May 31, 2004

Paper and ribbons

Yesterday was my birthday, and my marvelous husband got me two knitting books I have been coveting.

Yesterday morning, after I unwrapped it, I browsed through The Sweater Workshop but had to finally force myself to put it down and make the rule that I am not allowed to look at it again until both T3 and the Seabreeze sweater are complete, because I am just itching to start my sampler and try out some of the things she talks about in this book.

Today, among other things, I spent a few hours reading through most of Stiitch and Bitch, just because I have been itching to ever since I flipped through it in a bookstore months ago. I've already found information that will be very helpful for T3, because I think I might not have sewn it long enough, plus the bottom ribbing is still really annoying me with the way it flips up. However I've not really wanted to have to rip out both front and back just to make them longer. So knowing what I need to do to start over at the bottom instead of from the top will be oh so useful.

Speaking of T3, I did the side seams, amazing myself with how beautifully invisible they turned out. It looks like somehow I managed to measure the top parts well enough despite myself so the next step is to seam the shoulders - yet another new technique to learn - and then it's on to the sleeves and the aforementioned lengthening of the bottom that is required. I'm scheduled to fly away for work again - this time with an overnight, bored in a hotel with nothing to do but either flip through dozens of channels of mindless television, or knit. I predict a finished T3 by the end of the week at this rate.

And I have an almost-finished object to report. Voila! Behold an unblocked, but mostly finished shawl!

The way I stretched it out on the table makes it look a little lopsided, but it's actually pretty even. I have absolutely no idea how it is I am supposed to seam up that strange little neck piece at the top, but Friday night is craft night so I shall appeal to those with far more experience than me to offer insight. With that and T3, I see much blocking in store for me this coming weekend.

Posted by Jenipurr at 09:14 PM | Comments (3)

May 28, 2004

Back and forth

I haven't touched T3 since I got home, but that is because I made such progress on the shawl while we were away that I now want to just get it finished! It's taken me three tries to get the bottom border in place because I kept discovering dropped stitches too far back to retrieve. And there really is just no way to recover dropped stitches in situations like that - sigh.

And now that I am almost done with the border, and actually tried it on, I have discovered that I think it really ought to be a little wider and longer...which naturally means that I am going to have to rip out the entire border yet again and add on a few dozen more rows. Gah.

So right now I am waffling between whether I want to just put the shawl aside and pick up T3 again, or whether I want to just grimly slog on and get this darn shawl done. It's turned out lovely - I can at least say that. But I really could have done without all the hours wasted knitting and ripping, knitting and ripping, and now to rip again.

There are also bright spots to report, however. The las t two of my eBay purchases arrived while we were on vacation, so I came home to two boxes crammed with yarn. Another wool - this time in a dusky purple (I seem to have this thing for blue and purple, don't I), and a dozen skeins which will hopefully be enough to make an afghan and perhaps even another sweater.

News on the Seabreeze yarn at last! I called the store on Tuesday morning and had a small panic when she said she didn't have any more. Then she called me back not fifteen minutes later, because she had managed to unearth her very last skein of the color I want. Phew! I'd already begun gloomily making preparations to rip out the piece I'd finished and come up with something else to do with the yarn, but now I do not have to!

It should arrive sometime next week. Hopefully by then I will be done with T3 and perhaps on my final knit/rip/knit cycle of that silly shawl, and I can get back down to that one, original project I said I was going to work on in May. Ah, the best laid plans.

Posted by Jenipurr at 07:08 AM | Comments (2)

May 22, 2004

T-3: Updated

I think I've managed to get as far on T3 as I can until I return home. I finished up the front this morning. The neckline was incredibly simply to do, and I'm feeling more confident with the shoulder fitting with the front than the back.

However, even though I know the sleeves will probably take me only a day or two to whip out, and the seaming only another day or two, I'm eyeing the instructions and realizing that I need more room to spread out, plus a few more stitch holders before I figure out how to join the shoulder seams for front and back. I've only ever joined bound-off stitches before for seams (this is really only the third sweater I've ever made), and I think I'd rather be home with more available paraphenlia (and a printer to print out directions for things!) when I attempt this. Even with the wait, however, I'm actually pretty excited because I think I'm going to have my pretty purple T3 done by the end of the month - and since my birthday is at the end of the month, what a nice present I will have made for myself!

So in the meantime, aren't I glad I brought all that grey wool with me? I was right - the size 10 needles were just too small for the effect I want on this shawl. The wool is chunky weight - nice and thick, and I knit enough on the smaller needles to see that I really do love the pattern I've selected (scroll down and see the August 2002 Triangle Shawl pattern). It's very simple but it's going to be really lovely once I start over on the larger needles for a more lacy look. We're off to another play, but after that's done I think I'll head back to the hotel with my wool and my new needles and see how much I can get done. Hopefully by tonight or tomorrow I'll have made enough headway for progress pictures.

Posted by Jenipurr at 12:40 PM | Comments (1)

May 20, 2004

Road trip!

As if jetting off to Seattle this past weekend wasn't enough, yesterday my husband and I packed the car with far more than we'll probably need for the next week, and set off for Ashland, Oregon. We've got tickets for four plays while we're here, but the rest of the time is free to just roam around, see the sights, read, sleep, and of course for me, knit.

And what to my great excitement should I find less than two blocks from my hotel? Why a yarn store, of course! I have already gone in to drool over all the yarns - they've got a huge selection. I'm determined to finish up T-3 while I'm here, but I did bring along all that lovely dark grey wool with the thought of starting work on a shawl. And I just might have to get some larger needles than the 10's I brought with me. And while I'm getting needles, there are some pattern books there that I just might have to flip through and, and, and...

Posted by Jenipurr at 04:07 PM

May 16, 2004

Feeding the stash monster

In a weak moment last week I went onto eBay and started bidding on yarn. The first few wins have begun trickling in. I was gone this weekend, up to visit my sister in Seattle, where we entertained ourselves by taking a marvelous class on how to make chocolate truffles. When I got home, there were boxes waiting for me, containing the following:

A hand-painted nubbly rayon-blend yarn.

The softest pastel sprinkled wool.

A dark brownish grey wool.

I'm still debating what to do with the handpainted blue rayon yarn, but a friend is pregnant so the pastel wool in the middle may just have to become a baby layette set, and the dark grey wool is crying out to become a shawl.

The plus of taking a plane flight was that I got several (mostly) uninterrupted hours in which to knit. I finished the back of T3 on Thursday, and by the time I was on the plane heading back home this morning I'd worked the front to the point that I'm starting the armhole decreases. Another week and this thing might actually be done!

Here's a progress picture. The yarn keeps coming out too blue in pictures but if you just pretend it's a little more purple, you'll get the idea.

Posted by Jenipurr at 10:16 PM

May 10, 2004

Early knit-along start

Until I hear from the yarn shop on the Seabreeze yarn I'm sort of stuck on the watery blue-green sweater. However, I get antsy without a project to work on, so Friday night I had my friend take the necessary measurements for me, which I plugged into the T3 pattern. Then I grabbed a beautiful purple-blue superwash wool (which I got from the same place as the watery blue-green) and started knitting.

I'd share pictures of progress except that the color comes out oddly blue in them. So you'll just have to imagine how pretty it's looking. The purple color changes from dark to light throughout, so even though it's just a plain old stockinette stitch, it seems like it's got some depth.

I've just hit the first of the armhole decreases and so far it's been as easy a pattern as it claims. We'll see how it goes once I tackle those sleeves.

Posted by Jenipurr at 09:14 PM

May 05, 2004

One step forward

Oh happy day! Finally got ahold of the yarn place and I am to send them a chunk of the skeins I've got of the watery blue green so they can check their stash, or try to match it for me. And in the meantime I have pretty much convinced myself that I need the Twilight yarn from them, enough to make myself a sweater. I'm not sure what pattern I'd use - with the varigated colors in the yarn it won't support a complex pattern - but I have a few ideas. It's simply too delicious to pass up.

In the meantime I have half the front completed. I haven't had a chance to even start the right side of the neck split yet - been too busy with other things - but Friday night is craft night (or in other words, an excuse for a bunch of us women to get together, work on our current projects, and gab endlessly for a few hours straight!) so my hope is that I'll have the entire front done (and ready for pictures) by this weekend. I am so far really liking the look of the keyhole neck, although the finished fabric does tend to curl in on itself (the perils of stockinette stitch, I suppose) so I may have to find some way of 'reinforcing' those little pieces so they at least lie a bit flatter.

Posted by Jenipurr at 08:46 AM

May 02, 2004

All may not be lost

I managed, somehow, to track down the info sheet from the yarns I purchased at the show in San Francisco earlier this year, and lo and behold, the place where I bought the yarn (but not enough of it!) has a website! While perusing through their color selection (and drooling over more than a few of them) I think I've identified one of the yarns as Seabreeze. The other is going to take a little more work, but I emailed them and did a desperate plea for help. So all may not be lost. Keep your fingers crossed!

In the meantime I've been industriously working on the front of the blue-green sweater, and am in the process of shaping the first side, since it's a keyhole neck. It's actually knitting up surprisingly quickly, and I really like how the colors have come out.

Posted by Jenipurr at 07:44 AM | Comments (1)

May 01, 2004


I am, at this moment, extremely frustrated. I thought I had enough of the watery blue-green yarn to make the textured sweater, but that does not appear to be the case. I think it's likely I would be able to finish the front and back, but there would certainly not be enough for sleeves. And what is worse, I bought exactly the same amount of the bluish purple yarn, which means that now I cannot make either of the sweaters I had intended to make.

I suppose it's good I figured this out now before I started in on the back piece, but this means I've spent the last few weeks working on something that I'm only going to have to unravel completely. I'm only hoping that I can somehow redo the entire thing so it works for a short sleeved top that's not quite as loose fitting - if that works at least I can make one of those from each of the colors. But if it doesn't I'm not entirely sure what to do. I guess this is a really good lesson in why I should never buy yarn from a yarn show, and instead stick to buying the yarn from somewhere where I might have a shot at getting more in the same colors if this kind of thing happens. That's small consolation right now, however, when I'm faced with a pile of yarn and a mostly finished front piece that cannot actually be used.

Posted by Jenipurr at 03:11 PM