Monday, June 04, 2018

stalled

So a funny thing happened. First the not so funny.

I decided to rip back the sock I was knitting because it didn't fit anyone. I usually just eyeball socks because I knit toe up and maybe I'm stupid or whatever. Anyway no one in the house could get it over their heel. Rather than leaving it as a Cinderella sock, I ripped it and made it bigger. Then i was knitting along during a baseball game when suddenly the DPN I had in my hand fell apart.

It is my weekend for broken things.

A post shared by Jodie (@ja_gardner) on

I mean it isn't the end of the world, I know some superglue will fix that right up but MAN. Not so the second thing broken--our windshield experienced some major damage either during that game or a chip that we hadn't noticed decided to majorly expand in the night. No superglue in the world will fix that.

But on to the funny part--the knitting.

So, when I last wrote I was considering a scrappy sweater. I dug out like almost all of my scrap yarn and weighed it and approximated measurements and.... decided I needed more yarn. Sigh. But in the deep stash dive I also emerged with enough Knit Picks Comfy sport in a bright red that seems to be discontinued, to make a short sleeved or lacy sweater. And so I spent many a long day searching ravelry for just the right project. And I also swatched to see what type of gauge I'd be dealing with.

Swatch is still drying from it's run through the washing machine, so I haven't measured it yet. I also haven't picked a pattern either so that works. Here is what I'm thinking though, so maybe if anyone has any suggestions, or opinions they can weigh in.

And I'm sorry, I can't figure out a good way (without stealing every image and plastering it on blogger anyway) to show thumbnails of what I'm thinking.

First up is this beauty from DROPS. I don't love DROPS patterns, they seem overly fussy to me. But I really liked the lace detailing on this one.

Low tide is a little bit longer than I was imagining, but again, that lace detail is divine.

I'm actually leaning really heavily towards CeCe by chic knits. It seems to have everything I'm looking for: lace, 3/4 sleeves, and looks good on nearly everyone. I'm torn because the pattern calls for thicker yarn than I have.

Also in the running is Miss Lemon I love love love the lace on this. I worry about the snug fit as I wasn't looking for such a fitted piece.

Another one that I like is Greensleeves, but I'd have to adapt it to make it shorter sleeves and ironically I hate the pockets. Even though I love pockets, those look a little out of place. Plus, I don't have quite that quantity of yarn.

My real issue is finding something in a sport weight and an adult size. Most of what I found is DK weight. And I know this is my fault because I searched either DK or sport before I did my swatch.

So that's where I am--still knitting the same sock as I was a month ago--trying to find a sweater to knit. Feels like I've made zero progress.

Do you have a favorite lacy summer cardigan that would look good in BRIGHT red? Tell me about it in the comments.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

thinking

I must confess that if the ONLY item not crossed off my weekly to do list was "blog" I would probably not be writing this.

My knitting is going eh. I am nearly done with a sock and I tried it on and because I do not ever swatch socks and just eyeball my toe up numbers it does not fit. It fits my foot, but I struggle to get it over my heel. In fact it doesn't fit the smallest feet in the house even. I KNOW I need to rip it out. Or more likely since that section had two knots that were a pain to deal with, I'll rip and probably use that section of yarn for leftovers and just start a new sock. Except I find myself a little tired of socks.

Instead because the heat is nearly upon us and I am starting to very slowly wash out my sweaters for storage (And then I'll start washing the cardigans I keep out all year long--also must remember to buy more wool wash*) I really really want to start a sweater.

I was initially thinking that maybe I should FINALLY tackle the dollar and a half cardigan. Which I KNOW I say that at least 3 or 4 times a year every year since the pattern was published which means I've had that in the queue for um maybe 10 years. But the reality is that every time I look at finished versions of that sweater on ravelry, I see women my shape wearing it and I just don't like the look. I will never be that shape, even if I diet myself to that size. And while I think I can look good in a lacy sweater, I'm not convinced that is the one.

But, I do own a sweater's worth of brown cotlin and so I was thinking a brown cotton linen sweater would be nice. Also I could wear it on the chance I finish it before fall (assuming I start it before fall).

I also own a sweater amount of leftover yarn. I have a baby blue ultra alpaca from that time I tried to adjust a pattern and failed. I have some green Quince and Co Lark leftover from a green central park hoodie I made. (as an aside, I wish I could write out in the open the longer story of that sweater and how it has come full circle for me, if you know me--ask me about it sometime). And some of the same yarn in purple from Estelle. I wondered if I got out all those yarns out and weighed them if I would have enough for something striped.

But trying to find a scrap yarn project on ravelry is HARD. I think made harder by what I ALWAYS do. I always seem to have a picture in my head about what I would like. In this case I want:
a cardigan
probably raglan
with a zipper
long sleeves
ideally knit in one piece so I will be SURE of stripes matching on the body
I don't mind paying for a pattern, so that's not a problem, although ideally free or already own the pattern would be a plus. Of course I may be going about the searching all wrong. I could probably try just looking for a zippered raglan cardigan and then making it striped--instead of looking for patterns specifically designed to use scraps. Or I could go the disaster in the making route and just cobble together my own pattern.

So to sum up: I'm sick of socks, I'm giving up on ever making the dollar and a half cardigan and I could make a summer cotton/linen sweater instead OR a scrap yarn cardigan. It's like a cliffhanger as to what will happen! * I prefer Soak. I realize this is controversial. I use it for non-wool items too.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

knots

Sometimes when I'm just knitting along I don't feel like I have enough to really write about. And I am just knitting along. And yes, still the first sock (it seems like some people in my life ask this regardless of when the last time they saw me knitting and asked this SAME question).

I did stop knitting on it for a few days because I was so frustrated. I found a knot! And I hate weaving in ends in socks! It actually took two tries at a russian join to fix it and even now I can still see where it was. Then! I found a second knot. (insert eyeroll here). I tried another russian join, when it slipped out, I just gave up and started the new yarn. And now that I'm knitting, I'm wondering if it is going to mess up the pattern of colors. Not that my socks have to perfectly match, but it would be nice if they were close you know.

I don't want to say that I'm tired of knitting socks, but I have been itching to take on a bigger project. Like sweater big. And yeah I know I say that a lot but it's about time to start washing sweaters and putting the ones I won't wear away for the summer. (I usually leave out a couple of cardigans) And I want a new sweater. Of course I don't have yarn for a sweater sized project*. I do though, have lots of leftover yarn all in about the same weight. And I was thinking stripes would be REALLY cute. It wouldn't be all the same material--like some Ultra alpaca which is 50/50 wool and alpaca and some 100% wool, but then I wonder if it would work.

*Ok, I do, but I am kind of saving that for the dollar and a half cardigan even though every time I try swatching for the dollar and a half cardigan I get all wigged out because it seems hard to follow the stitch pattern AND I don't really get gauge and I love that sweater so much I don't want to mess it up, but it WOULD be the perfect summer sweater.

Regardless, it seems as if there is some swatching and or searching ravelry for patterns in my future.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Cast OFF!

First I should start with two "cast offs" as it were. First--I got the cast on my foot off--and I have graduated to a "walking boot" There are several good things about it over the cast: 1) I can take it off to shower, and to put on clothes, so I don't have to worry a bunch about if my pants will fit over it. 2) I can walk a little easier in it 3) My socks peek out! This is good because I finished the rainbow socks!

I love them and have worn them a couple times. I had a great time seeing the toe peek out of my boot this week--it's the little things.

And of course because I think I just am going to knit socks forever, I started another pair.

I wasn't sure I wanted to start another sock but for some reason I love this color way.

A post shared by Jodie (@ja_gardner) on

This one is a yarn I got at my LYS's clearance sale on my birthday a monthish ago. I think the colors are terribly ugly but somehow I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. I can't even really explain it. And it is a workhorse yarn (Online supersock) so I am guessing they will last forever.

I also bought three skeins of Debbie Bliss Bluefaced Leicester and I really want to use it for... something. 300 meters isn't a lot to make something substantial--so sweater is out. Even a shrug is probably out. That leaves scarves, cowls, hats, maybe mittens. And I'm being fussy. A cowl would be nice but sometimes when I wear cowls or scarves, I feel like I'm wearing a bib. I don't really wear hats (I'm an earmuff person). So I'm stuck.

Bought on sale. Only had 300m -- what to make?

A post shared by Jodie (@ja_gardner) on

It's really pretty though, so maybe a lacy cowl? Maybe a small scarf/shawl thing? I don't know. In the meantime, I'll be plugging away at the socks.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The ultimate "cast on"

So much has happened since I last wrote! Seriously, I figured out a way to get socks from needles to feet twice as fast!

Ok, I did this by getting one foot put in a cast and thus unable to wear a normal sock, but still--bright side people! I can wear the same sock twice as long! (Ok no, it is really that I can't stand to just have one of every sock int he washer, so I'm wearing one the first day and the second the next.)

The whole story is this. I've been battling plantar fasciitis for YEARS. I wear night splints, orthotics, and I have an ice bottle that I use on bad days. I've even gotten cortizone shots for it. All of this has helped, and after the last shots I had some relief. Well about six weeks ago, I had a really bad flare up. Despite not changing anything. At first I thought it was because I needed new shoes. So I bought some, only to have the pain worsen. It was bad enough I called the doctor who had previously done the shots. While I was waiting for that appointment, I had a few times when after work, I was so sore, I wasn't sure I was going to make it back to my car.

When my appointment came around, I was kind of excited to think that if I got another shot I would be sore that day but I'd feel so much better. So you can kind of imagine the look on my face when instead of shots, he said--I'd like to put your leg in a cast for 3weeks to see if we can get the inflammation down that way.

After blinking like Dora the Explorer waiting for you to repeat whatever she just asked you to repeat, I asked when would they do that. Well turns out right NOW was the answer.

It is my left foot so I can drive. I can walk on the cast and I have a boot for it (which was good because we got 2 inches of snow that mostly fell while I was getting the cast). I also have a scooter that I can rest my cast on and scoot. Let me tell you, that was more difficult than I thought it should be. Turns out that you can rent them! And your insurance might even pay for it--although the foot doctor was dubious but the medical supply place says--blue cross? sure (we shall see, but I don't even care). I know it is a place of privilege that allows me not to worry about $50, but it makes work so much easier.

Bonus: My cast matches one of my favorite handknit sweaters

When your knitwear *almost* matches your cast.

A post shared by Jodie (@ja_gardner) on

I have also been told to stay off my feet, and so I've been doing a little more reading, and little more knitting. And thus have nearly finished the second of the rainbow socks.

Ready to #bindoff

A post shared by Jodie (@ja_gardner) on

I'd probably have finished except that I need to look up the bindoff, and I never seem to have both a computer and my knitting by my chair. Probably after I finish this sock, I'll start another sock for traveling and baseball and waiting rooms, and something else for all the other times. Except I'm not sure about the something else. And yes, I have already looked and Ravelry does have a pattern for a toe sock you can knit for over your cast. Am seriously considering.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

unraveled

One of the dangers of travel knitting or purse knitting is that sometimes you drop stitches. Usually this isn't a huge deal for me because I also carry a small crochet hook and can easily fix dropped stitches--I can even fix them without a crochet hook, but it is easier with one.

However last week, I grabbed my rainbow sock mid heel and headed for what was going to be a long band concert night. four high school bands playing, both my girls in different bands, with a band between them. Lots of time between bands while stands were re-arranged and students came and went. When I pulled it out, I had dropped a whole needle full of stitches, and so carefully picked them up. Except heel. Some of those were yarnovers, which had raveled to the point of disappearing. I did my best and knit away. Then came red flag number 1--I had more stitches on one side of the heel than the other. Then came red flag number two: I had a fairly large hole on the one side. Then red flag or strike three: I couldn't fix the hole.

Of course I kept knitting through all of those. I knit for about 10 rows of heel and four rounds of regular knitting. I was BORED. People watching is really bad at high school band concerts.

When I got home though, I knew what had to be done. I ripped out the heel.

I knew I wasn't ever going to be happy with the hole. I knew it would bug me forever. I KNEW I should have done that AT the concert, but it was dark.

I'm not taking this project anywhere until I've finished this heel.

Sometimes it's better to unravel and start again (just the heel this time)

A post shared by Jodie (@ja_gardner) on

And PS, I really haven't spent nearly enough time on this. Everyone has been sick and while I did not get as congested sick as everyone else, I just got bone weary- whole days where all I wanted to do was read. We're all in the homestretch and my energy is returning so hopefully I'll finish this soon.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

rainbow socks

I am steadily working on my weekly to do list. Last week the only thing I didn't get to cross off was "new blog post." This week I'd like to finish it, although "sign children up for Driver's ed" seems to be the one that may be beyond my control.

Anyway. Last time I wrote, I had a sweater pattern and yarn and had decided to take a break from the sock I was working on and tackle the sweater. Like all good things, this was maybe too ambitious. I looked a lot closer at the pattern and realized a few things:
* The yarn called for is a worsted weight
* The yarn I have is maybe sport
* I have no idea what size to make
* I don't know if I have enough yarn to make the longer sleeved version I was imagining.

Clearly there are solutions. First solution is obviously to swatch. I have started this, but I feel like maybe my swatch isn't nearly large enough. The second is of course to measure me and the swatch and do some hocus pocus math and just figure the dang things out. As far as having enough yarn? I don't really have a solution other than maybe don't make long sleeves. The one part I was most worried about regarding the pattern itself was the actual stitch pattern, but the swatch has shown me that it is a relatively simple pattern--as long as I follow the cart. And boy am I ever glad I learned to read a chart.

So, instead of deciding any of that, I decided to finish the rainbow and clouds socks. Just because I feel like they may be knit a little too loosely doesn't mean that I don't love them and won't wear them. If someone wants to buy me the sock monkey colorway, I'll knit those at a smaller gauge.

Sock 1 done. ✅ sock 2 begun.

A post shared by Jodie (@ja_gardner) on

I've even started the second sock. And yes, I did actually try really hard to start in roughly the same place in the color run.