I have made a solemn oath to myself to complete my Canal du Midi socks by the end of this month. You know, Socktober? The other thing that must, must be done by October 31st is plying the disastrously dyed superwash. Why? Because I'm going to a FIVE day knitting and spinning retreat! Woohoo! I need my bobbins free to spin, spin, spin! I plan on spinning the romney/coopworth/angora that I bought at OFFF and some of the carded wool/mohair I got from Dawn's at the Black Sheep Gathering. And I will try to finish my Trellis scarf and possibly start the Traveler's Socks from Knitting on the Road. How much will I get done over five days? I have no idea. I'm sure I'll bring much more than I can possibly accomplish. Better that then to run out of things to do while I'm there.
Wednesday night I got a little tired of the tight, twisted stitches of Canal du Midi on teeny weeny needles so I started a little something new-- a baby surprise jacket with my leftover Cascade 220 from my new cardigan. This pattern is so much fun. I "just one more row"ed myself until 1 am. So last night, when I got home from work I got on my bed to have a little snuggle time with the kids before bedtime. Passed out. Cold. At 9. So it appears that I can't burn a candle at both ends.
It's another one of those plate of shrimp things. Just as I started to flirt with the notion of learning to quilt everywhere I went people were talking about the Dear Jane quilt. So like an idiot I'm leaping in the deep end, way over my head. I've ordered the software. I've ordered some fabric. I'm going to try to teach myself to quilt--by hand! Don't expect to see a finished quilt for several decades, or possibly at all. I have no fucking idea what I'm doing.
Blech. Here's the view out the front door at 9:15.
Which is why you can barely see the baby kimono I finished last night.
If you could see it you would notice that instead of cute little ribbon ties there's a safety pin holding mine shut. I don't think little ribbons would really go with this yarn. I also think I do a really bad job stitching little ribbon ties on to things. How do people feel about buttons on baby items? Absolute no-no? Maybe I'll just knit on some i-cord.
First, thank you all so much for all the nice comments on my new cardigan. I've been wearing it pretty much non-stop since I sewed the buttons on. In fact, when getting ready for work this morning I had to force myself to put on a different sweater so people at work wouldn't start to worry about me.
Second, do not feel badly for me because my son doesn't want his sweater. I was almost positive when I set out to make it that he would reject it for some reason or another. That's why I chose free yarn to knit with. I don't have the slightest tinge of regret about how things turned out. I'm very happy to send it to the Dulaan Project. I did pick up some new yarn that I think my son will like. It's a wool blend and it's machine washable. And most importantly, it's bright red. In fact it's the same yarn I knit my devil hat from last year.
My knitting was pretty uneventful this weekend. I've made some progress on my second Canal du Midi sock. Nothing stellar--about half the leg. I knit two Dulaan hats from a skein of Lamb's Pride Bulky that I got at the Ryan's last knit in. I've also nearly finished a baby sweater that I posted on the sidebar but have not otherwise mentioned on the blog. It's the baby kimono from last summer's IK. I started it last Friday after being reminded how cute this sweater pattern is and how little yarn it takes. It was written for Rowan Wool Cotton but Marti made one a while back in Koigu that was terribly cute. There is a baby boy due on Wes's side of the family in February so I grabbed some sock yarn from the stash and got to work.
Remember this great cartoon from Franklin? I got the real life version this morning. My son's sweater is a skoosh too small and he started hopping up and down when I put it on him saying, "Ah! Itchy! Itchy! Itchy!" Then he asked me what I made it out of. I told him wool and he announced that he doesn't like wool.
So some child in Mongolia will now be receiving a jacket in colors only a 6 year old could love.
Kind of reminds me of Thing 1 and Thing 2 from The Cat in the Hat.
Pattern: Fair Isle Sweater from The Opinionated Knitter Yarn: Cascade 220 in colors #8400, 9452, 9407, 8010, 2429, 9451. Needles: US6 and 5 Addi Turbos, US6 Brittany DPNs Changes: I used the waist shaping from Retro Prep (IK Fall 2002) and steeked the sweater to make a cardigan (although I failed to add extra stitches for the steek! Don't know where my brain was that day. I followed the instructions for the band from Meg Swansen's Cardigan Details video.
Yesterday morning I was racing to get my steeks sewn up so I could bring them to work. I didn't get it done the night before because I fell asleep, fully clothed, only half-way on my bed at around 7 and woke up at midnight disoriented in a puddle of drool. Do I know how to rock out on a Friday night or what? Anyway, I was stitching up my steek. As I reached the yoke a funny thing happened. The steek veered off in one direction due to the decreases. I ran out of bobbin thread and couldn't finish sewing and ran off to work. While eating lunch I shot off a quick post to the Zimmermania blog about my yoke/steek issue. As soon as I sent it off I realized what I had done. The bottom of my sweater was borrowed from the Retro Prep pattern which, although steeked, does not have a designated set of steek stitches. The top is the Fair Isle Yoke Sweater from The Opinionated Knitter which is a pullover. What I should have done is add a steek from the very start and I'd have a clean path through my colorwork to stitch and cut.
But I didn't. My choice was to reknit the entire sweater (except part of the sleeves which I could reuse) or to barrel through and fudge the steek. Guess which route I took?
I figure this is a sweater, not the space shuttle. No one will die if I cut corners.
Then I went to finish the hem of my son's sweater so I could steek that too. Vanessa pointed out in the comments that one needs to remember to knit the chart upside down when knitting the hem. Amazingly, despite my fatigue on Thursday, I did remember to do that. What I didn't remember to do was center the pattern on the steek. So I had to rip that all out and reknit it. It's done now and ready to stitch. I'll start my cardigan button bands tonight after work. I'll try not to do anything too stupid.
I can't wake up today. The kids don't have school today and I deluded myself into thinking that I could sleep in a bit this morning. So I stayed up until 2 watching Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy and ER on the ReplayTV. Dear God. So very tired. I did finish the sleeves on my son's screaming red sweater. I picked up along the inside of my cast on edge and am now knitting the hem. I'm doing a true EZ deal on the hem. I'm knitting a little message in there. XXX (son's initials) '06 LOVE MOM then a few dots to fill in the extra space. It was late and I was tired of trying to make the chart work out. My Fair Isle Cardigan is all knit. I need to machine stitch the steeks today. I was thinking of bringing it (and my son's sweater if I finish the hem in time) to work tomorrow and cutting the steeks there. For educational purposes.
Nah, just to freak everyone out.
I'm going to have some more coffee and try to shake off this fuzzy-headed feeling.
I just found out that Kaffe Fassett will be giving a lecture near Seattle next week. When I looked up the ticket information I was a little stunned by the price. I know I'm a cheapskate but isn't $17 for a 45 minute talk and book signing a little steep?
Clearly I have lived in Seattle for too long--a city where the smallest scuffle makes it on to the evening news. This map of current "incidents" in NYC provided by Gothamist is a little alarming. Although I was a bit tickled by the "stolen ambulance" item.
Elizabeth and I have been spending loads of time together lately. Last month at the Knitters Guild meeting I borrowed Meg Swansen's Cardigan Details video and a one of the Knitting Around videos. I've been sitting and knitting my Fair Isle Yoke cardigan while watching Meg and Elizabeth knit and chat. I also got the Knitting Workshop video from the library, in which Elizabeth demonstrates all the techniques used in my sweater. It's due back tomorrow so I'm just finishing up the segment on lace knitting. It all makes me so sorry I chose to skip camp this summer.
The sweater is moving along pretty well. The yoke is slow going because I'm not a very fast two-color knitter and because I'm working on 300 stitches. But here's where I was earlier this morning.
I am very happy with my tension in two-colors on this project.
I was woken up very early this morning by my 8 year old. I tried to go back to sleep but Socktoberfest guilt was eating away at me. I lay in bed hoping to sleep but mentally casting on for my second Canal du Midi sock. I also wound yarn for the next pair of socks I want to work on. At this rate I'll be lucky to have knit one sock by the end of the month.
My spinning habits have always been largely monogamous. I start a project and work on it until completion then start my next project. Lately though, my spinning has gotten downright slutty.
I first started to spin the bombyx silk from Chasing Rainbows (bottom center) this summer. I found I did not have an aptitude for 100% silk which wasn't helped at all by hot and sticky weather. This got set aside.
Then I finally fixed my drum carder. I carded up a big pile of brown Romney (bottom right). Since my wheel was tied up with whatever I was spinning at the time I dragged out my old, unloved, 200 pound (slight exaggeration) Louet drop spindle to take the newly carded wool for a test drive.
Then at OFFF I found this lovely Romney/Coopworth/angora blend (top left) and started spinning the moment I got home. But I pulled myself away from it to finish spinning Dazzle.
Last weekend after my horrific dyeing experience I started to spin up the Merino superwash (bottom left). It's lovely to spin but still terribly ugly.
Then I won Julia's blog contest. She sent me this roving and a drop spindle (top right). Of course I was so excited I started to spin it right away. And then while reading Spin Off, I saw that the Your Yarn topic for the next issue was organic fibers. "Hmmm," I thought to myself,"there must be some organic fiber around here somewhere." And there was. This organic cotton (center top) was hiding out in my stash from this spring. As you can see I didn't get very far.
Okay, so I haven't cast on for the second Canal du Midi sock yet. I have no socks on the needles. I have been thinking about socks a lot though. Does that count? I have yarn picked out for my next two pairs and I can't wait to knit them except I still need to knit the CdM. And I've been really distracted by sweaters.
Here is my progress on the unphotographable, screaming red sweater. The sleeves need to be longer. See that little bit on yarn there? That's all I've got. This is an unreleased color of Lamb's Pride Bulky I got as a freebie so there's no more. If I had a reasonable child I could say, "Let's make the cuffs and collar a different color! Won't that be fun?" But I have an unreasonable child who will only accept an all-red sweater and seems to think I should be able to take some wool and make more red yarn. I'm sure by the time we hash this one out he won't fit in the flinging sweater anymore. I can always send it to Dulaan.
My cardigan is zipping along. I'm almost done with the second sleeve. I just realized when I was taking the picture that I still have another inch to knit on the body before I unite the whole thing. I had been knitting it in the car on the way home from Portland and didn't have a measuring tape. I guesstimated an inch too short.
I just finished a shop sample sweater that I need to block tonight. Pictures tomorrow.
Now I know some of you are all ready to send me your, "I think it looks pretty comments." Really, it's so much uglier in real life. I mean U-G-L-Y YOU-AIN'T-GOT-NO-ALIBI ugly. Spun up it's still ugly. I'm going to attempt to overdye it when I finish spinning it. I don't have high hopes for the final outcome. I am, however, spinning like a demon because I can't stand to look at it and want to get it back in the dyepot ASAP.
I also hoped to have a completed sock to show you for Socktoberfest but sadly as I prepared to kitchener last night I decided to try my sock on and discovered it was at least half an inch to short. Crud.