Plays with Yarn

A place where I can ramble about all things knitterly.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Moving day!

Yep, I like the new blog software enough to start using it. My new URL is ... you Blogliners can subscribe from that URL. LJers, add playswithyarn2 to your friends list...unfortunately, once you create a syndication feed, you can't change it, so I had to just create a new one.

Still working out some design bits, but nothing that'll affect the functionality, so come on over! I've even got content...I imported the most recent posts from my Blogger feed so it wouldn't look all empty.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


I'm in the process of trying out some new blog software (something I can use my .Mac webspace for, and something with categories, yay!), so if all goes well I'm going to have a new URL for my blog. I'll keep everyone posted.

Seaming is not the devil.

That doesn't mean I have to like it though.

As soon as I get home today, I'm going to play a little game of "what a difference a year makes." I was seaming Bistro yesterday (yes, that means FO pics!) and realized that I could barely see the seam. A nice contrast from Shapely last year where the seam was so ugly that I never wanted to lift my arms. Here's hoping I can get the macro mode on my camera to work adequately.

So here's Bistro, modeled by a very sexy coat hanger:

Pattern: Bistro Top by Oat Couture
Yarn: Plymouth Fantasy Naturale
Needles: Denise interchangeable sz 8 and 9

(Sharp eyes will notice the unblocked-ness.) Modeled shots will happen on another day. The sleeves hang a bit wonky on me, so I think I need to try to do something about that. If it's even possible. Maybe once I wash it it'll soften up.

Next FO is seen here on a tall skinny floor lamp:

Pattern: none
Yarn: Plymouth Eros (less than half a ball, by my estimate)
Needles: Denise interchangeable sz 10.5

Again, no modeled shots. Kelly tried it on yesterday 3 different ways (belt, headband, and scarf) and they all looked cute.

I need to start something on bigger needles. All of my current WIPs are in fingering weight yarn (yes, even the tank top that appeared on the sidebar last night). If I don't start something else using bigger needles, my hands will go on strike.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


I just cast on 250 of 270 stitches and have 3 inches of tail left. GRRR. One of these days I'll pull out enough yarn.

A real entry later after I cast on these stitches...because I have even more FO action for you.

EDIT: Later == tomorrow, because my eyes are crossing after all that casting-on.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Waxing melodic about the long-tail cast-on...

When I first learned to knit back in the day, I could not get the hang of the long-tail cast-on. Granted I was 7 or 8 or some single-digit age like that, but I just couldn't do it. I'd come up with a stringy mess.

When I relearned to knit last year, I still couldn't get the hang of the long-tail cast on. I looked in every single book that I had and tried to follow the pictures, but my hands wouldn't do what they were supposed to do.

A few months ago, I managed to figure it out two-hand style. It was tedious, it was slow, and no matter what I did, it always turned out way too tight. So all these sock sites that said long-tail is one of the stretchiest cast-ons and recommended it OHSOHIGHLY for socks? Laughed in their non-existent faces, did my knitted cast-on, and resigned myself to all my edges looking a little sloppy and loose.

A few days ago, I DVR'ed this episode of Knitty Gritty, because, dude, illusion knitting. I came out of it still not understanding how to make an illusion chart of my own, but there was a bit where Shetha (the guest on the show) demonstrated a long-tail one-handed. I watched it, rewound and watched again, and thought, hmm, that looks fairly easy. Then it all exited my head.

A couple days ago, I needed to cast on for a new pair of socks, as I'd finished the ones I was working on (see last the way, the pattern for them can be found here), and found myself working a long-tail cast-on one-handed. made sense. It was slow going at first, after all it was something I'd never done before...but as I kept going it got easier. I even managed to have a conversation while doing it (yes, I did lose count a few times, but I didn't have to concentrate on the actual motions). Of course I started knitting on the "wrong side" of the CO, but after I knit a few rounds I realized that the long-tail cast-on when done correctly does indeed S-T-R-E-T-C-H!!!

I consider myself an intermediate knitter. I love cables and texture and don't shy away from a pattern because it seems complicated...I welcome the complicatedness! So how in the world am I JUST NOW discovering long-tail? *grin*

By the way, Bistro is still not completed. I still have to make myself sit down and do those seams. Perhaps tonight.

Friday, May 13, 2005


I might have 2 FOs in one day! This morning on my dentist trip (my dentist is so far away on the bus route that it took the entire morning for a 1-hour visit) I finished the Fixation socks:

I definitely have to show you detail of the heel flap:

(The color is way more accurate in this one. Damn flash washing out colors.)

AAAAAAND I've almost finished the knitting part of the Bistro Top. I have to bind off the shoulders together, knit the collar, and seam the sides. Easily accomplished before the Boy arrives, provided I just suck it up and deal with the seaming. I dislike seaming OMGSOMUCH. Should have done it in the round.

And here's some BONUS FO ACTION!!!!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Yeah, I'm still here....

I've just been knitting too much to blog about it!

Well, in the interest of full disclosure, last week was finals week too, so I was trying to wrap some stuff up in the lab (which is where I usually post from, when I'm taking a break from reading/coding/whatever) and finish up a paper for one of my classes, so the last thing I wanted to do was be on the computer any more than I had to be. But that does mean that when I wasn't doing work I was knitting.

So, the FO Recap!

Bistro Top? I'm up to the sleeve increases on the front, which means I'm almost to where I separate the right shoulder from the left, and it seems to me that it's going to go faster than the back did. Two sets of y rows over x stitches always seems quicker to me than one set of y rows over 2x stitches. (Knitting algebra! Though I suppose we should really write it as 2*t(y,x) < t(y,2x) if we're being all algebraic. Okay, I think that settles it. I'm officially geekier than I ever imagined.)

Samantha's Fixation Socks? Completed one sock yesterday, and am about an inch into the cuff of sock #2. I never seem to have a problem with SSS (Second Sock Syndrome, for those non-knitters I keep around), but that could be that I haven't knit a sock pattern yet that bores me. Give it time, I'm sure I'll find one. I printed out a whole bunch of sock patterns recently, so I'm overwhelmed by my choices for the next pair.

Cinco De Mayo Pi Shawl? This was not named because of the colors (far from it, I'm using Magic Stripes in Purple Pattern, rather blah), but because I started it while I was enjoying a frosty cold Mexican-inspired beverage with Kelly on the 5th of May, which of course is Cinco De Mayo. I've gotten through most of the increase rows, but the rows keep getting longer...and longer... *pant* As long as I remember to click my row counter, it's perfect brainless knitting. (Hence why I started it while enjoying a frosty cold beverage.)

Right. That's all of them. Don't I usually have more going at a time than this? I'm having the new project itch now.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

To frog or not to frog....

...that is the question. Though, given the project in question, there won't be frogging as much as there will, cutting the current work off the unknit yarn.

Yeah, I'm thinking about giving up the beaded scarf. For a couple reasons:

  1. Seriously, can anyone see me wearing ANYTHING beaded?
  2. If it's languished unworked-on for a year, is it truly likely that I'll pick it back up?
  3. Orange Branching Out scarf. Nuff said.
I'll try actually frogging it, but if it makes me cry (it *is* mohair after all) I'll just cut my losses and cut. Or maybe I'll just finish off the last repeat of what I've done and turn it into a...I dunno, something decorative.

Finished the Helen Keller scarf yesterday, will post pictures soon. I need to wash it first to see if it softens up a bit. It's of Schaefer Elaine, which is wonderfully springy and squooshy (yes, that's the technical term), but being mostly merino wool, I expected it to be softer. Must be the binding thread that's interfering with that, but it's worth a wash anyway.