Hooray, I’ve finished my Gap Year Travels shawl. I cast off in a different colour, which was totally a design feature and not because I ran out of yarn twice (if you believe that, etc etc), ends are sewn in, and it’s currently awaiting blocking – I’m going to leave it pinned on the table overnight, I think. I do believe I’m quite pleased. Pictures tomorrow!
I need an editor to stop me from making horrible puns, don’t I? But it’s true, today I have been applying myself to plying two bobbins of handspun together. I haven’t done the whole lot yet, and there won’t be pictures because this is for the Limegreenjelly Christmas swap. Which means I don’t want my partner to see what I’ve been working on for her, mwahahah… eek, hope she likes it!
Other than that, I’ve also been (still) working on the “Gap Year Travels” Travelling Woman shawl… and I can’t remember if I mentioned this, but I’ve called my particular version of it Gap Year Travels because the colourway of the yarn I’m knitting it in is called Byron Bay. Which is somewhere I visited while travelling in Australia on my gap year. Anyway, I’ve nearly finished the shawl – ten rows or so to go, and I don’t think I’m going to have enough of the yarn left. Fortunately, I do have some solid blue that goes with it well enough that I can use it to finish off. I hope! If that doesn’t work, well, I put in that lifeline, so it’ll be easy to rip back without dropping any stitches. If a bit of a nuisance. But then I’ll definitely have enough yarn to finish off the edging chart.
In other news, marmite rice cakes are delicious. That is all.
When I’ve not been out (Tuesdays is the day I volunteer at the library) or on the computer today, I’ve been industriously knitting away on my Travelling Woman shawl. I’m determined to finish it soon! I am a little worried that I won’t have quite enough yarn, but I put a lifeline in so that I can rip back to the middle of the previous patten repeat (if you know the pattern, this is the logical place) if need be. No pictures yet, but there will be once I’ve finished. Go go go!
The last, oh, while, I’ve been feeling quite determined to finish off all the knitting projects I have sitting around partly done. Which is good! Right? Right. It feels like I’ve done more knitting this year than I actually have in terms of finished projects (though the Knitting Meter in the side bar tells me that I’ve knit 2023 yards in the last year… and I’m only putting entries into that when I either finish a ball of yarn, or a project). But maybe that’s because I still have seven projects on the go.
I had planned not to start any new ones until I’d finished several of those I had lurking. But well, best laid plans and all that. Mum asked me to make a couple of things for her, and then I finished my basic “portable project” socks, so I just had to start another pair for that purpose, didn’t I? And now Christmas is fast approaching… eek! Still, I am feeling more organised and purposeful about the whole thing. My knitting, I mean, not just Christmas. And bizarrely, I think a lot of that is because I finally made the decision to (temporarily) frog my Ishbel and restart it – probably after Christmas – on larger needles. I checked my gauge again, and I had 23½ sts / 4″ where I should have had 20sts. No wonder it’d come up so small, and the knit fabric was probably a bit too dense. I shall swatch again with 4.5mm and 5mm needles and see how it goes. Whether I’ll end up running out of yarn again I don’t know, but I’ll give it a try, anyway. I’ve weighed the re-wound ball, and it’s as it should be, so I assume the yardage is correct too. But the best thing is, I feel much better – obviously that one had been hanging over me without me even realising it!
Now, I know I’ve said this a thousand times, but I’m going to knuckle down and sew up my two “UFOs” – the jumper and the cardigan. I’ve decided that the pieces of the mohair jumper really do need blocking before I sew them, since mohair is so floaty, but at least now I have the table sorted out and ready to sew on.
So my plan is to finish my Gap Year Travels shawlette / scarf (which frees up the needles for whichever cardigan I go for, I believe), and also my Menace jumper (block, sew, crochet, block again). Then to start my Christmas knitting and… just keep knitting until I have finished stuff! I reckon that’ll work.
Isn’t it preeeeeeeeeetty? I know you can’t see it terribly well in that picture because it’s only some of the stocking stitch portion. But trust me, it’s lovely – the colour of ripe blackberries. The pattern calls for 300m of yarn, the skein was 365m. I used the suggested needle size because I liked the drape of the fabric that gave me, although it put my gauge a little bit off. That’s not important in a scarf, triangular or not, right? Well, I knitted all of the stocking stitch section, and thought I still had plenty of yarn. The I started on the lace charts: chart A, then B, then as I started A again I began to get a bit worried. I kept going though. Right up until I ran out of yarn with essentially 8 rows to go. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
Has my dodgy gauge has eaten more yarn, or something? I’m not sure that makes sense – I haven’t knitted more stitches, after all. I’ve got more stitches to the inch than I should have: that means that to get suggested gauge, I’d have to go up a needle size or two, thus making larger stitches, and therefore less per inch. My stitches are smaller, so they should be using less yarn, right? The resulting scarf must be a bit smaller than intended, that’s all.
As I see it, I have a couple of choices: rip out the whole thing (noooo!) and start again with different needles or yarn, or knit the remaining few rows in something else. But what? I only have this one skein of lovely Nimu ‘Striding Edge’ BFL, and I love the way it’s feeling so much that I do want to use if for this project. Bah. My first instinct is to edge it in a black yarn, since it’s such a dark colour to start with. But the only black yarn I have in what to my naked eye looks like a comparable thickness (I mentioned that it’s a very squishy sockweight, and it’s relatively loose-spun) is acrylic DK. No. I also have some similarly squishy sock yarn by the Yarn Yard – their merino ‘Hug’ yarn, in a couple of colours that might do:
[thumb:906:c:t=Mysterion][thumb:612:c:t=Damson][thumb:823:c:t=Damson knit up]
I don’t know which, if either, would be better though. So I’m posting a poll. Help meeeeeee!
You know what’s really annoying, though? This is the fourth time I’ve run out of yarn on a project recently. I must be doing something wrong.
Since I don’t think I actually posted here when I finally finished Mum’s birthday shawl, I shall do so now! I was almost a year late giving it to her in the end, so instead of it being finished for her birthday in April 08, it was finished for Mother’s Day in February 09. The border had taken me *so* much longer than I anticipated, and then I had blocking anxiety so it took me ages to screw up the courage to do that in case I messed it up! But the finished result was worth all the work:
Actually, I don’t think I ever put put the project stats here for this, since it was Sekrit Knitting, so here they are now:
And would you believe, this shawl is now almost-famous? Our knitting group was in the Readers Projects section ofmagazine, issue 7, and this shawl was one of the ones we sent off to them to feature. Hee!
So, back in March I made some bloggy resolutions about what I intended to do for weekly posting goals. Obviously, I haven’t kept those up… and then I started feeling like I was in catch-up mode all the time with myself, and oh noes, panic!! Which is bad, since this blog isn’t supposed to be a duty! Therefore, I have Made A Decision: I’m giving myself permission to “give up”. In actual fact what that means is that I’m going to forget about Project 365 this year, since taking the photos already wasn’t working out – maybe I can go again another year, but I’ll see how it goes. I’m still going to do the Friday 5 whenever I feel like it, but not necessarily every week. I am going to try to post more about knitting and spinning and things in general. This way, it’s more of an adjustment of my goals to something more realistic, rather than really giving up.
Another thing that I’ve decided to let go of is taking strict part of the Sock Knitter’s Pentathlon ’09. I haven’t been knitting very fast this year, and I’d ended up knitting nothing but those socks and still not finishing them. It all got a bit too much like hard work! So even though I love the patterns for the first two socks, and I really like the look of the third one which has recently been released, I’m not going to start #3. I do intend to finish the first two socks, but not as my most immediate projects. Instead I’m going to go back to my other knitting works in progress and try to get those finished off. They’d been pushed back while I was knitting just socks. That’s meant that I’ve now almost finished the shawl I’ve been making for Emily (I’m casting off at the moment, but that’s deadly boring so I’m just doing a few stitches at a time then putting it down again *g*). And I’m really looking forward to picking up the projects I’ve been neglecting and making some real progress on them. Hooray! I don’t even feel like starting something new, because my old projects are almost like new ones by now.
I’m also thinking about giving in using Coppermine for my photo album software. Yes, I’ve been using it for years on this site, so it seemed like a more sensible decision to keep using it and integrate it with WP rather than migrate to something else. But there’s a good photo album plugin for WP, and the integration plugin for Coppermine doesn’t do precisely what I want it to do – it’s a great plugin, and it’s probably perfect for everyone else… but I’m picky! Also, I do have to do some tweaking of the source code every time it updates because of the way I have my Coppermine set up, and… well, in the long run it might just be easier to change to using something more integrated with WP. It’ll mean not having to theme Coppermine to match WP, too. I’m going to ponder it a while more, but I expect I will change over.
Why am I mentioning this, when no-one but me cares? Because it kind of fits the theme of the rest of this post: I’ve been hanging on to some things that I should have gracefully given in on a while back. Letting go and making a few small changes will make things easier. Note to self: change is good, and giving up on something doesn’t necessarily equate to failure. There we go, that’s my deep personal insight for the day. Now I shall stop rambling, let go of this post and send it into the big wide world (= hit the publish button)! TTFN.
I meant to post these weekly, but I’ve gone and slipped up already. So here are another two week’s worth of Project 365 photos. They’re also up at Flickr in my Project 365 ’09-10 set and in the Project 365 album for this year in the photo album here (you can see the great-big full size versions there). This time I’m going to put the medium-size pics up here rather than the thumbnails and put some comments in as well. Ideally I want the medium pics to link to pop-ups of the full size versions, but the plugin I’m using to integrate the blog with the photo album is being a bit temperamental about that. But with a bit of luck that’s what I’ll get. Here we go:
Continue reading “Project 365, 22nd March – 4th April”
Oops again: I managed not to blog for yet another whole month, and missed my 8-year Blogoversary in the bargain (thanks for the ‘versary wishes!). So what have I been doing?
Well, I’ve done a couple of websites for my brother and another group in his year at uni, for one of their group projects (no, I wasn’t doing the work for them! They’re allowed to ’employ’ people for various jobs that they can’t cover themselves in the group). Gave me a chance to do something new-ish with embedding streaming video and audio, and play with some CSS3 as well. Hooray!
Talking of websites… I still haven’t got the redesign for this one sorted out. Really must buckle down and do that. I had to delete the (MT) search script for the blog because it was being hammered with spam and overloading the server… hopefully when I switch over to WP I won’t have that problem. However, I want to get the new design done before I change over (so I don’t have to faff around turning this one into a wp theme as well), especially since I’m going to be running the whole site apart from the photo album through it.
Other than that, I have got some knitting done: I finished Em’s mittens, and I’ve even managed to blitz through the rest of the WFS [RavLink], which is actually Mum’s birthday present… from last year. Ahem. But it’s done now! All except a bit of weaving in, and the all-important blocking, that is. I’m thinking I’m going to evict the cat from the bedroom tomorrow, clear off the bed, and use that for blocking it on. If it doesn’t get dry in time, I can always sleep on the sofabed for one night. I’ve actually been quite organised with my knitting so far this year: I still have several unfinished projects, but I’ve put most of them to one side and worked on just two or three… which has meant I’m finishing, or getting towards finishing things! My final pair of SKP08 socks, and the gloves I’ve had hanging around for ages with just one done are both well on their way. No pictures today, though. Site redesign first! Off I go again to work on that :-)
… That is the question. The other question is, hey where did the last week disappear to? Bzuh?? I know I was quite busy, but I didn’t realise it had been that many days since I posted last. Whoops! My Secret Pal package did arrive on Monday as expected, and yay, it’s awesome! But I’ll babble about that more in a separate post, because I haven’t uploaded the photos yet.
What I am going to babble about now is my frogging dilemma. See, I’m about 10-15% into my Forest Canopy Shawl, and it’s very pretty and all. But I’m not quite sure that Eva is the best yarn to use for it. It’s gorgeous and shiny, but it hasn’t got as much elasticity as an all-wool yarn, which means that the sl1 k2tog psso decreases look a little baggy. I’ve hibernated it anyway until I’m done with my Christmas knits, so I was thinking that maybe I should rip it. Because it also occurred to me that Eva would make the most beautiful Clapotis…
I know, I know: everyone and their dog / cat has already made a Clapotis, and I’m the last person in the world to jump on this particular bandwagon. You know, I wasn’t even particularly enamoured of the pattern until I started thinking how well Eva would suit it. And suddenly, it clicked for me. Well, I’m late to everything else, why not this too? It really would show off the yarn soooo well. As for the Forest Canopy? Well, I have a skein of PY Emily in some lovely shades of green that strikes me as rather… forest-y. Is that too predictable? I think it’ll look good, though, and I like green. So there ;-) Plus, I’m pretty sure that it’ll knit up better Emily. My other choice would be YY Merino, or possibly Sock, but I don’t have a colour in either of those that I want to use for the shawl, unless I used the YY August club yarn. But I have that earmarked for a particular sock pattern, so I don’t think I will.
I have another frogging dilemma as well, although this one is less of a real dilemma. A couple of years ago, I started knitting a zip jacket that was actually a man’s pattern by Debbie Bliss featured in Simply Knitting mag. Well, I say I started knitting it. I went out and bought the yarn (a substitute, but pretty well identical: Sirdar Denim Sport Aran instead of Debbie Bliss Denim Aran), and cast on. Aaaaaand that’s as far as I ever got! I spose I was distracted by other things (this was right before Dad’s accident) and somehow I never picked it up again. And then, in the most recent issue of Knitty, I saw Mr Greenjeans. Ooooooo, I thought. I like that! My first idea was that I could maybe use some Jaeger Matchmaker Merino Aran that I have lurking in my stash for it – it’s a lovely dark green colour, and I’ve been wanting to find something to use it for for ages. But when I double-checked, I don’t have enough of it. D’oh!! (One of these days, I might pick up some complementary yarn and make a Tubey with it. That would be nice.) So I kind of figured I’d have to give up on the idea of that cardigan for a while, until it suddenly struck me that I have that Denim Sport Aran sitting around not being knitted. Was I really ever going to knit the zip jacket? Probably not. So I think I’m going to use that yarn for the Mr Greenjeans instead. The only thing that’s vaguely bothering me is that I’m not 100% sure the yarn is actually very me. Will I wear a blue denim-effect cardi? Oh, I spose I will. I could think of it as work clothing! At-the-computer attire. After all, it won’t show the cat hair as badly as all my black clothes do. *g*
I spose that’s decision made, then. Zip jacket thing: Frog, and re-purpose the yarn as a Mr Greenjeans. Forest Canopy: Probably frog, re-purpose the yarn as a Clapotis, then re-start with the green PY Emily. Hoorah! (This isn’t helping my startitis any, you know….)