Friday, October 24, 2008

A longer than normal summer absence. I suppose moving to France has something to do with it. I do believe that my knitting goals are pretty well blown. Not a problem; knitting has been way down the list of priorities for the past few months.

The climate here favors wearing my wool sweaters way more than Houston. I suppose that is a big DUH. I've had Fern on most days this week. My other favorite is the Starz sweater.

Even after three months, I'm still settling in. I still need to find places for some of the things we brought with us, and re-arrange what I've already put away. Also, lamps - our little house is dark. Thus, not a lot of time, or even interest in knitting, and with no knitting, what is the point of a knitting blog?

Well, I have finished this sweater for my sister in law. As you can tell, it is a companion sweater to the green one I made earlier in the year. I hope they enjoy them.

I have found the flying geese sweater, and will try to get that together and finish it next.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Where's Swatchy?
Has it been the normal summer slump?
Swatchy is moving to France.

So, knitters with large stash, consider this. Imagine that you will be leaving for at least two years, but perhaps quite a bit longer. Then look at your stash. You have three months to prepare your entire house, and you work a normal 40 hour plus week, and have a daughter to care for.

What do you do?

This is what I did.

First, I stewed, and cleaned a different closet.

I took all the yarn that I didn't love. I bought a lot off of EBay for 50 cents per ounce or so, plus shipping. Since I was a motivated seller, I decided that the 50cents per ounce mark was good. I was lucky enough to be able to attend an annual knitting guild yarn swap. I also volunteered at a workshop and sold more at lunchtime there as well. A Ravelry lady bought some too. Two or three large bins gone, and I made more than $100. (ummm, you do the math on the volumes) Great!

Message here is that local knitting guilds and clubs rock. I quit going because it conflicted with Girl Scouts. When the troop quit, I never got back to going. I should have.

Third, I thought about my basic stash problem. I don't use this because it goes with that, and there is enough of that for a whole sweater.

I bought a lot of those canvas/plastic sweater bags at The Container Store. I took all my yarn where I had enough for a large cable sweater, and put two sweaters worth of yarn in each bag. I'm liking to do two color Norwegian type sweaters these days, so then I took two color combinations and stored them the same way. And so on. I ended up with 18 bags. Now, since I knit about six sweaters in a normal year, that amounts to six years of knitting.

Message here - I let my purchasing get way out of control. Hence, the yarn diet. Looks like a six year yarn diet.

There was still more yarn. Nice yarn. Some of my favorite kinds - the vintage Wool/Shetland wool. Hmmm. We decided to keep our house, and to have an "owners closet" in that house. So that is where it went.

Then, what to do with the books and patterns? When I was pulling yarn for the bags, I also noted ideas for patterns when I had them. I pulled all the books and magazines where those patterns lived, and a few more that I especially liked. They also went into the shipment. Over the years, I have marked a number of magazines up with sticky notes where I really liked a pattern, so it was pretty quick to find those pages again. The rest went to storage.

Message, Sticky notes in magazines are handy.

Fourth, or maybe some time in the middle, I had to think about what I was bringing with me. There will be six to eight weeks from the time all is packed until it shows up on the other side of the pond. I took the three project that I have in progress, and one more. So, one of my suitcases is about half full of yarn.

I haven't looked at my projects for about five weeks because I have the rest of the house to work too. But, now it's done. The packers came and packed. The container was filled, and is at a warehouse, getting re-arranged for shipping and storage. The ship sails on July 9th.

I'm tired.

Friday, May 16, 2008

It's too short. Not a little short - like - I can block it longer short, but really too short. Three pattern repeats of the flying geese patterns too short. A whole skein and a half short.
My husband has a long torso; I know that. I had to snip and lengthen the Hardangervidda. The Starmore sweaters are usually sized really large, and I figured the measurements would be ok. Just to be safe, I pulled out Hardangervidda. My husband LOVES this sweater now. I put the geese on top, and this is what I saw.
I'm glad I did a compare before adding the sleeves. I will have yarn of the same dye lot to use.
After pouting, I decided to snip between the ribbing and the beginning of the pattern. Pick up the ribbing, re-do the body increase, then do three pattern repeats. Then, use my new awesome grafting skills to stick it back together. I have a lot of other work to do at home, so I can't dedicate myself to fixing this, so I have a three week plan as a goal.
Week one - snip and pick up
Week two - knit the three pattern repeats
Week three - graft
So, by the weekend of June 7th, I should be able to start on the sleeves.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Flying Geese has a front and a back now. Measurements seem to be what I was going for. I think it will block a bit larger, and that is fine.

Now for the anxious part. I started with 16 skeins, and I have used 11 1/2 for the body. That leaves 4 1/2 for the sleeves and collar. This seems like not quite enough.

This color is not discontinued, so it is possible to get some more, but probably not the same dye lot. There is a pattern break about the elbow of the sleeve, where I could add on in a different dye lot, and if there is a slight color change, I don't think it would take away from the work.

We shall see.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Happy 5 year birthday, blog.

The front is finished on the Flying Geese gansey. It was politely admired this weekend while I was at camp.

I started teaching my very first basic sailing class this weekend, and my students all did very well. We had great weather, and all that they need to do is test off their skills next weekend.

Learning to sail is pretty hard. If the weather is bad, the students don't get enough time on the water to practice. This weekend, we had to start late on Sunday because of too much wind, and Saturday, cut the session short because the wind and current conspired to sweep our beginners all over the bay. So, all who could sail in were sent to the beach, and the motorboats rounded all the rest up. We had a damaged spar set, and a few freaked out sailors, but all were safe, and the weather was better in the afternoon, so we sailed again, and it was great.

I was leaving feeling very satisfied. In the parking lot there was a mother yelling at her daughter. The girl looked to be pretty young; probably just old enough to take the class. The girl apparently needed to come back next weekend to finish testing out, and to get her card. This is very normal, and the fact that she was invited to come back indicates that she was one of the ones that just ran out of time. The ones who don't seem to be intereested are simply allowed to leave. This mom was screaming about how many times she had to drive to camp, and how this girl should have tried harder. She ended up with how she was tired of wasting her time on this girl, and no more camp, and no more Girl Scouts.

I did nothing. I've had enough parenting challenges to perhaps be over sensitive to people who know nothing about my circumstances to butt in. However, I don't know if I could ever tell my child that I was wasting my time on her. It made me very sad.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The geese have flown, and all that is left is a lot of knits and purls. I started this about a month ago, as a vacation project. I was almost done with that big green fair isle, and I didn't want to pack a huge sweater that I wasn't going to wear to Europe and back. I didn't have the patience to put together a few baby projects. So, I grabbed some skeins of nature spun, and got on the airplane.

Upon returning, the sweater didn't want to be photographed on the circular needle. She didn't think being all bunched up was flattering. I suppose I had to agree, as I have waited until now to take her picture.

This pattern really looks nice, and isn't all that difficult. I really like the way the bobbles nestle into the little cable. Maybe I'll post a close up when my camera battery is recharged.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Big Fair Isle is done.

Just in time too. While we are enjoying wonderful weather in Houston this week, we have had some episodes of summer heat and humidity.

Last year, I dumped my "Fern" project until it cooled down because I just couldn't bear to work with the wool.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Originally uploaded by SwatchyKnitter

I suppose if you have to think inside of a box, this is a way to do it.

Ah, it is April now. First quarter is finished. So many reports to do. Let's do a fun one


Charlie Brown Sweater - Complete
Florida Baby Sweater - Complete
Green Fair Isle - 80%
Brilla pullover - 50%
New Gansey - 30%

Gold Wool/Shetland Wool - 8 skeins; 16 oz
Black Debut - 1.5 skeins; 2.8 oz
Avocado worsted - 2.5 skeins; 10 oz
Pine Green worsted - 3 skeins; 12 oz
Brilla print - 5 skeins; 8.8 oz
Nature Spun sport - 5 skeins; 8.8 oz
Cotton odd balls - 5oz

Q1 Total
1 adult sweater
1.6 unfinished sweater equivalents
1 baby sweater
25 skeins of various weight.
63.4 oz, or almost 4 pounds.

That feels like success.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Look Ma, One Arm

Originally uploaded by SwatchyKnitter
Back from vacation, and there is a new project started. More on that, later. For now, we see that this fair isle is about ten days from being finished.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I think I missed a week of blogging. Did you miss me? Proabably not; I can't tell that anyone reads this but me.

Well, Mr. Brown is done. Good thing too. I'm leaving Wednesday for a two week trip, and I think it would be nice to send it off before I leave. Poor cousin Joe has been waiting since Christmas. I hope he enjoys it.

Some off schedule knitting. I was playing with my stash, and decided that these colors of cotton/Acrylic yarn made me happy. Strange, as I was tossing the skeins into the "garage sale" pile. There was an oddball of orange/pink cotton chenille stuff that I aquired during my "ebay problem" days. It looked like it would work well, so I used it for the collar, cuffs, and button band. I'm happy with how it turned out, and I hope the Floriday baby's new mom will enjoy it as well.

Most of the knitting for this pretty was done on the way to and from a Backpacking trip. It's great to go backpacking with teen age girls.

I'm off on vacation later this week for ten days. whooo hooo.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Projects in need of discipline.

Charlie has been collared, but needs to be firmly blocked.

Fair Isle needs to be collared.

Monday, February 18, 2008

When last we saw this guy, it was just two pattern repeats up the body. I'm just past double that, and as you can see the armhole has been set. This picuture also shows the side seam design that I've used. This design will be picked up and continued under the arm, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Starting to look like a Charlie Brown Sweater. This would be the back, and I'm about two inches from shoulder shaping today. I expect to be done with this piece by the weekend.
Everything is smack dab on gauge and looking good.

Monday, February 04, 2008

This week more of the same, so no pictures.

Two sleeves for Charlie Brown. I spent some quality time with some graph paper, and worked out the zig zag. Hope I don't lose my paper.

Three and a half repeats on the fair isle, and set the sleeve steeks.

I did start a spreadsheet for stash use this year. 29.8 ounces.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Lots of knitting this week.

For the "Charlie Brown" sweater, I have a sleeve. I'm trying to work on this one during conference calls and in waiting rooms. The sleeves, and most of the body are pretty dull; plain stockinette, with a very simple zigzag. I make myself work on it. I have a business trip next week, and plan to take only this project.

Now, for the fun. Isn't she pretty? I just love all over fair isle patterns, and this one reminds me ceramic tiles. This is two full pattern repeats. I want to end the shoulder at one of the two "mirror image" inflection points in the pattern so I can do the "in pattern pick up" that Meg Swanson discusses in her "Knitting" book. ( this would be the Russian Prime project text)

From a stash busting perspective, by the way, I used up 12 ounces of yarn just this week. Wow!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Big picture day.

First things first. I became so enamored of Ravelry, linking to see other projects, setting up my queue, wandering through the forums, joining groups, and looking at more projects that I quite forgot to knit for a time. Well, knit, or do much of anything else.

This is progress on a Brilla print "Graduated Ribs" top out of the "Knitters Stash" book. I threw the yarn and the pattern into my travel bag for Christmas, in case I needed something to start, and especially if I couldn't stand making another mohair scarf at the time. I did an arm and a half. Since then, the other arm has been done, and I'm on the third ball up the body. That's about 7 inches. I'm going to set it aside for a while, because I really want to knock out some wool projects. I've found that once it starts warming up here in Houston, I can't stand to work on wool, so I'll pick this one up then. See you later, Brilla.

Now, here is a boring one. I decided to offer a hand knit sweater as my gift to the family gift swat. The fellow who won the gift wants a "Charlie Brown" sweater. Plain, crew neck, yellow with a black zig zag. lucky for me, I've got the right yellow, and some black that is the same gauge in my stash. I'm using the "Grand Plan Pullover" directions from an elderly Interweave Knits so I don't have to calculate a set in sleeve from scratch. I did an intarsia swatch, but still have to math out the zig zag.

Now, the one I'm currently thrilled with. It's a little fair isle from a very old Vogue Knitting magazine. Holiday 1987. I'm using some vintage Marietta Knitting Worsted from the Caron company for the light green, and some no name wool for the dark. Both procured from eBAY, both stash. I love watching these Nordic patterns grow out of the ribbing.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Phew, nice for Fern to be done. I was putting off a lot of stuff, because I thought I should get her finished first. So, a lot feels backed up.

A while ago, I changed my template, to make it more compliant with standard blotter. I had really hacked up a template to my liking, but I wasn't keeping it up because I'm interested in doing a knitting blog, not proving that I can hack HTML.

I'm adding sidebar stuff as I go along, not even trying to replace what I had. I put the rings back in, and I think they work properly. I left out the Knit along stuff, as I've completed the ones I signed up for. I will be contributing to the Vogue 25th anniversary KAL this year.

I put my year goals up top. Pretty much like last year, knit from stash, try to do six sweaters. Different than last year, in that I have actually planned most of the sweaters I want to do, and have pulled and boxed the stash for them. I also learned from looking at my blog activity that I just can't bear to work with wool in the summer. So, I've set aside some cotton and cotton/rayon projects just for summer.

I'm loving Ralvery, by the way, as their project queue seems to make the planning even more real than the boxed yarn with their assignments.

The stash has been quite a lump to deal with. I found I would dig around, and not use particular yarn because there was either too much ( enough to make an entire sweater, or enough for half a two color sweater ), or not enough, or I was saving that yarn for this project or that. Talk about a Goldilocks syndrome.

I have a lot of "Vintage" yarn where the ball bands are either absent, or do not indicate yardage. This causes a lot of anxiety when planning a project. Keeping records last year has helped a lot. I have been weighing finished sweaters, and now have a much better grip on how much I need to do a particular sized piece.

My head had some projects that got into my head, that I can't stop fussing over. This is where I started with my planning exercise. I wanted to make a set of "his and her" sweaters for BIL and SIL. They wear that kind of stuff; I've seen their whole family decked out in matching Aloha shirts on vacation. So I did a lot of digging, and fussing, and finally decided on what I wanted to do for that project. Hence, the Fair Isle pullovers. His will be light avocado and pine green. Hers will be purple and the same light avocado. I'm making some modifications in order to make the pattern suit the gauge, and noting that.

I also have a baby sweater still on my mind. This is one left from my last year baby mania. The girl is born, but I'm not feeling a rush. I like to make a 1 year old size; newborn sizes are too small after a short three months. I got these GREAT vintage fish buttons while on vacation, so, I'm thinking of making this Dale of Norway model, but doing a fish motif in the yoke band instead of the leaf motif. I like the way the hem edge is wavy; I think it will go with the fish motif well. I have to go into the stash and find the colors. I know I have the pink, and yellows and pretty sure I have good choices minty green. Should be cute.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Houston, you can get to cold winter now. I have a new sweater.

I was planning on stating my goals for 2008, but I'm sort of bushed now.

Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Happy New Year.

I've been back from holiday since Saturday evening, but still getting my life sorted out. We had a nice driving and visiting and sight seeing vacation that lasted two and a half weeks. I really disconnected from my normal day to day, which is what vacations are all about. I didn't do too much evaluating of 2007 or planning for 2008 either. Just saw a lot of people; did some hiking and sight seeing.

I gave every one of the brioche scarfs I had knit this year away.

Husband needed to start on a business trip, so I had to drive at the beginning. This made me a bit grumpy, as I was planning on finishing Fern and the Dale baby sweater on the trip out. I did finish the baby sweater completely, and all the knitting on Fern. Still have to sew it up.

So, Knitting Evaluation from 2007

Goals were

1) use only stash

2) knit 6 adult sweaters


1) purchased some stash on Mothers day, but it was all used up by the end of the year. Count as a success

2) I will count Fern as a 2007 sweater, and make the count 5 sweaters.

2a) A Cardigan for Arwen - 26 oz

2b) Elegant Diagonals - 16 oz

2c) Hardangervidda - 32 oz

2d) Brilla coverup - 17 oz

2e) Fern - 20 oz


13 fluffy brioche scarves average 2.5 oz per scarf = 32.5 oz

5 baby sweaters 28 oz total

If the goal was to use stash to make 6 sweaters, I'd say that the scarfs and baby sweaters count towards that goal, and the goal was well met.

Total ounces removed from stash 171, if I added correctly.

That's over 10 pounds!!