Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sampling, Testing and Pleasure

Another week has flown by and it was a busy one!

After our snowy start, Spring Break was filled with the usual round of "get the kids in for this or that appointment while they are not in school" and the waiting that happens when everyone else has the same idea.  A couple of things had to be postponed, mainly mine, but the week saw most of our major errands run and Spring Cleaning well under way.

What does that have to do with sampling, testing and pleasure you may ask?

Well, actually nothing! Except the reason I don't have a lot of knitting to share with you, when I am testing it is usually a secret,  but this week did bring up an interesting topic...couple of them actually, but today I am going to focus on one......what is the difference between test knitting, sample knitting and pleasure knitting the way it is done at Chez Yarn Diet?

I am very lucky, although all three use a different mind set, I can (usually) combine at least two out of the three every time, but sometimes I am doing just one

.

For instance, when I am test knitting a pattern, which in my case usually involves lace of some kind, so doubles as pleasure knitting, hopefully I am looking at each square of the chart and making sure that all of the symbols are there, that row repeats actually fit across rows and that stitch counts are accurate.  I cannot assume that any missing yarn overs are just my own lack of attention, but go back and recheck and then either fire off an email or fix what I did wrong.  :)

When I am sample knitting the idea is to get my knitting as close as is physically possible to being "perfect" so that if there are other samples being knit, by different people, and they are all lined up together (for instance showing the same pattern worked in a range of different color choices) you can't tell who knit what.  Sometimes I am lucky, if not very bored, and I am knitting all the colors of the same pattern which makes that part easier.

And finally, when I am just knitting to make my own heart sing, I change things up as I want to or need to, assume that all mistakes are my own and compensate for them, or just plain ignore the instructions and do what I think is right. (Probably explains why I got no less than three updates to the same pattern I knit at Christmas talking about mistakes that I thought were just in my knitting of it!)

This week saw a little bit of knitting I can share, WinterExtravaganza is still trucking along!  My purple version is ready to have the neck side stitches picked up and some shaping added.



 The beads on the purple one make TDQ happy!

The grey has "been there, done that"!
I also got in a few more repeats on my ColourMart Shawl.  I am still not sure how many I am going to work, but I know that there are at least several more in my future, this is so light and airy I want it to be big and snuggly too!

Finally some very plain vanilla socks to knit in the dark and while in waiting rooms.  Sometimes it is so much fun knitting in public, watching people trying to watch you knit without you noticing.  That is especially hard for strangers to do when you don't have to look at your knitting!

Til next time, Knit On!

Monday, March 25, 2013

At least I am only a day late!

Today, well Friday really for the kids, but I like to start things on a Monday so we are going with today..Today marked the first day of Spring Break at Chez Yarn Diet.

Pity no one told the weather people we were looking for Spring not Winter!  This time last year it was nearly 80 degrees, today......well not so much!  We did get above freezing temps, just barely, which turned the snow to this pretty white stuff with slushy nastiness under it.  Certainly not "Go outside and run off some energy" conditions, which is what I had been hoping for.  Certain people in this house need to run off some energy - or donate some of their excess to me.

It was another week of all run and no getting anywhere for me.  I don't even have tons of knitting to show you, but I do have a little!

In honor of the Spring that forgot to come to somewhere outside Columbus, Ohio, The ColourMart Lovers Group is holding their Spring Contest. I spotted a pattern that I liked,  Ethereal and dove through my ColourMart Stash for some merino and immediately changed the cast on of the pattern!  I am using a 2/28 in cream and will be working the first chart a few more times than the pattern suggests, mostly because as light as this will be I want lots of "snuggle up" room.

Rather than just start with two rows of garter stitch I have widened the garter border and used a variation on a Turkish Cast On that works very well with garter stitch.  I plan on adding some pearl beads to the edging, the ones I have just about match the cream tone of the yarn so they will add slight highlights (nothing drastic) and some weight to hold the bottom edge down.

I got a little further on my Winter Wrap, TDQ is still in love with the colors of this one. She didn't want beads on the back, but decided some "bling" on the front would be just her style!  I have just under one front to go and then the neck shaping, I hope I can get those done before the next installment comes out!

There have been a few other things on the needles, lots of little swatches, but we will talk about them later!

Until next time......Happy Knitting!








~M

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Thick and Thin


Another week has passed, and another week has just been a blur of things that needed to be done, places I needed to go, people I needed to see, meals that needed to be cooked and a house that needed to be cleaned.  I am so ready for a vacation, know anyone who wants to fill my role for a few days?

I had these plans of getting some of my WIPs if not off the needles, at least to the next step in their development.......One got there!



The Winter Extravaganza saw it's center finished, blocked, measured and approved by TDQ and then stitches marked for sleeves and all but one edge on waste yarn ready for the next step.  Which coincidentally was published on the Yahoo Group today.

The blankets, the some kind of wrap and Tardis...well they sit patiently waiting for me to pick them back up.  All of them I need to be able to look at what I am doing, at least every now and then, so they didn't work out so well for me Monday.  Not being able to sit still for long without something to do does have one advantage....

I am starting to put things up for Christmas already.  TDQ really liked the idea of thick, squishy socks having seen the ones I made for a birthday present in Feb and thick, squishy socks knit up rather quickly.  Not to mention garter rib being something I can knit in the dark!

Pattern, you ask?  Well, there isn't one really, but if you have ever knit The Yarn Harlot's vanilla sock recipe you could figure it out, just replace the plain knit rows for the leg and foot with two by two garter rib (knit one round, knit 2 purl 2 one round) and you are set.

This was the last of the Christmas yarn I got not this last year, but the year before and I planned it just about right as there are only a couple of yards left.  I got a lot of projects out of that particular gift, two pairs of fingerless mitts, two pairs of socks and two little neck scarves.  Warm necks, hands and feet for us Yarn Diet Ladies (and I use the term very loosely!)

Hopefully next week I will have more to show you!*

Until then, keep knitting!

~M

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I bet you thought March Madness was about sports

Tuesday evening, the kids here at Chez YarnDiet were all very excited.  The weather people had been tracking a storm that was due to hit us and estimates of how much snow and when we were going to get it ranged all over the show!  Certain teachers had suggested to their classes that wearing your pajama's backwards and inside out along with doing a snow dance would help the winter weather on its way........


Snow dances and inside out pajama's aside, the kids got their wish and we woke up to about 8 inches of snow on the driveway and I had a messy commute into work while they got to sit home playing computer games and drinking hot cocoa.

Snow is easier to walk and drive through than the thick coating of ice we had on everything a couple of weeks ago, so at least I didn't fall or have to hang on to anyone to get from my car to my office this time around, and without being asked two out of three children helped with clearing snow so I could get there on time!  Even though I had all that going for me,  I wished and hoped that I could get a snow day too and sit beside a cozy fire, drinking coffee and knitting.  Franklin Habit has a great post about just that on the Lion Brand Website, you should go read it!

But to the March Madness part of the post....8 inches of snow on Wednesday and what do we have today?  Nearly 70 degree temps and mud everywhere!

I have been plodding along on my long term knits, dithering from squares to big blue things to this :


I might have had to cast it on a few times to get it going, but there is Chart A of my current knit along. TDQ likes it so much that I have on the go in shades of purple for her too!


Other than that, life has me always running to try and catch up.  What ever happened to the days that I thought I had it all together and knew where I had left it?

Here's to hoping you are keeping it together in your corner of the world!

~M