Archive for the ‘Stash Knitdown 2008’ Category

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Long term strategy

April 3, 2008

MAJOR dropoff in posts here, I know but I just haven’t had anything new to post about. I’m still making things of course, but the thing is they’re all rather long term and difficult to really see progress on.

 I started the Clashtastic Log Cabin blanket so long ago I feel like I can use the phrase “once upon a time” to describe when it began. The good news is that the end is finally in sight! This blanket will be done when I no longer have usable amounts of Lion Brand Homespun taking up space in my stash. I started with 8 colors and am now down to 6, which doesn’t sound like much of an improvement until you learn that the rest of the colors only have maybe about one stripe left in them. So, amazingly, the knit blanket is almost done! And what have I learned from this? That knitting blankets is inefficient and nowhere near as speedy and fun as crocheting them!

I have a lot of green and blue yarnOn that note, I finally decided what to do with my outcast natural fiber yarns: Babette blanket. It’s huge but the squares are super fast to make and the modular construction makes me really happy. Like I can put together squares based on color sequences and then find a way to make them fit in the big picture. For example, the purple-black-blue square in the picture looks nice and all, but I don’t think it looks so good next to the big prime square (the blue-green concoction), so I’ll just save it for later! I’ve never been particularly good at seaming crochet, but I guess I have to learn sometime and the crazy resulting blanket will be totally worth it. The trick to this blanket is that I *will not* buy yarn specifically for it. This will be made slowly over time of my leftover worsted bits, and maybe if I figure out some voodoo with the DK that can get rolled in too.  Considering I almost always over-buy yarn for a project, the materials shouldn’t be too hard to get 🙂

Lastly, the color cycle of Project Spectrum have changed over to EARTH. I am so all over this one. I have green yarn like you would not believe, with brown also heavily represented in my stash. Like Fire before it, this new cycle gets kicked off with a new beret (maybe even one to replace my sadly felted tweed one 😦  ) It’s the most basic beret pattern on the internet, but the specialness comes from the Koigu I’m using to make it. First of all, I can totally understand the hype over this yarn now. It makes a really bouncy fabric and the colors are amazing. This colorway reminds me of the very beginnings of spring when everything around here is, to be honest, more yellow than green.

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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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Abberant Behavior in Socks

January 29, 2008

The Goblet of Fire socks are looking great! Now that I’ve got one completely done, I have a feeling that the next is going to fly off the needles. I know that’s strange, but it’s more often than not the first sock that takes the longest, especially when I really enjoy making it. Somehow, having the number of pattern repeats needed for the right measurements makes a big difference in how fast I get through. Like I can tell myself “oh it’s just another three pattern repeats then I get to do the heel turn,” and suddenly it’s done. I’m also just *so* excited to have these as a full pair. The taller leg will be great in this cold weather and I adjusted my usual foot measurements and got a much better length on the foot. These’ll fit in shoes no problem.

AND the stashdown continues! There’s still quite a ways  to go on the Hartshorn vest, which seems to have stopped growing despite all the time spent on it. I’m really starting to get nervous about it, though, as I think I may have overestimated my body measurements when calculating the cast-on. While it’s good news that I’m not as big as I thought, it might well be this miscalcutaion that makes the sweatervest way too big. Thank heaven for blocking, right?

I also knocked out a quick, one-skein project out of gift yarn that I got two Christmases ago from my friend working in Japan. It’s pretty stuff, I just never knew what to do with it. But a little while ago I broke out Cats and Zig to wind up some old yarn and kind of rediscovered it and other neglected bits. Note to self: The Baruffa stuff is beautiful. Somehow the color shows up more clearly now that it’s in a cake instead of a big droopy hank. Makes me *really* want to cast on something daring, but no. First it’s what I have on the needles, with the occasional one-skein project to chip away at the small bits.

Lastly, I actually did some crochet! My best friend is teaching herself crochet as part of a grad school class she’s taking (trust me, it makes sense) and called the other day to check on something that she was doing (she had it just fine, but crochet really is quite different than knitting so the caution was reasonable) and as I crocheted along trying to match what she was doing on her end of the phone I suddenly wanted nothing to do with my pointy sticks and just wanted to crochet something. Anything!

More stashbusting ensued and in a few hours I made this nice little hat out of one-skein of Patons Devine in black and about half a skein of the same yarn in purple. I’m a fan. It’s kinda gothy…but to girly to really be so (patern from the “accessories section of Mr. Funky’s Super Crochet Wonderful).

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A Commitment

January 8, 2008

I have too much yarn. I am not a horder. I’m honestly starting to feel trapped under it. The guilt that comes along with receiving new yarn is no fun at all. Time for a change. I’m gonna ignore that gift certificate for awhile (::cries::) and focus on what I already have.

First off, the red Felted Tweed. I could kick myself for ignoring it for so long. It’s a pretty color and makes a great fabric (I’m really developing a soft spot for the Rowan yarns), and a good DK weight. When I saw it, I immediately thought sweater-vest and now it’s finally on the needles. I’m really winging it here, so it’ll probably be awhile before it’s appreciably far along (I’m not even through the first cable chart yet), but I think it’ll look great and it’s a good opportunity to test my “freestyle” skills. And I would just like to say that the Knitpicks Options needles I’m using (yay for Christmas) are crazy fast. SCARY fast. I really motor along until the cable, but even that doesn’t take too long.

Then there’s socks. Honestly, my sock stash isn’t THAT bad and most of it has specific projects waiting for it. The problem is LEFTOVERS. What the eff am I gonna do with like 90 yards of sock yarn. I’ve been kicking around ideas for some franken-socks, but not all of it has a destination. I need to fix that.

I onlt have two sweater groups of yarn left, thank God. One of them is the zip-up hoodie that’s been hibernating. I miss it! I want to work on it again, but it’s just such a slog right now since I’m on the raglan increases (again, I’m winging it on this) that I get distracted really easily from it. Once I incorporate the cool cable design, I think my interest will be at a high again. The other is part of my Ghost of Acrylic past grouping, to an extent. 6 balls of Lion Brand Wool-Ease that I’ve decided is gonna turn in to a big sack-out house sweater using EZ’s Wishbone pattern from Knitter’s Almanac. Think I’ll be struck down for using an acrylic blend? I hope not. I *really* need a good around the house pullover.