Monday, February 25, 2008

Knitting Update

I was finally able to get some knitting done this weekend. I finished the left side of the Japanese Cable Vest and started on the right. It is a bit tricky because I have to convert the chart into a mirror image. I've got the first repeat done.

I also finished the knitting up on Mr Greenjean. I picked up the button band last night and spent 4 hours watching Law & Order plus Dexter working on it. Now all I have left to do is weave in all the ends and block.

I'm not sure if I like how the cardigan turned out and I may redo the sleeves at some time in the future, but for now its "done".

I also got a couple of swatches knit on my Ultimate Sweater Machine. I've been doing so much reading up on it on Ravelry and talking to my friend Angi, that when I did my first row, I didn't have any problems!

I just made sure to hold the yarn without slack at the beginning of each row and then let go as I knit the row. Stop. Then repeat. In no time I had several inches of knitting!

None of the projects in the pattern book that came with the machine appeal to me (but then again nothing is really appealing to me right now. I'm really going through the motions on my knitting right now) so I'm not sure what I'm going to knit on it as a first project yet. There is an Empire Coat on the Bond America site that I like. I've wanted to knit an extra long cardigan but the idea of all that stockinette was too much. With the knitting machine, it should take no time, at least the knitting part. There is still a bunch of finishing though. I'll have to buy a bunch of yarn for that so I may try something smaller using some yarn I have in my stash.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Simple, Mindless Pattern, Please

I haven't really be able to knit the last week or so. I just can't really concentrate. I did finish the sleeves on my Mr Greenjean cardigan, but I'm not pleased with them at all. They are too tight and because I don't have the knitting two socks/sleeves/tube with 1 long circular down, there are puffy sleeve areas that I don't like.

I may unravel them. But not now. I have to much unraveling in my life right now.

I'm also working on a Japanese Cable Vest for a KAL on Ravelry, but it requires concentration I don't have right now.

I sound pitiful, huh? I hate that.

I've watched the video, read the manual, and read all kinds of forum posts about my Ultimate Sweater Machine but have yet to pull it out of the box. I'd like to do that this weekend. Looks like I need to get some weight for the side edge stitches so that they don't come off. I may get some fishing lures and attach them to earring wires which I have a ton of.

I looked through my queue on Ravelry today for a project I could take to knit night that doesn't require much concentration. But I didn't find anything there besides scarves and I really don't want to make any of those.

So if you have any ideas of a simple project that doesn't require much concentration that would give me a sense of accomplishment when I'm done, I'd love some suggestions.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Today I drove down to Tacoma with Lauren to go to the Madrona Fiber Arts Festival. I had tried to sign up during registration for a couple of classes but wasn't able to get into any. So I just went down for the vendor portion. And there was a lot to see!

This antique sock knitting machine was in the Angora Valley and Fly Dye Designs booth.

There was lots of beautiful yarn and roving everywhere!


I love these colors!

But alas, I'm feeling so blue and sick that all I could even muster to buy was a WPI Tool Kit

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Knitting Machine and Life

My knitting machine came yesterday. I wish I was able to get really excited about it, as excited about it as I was when I ordered it. And I'm sure once I practice on it and get to really learn how to use it and get past this hellish week, I'll be excited about it.

I did read the manual that came with it and also looked through the pattern book. I want to watch the dvd before I use it too. I have a little experience with using a knitting machine from the one I borrowed last summer from my friend in my knitting group back in Texas. So the mechanics of it aren't new to me. But I really didn't get much time with that machine before we moved from Texas to Seattle, so I'll really be learning for the first time on this machine.

Luckily, my friend Angi has told me she will help me learn how to use mine. She is actually the one who inspired me to buy the machine now even though I've been wanting to buy one for awhile. She made some awesome legwarmers with her machine. And socks too!

Okay, I am really not one to talk about my personal life on the Internet and I may regret posting this in the future. I am sick and broken hearted at the moment so I can't be expected to be thinking straight right?

So here it is: Amy has been having an online affair with a woman 15 years her junior. Amy told me Sunday night that she wants to break up. And she just spent the last 4 days with said woman in Portland. And tonight, Valentines Day of all days (geez), Amy is supposed to come back after dropping of said woman at the airport to "talk".

So now you know why a knitting machine isn't really exciting to me right now.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Where's a Post, a FO?

Well, I haven't had much to post about knitting stuff recently. I'm in the middle of finishing Mr Greenjean, but have gotten frustrated with knitting both sleeves at the same time.

I thought it would be a good technique for me, to knit both sleeves using one circular needle. Several of the women in my knitting group do socks that way, but even the socks I'm working on aren't going well with the technique.

The stitches on the inside where the two socks are next to each other are loose. I don't really have ladders, more like puffy stitches, bigger then the others. And this is no matter how tight I pull the yarn to avoid this.

I have about 10 rows left on the sleeves of Mr Greenjean and I may just go ahead and finish that just to see how it looks and if I can get the stitches balanced out like Ialiuxh showed me a couple of weeks ago.

I'm also working on a Japanese Knitting pattern as part as of KAL on the Japanese Knitting and Crotchet group on Ravelry. It is a cable vest pattern and the picture posted is the gauge swatch I did of the chart for the front. It has been fun figuring out the pattern. My mom said it is kind of like working on a puzzle and I think that what explains part of the appeal to me.

I have the back and part of one of the fronts knit on the vest. I need to take pictures and post what I've done so far.

This week though I haven't been knitting much because I have a terrible, terrible cold and because some major personal life stuff is going on that I just can't think straight. And I need to be able to concentrate in order to read a chart.

The cold is almost gone, my fever broke last night. But I think the ordeal with the personal life stuff is just at the beginning.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Let It Rain Yarn And Kitty Knits

Today I went up north to do a little shopping with my mom. We drove over to Mukilteo to the Let It Rain Yarn store which is a cute little shop in a mixed use area called Bella Terra Village. There are store fronts along the road and apartments and condos above.

The first thing that grabbed my attention was the Kitty Knits: Projects for Cats and Their People book by Donna Druchunas. If you are a knitter who loves cats (and who isn't?!?!) then you MUST buy this book. OH MY GAWD, there are some incredibly cute designs all with cat themes. There are a couple of comfy looking cat beds and some cat toys. But to show your true cat appreciation you will have to knit the Scandinavian Pullover that has cat faces and tails. Or if that is a bit much you can still knit a ear flap hat with cat motif or a lace scarf that uses a Peruvian cat motif. There is even an illusion scarf that has a cat face hidden between the stripes! I'm thinking of knitting the felted cat doorstop or kitty socks for myself and some felted catnip mice for Shadow, RJ, and Sparky. Too bad for Pachebel that I didn't get a dog knitting book!

Let It Rain Yarn didn't have a huge selection of yarns but they did have a nice selection including Noro and Cascade. I did end up buying Dark Horse Yarns Magestic in a purple color. It is knit on size 15 needles. It is a fun yarn that I think will look great as an open work scarf.

I also bought a knit purse kit that cames with black cording, a drawstring liner, purse handles, a button, and a bottom. I think this will make a really cute clutch and will probably end up as a Xmas gift.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Yarn Fix

Last night, I got to touch a lot of yummy yarn at A New Yarn in North Seattle. My friend Ilauixh just started working there and they needed volunteers to do inventory.

I got to count the Cascade 220 they have. I just love that yarn. I wanted to buy some because they sell it for around $6.50 which is the least expensive I've seen in all of Seattle. I also got to count some sock yarn and the new bamboo needles they just got in.

A New Yarn is a non-profit yarn store that supports Northwest Family which is working to end domestic violence.

A New Yarn sells new yarn, books, and knitting notions as well as donated ones. I actually took some left over balls of skeins with me to donate.

We only inventoried the new yarn and books but I had a good time looking through some old knitting books and patterns from the 60's, 70's, and 80's that people donated.

Charity and I are planning on going on Saturday to sit and knit at the store. Maybe I'll buy my Cascade 220 then!