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Life has been, well, life.  Knitting and other crafts have had their ups and downs as well.  Here's some yarn I dyed back in December and the socks I knit up.  Over on Ravelry we had a flurry of excitement wrapping yarn into balls, dyeing one color, then re-wrapping so the undyed section was on the outside and re-dyeing different color.  Mine turned out so-so but the socks have been really warm and comfy to wear.

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I haven't posted in forever, it seems.  Actually, I haven't been on LJ in a while.  I think I relied on the Crack Van more than I thought to give me a broad look at what's being written, fandomwise.

Gaming )

Knitting )

And the rest is just life going along doing its thing.
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Daughter-Type and Boyfriend are huge LoTR fans, as am I.  So I was browsing around on Ravelry and found several LoTR sweater designs.  Specifically A Cardigan For Arwen and Tree of Gondor Chart .  I see these as jumping off points.  The cardigan pattern as written, has too much fussy construction so I'll probably just use bits and pieces such as the cabling up the front and possibly the hood.  What ever design elements I use I'll be making some type of seamless pattern.  I really hate sewing up knitted projects.  Also for the cardigan, I plan to use [ profile] dragoncrafter's charted tree.  Yes, yes, I know I've complained loud and long about how much I hate charts in my knitting, but this design is eating away at me and I must conquer my chart issues.

For Boyfriend's sweater, I will use another hooded pattern still to be determined.  Quite possibly the same as for Daughter-Type, but we'll see.  For his sweater, I'm going to attempt a color work tree.  My problem lies in that I'm not that great at stranded color knitting.  The directions say to go intarsia, but I'm not sure I won't make a big mess.  I'm thinking duplicate stitch with a lighter weight yarn, maybe sport weight on worsted.  Who knows.

Anyway, as I have six month, give or take a week or so, there isn't any reason I can't get these puppies done in time.  We'll see how that goes, lol!

The Shawl

Dec. 20th, 2012 07:44 am
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Pardon the poor photography.  I'm a knitter, not a shutter bug.
Pics )

This was a fun and fast knit.  I would make it again except I would make it with more lace row repeats.  My daughter is on the petite side, so this worked well.  But for a bigger woman, it needs to be longer, IMO.
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I've been diligently working on Daughter-Type's shawl the last week or so.  Especially since I'm getting a huge back log of what I really want to work on next, which is never a good thing.

I love this pattern.  It starts with just one cast on stitch at the bottom right corner and builds from there.  And look!  Even still on the needles and unblocked, the lace pattern is there!


Now for the really cool part of this pattern.  I hate binding off, especially on a shawl where it just makes the bottom edge either too tight or lettuce edged.  But look at this!  A knitted bind off which I can see me adapting and using in lots of other projects.


This has been a very fun and quick project.  Even better, it's one of the free patterns from KnitPicks and I have used less than two skeins of lace weight yarn.  Will update when I get the bindoff done and have blocked it.
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There's something about this time of year that makes me want to knit.  I'm not making Christmas gifts for anyone, although I rarely make anything for myself except socks.  So I can't figure out what it is that makes me go yarn-happy.  This week, it's this sweater.  And you know what?  I'm gonna make and keep it for myself.  The only problem, it's really so far above my skill level that saying I'll make it and actually making it happen are two different things.  But I can dream.
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This pattern intrigues me.  I really love knitted things that use unconventional construction, and this sweater is just screaming at me to try.  The directions say it could be made as a cardigan, or sew the fronts together to make a pull over.  I was really hoping for some interesting pick-up and knit technique to make the left front, but that's how things go. 

My thoughts are that sewing the front together would make it very bulking and possibly uncomfortable due to the double layer right there in the front and just YIKES! I'm not so keen on sewing knitted things anyway.

So, any thoughts on what types of fastening would look nice on this beauty?

And while we're on the subject, take a look at these socks!
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The Blankie is on hold.  We all knew it was just too good to last anyway.

Now I'm working on this shawl  for Daughter-Type.  I have thoughts of giving it to her for Christmas, but I'm not sure which year that will be, lol.  I'm intrigued by the construction.  It starts off by casing just one stitch and doing a yarn over increase at the right edge every other row making the triangle you see in the picture.  The decreases are done in a similar manner.  Then you turn the work, and pick up all those yarn overs to start the lace pattern.  If I wasn't so caught up in WoW right now, I'd have that triangle and all the pick up stitches going, but I gotta be me, right?

I'll post a picture once I have something more exciting than the garter stitch triangle going.
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I'm a horrible photographer.

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...with the sweet spot afghan.  Out of all that yarn I bought only two skeins were striping the way they were supposed to.  So instead, I have started my other sock yarn afghan project.

Here is square number one.
Out of focus photos. Beware! )

I will say one thing though, this thing is addictive.  It takes me about 45 minutes to knit one square (because I am slow, or have a really good show on or perhaps its nap time?) but so far it has held my interest.  I mean, there's a strong chance I'll finish this thing in the relative near future!
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I've spent the last week knitting my wee knitterly fingers to the bone it seems.  And although I'm going to chalk this past week up to progress, I do have to say I have nothing to show for my efforts.  It has become obvious to me that HALF of the sock yarn I bought last week will not produce the incredible stacking and pooling effects that this afghan requires.

To be more specific, I started with this yarn.  The colors in this pic aren't true at all.  I find the yarn itself to be very pretty and will save for another SOCK yarn afghan I've been seeing around.  But for this project, it's just not working out.  And on the subject, tell me, what kind of masochist knits an afghan out of sock yarn anyway?

Here's the lowdown.  With a #2 needle, I cast on 64 stitches and worked the pattern, which is extremely easy and the swatch worked up quickly.  It did become apparent after about an inch that the desired pattern wasn't working so, as per the directions, I first increased by two stitches, knit for another inch, increased two more, knit for an inch.  Nadda.  I frogged the whole thing and repeated with a #1 needle.  Still no joy.  At that point, I ripped the whole thing out again and cast on with only 54 stitches, wash, rinse repeat as above.

My conclusion is this.  Sock yarn that will produce a "wider" solid stripe with jacquard patterning will not work.  It is possible that I have not hit the sweet spot, but I believe the nature of that thicker/wider stripe won't allow for the zig-zagging pattern that was intended.

Did I mention that I don't own any straight knitting needles other than double points?  Have I also mentioned that 64 stitches is too long to hold safely on a double point without some stitches falling off the back side?  My solution?  I rooted around in the kitchen junk drawer searching for a rubber band I could cut in half and wrap around the needles as sort of a point protector.  No rubber bands were in the drawer but there was an unopened pair of squishy ear plugs that I jammed onto the ends and have worked quite well.

The things we do for our craft, right?

I sent this from my phone to my yahoo email because for some reason I couldn't get it to go to my gmail email.  See what I mean?

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Someone please stop me!  I'm fascinated by this design.  But I know what will happen because it always happens whenever I start an afghan.  Nothing.  The thing would never get finished.  The colors and designs are calling to me though...
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I really want to get the Falling Stars Kit from Knitpicks.  I'm also terrified of doing steeks but feel compelled to buy the kit NOW because they might sell out.  Talk about pressure.   I know me, though.  Taking on new projects that are over my head is a bad habit  This sweater is just too pretty to have sit unfinished and collect dust.  So I need to get over my steek fear.  Has anyone on my flist made things with steeks?  I saw this technique, which is very pretty, but I have flashbacks to putting that zipper in my grandson's sweater a few years ago which are rather alarming.
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I leave it up to reader discretion as to which is which.

My accounting class started last night.  The instructor seems very upbeat and concerned that his students learn the subject and he stated numerous times he would do whatever it takes if we need help.  Plus he's kind of cute so sitting in the front row won't be a problem, hee he.  I did notice that only two other people had their text books.  I also noted that these same folks look to be in the over 30 set.  Am I a throw back to the days where you didn't go into class unprepared, or what?

Daughter-In-Law sent a TEXT MESSAGE!!! to announce they were having baby number 4 in February.  Their oldest is three and a half!  What the heck are they thinking up there?  I know, they aren't thinking, ugh.  Maybe it's a fear of that kind of reaction that had them send a text anyway.  Oh brother!

On the hooping front, I surrender.  I am, and have always been, a klutz.  I cannot sustain waist hooping and I'm twisting my knee funny trying to do it.

However, on the knitting front, I seem to be getting the hang of charted knitting.  Hopefully this picture makes it ok.

Yes, that's my knee, but I couldn't think of a better way to stretch out the fabric so the design would show.  And, for those who might have bought that beautiful fall/winter shawl kit from Knitpicks, be aware that the VERY FIRST FREAKIN' CHART has an error on row two.  But, as you can see, I was able to overcome that and my leaves are forming very nicely.


Aug. 21st, 2010 08:40 am
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I just sawthis sweater in the new Knitpicks catalog.  It has steeks, which I still haven't attempted yet.  But it's just so beautiful
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Has anyone on my flist ever used these knitting needles?  I've been eyeing them for a while now, but have reservations about the cable join.  Any thoughts or advice would be welcome.
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I couldn't decide between this or this so I got them both.  I worked up one of their shawl kits last year and it turned out beautifully.  And one lesson I learned from last year is to buy an extra skein for that last color used.  I made it with what they sent, but just barely.   I can't handle that kind of pressure though, hee he.
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Long rambling post, just because I can.

First off, it was freakin' COLD last night.  Had to break out the electric blankey early it seems.  And turn on the heat.  But at least it was officially October, so that's a wee bit better.  Turning the heat on in September is just wrong.

Ok, my thoughts on Supernatural 5.04, but I'll leave the really thinky thoughts to those who like to put some thought into things. 

Supernatural )NCIS )Leverage )
Knitting )

So those are my thoughts on this frosty...What?  Ok, so its not actualy FROST, but is still damn chilly this morning.  Got to get that little voice some music going so she'll leave me alone.
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Once again I've survived the annual audit.  Praise the lord and pass the peas.  They actually left half a day early, but who's counting?  They did take off with some of my original paperwork, which should be interesting to see if I can get it back.  Ugh.

On the knitting front, I'm making this.  Yes, it has charts.  Yes, it's supposed to be easy, even for those of us who are chart impaired.  It's pretty, and soft, and I'm really liking the picture alot but for the life of me, those damn charts are getting me down again.  For some reason, my brain keeps reading the chart from right to left.  Every row.  I've even drawn little arrows on the charts to remind me which direction I need to read the thing from, but the old brain only has one gear, right to left.  Then, to make matters worse, just when I got a rhythm going,  I had to switch to the next chart and they reversed the numbers on me.  Even on left instead of right and that means more left to right, not right to left.  There should be some magic chart reader out there that you can scan the stupid charts into and it will print out written instructions.  I'd buy it.

Movies - Saw Inglorious Bastards with my father over the weekend.  I figured it could be something we could do together since my step-mother passed last month.  They went almost every weekend and I usually go too.  Seemed like a good idea at the time.  What a mess.  The movie stunk and was so very strange in addition to being violent and bloody in the extreme.  And I think I have a fairly high tolerance for that kind of thing.  And Brad Pitt only had like four scenes anyway.  My father jumped up the second the credits started to roll and was out the door.  I had to wait for the herd to pass before I could follow him.  Guess I know what HE thought of the movie.  It reminded me of when he took me and a girlfriend to see the Dark Shadows movie waaaaay back when.  They showed it at the drive in with two other vampire kind of movies and, being the good daddy he is, he took us and sat through all three shows.  Poor man.  I guess he knows his daughter has sucky taste in movies no matter what her age.  (No pun on the sucky thing intended)

Torchwood - I'm loving this show.  Can't figure out why I didn't like it so much the first time I got it from Netflix.  Must have been in a strange mood, cause it so deserves all the great things everyone is saying about it.  Guess it's one of those right to left kind of things.
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My sister has issues with my hair.  Just two really, but who's counting.

First, she says it's too long and needs to be cut into something more time consuming and tedious fashionable.  I'll give her this one a little because it does need some residual layers trimmed off the ends.  But you know what?  Life is short and so my hair has been all my life.  Just once, I'd like it to be long and swingy.  And baby, that takes some time to grow out.

Second, she's highly offended by the gray.  Like radically, bring out the protest signs, tie her down and get the hair dye, offended.  She says it makes me look older.  Yes, I'm only 51 and mostly gray, but I feel I've earned my stripes.  Oh, nothing extreme and most of the life I've experienced I've brought on myself, but it still takes it's toll.  So, I have gray hair and no qualms about showing it.  What can I say, I'm a non-conformist to the bitter end.

We have a wedding to go to in Chicago this weekend and "hair" appointments on Friday afternoon.  There will be NO hair dying involved but I'm going to cooperate a bit on the styling issue.  In reality, I'm a fairly wimpy, non-conformist.  Or is the proper term passive-aggressive?

On lighter topics.  Went and saw Hurt Locker and G.I. Joe over the weekend.  They were both ok as movies in their respective categories go.  I left G.I. Joe thinking of Star Wars for some reason.  You know, the first, second set of movies, not the second, first set.  Yes, my mind works in mysterious ways.  And I finished the pinwheel sweater for Daughter-type.  I've made this twice now and it's so much fun.  It has just enough crochet to make things interesting and works up fast.

Also, I almost went and bought me a Sony Prs-505.  My printed fanfic has taken over my bedroom and must be brought under control.  Not to mention Eldest-daughter will be coming to visit soon and she's a snoopy sort.  Not sure how to explain away my wee little fascination with slash fanfic.  Plus, like long hair, I just want it!  I shouldn't have to explain it to anyone at this point in my life.

And, finally, ONE WEEK TIL THE AUDIT!  Perhaps all of the above can be explained away due to stress thinking about the damn, annual audit.  Just add another stripe in the hair and get it all over with.


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