Sunday, June 14, 2009

I've been thinking a lot about this knit blog lately... in between paper writing, research, readings for class, gardening, house cleaning, and trying to spend time with Kurt. I just don't have time to post here. I've tried scheduling it in but then I end up posting when I should be doing something else and the posts really aren't that great. Hell, I don't even have time to keep up with my Ravelry projects page lately! So, I'm giving it up. The blog, that is. I will leave up the archives at least for awhile but I don't plan to continue posting. I have never had many regular readers though I do appreciate the ones I've had. Thanks for reading, guys!! I still plan to read the handful of knit blogs I have in my reader, which includes all of you. :-)

I will definitely continue knitting as it helps keep me sane in my busy, hectic life and I will take a few minutes every once in awhile to keep up with my projects on Ravelry. Keep up with me there if you'd like, my username is katiedid.

Excitement... Just Not About Knitting...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

So I promised an exciting post... because I thought I would be done with my sweater and I would have bought beautiful yarn in Fargo to show you all.  I didn't end up find the yarn I wanted in Fargo and I still have a little over a sleeve to go on the sweater (not to mention the fact that I haven't bought the buttons yet).  *sigh*  I'm such a boring knit blogger.

But I did get a haircut!

From this...

To this...

To this...

What do you think?  I'm thinking I'm going to get even more off the top... it really wants to stick up and look fluffy and I would like it to be a little more sleek and lay more flat.  I love the shortness in general though!  It's so fun!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

I've been knitting a little.  You don't really want to see the same sweater with just another couple of inches of stockinette (and decreases) added on, do you?  

Didn't think so.

I tried it on the other night and just have to say: it is going to be cuuuuuu-UTE!  I'm excited!

This week I only have one final exam and I don't start working full-time in the lab until next week so I hope to have LOTS of knitting time.  Next week, I promise my entry will be much more exciting.  ;)

This morning Kurt made me crepes and I made a blueberry sauce to go with them.  It's our Mother's Day tradition except usually I am making the crepes.  He has grown up so much in the last year that him making them was just a natural progression.  He's gotten to be quite the cook.  I'll be spending my day studying for my exam and lounging around on the couch, which is just fine with me.

Happy Mother's Day, for you mothers out there!


Sunday, May 03, 2009

I am almost to the waist shaping.

Hat, Cardi, and School

Sunday, April 26, 2009

So the hat I was knitting for my sister ended up too small.  My gauge swatch said it would be but it just looked so big as I was knitting it that I didn't believe it.  I was about halfway done when I finally tried it on and realized there was no way it was getting over anyone's head.  I ripped it out and flailed around for a project for a few days.  My friend Courtney and I must have looked at just about every cardigan pattern on Ravelry...

I ended up choosing the Garter Yoke Cardi, which Big Geek Beth just finished.  It's simple and cute and (almost) what I was looking for in a cardigan pattern.  I'm using up the rest of my Harmony 10 ply in brown and it is going fast.  I love size 8 needles!

This is the yoke last week after I figured out how to do the couple of short rows it requires.  Thanks for the help Beth and Ravelry peeps!

And here is it now.  I am ready to slip off the stitches for the sleeves and continue with the body.  At this rate, I'll be done before summer weather really hits and might even get to wear it a few times.  

I noticed something last night in the pattern that I was going to mention though.  I had been debating what size to make but because I've been making pretty fitted cardigans and sweaters lately I decided to go with a little extra ease and try modding it to a 35" (the options are 34" then 36").  Luckily, last night as I got to the sleeves where the first size decision needs to be made, I took a look at the schematic which states that the 34" is actually 35.5"... is this normal?  Most patterns I've made seem to be the real size they state, not with ease built in.  I'm glad I double-checked!

I'm seeing an end to the school year right now.  Next week I have a couple of last exams and then the week after I have finals.  Unfortunately, but not really because it will be great, I start a class immediately the next week and working full-time in the lab for the whole summer.  It's going to be awesome!  But busy...  hopefully I will find more time to knit and blog.


Saturday, April 04, 2009

It's Lambing Season over at Farmgirl Fare and the little tiny lambs seem even more cute this year than they have in the past few.  Check it out but be forewarned that the cuteness will almost melt your brain.

Pooling vs. Flooding

Monday, March 30, 2009

I finished my blue socks with the annoying pooling and they actually look alright.

Since then, I've begun my sister's Swirly Hat aka, my official Blizzard KAL hat.  

I meant to do it a few blizzards ago but last weeks ended up being just fine... especially since it was an official snow day with classes canceled and everything.  Then, after one day back at school, they canceled the next two days so the students could help with the flood-fighting efforts.  So, in between sandbagging and staying caught up with homework, I've been working on this little hat.  I'm a little nervous about it fitting since a) I'm not very good at making hats that fit, b) I didn't exactly get gauge, and c) it's looking a little small even though gauge tells me it should be huge.  I'm just hoping that's because the provisional cast-on I used left a short piece of yarn in the edge that belies it's actual length.  Yeah, that's it.

As for the flood, we are fine here in Grand Forks (though some areas are not completely dry) and are expecting the river to crest mid-week.  Fargo seems to be safe but their dikes need to hold for a few more days at least while the water levels decrease... and they're getting hit with another storm today and tomorrow so hopefully that won't leave too much moisture.  Keep them in your thoughts, please.  

(I apologize for the horrible quality of the pictures but Kurt still hasn't found the digital camera that he took to winter camp last month...)

Breaking into Spring

Sunday, March 15, 2009

We're doing some spring cleaning today... it's not very fun but I will feel much better when the house is cleaner and a little more presentable because...  Jenna and Brian are coming to visit on Tuesday!!  I'm very excited.  We're going to have a potluck with some other knitters and hang out and catch up.

Here's what I'm currently knitting:

Notice the non-Circle of Friendship-ness of it.  That pattern looked really bad with this yarn so it became a plain Jane stockinette sock. Also, sorry for the crappy picture but Kurt took the digital camera to camp and it hasn't made its way back yet (he thinks he left it in the vehicle on the way home).  I loved the pooling of this yarn in my swatch but it didn't transfer to the sock.  The only way I can see to get it back would be to knit something with a very small circumference (like a baby bootie or circular swatch) and this yarn is meant for me so that's not happening.  I will just have to deal.

My sister was visiting this weekend so I lengthened the thumbs on her mittens last night while we tried to get her hooked on Firefly.  Then today I ordered yarn for her hat.

That's all the fiber news for this week.  It's my spring break so I'm hoping to get in some knitting time somewhere in between my studying and catching up with homework time.  I may also paint the bathroom.  We'll see on that last.

Have a great week everyone!


Sunday, March 01, 2009

Here are pictures from my sister of the Swirly Mittens.

The thumbs ended up being a little too small so I'll probably add on to them next time I see her. I made them a few rows shorter than mine because she has much shorter fingers than I do but I guess I overdid it.  Really though, the fact that there is a right AND a left thumb is enough for me at this point in time.  Jenna reminded me of Elizabeth Zimmerman's instructions for an afterthought thumb in the Knitter's Almanac and I had my little mistake all fixed up in no time at Susanna's house a couple weeks ago.

A couple weeks ago already.  Whew.  It's been rough.  I had my first Physical Chemistry test and am gearing up for my second Biochem test.  This one is on metabolism and I've been a little overwhelmed but am making great studying progress today.

I cast on for the Circle of Friendship socks the other night while watching a movie but dropped one of my cast on stitches and decided it was too late to start again.  I hope to have time later tonight to try again but we'll just see how that goes.  In the meantime, I'll just keep the pretty blue yarn on my desk as motivation.  ;-)


Monday, February 16, 2009

If anyone else noticed the strangeness in my mittens yesterday and politely didn't say anything: thank you.  I think.  Because it took me knitting all of the second thumb, binding off, and weaving in the ends to realize.... I had two right-hand mittens.  Dangit!

Anyone know of any good tutorials for slipping in an afterthought thumb when you hadn't planned for it?  I've already ripped out and sewn up the offending thumb hole.

Too Cool to be Square

Sunday, February 15, 2009

So I read over on Lab Cat's blog today about square needles.  Have you heard of these?  I'm intrigued.  I'm bummed that the circs and DPNs will only come in aluminum though since wood is so much easier on my hands.  Maybe the squareness would make up for it?  In any case, I've bookmarked them in my Thinking of Buying folder.

I knit a little this week!  The combination of tests and only having the stupid annoying thumbs left on Leah's (my sister) mittens put me off it the last couple of weeks.  Does anyone else hate knitting thumbs or fingers on mittens and gloves?  They're just so fiddly!  Especially with the stranded colorwork.  Anyway, I did finish one thumb and plan to finish the other today.  

Then they definitely need a good blocking.  Once I get them in the mail, Leah's hands can be warm again and I will have to order more yarn and start on her hat.  To match the gloves, it will be the Swirly Hat by Joanne Jongsma.

I'm also still thinking of starting a pair of socks for myself.  Maybe tomorrow.  I have the day off from school and will be meeting with a couple of friends for an afternoon of knitting.   I think my Fibranatura Yummy sock yarn needs to be knit into some pretty socks for myself.  I just need a good pattern.  I'm thinking about the Circle of Friendship socks that Jenna made once with yarn I gave to her (because I bought this yarn while I was visiting her in her new home last summer) but I'm a little worried about pooling.

Speaking of Jenna, look what she sent me!  

The long-awaited Malabrigo sock yarn in a luscious brown.  (I love brown.)

70% superwash merino, 30% alpaca, 3-ply

It was an early birthday and late Christmas gift.  I'm really late blogging about this because I received it in early January... but it's been in my yarn drawer in my desk and I take it out and admire the handspun every once in awhile when I'm studying.  I'm always so amazed by Jenna's handspun because she is fairly new to spinning and it's just so beautiful and perfect.  I think she's a natural or worked her ass off when she got her wheel to learn how to do it right.  Actually, I'm sure it was a combination of both, knowing her and what a hard-worker she is.

Okay, this post got super long and I apologize but when I actually have time to post I like to try to catch you all up on what's been going on, fiber-wise, with me.

Drive-by Posting

Sunday, February 08, 2009

I have a Biochem test tomorrow so I don't have time for a nice, insightful post.  I'm knee-deep in amino acids and vitamin precursors but should be able to have a better post next weekend.

I did want to stop in and say that I finished knitting the main part of my sister's mittens but haven't done the thumbs yet.  I'm having trouble picking up the "top" stitches.  I think what I did was an afterthought thumb... I don't really know.  I knit the thumb stitches with a scrap yarn and then slipped them back to the right needle and knit the pattern into those.  On the first one I picked up the stitches under the scrap with no problems but when I picked up the ones on top... they turned out to not really be stitches.  I don't know how else to describe it but I got frustrated and gave up.  I keep meaning to search the Techknitting site but never take the time.  Looks like I can't procrastinate much longer if I actually want to finish the mittens.

Anyway, I'll try to take pictures by next week!  And I should have a new project started soon too!


Sunday, February 01, 2009

Long ago I promised a post on my steeking experience but when it came down to cutting the steek the camera battery was dead so I had to resort to taking pics with my phone camera because... well, I wasn't going to wait to charge the camera battery.

I have to preface this all by admitting when I heard what steeking was my first thought was not "Yikes!  Cutting knitting!  Oh, the horror!" it was "Whoa, that's so cool!  I have to try it!"  I'm a process knitter and steeking is a damn cool process.  I just wasn't expecting my first try to be on such an involved project... I pictured it more like a swatch or something.

So when it came time to cut the steek on Little Birds, the instructions said if I had used a nice, hairy, sticky yarn I didn't need to reinforce the steek.  I used the recommended hairy, sticky yarn so I didn't reinforce.  I just took the scissors, and cut.

I held my breath and was half-expecting the yarn to unravel even though I'd seen how crazy sticky this stuff was throughout the knitting of the sweater.  I can assure you that it didn't and even now that I've worn it several (many) times, it's just gotten more sticky rather than less.  This sucker isn't going anywhere.

I wish I had taken a picture as I was picking up the stitches for the collar because it was amazing how beautifully the steek stitches folded back and flattened down.  I still find it a little amazing how nicely this all came together.

Here is me proudly wearing my finished, sans buttons, sweater for the first time.  ...and you know the rest of the story.  This is my favorite sweater ever.  I highly recommend Ysolda's patterns as they are very well-written and well worth the effort.


Current knitting: still working on my sister's mittens and sort of working on a hat/bonnet thing for myself.  Thinking about starting some new socks.

(De)construction Weekend

Sunday, January 04, 2009

I think it's a testament to my growth as a knitter and, hopefully, an increase in my patience that I can now...

...calmly hack up a sweater I knit in order to fix something.  Here is my Scoop Neck Vest Sweater after picking out, stitch-by-bloody-stitch, the beautiful tubular bind-off of the neckline (132 stitches, to be exact).  Next came the sleeves...

But you must be very, very careful which thread you cut or can end up swearing quite a bit... I did here.  Always cut the seam stitches from INside the sweater so it's easy to see which is the seam stitch and which is just a little ladder between stitches.

Ta-da!  Hacked up sweater!  And it barely even hurt (me; I can't speak for the sweater).

And here are the pieces that needed to be fixed.  The whole reason I hacked it apart was because of something I foresaw when I made it: the front strap was about nine rows longer than the back strap.  I thought it was odd but trusted the pattern, which I usually advise you do... unless, of course, the pattern isn't right or is seeming like it's going to cause serious problems which, in this case, it did.  The shoulder seam, once this sucker was all finished up initially, fell beHIND the top of my shoulder.  Those extra nine stitches caused the armhole to be slightly too big and so it was constantly falling off my shoulders.  It was annoying and made the whole sweater look frumpy.

So yeah, we come to today: the actual fixing of the straps took about ten minutes.  The deconstructing and reconstructing the sweater?  An entire afternoon and the first quarter of a football game (we lost).  Was it worth it?  Hell yeah!  I've had the sweater on now for a couple of hours and nothing has slipped off my shoulders even once!  It looks the same as before though so I didn't bother taking any new pictures.  


The other sweater I hacked apart was my Not-So-Puff-Sleeved Feminine Cardigan.  I added sleeves and I absolutely adore it now.  I actually did the first sleeve right before Christmas while waiting for more Little Birds yarn and did the entire second sleeve yesterday.  I've been a girl on a mission this weekend!  I'll post pictures of the sleeved one soon.

Thanks to my perserverance, and knowledge that classes begin again in a week and I won't have time anymore for it, I now have two more hand-knit sweaters to keep me warm this winter.  That's five total!  Yay!


I apologize for the extra-long post but I just wanted to say I'm so glad I took the plunge and "fixed" these two sweaters.  I'd had them both for a long time (slightly over a year for one and slightly under a year for the other) and had only worn them a handful of times each because of the silly little problems: no sleeves make for a cold Katie and droopy shoulders suck.  Now I know I'll wear them all the time!  And all it took was a few hours here and there of fixing... but would have taken no time had I listened to my intuition in the first place.  

I hope I've learned something...

Happy New Year, everyone!

Little Blue Birds on my Shoulder

Friday, January 02, 2009

Little Birds is done!

It's so cozy warm too. I can't wait to make another fair-isle sweater! Venezia may be closer in my future than I thought. ;)