Monday, March 31, 2008

Second Sock Syndrome...

I am not currently suffering from this malady...but I am wondering why the second sock always takes soooooo much longer than the first...

It's not as if I have one foot that is significantly larger than the other, but it seems like the second sock always takes twice as long to finish no matter how diligently I work on it.


I really want to get my current pair finished before my graduate school residency this weekend so I can pack a brand new project to take with me. I want to travel project, one project only. (To get the full affect read the previous line in Sean Connery's attempt at a Russian accent!)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Looking at the World Through Yarn Colored Glasses...

Observation #1: Friends are over for dinner and a movie. They are all perched on chairs and couch, awkwardly juggling plates with drinks clutched between their knees or left in designated spots on dining table.

My Deduction: They are not putting their drinks down because I have no coasters.

Solution: Knit and felt 6 coasters and a coaster caddy out of Noro Kureyon # 180.

Observation #2: Friends are over again for dinner and a movie. They are still perched on chairs and couch, awkwardly juggling plates with drinks clutched between their knees or left in designated spots on dining table. Or worse yet, clutching a beautiful coaster and looking around confusedly.

Realization: The problem was not a lack of coasters, but rather a lack of coffee tables or end tables on which to put coasters.

Conclusion: Handknits are not always the answer.

Does anyone have a pattern for a felted table?

Addendum: I wish I had made the coaster caddy a little smaller, but I was not entirely sure what the shrinkage factor would be during felting, so I over-compensated.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

All Hail the Commish!

I finished another pair of wrist warmers for my co-worker, the Commissioner.

This makes 3 pairs so far.

He was the first person to ever actually commission me to knit something for him…a set of wrist warmers for his daughter.

I have had people request that I make things for them, or give me yarn and ask me to make things for them, but he was the first to actually give me cash!

I don’t particularly want to start taking a lot of commissions. One of the reasons I like to knit is that it allows me to be creative and de-stress. Deadlines and/or churning out products just doesn’t sound fun to me.

But, for the Commissioner, I will do just about anything.

(Besides…his requests are not difficult…first pair I cast on 24 stitches on size 8’s, knit in a 2x2 rib for about 6 inches, cast off 6 stitches, knit a round, cast on 6 stitches, knit for another inch and a half, cast off. This last one I did a 30 stitch cast on in a 3x2 rib just to mix things up.)

Monday, March 10, 2008


I am having gauge issues on a scarf I am designing. I know what I want the basic pattern to be, but am having a tough time making it mathematically work out to the correct dimensions.


There are reasons I was an English major. Its not that I can't do math...I just prefer not to.

If I knit the scarf the way I have it written, it will be very pretty, but very short! More an elongated dishcloth than a scarf.

So...back to the drawing board.

Does anybody have a calculator?

Friday, March 7, 2008

To Frog or Not To Frog

I was knitting a very, if I do say so myself, cute baby kimono the other night. I got the pattern out of the Mason-Dixon Knitting book. The book was sitting open on the floor as I lounged on the couch. I had the DVD player remote holding it open to the right page.

I happily knit along, did all of the sleeve increases, and then went on to K34, CO20, K34....or rather K34, CO20, K17...since it suddenly struck me that the sleeves were going to be VERY narrow. It turns out that the DVD remote was covering a critical instruction to knit even for 6 rows after the increases were finished.

I tinked back, picked back up the cast-off stitches, and continued on my way. I knit the 6 rows even and then went to bed, planning to redo the K34, CO20, K34 row the next time I picked it up. It was late, and it was a work night.

Disaster...this morning as I picked up the sweater as I was tidying up and noticed in the warm light of the rising sun, that the stitches I had picked back up were twisted! And since I didn't notice it in the flickering light from the television the night before, the problem has grown. Instead of just tinking back a few stitches...I now will have to frog several rows!

The Dilemma: To Frog or Not to Frog

Reasons Not To:
1. It is on the back of the sweater
2. The yarn is variegated, so it isn't that noticeable.
3. Its not even that big of an error...just 20 or so twisted stitches...not a dropped stitch or hole!
4. The "error" could be viewed as creative license...what makes handknits handknits...a unique feature of this particular garment

Reasons To:
1. It is a gift for my friend's baby
2. It is her first baby
3. If it shows in the little bit of light here in WA, think how much it will show in CA!

Needless to say, the reasons to frog, though fewer than those against, carry a lot more weight. So, I have set the kimono aside...temporarily...I will probably wait until my quarter at school ends before I pick it up again...

Besides - First Friend isn't due till this summer. I have oodles of time!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Meet my Flock

I am now a shepherdess. I have purchased two sheep named Melville and Dewey.

To be completely honest, I feel the need to confess that they are stuffed.

I got Melville at Target on an impulse. He was so wooley and soft and cute. (And a great bargain at less than $10.) I almost talked my friend into buying one too, but NorCal Gal is more practical than I am. Or rather, she is married and her husband is practical. She said he was too big. (Melville, not her husband.) Later that same day I was at Fred Meyer and saw a mini-Melville.
Same cute face, half the space. I bought one for my friend. Then, I decided that while I was at it I could always use another sheep, and thus Dewey joined the flock.
Is it technically a flock if you only have two? I would love to find a third that is either larger or smaller.

Also, it seems to me that my sheep need scarves. They are begging for hand knits. The dilemma is I am not sure what fiber to use. Would making a wool scarf for a sheep be analogous to feeding eggs to a chicken? Should I use acrylic to be safe? Perhaps a nice cotton/silk blend?

I guess I will have to sleep on it...and if I can't fall asleep, I will just count my sheep!


Monday, March 3, 2008

Time is Relative

I spend a lot of time knitting.

A lot of time.

I am often asked how long it took me to make something. This is difficult since I am constantly knitting. I knit in the car (as a passenger, not driver). I knit on my breaks at work. I knit during conversations with friends. I knit while watching television or movies. I knit at theaters before the show starts and, depending on who I am with, during the show itself. I knit while listening to professors lecture. I knit while waiting for the kettle to boil for my tea. Working on projects in spurts makes it nearly impossible to quantify the amount of time it took.

There are a few exceptions however.

Wrist Warmers: 1 Underworld movie per warmer.
Coffee Cup Cozies: 2 episodes of Monk each.
Felted Coaster Holder: 1 Sharpe movie (I love Sean Bean)
Felted Coasters: 1 lunch break each
Lace Scarf: Bus rides and breaks of one Grad School Residency.

I choose to not view knitting as a waste of time, but as a means of maximizing the time I have been given. I am going to watch the movies, I am going to listen to the lectures, I am going to go on car trips. Knitting enables me to make the time productive.

And, isn't that what a Superknitter does? Fight for truth, justice, and the American Way?

As the good American Protestant work ethic says...idle hands are the devil's tool!