Saturday, November 27, 2010

I can't believe it...

But the knitting is finished on my Fireside (first blogged here, then again here; Ravelry pattern page here)! This has been over a year and a half in the making. It feels weird that it's done. I did the finishing as I went, so all that's left is to sew in the sleeves and sew on the buttons (I blocked the sleeves last week, but the rest of it has been sitting in vest form for quite a while).

I haven't fully appreciated the occasion yet. I am a little dazed. :) I took a detail picture of the sleeves the day I finished to commemorate the big day, but I can't wait until I can try the whole thing on!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Finished: Honey Cowl and Toasty

After the Peaks Island Hood disaster, I cast on right away for another one but my heart just wasn't in it. I got a few inches past the first shell pattern and just realized I was only knitting it because I felt I had to conquer it, not because I loved it. And lets face it, that's not a good reason to begin a relationship. I wasn't enjoying myself, either, and I also decided that the dark brown yarn I was using didn't show off the stitch pattern's texture to its best advantage.

So, I cut that project loose and cast on for a second Honey Cowl. My first one [Ravelry project page link] ended up belonging to my daughter, and I've been craving a nice squishy cowl to wear on evening walks so I decided to try again. Just in case anyone wants to use this pattern, it's free from the Madeleinetosh website [pattern link]. It's really a simple, straightforward pattern and gives such a quick result! I used single ply worsted merino wool from, in the colorway Brown Lilac. It was really perfect for the pattern--the subtle color variation was played up by the slip stitch pattern.

I've seen many beautiful versions on Ravelry in Malabrigo and Madeleinetosh yarns as well. A semi-solid gives the most beautiful result, in my opinion! Anyway, I cast on for the largest size (it's wrapped twice around my neck in these photos), but I only knit about 8 inches instead of the 12 inches called for in the pattern--I used my nifty yarn scale to help me determine when I had approximately 50g left so I could make a matching pair of mitts.

I've enjoyed Leslie Friend's blog for a while (A Friend to Knit With) and I've had her Toasty [Pattern link] pattern in my queue forever, so it was fun to finally make them. I call them my hobo gloves, and they are so warm and snuggly!

The night I finished both of these projects, we went on a walk just before the kids' bedtime. There was just enough nip in the air from the marine layer that rolls in overnight, even 20 minutes from the beach where I live, that I was really glad for my new woolly accessories! (I've really got to teach my husband how to take knitting pictures...the one-armed look is getting repetitive, isn't it?)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Meet a friend of mine...

I don't have my latest finished object pictures uploaded yet, but I thought I would post today to give a little shout out to my friend "jmama" who writes one of my favorite blogs: Me Teach Kinder All Day.

If you have a Kindergartner in your life, you will love this. Jmama is one of the wittiest, most intelligent people I know, and she spends her days teaching the littlest of students. Her blog chronicles her year as a Kindergarten teacher, day by day. If you need a chuckle today, do yourself a favor and grab a cup of coffee or your favorite adult beverage, and start with Day One.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Short Row Happy Dance

I have figured out why one side of my short rows look wonky all the time!! And it turns out I could have corrected this problem months ago by simply re-reading the directions in the glossary of any number of the knitting books on my shelf.

The problem was...drumroll...I inserted the needle from front to back instead of back to front when hiding the wrap on the purl side.

AFTER I figured this out on my own by fiddling with my knitting for an hour, out of pure spite I looked up the little short row instructions at the back of Interweave Knits, Spring 2009 that I had used to learn how to do purl-side short rows just to say "Ha! You told me how to do it WRONG!!" and I found this little gem: "Purl stitch: On wrong side, work to just before wrapped stitch. Insert needle from back, under wrap from bottom up, and put on left needle. Purl them together" (p.108). *Blush*

So, all is right in the world. Interweave Knits knows what it's talking about, I know how to do the purl side short rows now, and I'm almost done with my Delancey Cardigan (this short row revelation happened while knitting the second sleeve cap).

Incidentally, this brought up an interesting knitting question. I am not a frogger. I know that the first three short rows on the second sleeve aren't perfect, and I also know that the entire back side of the short rows on the first sleeve aren't perfect, but this does not bother me one iota. I always read Ravelry notes about ripping back sleeve caps or shawl collars or cable sections three, four, or five times to get it right...and I always think "Why?" Fellow knitters, do you keep ripping until it's perfect, or just figure it's good enough?

PS I almost entitled this post "I'm still alive!" because I have noticed that any knitting blogger worth her salt has at least one post with that title. *giggle* Anyway, I am still alive and knitting, and although I've been busier than usual lately I do have some things that are just about ready to share!

Post PS I've started again with the DVD sets of Buffy the Vampire Slayer while knitting in the evenings. Bring on the witty banter and handsome, non-sparkly vampires!