Archive for the ‘EZ’ Category

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A need for focus

March 11, 2008

I was so proud of myself for finishing the Wishbone sweater. It’s big, it’s warm, I can tuck my legs in to it if need be…it’s exactly what I wanted out of this sweater! Since I finished it a few days ago, it’s been serving as  nice alternative to freezing my butt off in the basement. No “in action” shots yet because I was such a mess this morning when I took the pictures. No one needs to see medusa hair and red eyes on a knitting blog.

My guilty bit comes from the fact that, instead of finishing the sweater and buckling down on the lace scarf or the second sock that has been languishing, I cast on for (surprise surprise) another hat. But in all fairness it’s a really really cute one. The pattern for Gretel is, as usual for an Ysolda pattern, phenominally well written. It’s amazing just how much quicker a project goes when you have a detailed set of instructions to work with. I’m already lapping the “regular sized” version and headed in to the slouchy.  Moreover, this project lead me to learn an all new tublar cast on that I’ll probably be subbing in on any future hats. It makes a great edge that looks very clean. The yarn is also new to me: Rowan Kid Classic in a stormy blue that I love. It’s also much softer than I expected.

So there we go. This hat will be a happy diversion at which point I will devote time in front of the TV to that lace scarf (not even halfway through the center panel and the edging is nowhere in sight), and the sock will get done on the usual schedule of “when I’m on the go/away from my TV project.” Kinda sad, though. I haven’t had SSS this bad in a long time…

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Eureka Moments

March 7, 2008

I was really jamming myself up on the EZ Wishbone Sweater. I finished the second sleeve and promptly thought to myself ‘Well now what the hell do I do?’ The instructions are to “put all stitches on the needles”…well la di da how do I do that? Do I use magic? The sleeve stitches can’t just suddenly *be* part of the sweater stitches…

…Or can they?

Eventually I came to the conclusion that, as usual, I was waaaaaaay over-thinking things. Just put the sleeve stitches in with the rest of them.  That’s all there is to it. So what is the simplest solution? That’s usually going to be the correct one. Well…I guess just…like…knitting the sleeve stitches from the beginning of the armpit gap going up and around to the other side and then just trucking on across the body? I mean…I could kinda picture how that might result in shoulder-slantiness and basically attached arms…

 

Well what do you know? Just knitting the damned things on seems to have worked (although I’m not entirely comfortable taking out my lifelines yet). Once I quit freaking out about the new construction that I’d never worked with before, it made perfect sense to just attach them by, shockingly, knitting them. Occam’s Razor wins again! Now I just need to get past my NEW mental roadblock of “keep decreasing until there’s 32 stitches total before adding more decreases? no way that can’t be right that’s way too small…” Hopefully by the time I’m done this will be a minimum of 5 balls of yarn I’d never use otherwise out of my stash.

But before I go…I will use this blog as a confessional. I haven’t knit a sweater in ages. This wishbone is the first I’ve done since the disastrous “what does ‘DK’ mean is that like a brand name or something I’ll just use whatever the hell I want and not compensate on gauge” Lamb’s Pride and Mohair cardigan (which I still wear around the house all the time, for the record). But now…I have newly bought yarn for two more sweaters…that’s a total of 3 unmade sweaters sitting the stash…up from where I was at the end of last year….and I bought more sock yarn…But it was on sale! No seriously there was a 20% off sale at Anglefire this past weekend and they had pretty colors for sweaters and Lorna’s Laces in a blue that I LOVE and Dream in Color Sock in a pretty dark purpley-ish spectrum and I’ve never used this kind of yarn before….Wow. I’m a damned spaz when I feel guilty about spending money…but before the sale I was doing so well at clearing out…

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Can we fix it?

February 27, 2008

Of course! Probably my favorite thing about knitting is that if you just look closely enough at the fabric and know the basic mechanics of what it took to make that fabric, you can fix just about any problems. Or at least that’s how lucky I’ve been so far. My crochet-hook-fu has been getting stronger and stronger to the point where I can fix a mixed up knit/purl ten rows down and not totally ruin the sock. I like fixing little problems.

 Sadly, I ended up with a pretty big problem when it came time to do the toe on the Toujours Pur sock. The pattern includes a standard toe, but *once again* my standard toe came out silly looking and ill fitting. The sock itself is gorgeous so there was no way I could let it lanuish with a terrible toe. I went through all my reference books (I’m obsessed with reference books like dictionaries and encyclopedias and how-to manuals) and discovered the “round toe.” After some creativity with stitch count, I got the sock down to 64 total stitches and followed the instructions in More Sensational Knitted Socks from there. One can never have too complete a reference library, if you ask me.

One place my reference library *can’t* help, however, is with my ginormous house sweater. I’m using some old Wool-Ease Chunky in Charcol to make a quick pullover for around the house. The gague of 2.5 sts to the inch is *killing* me. I ended up on 17s to make this beast. But the fabric is coming out just how I’d hoped and I’m up to the part where I need to make the sleeves….And here’s where the problems come in. First of all, I don’t have another set of 17s I can work a 20 stitch cast on from. There’s the addis I’m using on the obdy and that basically has surgical tubing for a cord…not so much gonna happen with the magic loop, and I’m not even sure size 17 dpns exist. That’d be quite a sight…But I’m gonna give it my best seeing how the 17 tips and 40″ cords I just ordered for my Options do. If that fails…I can use my hated bargin bin 17s with the gnarly plastic cord of doom and do a two circular trick. Yuck.

Even if I do manage to knit the sleeves there’s still the matter of attaching them; a process spelled out only in the vaguest of terms in “The Opinionated Knitter” and not much more clearly in the Hurry Up Last Minute pattern from Knitter’s Almanac that I’m using. I’ll do some more internet detectiving before I throw in the towel and annoy a message board with my plees.

Lastly, I’m making a lace…thing. It’s the ultimate in simplicity but it’s really teaching me the structure of lace. The pattern itself consists of a mind boggling 132 repeats of faggoting (I feel like I need to apologize to a couple of friends just for typing that), after which you attach a simple border. I don’t know how to do any of that stuff, so even though it’s not exactly the more eye catching of lace pieces, it’s a valuable learning lesson…one that, clearly, I haven’t gotten very far with. Picked the red while I was in a Project Spectrum-y mood and I still like it. I don’t own enough of the deeper, hotter end of the color chart. The icky pink acrylic (it actually squeeks!) making an appearance in this pic and the house sweater above, is not meant to be included. It’s just my least splitty, most easily visible waste yarn. I made some regretable choices as a beginning knitter.

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Christmas Story

December 26, 2007

I decided to make sweaters for the two new babies in my family this year. The first was for the older boy, but I finished it so early that I gave it to him way before Christmas so he’d get some time in it before it no longer fit. The baby girl was originally getting a BSJ, but right before I sewed it up, I saw that there was no way it would fit her. So with very little time left, I decided to work up the two-needle baby sweater from Knitter Almanac. I’ve seen so many pretty versions of it that I just knew it would look great….then i got distracted and had only a month left…then I completely messed up the gague and had to start from scratch. Then I only had 4 days left…

 

BOOYAH!

This is a sweater that I am truly proud of. I followed an EZ pattern, understanding why what was written was there, understanding why I was increasing to this number of stitches and what she meant by “work back and forth.” The directions are like one paragraph long and I used them to make a pretty baby sweater! I rule!

And it was even more special because I feel like my family really understood the kind of time and effort that went in to it. They were passing it around and squishing the fabric and insisting that it must have taken more than four days (it really didn’t! I just stayed up really late, did nothing but knit, and was sewing the buttons on that morning).  And even better, I know the baby’ll look adorable in it. It’s a good shade of lavander for her eyes.

What’s more, it fits. Icing on the cake.