Sunday, March 27, 2011

Oh, yeah - THIS is why

I hate knitting things that don't fit.

I have now frogged the sweater body of my test knit 1.75 times. The first time, my gauge lied and the sweater was huge. I frogged the whole thing and restarted with smaller needles. I just frogged to the ribbing yesterday because I hadn't read the directions carefully, and only did 6 repeats of the waistline ribbing... instead of 12.


I've knit one sleeve 2.5 times, because I had one done when I went down a needle size on the body of the sweater, but after restarting with the smaller needles, my colorwork looked too tight after so I frogged to the cuff and started again.

I'm hoping this is the last knit of each part of the sweater. I know there are yoke issues ahead, but at least I will have something sweaterish when I get there!

In happier news, Northampton is awesome yarn. Despite the frogging, there is no pilling or untwisting or other bad behavior. It's still sproingy and luscious.

Is it wrong of me to hope that the 30 degree weather hangs on a bit longer here, so I can wear this (potentially) beautiful sweater?

Completely unrelated, here are pictures of Jayne, who doesn't care if her sweaters fit or not.

Jayne loves knitted things. Unfortunately, she does not limit her love to wearing knitting things. She also eats them. She nibbled both of the Sandman's beer mitts; I was able to darn one but the other one is beyond my skills - she ate right through the wishbone cable on the back of the hand.
This weekend, she completely destroyed one of my colorwork mitts. Completely destroyed it. I can't blame her - she is a puppy, and I knew she liked those mitts. My fault. I bought her a new hard plastic chewy thing to distract her.

Back to the body of my sweater. 14" of stockinette... again.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Test Knitting

I signed up a couple weeks ago to test knit a sweater, which is crazy. I have only completed two adult sweaters in my 13 years of knitting. I have completed a handful of baby and toddler sweaters, almost as many dog sweaters, but I don't really do people sweaters. At this moment, I think I have 3 unfinished sweaters stashed in various closets in my house.

It's not that I can't knit big projects. I have several monster shawls under my belt, and I jump into those with abandon.

I'm not afraid of making mistakes. I frogged 1200 yards of laceweight because I ran out of yarn with fewer than 5 rows to go; I reknit an entire sock because my gauge was better on the second sock. I'm ok with starting over, I'm fine with lots of knitting.

I have tons of sweater patterns in my pattern stash, so it's not that I find sweaters unappealing, and since I live in Minnesota, so it's not like I don't need sweaters.

So why no sweaters? Maybe it's the cost. I am cheapcheapcheap. While I have lots of single skeins for quickie projects, I don't buy yarn in quantities. I can't go to my stash and find several choices for a sweater.

I ordered yarn for this sweater, even got an extra ball just to be safe. It's lovely smooshy yarn in a color that makes my mouth water and will look great on me.

I've had gauge problems, and had to start over after knitting 6" of body and one sleeve. I could probably go down one more needle size (gauge swatches lie), but I'm afraid if I frog again I will ruin the yarn.

When I signed up to test knit, I knew I would have to actually finish the sweater. It's like a little trick I pulled on myself.

I hope it works.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Um... yeah.

I stopped posting for a bit. Quite a bit. As in, I forget how many things I've knit and how many dogs I've fostered. Lots of the former, a few of the latter.

The big news? I'm knitting baby things for my niece, due July 5. Knitting baby things is awesome. And addictive. A whole sweater is just a few hours! I even did a blanket, but that was a bit of a chore, even in my favorite Little Arrowhead pattern. It's fun adding little details to projects, such as the Wee Leaf set, pictured here. I added wee leaves to the straps of Mary Jane booties instead of knitting socks. Ack, the cuteness!

The next big news? Foster failure! We (a term I must use loosely, as my boys didn't have a lot of choice) adopted Jayne, a chihuahua-terrier mix. She's a dainty little devil, who cleverly hid her Jack Russell-ness until I had completely fallen for her. (No, there is nothing wrong with Jack Russells, I just prefer to believe I am smarter than my dog, and Russells really challenge that belief.)

Anyway, Jaynie is a sweet girl. We've had to put up with teenage puppy tricks that we had forgotten - the interminable chewing, for example. She has devoured more rolls of toilet paper than all of the pups who've ever lived in our bathroom. I praised her last week because she only shredded a roll halfway, instead of making confetti out of the whole roll. She may be growing up!

Jayne is the happy recipient of two sweaters. She is such a girl, she loves 'em! At only ten pounds, she's a good size to knit for, too. Poor Harley, at 30 pounds, never gets sweaters!

I've spent a lot of time updating my Ravelry page with photos, so instead of going into details about the past, I'm going to start fresh!

My current project is a test knit, the Corona Sweater. It's a basic knit from the bottom up, in the round, close-fitting sweater with just a titch of color work and some cabled ribbing. So far, so good. I'm using Valley Yarns Northampton, and really loving this yarn. It's super cushy and the color has lots of depth.