Just Swatch Me

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006
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I was worried that this swatching pun would be a common blog post title, but I just googled it and I didn’t find anything. Eve: 1, Ylogosphere: 0.

I’m working on a gauge swatch for my Spectator Grand. Just a few more rows and I’ll be casting off and pressing, yay! I feel like such a slow knitter, but it’s only slow going because I have a kabillion web projects on the go. Soon I will cast on the REAL THING!

In the mean time, here is a picture of a cat knitting.

I've caught the Knitting Craze

The picture is funniest if you say “I’ve caught the knitting craze” in a baritone English accent.

AUGH! My needles!

Thursday, May 11th, 2006
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I bought a set of 3.75mm needles less than a week ago to knit my Spectator Grand hat for The Amazing Lace, and I’ve already lost them! Eek! I blame congress, rising gas prices and to a lesser degree the messiness of my room.

I managed to pull out my 5mm needles (the next-smallest size I have, as my 4.25mms are occupied with a secret project) and practice a few stitches. No time to upload a photo, as I desperately need to get some work done this evening.

… Right after dinner.

EDIT, 10:27PM: Oh dear. I saw this image of Orangina and it just looks so glamorous that now I want to knit it. It’s all, “please, no paparazzi, I am too busy with my car remote to put on an undershirt.” I didn’t really like it before because I don’t do well with boat necks, but maybe I can adjust it according to my preferences.

The Amazing Lace Knitalong

Monday, May 8th, 2006
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My first bandwagon! I’m so excited! I imagine this is how a teenager feels the first time they light a candle for a wiccan god and then put on a fresh pair of spider pants to wear to a Tool concert.

I’m joining the Amazing Lace Knitalong. Not only does it force me to post my progress (and therefore make progress), but it will involve interpreting various challenges in a hilarious and creative manner. For example, if they say that I must photograph my lace high atop a bauer, I will merely photoshop a picture of my lace into a 24 screenshot. Oh mirth! Oh verily.

I’m very close to starting the Spectator Grand hat by Annie Modesitt. My yarn is fully dried, and I just have to wind it up into balls and knit a gauge swatch. I might decide to practise first with some scrap yarn so I can get used to yarn-overs and such. I want this hat to be perfect.

Yarn Washing Tips

Friday, May 5th, 2006
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Washed Yarn

Handy tips for washing yarn:

You know how they say “wash it in really hot water so the soap can grab onto the yarn?” This only applies to yarn that hasn’t been dyed. If you have bright red yarn, use cold water. I used hot (almost boiling) water for the first tubfull, and poured a whole lotta colour down the drain. :( I am an idiot.

If you plan to use a plastic potato masher or “squishy” to manipulate your yarn, make sure there aren’t any major bits that stick out, so you don’t end up tearing your yarn. I didn’t have too big a problem with bits sticking out, but I think I’ll file down the sides the next time I do a load of washing.

I used two basins, alternating between and prefilling basins while waiting for the other to soak, sometimes working on two batches at the same time. It’s a lot faster.

Winding your yarn into hanks (rather than balls) is very important. The more places you tie the hanks together, the easier it is to sort them out. I tied mine together in 3-4 places, which was a big help.

Angry Landlords and Pretty Red Yarn

Friday, May 5th, 2006
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It’s been almost a week and I still haven’t moved in. First my landlord told me the wall would be fixed, then he told me I’d have to wait a month and a half. I asked for compensation and he got really angry but at least now he’s doing something about it. Apparently he’s now waiting for it to rain this weekend so he can find where the leak is. He didn’t say he’d patch it up when he found the leak, which I probably should have asked about. I don’t trust him further than I can throw him. If it doesn’t rain, he’ll just bite the bullet and fix my wall, guaranteed (or so he says). Fortunately, it looks like it won’t rain very much: Today: A mix of sun and cloud. 30% chance of showers late this afternoon. Tonight: 30% chance of showers. Saturday: Sunny with cloudy periods. Sunday: A mix of sun and cloud with 30% chance of showers again.

I couldn’t find any more green yarn, so I’m putting Brit on the back burner until it’s back in stock. On to the next project! I went shopping yesterday and bought two sweaters. One of them is red, the other a light dye-able colour. (I also found 14 oz of cotton for $7.47 at Walmart! I think I’m going to buy it the next time I’m there, as well as some $4 fiber-fill for amigurumi.) Anyhoo, the red sweater is very soft and last night I frogged it. Soon it will be hat-shaped!

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Guess what I bought!

Friday, April 28th, 2006
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The model reminds me of Allyson Hannigan. This pattern is going to be a challenge, but also incredibly awesome.

Box Count: 1

Thursday, April 27th, 2006
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I’m packing right now for my move on the 29th, but all I really want to do is cast on. I’m going to try a lace pattern for the first time that will hopefully turn into a hat for my aunt. I can’t really find any circular lace patterns so I think I’m going to have to make one up.

I’ve packed up a box of books that will go into storage because I’ve decided it’s naive to think I’ll do anything but schoolwork for the next year. I’m going to keep the standbys, of course; Fierce Invalids, Dance of the Voodoo Handbag, Mash, etc. All my cogsci-related books I’ll keep around, but I doubt I’ll have to refer to the History of Pink Floyd anytime soon.

Hats

Monday, April 10th, 2006
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I’ll be finishing off my aunt’s mittens while watching The Constant Gardener tonight, so I’m starting to plan the hat I’ll be knitting next. I’ve bought a pretty blue wool for it (70% merino, 30% possum!), and I’m going to try some new fancy stitches. I want to make a wide brim for it, which means I’ll need to buy some millinery wire so it’ll have some support. I have NO IDEA how to do this. (To support the hat, I mean, not buy the wire.)

I’ve found a thread at craftster with a few hints on how to do it, but nothing specific. The thread also concerns crocheted hats, which is a completely different process and likely doesn’t translate well to knitted hats.

I’m feeling pretty clueless.