Thursday, March 27, 2008

Incompleteness Reigns.

No real progress - many rows, but nothing especially notable. Except for an issue with the green scarf - it had 2 decreases in the repeated pattern, and I only did 1, meaning an additional 40 stitches in the last 10 or so rows. Rather than rip back - as I did for another lace pattern oops, I think I'm going to do the same lace pattern again - but correctly this time, and play off the extra in the middle as intentional. It puckered the fabric a bit, and was done about every 4 stitches, so the additional wasn't that obvious except I was suddenly taking much longer to get done with a row.

Some colors of Paton's Merino Wool Yarn was on sale for half off at Meijer's, which I hadn't noticed them carrying before. It makes me wonder if they are permanently reducing their stock - as it seems like a lot of yarn is half off, and the bare spots on the shelves aren't being refilled.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Red Pepper Suet

It's advertised to repel squirrels but still attract, and not hurt, birds. However, the squirrel was quite happy hanging down and eating it this afternoon, although it seemed to avoid the last red pepper suet cake.

Been cross-stitching again, starting with the one I'd left in my hoop all this time, a Noah's Ark.
The rusty orange is a bit annoying, and the linen is quite rough, with a great deal of variation in the thread size, which makes counting over empty space a rougher task than usual. But in the interest of getting something DONE. I'm working on it. It is definitely a project that makes you appreciate the definition that backstitch gives, though I'm not one to wait until the whole project is stitched anyhow.

The Strasbourg yarn is now mostly a scarf, that is a bit wide, and maybe a bit short, but the garter has a lot of give. The question is: do I want to make a hat? And what yarn would go best, with the less than full ball of Bouton d'Or that I have left? Of course I still need to weave in the ends, making me enjoy being able to join the Caron yarn more (but making me feel an idiot for paying so much for so little yardage.It looks even shorter in this pic.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

False Spring

The last few days have been relatively balmy - but today the cold wind is back and the bright sun lies and makes you think it won't be still winter.

Leisure Arts got me a nice photocopy, to replace my holey chart. :) Now to figure out what the heck I was doing back then.

The new colorful scarf is going well, I've been experimenting with lace patterns, when I get bored of stockinette. Plus, the Caron's felting wool is soft and smooshy - a nice contrast to the french scarf yarn which is firm and scratchy.

But French scarf might get done soon, probably only needs 30 more rows.

I've been contemplating what to do for my first sweater. Thought there was a cardigan in the new Interweave Knits, but apparently, the one I was set on doing isn't pictured there - so I'm trying to figure out where I saw it. I was thinking of doing this cardigan that was full length on the trunk but only buttoned on the top with 3 buttons, with princess sleeves (puffy and short).

Monday, March 10, 2008

The blahs of Winter

Last night I decided that it was too dreary outside for a gray/dark gray scarf and made my ribbed scarf yarn again.

Besides the hat was too small for my head, so why make a matching scarf for a too small hat?

Worked on the lace shawl yesterday and messed up the garter ridge. The whitish marks and arrows here point to my oops.

Don't want to rip back, so am going to attempt to do it with a crochet hook, but am more nervous because it is on the edge.

Went through my cross-stitch projects, and have found I'm missing at least 3 books to 2 of my WIPs. Though Rocking Horse is a longer term issue.It's an old pattern from Leisure Arts, and at the time I was in fourth grade. I have a the chart still, but I had covered it with clear contact paper, and the middle of the pattern is gone from folding...

I know you used to be able to get parts of patterns back from them, so maybe I'll e-mail them and get my oldest WIP finally done. :)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

More Log Cabin

Why is it that the newest WIP is so temping? I have pieces that are semi-close to done, but for some reason they don't have the same appeal. Perhaps it is because the log-cabin is different from the others - more of an experiment. The needles are midsized (8), unlike my French yarn scarf (5), or my huge afghan (15, double stranded Red Heart), but though it takes more rows for my hands to cramp up, it's the experimenting that is keeping it interesting.

I experimented in circling the rectangle - though only went halfway around so I could see if the yarn over and increase coming back would work. It looked ok. But I think it needs more color. I like the look of keeping the stitches live; it feels more knit, binding off and picking up the stitches gives a greater stiffness. Plus the back is looking cleaner and cleaner as I go on, mostly from getting better at picking up the stitches - but it does lend to a feeling of progress.

Also I'm using mostly stash yarn - left over from other afghans - which is hiding evidence that a bag of yarn apparently went missing when I bought some of it, or that I overbought in response to running out and not being able to go out to fetch more immediately. (If you've never had to stay home, then I don't think this will register.)

On another note, I went to Goodwill. I had the thought the other night about virgin wool, and googled recycling yarn. A variety of interesting blogs popped up where people had gone to a thift shop, found a promising sweater and then ripped it apart for the yarn. Which seemed like an interesting idea, and added to the suggestions in other places that it might be a decent place to find needles and yarn... I went. And have come to the conclusion that the people who found silk blends, and other nice non-polymer knits were in bigger and wealthier areas. Only found one silk/cotton some nylon blend - no wool - and that had a huge multcolored motif on the lower front corner - not enough yarn, or good enough to attempt to dissect it.

And they were right about one thing - it breaks your heart to see the granny square blankets in near pristine condition. Perhaps I can think that maybe someone spent all those hours and intentionally donated some of them - I hope so. And perhaps it is a good thing, that family members donated the old 70s yarn colors afghans that were there too, at least they weren't tossed.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Log Cabin Knitting

So, inspired by a blog or five, I have begun a log cabin afghan. I must say the initial rush of having a place mat sized semi-finished piece wore off fairly quickly, as the aggravation of picking up the stitches grew. So I decided to leave the pieces live on circulars and see if I could just pick up the garter rows... - and after knitting around with the extra chiming of the holding needles and the uncut and unwoven ends - finally got to the first live side. It looks pretty good. I'm getting a purled looking ridge - but I had that until I realized I was picking up the stitches in the r to l and the reverse would have given me the nice garter consistency.

On another note, it meant I needed to get more end caps and spare cables for my Boye needles. I was very unhappy to find that the newer packages bore the Made In China label. Augh. I bought the pieces of the set I had as it was made in America - even though it cost a little more. Now, I think I'll switch brands. The knitmates (or interchangables or Wrights) do have issues, the cable untwists a bit, I have had one cable snap near the end, and the needles do lose their points and near the screw sort of spread out - like a sharp washer - this can be eliminated easily with sandpaper. But despite the issues I was happy enough, but not if it is made in China. Wonder if anyone has tested the new Chinese made needles for lead paint....

On the same log cabin knitting revelations theme, has anyone else noticed that the new Red Heart Yarn now says Made in America of imported fibers? Is this why it's scratchier than before - cost cutting and quality crimping? I had tried using some Bernat I had in Rose, with the stash Red Heart yarn, and the section is out of gauge and fluffed up from the rest. So I purchased some Rose Red Heart - and it is noticeably courser than my older Red Heart... But the color and gauge work much better with the other Red Heart Yarns - though I'm wishing I hadn't used the black sparkle now...


I'm working on my first "lace" shawl.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Beginning Blogging

Welcome to my brand new blog.

As a long-time crafter, gardener, and more recently genealogy buff, I find I tend to obsess on one craft or hobby for a period of time. Switching to another obsession after a tiring immersion in one to the near exclusion of all others, perhaps is due to some of my hobbies' seasonal nature. Knitting in the summer only good with air conditioning.

My current obsession/hobby is knitting. Spurred on by recent completions, and discovering the wide range of knitting bloggers - who have inspired me to expand my range.