progress of a kind

Friday, August 5, 2005

The start of a sock cuff

I cast on my sock, it’s making me happy. I found a tip somewhere to cast all the stitches onto two needles held together and then slide the needles apart so you have half the stitches on each needle and then redistribute onto the extra needle/s from there. This worked really well and I am kicking myself that I forgot to book mark the page, it had lots of other sock knitting tips which may have turned out to be equally useful.

I spoke to Wendy at Jo Sharp’s studio, apparently my swatches are now en route to the mill with a request for an explanation. It doesn’t look like my yarn problem will be resolved any time soon. My Rogue is, I think, dead in the water. Perhaps it will be my first sweater next autumn, I guess it will depend on the effectiveness of the IVF and the timing of a successful transfer. I feel kind of sad and edgy about the whole thing, like I have forgotten to do something important and it’s about to bite me on the ass (I am talking about Rogue here, not IVF, or am I?).

Oh and my Shedir is in trouble too. The shop that said they had the right dye lot actually don’t have it after all, apparently some sort of discrepancy between their inventory and what was actually on their shelves. They say they are trying to track it down for me but I feel some frogging coming on…

little things

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Pink and green heart stitch markers

I made more stitch makers. These ones are mine, and there are two more sets the same, one for the stitch marker swap and one for posterity.

Blue metal ball stitch markers

I also added these to my own collection. I don’t know what I think I am going to do with all these markers, but they are just so pretty. Perhaps this is my way of making up for not wearing jewelry any more?

It’s my birthday today and along with some lovely candles and CDs Jesse gave me 4 balls of delicious Debbie Bliss Wool Cotton in my favourite shade of pink (isn’t he clever?). I can’t tell you how badly I want to use this to cast on a pair of socks RIGHT NOW, it is so soft and so pink, it’s calling me. However, according to Julia this yarn knits up like cotton, not like wool. I just don’t think I want to knit my first pair of socks from cotton or something like it, due both to the knitting and the wearing. Common sense is telling me to stash this for later use as gorgeous baby gift.

Debbie Bliss Wool Cotton in my favourite shade of pink

In the mean time I have nothing to knit. Yesterday I express posted all of my JS Aran Tweed swatches to Jo Sharp’s studio, they seemed to feel that having a swatch that was on gauge would help their argument with the mill that something has changed. I feel Rogue slipping through my fingers. At best it is going to be a week before I can start Rogue, it may be a lot more, and I was hoping to be finished in a week or two. It will be well and truly spring by the time I am done if I knit it this year and as I am trying to believe that the IVF will work I am sincerely hoping to be pregnant next winter. It just feels a bit pointless knitting a sweater that I won’ t get to wear for 2 years (and that is making the very large assumption that I will be roughly the same size in two years time). I have baby gifts to make, but can’t quite stomach that right now, I have Christmas gifts to make but heck it’s barely august. I just want to knit Rogue or socks and I don’ t have yarn for either.

I have read all of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in the last few days.

feeling vindicated

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed in Posie, who knows what dye lot but I finally got gauge!

Can you see it? 4.5 st/in (18st/4in) and perfect row gauge too, on 4.5mm needles! And it was a whole lot nicer to knit with, smoother, faster, better stitch definition, much more what I expect from Jo Sharp yarns*. There has obviously been some sort of manufacturing problem in Italy, which I imagine is giving Jo Sharp one hell of a headache, or will be soon. At least I no longer feel crazy/incompetent; however, two problems remain - I still don’t have yarn for Rogue and although I now know that it is possible to get gauge with Jo Sharp Aran Tweed I have no idea what dyelot this little swatch came from and even less idea how to find more non defective yarn. I have ordered the Rowan Magpie Tweed and I can use it for Rogue if I have to, but it is not the colour I want for this sweater. All I want is 13 good skeins of Aran Tweed in Posie, is that really too much to ask?

*Many thanks to Jo who offered me her scraps after yesterday’s post, it is such a relief to confirm that it really is the yarn and not me.

the score is 3 nil and the aran tweed is winning

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed in Spring, dyelot 69

I just cannot get gauge with this yarn. Either it really is me or all the yarn manufactured around the same time is dodgy and I ma having really bad luck. I just ordered 10 skeins of Rowan Magpie Tweed in Brazil from Germany. If I haven’t sorted this out before it arrives then I will use it to make Rogue, if not 10 skeins will be heaps to make something else at some future point. Heck it could be enough to make Jesse something, though that is probably pushing it.

I really don’t know what to do about the Jo Sharp Aran Tweed though. The first lot was definitely wrong and both Wendy at Jo Sharp’s studio and the nice folks at The Needle Nook confirmed this. If I can’t get gauge with either the second lot of Posie or the Spring is it still the yarn or is it me? I am thinking of posting the two balls, with their swatches to Jo Sharp and asking if they are able to get gauge with those balls of yarn. It’s driving me nuts not knowing whether if I just did something better/differently this would all be ok or whether it really is the yarn. The Spring colour was much nicer/easier to knit with but it has still come out at pretty much 16st/4in. Every swatch I have done has clearly wanted to be knit up at 16st/4in.

Swatching Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed in Spring, dyelot 69

déjà vu

Friday, July 29, 2005

Swatching Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed in Posie, dyelot 75

Is it me? Is it the yarn? Once was bad luck, is twice to do with the dye lot numbers being worryingly close together or am I just incompetent? Ugh. I guess I will go buy a ball in a completely different colour tomorrow and see if I can get gauge with that before embarassing myself by calling Wendy at Jo Sharp again. Nothing like ending the evening on a low note.

I think I better order that Magpie Tweed.

delivered to my door

Friday, July 29, 2005

Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed in Posie, dyelot 75

Remeber this? Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed in Posie, this time dyelot 75. It looks different. I hope it knits up differently.

Can you believe that the yarn store owner delivered this to my door at 7:30 on a Friday night? How’s that for service!

it’s not me, it’s the yarn

Monday, July 25, 2005

How many times will I get to say this and it be true? Perhaps just this once… Wendy at Jo Sharp’s studio couldn’t get gauge either and when I returned the yarn to The Needle Nook they had found an odd ball from a previous dye lot which was visibly very different yarn (apart from the colour). I can’t tell you how happy it made me to know that it really was the yarn that was defective and not my knitting!

The Needle Nook had only a few balls in the non-defective dyelot so I was unable to exchange it on the spot but The Wool Inn back in Sydney have had a delivery (in a good dye lot) since I last asked them about this yarn and they are now holding 14 balls for me. I should be swatching again by the end of the week, so all is well that ends well.

I can’t recommend either of these yarn stores enough, both have great ranges, good prices and wonderfully friendly and knowledgeable owners and they both do mail order.

yarn update!

Monday, July 25, 2005

I called Jo Sharp’s studio and spoke to a lovely woman called Wendy. She went and found a ball of the same dyelot and is about to knit it up but she was pulling it out while on the phone to me and said it seems much thicker and more uneven than it should be just looking at it. I feel less crazy now! Unfortunately the dyelot I have is the only one they have in the warehouse so if it is defective I will have to either change colours or hunt down a store with old stock. But they are going to help me do that which is wonderful. Yay for great customer service!

sometimes not getting gauge is a good thing

Monday, July 25, 2005

I spent pretty much all of yesterday tracking down 8 skeins of Rowan Magpie Tweed. The only colour I can get is nice, but not really what I had in mind for Rogue so before I buy it I am waiting for office hours to arrive in Perth so that I can call Jo Sharp’s studio and ask if I have a dodgy batch of yarn that can simply be replaced. I really want to like this yarn, and I love the colour. I joined the Rogue along and none of the participants who used JS Aran Tweed have mentioned gauge problems that I can see, though none of them seem to have used this colour. Suffice to say I am not quite prepared to give up on my yarn yet but I do feel much better having a back up plan.

In the mean time I have swatched and cast on for Jesse’s hat. I am using’s Julia’s pattern El Hatto Negro and I am even more wildly off gauge with this than I was swatching for Rogue. Only this time being off gauge makes me happy. Jesse’s head is enormous, 25″ type enormous, it does match rather nicely with his 6′7″ frame and size 16 feet, but never the less the hat would not have fit him as written and being off gauge means it will fit and I don’t have to do any maths myself.

I cast on using the same alternate cable method I used for Shedir and then found that due to the way the broken rib works the ribbing moved over one stich two rows into the hat and looked really awful.This morning I ripped back to the first row and re knit the second and third rows with a slight modification to prevent this jumping effect:

row 2: *slip 1 st knitwise with yarn in back, k1* to last stitch.
round 3: After row 2, you will keep working in the same direction, With yarn in back slip 1 st purlwise from left needle (it was already slipped knitwise and twisted on the previous row) and this forms the join to work in the round, place marker and follow pattern as written.

I would show you a photo but this yarn is too hard to photograph and I don’t have the time to win the battle with my camera. Instead I will leave you with a photo of our kitties. After two years living with my mother they will be moving back in with us in only a few months time and we are all so excited, though the cats are hiding thier excitement well.

Poppy and Jazz

on (not) getting gauge

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Jo Sharp is apparently out to get me. Revenge perhaps for my disapproving comments regarding the degree to which my Cabled Jacket pilled with just two weeks wear. I have been swatching for Rogue and it has taken six goes to get it nearly right. According to the label Jo Sharp Aran Tweed should knit up at 18 st to 4ins/10cm on a 5mm/US8 needle. I think of myself as an average to tight knitter, I was worried I might end up on a 5.5mm, so when we left Sydney I packed my 4.5mm, 5mm and 5.5mm Addis just to be sure. HA!

I finally ended up on a 3.25mm, or US 3, given the Boye needles are in US sizes. That is five sizes smaller than the recommended needle. Pre washing I am actually getting 18.5 st to 4in using the US3s, but that is a hell of a lot closer than the 14 st I was getting on the US8s!

I so don’t want to knit Rogue on my Boye interchangables. I like them, but not that much. Rouge needs Addis, heck this yarn needs Addis - it is so sticky that even aluminium is painfully slow, I shudder to think what it would be like on bamboo. Knowing that I intend to knit Rogue on Addis come hell or high water it was a bit pointless continuing to swatch when I ran out of them and had to move onto the interchangeable needles but I just couldn’t help myself. I had to know roughly what size I was going to need. After all, I told myself, I might need to order new needles (ahh the lure of shopping). I do have 3.25mm Addis, so I may be ok, but really I won’t know that until I get home, swatch again and wash that swatch too. Ugh.

Has anyone else had this much trouble getting gauge with JS Silk Road Aran Tweed? I don’t recall anything but happy knitting with the DK Tweed.

Back to Jesse’s hat and scarf. And I will be making sure to get a copy of Harry Potter for the drive home because there won’t be any knitting to do once that hat and scarf are finished, and they may yet be done before we leave….

*I did take photos of my swatches but the card reader has gone missing so I am unable to share them with you. That’s what happens when my mother and Jesse’s mother get together and tidy up our makeshift office (oh you mean that’s the kitchen table?)!

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