Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's a Riddle

One of the groups on Ravelry has been having a discussion about "Yarn Harlot Moments".  They are really just knitter moments, but ones that Stephanie has made famous through her books and blog. Things like, when you know you made a grave error in your yarn choice, but still keep knitting for hours before admitting that the truly fuzzy yarn is covering up all the fancy stitch work you are doing and give in to frogging your project.  Or starting a project that you know takes twice as much yarn as you have in the hopes that you will find, not only more, but the same dyelot before you are finished knitting!

I have been having some of those moments with my American Brilliant.  The blanket is made up of a bunch of individual squares. A larger center one, 14 smaller ones, 10 fan shaped ones, four corner ones and some separately knit borders.  In the order the pattern was put together, after I finished the largest square I would work 10 smaller ones..... all the same.

Easy enough, right?  There is only one chart for those ten squares, it doesn't change.  I am using one type and color of yarn (of which I bought plenty!) and I am using then same set of needles for all of this project. 

I knew I had a problem with the first square, some how I ended up with the wrong number of stitches on one side of a cable.  Frog it?  Fix it?  Ignore it?  Those are the only choices and as it was one stitch, rather than rip down and fix it I decided it was a small enough error I could live with it and I adjusted how the stitches were laid out later.

Fair enough?

I thought so.

Roll on the second knit through, there is me thinking that having followed (well mostly, apart from the error I mentioned above) the chart once, the second time it would make more sense and I would get the stitches all where they belonged.


This one was wrong too........but amazingly enough, this one was differently wrong than the first one!

Now wrong I could understand, that would be me misreading something in the chart, but differently wrong?  It's certainly puzzling me!

I think I will start working on the fan shaped ones and come back to these pesky Hob Stars another day!

I can hear you asking though, whatever happened with the sweater that just needed sleeves?  The one that needed to be off the needles before anything else was cast on?

This happened!


Stats:  Opposite Pole by  Joji
Nashua Creative Focus Superwash Wool in Natural
Size 9 (US) needles throughout.

Mods : Changed the outer most cable to one from Ingrid.

I finished it just in time, tomorrow a new month starts, and as many knitters know there is only one thing to do in Socktober!


Sunday, September 23, 2012


After I got off work yesterday, TDQ and I ran a few errands, that included stopping in at a (reasonably) local farm market (as in a large one room store that is located on a farm, not a farmers market where several farmers sell their wares) and picked up a little of this, and a little of that, and about a peck and a half of honey crisp apples.  What can I say, it sounded like a really good idea at the time, at least until we unloaded the car and I remembered, there are only four of us and although we all eat apples, how many apples did I really think that the four of us would eat before I was tossing the leftovers in the compost pile? (The picture shows one of several bags of apples that were in the kitchen!)

I know that Honeycrisp are sold primarily as a raw eating apple, but I have made apple pies with whatever apples I had on hand before, so today I made a syrup, and peeled and cored, sliced and jarred until I had 9 quarts of pre-made apple pie filling. (The last three quarts were still in their water bath when I took this picture!)  A couple more of the apples were diced a little finer, tossed with the scraping of syrup that was left in the bottom of my pan and turned into turnovers while the jars processed.

The Other Brother had wanted brownies, which I had baking while making pie filling,  and while I was being very "domestic" I might have chocolate covered some pretzels and strawberries too.

I think it was the fault of the cooler weather we were having today, got me in the mood to cook lots of goodies to eat.  I know that the lower temperatures have certainly made it easier to work on the sleeves of my Opposite Pole.   One sleeve is done, the other is just below the sleeve cap (worked in short rows which are not my favorite thing to do in the round, but they certainly do help with the fit!)

I got the center square of my American Brilliant completed, it took nearly an entire skein of ShaSha, and I am being very good and working on Opposite Pole rather than cast on the next square....(Hob Star if you are interested and there are 10 of them to knit.)

And the baby blanket is slowly getting a border, I have plenty of time to get this one done, so it is my mindless tv watching knitting.....when you only watch one hour of tv a week you don't get much mindless tv watching knitting done!

But, there were some other things to share!

Presenting Twilight Accessories from none other than Andrea Jurgrau.  Really these are teaser photo's as right now it is a club member pattern, but will be available to purchase on Ravelry in November.  Lots of twisted stitches in these pieces, and you can knit them all out of a single skein of sock weight yarn!  TDQ already is wearing this set to school in the morning.  remember those cooler temps ? We only really feel them in the morning and as her bus is here before 7am each day, she has been saying she needed a "little something" that would fit in her backpack during the rest of the day.

I leave you with a picture of the friend that is visiting our front porch!  I had actually gone out to take pictures of the preying mantis who ran and hid when she saw the camera.  I wonder how long this friend will hang around?

So, that was my week in a nutshell.  How was yours?  Get much knitting done?

Until next time....


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Knitter's ADHD

The Yarn Harlot recently wrote a post about digging through her stash in search for yarn for two sweaters for her nephews. (Links are to her blog and the specific post)  I thought it was appropriate to link to that today because, like many other knitters, I have a few things on the needles, and more yelling at me to be cast on!

If you will recall, I said I couldn't start my American Brilliant until I had one project off the needles - there was no reason for saying that, other than an arbitrary, I need to have some finishitupus to go with my case of startitus.

Technically, this is off the needles, right?

Yes, I know, there are sleeves missing, but there are no knitting needles, currently, in that project!  Which means I had free rein to do this.

I am a lost cause, but technically I did follow the letter of the law, if not the spirit!

That is Land O Lace, ShaSha in Tonka Bay, on size 4(US) needles and this will be a very long term project, there are 33 individual pieces to knit and then a ton of sewing up to do!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Wool Gathering, and gathering wool

I , very briefly, met up with a friend while at Wool Gathering.  We each had our own things we wanted to look at, so mostly it was "hi" and "see you", but she asked what I was planning on buying while there.  To be honest I only had one planned purchase and it was very vague.....yarn that reminds me of sunflowers.  I didn't find that, but I did find a few other things!

I have told you before about watching the sheep shearing, this time The Other Brother peppered the shearer with questions about how the sheep felt about the situation.  "Is it uncomfortable for the sheep to be held that way?  What happens when you don't have them positioned just right?"  I still find it amazing that with all the advances we have in technology that every scrap of wool, in every country, every knitters stash, on every persons back, was sheared by someone just like the man we watched today.  TOB was also fascinated with the old time circular knitting machine that was being used in one of the tents, and asked lots of questions about where she found the machine, who taught her and what kinds of yarn could be used on it.

We did follow my plan of checking out all the vendors first, without making any purchases, and then after fueling the pack mules, making my final selections.

The kids did make several of the vendors, and patrons, laugh while I was making my purchases!

The Other Brother suggested that I buy him some sock yarn.

Me : "Why do you want sock yarn, TOB?"
TOB : "To knit you socks for Christmas...well maybe your birthday next summer.....I am sure I will be finished making them by the Christmas after that!"

He settled for a yarn from Fiber Optic, only the best for his mother's socks, he picked a cashmere blend!

Then The Drama Queen......

TDQ "You sure are picking out a lot of yarns"  when I had several different colorways in my hand to wander outside with to look at in real light (lighting in the tents as you might notice from the pictures is not the best!"
Me: "Well, I stuck to my yarn diet pretty close this year, now I get to eat off the dessert menu, right?"  (I am pretty sure I got a discount on the yarn for that comment!)

And, finally once the pack mules had dragged my purchases back to the car, while eating their reward ice-cream.......

The First Brother : "If we eat anything other than just veggies for dinner, we are plain crazy!  This is the most unhealthy I have eaten all year!"
TOB : "I don't think I even want to think about eating dinner at all!"
TDQ : "Mom, can we cancel dinner tonight?" crunching on the waffle cone that is all that is left of a two (very large) scoop ice cream cone. "And maybe tomorrow too!"

Some very nice things did come home with us, and I stayed well under my planned budget, but even with those dollars to go back into my yarn budget, now to start saving again for next years event!

Much to TDQ's disappointment, all the livestock at Wool Gathering, stayed at Wool Gathering, and to my disappointment so did all the spinning wheels, roving, batts and looms!

But, I am happy to say, TDQ did run off with her yarn purchase after I took that last photo, and was last seen in the living room like this :
Yep, if you look really closely you can see knitting needles in her hand!  I might have to get a door and a big lock for my stash room sooner than I thought!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Where are my stitches at?

Really slow knitting week around Chez Yarn Diet.  I am dying to cast on for my American Brilliant, but need to get one project, at least!, off the needles first, and if you recall I had a bad case of startitus in the few days it took my yarn to arrive.

I am almost exactly at the half way point of the circular portion of my Opposite Pole.  I should be much further along, but I kept getting distracted.

I am a few rows further into the free form cardigan, this has been my lunch time knitting as it is mostly brainless - a little counting involved, I don't want to miss dividing for sleeves - and easily picked up and put down.  It will go a bit faster after I throw the sleeve stitches onto waste yarn.  The plan is to knit to the waist, cut the yarn, knit the sleeves and see how long I can make it.  The yarn is from the stash that I was gifted last summer and not something I would ever stand a chance of matching. (My understanding is it had been stored in a house for a number of years and before that stored at an early education/child care center for even more years.)

Finally there is the baby blanket that is my tv knitting...which as I watch about an hour of tv a week means very little knitting gets done on it.  I am about half way through the border chart, but I will probably add some more rows just to bring it up to the size I want before starting the edging. Funny, when I cast on I forgot how much knitting is involved in edging....seems like I always do!

Kids are starting to get excited for next weekend, when we journey off to my "yarn thing".  It looks like there will be some interesting vendors there, hopefully I can find some wonderful things to share with you when we get back.


Thursday, September 6, 2012


It would make sense to have WIP Wednesday actually on a Wednesday, but we do things differently at my house sometimes.  Breakfast for dinner, or even dessert for breakfast, is normal for us.  So making WIP Wednesday on Thursday should seem quite ordinary! And anyhow, Anytime is the right time to show off knitting, right?

I have been plugging away at my Opposite Pole, there is a lot more knitting to this baby than you would think, especially having frogged a couple of attempts at the join between the back and the circular collar/body and then changing my mind about the cable.  I am about 680 yards in and still have more to knit before I can even think about joining in some sleeves.

Wanna see?

This is how far around the circular piece I am.

Rather than use the same 9 stitch woven cable at the edge I decided to go with something that looks a bit more complicated.

And the back side.

Excuse the bad lighting and blurry pictures, I still can't always hold my hands still, and there is only so much I am willing to fight that before calling things close enough.

And in the Anytime mode...Amanda, you can come and play at my house anytime you want!  But, if I were you I would enjoy Spring at your house before coming to the Fall here!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Just a little knitting

Do you remember that case of Startitus that I seem to have developed? 

I think I might have made it worse, rather than curing it with casting on multiple projects!

But first, here is where I stood Saturday afternoon with the startitus.

Project the first would be the baby blanket.

I get more use out of some of the knit alongs that Andrea Jugrau hosts in the summer and winter each year!  This is one of the squares from the Summer Squares Project from 2009.  I have used these patterns before for baby blankets, this time I am using Violin as my center square with the border from The Blue Quartet. I am further along than that now, the center square is done, all my stitches are picked up and I am into the border.

But wait, that isn't all I cast on during my feverish Startitus!

Project the second would be a free form cardigan.

Using yarn that I was gifted by the wife of a Columbus Police Officer - she gave me miles and miles of yarn! - and just the vaguest idea of what I want I cast on for a top down, very drapey, deep collared cardi.  I haven't quite hit the divide for sleeves and body point, but I am not far off!  There is a ton of 2x2 ribbing in this one and I think I am going to steal from this pattern and curve it around the front to the back when I get to that point. But, as we all know, when knitting free form anything could happen!

But wait, that isn't all I cast on during my feverish Startitus!

Project the third would be a circular cardigan.

Doesn't look like much does it?

Again, I am further along than that now. Finished up that rectangle that will be the center back and have started on the circular part.  I used this pattern as my starting point and have already changed it up a bit. At first I was going to use live stitches rather than cast on and cast off, then pick up for joining the circular part, but that didn't work the way I planned and left me with rather large gaps at the join by the time the weight of the circle was there.  Frogged that attempt!  Second try involved casting off the top stitches then picking up the required 3 out of every 4 so they were ready to be used and fiddling with how they were added to the circle to get a tighter join.

In figuring that part out I decided I didn't like the outer most cable.  Being reversible at that point there are twice as many stitches to manipulate around, and it was, to be honest, a pain in the behind dragging six stitches across six stitches.

That cable needs to be reversible as the top edge of the cardigan folds down to form the collar, but no-one has ever said that you have to follow a pattern exactly if you don't want to, so I took a cable from Ingrid and went from there.  (Side note, if you like cables and haven't knit Ingrid, do yourself a favor and consider it.  She is a very fun knit, and the pattern is incredibly detailed.) When I am a little further along into my sweater I will show you both sides of the cable, they are different and it is magic how all the cabling takes place on the same side of your work.

But wait!

That isn't all.  I am so caught up in starting new things (even if I did run the spectrum of plain stocking stitch, through cables and lace.)  I might have got some inspiration books!

You never know when you will need a little inspiration, right?
This one came from Bev of Land O Lace.  She takes such good care of me!   I was placing an order for yarn to knit American Brilliant, finally after much internal debate about which yarn and color to pick, and she popped this into my package as well.  It has some gorgeous patterns in it, which we will look at another day.

Want to see what else was in that package?

I decided that Tonka Bay would make a fabulous American Brilliant, but the Wykoff kept calling my name so I might have got some of that too!
I only got three of the Wykoff, I don't see myself knitting American Brilliant twice, but I am sure I can come up with something to knit with it!

There were a couple of other books that were ordered using reward points that I should show you.  Both have lots of interesting techniques and lots of patterns.

But, I had better not open them just yet.........That Electric Sunrise Luxury Fling Tidbit from Lara's Creations is still whispering in my ear that it wants to grow up to be something too!

I better get knitting!