Tuesday, February 28, 2006

retreating and repairing

I got so little knitting done this weekend, it's not even funny.

Okay, it wasn't actually all that bad. I got some done, but it's just that I had these wild fantasies about ridiculous things like finishing 2 more sweater pattern repeats, and the such. I ended up doing hardly any knitting on Saturday, as I spent my afternoon downtime catching up on Olympics (sweaty, not knitty) viewing, and then spent my evening downtime watching Crash.

Sunday was supposed to be the day of epic knitting progress, as there was an all day knitting retreat. In other words, a bunch of women from the knitting group getting together in a cozy locale, to do nothing but knit, eat, and gab for 8 hours. Focus should be on eating and gabbing, because both activities certainly took precedence over actual knitting. I think I knit about 3 rounds on the sweater, and then retired to the sofa with a sock, so I could be less antisocial and participate in actual conversation. A retreat is supposed to be about sitting on cushy things with your legs up, not slouching over a chart in a hard folding chair, right? I think so, anyway. I also got to swap some leftover sock yarn (scrap socks, here I come!), go for a pleasant little walk (brightened up by watching the comical scene that is a runaway beagle tromping through snow as high as its legs, while being chased by its exasperated owner), and act as a human swift for some very yummy Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn.

So a real progress picture will wait a couple of days. In the meantime, I caught a repair in progress. I knit about a dozen stitches in the wrong color (caught as I was knitting the next round), and used the trick of dropping stitches and picking up floats to correct it. It's such an easy repair, and much better than ripping back an entire row to re-knit a few stitches.

VS - fixing an incorrect stitch

If you click on that, you'll be brought to the Flickr photo, where you can see notes I made on the picture. Nothing too exciting, but maybe it will be informative if you've never done this type of repair before. I was going to do a whole picture series on it, but it was hard to get non-blurry photos. This one captures the essence of the process, anyway.

On a completely different note, someone in the LiveJournal knitting community just posted about a challenge she's undertaken, to complete 72 projects in the next year. (That's an average of about 5 days a project.) My very first reaction that it's a really silly idea. What a random number, and who could stand spending a whole year knitting only little things? Of course, I'm probably outside of the norm in my preference for huge scale projects. (This is a theme in my life. I tended to bite off almost more than I could chew in school, when choosing paper topics. I like large scale, big picture stuff a lot.) But I have to admit that from time to time I have thought about dedicating an entire year to something kind of like her challenge.

For example, what would it be like to only knit socks for a whole year? First of all, I'd end up with tons of hand knit socks, which would be beyond awesome. It would also be an excuse to really try out all sorts of sock construction. I could try different heels and toes, and learn all sorts of fun elastic castons and bindoffs. And of course I'd still have a chance to play with color and texture, just on a smaller scale than sweaters. I'm not sure if this is the sort of thing I'd ever commit to doing for an entire year, but maybe I'll decide to spend an entire summer doing it, eventually. Of course, my year is booked up with mostly Large scale projects. (Yes, that's "Large" scale with a capital "L".) Two colorwork sweaters, a lace stole, an aran sweater, another colorwork sweater, and a bunch of socks and mittens interspersed throughout. Will the summer of 2007 be the Summer of Socks? We'll see...

Another idea I had for what kinds of projects to knit, if limited to small and quick things for a whole year, is that it would be the perfect opportunity to swatch to my heart's content. First, I think I'd gather up all the patterns on my to-do wishlist, buy a skein or two of various brands of yarn that may work with the patterns, and swatch for all of the projects in all of the yarns, to see which combinations I liked best. And then there's colorwork. I'd order the Palette sampler from Knitpicks. I'd order a whole bunch of colors of J&S and Harrisville, perhaps putting out feelers for people who were looking to swap or sell their leftover odds and ends. Think of how much I could learn about designing colorwork patterns if I spent months and months doing nothing but dreaming up colorway/pattern combos, and swatching. I'd certainly come out the other end a better knitter.

I'm certainly not committing to a whole year, or even several months of this type of knitting. At least not any time soon. But maybe someday. It could be similar to doing the Master Knitter program, except I could focus on the things that interest me the most, and not have to pay a stranger a whole lot of money to critique things I can probably critique even more harshly on my own.

Friday, February 24, 2006


Progress is still slow, but I thought I'd share a photo of what the center motif looks like:

Vertical Stripes - Feb. 24

The red stitch marker is the spot where I reach the end of a chart, then turn back and follow the chart backwards, to create that symmetrical pattern. Cool, eh?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sweaters From Camp - week 2 update

I'll start off with me, because I'm long overdue in posting an update photo. Here's what the first pattern repeat looks like:

Vertical Stripes - Feb. 21

The stripes on the right are the left side (as I'll wear it) of the sweater. You can see a bit of color mixing where I split spliced. Nothing too major, though I suppose it's fairly noticeable with the brown. For the record, I'm spit splicing with actual spit. It's so much easier than keeping a little cup of water around all the time.

Doesn't the main motif look a bit like an owl?

And now for the knitalong updates:
  • Jayne is on her fourth try starting Snow Sky. You can do it!
  • Becki has decided to use Morehouse Merino 2-ply for Crichton. I look forward to seeing the colorway you put together.
  • Natalie's swatches are more gorgeous than I would have imagined, based on the photos in the book. She's cast on, and is using different needle sizes to create subtle shaping. Good idea! Here are her first two rows of colorwork.
  • Bobby has cast on for the Celtic Knot Raglan, and is having some troubles with the pattern. If any of you are also knitting this sweater, a meeting of minds may be in order.
  • Helen cast on for Seaweed for Sheryl, and is learning how to upload pictures to her blog.
  • Tipper made quick progress on Crichton, but is having second thoughts about one of the colors. She's decided to order some Jamieson's yarn, to match the sweater in the book.
  • Kim decided to knit the Afghanistan Rug Jacket, and sounds optimistic about eventually figuring out how that side-to-side shaping works. It's one of those things that makes my head hurt a little, too, but I'm sure it will make sense once you get into it.
  • Morgan got the yarn for her Autumn Color cardigan, in a slightly less bright colorway of Jamieson's yarn.
  • Linda's Northwest Sunset vest is looking great!
  • Anne started knitting her Shirt Tail Hemmed Fair Isle, and it looks gorgeous. Also, look at her swatch, where she played around with different color combinations.
  • Lola has all her stitches on the needles. She even got to put her steek to good use, already, to untwist her cast-on. Those things sure are useful. :)
  • Shirley started her traditional fair isle pullover a second time, because of some sizing issues. Thankfully, she's a super fast knitter, and probably ahead of the rest of us already.
  • Kilsharion is pushing through some minor troubles on her Ark vest.
  • Sydney's Shirt Tail Hemmed Fair Isle is short and curling, but I'm sure it will be easier to see in no time.
  • TJ's Vertical Stripes cardigan is looking great, in beautiful greens. I agree that it will be lots of fun to see how our sweaters look in two completely different colorways.
  • Pat, who doesn't have a blog, emailed me to say: "After seeing Shirley's vest I decided to try my size 46 on and it was huge. So I've started again, size 39 with an increase to Addi #2 needles to hopefully end up with a slightly larger vest. (I don't look like the girl in the picture) I hope to finish first repeat by Wednesday. I've never been so anxious about gauge since I've always been right on but this is all new."
  • Terri wrote in to tell me that she's cast on for her Northwest Sunset vest.
As a reminder, please email me if you want to join the knitalong. My email address and links to information posts can be found in the sidebar of the main blog page. I recently got a comment from someone who wanted information about the knitalong, but as she didn't leave any contact information, the best I can do is post this reminder. (I'm working on the psychic powers, but they're not quite up to snuff yet.)

I know I have some catchup work to do in terms of adding and updating projects in the participants list. That should come some time this week.

Happy knitting!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I really did mean to have something to show by yesterday or today, but I'm still a few rows away from finishing the first pattern repeat on Vertical Stripes, and am stubborn enough to want to wait until I get there before I take photos. You can blame the slow progress on the Olympics. And on Natalie. How am I supposed to knit every evening when I have such a good figure skating-watching partner to chat with online?

I'm fairly optimistic that I'll have a photo tomorrow, to go along with the general knitalong updates. It's looking good, and when I actually make the time to work on it, going a bit faster than I expected.

And if you're really in need of things to look at, check out this gallery of ice dancers falling! More entertaining than it should be.

Friday, February 17, 2006

this is much better

Corrugated ribbing was definitely the right choice.

Vertical Stripes corrugated rib hem

I know the photo is a little dark. I took it last night, because it was supposed to be dark and rainy today, anyway. And of course, there was just a break in the clouds 5 minutes ago, giving me gorgeous natural light. d'oh. The colors are a bit off (perhaps a little bit more contrast than in real life), but the flash just about killed the look of it.

I'm really happy with how the hem turned out. I decided to go simple with the color order. In the body of the sweater, not every color is repeated for the same number of rows, and the purple gets an extra row in between the medium and dark blue. But I thought those details would be obscured by being purled in the corrugated ribbing, so I just went with two rows of each color, in the approximate order they'll appear later. I chose to do the purled part in the motif colors because I really love the blending effect you get from the purl bumps.

If anybody is interested in the technical details, I decided to go down to 296 stitches for the ribbing (about 90% of the number of body stitches, and a number divisible by 4), and then used Lucia's increase calculator to figure out how to increase evenly around to get up to 332 stitches for the body. And because most of the increases were done after 8 knit stitches, the corrugated ribbing (which is 2x2) made it almost impossible to screw up that spacing. Good deal.

Can I finish the first pattern repeat this weekend? Maybe if the weather really, really sucks. And if another power outage doesn't force me to miss work time today. (We had a random one yesterday, and it looks like it's going to be mighty windy out today.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Sweaters From Camp knitalong - first update post!

There are people who have patiently waited for today to cast on. There are people who have finished their first sweater, and are starting on their second. And I'm so happy to start the updates, so you can see everything. Here we go:

  • Anne has finished her gorgeous whirligig vest! She's still knitting along with us, and will be working on the Shirt Tailed Hemmed fairisle now.
  • Bobby's received the yarn for the Celtic Knot Raglan. He says it's deliciously subtle, and I can't wait to see what it looks like.
  • Donna W. received her yarn. She knitting the same sweater as me, but in different colors.
  • Jayne is getting used to the small stitches and dark colors of Snow Sky.
  • Jessica finished the swatch for her Faroe Patterned Vest. I know she's been diligently waiting until today to cast on. Better willpower than me. :-)
  • Junieann has made some interesting changes to her Northwest Sunset vest. She added a vent in the back, and went with a colorway that matches her picture of an actual Northwest sunset! She has a lot of information about it on her blog, and it's definitely worth a read.
  • Kilsharion has swatched for her Ark vest.
  • Kim is trying to decide whether to knit the Shirt Tail Hemmed fairisle or the Afghanistan Rug jacket. She has yarn for both! My vote is for the latter, because I don't think anybody else is knitting it, and I selfishly want to see someone do it. But either project would be lovely.
  • Linda knit a swatch for the Northwest Sunset vest, in the original colorway. She also made a pretty button for those of us who are "Olympic knitters" every day. (I may have to steal that one.) Oh, and check out her snow photos. I'm still a bit bitter that we didn't get a blizzard in New Hampshire last weekend.
  • Lola finished her Flyway Vest swatches, and has started knitting, after dealing with a knot.
  • Natasja knit a beautiful swatch for the Celtic Knot Raglan, and also seems to have started Joyce Williams' Traditional Fair Isle Jumper.
  • Shirley finished her Northwest Sunset vest, in a really pretty colorway. It looks great on her! She's already started working on the Traditional pullover, for her next project.
  • Sydney received her yarn for the Shirt Tail Hemmed fairisle. Will she cast on before she finishes her argyle vest? I know it must be so tempting. :-)
  • Tipper's Crichton Cardigan swatch is beautiful. I love the purples.
  • TJ swatched for the Vertical Stripes pullover, and is using different patterns for the stripes. So pretty! And the colors she chose are magnificent, too.
As for me? Well, check out the past couple of blog entries, to see my misadventures in the purl when you can technique, and the beginning of my new hem, in corrugated ribbing.

If you blogged about project updates but don't see them above, then I probably don't have your name and blog address for the knitalong. Send them along, and you'll be included next week. Happy knitting!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

plan B

Purl when you can wasn't working out. I didn't like how it looked, and I realized I had two choices: keep on going and end up with a sweater that had a nagging problem, or rip it out and start again. The choice was easy. Say hello to corrugated ribbing:

Vertical Stripes - beginning of corrugated ribbing

I've also decided to go up a needle size. I think my gauge tightened up from the swatch to the sweater. Plus, the Inox needles were really starting to bug me. The joins just don't play well with this yarn. So I'll be knitting the sweater on Addi Turbo size 1 needles, which are 2.5mm instead of 2.25. Of course, I still have to deal with the Inox needles for the ribbing. Looking through the instructions at the beginning of the book, and the patterns within, I decided that the best way to do corrugated ribbing would be on smaller needles, with about 10% fewer stitches than I'd have on the body. So I'm working on 296 stitches, on 2.25mm needles, for the ribbing.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Vertical Stripes sweater - getting started and PWYC

As promised, I cast on for the Vertical Stripes sweater on Friday. I decided to knit two rows flat (to produce garter stitch, not stockinette), before joining in the round and starting the colorwork pattern. I found that the one purl row in my swatch wasn't deep enough to ensure that the floats from the first row of colorwork would be hidden, so this seemed like a good solution.

This pattern is a bit difficult to work out at first. The directions in the book are minimal, and the charts are used in unorthodox ways. There are two charts, and you work chart A, chart B, then chart B backwards and chart A backwards. That makes up the front of the sweater, and then you go back and do it again. What makes things more complicated is that you start the sweater a bit before the side seam, and you pivot when you turn, meaning that the last chart stitch before you turn directions on the chart isn't knit again going the other way. All of these things added up to a big headache when I was trying to figure out exactly how to use the charts so I'd start and stop in the right places, and end up knitting the same number of stitches that were cast on. I managed to figure it out. I don't want to bore you with the dirty details of it all, but if anybody else is knitting the Vertical Stripes sweater and wants a tutorial on how it all goes together, please leave a comment or send an email. I'd be happy to share the information, to spare you all the headaches and possible tinking you may have to do to get it right on your own.

That made it sound a lot worse than it really was. Really, once I got it, it wasn't bad at all. I was nervous that it would be difficult to follow the charts from left to right. I've obviously done that for wrong side rows with lace and cable charts, but the thing is, it's never been complicated for those. For lace charts, I've always had plain purl rows going back, and for cables, I think I've always had charts that just told you to work the stitches as they appear when going back across the wrong side. But to my pleasant surprise, my brain has no trouble following complex colorwork charts from left to right while knitting from right to left, so I'm happy.

I'm only about 8 or 9 rows in, so I'm still using the purl when you can technique. I'm still undecided on how I like it. It does seem to be doing the job fairly well, and I'm certain that any ripples will block out later on, perhaps with the assistance of a couple of heavy books placed on the hem. I think the purls look sloppy, though, and make it hard to really see the colorwork pattern. Right now, I'm just going to be optimistic, and tell myself that once I have more knit, and more pattern repeats that show the pattern nicely in knit-only stitches, the purl when you can section will not look so chaotic. Here's a photo of what I have so far:

Vertical Stripes sweater - PWYC, Feb. 13

This sweater is going to go extremely slowly. I think it's taking about half an hour per row right now. There will be approximately 220 rows in the body of the sweater. I think things will speed up a bit once I get past the purl when you can section, and once I make photocopies of the charts and get a second magnet, so I can follow along without turning the book around every few minutes. (The charts in the book are on different pages, and in different orientations.)

By the way, Inox needles are sharp. I punctured my right index finger and drew blood Friday night. Then managed to draw more blood as I adjusted the bandaid, pulling off hanging cuticle skin. Then I slammed my middle finger between a chunk of wood and the wood stove, giving myself a couple of impressive looking blood blisters. My hand is mangled, but thankfully no longer in pain. So here's to more knitting, more watching ski jumpers and figure skaters (c'mon Shen and Zhao, you can do it!), and the anticipation of the first knitalong progress post on Wednesday. What an exciting week this will be. :-)

Friday, February 10, 2006

more 'borg; I'm casting on today, just like the cool kids

1. Ingeborg is done through the third pattern repeat. Now it goes into hibernation.

Ingeborg - 3 pattern repeats

It measures about 15" from the hem fold line. This means I have officially committed to the "just cut" armholes. Whee!

I took this photo with a flash. I've actually been using a flash for a lot of my Ingeborg photos. I've found it really difficult to keep a steady enough hand to get a clear picture, otherwise. I think it works okay for Ingeborg because there's really only so much a flash can distort off-white and black.

2. Ya know, I've been thinking about how my lack of participation in the Knitting Olympics will make my blog so different from most of the knitting blogs out there, for the next couple of weeks. Yet here I am, mere hours before the flame is lit in Torino, posting the same anticipatory new-project picture that every knitting Olympian is putting in their blog today. It's just a coincidence, I swear! I promise you, cross my heart and hope to only ever knit with acrylic again, that this sweater will not be finished in 16 days. Oh, and I'm casting on during lunch, before the flame is lit. 'Cause I can. ;-)

Vertical Strips sweater - ready to start!

And as a bonus, you get my big lumpy shadow! The sweatshirt: a constant reminder for why I don't want to knit sweaters with 10" of ease.

See ya Monday, with an inch or two of sweater!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

sock!; SFCKAL reminder; bowerbird pulls out the essay

1. Sock!

Lorna's Laces sock

2. One week until the Sweaters From Camp knitalong "officially" starts! If you are participating, and have any updates for me (website, project, etc.), please send an email! Also, if you're participating, but aren't listed in the sidebar, please send an email! That's the only way I'll know that you are knitting along with us, and the only way your progress will get included in the weekly updates that will start a week from today.

As a reminder of how the whole shebang will work: Knit! Update your blog! On Tuesday nights or Wednesday mornings, I will go through the list of blogs, find out what progress you've made on your projects, and include that in the update post. There's no need to email me with updates if you're blogging about your project. If you don't have a blog, but have knitting progress to report, just send me an email by late Tuesday to get included in the Wednesday updates. So simple! And don't worry - I know a lot of you have started already, and I won't forget to go back through blog archives to make sure I know where all of you are for next week's update.

3. In honor of the start of the SFCKAL, here's a little essay:

In a couple of days, thousands of knitters around the world are going to cast on for new projects, with the goal of challenging themselves in some way, and completing that challenge within a 16 day timespan. It's pretty impressive. I love that so many people are up for a challenge, and I'm amazed and impressed that Stephanie Pearl-McPhee has not yet gone crazy from the challenge that is coordinating the whole thing.

But not every knitter on the internet is taking the challenge. That's okay, too. Personally, I know of a small group of knitters (about 1% of the number of the Knitting Olympians) who committed weeks or even months ago to a different type of challenge. 25 or 30 women and men (or man) who didn't need the prompting of the internet's most famous knitter, a worldwide sports festival, or the peer pressure of thousands of other knitters, to take up a challenge. The Sweaters From Camp knitalong participants may not finish their sweaters in 16 days, and may not earn a gold medal badge for their knitting efforts, but I have the highest respect for all of them. While I love that 3,000 knitters took up the Yarn Harlot's call for a 16 day period of challenging oneself, I've always been partial to the people who challenge themselves by habit, not just by prompting. While I'm sure many of the Knitting Olympians fall into the former group , I know that all of the wonderful SFCKAL participants fall into that group. They wouldn't have asked to participate if they didn't enjoy a challenge just for the sake of a challenge, without the hoopla and spectacle of it all.

So kudos to the knitting Olympians, and even bigger kudos to the SFCKAL participants. (And if you're participating in both, well just blow me away, I'm beyond impressed.) I am incredibly excited to watch both knitalongs progress. As I'm a sucker for an underdog, and love Brenda's whole attitude toward the silliness of knitting like a mad person for 16 days, I'm 100% behind Team Wales for the Knitting Olympics. And since I can't get enough of watching gorgeous fair isle sweaters slowly progress, day by day, 1/8 inch by 1/8 inch, I know I'll have tons of knitting porn to keep me happy for weeks and months after the Olympics is over. I only hope that after the craziness of the Olympics passes, a good number of Knitting Olympians will decide to continue the challenge, and inspire themselves to learn new skills and knit things they never thought they could knit before. 'Cause when it's all over, it's not about medal (or stitch) counts. It's about what you get out of the whole process.

(As an addendum, I got a comment from Julie yesterday, as I was working on this post. She's planning on challenging herself with her first colorwork project after the Knitting Olympics are over. Yay! Julie - I think Dale of Norway patterns are a great place to start, if you're interested in doing a sportweight cardigan. A lot of their patterns use sportweight yarn. If you do some web searches, you can find photos from a lot of their pattern books. I suggest doing that as a way to get started. Find a pattern that inspires you, and go for it! The "Fana" sweater, which is in Dale book 126 (the same book that Ingeborg is in) looks like a great starter colorwork cardigan, if you're looking for a specific opinion. But I bet you could do something more complicated, too, if you wanted.)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

my sock mojo is returning

I tried really hard to work on Ingeborg during the Superbowl, but I was just in the mood for socks. I worked on socks last year during the superbowl, too. There's just something poetic about creating footwear while watching football.

Lorna's Laces sock, Feb. 7, 2006

mmm... Lorna's Laces. 64 stitches, 3x1 ribbing, basic cuff-down sock construction, with details made up as I go along.

And while taking sock pictures, I realized that I never took photos of the gorgeous Koigu (redundant, much?) that Rebecca sent me, in exchange for my Nordic Mittens leftovers. (She's going to knit the mittens with black as a foreground color, using one of the skeins Brown Sheep accidentally sent to Alpaca Fleece when they should have been sending them my cone of black yarn for Ingeborg. I love how this stuff works out! And if anybody is wondering, according to my scale, there is more than enough of each of the contrast colors for at least two pairs of mittens. For everything except the green, I think there's enough for 3-4 pairs of mittens.)

my first Koigu

This lovely yarn will eventually become a pair of socks. I don't know which pattern, yet, but right now I'm leaning toward something lace. My first Koigu! I'm so excited.

Right now my goal for Ingeborg is to get through the third pattern repeat before starting my Vertical Stripes sweater for the knitalong. Maybe I'll go for the fourth pattern repeat, but I'd really like to set it aside at the end of a pattern repeat, and I don't know if I'll be able to push through to the end of the fourth in a week, at the rate I've been knitting lately. It might not be a bad idea for me to take it easy this week, and just knit simple things like socks. I don't want to be burned out on colorwork before the SFCKAL starts.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

she swatch, he swatch, a-we swatch, I swatch, you swatch, a-they swatch

I have no willpower. I swatched for the Fair Isle Pullover With Vertical Stripes (which I think I'll just refer to as "Vertical Stripes" in the future), for the Sweaters From Camp KAL.

Vertical Stripes gauge swatch

This is obviously just a gauge swatch, not a swatch for color. I was getting about 9 stitches per inch and 10 rows per inch. I think it will be about the same after my swatch dries. I really love the fabric at this gauge, and going from 7.5 to 9 stitches per inch will yield a sweater that will be the right size for me, without me having to futz with the colorwork. Woohoo!

Also, notice the bit of texture in the top few rows of the swatch. I was experimenting with the purl when you can technique. It looks nicer than I thought it would! I haven't yet decided how long I'm going to use it in the actual sweater. I think it would be smart to use it for at least an inch, to be in the safe side. I may end up using it for the entire first pattern repeat, which would be over 2". It won't be used on every row in the section of the sweater where it's used, because of the fairly frequent color changes. I'll use it only in the motif stitches. Since the longest color run in the motif is 3 rows, PWYC will never go for more than 2 rows in a row. (You can only do it if you're purling into the same color as the stitch you're purling into, so it can't be used in the first row of a new color. Those rows will be plain knit colorwork.)

As a reminder, I'm using Knitpicks Palette. I have to say that I'm already pleasantly surprised at how nice it is to work with this yarn. I think it's a little thinner than J&S, so 9 stitches per inch does not feel stiff. It's considerably softer than J&S, and is so nice to touch when knit up. If I enjoy this yarn as much for the rest of the sweater as I did in swatching, it may have to be a colorwork staple for when I don't need a wide color selection.

Also, I hope it's obvious that I'm not using those colors for the actual sweater. Both the brown and purple are in the sweater, but the actual colorway is a cream background, with motifs in blues, purple, and brown. Here's a picture of the yarns in color order:

Vertical Stripes colorway

The pattern repeat is 25 rows, and what you're looking at is basically the color order for the bottom half of each repeat. The colors will obviously be in a mirror image. I'm mimicking the color order of the original colorway, just with my own colors. So it will be 3 rows light blue, 3 rows purple, 3 rows medium blue, 1 row purple, 2 rows dark blue, 1 row brown, and then back in reverse for the last 12 rows of the repeat. All on the cream background. I don't think I'm going to swatch for color. I like my colors, I like the order they're in, and I'm an indecisive person. If I swatch for one color order, I'm just going to want to swatch for some other order, and will end up doing a dozen swatches. I'm going with my gut. And may the knitting police knock down my door and take me off to the prison of acrylic if I whine about my color order after I start. I'll deserve it. ;-)

As for Ingeborg, progress is slow but steady. I might finish the third pattern repeat by the end of the weekend. We'll see. I'm right around the spot where I'd have to create armhole steeks if I were going to do such a thing. I'm 95% sure I won't. Sewing machine, here I come!

(And of course bonus knitting karma points for those who know what inspired the post title. Hint: I think it's time for me to put in the Kitschy 80's Pop CD.)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

for my sockapaloooza pal; fun with the Knitting Olympics

Hello sock pal! I know you're probably rolling your eyes, and cursing the random number generator that made you my sock pal. I know I wrote a short novel when stating my preferences for a sock. I know I probably intimidated you by giving you a bazillion leg measurements, for those just-in-case scenarios. But I just meant all that information to be helpful, and I hope that's how it was received. I'm not a psycho control freak or anything. :-)

And in case you still need more ideas about what sorts of socks I like, I went through some of my old posts, to give you ideas. Last time around, I would often post links to the socks that I really liked, from Alison's weekly Sockapalooza updates. Here are links to some of those posts, which contain links to socks I really liked. Please feel free to ignore, if you feel like it. I'm just providing the information in case you're as nosy and neurotic as I am.
Obviously, that's not a complete catalog of socks I've ever loved in my life. But it's a good starting spot. And heck, maybe it will help provide pattern inspiration for my blog readers who are knitting socks for other people.

And while I'm blabbing away, I must say that I've already stuck my foot in my mouth with this whole Sockapaloooza thing. I didn't read my email closely enough, and emailed Alison about what the heck a "sock sister" is. Sorry, Alison. I really don't mean to be a pain in the arse.

I'm not going to start knitting the socks for my pal quite yet. I think I'm going to try to wait until I've completed the vertical stripes pullover (my SFCKAL project) body before doing that, assuming things go at the pace I anticipate. The person I was matched with didn't have many preferences listed, but I think I've already picked out a brand of yarn that will be just right, and am thinking about something lace. I've got a bunch of lace patterns that would be nice to try out. Oh, and bonus: I'm knitting for small feet! For Sockapalooza 2, I knit for someone with rather large feet, so this is nice. Nothing against big feet, with small feet I have the option of making the leg longer, without worrying about running out of yarn. So I like smallish feet.

And while I'm being all gabby and linky, I have one more thing to plug today. Jessica just posted a funny Knitting Olympics drinking game. I'm not participating in the Knitting Olympics because it conflicts with the Sweaters From Camp KAL, and because I enjoy watching the Olympics way too much. I'll probably be knitting less, not more, during the Olympics. But best of luck to everybody who is challenging themselves with knitting during the games. I'll be observing, and perhaps indulging in a little bit of warm sake, if I find the time to catch up on the blog reading between ski jumpers and fluff pieces. ;-)

If you're wondering about actual knitting happening at chez Bowerbird, there hasn't been much. I've found it a bit difficult to get back into Ingeborg. I've knit a few rows of the third pattern repeat, but between mourning the sock and trying to bring back the appropriate muscle memory for my Ingeborg knitting, things have been slow. I might not update that until Monday.