Plays with Yarn

A place where I can ramble about all things knitterly.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

*gasp* She's alive!

School + sick = no knitblogging. But at least I have another FO to report!

Meet the sunshine Chickami! She's made from some random acrylic that I bought at the BLYS (Boy-Local Yarn Store) ages ago. The pattern for the size I made called for 925 yards (since I made the wide straps, much as it may not look like it, since they roll), and I used *maybe* 650. Gotta love yarn over-estimation. Now I have almost 2 balls (since I actually bought for the size up from mine, 4 balls/320yds each) of this yarn. What to make, what to make? Sorry for the lack of action honestly looks kind of weird on, since the straps are rather closely set. Shows my bra straps too. It's a bit itchy, which is disappointing since the yarn felt okay in the ball. Like I said, fabric softener.

And as if that isn't enough, I finally cast on for the actual DNA scarf! I tried to get through a cable repeat last night before going to bed, but I sadly gave up with 4 rows to go. This is at about row 20 or so:

It's going much more quickly than the swatch did...the practice with the chart helped a lot.

I also finished sock #1 of the pair for Ernest. (In case anyone's wondering, that's the Boy's brother-in-law.) Cast on for the second this morning. I might just get my Christmas list done in plenty of time!

I've got startitis again now that I'm done with the Chickami. I saw while blogsurfing that Annie finished her Rogue, and it looks outstanding. Which of course makes me want to cast on for mine, and I like the look of hers so much, I want to use a different yarn for mine. I have some teal heather Cascade 220 which is just about the same color as my eyes, but I'm liking the slightly variegated look of hers. I'll have to check prices on the Nature Wool she used...they have it at the LYS and I drool over it every time I go there. Such gorgeous colors. I'm also slightly obsessed with Clapotis, just like every other blogger out there *grin* I know just the yarn for it too....there's a hand-dyed line that's produced locally (Tess's Designer Yarns) and they have a nice soft superwash merino that I adore. Expensive, but plenty of yardage...I think I could get one out of a single hank if I made it a little narrower. (The hanks are about 550 yards apiece.)

But....I told Kelly this and gave her full permission to make fun of me if I go back on it: no more knitting for myself until the Christmas presents are done. So the next thing I'll most likely start is a pair of gloves for my grandfather. (Mom, you can keep a secret, right?) Charcoal gray alpaca. I wanted to use this cashmere at the LYS, but one skein is just short of glove amount, and 2 skeins would make it too expensive. The alpaca is plenty soft anyway.

New yarn store in Portland called Knit Wit. I went there Friday night right before they closed and spent most of my time drooling slack-jawedly over the Rowan! And the Colinette! And (my personal favorite) the Schaefer! I left with a hank of Anne, 2 balls of Kidsilk Haze in the celery green, and Rowan 36 (love love LOVE!). Now I'm finding myself trying to figure out what to do with 2 balls of the KSH....besides yet another scarf. The Anne I think will make a nice shawl for someone.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Not a whole heckuvalot

Not much knitting been going on lately, except in the bus rides and the 10 minutes before class, but I felt compelled to blog anyway. Mostly from boredom with the projects I've got going. Seems like I've been working on all of them for so very long, and I ache for something new. Which means I'll probably get started on some *SHH* Secret Knitting for my Secret Pal tonight after I do all the cleaning I'm setting forth to do.

Now, progress reports.

Pinup Queen: Still on the sleeves. I hate sleeves. Must be why I've never made an entire sweater before. I'll slog through them though (and at least I'm getting them both over with at once), because I have-to-have-to-HAVE-TO finish them before I can do the front, which promises to be the most engaging knitting on this piece. Kelly, you will definitely get a sweater out of the deal!

Chickami: I'm to the knit-even point after all the waist shaping is done. Now I just need to figure out how the rest of the sweater goes together...I'm making the wide-strap version and the pattern isn't especially clear on when to go to those directions. *le sigh* It's pretty, but feels a little scratchier than I thought it would upon feeling the yarn in the ball. Nothing a bit of Snuggle in the washing machine won't fix, hopefully. Holy stockinette, Batman....I'll need to do something complicated soon to shake off the tedium of stockinette-in-the-round. It's nice mindless knitting though. Everything I have on the needles right now is mindless though (until I actually cast on for the DNA scarf, now that swatching is over.)

DNA scarf: Speaking of...the swatch dried and was satisfactory. I just need to cast on for the actual scarf now. I have to really get my hands moisturized first, because the fuzzy yarn keeps getting caught on dry spots around my nails. Not cool.

Work socks: I hate heel flaps. I'm sick of doing heel flaps. I was going to make a pair of socks for Roger (the Boy's dad) out of this same pattern, but if I have to do another heel flap heel, I'll scream. (Too bad I have to do the second sock for this pair still.) And I seem to have lost one of my sz 6 double points. Rwar. I'll have to find a sock pattern that uses worsted-weight and has a short-row heel, because I've been meaning to try me one of them.

So....a whole lotta babbling about a whole lotta nothing. Next time, I'll accompany it with pictures of said whole lotta nothing.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

It'll get better, right?

First off, thanks everyone for your comments on my Charlotte! I think this is the most comments I've gotten on anything!

Now...I finished my DNA swatch today, and was actually pretty disappointed in it, pre-blocking anyway.

See how lumpy and uneven it is? I don't like the gathering at where the cable begins and ends, and the pattern doesn't seem to take that into account. I think there might be a couple errors in the chart I have, but I have to look at it more closely. And the drape of the swatch left a little to be desired. The seed stitch seemed a bit stiff, and the middle around the cable seemed a bit limp. So, I'm not really sure how I feel about the thing right now.

Here it is pinned to my blocking board and spritzed. (For the record, wet alpaca smells foul. I see why wool wash has lavender and other pretty smelling things in it.) It pinned out about 6.5x7 inches. I'm hoping it dries by tomorrow morning (it's pinned to foam core, so who knows?) so I can make a trip to the yarn store after class for new yarn/needles/whatever should the need arise.

I also owe you wonderful blogreaders pictures of Matt's hat and Karen's lace rib scarf. The scarf I want to wash and block first, b/c it doesn't really look like much right now. But the hat....I suppose I could put that on for your viewing pleasure. Keep in mind my head is significantly smaller than Matt's, and ignore the fact that the color makes me look positively ill.

Just a simple 2x2 rib hat I made totally without a pattern. I loved reasoning out the decreases so they'd look best when I got to the crown shaping. That was more fun than it should have been.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

It's official....

Charlotte, she is done!!

This is before I put the crochet edging on. (After I was done with the edging, I was too impatient to get a post done about it *grin*)

A closeup of the stitch pattern (and an excuse to try out the macro mode on my new camera).

And the edging. It's hdc, chain 3, skip one stitch, hdc, chain 3, lather-rinse-repeat. Jennfurr from LJ's idea.

In other news, I wore my "yarn ho" t-shirt today :-) Life is good.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Academic knitting.

Before I get into the entry, I'd like to start off with a message:
Happy Birthday, Mom!!

This is going to make no sense until the end, but stay with me here. Had a meeting with my research advisor today. (For those who don't know, I'm a master's student in computer science, concentrating in artificial intelligence, further concentrating in natural language processing, and even further concentrating (lately) on not being able to concentrate.) This entire meeting was regarding choosing a knowledge domain for our research. To sum up this research, it involves a little conglomerate of clue word use and deciding what information to volunteer in discourse. So we needed a domain to discourse about. (Yes, I know "discourse" is not a verb. My English degree diploma is a license to do strange things to language.) I made a crack about how if I had to read about angina constantly (one of the researchers in the field uses medical stuff for her domain) I'd gouge my eyes out. So she asked me what I like to do.

Does anyone else see where this is going?

So my task for the next week is to do enough preliminary research to see if knitting will be a viable domain to build an expert system around. (Exactly what it sounds like. A program that has a deep and narrow knowledge base around one topic.) Oh darn, using assistantship hours to go to the yarn store. *wipes tear*

Knitting: not much has happened. I'm about 20 rows into the DNA swatch, and I'm still not sure if I like the alpaca I chose. It's Frog Tree sport weight, and it's a lot softer and fuzzier than the Indiecita worsted alpaca I used on Elise's scarf. I'm not sure if the fuzz i will obscure the cable yet or not. I'll do a repeat of the cable, bind off, and actually block the swatch (another thing I'm usually guilty of skipping *blush*) and see what happens. (So I should change the scarf's status from "started" to "swatching" in the sidebar, in the interest of full disclosure.) Gonna cast on Matt's hunting hat today too. Need idiot-knitting for the bus, and it doesn't get much more idiot than 2x2 ribbing in the round. (Okay, maybe stockinette in the round, but I just finished a Harry Potter scarf, so I need a break from that for a while.)

Got VK over the weekend. Just like the fall IK, I give it a big "meh." Some nice scarves, but I have scarf patterns coming out of my ears. Another thing I like about IK: there are separate spring and summer issues. VK: spring/summer, fall, holiday, and winter. I tend to like warm weather patterns a lot, so IK gives me more of them. Yay!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

A Blocking Story (unfinished) <--- There are pictures here.

Started swatching for the DNA scarf this morning waiting for the bus. I've only done 5 rows of the seed stitch, but already I'm not sure how I feel about the yarn I chose. It's awfully fuzzy, and I'm wondering how the cables will end up. Well, I suppose that's why we swatch, right? (Okay, so I've never swatched for a scarf. I wasn't going to for this one, but I decided that I wanted to have an example of "look what I can do" so I decided to do a cable repeat as a swatch for myself.) We'll see.

I need to make socks. Perhaps I'll start on Wendy's toe-up pattern at some point.

Monday, September 06, 2004


It's the 6th and I haven't started my DNA scarf yet! I might have to rectify this later tonight. I should block Charlotte first though.

Other than that realization, nothing knitterly. I received something today that'll make a difference in the digital camera! This one has a closeup mode, which means (duh) better closeups of stitches. Yay!

Hopefully I'll have pictures for you tomorrow. That means that I have to start or work on something worth taking pictures of.

Friday, September 03, 2004


Okay, I'm less cranky today. I got a package from my SP this week! I don't have any pictures at the moment, but the package contained 2 Hello Kitty erasers, a Hello Kitty pen, and some wonderful mild citrusy orange-and-green swirl soap. Thank you, SP!

I can't find the secret yarn for my secret knitting, so a package should be going out to my secret pal soon. I'll have to find it and do the knitting later. We've got until the end of October.

Not much knitting to report. Jelly Bean sock: frogged. Pinup Queen: I started the sleeves. Both at the same time. Chickami: It's going. Slowly but surely. (220 stitches per round doesn't knit up too fast.) I think I'm going to forgo the Ponchoalong. I really don't think I'll wear anything I can make, and I have other things that need to be done first. If I want another big project for myself before Christmas, I'll go with a top down raglan from the Lamb's Pride I have. Hmm, yellow or red?