Thursday, March 04, 2004

I need your input! 

I've been obsessed with choosing a color for my Kyoto sweater. I went to one of my yarn shops during lunch today and they didn't have very much Brown Sheep cotton fleece in stock. The woman working there told me that the Brown Sheep warehouse recently had their roof collapse so special orders were taking a long time also. So... I'm looking on the Internet to see what some of the online yarn sellers might have in stock. Anyway, I looked at their color card to get a better idea of what the colors looked like. I'm also thinking of using a different yarn, with possibly a different texture, for the top part.

I made up my own little swatch card with some color combinations I'm thinking of. Take a look:

Please click on the comments link below and tell me your pick!

Speaking of Kyoto, I saw a really cool version of it on another blog. Click here to see it.

Continuing on with my knitting history, I'm now going to present the next project I started after completing the Kitschy Kercheif. It is my first attempt at a sweater, although it isn't finished yet.

I started this in the hotel room in Dearborn while I was there for work. It was my first attempt at knitting in the round and I had to unravel the bottom ribbing about 10 times before I got it right. Click here to see what the sweater is supposed to look like when it's finished. It's from Rebecca, a German knitting magazine. It comes with an English translation insert. I love their patterns!

I'm making the sweater with Madil Apache and Classic Elite Provence. It's going to be a pretty expensive sweater, but a very pretty one (I hope)! I decided to put it on hold until the weather got a little warmer, so I could focus on making things that I could wear now. I have an immediate gratification problem.

BTW my back is feeling better. I went to the doctor and he gave me some drugs. Ahhh, sweet, sweet pain relief. I'm also going to get an MRI, just so I can know what causes the problem.

Don't forget to leave a comment about which color combo I should use!

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

This is for my Mother 

My mom wants to see the Kyoto Sweater I'm planning on knitting from the Knitty website. Click here to see it.

I bought the yarn pictured below to use for the bottom part.

This color is called "Prosperous Plum." I bought it from FrancisPatrickSales on ebay for 3.20 a skein! I'm thinking I want to buy some more Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in a lighter shade of purple for the top part. Maybe Prairie Lupine or Lilac Haze. Click here to see the colors available. If anyone has a better idea feel free to use the Comments link below!

My First Four Projects  

The first three wearable objects I made were the first three projects in the Stitch'n Bitch book: the "Go Go Garter Stitch Scarf," the "Ribbed For Her Pleasure Scarf," and the "Kitschy Kercheif."

I can't find my Kitschy Kercheif right now so I can't take a picture of it. This will come as no surprise to those of you who have seen where I live. I'm having a hard time forcing myself to continue posting pictures because of this. I want to go in chronological order and I have to break the chain! I'm a little OCD about this type of stuff.

Anyway, here is the first scarf.

Calling this scarf "wearable" is a bit of a stretch. I didn't know how to count rows when i knit it and I made each block of color twice as long as it was supposed to be. It's hard to keep this scarf from dragging on the ground when I wear it. It was knit with Lion Brand Chenille Thick and Quick which is pretty and soft but it would have looked better knit on #13 needles instead of the # 17 needles I used. As a result of the loose knit, none of the yarn ends will stay woven in. It doesn't look very nice, but I finished it in only one day.

Following along in the book like a good girl, I made the ribbed scarf next.

I made it out of Lion Brand Chunky USA, gave it to James, and called it the "Ribbed for His Pleasure Scarf". It was a very good way to get used to purling. After making this my purl stitch was just as good as my knit stitch. I think I might even prefer purling actually...

I finished the ribbed scarf about one week after Christmas. One of the first things I did after returning to Maryland after Christmas was head to one of my local yarn shops, The Celtic Knot to see what kind of fun stuff they had. I ended up buying the yarn I am using to make the keyhole scarf and this other really pretty yarn that I can't remember the name of. It was a thick and thin yarn in pink and black. It was the first time I had bought yarn and made a scarf just because I like the yarn so darn much. I think this was when the yarn problem started. Anyway here is the scarf I made out of that:

I love this scarf! It's pretty much another version of the "Go Go Garter Stitch Scarf."

I started the MIA Kitschy Kerchief while on the plane heading back to Michigan for work in mid-January, and finished it during a snow storm in my hotel room in Dearborn. It was quick and easy and a very good way to learn how to increase stitches. I made it out of some cheap Red Heart Tweed in Cranberry. Believe it or not I've actually worn it in public, although I've often paused and thought about how I looked in it while I'm out running errands or whatever and had the vague feeling of one of those naked in school dreams everyone has at least once. My friend's eleven year old daughters love it though. I think I might have them make some for their own knitting project next.

Well, my back is still killing me and sitting in front of the computer all day at work was bad enough. James is going to pick me up some Ben-Gay pads at the grocery store. Hopefully they'll help! I have a doctor appointment on Thursday so hopefully I'll get down to the cause of this annoying pain once and for all.

I'll post more pictures tomorrow - be sure to check back!

I have a tail problem 

I know I'm jumping out of chronological order again, but I had to share the keyhole scarf I was knitting at Jiffy Lube.

I figured out why I had that funky loop through the row on my needle. I knitted in one of my tails. I need to get those under control!!!

Monday, March 01, 2004

My First Square 

I have a lot of pictures to post but unfortunately my back hurts too much tonight to sit in front of the computer any longer than I have to. So, I've decided to post a few at a time, and tell my little stories about them in chronological order until I get caught up.

First, I am happy to introduce my first "square":

I spent hours knitting this on Christmas day. Many of the rows were knit in the dark while watching a slide show with my family, which might account for it's unique shape. My friend Genevieve gave me the Stitch'n Bitch book for Christmas and I was determined to get started before I left Michigan and could no longer get help from my Mother.

I've been teaching my friend Chris's two eleven year old daughters to knit and I showed them this first square a couple days ago to give them some reassurance. I think their first squares actually turned out better than mine. Grace, one of the girls, suggested it might make a cool skirt in a larger size. Hmmm....

Now I'm going to jump out of chronological order momentarily to show you all (if anyone is listening) my first sweater. I know some of you wanted to see it.

Here it is:

It looks better on the couch than it does on me. I'll give more details and post more pictures soon. Right now I've got to get my aching back to bed.

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Knitting at Jiffy Lube 

So I had to go get my oil changed today. I took a scarf I am working on with me to pass the time. It's a keyhole scarf based on the "Windy City Scarf" from Stitch'n Bitch made out of Filatura di Crosa 501 in colors 501 and 218 (I think...). It's in a 1x1 rib knit and I'm knitting it on #8 needles. I will post a pic of my work in progress soon.

Anyway - when I got there I realized I'd dropped a stitch a couple of rows back. I tried to stick my needle through the stitches in the row right below where the dropped stitch was and it was more difficult than I'm used to. First of all, every other time I've tried to do this it was in stockinette stitch. Second, I've never done it with this fine of yarn before. Third, I only had one set of needles with me so I couldn't try picking them up with a smaller needle - which is usually easier.

On my first try I did something completely wrong - I'm not even sure what - but when I started ripping nothing stayed on the needle and I just had a bunch of loose stitches sticking up when I was done. I tried putting them back on the needle and then I realized I had only gotten the knit stitches. Every other stitch was sticking out still in back.

So I tried again - this time I don't think I stayed in the same row because about half of the stitches were sticking out on top of the needle. I can't really explain this very well. Basically I picked up some of the stitches in the row above where I originally intended to pick them up from.

At this point I had unravelled at least 6 inches of the scarf and I had a whole pile of yarn tangled up around me feet on the floor of the Jiffy Lube waiting room. Not the best place to experience a knitting disaster, but I kept going. About half way through trying to stick my needle through another row of stitches the Jiffy Lube technician came into the waiting room asking for the owner of the 2003 Pontiac (me). He wanted me to come into the garage for a minute. I carefully sat down my knitting on the chair next to me and stood up, immediately tripping because I had yarn wrapped around both of my feet. After what seemed like hours of humiliation, I unwound the yarn from around my ankles and the heels of my boots and piled it all on the top of the now broken scarf.

The mechanic apoligized for interupting my "crocheting."

"Knitting." I said. "I screwed something up and I'm trying to fix it.

He wanted to show me the filthiness of my air filter, and of course it's been five thousand miles since my last oil change so they told me I should get my engine flushed out. He said it would only take about five extra minutes but it would somehow bump the price up from 35 to 120 dollars. "Whatever," I said. "Go ahead." I didn't feel like questioning him because I had to get back to my knitting mess and fix it!

"I assume this is your husbands name," he said pointing the computer screen where they had my "Jiffy Lube History" or something displayed. "You don't look like a James."

"Yes," I said, "He must have been the one who brought it in last time."

"Ok then ma'am, it'll be about five more minutes then."

I was already running back to the waiting room, afraid someone had sat on my scarf or tripped over my yarn pile and unravelled the whole thing.

Luckily everything was still intact, as ugly as it was becoming. I managed to get my needle through another row, once again to discover I had not stayed straight, and had picked up stitches from two different rows. I managed to pull out some of the extra stitches that were sticking out on top and now I've got a big loop of yarn going from about the third stitch in to about half way through the row.

When the guy from behind the counter called my name I said "hang on a minute" and carefully finished what I was doing and wound everything back up and stuck it in my bag. I felt like everyone in the waiting room was staring at me and my huge mess.

When I went out back and picked up my car the mechanic who I'd been talking to before came running out and told me that if I had any problems or questions to be sure to come back.

"And if you don't mind my saying, ma'am, if you ever get a divorce come back and see me."

"Uhhh... thanks....?" I said to the mechanic, who sort of resembled The Nuge.

I wondered if this meant knitting in public might be a good way to pick up guys. Hmmm.... Not that I need to worry about it anyway. It's just been a long time since anyone has hit on me so it made me feel good even if he did look like The Motor City Madman.

When I got home I told James that if he ever runs off with one of his models I know that I can at least go hang out at the Jiffy Lube to boost my self esteem.

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(since 12-25-03)
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