Knit Meter

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

So Close And Yet So Far

My oldest project is a complicated lacy thing. Complicated because it requires concentration so it is my movie project although only regular movies not the artsy fartsy foreign language with sub titles stuff we like to watch. So as you can imagine this project has been going on for a while. But that's OK, it has kept me happy on Saturday night. It's amazing how much faster the knitting went when I added stitch markers between pattern repeats so that I wasn`t constantly counting stitches. A week ago I stopped I had just one more row to go – the cast off row. I was so excited to be there and finally see what this lace blob was going to look like.

Casting off in lace has to be very loose. For previous projects, I have increased needle size by lots or I have increased stitches. This particular pattern had a different way of casting off and the yarn was used double. After a few repeats I could see that the cast off edge was going to be loose enough so I continued as set. Except throughout the movie I had two mantras: "I don't like that girl" (character in movie) and "I don't think I have enough yarn". And low and behold I didn't have enough yarn (and I didn't like the character throughout the whole movie). How could I get this far and this close and still not be able to finish? Unpicking and redoing the cast off was not an option. Once I had gone through the fiddly process I would still have to work a very loose cast off so there was no guarantee that I would have enough yarn. I posted on Ravelry but no response so I found an online store that had the colour I needed. (A result of combining their Canadian and US operations. So I was lucky to find it as the colour is not shown on the manufacturer's website.) The colour was on sale so the cost of postage brought it up to normal price.

And that was what I wrote yesterday but hadn't got around to publishing so now this post is turning into a real whine. I ordered the yarn on Sunday night and received an automatic response. Then this afternoon I received an email from the company telling me the yarn was out of stock and they wouldn't be getting anymore. How could this be they had a number of skeins in stock when I placed my order and I only ordered one. So I responded to them with that question.

I then Googled the yarn because it obviously wasn't going to be easy to find. I clicked on a link that Google came up with and it took me to that website. (I hadn't realised as the site name and shop name are different.) And guess what? They still show 5 skeins in stock. So Customer Service who emailed me this afternoon didn`t think to update their website. And let me add here this is a well known on line store that yarnies rave about. Hurumph is all I can say.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Holiday Knitting

Had a slightly different vacation this year. I took boy child to Denver, where we used to live, as a graduation present. The spousal unit stayed at home to keep the cats company and look after my garden. Yes, I really piled the pressure on.

As is usual with holiday knitting, I wanted something easy and something new. A week before we went away one of the organisers of Western Canada Odd Ball Blanket Society put forward the idea of knitting themed squares for new blankets. I do admire her as she offered to sew them together. The themes were bugs, flowers, boy themed. I decided to make one square in each theme, as I would just need to take two balls of yarn (from my stash no less) 1 pair of needles and my notions case.

I did take other yarn with me which I'll tell you about after the photos of my squares.

The yarn used for all of the squares was Vanna's Choice which I had purchased when on sale at Michaels; needle size 5.5 mm.

The pattern was from here.

This is the pattern. I cast on fewer stitches and made the border smaller and worked fewer rows at beginning and end so this square would come out close to the required size.

This pattern was from the Yahoo Group so I cannot give a direct link. It is a rectangular design so I blocked it to make it a square.

I could have made all three squares from one ball of yarn but decided that the boy themed should be blue.

I did take other yarn and a pattern and needles with me but I had already been yarn shopping by the time I'd finished all three squares so I cast on some of the yarn I bought instead. I can't say what the pattern is yet as the Spousal Unit is supposed to be guessing, but here is a picture of the yarn.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Heel We Go

The options for June for the Sock Knitting Group were
Technique: Design Your Own Or Vintage Patterns
Designer: Stephanie Van Der Linden

I decided against designing my own pattern as I knew there would be too many choices to make so for June I opted to make a Stephanie Van Der Linden pattern. I chose GrĂ¼n ist die Hoffnung as it started with knitting lace in the round and then continued into a sock. I used Fleece Artist Merino in a softly variegated green.

You work the lace medallion first, continue on one side to create a short row toe, work the sole in stocking stitch while picking up stitches on two sides of the square, continue in the round on all stitches until foot is long enough, work a short row heel, continue in the round until leg is the required length. And there’s your sock.

The written pattern by Stephanie Van Der Linden was very short and easy to follow except I was not sure what she meant for her short row instructions, so for the first toe I worked a standard wrap and turn that I have used many times for heels. Except when completed I was not sure I really liked the look of it, as I had 3 more opportunities of working short rows in this pattern I decided to try other methods to compare and which I liked best for future reference.

Here is the picture of the first wrap and turn toe.

For the heel, I searched for instructions on how to do the double stitch method referred to in the pattern. This is a photo of just one side. I found plenty of instructions for working this on the purl row but not for working on a knit row. So I am not convinced that I worked it correctly on knit rows.

The second toe, I worked without wraps and picking up a stitch at the side when working back along the rows. This is a picture of the nicer side. With this method I had to really make sure I had picked up the correct stitch.

I had found two clips on You Tube for short row heels that involved knitting two together and making a stitch on the return rows. As I had just one heel left, I chose to go with this method.
This is a picture of what it looked like.

The end result of my experimentation (apart from a pair of socks) is that I decided that my original wrap and turn toe did not look as bad as I first thought; the final method is the one I like best but I will need to make some modifications to ensure both sides of the heel look the same; there are more methods out there for me to try.

Here are the finished socks.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I Hope He Didn’t Find That In A Dumpster

Yesterday we went out for coffee before facing the supermarket. We must look like trustworthy souls as a guy sitting opposite us asked to watch his bag. I made the typical girl comment that is wasn't safe if it contained chocolate. (I don't know why I say things like that when I don't even eat chocolate very often.)

Anyway, he comes back, takes a container out of his backpack, and says "chocolate". My immediate response, "that's not chocolate, that's Hershey's." "I know", says he " but I found it." Hmm, wonder whose chocolate he's stolen.

The spousal unit then asks about the book he's reading. The guy says he found it in a dumpster when looking for bottles. "it's amazing what people throw away, this is in brand new condition."

So now I'm worried where he found the chocolate.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Blogging in Starbucks

So here I am a lonely person on my laptop in Starbucks.

The reason being that I am on vacation and the power is out in the hotel. So in need of coffee I decided to take the computer with me and catch up on a few things.

I was surprised when I walked in that most of the tables were occupied by one person on their computer so I didn't need to worry that I would be the only one. The tables that were used by more than one person were meetings, I don't think anyone is in here with a friend just being sociable.

The point of this post is to ask about the etiquette of using your computer at Starbucks.

Starbucks provides free internet and you don't even have to log in and provide an email address. Very easy. The person sitting next to me came in after me and plugged her laptop into a power socket and is working away, I don't know if she is using the internet. That's OK other patrons are using Starbucks' power but..... she isn't a patron she hasn't purchased a thing. Considering a coffee is less than US $2.00 it strikes me as being rude to use Starbucks facilities without making a purchase. I am sure it has not occurred to her that if we all did that Starbucks would stop the free service and would become like the fast food places where you only get the key to the bathroom if you purchase something.