Sunday, July 31, 2005

It's been hot and I feel as if nothing much has happened. With no AC, sitting still is best. We went to two Padres games. They actually won the one on Wednesday vs. St. Louis, but got killed Friday by Cincinatti. We love going down to the Gaslamp and are getting to be Buffalo wings connoiseurs. If someone tells you they like Hooters for their wings - they are LYING. We prefer the Rock Bottom Brewery. Excellent wings and the absolute best beer.

On the knitting front, my Shapely Tank in the Vanilla Cotton Ease is coming along. I may get it done with just 3 skeins.

On Friday, Bobbi came over to knit and have me help her figure out short rows. I gave it my best shot, but I can't seem to get it on the purl pick up row. I always end up doing it from the front to get it to look right. Luckily, she brought along Colleen, who taught us both the trick. Colleen gave me the following link from which helped me visualize the process and figure out what I was doing wrong. Scroll down to the Short Row with wrap video.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I ripped out my 1st attempt at the Shapely Tank with the gold in the garter stitch hem. Then after swatching with needle sizes, decided it was okay afterall to use the size 6 to be right on gauge. This is in Vanilla Cotton Ease.

Rather than a garter stitch hem, I went looking through Nicky Epstein's Knitting on the Edge until I found something with a 10 stitch repeat - the size I'm doing calls for 110 stitches. I plan on doing the garter stitch finish for the armholes and neckline, but probably just 3 or 4 rows instead of the 6 in the pattern. The last time I did the tank in Knitpicks Shine, the shoulder straps were a bit too wide. I figure if it did that for the sport weight yarn, in the heavier WW, it would be way too much.

I have enough of this yarn to also make a cardigan, so it might be a twin set. I was originally going to make the cardigan as an Xmas gift for my aunt, but since I couldn't find a nice butterfly shaped button to match the white, I got one in dark blue and bought out the last of the Blueberry Cotton Ease while it was still on clearance. This brings my Cotton Ease buying binge up to a grand total of 83 skeins. I've just started using my 11th skein, so I've got a ways to go to use it up.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

My Leftover striped socks are done and I had enough of the two yarns, so I didn't have to improvise with something else.

I like these even better than the socks I'd originally made with the yarns. I changed colors along the bottom of the foot and back of the leg. With the ribbing, you can hardly tell.

This is what I call my plain ol' sock pattern. A 2x2 or 3x1 rib for the leg. Before I start the heel - or after if it's a toe up, I do an inch of stockinette. I work any heel I like, then a stockinette foot and toe. I find these are the most comfortable and show off the yarns best. The ribbed leg stay up. This was a toe up sock and I cast off using Elizabeth Zimmermann's Sewn Cast Off. Very elastic. I used up every bit of the white with flecks Regia and all but 1 yard of the pink. Practically free.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

My daughter is 24. Can you believe it? We all celebrated at El Prado Restaurant in Balboa Park. Here she is with boyfriend.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

After ordering an extra skein of the pink yarn, I wasn't about to let it go to waste. Started right away with these toe up socks. The white speckled Regia yarn is left over from the pair I made my aunt last year. I don't have enough to make the cuffs the length I like, so I'll be mixing in some other yarns. My toes aren't great. Need to practice these more. My new favorite heel - Garter Stitch by Lucy Neatby - works toe up or cuff down, so more toe ups are in my future.

At Last! The Pink Ribbons socks are done. I had so many brain farts with this one and to top it off, I needed more yarn. Dalegarn Baby Ull only has 165 meters per 50 gram skein. I used about 10 yards to finish these. Tried to make them shorter, but were uncomfortable.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Knitting experiment

I experimented with adding a strand of gold Stardust by Feza to the hem [and other borders later] of my Vanilla Cotton Ease Shapely Tank. I don't like it. Also, the Cotton Ease is right on gauge with the size 6 needles, but doesn't drape as nicely as when done in the size 8 or 9. Will have to decide on how to proceed. This piece is getting ripped out for sure.

I have now purchased a total of 74 skeins of Cotton Ease. That JoAnn's by Sports Arena still has it marked full price even though it rings up on clearance so it's not flying off the shelves. I discovered they had the same dyelots as the stuff I got in National City, so I was able to beef up my stash with no color variance.

I've decided to make my aunt in Florida and my mom in Virginia Beach the Sitcom Chic Cardigan as Xmas presents. A Cotton Ease group member gave me her pattern modifications for a 52" finished size and I now can do one in 2X. Both have been hinting for sweaters and since I'm familiar with the pattern, it will do nicely. My 80 year old mom literally has everything, so it's such a relief to have figured out what to get her that she'll like and doesn't already have.

Progress on Pink Ribbons socks. For some reason, I was browsing the ad messages on the Socknitters group and found someone destashing some Dalegren Baby Ull in the same pale pink as my socks. Now that I have another skein coming, I feel better about finishing these up. Will do both toes with new skein, just in case the dyelot difference it noticeable. I hadn't ordered another skein from Patternworks where I originally got the yarn because I refuse to pay ridiculous shipping charges on a 50 gram ball of yarn. The seller of the skein I have enroute popped it in an envelope with 1st class postage running 83 cents.

Off to Whistlestop today. Hope to see some folks there.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

2nd Sitcom Chic cardigan done!

I cranked this one out in a week! Whew... my hands need a break. It's just that it's cotton sweater season and I wanted to be able to wear it in the evenings. This sweater is just so "me" and will be one of my wardroble staples. I will probably do it in plain old black and again in white. First I need to finish up those Pink Ribbons socks I started 2 months ago and resolve the not enough yarn issue. Then probably a tank top or two.

The dark pink [bubblegum] cardigan was done in size 8 needles and used less than 4 skeins of Cotton Ease [207 yards each] for the size Large. I worked this Candy Blue one in size 9 needles, but did everything the same on the body. Overall, it's about an inch wider and used about 28 grams of the 5th skein. I did the sleeve decreases every 5th row instead of 6th to get a true 3/4 sleeve on my short arms.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Knitter's finger

I'm a big fan of all those forensic and detective shows. Should you ever see me without my knitting in hand, you would be able to tell I'm a knitter by the "yarn groove" on the forefinger of my left hand. There are actually 2. The other is above the knuckle and less pronounced. I don't always wrap it twice.

I've been on a knitting marathon. I started my second Sitcom Chic cardigan less than a week ago and I'm closing in on the neck. With any luck, I'll finish it tomorrow. That is, if my hands don't give out. I've bought so much Cotton Ease, I'm trying to keep pace with my stash of 60 skeins of the stuff. I've only used 8 so far. I may be able to knit faster, but my hands are beginning to protest!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

My idol

This fabulous woman is Flora at yesterday's sewing guild neighborhood meeting. She's modeling the belt her granddaughter in NYC sent her. Flora is active in our guild and knits for her church group and made an afghan last year for the 'old folks' at the VA home. Flora is approaching her 93rd birthday. I want to be her when I grow up!!!!

Vanilla Cotton Ease Score!

Today I went down to the JoAnn's on Midway in the Sports Arena area. I rarely go there because they seem disorganized and don't often have much.

Their disorganization worked in my favor. Tucked away with some other white yarns I found a cache of Vanilla Cotton Ease. It wasn't marked on sale or clearance, but with the regular price of $3.99. There were 11 skeins, all from the same dyelot. I put them in a basket and went over to the cashier for a price check. I told them it was a clearance item elsewhere. Scanning brought up the true price of $2.10! And it took my ASG 10% discount.

I feel like such a junkie. [Inky, don't you dare laugh!] So far since the end of June, I've gotten 56 skeins. OTN, my second Sitcom Chic cardigan in Cotton Ease Candy Blue. Have done both sleeves and have about 2 inches to go on the body before I join it all to work on the yoke. Next, I'll start in on the Vanilla [white].

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Time to catch up with friends

Gloriamarie, Melanie and ?? with one of her dogs

Life in San Diego is good

Heather shows off finished lace shawl. That's Judy Gibson in the foreground [of "You're Putting Me On Socks" fame]

Greg stopped by to knit with us

Sue finished this sweater from Lion Brand suede yarn during our Balboa Park event

Thursday, July 07, 2005

FO Sitcom Chic Cardigan

All done! I bought this Cotton Ease yarn on June 26th. Even for me, a pretty fast knitter, it's been an unbelievably quick project. Done all in one piece to the underarms, sleeves done in the round then added on. Learned a lot, especially - read the danged pattern!

I experimented with the backwards loop increase along the side seams and did not like them. They left holes which I darned closed. I've already mentioned how I spiraled the sleeve decreases.

It fits almost too perfectly. Should I start the next one in a larger size? Go up a needle size? Or stick to the exercise plan? Probably a needle size. The pattern called for 6 skeins of the Cotton Ease and I used almost 4. [ Still have 4 more, so I'll make a tank, too] Hmm.... I have 5 of a light blue. Even if I do a larger needle size and make the sleeves full length instead of the 3/4, I'm sure I'll have enough.

I was so impressed with this Chicknits pattern that was free from Knitty, I ordered two other patterns to download from her website , especially after the designer answered my questions about this pattern within hours.

Not a web guru

I messed up with the buttons pictured below and the only way I could figure out how to fix them was to post them here, then copy into my template. So ignore this and the buttons!

Just about done with the Sitcom chic cardigan. Think I'll start a second one tonight. Will post a photo once I've finished it up

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Sitcom chic cardigan progress

I've joined the sleeves to the body and have started working the yoke. The first few rows were hard to manage, but it got easier after the 3rd raglan decrease. Since I will probably make this again - you KNOW I already have the Cotton Ease on hand! - I figured I should ask the pattern designer about the sleeve increases.

I'd started out the 'normal' way, with the increases at the beginning of the round, but then I looked at the directions. Hmmm, repeat decrease round and the instructions for that say K4 then do increases. Anyhow, I decided it was a design element, so my decreases spiral around the sleeve. Interesting. Not bad and since both sleeves are the same, they look fine.

The designer, Chicknits, promptly gets back to me. Oops... should have done it the conventional way. There's always next time.

On another note, my beloved Shapely Tank stretched out horizontally after the second machine washing. Since I did not do the waist shaping, it just hangs from the boobs in a tent like fashion. Still fits beautifully around the neckline and armholes. I'm still wearing it! Too bad if it offends the fashion police. I hand washed it today in hot water in hopes that it will get back to where it was. Next time I make it, I won't go up a size 'just in case' and I will do the waist shaping. If you don't experiment, you'll never learn.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Fair Knitting

DH and I spent yesterday at the San Diego County Fair. Tiring, expensive, and fattening. We love it and go every year. We select the day based on the free concert. This year, they had a comedian we like, Bill Engvall. One man, one mike, huge stage, thousands of people. I laughed so hard I thought my throat was going to close up! Not to mention how many times I snorted. Wiped away so many tears, makeup was totally gone.

The thing with this free event at the Fair is that you have to get there early and WAIT. We went to check on the line at 6 pm for the 7:30 show. They were letting people in, so we got some good seats. There are columns blocking the stage, so you have to be careful. Since we arrived at the Fair when it opened at 10 am, we got a decent parking space, meaning I could return to the car without walking miles in either direction. Left DH holding our seats and went back to the car to get my jacket. Then I had this idea...

I had brought along my knitting and worked on the second sleeve of the Sitcom Chic cardigan during the 45 minute drive to the Fair. Maybe I could grab my knitting for something to do while I waited for the show. But the security screening requires going through a metal detector and examination of all items. The car isn't THAT close and I don't want to make 2 trips. I ask a security guy whether my knitting with my 16 inch Addi circulars will be allowed in. You would have thought I'd asked about landing a spaceship in the arena. The walkie talkies were buzzing, supervisors were called and one came to check me out. I apparently don't look like a terrorist, so was given permission to bring the knitting in. When I got my stuff from the car, I had to find the security supervisor who'd given the okay, but I was waved through. DH was surprised when I triumphantly whipped out my knitting and I happily clacked away until the show started.

Progress on Sitcom Chic cardigan. Took a break from body to do the 3/4 sleeves. Once the body is up to the underarms, the sleeves are joined to do the yoke. I've never worked a sweater this way, so it'll be fun.