Two Left Needles

Knitting, spinning and dyeing
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It's been a while, I'm not sure I remember how to do this, hehe.

Hope you had a Happy Halloween:

Happy Halloween!

No trick or treating for us this year; I think next year will be our first. Scott's been a "turn the lights off and hide" kinda person, but Lily's softened him up, heh.

Speaking of Lily, here's a pic from September, at 16 months:

Sept 2008

and in October, when she insisted on trying on my sweater (Wicked in Koigu Kersti) with me:

Oct 2008 - Trying on mama's sweater

(She now regularly asks to take off her shirt when she sees my WIP's on the sofa.) 'Course, it took mere seconds for the yarn to be wrapped around her once:

Oct 2008: Trying on mama's sweater

so I reminded myself to breathe and took it off her casually. Dropped stitches? Pshaw, I may forget this when I see them, but they don't intimidate me. (I'm thinking a similar sweater fit to her size would be wicked cute on her, no?)

We made it to Rhinebeck this year! (I had high hopes of finishing Wicked, but it was not to be.) I nearly went a day early and took a carding class, but I wimped out. To make myself feel better, I took the day off work anyway and carded up some washed Romney from a fleece I picked up at MDSW earlier this year (pictured here):

Drumcarded Romney with silk

One pass on my SuperCarder made a nice prep; from R to L, pure Romney; 20% white Tussah Silk; 20% dyed Tussah Silk.

I spun a small sample:

Sample skein; drumcarded Romney with silk

Overplied; but I think it will make a nice sweater yarn. Definitely like the 3 ply on this one.

I digress.

I had a wonderful time at Rhinebeck. On Friday, we went to the Culinary Institute of America and dined in their cafe. We remembered why we don't eat out any more. Having a VERY active toddler makes it much harder to enjoy a meal. But it was worth it.

We only took 1 photo at the festival; we were too busy running around or dealing with crowds or taking care of Lily to pull the camera out. But Friday was more relaxed. After lunch at the CIA, we hung around a bit and took a few pics:

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

That's Scott's new toy. Mega wagon. It worked out well at the CIA, but was too large to navigate the crowded barns at the festival (holy crowds, Batman!). Lily did get to nap on it the first day of the festival, though, so that worked out well.

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

Yes, those are technically capri's. It was on the chillier side, but Lily is always warmer than we are. She's still at 90th percentile for height, but down to 50th for weight. We don't know where she gets it from. It's a mystery. Yeah, the capri's - she goes through clothes shockingly fast. At 18 months now, she's just outgrown her 18 month clothes.

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

She loves to run away from me:

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

She hasn't figured out how to climb stairs yet:

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

Or else she just has way too much fun leaning.

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

Running down the hill!

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

Spinning! It's a bit blurry, but I love my off-centeredness in this one:

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

Later that afternoon, we discovered the car tire had a slow leak. While we had it fixed, Scott showed Lily a cricket:

Rhinebeck 2008: Found a bug!

and she did a good job of being "gentle, gentle" with it.

Rhinebeck 2008: Found a bug!

The only Rhinebeck picture:

Rhinebeck 2008: Asleep at last

Ahhh, asleep at last.

The best part of Rhinebeck was getting to hang out with my fiber friends. I've been so out of the blog world and generally out of touch and isolated. It was good to feel welcomed and be part of the community, even for a short while. Thank You!!!

Enablers all! Hehe. My eye is on a Patrick Green Fancicard, which is even more expensive than the Fricke/Strauch I had been looking at. My reasoning: I'd prefer to buy one carder that will last me a good long while. I'm afraid that if I got a Louet I will want to upgrade too soon. I'd like to card in silk with merino, cashmere, alpaca, yak... and the Fancicard is supposedly very good at handling the exotics. Gotta save those pennies. I might be picking up some part time programming work, though. And my birthday is around the corner (2 weeks!) so if I have any discipline (not likely) I might be able to put a few bucks towards one.

The sun is out today (yay!!!) so I took a few pictures.

At the spin-in last week I spun my sunfires blue faced leicester:

Sunfires

The plan is to navajo ply and possibly make socks.

Progress on Honeymoon Cami is slow because I can't knit while spinning:

Honeymoon Cami - in progress

I added a few inches at The Fabric Place Knit Club last night.

Last night I also wanted to start the Flower Basket Shawl with this:

Hand Maiden Silk/Seacell

but forgot to wind it before leaving home. Doh. It's Hand Maiden silk/seacell, and it has a lovely soft hand with nice shine. I bought it (and a coupla other goodies) half off at a yarn store closing sale a few weeks ago. Skeined up it looks like:

Hand Maiden Silk/Seacell

I love seeing the transformation from skein to ball to knitted item in handpainted yarns.

The beginnings of FBS:

Flower Basket Shawl - started

I'm hoping that this one skein will be enough (~550 yards) but I think a shawlette would be fine, too.

Off to a wedding!

Thanks so much for your comments! It was especially wonderful to hear from folks that have been there all along but couldn't post. I was at work getting emails (I get emails from comments now!) and had a moment, I was, what do they say, verklempt? It was a wonderful feeling. I tell ya, you were there in my head, but it's so much nicer to hear it outside my head. I feel less crazy. ;)

So let's see, there's been a lot of stuff going on. Where to start?

I'm going to see the Harlot speak at Classic Yarns of Grafton tomorrow! I'm hoping I won't say something really stupid or embarassing. Or gush too much. Or smile too widely and not say anything. I'll be meeting up with my buddy Maria and she'll stop by the house afterwards to gawk at the stash. Go on, admit it, you're jealous. You want to see the stash!

Speaking of the stash... it has groooown. I spent the last of the stash sale monies on some Addis from Jeff Wonderland (so I can finish those danged Jaywalkers) and yarn at The Fabric Place. Look what a judiciously spent $22 will get you:

new to the stash

Superwash baby yarn and non-wool for Scott in Scott-safe colors!

I also ordered a few books from Amazon.com using reward certificates (read: free!), the Harlot's Knitting Rules, and Deb Menz's Color Works and Color in Spinning:

               

and they arrived within days! Oh boy oh boy, already started reading the Harlot's book and Color Works and am very pleased. (Are those Amazon things too obnoxious looking? I thought having the pictures would be nice.)

Taxes were a very pleasant surprise this year. I was hoping we'd break even or not have to pay too much. Instead, we're getting money back! Woohoo! I promptly ordered Woolcombsmini wool combs from The Artful Ewe so I can process some of that lovely alpaca and llama that shipped with my wheel. June had recommended them and I'm excited to try them out!

As if that weren't enough... today I stopped by Woolcott in Harvard Square and bought Heirloom Knitting, mostly subsidized with a gift certificate. Couldn't put it down.

Can you stand it?? Can I???

And last, but not least, there's some handdyed silk roving wending its way to me. No more on that 'til it arrives. Hoooo boy.

I hate to leave without some pics cuz I have a few stockpiled from the week, so here's progress on the Honeymoon Cami:

Honeymoon Cami - in progress

Honeymoon Cami - in progress

Honeymoon Cami - in progress

Picovoli

Picovoli

Picovoli
Started:
3/17/06
Finished: 4/8/06
Pattern: Grumperina's Picovoli, with modifications
Yarn: Classic Elite Provence in a to dye for red (color # 2627), almost 2 full skeins
Needles: #5 bamboo circulars
Notes: For starters, I didn't get gauge. Next, my size is between the pattern sizes. So, all actual numbers were recalculated and fudged to fit. And boy does it ever fit. I suspect that it's either too short or small, or I'm not used to baring the midriff. Scott loves it, though. Any thoughts? I could always add some rows near the waist to make it longer.

Modifications aside, this was an easy and relatively fun knit. The plain stockinette stitch makes for good TV knitting, while the shaping details give it interest. Plus, the fact that you can try it on as you go helps make a garment that fits. The instructions are clear and in-the-round knitting means minimal ends to be woven in.

I enjoyed knitting with Provence. Soft and silky with a nice sheen. Good yardage, too.

The bottom edge won't stay down. I've tried steaming it to no avail. Any thoughts on that one, too?

More Knits??

I'm making a liar of myself, where's the spinning content?? Actually there's been some spinning and dyeing, but today's post was determined to be color coordinated.

Sock one of The Red and The Black is done! My first handdyed handspun handknit sock, hehe.

The Red and The black - sock 1 done!

I added a simple 1x1 rib only in the last black band, because it looked odd any other way.

The Red and The Black - sock 1 done!

Sock 2 is in progress and I'm curious to see how they match up. These I will be sad not to be wearing until the Fall.

Oh hat

I wanted to knit a second hat for MJ's Norwegian Knits-Along, and ran into some troubles. Adrian helped me brainstorm and I tackled the project anew. On my first stab, the gauge and stitch pattern were not cooperating to make a hat to fit my head. I considered:

  • adding larger motifs separating the panels
  • adding an extra repeat to the "front" and "back" panels
  • adding an extra panel to make 5 (Adrian's suggestion) 

In the end, I went with the first option. I'm pretty sure there was a good reason. I distinctly remember trying the second option and having one of those, "<sigh> this is not going to work" moments. At this moment I can't recall what the issue might have been.

Oh hat - in progress

Assuming it will fit, it's looking good. I'm not happy with the way I increased stitches before starting the main pattern, so I'll probably have to rework the first few rows. But, with the Norwegian Knits-Along ending and Spring seeming to be around the corner, there's no pressure to finish anytime soon.

Curlycue scarf

My niece loves her scarf! I think it looks fabulous on her. Even in 80 degree weather.

Curlycue scarf

I was surprised by how much longer it is on her than on me. Which just means it'll last longer. :)

Curlycue scarf

I was called a spinner recently. Specifically, the word linking to my blog was "spinner", as in "this spinner". It was the first time that word was used as my sole description and it was startling. As a long time knitter and johnny-come-lately spinner, I've yet to see spinning as my main squeeze. Lately, though, it seems that's all I do - spin, and dye stuff to spin. If you look through my recent posts, it's spinning heavy. And actually, because I started blogging shortly after learning to spin, most of my posts have some kind of spinning content in them. While I know I love to spin, how it fits in my life is an unknown blank. Spinning and dyeing are new so every experience is a learning experience, fresh, new, exciting; I'm like a teenager at an all-you-can-eat buffet, trying to sample everything without worries of the waistline. In time whether I become a spinner-knitter-dyer, a knitter-spinner-dyer, or some other combination, will become clearer. And really, all that affects is switching the words around on my blog heading. And how much budget goes to fiber vs yarn. And whether my cards will list "web developer, knitter, actor" or "web developer, spinner, actor" ... or perhaps ... "web developer, fiber artist, actor". For now, I'll just say there'll be a lot more spinning and dyeing going on than knitting.

Ironically, I have knitting updates today! A finished and steamed Picovoli:

Picovoli

Photos of me wearing it will follow post-flu.

And I picked up The Red and The Black again. I tried simple ribbing but didn't like the effect, so I stuck to simple stockinette stitch. Check out the striping at the heel:

The Red and The Black - in progress

I'm sick. Flu, I think. Blech.

Here's the leftovers dyepot predrafted:

leftovers dyepot

and half of it spun up:

current projects

It's been a while since I spun bluefaced leicester and I miss it. I miss the springiness and softness of the finished yarn. Nice stuff.

Also pictured:

  • Picovoli, almost done. I want to finish but I know I won't be able to wear it for a while so I'm lacking motivation. However, I do want to start on the next summer knit so I best get cracking.
  • Yarn for my Sockapaloooza sockpal! It's Danette Taylor superwash merino in ... I don't know ... seaweed, maybe? Sockpal likes jewel tones so I think it's a good match! I looked for clues on their blog and decided to take an aspect of something they're interested in and use it for design inspiration. I don't know how it will work for socks, it might be one of those "cool concept, not so interesting for socks" kinda things, but I'm hoping it will be "cool concept, interesting socks". Or maybe even, "cool concept, cool socks!" Wouldn't that be nifty?
  • Stripey superwash merino in my continuing attempts to get a decent color representation. Here's another try:

stripey number

and another:

stripey number

Actually, the last one is pretty close!

Last night's dyeing yielded:

more stripes

Alpaca on the left, 100's merino on the right. I love how the colors came out! I couldn't wait to try some out, so tonight I spun up some of the alpaca, and man, was it tough! Not to mention a big mess. Had Scott running scared (though he braved the mass of shedding fibers and gave me a peck on the head). From what I understand, the trick with alpaca is to put just enough twist to hold it together; too much twist and it gets wiry and loses its softness. It's a slippery fiber, too. Well, I was doing fine until I started plying, and the second singles kept breaking on me. Guess "just enough twist to hold it together" is not quite enough if you're plying. It made a beautiful looking skein, though. I love the way it looks! And it's actually quite soft. I don't know what it would be like to knit with it, seems kinda hairy and like it would shed. I guess I'd better do a swatch. I know I need to knit more of what I spin to learn what makes a good-for-knitting yarn, ya know?

I'd like to do some more dyeing, but I'll need a new color combo. I think we've all seen enough turquoise, blue and violet to last us a while, eh? Not to mention all the turquoise, blue and violet we'll continue to see as I spin up the rest of the last 2 batches... hehe... any suggestions? :)

Our TiVo arrived today and Scott already likes it. We can pause, we can record, we can rewind, we can make the TV wait for us, instead of rushing for it. Not that we watch that much TV. He's busy playing WoW, I'm busy spinning or knitting. But there are a few shows we like to watch, and it's nice to know we can watch them on our schedule.

Boy, I sound like an ad, eh?

Pico-oh-oh

Picovoli is oh-so-close to being done. The bottom and top picot edges are complete, just need to do the armhole edges. Sewing up the picot edges was very time consuming, surprisingly so. Picot edges in crochet are a lot of work for a pretty, dainty effect. I never liked doing them and probably avoided patterns with too much picot edging. In knitting, it's not so different. Creating the picot effect is very easy, but sewing the edge down is tedious. Well, all the more so when you have to redo it several times.

The picot edge won't lay flat, either. Steaming helps some, but I wonder if a plain edge would have been better? I wanted a slightly dressier look, though. We'll see how it steams up.

Roaster action

The merino, alpaca and last of the tussah silk were still soaking from the weekend so last night I cooked 'em up in the roaster:

more stripes

Hmm, look familiar? Yup, same colors as the stripey number. This time, simple repeating stripes and no exact measurements. I think the merino may have felted some, boooo. The roaster didn't seem hot enough so I turned it up. And then it was too hot. Booooo. The dye didn't penetrate far into the silk (thirsty stuff) so I'll have to overdye it. There are some white spots in the merino and alpaca, which is fine. The merino took the color flatter than the superwash did. Interesting to see how the different fibers behave.

Note to self

10 minutes in the morning is not enough time to rinse out dyed fibers. I know it's hard to resist, but self, you're better off doing it after work. It doesn't affect when the fiber will be dry (either way you wouldn't get to spin it until tomorrow night), and you won't have to rush to work. Just sayin'.

Wheeee, thanks for the 'grats on the wheel!

I don't know what I'm doing here in front of the computer instead of the wheel. What's wrong with me??

I started a swatch for the second Norwegian Knits-Along hat. Sadly, my gauge and the pattern repeat do not play nicely. It's either cut off the circulation of my head, or have a floppy hat. Meh. Pretty yarn combo:

Frogged first attempt at second Norwegian Hat

I'll try again this fall with a different pattern.

Picovoli progresses, not long now.

Picovoli - in progress

Off to spin!

These are the photos that go with yesterday's post. :)

Picovoli progress

Picovoli - in progress

The irregularity on the right is the end of skein one. One skein goes along way, doesn't it?

I'm very ambivalent about skein size. When I'm counting stash, having a good number of skeins is a good thing (if there's space) because it means you have more flexibility in project choice. But man, a sweater's worth of yarn takes up a lot of space. When I'm knitting and measuring project progress by number of skeins used, each skein seems sooooo long. And then, the stash seems enormous! If it takes x hours to knit one skein of yarn, how long will it take to knit through the stash??? When I'm afraid of running out of yarn, each skein seems smaller, each yard more precious. Then I'm worrying about squeezing out an extra row or two with the last yards of each ball.

Each Provence skein is 125 grams - larger than usual. I have 3 skeins total, but I'm guessing I'll finish it with 2. That's some serious yardage.

DRCB progress

DRCB - in progress

Today I gave the cabling without a cable needle method a try. It's come up a few times recently so I thought I should at least figure out what the hullabaloo is all about.

Convenience. That's what it's all about. Speed? Hmm, not sure. If I were knitting something like a sock, with many stitches in constrained quarters, I'd definitely use the cableneedleless method. On this project... I'll try it for a few inches and see how I like it.

Wheel progress

Well, no photo. But it's at the post office, so there'll be photos tomorrow!

And the haircut

New haircut

Swish, swish

New haircut

Yup, that's spin-dye-knit-a-scarf. First time out. A little scratchy but purty. And that (gasp!) non-black top? Also cashmere, on (serious) sale, nabbed this weekend. Told you it was a busy weekend. :)

It shipped! Wheeeeeeeeee!

Last night Picovoli started here:

Picovoli - in progress

and ended here:

Picovoli - in progress

and that's with some frogging.

This project has been on the challenging side, but not so much frustrating. I knew what I was getting into, and I was up for it.

First, the pattern is written with negative ease for shapeliness. This is a good thing. The finished size I want is between pattern sizes. Not so good.

The yarn I'm using has a great feel and sheen and the color is magnificent. It is the red. Poifect. I'm not getting gauge. Not so poifect.

Before I began a single stitch, I pored over the pattern and figured out what was going on. I then calculated all the stitches, increases, decreases, etc, for the in between size. Finally I adjusted the new numbers based on my actual gauge, making sure I had the "right" number of stitches in the appropriate places (some guesswork here). You should see my notes, some numbers have been crossed out 7 or 8 times as I worked things out. Right. Time to knit.

From the start, I ran into a number of problems, most of which had to do with being tired. (Yeah, all those calculations will do that to ya.) Lots of frogging, forehead slapping, and head hanging. It took quite a while to get to row 7, but then it was smooth sailing until the beginning of last night. And I realized... my gauge in the round is different than my gauge swatch, which was worked back and forth. "Eh no" (think Phoebe from Friends). It happens to us all, eh? I debated, I hawed and hemmed, and decided to try it on. There wasn't much to try on, no armholes, just a big loop to lay over my shoulders. It was hard to tell, it seemed maybe fine, maybe a hair small. But workable. I had read that some people's Picovoli's tended to stretch a bit so being on the small side might be okay. I plowed on with the understanding that all those calculations might need to be reworked.

A few rows after the armholes, I tried it on again. Ouch, armpit pinching. Too small. I decided to add another increase round and figured the extra stitches should be okay. I thought of adding 2 increase rounds, but then remembered that it would probably stretch, and the last thing I wanted was a loose body.

Frog. Reknit. Try on. Better! Knit knit knit knit. Try on. Hey, not bad! The bust area is comfortably snug, not tight, not loose. It may stretch a bit with wear, who knows. The part from the armpit up is just tall enough. The extra 2 rows made the needed difference; I just hope it doesn't end up being too tight anyway.

I'm about an inch from the waist decreases. There will be more try ons and more adjustments, but it's all good. You wanna know why?

I'm a sale shopper. I buy yarns I like when they're on sale. Not for a particular pattern or idea. Just because. I. Love. Yarn. (You noticed?) What does this mean?

There are so many patterns I want to make but don't have yarn to match. There are so many yarns I want to use, but don't have patterns to match. It can get frustrating. Some yarns sit around for a while waiting for the perfect pattern written at the right gauge. Or for inspiration to strike.

But I'm beginning to accept this situation. This means: Using my stash requires creativity. Using my stash requires adjustments. This year I want to make summer tops before summer rolls around. I know, revolutionary, isn't it? There's Picovoli, a ChicKami, maybe the Honeymoon Cami, and the Bistro Shirt (though that's a whole other story). And there are yarns I want to use for summer tops that probably don't match any patterns I have. But I want to use them. To make this work, I'll have to be creative and make adjustments. Because you know I don't have any more yarn money. It's all going into fiber these days. I'm even selling stash so I can buy more fiber. Yup, it's like that.

So adjustments to Picovoli? No problem. Frogging and reknitting and frogging? No problem. That's what I have to do to get them summer knits. And I'm gonna do it. It's all good.

Thanks for all your sweet comments on the core spun mohair and the Deep Pink and Red.

I mentioned I wasn't quite happy with the neckline on Creamsicle T. Maybe you can help me out. I thought I'd model it for you so you could see it in three dimensions.

What do you think?

Creamsicle T - almost done

Hmm, not a great shot of the neckline... How about this one:

Creamsicle T - almost done

Not so good? Maybe this one:

Creamsicle T - almost done

Can you see the garter borer? Try this one:

Creamsicle T - almost done

Hahaha, if this is not looking familiar, read my previous frustrations on the Ella Rae T Shirt Sweater photos.

Here's a regular one you won't find in the book:

Creamsicle T - almost done

How does it look?

(And for anyone tuning in more recently, my version is a complete overhaul of the pattern. Completely. Overhauled.)

My lunchtime knitting: 

Deep Rose Cabled Beauty - in progress

is Deep Rose Cabled Beauty. I can't remember its given name, but I think it's from VK. The color is a deep rose, not nearly as bright as the photo suggests. I started it a year ago and finally decided to pick it up again. I've knit a full big diamond in the last week. It may be done by next February.

The yarn is naturally dyed wool from Tregelly's Fiber Farm in Hawley, MA, bought a few years back. Their natural dyeing studio is called Botanical Shades, and their one page "website" for years has said "coming soon". There's veggie matter in the yarn reminiscent of Noro Kureyon and the texture is a little scratchy but knit up it's not scratchy. With the stitch pattern and the non-smooth yarn, I do tug on stitches to keep even tension, and apparently my right index finger is doing a lot of work because it gets achy like it's being strained. Continental knitters, do you get that?

Last night I cast on for Picovoli:

Picovoli beginnings

Rats, I was gonna have you guess what it was. Ah well. The yarn is Classic Elite Provence, a shiny crisp mercerized cotton that feels wonderful. I had begun a Red Vest with it back in '98 that didn't get very far. Besides the fact that I don't wear vests, the biggest reason for its pokiness was the wrong needles. These bamboos feel so right. The color is a deep gorgeous red, which is why I couldn't bear to part with it. Imagine the deeper color above with the crisp shininess of the swatch below:

Picovoli swatch

Deep Rose and Deep Red. Coincidence? Is Project Spectrum gifted with prophecy? Has it subconsciously invaded my knitting colorscape?

Perhaps my humor in the last post was a bit base for you. Muahahahaha. As Scott would say, I crack myself up.

Speaking of which, Julia at Moth Heaven cracked me up with her discussion of Warmus digitus latvius.

In other knitbloglandiosity:

Enough inspiration for ya?

Thanks for your nice comments on Autumn Leaves. It was such a serendipitous project, and one of the reasons why dyeing and spinning are so fascinating to me. One last photo, in sunlight:

Autumn Leaves

All that glitters

The mohair/ribbon scarf is all done. It was a quick knit, promptly followed by a thorough brushing to remove mohair from my clothes.

Glitterati

Glitterati
Started:
3/11/06
Finished: 3/14/06
Pattern: The scarf is knit with one strand of each yarn carried together. Cast on 13 sts, knit in seed stitch to desired length.
Yarn: Danette Taylor mohair in Birds of Paradise, about 2 oz; Erdal Yarns Harlequin, less than 1 50g cone (probably ~125 yards of each)
Needles: #13 circulars
Notes: The ribbon gives the scarf surprising weight, surprising only because mohair is so light. It also gives it more structure, or body. Shape. And the way it catches the light is really something. One more photo:

Glitterati

Tang

Last, a possible neckband for Creamsicle T:

Creamsicle T - almost done?

Did you think I forgot all about her? The garter border matches the bottom of the sweater. I'm not quite pleased with it, but I'm not ready to frog it out just yet.

To prepare for KO dyeing, I have been doing a little experimenting with color gradients. More on that soon.

Today's WTF moment is brought to you courtesy of the T Shirt Sweater.

Creamsicle T is close to done. Ends woven in, just the neckline to finish.

I followed the instructions, pick up stitches, cast off on the next row. No problem. Except, it looked like crap.

Hmm. Where did I go wrong? Not that many ways you can pick up and cast off.

What should it look like? There are lots of photos of the T Shirt Sweater in the book:

t-shirt sweater

Kinda hard to see the neckline. Next.

t-shirt sweater

Hmm, even worse. Next.

t-shirt sweater

It's tiny! Come on guys, show me some neck.

t-shirt sweater

[grumble grumble]

t-shirt sweater

Mostly hair...

t-shirt sweater

More hair!

You've got to be kidding me. Out of 6 photos of this sweater, none of them shows clear neckline details! WTF??? 6 photos people. 6!!!

[more grumbling]

Okay. Let's zoom in on the 3 that showed any neckline. Candidate 1:

t-shirt sweater

[grumbledy grump]

Candidate 2:

t-shirt sweater

[grrrrumpity]

Candidate 3

t-shirt sweater

[grrrrrrrrrrr]

Can you tell what's going on?

Frustrated, I tried... something else. What can I say, attempt #2 was unmemorable. Attempt #3 was rollneck to match the sleeves:

Creamsicle T - almost done!

but it's just not working for me. I think a simple neckline like the photos (what little you can see) works best; I guess I'll have to figure out how to make it so.

(You know, it's probably something really simple that will have me hooting and hollering at my own folly. Really.)

I put in some yarn room organization time last night. It felt good to clean things up and make some decisions on what needs to go. There's a corner of the room I can see again! And the sewing machine is accessible once more. I know more yarn needs to find new homes. It's so hard to make those decisions; if I think I might use it, I want to keep it. The problem is, when is might? This year? Within 5 years? In this lifetime? Some might yarns are definitely worth keeping, like good quality basic yarns in non-funky colors. High quality luxury yarns in lovely colors. Beautiful sock yarns... Of course, there are limits to how much is worth keeping. How do you decide what to keep?

You know what I love? Being able to see more of my yarns, and having easier access to it. With the new shelves, I don't have to move 3 bins to get to the one I want. Love it.

Slacker Knathlete

The Knitting Olympics (and the actual Olympics, hehe) begins Friday and I don't have a project yet! I swear I've been thinking about it. Obviously, not hard enough... It's just... I have so many things I should knit soon: a couple of baby sweaters, an afghan or three, socks and a sweater for Scott, socks and a vest I promised Gram last week (what, am I crazy?)... and then there are the knitalongs I'm in... and the WIP list is not getting any shorter. In fact, this weekend, while combing through the WIP list to target WIPs to abandon, I found 2 more WIPs that never made it onto the list, so my count is now 2 higher! What's up with that??

You know, my mom was eyeing my Catharina Rose shawl when it was a WIP and I was worried she'd swipe it. She didn't. I was shocked. While still in shock, I offered to knit her a shawl and asked her what she'd like. You know what she'd like? A black one. A black lace shawl that would go with everything. She wants me to go blind, she does. Add lace shawl to the above list.

You know another thing? I've started only 3 projects this year: anonymous socks (product of startitis), Kiri, and Creamsicle T. 3 projects! I used to do that in a day! 3 projects in 5 weeks, it's a record, I say! Not only that, since I started my WIP Management campaign in November, I've started 11 proejcts and completed all but 4: the 3 listed above, plus Curlycue Scarf started Dec 28. Holy whip them WIPs moly. Dare I say, it works! WIP Management works!

Let's bring it up another notch. After reviewing my WIP list this weekend, I targeted 10 WIPs to abandon. This will bring my WIP count down to 36. You newcomers can stop swooning, this is good news! Down from 67 to 36. That's 72% of the way to my goal of 24. It makes me dizzy, it does. Yeehaw!

And don't even think about mentioning a Stash Management campaign, I won't have it.

Orange Julius

Creamsicle T sleeve reshaping went swimmingly well! Here's the before:

Creamsicle T - puffy sleeve

The cap didn't look or feel right. With the tighter body, looser sleeves were out of place. Plus, it looked like the sleeve cap needed to be a few rows longer.

I took out 2 inches of ease above the elbow, added slight bell shaping below the elbow, adjusted the cap decreases, and crossed my fingers. Since I was working with 2 inches less fabric for seaming, I slowed down cap decreases and added in a few extra rows. Once done, I sewed it in and tried it on:

Creamsicle T - sleeve redux

Not bad! It's definitely snug on my upper arm: no room for growth. The cap has a little extra fabric at the top, so I unseamed and took out a couple of rows.

I'm 80% done reknitting the second sleeve. I'm guessing I'll have Creamsicle T done in time for the Olympics. Hurrah! One project complete to balance the new Olympics project.

Which reminds me. I need to decide on a project!

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