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February 2007

Posts from January 2007

Mason Dixon Knitting to the Rescue!

I have the best readers!  You have so many good ideas, and I tried a bunch of them to finish the blanket.  The one that resonated with me the most came from the fine gals over at Mason Dixon Knitting.  I pulled their extra fabulous book out (no mean feat since my books are all still in boxes) and tried to avoid getting log cabin fever while reading up on garter stitch mitred borders. 

A whole lot of picking up stitches later and the garter stitch border is on the needles.  It's not done yet (I had some issues with picking up too many stitches and wavy borders), but it looks great.  No photos because I'm at work right now and really Lizard Ridge deserves a full photo shoot.

I loved knitting this blanket so much I want to do another afghan.  The cold weather must be getting to me because this one is looking mighty fine.


I need other options

I'm not liking the crochet.  As a rule, I don't really like crocheting.  Probably because I don't do it well and it's the last thing I need to do to finish a much-desired piece of knitting.  But also, I find some of it too frou-frou for me.  The scallopy edge on Lizard Ridge just isn't me.  So I need some alternative edge treatments.

Plans I have considered involve first doing a slip stitch crochet around the edge to make it look nice and consistent.  I prefer slip stitch to single crochet.  It looks like the entire thing has been bound-off knitting style, that works for me.

Then my sanity shifts a bit and I think of knitted borders.  One is an i-cord edge.  I rather like i-cord edges.  It's a lot of i-cord when I think of the perimeter of a blanket.  That leads me to other options.

Garter stitch border with nice mitered corners?

My list is about that long, so it's pretty short.

Any suggestions for a fairly clean-lined edge?


A little peek

Lizard Ridge is seamed and all the ends are woven in.  I worked on it this afternoon at a little knitting party held by my friend Keri.  Good food and knitterly company always make end weaving go by faster.  And the seaming was really rather quick.

Now it's time to sit and crochet the border.  So for now just a little peek.  Inside out, so as not to give too much away.

Lizard_peek

Pssst. It's gorgeous.  I LOVE IT.


Not so bad after all

I took Joy's excellent advice (see yesterday's comments) and removed all the icky bobbins.  Now I pull out each strand as I use it and things stay mostly untangled.  She also suggests taking a break to untangle, pet your work and admire the job you've done.  You can admire it too:

Collette_not_so_close

It actually looks like a sweater eh?  I'm really happy with it.  Since this is 4ply yarn, this is going to take forever some time.  But now that I'm not totally frustrated, it's a challenge I'm up for.

Up close you can see all the lacy tweedie goodness:

Collette_up_close

Now to the sock.  It's too late for this complicated work.


All tangled up

I took the leap and went with the intarsia.  I had already casted on and was pretty sure I would stick with it, but after talking to Kirk at the daycare skating party (it's nice to have another parent to talk knitting with at lessons and stuff), I was committed.  If you saw what he was making, you would never complain about ends again.  Stunning.

That being said, I've only done two rows.  I needed to get the computer area in the basement set up so I could scan and enlarge the charts and that led to a lot of boxes being opened and well, time just got sucked away.  But at least I can print again.  Come to think of it, I never actually did get the chart scanned...

I did borrow this nifty crayola bag to keep it all together.

Collette_bag

Good thing, because there are lots of ends.

Collette_tangle

By Saturday night my brain was too tired so I decided to tackle a tea cozy instead.  I went for the traditional pattern with a not-so-traditional pairing of Knitpicks Merino style in Blueberry (rejected as the Lizard Ridge border) with a ball of Kureyon leftover from that same afghan--I guess I can call it my reject-Lizard tea cozy. 

Tea_cozy

The pattern is really neat and creates a very dense fabric.  But it is also stranded and garter stitch so it's going really slow.  My alpaca hat will have to stand in for a tea cozy for a bit longer I'm afraid.


Slide or Intarsh?

I started Collette the other day, but haven't accomplished very much.  I'm more in the swatching, figuring out stage. 

Collette is a complicated pattern.  It consists of vertical bands of colour that are knit using intarsia.  Each band also had it's own lace pattern.  On the back, this means 11 different bands.  The good news is that each lace pattern has only an 8 row repeat.  The bad news is they're all different.

So there is chart following and a lot of bobbins.  I like the sweater enough to make it work, but should I innovate?

Friends told me of a nifty way to do intarsia strips without having to do actual intarsia.  It's called the Sliding Loop method and full instructions can be found in the Summer 2001 issue of Knitter's.  Jenna and Amy both lent me copies and I've been trying it out.

The gist of it is this.  You knit only one strip at a time.  You knit the first one as long as you need.  Each time you turn to start a right-side row, you carry a bit of contrasting yarn up to mark the little loop that happens when you bring the yarn around.

Collette_first_strip   

When you're ready to start your second strip, you cast on and knit one row.  Then you insert your needle into that first little loop and pull out a big long loop of your working yarn.  You knit the next two rows of your second strip using that yarn and when you're back at the first strip, you tighten what's left, pick up the second loop and do it all again.  You do this for each loop.  Basically it's like sewing as you go.

I even made a little video so you can see what I'm doing.  These videos are really complicated to make, and I ain't no Lucy Neatby, so please view it in that spirit.

My first impressions of this: Fiddly.  I feel like it ruins the flow of the knitting.  My panels are only 7-12 stitches long in fingering weight, so it's a lot of little things happening.  I'm not sure I like it.

Chloe at LK last night encouraged me to be brazen and just do the damned intarsia.  The advantages are numerous: I've done intarsia before, I won't have to re-write the pattern, less fiddliness.  The disadvantage is those damned bobbins. 

The plan is to cast on the big bad back piece and try the intarsia and get a feel for it.  Then I'll decide for tradition (how the heck can you make intarsia a verb?) over innovation.


Happy Belated Birthday Emma!

We had a birthday filled weekend with Emma, who turned 8 on January 14 (I almost typed her age as 14, she only acts that way sometimes, please pass the oxygen).

First a big-girl dinner out at The Keg, courtesy of Craig's hard-won gift card from the Energizer Bonspiel.  She had a plate of ribs, tried my baked goat cheese and was rewarded with a Brownie Sundae and a Sparkler by the nice people at The Keg. 

Sunday (her actual birthday) we took her and a few friends to The Clay Room and we got all artistic by painting ceramics.  My mug is pretty nice if I do say so, though the final fired project won't be ready for a week.  We left just as the girls were getting silly (happens when you put a bunch of 8 year olds together) and hit Demetre cafe for some serious dessert crepes.  After completely ruining their appetites for dinner, the girls were sent home just in time to save Craig's sanity (he is in trouble when the slumber party years hit us).

Happy_birthday_emma

(photo taken with Emma's new digital camera, courtesy of Grandma and Grandpa).  Emma had a great day, which is what she totally deserves because she's a great little girl.  Happy Birthday Sweetie.


Hohum

I haven't had much time to blog.  And not much inclination either.  As they said on the much-edited TBS version of Forrest Gump last night, It Happens.

Alexander now has heat, and we have a new hole in the kitchen.  I'm over the hole angst.  Though for tomorrow I'm developing "will my new dryer fit down the stairs (that I measured many times)" angst.

I have a new hat:

Lady_detective_hat

The Lady Detective Hat from the Knit 2 Together book.  It still needs a buckle.  I'll get one when I get my yarn for Lizard Ridge...

I also knit a sock:

Steve_sock_one

And, started the second one.  Sock knitting makes me happy right now.  It is simple and predictable.

Though I have a big case of startitis.  I want a pair of felted clogs to keep my feet warm on the ceramic tile floors (see Steph's here-they're nifty). 

And I really want to start this. 

Collette

Collette from Rowan's Vintage Style.  I've had the yarn and book since the Fall and just haven't found the time.  I'm too tired to start swatching tonight.  And I don't know where the book is (yes, in a box, but more specifics are required).  I'll stick with the sock.