What is, "What I have to show for a week's worth of knitting," Alex?
Ding ding ding!
In my blog-before-last, I sort of promised that my next post was going to be the dog sweater pattern, and that ended up taking even longer than I ever imagined to write out. (By the way, I wrote that pattern out using Word before copy & pasting to Blogger, and on Word, WITHOUT PICTURES, it was 6 pages long. Eech.) I've had things to say since that blog-before-last, but I knew that if I posted non-pattern blog entries, that would reduce my pattern writing motivation even further.
By the way, if you want to make the dog sweater, don't be deterred by the lengthy instructions or the frustrations I've had throughout pattern writing. The knitting, for the most part, isn't hard at all. There are a couple parts where you have to think, but mostly, once you get your measurements and plans hammered out, it's pretty simple stuff. About 5 of the 6 pages are about planning. And they're really long winded. I tried to err on the side of TOO thorough.
So catch everybody up on what I've been doing BESIDES composing an annoyingly long pattern, well, there's been about as many setbacks as there's been progress.
As you may recall, I've been planning to make my brother some socks for Christmas. And yes, he already knows about those plans, so even if he wanted to read my knitting blog I would not have just ruined the surprise. I showed off the yarn I meant to use in a post last week, some nice soft navy merino with just a little touch of nylon...
And then, gradually, the little voice inside my head saying "It doesn't matter how nice the yarn is, your 21-year-old skater punk brother is NOT going to hand wash socks!" finally convinced me. So I put that yarn into the as-yet-undetermined part of the stash, and decided it was a good excuse to seek out the LYS in the next town over, Middletown (because I'd already checked out Newport's LYS, and it's nice, but it's a little small). Mind you, I found the address for this store in the Wool Works listings. Besides, even though I've never actually knitted any socks before (I know, how can I even call myself a knitter??), I wanted to try out the 2 socks on 2 circs method, because I like a good challenge; and to do so I needed to get an additional size 3 circular needle. So I hopped in the truck and set out... only to find that there is, in fact, no store there at all. I found the address, I found the building, but I found no trace of fiber anywhere. Alas.
On the way back from where the LYS should have been, there's a craft store which I will not name... but it's a popular boy's name. I figured, since I'm looking for a simple washable yarn and a pair of needles, I might as well go in. That's pretty straightforward stuff... No dice. No circs smaller than size 8!! Can you believe it??
So I went home, parked the truck, and walked to the Newport LYS, "Knitting Needles." There is, apparently, no web site. Like I said, it's a little small, and the selection is likewise; but it's well laid out, organized, and the staff is friendly. The only circular option was Susan Bates, which aren't my favorite, but they'll do. I was able to find some yarn for the socks, though there's a much higher nylon content than I'd like, as well as some fun stuff for a project I won't mention just yet. And it was less than 10 minutes' walk from my front door. Not so bad, I guess.
I went home and cast on, which was tricky enough in itself, having never tried this 2 needle trick. Finally I got both socks pointed in the same direction, knit about an inch, and then remembered my brother is not in fact 9 feet tall with a size 23 shoe. Rather, he's only a little taller than I am. So I had to frog and start over. Casting on went better this time, and the size was good, but I didn't like the way the ribbing looked. And when you're doing a basic ribbed sock, for a basic-ribbed-sock-kind of guy, the ribbing is pretty important. So I frogged again.
Here's what I have now. I'm pleased with how it's going, except that it isn't going faster.
Needless to say, the whole project is taking a LOT more effort than a couple of plain ribbed socks ought to. But then, just when I needed it most, an attitude boost showed up in the mail:
After seeing Carrieoke's Central Park, I've decided I have to have one. I'm not sure I can live without it... Well, I mean, I'll have to for a little while since I've got too many other projects going on, and December is not really a knitting-for-oneself month... But it will be the next big thing I make for ME. So I had to get the Fall 06 Knitscene from Interweave.
...And while I was at it, I had to order the Spring issue too! Supposedly - according to the website - it doesn't even hit newsstands until Dec. 12. But there it is on my coffee table!
There are several things I may make. We'll see. This post is not about showing you everything the magazine has inside.
I'm still waiting on my black Berroco Pure Merino to come. I ordered it at the same time... Not that I'm ready to start on that project now. First I need to finish this.
The Leo. The front is now 5 whole inches long. My goal on it is a minimum of 8 rows a day, which isn't much, I know. A single inch. But that's 8 rows across 145 sts with size 4 needles.. 8 rows a day is still just about enough to give me carpal tunnel.
Once again though, these 5 inches are not the whole story. I've been having trouble keeping my stitches even on this project. Particularly the stitches along the left side of the ribs. They've been puffing up a little. What the heck is that about?? After three inches, I got frustrated and frogged it and started over, only to have the same thing happen again. This is not something I usually have trouble with. I generally have very consistent stitches! It's usually my edges I hate, or my sizing, or.. or.. or.. not my stitch evenness. Raaarrr. But I pulled out the back of the sweater, you know, the one that I finished in.. like.. September - and it looks the same way. I think I'll chalk it up to the yarn and just deal with it. It makes it look so much less storebought. And somehow, I'll convince B that's a good thing.
And then there's this little bastard. Crochet a row, frog half. Crochet 2 rows, frog 3. I said I wasn't going to post any pictures of this bag while it looks like a doily, but now it has moved past looking like a doily and just looks like a mess.
So this weekend, to cheer me up, I needed a quickie project that I could accomplish with no problems. I found it in that Spring Knitscene. What is it?
Why, it's a retro looking headband!
Okay, I couldn't seem to take a picture that would both flatter me and show off the headband, so here's one that does neither. I look like a hospital patient. I'm perfectly healthy, I promise - just pale!
So there it is, a whole week. This week I knitted (and crocheted) many, many inches - dare I say feet - and what do I have to show for it?
...But I did get that dog sweater pattern posted!!