It has been since I last bought yarn!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Do You Have A Favorite?

After the massive argument I had with knitting last week, you'd think I'd break up with my beloved hobby, but you'd be wrong. Thankfully, shortly after my post the issues began resolving.

Firstly, Webs yarn store was VERY gracious and helpful and wanted to rectify my issue very quickly.. Even though I was past their 60 day return policy they took my yarn back and offered to pay my shipping out to them. That? Is good customer service and I am very greatful that they admitted that it was their error and they wanted to fix it. So everybody- shop at WEBS... okay? (Also shop at the Loopy Ewe they are the gold standard in customer service....)

I also finished the baby sweater I've had sitting around here for the last month.


Pattern: Baby Poonam by Norah Gaughn
Yarn: Knit Picks Comfy Sport in "ivory" (left over from Baby Beef blanket)
Needles: US 4 (ribbing) and US 6 (body & sleeves)
Notes: This turned out really cute, and I very much liked the idea of the buttons at one side of the neck, making the neck opening bigger. (Very practical) However, this pattern was not great to work with. There's a discrepancy in the measurements on the schematic and the pattern itself. (I followed the schematic.) I knit to gauge and things didn't line up properly. This pattern would be very challenging for a beginner or someone not familiar with basic sweater construction. Cute results, but kind of a pain to knit!

Other than that- it's mostly works in progress (wips) around here.

The current baby blanket that feels like it's never going to end is on panel 7 and I think I will knit one more before I consider it close to finished and ready to block.


Since there isn't much more exciting to say about the current blanket- I thought I'd discuss a couple of past blankets and get your input on them. I have three blankets on Ravelry that inter-change as being my most popular project with other knitters.



So, I thought I'd ask- What's your favorite?

*sigh* back to knitting the current blanket. Who knows- maybe this is going to be the new favorite project?! (If I ever finish it!)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's 1:49 AM

It's 1:49 in the am and I can't sleep. WHY? Knitting and I had a big, BIG fight tonight and I'm totally mad at it. (There are no pictures to post because my hands are shaking too much in sheer rage.)

Honestly how can a craft I love so much be so BLOODY infuriating!!??

It began simply enough. I knit the remaining 12 rows on my blanket and met my "1 panel a week" deadline. Thrilled that it was only Saturday and that I had a day and a half of "fun knitting" ahead of me I began some other projects.

First I knit the first clue in the Mystery April Dishcloth. That went fine... and fast. What will it be? I don't know. But it will be green.

I finished up the dishcloth and decided to work on the leg of my Ellington sock. Despite the complexity of this pattern- I am L O V I N G it. And readers, this is going to be simply SMASHING when it's done. The yarn suits the pattern beautifully and GAH... there isn't enough good things to say....

... which is why I'll stop saying them. After devoting an approximate 4 hours of dedicated and concentrated knitting the little nagging voice in the back of my head got louder and louder.... "It's too small, you need to go about a size." Instead of listening to this voice, I proceeded to knit further and further down the leg. Then, 15 stitches from being done (this is a LOOOONG leg 90+ rows), the nagging voice wins out. I finagle the needles over my heel and pull the sock leg up and I am BARELY able to get it on. *Sigh* The ribbing was stretched so tight I bet my blood could hardly circulate. The pattern was stretched so thin it went from "HOT DAMN that is amazing" to "HOT DAMN YOU HAVE FAT CALVES". (For what it's worth, and because my mother reads this blog and worries about these types of comments, no, I don't think I have fat calves. The sock made it look like I had fat calves.)

This I could handle. Yes it's disappointing to get so far along on a sock and realize that you're in trouble. I've ripped back much further. So, without a slight sigh of anguish I ripped the thing out and started again. I both went up to the medium size and went a .25 needle up. I knit about 8 rows of the ribbing and the nagging came back, "now it's too big". (Please picture the nagging voice to sound like the really crazy side of Gollum.) I ignored it. And when the cuff was finished I felt like the once delicate pattern was going to look sloppy. I was also worried about having enough yarn. So I ripped it out again.

At this point I knew it was time to give Ellington a time out. Sometimes when I'm mad at a project- I put it in a corner and let it think about what it's done. Usually after a day or two we get back together and move along at a happy pace. I've decided to go back to the needles I was using before and count on the fact that I've added 8 more stitches. I think the 8 more stitches outta make a big difference.

With Ellington in timeout and feeling a little dejected by my knitting, I pulled out some yarn that's been calling to me in my stash and decided to swatch it for the glorious Fireside Sweater. A fun swatch to knit on big needles that will hopefully be a little less finicky than my other current projects.

I knit the gauge swatch and was mildly disappointed to discover that I'm about .5 stitches over gauge. Now, I know I tend to knit tightly, but I usually can knit to gauge... (and yes I swatched for those socks up above... I don't know what happened there except to tell you that swatches are BIG FAT LIARS!)

I couldn't figure out why I wasn't getting gauge. As I always do now, in the face of a new project- I went to Ravelry to read the pattern notes other Ravelers have made. (One of the 90 zillion BRILLIANT features on Ravelry.) I read the notes along and noticed that two people, who are used the same yarn I was planning to use noted that WEBS, the yarn store where I also ordered the yarn from, sent them the "Bulky" version of the yarn instead of the heavy worsted version and were getting curiosly the same gauge as me. (Berkshire not Berkshire Bulky- I'll admit the naming is easy to screw up.)

I had a sick feeling in my stomach when I read that. I'm not a huge fan of big bulky knits. I far prefer the smaller, fine stitches in a project. This project already has the makings of being reasonable bulky, without the addition of super bulky yarn. Sure enough I read the label and the sick feeling washed over me- I had Berkshire BULKY... not the regular Berkshire.


At this point I just wanted to give up knitting, light my entire stash on fire (yes even the Wollmeise) {My MIL just gasped at that} and run screaming down the street in agony. Deciding that it would be expensive for my husband to bail me out of the looney bin, trying to explain to the cops "her knitting gets her a little worked up sometimes", I Instead just said a bunch of words that I'm pretty sure my mother would faint upon hearing and sat and seethed about being such an idiot for ordering the wrong yarn.

The thing is, I'm usually pretty meticulous about my yarn orders- wanting to avoid this very feeling. So while I sat seething and telling myself that I shouldn't be allowed to buy anything without supervision again, another little voice creeped into my head, "what if this wasn't your fault?" Hmmmm... interesting.

So I logged into my account and found the online receipts of purchase and it turns out that I didn't order the Bulky... but the regular Berkshire. I'm not the big idiot I thought I am. The thing is- I bought that yarn waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in November and have just noticed today, that I was sent the wrong item.

Now before we send a bunch of hate mail to Webs I feel it's only fair to defend them. I have only had very positive experiences in the past with Webs. Their staff is friendly and helpful and they made a mistake. Mistakes happen. I make mistakes too. Thankfully, nobody died, there are just some nervous looking skeins of Wollmeise in my stash. I plan to call Webs on Monday and explain the situation. It is my fault for not confirming my order when I received it. To be fair, upon a glance you would think that my order was correct. The very slight difference in this yarn name is why I didn't notice and why there was probably an error in the first place.

I'm going to find out if there's away to send back 9 out of the 10 skeins. (I knit the swatch, cut and washed it from one skein, so I know I can't return it.) I might just ask for a credit as I find their shipping rates to Canada a little ridiculous. Then, next trip down to the US, I'll order again- hopefully with better results. This is not a big hate on Webs.... we'll chat on Monday and see if we can come to some mutally agreeable solution. Please send me good vibes when I chat with the staff on Monday that they're agreeable about sending it back. (My idea is that I send it back... at my cost- get a credit for the 9 skeins and the next order I place they send to me- and not charge me shipping. I think that's fair?)

In the mean time- I can't sleep because I feel like an epic knitting failure and that everything I touch turns into crap. I have my knitting class tomorrow and I only hope that my bad knitting juju from today will be replaced with "ALL POWERFUL MOJO" tomorrow and that I don't turn into a lunatic, mistake their stock yarn for my stash and light the whole thing up.

I'm going to try to sleep now. I'll probably have dreams that I'm knitting Ellington out of Berkshire Bulky....

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cheap Thrills

Thanks to another thrilling Masters tournament, (yay Phil!) I can once again bring you a thrilling blog post with ACTUAL FINISHED ITEMS! (Be still our hearts!) Aren’t you, well… thrilled?

First off the needles on Friday, I finished clue 6 of the Mystery Knit Along (KAL) hosted by Kris Knits. I noticed the always inspiring mags had signed up to do this and decided “what the heck! I have cotton, I have the needles, I can handle this.” And so- I finished the March dishcloth to discover it was a bunny and easter eggs in a basket.


Pattern: March KAL by Kris Knits
Yarn: Lily Sugar and Cream in "Cornflower Blue"
Needles: US 3
Notes: It’s oddly thrilling to not know what you’re knitting and just TRUST the pattern and the designer. (Plus it’s also thrilling to know you’re using up stash yarn that’s been sitting around the house collecting dust.)

With the dishcloth off the needles I knew that I wanted to get something else off the needles, namely my Maelstrom socks that have been in my purse and slowly seeing progress since January. (I’m pretty sure my regular lunch time knitting crew were preparing to abandon me due to being SICK to death of looking at the socks.)


Pattern: Maelstrom by Cookie A (I've been on a Cookie A kick lately… the last few socks I’ve made; Monkey, Marlene have all been Cookie A incarnations and the newest purse sock is also a Cookie A.)
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock Multi in “Autumn Wine” (Color made special for the M1 Fall retreat in 2008)
Needles: US 1.5
Notes: This is a lovely pattern that is actually deceptively simple to knit. (Seems to be the way of Cookie A… looks challenging but it really a simple pattern easy to memorize.) It looks stunning in plain yarns, but also can be worked in variegated. I’m less and less in love with verigated yarns these days as my eye far prefers the even nature of lightly variegated or straight colors. But, the pooling isn’t too awful in this yarn, so I’ll let myself enjoy these.


(Color most accurate in this photo)

With that purse sock finished- I cast on a new Cookie A pattern: Ellington. I don’t have photos of my progress yet, but this is proving to be considerably more challenging than Cookie’s of the past. I'm hoping that a finish to the current baby blanket is coming swiftly, so that I'm able to take a wee break and actually knit these up in between. I'm thinking they have the potential to contend as entry #2 at the Stampede.

The thrills didn't stop at the socks- oh no! I finished all the pieces of the Baby Poonam sweater I'm working on. (Ugh, the less said about the actualy pattern the better... it's not very well written at all.)


I knit this so that I can have a sweater, WITH shoulder seams, to take to my finishing class on Sunday. (Whoops, that's coming up this week, not last Sunday! Thanks to eagle eye Mary for catching that one!) The yarn actually worked out great with the sweater and I have enough that I might even attempt a cute little matching cable hat.

And it doesn't just stop there! I also kept on track and finished panel #5 of my baby blanket of the MOST TINY YARN EVER. (Okay... not really the tiniest yarn ever, but I have days when my brain is just like "WHY ARE YOU KNITTING SUCH A FINE GAUGE YARN?? YOU WILL NEVER FINISH THIS- EVER!!!)


Truth be told, despite my doubts, and okay, BOREDOM, this project is actually moving along at a decent pace. I have decided to knit more than the 6 panel repeats, as I want the blanket to be a longer size- but I can't commit to how many more repeats, that will all depend on the yarn I have remaining. I'm still on pace of knitting one panel a week. I'm anxious to put this blanket out to pasture and knit with a yarn that isn't teeny tiny.

So yes? Pretty thrilling weekend? I was able to cram a lot of progress into my weekend, and with any luck we'll continue on the streak of finished knits next week. Stay tuned....

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday... For Knitting

There are so many things to tell you about here at La Maison du Nennie, that I'm not even sure really where to begin. I think it's maybe best to celebrate the season by showing you what captured my imagination this week and became a week long obsession.

Bunny Nuggets!!


Pattern: Bunny Nuggets by Rebecca Danger (free pattern link!)
Yarn: Various scraps of DK and worsted that I had lying around
Needles: US 4
Notes: OH MY GOD CUTE!! I had them in my office this week and every person who came in couldn't help by squeal over the cute. Even the men. This pattern is really easy and fast to knit up- and they don't have to be perfect. In fact the less perfect you make them, the more adorable the results!!

Not convinced that I have made something adorable? This will put you over the edge...


I told you!! CUTE!

The blanket is chugging along at it's regular pace, and I'm hoping by Sunday that I will have the 4th panel done. I'm still surprised at how quickly the teeny tiny yarn is knitting up, but I suppose that's a good thing so I won't complain. I'm already thinking ahead to the next blanket I need to work on for a baby due in June. It's for a boy and requires sail boats. Any suggestions??

Also on the needles and getting some attention this week... a cute baby sweater knit up in some leftover yarn from the Baby Beef blanket.


MiL and I are taking a finishing your knits class next week and I want to learn to set in sleeves. I decided to forgo knitting an adult sweater (there's not enough time!) and knit a baby sweater. I can't decide what else I want to learn- although I'm wondering if I can skip the blocking part on this sweater?

Rounding out my exciting week- guess what I got in the mail yesterday?


WOLLMEISE!! (SQUEE!!!) Yes, the most impossible yarn to get two fingers on! I had twitter open 2 weeks ago at work and noticed a note about wollmeise being available at the Loopy Ewe. (For those not in the know, that stuff can sell out in as fast as 2 minutes. It is impossible to buy without resorting to stalking!)

I know I said I wouldn't be buying more yarn but I did make an exception for Wollmeise. (See the exception at the bottom of this post.) Why are knitters going crazy for this yarn?? I can't speak for the community as a whole, but I can tell you why I love this stuff. 1) Color saturation. Claudia, (the woman responsible for Wollmeise) is able to get the most amazing colors on her yarn. The pictures don't do it justice. They're just vibrant, and multi-dimensional and gorgeous. She excels in jewel tones and I can't help myself... I just want more! 2) Her base yarn. I appreciate that she isn't specifically responsible for this- she buys base yarn from a supplier and colors it. Her source for base yarns is lovely. The yarn knits up beautifully, it's smooth and soft and knitting the wollmeise is almost as fun as looking at it. Now to find some "wollmeise worthy" projects. (You can't just knit any old project with the wollmeise, I want to make something special with such special yarn!)

Speaking of finding "wollmeise worthy projects", pretty sure I can find something in the new issue of Twist Collective. Stop whatever you're doing and go flip through the new issue. I have never seen an issue where I have wanted to knit so many different projects. EVERYTHING on there is lovely and gorgeous and I WANT TO MAKE IT ALL NOW! (Particularly loving Celandine, Anney (mom get better at knitting fast, you have to make this), Sally Rand, Kadril, Goose Rocks (this has my sister's name all over it), Timpani (OMG love!), and Amaranth (MiL you must make these! I decree it!)

I'm planning on spending th entire weekend making progress on the needles. I'm ready to cast on new projects, but need to clear out the old first!