Knot Again

Newsflash: Knitting cited as cause for lower levels of self-control

(Tuesday, January 25, 2005 @ 10:17 AM)

A relatively new, but apparently fearless knitter, who we'll call the resident knothead to protect her identity, breaks down into tears as she relates her sad story to this reporter.

"I couldn't stop myself," she said in trying to justify her actions of yesterday. "I mean, I know I don't need it yet, but I just had to go get it."

Yesterday, in an obsessive-compulsive fit, the resident knothead dragged her 4 year old to Michael's to pick up two skeins of yarn (Lion Brand Microspun in Lime and Black) in order to start a new project: The Alien Illusion scarf from S'n'B by Debbie Stoller (see photos below).

"I got the book from the library just a few days ago. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since." the resident knothead said. "I know my son would love it, and it seems like such a fun pattern. I've searched out pictures to include in my blog, and asked questions on message boards. This project just grabbed me."

The resident knothead then admitted that her son, the intended recipient, wouldn't have his birthday until August. There is no rush to get the supplies for or start the project, and she has at least a dozen projects that she needs and wants to do for which she already had the yarn... some of which are promised presents for this PAST Christmas, and some which are due much sooner than August.

As further evidence of the lack of self-control caused by knitting, the resident knothead ended our interview by saying "I'll probably cast on today.* "

Posted by Hello

Posted by Hello

* the resident knothead will probably have to return to the scene of the crime to acquire two additional skeins of yarn... thereby repeating the crime. in her haste, she didn't write down the pattern requirements.

Bored to tears...

I finally got around to Kitchener stitching the handles of my mother-in-law's Sophie (it's only been waiting a week or so for me to just sit down and do it).

My sister-in-law's Sophie had been waiting that long as well for me to pick up the stithes around the bottom so I could start the sides. That was waiting on me to finish the Kitchener so I could free up my 10.5 dpns.

So I finished that, and then I knitted, and knitted, and knitted knit stitch after mind-numbing knit stitch (broken up only 8 times every 10 rows for the decreases). I'm done with the 1st skein of the Peruvian Highland Wool... so pretty much exactly half-way done with the bag. And, since I was bored enough to make note of it, the end of that first ball comes a little over half way through the 22nd round.

Sophie is a great bag, and makes great travel or intense TV show knitting, but when you have to do it, and are on a schedule, so doing it means you're not doing the knitting you really want to do, it's just a tad bit tedious. Strike that... EXTREMELY tedious.

One bright spot... boy do those stitch markers I made (see here and here) look great against the dark green:

Posted by Hello


(Monday, January 24, 2005 @ 1:34 AM)

I just got an email newsletter from Lion Brand yarns. Usually these come with links to new free patterns, but this time, they're rolling out a line of patterns for purchase.

I don't fault them for having some patterns for sale... it's not like all the other yarn brands out there give all the patterns away that are designed to use their yarns. But at least make sure they have something special that makes it worth purchasing! Most of them were really just basic patterns (like the two rectangles seamed together that make a poncho) you can find free on their site or elsewhere that happened to use their yarn. Some of their free patterns show much more innovation.

The one that really got me was the Northern Lights Wrap. They want you to pay $2.50 for the pattern, when they gave you enough information that anyone who can knit and purl can recreate it without the pattern... it's stockinette with a garter stitch border that uses one strand each of two yarns (6 balls of their Moonlight Mohair and 4 balls Trellis) and it has finished dimensions of 12"x70". I've been knitting for about 6 months (if that) and really haven't finished too many things, and I could just about do this one in my sleep.

I've been working on it...

(Saturday, January 22, 2005 @ 1:49 AM)

I've made it through the waist ribbing on the back. Not a whole lot of point showing a picture, I'm sure you all know what that much will look like.

I also picked up the two front panels and started working on them. One of the balls had a break in the yarn (and a knot to go with it), and of course, it had to fall such that I didn't notice it until I was 2/3 - 3/4 of the way through the row, and it won't reach the rest of the way. So, I get to join the yarns in the middle of the fabric or tink back to the beginning of the row. I'd prefer not to have to knit two strands together to make the change... I have tried that on my felted bags (where it didn't matter), and it does make a lump, so I may tink back, unless I figure out a different way to change yarns.

I Ka-Not Ka-nit for the life of me!

(Tuesday, January 18, 2005 @ 8:14 PM)

Well, according to Alison, Tuesday is knit-along day, and since I've been feeling like knitting on my Christmas gifts is akin to pulling off my fingernails, I thought I'd take that advice and work on something I've been wanting to, and make some progress on one of my knit-alongs.

So, I picked up the back of Ribby Cardi and started working on it. I'd gotten through almost 2 rows before I noticed a problem...

on the last row that I'd knitted before I had to lay it down before, I'd missed the switch between the 3x1 rib in the middle and the 2x2 rib on the side, and done the wrong stitch. So, I pulled out my needles and ripped it back to the mistake. Picking the stitches back up onto the needles was a bit of a pain, but I did it, and finished up the row, and switched the working needle (I have Denise Interchangeables) up to the size 7...

and I can't remember how far I got, but I noticed one of the x1's didn't look right, and I figured I'd just purled straight across it a couple of rows back. Luckily, this time I remembered you could drop down a single stitch and rework it with a crochet hook. It worked like a charm, and I just kept wishing I had thought of that for the first boo-boo...

So, I finished that row and got another row and a half done before I realized that I had forgotten to change the other needle out from the size 6 to the size 7. (You can imagine me smacking myself in the head here.) Since I didn't want to repeat the ripping out and picking up thing again, I tinked it back that row and a half and switched that second needle up. And then I noticed that a few rows back I split the yarn on one of the stitches.


I'll use the crochet hook trick again, but *sigh* without all this trouble, I could probably have finished up the ribbing band on the back today. SOOOOOOO disheartening.

I love/hate elann

(Thursday, January 13, 2005 @ 11:33 PM)

I love them, because they have great prices... I hate that their great prices make it so easy to justify spending too much!

I got a package from them last week... here's my goodies:

Posted by Hello

This blue Peruvian Highland Wool is to make a Sophie bag for my mother-in-law (it's not really shiny in real life... that was the flash).

Posted by Hello

And this green is for a Sophie for my sister-in-law (also not shiny).

Posted by Hello

This Filatura di Crosa 501 in charcoal heather is to make a sweater for my hubby... I want to do Na Craga from Aran Knitting by Alice Starmore. I hope that's not too ambitious. Here's a closeup of the yarn:

Posted by Hello

Posted by Hello

This is Filatura di Crosa 501 Tweed. I'm planning on using the blue for a pair of thrummed mittens for my dad, and the wine color for a scarf for me (I'm thinking this one).

Posted by Hello

And last, some sock yarn... cause I make so many socks. Well, I do want to try, and sock yarns tend to have some really pretty color patterns to them.

And buggars... they have some new great stuff up. I was waiting for all the things on the preview page to come up, so I could order them all at once (it was less than a week between all of them), but before the last one came up, a LOT of the other stuff had sold out. All the baby cashmere is gone. I wanted to use the solid colored sock yarn to make a kid-sized version of the Nasty Dog Dragon scarf in Scarf Style, but the charcoal of that sold out almost immediately, and some of the other colors I would've needed sold quickly, too (and, they didn't have any oranges). AND, they've got some new stock of the Peruvian Highland Wool. I'm thinking a fully ribbed version of the Ribby Cardi would look great in Coffee Bean Brown and Oxblood, but I'm not even close to finishing the first one, so how can I justify buying yarn for another one? *sigh*

A Doubly Knitterly Christmas

(Saturday, January 08, 2005 @ 8:17 PM)

Sorry it took me so long to post about this... I've been feeling a little overwhelmed lately.

This Christmas, I thought I'd help everyone out by actually having an idea of things they could get me. I used Blogger to make up wish list's for myself and my kids (DH never did get around to telling anyone what he wanted... luckily, I had a few good ideas that were especially great, because he didn't have even an inkling about them). Mostly, it was a great idea. I say mostly, because there was one problem with it... no one else could update it, and no one wanted to ruin their surprise by telling me so I could update it, so everyone saw exactly the same list. (I don't know if it would have helped if I'd let them... my mom, bless her heart, is decidedly NOT computer oriented, and would have been more likely to delete everything than just change what she wanted to.)

So, I got what I most wanted... a set of Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needles from my parents... AND another one from my dear husband. Poor guy... he felt so bad. I didn't want him to... I thought it was kindof funny.

In our house, Santa usually brings books and a family gift (and fills stockings, of course). I ended up buying my own book from Santa. Of all the books I wanted, Scarf Style was the one I wanted most of all, so I got it for Santa to give to me. LOL... that was also something my parents had ordered (it still hasn't come... it, or one of the other books they chose, was on back-order... they should arrive this next week, though). I do know they also got me Knitting on the Road, but I can't remember if there was one more or not.

*sigh* I tried.


(Thursday, January 06, 2005 @ 11:39 PM)

* Cross post from the Ribby Cardi Knitalong

I cast on for the back day before yesterday.

I cast on for the two front panels yesterday.

And today, I cast on for the sleeves.

Now I'm done.

At least, I'm done casting on.

Here's where I'm at now:

All the parts are started.Posted by Hello

I finished up to where you change to the larger needles on all the parts. I figured it would be a good idea to do them as close as possible to the same time, so that my tension would be the same across all the pieces.

I'm not sure how much more I'll get done in the next week or two... my elann order came with most of the yarn I need to work on the things my family picked out of the Christmas gift catalog. So, I have obligatory knitting to do... two Sophies, a crocheted scarf, and a modified (greatly enlarged) Booga Bag. At least all of those are pretty easy, if time consuming. I still have to order the yarn for the feather and fan scarf my sister wants. hat one's going to take awhile, but I think I'll alternate with the Ribby Cardi once I get to that point.

And I want to make some thrummed mittens for my dad's birthday, which is a week from today (I'm not counting on getting them done on time, but I want to do as much as possible). Oh, and I've never done mittens before, let alone thrummed ones, and the thrummed mitten patterns I've found so far do not include instructions for a large men's size... nor do they say what exactly they mean by a medium men's... so I don't know whether my dad's hands would fit in the "medium" men's or not. Plus, the last attempt I made at knitting on dpns... well, no matter how hard I tried to make it so, the stitches between the needles were not as tight as they should've been. So, it should be interesting.

*sigh* I'd really rather just work on THIS project!

- Leisel

P.S. Can I overuse the word and or what?

A better picture of Sophie

(Tuesday, January 04, 2005 @ 1:58 PM)

Now that the sun's up (at least I think it is... the cloud cover is solid here), I was able to take a decent picture of my Sophie that shows the color better. Click on the little images to see a larger version... the larger images show it all much better.

Sophie in natural light Posted by Hello

Closeup of the Sophie fabricPosted by Hello

Wow! does this stuff felt !

(Monday, January 03, 2005 @ 11:18 PM)

I finally got around to felting my Sophie bag tonight. I'd been waiting to weave in some ends and I kept procrastinating it.

Here's the pre-felting pictures (pre-felting dimensions... 9"w x 5"d x 10"t, w/ a handle drop of 11"):

Completed SophiePosted by Hello

Sophie hangingPosted by Hello

Closeup of stitch detailPosted by Hello

My camera is not picking up the colors right... go here for a better view of the colorway (it's number 9440).

And here are some post-felting pictures (post-felting dimensions... 8"w x 4"d x 6"t, w/ a handle drop of 7"):

Sophie in shadowPosted by Hello

This is closer to the color it looks now, but it is wet, and late at night, so...

Sophie spotlightedPosted by Hello

Here's one with the flash on all the way. I THINK it may end up looking closer to this in daylight. I'll have to see if I can get a better image tomorrow.

For a little perspective,

Here's the finished Sophie hangingPosted by Hello

This picture is actually zoomed in a little closer than the pre-felted hanging picture, so the size difference is even greater than what you can see.

And here's a closeup of the finished fabric:

Posted by Hello

This only took one trip through the wash to shrink it this much. My booga bag (using Kureyon) took 2.

The finished dimensions are pretty close to what the pattern lists, which surprises me, because it looks so dainty. I did pull and tug at it a bit to get it to the shape and evenness that I wanted. I'm just going to let it hang on the door handle to dry, though... it really doesn't look like it needs extra help blocking. I think my washing machine does a pretty good job of spinning out the water.

This little bag is so very cute! My girls are going to be rather jealous.

I did forget to weave in and trim the tail from the cast-on... would it be safe to cut it off now that it's felted, or should I just leave it be in the bottom of the bag?

Post-Christmas post

(Saturday, January 01, 2005 @ 7:41 PM)

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've posted. Besides the Christmas rush to do things, we got a semi-surprise visit from my parents right after Christmas (they booked the flight Christmas eve for the day after Christmas... and the only reason they didn't show up on my doorstep for a complete surprise is because they were supposed to bring the Christmas gift my Grandma had made for me, and she told me that's why she hadn't sent it).

Well, my Christmas gift catalog went over rather well, I do believe. I only had one person who wanted a store-bought gift instead of a hand-made one. I will get to make two Sophie's, a crocheted scarf, one modified Booga (my mom wants it big enough to be able to put a notebook or binder in), and a Feather & Fan scarf. And, my mom wanted to make a Feather & Fan scarf herself, so she bought some really pretty yarn (I think it was Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino in Country Garden, but I can't promise) that will go so beautifully with her black pea coat.

The only problem with the gift catalog idea is that, while most people are so excited to be done with their Christmas knitting so they can work on something that they just WANT to do, I'm just getting started. Luckily, the bags at least are really easy knits, so they will be done fairly quickly, or can be done as travel and TV knitting while I have something else a little more involved going as well.

Oh, and I also have a knitted project I want to do for my dad for his birthday on the 13th. I ordered the yarn from Elann a couple of days ago, but I can't get started until it arrives. I hope I can get that done, as it's something I haven't worked on before, so I don't know how difficult it will be for me. So, there's a lot on my plate still to do.

I did, however, get something to do just for me. While I was at the LYS with my mom, I noticed some yarn (Cascade 220 Quattro in color 9440) I've been fascinated with every since I first saw it. I'd only seen it online before, though, so I was thrilled to find it. I thought it would be perfect for a Sophie for me (I had to try out the pattern, first, now didn't I? Especially since I have to wait for the yarn for the other two to come from Elann). So far, I'm already done with the entire bag body and I've started working the handle cords. I love the way it knits up. The fabric is nice and even, and there is some fun micro-flashing of the colors, which is completely irregular because it's not dependent on color repeat, but instead on which side of the yarn shows on each stitch. I can't wait to felt it... I hear the Quattro becomes really heathered looking. Oh, and it is definitely less scratchy than the Peruvian Highland Wool from Elann, so it's been nice to knit with.

So, I should have an FO to show you fairly soon, and I'll tell you later about the knitterly things I was given for Christmas :)


I went out today and bought the 2005 Knitting Pattern a Day calendar (I'd hoped I'd get it for Christmas, but no such luck... but, it the store had marked down all their calendars by 50%, so that was a pleasant surprise).

Now I've opened it, and it's taking all my will power not to flip through all the patterns. I want to see them all now, but I feel like I OUGHT to wait and just turn one page a day. That's awfully frustrating, though, on the days that don't have something you're interested in.

So, how about a little informal poll...

Should I just go ahead and look through them all now


Should I show some self-restraint and only look at that days' page.

(Just for the record... I did cheat a tiny bit already. I did look at a couple of pages ahead to see if there was something more interesting coming up SOON. There's not.)