WIP Wednesday: Knitting on…the sweater?!

You’d think there would be a ton of socks featured this week, what with the Scarefest having released two official patterns and two bonus patterns, but I’m going to disappoint you. While I wish I had the time and inclination to knit a pair of fine-gauge socks per week, I just don’t have that capability – at least, not at this time. So I’m going to plink away at Scarefest as the time allows me, and not stress about it.


In the meantime, here’s a sock! No, seriously, this is the vanilla sock that is suspiciously man-sized and being knit in colours a man might like. I’m hopeful that it will fit, because it looks oddly huge to me, but that might just be because it’s not done and stretched fully on the blocker. It’s grown quite a bit since the last time it was featured, but it’s still taking some time. I went on a knitting binge last weekend (you’ll see the results of that on Friday), and as a result, the finger that tensions my yarn is a little sore from very mild friction burns. As a result, the roughness of Trekking XXL can be a bit of an irritant.

Also on the needles….sleeves!


I had meant to go back to knitting on Robin’s sweater once the weather started getting cool enough to do so, and so this week I dug out the sleeves. I was a little concerned with my gauge, until I checked all the needle sizes I was using. Then I remembered that the way I usually tension my yarn is a little uncomfortable with Cascade 220, and that I had deliberately used a looser tension. ¬†Problem solved! I was wondering how I’d been getting stitch gauge without buying another 2 or 3 pairs of needles in a larger size!
I had originally started both sleeves, two-at-a-time on one circular needle. I very quickly remembered how much I hate knitting TAAT. The difference in size is what has happened over the past day that they’ve been separated onto different needles. I’m placing markers after every increase row so that I can keep track of them a little easier. It should help when I get to the second sleeve – I’ll be able to compare the two and adjust where necessary. That will hopefully help with the fit. ūüôā

I also did a wee tiny bit of spinning, but not enough to photograph. Hopefully I’ll have a bit more time to get back to that this weekend. I have a fibre club shipment coming soon!

Lost and peevish

Since realizing that the sweater was at a stall, I’ve been in a bit of a funk. I’m left without a compelling sock project, and the only other project that I have on the needles that I could take to work for my breaks is a scarf. For whatever reason, I really don’t feel like working on the scarf, so I’ve been looking for a good sock project. Right now I’m waffling on either designing my own sock (flora or fauna!) for the SKA challenge for this month, or whether I should work on a pair of Breaking Hearts socks (pattern by¬†Cristi H. Brockway, aka Turtlegirl76. While I play around with pattern ideas, I decided to wind the yarn for the Breaking Hearts and maybe cast them on while I’m thinking.

Now, I have a ball winder and a swift. ¬†Really I do. I had put this skein of yarn onto the swift, started winding….and had to stop. ¬†Why? Because there was a tangle that I had to navigate around. After doing so, I started re-winding again, only to have to stop yet again for the exact same reason. Since I was already running late for work, I left things as they were, and the next day pulled the skein off the swift and started hand-winding. I even took the yarn to work with me, and instead of knitting, I used my break time to wind yarn. By hand. Using a wooden spoon as a makeshift nostepinne. I guess that’s my “Thursday Thing”: A wooden spoon. Not only are they great for baking cookies, but if you’re on a low-carb diet and can’t have cookies, they make good knitting tools in a pinch.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the colours in the yarn. I had other multicoloured balls of yarn pre-wound, so I could have chosen any one of them for the Breaking Hearts, but the colours in this particular skein appealed to me. What has me irked is the fact that this is not the first skein of yarn purchased from this retailer that has caused me winding troubles. Granted, the price was rather low (which I found suspicious), and the skein was very loose. In fact, it looked as though someone had re-skeined it That said, whoever it was did a poor job of it, and I expect a little more from a retailer who has started a trend of charging an arm and a leg for sock yarn. You notice I’m not mentioning any names here? That’s intentional. Just because I’m dissatisfied (right now with recent selection, huge price jumps over the past 2 or 3 years, and now the umpteenth skein of tangled yarn) doesn’t mean others can’t make that decision for themselves.

In happier news, the 2012 Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin’ Sock Club memberships are now up for sale! I saved up all year & made my purchase early this morning. This makes me very happy indeed. I’m looking forward to the first kit. ¬†Whee!


This is why we can’t have nice things:
I have discovered that when you knit a sweater, you have a chance of one of three things happening. ¬†Either the sweater is too big, too small, or….OR…you get the dyelots mixed up.

Yep. That’s exactly what happened. ¬†You can barely see it in the photo up top, but let me assure you – it’s very noticeable when you look at it under the light in the kitchen. What we have are two sleeves of two different shades, and a body that switches dyelots in the top third.

In my defense, I did most of my knitting in a darkened room, and it wasn’t until after I went to compare the two sleeves for size that I realized that something was wrong. I also knew that I had picked up two different dyelots, so I probably could have avoided this by clearly marking which ball was which lot and then intentionally spiral striping the body and each sleeve. This was totally an oversight on my part, and so I can’t really say I’m putting the sweater into the Bad Sweater Box for a timeout. ¬†If anything, I’m re-evaluating. I will likely have to frog the whole thing and start from scratch.

The good news is that I learned from the experience, so if I use this same yarn, I will likely label it better and stripe it. The need to stop also got me thinking about sizing. I snagged one of Robin’s old sweaters and am using it as a sizing template. Seeing as how he’s long in the torso and long in the arms, having an already-knit sweater to refer to is good. I’m thinking I may have to go up a size, but it will depend on gauge. I’m also thinking I may make an order from Knitpicks for yarn in one single dye lot (which might be a very smart move), and wait for about 3 months before restarting. Why? Well, our gym finally opens at the beginning of next week! ¬†We have started eating healthfully again, so hopefully both of us will be dropping some pounds (the Yule season is a minefield, I tell you). Depending on the amount of pounds dropped and the amount of muscle gained, I may be dealing with totally different dimensions on the Husbeast.

So…I guess I’ll be looking for a good sock pattern to entertain myself with. Sock Knitters Anonymous has a flora/fauna theme going on, so I may just check that out…

Progress? What progress?

It’s been a busy week – between work and holiday visits, there hasn’t been a lot of time for taking photographs. Since I’m rocking the grave shifts this month, I haven’t had any daylight time to take decent in-progress shots, so you’ll just have to take my word for it when I tell you that I’m working away on Robin’s Cobblestone Pullover still. I’m almost done the body and one sleeve. It’s very possible this sweater is a little more than “Theoretical”, though Robin is certain that my actually completing a sweater might cause a rift in the time/space continuum. ¬†I guess we’ll test that hypothesis. If the world ends in the next month, maybe we can blame it on the sweater.

One of the other bloggers I read recently mentioned Evernote, a note-taking programme/app that runs on darned near any platform. Their review and screenshots were so compelling that I have to admit that I rushed out and downloaded it. If you’re a knitter and you have a cell phone or a tablet computer, you’ll want this (though I do believe that the Yarn Harlot had a few suggestions for iPad-enabled knitters in her pre-Yule listings). I’m finding Evernote handy for keeping a copy of my current patterns with me so that if I wind up forgetting my printed pattern (happened on Monday, actually) I’ll have a backup. Seems to be working quite well!


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What’s in progress?

Well, I’ve gotten most of my sock knitting done for the time being, and now I’m just playing with yarn and seeing where it takes me. I could be trying to bust a move with cranking out last minute gifts, but I’m very happy to be going into my Yule celebrations without having any kind of last-minute crises. Yes, I can crank out a K2P2 scarf in about 43 or 4 days, but I have other things that I could be spending time on.

I think I've added three rows since this photo was taken...bad knitter....

Like my Pimpelliese. It would be nice to have another scarf, particularly for the winter months. I put the yarn ball onto my little kitchen scale and unwound yarn until I was at the 50g mark, then tied a piece of waste yarn at that point so I will know when to start my decreases. When I see that marker coming up, I’ll know that its all downhill from there.

It hasn't grown much since this past summer

I’ve also dug out Robin’s “Theoretical” Sweater. While the pattern says “Cobblestone Pullover” by Jared Flood, Robin isn’t convinced that it will ever actually turn into a sweater. All I can really say is that I haven’t ripped it back yet. I’m at about the 8-inch mark on the body, and have a couple of inches on one arm.

This is always my goal…to be able to get to this point of the year without going nuts over last-minute knitting, and I think I’ve pretty much made that goal this year. The main gift knitting has been done, and a couple of extra gifts were made along the way – putting me ahead of where I wanted to be. I suspect this is that “planning and organization” crap that people have been telling me I need to explore ūüėČ

How are your Holiday preparations going?


Just as an aside, I realize that not everyone celebrates Christmas, so there’s a movement to “sanitize” the season. I also realize that not everyone is happy with this, and have started a movement to “put the Christ back in Christmas”. I’ll be blunt…I lean towards Paganism with a splash of Agnosticism. It would be hypocritical for me to jump on the “don’t take away my Christmas” bandwagon, and I find the sweeping non-denominalization of the season to the point of sidestepping the whole holiday to be in poor taste to those who *do* celebrate. So please don’t be offended if, instead of Christmas, I substitute Yule (as it’s the holiday *I* celebrate), and I actually admit to celebrating something instead of pointedly ignoring the holiday entirely. Cheers! ūüôā

Progress or fail?

(I wrote this yesterday when it was actually Wednesday. But I hadn’t had time to take the pictures, so consider this my WIP Wednesday on Thursday)

I was going to show off my work in progress like I try to do every week…and then I finished my Camouflage socks.

No, you can’t see the pictures. ¬†I’ll save those for Finished Object Friday. ¬†See? ¬†Now you have something to look forward to!

No little hexagonal Granny Squares either, I’m afraid. I’ve been concentrating on finishing the socks. ¬†To the point where, when I realized that it would take only a little while to finish off the last toe, I decided not to take them to the office with me for my lunch knitting, and instead took the stripey socks that were on hold from the second half of last month.


The out-of-place single lavendar and green stripes are where the heels will go...

So what do I have, other than a pair of socks that were left in limbo for half a month?


Cobblestone Pullover designed by Jared Flood

I started a sweater. Meet the Cobblestone Pullover, designed by Jared Flood from Interweave Knits’s Fall 2007 issue. ¬†I was browsing through knitted tops when I came across the pattern, and as I’m always trying to knit Robin a sweater (but rarely succeed), I figured I’d give it a try. The sweater looks good on a variety of different guys, so I figure it will be a good fit.

Finally…remember I mentioned I was watching old episodes of Dr. Who? ¬†I’ve managed to get through Tomb of the Cybermen (2nd Doctor), known to me as “the one with the amazingly heavy, electrified styrofoam doors”. I’m now on the arc known as The Mind Robber, which I am trying to decide should have been named “Zoe’s Sparkly Butt” or “Dr. Who in the land of the Giant Black Saltines”.

Humour aside, I’m really enjoying the show, particularly seeing how the storylines develop and the writing evolves. While it’s a shame that most of the original BBC episodes seem to have disappeared or been destroyed, I have to say that if one story is 5 or 6 episodes, it would have taken forever to wade through the entire series.

WIP Wednesday: Knitting *and* Spinning

I finished the Noro Shawl last week. ¬†Actually, it’s less a shawl than a small blanket that resembles an equilateral triangle. ¬†I really don’t feel like re-knitting it at this time. so it may stay that way, maybe to eventually become something useful for someone. ¬†You never know.

February Lady Sweater in progress

This means that other than design-knitting, which I’ve decided should not be shared until all of us can revel in its completed awesomeness, I’m left with the February Lady Sweater as my sole project “on the needles”. ¬†Seriously. ¬†And I’m actually knitting on it. ¬†I added a couple of extra rows before starting the first pattern repeat before putting the armholes onto waste yarn, and I’ve completed a couple of pattern repeats since.

There’s no way I’m finishing this before the end of February, but I really don’t feel like I need to. ¬†At any rate, I’m enjoying the knit and it’s been accompanying me to work for lunch-hour knitting. I’ve had more than one comment about it. ¬†I guess socks are one thing, but a sweater is “real” knitting!

My spinning wheel, a Schacht-Reeves Saxony

I’ve also been wanting to spin lately. ¬†Because I don’t really talk about it much, I suspect most folks don’t know that I’ve picked up spinning. ¬†To tell the truth, I haven’t done much with it. ¬†I had put my wheel in the basement, where the TV is, on the assumption that I would spin while watching TV or movies. ¬†I had overestimated the amount of time I actually spend watching TV, particularly in what can easily be described as the coldest part of the house. ¬†My beautiful Schacht-Reeves Saxony wheel has, therefore, been brought from the depths of the house to the main floor where not only will she be used more often, but also admired as the gorgeous piece of furniture that she is.

Fleece Artist Roving

I started spinning this the other day when we had company over. ¬†It’s Fleece Artist, BFL. ¬†I don’t seem to recall seeing a colourway name on the label. ¬†I’m about halfway through the first 50g, and am trying to remember to do a little spinning now and again when I think of it. ¬†The trouble is that it’s really addictive when you’re working with a wheel. ¬†Addictively soothing. ¬†I hear the wheel spinning and the treadle moving, and it just puts me in a trance. ¬†Next thing I know, an hour has gone by…so much for 15 minutes! ¬†There isn’t much to show on the bobbin right now, but pictures will, as always, be forthcoming!