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.