Friday, August 29, 2008

Socks defrosted

No, I am not finished with my cardigan, but I have started the Spring Thaw Socks. Wow, what a fun knitting project and what a gorgeous design. This is the first pair of toe-up socks I have made. Instead of using Judy Becker's Magic Cast-on that Cat Bordhi called for in the pattern, I used the Turkish Cast-on. All I can say is that it's amazing to take yarn wrapped around two needles and begin knitting. The toe looks great, continuous, seamless, uninterrupted stitches. I struggled a bit with the increases and frogged the toe when I discovered that the increases did not look symetrical because I had not done them correctly. After about 20 false starts, I finally succeeded in getting the first sock started yesterday (8/28/08) morning. I made good progress, yesterday. This is not a design for the faint-hearted, but I think it will be rewarding to successfully complete it.

And yes, I will complete the cardigan. I am very good at finishing projects that I start. That's what I say, and I'm standing by it!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

No joy in Mudville

On Monday, August 25, I completed the second sleeve. Yesterday, I frogged the back neck trim because of an error at the shoulder seam. I have reknit and attached half of the neck trim and will try to redo the other side tonight. I should have the sweater completed by Friday night. It seems, I just cannot break the 3-week barrier.

I have started the Spring Thaw socks, my first pair of toe-up socks. They are lovely, but the increases don't match. I'll have to re-examine that technique, and maybe frog the sock. The twisted ribbing really looks neat, much better than my regular one-by-one ribbing.

I hope to get some photos posted this week.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ouch! Sore muscles

Who knew knitting could be such strenuous exercise. I am sore all over from sitting and knitting. I finished the first sleeve this morning, washed it and blocked it. It is drying at this time. I don't see any possibility of completing the cardigan before the end of the closing ceremony. Oh, well! I will probably get it finished on Sunday afternoon. This is a record for me. My previous record for knitting a sweater was three weeks, and that was for short-sleeve, mostly stockinette sweaters, albeit made with skinny yarn. I am quite pleased with my work on this, both the design and the knitting. The yarn has been great to work with and I like my hybridized design. I'll put some progress photos up tonight or tomorrow and a finished photo on Sunday.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sailing right along ...

On Tuesday night (Aug. 19), I finished the fronts of my cardigan, attached the fronts to the back, completed the back neck trim and tucked in all the yarn ends. On Wednesday morning, I cast on for the first sleeve and as of this morning, I was up to the elbow. Also, this morning, I blocked the bodice of the sweater. Blocking it required quite a bit of scrunching to conform it to the measurements. It really looks beautiful to me. I'm thinking more and more that this cardigan will be entered into the fair. I've never entered any projects in the fair (Panhandle South Plains Fair), but this seems a likely candidate. My Geese Gone Goofy ruana may also be entered once I redistribute the yarn that got caught in a brooch while hanging in my closet -- reminder that I need to post photos of this project.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Behind, as usual

Why is it that when we work on a project, we tend to underestimate the amount of time needed to complete the project. I have never been known to overestimate the time needed. Contrary to what I stated in my previous entry, I did not compete the fronts of my cardigan and attach them at the shoulders by bedtime on Saturday. It is now Tuesday, and I'm still working on the back neck trim. Maybe I'll finish that part today, but I wouldn't bet on it. It's my birthday, and I'm hoping my husband has dreamed up a fun celebration -- at least a yummy dinner out.

Yesterday, I received a really neat present from my daughter and her family including her three little pre-school boys. In the package was a birthday cake (plastic bag of dry ingredients and instructions for making the cake) and a booklet of the boys' artwork. I love it! And, I love them -- one and all. A coworker gave me the book, Knitting for Peace. How special it is to work with friends who understand and affirm my passion for knitting and/or sewing.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Making "expected" progress

The fronts of my cardigan are about half done. I think I should be able to complete the fronts, join the fronts to the back at the shoulders, and attach the back neck trim before bedtime on Saturday. Then, all I'll have left to knit is the sleeves. That sounds really good; however, my history with knitting sleeves is that they seem to take a long time to knit. Logically, I should be able to knit the sleeves and complete the sweater by the end of Wednesday, but I'll bet I won't finish until Friday. I have never been able to figure out why sleeves take me so long to knit -- it's just always been that way.

I am still hoping to get the socks done as well as the cardigan, but I have to take some time out to walk and get some exercise or I'll be a "basket case" by the end of the Olympics. It's funny how Olympians get more fit as they compete while Ravelympians accumulate more adipose tissue and aches and pains as they compete.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sock yarn arrives -- finally!

Yesterday, the yarn for my Ravelympics socks arrived. I can't say I'm thrilled about the color, but it will be okay once it is knitted into socks. I just hope I will have time to make them.

The fronts of my cardigan are started, but the knitting is going much more slowly than the back. The yarn from the two balls tangles so easily and has to be periodically untangled. Just putting down and picking up between the two fronts uses valuable time. I may decide to make the sleeves one at a time rather than both at once. I have no doubt that I can finish this project within the allotted time, but the socks -- that's another matter.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


The back of the cardigan is finished. Now to cast on the fronts. I did not make as much progress as I had hoped I would yesterday. By the time I got home from work, I was hurting all over -- every muscle, every joint.

"Got to move it -- MOVE IT!!" "Get physic-ally fit!!"

Monday, August 11, 2008

Knitting is going swimmingly

Three days of knitting when I can, and I'm up past the armpits on the back of my cardigan. I think that is good progress. I should be able to finish the back and cast on for the front by bedtime tonight. The yarn is really good to work with and shows off the texture very well.

Since I am such a buxom broad, I have decided to modify the front pattern slightly to add more ease over the bustline. I will add another pattern sequence to each side of the front, then decrease those stitches away after I've done the armscye shaping -- sort of a dart next to the front panel. I see no reason at this time that it would not work out well.

The yarn for my second Ravelympics project has still not arrived. I'm not exactly depressed over the delay because I'm not at all sure I will even be able to get to the socks after knitting the cardigan.

All this sitting and knitting is taking a toll on my neck and shoulders -- must take time to get some exercise.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Ravelympics Knitting

I have been neglectful about posting knitting in my blog; however, that does not mean I have not been knitting. This year, I decided it was about time I learned to knit socks. After knitting three pairs of socks for myself, I concluded that if I started right away, I will be able to knit a pair of socks for each female member of my family for Christmas. At this time I am well on my way to my goal having knit either nine or ten pairs. I will post photos of the socks soon.

This morning at 7:00 a.m. CDT, I cast on for my Ravelympics knitting. I have entered in two events: the Sweater Sprint and the Sock Put. My team is the Lone Star State Knitters. The sweater I have planned to knit and which I began this morning is a cardigan styled like the Minimalist Cardigan designed by Ruthie Nussbaum for the Fall 2007 issue of Interweave Knits; however, I am using the stitch pattern combination from Hanover in Jean Frost Jackets. I have combined the two designs with a few changes of my own, run the whole thing through SweaterWizard so that the instructions conform to my yarn and stitch gauge, and modified the file to produce instructions for the knitting. The yarn is Lily Chin Park Avenue merino and alpaca, and I get 22 sts and 30 rows in Shadow Rib pattern on US size 7 needles.

My other Ravelympics project is the Spring Thaw socks designed by Cat Bordhi and published in the Summer 2008 issue of Knitter's Magazine. I will use apple green Essential sock yarn from Knit Picks, if my shipment arrives in time (ordered on July 16).