Monday, October 29, 2007

Rib It, Rip It, Rib It

Pattern says... pick up 136 stitches around the armhole for ribbing.

Attempts 1-3 just aren't worth mentioning, but pulling hair was involved. Dizzy Hubby stayed way over on the other side of the sofa.

Attempt 4: picked up 151 stitches. I reached for Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book, which said to mark 2" sections with waste yarn, then do some math, then pick up the appropriate number of stitches according to the mathematical calculations, laws of physics and who knows what else.

Attempt 5: picked up 104 stitches. I knew it! Math just isn't as trustworthy as everyone seems to think. This is not a new observation for me, but I'm still trying to convince my brother, the engineer, of this, as I carve another notch-of-error on my calculator. So I call Sharon at The Yarn Deli for help. After a bit more mathematical discussion, I finally ask for a general rule of thumb. Here it is:

On straight edges, pick up every stitch.

On angled edges, pick up 3 out of every 4 stitches (skip every fourth stitch).

Attempt 6:
Beautiful! Knitting and ribbing lay side by side smoothly!
Number of stitches picked up? I don't know and I don't care.

Other armhole, attempt 1:
Knitting and ribbing lay side by side smoothly! Number of stitches picked up? I don't know and I don't care.

Thank ewe, Sharon.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Moving Right Along

Pa's 75th birthday is coming up in about a week, so of necessity his sweater vest has moved up in the list of daily priorities (yes, even higher than being the Monogamous Project). It is one of those important events-in-the-life-of-a-loved-one (= deadline, remember?)

Here is a progress picture from about a week ago. Not only does the sweater feel like it has a life of its own, but here is real, living proof that it does (at least the yarn ball) . Kinda looks like the proverbial granny, eh?

I haven't knit two separate sides of a piece on one pair of needles before - obviously time to get with the times, so to speak. The trick is to use two separate balls of yarn, one for each side. Makes sense since knitters are so clever. It always seems like it is some other knitter who is clever enough to think of these tricks. No 15 minutes of fame for me here.

The only problem with knitting both sides of the V became apparent when I was deciding how to work the second row. Did I want to turn the piece around every other row to purl? Did I want to practice knitting backwards on a real project. (Usually I try new techniques on those cute, little 'I wonder how this would look' things that never grow up into anything recognizable. Some people call them swatches.) Thinking that practice makes perfect (or close....), I decided to knit backwards instead of turning and purling every other row.

Oops. Evidently I knit backwards much more loosely than forward. Considering how tightly I usually knit, this would seem to be a boon. But no. The difference in tension does show, daggum it!

Right about here ---

Pretty quickly I decided the tension difference wasn't worth ripping out. It did take me a few rows to decide what to do (duh). Because this lovely yarn shows everything, I finally decided that purling was the way to go - Pa doesn't really need a bumpy chest. We'll leave that to Ma.

I usually take the bloggy pictures on the nice, neutral concrete walkway that approaches the front door. When we started the front yard landscaping project, it didn't occur to me at all that the photo site was in danger of extinction. But... walkway.

I'll keep you in suspense as to the new walkway.
Chloe the Cat (little tiny speck inside the door) thinks the lack of a walkway is quite interesting. Big, giant litterbox.

No concrete walkway, so the camera moved indoors to the kitchen table.

I finished the body of the vest this evening and knit the shoulder seams together (right sides together, pretty cool). Next comes the ribbing around the neck and arm holes. Oh, goody. Picking up stitches at an angle is my favorite thing to do (not!).

Eve and I: onto the ribbing...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Yarn Harlot in L.A.

The Yarn Harlot came to LA. How about that for a strange mix of cultures? I mean that as a compliment, Ms. Harlot.

Three of us took the trains to the LA Public Library. Janel was brave and drove seperately. Here we are with our projects du jour: Janel on the left with hand-dyed gifts to entice Ms. Harlot (to do what, I do not know). Theresa was working on a beautiful sock, but I can't remember the pattern (sorry). And Nancy is working on one of her fabulous stole wraps.

The crowd was small, but friendly, as knitters are wont to be (friendly, that is).

Being the monogamous knitter that I am, I worked on my dad's sweater vest. Honest. Here's some proof for those of you who dare to doubt.

My apologies to Ms. Harlot for the fuzzy picture, but her smile is nice, eh? Maybe she was just so happy about getting yarn that she shivered with excitement. Yeah, that's why the picture is weird, yeah.

You know you're a good knitter when:
1. you knit while you answer questions,
2. you knit on double-pointed needles (yech - too octopussy for me),
3. you do all of this while standing in front of a crowd,
4. you don't look at The Great Green Sock even once while doing all of the above, at the same time!

I'm really glad I won't be tested by the Knitting Police any time soon (ever, I hope).

About Me

I am a spinner and knitter in Southern California. I live with a very patient husband and two cats in a house full of wool and cat toys (with the occasional musical instrument to keep the hubby happy).