Sunday, August 31, 2008

Making Lemonade

I made this lovely multidirectional scarf in the time when I was trying to come to terms with my brother's death: I love the pattern and the yarn (Denali sock yarn by Pagewood Farms -- by the lovely Robin Page):

Multidirectional scarf detail

But I had yarn leftover, and yarn this good should not be left alone. So, since it was sock yarn, I sensibly started a toe of a sock:


I love this toe. It's a variation of a sock recipe by Merike Saarnit, who has not published it to my knowledge. My variation incorporates Judy's magic cast-on for a completely invisible toe.

On the side of the sock, you can just bareley see that cute little cable along the side? I wanted to have that as a fun small zing for the sock. But as I knit, I soon began to realize that my plans for two socks out of the leftover yarn was not going to happen.

I took a look again at that toe. A toe is another name for the top of the mitten, right? And hands are smaller than feet, so I figured, hey, I can do this. And then I realized having a set of a scarf and mittens makes a lot more sense than a scarf and socks! I'm onto mittens, great idea.

Well, I still wasn't all that sure that I had enough sock yarn, so I stopped the first mitten at the end of the hand, and then did the other hand, and realized that I was right, I didn't have enough yarn for the cuffs. I pulled out some nice Opal wool yarn and finished the cuffs. Here's one of the mittens.


But as I was playing around with the cuffs, I realized that my method of doing the thumbs (based on Kate Atherley's mitten recipe on Knitty), leads to having the thumb in the line of the mitten. What would happen if you decided that you wanted to have that cute little cable running down the front of the mitten so everyone, including the wearer, could see them? What would that look like? Well, if you put the "left hand" mitten on your right hand, the mitten looks like this:


And it totally, totally works like a mitten. Now this is a small, probably already-discovered discovery. An unvention, to use an Elizabeth Zimmermann term. But I have to tell you, it was such a lovely discovery, and I felt as though I was channeling Cat Bordhi as I did it.

And I really like having a pair of mittens to go with my lovely scarf!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

3rd Time for the Ravelympics Podium

I'm finally done with my Ravelympics projects. Here's the final FO -- a basic pair of mittens.


Tonight is for a post-project partying, but look for post-Ravelympics reflections tomorrow!

2nd Ravelympics FO!

The judges inspected:

and my sweater passed


and I got my very special Ravelmpics pin.


Down to the Wire

Last pre-FO update. The sweater is drying from the blocking, only the weaving of ends and sewing of buttons left.

On the mittens, only a couple of thumbs left -- maybe 1/2 hour of work.

I think I'm gonna make it!

Friday, August 22, 2008

One Lousy Inch

So, one sleeve is done, and I have one more inch to go on the other one! Even though I have two more days to finish, I am compelled to finish it this about knitting obsessions going over the top!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

To the Finish Line

I have 5 inches of sleeve plus the ribbing left to go on the sleeves. Shall I stay up late and get it done tonight, or be sane. I'll find out later.

Thanks for all the support in Ravelry, I need it!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I'm a Ravthlete!

My badge has arrived and I wear it with honor!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Bit of Frogging

So, I started on my Ravelympics socks because I was getting tired of the stockinette body of the sweater. I worked it up through the heel, took it to Knit Night, the fount of Knitterly Wisdom, and the consensus was that the sock was too small for the 7-14 age range. Seriously folks, the size charts for childrens' socks tell you oh-so-helpfully that a shoe size of this translates to a sock measurement of that. But for those of us without specific children? None of the major charts I found were helpful in letting me know a size range for ages.

So, I frogged back to the toe, added more stitches, and I think it'll fit a kid with a slightly smaller foot than my Ladies' size 6. One sock done, started a bit of the toe on the next.


But now back to the cardigan. I've wondering how to finish this -- I think I'm doing navy seed stitch at the bottom and for the bands. We'll see now much navy is left for the neck and cuffs, but I've got more grey, green and yellow, so I'll have options. In addition, since we are halfway through the Ravelympics, the feline judging has started, and I think she's gonna be tough as those gymnastics judges:

She says that I need to add a bit more length, and to stick the edging!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Progress continues

Originally uploaded by skatfantoo

Now that I'm knitting green stockinette, it's seeming to go on and on. I think I'll cast on for one of my socks.

The Pace is Killing Me

No, not the knitting, trying to awatch everything on the Olympics. Since I figured out yesterday how to configure the Macbook to get the video on this NBC Olympics website, my olympics time can now happen 24/7. This is dangerous, because the NBC gymnastics commentating is so bad (uselessly chatty and way too USA-centric) that I want to watch the full comp on my computer.

Then the mens gymnastics team has to totally blow my preconceived notions that any talk of a medal was ludicrous. Wow! They looked SO good that it's hard to realize that a couple of these guys were last minute alternates. NBC fails me again -- while I understand that the East Coast times are live, we on the West Coast could have this all start one hour earlier with no problems, and I would not be going to bed at 12:15 am still not having seen the end of the gymnastics comp.

Well, there are some knitting distractions too -- I'm in a lovely Kitty Toy Swap on Ravelry. I sent off the items to my partner, but we are also knitting toys for a cat shelter in Minnesota, and I couldn't see sending a couple of toys to a shelter, so I;m knitting and stuffing 10 (at least) fish cat toys like these:

Cat Toys1

The observant among you will see a mouse -- I created that myself with self-striping yarn in crochet for the last Kitty Toy Swap this past spring -- may have time for a couple of those. I stuff these with premium cat nip, and this time I'll include a bell in each as well.

and then because I go to an office now, it's just not practical to bring the two sweaters I'm working on (yeah, I am crazy), so I've got leftover sock yarn for some great socks for the Ravelympics.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Beyond a Yoke

Last night, while endless feature pieces of two famous swimmer played, I got beyond the yoke of the sweater. It's on to the green body now! I think I'm going to do some EZ short rows in the back so the cardigan doesn't ride up in the back...


Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Change of Plans

Can you believe it? Our team has already completed two mittens and hat, and we are barely a day into the event. AMAZING!

Well, we knitters know a secret -- that you can always rip and frog(except when felting or using really fuzzy yarn). After all, plans for an item can change.

So, after showing the pattern for the youth sweater for Afghans for Afghans yesterday (which I may still make for myself someday), I decided I wanted to use another simpler pattern. I remembered that there are some unpatterns published on the web and found the Incredible Custom-Fit Raglan recipe. Lovely pattern, very easy to follow, and even has a cardigan option. I'm good to go. (And I heard about another recipe that I'm tempted by on the new Knotions magazine website - check it out.)

Then I had to figure out the stripe pattern. Again, memory bells rang to say that somewhere there are stripe-generating tools on the web. I found this one, and it worked like a charm -- you click on the colors you are using, enter a number for the rows you'll be working the stripes. Then you hit enter until you get a randomly created pattern that you like. Then you simply print out the pattern or save it as the instructions show.

I'm past the neckline, and doing the increases down to the armpits -- it's going a bit slower with the color changes for the striping, but I'm really liking the yarn (Wash-Day Wool by Reynolds, which I'm doubling for warmth), which I got on deep sale in So Cal.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Ravelympics: The Knitting Begins

So, the sign-ups are done, the team is formed. We have a great, great team, you can find them here if you are on Ravelry.

My first and biggest project is a top-down raglan cardigan -- I'm kinda following this pattern from Cosmic Pluto -- but I'm sure I'll make adjustments as I go along.

For training, I swatched the yarn (doubling it)


Now I have gathered the yarn and the pattern (still need to get the Knitpicks options put together), and I'm ready to cast on today!


But before I do, I need to watch this again for the proper inspiration:

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Temperature is Rising

So, today, the Queen of Afghans for Afghans sends out an email to everyone telling them to sign up for Ravelympics Team Afghan for Afghan by tomorrow. This is clearly a plan to make sure that I stay behind the entries.

But the project total is 110 so far!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ravelympics Fever

Ok, this Ravelympics thing has gotten way, way out of control. Over 4300 knitters signed up, over 11,000 projects and not everyone has signed up yet. That's a lot of butts sitting in front of TVs over the next couple of weeks. Well, sitting somewhere.

You see, one curious non-rule is that you don't have to be paying attention to the Olympics, I mean, the TV doesn't even have to BE ON, and you don't get fined, or anything. You could go to Antartica and ignore the whole thing, and the knitters would be fine as long as you turn in your FO on the right thread of Ravelry. So, while it claims to be a part of the Olympics fever, I am not convinced. I think it is a subversive way for knitters to take over the world. The knitting is what matters.

Me, I ended up as a serf (team captain) for Team Afghans for Afghans. This means that I spend a lot of time in the Captains' Lounge thread trying to figure out what I'm supposed to be doing (there's no job description -- this is VERY Beta), and trying not to fight with a former therapist who kept harping on people who mostly had managed to miss-tag their projects as FOs. She's now left because we weren't playing her game, and I'm hopeful that peace is breaking out in the Spirit of the Ravelympics.

But back to being Captain. This mostly consists of me trying to track down people who have mis-tagged their projects in a bunch of different ways that will keep them out of of the fun unless they change them before August 6th. Sometimes they post to the right thread that they are there -- these are the easy ones. Others I have to use more sophisticated searches, then send them polite messages that they need to get their acts together.

On top of this, two slavedrivers named Kay and Ann have this little blog called Mason-Dixon Knitting, and they posted about our team there, increasing my work by three-fold. You know, now that they've published their second book, and have this fancy-schmancy column in the new Twist Collective, they think that they can simply get people to knit for incredibly good causes and there be NO CONSEQUENCES AT ALL. As if the world is needing their assistance to provide warm sweaters to children in Afghanistan...sheesh. I mean, ok, there will be at least 60+ sweaters or afghans knit because of them. But, overlooking that little thing called being a generous knitter, they really have stepped over the line...