Saturday, July 25, 2009

All thumbs


Bird in Hand mittens by Kate Gilbert
Yarn: O-Wool Classic in 'plum' and 'saffron'
Needles: 2.75mm

Much like the movie Titanic these mittens have serious continuity issues. I think the problem lies in my almost complete inability to choose both the yarn and pattern for a project at the same time. The saffron-coloured O-wool I used for the mittens was purchased to knit a Gretel beret. I had so much leftover after knitting the hat, I decided to pick up a contrasting colour and try my hand (ha!) at some some mittens. Almost a full year later, I cast on. Six months after that, I cast off.

The mittens turned out surprisingly large. I knit the second size up, which meant knitting 'worsted weight' with drastically smaller needles than recommended. Talk about some uptight knitting! No wonder I abandoned the project for so long. Why would I want to work on these tight-ass mittens that were going to be too big to wear anyway? Combine that with trying to teach myself two-hand fair isle? Sheesh!

I figured the only way I would finish these was to stop torturing myself and just knit my regular (right hand all the time) style. It drastically improved my tension both knitterly and psychologically . You can really see on inside of the second mitten where I switched knitting styles just before the thumb!

I conquered one issue sure enough, but why were my mittens so big? I was beginning to think that the pattern just ran on the large side when I made a startling discovery.

O-Wool classic is not worsted weight yarn.

Palm of hand slapped firmly to forehead. I have no clue what led me to believe this yarn was worsted weight. The label clearly states the gauge as 16-18 sts to 10cm on a 5 to 5.5mm needle. I knit this stuff on 2.75mm's! It's amazing I've retained the ability to move my fingers!

SO... apart from the size issue, sloppy first-time stranding, the flower I forgot to knit in the palm chart of the right mitten, the wrong thumb chart I used on the left mitten, and forgetting to embroider the bird details all-together? Totally perfect mittens.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Attack of the UFOs

Oh dear. I'm in a dilly of a pickle. While innocently searching for a set of wayward needles, I came to the startling discovery that I'm drowning in unfinished objects. How does this happen?

So what's the cure for the UB (unfinished business ) flu? Vitamin F (finishing)!

Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! These UFOs have got to go!


Project: Wavy scarf
Progress: 30%
Excuse: Need one more ball of yarn to finish.
Plan: Froggeroo! Manos is a little itchy for a scarf anyway.
I'll salvage the yarn for future felting projects.

Project: Snowdrop Jacket (fixes)
Progress: 98%
Excuse: Pschologically "over" working on this piece,
despite the fact it is virtually un-wearable until I re-attach the pockets
Plan: Suck it up, sew it up!

Project: Phildar "Poncho Sweater"
(more of a batwing actually)
Progress: 25%
Excuse: Horrendously boring to knit
Plan: Knit up a swatch on the Bond and
see if it's a possible machine project.

Project: Springtime in Paris Cardigan
Progress: 25%
Excuse: Put aside so long ago I can no longer recall why it was put aside.
Sub-Excuse: Not sure if I was knitting brioche properly
Sub-Sub-Excuse: Have come to realize out the yarn is far too heavy for this pattern.
Plan: Rip it out!

Project: The Original Jenny cloche
Progress: 0%
Excuse: Though it looks perfectly finished, this is actually a rip-apart and re-knit situation. This was the prototype of my Jenny Cloche pattern and now that I've made improvements to the design I want to fix the old one for Jenny. My excuse? It's already knit!
Plan: Rip it, skein it, soak it, dry it, wind it, knit it (again)

Project: My very first socks
Progress: 60%
Excuse: When your first sock looks as hilarious as this one,
it's hard to find the motivation to knit the second.
Plan: a) Re-knit wonky looking toe to try to create some semblance of a normal looking sock. If plan 'a' proves successful, knit second sock. If plan 'a' fails, move on to plan 'b'.
Plan: b) Find someone who likes Regia self-pattering sock yarn

Progress: 75%
Excuse: abandoned after first mitten proved to be larger than intended
Sub-Excuse: Find stranded-knitting holding one colour in each hand too awkward
Plan: Switch to right hand all-the-time knitting and get 'er done!

***Gallery does not include unfinished sewing, beading or other various crafty projects.***

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Takin' care of BIZ-ness...

Takin' care of BIZ-ness...

Takin' care of BIZ-ness...

Takin' care of BIZ-ness ...

...and workin' overtime - WORKOUT!

I don't know how hard BTO is workin' these days, but I myself, have definitely been working overtime. This leaves little time for knitting, and even less for blogging about it. Somehow, I managed to squeeze out this little BSJ.

PATTERN: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann (duh!)
YARN: Mission Falls 136 Merino (just over one skein per colour - ink #22 & natural #1)
NEEDLES: 4mm addi turbos (60cm/24")
NOTES/MODS: The new BSJ wiki on Ravelry was invaluable for helping me through this. I used one of the spreadsheets there to help me keep track of my rows. No real mods, though I had to fenangle a few rows to make sure my two-row stripes were consistent.

Let me just say - I love it! I've never really been a fan of the BSJ. It always looked so 70's to me. Not 70's in a good, Fleetwood Mac/boho/gypsy... kind of way, more like a god's eye/granny-square-vest/macrame sort of way. Know what I mean?

I think colour choice can drastically change the look this little sweater, and I couldn't be more smitten with navy and white stripes! There's something about two-row garter stitch stripes that just makes me happy.

What doesn't make me happy? The one tiny flaw in my knitting:

I suppose it's not so much a flaw, as an inconsistency. There's a section in the pattern where you need to pick up stitches around an edge. In order to keep my stripes in, well, order, I had to pick up stitches from the wrong side of the work on one end, and from the right side on the other. This means they don't match - grr! I'm sure there's a way to pick up the stitches so that they would match, but it doesn't bother me enough to rip back and fix it. I'm picky, not crazy!

And hey - if you're reading this and suspect you will be the recipient of this little sweater, just keep it to yourself and act surprised when I give it to you, okay?

Thursday, July 09, 2009

FO! Coming to a blog near you...

Okay, you totally know what my surprise is now, right?

I'm beginning to think Elizabeth Zimmermann and Frank Gehry have a lot in common.