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Archive for November, 2007

trinity stitch

I just started another hat, for another sister. It’s a slouchy beret, using the trinity/popcorn/blackberry stitch. I love the way the hat looks, but I had no idea I would hate the trinity stitch so much. It makes me feel like I just learned how to knit. I do not have the dexterity to k1,p1,k1 into the same stitch without being VERY deliberate about it. The other part of the problem could be my yarn choice. Lopi. I like the rugged, wooly look of it, but purling three together with this stuff really brings out its scratchy, unforgiving qualities. I feel like I’m working against this yarn rather than with it. Anyway. I hope the finished result will be worth the headache (handache, wristache, elbowache…) because I’m going to power through. I’m on a roll with the Christmas gifts and I don’t want to change horses midstream!

(That is the saying, right?)

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christmas crafting update

Although I’ve been crafting my little fingers to the bone, I realized I haven’t been blogging about it! So here’s what I’ve been up to…

The Lucy in the Sky Cardigan is nearly finished. This was the Christmas gift I had been most worried about finishing, but things really sped up after I got up to the arms. As soon as I make myself graft the armpits, weave in the ends, block, find buttons, then sew them on, this one will be good to go. Except that I knit the bottom half on size 7’s, accidentally knit the sleeves on size 8’s, then went back to the 7’s for the yoke. Ermmm…I sometimes don’t pay attention so well. But I can’t even see a line between the knitting on 8’s and the knitting on 7’s, so I’m ok with it.

I finished another Gretel beret (slouchy version), so there’s another Christmas gift down! I used 1 ball of Nashua Creative Focus worsted. I don’t think I would use this yarn again for cabling. It’s not plied and doesn’t have much “give,” so it was a little stressful on my hands, but the color was so perfect for my sister that I couldn’t resist! This time, I did NOT block the brim. It stretched like crazy on my first Gretel. On this hat, I stuffed the whole thing and sprayed just the cables and it worked perfectly!

I finished one of the Cabled Gloves (from Vogue Knitting Fall 2007) quite a while ago, and started right up on the second, but this project has been dormant for several weeks. This is next on the list of Christmas Knitting Priorities, and the second should go much more smoothly than the first.

And here’s a situation from Christmas Past…I knit a sweater for my father last year, and he finally admitted that it’s too big. (Which I already suspected.) He asked if there was a safe way to shrink it, and the best answer I could come up with was some kind of steeking process to actually re-seam the sides and arms and cut away the excess. Anyone know if this will work? I’ve never steeked before and my dad was horrified at the notion of cutting the handknit sweater, but as far as I know, if you machine sew the holy heck out of it, it should be fine, right? Yes? No? Someone?? Anyone???

I have been making jewelry like a fiend, so I think I’ve created enough inventory that I can keep listing new items in the shop, while still having time to knit in the evenings. The trouble is, I keep getting new jewelry ideas…

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cabled bangle

So I finished one Cabled Bangle. I finished it over the course of three evenings, without working very hard at it. You could make one of these in a day if you really wanted to. I used Dale of Norway Heilo on size 3 needles. The weight of the yarn was just right, since I could still get my hand into the bracelet, but the needles were probably a little small for the yarn. Although, this was fine by me, since I didn’t want any of the bracelet to show through. Because the bracelet is not pretty. At all. I cast on 20 stitches and used a 10 st cable chart from Vogue Stitchionary II. Although the swatch fits around the bracelet nicely, the cable looks a bit stretched. I think next time I will try an 8 st cable, and one that’s a bit more “solid” looking. Maybe just a basic twisted cable.

But the next bracelet is going to have to wait. I am suddenly nervous about how many knitted gifts I had planned on for Christmas! One year I made myself crazy, last year it was ok. This year is looking sketchy…and I kinda don’t feel like stressing myself out over this beloved hobby which I enjoy so very much. 🙂 I have decided to prioritize and try to work on one thing at a time, but some projects may just have to get eliminated. First on the list is the Lucy in the Sky Cardigan, which has been a little bit of a pain in the neck so far. It has nothing to do with how the pattern is written–I just can’t memorize the diamond chart. It’s not difficult, but I do have to make sure I pay attention to my knits and purls. (Boo for paying attention.) But I’m almost up to the armholes so it should only get easier from here.

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good evening

Good things kept happening yesterday evening…

First, I was thinking about my next selfish knit and was trying to decide between Patti and the Gathered Pullover from Interweave Winter 2007. The descision was made for me when I accidentally found Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool on closeout at Webs for $3.49 a ball, which, let’s face it, is practically free. That’s what I figured I’d use for Patti anyway, so I bought 9 balls of dark brown and ordered the pattern and I am telling myself (sternly) that I will NOT be casting on until the Christmas gifts are finished!
Then I checked on my Etsy shop and saw that a whole slew of people had added me to their favorites and I thought: hmm…that’s curious. And lo and behold one of my necklaces was in someone’s Treasury on the Etsy home page! And then the necklace sold about 8 minutes later. That was a whirlwind of excitement (for me). 🙂
And then I headed off to knitting club. Just when I thought knitting club might be fizzling…some of my favorite knitters and a couple new knitters showed up at the bar and it was very, very fun and restored my faith in knitting club. While at knitting club, I worked on a Swatch Bangle. I need to add to my Christmas queue like I need a hole in the head, but I couldn’t resist trying these! I bought some ugly bangle bracelets on eBay and I’m in the process of covering them with cabley goodness for my loved ones…whether they like it or not.
I wish all Thursdays were this pleasant!

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