Saturday, March 24, 2007

Taking a "Half" Day

Today was a day of halves. I knitted about half as much as I wanted to (silly housework), watched half of a television series while I knitted, ate half a bag of croutons (I'm still trying to tell myself it was healthy since I ate them with a salad), and completed two half projects.

The first "half" was the back to the twist-front top. I started this last Saturday and was quite happy to reach the halfway point in only a week. I'm sure there are knitters out there who could have done it in 2 days, but I am not one of them. For me, this is awesome. I knit the garment true to the pattern and all I can say is the shoulder shaping is downright Weird (and just a little hideous)! I think I can fix the unsightly jagged places with a little blocking, but when I make the front I'm going to do my own thing with the shaping. Hopefully it will be a bit more aesthetically pleasing. . . Rawr, look at all those loose ends taunting me. I won't darn them in until the front is complete, though. If it turns out to be a different length I'll gladly rip out the back to make it match lengthwise and rework the arm shaping again MY way.

So, half of a tanktop is finished. I've already cast on for the front

The twist-front top is not the only project I have on the needles right now - the other "half" I completed today was my first half of a pair of socks. I made these from Cascade's Fixation which I consider to be the perfect yarn for a first pair of socks. Since it has elastic it's very forgiving. The pattern is Knitty's Crusoe; whose stranded stitch pattern is decidedly un-stretchy in the recommended Koigu. That's okay, my two balls of Koigu look just lovely perched in a basket for decoration. I'll save them for another day. I adapted the pattern for an anklet because it is Spring and I was eager to get to the heel turn to see if I could handle it. Unfortunately, I discovered that when one does the heel turn as written for the smaller size they end up with a heel that is off-center. Sad. So, I altered the pattern and centered the heel. I took great care to write down the changes on my printed copy of the pattern. However, now that I am ready to begin sock #2 I realize that I cannot locate my printed copy of the pattern. Hopefully it's hiding in a folder at work. I really need to get my knitting organized!

Speaking of organizing my knitting - my Knit Picks Options needle set arrived on Friday. I was so happy putting all the needles into the snappy little pouches. Organizing makes me feel so accomplished. I had knit the back of the twist front top on 16'' Addi Turbos which was a bit of a pinch. Short circulars don't jive well with projects that are worked flat. So, once I finished the back, I whipped out the 24'' Knit Picks set and I'm happily knitting along.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

More Progress on the Twist-front Top

I went to Knit Picky tonight for open knit night and took the Adrienne Vittadini tank with me. I'm truly loving everything about this pattern. It's simple (but looks really spiffy), it's green, and it works up surprisingly fast. Despite a heavy work schedule I'm 11 inches into the back! I just finished the second ball (I definately have enough yarn - hooray!). Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if I finish this thing in another 2 weeks.

Last night I settled down with the twist-front top (can we call it the TFT?), a bar of dark chocolate, and A&E's Pride and Prejudice. I got through disc one and plan to watch some more tonight. Yarn is more important than sleep. And, I want this sweater done in time for the first nice tank top weather, which should be soon!

As a side note - my knit picks options needle set should be arriving tomorrow. Let's hope the post is running on schedule!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The excitement of a new project

I currently have three projects on the needles, but today I will be talking about my most recent. Because, as a general rule, the most recent project is the one you're most excited about.

For the last two years I have been coveting the
Adrienne Vittadini Vol. 25 pattern book. I first saw the lace and ruffle cardigan in an advertisement when the book hit shelves in Spring '05. I was in love. I had only been knitting for about 6 months, so I knew it was far too challenging for me. I tried to make myself forget it. Since I am talking about it now - a full 2 years later - it is clear that I did not forget it. I bought the pattern book and found something in it I'd rather make first. I decided to make the Allegra twist-front top my first project from this book. It's small enough to complete in a timely manner. The lace and cable pattern is interesting enough to keep me entertained, and I love the way the mitered front accents a waistline.

I chose Knit Picks Shine (worsted) for the project because it is affordable and despite my ambition this will be my first sweater. This way I won't be completely heartbroken if I can't complete the project, and I won't be out over $100, either. The yarn has a nice shimmer to it, but I wish it had a little more twist. I'm finding that when I SSK the yarn un-twists. It's unfortunate, but I am remaining hopeful that it can be repaired during blocking. The vibrant green apple color will look fabulous over a white tanktop and conveniently arrived on St. Patrick's Day. I cast on for the back and have knit through 1 ball, which yielded 6 inches.

Apparently I am a very loose knitter. The pattern recommends a size 9 needle to achieve the gauge, but I had to go down to a 6. I'm measuring frantically throughout my progress and so far everything is working out. Despite a few minor mistakes I made early on in the lace (I've decided to leave them, as this is the back and this sweater is my first. I want them to remain so I can litterally see my progress as a knitter in the garment).

I'm feeling very optimistic about this piece, and finished 15% in a single day. Hooray for new projects!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Obligatory Introduction

Perhaps it is an obsession.
My couch is currently sporting 2 projects. I've counted 6 knitting magazines, and 4 patterns on the coffee table (not to mention those living by the bed). I have 2 hanks of Koigu in a small basket as a decoration. There are at least 5 pair of scissors in my 1-br apartment, all strategically placed in close proximity to ideal knitting areas.

Yes. It is time for a blog to keep track of my hobby.

Some things about me as a knitter:
1. I love classic, simple (uncluttered) patterns.
2. I prefer a nice textured stitch to colorwork.
3. I adore green.
4. I carry my yarn right-handed, but have been meaning to learn continental.
5. I do not own a knitting bag - instead I carry my projects in plastic grocery sacks to keep the wools from felting from the abrasion of an actual handbag.
6. While I enjoy luxury yarns, my two favorite yarns of all time are supercheap!
7. I have yet to knit a pattern unmodified. Sometimes this works out, and sometimes it does not. Hopefully any reader will learn from my errors.
8. I started knitting in Nov. 2004, so I'm still fairly new to the art.
9. I am returning from a knitting hiatus. I finally decided that I just won't let myself be too busy for my hobby.
10. There is no time more exciting than the time spent between buying new yarn and waiting for it to be delivered by the post.
11. Except when you cast said yarn onto the needles.
12. For me, starting a project is more exciting than finishing one. It's a miracle that I finish anything.
13. I finally went to my first knitting circle and had a lovely time. I was really missing out being a solo knitter!
14. I am slow. Either, posts will be infrequent, or progress pictures won't look like there is much progress at all. We'll see which it turns out to be!

In addition to knitting, my time is occupied by graduate school, my dear friends and classmates, and MMORPGs that I play with my BF.