Month: February 2014

wip it good

David’s sweater is still the big WIP elephant sitting on my chest. I finished the re-do of my godawful mistake, and you know what? It went okay. Not perfect, but okay. This is technically my first adult sweater, I haven’t cried (yet) while knitting it (knitting an adult sized sweater without breaking into tears is one of my life goals) and if I made the thing perfect David probably wouldn’t be able to wear it until next January. I’m finally onto the sleeves (which, mercifully, I made the wise decision to knit both at once). I’m definitely suffering from ennusleeve. Saaaave me. Or I could just save myself by powering through this thing and getting it done. If people can poop themselves and still finish a marathon, then I can knit two sweater sleeves (without pooping myself, hopefully) and be okay.

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Another thing I’ve been working on: the Spiral Cowl, which is serving as a really great reminder as to why I hate patterns with lots of YOs on DPNs. Why do I do these things to myself? Whine whine.

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In other news, I am really ready to knit something that is NOT a neutral color. Except for my weird obsession with grey, I am not a neutral colors sort of gal. This is exacerbated by the whole totally-sick-of-winter attitude I’m rocking. I think my ginormous post boards/neutral gift knitting overload reward project will be the Clarity cardigan, in a nice bright green (I already have the yarn, courtesy of my very lovely seester).  Mmmm, can’t wait.

alas (earwax)!

Do you ever have that moment when you’re making something, and things seem way hunky dory and you feel just the teensiest bit (okay, maybe very) smug about yourself? And then is that moment swiftly followed up by the horrible catastrophic realization that you’ve made an enormous mistake?

So that was my Sunday night.  I had finished the left front of David’s cardigan and I was about to start on the sleeves when I decided that I just had to see how all the pieces looked when they were arranged as if they had already been seamed.  So I laid the fronts on top of the back and aligned the shoulder seams and cables, but for some reason the left front cable panel just would not match up with the back.  Then it dawned on me. I had knitted the cable panel for the entire left front in the wrong place. I knitted it IN. THE. WRONG. PLACE.  I wanted to set something on fire (read: myself. I wanted to set myself on fire, and not in a deep way like in the Stars song, but in a real, angry, orange-flames-y sort of way).

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a beautiful, complete, WRONG left front

Because I couldn’t take the emotional trauma of knitting the whole fricking thing over again, I decided to try some sweater surgery and intentionally drop the 19 offending stitches all the way down to the end of the ribbing and knit them back up again, this time with the cables in the right place.  I’m about six inches into the surgerizing process and things seem to be going…okay?  It’s actually only slightly noticeable, and I think that after the first washing it will disappear entirely.

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  oy. vey.

 

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better. ish.

Obviously my Ravellenics goal for finishing the sweater by Friday is out the window (it was kind of out the window before I even noticed the error, but let’s just pin this all on the mistake so I don’t feel so guilty about not finishing), but I suppose there are worse things in the world than missing a self-imposed and completely artificial deadline.

hello captain obvious.

This post serves as a PSA for all knitters who have not discovered the obvious excellence of blocking. Because I was one of them until very recently.

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A while ago (like a year and a half ago), I knitted the Rib Lace Scarf/Cowl while TA’ing a class that involved a lot of sitting in the back of a lecture hall. (Also, it was summer and it was too hot to do anything except go into work early and leave late so I could sit in the air conditioning, and what else was I going to do but knit?) Anyway, I finished the thing probably in mid-July, and then immediately stashed it away because just looking at it made my palms get all sweaty.  When I pulled it out again in the fall, I remember thinking, “Wait. I don’t like this. Why?!” I’m only a little embarrassed to admit that the answer (“because you didn’t block it, ya big dummy”) did not occur to me until three weeks ago. Dur.  To celebrate me coming to my senses, as well as Chicago’s warmest day in the past two weeks (it was 19 F this morning and my face felt positively WARM), David snapped some pictures of me outside in the snow.

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The good news? I am now obsessed with this and I want to wear it all the time. And I will never not block again.

Also shown: my most amazing super duper warm hat from my amazing big sib Phoebe.  She knitted this with yarn from her dad’s alpacas. Yes, her dad owns alpacas. This is only one of the many reasons I like her so much.

i wasn’t going to make valentines…

But then I had an idea. An awful idea.  A wonderful, awful idea.  So if you know me in real life, and potentially even on the Internet, my humor tends to err on the side of the absolutely foul and completely bizarre (read: you’ve been warned – continue at your own risk).  Case in point: one thing I find particularly amusing is cat buttholes (aka dirt stars, an attractive moniker my sister shared with me).

IMG_7209 After David and I came home from our Valentine’s date (a matinee of the Lego movie, because we are simultaneously 65 and 5 years old), I started petting CeeCee on the floor and these cards just came to me in a flash.  They may be belated (and disgusting), but hopefully everyone enjoys receiving their dirt stars (and associated cat butt puns) as much as I did making them.

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in memoriam

The unthinkable (and probably inevitable) finally came to pass.

(wait for it)

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I lost a hand-knit mitten on the bus. Guys. GUYS. Don’t all jump to comfort me at once. I’ll be okay. You should be heaping your sympathy on my right-hand mitten, whose fate will be to live out his treasured golden years all alone in a dark corner of my yarn stash (because I anthropomorphize everything and I am way too sentimental to throw out something I knit even if it no longer has any use).

While this could have been the coup de gras to the disintegrating dignity with which I am slogging through this winter, I chose to take this as a sign that I needed to knit myself a new pair of mittens.  It will be some time before I actually have time (hello David’s sweater which I still haven’t finished) to make my own, but that hasn’t stopped me from making a shortlist from my bloated list of favorites on Ravelry.  (All images are taken from their respective Ravelry pages.)

First up, we have the Catscan Mittens, I’m almost certain I’ll make even though I have gone through the pretense of making a list.  As a medical student, cat aficionado, and lover of all puns, I am pretty sure I’m obligated to make these things.  This will be motivation to keep knitting through my stash, so I can use up enough yarn to buy more for this project (thanks 3 out 1 in challenge).

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Next up are the Mors du Cheval mittens, which are gorgeous, have a free pattern, and I already have stash yarn I could use (soooo sensible), but I guess I just love to make things difficult for myself and I’m not really feeling these guys. Alas/alack.

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Finally – the INSULATE mittens.  I love these for very obvious reasons. They would also unfortunately necessitate buying outside of stash (rats), but they are just so excellent and I love to take any opportunity to let my Doctor Who flag fly.

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What do you think? Should I go with the Catscan mittens or take a chance with one of the others?  And how do you cope with the tragic loss of knits?

rejection

People do crazy things when they are cooped up with crappy weather for long periods of time, myself included. Normally I cope by purchasing weather inappropriate clothing, but I’m on a self-imposed vow of clothing celibacy so that’s not an option. Instead, I’ve chosen to reject my soggy, slushy, and subzero reality and substitute it with springtime home decor.  The Doctor Who snowflakes are stored away for the next time that I feel really excited about seeing snow (which definitely won’t be for another 10 months at least).

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(Sorry for the terrible pictures; I’m just so overcome by wintertime inertia that even just the thought of lifting our big camera is enough to make me melodramatically sigh and flop down onto the couch.)  I found the tutorial to make these guys here.