Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Slow Progress

Ok, so the rest of the aran yarn is in hiding.... And I made a mistake on the top row. This mitten definitely needs to be lined, as the stranded yarn doesn't feel good. Besides the mitt would be warmer in the end.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Stranded Mitten Progress

I have got to say the best part about doing smaller projects is that you see the results of your experiments a lot more quickly. :)

A Small Holiday Drawback...

Whenever there is a holiday, the contents of my craft stash get put back into the closet. This means of course, that whatever yarn I didn't think I wanted to use in the near future somehow triggers a subconscious alarm, "you must try..." So that counter to common sense when company is coming, I found myself digging in my closet trying to find the right yarn.

I'm trying another pair of mittens. Not strummed or pseudostrummed, but pseudo fair isle. I have 2 balls of sport weight woolease, one aquamarine the other pink, that are completely different from everything else in my stash. I don't know why I bought them, especially the pink. Especially since I only bought 1 ball of each, and I have no other sportweight. (Don't even know if it's even sold locally anymore.) So I thought 2nd Mitten attempt here we go!

Slight problem though with needing a size 2 needle for the cuff it takes a lot longer, and moving into the body with a size 3, I became concerned about the thinness re warmth. So, I want greater thickness but still to use the yarn, and another challege - so fair isle, with a regular weight woolease. I have now already ripped out the first attempt. While my pattern on the back of the hand was going ok, I made the poor choice of knitting with both the aqua and the aran on the palm side, meaning it was too thick for the gauge and pulling the fabric out of shape.

Now after googling for fair isle weaving, I think I know what the book was trying to tell me. I think I'm stranding right now, and apparently I knit English style. Which made the book's conteniental example confusing.

So digging in my closet for the rest of the woolease Aran (first search was futile). And am suddenly wondering if it might be in the bottom of the laundry basket of clothes I need to put away...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Second Mitt Cont.

Finished the body, and am now working on the thumb - first went the wrong way with knitting the thumb - so it'll have a ring of garter at the base, but think I'll likely drop stitches if I go back - so onward.

Am contemplating ripping out the ribbing on the hat that I started to go with the mitts, and knitting down from the stockinette. I did 1x1 and the gauge went way too big, really should have gone down a needle size (another lesson learned).

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Second Mitt Progress

At first the second mitt seemed to be flying.. But with accidentally losing my fifth needle in the pencil section of a desk drawer for a day (and spending too much time looking for it), and having to go back several rows more than a few times (for some reason I get going and forget to strum).

And finally, wasted time today pulling out the waste yarn on the thumb hole, and then threading it through the empty loops. I just wanted to be able to put my hand in the mitt properly and see how I'm doing. (And it's fun.) :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The nearly complete buzz...

I have to say the best part about working on smaller projects than 6' x 5' Afghans, has to be the frequent 'I'm nearly done!' buzzes. Most of my afghans took 2 years - mostly off, to be done. But I've gotten done more hats and scarves and mittens in the past couple months than I have ever done afghans.

It's also been challenging, after all garter stitch afghans you don't need to see to do right. I've gotten almost competent on dpns (which I didn't know existed 2 years ago). I've learned a lot more about patterns - though I have yet to follow one completely. And before the only patterns I've followed have been cross-stitch ones. (Which reminds me, I really should take out the long neglected Santa project.)

But here I am, 1:30 in the morning - working on finishing a hat - with a giddy smile that would make you think there is Apfelsnapps in my tea. :)

And now it's done.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gotta Love Price Wars!

Filled up my gas tank for $13!

Love it!


Second Mitten

Correcting some mistakes with the second mitten. I've K4, M1 instead of K3 M1, and so the hand is a bit smaller, and is knitting up a bit faster. I'm already to the thumb row, and am comtemplating using waste yarn for the stitches and removing it when I'm ready to knit the thumb.

I'm juggling too many projects now, but I'm making sure to knit a little on each daily, so that they are working towards the end. I think gauge might be a bigger factor on speed than I thought. The size 3 silverlume twisted rib hat takes more out of my hands than the size 6 silverlume ribbed hat...

Checked out Etsy, and there is some pretty cheap alpaca roving out there... Am comtemplating making a traditional pair of strummed mitts with that...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

First Mitten Done

Just finished knitting the thumb. Took out the first attempt, as it was way too big (going to shrink the number of stitches in the thumb hole next time), still oversized enough to comtemplate lining it with the wool. But that was after k1 k2tog for the first pink row. Think I would be happier with merlot color, but would have to order that..

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Mitten Musing...

I'm nearly done with the body of the first mitten. And I've learned a lot from it, I think.

1) Adding too many stitches after the cuff. I don't recall how many I added. (Need to recount) But with going to the size 4 needles, I could have added 5 less at least.

2) I should have plotted out my felting yarn inserts, especially near the top where I began doing decreases.

3) Not keeping count so I know what to redo for the second mitten. lol

I think I'll decease the number of stitches a bit, on the second mitt. Still contemplating how to handle the thumb.


BTW, watching the news while knitting today was quite depressing. I think the worst part is that on US tv, there was scant foreign news - like the fact the French have bailed out their major auto company. I hope the jobs report pushes through the loans. And I found it interesting that Senators/Representatives from states with foreign based car plants were the biggest naysayers.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Brown Tufted Mittens cont.

I'm surprised at how fast this is developing. Though I admit it would be going much faster if I wasn't turning it inside out to check that it isn't a total mess.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Startitis or a new hat, and my first attempt at a mitten...

I've started another hat, since I finished the Aran one. I am thinking of making another tam, but now am uncertain. See my 1x1 Rib is far too loose. I'd added a few extra stitches at the beginning and had hoped a section of ribbing would correct the issue, but it seems there will at least be elastic and perhaps felting in this hat's future.

I've also started with a mitten, in the same yarns. I've never knit one before, but the online patterns had too tight of a cuff, so I'm improving. I'm using Patons Merino Wool for the MC and using Bernet's Felting Wool for "thrums". I had each brand's Rosewood colorway, and used it in the cuff with the Patons, and am now using Brown for the mitten body, and am trying to decide if the thrums will be enough color challenge in the mitten itself, I've been thinking about making the back of the hand pink, and the palm brown but I think that might be easier knit separately rather than in the round....

Monday, December 1, 2008

Dance of Joy

Finished the Lion Wool-Ease Aran hat I started to go with the double ribbed thin scarf I'm still working on with it. The hat has a double rib on the beginning, and then stockinette, then I decided to double rib again at the top. :)

Size Matters

Size & shape of the needles really does matter.

For example, on the oversized charcoal scarf I'm using huge size 15 bamboo needles. And my hands are killing me by row 4. So I've been doing 4 rows at a time, so I get one pattern iteration each time.

With my hats, the size 4 16" circular Boye needle is okay. I think the needle is plastic, which is a bit odd, as the cable seems heavier than the points. But with working in such a small round seems to make my hands work differently, and I can only do a few rounds before my hands hurt in a different way. I got the Silverlume size 3, 16" and the needle is much longer and more comfortable, but the bends in the cable at the end of each needle bend so much I'm afraid they are going to break. It's much better than with the previous needles.

I also have a ribbed scarf on size 6 straight needles. But the ones I were using were so long it was excessive, and none of the local stores sell short size 6 needles - so I got a set of clover dpns and put point protectors on the ends, and it works wonderfully.