Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Claudia hat

Claudia hat02
Originally uploaded by runawaypenguin
I may or may not have started this hat because I wanted to take a picture of something besides Alouette. This is the Claudia hat by MJ Kim at exartstudent, and it turns out that the chart I was so excited about before is entirely unnecessary. I still think it's a pretty chart and amazing that something so professional looking can be made online, for free, but I digress. This pattern is destined for stardom. I feel it in my bones.

I'm using Malabrigo Merino Worsted, which I first saw in person when Mo's mom Lydia (hi!) gave Mo a gorgeous gray version of the My So Called Scarf. Now I understand why everyone goes nuts for the stuff. It truly is amazingly soft. The colors in the photo look a little more blue than the yarn is in real life, which is slightly more emphatic about being purple than I realized in the store (not that I mind, I'm on a purple kick as well). It's a bit tight doing all the cables on size 4 needles and if I were to start over again I might use a size 5 circular. Then again, I might not. We've probably figured out by now that I am highly attracted to knitting tightly even though I know it isn't good for me.

I just listened to the most recent episode of YKnit, which will be up in the sidebar as soon as I have a spare moment. It was a really interesting episode, they interviewed Lucy Neatby and I highly recommend taking a listen.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Progress on Alouette

Originally uploaded by runawaypenguin
My goal was to finish the back before taking another picture, but it was suitably overcast this morning and I couldn't resist. Look! Armhole shaping!

Even though I have a long way to go, I'm looking forward to seaming this up. What I am not looking forward to is dealing with all of the ends. Working on the striped Kidsilk Haze scarf reminded me that I can keep some of the yarn running up the side instead of cutting after every color block. In the picture here it may be hard to tell exactly what's going on because the yarn is actually attached to the sweater outside of the frame, but I've just finished the first 2 rows of brown and started knitting with the cream. I've left the brown attached and when I've finished the back-and-forth with the cream I'll pick up the brown again and keep knitting. Besides a few accidental cuts, I've nearly been able to halve the number of ends I'll have to deal with later, which is a huge help.

Monday, April 21, 2008

An armful of yarny goodness.

Jordan's Whale02
Originally uploaded by runawaypenguin
I have been dutifully working on Alouette, and I've managed to catch up to the length I had before recognizing my mistake with the stripes. I will be much happier finishing the sweater now that it has symmetric color striping, but there was something interesting about the not-quite-as-rigid color changing. I think my next experiment with stripes will be a little more spur of the moment.

In the meantime, here's what I have hiding in my closet (because really, how many pictures of that sweater can you stand in a row?). It's all Dale Baby Ull. I wasn't sure about the orange before I held them all up with the skein of white, but now I'm convinced that the colors will work. I'm still waiting for a circumference measurement on the intended recipient, and I don't mind the short repreive. Having already missed the birthday, any further delay that isn't my fault is fine by me.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Revisiting the Tortoise and the Hare

Originally uploaded by runawaypenguin
It wasn't until I saw this picture sized down on Flickr that I realized I've been following the stripe pattern improperly. The second set of brown stripes is supposed to have a total of six oatmeal rows right below it, but right now there are only two. What a bummer. I don't really mind the ripping out, it's just that I now feel like I have thoroughly wasted all the time I spent knitting between taking the photo and actually looking at it.

I was just reveling in how much better I was doing this time around, too. If you ignore the frogging festivities about to take place, I've already caught up with where I was in the fall. The best part about this news is that I haven't been an obsessive maniac this time around. In the fall I was committed to cranking this out, and I spent such long stretches of time knitting that my hands started to hurt. Strangely enough, it wasn't actually the knitting motion that started giving me problems. I keep having to toss around the balls to let out some of the extra twist that gets introduced with every stitch, and all that flipping was making my wrists hurt. I don't know if this overtwisting is a common problem or particular to certain types of yarn, but I can't remember hearing anything about it before. Fortunately there have been no wrist problems so far.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Starting over

Originally uploaded by runawaypenguin
I was all set to buy yarn this weekend, but Webs doesn't carry Dale Baby Ull in orange, which I really think would be ideal for the whale sweater. I found a ball via Ravelry and I'm waiting for that to show up, but I had to start something in the meantime. I have several sweaters'-worth of yarn, but I'm still trying to work out exactly which yarn belongs to which pattern. It seemed safest to return to Alouette, a long-neglected project which has been hiding in my closet for several months. I don't think I ever gave a proper explanation for why this sweater dropped out of view, but maybe the picture gives you a hint. I swear that I made a large swatch, which I even washed it before measuring. Somehow when I started the actual sweater it grew more than I expected. I was extremely reluctant to notice how large the back was, so I ended up knitting almost all of the way to the armpit before measuring. It's a full two inches wider than intended, which is far outside the range of fudging. I've now started over again in a smaller size, and I'm falling in love with this sweater (and yarn) all over again. I can't wait to wear it and I hope there are a few brisk spring days left by the time I'm done.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

House T-shirt Design (second draft)

Getting closer! Last night I scanned this into an editing program and Mo helped me finish it up. I didn't have too much to do (erasing the dots on the upper left side of the frame, replacing the inside of the frame with a cleaner version, drawing in a nail and wire) but it felt like it was taking forever. It would have been much faster to draw the entire thing by hand, but I didn't feel like I had enough room at the top.

Our house president is sending the file to the printers, so we should have a proof soon to check over for sizing. We didn't print it out, and I'm a little worried that the words will be out of scale for the size of a t-shirt. My vision for the colors are a deep burgundy or cranberry red shirt with goldenrod ink. I can't wait to be holding an actual shirt.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Ta dah!

So now the shoulders will fit a swimmer, instead of a linebacker, which is a drastic improvement. I used fewer decrease rows than I did the first time, because I figured most young kids have enormous heads and it simply wouldn't do to squeeze the living daylights out of them. Unfortunately I don't know any local two year olds of the appropriate size, so there may not be any cute toddler-in-a-sweater pictures for a while.

Now that I've finished this I feel absolutely justified buying yarn to make the whale sweater, and I am really excited about getting that started. Web's is even having a sale on old standby yarns for the entire month of April, so I'm hoping to find a good match when I go this weekend.

I have to say that it feels weird to have finished this so quickly. Even though I started this before spring break, I feel like there should still be something left for me to do, but I've even woven in all the ends. The rugby sweater I made for Zanthe had a million color changes, which ate up a lot of time, besides being twice the size of the intended recipient.