It has been since I last bought yarn!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Final Stretch

If this were a race, the announcer would be excitedly telling you that I'm rounding the track, coming down the home stretch with only a few hurdles remaining. He could also tell you that I'm ahead of the race... but that's because I like to win!


That's me, starting the 8th panel on this surprisingly quick knit! It seems like I set myself, determined to make this, and loads of quick garter stitch later- I'm nearly done. I'd like to knit 10 panels and then do a (*gasp) crochet border to finish up the edges.

The hurdles the announcer is telling you about are the ends. UGH. Do I ever hate weaving in ends. BUT, I'm forgoing my dislike of such a miserable task because I care very much about Miss Melly and her very handsome Mr. Owen, and well, the "ends" justify the means in this case. (Someone arrest me for making a really bad pun... that kind of thing shouldn't be allowed!)

If the knit gods smile on me in just the right way this weekend, I should have this project off the needles and be able to switch my focus back to the other projects I've sort of ignored this summer. Remember Ellington, Goodale, Charade? HA... neither do I! I'd love to make September all about wiping the Works in Progress slate clean, so that when the cool chill of October hits- I can actually sink my teeth into some really satisfying fall projects, like mittens, hats and even a sweater!

And so I forge ahead, finishing up this blanket race in the hopes that I will be able to present to it Owen at his shower. I hope to hear you cheering for me in the stands!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Garter Stitch = Awesome

I remember a knitting event I attended a few years ago where someone referred to Elizabeth Zimmerman (patron saint of knitting) as hating purl stitch. Maybe she didn't HATE purling as much as she loved the knit stitch? Either way they used the fact that much of her work was done in the round or used garter stitch to back up their claim.

You know EZ was on to something I think- this garter stitch thing knits up fast! Endless rows of knitting, knitting, knitting actually go by very quickly!

I had originally planned not to discuss this project and leave it a surprise for my friend Mel*, but, uh... then this blog would be silent for the next month and you wouldn't get to hear how much I'm loving it.

Day 1 (Aug 11) it looked like this:


Last Saturday it looked like this (Aug 14):


And before you know it, this afternoon (Aug 21) it looks like this:


This project is all mitered squares, knit one after the other in blessed garter stitch. My original goal was to knit 2 squares a day, but these little square so fast I'm more than likely to eek out at least FOUR if not more. At this rate the blanket is moving a long at a steady pace and I might, MIGHT just be able to have this done for Miss Mel's baby shower on Sept 18. MIGHT. (I promise nothing.)

As you can see the blanket is quite cute and is going to be a stunner when it's done. The downside? The number of ends to weave in. OH this blanket has so many endless ends to weave in. BUT, even the ends can't seem to deter me from loving this little project (so far) and I've made a personal rule to weave in the ends after each row of squares so that I don't feel overwhelmed at the end of this project.

Garter stitch- I think I love you!!!

*(Hey Melly, I know you said no blankets but I really wanted to make you one- I've made one for all my close friends and I wanted you to have one from me too. Please forgive? I figured you were trying to save me some blanket agony after watching me knit so many- but I wanted to make one for you!)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What's This Summer You're All Talking About?

Here’s a secret confession I’m only going to admit to you, my closest of knitting friends.

I kind of miss fall.

I say this for a few reasons:

1) The weather has been so spectacularly dour this summer that we can’t call it “summer”. Calling this weather “summer” is an insult to summer weather everywhere. I am now accepting suggestions for a name for this crappy season we experience between May and September, formerly known as "summer" that expresses how it feels to know it will rain every day and the lack warm sun in the sky. (Is this our “Vancouver season”?)

2) There seems to be a lot of plans this “summer” that involve my being away from my knitting, which has, as you’ve probably noticed, slowed the parade of finished objects being displayed here, not to mention blog posting frequency. The mere fact that I have so many things that I want to be knitting but cannot seem to be getting at is making me twitchy. If the weather was cold and “icky” (more so than now), we’d be staying in a lot more and I’d be knitting and finishing stuff.

This is not to say that there hasn’t been progress... or procurement, it’s just been less than I wanted.

Firstly- the Toe Up experiment is complete.


Pattern: Wendy’s Short Row Toe & Heel Basic Socks
Yarn: S.R. Kertzer On Your Toes Bamboo in 184 (pink, yellow, white)
Needles: US 1
Thoughts: Toe up was considerably less hard than I had believed it to be. Will it be the primary way I knit socks? Probably not. But I’m not NOT going to knit a sock now because it’s constructed toe up. I will tackle it with good faith and crossed fingers.

Perhaps it’s because it’s my novice try, but I am not happy with the short-row heel turn and connection to the rest of the sock. **warning, this photo contains imperfect knitting and sensitive knitters may want to look away**


Ugh. That’s all I have to say about that.

Other than that I’ve got some other socks that haven’t seen much progress and the Goodale cardigan that looks about the same since the last time you saw it so no sense in re-posting photos.

Sadly these are still not very likely to see much progress as there’s now a pressing project on the horizon. Miss Melly had a baby. (And WHAT a baby… that little guy made his appearance in the 10 pound category!) I’ve got plans for Miss Melly- but since she reads this blog- updates on that particular project are going to be scarce or rather cryptic looking. (Although my excitement for this project is quite high- so who knows… I may just throw caution to the wind, do the big reveal and then make Miss Melly monitor my completion.)

Here’s the teaser.


Peaked your interest didn’t I?

I can’t say anymore- but I will tell you that I’m stopping this post now to cast on. Can’t wait!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Old Dog... New Tricks

I have been knitting for almost as long as I've known my husband. (10 years!) Of that time, I have been a "serious" knitter for about 6 of those years... looking to make new things and challenge myself. When I first began knitting I set one objective for myself: with every project, I had to learn something new. Be it an ssk, a k2tog or some other technique that pushes us past our comfort zone, I wanted to learn something new.

It's been harder to grab on to a new technique after you've been knitting for quite awhile, either because you have projects you like to return to (socks), or projects that you must knit (baby blankets). But every now and again I still find myself pondering over a new technique.

This summer I challeged the MiL with something neither of us had done before... toe up socks. Are you shocked? I have NEVER knitted a sock from the toe up prior to 2 Friday ago! I don't know how much success I would have had, had it not been for Cat Bordhi's videos.

We chose the famous Wendy D Johnson's toe up instructions and away we went.

First hurdle? Judy's Magic Cast On. (video link) This video is worth watching for Cat Bordhi's instruction, whether you ever intend to knit toe up socks or not. Cat's description on what to do is HILARIOUS (4:14 and beyond)... and you're certain not to forget what she's trying to show you.


That Judy. She knows WHAT the heck she's doing. And, yes, it is kind of like magic.

Next up... Wendy told me to knit the toe. So, a couple of make 1's later, my toe looked like this:


Why yes... it DOES look like a sock toe! Thanks for noticing.


The foot part was easy, it's just knitting round and round and round and round, until, as Wendy reminded me, I was 2.5 inches short of my heel.

Then I had to turn back to Cat's sage and hilarious videos once again to figure out the instructions for the short row heel wraps. (As usual, Cat cracks me up!)


It's not perfect... but I am still quite please that it looks like a heel! With the short row heel out of the way, it was more of knitting round and round and round and round... until it came time to bind off my 10 rows of ribbing.

Sometimes when you bind off in ribbing, you can lose the elasticity of the ribbing by binding off too tightly. NO MORE, with Jeny's Surpsingly Stretchy Bind Off, it's well, surprisingly stretchy. You can watch more Cat Bordhi here, and she'll show it to you in lovely video detail!


Yup. It looks like a sock!! (Yardage is light on this yarn... so these will be shorter socks.)

I had so much fun knitting this sock and learning new techniques I even immediately cast on for sock #2. Suck it second sock syndrome!


Learning toe up has opened a huge door of sock options I'd previously gazed lovingly at, but dismissed as not for me, given their construction. But I fear the toe up NO MORE and as a result, you're probably going to be seeing even more socks around here in the next while.

PS- What would I have EVER done without the internet and knitting videos? Let's not think about it, shall we?