Saturday, March 10, 2012

Yarn Harlot would be pleased

For the past couple of days something inside of me has been saying, "Finish everything." So everything comes off the needles. I imagine this is the opposite of startitis...finishitis maybe? Or maybe it's me being tired of just having 2 pairs of knitted socks because they haven't turned out right or I get stuck having just knit one sock.

I went to finish the second Monkey sock. The first one flew off the needles last summer and I really meant to cast the second one on before deciding that I should finish the second sock I started before Christmas (this sock is still languishing). I put the Monkey down,put it in ravelry and forgot about it. Three days ago I pulled out the yarn to start the second one. I had nothing in my ravelry notes about what needles I used, nor my cast on method. "Not to worry," I thought as I grabbed my size 1s (2.25mm) and cast on. I got through the ribbing before I realized that it wasn't turning out like the other one.

The colorway was a pea green, to deep teal and deep purple. It was spiraling and not looking at all like the other sock. On the other one, the colors were not spaced so nicely and looked random. This new sock looked sad in comparisson.

I ripped it out and cast on again. Knit a bit, realizing it was still spiraling and ripped out again. This continued 9 times. According to my husband the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So I decided to change my approach.

I found the cast on spot on my sock and counted how many stitches I had in that color, and noted the color of the last cast on stitch. I matched this up with my current sock and cast on again. It still wasn't right I wasn't casting on the last 4 stitches in purple. I tried this again with same results.

I finally thought "I must have used a different needle size!" Surely that had to be it. I went through my stash to find my size 1.5 (2.5mm) needles. I cast on again. Same results still not casting on the last few stitches in purple. I decided to try it anyway and it continued to spiral.

I ripped out again.

I finally decided I must have cast on over 2 needles since my cast on's were normally super tight last summer. I cast on over two size 1's that made the cast on work perfectly. I went through the cuff, and started on the pattern. And it STARTED SPIRALING!

I ripped out yet again.

I decided the problem had to not be with me, and had to be with the yarn. I took out my measuring tape and measured each color. The teal was shorter than the purple. Aha! That had to be the problem, two different dye lots would give different results. I went fishing in my stash for the other ball only to find I lost the label. No matter, I was a knitter with measuring tape...somewhere.

With a measuring tape secured, I measured the sections. They colors were the same. I realize now I probably could have just held the yarn up next to each other, but I now have the bonus of knowing where a measuring tape is...I think.

I cast on over two 1.5's, the cast on still looked good. The cuff looked even better. The pattern looked better, but it was still pretty spirally. I had to loosen up my gauge significantly to get it looking like the other sock. I probably should be knitting with size 2 (2.75mm) needles for it.

Did my gauge really tighten up that much in less than a year? Obviously or I wouldn't have cast on over 2 DOZEN times. In the end, I still may be insane, who in their right mind casts the same sock on that many times?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Christmas knitting

I'm going through the never ending mittens. I only have 1 pair done and most of a second. There are 2 pairs left and 34 days left til Christmas. I can churn out kids mittens quickly, but mittens for mom will the problem. I also thought about making my little sister a scarf, but that's not going to happen this late. Older sis has a hat I made that while I like it, matches nothing that I own. She loves hats, and will wear it.

I have one sock done for hubby and I don't want to knit the other. I want to work on socks, but socks for me not him. It's like my brain needs a break from mittens.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Christmas Crocheting and Knitting

Every year, I say that I will start earlier with Christmas. I like to craft gifts for family since A) a skein of yarn costs $3-8 per skein. and B) it shows that I actually do care. I will say that I did plan out gifts this year earlier than last. I knew for the most part what I was making. Mom asked last Christmas for mittens, and I figured my nieces and nephews would need a pair too. I say a pair and not 3 since I plan on crocheting a chain to keep the mittens together. You make it just long enough to stick out either arm hole (a little longer so the kids can actually put their hands in). One pair is done and has been since early October. But with me dislocating my shoulder at the end of last month, that made me pull back on crafting.

I am crafting again. I got a sock done for my husband's Christmas gift. And a cuff done on some mittens for my other niece, but not much else. I do have a project that I'm crafting for pay which needs to be done by Thanksgiving.

I really do need to think more before Christmas. We've got 43 crafting days left and I don't want to be up Christmas Eve crafting ( as I am every year I've done crafting for Christmas). But at the same time I don't want to be listening to Christmas music in July so I can get into the holiday spirit for crafting.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Giving up

When knitting it seems that giving up on a project is the hardest thing to do. Once I've started a project I like to complete it no matter how much I dislike it. I did this during the summer with my Traveling Woman Shawl. I didn't like the color, but I wanted the shawl so bad. It took me 3 months to realize I would never wear the shawl because the chocolate shawl would make my face look really dark. I have brown hair so I don't wear brown near my face.

Today I had to admit defeat on the mittens that I posted about in mitten surgery. I had to rechart them since it was too small, then I made too much ribbing (without realizing it), the floats were messy as were the decreases. The final straw was the thumb not fitting and having gaps.  I  was getting frustrated knitting them. And knitting shouldn't be frustrating.  So I'm giving up on my OWL for HPKCHC. Next term if I play along (IRL I'll be taking 18 credit hours for classes) I'll be a 4th year without an OWL complete (OWLs are large projects taking 2-3 months to craft as opposed to less than a month).

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mitten surgery

I've been working on a pair of stranded mittens for just over a month now (6 weeks). I put them away for 2 reasons. I dislocated my shoulder about 3 weeks ago now and really couldn't knit for 2 weeks. I also had a problem with the ribbing being too long. it came to the middle of my forearm. I didn't know when I started that 2.5 inches of ribbing would be too much. I guess I should have guessed since most stranded mittens have tiny cuffs.

Today I finally said to myself "Self, you need to fix that mitten and make the other one. If you don't do it now, you never will and a lonely mitten is a terrible thing." So I undid the cast on edge and wasn't getting anywhere trying to unravel that. So I made a small cut about 2 rows before the length I wanted the mitten and picked up stitches from there. It gave me a manageable length for the mitten.

Unfortunately, I did this spur of the moment, so I don't have a before picture, but there are after pictures.

That's how much was cut off. It's about an inch and a half.

See, much more of a manageable edge.
It still needs a thumb but I'm happy to be working on these again.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Not Galina but Galena

I've calmed down a little after my initial reaction today. I got a PM pretty much telling me off that I wanted to be Galina Khmeleva (who does lovely work, don't get me wrong).  I am not her, nor am I pretending to be. I didn't even know she existed when I picked this name.

I picked this name because I almost (1 semester short, before I decided that I didn't like it) had a geology degree. My favorite mineral was galena. It was metallic, with a high specific gravity. It's found near coal mining areas. I fell in love with it. It was also very pretty to say.  Also it began with a G and my name begins with a G.

I've gone by this nickname for about 7 years now, long before I was a knitter (I was crocheting at the time). I have several online friends, and even some in person that just know me as Galena. I see no reason to change it.

If you are looking for Galina and Orenburg lace, follow this link:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Knitting Retreat

I went to my first knitting retreat this past weekend. I didn't know what to expect really, I've heard of some being really structured and some being not so much. This one had some, which I liked, but it wasn't rigid. We work as we wanted, but there was time to take a class if we chose.

We started out picking out grabbags.
Each was slightly different, but we each got a skein of a KnitPicks yarn (mine is Wool of the Andes Pumpkin) two skeins of another type ( Classic Elite) and 2 sets of stitch markers. There's also a tape measure, stitch holders, needle inventory, KnitPicks Emergecy Fix keychain, and a pattern (given by the the designer).

I did decide to take the class they offered since I've done very little with colorwork and I've been knitting 4 years. I picked out an easy pattern (Picot Hem Snowflake Hat).
 I got about halfway through the star/snowflake before we left. I'm having a lot of fun with this. I couldn't get the method of wrapping the yarn around the needle then removing it to make the float, but I've got it now. And I'm using both hands, so learning right handed wasn't a total waste. I'm looking forward to doing more colorwork.I think I even have my next project picked out for it.