Friday, September 28, 2007

Something pretty for the weekend

Colinette Shimmer 5

Colinette Shimmer Five, "Tuscany"

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Itsy Bitsy bag

When I get on one of my "I want this project DONE NOW" kicks, I go a bit nuts.

Itsy Bitsy

Sunday night after getting home from work, I ripped out one entire side of this and redid it. Monday night, I seamed it and made the little knitted rose (which is not only cute, but also hides the ink stain very well). Done. Just had to wait for Mr. Sun to come out so I could grab a couple of pictures. I can be a scary-fast knitter when I feel like it.

Knitted rose

The only major change that I made was adjusting a little bit for the yarn thickness that I used. The pattern calls for a kitchen cotton in the bulky range; I used fingering weight hemp. Thanks to the stretchy mesh pattern, I didn't have to do much to accommodate the very different yarn. I cast on 69 stitches instead of the 51 that are called for, and I went down to a size 7 needle. There's also a pattern error as far as the placement of the short rows; following it as written will give you a short row on one side (right) and a short row on the bottom (wrong). Luckily, when I cast on for the stitches for the strap, I had put in a stitch marker to mark the first stitch of the cast on; I just had to shift the short row to that marker. Easy fix.

Itsy Bitsy bag

Look how well it holds a 100g skein of sock yarn! When you see a name like "Itsy Bitsy", you picture one of those tiny bags that you can fit a box of Tic Tacs in and nothing else. I'm glad this came out to be a good size.

All the problems that I had (minus the easy-to-fix short row error) were my own. This pattern was a lot of fun, with 3 different main stitch patterns that kept it from being boring. You can see the mesh pattern well in the other pictures... there's also a basketweave and a herringbone:

Basketweave stitch

Herringbone stitch

Incidentally, folks who were at ABC last night, I heard "Cold As Ice" on the radio on the way home... terribly fitting, no? I hope everyone's core temperatures are back to normal. ;)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

One hot mess

This poor bag, I swear...

My Itsy Bitsy bag from Knitty has been on the needles for over a year. It's been my "I'm tired of other projects and just need to work on something else for an hour" project. It's small-ish, so it was purse knitting last year on the light rail when I went back to Stitches. It was there that I discovered that I can add 'pen caps' to my list of untrustworthy things, as I found a black ink stain on my in-progress bag. The WIP went into hibernation for a while then... I needed time away to contemplate the ink stain, and I was working on other things.

I got it out a couple of weeks ago, intent on finishing it. I finished the strap. I moved on to the mesh pattern for the other side. I was making PROGRESS.

I noticed that I was doing something differently with the mesh stitch than what I had done on the first side. I couldn't fake it; the stitch looked completely different. Rip back three repeats, go again. This time, I had the stitch right, but something else was still off. Namely, the fact that the mesh pattern on the first side had twice as many stitches as one the second side.

Itsy Bitsy bag

At first, I looked at how poochy the first side was and how flat the second side was, and assumed that I had messed up side #1. Too many yarnovers, or not enough decreases, or a combination of the two... which I then somehow magically fixed when I got back to the herringbone stitch? I know, it doesn't make any sense. I was planning to finish the bag, then go back, thread a lifeline through, and cut away the offending mesh part to redo it.

As I was working on it this morning and moved on to the herringbone border, I noticed that it was narrowing into a trapezoid. That's when I decided to actually count my stitches and discovered that side #1 doesn't have twice the stitches; side #2 has HALF the stitches.

I'm suddenly VERY glad that I decided to finish the bag first, instead of stopping where I was and redoing the first half then... phew. I think that discovery would have led to actual tears. Or a lengthy stream of obscenities. Probably both.

Off to try frogging back to the herringbone along the bottom...

Monday, September 10, 2007

A real button

So, the day that I wore my new crocheted wrap to work, I was totally honest with everyone about the fact that my "pin" was a $2 barrette from Target, and was a temporary solution.

A couple of days later, one of my coworkers, Jean, came over to me at lunch with her button stash and told me that I was welcome to poke through to see if she had anything I could use for my wrap. (If I haven't mentioned it, I work with a fantastic group of people.)

An actual button

I had been picturing this with some kind of metal knotwork button... and ta-da, a metal knotwork button was in there! :D Thanks, Jean!

Jolene had a baby sweater with her this evening, and it involved steeks. We each took a turn cutting it...
Jolene's steeked baby sweater - Jody's turn

Jolene's steeked baby sweater - my turn

Jolene's steeked baby sweater

Nifty technique! If I ever whittle down my to-do list, perhaps something steeked will be on the horizon...

And lastly... I just got my first WoW character to level 60 over the weekend. 10 more levels, whatever rep and key quests I have to do, and I can finally start RAIDING, which I'm very much looking forward to. I've been hearing all about my guild's Karazhan runs since May. I wanna go too. And I wanna help figure out how to stomp Gruul. ;)

Monday, September 03, 2007

It's not purple!

I spent the better part of the day yesterday at a cookout (which was tons of fun!), so I'm planning to try to be productive today. Laundry and cleaning for the most part, maybe getting something done on Ljod...

... and finding a place in my stash for the SWTC Optimum that was on sale at Flying Fingers:

SWTC Optimum

I found out after I ordered it that it's been discontinued, so I'm glad I went ahead and bought it. It's ridiculously soft, and is screaming to be made into a sweater.

One of Ljod's fronts has 6 stitches too many. I was bit overzealous with the cast-on, and then I apparently didn't count my stitches before I started knitting. 6 stitches is a bit much for me to hide with strategically placed decreases. The good news is, I'm only about an inch into it, so I don't have to frog too much.

Hope everyone stateside is having a nice weekend!