Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The stash

The stash is in my dresser. The bottom two drawers. This works out well with the exception of the fact that the handles of this particular dresser come off when used, so the drawers have to be nudged out from the sides. Still, not complaining.
Here is:
the top drawer

(for some reason the light had changed by the time I took this one, and I had to use the flash. I don't like the flash on this camera. I should have let it blur.
The top drawer holds mostly oddballs and leftovers. I think we've got a fair amount of leftover Rowan felted tweed, and beaverslide dry goods in red & green. Smaller amounts of handpaintedyarn merino bulky, Fibreworks kid mohair brush, and elann Gjestal Naturgarn and esprit, Tahki, in cotton of somesort, and ritrato. Unopened balls of lambspride (I find it icky), some strange nylon blend boucle which is much fuglier on the needles than on the ball, some gold berocco stuff, which while I like it (it's very soft), I can't think of a use for in that small ammount. Red eyelash feather that I used as an accent once, and a hopelessly tangled wad of red acrylic boucle.
Which brings us to drawer no. 2.

Drawer no.2 is currently dominated by new bulky merino. There will be pretty pictures and more of that later. Meanwhile, underneath:

Well, it's not terribly more explicatory. the bottom drawer is mainly swatches of the above, dead UFO's, and big bags o'stuff. So we've got a bunch of elann den'm'knit (in a bag, which you can't really see, despite it being the biggest thing in there), some merino lace (the blue green), and a mess of tahki davos that I made into a shrug that doesn't fit and now don't know what to do with.
And really, honetly, that's it. I've got a couple bags of WIPs, but I firmly believe that well, at least most of those are truly in progress, even if there hasn't been much lately. In any case, they'd still probably fit back in the drawers if I pushed.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Obnoxiously Yellow Hat.

Well, I'm going to try to post past FOs, though not necessarily in chronological order, more like, when I found it laying around order.
So here we are:

Vital statistics:
Yarn: novelty boucle in color 'curry light' 2 hanks, had a little left over
Gauge: used doubled in seed stitch, ~ 2sts, 4.5 rows/inch.
Needles: who the heck knows anymore, I think it was the 8's
Pattern: my own. Very simple knit in the round from the brim up. Picked up some stitches for the ear flaps.
Other thoughts:
I like the yarn, though it was a bear to work with. Very little stretch, as the core thread is tightly spun, despite the puffy bits sticking out of it.
This, by the way, is even more of a glowing brilliant acid blinding yellow than the picture makes out. Computer screens as we know them are simply not capable of displaying the true yellow-ness that this is. I find it somewhat amusing, and largely what I intended for the yarn. M, on the other hand, won't let me wear it out of the house. It's comfortably soft and warm - I've been wearing it to sleep in recently.

Here's a closeup of the stitchwork for those interested in the yarn. It really is that hard to see any coherent stitches, even in real life - I had a heck of a time measuring the gauge

And a shot of it 'on-head' to get a better impression of size & style - appologies for the fuzzy picture - there aren't any better-lit mirrors available.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


When I see a pattern or FO I like my first impulse it generally not 'I should buy that pattern' but 'I should figure out how to make that'. My thought process often runs along the lines that, even if I bought the pattern, I'd have to modify the dickens out of it to get a fit, and starting from just the stitch pattern and general design would be just as easy, and much, well, free-er. Having reached the point in life where I have actual income, and am no longer a mooching student, I'm beginning to question that line of thought as rationalization, rather than solid logic.
There are a number of things I'd eyeballed as 'worthy causes' back in my no-money days. I want to give to the high school robotics team I mentored in college, since I know just how much it costs, how little support it gets, and how much I got out of being on even one side of it. I want to give to the web comic artists I read every morning, since they're relying on the kindness of strangers for a living, and they make me laugh - what's more valuable that that? I want to give to Child's Play, since it really is a good cause, and it's giving good press to a demographic that could use some.
I don't know where paying other people for patterns they inspired, but I did not strictly use falls in there. Plus, I firmly believe in taking care of yourself before you take care of others, and we are still firmly looking into buying a house, which is a sum of money behind which all others pale right now.
Really, this is all a bit rhetorical, because I have yet to actually make any of these lovely theoretical patterns, and I have no compulsion to stash things like that - I'm sure I'll be able to find something when the time comes.
Still, it's a topic I've been putting some serious thought into recently.

In other news, the fubar'd-gusset socks may be a failure after all. They are a little tight to get on, and I imagine this will not get better after felting. Still I cannot bring myself to re-work the heels - I'd rather get fresh yarn and start over altogether. I know continuing to work on them is not going to make matters better, but at least they'll be behind me, even it not quite, well, useful.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


I hate sleeves.

Sleeves knit flat. Sleeves knit on DPNs, and don't even get me started on those crazy new-fangled circular needle tricks.
I think the issue is with the number of stitches. For instance, I have no problems knitting socks on DPNs, but you average, reasonably-gauged sleeve has oh, half the stitches of your average, reasonably-gauged sock. Turning work, or rearanging yarn & needles in my hands is one of my least favorite bits of knitting. Yes, worse than seaming (I really don't mind seaming all that much). My most satisfying knitting experience so far has been rounds and rounds of fingering-weight 1x1 rib, since it was all on a circular needle, and I never needed to readjust anything. Sleeves, it seems like half my time is readjusting, and I never make any progress whatsoever.
Oh yes, and you have to count. Always awkwardly long sequences, like, inc1 every 12 rows.
I realized this thinking about a my first-stab-at-fair-isle sweater, and that I was nearing the top of the front (yes it's back and forth, not steeked. Somehow, the purl rows aren't any worse than the knit ones - not that the knit ones are good. Maybe this has something to do with my first colorwork being DK?) I keep putting off knitting it, and my new theory is this is because somewhere, subconciously, I know the sleeves are coming.

So, I guess this means I won't be figuring out the template purties for this blog before I start posting. Don't worry. It will be purple soon. I figure I can change the default colors first, and wrangle with getting the image uploaded for the header as time allows. At least it's something.

The other active WIP is the second pair of socks. Last night I realized the first sock had a *really stupid* mistake, which explained why the heel was turning out kinda wonky the second time through the same pattern. Well, actually a recipie. Sockulator III from the knitting fiend. Silly me had blamed it on her math not being able to deal with the smaller gauge rather than the much simpler problem of me making only 1/2 of the called-for gusset increaces. It does fit close-enough though, so I think I'm stuck making the same mistake on purpose in the second sock. Which really smarts.

added later-image:the infamous socks, & yarn. I'd take a better picture, but they're so much more done now
aaaand I'm gonna have to felt them a little since I think I want a little more negative ease than I initially guessed - and I lost track of count so they're a little longer than they should be too or maybe I want negative length-ease as well.
otoh, they're definetly confirming my decision to make the first pair as a gift. Those will always be perfect in my mind (well, I didn't mess up the gusset for one) while these definetly have their faults, and are more of an exercise in 'good enough'. If I'd started with these, I think I'd swear off sock-knitting. It doesn't help that while the yarn for these looked great in the picture, in person, I think I prefer the STR I used for the other ones, even though I found it a little odd at first brush. They both ended up self-striping rather than randomly varegated. So while I guess that's better than pooling in vertical stripes, I'm still hunting for a sock-yarn staple. There are several etsy stores on my short list.

Working on pictures of FO's, WIPs and stash. Need to decide whether to keep the camera or get one with image stabilization. Would like this blog to be useful as a log of what I have (and, oh, silly things like what gauge it was) even if no one else bothers to find it.