Monday, January 30, 2006

Nothing worth taking a picture of this morning.

I've been toying with entering the Elann shawl contest. I've been doing swatches on old acrylic yarn to better understand how the shape will work, as I've not made too many shawls. I'm thinking about reversible cables, and some lace ladders to lighten it up.

However, a comment on my wonderful husband, and how he likes what I make for him. He has always worn his hand knit sweaters. Here, in Texas, there is not so much opportunity, but this winter, if you can call it that, whenever the temperature has moved towards 60 degrees, he's put on his new cable sweater. Last week, he put it on inside out, and thought it looked good. I think that's a complement. This weekend he wore it with his Hawaiian shorts. Nice look. Henry8 has been out to dinner, and to the theater as well.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Another sleeve grows. In case anyone is interested, I made some I-cord, picked up for the sleeve, then grafted the edges of the I-cord together. I may add another row of I-cord later. Haven't decided.

Now I face a time management issue.

Concentrate on one piece, so that there is significant progress week to week?


Rotate back and forth between the Circle Square and Ms Poetry?

Does it really matter? I think not. They are both fun to work on.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Circle Square update.

I rip out and did start again, and the guage and measurements are what I wanted. We are at 3.5 repeats, and I've figureed out how to deal with all the ends when the squares all come together.

This is how, in case anyone is wondering...

I like to weave in over two rows, so the tail goes back and forth.

Row 0 = purl row before the big change, weave in "old" ends. This is tricky, as the circle colors are only on three stitches.
Row 1 Add new colors, and weave in their new tails. Same problem with 0. Flip up tails from Old colors. This is a slow row, and I can't do it when tired, drinking, or watching TV.
Row 2 Weave new colors back. Flip up tails from old colors
Row 3 Finish old colors.

I'm also remembering how thrilling those sweaters can be. They are a real mess, but watching the patterns and colors develop is fun fun fun.

Poetry sleeves haven't been started. Poor girl. I should get back to her this week. She thanks you for the kind comments.

So, it will be sleeves, sleeves sleeves here in Swatchyland.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Ms. Poetry feels much better now that she has two rows of I-cord around her edges, and her ends tucked in. She has given me permission to begin on her sleeves.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Kaffe adventure installment.

Last time we checked, some 30 to 40 skeins of worsted stash yarn were resting in a basket. The next benchmark was to make what I call a "sleeve swatch". I guess at the gauge, cast on what I think will be the number of stitches for the cuff, and start knitting, increasing one stitch each side every four rows. I have found that is just about right for sleeve increases regardless of gauge. If I guess correctly, I have four or five inches of sleeve when I stop to check. Then, I calculate the rest of the sweater. If not, well, a swatch is needed in any event, and I get to learn about the pattern and yarns, and how the colors work together.

So, here it is, somewhat fuzzy, but one gets the idea. I guessed wrong enough to need to take it out. This is disappointing, but also sort of good news. The true gauge is 4 st/inch, which is gigantic compared to what I have been working the last few years. I was pleased to see how fast this swatch grew, and when I cast on with fewer stitches, it will be even better.

I have also re-learned some things about weaving in those ends. If I hold two strands together, they really show through. Thus, a plan is required to deal with them. Not a problem for three of the four places where the colors all change. Notice that working from the bottom, the small "corner" segments end, then a new "quarter" starts four rows later, and four rows after that two new "corners". This is managable. However, every time we come to the beginning/end of the circles there will be intersections where two new and two old ends need to be dealt with.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

All done with Branching out.

In the mean time, Miss Poetry was quite distressed to be photographed in such disarray. I am making it up to her by spending some quality time adding her edging, cleaning up ends and trimming her steeks a bit better. She will not be photographed again until she is more presentable.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Many colorful pictures today

First, a Poetry in stitches update. The body is off the needles, steeks cut and shoulders knitted together. I put a little shaping in the shoulders and back neck, so I have some ends to clean up. She looks sort of messy and sad with no arms, and all the curly edges.

I added a detail on the shoulder for the seam. The large motif was difficult to center over the arm holes, and I wanted my seam to have matching motifs.

And the oh so popular shot of the inside showing the floats.

I think I'll work I cord edges and clean up the body before starting on the sleeves. Right now, I'm thinking double three stitch I cord edge in light blue, but I may pick up in avocado, and then do blue.

In the mean time....

I joined another Knit Along. This would be the Kaffe Fasset KAL sponsored by Sam at Blythe Dance

This is perfect for me, because I have been rationalizing my yarn acquisition habit by claiming "I'm collecting for a Kaffe". Now, if you look at my Gallery, you will see no Kaffes. I've done a "Tumbling Blocks", and several baby and child sized "Box Stripes", but those were years ago. Well, the time is now.

So here is my process for putting this together.

First, narrow down something. I decided on a few patterns. I've been comming back to the "Circle Square" and "Split Diamond" patterns.

Second, I pulled out all my worsted stash yarn and threw it all around. Then I sort of sorted it into color groups. Did I mention I had an acquisition problem? This is not nearly all of it, and a lot of those skeins have "friends" still in the bin.

Third, I decided for sure on Circle Square, and really liked the Zoe Hunt red/green colorway. So, I needed two color groups. I sorted out red/magenta for one group, and green/blue for the other. I added some "pop" colors, and here is where I ended up.

Reds to red purple. No true purple or bluish purples. Some pinks and coral for "pop". Over 20 colors to choose from.

Greens to blues, with turquoise and mints to "pop". Maybe 20+ again; didn't count. I may pull out the mints towards the bottom, as I think they will read too light.

Then I put them into baskets, and took a rest.
By the way, I only spent an hour including clean up.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Shilo models the "Branching Out" scarf project. Nice project for TV, school pickup waiting and so on.

More vacation. Non knit content.

Probably the highlight of the trip was taking daughter snorkeling. She's not a great swimmer, or comfy in the water. I was hesitant to purchase fins and mask/snorkel for her before we left, but the dive shop was having a super sale, so we did, and also a nice skin suit so she could float with reduced risk of burn.

The very first day was a complementary snorkel boat trip sponsored by the resort. The resort owner was great, stating that lost luggage was no reason to lose a day of vacation. We borrowed their equipment, bathing suits from SIL and off we went. It was a bit windy where we stopped with some current running. Daughter got her gear on, flopped into the water, and immediately popped up and yelled "WOW". She had a bit of trouble clearing her snorkel and needed some coaching on how to use her fins effectively, but after that, she was on her way. Later in the trip, we visited a "blue hole". Again, she was the first in the water, and took a peek, and popped up with a "Wow, that's a big hole", which at 660 feet, it certainly was.

We snorkeled of did SCUBA almost every day of the trip.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year.

We are back from a fabulous vacation. This was finished before we left. So, this little hat would be the last FO for 2005

Note to self. Don't fly Air Bahama. Unless, of course, you like to miss connections, arrive in the wrong place without your luggage, and sit in transit lounges on your vacation. If you like that, then Air Bahama is your kind of airline. Harsh, but our experience, and what seems to be typical. Of course it all makes sense when you hear the story. Our flight was late out of Nassau. Of course, it was the first flight of the day; the one that ought to go out on time. By the time our flight arrived in Nassau, the flight to Long Island had left, but the agent rushed us, without our luggage, through the airport and planted us on a flight that was being held for us, and another group. That was sweet, and very appreciated. So off we go to Long Island, but we landed on the other side of the island than our intended destination, and without our luggage. I suppose it beats being stuck on Nassau without luggage. It was all straight by the next day, though I'm still not clear as to how our luggage got through customs without us. Some things are best not understood. We noticed that most of the people at our resort that arrived via Air Bahama, also managed to make it before their luggage arrived. We noticed that in the transit lounge on the way out, all flights ran about two hours late, and the day was clear. Contental flights left on time. We also noticed that the Nassau/Miami flight was over booked and many Miami passengers ended up on our flight to Lauderdale. I guess their idea is to get the passengers close to where they thought they would end up, and deal with the luggage later. Makes me wonder how any luggage arrives on time, since the flight you are on is probably carrying luggage for the previous flight passengers, so yours would have to wait.

Other than that, the resort was splendid and the holiday was wonderful.

On the flight to Florida I worked on the Rose Trellis shawl. I remember finishing a half repeat during the flight, and figuring out how many hours it would take to finish the shawl. I don't remember the calculation, as that was many snorkel dives and rum punches ago. I do remember thinking that it would probably take just about the entire vacation to finish. I was right. Even with two hours waiting at the Long Island airport, and another three in the Nassau transit lounge on our return, the thing was not quite done. I finished it just as we pushed back from the gate in Lauderdale on our way to Houston. How about that?

So, presenting the first Swatchy FO of 2006.

and because it looks cool, some detail...

That's not all, but it's all for now. Check back later for more vacation notes, and what I knit between Ft. Lauderdale and Houston.