Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Disco tee in progress

Here's my disco tee, done up to the armpits. I had to knit the sleeves flat -- the very slippery yarn did hideous things when I tried to make little tubes on two circulars. That's okay, I'm planning to turn it into a feature by just NOT sewing them up, and letting each sleeve have a little slit on the outside. It should be cute.

That is, if you believe these pieces are going to become any kind of wearable garment at all. I'm a little dubious. The cat whose paws you can see? He was dubious too, but wanted to lie on the pieces anyway.

I need better equipment if I'm going to be taking a lot of closeups:

I got all the pieces joined last night; not sure when I'll actually keep going with the yoke, but at least now it's all on one needle.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Totally tubualar, man!

It's tube time, over here at the California extension campus of Woolly Mammoths. If you've left a comment and I haven't responded, it's because I'm frankly boggled at how to do so now that they took email addresses off the pages. I've asked nicely for them to find some way to put them back up, but I understand the Blogger team is quite busy. If anyone wants to reach me, try chialea-insertAThere-gmail-insertDOThere-com. It sounds like people would like a bit more about short rows, so just let me know what you're curious about and I'll do my best to help out.

Tube #1: sleeve rendered in coned aqua euroflax sportweight on #3 Stumpi Bluntos.

It's the simplest sleeve you can think of (though there will probably be a deep hem there on the bottom). It's easy to knit while reading The Omnivore's Dilemma (which I highly recommend, btw -- what is more important than what we eat and the ability to keep ourselves nourished now and into the future?). It's easy to knit at the movies. It's easy to knit in the car at night (and not driving). If it were easy to knit on my bike, then I'd have a winner. Luckily I have two more complicated knitting projects for when I want to pay attention. The less complicated of the two:

Tube #2: Sidewinder in Melody sock yarn.

It's a sock! It's a tube! It's for my sockapalooooza pal! I really hope she likes this lovely yarn and fun pattern. Judging from her blog, she's not a patterned sock kind of person. I wanted to make something comfortable (thus a good number of alterations in the pattern) and interesting in a colour she'd like. (Technically she asked for "purple or green", but I figure this falls into that category and didn't see any purple at the shop or in my stash.) I promise better pictures when it doesn't look like someone skinned a sock off of a foot.

Note: I'm just getting this uploaded after two days of being unable to upload pictures. What fixed it? Plugging in the ethernet instead of using the wireless. Grr.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Tempting emergency!

About two years ago - hmm, maybe 1.5 years ago - I knit the body for Tempting. Then I knit one sleeve, and then I knit the other sleeve, and then I ripped out the first sleeve due to - I don't remember why, actually.

Tonight, I finished reknitting that other sleeve, and pulled the body out of the bottom of my knitting bag where it has been languishing. And found this.This is not moth damage, mercifully. No, it's where someone didn't weave in her ends very well, and then left a project to get tossed around and pulled this way and that, and didn't take care at all.
It's, umm, about 1/4 of the way up from the cast-on edge of the body. It's beyond my repair skills at this time, but I could be convinced to give it a repair try with appropriate tutorials. Or I could be convinced to rip the body out and reknit. It seems a little loose right now anyway.

Suggestions? Sympathy? Help?

Friday, July 06, 2007

A red-letter day

Guess what? I found the cable that connects my camera to my computer! That means I can finally share my exciting news with you: I brought home a little friend.

OK, it's a bigger friend than my old wheel. I got a Majacraft Rose, essentially because I wanted something that goes fast. In this, I followed the advice of the queen of speed demons with the help of someone who knows a heck of a lot about spinning wheels. (I also managed to buy a kate and leave it there, so I think I might have to make another trip sometime soon.)

My first yarn on the Rose is some merino top that I'm going to ply with solid purple merino. I'm still having a bit of trouble getting it completely even and smooth, because I find merino (at least this preparation) sticky. Is everyone's merino sticky?

There has been knitting around here, too. It's the summer of knitting for others; this Sea Silk lace scarf is for my extremely stylish and talented step-grandmother. I hope she's going to like wearing it as much as I'm enjoying the yarn. I think I might need some Sea Silk for myself... Perhaps Sea Silk would make a nice mystery stole 3. (On the other hand, Lucy dyed me some laceweight that is currently in the mail...)

Garments confuse me

I've recklessly cast on for a pattern-free t-shirt made of ladder-style ribbon yarn. It's on #8 needles, not huge ones, but still definitely something to wear over a tank top. This is all IF I can find more of the stuff (I only bought one ball, the LYS is closed for vacation). But I'm enjoying the slippery cool not-remotely-like-wool feel of it. It's basically just for practice.

As I was looking for directions/ideas, I came across this nice striped raglan. It's cute, it's by a good knitter, but these directions for the yoke sort of amazed me:

2. First decrease round: knit 2, knit 2 together all the way around.

3. Knit for about 2.5 inches.

4. Second decrease round: Knit 1, knit 2 together all the way around.

5. Knit for about 2.5 inches.

6. Third decrease round: Knit 2, knit 2 together all the way around.

7. Knit for another inch or so and cast off in picot edging.

Those are some severe decrease rounds! Can anyone explain why it's a good idea to do these 75% decreases every 2.5 inches? Doesn't that cause some ruffling/rippling (yes; I think you can see it in the bottom picture on that page), and couldn't the same decrease be done way more smoothly? Also,why would one finish with an inch of straight knitting?

I also went to my second-most-local yarn store and saw this sweater in the window and kind of fell in love. Bought the book, bought a ball of the yarn. Noted the slightly rounder cable pattern in this other sweater and started thinking about substituting it in.

Worse problem: the pattern is only written for medium (and large), and it's pretty clearly because the designer really wants six (eight) of those cable repeats. So I guess I get to wing it on how to make a small. Four repeats with a couple of extra ribs on each side should work fine; but the designer didn't bother to do the math, and that's annoying. Dear designer, why do you hate me so?