Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ugh! Double Ugh!

Frustrated is too kind of a word I have for Odessa right now. We are not talking right now. Remember how I got that huge knot in my yarn in preparation for knitting Odessa? Well, I had the bright idea of learning how to do a spit split join (I know that isn't the right name, but it sounds so much prettier than the actual act) and cut out the knot. I tried it out on Thursday. It isn't the prettiest join in the world, but it is strong, it works, and most importantly, you can't tell from afar or if you are a non-knitter. So what is the problem?

1. I have done a ton of tinking of this project, which hasn't endeared this project to my heart, but I accept tinking when I decide to use all my concentration on my BBC miniseries (Cranford is very good, btw).

2. I am running out of yarn on this ball (I found a second ball in my stash, thank goodness), but I want to try to undo the knot before going to the second ball. Watching my little ball of yarn get smaller and smaller is not only making me feel anxious but also extremely annoyed with this hat. I knew from the get go that this would be a tight project (that is why I bought a second ball in the first place), but this just hits home that I will need to untangle that yarn I made a mess of last week.

3. This is the worst. This was the cherry on the top. This is why I threw Odessa back in her bag and am considering a novelty garter stitch scarf. I didn't print out the directions for this hat. I decided I would just take some short notes. Well, I misread the pattern or my notes. I did 2 normal rounds and 1 bead round. I was supposed to do 3 normal rounds and then 1 bead round. It's not that big of a deal and I know I could change the decreasing rounds to match what I have been doing, just broke me.

This is just a simple hat! I shouldn't be having this many issues! I think it is time to return to the world of garter and stockinette for the time being.

In the world of simple knits, I finished my ribbed scarf. It is just short of being twice my height. It was very entertaining binding off for this project. For the life of me, I couldn't remember how to do it, so I decided to let my fingers do the work for me. My brain couldn't remember the technique but my fingers did. I am quite happy with this scarf. The color and length suit me to a t. Now if only the temperature would drop to about 50F.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Knitting has been at turtle slow speed. I sat down with Seascape last night and after 3 rows, I had to put it down, because I was so frustrated. I had an extra stitch and I couldn't figure out where it came from. I am knitting Seascape from a chart and it is causing me all sorts of problems. I already had to rip back a bit, because I miscounted little empty "knit" boxes. ::sigh:: I am beginning to remember why I never finished Mystery Shawl #2. Thin yarn, tiny needles, and super small charts (even after I enlarge them) are just too much for me during my evening knitting time. I guess this means that I will need to make special time for this shawl during the weekends when I am not so tired. Hmm, I wonder if I can work Starbucks into this special time?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Being Stubborn Is Bad

I did a bad, stupid thing. Initially, it wasn't bad or stupid, but then I became incredibly stubborn and made the situation 10, 20, okay 100 times worse. I didn't need to tell you about my big mistake, but I have decided to embrace my stupidity and share. We all do things like this and I wanted to let you know that you are not alone.

So, what did I do? I decided to make Odessa by Grumperina my waiting to meetings knitting. It is small and compact plus I would get to knit with beads, which would be a new skill for me. It was already pretty late and I had already put away my Seasons of Lace KAL project (Seascape from Knitty), because I knew I was sleepy. I curled up with an episode of Campion (BBC detective-ish show) and began stringing the beads onto the yarn. Since it only took me a few minutes to string the beads, I decided to cast on and knit a few rows, so it would be easier to pick up at school. Well, that was where the problem started. I misread one line of the pattern. I knew I had misread it when I misread it. I knew how I interpreted the line didn't make a fig of sense. I knew that even if that is what Grumperina meant, it didn't make any sense. BUT, I did it anyway.

What did I do? ::sigh:: I strung the beads on one end of the ball of yarn and started knitting with the other end. I convinced myself this was a smart decision, since I didn't start using the beads until after I finished the 1 inch of ribbing and therefore wouldn't need the beads for a while. I should note that this isn't the stupid part. After knitting about two rows, I realized that this was stupid and that I should frog what I have done and start again with the piece of yarn that had the beads. I told myself that I just needed to slowly push the beads away from the end. Did I do this? No, I did not.

This is where I started being stubborn and stupid. I decided instead of frogging, I would wind the yarn and during this process slowly work the beads from one end of the 142 yards of yarn to the other end. That is right, I thought that tediously moving the beads across ~150 yards of yarn was better than frogging about 2 rows of knitting. For the most part, I was able to move the beads across the yarn until I got towards the end. I now have 2 yards of yarn in a huge tangled mess. I refuse to cut this yarn since I can only find this 1 ball of yarn and from what I understand, 1 ball is all you need. I can't lose those 2 yards to a knot.

Moral of the Story: Don't be stubborn. Just like loose lips sink ships, Being stubborn sinks knitting projects.

You might be wondering where the picture of the knitting disaster is, well, I am not ready to face the reality of the situation just yet.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Busy Knitting Weekend

I have had the most wondrous weekend. I bonded with some friends, watched BBC detective shows, listened to some podcasts, and knit. It really doesn't get any better than that.

I finished Hermione's Cable and Bobble Hat. I have to be honest here. I really didn't like knitting this hat or the finished product. I have knit cables before, but the cables on this hat required me to pay a lot of attention to what was going on. I never felt I could just sit back and knit it. The big problem was the zig zag cable that goes around the bobbles. I had to remember when to put the cable needle in the front or the pack and whether to purl or knit the cable stitches. It wasn't a hard project, but I couldn't sit back and watch BBC mysteries and let the hat magically knit itself. In addition, although I found the hat very pretty on people's blogs and in Charmed Knits, in real life, I find the hat waaaay too busy and too tall. Again, it was the zig zags that I really didn't like. I should note that the hat is perfectly nice, but I am not sure it is my style. Once I weave in the ends and block it, my opinion might change.

I also started the Seasons of Lace KAL. I am knitting Seascape from Knitty. I don't know what possessed me to do this, but I am. I am using Knit Picks' Shimmer in Turquoise Splendor. It is 70% baby alpaca and 30% silk. I am really enjoying knitting with it. The color is just so pretty. I have knit several things now, but this shawl so far, is just so gorgeous. I have to stop at the end of every row and just enjoy my shawl so far. I know lace shawls are typically kinda ugly, since it is so scrunched up, but this shawl, if I do say so myself, is drop dead gorgeous. :)

Friday, June 20, 2008


I did it! I finished Argosy before it finished me! Okay, I still need to weave in the ends and block it, but I don't have to knit it anymore. I am so tired of ripping that scarf back to fix errors.

Here is what I didn't like about this project...

1. There were several knots in my Noro Silk Garden Lite, so I have more weaving than I want.
2. Umm, I can't think of anything else.

Here is what I liked about this project...

1. I became more comfortable with certain techniques like the cable cast on and ssk.
2. The Noro holds it own, so if I made a mistake, I didn't have to tink, I could rip back with no worries.
3. I look darn good in this scarf.

Since I finished my waiting for meetings project, I pulled out a WiP. I started working on Hermione's Cable and Bobble Hat. Although I love knitting hats, I got bored doing the ribbing, so I stopped abruptly. Well, while waiting for my lab meeting today, I finished the last 15 ribbing rounds (Another Ribbed Scarf got me in shape for this). I have gotten into the interesting part now. I have to admit that I really like cable work. I even enjoy an occasional bobble or two (never on a sweater though...::shudder::). I find cables and bobbles so magical, because you make them simply by "making mistakes:" twisting the order of stitches and knitting the wrong way.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Public Service Announcement

KnitPicks is having a huge book sale. All of their books are 40% off until August 8th. Since I bought the books I wanted, I thought I would let you know. ;) Hey, I am nice, but not that nice!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Quick Note

The beginning of the week is always so crazy for me. I spend my Mondays/Tuesdays/Wednesdays madly doing work I should have done over the weekend. I also have my clinic day on Tuesday that is spent testing a child for any number of psychological concerns. This kills the whole day then I am too tired in the evening to really do too much. I know this sounds mean to the child, but I am a pretty fun person and the children usually feel that time flies by. Seriously, I have had kids (during the summer) that have told me that they had tons of fun and name their favorite parts of the day (and I am not talking lunch but different tests).

Anyway, I was able to get some work done on Argosy. I am seriously near the end. I am sooo happy. I have honestly enjoyed (some) of my time knitting this, but I am ready to move on. I don't want to put it aside because I have too many WiPs. As I do my very necessary summer cleaning, I keep finding WiPs around the house. I looked behind my futon and found a bag of yarn AND an unfinished hat. I don't mind having a couple WiPs, but I would like to be able to name them all and know where they are. That isn't too much to ask, is it?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Knitting Weekend Update

This wasn't a super productive knitting weekend. I went to the Ripley's Believe It or Not museum in Orlando with some friends and then cleaned most of my apartment. I say most, because I successfully avoided my living room again. After pulling out all my yarn, I realized that I have a lot more yarn than room and don't know where to hide it properly. I need to hide it, because I need to keep all my yarn in ziploc bags, and the bags don't look glamorous. There are lots of bugs in Florida, and I don't want them crawling in my yarn. eek!

Argosy is coming along. I am almost to where I began ripping back. Although Argosy became a huge challenge since I took the needles back up, I have learned a lot with Argosy. I can read my knitting better and have fixed several mistakes (like forgetting a YO) without ripping back. I am now at a significant conundrum. I have almost made all of the repeats the pattern calls for, but I have enough yarn to go for a few more. Should I keep going? Since I still need to block this scarf, it is probably going to grow a bit. The question is how much. Should I keep going since I like long scarves or should I stop? Maybe more pattern repeats will cause the scarf to be too long for a lace scarf (since I like those to be a bit shorter than plain old ribbed scarf). ::sigh:: This scarf also reminds me that the only space available to block long items like scarves is the floor. Since I have a one bedroom apartment, I don't have too much space to keep empty (and therefore completely clean) for blocking. Hmmmm. Maybe I should start knitting this piece more slowly.

I have also worked on my ribbed scarf. I love this thing. It is so soft and comforting. It truly is my security scarf. Even though it is long enough, I am going to keep knitting it. It is just so comforting to knit. I think after I cast off, I am going to cast on another ribbed or garter stitch scarf. It is really nice to have some mindless knitting on the needles. Plus, even in the Florida heat, I can wear scarves (light, novelty scarves that is) from fall to early spring and not look crazy. I wear pretty much the same outfit every day (black/brown pants and some sort of pink blouse), the scarves would mix things up.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Comfort Knitting

It has been a very busy week! Even though the summer is supposed to be more laid back (1 class instead of 2-3), I still have a full therapy load, 1 full day in the child clinic (I test children for ADHD, learning disorders, autism spectrum disorders, and other mental health concerns), 1/2 day at an asthma clinic, research, and a stack load of meetings. For every patient I see, I have at least 30 minutes of supervision and then about 3 hours of research meetings. ::sigh::

What has been getting me through this? Two things. First, every night before going to bed I work on my blue, ribbed, homespun scarf. I love this thing. It is soft and cozy and a quite large at this point (I am determined to finish two skeins of homespun for it even if that is a bit excessive). It is like the security blanket I had as a kid but it looks far more presentable than my blankie. I am so amazed how mindless the ribbing is. When I knit this scarf in Fiesta years ago, I had to rip back a million times. I needed stitch markers to remind me when to switch from purl to knit. Now I can read the stitches and I can knit this while watching my favorite BBC shows. I will have to take a picture tomorrow for you.

The second thing that got me through this week was my new favorite podcast. Now I have been out of the knitting community for a while, so this might be old hat to everyone, but I will share my new find just in case you haven't heard of this podcast. On Tuesday I cruised iTunes for new knitting podcasts (my backload of Cast On is gone, so I needed something new for my daily school commute) and found the KnitPicks podcast. Now I was unsure about trying this podcast since it was company sponsored, but the popularity level was high, so I decided to try it out. Please keep in mind that I have only listened to the first 15, but here is my opionion about the show.I love this podcast. The show is only 30ish minutes, so it is the perfect length for my walking commute around school. The woman who does the podcast keeps a nice flow to the show. She talks about her own knitting, talks about different knitting techniques (I learned something new about ribbing!), reviews a few knitting books (I love this since I am a knitting book harlot), and sometimes interviews coworkers or big name knitters (I am listening to an interview with Ann Budd now). Yes, she does refer to knitpicks yarn regularly (she does most of her knitting with knitpicks yarn), but this doesn't bother me. At least in these early episodes I haven't felt like I am listening to a commercial.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Things that Go Bump in the Night

Although this is a knitting blog, I need to talk about things that go bump in the night right now. I live in an apartment complex, so I have to do the laundry in a common area. As you may remember from your college/apartment/Partridge Family days, you need to plan your laundry washing on everyone else's lives. I am a fan of doing my wash late at night or early Friday evenings. I don't mind missing out on potential social events, since me doing laundry means I have hit the dregs of my clothing (i.e. passing off a prom dress as being a trendy chic psychologist outfit). What I do mind are two things that go bump in the night.

The first thing that scares me when I am doing my laundry are the frogs/toads (I can't tell the difference...didn't read those Frog and Toad books when I was a kid) that come out at night. I am scared that I am going to step on one, squash it, and then fall on my bum. From afar the frogs and wet leaves look the same. Although the fear of frog slippage scares me, I feel if I remain vigilant I shall be safe.

The second thing, I must admit scares me much more. This is what keeps me from wearing my iPod while doing my laundry. This is what keeps me aware of my surroundings at all times. I am afraid of zombies. Yep, you read that right. Since I do my laundry at odd hours, there are rarely any people around. When I walk outside, it is like the beginning of a zombie movie: the surroundings look the same as usual, but everything is eerily quiet. If I see someone out in the distance I have to freeze for just a moment to see if he/she moves like a person or a zombie. What can I say? Irrational fears are my forte. I think I need to knit some sort of zombie talisman or is that an anti-zombie talisman?

Alright, I am going back to my classic talisman...brownies.

Knitting for Brains

This weekend, while getting over a horrible head cold, I watched a lot of BBC mysteries. (I am seriously contemplating moving to England just for the BBC channels.) Since Poirot and Holmes weren't available through the InstaWatch feature on Netflix, I decided to try some Miss Marple episodes. For some reason I am not a fan of the female detective genre, so I really wasn't expecting much. I think I read too many Nancy Drew mysteries when I was a kid and my annoyance with her spread to the whole world of female detectives. My issues with Nancy? 1) The girl was NEVER in school. I wished for the amount of holidays she had. 2) Her boyfriend Ned was NEVER around. You would think Bess and George wouldn't have been her only means of social support when she was nearly killed by some crazy criminal. Anyway, I heard that Miss Marple knit and thought I would give her a try.

I have to admit that I enjoyed the Miss Marple mysteries I watched. She is quite feisty and I could see her and Poirot getting into some interesting debates about a crime. I also liked the fact that she seems to be a slow knitter like me! She had the same piece of knitting throughout each episode and didn't appear to make much headway. Okay, maybe the actress can't really knit, but I like to think I have something in common with a brilliant detective mind.

So why am I talking about Miss Marple? In one of the episodes I watched (A Caribbean Mystery, or something like that), one of the characters keeps making derogatory references to Miss Marple and her knitting. At one point he says he can't believe she came up with such a brilliant idea since he thought she had "knitting for brains." This comment "knitting for brains" struck a cord with me. Would knitting for brains always be a bad thing?

Lace: I wouldn't want knitted lace or lace knitting for my brains. Holes, generally, are a bad things in the neocortex. I want all the brain cells I can get.

Stockinette: I would have to veto this too. Stockinette curls and I need a straight laced brain for school.

Cabled: I think I might lose some of the valuable information in my brain if all the information had to travel down curvy roads all the time.

Entrelac: All the information would need to fit into tiny squares or else organization would be a disaster. This doesn't seem like a good idea, since I am a big picture type of girl.

Good ole' Garter Stitch: If our brains were spread out they would be huge, so to fit in our tiny skulls, they are folded up and smooshed in. In a way, the folds are just like garter stitch ridges and valleys. If someone told me that my brains were like garter stitch, I think I would smile and say okay, because I knew they weren't too far off from the truth.

Ribbed Stitch: With ribbing, you can get even more yarn (a.k.a. brain cells) into a small place. If I wanted to be completely inaccurate (and I do since it is 2AM), I would say if regular people have garter stitch for brains, Einstein and his genius pals have ribbing for brains: far more brain cells in the same amount of space.

So next time someone tells you that you have knitting for brains either 1) smile and take the compliment graciously because you know that they were referring to ribbing or 2) smile and very innocently ask them what type of knitting they are referring to. ;)

Monday, June 09, 2008

Sick as a Dog

I have just gotten over a horrible cold. It was the type of cold that you drag yourself out of bed just to collapse on the couch in the living room and take a nap. I really need to buy stock in Alka-Seltzer Plus medications and Puffs with Lotion tissues. ::sigh::

As you may imagine I didn't start on the TKGA Master Knitting program this weekend. Before experiencing the worst of the cold, I did manage to hit Jo-Ann's and buy some Paton's Classic Merino Wool in white and Wal-mart and get a binder, page protectors, and a notebook. Once I finish the bulk of my schoolwork this week, I am going to start swatching or at the very least start with the research paper and questions.

I wasn't too sick that I couldn't knit at all this weekend though. I worked on my blue ribbed scarf. I got really far too! I knit almost an entire skein of Homespun. I have decided that I want to finish one of my WiPs each week or at the very least finish a large chunk of a project. I don't kid myself that I am going to finish a shawl in a week, but I could at least finish a section of it. I figure this is a doable goal, since several of my projects are pretty small (socks and hats, mostly) and with a little bit of attention, I could finish them). I really want to start some new projects (Pi Shawl, Birch, Icarus, etc), but I want to get some of the previous projects out of the way first. What can I say, raverly, is making me want to be more organized with my projects. (I started taking pictures of my stash and the organization side of me is wanting to make made love to this website. I realized that I officially have become addicted to this site, I think if something horrible happened to ravelry, I would fall into a deep depression. How did I keep my knitting/stash/projects organized before ravelry? I didn't. I didn't.)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Maybe Knitting with Wool Isn't Motivating in the Summer

I didn't work on Argosy today. Losing so much length really put a damper on knitting it. I pulled out a ribbed scarf I had been knitting. It is a pretty blue and knit with Homespun (Lion Brand). The Homespun gives the scarf a nice texture. I also convinced myself that working on the ribbed scarf is like prepping for the Master's Knitting Program. For some of my swatches I will need to knit some k2p2 and k1p1 ribs. If I can do good looking ribs in Homespun, I can really rock it with plain white yarn, right? :)

On other knitting news, I am doing the Seasons of Lace KAL this summer. I am not sure exactly what I am going to do. Maybe I will finish the Sampler Shawl from the Summer of Lace challenge from the summer of 2006! Okay, maybe I will start a new lace pattern instead. I don't like the idea of starting a challenge with an old project (unless that is the purpose of the KAL). I am not sure if I am just a snob or am using KALs to promote my severe startitis.

Ripping, Tinking, Frogging

There was knitting activity today, but sadly it went in the wrong direction. I ripped back to the row in which I didn't cast on 8 measly stitches. Although I was excited that I ripped back to my error as opposed to tinking back (I get really nervous I am going to lose my entire project), I was not pleased with the amount of ripping I had to do. Yesterday the scarf was about 3.5 feet long. Today, the scarf is 1 foot long. Yes, 1 foot long. I long about a skein's worth of knitting in a matter of 5 minutes. I am happy that I fixed the mistake and successfully ripped to where I wanted, but losing several feet of work does not make me a happy camper. Today has been a busy day, so I don't have pictures, but I will get some to you tomorrow.

In other news, I have recently discovered that I own more yarn that I thought. I know this is probably a common surprise for knitters, but really I don't have that much space. My stash list in ravelry is starting to freak me out a bit. I try to remind myself that my yarn can be split into three main categories: 1. yarn that was gifted to me (this is a lot of my acrylic yarn), 2. super pretty yarn that I figured I wouldn't be able to see in person ever again once I moved to Florida (this is my Fleece Artist, Lorna's Laces, and Rowan), and 3. yarn that I bought with a specific project in mind (keep in mind I bought most of this yarn right when I started knitting, so I have a lot of...what's the word?...decorative fur, eyelash yarn, etc...I still like the funky scarves one can make from it but I would prefer not to own several pounds of the stuff). I am exaggerating a bit. I have some reasonably nice yarn that is plain enough for tops, hats, etc. It was just a bit of a shocker to see all my yarn in one place.

I think this organization of my yarn has inspired me to starting using up some of my stash. Don't worry! The Fleece Artist will be treasured for a bit longer, but I think I will use up some of my acrylic yarn. I am thinking of looking into charity knitting groups. The yarn is a bit too rough for newborns, but maybe I can donate knitted hats to homeless shelters or something of the like. I love the idea of using up my stash, knitting fun new hat patterns, and helping others all at the same time! Now if I just had the time...

Monday, June 02, 2008

Tigger & TKGA

Not too much knitting got done this weekend, since I ran of to Walt Disney World on Saturday. There was a new ride opening at Disney's Hollywood Studios (Toy Story Midway Mania) that I wanted to try out. BTW, it was totally amazing and you should ride it if you are ever in the area. I also was able to have breakfast at my favorite restaurant at Disney (The Crystal Palace). The atmosphere is beautiful, the food is good, and you get to hang out with Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and Tigger. Tigger really liked my camera and took a couple of self-portraits.

In knitting news, I got my Masters Level 1 instructions in the mail. There are so many instructions! I am starting to feel a bit intimidated, but I have all the time in the world, so I am just going to take it one step at a time. I am going to start with some of the written work first to build up my confidence before knitting the swatches. I have knit swatches and whole clothing items before, but now that it is for "grade," I am shaking in my handknit booties. ;)
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