Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Or "Knitting into Obliteration"...

Oops, I am totally falling behind in posting. Computer trouble: no internet access/intermittent internet access, which culminated in three hours on the phone with the ISP and the computer manufacturer last night. I swear, I was going to kill myself (and it didn't help that I had to spend those three hours knitting and ripping out the finger parts in my fingerless gloves, but more on that later). End result is internet access with no firewall or virus protection--is that the best they can do?! Adding to the delay: moderately sick children (of course), and just everyday life getting in the way.

On the other hand, I finished my Socktopia Heart socks this past weekend. Yay! And they are faaaabulous! The color is phenomenal. They fit (I thought the instep might be too narrow)!! The pattern is somewhat hard to see, but I don't care 'cause I love 'em! I'm just going to block them, and then take my photographs and post them. Yeah, yeah, I've been promising to take photos of all the loot from the yarn crawls and of works in progress....

Speaking of yarn crawls, the afternoon before the King Tut exhibit, we hit Rosie's Yarn Cellar and Loop. At Rosie's, I picked up some sock yarn, Hand Jive Nature's Palette in Wheat (I thought it was time to test out a solid color so lace patterns could show up better (see Heart socks), and other sock yarn that has aloe or some moisturizer in it (I'll link to it when I find the name). Plus, I bought two sock books.

The next morning, before venturing home in the snow and ice, we hit Loop. What a beautiful store, with such beautiful yarns! I controlled myself and only bought the Wallaby Sweater pattern, because I've seen it for years, and everyone who makes it raves about it (which was confirmed by the woman who helped me). But I was tempted by the Alchemy patterns and the luscious yarns!

But back to knitting, or, as it is, knitting hell. So now, I have a whole two weeks before I have to knit another pair of Socktopia socks. Great! I can work on UFOs. I can even cast on a new project! And therein lies the trouble.

I picked up the Decadent Fibers baby blanket I bought at Stitches. I bought the peachy pink color, and it is lovely to work with. I gave up in December because the pattern is not clear. I tried it again. Several times. Still a problem. I have an email in to the Decadents, and they are ready to help me. So that's on the back burner.

There was another project, but I seem to have blocked it out. Or, it has been obliterated by the current problem with the mac & me Lobster Claws (Finger and Fingerless Gloves)a>. After the knitting troubles with the blankets, I decided to cast on the Lobster Claws in Lobster Pot cashmere in Salt Rose--gorgeous and delicious! I'm knitting on US 6's, and am making time, at least in comparison to knitting socks on US 2's. I decide to knit fingers (see earlier posts for reference to the cold sensitivity resulting from last fall's kitchen injury). I knit the pinky and ring fingers in no time, and you know what? The fingertips are unattractive. (There was a slight error in the pattern, too, but easy to figure out). I ripped and re-knit. Twice. Still unattractive. I decided to go the fingerless route.

I followed the directions exactly. For the pinky, I knit as directed: knit 3 rounds, knit round 4 k1p1, knit two more rounds, then bind off loosely. The k1p1 round makes my knuckle look bulky (I'll let you know later whether a third party would believe that to be true or it's a knitter's version of body dismorphia). The bind off does not roll back a la stockinette, even though that's how it looks in the picture. What the hell, I'm forging ahead. By the time I get to the middle finger, I get a hole when I pick up stitches. I think that happens when one knits gloves (this is my first foray except for the Rosie's Popover mittens, and I'm at the same point, knitting-wise, so I can't really say), but I'm sure I can find a way to circumvent the hole. Three hours and lots of computer and knitting anguish later, I have been unsuccessful. Well, that's what yarn tails are for, right? I'm thinking a trip to Angelfire Studios is in order to consult with Justine. Plus, I want to buy more Lobster Pot for a coordinating hat.

Oh, and I remember the project that I blocked out: the Koigu Daydreams blanket from Knits from a Painter's Palette by Maie Landra. The blanket is gorgeous. I was sucked in by my mother, who said we needed to knit it together, i.e., a family knit-a-long. She gave me the yarn which she bought at Loop and she pulled her yarn from her stash (apparently, my mother has recently become a Koigu yarn ho, because she is stocked!). I knit several rows of the practice square without any trouble, so I frogged it and just started the actual blanket. I cast on the 240 rotten stitches with my new technique, the knitted cast on. All knit stitches are knit through the back loop. It's so freaking tight! I don't have the right number of stitches, ever, except after casting on (though once I was short, even though I used markers every 20 stitches and counted obsessively). Three times, at least three times, I cast on, knit 1-3 rows and had to rip. I was beside myself. My mother said, "Honey, if it's not fun, don't do it. I thought you'd like it." I said, "Just you try it." Needless to say, she's run into trouble. So here's the plan: order additional yarn (ordered from Loop), knit on different needles (I though the points on my circular were not sharp enough for the yarn), and not through the back loop. I'm now waiting for my Knit Picks order for circulars for the both of us--I'm addicted to my Knit Picks double-pointeds and in the past hated metal double-pointeds--and my additional skeins to arrive from Loop. In the meantime, I'm actively not thinking about it, but I do not accept defeat.

And, despite my efforts, I have been unable to resist buying yarn. I bought two sets of A Swell Yarn's Duet Socks, and I am excited to try them out. Yarnahoy is suspending her shop for two months, so I bought some of the yarns I've been eyeing for weeks (a lot were gone by the time I got there). And I just know there's more coming.

I'm eyeing up Sheep Shop and Lanas Puras yarns at One Planet Yarn and Fiber. I want to make this Cabo Hoodie for the children. Cool, no? And there are some Sheep Shop sweaters I'm considering for myself, but that seems soooo ambitious. But isn't having a knitting life right now ambitious anyway?

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