Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Is it just me, or does Hyrna sound like a gynecological condition?
While the men were distracted with the barbeque, she gently touched my arm to get my attention and asked, a look of concern on her face, "Oh, how's your hyrna?"
"Knitting up quickly," I replied with a sigh of relief. "Thank goodness they have a treatment for that now."
Anyway, it is summer's eve, and Hyrna is knitting up quickly, thank goodness, largely due to the size 5 needles and almost-fingering-weight Icelandic singles I'm using. Because I am not as petite as Claudia, and Hyrna does seem to run small, I used Beadlizard Sylvia's modification and added three repeats to the first section. I did not check the math myself, so I'm hoping I don't have to modify the second section to make the border work (it doesn't sound like I do).
It's been smooth sailing since I got to the repeats. However, I knit my setup rows while paying more attention to the TV than to my knitting. The ripping started during the Red Sox game and continued into China Beach . I ripped up those setup rows so many times the yarn started to fuzz (it had already been ripped once before, when it auditioned unsuccessfully for Swirl Shawl). 4 times? 6 times? I lost count. It was ugly. Finally, it was clear that fatigue was impairing my comprehension, so I put Hyrna down and went to bed. When I ripped and started anew the next morning, everything went fine and it's been good ever since. I should be starting the second section tonight.
Here, for Maryse, is a view of the yarn I'm using for the teddy bear:
Can you see the crap? First yarn I ever spun on a wheel, and it shows. But here's how it knits up:
(sorry the picture is so much smaller, I had to use flickr as blogger declines to post photos)
Keep in mind that I am knitting this on Size 3 needles. If this yarn were coal, it would be a diamond by now. No stuffing is falling out of this bear.
Monday, August 21, 2006
I had a very long weekend that included watching the Red Sox get pummelled, volunteering at the local fair two mornings and waiting for five hours at the airport for my SIL's plane to land. Last night was the airport trip and as a result, this morning I can't muster the energy to be entertaining. Just a heads up. Apologies.
Between the fair and the airport, some crafty stuff was done.
I finished the second argyle sock (same as the first) and then I thought to myself, what should I cast on for now? Oh, Hyrna, knock knock...
I know I should have cast on for something gift-related, but I am weak. And besides, the book I ordered for my next gift project hadn't arrived yet (it arrived the next day). And I had to have something to keep my nervous fingers busy as I watched the Red Sox lose, didn't I?
Then on Saturday, I started my next gift sewing project, a knapsack of the same toile as the tote bag. This one is even farther beyond my sewing abilities
(a pain-in-the-butt partitioned patch pocket!)
but so far it seems to be coming out okay, with shockingly little seam-ripping.
And then on Sunday, because that darn teddy bear book (so cute!) was burning a hole in my stash, I cast on for the Catherine bear. She's going to be a cream-colored polar bear made from the Wensleydale homespun I made when I first learned to spin on Odette. It's not great yarn, but the gauge is so squeaky tight on this bear that you can't tell the yarn is a tad lumpy. She's going to a four-year-old (the one surfing on the beach in the 4th of July photo) so I thought about dyeing the yarn so it wouldn't show dirt as much, but I really liked the idea of a polar bear and besides, I sincerely hope this toy gets dirty and worn and loved 'til all its seams fray. I am actually concerned that the four-year-old's parents will keep the bear on a shelf as a treasure, instead of letting her drag it across the lawn. I will have to tell them that this is a bear designed to take a beating.
No pictures of the bear yet--all I've knit is one-half of the body and believe me, that's not much to look at. It really just looks like a larger-than-average swatch (well, way larger-than-average for me, since I rarely swatch). When I have some bear parts worth looking at, you'll all be the first to know.
Monday, August 07, 2006
I got bored and added some stripes, and now I love them even more. One down, one to go! (No, I do not have freakishly long toes, I took the picture from above and flipped it and now the perspective is out of whack.) I'd like to figure out how to knit an orange star in the toe cap for future socks.
And there's been progress on the sewn tote bag:
This was a good pattern for me, just a little past my comfort zone but still easy enough. Pretty much every single stitched line is crooked, but you can't tell unless you're looking at it very, very closely and critically. The only crooked thing that jumps out at you is the toile pocket--which, even though the fabric blends, somehow the crookedness does not (It's not as crooked as it looks in this picture; the whole bag is hanging askew). But that one stupid pocket took me two tries. I still have another pocket to put on and the top to hem, and then it's done.
Here's the inside, so you can see the awning-stripe lining:
I showed it to my husband, because I wanted him to see what I had made with the sewing machine he gave me, and he said (in a completely shocked voice, and look of surprise), "Hey, that came out good!" Thanks for that vote of confidence, hon.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Especially when the selvage stitch is really, really small, and the sewer is sloppy:
And I know you're all like, why didn't you rip it out and do it again? I told you I'm a slatternly knitter! (I like to think of myself as the anti-Grumperina). Also, the only thing worse than a mis-aligned seam is a played-out selvage stitch. This seam really, really needs to hold together, so I didn't want to stretch out my selvage stitches. But mostly, I'm just lazy. And it's a sock.
I have to admit, when I saw Julia's pirate arrghyles, I regretted my decision not to make them. My socks just seemed, well, less after I saw hers. But now I love them. The pattern has been a joy to knit (even the occasional frogging, which as Julia notes, is not fun) and I like my bright colors. And all those half-balls of sock yarn left-over from previous pairs? Crazy argyles-in-waiting.
Here's the side:
and the front:
I understand from the myriad argyle patterns out there that you can join your round pretty much anywhere on the foot you want. You can carry your argyles all the way down to the toe cap, if you like, and join into a round there--you just have to sew longer side seams. I also have a pattern that knits the entire sock, top to toe, flat, with one seam from the foot up the back of the leg. I decided to knit this pair as Julia's knitting hers, as I'm not wild about long sock seams.
But I think on a future pair I might experiment with carrying the diamonds down the instep to the toe cap. I just haven't decided where to put my seams yet.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
As I explained to your daughter recently, I am a slatternly knitter, one for whom I am ashamed to say standards can not be dropped low enough. I am haphazard, lazy, impatient and sloppy. And also, apparently, disrespectful to my elders, as I did not put in a full 3" of ribbing on my argyle sock. I just could not face the prospect of 3" of ink-black ribbing in splitty yarn. I also understand that if I were not cheap to boot, I would not be knitting with splitty yarn. But there you have it, all my faults in one neat 2" package of black splitty ribbing:
(Who needs a Rorschach test when you have an argyle sock?)
Mama Moth Heaven, thank you very much for your advice. I am not usually one to willfully disregard good advice from a seasoned knitter, but ribbing is really, really boring.
I guess you can add "easily bored" to that list of faults above.
P.S. Yes ma'am, my mother did raise me better than that.
P.P.S. Here's the back, for anyone curious:
P.P.P.S. Not sure that ribbing is actually going to fit around my calf.