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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Victory is Mine!

Whew! Finished with about 30 minutes to spare! I cut it a bit closer than I wanted, but it's finished! I've got the gold!


First Aid by Kim Hargraves: Rowan 32
Rowan Polar: 60 wool/30 alpaca/10 acrylic - color 645
7 balls
Size 11 needles
Started Feb. 10th 2pm - Finished Feb 26th 10:33pm

This was a pretty fun sweater to knit. The cable pattern was conquered after looming over me for 3 years! I don't know why the pattern had given me such a problem before. I guess sometimes somethings takes awhile to click. Finishing is a bit tough when your racing against the clock, but I'm glad there was a deadline. Sewing on snaps is just not one of my favorite things to do. If there wasn't a deadline, the sweater probably would have sat in an unfinished heap for a month.

The fit is a lot better than I expected. This was another reason why I always hesitated on knitting this sweater. I was afraid that it would make me look like the pillsbury dough boy. Chunky knits are hard for just about anyone to wear, but it's a lot less bulky than I thought.

So at the closing of these Olympic games, I leave you now with a victory shot........


Saturday, February 25, 2006

One Year Ago Today

It's hard to believe that it's my one year blogaversary already! Where does the time go? I've really enjoyed sharing my knitting and exciting news with all of you. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome and have given me so much motivation. I've met so many wonderful bloggers over the past year also, I thank you for your kind words, and I hope to meet more of you over the next year!

And now on to Knitting Olympics progress:

Day 14


I managed to get within 2 rows of where I was before I had to rip the sleeve down to the cuff. I tried so hard to finish the sleeve last night, but I just couldn't stay awake! At least I was lucky enough to have my new stove scheduled for delivery today. I didn't have to have everything blocked and ready to travel to Jersey for the weekend.

Day 15


Sleeves are done and blocking. Yay!


I finished knitting the neck between waiting for the stove to arrive and doing the laundry. This is a double turnback neck, so I'll have to sew the inside jersey part down also.

So all that is left for tomorrow is seaming and sewing on the snaps. The finish is in site! I just wish I wasn't so tired! All this knitting has really taken it out of me.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Last night, I was watching the women's aerials competition. The women fly down a steep slope, up a huge ramp, and do backflips in the air, and then have to land it perfectly.

Some of those women didn't land so perfectly and went tumbling down the slope like rag dolls. Luckily nothing was hurt but their pride. They got up, brushed themselves off and smiled.

I had one of those moments tonight.


My second sleeve was almost finished. I had about 30 rows to go. Then when I sat down to knit when I got home, I noticed something odd. Hmm, those extra needles in my bag look rather large. Well, they looked rather large because I had forgotten to change to my size 11's after my rib cuff!

I was wondering why this sleeve looked so tight and the rib was looking a bit nicer. Well, knitting on smaller needles will have that affect on ribbing.

So I thought about leaving it as is, but I was concerned about the fit. I stretched it out a bit, and it seemed to be the same size. But then I noticed that my row gauge was off and my sleeves would actually be two different lengths. I could have adjusted the rows, but then there would have been more cable repeats on one sleeves.

So I did what any Olympic athlete would have to do. I got up, brushed myself off and just smiled.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Day 11

Progress for Day 11:


Yay! First sleeve is finished. I wish I wasn't too tired to cast on number two tonight. It will just have to wait til tomorrow. Hopefully I get a seat on the subway in the morning!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Day 7 - 10

And here's a quick recap of Days 6 through 10:

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

I didn't exactly get to knit as much as I would have liked over the holiday, but I can't complain. Getting down to the wire, only 6 days left! The first sleeve is almost ready for the cap shaping. Then I have the second sleeve and neck to finish. I need to make sure I finish all the pieces by Thursday so I can block before I go home to Jersey. I also need to check if I have the correct size snaps for the front opening. Alright, recap over, back to knitting!

But before I go, I was so ready to see the USA women's hockey team play for the gold! But unfortunately they were beat by Sweden friday and took the bronze against Finland tonight. A face-off against Canada would have been so great! Maybe they'll have better luck in 2010.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Day 6

Here's my progress for day 6:


This will be the last progress shot until Monday night when I get back to the city. Hooray for long weekends! I hope to have the right front and most of sleeve one done by monday. We'll see.

And I also wanted to share this photo that I found this weekend.


This is my Aunt's bridal shower in August of 1984. Hmm, it seems that Stitch & Bitch now has some photographic proof that it was not created by that chic from SFSE. I still need to find out if my aunt still has the yard stick lying around. I'd love to see if the manufacturer trademarked or copyrighted the name at all. Oh, and don't you just LOVE the blue eyeshadow. There will be no doubt this picture was taken in the 80's for sure!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Knitting Olympics: Day 5

Here's my progress after day 5.


It is going so quickly that I think I may have to add another challenge to the mix - weaving in all those ends on my fairisle sweater. But I'm not going to jump to any conclusions yet, you never know what can happen between now and the end!

I am really happy with the pattern so far. I've made a few mistakes and have had to rip back, but it knits up so quickly it doesn't put me at too far of a disadvantage. My only concern is the size. Because of the rib, it is pulling the knitting in alot! I'm hoping that it won't be too small. I've pulled it out and measured, and it seems to be OK so far. I would have ripped out the back and started over in a larger size, but then I'm afraid it would be too big. The sweater should really fit pretty close to the body. I won't be wearing more than a tank under it, so hopefully it should be OK.

Alright, enough chatting - back to the knitting!

P.S. The USA women's hockey beat Finland 7-3 today! I feel so spoiled watching these women play. They have such grace and finesse that the men certainly lack. I wish I could see the women play more throughout the year. I don't know if I can watch the NHL in the same way again!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Olympic Progress

Progress after Day 2:

Actually got alot of knitting done Saturday while watching the USA women's hockey team beat Switzerland. Then I got even more done while watching the Canadian women beat poor Italy 16-0 (a new olympic record!)

Then I got alot of knitting done Sunday because of this:


That is about 10" of pretty white stuff. Glad I wasn't in NYC at the time. When I came back to the city this morning, we had gotten 2 feet!

And here is my progress for today. I finished the back up while on the train back to the city this afternoon.


The pattern is moving along quicker than I thought it would. I'll try to at least update with a picture if nothing else every night. I can't wait to wear this sweater. The Polar is soooooooo soft, but it sheds alot!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Olympic Eve

The Knitting Olympics start tomorrow and I am so ready. The gauge swatch has been worked, the cable practiced and the yarn packed and ready to go for Jersey tomorrow night. My fiance has a lot of studying to do this weekend, so hopefully I'll get a lot of knitting in!

So with the Olympics going on, don't expect me to be too talkative here. I'll try my best to post progress shots, but there probably won't be a lot of commentary. I've learned over the almost year I've been blogging that sometimes it can be a bit time consuming and takes away precious knitting time! Plus I should really try to stay away from the internet completely. Too many tempting things to look at!

While waiting to start on First Aid, I decided to take my fairisle out of it's bag and block it.

That's a lot of ends!

Then the next night, I blocked the sleeves. Notice anything wrong?



For whatever reason, I decreased on the edge on one sleeve cap, and 2 stitches in on the other. Considering I ALWAYS decrease 2 sts in from the edge this just blew me away. So after the Olympics I'll be reknitting one sleeve cap. Luckily this shouldn't take too long and I'll have one more FO under my belt. I'm so happy I've actually been sticking to that part of my New Year's resolution! It's almost shocking actually.

Good luck to all the Olympians out there! Remember to rest periodically so you don't hurt those precious hands. And if you aren't participating, happy knitting!

P.S. Thank you for your nice comments on my green sweater and hush hush. Maybe one day I'll get together the green sweater pattern and submit it or post it here! I really appreciate your encouragement!

Monday, February 06, 2006

What To Do Now

So now that Hot Lava is finished and the Knitting Olympics are starting on Friday, what's a girl to knit?


I decided to start the Turtleneck Shrug by Teva Durham from Scarf Style. I had bought the yarn months ago during my trip to upstate New York, so it luckily didn't involve any yarn purchasing. Considering there is very little shaping, and it is knit entirely of 3x3 rib, I figure this will be a pick up whenever project. I started on Thursday night and have only knit about 5". This is going to be a slow go, but will be so cool when it's done in the summer when it's too warm to wear.

I have also been "in training" for the Olympics. I cast on a few stitches just to make sure I remembered how this darn cable goes. I don't know why this pattern gave me so many problems over the past 2 years, but now it will be officially conquered! Yay!

And since it is the year of the sock, I wanted to share a recent book purchase (well, a couple weeks back really). It is called The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook by Lynne Vogel. This book gives you the full monty: dyeing, painting, spinning, designing, and knitting. It is really quite inspirational and the photos are gorgeous - not to mention you can design your own personal unique socks from fiber to finish!

And last but not least, when I was digging out my Rowan Polar for First Aid, I found two finished projects! When I moved last August, I placed them in with my yarn stash so they wouldn't get damaged or lost. I guess I didn't exactly lose them, I just forgot about them:


Hush Hush by Libby Baker
Size 2 and 3 needles
Cone of 2/3 pearl cotton

I still can't believe I was able to finish this project (which was actually finished in 2004, it just took this long for me to block the darn thing!). This dress is basically 3/4 stockinette with 4 horizontal rows of ribbing on the princess seams to keep things from getting overly dull (and did I mention on size 2 and 3 needles!). This project is tribute to my patience, which sometimes I think I have way too much of! Either that, or it shows just how masochistic I really am.


Green sweater by moi (I'm so creative at naming things!)
Size 4 needles
3 balls of Kidsilk Haze

This was the third sweater I had ever written a pattern for. I think it took me 4 months just to get the right type of pointelle to work with the KSH. I swatched like crazy on this one. The sweater was finished about a year ago and I believe it took about 3 months start to finish. The reason I never posted it was because I had been thinking about submitting this to Knitty and I had been going back and forth about it since then. I should have just submitted while it was fresh in my mind! Oh well!

I love the buttons!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Disaster Averted


This is the quite large ball of yarn left after ripping out, not 3, but 10 rows. And here is the end result:


Yay! No more bad, bad collar! Patience pays off, whew!


Hot Lava by Jenifer Paulousky
4 skeins of Manos Del Uruguay 100% Wool - 138 yds/100 gr
Size 11 needles
Started Jan 18th - Finished Feb 1st

I guess I'll start with the modifications. I took 1" off the underarm seam or else the sleeves would have been too long (on me at least). Across the shoulders, I eliminated the "spine" and shortened it to 18" across instead of 21". I thought this would help eliminate the dreaded "poof" at the back, and it did a little bit. For the body when you get to the increases, I did only 8 repeats instead of the 11 called for the small size. This was due to #1, my row gauge was off - I was getting 4 sts for the pattern's 5 and #2 the collar was too big and was bunching at the neck.

If anyone is planning on making this in the future, I have two important tips for you. First, buy more yarn than called for! The first run, I ran out. After the collar correction, I had about 2 yards left (after taking three rows off the collar, making the sleeves shorter and taking 3" off the shoulder). This is especially important if you are making one of the larger sizes.

Second, make sure you bind off the collar very loosely! I used the lace bind off method and this is how you do it (this is for you Dana):)

Knit 1
Pass 1st st over YO and off needle
K1, pass previous st over
K1, pass previous st over*
continue from * to *

Basically, you are doing a normal bindoff, but adding a YO every two stitches. You can control the stretch of the edge by placing the YO every stitch for more stretch or every 3 for less stretch.

Overall, I am very happy with the finished sweater - even with the little collar issue. I couldn't help but wear it out today and I love it! It also gives me another sweater to wear my awesome rhinestone skull pin on! After a full day of wear I have no complaints of excessive stretching or pilling either.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Hot Lava finished?

Hot Lava finished? Sort of, let me explain.

So I was at LIC SnB last night and all the Hot Lava knitters were giving me those bad knitter stares. You know, the "I've been sick of this stockinet stitch for days and your almost finished and I hate you" looks. (All in good fun of course.)

Well girls, here is your revenge.

So I came home, took out Hot Lava with only 3 more rows to go. I was watching the State of the Union address, yelling at the TV a little, and knitting along. Earlier in the night, I wondered if I had enough yarn to finish. Helen told me to wrap yarn around the needle 10x and then count off yarn from there. I had enough, but barely. Well, when I got to the cast off, which needed to be done very loosely, I ran out of yarn. I was doing a lace cast off, which involves yarnovers, therefore, more yarn than I had calculated for. So I ripped back and did YOs every 3 sts instead of every 2. Still no good. Then I tried every 4 sts. I was going good until the last 60 sts (of about 150) and stole some yarn from my one sleeve that was a little longer. No harm done right? It was done after ripping back 3 times. So it's 12:30am and I run out to the living room to try it on. The bind off is too tight. Too tight! Ugh!

Luckily I was too tired to cry.


The loose bind off allows the collar to lay correctly and as you can see above, it does not lay correctly.

So even though I thought about throwing it in a corner to rot, I feel like the Manos deserves better than that. So I am going to rip back 3 rows and try again, this time sticking to the YOs every 2nd st. Sigh.