everything's in pieces

finishing sucks butt. there is no other way to put it. as i go, i am getting better and better at sewing pieces together and am starting to feel (prematurely) confident in my matress-stitching skills. i can even graft. but sewing up big ole hole-y lace-y pieces with cotton tape yarn? ugh. it is going to suck. and it's probably going to be bulky and not flattering. from now on, it's only top down in the round sweaters with skinny yarn for me... here's carla as she lay on the floor while i paced around and drank beer and screwed up the courage to go after her with purple yarn and tapestry needle.

i also f-ed up the feather and fan shawl. it's such an easy knit - how could you do that?? i can do anything, that's what makes me special... i was knitting along and got to the end and realized i had more stitches on one side of the shawl than on the other. at first i tried to convince myself that that was no big deal, but all along i knew that the damn thing was supposed to be symmetrical. so i had to do some emergency surgery on her.

i will say the one good thing about using noro kureyon is that the stitches are stiff and hold together. so they don't just fall apart and unravel when you rip back (think slippery silk and cotton). this also makes it easier to pick back up the 3000 or so stitches you just ripped. i hate ripping out mistakes. hate it hate it hate it. from now on, i will make no more mistakes. durn, though, i already made one on trellis, which i have been knitting feverishly away on. i have to redo the top of the cable at one of the shoulders - i screwed it up after this was taken. although you wouldn't be able to see the mistake anyway because the picture is crappy. and that's because my camera is crappy (and because i'm on a booze break and might have the DTs). i don't like to take pics with the flash on indoors because it looks bad, but when i don't use flash, my pictures are always blurry. you just. can't. win.

anyway, here's my one piece of advice to anyone knitting trellis: actually make a gauge swatch in the cable pattern. i of course did not and i ended up with a 6 month size when what i wanted was the 12 month size. you see, all those cable and twists really do scruntch up and shrink down the sweater. oh - and in case you get confused my the left twist directions like i me, here's what i did:

sl 1 stitch
knit next stitch tbl
slip last 2 stitches back onto LH needle
knit 1st stitch (the slipped one) tbl
slip next stitch
and continue on...

hope that helps!
bye for now,

p.s. i'm knitting trellis knitpicks shine worsted (color = coral). this yarn is great - so so soft and washable. perfect for a baby sweater. might get a little heavy for a big person sweater.


rainy days

are good for knitting. and sitting. and daydreaming about people far away that you'd really like to see. and make out with... so, i'm settling for knitting today. i finished the cabled hat i was working on. i love making hats, they're so quick and easy and cheap. this one was for a coworker and since i've already given it away, there will be no pics with it on a head. not that you'd want to see my greasy mug today - trust me.

hat details: cabled headhugger, pattern here. knit on 16" size 8 takumi bamboo circs and size 8 bamboo crystal palace dpns. yarn is a worsted merino from 100purewool - very, very soft. their yarn and service are fabulous, by the way. although i should warn you that the color ran out when blocking and even stained my fingers a little. if i had it to do all over again, though, i would have chosen a solid-colored yarn for cables - they just don't pop out the way i had hoped with this stripey stuff. also, should i knit this again (which i think i will), i would make the ribbing at the bottom shorter and the hat overall a little longer.

i've also made substantial progress on carla. the back and the front and now finished and i'm moving on to the sleeves. i've only got 2.5 balls of yarn left, though, so i'll be trying to squeak out 2 little short sleeves for this one...

(the purple color in the closeup is more true to real life)
back to my daydreaming...



happy birthday america!

is it unpatriotic to not be that excited about the 4th of july? i appreciate the significance of this holiday, really i do, but if i'm being honest, i only like the 4th of july because it means a day off from work and an excuse to be outside having drinks with friends and watching fireworks. but the over-the-top gaudy americana of it kinda grosses me out. and if i have to hear the stupid toby keith song one goddamn time, i swear i'll... why i'll... throw my corn dog at someone!

it's been so long since i last blogged, i've been subconsciously saving up lots of words and thoughts and news. first, check out the updates i've made to the sidebar. i will have a FO page coming soon and i will (semi) regularly be updating my current and upcoming knit links. at the moment, i've got a lot of things in the works. i've temporarily put my feather and fan shawl and somewhat cowl on hold, cos lookie what i got...

i swear it took about all of 12 hours for this stuff to arrive from elann. they are so awesome there. anyway, i got 7 balls of the purple / blue cotton tape and the book. i've already started right in on making carla. i was inspired by the finished carlas I saw here and here and here (there are many more beautiful carlas out there - and so many talented knitters it's mind-blowing!).

i think it's going to be the perfect summer / fall sweater to pull on over a little camisole. the cotton tape feels so heavenly, too. it's the first rowan yarn i've ever worked with and i'm hooked. it is sooooo soft and cool and drapes so nicely. like others who have made the sweater, though, i'm afraid it will be too big - the pattern really stretches out. i decided to make the medium because my gauge measured a little tight in my swatch, but it's still looking big. oh well, others said they threw carla in the wash and it shrunk up a bit. since i only have 7 balls of yarn, i plan to make my sleeves shorter - probably 3/4 or a long short-sleeve. know what i mean? stayed tuned for updates on this - i'm moving along very quickly on it. i started it on sunday and i'm already finished with the back. by the way, should you decide to make this, beware of crappy, incomplete pattern. i looked here for help on making the raglan decreases.

hope everyone has a delightful 4th of july. happy birthday america!

spare change

i overheard an add on tv the other day that coinstar will no longer take its percentage cut so long as your turn your change into gift certificates. 2 of the places issuing those certificates were amazon and itunes. really? for those who don't know, coinstar is a machine that is located usually in local supermarkets. the idea is that you bring in your loads of spare change laying around the house, dump it all in the machine, it counts your change and spits back paper cash at you - minus about 9% of your total amount. well, i'm one of those people who's got buckets upon buckets of brassy-smelling change lying around. now, my change consists mostly of pennies because in moments of desperation - out of cash and dying for an espresso or ball of yarn - i'll comb through the dishes and bags and old coffee cans and skillfully extract every last quarter... and dime. sometimes i'll even grab at the nickels, but those are really depressing days i don't like to talk about... anyway, i've always thought "F you coinstar! i can count my own damn change and keep the value of all 100% of it!! i don't care if i have to go buy those stupid paper rolls and spend all day counting and stacking my pennies, at least at the end of the day i'll have $4.50 and not $4.05!" so when i learned that you can use coinstar's amazing coin counting capabilities free of charge by turning your change in gift cards, i was happy, happy, happy. i'm hoping to have enough change lying around to be able to order Knitting Nature from amazon. i've been drooling over this for a while now and i. must. have. it.

back with some actual knitting later!