each way to see how they compared.

Here they are...

wraps

(Note: This swatch is in the other colorway I contemplated, not the colorway I'm using.)

The way I had been doing it (shown left above) ends up not having the same kind of discreet hole as the other way (shown right). That's clear (moreso in person). And, I'm assuming the "hole" is supposed to be there. (It's a really obvious hole. When you hold the piece up, you can see through it.)

I checked again the closeup photo Mommio has of her wraps. I definitely see the dimpling hole in hers, but it doesn't look so much like a "hole" as mine does. Still, the method I'd been using didn't really seem to generate even the dimple.

In truth, I like the end result of the way I had been doing it. I even considered going ahead and doing "my" wraps that way for the cardigan. But, I figure it's probably supposed to be the other way, and I like the effect of the column of "circles" in the photos of the cardigan - which means I need the hole.

It is supposed to be the other way, right?

Here is it, before I start over...

wraps

I'd only done about 30 rows, so it's not like I'm losing that much. And this is exactly why I decided to start on a front this time rather than the back!

March 28, 2005

Cable Repair

I don't know what's been going on with the (scant) knitting I've been doing the last few days, but I clearly have only been knitting with half my mind tuned in.

I sat down last night to do a few rows on my 'Must Have' while the boys scampered about in a PlayHut tunnel in front of me putting space capsules (plastic easter eggs) in place to make the tunnel have enough fuel to launch. (The four-year-old has quite the imagination.) I knit two rows, and then looked at the start of the next row to find my Irish Moss was off. Clearly I'd forgotten to shift the stitches a few rows earlier. So, I carefully picked back each of those first 18 or so stitches to correct and repair the Irish Moss. Luckily, I love seed stitch, and Irish Moss is really a double or elongated version, so it was a good fix. I was glad I'd tuned into what I was doing when I did rather than when the front was complete!

Zoom forward a few more hours, and, both boys finally conked out, I pulled out my cabled Koigu project to work on Matthew's hat while watching the final episode of Season 1 of Monarch of the Glenn. I zipped around two rows only to look down and find that knitting gremlins had again been at work. The first cable "wasn't." Apparently I'd forgotten to do the cable there.

I peeled back the appropriate number of rows and picked up just the stitches involved to correct the cable. After working my way back up the ladder of dropped stitches for the 6-stitch cable, I was feeling quite proud of my repair only to find the same exact problem 9 stitches later. That I "forgot" to do the cable twice in a row is really odd. Again, the repair went well. I'd never tried a cable repair before. I probably would normally have just dropped all the stitches and picked the whole thing back up. But, not this time.

As it turns out, last night's repairs were probably karma's way of preparing me for today.

I had a second to grab a few rows of the 'Must Have' and found that my Panel A had a problem 8 rows back. Yikes. Panel A involves 9 stitches. I didn't actually forget to cable in this case. What happened (apparently) is that on row 3 of Panel A, I did a C3F rather than a C3B, so the cable didn't twist properly. 8 rows felt pretty hairy to fix since that meant having to use dropped ladders to re-do 2 cable rows rather than just 1. But the repair went well. It felt tedious, but it worked. (And Spencer slept in my lap through the whole thing! Every time he stirred, my heart would sink as I envisioned all the stitches being lost forever and me having to start over!)

So, hopefully, no more repair work. I guess I've just been preoccupied. But I'm feeling 'repaired' out for now.

The Easter Bunny was good to me (as always). My mom sent me two skeins of KnitPicks Shimmer (lace weight) (and cherry cordial eggs!). It's beautiful, and I've been wanting to order some ever since they introduced their own line of yarns. I've oohed and aahed over the colors. So, I'm thrilled to have some. It feels luscious. And I have lots of ideas for how to put it to good use after I clear off a few of the things I have started.

shimmer

March 30, 2005

Cool words

I've been seeing this around and just stumbled over an actual link/credit to the site today. Very cool. I love things like this - photos of words/letters/text. Neat.



HRE (...with love)D24 hour drivewayDSC00048
hMetallic Sch\O\"U\"TT

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