Thursday, September 11, 2008

Whew, It Fits

All of my worrying, and my Kaleidoscope sweater fits perfectly. I am so excited. If I made another project that was too small I might have hung up my knitting needles. Probably not, but I would have been so sad. I blocked my sweater and it was just right. Yeah!!

My new yarn for my next project arrived today as well. It was sort of strange not having anything on the needles for a day or two. I was going to start the Rusted Root by Zephyr, but I really want to make a bulky sweater. I am going to make a simple top down raglan with quite a bit of ribbing. I need to swatch now. I think I'll make both. I am starting to feel like a knitter.

I keep trying to figure out what to make next. I pour over Ravelry all the time. I think my brain my pop. I want to make everything I look at. I change my mind all the time. I add to my queue. How do you know what to make next? It is hard for me to decide. I am also trying to keep the stash at a minimum right now. I try to only purchase yarn that has a designated project. That may be a joke later, especially because I keep changing my mind about the projects. I am going to start my project now. Yeah, it fits!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

I Think I Will

I've been doing a little more reading, about knitting of course. It's become all I do, eat, sleep, think about knitting. That is when I'm not knitting. I digress. I was reading a little bit about yarn fiber content. I've discovered that cotton yarn stretches out. One of the articles I read said to prepare for that ahead of time. The first tank top I made for myself came out huge. I had gauge and it was Huge. When I read that article I thought for a moment and realized that may be why my tank top was too big.

Let me explain the first tank top. It was made out Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. It is the Mud Flap Girl Tank from Stitch and Bitch Nation. I blocked it to the measurements. Everything went pretty well. I sewed the pieces together and it was so big that I had to fold a tuck in the waist and armpits on both sides and sew them down. It fits ok after I did that.

I began working on the Shapely Tee. I used Rowan RYC Silk Merino. I lost gauge and ended up with too many stitches per inch. I also remember thinking about my tank top and how huge it was and probably also cast-on for a size too small as well. That poor tee has a double whammy. It was probably going to be a bit tight at first, but to need a larger needle also. It's way too tight. I keep thinking maybe I'll wear it. Probably not. It was a great learning experience. It all went together so well. The seams and the sleeves. I felt so good about it. I love the yarn so much too. What to do?

I keep going back to the whole "knitting is a process" thing. The Yarn Harlot said that yarn is reusable. I guess what I'm getting at is that I am going to frog the tee and recycle it. I found a cute pattern for a lacey tank. I may do the tee again. The yarn wasn't cheap. It was my first step into yarn snobbery. I now can't go back. The yarn needs to be worn. Not sit there because I made a mistake. It needs to be harvested and made to wear. I think I will frog it.

The whole point of my post today was to see how I was feeling about it. I think that yarn deserves to be something I'll wear. I will frog it today. It is the right thing to do. Sweaters are made to wear.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Here We Go Again

I'm about 2/3 of the way down the first sleeve of my "kaleidoscope" sweater. It is so cute, it is really cute. Then my doubt starts creeping in. It's going to be too small. I've done it again. Knit myself something too small. I made the neck too high, the sleeves are going to be too tight. I hope that I'll get past this someday. I have such high expectations of myself. I see all of the beautiful sweaters on Ravelry and want to accomplish some successes myself. I'm not even sure yet if I'm right or wrong on this current project. It may be the perfect fit. I've slipped it on, I think it'll be fine. I just have doubt because I've had trouble so far on all of my projects.

I've been listening to past episodes of "Cast-on" with Brenda Dayne. Listening to her talk about "Today's Sweater" in each of the episodes is giving me hope. It sounds like I am going through the growing pains of passing from a total beginner to a more advanced knitter. I have been bitten by the knitting bug. It is my new obsession. I really want to be good at it. I want to make beautiful things that fit properly. It's funny how this just grabs you and won't let go. Creating things from fiber is amazing.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Back to School

My boys just walked out the door for the first day of the new school year. I am really sad about it. It almost feels like the day they each started for the first time. My oldest boy starts high school today. I never thought it would make me cry, but it is. Soon it will be time for him to become a man and be on his own. That's only part of it, I had a lot of trouble during my high school years and he reminds me so much of myself. I can only hope for now that he has a better experience than I did. I don't think my parents had any idea just how hard it was for me. I am going to do my best to advocate for my child as well as to teach him to be his own advocate. It'll be better for him.

Now the other boy, on the other hand. He's starting seventh grade. I admire him because he's not driven by what other people might think or say. He's popular and funny. He has the attention span of a flea, but it's ok. He drives his poor teachers absolutely batty. I only hope that we can contain his energy long enough to get through his homework. The boys are two totally different animals. I think sometimes that the things about each of them that makes me craziest are the things I love the most.

For our last summer hurrah yesterday, we went to the beach. The boys also have a three and a half year old sister. It was fabulous to watch them able to make sand castles and sift for shells. Having her around allows them to let down their "cool" for a bit. Especially that older boy of mine. He tends to be painfully cool. He's my kid that worries about what people will say or think. He's like I was as a kid, I would've rather died than be embarrassed. The problem was that everything was embarrassing for me. I was twenty-five years old before I realized if people were looking at me that closely, maybe it was their problem. Kids are so quick to point out flaws, mistakes, or laugh for hours at an accident that you'd rather forget. It's the nature of the beast I guess. It makes them forget how worried they are about their own selves for a few minutes.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Looking Good, Feeling Good

I have just finished the waist decreases for the second time. It is so much cuter this time. I am doing my best to knit loosely. Sarah said that the pattern calls for loose sock yarn knit loosely. My gauge is staying steady, it's not getting tighter and tighter like it did on my pink tee. Anyway, alternating the two skeins has been just what this project needed. It looks nice and variegated, no crazy pools of color. I noticed that with all of the messing around I did on the poor first hank of yarn that it's color isn't as brilliant as the second. You see, I had only ever wound chunky yarn from a hank into a ball, so the first hank of my beautiful Lime n Violet turned into a bit of a birds nest towards the end. I then used it on the first attempt at my "Kaleidoscope," which in turn was frogged. Alternating the two skeins is blending all of these color variations quiet nicely. It's actually looking like I had envisioned. I will keep you posted. It is really fun for me. Knitting has really been good for me.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Knitting is a Process

I was cruising right along. Flying as a matter of fact. Totally excited by my new project. I was using my sock yarn on a cute sweater pattern. The further I went along, the more decreases I did, the more the color puddled. All of a sudden my lime n violet "kaleidoscope" was green spots with purple and white stripes. Not so cute anymore. I finally admitted it wasn't going to be something I would wear, with the big lime green dots and all. Can you see where this is going? Frog city. I went to a few websites and learned a few things and thought I would try again.

I also received a wool-winder in the mail yesterday as well. This made frogging a quick and fairly painless process. I cast on again, this time with a cable cast-on and not the long-tail. The long tail makes the bottom of the cast on have the variegated colorway go in reverse, it wasn't cute. Cable cast-on kept the color that was being cast-on the needle together and was all ready much prettier. The other decision I made was to alternate my skeins of yarn every two rows. I am hoping that this keeps the "puddles" down to a minimum and keeps the variegated look to my sweater. I am going to keep going and I think it's going to be much better.

I also have been studying the provisional cast-0n as well. This sweater is a bottom-up raglan cardigan. I have made one top-down and am slowly wrapping my brain around how it will work in reverse. The provisional cast-on seems simple enough. I just going to follow the pattern, maybe adding an inch to the length, and a few extra stitches to the armpits, and see what I end up with. Just keep knitting.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Just Keep Knitting

I've cast on my "Kaleidoscope." It's going well. I have finished the waist decreases. I have to say I was quite encouraged when I got a message on my ravelry page from Sarah Sutherland about my gauge issues. She wrote this pattern and had some good advice for me. It really meant a lot to me and wiped away my fear of having something I worked so hard on not fit AGAIN!! I have to remember that this is a process. I am pretty new to all of this. I have no experience putting garments together. I am learning on the fly.
I felt energized to keep knitting after I read my message from Sarah. The song from "Finding Nemo" that Ellen DeGeneris's character Dory sings "Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming" popped into my head only I sing "Just keep knitting, knitting, knitting!"

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I have just finished checking my gauge on my new swatches. The swatches are for two new projects. I want to be very careful because so far I am having trouble getting things to fit me. I got gauge on both of these projects with one size larger needle than suggested. I just cast on for one cardigan. I will get it going and then cast on for my next project soon. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Gauge Trouble

So, I am having trouble getting things the right size for myself. The first tank top I made for myself fit my chest, but was way too big everywhere else. I just made myself a shapely tank, that became a tee because I had enough yarn for short sleeves. I tried it on and it is pretty tight. Part of the problem was that I lost gauge. It is too tightly knit. I knit my swatch and I knew it was a little tight, but I am still not quite sure what to do when I'm off a bit. In this case I think I should've knit with one size larger needle. Live and learn. It is supposed to be a process.

I don't have a single thing on the needles right now. I have to admit that I'm a little nervous to start something new, with the last couple of things coming out suspect. I hope to figure out first of all how to get gauge. Second of all how to fit all of my shapes and sizes. I have long arms, big chest, small waist and a not so small hips yet not so huge either. I would love to make the "Kaleidoscope" sweater from Parallax knitting by Sarah Sutherland. It is made with sock yarn and to get gauge, it either has to be doubled or very loosely knit. I am not sure the best way to go about this. I'm about to set out on this journey to find out.

My hope is to figure the math out for fitting a sweater perfectly for me. That obviously is the goal when we start a project for ourselves. I will just keep on my journey to nicely fit knitted garments. I love to knit and will be happy to keep practicing until I figure it out.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lots of knitting

I went on my big trip to the skating Nationals and I did pretty well. I placed second in my dance event and fourth in my figure event. Pretty good since it is the National championships. I'm really proud of myself. I held my composure and just did my thing. While I was there in my down time I did tons of knitting. That was the best distraction to keep my nerves in check. It was great. I also got most of my "Shapely Tee" from finished. It was great.
I had watched a great video of Cat Bordhi doing short rows on "youtube." It made me feel quite smart when I was attempting the short rows in my sweater. It didn't trip me up at all. I sailed right through the sort row shaping at the bottom edge of my tank (that became a tee because I had such great yarn and plenty left for sleeves.) It is made out of Rowan RYC silk wool dk. It is fabulous feeling, especially after blocking.
I was noticing in a lot of podcasts and knitting blogs that a lot of people spend a lot of time trying to avoid seaming. It was making me nervous because my sweater is in four pieces. When I didn't know better, the first sweater I had knit for my daughter was in pieces and had four colors worth of stripes, it seamed together beautifully. Anyway, I thought am I crazy for doing this in pieces. I seamed it up today a little differently than the pattern, I did it like the first sweater I made. I sewed the caps of the sleeves, leaving the sides of the garment open. I then seamed up the side and the underside of the sleeve. It worked out great. Oh yeah, I had also found a video of Kelley Petken of knitpicks doing kitchener stitch on youtube. I used the kitchener for grafting the front and back of the garment. It made total sense. I sent her a message telling her how great her video is. She told me to go forth and let all knitters know that kitchener stitch is actually pretty easy.
I have two projects off the needles and none on. It is time to set forth on another knitting adventure.

Monday, July 28, 2008

U.S. Roller Figure Skating Championships

I have been knitting like crazy to keep my mind off of my competition that is happening this week. I am almost finished with the big blue coat. I kept thinking that I was making a mistake on the chevron lace, but I wasn't. It took me until I finished one repeat of the front and collar that I realized the last couple of rows are staggered by starting each row with one knit more than the last, which makes one or two less at the end. It looks just right. I am excited about how it's coming out.

About the skating, I fly out tomorrow for Lincoln, Nebraska. I have a practice day on Wednesday and then I start competing on Thursday morning. I wasn't really feeling that nervous about it until yesterday. I am one of the top few from last year and I am hoping to do really well. I will keep everyone posted. I plan to knit my shapely tank while I am away. There should be a lot of spare time for knitting. I will be able to knit at the auditorium while other parts of the competition are happening. I even hope to get pretty far on my project while I'm there.

After the competition I am headed to my dad's house in Missouri. While I am there, I will definitely have time to knit. There's not a lot to see in Missouri except my family. I am also going to give my grandmother a perm while I'm there. She's pretty hilarious, the only time she gets her hair done is while I'm there. I haven't been there since last August. She should be good and shaggy for me.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yeah for me

I am so excited to be blogging. I am so busy lately that I think I need a place to vent. I knit whenever I have a few minutes. Yesterday while each of my clients was processing, I worked on the sleeve of my big blue sweater coat. I think it's going to turn out better than I thought. I'm kind of excited about how it looks. I will post more later.