Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bind Off Two, Cast On One or New Adventures in Ribbing

One of my Knitting New Year's Resolutions was that I'd have to finish two WIPs before I could start a new one.  That's ME knitting, not gift knitting.  If that was the case, nobody would ever get anything.  Right now I have a hat and a baby sweater that just need finishing touches (buttons, ends woven in...) and I'm knitting a shawl for my grandmother and a birthday present. And probably more I'm forgetting about..but I digress.

I did finally finish 2 WIPS: My sister's sweater (that I started last August, so it totally counts) that I managed to get to her almost in time for her birthday in May:

And the Owlie Socks that were last Socktober's Knit-a-long finished June 1:

As a reward for finally finishing two long term projects, I've started Mermaid, by Janel Laidman from her "Enchanted Sole" book.  Sound familiar?  Yes, I realize I am slowly knitting my way through the entire book. What can I say? I love it. I've had the yarn and beads for these socks for probably nigh on 4 years now. It has long been time to knit!

Here is what Mermaid is supposed to look like:

Twisted Ribbed "fin" feet and a pretty beaded "fish scale"  lace pattern at the top. Here's what I have:

About 3 inches of ribbing for the foot.  The pattern is cuff down, but (no surprise to anybody who knows me) I'm doing them toe up. The pattern is easy enough to reverse.  Plus, I started with 171 grams, so I want to see how far up the leg I can get) and I worry I may need to do extra increases over my calves.  It'll just work better for me that way.  It's how I roll.  Or knit. Whatever.

But here's the point I have been wanting to make all along:  see how the ribbing suddenly changes about halfway through?  Yes, I know it's there.  I'm ok with it, and here's why.  I never liked doing twisted ribbing (where you k1 through the back loop, p1) because I always felt like it stretched out the space between the ktbl and the p stitches.  Even going down a needle size or 3 didn't help. I hate how it looks when I knit it, though it always looks so pretty in other people's knitting. The twisted rib is pretty integral to "mermaid fin" look of this sock. So I started experimenting as I went along. I tried alternating between plain rib and twisted rib.  Nope.  I tried doing a twisted purl stitch instead. Nope. Finally, right at that line where the ribbing changes, I figured it out.  I twisted BOTH the knit and purl stitches. See how finally the stitches are closer together and not loose and, well, exactly how they are supposed to be?  That was the trick that worked for me.  The downside is that it takes FOREVER to do (which is the main reason I decided not to rip back the first inch or so. These socks are for me. Who's going to see it?)  That last inch of Really Twisted Ribbing (or so I've dubbed it) has taken me hours and hours.  I think the foot of the sock is going to take me longer than the lacy leg.  But I'm ok with it (for now. Ask me in another 3 inches.) because I've finally figured out what works for me, and that feels really good.

I'm still trying to finish up my next batch of WIPs in between gift knitting, hexapuffs and my Really Twisted Knitting. I already know the next project I want to cast on, if only I can bind off on a couple things first!

May you always get gauge,


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Don't You Just Love It When...

The designer sends an update to the pattern you're in the middle of?

ESPECIALLY if the update improves the pattern?  And REALLY ESPECIALLY if it's too late to go back and incorporate the changes because you have a deadline?  And it's laceweight?  And you're already on the second repeat of the lace pattern?

Oh well.  Next time. If there ever is one...

Monday, May 26, 2014

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 Knitting New Years Resolutions

Last January I posted this about my 2013 knitting goals.  I wanted to:
1. Knit more sock yarn from my stash
2. Keep my stash under 30,000
3. Card and spin my alpaca fleece
4. Knit a hexipuff a day
5. Finish up some UFO's

So, how'd I do?  Well, one out of 5 ain't bad:

654 hexipuffs! I knit my goal of 364 in 2013.  I got a bit behind with the holiday knitting, but I caught back up on my 5 day Christmas weekend.  Now it's habit, I'm going to keep it up.  It's possible I might even finish my BeeKeeper's Quilt this year, depending on how many more I need. I guestimated 1000, but basically I'm going to knit it until it's the size of the white comforter underneath.  However many that is!

And I didn't do too bad on my other goals, either. I barely touched my fleece but I did knit from my sock yarn stash. I didn't buy ANY sock yarn for myself in the past year.  I don't need to as I still have plenty to keep myself knitting socks for the next couple of years.  And I barely bought any yarn for myself, either. Almost everything I bought was stuff I needed for projects for craft shows or for other people, mostly my nieces.  Or I dyed the yarn myself.  And it really wasn't that much, either. My stash is over 30,000, I'm sure, but I'm not really keeping track anymore. It's still (mostly) contained. I'm trying to work my way through my Ravelry queue, which is all projects I already have the yarn for, and only buy yarn when I need it for something I want to make for someone else (since 90% of my stash is for ME ME ME.)  I've pretty much weeded out all the yucky yarn out of my stash. I will look again, but at my first perusal, I couldn't find a single thing to donate to our knitting group's annual yarn swap.  I'm kind of proud of that. I don't buy stuff I regret later.

I have made progress on some UFO's, but not anything substantial. I'm going to try to work on that again year.  But, since I really didn't do that great in 2013, I'm going to try to keep thing simpler this year.  So, my 2014 Knitting Resolutions are:

1. A hexipuff a day! 
2.  Bind off 2, cast on 1. 

The second is a new thing I'm going to try. I'm not allowed to cast on a project until I've finished 2 first. Maybe this will help with the UFO's.  I know it's pushing me to finish some things I have on the needles now because I have a serious case of castitis and really want to start a new project.  Like the Thinking of Spring Mittens I have the yarn for, but haven't been able to start yet.  They have robins on the hands.  Robins! I must knit these! But seeing as how NONE of my knitting Christmas presents are done yet and I'm having a sweater slog...

I'm going to extend BO2CO1 to spinning, too. I can't buy more fiber until I've spun 2 skeins.  Hopefully, it'll help me start to tackle my beautiful alpaca fleece. 

What are YOUR knitting resolutions this year?  And how did you do in 2013?