Saturday, December 20, 2008

The trouble with sweaters

For some reason I am almost always starting sweaters at the end of the cold season.

It is as if I am so tired of being cold that I finally say--Oh alright already--and cast on a sweater. Then in say May, I finish it just in time to bypass spring and jump right to 80 degree weather. I suppose it balances out because inevitably in June, it gets cold enough for sweaters again.
Last year I started early--in January. But then I put it aside and finished in April. I got to wear it twice before it got really hot again. Of course it always returns to cold here in michigan, so no sweater is ever truely wasted.

This year, I'm vowing it to be different. I've started a sweater--knit in the round, using recycled yarn. In this pattern, you knit back and forth for a while, to make the collar and shoulders, then join. I've been meaning to get a pair of socks going so that at all the holiday gatherings I can knit and not drag 10 balls of yarn (they are small--Berrocco Touche which without looking, I'm remembering at 98 yrds a skein). And yet, this sweater is just plugging along so well that I'd almost like to get the sleeves divided before Christmas. And I'd LOVE to have it finished sometime when it is still cold. Although the cotton Modal blend, will make a nice spring sweater too.

But today I decided, I'd better start swatching that sock so I'm not swearing about stripes, gauge and size during say Christmas eve service. Not that *I* would knit in church (you know unless my mom is preaching--Just kidding mom) or anything, but you get what I mean. Add to it, that my extended family don't at all understand knitting and let's just say, socks are really the best project to be working on.

Was a good thing I did, because my sock yarn for this project (Meilenweit cotton fantasy) was so tangled on the inside, that I ended up rewinding the ball. Now to decide toe up, top down, heel flap or short row heel.... I guess I might be able to work a few round son the sweater while I decide....

Monday, December 15, 2008

darn it!

Back when I first took a class in how to knit socks, a very good friend of mine gave me a darning egg from her collection (she collects them because she finds them amusing). She said--You'll probably want to learn to use it.
I went along fine, and then my first pair of socks got a hole in them, which irritated me, as they were not even a year old at the time. Then my beloved Lorna's laces socks all started to get thin. Drastic measures needed to be taken.
So yes, I scoured Youtube.
I discovered that some videos are not as helpful as say others. But, if you want to learn like your grumpy grandma was teaching you, please watch the first link. (If you'd like to see how to really do it click the second). After watching both videos, I attempted it and this:
a hole!
Became this:

I discovered that the hint about the matching yarn makes for a much better patch, and so now, I'm keeping all my sock yarn leftovers FOREVER. I also patched up my very first pair I ever knit, but it was tiring work, and so I haven't yet done my second pair of Lorna's laces. Am wearing one pair I mended today and I can't really feel the patch like I thought I might.

Also, I finished blocking the colinette scarf:
And I've started on a sweater. I need to do some tiny swatching on the socks (I hate to admit swatching socks, but I do. Not as much as say a sweater, but still.) My bathrooms are still dirty and the floor still needs mopping, but I'm happy.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas knitting DONE

I have finished all my Christmas knitting! That sounds so impressive, that we might just forget that I only knit two things this year and they were both scarves. I still need to block the colinette scarf, so no pictures yet.

While I was knitting, I had a crisis of confidence. What if the teachers didn't appreciate my knitting? What if I should have gotten them something else? What if they preferred gift cards? In the end I decided that even if you don't wear handknits or scarves or something, you could at least appreciate the work and love that goes into something handmade. I don't knit for many people, so if I knit for you it is truly a gift to be appreciated.

Also while I was knitting, I started to get ansty about knitting things for me. I wanted more socks, I need to learn to darn my current socks (I have 3 with holes or thinning spots), I want a sweater, I want a lacey mohair scarf, and every time I turned around I saw some new project that I couldn't wait to knit. And now that I'm done, I have no idea what to do first. I should probably start both the sweater and something smaller and portable so that when the Christmas travel comes, I'll have something I can knit in the car. Not that I can't do a sweater in the round in the car, but usually we are pretty packed in and socks just work better. Of course at the rate things are going on the dishwasher front (it is on order...), I'd probably be just as well off buying some kitchen cotton and cranking out the dishcloths in the car.
So there's my conundrum, what to start first? Or you know, I could start the socks AND the sweater, then when the girls are in school next week, I could follow the tutorial on darning socks. or I could wrap presents and clean my house.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


I have pictures!
here is the noro scarf all done and blocked scarf

And here is the closeup view of the colinette scarf--not blocked.

There was a knot in my colinette and I was a little irritated because it is superwash wool, so no spit felting. Still I have close to three feet done on it, and I'm thinking ending size will be close to six feet--I'll have to discreetly measure the teacher's aide tomorrow at school. (don't worry I'll just stand next to her so something).

I almost took a break from the drop stitch scarf this week, but to tell you why involves a story.
See, my dishwasher broke on Sunday. And on Monday when my best fixit guy ever came out and looked at it, he was sure he could fix it with a part. One I had to order it turns out. The estimated ship time was NEXT Monday, so I figured, we need to do dishes by hand for a while. I am so totally a spoiled dishwasher gal. And when I use the dishwasher, I also use a kitchen sponge. When the thing gets dirty or I've cleaned something gross, into the dishwasher it goes.
My mother swears by dishcloths, the kind you can make with kitchen cotton. She thinks they are more sanitary. And I'm sure if you change it every day, it probably is, since my sponge makes it in perhaps once a week. So anyway, after about a day of washing with the sponge, I decided well hey, I should go find my dishcloths. Because of course I have knit some.

When I learned to knit we made two. Because I was and overachiever obsessed, I made four for me and two for my mom. Now remember, I don't use them. So why would I need four? Well, I have two daughters and I thought I'd make a set for each of them for their hope chests. They were two at the time and I guess I figured I'd never ever knit for them again (Ha!). I don't really care for making dishcloths, so maybe this is all the dishcloths they'll ever get. Anyway, I dislike making dishcloths, although I could probably crank them out much quicker now.

So this, I figured was the perfect opportunity to actually use the ones I have! I can make more when they get married (for their husbands!), it isn't like kitchen cotton is suddenly going to become rare. Well, I went looking and I came up with two and a fairly large swatch I made in prep for a baby afghan square. I also came up with enough kitchen cotton to make another one. Well, I thought I'd need another one, so I could you know WASH them. So I actually considered, for more than 5 minutes, making a third one.
I KNOW! Not only am I washing dishes which I detest, I actually considered knitting something I detest to go with it!

I don't get it either, best to stick to the scarf.