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Second Sock Syndrome = Overcome!

September 10, 2008

Despite my lack of updating, I’ve actually been quite productive knitting wise.  Just not so productive picture-taking wise.  More excitement to come, but today I do have one project to share:

These are my Broadripple socks from Knitty.  I actually knit one back in April and then the other in July.  They’re on size 3’s, which for me are insanely tiny needles.  And I was having a hard time with the pattern. It’s not difficult, but I kept messing it up.  I’m pleased with the overall outcome though.  And here’s better proof that I actually knit 2:

Speaking of Knitty projects, the new Knitty is out today!  My thoughts:

  • AHHH!! This baby is being attacked by a horrible scarf monster! *
  • The perception geek in me is absolutely in love with this optical illusion blanket.
  • The last thing I need is another bag, so I wouldn’t knit it, but it’s cute.
  • As usual, too many damn socks.
  • I really like the name Mangyle for a pattern.
  • Totally sweet hat

(*I actually think it’s funny in a good way. That photo is just hilarious. And Scott points out that it would be awesome to do it in funfur and have it be a muppet hug)

Anyway, more of my stuff to come. I have 3 completed (or mostly completed) projects that I haven’t taken pics of yet, but it’s on the to-do list for this week. (Yes, there is an actual li

Finally a real update

August 14, 2008

I’m having so many problems writing this entry right now…Seriously, WordPress = usability fail.

Alright! This is not everything that I’ve been working on, but it’s some of it…my excuse this time is that I just moved, and I didn’t do a lot of the packing.  As a result, it wasn’t until last night that I was able to locate the cord for my digital camera.  But the following projects had their pictures taken by the gift recipients, so they were e-mailed to me.  So, without further adeiu, I present to you two crochet gift projects.

“Imaginary Tiger Friend”

This is Imaginary Tiger Friend by Craft Kitten. I saw this patten way back before I even learned to crochet.  I queued it immediately on Ravelry, because I knew that my boyfriend loved Calvin & Hobbes, and that I had to make it for him. After a while, a kind soul on the RAK group on Ravelry gifted me the pattern, and I began working.  It was an epic struggle of “Why aren’t my stripes lining up?” (answer still unknown) and the disappearing crochet hook (my parents found it 2 months later, exactly where I’d looked for it) but I think it came out alright…if huge. I really had no idea how big it would be…so if I were to do it again, it would be a bit smaller, but Scott liked it anyway. 🙂 It made for a great anniversary present.  It took a really long time…I’d say I started work on it in May and didn’t finish it until July.  Admittedly, I did let it sit for a while, and coudn’t work on it on weekends (since that’s when Scott’s around), but it still kept a while just because it was so big.  Oh, and the whole thing is done in Red Heart Sport Solid.  And I somehow have way more leftover than I though.

(^ Check out Scott’s toes!)

And the other gift I made was for my best friend‘s birthday present.  She’s moving and starting law school this month, so I wanted to give her something she could use.  I figured a reusably grocery bag would be great, so I got myself the Eco Warrior Bag pattern by Knitomatic.  I’m not exactly an “Eco Warrior” but I try not to be unnecessarily wasteful either.

It’s supposed to be done in ribbon yarn, but I had some doubts as to a) how that would look, and b) how strong it would be.  And I’ve been having a love affair with CottonEase lately, and it’s definitely durable, so it was my #1 choice.

I went down a hook size (or 2, I don’t remember) and increased the amount of…increases, ha.  And I absolutely love the way it came out. I’m considering making myself one out of the leftovers.  It only took about a ball and a half, and it was super easy.  Great TV crocheting.  If anyone wants a shopping bag, I’d totally recommend this pattern

Coming up soon

  • Another CottonEase project!
  • Marie gets over Second Sock syndrome
  • Llama duck!

Still going!

August 6, 2008

I’ve been so busy lately, which is why I haven’t written in a while. But I haven’t forgotten about this blog, and I have plenty of new projects to post once I get a chance.  Four, in fact.  Maybe this weekend I’ll have a chance but between my parents visiting, packing, and moving, I’ve had no time.  So I’ll just take this opportunity to share two very exciting pieces of knitting news (for me anyway).

I moved into my new apartment last weekend, where I expected to find washer and dryer hookups in the room off the kitchen.  I started to explore after I got the keys and found an actual washer and dryerAnd the washer is a top loader!  This is exciting because a) I can now do laundry whenever I want without excuses such as “it’s dark” or “it’s raining” getting in my way, and b) I can felt things now! Very exciting.

Even more exciting news, I got a set of Denise’s used on Ravelry from the ISO and Destashing group. The girl selling it also sold me an extra cord along with the extra 17’s and 19’s.  Hooray!  I have a whole new world of knitting possibilities now, because I don’t have to worry about what size circulars I have. I can just do it.  I just got them in the mail this morning and started using them for my Flutter Sleeve Cardigan, because the size 6s I have are just a tad too short for the back.

So that’s pretty much what I’m working on now.  I didn’t do totals for last month and goals for this one, because I was just far too busy last month to get much done…and school starts soon, so who knows what that will do to my free time?

Anyway, pics of new projects coming. I promise!

PS – Comments totally welcome. I’ve been told that people enjoy reading it, but comments help me believe you 😛

Shrinkage?

July 6, 2008

There is a phenomenon I’ve discovered while knitting clothes for myself that I simply do not understand.

I am a small person. I’m 5’0″ and usually wear petite clothes. Yet somehow when I measure a shirt while knitting, I realize that I have to make it longer than the pattern calls for, which is odd because you’d think they need to be shorter. And even after lengthening said shirt, it still ends up shorter than it’s supposed to.

Case in point: the Honeymoon Cami.

I’m using Lion Cotton-Ease, which knits at a much larger gauge than the recommended yarn. So my one repeat of the ribbing at the bottom is longer than what the pattern calls for. When it said to knit for 1.5″ before decreasing, I did 2″. When it said 3″ was a good ballpark figure for the strap (which just sounds wrong) I did something more like 7″. I tried it on, and noticed 2 things: 1) My boobs were out to play, and 2) the top was a good 2-3″ too short.

How does this happen?? I just don’t get it. I believe that if I knit a top to the pattern specifications, it should be longer on me than on anyone else, because I’m short. The only other explanation is that I should listen to what Victoria’s Secret has been trying to tell me and accept that my chest is in fact larger than I’ve been lead to believe all these years.

My plan of attack is to finish as planned (one more strap to go) and then attempt to pick up the ribbing at the bottom and do another pattern repeat. I don’t mind layering another tank underneath to keep the girls in check, but there’s just no good way to deal with a belly shirt. Other than…make sure it’s not a belly shirt anymore.

New month, new totals

July 1, 2008

Now that it’s July, I can post my June stashbusting totals, and my July goals.

My original goals for June were to finish my 3 gift projects, and make something for me from my queue.  Didn’t quite get all of that done, but it was still a good month.

As far as project work goes, I finished and gifted the crochet truck to my Ravelry Stash Knit Down partner.  I finished another gift projects, and did some more work on another, though it is still not finished.  And I started a Honeymoon Cami out of lime Cotton-Ease from my queue, and I’ll probably have it done in a week or so.

My stashbusting was improved by swaps and RAKs (The Random Acts of Kindness group on Ravelry).  I swapped 2 skeins of Moda Dea washable Wool, and one ball of green mohair. (Yes it was a swap, and I got more yarn in return, but shh! I still got rid of stuff!)  And I also RAK’ed a ball of Patons Classic Wool Merino in leaf green to a Rav user in California who needed it to finish a pattern (actually a pattern that I have in my queue).  So:

Green Mohair: 500 yds
2 skeins Moda Dea Superwash Wool: 332 yds
1 skein Patons classic wool merino: 223 yds
1.5 skeins Cotton Ease : 516 yds
2 skein Red Heart Sport Solid: 380 yds
Total: 1951 yds

Goals for July:

  • Finish the gift crochet project that I’m working on
  • Finish my Honeymoon Cami (I’m about halfway done)
  • Make at least one more thing from my queue, preferably Cache Couer Bergamo (Rav link) out of some brown Rowan Cotton Wool or Stargazer (Rav link) out of some black Berocco Comfort DK.    I think I’ll probably be able to finish the former and begin the latter
  • Maybe get over second sock syndrome and make that other Broadripple sock, but since it won’t be sock weather for a while, that one probably won’t happen right away.

In which Marie learns to crochet properly

June 26, 2008

Ok, seriously…I suck. *hangs head in shame*

It wasn’t that long ago that I learned how to knit properly, after 2 years of participating in the craft.  Now, 2 months after the end of a semester of actual regimented crochet practice, I realize that I’ve been doing that wrongly too!

For those of you who don’t know, as a part of my skill acquisition class last semester, I taught myself to crochet. I did it almost every day.  I quantitatively measured my performance by timing how long it took for me to crochet various swatches.  I wanted a qualitative measure as well and, not having many crocheters at my disposal, I took pics and placed them on ravelry.  Every swatch I’d done over 7 weeks, 36 in total.  What I wanted people do to was rate them on a scale from 1 to 7.
One woman, rather than rate my swatches sent me what I would call a rather nasty RavMail message about how crappy my swatches looked, how uneven they were and how it looked like I rushed the job and didn’t even try to do it well.  I was (I think understandably) pissed off that this woman would go out of her way to basically tell me that I sucked, especially because she didn’t even give me anything usable. (And I’m not saying everyone had to love my swatches.  Many kind ravelers supplied constructive criticism, which is ok.  And if I’m trying to prove that I got better as the semester went along, obviously some of my work had to be bad, at least comparatively.

There was one thing that this woman said, and that was “You’re missing the last stitch on all your swatches.”  I had no idea what she was talking about, I didn’t see any missed stitches and I always counted, and since she didn’t offer any advice, I didn’t really worry about it.

Now I had noticed that my swatches, particularly the triple crochet ones were really uneven and appeared to zigzag back and forth.  I didn’t think it was bad, I kind of liked it actually, but I thought that I’d like to be able to crochet evenly as well.  I’ve been working on  Secret Project #1, which I may as well say is a gift for my boyfriend, because I already told him I was making him something.  One part of the project was just back and forth, even crochet.  I noticed that it looked bumpy on the edge in a few places, but not all edges, so I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I took a closer look at one of those bumps last night and sure enough there was a stitch there.  I had in fact been neglecting the last stitch, and I didn’t even know!

Being an experienced knitter, I know what knitting looks like.  And it’s always been easy enough to tell the difference between knit and crochet.  When I started crocheting, I had trouble learning the “structure” of a crochet stitch, where one ended, where one began, etc.  And as a result, that little bump on the end didn’t look like a stitch.  But last night, it sure did!

I’m really happy that I made this discovery now. Not just for my own edification, but because I’ve joined a Traveling Scarves crochet group, and I’d fell horrible if I contributed a bumpy bit to 13 scarves belonging to other people.

PS – That woman is still nasty.  There are right ways to correct someone, and there are bitchy ways.

I can has package!

June 18, 2008

God I look pale in that picture from yesterday… Anyway…

I got my package from my Ravelry Stash Knit Down 2008 swap partner today! I got ~800yds of merino green sock yarn, with a pattern for Jaywalkers. I might make something else with the yarn, cause I have another set of skeins that are great for Jaywalkers. But I love this yarn, and I love the color! (Obviously. If you know me…or if you’re even looking at this blog, you know I like bright green!) And I love that it’s sock yarn, but it’s not teeny and thus requiring me to use itsy bitsy needles that hurt my fingers.

The other two skeins are both wool as well. One Lopi and the other a mystery…though they both look like Lopi to me. Don’t know what I’ll do with it yet, but I like it all!

Oh, and those jars are a orange/grapefruit syrup that she made. I don’t have anything to try it with in the house right now, but it looks good 🙂

ETA: Oh, and I forgot to add what I sent her, now that she’s gotten it.  I send about 500 yds of dark green Mohair.  One of the oldest items in my stash, back when I bought yarn on Ebay with no bloody idea what I was going to do with it.  Now that I know I’m not trying lace anytime soon, I knew it was time to let it go.  And I actually had 2 balls and only sent her 1, so I still have some to work with.  (Tried and failed to make a tank top out of it once.) Anyway, I also sent her some stitch markers, and two balls of Superwash Wool.  I bought a toy for one of her sons and made a toy truck for the other one.  This is the aforementioned disappointment project. You can decide for yourself:

Yes, it’s a toy truck. I guess it’s not bad.  I liked the idea, and thought it would work well in crochet.  It’s probably not that bad, but it didn’t come out as nicely as I’d hoped. She says that her 2 year old will like it though, so I guess that’s all that matters.