Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Fear of Finishing

Well, I'm still on the last piece of banff, the front. I'm not that thrilled with how it's turning out, so I'm sorta stalled out on it. I'm afraid of how the sleeves will come out and how the ribbing will look on a heavier person. I cast on and have about 2.5" done on the my first Sock Memories Easter sock. I'm using a plain ribbed pattern from Vogue Socks II. Pooling like mad, too.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ape Arms

Ok, I'm getting scared - I finished sleeve 2 of banff and laid out the 2 sleeves and back of the sweater and figured that the sleeves are going to be either 6" longer than my arms or cuffed up to my elbow! I'm also frightened by the seeming lack of yarn which, at this point I should be done with my sweater at the end of the current skein, and instead I'll only be a couple inches into the front of the sweater! I was trying desperately to get the front moving so that I could order more yarn if need be over the weekend. Knitpicks is killing me with their sale on summer yarns! I wanted Spinnaker for a sweater for myself and they reduced the price $4/skein, but I still can't afford it until I get Banff done. I also want to get a pair of socks out of the way. I think a small project like some simple socks with the Easter Sock Memories yarn will help break the monotony of all this purple I've been working with - Grape Banff and Grape Jelly Pie Are Square.

I've been on Effexor for a week and I feel so great right now. I got mostly caught up on my laundry, bought video boxes to get my video stash from the basement straightened up. I got a new cd with some music that's fresh and happy instead of listening to old stuff from the 90's that depresses me as I reminisce. I'm working a different shift this week since I had training scheduled and it was cancelled without notice on Friday before I left for the weekend. My boss got me rescheduled for an earlier than normal shift so I can get home earlier and hopfully the shift will be a little easier since I'm coming in before it gets crazy busy. I'm in the process of getting red streaks in my hair - about 4 more minutes before I rinse. And we're talking Crayola Red not Feria Auburn here. I prefer pink, but Walmart didn't carry that color anymore, so Red it is. I needed to spice things up a bit. When the red fades I have some hot pink semi-perm professional stuff to cover it with.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Knit Lites

Ok, today I said something I never thought I would ever say - "My new knitting needle's batteries are dead." That's right, I purchased a pair of glowing needles this morning, one turned out to be defective so I had to go back and get it swapped. Knit Lites are the invention of Edith Eig and her husband. I am not a fan of Edith's - she had a show on DIY several years ago where she had celebrities such as Tracy Gold knitting next to lawers and stay at home moms. I've read that she is a snob in person on several blogs, and that's sort of ruined my opinion of her. Anyway, the needles, although they are straight which I normally despise, are working decently in my Pie Are Square Shawl. I haven't had a chance to use them in the complete darkness yet, but will try it tonight. figured that project is garter stitch, I should be able to accomplish that in the dark now that the needle tips light up. It was a toss up between size 6's and 10's because I'm still working on Banff on size 10's. But would I really be working that on straight needles with bulky yarn? Not hardly! I'm getting my money's worth out of my Knit Picks Options needles, which have not unscrewed in the slightest since I used the tightening tool instead of trying to hand tighten the needles onto the cable.

I'm still working on sleeve 2 of Banff, then I just have the back to do. I should be able to get a lot done tonight and tomorrow. The girls were being good just until I wrote that, of course.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Holy Moly - Progress!

Well, I've finished the back of Banff and I'm about 1/2 way thru the 2nd sleeve. I decided to follow the pattern and not add additional rows, mainly because I checked my gauge and I'm dead on width wise, but my stitches are about 1/4" too long every 4 inches. So, it's a couple inches longer naturally. I also don't have enough yarn to add anything at this point. I've got to finish the 2nd sleeve, which I'm planning at least 1 more skein on, and then I have 3 skeins to do the entire front, all the seaming and the turtleneck collar. Now, I've done some browsing and have come across some pretty unflattering pictures of heavier people wearing this sweater - I hope I don't look that bad wearing it. I was hoping that the extra 2 skeins would buy me a felted bag to match, but it looks like I'm going to be down to the last yard to get the thing put together. If it's cozy, it's a pattern I wouldn't mind doing again, actually. Maybe in the turquoise "Pool" Sierra next time. After working this much with bulky yarn, I'm actually considering making an Einstein Coat for myself, or more likely the male shorter version, since I'm only 5'2" and a long coat would look fairly ridiculous on me. The Sierra yarn is great to work with, is reasonably priced, and comes in "Me" colors. The only real drawback is that it's natual fiber and would need to be drycleaned since it would likely be too big to wash by hand myself.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

1 sleeve down

Well, after I reviewed the pattern, found my mistake, and fixed it, the sleeve was eventually finished. And boy is it huge!!! I've never done a raglan pattern, so having a sleeve cap that's almost as wide as the sweater is scary. I did start the back piece of the sweater and have completed the 42 rows of ribbing and I'm now onto the stockinette part. I'm trying to decide how much length to add to the sweater. I'm more of a tunic length person, but with the ribbing making the bottom more form fitting to my big butt & hips, I should probably not try to go too long. I'm already onto the 5th skein of yarn and I'm nowhere near 1/2 way thru the pattern yet. I'm glad I ordered 2 extra skeins, but I'm not sure how much that really buys me in added length. I need to find my tape measure and figure out how long it's going to be on me if I don't make any changes... maybe my short waisted-ness will work in my favor on this one.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Well, I was almost at the end of my first sleeve of Banff when I finally stopped (at the end of skein 2) and read the pattern for the zillionth time. Surely they did not mean cast off 7 stitches at the beg of each row 30 times - there were only 68 stitches to start with! Now, I'd read several blogs where people had praised Jenna for her easy to follow pattern, so I figured that it was going to be pretty straight forward. Nope - if you're doing the pattern pieces out of order, as I was doing, just to get a piece going to see how it was going to work up, you are not going to know that "Work RS decrease row, as given above.
Work WS decrease row, as given above" meant 4 pages above, not the immediately preceding decrease/cast-off rows. So, I have about 10 rows to rip out and probably another 1/3 of a skein of yarn to knit before I finish this sleeve. I can not imagine that over 2 skeins of yarn are going into each sleeve. The pattern called for the equivalent of 9 skeins of yarn. Knowing that I need more length, I ordered 2 extra. Of course, Raglan sleeves are going to be more like 1/2 the sweater, i guess. On a drop-sleeve sweater, the sleeves are 1/3 of the sweater. I need to set up my swift and ballwinder again and wind up a few more skeins of yarn. I dug out the Grape Jelly Shadow yarn for my shawl, which I'm almost done with the first skeins of yarn.

Along with the Sierra yarn for Banff, I also got Sock Memories in Easter, which is the prettiest colorway. I need to get some of these projects done so I can get some socks going. I got a Sock It To Me chart so that I can make some socks without trying them on every few rows.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Another month, another Order

Well, is fast becoming my sole yarn store. I spent some time looking thru their stuff last night, found Sierra and priced out what it would cost me to make Banff from an ancient issue of Now, the pattern comes in a L/XL size, but I'm more of a 2X right now, and I like my stuff longer than most people. So, I added 2 skeins more. $49.39 for 11 skeins in Grape. Over $40, so there's no shipping, and it's from another state so there's no sales tax. This will be one of the rare instances where it really is cheaper to make it than buy it. And it's in Wool/Superfine Alpacca, not an acrylic blend. I should note, I've never finished a wool sweater to date, but this one is so simple and the yarn should be pleasurable to work with, so I'm expecting this to go quickly and be wearable by the fall. I'm hoping that the bulky yarn works up fast... I've been working on my Philosopher's Wool sweater for countless hours and it's still only 2/3 done.

Of course, no purchase would be complete without adding some new needles to try or some clearance bin yarn. I got 2 skeins of Sock Memories in the only color they have left (which happened to be the one I wanted), Easter. I've never made socks with 100% wool that's not superwash, so it will be interesting to see if I'm able to wash them without felting or shrinking them. I got some of the new Options needles that Knitpicks introduced a couple weeks ago. They're basically a combination of Addi Turbo and Boye Needlemaster. Now, I love my Denise Interchangeables, so I'm not sure I'll be replacing those, especially given the price. But I got a set of cables and size 10 tips to give them a try on this project. I figure that if I want to work on 2 sleeves at the same time, i can use 2 cables and just change the tips between the 2 pieces.

Now, the trick involved in allowing myself to make this purchase is that the needle orders are taking longer by 1-2 weeks. By the time this order gets to me, I'll have another paycheck, and Hopefully have the pie are square shawl done so that I can get started right away. I'm making a deal with myself that the shawl has to be done before I start this sweater. I don't know if its my meds or what, but I haven't gotten bored with the strictly garter stitch shawl, and I haven't had any interest in starting another project. But I know that thick purple yarn will be calling to me.

I ordered my last package of yarn at the end of May. I'm going to try to keep to about a $40/month allowance for yarn, but that I won't buy more than 1 project ahead (with the exception of the sock memories clearance - I mean, it was the last color and you can't beat $6 for a pair of socks). I wish the LYSs had natural fiber as cheap as Knitpicks. Even the other discount online yarn stores couldn't beat the price for this sweater. I should try the other yarn diet tip - working 1 project from stash between new purchases. I know I can't fit any more yarn into my stash closet. I want to make another felted bag, maybe that'll be next.