Sunday, May 28, 2006 

On monogamy

It seems that my (previously) anti-stash nature isn't the only thing that has changed recently. True to form, I wove in the ends and blocked the back of the Fibonacci hoodie:





I cast on for the front, but halfway through the first big block of fuschia I got second-sleeve syndrome. (The front and back are essentially the same, two big squares.) I thought about continuing on the Pebble Beach socks, but decided they're still in quarantine except for car trips. Of course I have plenty of stash to work up, and that Misti Alpaca was tempting, but then I visited my LYS to chat about Bea with the ladies. And now I have two things to distract me this week before taking up the hoodie again:





Any guesses on the identity of the first yarn, or the destiny of either?

Monday, May 22, 2006 

Fee Fi FO Fum

Bea is finished!









Pattern: Bea from Rowan's "Little Treasures"
Yarn: Rowan Soft Baby, cream color
Needles: Recommended US7s gave me pattern gauge (which I have of course forgotten)
Thoughts/Modifications: Aside from using a whole half-ball *more* of the yarn than the pattern called for (despite perfect gauge!), I didn't deviate from the pattern at all. It was a fun knit, and for most of the time I was working on this sweater I didn't understand why it got the 3-star difficulty rating. And then I got to the finishing. Man, there's a lot of finishing. Most of it is very easy--nothing of drastically different lengths to ease in, or anything--but I eventually wound up agreeing with the difficulty rating if only because your average knitter would toss it across the room in boredom. Since I'm fairly anal about such things, it was okay. :) If I were to knit it again, I'd recommend just picking up and knitting the button bands and the collar, both of which were knit as pieces and then sewn on.

The yarn, as I've said before, is divine to work with. One thing I didn't get with Harvey was that after awhile, the yarn did hurt my hands. But since I always have a sock to switch out on, it was okay. All of the photos for the project are up on my .mac site. No photos of it on the recipient yet, as the 11-month-old I'm knitting it for lives in CT. Soon, though!

(Edit: A friend wrote to remind me of all of the bitching constructive criticizing I did at the beginning of this sweater. It's true! The chart in the book is almost impossible (for me) to read, and so after some major ripping I eventually just had to figure out what the cabling pattern *should* be, and do it. Also, MJ: sewing on the button-bands is *totally wacky* and I have no idea why they suggested it, but I always knit a pattern as by-the-directions as I can, the first time.)

I've been knitting on the Pebble Beach sock, and *gasp* I'm actually enjoying the striping. No photos of that for now, though, since I'm taking a short break. I was pretty excited about the next baby sweater I have in the queue: The Hooded Striped Top in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. I'm knitting it for another friend's baby girl. And because this girl is no namby-pamby pastels girl, I'm altering the stripe pattern a bit.



(Please excuse the horrendous lack of blocking.) Yup, that's a Fibonacci sequence! Two of them, actually, interleaving from top and bottom. I'm tremendously excited about it.

I stopped by my LYS today to show off Bea, though, and asked for a substitute for the Suri Elegance recommended for the Icarus shawl in the current Interweave Knits. (I felt it in person some time ago and was underwhelmed, for the price.) They recommended Misti Alpaca to me, which happens to be only $6.50 a skein there. (Score!) So guess what came home with me?



So the real question is... how long before I cast on for it?

Monday, May 15, 2006 

Bea Bea Bo Bea, Fanana Fanna Fo Fea...

Bea is not yet finished, due to an impromptu trip to CT this weekend. However, I did get it blocked and partially seamed up, and knitted the button bands.

(And but of course I have progress pictures to show you.)



I like the fabric resulting from a steam block better than a wet block, with the soft baby. The sweater retained all of its fluffy goodness.



And it behaved itself, too. The edges got nice and flat, and the pleat in the back stayed put very well. Oh, and did I mention fluffy goodness?



Ready for a Mother's Day seaming party. (I was thrilled that among the day's festivities was time for me to sit and watch Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkeban while knitting. Hooray!)



Seaming the first button band:



...and the second is all sewed on too:



I'm looking forward to at least knitting the collar tonight. Soon, sooooooon it will be done!

Thursday, May 11, 2006 

Yarn acquired!

Nothing exciting, though. Just more Soft Baby to finish Bea. All of the pre-blocking pieces are complete:



Next I block! Then, button bands and collars and seaming. I should be finished this weekend, which will be exciting. I'm really looking forward to giving this one away, it's turning out beautifully.

In two shocking displays of restraint, I managed not to sign up for Sundara Yarn's sock club and when I saw that my LYS had new Lorna's Laces sock yarn in my two favorite colorways (watercolor and aslan) I did not buy any. I'm sweating from all of the virtue. :)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 

Mind over matter

I am no longer fighting with the Socks that Rock.



However, this is not because the socks pictured in my head are anything close to becoming a reality. I sucked it up and tried alternating between three strands of yarn. There is still a noticeable stripe-pattern:



If it were producing the sock in my mind, I would happily and without complaint deal with the pain-in-the-butt three strand knitting. Since it isn't, and I'm not very far along into the first sock, I'm just going to rip and re-wind the yarn, and put it into storage until I've gotten this mental image out of my head. I think, if I change my expectations, I'll actually like them stripey. So, off to the stash bin with the str for a month or so!

Which let me pick up Bea again:



Yup, that's a second sleeve. I haven't been to the yarn store to pick up more yarn yet, so for the moment I'm just plugging along until I run out. Hopefully before a week has passed, I'll have another FO and have regained my mojo.

I think I might even get bold enough to cast on for Eleanora socks in a solid (!!) purple Lorna's Laces.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006 

*cough*

I suppose that I shouldn't really make decisions at 10:00pm when I'm cranky and tired. But last night, the yarn started striping and flashing even though I was alternating between 2 balls, and I flipped out and frogged the whole thing.

Now, the yarn and I are having a bit of an argument:



On the bright side, I noticed that the heel flap had absolutely perfect variegation. So now I'm thinking, what if I knit with *four* balls of yarn, and only did half of each round with a single ball? That would surely keep it from pooling, right?

Right?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 

Old news

I'm back at work this week after a very extended maternity leave, so daylight to take progress pictures has been lost in a flurry of preparation. But after finishing the pooling colors scarf, I cast on some socks that rock (pebble beach colorway) in the oak ribbed pattern from Vintage Socks.

Why, do you ask, did I not simply finish Bea? Well... Since we last left our friend Bea:



I finished the left and right fronts, and the first sleeve. Further sleeve island margaritas were stymied by a distinct lack of yarn. In a fit of pique over Rowan miscalculations (my gauge is spot on), I put the sweater down for some sock knitting distraction. Hopefully I can make it to the yarn store Thursday. Argh!

Anyway, the socks that rock pretty much lives up to its promise. It's sproingy, the colors are vibrant and terrific, it is smoother than any other sock yarn I've worked with, easily as soft as Lorna's Laces, claims to be machine-dryable, and the fabric is to die for. The downside? For me, anyway, it wants to pool. So much so that even if I alternate balls of yarn, there's a discernable pattern:





I've basically sworn off Lorna's Laces for the same issue (see earlier frustration), but now I'm wondering if it's me. Am I joining the second strand of yarn in the wrong way? Other people don't seem to have this problem. Maybe I'm just too obsessive about pooling? If you have suggestions, please chime in! This mars the yarn for me, and that makes me sad. Not that it's making me hate the sock. And I won't avoid this yarn in the future, certainly.

Since the above pictures were taken, I've turned the heel and am almost through the foot. I love how quickly socks go!