Thursday, 29 January 2009

Good news, Bad news, and now Annoying news

The good, the bad and the annoying! One project, so many comments to make. Where to start?! How about the good news?

My February Lade Sweater is coming along really quickly! Yay! Seriously. It's going pretty fast. I finished the body and the sleeve on Tuesday night. Big Night! (I was knitting both at the same time so that I had mindless garter stitch to do whilst reading and gull lace to do whilst watching tv.)
But I'm so excited that it's going so quickly. I don't know why I never thought of it before, but one of the reasons that the sweater is knitting up so fast is that I've been bringing it into work most days and spending the last 10 minutes of my lunch break knitting. I'm not spending any more time at lunch, but now when I'm done eating and I'm just chatting with coworkers, I knit!
In December when I really didn't think I was going to have enough time to finish the three cals I made as gifts, in a desperate push to get more knitting time in I brought one project into work. Well, I finished them, and it made my days so much happier that I decided to try it with this sweater. You'd be surprised by how much an extra 10 min of knitting a day can make a project go faster. It is just a little bit less than an hour if you do it ever day.
So yay for fast knitting.

Onto the bad news.
I'm afraid that I don't think I'm going to like my February sweater and it isn't going to live up to my third bullet of my New Years knitting resolution. I haven't decided for sure, but when I try it on there's just something about the sweater that is off. I'm really, really, really hoping that some blocking or something can remedy whatever seems to be wrong, but I'm not holding my breath.
It's funny because I love almost all of the other projects I've seen that use this pattern. And I think that my sweater looks like theirs. So what's wrong? I don't know. I just don't know...
With just one more arm left I should hopefully be done soon and hopefully there will be some sort of magical transformation.

But that arm is going to take a little bit longer. I wasn't lying when I said that the WIP was knitting up fast... I've just had a small set back.
I started the 2nd sleeve last night during LOST (which I'm really enjoying by the way) and thought I'd done an okay job having completed about 5 rows during the episode. Well, with 5 minutes left in the show I clued in that something was wrong. What was it?
I was knitting the sleeve inside out. Yup. Totally wrong. There's no way to fix that except by ripping, so this morning I spent an hour doing just that! That 2nd needle there (the green one) is me picking up the stitches so that I can frog back to there. The frogging worked out okay and now... I'm annoyingly back to where I started last night.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Cleaning time

I am by no means Chinese, but I hear through the grapevine that the Eve of Chinese New Year is a good time to clean. Or it is in their tradition. Something about starting the new year with a clean house. 
Well, I did a little cleaning of my own today. More like... tidying. I have by no means done a thorough job! But my bedroom has needed organizing for a while. There've been books and skeins of yarn strewn everywhere for about a month and it was time to do something about it, and I finally knew what. 
When I returned from Christmas holidays I found that the apartment had been slightly renovated by the one roommate who stayed. We had new kitchen cleaning tools, and some shelves and in my room I found an organizer on the back of my door. I believe it is supposed to be used for shoes. Um... I don't own that many shoes. I've been wondering what I should do with it, and I finally figured it out! 
Yarn organization! That is by no means all of the yarn that I have. It's about 1/3 of the yarn that I have, but it was enough to get it off the floor. Some of my half finished projects are in there (X's mittens, a scarf, etc) and the rest are full balls of yarn that are close to being the next to be used. Now I won't have to go look for them when I start a new project! 
And at least it is finally sort of organized. 

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Mirrored pictures

You know, I think this is the most clever picture I've taken in a while.
I didn't say GOOD picture, I said clever. It is quite obviously not a good picture... (Please, ignore my frizzy hair) but I am trying.

I wanted to take a picture showing the progress I've made, because I feel like this sweater is going super fast, and I thought the back of the sweater would be a good way to show that. This is one of those horrible shots you get by taking a picture of yourself in the mirror. The clever part comes in because I used a second mirror to see what I was taking a picture of over my shoulder. Okay, maybe not soooo clever, but I thought it was a good idea while I was doing it.

So there it is. The back and one side of my February sweater. I'm pretty happy with it all things considered. I don't love the yarn, but I do like the colour. The gull lace pattern is going better than I thought it would. It's not hard to memorize and it becomes glaringly obvious when you've made a mistake. The few mistakes I have made are undeniably from me forgetting to YO at some point in the pattern. I probably should have gone back to fix the mistakes, but instead I've just tweaked the next RS row so that I get the correct number of stitches back. Not that hard, and I don't think it's that noticeable at all! If I can't see my mistakes I figure no one else can either.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Be done by February?

If you take a look back, you may just notice that I've been meaning to start this sweater for... Well, for a long time! A really long time! 
I saw the pattern a long time ago (on a website far far away) and then I bought the yarn a while ago, but I only started this sweater on Tuesday. Yup. Only half a year later. I guess it's just been the first time I haven't had a more pressing craft to work on! 

But so far I'm loving the pattern. 
#1 reason to love the pattern? I'm an extra small! That's like... unheard of. Okay. Really all that means is that I don't have a big chest measurement, but still. I don't mind. I was quite worried about it on the outset. I read a bunch of posts on ravelry just to make sure I wasn't off my rocker about my size, but it seems like this has happened to a bunch of other kind knitters as well! 
The pattern is also pretty easy to follow. 

I do have to admit, I'm not sure I like the eyelet increase row. You can see the small holes there that it created. I don't know why she put in a YO increase rather than one that would have been more invisible. It might look okay in the end, but for right now, that's the only thing I don't like about the design. 

But it's going pretty well. I wouldn't say that it's knitting up fast, but it is moving right along. I think it'll slow down a little now that I'm on the gull lace pattern section. It was nice and fast going on the top when it was just garter stitch. A little boring, but at least fast.  

The thing I'm worried about the most for this project? That the buttons aren't going to look great. But that is a long time off and can always be fixed. 

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Best of the Blues

It's the best of the blues! My Kirigamis that I got for Christmas! The paper colour changes about every 3 weeks, so be expecting an update approximately that often. 
For some reason this one is the my favourite. There are lots of nice ones as you can see, but this one is for sure my favourite. I think that eventually the ones where you have to fold something back will be nicer, but I didn't really like the two  in blue. You can see writing on the part that you fold back which doesn't look that pretty to me. But I think that eventually they will be nice. 

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Go Go Gryffindor

This is a simple crocheted Gryffindor scarf that I've been working on for about a week. And it's already done. Crocheting can be so much faster than knitting at times. 

A friend of a friend saw one of my Ravenclaw scarves (of which there are two) and requested a Gryffindor. I had the yarn on hand already, and if a girl wants a HP scarf, she should have one. So here is it. I made myself one a few years ago with the same yarn colours, and it's interesting to see how mine has faded. This one is much more vibrant.

Unfortunately, I made this new one a little wider (just two chains I think) than the other ones I've made, so this one isn't as long. On the other ones I've done 9 repeats of the main pattern. This one only got 7 and then I ran out of the maroon. And I started with a full ball. So annoyingly the ends don't match exactly.

I hope she doesn't notice. Or if she does notice, she won't mind too much. I tried to think of a way to salvage it without either buying a whole other ball or frogging the whole scarf... and I didn't come up with anything. So unfortunately, non-matching will have to do. 

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Rocking Afghan

I've always loved bread. Toast. Bagels. Croutons. Rolls. You name it. I love it. 
I also love little buns in the oven. And I love making things for them. Like this! 

This time I'm not actually referring to bread made of carbohydrates... but more like my unborn niece. 

This is the afghan I've made for her. I started it in October, but then it got put on hold while I was finishing all of my other Christmas crafts.  But now that those are done I'm free to once again work on my other WIPs. (My SIL is due in March, so that's why it got forgotten for so long. And I'm even still done early.)

The afghan is sort of a odd shape. It's a rectangle about 85cm x 65cm. (or whatever that is in inches.) I think I made it too long on my first cast on, so I had to buy more yarn to finish it. But now I think it's sort of okay. Big enough for a baby to use, and maybe even a toddler. 

This is one of the projects I wanted to finish all those up before I start in on my new projects for this year. Cause works in progress, if left too long, never get finished. If I lose interest, they generally sit forever... just waiting to get done.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Last of the Christmas gifts

Phew. This is the last one. My last knitted Christmas gift of 2008! Good thing because.... well... it's 2009. (just in case you didn't notice!) 

It's a hot waterbottle cozy for my friend Coralie. She requested it. I offered hats, scarves, mittens... but out of the blue she wanted a cover for her hot water bottle. Isn't the hot waterbottle one of the world's best inventions? Well - it wouldn't be that useful in, let's say... the Bahamas, but in TO, I'm sure it comes in super handy! 

I knitted this cozy primarily on a trip to my grandma's and primarily from memory. I found the pattern and printed it, and thought I'd taken it on the trip, but when I went to cast on as I was sitting in the car... the pattern wasn't there. When I got back from my grandma's the next day I found the pattern on my desk... but by then it was too late. 

But I think that it's pretty close to what it would have looked like had I had the pattern in front of me. I did a cable down both the front and the back. One cable goes one way, and the other goes in the other direction. Even with the cable it was a pretty easy and pretty boring pattern.
Perfect for a driving trip!

And with that ends my 2008 crafts...
Welcome in 2009. I hope there's some great crafting in my future.

Happy 2009, and my knitting resolutions

Happy New Year to all! I hope everyone has an absolutely great 2009! All the best to everyone!

I just got back today from a spiffy week and a half in that cold Canadian capital. It's been like a heat wave getting back to the bay area! I wore short sleeves when I went for a run this afternoon! It probably wasn't hot enough for that, but I did it anyways. Yet... in a way I do sort of miss the snow.

But back to New Years wishes! Today is a doubly special day around this blog. It's a new year and time to discuss New Years type things, but it's also my one year blog-iversary! One year ago today I made that silly post. And I've been making silly posts like it ever since. 
I think I've made a lot of good crafts in 2008. Some better than others. Some more useful than others. And looking ahead to 2009, I've been thinking about what my New Years resolutions should be. I'm not normally one to make resolutions... and in reality I'm not. What I've been thinking about is more my knitting goals for 2009. And here they are:

1) Learn how to knit continentally. Or left-handedly. Hopefully by the end of the year I will be able to switch back and forth between both methods. Just cause.
2) Knit a pair of socks. I never have! For some reason they intimidate me. I'm sure I can do it, and I've wanted to for a long time, but I just keep getting side tracked with other projects. But this year I will!
3) Knit myself a sweater that I actually wear. The one I knit in 2008 is ugly. Hopefully one of the two I have in my queue to do will turn out well enough that I will actually wear it! What's the use in knitting if the things you make aren't used right?

That's it. Well, for now. 
Happy 2009 to all.