Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Okay, I wrote this post about a week ago, and have been waiting to post until I had pictures. I even wrote notes on what the pictures would be. And a week later, I still don't have pictures. So, I'm going to post this now, without pictures, and will do my best to get pictures added soon. Maybe the knowledge that my incomplete post is sitting out in cyberspace will get me to take the pictures and move on. Sheesh.

Look at this! {insert picture of koigu socks}

I finally finished them almost a month ago, after they had languished three-quarters done in my closet for 2 1/2 years. What held me up? The fear of washing them! The yarn is Koigu, and people have debated endlessly on the various lists on whether the yarn is superwash or not. Now, I am not into socks I have to wash by hand. I know myself, and I know that handwashing just ain't gonna happen. So, I stuffed the poor unfinished socks away and (tried to) forgot about them.

Eventually I decided that they weren't doing any good in my closet. Many people swore up and down that they'd sucessfully machine-washed Koigu, so I pulled out my socks, and finished them up. Wove in the ends, wore them, and put them in my laundry bin. Guess what? They survived! And they're noticeably softer on my feet, too. I think I need more Koigu.

The pattern is Purl Lace socks, from Socks Socks Socks. I changed the heels to short row heels (just for the heck of it), and extended the pattern down the top of the foot.

After careful inspection ... {insert pic of Hadrian on sweater pieces}

I also finished this! {insert pic of Banff}

I knitted the rest of the sleeve right after posting last, and started seaming. Then, life got hectic, and I didn't do any needlework *at all* for several days. I'm surprised I survived without going into withdrawls or DTs.

It's not the most flattering shape in the world, but it's extremely comfortable, and very warm. I think this is going to end up as one of my favorite sweaters.

Pattern: Banff
Yarn: Merino Frappe

Monday, November 14, 2005

Stuck on the Island

According to Wendy, that endless period of working on the sleeves of a sweater is Sleeve Island, because you feel like you're stranded there for-ev-er.

Well, I'm working on Banff, and hoo-boy, have I been stuck! Banff is a super-mega-oversized pullover, and the sleeves look like the size of a normal sweater's back and front. It is knit on size 10 needles, so it's not quite as bad as it could be, but it's still bad.

And I tell you, this sweater is out to get me. It really is.

I knitted the first sleeve, giganto thing that it is, and I stopped at the end, and looked at it. And looked at the amount of yarn I had left. Did a little bit of frenzied math, and came to a scary conclusion. I didn't have enough yarn.

The pattern called for 770 yards, and I had 840. This means, to me, that I have enough. It's been a long time since high school math, but I'm certain they told me that 840 is bigger than 770. But, I have been doing this long enough to know that yarn amounts are approximate, often on both the pattern and the ball band. And typos happen. And Individual Mileage May Vary. So I shrugged, and re-wrote the sleeve pattern to be eight stitches narrower (which is, like, three inches).

And, took a deep breath, and ripped.

And then cast on, and started again. At the end of the sleeve this time, I had used a satisfyingly smaller amount of yarn. But then, last night, I got to here:

That is a second sleeve, and a yarn end. Out of yarn. Again.

I whined. I yelled. DH said, "Yeah, that's bad." (He knows his job here is sympathize and stay out of the way.)

So, today I took myself off to the LYS where I had bought the yarn back in January. I almost didn't bother to take a ball band, because I seriously doubted they'd have the same dyelot.

But boy, did I luck out! I found a ball in the same lot, and eagerly snatched it up to bring it home with me. Hopefully, this evening I will finish my third mega-sleeve, and will be able to sew this thing up.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Things I learned from shingles

1. It is nearly impossible to get a good look at your own back. No matter how much you twist and turn in the mirror, or how many extra mirrors you try to use, it is still not going to work. All I've managed to see is a big, angry, red spot. Which, fortunately, is turning into a smaller, mildly annoyed, red spot. (Lesson 1.1. While taking a picture of your back with a digital camera and then looking at the picture sounds like a great use of modern technology, it won't actually work unless you can figure out how to turn off the flash.)

2. Males do not look at such things the same way females do. At least, this is true of the males in my house. DH says, "It looks like a rash." The pets, of course, do not care about a red spot on Mommy's back. My back is not the part of me that feeds them, pets them, or throws the ball.

3. It is actually possible to get sick of wearing pajamas. My rash is right at my waistline, so the only way to keep my pants from hurting it was to walk around in my pj bottoms, whose elastic waist kept them from riding up.

4. It is silly to think that just because the only visible sign is a small rash, you won't actually be sick. After all, the chickenpox is a bunch of little sores, and that makes you sick. You should not try to do sudoku puzzles or applique while in this state, unless you want to undo it all again.

5. My new camera has way, way too many buttons and symbols. They are not self-evident. I am certain that one of those tells me how to set the camera to auto-flash, but the one that looked like it might did not. My inability to figure it out might be related to lesson # 4 above, but it might just mean that I really need to find the manual that came with the danged thing.

I seem to be on the mend. If my camera and I can make peace, I will show you pictures of the socks I finished. And of the new socks I started. Or not.