Archive for July, 2006

I want a blankie….

I’m so jealous. I keep seeing all these gorgeous knitted blankets – and I want to be done with mine! I want mine to look like all of these blankets at the same time. Really, I just want someone to give me these blankets.

When I started (back in early June), it didn’t take long before I had these a few rounds. This photo, right is the progress as of June 11.

Then I started getting distracted by socks and scarves and underwear.

Then, I started to get really jealous as everyone ELSE was finishing theirs!

Tara showed off hers at the Mason Dixon Knit-a-Long. I gasped when I saw hers. It’s just so beautiful. The colors. The pattern. Oh, I can’t take it! I love the way the apple green plays with the white, the black and the gray. Genious color choices. And she knit it out of acrylic – it’s enough to make me think of knitting one myself in the same yarn!

And Sharon‘s colorful blanket is also great. Her four year old daughter is spoiled. My mom never made me anything that nice (well, ok, there was a flannel quilt…).
Monika’s Curve of Pursuit blanket (7.13) is stunning. I’m amazed. It makes me want to go in pursuit of that pattern. (Also, superkudos to her for being the first to knit the not-quite-straight-scarf and send me a photo – see her blog entry about it here.)

And the first I’ve seen in pastel’s (truly a baby blanket) was over at Crankyisgood – it’s a baby moderne and I love it!

Then, I was perusing some blogs and look at this one over at Athena Dreams. Wowza! I love the purple with the greeny brown.

Jessica recently posted hers on the MDK KAL – It’s a ton of mitered squares. And it’s absolutely incredible. I love the colors she chose. There’s so many of them – but they all look so good together!

During all this drooling, I made little progress on my blanket. It’s roughly 26″ by 26″ in the above photo.  My goal is to have 12 rounds and then a border – which is obviously very far from where I am in this picture.

Anyway, I was so inspired by all the finished blankets that I was seeing that I decided that I would knit 4 full rounds from where I am in this photo – so I’d be inspired to make progress and then be inspired by that progress to finish. Alas – I am not where I wanted to be. I just want to be done! I want to be able to curl up with this thing with no cold air leaking because it’s too small!

My Misty Garden Scarf is coming along splendidly on the other hand. It’s my non-boring knitting. It’s about 3 feet long now. It’s just a really fun knit. It’s only 4 rows to the repeat – so as soon as it starts to get boring – there’s an exciting row ahead of you. I want to finish this scarf so that I can finally start backyard leaves. I got the yarn in the mail on Friday and it’s calling out to me. “Nicole – I’m merino – come knit me. I’ll be really soft. I’m your favorite color. You know you want to.” I resist but wonder if the resistance is futuile.

I was also distracted one night by my spindle that I couldn’t do anything until I spun me some yarn. It was tricky, but I finally did it. LOOK!

Oh – don’t forget to enter the contest described in the entry below – I’ll be drawing a winner on Friday!

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Introducing…. A Free Pattern!

I’m sorry – I’ve moved blogs, including this post. You can find what you’re looking for here.

Wh00t for scarves!

As I discussed in my last book review about Scarf Style, I don’t give scarves enough credit.

I’ve dismissed them as to amateurish – not to mention the fact that they are so LONG!

But now, I newly love scarves.   I’ve designed one (trying to find a document hosting service that’s free, I’ll post the pattern soon, I promise) and knit two versions of it – and I LOVE the results.

When I bought Scarf Style, I really wanted to knit lots of the scarves in it – and lately, the one that’s been appealing to me is Misty Garden by Jo Sharp.

Now, it’s knit in mohiar – and the last time I knit father and fan in mohair, there were disastrous results.  True to form, frogging was absolutely impossible.  And since I was still learning the whole feather and fan thing, I made lotsa mistakes.  It was bad.  I was able to save most of the yarn (I did the freezer trick), but I’ve been leery to touch the mohair again.

The past few days, I’ve been itching to start a scarf – but I didn’t think I had any yarn.  But then, in part thanks to Brenda Dayne’s newest Cast-On podcast, I remembered the Briar Rose Fibers yarn that I’d picked up at the Putnam County Fleece Fair.

It was perfect – except for one thing – it’s really thin.  So I’m using size 3 needles.  I’m knitting a scarf on size 3 needles.  US 3.  Talk about jumping right in to scarves huh?

It’s slow going, but I like it!

Yay for believing in scarves again!

(Also – I’m having a tough time and it may be a few days before I update again.  Lets just say that I now believe that the curse applies to socks – and damn it, I tempted fate.) 

YO. *Insert ghetto comment here*

Monica left me a comment on my post about my Pinwheel Blanket. She writes “Beautiful blanket. I made one myself. I hated the YO, I messed them up, forgot about them and so on. I love your colores and it is nicely done!”

She brings up a good point. It can be hard to keep track of YOs sometimes. However, I thought I’d write up a little somethin’ somethin’ about my YO philosophy (because really, everyone needs a YO philosophy).

First – When knitting the Pinwheel Blanket I’d suggest using stitch markers before each YO. In places where it’s 100 million stitches(or more) in between each increase, stockinette stitch can become automatic – stitch markers are good to remind your fingers that you need to pay attention.

Next up: What does a YO (Yarn over – also sometimes called yrn, yarn round the needle, yf, yarn forward, etc – there are some minor differences in what each of these mean, but it’s really kind of the same thing – but that’s another how to, another day) look like? In the pinweel blanket, you knit one round plain and in the next round you YO when you get to your stich markers. What’s an easy way to keep track of which round you’re on? Simple. Read your stitches. If they next stitch on your needle looks like the one in the photo to the right, you will knit the yarn over you made in the previous round- so you’re on a plain knit row.

But how can you tell it’s a yarn over? Well, basically there are no stitches below it. That means that if you drop this stich off the needle, you will not get a run all the way down your work (a YO is just an increase that leaves a hole) like you would for normally dropped stitches. You can drop this stitch if you like (to make sure it’s not a YO) – it’ll be real easy to pick back up again.

So, you would knit that YO and continue around the blanket, knitting every stitch of that round.

But what if one stitch marker falls off and I miss a YO you ask? Simple. Force one. First, how to recognize such an occasion. You’ll know this happened when you are knitting around, knitting your YOs and suddenly one is missing. It’ll look something like this:

A pretty easy fix. First, you have to understand that in between those two needles, the top bar of yarn is simply the yarn that runs between two stitches on the row below (where you should have made a YO). It is the same as this:

What you used to think was a dropped stitch when you were learning to knit.

So, in order to rescue your work (and not, as near the end stages of the blanket, unknit 1,000,000,000 stitches) all you have to do is force the yarn over. And to do that is really very simple.

Just insert the left needle into the bar and knit it like you would a yarn over.

It may look a bit funky to you but it’s really not worth worrying about. Any unevenness can be worked out when you block the piece (because you block everything right?). Really, you can probably do this and barely be able to tell that you even had a mistake to fix.
Ok, good. So you’ve got that.

But what if you totally flaked and you don’t notice until your mistake (a forgotten YO) is 2 rounds back?

No problem.

First. Your stitches will look like this. Instead of having the single bar, you’ll have two of them. Use the needle in your right hand to pick up the bottom bar (let the top bar lie behind the stitch you’re picking up)- in my photo this bar is being pointed to by a bright green arrow.

Now your knitting will look like this (minus the green arrow of course):

For the next step, you’ll use the left needle to pull the other bar forward between the loop now on your right needle.

See photo below for illustrative help. (Visual illustrations are best sometimes)

Drop the loop of the right needle. now your knitting looks like this:

Whew. That’s what it should look like. Now, your next step would be to yo and continue knitting until your next stich marker where you’ll YO again etc. all through the round. Any uneveness can be worked out in the blocking.

If you forget and don’t realize until 3 or more rounds later you can use the same general ideas to force yarn overs and fix your mistakes. It’s probably not such a good idea because at a certain point, even blocking may not fix the uneven-ness.
Monika – I hope this helps you – and anyone else who is thinking about knitting the Pinwheel Baby Blanket.

And remember (this my advice to all knitters with questions) – WWIII will not begin because you drop a stitch, forget a YO or generally screw up your knitting. I promise. Trial and error is the best way to learn how knitting is really constructed. Use your mistakes as an opportunity to play and see how you can fix it.  Be creative and try different ideas until one works and looks right.  Your own knitting skill will grow so fast as you do this.

In the meantime, let me know if this was hellpful – what could have been better (for future how-tos)?  what was missing?  Was the text easy to understand?

Nicole’s Sexy Single’s Bar (Part Deux)

The problem continues. Still, my socks are mateless. And yet I itch to start a new one (the fair isle knitpicks one) – this is not looking good. Today, we hear Marla’s Story.

Marla: (as she swigs a drink of her Mojito) Why? Why? I have so much going for me. Why must I sit here, alone, waiting?

Nicole: How long have you been waiting?

M: Forever. My whole life. And still I wait.

N: Aren’t you a bit young? You are the youngest here. I mean some of these other socks have been waiting for months. You’ve barely been finished a few weeks.

M: I know. But there’s not even a glimmer of hope for me. I was a quick, boredom-cutting sock (knit in a week, no less) and I just know I’ll be single for a long time.

N: What makes you think that you won’t stay single forever?

M: I’m knit with Merino Wool. Knitpicks Handpainted Memories actually (Colorway: Redwood Forest). I’m one of only 2 socks that has been knit with Merino so far. But the other “Grandma” sock has already been started – thus, I’m the less popular of the Merinos. Always second best Marla is. Never the best.

N: Maybe you ought to stop drinking (as Marla leans over and sips her drink from the straw) – knitting and drinking never mixes well.

M: Can’t a girl be lonely and drunk anymore…. jeeesh. I mean look at my lines. I’m sexy. Who wouldn’t want that? Honestly.

N: You’re very sexy. I’m sure you’ll meet someone someday. Your time will come. Don’t worry.

See More from this series:
Erica’s Tale
Katie’s Bitter Diatribe
Sarah’s Egotistical Optimism
Vita’s Norwegian Skepticism

You can also see what happens to Marla here.


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Stuff on the needles – to complete, sometime.

Christmas Gifts to Finish
Mom's Sweater (the body is done)

Socks in progress...
Grandma's Socks
Koigu Scruncher
Monkey
Raindrop Lace

Other
Lace Leaves Scarf from Scarf Style
The Behemoth Log Cabin
The Swallowtail Shawl
Stupid Ugly Mitten
Felted Clogs

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