Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Trouble with Tomtens

(I am hoping this has some clarity. I am struggling with the crud from Hades. So I might not be completely clear.)

Who would have thought the Tomtem sweater pattern could be such trouble. Only for me it would seem.

The thing is basically garter stitch. With some very basic shaping.

Yet, I made a mess of the first one I did. I won’t rehash that one as I posted about it already.

So I am figuring I am smarter now. Of course the second one will be easier. I understand the basic intarsia I am doing. It will all be simple.

Yah. Right.

Lesson One:
Don’t intarsia in the dark.

I was watching some Battlestar Galactica at my sister-in-law’s. I didn’t want to have the lights on. I would be fine. Ummm. Not quite. Got to rip back 5 rows of work because switched the yarn at stitch 5 instead of 6. Whoops!

Lesson Two:
Just because they aren’t socks doesn’t mean you can’t create mobius strips

Yes. I managed to make a mobius sweater! *laugh* It was where the sleeve was supposed to go. With the pattern, you knit the body, then cast off stitches. You knit the tow front strips & the back separately. They are then reattached for the hood.

Seems when I reconnected them, I managed to twist one of the front panels. So there was a mobius strip along the front panel. Doh!!

When did I realize this? *After* I completed the hood & bound it off. This was also after I worked in all the ends. There were a lot of pieces dangling and thus I didn’t notice the mistake! I know. Not my brightest move. *laugh*

I *really* should have taken pictures!! It was that funny!

Lesson Three:
Pay attention when you pick up stitches

The sleeves are created by picking up stitches along the edge. Thing is, I picked up the stitches on the first sleeve at the bottom and back of the sleeve. It should have been the front and back. I got all the way to the end of the sleeve before I realized what I had done.

I pulled the sleeve off the body of the sweater, bound off the edge and will have to seam it to the sweater. I am knitting the second sleeve flat to match the first now. It will just mean a lot more seaming work which is my least favorite thing. *sigh*

I am truly blessed that I was in Maryland visiting my in-laws when the mobius section happened. My sister-in-law, Tee, is a knitting goddess!! When I went to see her, I cried “Heeeeeeellllllpppppp” and held out my knitting. *laugh*

I will confess, she took one look and laughed heartily. And I don’t blame her one bit!

(Though I was not laughing earlier in the day when I discovered the problem. In fact, I would have been swearing up a blue streak, but I was a guest in my other sister-in-law home. And she was sitting read not a few feet way. I really curbed my desire to throw it across the room and swear a lot. Though Jennifer is also an amazing sister-in-law. She gave me some of her high end chocolate to help me in my hour of need.)

Tee patiently sat down and asked about the pattern. When I explained, she suggested ripping out the hood. Being the lazy, I mean, ummmm, slow knitter I am, I wanted to avoid that. She warned me it would mean cutting it. I told her at this point, it was going to go on the frog pile if I had to redo it completely. So she went to work on it.

She placed a needle above and below the center point of the front section. She patiently snipped the yarn. Only to discover that I had woven in ends where she cut. It was why she chose the area, because it didn’t look quite the same! So she didn’t need to cut at all but I didn’t realize that I had woven in the ends there. Ooops.

She knit back the rows and then tried to bind them back together. However, when she did the standard Kitchener stitch, it left a gap. It appeared as if there was purling on a row that should have been knit with garter stitch. So she pulled it out and redid it in the garter binding. It looks really great! I am so happy with it.

On the plus side, she discovered a mistake I had been making. Zimmermann suggests slipping the first stitch of each row. Thing is, I was slipping it purlwise, but then wrapping the yarn around the back of the edge. So, I wasn’t getting the nice little V’s along the edges that the correct slip stitch would get. So the bright side is that I now know how to do that correctly. I have been practicing it with the sleeves and can see the difference. It will definitely come in handy when I go to tackle the alpaca cardigan. (Which I hope to cast on while on vacation.)

I am hoping the knitting woes were at least in part due to the crud affecting my brain. But heaven knows, I have made my share of mistakes before and will again. *laugh*

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Advent Knitting Calendar!

Too cool!

Finished Object Disaster

Well, it was bound to happen sometime, right?

I screwed up the Tomten sweater. In a big way.

I kept thinking while I was doing it that the sleeves seemed kinda small. But I figured it was just I am not used to looking at baby stuff.

I was seaming the sleeves this morning and knew they just weren't right. *sigh*

The light bulb went off in my head.

I double checked the pattern.

Sure enough. The sleeves say to decrease every 4 ridges. And I thought that was every 4 rows. So it is half the length it should be. *sigh*

In theory, I could rip back the sleeves and just redo the sleeves. But that isn't the only problem with the tomten. I was learning how to do two color work (technically, intarsia, but honestly, not that complex). I didn't realize there was a specific method to follow. So I was wrapping the yarn pretty haphazardly. So I made a mess of the front of the sweater. I wasn't happy with it as it was anyhow. I kept debating just pulling it all out but couldn't bring myself to do it.

I think the sleeves are just a sign to start over. I can do a much better piece and it will be something I won't be embarrassed to give away. *sigh*

Live and learn. Live and learn.

The good news is that I have time to get it done before Xmas. It only took about a week and a couple days to finish this one. And I have vacation starting Friday. So I will be off work. That gives me even more knitting time.

I have to confess. I haven't done squat with Jennifer's xmas socks. Then again, we haven't scheduled a time when we are going down to celebrate Xmas. So I know I have until at least mid-January to get those done.

I will cast on a new Tomten sweater today. I am hoping to spend my lunch with a coworker helping her learn to knit. I have already taught her some things. Thing is, one of her kids pulled her knitting off the needles. So I need to get it back on the needles for her.

I wish I had some extra circulars to lend her. I really do agree with Kelly at Knitpicks. They are great even for learning students. I listened to the podcast 28 which was about sharing the love yesterday.

Though I disagree completely about not having people start with a project. I *hate* not feeling like I am working towards something. I would rather have it be a mess, but doing something rather than working on something only to rip it all out. I love my sampler scarf. I love that I can see my evolution in knitting in it. I like having a project rather than nothing when I am done.

I think people differ a lot in what style of learning works for them. So it is never one size fits all. *smile*

Ah well. I have to get some work done today. Especially as I am taking off Friday through the New Year! Means lots of knitting time. *grin*

Friday, December 7, 2007

Two Xmas Pressies in Progress

I have two Xmas pressies in the works. One is for grand nephew who will be a year old in February. The other is for my sister-in-law.

Tomten Jacket

Cast On:
Sunday, Dec. 2nd.

Tomten - In Progress


Modular Tomten Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann
From Knitting without Tears
Need to buy this book (and probably all of Zimmermann's books). Took it out of the library.

TLC Heathers Teal (though really looks blue) & Barn Red
Picked up at Smiley NJ sale. Was $4 for 3 skeins. Cheap, but hey, it is machine washable. Good for a baby

US 9 Knitpicks Options 32"

Made for:
Denny aka Littlest George

Aiming for around 2 years old, but plenty of flex on size

I am making as an Xmas present for Littlest George who will be one in February.

The pattern doesn't have a lot of seaming which definitely appeals to me. It is pretty straight forward yet cute.

I am using blue for the body & red for the edges. The label on the blue says teal, but it really isn't. It is pretty blue.

I cast on the 112 stitches as the pattern says. I decided to just use 6 stitches on each side in the red rather than having to add a button band or such. I like the way it looks.

It is my first time with intarsia. It is interesting doing two colors. This is pretty straight forward. Though I wasn't doing it correctly in some spots. So the yarn peeks out where it shouldn't. Live and learn.

I didn't think anyone would notice other than me. However, Paul did. So I am overstitching it along the bad edges. But on the bright side, I have learned how to do intarsia now. Not sure I want to do it much. But it is good to know I can.

Modified Rushing Rivulet Socks

Cast on:
Saturday, Dec. 1st

Rushing Rivels Socks in 100% Bamboo Yarn

Generic Sock Pattern
Pattern taken from Rushing Rivulet (Riverbed Architecture) by Cat Bordhi

Sarah's Yarns 100% Bamboo - Hand dyed Undertow

Dharma Fiber Reactive Procion Dyes

US 1 1/2 / 2.5 mm Knitpicks Options & Harmony
2 socks on 2 circs method

Made for:


I am taking the Rushing Rivulet stitch pattern from the Bordhi book. Given I don't have Jennifer's exact measurements, I figured it is safer to work from a more standard pattern.

I was going to do a toe up sock so I could use all the yarn. However, Jennifer has a high arch. So my sister-in-law, Tee, who has made Jennifer socks suggested doing cuff down with a heel flap. She said it fits better for a high arch. So I am going with her suggestion.

Also, I am still not sure how much stretch/memory the 100% bamboo yarn will have. It feels like it will work well given the swatches I have done. I really should have made a pair for myself first in the 100% bamboo yarn to check the elasticity. But I want to complete these for Xmas.

I cast on 56 stitches. My swatch was 8 stitches per inch. So it should be 7 inches wide.

The weird thing was that it seemed smaller. So I figured I would increase my needle size. But after two repeats, it looks to be right around 7" wide. So I think it is okay. *crosses fingers*

I really hope they turns out well. I definitely like the yarn and I think she will too.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

New Pathways Formulas Spreadsheet & Numbers

It seems that the mround function I used in the original spreadsheet does not work on some computers as it is an add on.

I would still suggest using the original one if you can:

I have removed mround from one version of the spreadsheet:

The original rounds to the nearest 1/2 #. The one without mrounding doesn't do that.

Though I have the negative ease numbers in there, it seems that according to Cat Bordhi on the Raverly board, the negative ease should be built in. She says if they are coming out too large, you measured the wrong part of the foot. She said the midfoot should be smaller than the ball of the foot. So I need to remeasure mine.

I still haven't settled on what I want to do from the book! I am tempted by the Jeweled Step pattern. But I really don't want my first pattern from the book to be one where I have to mirror the steps of the pattern. Though I do think it would look good in the Lisa Souza Mars Quakes I have. Hmmm... Suppose I could do the Wild Things first. But...but...but... *laugh*



Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Xmas Wish List

Last year Lime & Violet did an Xmas wish list. They posted one to their site this year too.

I have to admit, I only gave a quick glance to last year's as I just started listening to their podcasts a few months ago. But it seem like their isn't a lot listed this year. Or maybe I am just more knowledgeable about what I want now.

So, I guess I should just do my own holiday wish list. Problem with that theory is that Paul is probably the only person who might shop from it. And he said he doesn't want to buy me knitting stuff. I wish I understood *why* he didn't want to get me knitting stuff. As heaven knows I would love yarn for xmas. *shrugs*

The only other person who asked what I wanted was my sister-in-law Jennifer. I tend to be better about surprises. But I did tell her to look at my Amazon wish list. I have a lot of the books I want on that.

But I don't have anything else on there. Of course, now that I am looking, there are multiple sites that offer to create wish lists. *smile* Seems I might have to tinker with that. If for no other reason as I would like to easily find things I want to buy after xmas. *grin*

It seems there is a site called that does wish lists. I have started playing with a wish list there.

I am sorely tempted to do The Seven Deadly Spins yarn club. I am going to write to see if they have any spots open. Maybe that can be my after xmas pressie to myself. *grin*

I should scoot... Maybe tomorrow will be calmer so I can actually post a bit.

Monday, December 3, 2007

More Finished Project Pics

Bulky Baby Kimono Sweater for Trinity

Cast On:
Monday, Nov. 19th

Saturday, Nov. Dec. 1st:

Bulky Baby Kimono Sweater

Bulky Seamless Baby Kimono by Jacki Kelly

US 10 Knitpick Options from Kit

Lion Brand Chunky USA in Napa Grape

Made for:
Trinity for Xmas

6-9 months

I have been looking for a free baby kimono sweater for while. I have looked at the Mason Dixon one, but there isn't anything else I want to knit in the book! So I was glad when I found this pattern.

This worked up really fast. I am hoping it will be a good gift for my grand-niece Trinity for Xmas.

I may add some of the crochet flowers I got in my Etsy Truck Sale bag to it. I think they could look cute. I will just use pins so they can be removed for washing.

Recycled Silk Drop Stitch Scarf

Here are the pics of the recycled silk drop stitch scarf:

Drop Stitch Recycled Silk Scarf

Drop Stitch Recycled Silk Scarf

Jaywalker Pics

Paul took some sock pics for me this weekend. Here they are.

STR Atomic 6 Jaywalkers - Front View


STR Atomic 6 Jaywalkers - Side View


STR Atomic 6 Jaywalkers - Top View

I am wearing them for the first time today. They are kinda challenging to get on. And the toe is too loose, so they aren't fitting right. Honestly, I should probably have frogged them, but I didn't.

They aren't my fav socks by any means. But I have learned a good deal. I will continue to wear them, but probably not very often.

I don't think I will do Jaywalkers again. I have to confess, I don't see what all the rage is about with these. *shrugs*

Still trying to figure out what pattern to make with my Lisa Souza yarn. Still haven't finished my swatch yet.

Though I am wondering what is up with my swatches! I found the STR was looser than my swatch. Then I am finding the bamboo is tighter than my swatch. I am not sure what is going on. I cast on Jennifer's xmas socks on Saturday. Did the cuff & 1 1/2 repeats. They are smaller than I anticipated. They will stretch to wider than I need, but I still think I am going up a needle size to make sure they fit. Weirdness.