Saturday, July 27, 2013

Knitting vs. Husband

The kids are gone for the weekend.  The house is quite.  It's overcast.  It feels like a lazy day.

My dog's version of a lazy day!

The husband and I talked about going out and doing something fun, and yet all I can think about is sitting and knitting.  It's not that I don't want to go out and have fun, I just feel the call of my projects sitting downstairs waiting for me.

Normally, I would just take a project with me, but there are a couple of reasons that doesn't work right now:

  1. The point of the husband and I going out without the kids is to spend time together, and generally I bring knitting along to have something to keep me amused/occupied while waiting in lines or watching the kids run around wildly.
  2. I don't really have any knitting projects on needles that don't require repeated attention to a pattern.  When I travel knit, I like the pattern to be one I have completely memorized.
Of course, it's early enough that I might be able to get in just enough knitting time before we go out to satisfy me until we get home. 

Sounds like a good plan!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

How Many Projects Can I have Going at Once?

The answer to that is . . .a lot!

I know I am not alone in this as most knitters have multiple projects on needles at one time.  However, I was looking at my Ravelry project board and realizing that I have a lot of projects that have been languishing for many years.  I finally put some into official hibernation on the site.  I do have every intention of finishing them . . . just not right now.

That being said, I started yet another project.  This one uses a yarn dyed exclusively for my friend's business, Yarnover Truck.   It is Anzula Haiku in Minty Unicorn. So far I love this yarn.  It's so soft and slides easily through my fingers.  It also highlights the stitch pattern well.

I know, I just recently started the Seascape Stole, but I have come to find that project takes a lot of concentration and I needed one that didn't.   I needed some easy TV knitting.

Enter the Vicissitude Tank and Cowl by The Sexy Knitter.

This project is knit in the round and the first part of it is 14 repetitions of 7 simple rows.  I'm making the large which has 224 stitches in each round so it does take a while to get through (I'm not a very fast knitter), but that is kinda what I love about it.  Once I know the repeating pattern for the row, I can just keep going until my marker comes back to me.  I take a short break, memorize the next row and off I go again.

My husband was fascinated watching me knit in the round.  I realized I haven't knit many projects in the round, and never anything this large.  All the sock knitting I have done is either on double pointed or two circular . . . it just doesn't look the same to a non-knitter as knitting rounds on circular needles.

I've made a promise to myself that I will finish at least one of these recently started projects before starting any other knitting project.  Of course, that doesn't stop me from starting a sewing project.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Lifelines: you hope you never need them, but you always want to have them

In my last post, I talked about getting back to knitting I have to think about.  The pattern I'm currently working does take thought, the repeat is 43 rows long and not possible to memorize (at least for me). However, it is a fairly simple pattern in that it is mostly simple stitches (the hardest one being a double decrease where two slipped stitches are passed over a knit stitch.)  

At first I thought, I've got this, I don't need a lifeline.

Then I ripped out the first few rows three times because I wasn't paying close enough attention. So . . . after I got through the two row repeat at the start of section A (which is a total of 32 rows) I thought, I'm not doing that again, it's lifeline time!

As previously stated, it's been a long time since I knit anything where a lifeline would even be a consideration . . . actually, now that I think about it, I'm not sure I ever really used a lifeline before this project. I'm sure I have done projects that could have used one, but at this moment I cannot remember ever using one.  

Anyway, I started looking around for an appropriate waste yarn to use, but everything that I had readily available consisted of a fiber that I was sure would end up felting and not being removable.

Enter the dental floss; It was the perfect solution.  It's synthetic, designed to slip between surfaces easily and found in any household.  The flat design of the floss I had on hand fit neatly through the eye of a small needle without any effort.  The one caveat is that dental floss sometimes has a powdery coating on it.  I made sure to strip that (mostly) off before inserting into the stitches.  Another side benefit (at least to me) is that my knitting smells minty fresh!

Withing a few rows I was glad I had inserted the lifeline.  One again, not used to knitting and thinking, I had to rip out the first few rows of the next part of section A two times.  The lifeline save me (and my family) from the temper tantrum that would have occurred had I needed to rip out the knitting any further back.  Now that I have completed section A and the first time through section B (only 5 or 6 more repeats of that to go), I will insert another lifeline. 

Luckily, in between my other lifelines the only mistakes I made were (an easily fixed) missed yarn over and coming across some inexplicable twisted stitches. 

I'm really enjoying this pattern and it is moving relatively quickly (of course having 5 days off from work gave me lots of time to knit).  The color pooling in the yarn just increases my feeling of a deep sea at sunset, which is appropriate given the name of the pattern is the Seascape Stole.

So, here's to lifelines . . .may you never need them, but always have them (just in case)!


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Thinking and Knitting at the Same Time!

I started knitting the Seascape Stole a couple of days ago.  Well, to be honest, the first cast on was a couple of days ago and then the re-cast on was yesterday.  (I almost always have to re-cast on with a project like this, because my first attempt is WAY too tight.)

It's been a while since I've done any lace knitting, or more specifically any knitting that I've had to actually think about.  I forgot how maddening the first few rows are until the garment has enough weight to keep the stitches orderly.

I'm really in love with the yarn I'm using, SweetGeorgia Merino Silk Lace in spruce.  This is the first time I am using yarn from this company, and I already know that I will be seeking more projects suitable to trying out their other lines.  Not only does the yarn feel good on the needles and slipping through my fingers, but the color is also pleasing to the eye.  The vibrant, green-blue reminds me more of the deep sea at sunset than a spruce, but I can absolutely see why they chose the name they did for this colorway. 

The pattern calls for a mohair based yarn to give the stitches a halo effect, which I agree is really pretty in the photos accompanying the pattern and gives the stole an airy appearance. However, I want to actually be able to wear the finished product and mohair is not my friend.  Thankfully, this is a popular pattern, with over 1400 projects on Ravelry, and I was able to find enough pictures of non-mohair stoles that I know this yarn should produce a fine garment.

With a nice, long, 5-day weekend starting I hope to get through quite a bit of the pattern.  In fact, I'm off to start knitting right now.