Monday, April 27, 2009

Sweater Blocking photos

This is a close up  of the stitch patterns.

Here's one sleeve. As you can see, it only has the dark blue on the cuff. I like that.
Now the back. I have already attached front to back at the shoulders. It made blocking a little trickier but I managed. 
The fronts.
The entire sweater, blocking on the back deck. It was lovely outside by that time of the day.

This is my new project - I have swatched for the Elemental boatneck in IK.( I have not abandoned the white cotton sweater for DH but I need something else to knit for hand and wrist rest and for my sanity. Ribbing, it seems, is even more boring that stockinette. I suppose that's because I have to pay attention to it instead of being able to knit on autopilot.)  Here is my swatch.

These are the photos on the IK site and in the magazine. They seem to be the same thing.

The charts in the magazine, however, would have you knit something else. I am knitting what is in the photos. I did try the charts but didn't like the pattern that resulted. The twisted rib chart, for instance, appears to tell me to k1tbl, K1 and repeat. No purl. I tried it but didn't like it.

The linen stitch chart tells me to K1, K1wyf, k2 and repeat for the first row. I tried that and didn't like the way that looked either, so I reverted to the linen stich I have seen before - K1, K1wfy repeat. Much better, and, I believe, what is in the photos of the garment. I have emailed IK but haven't heard from them yet. I also emailed the desinger but haven't heard from her yet, either. It was the weekend, so I have to be more patient. The lace chart appears to be correct. I hope the rest of the instructions are right, and that I have hit all of my major snags in this project at the beginning. ; )

ETA I just had confirmation from the designer that I was right about the charts- they are wrong. The designer says that she submitted the patterns without charts- the stitch patterns were written out, not graphed. Now I am free to knit. Yippee!

It's my birthday so I plan to take it easy, rest my foot and enjoy the day with knitting in hand.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

April 25 was a great summer day

Well, I was a bit surprised by the temperature yesterday but loved being out on the boat in it. It was mostly sunny, a few clouds passed us by but it was not so hot that we were uncomfortable. No luck fishing but we spent a wonderful day on the water. We managed to escape being caught on the water during the thunder storm that was unexpected by us and passed very close. We were back at the dock and had our stuff unloaded when it came through. Lightning on the water is very dangerous. Frequently, you, on the boat, are the highest thing around - not what you want to be during lightning. LOL

I just put my blue striped sweater pieces in to soak in preparation for blocking! I also put both boatneck swatches in for a soak. I can't wait to get started on that. I discovered a few problems with the charts, though. More on that once I have official confirmation that what I think is wrong is actually incorrect.

Laundry has been washed and put on the line to dry. Carpets have been vacuumed - one more to go. I plan to settle on the swing on the back deck and knit away on Bob's sweater - I am working on ribbing at the bottom edge. I plan to do 3 inches, so it will be a while. Then I have to decide whether to knit the sleeves from the shoulder down or the cuff up. I prefer the shoulder down, but I had trouble picking up the right number of stitches on the sleeve before and I thought it might be easier to just knit form the cuff up and worry about fitting the sleeves into the openings later. More thought needs to go into that. First the bottom edge ribbing.

I am off to block sweater pieces. I may have photos later of that. For now, have a great evening.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Summer is coming tomorrow

I scraped ice off my windshield at 6 AM and tomorrow I will be wearing shorts and a T shirt on the boat. Very weird. But nice. I am ready for some sunny, warm weather.

I started the shaping for the armscye of my Blue striped sweater last night. That means the end is in sight! Within a week or so I should be finished with the knitting and be seaming the pieces together. I am anxious to see this sweater finished and wear it.

We plan on some boating tomorrow. DH and eldest son wanted to go striped bass fishing and I agreed to go with them. That was a great leap of faith on my part because I agreed several weeks ago when spring was still new. I am looking forward to some quality knitting time in the sunshine. I'll be working on DH's white cotton sweater and, I think, my grey striped vest. Sock and lace knitting is hard on a boat - too much rocking for such fine yarn.

ETA I went to my LYS today and bought yarn. I think I will be swatching tomorrow.  I like the IK pattern for a linen stitch top made with Hemapthy. I have been wanting to knit with that yarn for quite a while. Now I have the perfect reason to buy it - and I won't even have to do any finagling with the pattern because Hempathy is the yarn used for the project. How lucky was that?! The yarn I bought is #28 - a pretty blue green color. I was pretty sure that I would buy the deep purple - I like it a lot. But when I held the colors to my face in the light, the other color was more flattering on me. I actually used common sense and bought the color that looked better instead of the one I wanted just because.   ; )

I have another project in mind to make. Believe it or not, I am planning to make this sweater from The reason it may be hard to believe is that it is knitted with sock yarn. Not doubled.  Sock yarn. The designer used Trekking and I like that yarn a lot, so I may use it. Another choice is Araucania Itata  in either the turquoise and blue colorway or the purple, grey, cranberry colorway. I am just not sure which one to use. The Trekking will cost less and I know how it will last. The Itata has silk and bamboo in it and shines.  Well, that decision does not have to be made today. 

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival take place in a couple of weeks. I can't wait! I do enjoy browsing and being inspired. I have learned to make a list, set my priorities and stick to them. As much as possible, anyway. I am human, after all. ; )

I enjoy the Skein and Garment display as much as the shopping, and the sheep to shawl contest is cool to watch. Sheep to shawl begins with the shearing of a sheep in the early morning, followed directly by spinning of the fleece (yes, it is dirty) and weaving into a shawl of a pre-determined design. Very cool. There is a spinning gathering in the evening on Saturday that I hope I will have the endurance to sit through (because of my foot). I enjoy spinning but I also enjoy looking at what everyone else is doing. I will be taking the following Monday off from work. I learned that the first time I spent an entire day at the festival.

Enjoy your weekend.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Long Island weekend

I went to NY to visit my mother this past weekend. She lives on Long Island, which is where I grew up. It's a great place to visit but I am glad that I don't live there any more. A lot of people are very nice, but there are a good number of people who are rude, pushy and obnoxious, who behave as if they think the world owes them treatment befitting royalty because they have *money*. The beaches are very nice, though, and it's hard to live more than 40 minutes away from a beach, no matter where you live. I love the beach.

I visited with several of the neighbors that I grew up with while I was there. It is usually fun to see how "the kids" on the block grew up. There is a guy across the street, though, that I had a whopper of a crush on while I was a teenager. I showed it, too, and I get embarrassed when I see him, thinking about my behavior then. He is now living with hie mother (and has been for over 15 years).  I am so glad that I married the man that is my husband. 

Mom and I went to the beach after I arrived on Sat. It was sunny but very windy, and I can't walk far at this point on my sore foot, so we chose a bench in the sun and we sat and chatted, watched the people walk by and I knitted (sleeves for my sweater). Our departure was delayed a bit by the fact that Mom discovered she had locked the keys in the car. Her spare key was in the car also. She had locked the doors, then put her keys in her purse, which she later decided she didn't need and locked into the truck. Oops. I called my brother (Mom's cell phone was also in the trunk. LOL) and he came with a coat hanger to try to get the door unlocked. It didn't reach. He had gotten a not-quite whole hanger from his landlord since he doesn't own any wire hangers. Several people stopped to offer things in their cars that might reach, but nothing did the trick. Poor Mom felt terrible and was freezing cold at that point. Finally a man came with one of those metal stakes that they use to keep snow fences in place, and that was long enough. My brother was able to reach in through a slightly open sun roof and hit the unlock button. (We were unable to get anything between the window and the frame of the car.)

We then toured my brother's new apartment (he just moved out of his previous living quarters) and headed home. We had a yummy dinner out, good conversation and a funny waiter. 

On Sunday we went shopping for my birthday gift from Mom. We went to Chicos and shopped the sale racks. I found some really good deals and made several purchases for myself in addition to what Mom gave me. I bought a denim jacket with some pretty embroidery on it, 2 paris of slacks for summer (they are not jeans, but casual pants in with a jeans styling and a little bit of embroidery on the back pocket), a white on white pin striped shirt, a cotton tee and a pair of work slacks. What a haul, and for just about $200 total! (the total includes what Mom bought for me and her expenditures). The quality of the clothing is very good. I do not use dry cleaners, and so I put everything in the wash machine. This stuff holds up to that kind of care, and that's what I need. It is worth spending the extra money for the clothing when it holds up well to wear and tear. (I will take the embroidered jacket to the cleaner. I am not stupid) I plan to try to dress nicer in the future. I think I should not be wearing jeans, running shorts and sweatshirts as often as I do. I can dress comfortably and look nicer (and more age appropriately) in most cases and save the jeans, etc. for around the house working.

After we rested our (my) feet a bit, I headed home. It's just about 200 miles, and I thought I would be driving the last hour or so in the rain, but I actually made it home before it started! Luck was with me for sure.

My foot hurts a lot today. I know that I did too much standing over the weekend (standing seems to hurt more than walking) but I think it's actually the weather - cold, rainy, damp - that is making it hurt. My sinuses are acting up, too. I plan to stay inside and keep my foot up. That means computer working and knitting. yippee!

Over the weekend I worked on the sleeves for my sweater, Bob's white cotton sweater and a sock. It's the same sock I've been working on, but when I tried it on to see how tall it was before deciding when to bind off I found that the foot was way too long. I ripped back right away, before I could think about how long it had taken me to knit that far. There is absolutely no point in making socks you won't be comfortable wearing. And I love the colors too much to give them away.

There is really nothing to show you in photos, so I won't bother. It's just more of the same. Maybe by the end of the week I will have made enough progress to justify pictures. Maybe I will be able to finish my sleeves by then. That would be excellent.

We plan a fishing trip on Saturday to Annapolis and point south. Bob and Robert want to try early striped bass fishing. I will go along for the ride.

It is almost Sheep and Wool festival time! This will be the last S & W with Karen (unless I can convince her to come visit me every May). I plan to look for sweater quantity yarn, so I have homework to do between now and then. I would like to find a sweater pattern that I want to make, one each using worsted, sport and aran weight yarn, so that if I find yarn that calls to me, I have a specific project to buy it for. If I fall in love with aran weight yarn, for instance, I want to know how much I need to make a specific sweater. It will also help with color choices to know whether I will be knitting lace, cables, texture or whatever. I hope to avoid buying too much fiber, since I have quite a bit of it, unspun, in the house. I would be interested in buying enough for a pair of socks, though. Another possibility would be something I love the hand of in a pretty color for a shawl - something for at home to keep warm in, not light weight and fancy.

Once my foot improves I plan to get back to my spinning on a regular basis. I have projects in mind for my fiber and don't spend enough time spinning the yarns for them. I'd like to finish up the knitting projects I have going right now (I am thinking of Bob's sweater, my sweater, my vest) and then concentrating on spinning a lot more and having only 1 or 2 knitting projects in the works at once. I'd like to finish spinning the purple wool/silk fiber so I can knit my shawl. I'd like to finish the blue fiber I have on the wheel now (it's about 4 oz.) and knit the mittens I have in mind for that yarn. I would then like to spin sweater yarn. I haven't yet worked out the details (number of plies, weight, etc. because I only have a general idea of what I want but I do want to get to work on that. I purchased that fiber last year at S & W, still like it and want to use it.

It is lovely to move the wheel out on the deck on nice days and spin in my back yard. We have an elevated deck and so I can look out over the yard, garden, etc. and listen to the birds while spinning or play my favorite music or even an audio book. There will be lots of time on the boat for me to get in enough knitting to satisfy that urge, and I can't spin on the boat. I did spin a little last year, but it's hard. Even a drop spindle doesn't work too well because of the dampness and the need to keep my balance while spinning so as to not go overboard. ; ))

Friday, April 10, 2009

Knitting content

I worked 10.5 hours yesterday. I intended to work 4-6 hours since I am still recovering from my foot surgery. My foot has been elevated all day today. I haven't been this sore since the first week after surgery. I've been catching up with blogs but plan to hit the recliner and do nothing but knit after this post.

I have completed both fronts and most of the back on the blue striped sweater. I mis-read the shaping directions on the fronts and bound off too many stitches so I will have to re-knit just the top (above the arm holes) sections of each front. That will not take long, though, so I hope to have front and back joined this weekend and begin the sleeves. The back has less than 12 rows to go.

The Honka double knit scarf has gotten longer but I did not photograph that. The sock is much longer, now. I plan to knit about 2 inches of ribbing, depending on how much yarn I use up in that effort.

I still love the colors.

The grey striped sweater has not grown at all since I started the blue striped sweater. Shame on me. Bob's white cotton sweater has grown, though. That's a pat on the back. I have not yet resumed work on Laminaria. That's mostly because now that I am back to work, I am tired towards the end of the day and afraid to knit on it while tired. It's also because I am in love with my new sweater.

It's along weekend for me due to the Easter holiday. I hope to enjoy some good weather, some outdoor knitting time and to get some housework done that hasn't been done since I had surgery. Bob is great, and actually eldest son has been great also, helping out with things, but they just don't see what I see needs doing. I am by no means a clean freak - I am very laid back when it comes to house cleaning. There are some things that need to be done, though. If my foot recovers from yesterday. Right now I can't even get it into my 2 sizes too big sneaker that I bought just for this purpose. Rest and elevate. Toes as high as the nose. That's what's in store for me for the rest of today. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

I am back at work

That's about all I have the energy for at this point. More another day. Groan.