Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sweater cursed...

I can't think of another way to explain it.  I must be absolutely and completely cursed where my husbands sweaters are concerned. 

Now before anyone thinks that I'm referring to this Sweater Curse...I'm not.  He doesn't leave when they're done.  It's a different kind of curse.

My particular sweater curse is that I can't ever (ever ever ever), no matter what amount of planning, knit a sweater for my husband just once.  I always end up knitting at least 30% of the sweater more than once, and sometimes the whole sweater multiple times.

I'm really not kidding about no matter what amount of planning.  There can be days of swatching and washing the swatches to be sure to have an accurate gauge.  Something always goes wrong.  I'm not an least I don't think I am.  There are other forces at work here.  Sinister, sweater hating forces.

I really thought I'd beaten it with the last sweater.  This time I thought, it would work out.  This time, I would only knit the sweater once.


I have 8 skeins of a very deep (almost black) charcoal Cascade 220.  That's not enough to knit even the plainest of pullovers for a man with a 46 inch chest. Unless he wants a cropped belly sweater.  No.....just no.

I have added a skein of black and a skein of medium gray to the mix.  I figured thin stripes throughout would do just fine.  The yarn was originally for me, but I've changed my mind about it, and I already have plenty of sweaters on the needles for myself.  

He said he didn't want thin stripes, but would rather have a set of thick stripes across the chest area.  Ok, doable. 
"You sure?" I ask
"Yes, I'm sure" he says
"You're absolutely certain you don't want thin stripes throughout?" I ask again
"Nope" he says, with as much conviction in his voice and eyes as a person can have saying the word nope. 

I've knit the sleeves and about 7 inches into the body.  He's now thinking the thin stripes are a better idea.  That means ripping back the sleeves.  I DESPISE don't much care for knitting sleeves.  They're a pain in the tookus.  I always knit anything that is a pair of something (socks, sleeves, mitts), two at a time on magic loop.  That's the way I prefer most, but still, it's not my favorite thing to do. 

The sweater and sleeves are on time out.  I have to decide whether to just continue on as planned, or to rip them back and add the stripes.  As much as I don't love knitting sleeves, I'm really really not a fan of knitting male adult sized sweaters that end up not being worn, so I'm considering it.

Sigh...The curse continues.


Monday, November 5, 2012

He wants one too

So I finally finished this.

I haven't had a chance to block this or get buttons for it yet.  The kids needed something more substantial than a long sleeved shirt this past weekend, so they both wore their new sweaters.  Hubby took the kids out with him to run a few errands.  His first words when he walks through the door are "I REALLY REALLY want one of these...for me". 

It looks adorable on my little guy, so I really can't blame the man for wanting one of his own.  Looks like I'm going to have to start planning yet another sweater for my hubby.  The list of sweaters that he wants me to knit for him is starting to get long.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tangly Mess

Picked up this little bad boy and started on the sleeves.  Man is this a tangly mess. 

I was alternating the whole way with the two skeins.  And I always work pairs of anything two at a time.  So when it comes to sleeves, I usually divide up the remainder so that I have 4 little balls.  Two from one skein, two from the other.  That way I can still use one from each skein, on each sleeve.  Still alternating skeins, is the point.  I don't end up with one darker sleeve, or pooling, or any of that jazz. 

I know 4 balls of yarn on two sleeves, knit at the same time, can sound a little crazy all on it's own.  Honestly though, it's really not bad at all.  Each of the little sets gets a little twisted around, but that's super easy to fix. 

Here's where everything goes a little coo-coo-ca-choo.  I still have enough of the oatmeal that I don't want to break it up.  I might be able to get another project out of it, and I avoid a break in the yarn like I avoid hot pokers in the eye if at all possible.  I'm pulling from the center for one sleeve, and from the outside for the other.  Starting to get the picture here?  CRAZY MESS....just....crazy.  S'ok, they're tiny sleeves, they'll go by quick right?

No...they don't go by quick when the tangle is so bad that you can only knit a few rows before spending 5 minutes untangling.  Five minutes every few rows, adds up fast.  I'm thinking....I'm going to weigh the oatmeal ball before and after the next stripe.  Then I'll divide that by two, unwind that amount from the outside of the ball for however many stripes are left, add a little just in case, and cut. 

Honestly, that JUST NOW ocurred to me.  As I sit here and type, I'm thinking man, the rest of these stripes is really going to suck until I get to the point where I'm only knitting with the ballpoint again.  And then lightbulb...genius.  Well, not genius, cause I fought that tangled crap for three sets of stripes last night.  I'd like to sit here and act like I'm so awesome I thought of that before fighting the yarn last night, but no....lying is no bueno.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Keeping the kids cozy

So I was finally able to start on Rachel's blanket.  My wrist seems to be responding well to knitting simple, and taking frequent breaks.  I think the amount of typing I do for work is what is really causing the problem, and carrying the kids and the knitting is just aggravating it.  I was off of work for three days and my wrist pain was significantly better.  Yay for me!

I was afraid that the knitting was the culprit.  I would probably want to crawl into a hole if I can't knit in the evenings.  I've never been one who can just sit.  I almost always have to have something else going on.

My mom and I call it being "shark people".  Something about a shark can't stop moving because the gills won't pull oxygen from the water and they'll drown.  We, are shark people.  We just have too much nervous energy and can't stop moving.  I tend to feel like I'm wasting time if I'm not doing something.  Watching TV doesn't seem to be something enough.  (I don't knit in the theater after the trailers and movie start though.  That just seems like it'd be too distracting for the other people there, and I'd hate to ruin someone else's movie experience.)

I really like how the blanket is turning out.  I think she's going to love all the colors and it's soooo soft.  Like I said before, I'm planning on knitting stripes using all four colors with a seed stitch border in just the Ivory.  I'm working the border using the intarsia method so I don't have to worry about picking up stitches later.  A little tangly, but not terrible.  I'm working 10 rows in each stripe and so far I'm halfway into the second stripe.  I'm also weaving in ends as I go, I really don't want to have to weave in all those ends when I'm done.  Plus, it's such slippery yarn, that you can tell things are going to slip at those places where I've got the tails from color changes.  I'd rather weave them in now, and have them be secure, than to let them hang out and end up with a bunch of sloppy loose stitches that I'll have to tighten up later. 

Jacob's blanket is coming along.  I'm probably one evening away from joining the dark blue ball.  Which means I'm almost 40% done...not bad.

Now I just need a pause button for life so that I can finish all of this before it gets chilly.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Cause this is exactly what I needed to do...right?

So instead of working feverishly to complete the WIPs I've already got going, I cast on for yet ANOTHER cardigan... cause that's what I needed to do, right?

My LYS posted on Facebook that they'd gotten a shipment of Cascade Venezia Worsted in.  How could I NOT run right over there and check out the colors?  Sure, I could have gotten there and found nothing in the way of a color that suited me.  But my LYS owner is beyond awesome, and she orders the greatest colors of anything she orders.  A little bit for everyone.  There is almost always something there that is right up my alley.  I snagged 5 skeins of the Peacock Blue and practically raced home to swatch for a Rocky Coast cardigan.

The swatch?  not anywhere near gauge, but that's ok, I'll just knit it at the gauge that I like, and knit the larger size.  The pattern calls for 16 sts to 4".  Closest I got was 20 stitches using the 10.5 needle suggested.  Any bigger and it just doesn't look right in this yarn.  I knit another swatch on size 10's and I like it much much better.  This fabric is already so wonderfully drapey because of the silk, that I'm going to keep it as it is, and knit on the 10's.  This means I'll probably have to knit the largest or second to largest size...ish.

I'll have to pick up at least two more skeins...if not three.  I called up the shop the next day, and she's holding two more skeins for me.  I need to make sure I remember to call and hold another one.  Just in case.  What's the worst that can happen?  I don't use all of it, and I make something small for someone else.  Win/win.

Honestly?  This yarn probably isn't the best suited to this pattern.  The cables don't really pop as much as they would with another yarn, but I like it.  I love the feel of Venezia, and I have wanted a cardi out of this for.e.ver.

It can be a teensy bit splitty sometimes, but that might just be the way I hold the yarn, or the way I knit.

If you didn't already know, I knit every night after the kids are in bed.  It gives me a couple hours a night to make a little progress on something.  With all of these projects going, I tend to play a little bit of  Musical WIPs.  If I'm more mentally tired than usual, I'll knit on something simple (like Jacob's or Rachel's blanket).  If I've had a more normal day, I can knit on something that requires a little more attention.  This of course all depends on what shows we've got on the DVR.  If they're shows that need more attention, I knit simple.  If they're easy going shows, I knit interesting.

There is a method to my madness.  I promise.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Slow but steady

Not making a ton of progress on things lately.  But there is still a tiny bit of slow and steady knitting going on.  Thing is...I've been having some wrist pain.  My outer left wrist to be exact.  I don't really know what's causing it, but it hurts.  Not a world ending amount of pain, but enough that I'm almost always aware of it.  I've been trying to limit the activities involving my wrist, which means less knitting than I'd like.  I'm thinking it might have more to do with the amount that I have to type for work and carrying the kids around (I carry them on my left side so that my right hand is free, and they aren't getting any, but knitting probably doesn't help the situation any.

I've been sticking to the strictly knitting projects, as in stockinette in the round or garter stitch flat (I move my left wrist more when I purl).  I've been going slower, and taking very frequent breaks.  It seems to be helping, so I'll keep going with that.  Of course, if it's not getting any better than this by mid next week, I'll make an appointment with my doctor to have it checked out. 

While I'm waiting for this pesky wrist pain to go away, I'm making some decent progress on a couple projects.  One of which, is Jacobs little blanket.  I know I only posted the picture of Jacob's blanket a few days ago, but I haven't knit as much as it seems in that time.  That picture was probably a week old when I posted last.

I really hope he loves it as much as I do.  It's coming along beautifully and it's so squishy soft.  Rachel's blanket will have to wait a while.  As much as the Comfy cotton is more flexible than most other cotton yarns I've used, it's still cotton, and that tends to make my wrists ache on a good day.  Let's try to keep insult from getting acquainted with injury, shall we?

I got the yarn I ordered, and I can't wait until I can really start it.  In the meantime, here's a picture of the yarn.  I think it's going to be adorable when it's done.  And I think she's going to love it.  She

I have more of the pink and cream, but that's already wound, and it just didn't look great with the other little skeins in the picture. 

Back to the wrist pain for a minute.  If anyone can think of anything that might help, I'd love to hear about it.  Here's what I'm feeling.  My left outer wrist, and it goes up my arm about half way on the outside.  The back of my hand, but only around my three outer fingers (pinky, ring and middle finger area), nothing towards the pointer or thumb.  It hurts when I do twisting movements like corkscrew or screwdriver type movements.  Any ideas?


Monday, September 17, 2012

Keeping the kids cozy

After seeing my baby girl's feet poking out of the bottom of her current blanket, I decided it was high time I knit both of the kids bigger blankets. 

I'm waiting on the yarn to arrive for Rachel's blanket.  The pic above is the blanket I started for Jacob.  I have some Knit Picks Comfy Sport in Flamingo (soft pink) and Ivory that's been in my stash for what seems like an eternity.  I'd ordered it when I was newish to knitting, and she was just a newborn.  She's going to be 3 next month, so I guess it really has been a while. 

I really want to use up the yarn that I have in my stash.  I can't stand I'm not particularly fond of knitting with cotton, but this yarn isn't as bad as a lot of others.  It's super soft, and the little bit of acrylic (25%) in it helps me knit it without my wrists hurting too much.  I still can't knit on it all night, but it's better than most other cottons.  Heck, I won't even buy cotton yarn anymore that isn't going to be made into washcloths. 

Being that I'm obviously sooo in love with knitting cotton yarn, it totally makes sense to buy even MORE right?  It makes more sense (to me, but I might be nuts) to place an order for a little extra, and actually use it, than to just leave it sitting there for another few years because I can't think of what else to use it for. 

I have about 400yds of each of the two colors, which is great, but not enough to knit her a blanket for her current size.  I placed an order with them for a little extra of the two colors, and added some Lilac Mist and Sea Foam.  Rachel is a color loving girl.  I know she'll enjoy a blanket with those colors much more than she will just pink and cream.  Here are the color pics from the knitpicks website side by side.

Pretty no?  I'm planning on knitting stripes using all four colors with a seed stitch border in just the Ivory.  I'm going to work the border using the intarsia method so I don't have to worry about picking up stitches later. 

Since I was already placing an order, I threw in more cables and a set of needle tips in the 4 sizes I use the most (5, 6, 7 & 8).  Couldn't hurt right?  I mean really, how in the world am I going to start even more new projects if I don't have any more cables?

I knew there was no way I was going to knit TWO cotton blankets, and I didn't already have enough of any boyish colored Comfy in my stash that would justify buying even more.  Except for 3 little skeins of a discontinued dark brown.  And that is NOT enough of a stash squatter for me to subject myself to even more cotton.

Stash Squatter - Yarn that just sits and sits in your stash, refusing to be knit up for one reason or another.  This yarn will sit there, guilting and mocking you for years, all the while laughing because it fully knows it doesn't even want to be knit.  If it did, it would be a prettier color/easier yarn to knit with/enough yardage...etc.  Beware the stash squatter.

I'm teaching my mom to knit, and who knows, maybe she'll want to knit something small...and cotton...and dark brown.  When that day comes, I'll have the perfect yarn.  HA!

I fished around in my stash and found a bunch of fingering weight wool/nylon blend that I'd dyed.  When I dyed it, I didn't have a project in mind.  I was really just playing around with color, and the yarn base was fairly cheap.  I figured worst case, I'd have a bunch of yarn for socks.  I can always use more hand knit socks.  I'm going to knit a garter stitch color block blanket for little man.  This picture is from last week.  I'm already done with the light blue/turquoise, and close to halfway through the green.  Next I'll knit the darkest blue, then the yellow, then the other lighter blue. 

And yes, I might be insane for starting two blankets right now.  I clearly don't already have enough knitting with all those sweaters.