a little shopping never hurt anyone

Friday, February 25, 2005

Look what came in the post yesterday! When I bid for this on Ebay I really didn’t expect to win it so I was very pleasantly surprised when I did. It’s in immaculate condition (did the original owner even read it I wonder?) and it was well less than half price. I did some other shopping yesterday too, I went and bought a walking foot, and while I was there accidentally bought an overlocker, a singer, complete with all the extra feet and also less than half price. I seem to be developing a craft problem….

Back to the walking foot, I also bought some new needles and machine oil for my little sewing machine. Came home, got sewing and WOW, what a difference, I can honestly say I had no idea how much easier it would be. I expect I will finish the stitch in the ditch quilting tonight and maybe even start preparing the binding. I am starting to believe it will be give-able (if not exactly finished) by next weekend.

a question for the quilters

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I know that this is still not knitting, the knitting is coming, eventually. In the mean time I have finished this months book-keeping, made good in-roads on the web development job and tonight I have spent an hour or so on my knees with 170 safety pins and am happy to say that I have basted the layers of Isabelle’s quilt together.

I tried doing some of the quilting and it didn’t go so well. The good news is that I am confident I will actually be able to sew straight lines. The bad news is that the 2″ by 2.5″ table I work on is woefully inadequate as a workspace and Jan was right, the top layers are bunching up, so tomorrow I will see if I can get a walking foot for my machine. I don’t know how I am going to fix the workspace problem though…

And now for the question. I am planning to stitch in the ditch around all the squares and the seems between the borders. I am then thinking I will go round the edges of the appliques and make similar shapes in the plain squares for decoration. The question is - can I put the binding on once I have done the stitch in the ditch along all the seams, but before outlining the appliques? I am worried about time you see. I have to have this done by Sunday week and I figure I can give it to Isabelle without the appliques outlined (and fix it later) but I can’t give it to her unbound…

If you have any other tips of the quilting and binding processes please feel free to share, I suspect I will need all the help I can get.

do you ecto?

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I am still thinking about the tv meme, actually that’s a lie, tonight I was too busy watching CSI while bookkeeping, researching web tools and talking to clients to think about anything else… So tell me do you use Ecto? Do you like it? I have just set it up for a client and now I am wondering why, if I think it is so great for them, am I not planning to use it myself? My blogging process is kind of… manual.

one track mind

Monday, February 21, 2005

I think I mentioned when I started this blog that I tend to be a one big problem at a time kind of person. Well I my blog is suffering from my one-thing-at-a-time-itis. Carla is still there at the top of my knitting pile, I even pulled her out and knit 2 rows on the weekend. Yes, two rows. Of my swatch. Yep, that’s 40 stitches. It’s sad, I know.

On the other hand I have reconciled about 10 bank statements paid a bunch of bills and generated a whole bunch of invoices. The things is I have about 10 more invoices to go, then I have to send them. Then I have to generate and send statements. Blah, blah blah. Book keeping sucks.

I have a website to rebuild, which all of a sudden is needed next week and I have less than 2 weeks to complete Isabelle’s quilt. And I feel compelled to do these things one at a time. It feels like I may never knit again. BUT! I promise that I will knit again, no more than 2 weeks from now, and that when I do I will be knitting a like a woman possessed… at least I hope so, autumn is looming and I want to actually wear some of those things in the queue!

So I am very sorry if I seem somewhat boring in the meantime, if it is any consolation I am bored too. Rock Chick has sent me a meme. I fear that I am going to find the answers embarrassing to admit, but given the lack of knitting content I am probably going to fill it out anyway - at least there will be something to read.

oh no!

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Bloglines has been broken for about 12 hours and I don’t know what to do with myself. The fact that I was asleep for about 6 of those hours matters not in the least. I am not really sure how to get through the waking up process without bloglines. I have had a quick peek at all the blogs I can remember urls for, but silly me doesn’t have most of them bookmarked when bloglines is just so handy…

what’s that saying?

Friday, February 18, 2005

What comes to mind just now is: “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”. My BBBB was tucked away at the bottom of my my stash shelf, which I happily reorganised after pulling everything out to get my hands on it. My stash shelf, it should be noted, is approximately one purchase away from officially overstuffed. Once everything was put away again I took my blankie to the lounge, I pulled it out of it’s ziplock bag and I was NOT pleased. The beautiful, all natural, fancy baby soap that I had wrapped inside the blankie, as per Grandma Mary’s practice with all her yarns and knits, had oozed all over my BBBB. Evidently I chose the wrong kind of soap. I was horrified, to say the least. But putting my horror aside I held the blankie, I snuggled it up to my face and smelt it, I looked at it’s edges oh so carefully and I decided loved it just the way it was (apart from the soap mess of course).

It’s not perfect, but it is beautiful and it was the first real project I knit. Something in me just doesn’t want to fiddle with it after all. So I washed it oh so carefully and it is now drying on a towel for the second time.

I really am going to make some progress on Carla sometime soon. Truly I am.


Friday, February 18, 2005

My story is neither as dramatic, nor as wittily told as Stephanie’s and neither would a photo be as disturbing. But I am a copycat none the less. This afternoon I slammed my thumb in a window while trying to unstick the damn thing and get it closed. My thumb is not black and blue, but it HURTS and I am not even going to try to knit tonight, when I finally have the chance.

That last small job on Isabelle’s quilt top, which I thought would take 1/2 an evening has taken two. It may have taken longer than I expected but the quilt top is, at last, complete and the time has come to baste the layers together and quilt the thing! I am feeling a little intimidated and choosing not to think about it for a while.

This leaves me with no other choice but to pull out my BBBB and start ripping, ’cause February is for fixing and I am running out of time!

all about the second row

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

You may recall that the pattern stitch for Carla is :

R1: k1, *yfwd, sl 1, k 1, psso* to last, k1
R2: p1, *yfwd, sl 1, k1, psso* to last, p1

And that I thought R2 in the round might look something like this: *yfwd, sl 1, p1, psso*, or perhaps this: *yfwd, sl 1, p1, psso*. Wrong. Wrong. And the two or three other methods I tried - also wrong. Time to break out the books.

You know I enjoyed sitting down and reading Maggie Righetti’s “Knitting in Plain English” cover to cover, I learned a lot and she made me laugh. But more and more I am coming to realise that Montse Stanley always seems to have the answer. To knit Carla in the round you need to do this:

R1: *yfwd, sl 1, k 1, psso*
R2: *p1, sl 1, return slipped stich to left needle twisted, return purled stitch to left needle, psso, slip purled stitch purlwise, yb*

Sounds complicated but really it’s not, though it’s not quite as easy as the first row. And as you can see it works! The top 2 inches or so of my swatch were done “in the round” and despite the poor lighting and shadows in all the wrong places you can sort of see that it is indeed working.

I have some quilting to do tonight and then I will start playing around with doing the double increases and if that works I need to figure out how to handle the stitches at the top of the sleeve which need to be dropped and then (assuming it all works, which is no doubt assuming a lot) I am going to knit this thing!

a little swatching, a little shopping

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I wrote this post last night in Adelaide and was pretty much done when Mum’s dog tore past the table, got tangled in the phone cable and pulled my laptop off the table, sending it flying across the room, thus ripping the screen from the case and rendering it utterly useless. I am currently computerless while Jesse transfers my harddrive back to my old (OLD) machine and prays to the insurance gods for a replacement laptop.

Thanks to everyone who offered advice on the pattern for Carla, with your help (particularly all the email support from Nancy) I managed to finish writing out the tricky part of the top down version of the patter. So today I swatched. I have to say I am a little confused, Nancy felt that a yarn forward was not the same thing as a yarn over, and Montse Stanley agrees. But clearly if I knit the pattern with a yarn forward (which does not create a stitch) there would very shortly be no stitches left at all. I don’t know if the call for a yarn forward is a mistake or if, despite studying the text and photos of my Knitter’s Handbook I don’t quite get it. I went ahead and knit the swatch using what I think is a yarn over and the pattern looks correct to me. If anyone who has made Carla can confirm that my swatch looks right I would be deeply grateful.

Of course this swatch was knitted flat. And, funnily enough my edge stitches are unusually neat and the pattern is very simple knit flat. So do I try to figure out how to reverse the pattern and continue on with the top down idea or do I just follow the pattern as written? Oh, and how much do you stretch out such a lacey pattern stitch to check your gauge? All these questions and more must be answered before I can continue…

In other news I went shopping. The other day while buying the rest of the fabric for Isabelle’s quilt I picked up a couple of skeins of Katia Nordic to make a Buttonhole bag for a friend. I got it home and realised I would need two or three times as much yarn as I had, which would be two or three times my budget for the project. Today I took it back and exchanged it for this instead:

It’s going to be a Market Squares Bag and I got so excited I bought this too:

You guessed it - a second Market Squares Bag. I am really looking froward to doing these but they will have to wait until after Carla, Peach Jacket, Isabelle’s Debbie Bliss Cardi, Isabelle’s Poncho, my Jo Sharp vest, you get the picture…

somebody help me please….

Saturday, February 12, 2005

I think I am going to bite the bullet and try converting the pattern for Carla. I have in fact started already. Can somebody (anybody) PLEASE explain to me what “dec 2 sts at each end of 5th and every following 8th row to 11 sts” means. Is that on the fifth row and then always the 8th row from then on, or is it 5th then 8th then 5th then 8th? I have a lot to learn about pattern reading. Given my difficulty in reading the original pattern, the fact that I am trying to convert it probably points to some kind of mental problem on my part.

Oh, and problem number two… The pattern stitch is :
R1: k1, *yfwd, sl 1, k 1, psso* to last, k1
R2: p1, *yfwd, sl 1, k1, psso* to last, p1

If I am knitting it in the round does that make the repeat for R2 *yfwd, sl 1, p1, psso* (assuming that a yfwd is a yarn over and that on the purl row you would be doing the purl version of a yarn over). Or is it more complicated than that? Perhaps R2 actually needs a right leaning decrease if knit in the round? Would that be ktog or something similar? Clearly I have some swatching to do. Some serious swatching.

But now for a little light relief:

These are the knitted toys I bought Isabelle and my grandma’s spinner’s and weaver’s guild (or sinner’s and griever’s as my mother and her siblings are inclined to call it). Aren’t they cute? She has been toting them everywhere we go for three days now, which is a long time for any toy to stay popular in this household.

Next Page »