in the post

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Moss Stitch Trim Hat, all done
Pattern: no pattern, just some strange guestimations based on gauge and other baby hat patterns
Yarn: Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran in Quartz, Alabaster and Ricepaper
Needles: a set of Bamboo DPNs and a 40cm Addi circular, possibly 4.5mm

I finally attached that pom pom. This time I put the two ends through stitches either side of the hole at the top, rather than through the hole itself. I then tied them together as tightly as I could and wove in the ends. It is sitting much more firmly atop the hat than the first attempt. And it goes beautifully with the Big Bad Baby Blanket, if I do say so myself (the hat that is, not just the pom pom).

Big Bad Baby Blanket and Moss Stitch Trim Hat

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!

no more secrets

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

What’s this? It’s the end of my secret project. No, I am not going to tell you what it is, but it does mean I can start work on something less secretive… I still have more than usual going on parallel to the knitting, so progress may be slower than normal. It may be slow, but I am making headway on all my projects in a rotating system at the moment. I am concentrating on one project per day and sometimes squeeze in some time on one of the others. It goes like this: book keeping, quilt, website redesign (not this site), knitting, start the loop again. None of it is moving as fast as I would like but everything IS moving and that will have to do.

Sometime in the next two days I have to figure out whether to fix my BBBB first or start Carla. I am a bit anxious about starting Carla with so much else on my mind. I fear I am going to need to be really concentrating on what I am doing, especially at the start. I have issues with edge stitches at the best of times and from everything I have read about this sweater it is really hard to seam nicely and I know that I just won’t wear it if I get it wrong. I am thinking pretty seriously about re-writing the pattern top down all in one piece. The fact that this is my first sweater with sleeves makes me feel somewhat anxious about modifying the pattern (at all, let alone so radically). I have never made a full sweater, therefore I have never knitted top down all in one piece before either. I don’t know why exactly this method appeals to me but it does, it just seems really sensible. As well as my concerns about the seams knitting top down would also allow me to get the waist and arm lengths just right. I suspect I may want the waist somewhat longer and the arms somewhat shorter than the pattern but I am not sure… On the other hand it could just be an all out disaster…

A little ray of hope…

Saturday, October 2, 2004

Pattern: Big Bad Baby Blanket, Stitch ‘n’ Bitch
Yarn: Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran in Quartz, Alabaster and Ricepaper
Needles: 5mm Birch circ/5mm Addi Turbo
Gauge: 18 st/ 10cms

Here it is, my big bad baby blanket, blocked at last! It took ages to dry as we had no fan but I am very pleased with the result. And now it is packed away with a block of soap (grandma Mary’s technique for protecting her hand knits) in the hopes that we will one day have someone small to wrap in it.

weaving ends sucks

Sunday, September 26, 2004

The good news is my big bad baby blanket is officially off the needles. The bad news is that weaving the ends is NOT going well. The purple ends disappeared into the moss stitch nicely but all the ends that need to go into the body I simply cannot make disappear. I feel depressed. I have consulted all the books I own (not that many) and none of their suggestions work for something where the “back” is going to be seen. I don’t know what to do next.

I can knit at last

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Call me compulsive but I was unable to sit and knit while the construction of the blog about the knitting I have not been doing was incomplete. This is probably why I am destined to be a one-big-project-at-a-time knitter. I have to resolve things RIGHT NOW. Especially code problems. I can’t sleep with code dancing in my head. The last few days have been a raging war between my old career as a web developer and my new passion for knitting. The blog may have won the first few battles but I would say that knitting has won the war because I am off to knit…. The final section of the site, the gallery, is now working - so now I must knit something to put in it. I have absolutely no plans to do anything more to the site anytime soon… except perhaps design a better header one day…

My big bad baby blanket is nearly done so I should have something for the gallery soon!

Didn’t like the moss stitch? Well now it has a fringe…

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

So how did I fix it? I ripped it out! But only the edges. And I left the intarsia intact.

BBBB with fancy new fringe

Then I grabbed me some straights and started carefully knitting back up the side

BBBB reknitting away from the body

BBBB and back....

As you can imagine I was maniacly measuring every few rows to make sure I was maintaining a steady gauge. I was NOT going to repeat this process - other than for the second side that is; because now they don’t match.

BBBB look at that lovely edge.BBBB this one, not so good

So I repeated the above process for the other side and ta-da:

BBBB all better now

Blog v. Blanket

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

So this is two nights running now with no knitting - I am too busy playing with the blog! But I really want to document the making of my first big project before it’s done - the Big Bad Baby Blanket (BBBB) from Stitch’N'Bitch. I wasn’t brave enough to order Koigu from the US for my very first serious project and I wasn’t keen to knit the blanket in a single plain yarn so I chose to do the blanket in three colours of Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran:

BBBB just started....

As I got into the body of the blanket I realised that I had a bit of a tension problem with my purl rows being looser than my knit. The result being that the intarisa on the side joins was lovely, but the central intarsia join was loose. This meant I had to spread the slack from the first stitch in the new colour for each and every row. Here is the centre join post fix, still not great:

BBBB with tighter stitches

It was a bit of a pain, but what really scared me was reversing the pattern when I got to the centre of the blanket. I was also hating the needles I had purchased at my LYS (nice yarn, crap needles) and the centre line of the blanket seemed like a good place to switch to nicer once. So with the midpoint looming I ordered my first pair of addis and waited patiently for this moment:

BBBB halfway - it's a milestone!

I changed my needles and I (very happily) knit on, hoping for the best. Six rows in I found that I had forgotten to knit the entire first row of the colour change and now had a yarn join line on the wrong side of the blanket. I had to rip it out. Six rows was quite enough to prove my tension fears were well founded. The second half of the blanket had a nice firm centre seam and the edges had gone all sloppy. Ripping it out once made me brave and on the advice of Alsion I changed my knitting style. I LOVE combined knitting! I was a little obsessed with checking for gauge changes but it all seemed fine:

BBBB look they match!

Without further ado I knit my way to the end of the body of the blanket. With only the final edge to go I sat back to admire (and photograph) my work and - DISASTER!

BBBB oops!

The squares really are very similar, any differences will block out I am sure… the edging on the other hand is 30% smaller at the top than the bottom. Ooops! check out the cinching in the top half in particular:

BBBB that square is not supposed to have a waistline!

The problem started when I changed balls on the edge colour a few inches into the body. I got panicky about getting a loose stitch on the edge and started deliberately increasing the tension on the edges - tighter and Tighter and TIGHTER - more and more worried about that edge stitch by the looks of things.

Stay tuned for the story of my crazy repair job!