dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
I realize that I haven't been updating lately, but I have two very good reasons. Really.

First, I've been doing a lot of knitting )

Second, many of the people who are getting knitted gifts read this blog )

The good news is that I am, in fact, done. I finished the last hat on Friday, so any other knitting that I get done will be a bonus. And the first thing on my bonus knitting list is a sweater for my daughter. I have been a crappy knitting mommy because I haven't yet made her one at any point in the last five years, but I really, really wanted her to have a nice wool sweater for her first skiing experience.

I'm using a pattern from Cabin Fever's Top Down For Toddlers, and I now feel doubly guilty for not having done one before because it's so easy. I started it on Friday, knitted a lot on Saturday, and now (Monday) have 10 of the 13 body inches done. I'm working it at a slightly larger gauge than the one called for (5 stitches to the inch instead of 5.5), which means that I'm working the pattern for a size smaller than what I actually need, which means that I'm doing a wee bit less knitting than I might otherwise have to.

I have also made a serendipitous discovery, which is more or less what inspired me to make a post today. I had 16-inch and 32-inch 3.75mm needles, but the body of the sweater is only 28 inches around. Not wanting to have to stretch the body around my 32-inch needles, I bought a pair of 24-inch needles. The only 24-inch Addi needles available were Addi lace needles, and I figured it wouldn't make much difference.

I was wrong )

Yeah, probably should have asked for a Patternworks gift certificate for Christmas...
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
Cathedral Mittens

After a pause for bronchitis, I started in on the Cathedral Mittens again. I got all the way to the end of the first mitten, and all I have to do now is the thumb.

Cathedral Mittens--Detail

The decreases caused some thought and planning. I caught on pretty quick that the instructions would leave a very nice gold-black-gold three-stitch symmetrical border at the decreases. This worked great for the window pattern rows. Where it didn't work so great were the two black rows in between the window pattern. I concluded, after some squinting at my crappy black and white photocopy of the pattern (because, yes, I forgot to check while I was home and in the same room as the book), that the black rows didn't include the gold stitch. Which is fine with me, because it was enough of a pain to carry the black all the way across the row for two--count them two--stitches per round.

I'm still really pleased with how these are turning out. They're going much faster than I had ever imagined, bronchitis aside, and they're truly beautiful. I'm amazed at the work that went into developing this pattern.
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
I'm still composing my DragonCon report, so instead I'm going to talk about mittens.

Cathedral Mittens--In Progress

I'm really, really pleased with the way these are turning out. I was worried for a while about the gauge, because the swatch is measured over the palm stitch, and the cuff stitch is a lot wider. I was knitting on these huge cuffs thinking the things would swallow my hand, but now that I've gotten an inch above the thumb I'm thinking it's going to be okay. The hand stitch is, as my swatch told me, a lot more compressed horizontally than the cuffs, and the contrast is going to give a nice gauntlet effect to the cuff.

Cathedral Mittens--In Progress

I had to rip back a row when I first made the thumb opening, but so far that's only my second big mistake. My first big mistake, you ask?

Imagine, if you will, the purple and gold chevron pattern at the top of the cuff with the last row of gold stitches offset by half a repeat. It was actually a very nice effect, and if I had done it for the whole row I would have gladly kept it because it was pretty. Unfortunately, I did half the row correctly, and the other half not.

I had already knitted another two or three rows by the time I discovered this. I didn't want to rip out, so what I did instead was to slip stitches along the row until I reached the point above an incorrect stitch. I laddered down, then, using a crochet hook, snagged the correct color that was already stranded across the back of the work and knitted the column back up. It worked out fine, since the colors were already stranded, just in a different order than they should have been. I really should have taken pictures of the process, though.

These are also knitting up a good deal quicker than I thought they would. So far it's taken about four knitting days to reach the point where I am now, and the pattern is very easy to remember after the first repeat. It's going to take some time, but not nearly as much as I had feared.
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
Because I have nothing else to do today, such as get dressed, finish packing, help daughter do same, and drive to Atlanta, I'm going to talk a bit about my new knitting project.

Cathedral Mittens

I've wanted to do Lizbeth Upitis's Cathedral Mittens for fifteen years. I've been making projects out of the book Homespun Handknit for at least that long, and the Cathedral Mittens were one of the ones that had to wait a while. Thanks to Maggie Righetti's Dumb Baby Bonnet, Stupid Baby Sweater, and Baby Booties, I did have a good basic skill set, but the Cathedral Mittens were completely out of my league. Furthermore, I didn't even have access to needles small enough to knit at twelve stitches to the inch, and if I had I didn't have access to good enough yarn, either. So the mittens waited.

As the years passed, I got better at knitting, and from time to time I'd look at the Cathedral Mittens and think, "Yeah, I could probably do those now." But there was always something else to do before tackling such a finely knitted project that would be only for myself. I had, apparently, a lot of selfless knitting to get through first. And I still hadn't found any yarn that said, "Hey, remember the Cathedral Mittens? Use me!" For one thing, I really wanted to do the mittens in the actual colors from the original pattern--which I rarely do--and finding a fine yarn in just the right shades of gold, purple, blue, orange, and red that also came in black proved harder than it might seem.

A few months ago, though, events converged. I'd added 000 and 0 size needles to my tools some time ago, and had knitted a couple of projects at twelve and ten stitches to the inch, so I knew I had the dogged bloody-mindedness required. Not to mention the insanity of the 160-fish fish blanket. Then I spotted some Garnstudio Drops Alpaca black, gold, and other cathedral-esque colors, and my brain finally dredged up "Cathedral Mittens!"

More technical stuff )
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
Sensational Koigu Socks

Pattern: Based on the "Pine and Neon" Four-Stitch Reticulated Patterns socks from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch.
Yarn: 3 skeins Koigu KPPPM/KPM (100% wool). 2 skeins KPM 7160 (Purple), 1 skein KPPPM 841 (Greens and Black)
Needles: 2.5mm (US 1)
Gauge: 19 sts x 21 rows = 2 inches over stranded stockinette
Knitting Time and Date Completed: 4 weeks, completed 08/27/07

More pictures and notes )
dmarley: Hanks of purple and green yarn with knitting needles on top (Knitting)
Boo's Sparkly Socks

Pattern: Boo's Sparkly Socks.
Yarn: 1 100g/425m skein South West Trading Company Tofutsies (50% superwash wool/25% Soysilk fibers/22.5% cotton/2.5% chitin) in #730 (Light Foot). 1 87yd skein Lana Gatto Crystal (63% viscose/20% Nylon/17% Polyester) in #4112 (Pinks)
Needles: 2.5mm (US 1)
Gauge: 9 sts = 1"
Notes: Flush with the success of the Fixation socks, I decided to make Boo a pair of pink socks. I showed her the pink yarn I'd bought, and she asked if it was "sparkly." I said I'd see what I could do. The next day, I went back to where I'd bought the Tofutsies, and found a matching pink eyelash yarn that certainly qualified as "sparkly." (And it was on sale.) So, I cast on more stitches than I needed, added the sparkly yarn, and ribbed the cuff in sparklies. After the cuff ribbing, I reduced the stitches to a more normal circumference and just knitted a basic sock. If I had it all to do again I might not double the yarn, and I almost certainly won't rib the eyelash parts, but the effect of the cuff was exactly as I'd hoped: big and floppy and foldable down to a nice anklet, but also capable of staying up.

More Pictures )

More Pattern Details )
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
Fixation Socks

Pattern: Socks
Yarn: 1 50g/100 yd ball Cascade Fixation (98.3% cotton/1.7% elastic) in #9464. One ball actually made three socks, the two shown here and a *cough* rather smaller one. It was a swatch sock. Really.
Needles: 3.0mm (US 3)
Gauge: 7.5 sts = 1"
Knitting Time and Date Completed: Four hours each, completed 06/30/07
Notes: Although Boo's first socks were beautiful, they weren't exactly a success in the knittability and wearability departments. Knitting anything at 12 stitches to the inch is asking for a nervous breakdown, and after they were done Boo said the socks were "itchy." She loved them when she saw them, she really did, but she only wore them once before refusing to wear them again (cf. "itchy").

So, for my second attempt, I went with cotton, and I went with bigger yarn. Much bigger yarn. I used Cascade Fixation, which is cotton with a deceptively small amount of elastic blended in. It says 1.7%, but that 1.7% goes a long, long way. It's a very pleasant yarn to work with, soft and springy, but it took me a while to get the hang of what tension to use (for the record, really, really loose). It's very easy to have a lot of tension on the yarn without noticing, and I had to make a special effort to make sure that there was plenty of yarn pulled free and that I wasn't just stretching the same three inches of yarn over more and more stitches. But the results were very nice, and Boo loves them and declares them non-itchy. That's good enough for me.

More pictures and details under the cut, including a gratuitous cat picture )

dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
Harry Potter Scarves

The final tally: 9 scarves, 3 hats. Not bad for two weeks work. :)
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
There is a picture of a lawn mower under this cut. Click if you think you can stand the excitement. )

The lawn mower repair folks delivered our shiny new lawn mower this morning. They also installed the mulch kit, no charge. So, while losing an entire lawn tractor = not so good, replacing it with a brand new one definitely counts as a save in a customer service department. Plus, it's been so darn dry around here that we haven't even needed to mow for something like three weeks, so not having a mower hasn't even been much of an inconvenience.

In Hypericon news, I'm washing my pile o' Potter scarves in preparation for tasselling this afternoon. I have two ear flaps left to knit on my fourth Jayne hat, and I'm fairly certain I have enough yarn for a fifth, which I feel confident that I can finish during the con. I used Elann's Highland Wool, and it's actually not a bad yarn, especially for a project that's supposed to look rustic. Cheap yarn delivered fast. :)
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
Knitting Machine

The pile of scarves is bigger, but the bucket of yarn appears no emptier. Is this some kind of new knitting physics?

I've run off eight scarves on the machine now, two for each house. I'm making a third Gryffindor scarf because I ended up with one old-style scarf and one new for each of the houses except Gryffindor, and I'd like to keep the symmetry. Besides, the first scarf I did has all the expected flaws of a prototype, and I'd like to have two non-crappy scarves for each house.

I've ordered yarn to make some Jayne hats, but I have no idea if it will arrive in a timely enough fashion. In any case, I've met my minimum Harry Potter production goal, so that's something. :)

Six days to Hypericon!
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
So, in light of all the serious issues surrounding fandom, fanfiction, and Livejournal, I've decided to talk about knitting. Specifically, the knitting machine, because nothing says Serious Business like a knitting machine.

The anatomy of a knitting machine )
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
Holiday knitting is proceeding. I have completed:

  • 3 pairs of socks + 1 sock (Please note these socks are now mostly in pairs instead of as individuals. This is a step up.)
  • 1 hat
  • 1 scarf

    Still to go:

  • 4 pairs of socks + 1
  • 1 set of wristwarmers
  • 1 hat (forgotten on last tally, oops)

    At present, though, I've stopped work on all holiday knitting in order to make my sister's wedding reception shawl. After much consultation, I realized that my sister didn't want anything frilly, lacy, or, really, complex. I was just at the point of steeling myself for the grim prospect of miles and miles of teeny stockinette when it occurred to me that there was, in fact, a simple yet attractive shawl pattern in existence that nearly every single damn knitter on the planet had already made.

    Yep, I'm making my sister a Clapotis.

    I'm knitting it out of GGH's Mystik, a cotton/viscose blend that's very smooth and satiny and quite wedding-dressy, especially in the white that I'm using. It's also very, very slippery. When Boo dropped a hand puppet on the cord of the needle as I was knitting, I had the somewhat heart-stopping experience of the needles shooting right out of each and every stitch. It was pretty impressive, really, to be sitting there knitting and suddenly be holding nothing but the knitting. (And yes, I got all the stitches back on, no harm done.)
  • dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    So far, I have completed:

  • 4 socks (please note, I did not say "2 pairs of socks." This is an important distinction.)
  • 1 hat

    It may not seem very impressive, considering that my holiday knitting list includes:

  • 10 more socks
  • 1 scarf
  • 1 hat
  • 1 set of wrist warmers

    That, or it might seem a bit premature to be knitting for the holidays in September. But my non-holiday knitting due on December 30th--a shawl for my sister's wedding--has necessitated a bit of a fore-planning this year.

    To that end, I'm going for quite a few projects with larger gauges. The finished hat, for instance, was made of Colinette Prism to the gauge of 3 stitches per inch, and took me a day to make. The socks for my nieces were 8 stitches to the inch for slightly smaller than adult-sized socks, and the socks for my stepsister are hitting about 5.5 stitches per inch. They're going pretty darn fast.

    The scarf should be a fairly quick project as well. I'm making Knitty's Branching Out in cashmere, which is a good project to get to use some really nice yarn without going bankrupt. The hat and wrist warmers will also take not a whole lot of time, and one pair of socks will be knit at a fairly large gauge. No worries there.

    It's the last three pairs of socks that will be the time-killers. I don't have elaborate plans for either of them in terms of stitch patterns, but they'll be knitted at around 8-10 stitches per inch, and that will take time. Also, two pairs have to be finished for Chanukah (gee, I wonder what Boo and Albert are getting this year?), which ends on (I think) December 22nd this year.

    Still, it's only September 23rd. That's three months. No need to panic. Yet.
  • dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    Well, the double-point experiment has gone away. I just didn't like the gauge I was getting with the 00000s, so I switched to some 000 (1.5mm, for those keeping count at home) circulars I had. They're a bit short for ordinary magic loop socks, but these socks are small enough that I can still have sufficient slack even at the heel turning.

    (Actually, I think I initially described the first needles as 0000s, when in fact they're .75mm needles, which I think makes them 00000s. And really, when you get down to the multiple zeros, who really cares anymore?)

    The yarn I'm using (Schaefer's Anne) is described as a fingering weight, getting about 7-8 stitches per inch. Because I'm apparently insane, I'm working these socks at a gauge of 12 stitches per inch. This means that I'm working on 80 stitches for a pair of socks that's about 6 1/2" around. See above re: insane.

    The socks are actually just a wee bit big for Boo, which is more or less what I intended in order to maximize the number of winters she'll be able to wear them before I have to face 12-stitch-per-inch socks again.

    They are also gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. The yarn is 25% mohair, which gives it this beautiful sheen and a lovely, silky feel. The colors are unbelievably brilliant, and in fact [ profile] melissagay, on seeing the yarn, told me it would be a crime for whatever I knitted with it to leave my house. And honestly, I think that even if I'd initially intended to give these away, I would probably have been tempted to keep them anyway.
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    I decided on Wednesday that I needed to make my mother some doilies for her birthday. She plays bridge every Monday, and when she hosts she buys the little paper doilies to put under the snacks and so on. Well, I hadn't had any ideas about what to do for her birthday and was going to just get her a book when the words "knit" and "doily" collided in my head.

    Little old lady lace knitters are not to be messed with )
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    Right. DragonCon is a week away. Well, tomorrow it will be a week away. Naturally, the most urgent, burning issue of my preparations is "What am I going to knit?"

    The Seaweed Afghan is right out. )
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    I finished the replacements for a pair of cursed socks tonight, ones I started at least five times and then found out were too small. So, I put the obviously cursed yarn away and did another pair for Al using Lane Cervinia Forever Jacquard, in a blue, gray, black, and white colorway. I like it a lot more than most self-patterning sock yarns because the colors change more quickly, especially the short bits where the colors are supposed to mimic alternating stitches. Plus, it's slightly cheaper.

    I immediately started on a pair of socks for Boo that I'd been dying to get started. I bought a skein of Schaeffer's Anne in a bright pink, red, orange, and purple colorway, just the thing for the discerning toddler. When I say "immediately," of course, what I mean is "immediately after winding 560 yards of fine sock yarn into a ball by hand." (The alcohol had nothing to do with the fact that it took me something like two hours to accomplish this.)

    Because the Anne is a bit thinner than the sock yarns I'd been using, I had to go down from the 0's I'd used for Al's socks to a some 00's. This isn't really a problem, except that the only 00's I have are two sets of steel double-pointed needles. Again, not a problem, because I've knitted fifty billion pairs of mittens and hat tops on double-points, no big deal. And, yay, I have two sets, so I can still work on both socks at once, which is my preferred method.

    Well, okay. So it's been probably six or seven years since I've actually used double-pointed needles, not since I learned about the technique of knitting on two circulars and let out a whoop of joy at the thought of never laddering again. It didn't take me long to invest in a duplicate set of circulars, and I've never looked back. I still carry my double-points around because they're very useful for picking up and fixing, but I haven't actually knitted in the round with them for some time.

    So far, I've knitted one (1) round. It didn't take long for it all to come back to me, the needles sticking every which way and flopping around, the winding the yarn around the wrong needles, the dropping the emptied needle under the desk five times. Plus, these are, in case I haven't mentioned, very thin needles. Very thin, 7" long needles, which is an inch longer than the ones I'd normally use, on a project that's 2" shorter around than the average adult sock, which means that there's a lot more extra pointy bits waving around than I'm used to.

    Still, one round down, and while it's not quite the whizzing along I can manage on two circulars, the enjoyment of working with double-pointed needles is still there. Plus, I don't have to worry about whipping my needle around and smacking a cat in the face like I do when I change from one circular to the other. There's always a bright side, after all.
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    There are a lot of people who don't see the point of hand knitting. Why, they wonder, would any sane person spend hours upon hours carefully wrapping bits of yarn around a pair of needles when one can buy equivalents of the finished product at Wal-Mart? Especially when said Wal-Mart product is a hell of a lot cheaper. Luckily, I don't know anyone with that attitude. I'm very fortunate, in fact, to have friends and family who appreciate my love of knitting, in the fullest sense of the word.

    I have to wonder what the former group says, though, about knitters who spin their own yarn first. Because, damn, if I had a few hundred spare bucks lying around, I'd be surreptitiously Googling spinning wheels. And it'd be all Sheila's fault.

    A couple of days ago, at the regular Thursday Stich N' Bitch at Threaded Bliss, a lady named Marlene Gruetter from Timber Ridge Farm in Ohio came to talk to us about where little yarns come from.

    Fun Facts About Fiber )

    Marlene brought out the spinning wheel, and demonstrated. She asked for volunteers to try it, and I pretty much jumped at the chance. To spin, one holds the raw fiber in both hands, using one hand to feed the twisted yarn onto the bobbin, and the other to tease out the un-spun fiber so that it can be twisted. There is, obviously, a great deal of practice, skill, and know-how involved in said process, but it amazed me how easily that big puff of fiber turned into an object resembling yarn.

    I spun about three yards of yarn, which in its modest length contains many different spinning techniques. Parts of it are very loosely twisted--one might go so far as to describe them as "un-spun lumps." Other parts are very firmly twisted, and have a charming habit of kinking into tight little piggy tails at the least provocation. There are even some parts that combine the two techniques, resembling densely matted lumps. And there are even a couple of inches, here and there, that look like yarn. It was amazingly, amazingly fun, and I can see now why not only are there many knitters who enjoy spinning their own yarn, there are folks out there who have no interest in knitting, weaving, or crocheting, they just love making the yarn.

    I wonder if there are cheap spinning wheels on E-bay...


    Aug. 13th, 2006 06:04 pm
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    Inspired by a Blogspot meme, here are my current knitting Un-Finished Objects, such as they are.

    1. The Seaweed Afghan From Hell. I don't know if I'll ever finish this. It's an enormous afghan done in--you guessed it--a pattern called Seaweed. I started it in 1997, and it's the only project left from the Great UFO Finishing Drive of 2006. I'm still thinking I might just bind it off where it is and call it a lap robe.

    2. St. Brigid Sweater. Moving along quite well. I've got the back almost done, just one more pattern repeat to go.

    3. Al's socks. Proceeding apace. For a while the purse sock was way ahead of the computer sock, but I started toting the latter around and now they're about even. (I keep one sock at the computer and work on it while waiting for web pages to load--yes, I'm on dial-up. The other I carry around in my purse for working on while chasing Boo around the library and waiting in line, etc.) Both socks are now about two inches away from the toe decreases.

    And, er, that seems to be it. I suppose I could count the Sweetpea dress I started and then ripped out, since I still intend to make it, but seeing as it's currently in the state of "piled in a heap of yarn bobbins," it's more an Un-Done Project than Un-Finished.
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    The St. Brigid sweater is coming along nicely. I've done three repeats of the cable pattern on the back, which translates into about 10", or about a third of the needed length.

    So far, I've only screwed it up twice, and both screw-ups happened on the braided cable borders. The first time, I only had to ladder one cable back about four rows. Last night, though, I had to ladder all four dratted braids back, because I'd done the entire row wrong without noticing. Sadly, there was no alcohol involved (well, not at that point), and in fact I had virtuously set aside the sweater and switched to a sock once I started drinking.

    The irony of this is that I purposely stopped knitting the cable pattern solely because the last time I did a project with that same braided border while drinking, I had had to ladder all nine cable stitches back about 30 rows to fix the same freakin' mistake I made last night while dead sober.

    I'm sure there's a moral in there somewhere, and I'm not entirely sure that it's not along the lines of "it doesn't matter if you drink or not, you will find a way to screw up your knitting."
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    I am, at long last, knitting a sweater for myself. I've lusted after the St. Brigid sweater in Alice Starmore's Aran Knitting for many years, and today cast on to begin the back.

    That may sound simple, but there were a number of factors that made said cast-on something of a triumph.

    Remember, gauge is important. Really. )

    Onward and upward!
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    Instead of remarking on how long it's been since I've posted, I'm going to pretend that no time has passed. We'll see how that works.

    Right now, the two most burning issues in my life are:

    1) The fact that ribbing, even in wool, expands when one washes it. This means that the "swatch" for my heavily cabled sweater expanded from 19" to 22 1/2". While this does mean new math, it also means that I only have to add 4" to the sides, which is doable with the given filler pattern, instead of 7 1/2", which would look dorky.

    2) The fact that I haven't finished a fan fiction story in my daughter's lifetime. This is likely not a coincidence.
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    The first time I made a fish blanket, I thought it came out puckered and wavy because I had used two different weights of yarn and tried to make them match with different needle sizes. This was, apparently, not the case. I'm not quite to the end of the first row, and already I see puckered fish in my future.

    It's possible that this is due to the fact that the seams are crocheted, not knitted. I'm capable of crocheting, but I'm not terribly experienced and I may be committing some basic crocheting error with the tension or the twists of the stitches and not be able to correct it because I can't see it. Or it could just be that the destiny of this creation is not to lie flat.

    One thing that seems to have helped already is to move up two hook sizes. I knit pretty loosely, and typically drop down two needle sizes to get to a suggested gauge. I finally theorized that this doesn't mean that I crochet as loose as I knit, and maybe I should use the crochet hook I *would* use if I were knitting to an "average" gauge. Or something. Anyway, it seems to be helping a bit.
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    Yes, hello, it's me, popping up from my gopher hole again. I've had modem issues. I actually still have them, but finally realized that I couldn't afford a new one anytime in the near future (or distant past, either) and had best tackle the old one and make it work again. So, I whipped out the Scotch tape, the Q-tips, and the old jiggle-it-until-it-works-again technique, and finally the hellish shrieking noise was replaced by silence interspersed with the occasional dial tone. So long as I don't move, laugh, cough, or breathe too much, it only disconnects me about every 15 minutes. :)

    In other news....

    We're all fine here, now, thank you.... How are you? )

    A witch, a rabbi, and a former Episcopalean walk into a synogague.... )

    The knitting tally )

    You've paid for it and insured it, but do you know what color it is? )

    Well, those appear to be the highlights. I hope everyone has been well, and maybe now I can catch up on what you all have been doing. Skip=100000000 ought to do it. :)
    dmarley: Hanks of purple and green yarn with knitting needles on top (Knitting)
    Dear United States Postal Service,

    Thank you for finally delivering a knitting magazine to my mailbox. I take back all the nasty things I said about you.

    Twisted Cast-On )

    Teddy Bears and Blankets )

    Down With Seams!!!!! )

    Warm Up America )
    dmarley: Hanks of purple and green yarn with knitting needles on top (Knitting)
    Just FYI, this post is almost entirely about knitting. *Points to icon* You have been warned.

    Leading up to my present fascination with beads in knitting )

    When I first saw a knitting pattern with beads strung in it, my brain nearly imploded trying to figure out how one strung a bead (let alone dozens) into the middle of a project involving one huge long piece of continuous yarn. Then I read the instructions. The way it's done is simply to pre-string the required number of beads onto the yarn and knit them in as you go. Now, this means that you might end up with several hundred beads strung onto the yarn between the needles and the skein, but, damn, it can look really cool.

    I've been making some test swatches, and I think I might even knit some pillowcase edgings for Christmas presents. I'm not sure, though, that I'll be able to incorporate the beading technique into the baby blanket edgings I'm planning. The edging I'm using is pretty wide, and it's likely to either overwhelm any subtle beading, or require so many beads that it'll weigh twenty pounds. I'll work on it.
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    Most important news first: Boo's been standing on her own! She's not taking steps or anything, but she can let go and stand up on her own pretty good.

    I discovered this a couple of days ago, when she was standing holding on to her World Conquest Command Center (one of those little Fisher-Price table thingies with the knobs and shapes) with one hand and holding a toy in the other. I offered her an apple-flavored wagon wheel, which she wanted, but for which she wasn't about to relinquish the toy. So, she let go of the Command Center, got the wagon wheel, and stood there to eat it. The only downside was that I couldn't get to the video camera before she sat down.

    Froze 14 cups of bananas last night. The local international market sells bananas for 25 cents a pound, and I got over 12 pounds. 14 cups of Gerber bananas cost $34. I paid less than $4 for the ones I froze. *Pets freezer*

    Updated my knitting gallery on the website. It's been about four years since I added new pictures, and most of the stuff up there is older than that now. This update is something of a monument to geekhood. There's a Dr. Who scarf (and the pattern), a Predators scarf, and a hat with Earth's Stargate address knitted on it. When knitting and geeking collide....

    Saturday Gaming Report )

    Edited to fix cut tag. I always forget the quotation marks....
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    So, how does one inaugurate a journal?

    I could certainly talk about the previous two days spent with my in-laws, but, you know, there are some things that are just too unbelievable to talk about.

    So, I'll talk about knitting instead.

    I finally finished the knitting on my sister's birthday present (for the second time). A couple of years ago I knitted a treetop angel for my mother, and my sister liked it, so I thought I'd make one for her. The angel I made for my Mom came out beautifully, just like the picture in the magazine and everything, so I thought "no sweat, I can do it again"--which I probably could have, if I hadn't written down the wrong needle size in my notes on the first angel, then failed to cook the starch enough, and then squeezed too much starch out before molding the pieces on the forms. The result was a rather squat, stunted, limp-winged angel that wobbled drunkenly at the waist, which, while providing a certain degree of amusement, wasn't exactly what I had in mind. So, I tried again. I haven't starched it yet, but I plan to saturate the thing this time and to hell with how many times the breaker trips while I'm blow-drying it.

    Finishing the angel has allowed me to go back, finally, to the butterfly counterpane I'm making for yet another baby not my own. Two squares down, ten to go. I made one for the first baby of our little trio of babies, and once again was surprised because it came out looking like it was supposed to. I can only hope the second counterpane won't be a repeat of the angel fiasco. And now that I've made two butterfly blankets, I'll have to make one for my baby so they'll all have one. I picked out a kind of coral-pink-rose color, which undermines my feelings about color/gender stereotyping done to babies, but which has to give way to the undeniable fact that my daughter does, in fact, look damn good in pink.

    I actually get most of my knitting done during gaming nights. Had lots of knitting time last night because I decided to guard the sentient android making the super-weapon instead of going out and blowing up secret labs or getting shot at. Did get to test the weapon on myself, which was cool.

    September 2012

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