Monday, September 24, 2007

I have issues

Well, that should be obvious by now, but when I say issues, I mean knitting issues. Two, to be precise.

Issue the first:
Knitting with cotton - three strands of heavy worsted weight cotton - hurts. My wrists hurt, my fingers hurt. For such a simple project (Absorba, the great bathmat), there's a lot of pain involved. With just two 'strips' remaining, I'm confident that I can knit through the pain to a pleasant FO. No pain, no gain, right?
Bath Mat 1

Issue the second:
Row gauge. I swatched like a banshee for the Sunrise Circle Jacket. I got stitch gauge, but not row gauge. Fine. I can do math (even calculus, shh!), so I can futz my way through to an acceptable product. I cast-on the back, made some minimal calculations and modified the pattern accordingly. Back complete.

Sunrise Circle 2
I love the darts.

Sunrise Circle 3
So warm.

I went to cast-on the front left and hit a wall. I've got no clue how to modify this pattern to accommodate my row gauge. Further, I'm not sure how row gauge affects this pattern. See, the patterns asks you to cast on the cuff of the sleeve and knit the sleeve up through the raglan shaping. That's fine. I can do some fancy math and make the increases work out. But then, oh then. You continue into the shaping of the raglan and at the same time you begin work on the front. In this manner, you increase every single row to create a semi-circular left front. Understand? No? Check out the pattern. Will the front be too long, overlap too much? What's going to happen? Aieee! Can I modify the pattern and if so, how? Can I modify my row gauge and if so, how? Will I ever have a finished sweater that fits me, me, me?

Clearly, distractions are in order.

Distraction the first:
A very bad picture of my socks from Sockapalooza. Better pictures available from Yarn Thulu. These are beautiful socks, just the right height and they came with other sock-knitting goodies. Lucky for me, I got over the sock nausea, huh?

Distraction the second:
Cute kid. Clearly dressed by Daddy. Note the clashing pinks in the stockings and onesie, combined with the orange of the fleece vest. I love this outfit.

ETA: I found a somewhat useful link to row gauge issues. Basically, Kate says knit the fronts with your gauge (they will overlap more/less depending on row gauge) and make the back match. So I will sally forth on the left front and see where it takes me. It may mean ripping the back to ensure it matches the length of the front (but since my stitch gauge is spot on, who knows?).

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Finished object, the first

As life settles back into a routine that doesn't include writing a dissertation, I hope to update my little world on some of the projects I've completed. First up, I offer an actual photo of the socks I knit for my sockpal.

Spiral Boot Socks

It's up on Ravelry, too (I'm Jeneric, for those interested). Specifics can be found there. I loved knitting these socks and will almost certainly knit a second pair to keep, perhaps in a pale pink to add a cheery touch to the cold winters coming my way.

I make no promises, but I will try to photograph several other completed projects and, if you're good and don't stick things in your mouth, I'll even show some in-progress things. Is it really that obvious that I live with a toddler?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I passed. Can I knit now?

It's been a while, hasn't it?

For those interested, there is a direct and negative correlation between dissertation writing and knitting production.

I valiantly tried to knit through the entire month leading up to my defense (which included a trip to a conference in California with a baby). It was not successful. My project of choice? The mystery shawl. Who was it who said complicated lace and dissertations don't mix? That would be me.

So to recap the knitting:
1. Mystery shawl. I got to the third chart and abandoned it. It wasn't for the mistakes (though there had been several). It wasn't for the complicated nature of the beast. Really, it was because it was a beast, a swan to be specific. When the theme was revealed, I lost all interest. It's sitting quietly in a bag, awaiting the frog pond and greener pastures.

2. Black socks for Eric. Good grief. I lost interest in these months ago.

3. Shedir hat. I cast on for this and frogged it the same night. Love the pattern. Love the yarn. Don't love them together.

4. Various other projects were cast on and I don't remember them now.

5. Sunrise circle jacket. It's on, baby. Love the yarn (Brooks Farm Solana). It's like knitting with cherry juice (and I said so on Ravelry user name: Jeneric). I ripped the back once, to tidy up my darts. I'm now chugging along at a slow but respectable speed. Fingers crossed that this jacket is both wearable and a pleasure to wear.

6. Just last night, the yarn arrived for Absorba, the great bathmat. Those folks at Elmore Pigsah sure are quietly efficient. I ordered three cones of the Peaches and Cream Double Worsted Sunday evening and heard not a peep until Wednesday afternoon when a little e-mail alert notified me that it had arrived on my doorstep. I cast on PDQ (pretty darn quickly) and immediately noticed two things: (1) cotton is not wool nor does it pretend to be; (2) knitting with US 13 needles is gawd awful. I feel like I've lost the use of my thumbs or been stuck in a hoggy faze. Nevertheless, I love the resulting fabric and I will stick with this project until I have a bathmat. Or lose all feeling in my wrists, whichever comes first.