Sunday, 28 February 2010


I've had a circular needle break on me. This in itself is very annoying, given that it's gone and dumped a good 40 stitches into nowhere, and I've had to go in with one of my large stitch holders and pick them up. Not easy with the splitting sockweight yarn I'm using! Worse is the fact that I don't have a replacement needle, and it's my Ravelympic project. The Ravelympics end today, so I'm not going to finish by the time it ends - which is really annyoing as I've been on track since I started. And of course, a picture of the troubled project:

I'm sure at some point I'll order another needle and finish this, but in the meantime I'm going to work on my squares blanket and cast on another small project. I've got a lacy headband that just fits the bill to get some instant gratification "project finished" feelings.

Friday, 19 February 2010


So far things haven't gone quite as I planned. Instead of adding a skein to the eyelet scarf, I started on it, realised why I hated it in the first place, looked closely at the directions again, realised I'd done the whole thing wrong, and took it off the needles in disgust. I entered it in the frogging event instead and now have a fair bit of black Pima Silk to use for something else. I also frogged the shrug I made ages ago which turned out horribly, and has been sitting around waiting to be unravelled. I had a time of it, since the ends didn't seem to want to be found. It was knitted in the round, and I did a horrible job if it, with a huge ladder all down the join. I fixed it up a lot, so I had smaller pieces of yarn to take out of that, and really just couldn't find the starting point. I ended up cutting a lot, and so I wasted a bit, but oh well. I still have a lot, which I plan to turn into little animals.

Speaking of animals, I decided my first project for the Ravelympics was going to be a cat toy I've been planning on making for awhile. The pattern is a bumble bee, and it uses four colours. However, I've never acutally done more than one colour at a time, and didn't have the colours on offer. I did have a blue acrylic that I knew would be perfect for this kind of project. I decided the cat wouldn't care if I made it just one colour, so I sat down one evening and just did it. I was ripping down the white shrug at the same time, and used a lot of the scrap yarn I'd cut to stuff the bee with - along with a fair bit of catnip. You stuff the body, and then proceed to knit the head. The cat was on that toy before I'd even taken it off the needles. He's been playing with it ever since, and I think I'm going to have to make another one before too long. The yarn will hold, I did a good knitting job, but it was easy and fun and the catnip goes after awhile, and it'll get looking very ragged. It doesn't look perfect in this picture because he had already played with it.

Doing the bee was kind of a stop gap until I got some needles through that I wanted to use to make a cowl. I found a great provider on ebay that does bamboo needles and ships them very quickly. I've always gotten mind the next day, provided I order in the daytime before the last post goes out. I got these the next day as expected, and got to work on the cowl. I had some lovely vareigated yarn I was using for a shawl, but the shawl pattern proved to be rather indecipherable, even after I asked for help, so I decided to take it off the needles and use it for some smaller projects. I have socks in the queue that are going to use this yarn, but the cowl has come first. It's essentially an eight row segment repeated about 10 times. This is the cowl with 2 repeats, and I'm on my fourth now - it's fairly easy, but could almost do with a smaller circular. Unfortunately, this is the smallest available, so I'm just doing a lot of pulling around. Still, I should easily finish it by the time the Olympics are over, and hopefully before. With the cold weather here, it would be a welcome addition to my winter wear.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

WIPdancing and blocking

The nice thing about working with wool is that it dries quickly. I blocked Concerto yesterday, and by nighttime it was dry - a good thing too as I ended up spreading it out on the bed! It's a total of 68 inches, which isn't quite six feet, but I'm not too bothered. Here it is in all it's glory!

Last night I unpicked the eyelet scarf I made before Christmas in an effort to get it longer. I have almost a whole skein left, so I should get a few more feet on it I think. I have it back on the needles and did a row, but got distracted by the Olympics after that and didn't do any more. This may be a problem! I feel confident I'll finish though.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

This song is over

Concerto is finished! I bound it off last night, just before going out for the evening. So it's done before the Olympics start, which means I can concentrate on my Ravelympics entry (or entries, depending on how this goes.)

Three months in the making, it has been a source of constant emotions for me. Excitement over mastering a new pattern, exasperation when I made a mistake, sometimes despair. I put it aside for a month because I just couldn't take it anymore, only to find it was my dislike for metal needles which was the problem. I have mourned the mistakes, made desisions on whether to rip, and have ended up creating something unique. Not perfect, but a testament to the designer and a beautiful creation.

You can see in this picture, which is part 6, that I've added a whole bunch of stitch markers. This is to remind me when I need to start the next mini-repeat for each row. It's a concession to my CFS and the fact that I remember little, get distracted easily, and make mistakes because of it. The plan worked well, and I'll be using it in other things where the pattern repeats itself several times over the course of a row.

Next comes the Ravelympics. I've umhed and ahed about what to do, first deciding to finish the scarf I started with Pima Silk. Then I saw some socks made by a blogger I follow, and thought I would do those, as my first socks being a nice challlenge for the occasion. But I don't have the right size needles for the yarn I want to use. I've gone back to the scarf for the time being, but I'm not sure it's going to be a huge challenge, so I might finding myself casting on before the event is over. But hey, we're allowed more than one project, so it'll be interesting to see what comes of it. Watch this spot!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

The one with too many repeats

I finished part 5 of Concerto! If part 1 was pretty, and part 2 took too long (I really blame the needles on this one) and parts 3 and 4 were just fun, then part 5 was definitely The One With Too Many Repeats. I saw someone say on Ravelry that you don't get better at knitting, you just get better at picking things out. Well, I'm getting very good at picking things out after this section. 2 major ripping sessions (taking the work right off the needles) and the typical few times I have to go back several stitches or even to the beginning of the row to fix something. Still, the finished product looks great!

I feel like I'm knitting a lot faster now than I was when I started. I suppose that's not surprising, when I've knitted 140 rows (times 65 stitches in a row) of Concerto, plus the other stuff I've done on the side - gloves, armwarmers, a hat, part of a lace shawl, and a snood. Wow! I've done a lot more knitting than I thought. Looking at my finished projects on Ravelry, there are a lot of them, even if a good portion of them are small. This speed helps a lot when I'm trying to redo parts, since it doesn't make it seem too tedious.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Lifelines and too many repeats!

I've been putting off writing until I finished part 5 of Concerto, but part 5 seems to be conspiring against me, so I'm going to post now and finish it later.

After flying through parts 3 and 4 (pictured) easily and quickly, I must have gotten overconfident - either that, or the exhaustion and illness which has hit me over the last week must have affected my knitting more than I thought it would. I had decided not to put a lifeline in at the start of part 5 like I have been with the rest of the parts, figuring I was doing well enough and wouldn't need one. And so I didn't, for the first repeat. Then I got to the second repeat, and was just about finished when I noticed a problem. A big one. I had dropped 4 stitches at one point (although how I missed that when I count every other row I don't know) and the end had gotten short. It was getting into the pattern and messing it up, so there was no simply adding stitches to make it up. I had to rip. It was a delicate job without a lifeline, but I manged it pretty well. You can't even tell where I did it - go me! After that, I learned my lesson and put a lifeline in at the beginning of the third repeat. I'm really quite glad I did now, because I've just noticed a huge mistake, even bigger than the last one. The pattern is completely out of sync with itself, and is going to require taking back to the beginning of the repeat - again! I'm going to end up doing a 3 repeat section with about 5 repeats. Bah. Not best pleased.

I was hoping to get the stole done by the 19th, as a birthday present to myself, but given these setbacks and the fact that I've been feeling so poorly, I might just set it aside until my brain is working again. I'd have to have Adrian hide it though, since I keep wanting to work on it even when I know I'm not at my best - and this really does take my best! So, I have a lace stole which I can't work on until I feel better, a lace shawl that's pretty much the same (lace takes concentration, which I don't have at the moment) and.... well, nothing else. I wanted to have something to knit mindlessly, and I had some lovely angora merino in a large quantity, so I decided to use that and make a blanket. I've found a pattern: which seems to fit the bill nicely, so I'm working on that. The yarn is gorgeously soft and I'm really enjoying working it.I know, more blue, but it seems to grab my eye every time I buy yarn, so I have a lot of it. Either that or I'm just in a blue mood so using it right now.

So until the 12th, when the Ravelympics start, this is my project. More on that to come later!