29 June 2006


I'm dreaming.. but not in the literal sense like I probably should be, considering what time it is here. However, I'll get there.

Right now, I've been dreaming about what I want on my "future projects" list; I finally bought some yarn (online for the first time!), so I'll be waiting on that.

Lest you become confused, no, I'm not finished with Lucy Lu yet. But I'm finished with both front pieces (pictures forthcoming), the back, and about halfway through the first sleeve. So I'm not SO far away. Even with the moving.

However, I wrote this post to show you what I'm dreaming about. First of all, what I'm getting ready to knit, which is:

The Calliope Sleeveless Shell from KnitPicks

I'll be knitting this one in Shine Sport Orchid.

I also purchased yarn for three pairs of socks; specifically, the yarn was:

Parade Gumballs

Simple Stripes Snapdragon

and Simple Stripes Sweet Tarts

You would think this would be plenty. However, you can't stop me dreaming, so I've been looking at pretty yarns and cool patterns (which don't always coincide). In case you're interested, some of what I was looking at:

Zodiac Top with Cable Straps I love this style, and I love cabling.. and the yarn is even reasonable affordable!

Karabella Aurora 8 - Merino wool, affordable, machine washable, and gorgeous colors.. is there anything not to like?

You'll notice that I'm buying at KnitPicks and I talk a lot about "affordable". I'd love to become a full-fledged yarn snob and get all really nice yarn, but I'm moving and trying to get a job and I just don't have a lot of money. So, I have to content myself with "affordable" if I want to keep knitting instead of having to slow down. I'd rather dream and make more projects, so I'm trying to find that balance (Red Heart is "affordable" but really quite scratchy.. not within the balance).

Anyway, now it's time for me to start literally dreaming. Hope you enjoyed my thoughts about future projects!

26 June 2006


Why have I not posted in several days? Well, I haven't stopped knitting completely (how could I? sometimes I think it's the only thing that keeps me sane..) but..! but..! (Sorry.. I just had this picture of typing "but..!" and how much fun it would be. Back to the blog.) But, I'm in the middle of moving. All my stuff. Two states away. Oh yeah, and basically I'm moving alone; I'm borrowing a minivan from a local relative, and getting some lifting help from some guy friends to get stuff out to the van and in, but I have done (am doing) all the packing myself. Here's an idea of how crazy my room feels:
Stuff. Everywhere. And this is after I cleared a path! However, I am working very hard to assure that my knitting is safely together and in a place where I can access it easily. I have my priorities, after all.

So, if my posting is erratic over the next few days, I apologize. And I may have to post without pictures, since I'm about to make the first drive and I'm leaving my computer here while I do that.

IF I get a chance, I will post pictures of the front left of Lucy Lu (finished) and the front right of Lucy Lu (only about 5 or 6 inches done). If not, I'm sure I'll be showing you both finished front pieces when I get back, and perhaps a sleeve-in-progress! (Oh, the excitement. ;-) ) Posted by Picasa

22 June 2006

How Not to Finish

It may seem a bit odd to begin a post about how *not* to finish with a finished back of a cardigan (Lucy Lu, for those of you keeping track). However, I'm not talking about "finishing" in the sense of completing a piece--I'm talking about finishing in the traditional knitting sense, where the completed pieces are connected to one another and the finishing touches (extra stitches for the neck, crochet edging, etc.) are put on.

I seem to have an issue with this. In the last month, I have completed all the pieces for two different projects: a sleeveless cable tank ('tara's tank' from The Yarn Girls' Guide to Beyond the Basics) and a short sleeve, striped shirt ('the case of the mysterious tee' from The Yarn Girls' Guide to Beyond the Basics). However, neither of them have actually been FINISHED. Tara's tank is sewn together, but I just can't seem to get myself to do the crochet around the sleeves and be done. And the Mysterious Tee is mysteriously still lying in pieces on my floor, even though I actually really want to wear it!

So what's up with this? This is not the first time I've had this problem; the best way I can explain it is that instead of a "normal" attitude of feeling a sense of completion when I cross the finish line, I feel a sense of completion when I get within sight of the finish line. It's as if I say, "Okay, I know I can make it now." But I don't actually make it!

I really need to find some way to deal with this, because it is driving me crazy in pretty much every corner of my life. For example, the job search: I have a nice resume, I know where I want to submit it... so why don't I just apply?

Does anyone else have this problem, with knitting or otherwise? Or is that just me? Oh well. In the spirit of the post, here's a picture of the partially finished left front of Lucy:

19 June 2006

Lucy with Strange Decreases

Lucy Lu is coming along nicely, as you can see:
Just a few more inches until I bind off the back, and start work on the two fronts. By the way, I'm not sure if I linked to the pattern yesterday..

Speaking of, there are a few things in the pattern that are keeping me on my toes. For one thing, I had never done drop stitch before, so that was fun. (So easy, too!) But the weird thing, to me, is the way I was doing the decreases for the armholes. There was the normal binding off of stitches at the beginning, but then I had to actually use a cable needle when I was decreasing one stitch at each end! The instructions are here:
Dec Row 1 (RS): K2, sl 2 sts to cn and hold in BACK, k1, k2tog from cn, k to
last 5 sts, sl 1 st to cn and hold in FRONT, ssk, k1 from cn, k2.
Basically, it seems that I was doing it so that one stitch was crossing in front of the two stitches that were being knit together. Was this just to make it "fancier"? Was that to make it pull in a little more? Or was it to cover some perceived blemish that occurs (and that I have never noticed myself) when two stitches are knit together? I'm mystified, but I obediently followed the pattern. Now I'm going to have to examine other knitted things to see how different it looks.. and whether they do this in the stuff you buy off the rack (because I think that I *have* seen that kind of stitch on at least one shirt that I can think of..)

Yes, I think of strange things while I'm knitting, I know. Posted by Picasa

18 June 2006

Promised Pictures

... with commentary, because I simply couldn't resist.

First of all, I'm posting some pictures of my "off-the-needles" (as in, not sewn together, but the pieces are all there) t-shirt; the pattern is from The Yarn Girls' Guide to Beyond the Basics (a really, really great book, IMO). The first is of the front; it will be a square neck, with mitered ribbing around the neck, if you can imagine that..

Then, we have the sleeves (the back is knit, but the picture just didn't come out well, so I skipped it..)

Finally, the picture I know you've all been waiting for.. the current progress on "Lucy" (who is looking gorgeous, if I do say so myself ;-) ):

One of Those Crazy Knitters

One of the things I learned in Italy is that the Italians shudder to think of the way we throw any bottle/can of sauce onto any pasta, without regard for what type of pasta it is and what kind of sauce it should have. There are apparently strong rules about this that all Italians learn growing up (and that I never quite cottoned on to) , and if you have a pasta and the wrong kind of sauce, you make or buy another. Some pastas call for heavy, meaty sauces; some call for a wine-based sauce; and some call for a very light sauce with a base of olive oil.

I always quietly scoffed at "those crazy Italians" and their pickiness. Surely it all tasted the same, and (to use the excuse my parents gave to my brother when he didn't want to eat something that had mixed on his plate) it would all end up together in your stomach anyway. So why bother?

Well, I'm one of "those crazy knitters," as it turns out. That is, I was given six skeins of gorgeous Zen Colors yarn in Hako Mix (color 8167). (THANKS MOM!!!) This is yarn that I love to death, but I am usually limited to Michael's yarn (*gasp*) or at best, some of the cheapest yarn on sale at the LYS. Not this gorgeous ribbon yarn! And I instantly knew that I could not just knit anything with this yarn, even if I could get the gauge right. It has to be that perfect pattern.

Turns out, there's a pattern that's perfect in more ways than one--not only is it a cardigan that ties shut (the shape I wanted) and stylish to boot (why are there so many horrible patterns out there?), but it also is meant to be knitted with MY YARN! That's right, Lucy Lu was definitely the pattern meant for this yarn (and me).

As soon as I had my most recent project off the needles (pictures of that forthcoming), I ran to the other room to grab my yarn and knit a gauge swatch. I'm a crazy knitter in more ways than one; part of me *really* likes knitting the gauge swatch. There's something wonderful about getting to start to see what the whole thing may look like, while still having the more nearly instant gratification of starting to knit immediately, rather than the endless casting on that occurs when you *actually* start.

Of course, in this case, the gauge swatch turned out not to work very well.. it looked like I was right on, and then I had to go down needle sizes TWICE after casting on the entire 62 stitches and knitting for several inches each time, to actually get the gauge. Even that, however, cannot take away my love for this yarn, and pattern.

Tonight, much picture taking will occur, including however many inches I end up with by then of Lucy!

17 June 2006

The Story of the Blog

I've wanted to start a knitting blog for quite a while--mainly because I love to shout my progress to anyone willing to listen, and there aren't very many of those people around me at the moment, if you know what I mean. That is, people who know how to spell "purl" and who have an inkling what Stockinette stitch is. Because the other kind are just not as much fun to brag to.

I knew if I wanted to start a knitting blog, though, I would need a unique and yet memorable name. Uniqueness is a particular challenge these days, considering how many knitters there are who share my desire to shout to the heavens (or generally out into the net) about their progress. I read a few of them, so I know how contagious it is.

So there I was, knitting away, actually not thinking about a knitting blog at that moment, when I looked at a pencil sitting on my desk. And then looked at it again, in a new way. You know, pencils are even more prepared to be knitting needles than are chopsticks. A little clear (or colored) nail polish over the tips, and you've got some incredibly cheap hexagonal knitting needles. (Don't they charge extra for square knitting needles?) And besides, the ookiness factor of someone creating fabric from yarn with two PENCILS is not to be underestimated. And you think you get a lot of mystified stares knitting with needles!

Basically, I'm very distractible all the time. I have these lovely ideas... I haven't actually knitted with pencils (yet) but I have great plans to do so. Soon. As in, once I get done moving (there's a story there about not letting your stash get more than 100 feet from you... 180 miles is definitely too far!), and finish the next few projects. More on what's on my needles and what's coming out of the stash imminently in the next post.

By the way, if anyone out there has knitted with pencils, let me know? I'd love to hear how hexagonal needles work!

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