Wednesday, August 29, 2007

MS3 Clue 7

Yesterday was an unusual day. I finished 4 projects. Now, I have nothing on the needles besides a curtain that will take months to finish and hasn't been worked on for some time. I finished MS3, the "Out-of-Orbit" socks from the sockamaniac sockalong group, and my Festive sweater. Then since I didn't have anything to knit while watching tv, I cast on and knitted a Trek dishcloth. I "needed" to finish the socks before the end of August for SAM4. MS3 and Festive just needed binding off.

The picture at the left is of the final few clues for the MS3. I decided to block it loosely -- without wire or pins. I'd bought 2 skeins of KP lace-weight bare and wound them into balls. As you can see, there is still some left from the ball I used for the stole. The other ball was just used to make a swatch, the swatch in the picture. I basically did the scarf as written. I put an extra bead in on the last row and used a yo bind-off instead of the suggested one. But, that's it for changes.

By the way, I decided against joining a shawl/stole KAL so soon after completing this one. However, I did join a Yahoo stole KAL that starts in October, Secret of the Stole. And I also joined Melanie's Pink Lemon Knits Yahoo group, which is just a message group to announce things such as MS4, which is scheduled to begin after the Olympics next summer.

The dishcloth is a Trek dishcloth linked to on the SciFi knitting blog. I chose blue for science. (I'm a TOS fan.) After having to use something like post-it paper to mark rows in MS3, I used post-it paper to help keep track of rows for this much simpler pattern. It worked wonderfully.

I posted a picture of the socks on SAM4. And I'll post a picture of Festive in my next post here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mystery Shawl 3 -- Clue 6

I've just finished Clue 6 for the Mystery Shawl. Here is a picture of the wing portion of the shawl. I've since started on the seventh and last of the clues. I was happy to learn that one can use crochet thread to help block a shawl. I didn't really want to buy blocking wire.

A new shawl KAL is starting on Yahoo in September, the "Secret-of-Chrysopolis shawl". A general lace knitting KAL is also starting/continuing on Yahoo, "Knitting Delight". Both were advertised in Mystery Shawl posts. And both are mainly in German. Joining these KALs would give me the opportunity to practice the German I learned in high school and college. But, I'm not sure I'm ready for another lace project just now. I may just wait until next summer for MS4.

I was happy to read about the existence of a pattern for a Trekkie wash/dish cloth on the Sci-Fi blog. When I finally finish MS3, I plan to knit it. MS3 has taken up so much of my time that I don't even plan to work on the mid-August dishcloth KAL, also from Yahoo groups.

I'm making steady progress on my new sweater. I'm ready to start the ribbing. But, the next time I make the sweater, I'm going to change most of the purl sts to knit sts. It looks more striking with the purl sts. But knit sts are easier to make, and besides I now tend to the understated -- although I still do come out with outfits that are overstated -- such as the way this one will turn out. (It's been rainy here the last few days. And so even bright colors like those for this sweater look dull.)

The final project I'm working on is "Orbit socks" from the Sockamaniac Sockalong. I'll post a picture when I get a little further along. I've also got great plans for the July mystery pattern from the same group. Plus a nice sock pattern was posted there today. -- So many things I'd like to make, so little time.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Mystery Shawl 3 -- Clue 5

I finished Clue 5 a couple of days ago but hadn't taken the time to post a picture. I'm now in the middle of Clue 6. I haven't decided whether or not I like the wing, but it does add a lot to the shawl. It's not the wing so much that I'm not sure about but the join. On the other hand, the join is just a small, almost invisible part of the shawl. Today the last clue (Clue 7) comes out.

(The red line at the join for the wing is red crochet thread. I used it to mark ends of rows. Crochet thread makes a good marker. It's thin but sturdy and comes in a large variety of colors. It doesn't shed or bleed.)

I'm still working on the Festive sweater from the last post. I'm still happy with it. Though, some times I wonder whether I really want to do all those purl stitches. Next time, I'll probably make it in cotton and a trellis pattern that involves mostly knit stitches.

While moving pictures off of Yahoo, I came across this one which reminds me of my 2 DSs and a Holy Grail line that they quoted when seeing the statue: "Just a flesh wound."

It also reminded me of a trip we took around Great Britain before we knew we were going to move there. To keep everyone happy, we saw a huge variety of attractions. We saw football stadiums in Leeds, Newcastle, and Liverpool. We saw Hadrian's Wall and Loch Lomond. We visited the Cavern where the Beatles got their start. And we visited some Monty Python locations (from a map of film locations). In Scotland, my DD and I went into a little souvenir shop to ask where the Bridge of Death was. They didn't know where or even what it was. But, after explaining that it was from a Monty Python movie, they directed us to one of the castles in the movie.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Festive pullover

After much knitting and frogging, I finally discovered that Arbor couldn't be made in worsted weight acrylic yarn -- or, at least, I didn't have the skill to do it. The k3tog's just were too thick. Plus the yo's didn't add anything. (The blue yarn marks sections of 10 sts.)

But, I liked the i-cord cast on. And I liked the idea of doing a non-raglan pullover.

(To join the i-cord in the round, I picked up a loop at the starting edge and knit it together with the third st in the ending steps for the cast on.) I ended up casting on 110 sts -- 11 groups of 10 or 22 groups of 5. That gave a nice sized neckband. Then I knit around once and then decided that I liked the reverse side of the cast on better than what may or may not have been the right side. So, that gave me an i-cord cast on plus a round of purl sts.

I wasn't too sure that I had enough white yarn for the sweater and so decided to use some green left-over yarn as a decorative touch. After trying several variations to the Arbor pattern, I looked in my stitch book and settled on a trellis design. To change colors, I knitted around in the new color (in the reverse direction from before since the wrong side was now my right side). By making pfb's (purl front and back) in the first trellis pattern round, the repeat of 5 became a pattern repeat of 6. In a subsequent round, I made a pair of pfb's to get a pattern repeat of 8. It looks as if I'll have to make another pair of pfb's to get a pattern repeat of 10, which will give me enough sts for the rest of the garment. By accident, I have 4 pattern repeats for the sleeve section, 7 pattern repeats for the front (and back), and 1 pattern repeat to cast on for the bottom of the sleeve opening -- or 160 sts around for the garment itself and 50 sts around for each sleeve opening -- which is just about perfect, I hope.

I've called this a Festive pullover because it sort of reminds me of a Christmas tree. Though, if it were done in different colors, it would be equally cheery.

Sorry about this being such a technical post. I wanted to get the details and development down so I wouldn't forget. I'm also really happy how the sweater is turning out.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Mystery Shawl 3 -- Clue 4

It took a lot of work. Clue 4 is finally finished -- just hours before Clue 6 comes out. Evidently, the stole is over half done now. I think the center back falls about 4" in from the needle. Next come short rows and feathers.

And, surprisingly for me, I've followed the pattern exactly.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Tomato finished -- Sweater #6

My tomato sweater is finally done. It's my sixth sweater for the year. This one gave me a lot of trouble. I'd originally made the yarn (KP Swish Superwash) into a v-neck on size 5 needles. It became too tight after washing. Plus, it was too warm for a short sleeve sweater -- because it was so tightly knitted. So, I finally frogged it. Then the Tomato pattern came along. So, I decided to use the yarn with that pattern (since the wider neck plus my using larger needles, size 7 this time, would make the sweater less warm).

Well, I miscounted on the number of stitches to set aside for the sleeves and didn't notice it until I was ready to start the sleeves and wondered why one sleeve was bigger around than the other. So, I had to frog to the underarms (and also undo the colorwork). It's finally done. I was worried that I'd have some yarn left over to remind me of my misadventures. But, luckily, there was absolutely no navy yarn left over whatsoever.

I guess that another reason it's taken so long to finish the sweater is that I hadn't figured out what to knit next. I started the Arbor-Pattern Sweater in some left-over DK yarn, but then decided that I really didn't want to try making an i-cord cast on for the first time with that weight yarn. The pattern calls for an applied i-cord as a last step, but I like to be finished when I'm finished. Plus, I'd have a better idea of the neck size and how long to make the garment top this way. To make a long story short, I decided to frog a white acrylic sweater that was too bright for me in the pattern I had knit it in, a ribbed boat-neck. I wasn't too sure which side was the right side for the i-cord cast on. But, I liked the underside better and so did a wrap and turn before starting the sweater itself. I haven't gotten far enough along to figure out whether or not I'll like it. But, it is fun just to start knitting and hope for the best.

I've finished the August dishcloth KAL but don't have a picture. I finished it the evening before my DH was to leave for a business trip to California. Our DS1 lives there, and so my DH is staying an extra day on the west coast. He also took along 4 finished dishcloths in addition to some clothes our DS1 left here before his move. It's the first time either one of us has been out to visit him. The only trips we've taken have been when my DSister has flown out from Oregon to stay with our mom while we were gone.

Finally, I've got great hopes of finishing Clue 4 on the Mystery Shawl before Clue 6 comes out on Friday. The cat paw prints for Clue 4 are really lovely, and now I know that they represent the pas de chat from the ballet. Cute. Really cute. I like leaps of imagination like that.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Mystery Stole 3 -- Clue 3

I'm making great progress on the Mystery Stole. I've now finished Clue 3. And even better than that, it seems to be approximately the same length as the creator of the stole had for hers (about 25"). I've never made anything like this before and probably wouldn't have if I hadn't joined the KAL after reading about it on one of the message boards and hadn't seen how lovely the shawls of some ladies in the knitting group I attend had turned out. There's no way that I'll finish Clue 4 before Clue 5 comes out. But, at least I'll be only one clue behind. I'm still not sure when or where I'll ever wear the stole. I really can't see myself wearing a stole around the house or to the store. But, maybe I can give it to my DD. And, if she doesn't want it, I might be able to give it to my DS1's girl friend for Christmas. But, it's worth making just for the beauty of it.

I haven't yet given my DH the socks I made for him recently. One of our cats (Tripper) likes to lie atop them.

It strange how perceptions change. About 6 months ago, I was having trouble finding sock patterns that I hadn't already knit and that looked fun. Now I have more sock patterns to knit than time or yarn (though it will be easy to change that latter). I've just finished test-knitting a sock pattern for Chrissy and am looking forward to making the second sock (even though it's not needed for the test knitting process).

Then the Project-a-Month KAL has decided to make socks for August and has chosen a cute pattern from Knitty. Finally, the sockamaniac_sockalong Yahoo group had an interesting mystery pattern for July that I would love to knit into a sock (but didn't mainly because of the shawl KAL). And there's an August KAL for the group which looks really interesting and fun to knit.

I never finished the July Project-a-Month KAL, a biscuit blanket -- mainly because I have issues with biscuits. -- I can't make them despite having lived in the South for quite a few years many years ago.