Saturday, May 31, 2008

completely wicked

Wicked is off of my needles. I haven't blocked it yet, but it's removed from my WIP list.

I must remember to give it a little bit of slack: Wicked is the first sweater I've completely finished.

All of my complaints are due to the execution of my Wicked. The pattern is very well written, and contains no errata that I know of (some people believe there is-- it's addressed on the Zephyr Blog).

My main complaint is that I should have added more rounds at the waist. I did follow the schematic of the pattern, stopping the waist where it said to, but I should have gone with my instincts and made the sweater longer. The second most bothersome aspect: the sleeves are too big. I increased to accommodate a large bust, but should have only increased the front panel of the sweater, ceasing arm increases at some point sooner. Alternately, I could have followed a seasoned Wicked knitter's advice and just done short-row bust shaping.

Instead of knitting the pocket separately, I picked up stitches directly from the waist of the sweater. This resulted in what I think is an inside-out seam. It may be that this is not avoidable when picking up stitches, but again, I don't really know ... inexperience rules here.

The laundry list of gripes I have is long. Posting them makes me irritable, and I'm a bit curious as to why. Is it because I don't want to be negative? Is it because, really, if I don't like how it turned out, I should just frog it? Or is it because I may be admitting that sweater-knitting might not be my forté?

A track is playing round and round in my head: This is why you knit socks. This is why you knit socks...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'm it...

Tagged! And by Amanda!

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
Um, I sorta hafta think a little. May 1998? I was 19. I was working as a manager for Starbucks Coffee Company. I was going to school, albeit irregularly. I rented a room in a house with three other people: a main tenant who would sleep on the couch (adjacent to my bedroom) and when nodding off, would bang his head on the wall; an older Harley-riding-hookah-loving-out-all-night ladies' man; and an internet porn star who owned a 10-foot-long boa constrictor.

2. What are five things on my to-do list today?
go to the grocery (for a couple of measly but necessary ingredients)::take Annika to ballet::write a letter to my grandmother::work on my month-end reports for our parent organization::mail yarn out to a Raveler (already done).

3. Snacks I enjoy:
Greek yogurt with trail mix, Caramel Macchiato, Pirate's Booty, almonds -- especially toffee coated, sharp cheddar cheese.

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
move to a house where everyone could have their own room -- of course, the kids wouldn't sleep in their own beds, so I'd also need to make sure I bought a California King for the master bedroom; buy lots and lots of fabric, just to have on hand for when I decide I need to sew; buy lots and lots of yarn, just to have on hand for when I decide I need to knit; donate money to the kids' school for grass -- there is none currently -- and books and art supplies galore; get more lenses for my camera; buy a hybrid car; visit ruins in Greece and Italy; take the family to France for a summer; put the rest away for college and weddings and grandchildren.

5. Places I have lived:
I was born in Burlingame, CA, and grew up mostly in Newark, CA; lived in different spots in the San Francisco Bay Area; briefly made a move to Colorado; now live in Modesto, CA.

There you are: more tidbits about me! I'm not going to tag anyone in particular -- guess I'm a party pooper -- but I always like to read others' memes, so if you're so inclined, you can play along!

And because a post isn't really a post without pictures, I'll share with you a bloom from the garden. If I were a billionaire, I'd plant an entire yard full of hydrangeas.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

they're done. seriously.

It's a bittersweet thing, to take a WorkInProgress and officially mark it a FinishedObject. The actual process of knitting is what I enjoy most, and although I can now relish in having something to add to my wardrobe, I always take a little time to reflect after casting off.

It has become apparent to me that while I admire the skill and finery of a complex pattern, I'm finding that with all of the striping yarns I've been using lately, I would have preferred to knit a stockinette foot. I certainly wouldn't frog a whole sock (or even half of a sock), but I can't say the thought didn't cross my mind after the first of the Seriously? pair was finished.

The yarn is sKNITches Syncopation, which is a self-striping yarn. sKNITches makes it easy to have a perfectly mirrored pattern but I'll pass on my own little tip. When you are casting on the first sock, make your slip knot right where one color ends and another begins, also making note of the next color change. Write this down. For example, when I cast on, I wrote: "slknot @ point where blue fades to white, white continues on to gray".

Now if you look, this resulted in a single stripe of blue at the top of my socks. This is a result of the tail-end used in the cast on being blue -- you know, because of where the slip knot was placed. If you are even more anal than I am particular, you could instead make your slip knot a few inches into a color. In the example of the Seriously? colorway, I would have noted: "slknot @ __ inches into white segment; white continues to gray." Easy-peasy.

Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

apron love

Look [though not too closely!] at what was accomplished here at chez SheepishOne last night:

short pleated apron from In Stitches

Revelation: Aprons + socks = projects that are practical, functional, and ALWAYS fit regardless of body type.

The pattern is from Amy Butler's book, In Stitches. I am by no means an experienced sewer. In fact, I can count on one hand how many sewing projects I have under my apron waistband. Still, this pattern was fairly simple to execute. A stumbling block was hit during one of the last steps. I don't know if it was the diagram or the verbage that confused me, but it resulted in me making my own judgment call when it came to attaching the ties to the waistband. The fabric is from Moda's Mary Engelbreit line, Friends and Flowers.

And because I have an admitted problem with collecting things the minute I like them, I have purchased A is for Apron. Watch for other creations here in the future!

mmm... books!

Monday, May 12, 2008

love and marriage

These last couple of weeks have been extremely busy. When I erased the April dry-erase calendar, moved May on over and then added June, out came a little gasp. I just can't believe that we're almost half-way through 2008.

The first week of May found me packing for then flying to San Diego, California. I only stayed one night, but it was the first time EVER I've ever been away on my own since getting married nine years ago. I used to fly to my parents' often with Laurel, but since having three kids, flying seems a daunting task. Flying alone was surreal; every time I heard a child's cry or calling for mother, I'd turn around, looking for one of my own kidlets.

flying above Santa Cruz --
I can even pick out the cove we often picnic on.

My younger sister's marriage was what brought me to San Diego. She married her high school sweetheart, now a Marine stationed at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. They're a very endearing couple and I wish them long-lasting love and friendship.

Just married!

I didn't have very much downtime while on "vacation". A severe head cold hit me the day before I left for the wedding. Knitting took a backseat to my recovery. Having a queen-sized bed to myself was certainly a treat, but I fell asleep so quickly, I forgot to sleep with each and every limb outstretched.

Upon my return to my humble and intact home (there was never a doubt in my mind that my dear, generous husband would keep it so), I rested still, but picked up the needles and finished my ZuluGarter socks.

Though I love the Garter Rib pattern, I have to say that upon reflection, a stockinette sock would have been a much better choice for the beautiful but busy Scout's Swag Superwash Merino in Zuluknitty. These are going to be a gift, so hopefully the recipient is down with funky socks!

I have yet to cast on the second sock of "Seriously?". I love this yarn with every ounce of my being. Although I have stashed a lot of sKNITches Syncopation, I have only ever knit up the old base yarn, and this particular skein is the new Syncopation. This fingering weight yarn has produced a sock that is sturdy and dense -- perhaps due to the nylon content? -- which I found surprising.

Wicked is coming along. I've separated the sleeves from the body [a couple of times]. It may be a while before I'm ready to unveil a finished project, but you'll of course be the first to know!