Blah blah blah, yes this is my Knitting Blog!

Sometimes a flurry of activity, sometimes a long time with nothing at all. And right now it looks like a gap of a couple of years (shame on me).

But blog or no blog, I do manage to knit every day - and so should you!

(Interested in my photos? Then by all means Click Here to see them.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Oops -

Got a message from Stephanie at UNWIND - it's KARYN, not Carol like I said. I came close but didn't quite get her name right, but I should have, since she did me a great favor and wound the two difficult skeins I bought.

Sorry Karyn!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


So I guess today was a case of Life Imitates Art (or what passes for art) because today I stepped into my television.

What the hell am I talking about?

Why SIX FEET UNDER of course, and today I sort of stepped into it --- by entering UNWIND, the knitting store where Ruth Fisher has been hanging out this season.

So far they haven't had much of an increase in business due to the show, but that can pretty much be attributed to the fact that only one shot shows the name of the store (as Ruth is leaving), and unless you are INSANE you just watch the show, you don't write things down and Google them later.

Of course I am insane, so immediately after the show I Googled it, and discovered that the store is in Burbank (a.k.a. WHERE IT'S AT), and driving there today took a mere 10 minutes!

The store is big, nicely laid out, and well stocked both with interesting yarns and good books. Stephanie and Carol (and how I hope I got the names right) were supernice, and the whole experience is topped off with free, meterless street parking.

Oh and I almost forgot: They have a Frequent Flier program - they punch your card for every I think $10 you buy, and when the card is full you get $30 credit!

I am utterly thrilled to add UNWIND to my list of yarneries!

Sunday, July 24, 2005


I guess there's a bit more finesse to this Top-Down business than I originally thought.

For this project I thought I got smart and went and bought a t-shirt for size 6-12 months to use as a template for this sweater. I got the neck right, but the every row increase made the sleeve openings huge and the body WAY too wide - my template shirt was 13 inches wide, and my sweater came out 17 inches wide!

Okay, here it is finished:

And here's a cool shot of the stripes lining up when it's folded - something I didn't plan to be exact but turned out that way!

It looks adorable, IT ONLY TOOK THREE DAYS TO MAKE, but before we get all crazy patting ourselves on the back here, let's look at some problems:

First, this sweater is way too wide. I have to try it on a child before condemning it totally, but it's not how I wanted it and I'm afraid to try a controlled shrink because it's already almost too short in comparison with its length.

Next, with the sweater body being so wide I damn near ran out of yarn. I used two full skeins of Suss Cotton (4oz/170 yards each). I didn't want to add a third color because I wanted to keep the orange and cream thing going.

Here's a shot of the finished body but sleeves not started - pictured with all the yarn I have left to do both sleeves. Not so yummy.

I decreased the sleeves severely - one stitch before and after the center marker (using 16" circular #7 needle) five times, then did one or two rows straight and then the K1 P1 ribbing to end the sleeve. Luckily, short sleeves look cute - I am redeemed!

Not that you'll notice but the sleeve on the right has a neater decrease and the sleeve on the left has one or two fewer ribbing rows - I absolutely ran out of the orange right at the last bind-off stitch. I had barely enough to weave the end in!

About the underarms:

This increase method leaves a lot cleaner underarm situation than the YO, but there's still a hole where the sleeves meet. Ironically, my mistake proved the best solution -

When I was moving the live sleeve stitches from the scrap yarn to the circular needle, I managed something I've never done before - I forgot a stitch (left it on the yarn). When I pulled the yarn free, that lone stitch became the Dreaded Dropped Stitch.

It took me three or four rows of sleeve to notice, and by the time I did it had run down about four rows. Yow!

Okay, I couldn't rip the sleeve out and I didn't know how to pick up the stitch, but I got out my crochet hook and swore I'd figure it out. Not long after, I did figure it out, and picked up the missed stitches. This brought me to the joining point, where there were three more very loose stitches.

Why not pretend they're part of this run?

That's exactly what I did, created a sort of extra row (that totally looks like it belongs there) and now the whole underarm is woven seamlessly!

If you were going to try this I would say to INTENTIONALLY and SECURELY put what would be the first stitch of the sleeve onto the holder and wait until the sleeve is completely done to do this trick.


Friday, July 22, 2005

I'm at it again!

After what I will call success (hey why not?) on my first Top-Down Raglan, I decided to see how it would look if I did the KNIT INTO FRONT AND BACK increase instead of the YARN OVER increase.

With lots of babies on the way or already crawling around, I thought I would try a small one, both because I like making kids' clothes and because I figured it would go fast.

Of course, not to be forgotten is the fact that with their smaller yarn requirements, kid clothes are perfect for using up the extra yarn you have from any projects where you over-estimated your needs.

This cute sweater top (all I have so far but it's only been a couple of days) is using some of the extra yarn I have (almost a full skein of each color) from the Suss Cotton Fair Isle.

The colors are like a Creamsicle - delicious for either gender!

I'm using a size 7 needle and the gauge is I think 4.5 sts/in.

I have to say much as I thought the YO increase was cool, this way looks a lot neater. Also, I paid very close attention on this one and ended up with the correct number of stitches between the markers - yay!

I should have enough orange to finish it in orange but may do another cream stripe combo in there just to be sure.

Here's the first night's worth - note the nice tidy increase!

And here's what I have now:

At this point you can see the sleeves are on thread - I will be joining the body now and working my way to the bottom from here.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Oh I'm so happy!

My first Top-Down Raglan is done!

In retrospect I likely should have used cheaper yarn on my first one, what with the figuring tension and measurements and such. No matter, this thing looks so CUTE!

I should have decreased the sleeves - they're bordering on baggy but so short that no one will notice. I may resort to the E-Zim trick of weaving elastic into the ribbing if this bugs me when I wear it.

All told I guess it took what, a week? I started it last Tuesday night and finished it the following Wednesday night. Not bad. I think I could have shaved a day off that if I didn't have to EARN A LIVING...

One thing though - whatever is the deal with the increase stitches not meeting up where they meet at the underarm?

I just kind of winged it to get them together but I don’t' know why my stitches surrounding the Yarn Over increases are SO LOOSE right here, making this area very messy. Plus the single row between the Yarn Overs "miss" each other at the joining point - not exactly ideal.

I guess this is because on the circular needle the rows don't exactly meet up - ?

Anyway here's the fixed one

And here it is with one done, one to go.

This was hardly difficult to fix - but I am wondering if there wasn't something I did wrong here; something that I can correct on the next one.

Happy to hear all comments!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit...

... and then knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit,

and knit some more.

Hoo GAH, working on the solid pink for the body is getting BORING.

I don't want to introduce any new colors, and I have no ideas on whether to try a new stitch or something.

I've got another three inches or so done from yesterday's picture, so I'm not even to the middle yet. I'm a little skittish about stitches but I have done cable before and know all the basic stitches.

Any suggestions???

Saturday, July 09, 2005

And today....

And today....

At this rate it should be done in another couple of days. I think I'm going to keep the sleeves barely longer than they are and finish them with the same K1 P1 rib as is on the collar. Same will go for the bottom.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Making progress!

Okay, here's where I'm at today on this sweater - Last night I got to the point where the sleeves meet under the arm and so I moved all the sleeve stitches to the string holders and joined the body on the large circular needle.

I thought I was going to have to do some serious decreasing on the body (according to my gauge of 4.5/in this thing is I think 40" around) but when I put it on it seems pretty good.

For those of you keeping track (and I wish I were one of them) this is about the end of the multicolored yarn. I can maybe get one more round out of this skein, and after that it's the solid pink of the collar and stripe all the rest of the way.

I HATE taking it off the needles, but I guess it's good practice.

Okay, here are some action shots of me in the mirror:

(If you turn the camera around and sight in the mirror you don't get pictures of yourself holding a camera!)

Also, this sweater won't even need the underarm grafting - I think once the body is done I just finish the sleeves and call it a day.

So far I'm thinking of keeping the sleeves very short. That way I can wear it without getting too hot.

MJ you're my hero!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

About "top dollar"

Yeah, as I work on this thing I think maybe I should have done my first one with yarn that doesn't cost almost 40 bucks a skein - but what the hell, I might as well go for it.

Also if I don't do a long sleeve that will take one fewer. I think I did the body of the E-Zim one in two skeins, and a little under one skein each for the sleeves.

Ugh - getting the stupid thing back on the needles after the try-on was awful!

Look out world, here comes the Top Down Raglan!

Finally, a new project!

Following my triumphant finish to the Fair Isle sweater, I promptly fell ill to some really gnarly seasonal allergies - and am just now back to knitting.

Guided by the kind and gentle hand of MJ (Top Down Raglan Sensei) I have left the comfort of the seamless bottom-up EZ sweater, and entered the world of the Top Down Raglan.

I'm again using the Twisted Sister wool/silk (like for the dark purple sweater from months ago), but this time in light colors - a pink and a variegated pink/purple/blue/gray.

I started it on Tuesday night and here's what I have so far:

One look and I don't have to tell you I totally screwed the pooch on the YO, Slip Marker, K1, YO deal, especially at the first increase row - any knitter will look at it and be horrified. The rest of the world, however, will have no clue and I'm not starting again.

The next one will be perfect. That's enough.

So far this has been interesting, and I like the lack of measuring. I tried it on and already I really like this sweater. I'm going to make very short sleeves, though, so it won't be too hot to wear.

I will say one thing I did NOT enjoy was threading half of it onto the black thread so I could try it on - what a pain in the ass that is. And I expect the same thrill when I slip everything back onto the needles. I'm guessing I need another 10 rows or so, at which point I guess I will do this dumb thread thing again.

More as it develops - I have No Idea how anyone could put a color pattern into one of these top parts - I had a hard enough time just changing colors! I HATE the yarn over!!! And boy would it ever screw up the math in even the most basic of Fair Isle patterns....

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