Thursday, March 29, 2007

My camera came a waltzin' back home

A camera! With which I can take pictures! (Oh, and yes, my husband came home, too. I've been a little distracted since then.) Please blame the quality (or lack thereof) on the evident ability I have to forget how to take a good picture in only a week.

I've been staring at this sleeve for over a week now and muttering "rip? no rip? rip? no rip?". After a few days of that, even the voices in your head think you've got a screw loose. Anyway, I just can't tell if it's a little snug around this giant knitting muscle I seem to have developed in my forearm.

More than that: does this spiraling-cable motif look nice? There are really two cables, each spiraling around (and spawning extra ribs to increase the sleeve size towards the elbow). I have a plan for the shoulders which should look good... but how is this? If it's bad, tell me now!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Fresh Stripe Socks

What? A finished object from Krista? That must mean I'm on some sort of break or something! Yes, here's what I have to show for two weeks of spring break.

Socks for the husband, Lorna's Laces Fresh Stripe Shepard Sock, size 3 needles. I had quite a bit left over from each skein, even with his size 11 men's feet. I'm pretty happy with how these turned out except for that weirdly baggy effect around the ankles, but he seems to like them :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The pretty colours of spring (tra la)

My camera walked away, so I can't show you the lovely teal/white wool fiber I dyed and am spinning up. Somehow my camera seems to have followed my husband to Switzerland and I haven't found the cords for any of the other cameras in the house.

But I'm thrilled with how these came out. Clockwise from top left: mohair boucle (purple with teal highlights), giant skien of (originally natural-white with brown tweedy flecks) teal, two little skiens of Cascade 220 (one largely green, one purple/black), merino/tencel sock yarn in red and ambery orange, giant skein of teal happiness, and crimson red silk. (I'm really looking forward to spinning up the silk, just to see what it's like!)

I hope you like them as well, Sandra D. :) I'm having trouble figuring out exactly why one needs to wear a mask when working with acid dyes, but Lucy suggested that people who inhale too much dye powder tend to acquire interesting neurological problems. I gave up robotics because of all the soldering already: I figure that sooner or later, I'm going to need my brain, so I'd better not screw it up!

What can I say: right now I have a thing for teal/ocean blue. I have some summery knit plans in those colours that I'm really excited about. Knit content is a bit delayed, though, because I skinned/bruised my hands belaying while rock climbing this weekend. I did spend part of my weekend doing other fun crafting things, though: pictures as soon as I find a camera.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Email problem

If anyone's been trying to email me in the last few weeks, the email address I've been leaving on blogs and had here wasn't working. (I tested it, so I'm not sure what happened or how to fix it. My geek cred is taking a hit here, I know.) If you'd like to find me, you can reach me at chialea punctuation-here gmail other-punctuation com. I'm very sorry about that!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Dye yarn, dye!

Lucy offers a class in dying. Never one to pass up a chance to mess up someone else's kitchen, I couldn't resist.

I'm also not one to pass up a chance to wear silly clothing. Nor am I one to pass up a chance to take pictures of other people wearing silly clothing.

I'm not quite as thrilled with the lightheadedness produced by wearing a mask for several hours. The words "neurological disorders" are enough to keep the mask firmly on, but I think the words icing colours" might be in my future instead of repeating this in my own kitchen. (Cornflower blue + teal might make a nice ocean blue...)

We squirted...

(Why yes, that yellow DOES make pee-coloured yarn. Someone checked. Does that blue liquid remind anyone else of diaper commercials?).

We soaked...

We played with intestines...

(I kid, of course. That's really a liver.)

Next post: the results!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Phroggy takes a step

Phroggy is torso-ized!

Excepting the small matter of bra straps, I think it would be cute as it is. I may take a bit out of the bust to adjust for the weight I lost, but I think it's coming out pretty nicely. If it's bad, tell me now so I can rip before I get very far on the sleeves. (The sleeves are a bit wild, so I'm going to need some stylistic help on those!)

Monday, March 12, 2007

The flowers that bloom in the spring

(tra la)

I always thought one of the first signs of spring is flowers. Apparently that's not the case in Boston. There's nary a bloom in sight, but the spandex is blooming all over the place. Hail the joggers, those rosy urban robins!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Kitty doesn't have enough fuzz

Kitty has been shedding rather abundantly, and I believe he misses all that fur. Why would I think such a silly thing? He's either trying to be a cat in sheep's clothing or a cat filled with sheep's clothing.

He's sitting on my entire fiber stash right there. Sandra D, I need some help to catch up to you! (Actually, what I really need is some help in spinning this stuff into actual yarn. Does anyone know of a good book?)

Then he decided to eat the coned yarn I was skiening... this one earned him a time out locked in my husband's office to stand on his keyboard for a while.

Not all my fibery pursuits have been taken over by kitty, though. Here's a close up of the (former) raglan yoke of Phrog.

Instead of decreasing on the raglan lines, I'm decreasing up the center of the chest. While I like the overall effect, the cable join in that picture is just not helping. (Nor is the fact that the kitting is all scrunched up, but that's easily fixed!) True to its name, Phrog has been partially frogged again. I'm happy to say that the Silky Wool is holding up well to the knit/frog cycle. There is some grass to pick out, but that's a reasonable exchange for the nice feel of the yarn. (I'm told that processing the yarn enough to get out that last bit of VM is what makes some yarn feel odd.) I'm also thrilled with the yardage; I am going to finish the entire body in three skiens or just over! At about $7/skien, this is going to be a wonderfully soft, cozy, wonderful sweater at an impressively low price.

Lystessa, I'm so thrilled you like Phrog, and I'd be happy to write you out a pattern for your measurements. Phrog is actually a reasonably simple pattern, especially if you don't need a bust dart or a lot of waist shaping. I'm actually happy to write out a copy of whatever I've knitted for people, if they want it, just in exchange for asking nicely. (Bribery never goes over badly, either.)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Tagalong spinnity

Something followed me home from knitting group last night. Let's all blame Lucy, ok?

I promise details later, but I spent over 11 hours at work yesterday before knitting group and need to run back over there now. I'm going to assume it's a good thing that work keeps on wanting me to come back, but it's cutting into my toy time!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Radioactictive phrog

Phrog is moving right along, though slowly. Who'd have thunk that knitting a ribbed and cabled sweater in sportweight yarn might take a while? (To be fair, I've been writing a pattern for my lovely step-grandmother on the side and made some more roving into utterly unusable yarn.) (To be perfectly honest, I was also procrastinating on the four different pieces of math I needed to do, not even accounting for some rejiggering I needed to do to account for the fact that I lost 10 pounds in the last few weeks.)

It's a little more obvious now that Phrog is another variation on the tailored cables theme. The cabling serves as a straight line that contrasts to the curves on a woman's body. There's nothing that makes something look as much itself as the presence of its opposite.

Now all I need to do is split and knit the rest of the body flat before "swatching" for the sleeves. In this case, read "swatching" as "start knitting the sleeve. rip it out and call a mulligan if it turns out wrong." Knitting is all about deniability, unless and until it felts. Then you're just screwed.