Monday, October 23, 2006

Not Dead, Not Quite

I miss blogging.

But things are more than a little crazy around here.

Which makes me miss blogging even more, because I have so much to blab on about.

But I tell myself that it is better for the blogging to suffer than the sleeping or eating, or heavens forfend, the knitting.

Being under some (extreme) amount of (temporary) stress, I find that I have started about 37 knitting projects since we last spoke (exaggeration, but only a slight one), have finished nary a one, and have possibly purchased enough yarn (still cheaper than therapy, but damn you, Webs, what is it with the neverending closeouts of namebrand yarns???) to reach SABLE status, but de Nile is only a river in Egypt, so who really can ever say about that, particularly given my firm plan to live to 208.


I am now absolutely confident that the companion piece (confident enough to now publicly admit it is a scarf) to Avery's Short-Row Hat will work out just great.

And I will post the pattern modifications whenever the heck I get around to finishing the scarf. Don't promise to do it soon, only promise to do it before Winter Gift Exchange 2006.

If I were a decent sort, I would post it well in advance of the worst of winter. But as I could count on one hand those who have accused me of decency . . .

In any event, I am absolutely, utterly, fully confident about the scarf.

I am not so confident, however, about the hat.

Am having serious gauge issues. Bad gauge!

And then there is This Little Problem. "Yeah, Noro does that." Indeed. Don't like that seam at all . . . I may be unable to pull this one off sans tantrums, destruction of property, etc.

I may need to sacrifice a skein of Kureyon to the gods. (I'm thinking fire.)

But I will pull it off.

I'm too stubborn not to.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Secrets and Socks

So the deal is that I'm working on something that is intended to be a gift and that I don't know whether it will turn out at all. You know I have no trouble blogging about things that don't turn out, but with this one, I'm more than a little concerned. If it doesn't work out, I'd like the option of just forgetting about it. And if I blog about it . . . well, it will never go away, then!

What I will say right now is that it is something to go with this (can't leave well enough alone, doncha know), and that I'm using Noro Kureyon. Promise that if it does turn out, I will post all the gory details. (Probably if it doesn't work out I will post the even gorier details.)

In the meantime, I have managed to finish these babies, just in time (okay, way late) for Mom's B-day. After I had them all wrapped up, I realized that the toe on the second sock doesn't match the first. The first had a round toe, decreased to 12 stitches, then kitchenered. The second I decreased to 6 stitches and just pulled them tight. Doh! (If she wants them fixed, I'll happily do it, but they were already wrapped and everything!)

Plymouth Sockotta, colour #617. No pattern per se, but on 72 stitches, with a bit of ribbing, a regular ol' gusset, and round toes.

And now, why I will probably not be doing round toes again:

Two of my Brittany Birches bit the dust on that last toe!

Never before have I snapped a needle. And then TWO of them, gone, within minutes of eachother. (I guess they were trying to tell me I was "going the wrong way" with the toe. Why do I never listen?)

Labels: ,

Monday, October 02, 2006

Seaming: Better Than You Remembered

So, y'all know I've been on this mission to end all seaming. I had utter faith that my path was the righteous one. (At least until that pseudo-prairie blanket came along. I think I'm gonna frog that . . . )

But in recent times, I've needed some pretty simple knitting. Regular ol' miters, without using any fancy no-sewing techniques, and using the wonder that is self-striping yarn have been just the ticket. No worrying about changing yarns mid-miter, no worrying about getting the joins between squares just right, no worrying about whether the new square looks right against the old square . . .


So relaxing.

Wasn't even going to think about the problem of seaming, at least not until all the miters were done. And since that wasn't ever going to happen . . .

Only it did.

It happened this weekend. (I am astonished.)

With the astronomical number of works-in-progress I've got, I thought I'd better not set this one aside just because I had hit "the wall." So I screwed my courage to the sticking place and girded my loins for a miserable day of seaming.

But frankly, it just wasn't that bad.

Has my entire anti-seaming crusade been that misguided and foolish?

Maybe it was because I had made larger miters -- 75 stitch cast-on. Maybe it was because I ironed all the sass out of the miters before hand. Maybe it was because, after all, I was only dealing with four blocks. (Was thinking I'd do six, but it had become clear that I didn't have enough yarn in the right dye lot.)

In any event, I now have this:

Three and one quarter skeins of Katia Jamaica in colourway 4004. Just under 30 inches square.

Mattress stitch worked great for sewing the miters into blocks. But the mattress stitch seam joining blocks to other blocks seemed much bulkier, and it didn't seem like those seams were ever going to lie flat, even if one invoked the powers of Rowenta (which I do not have).

So I "unvented" and came up with a seam of my own that probably is well known in fashionable knitting circles, but which I have not previously seen described or employed.

It is just like grafting or kitchener, only I'm not dealing with live stitches. (Anyone know what this is really called?)

Needle under the stitch on the left. Pull through, but not too tight.

Repeat on the right.

Blah, blah, blah, etc., etc., etc.

Front lies flat. Seam is practically invisible, depending of course on color.

Back lies almost flat, too. (Horizontal seam is inter-block mattress. Vertical seam is this intra-block sort-of grafting thing.)

I still need to figure out how I am going to finish the thing. To line or not to line, that is one question. Another is what kind of edge to use. I-cord? Garter stitch? Something else?

In other news, here are two squares for Grandmother Purl:

I'm going to hold off on sending these to Kristy for now . . . I might have another one still in me.