31 January 2007

Things that suck

Grafting 88 stitches around the leg of a stocking, getting to the end and realizing you're one stitch off. (The stockings have a seam pattern that runs up the back of the leg, making the shift rather noticeable.)

*sigh* At least when I pull it all out to re-do, I'll know how to keep the tension even from the start this time.

As seen on Making Light

..someone's having a rather large (but apparently mostly single skein?) stash sale to fund a vet bill for their cat.

I'm tempted. Again.

And by the various skeins of "mohair mystery yarn" as I know several people who have lusted after my Birch and I could make another out of the mohair (it looks larger, so it would be fewer repeats and not as delicate and it would lack the sheen of the silk in the Kidsilk Haze though).

28 January 2007


*stretch* Yes, I'm still here. I've been quiet mostly out of being busy at work and not wanting to spend any more time in front of a computer when I'm at home. There've been half a dozen thoughts that almost became posts last week, but I never managed to find the thought at the time I had a moment free in front of a computer.

That said, I turned the heel on the second stocking this afternoon and will likely have a good deal of the foot finished by the end of the evening. I'll post pictures once it's finished. I also need to add three inches to the leg of the first one because I missed an alteration in the directions posted a couple months ago. I'll likely talk about that process in a separate post and try to do it like a sort of tutorial since I'm essentially just cutting the stocking at the point I need to add the length, knitting in the extra bit, and then grafting the two pieces back together. At least, in theory. *smile*

It was an odd week, otherwise. We filed our taxes, which is usually a good thing (and this year is no exception), but then Friday night I lost a crown, which I don't think is ever a good thing. While I'm not in pain, I'm also not particularly looking forward to having it fixed (I'm terrified of the dentist; so much so that if the tooth weren't so sensitive to cold the way it is that I might consider just ignoring it), but I will. The timing is moderately fortuitous - a month earlier and we'd have ended up paying for it all out of pocket as we hit our insurance maximum last year when they redid the crown in front of this one; now we will only have to pay half of it out-of-pocket and we're in a more financially robust position to do so since we just got Jack's spring tuition reimbursment check and will have the tax return money in the next week or so.

21 January 2007

First stocking

I finished the first stocking with clocks this afternoon:

The seam and clock detail makes the stocking very scrunchy unless modeled. I thought about trying to block it, but opted instead to try to get shots from a couple different angles instead. The first is the outside of leg, and you can see the clock detail, the seam, and the star toe. The second is the inside of the leg and I think it shows the clock detail a bit better. The last shows the back of the stocking and the heel.

I shortened the heel flap from that called for in the pattern because my row gauge is slightly larger than that called for. I adjusted for this slightly in spacing the calf shaping, also, but I think it would have been fine there if I hadn't. The heel flap, though, is four rows shorter and I think it would have been far too long if I hadn't adjusted.

These aren't being made for me and are a smidge smaller than I would prefer - the fabric is quite stretched over my (rather shapely) calf and the foot is a smidge shorter than would be comfortable for me.

The second has been started and I'm through the top band and almost to the start of the calf shaping.

16 January 2007

As promised..

I didn't manage to do it with natural light, but here's a picture of the first of the baby camel/silk tussah top singles:

I tried to get it from a couple angles as it's sort of shiny and the flash does funny things. I also wanted to get a shot to compare the lighter bottom whorl from Pixel with my top whorl from Cate. The bottom whorl has a longer shaft, so I'll have to remember to try to spread the singles out up the shaft so it doesn't get too "bottom heavy". I also managed to get two shots of what I assume are the makers mark on my top whorl.. I don't recognize it, though, and keep forgetting to ask Cate who made it! Oh, and I believe Pixel did the carving on the bottom whorl, which is really quite lovely.

I'm still trying to figure out the best way to draw this stuff. The silk seems to want a long draw, but then I end up with unevenness in the yarn, so I've been working with a shorter draw, but then I get occassional clumps where I draw a bit too much. There's lots of this, though, so I imagine by the end of it all I'll have figured it out. I'm also giving this quite a bit of twist; I don't know how much crimp camel has, but I know the silk has none and I don't want the yarn to fall apart when I try to ply it.

And the progress to date on the Peek a boo sleeve:

The sleeves are going much quicker than the front/back, which is very nice. This is getting set aside for the moment, though, because these:

.. have an earlier deadline. It was really difficult to get a picture that showed any of the clock detail. I'll have to try with natural light and no flash to see if that makes it better, but by the time I managed to get time to take a picture in natural light, I suspect at least one of these will be finished. I'd be a little farther if I hadn't had to rip back through three of the calf decreases because I didn't read far enough in the directions and didn't start the clock where it should have been the first time. Even so, this is going pretty quick, even on US 2s.

15 January 2007

Bed time.

Hopefully I'll be able to find time tomorrow during daylight* to take pictures of the following:

  • The first singles from the baby camel/silk top roving I got from my Secret Pal. I found one of the spindles I was given a while ago by Pixel that was light enough that I thought I could give it a go. It's a bottom whorl spindle, so I had to remember how to do the half-hitch thing, and the shaft could use a once-over with some fine-grain sandpaper, but I was still able to get a decent start on it.
  • The first of the largesse stockings. I cast on for it Sunday and except for some adventures in spacing the calf shaping decreases due to slightly larger row gauge and completely forgetting to start the clock pattern at the appropriat time, I'm finished with the calf shaping and the clock.
  • The first Peek a boo sleeve, to date. I worked on it through Friday and it's about half finished I think. The stockings will likely go faster than I suspected they might, though, so I'm not too concerned about finishing Peek a boo in time for the intended birthday.
Tomorrow night I also need to package up my last package for my Secret Pal. I've rather enjoyed spoiling her, but I can't go into it more until she gets the last package. *smile*

* This is, unfortunately, unlikely. I'm in meetings from 8 until 4 straight, without even a break for lunch, and I suspect that the last half hour there might be spent trying to put out whatever fires might have erupted during the day. I will try, though.

10 January 2007

I've been trying to write this post for several days..

.. yeah. Sorry!

I finished the front of Peek a boo this weekend:

The little peek-a-boo bit in the front looks messy to me, but I'm hoping that once the ends are woven in and it's blocked, it will look better. I'm really glad to have the two big pieces of this one finished. Like I said, I do like it, but I'm either bored with it or with the yarn. :/

This is the start of one of the sleeves. The peek-a-boo bit here looks much neater to me and I have to admit that the fact the each sleeve only has 3 of the cable panels is rather nice so far. I hope to have the first sleeve at least mostly complete by the end of the week.

And since you were wondering (I knew you were; it's okay! *smile*) the front is modeled on the bobbin lace pillow stand that my dad made me for Christmas:

He made it from a pattern someone had posted on the web (which I can't find anymore or I'd like to it) and since the picture in the pattern showed the stand with a pillow, he also made a pillow to go with it. I own a small cookie pillow with a small pseudo-roller insert - and there's a small lip on the front edge of the stand so that I can use it with the stand - but it's no where near as large as this one. Unfortunately, I wasn't expecting dad to make the pillow or I'd have warned him to put stiffer stuffing in it. I think it will be fine as it is if I'm sure to use sharp pins, but if not, the pillow can still be used as a gorgeous display stand. (And as I said, I can use my smaller lace pillow with the stand to work with, so it's just an issue of swapping one for the other.)

The stand collapses pretty well and is pretty much completely adjustable - I can make it higher or lower, or change the angle of the arm to be steeper or shallower. I've been too tied up with knitting lately to try it out in action, but I'm contemplating some options and might get something simple started soon to get back into the hang of things.

And because Dad keeps track of these things, he made the stand to match (stain and pillow cover) the colors he used when he refinished my rocking chair several years ago:

The two pieces together look wonderful, but I couldn't get a shot from a decent angle to show them both.

(If you look in the lower right hand corner of the pillow stand profile picture, you can see the end of the tablet weaving loom he made me last year; I've not abandoned it, but am stuck at the moment trying to figure out something to use as tensioning bands because everything I've tried seems to snap under the tension I like to use. Ironically, the thing I can think of that would likely be best would be short bands of tablet weaving done in silk, which I'd prefer to make on the loom, but can't because the tension is too loose without them!)

07 January 2007

Sunday already?

*sigh* It was a quiet, lazy weekend. And it went far too quickly.

This wasn't technically this weekend, but late last week, I finished the pink Waterfall socks for my little sister. These are sort of hard to photograph - the lace pattern is essentially a 3x3 rib pattern, so it scrunches up quite a bit.

Because I'm trying to keep better track of this kind of thing (and because I actually wrote it down in the journal I got from my Secret Pal!), the details on this one are:

Pattern: Waterfall lace from six-stitch patterns in Sensational Knitted Socks, worked over 54 stitches on US 2 dpns
Yarn: KnitPicks Essential in Petunia; about 1 and 1/3 skeins
Finished measurements: heel to toe = 8.5 inches; cuff to heel = 10.25 inches

This evening I'll finish the front of Peek a boo and will try to get a picture tomorrow when it's light out. I'm hoping the sleeves go quicker; I'm not sure if I'm getting bored with this pattern or just with the cotton/modal yarn, but either way I'd like this one to be done sooner rather than later. I haven't decided yet if I'll do both sleeves at once or not, but no matter what I do, I'd like to have about half of the sleeves done this week.

02 January 2007

Z is for zaftig..

I have to admit that this word is brand new to me, and I found it while strolling through another ABC'er's Z post and decided that it was a word I needed to know better. You see, I think it fits, and more importantly, the searches I've done to get a better feel for it keep turning up descriptions of it as an appreciation of women's cuves, and I think that fits my philosophy about the female image even more.

And while I'm not sure I'd ever make the Knitty.com pattern by this name, I will be running out to our new uber Barnes & Noble at some point to check out the book whose cover I linked to above!

And it seems I'll be ending my ABC-along participation in a similar fashion to how I started - a bit late, and without a photo actually in the post. Sorry!