Sunday, February 26, 2006

16 skeins

Sixteen was a lot to tackle in a weekend, especially since finishing them means counting out large skeins into smaller sizes to sell. I'm very tired of counting to 90 and 100, which I did multiple times as I skeined my yarns to size. Oy. But! They're pretty. And I'm hoping to actually sell some in real life tomorrow, to a knitting group at the Somerville library. And if I don't, then to the website they'll go. I'm reasonably happy with the colors, and even managed to custom-dye some for a friend from work. The little guys in the picture are leftovers from the fingering weight skeins. The pic is bad, since it was taken in the dark with flash, instead of in real light, but I think they're cute anyway.

Monday, February 20, 2006

almost there...

After much frogging and gnashing of teeth, here is my sweater, lounging on the carpet, after an initial blocking. As feared, it's a little small around, so it'll have an extra-wide button band, and we'll call it an artistic element. I ripped down to the armpits after almost finishing the decreases the first time, and knitted back up a la: slip two stitches, knit 1, pass the two slipped stitches over. I like the pretty line that this creates.

Since I added 16 stitches to each sleeve to make up for my poor gauging, I also had to figure out how to account for that as I decreased down. I ended up decreasing two sleeve stitches on each sleeve twice, both toward the top of the sweater, which seems to have taken care of enough of the extra fabric around the top to make it fit me reasonably well. I'll take in a little extra at the armpits as well. Now it's just the bands, and it'll be done!

But, knitting will be set aside briefly, as I've gotten an invitation to bring some of my sale yarns to a knitting group event next Monday, and I have so much white yarn still here, I figure I should dye at least some of it before then... time to clear the kitchen counters!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

sweater again

Okay, maybe this pic shows it off better. Tim has agreed that it will probably make me crazy, so I was be frogging tomorrow, in the car, on the way to visit Brown. Or maybe during my lunch break. Either way, I guess it's better to get it right than to never wear the thing.

Monday, February 13, 2006

gored decreases

I have been speeding along like a good little knitter on my raglan sweater (designed from Ann Budd's sweater pattern book). By the time I reached the sleeves, I was half a stitch off of gauge (oops), which I didn't notice when I swatched (and I swear, I swear I swatched). In any case, it didn't affect the body too much, I don't think -- I was knitting it to be larger and roomier, and now, well, it isn't. It should still fit. The sleeves, however, needed to be made larger, so I added 8 stitches to each. I still don't know how it has affected the outcome of the sweater, but I've put it on, more or less, a couple of times, and it seems to be fine and good.

Except! Except I have been doing my decreases backwards from how I meant to do them. They should have slanted toward the seam, and they are slanting the opposite way, thus creating a fairly pronounced gore between sleeve and not-sleeve. So now I'm left trying to decide whether this will become a decorative element, or whether I have to rip all the way back to the armpits (about 7" at this point) and redo the decreases so that they slant towards the seam instead of away. Sigh. My sweater knitting is cursed. Thoughts, comments?

Monday, February 06, 2006

a few pictures...

I used way too much soap this time around... much rinsing ensued. These are a couple of the six skeins. I'll post pics of all of them once they're reskeined. They're much more attractive after they're reskeined, in my opinion. I also learned my lesson and dyed only one weight of yarn for a change. I won't have to stare at them and try to determine which are sock weight and which are light worsted. I do have two purple/blue/yellow/green skeins, though, so I'll have to devise a system to keep track of which smaller skeins I make from each big one.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

paint & dye (but no pictures)

This weekend was a good one for home improvements, especially if you count changing white yarn into prettily colored yarn a home improvement, which I do. Tim finished painting the downstairs bathroom to a lovely blue with grey undertones, and I took down most of the hideous accoutrements (shiny gold accessories just aren't us). Now it just needs a new light fixture and towel bar and it'll be done!

I spent a few hours this morning becoming reacquainted with my dye equipment. I'm now up to an even dozen powder dyes, which means I may have to get some more squeeze bottles soon, since handpainting is a much more exact process with the squeeze bottles than it is trying to dribble dye out of spaghetti sauce jars. I seem to have managed nonetheless, and have six skeins drying above a heating vent. I'll try to have some pictures soon -- most are deep/dark colors, with a couple of rainbowy skeins, and one orange/yellow/red thrown in. I really should work up a pattern to use with these things. I don't really know what 560 yds of worsted would be best used for.

I'm plugging along on my sweater, but my gauge is 1/2 a stitch off, which I think will be okay in the body, because I'd planned a bigger size than I needed to anyway, but I think the sleeves are going to come out too tight. So, I'm planning on knitting 66 stitches instead of 60 around, but then will it get all wonky when I join the sleeves to the body and do the raglan decreases? I've tried to dissect the pattern, but haven't gotten too far.

I know that I knit half the front of the body (it's a cardigan), then knit all but 8 of one sleeve, then the back, then all but 8 of the other, then the other half of the front... so, when I join everything together, I'll have 12 more stitches than my pattern calls for... so I guess I haven't figured out how to adjust my decreases to make it make sense because I've never knitted a raglan before. Hopefully someone at knitting group tomorrow may be able to parse this out with/for me.