It has been since I last bought yarn!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Lot 665- A Sweater in Pieces

I went through this phase in junior high school where I loved, LOVED... L O V E D the Phantom of the Opera.  LOVED IT.  (Did I mention loved?)  I saw two travelling productions of it.  I had the tape of the full cast recording and I could recite the entire first side.  If I dig deep into the recesses of my mind, I could probably STILL recite a large portion of that production.  The whole point of this is that there's this scene in the beginning where they are selling off the items from the old opera house and when they get to the famous chandelier, (brought down by the Phantom) they say "Lot 665, a Chandelier in pieces..." and thus begins the flashback story of the Phantom of the Opera.  There's this very dramatic piece as the Chandelier is illuminated and the Phantom main theme plays as the Chandelier ascends to the top of the theater.  I would get GOOSE BUMPS hearing this.  I still get goose bumps thinking of this.

The whole point of this ramble is every time I look at the sweater, blocked and ready for seaming... I think "Lot 665, a SWEATER in pieces" and yes, I hear the ominous theme from the Phantom of the Opera.  The only difference here is that I don't get goose bumps, more of a feeling of ennui... like "UGH can't this thing just seam ITSELF!?"


I'm going to do my best to finish the seaming this week- despite my "really not wanting to" attitude.  This won't be "officially done" however for a few weeks as I have placed an order (from Knitpicks of all places) for the perfect buttons to complete it.  But it would still be great to say this is 99.8% done, except for buttons by the end of May.

Speaking of finishing, and looking a little like Mr. Phantom himself, I finished the little stuffed penguin I was making for a little guy's first birthday.


Pattern: Pasha Penguin by Alexandra Virgiel (FREE!)
Yarn: Scap acrylics left over from various WCOBB blankets (mostly Vanna's Choice by Red Heart)
Needles: US 4- I wanted a really tight fabric
Thots: Cute pattern, although I'm a little concerned that I didn't pick up the wrap and turns properly.  The ease and simplicity of the pattern got my thinking it might be fun to make a little "something" and enter it in the "knitted dolls" category of Stampede.  I'm still "ruminating" on that idea and looking for the right inspiration.


I put Mr. Pasha in the fridge because he just looked like he wanted to be in a more "natural" habitat.  Cute project!  I have enough yarn to knit myself a whole pod of penguins!

And, because things have been finishing up smoothly... I also have pretty decent progress on the simple sock made.  I like the fit of the ribbed sock, but I hate how it looks in it's natural, shriveled up state.


Alright... I have procrastinated enough, time to get into the seaming.  Maybe I'll download the Phantom to listen to keep me company while I seam?

PS- Christine and Raoul forever... I never bought into her falling for the creepy masked dude.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Attention Span of a Gnat

Oh dear... allowing myself indulgences for finished projects is a slippery slope.  One minute I am a focused machine quickly churning through my unfinished object pile and the next minute, the UFO file has grown again.

First I suppose we need to address the achievements.  Sweater pieces finished and ends (that will not require any seaming) are woven in.


The blocking board is here and I just need to spend my afternoon communing with the blocking pins.  I will admit I am concerned.  The good news is that I had enough yarn.  The bad news is that this pattern was written by a very well meaning person, but not a pro pattern designer.  There is no schematic for making sure I block to appropriate measurements.  It is obvious to me that the fronts are much larger than the back and the sleeves might be a bit of a tight fit into the right spots.  I'm not sure what this means for the finished project.  I guess we'll see.  Hopefully I will be spending time sewing this up and gushing here when finished instead of lamenting a "so so" project.

Secondly- the mittens from my April indulgence are complete!


Pattern: Emma's Mittens by Minh Hoang (Ravelry link only)
Yarn: Paton's Classic Wool in Mercury
Needles: US 5 for cuffs and US 6 for hand
Notes: I did as other Raveler's suggested and knit in a thumb gusset instead of doing an afterthought thumb.  This was TOTALLY the right call.  I hate how afterthought thumbs feel.  I did this by increasing 1 stitch every other row after the 2nd pattern repeat until I had 12 stitches.  I also knit these long- because I like mittens that can fit under a coat and aren't going to expose your wrist easily to the elements.  The only other change is that I did mirror cables for each hand instead of doing the same (large cable) for each mitten.


These turned out pretty great and I'm quite happy.

Finishing the mittens was like opening Pandora's box however.  Because I finished that distraction and was technically finished the knitting/end weaving portions of the sweater- I cast on another little distraction.


This is going to be Pasha the penguin.  Earlier this year Make One Yarn Studio partnered with the Calgary Zoo to knit some penguins for the new penguin exhibit.  I very much wanted to participate in this project but was otherwise distracted by a new baby that was eating up much of my knitting time.  The zoo no longer needs penguins, but I know a friend of mine thought the knitted penguins were pretty neat and inquired about buying one for her little boy.  She was put off by the price (not that they are over-charging... this is afterall a HAND MADE ITEM) it's just a lot to pay for some people.  Anyways her little guy turns one sometime soon and I thought it was a great "scrap yarn" eater- so I decided to knit her the penguin.  Hopefully this will be done at the end of May along with the others.

I went to my mother's the other day and decided there was too many parts and pieces to Pasha and I just wanted a simple knit to work on there- so I cast on a simple, ribbed sock in a very satisfying self striping yarn.


Funny story about this project.  I had originally taken this yarn and needles to the hospital with me thinking I could knit while I was in labour.


OMG I find it so funny that I thought I could concentrate on knitting while in labour.  Even funnier?  This wasn't the only thing I brought!  I worried about running out yarn/projects so I also brought a few dishcloths.  Um no.  Even WITH the drugs.  No.  Seriously HILARIOUS.  Anyways- I have a few short little trips coming up and this just seemed like the right "just a quick stitch here" project.  I'm not putting this on the "must finish by the end of May" list... (must finish by June for CERTAIN) but if that happens I'll be quite proud of myself.

So there you have it- this nap schedule is really benefiting my knitting time again!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

In the Thick of It

As promised, I pulled out the Fireside sweater and begun anew.  Really, I'm surprised at how little there is left to do on this.  MiL, as promised, watched the bambino for an hour and I set to figuring out where I left off and what I needed to do.  Before I knew it, I had a finished back section!  I quickly cast on the sleeves and progress is chucking along.


I will confess to a few setbacks.  It was around row 10 the first time through the sleeves that I realized I read the chart wrong and knit where I should have purled.  Fixing that, I was into the second repeat on the chart when I realized that I had mis-crossed a cable about 10 rows back on one sleeve.  So, I frogged back and fixed the cable.  Since then- the only setback I've had is a child who is sleeping like crap right now (growth spurt/teething) and although he still naps like a champ, it means that I'm napping instead of knitting in his nap times at the moment.  (Mama is TIRED.)


This is the first time I've knit two sleeves at one time, and so far so good.  Although there are times where I will forge ahead on one sleeve and get 2 or 3 rows ahead and realize I didn't knit the other sleeve.  Minor issues, that are probably occurring because I'm a little sleep deprived at the moment.  I also knit these two at a time because there is a very real threat of running out of yarn, that I confess is making me all kinds of worried!  (On the upside this makes me knit faster so I can alleviate the stress.)  (I love my donut stitch markers.  LOVE them.  Except they make me CRAVE donuts like all the time.  I have resisted so far but the worse the sleeping at night gets the more the need for donuts arises!)

As also promised, I haven't touched the mittens since May 2 when I put myself in sweater mode.  I'm terribly close to finishing them... just the thumbs.


I'll knit the thumbs when the sweater is blocking and then will allow for a little "indulgence" if there's time.  (Maybe more mittens... who knows!)  It feels good to be progressing on the UFO pile and getting some things off the needles.  I can't wait to start some new things!!