Friday, June 30, 2006

Slowly but Surely

. . . Who's Shirley?

Actually, surly is how I'm starting to feel after knitting this thing. It's giving me an attitude. The wrong kind. Where to start?

First, it is not as long as I expected. I'm hoping it is not midriff-baring, but initial reports aren't promising. Since I wung the neckline, I wasn't sure how long to make the armscye (not sure if I'm describing this properly), so I partially seamed in a sleeve to ge an idea of how much I would need there. This then allowed me to seam the shoulders and try it on.

Which is how I'm thinking it's too short (no photo for now). This is despite modifying the pattern from 11 1/2 inches until armhole bind-off to 14 inches. Mind you, this is the largest size, and they want 11 1/2 inches! Who the heck is this small? I don't consider myself particularly large. I'm 5'10'', 135-145 lb (depending on the season and if I'm operating or in the lab-active v. sedentary) but I can easily take small sizes in tank tops. Go figure.

Seaming the shoulders also now allows me to pick up stitches along the neckline for the ribbed edge. This has to be the least graceful aspect of knitting. Pick up???? Give me a break. It's more like DIG UP.

And there were some minor glitches in the ribbed eyelet pattern, thanks to increases. This was the best I could do.

The garment *does* have its redeeming qualities. First and foremost, it's utterly feminine, yet entirely work-appropriate (as long as it's not too SHORT). Second, the ribbing makes it oh so comfortable. Third, I love the textured pattern, both in terms of appearance and because it was fun to knit--it actually held my attention!

This morning I have a doctor's appt, to which I would love to take this piece and work on it (because there will likely be substantial waiting time involved). But given the nature of this appt (NO, it's NOT what you are thinking, don't even go there!!) I'm likely to be highly distractable and I don't want to %$^& up this thing. Plus, I'd be a bit of a spectacle with an entire sweater in my hands, free yarn ends waving about (I managed to hide them for the photo shoot).

I *do* have another project up my sleeves, which is at the 1x1 ribbing in the round stage, perfect for waiting room knitting. More on that later....

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Remember this gal? Well, here we go again! An initial sleeve proved too small (I was smug about substituting yarn and not swatching; I guess that sleeve WAS my swatch) and I re-knit it and its mate in the largest size, mostly on the flight home for the wedding. My mother asked me if the sunset on the flight was nice. I told her I had absolutely NO IDEA--I was knitting!

I cast on for the body in the car going to the airport for the return flight. The check-in line was e-frickin-normous and a half-hour's wait sped by in 2x2 ribbing in the round.

I was concerned I would be short on yarn until I tried it on--

Suits me just fine! Things went swimmingly until it was time to bind off for the armholes. Despite all my education and degrees, I learned I can't count. I also learned how much one stinking stitch can throw off the whole thing. Uh, yeah, I figured that out after about seven rows of knitting after I bound off. I was off-center. @&$*!!!!! Frog, frog, frog. At this point, I was near-meltdown after another busy weekend and I decided there was nothing a long nap and some double fudge brownie chocolate ice cream couldn't cure.

Refreshed post-nap, I got the armhole shaping done and decided to make the neckline a bit more decollete. But not before I saw I missed a pattern repeat in one of the ribs:

I bound off too soon on the neckline.

I'm so proud of myself for winging the neckline!!!! Despite being too short, the curve turned out really nice!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Everyone out there--I have many questions. Please reply with answers if you can!

1. I saw some Ebay yarn described as 10/1 and 11/1 cc. What the heck does this mean??

2. Is there any place online to buy Omega Sinfonia?

3. I'm really digging Eunny's knitting on finer gauge needles. What's the best book that encompasses finer gauge knitting? (I'm planning on buying Eunny's, but it doesn't release until Fall 2008! Argh!) Recently I bought Vintage Knitting, by Sarah Dallas with Yesterknits. Love it. Any other suggestions?

4. From reading some of Eunny's posts I gather that coned yarn has a sort of oily finish to it. Is that true? For all coned yarn?

These are the ones I can think of while here at work...
I hope someone out there can help me!
Thanks for the replys!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Weekend at Home

Beaded black chiffon dress: check.
Peep-toe heels: check.
Hose, fake pashmina, and lipstick: check, check, check.

It can only mean one thing: It's wedding season!

Yeah, that's how I feel about it, too.

In addition to his regular job, my cousin's new husband is a volunteer fireman. I thought this was a cute idea.

For once, I'm happy with how I cleaned up.

With my cousin (she's only 66 days younger) AKA "The Little Mexican" for the obvious reason (although we're entirely German).

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Sleevie Wonder

I was ruminating on the new ribbed lace top and finally decided the sleeve I knitted was too small. By itself, it fits fine. But to do the whole garment in this size is likely to present problems, and since I don't like to complicate things by doing sleeves in one size and the body in another, I reknit the sleeve in the next biggest size. Instead of increasing to 94 stitches, I started out with that many. I also made the initial ribbed cuff only 1 inch high.

Tomorrow I'm flying home for my little cousin's wedding. I thought a good in-flight project would be this capelet/shawl from spring 06 Vogue, so I cast on for it tonight. It's a mobius cast-on, something I've never tried and never seen in books. Not a whole lot out there to confirm or correct my progress. NO SAFETY NET.

Is this right? I think so. . .

Love the colors. Unfortunately, the Mobius strip cast-on proved to be more than I can handle. Frog, frog, frog. I'll have to give Eunny a holler.

Maybe I should pack now.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Chai, y'all!

I have an idea rolling around in my head. Somehow, without looking tacky or too Kabbalah-ish, I'd like to incorporate the Hebrew word for "life" (chai) into a project. I'm not Israeli or Jewish, but I *did* take Hebrew in college (I have a knack for languages. I also took German and French simultaneously in high school and was near/at the top of my class in both) and my favorite authors are Jewish (sorry, Katrina Firlik--I only consider authors who have MULTIPLE books as my faves among my favorite authors). Here is my pattern of the letters. Now that I take another look, it could use a few revisions. Sigh.

Hebrew letters, in case you don't know, have a numerical value. In this case, chai has a value of 18. The 1s could serve "double duty" in framing the word, and the 8s add a little decoration and look like the sign for infinity. But it needs more. Any ideas? Maybe incorporate the 8s into Aran knots at the corners?

In other news, Henrietta is really progressing. The pattern is from the book "A Treasury of Rowan Knits" which seems frumpier (neologism here?) now than when I bought it. But Henrietta is rather nice. Using Patons Classic Merino Wool, color Petal Pink, knit on US 6s. Those things could be a deadly weapon they are so sharp. I guess you could say the needles are "vintage." They were passed on to me (along with many others) from my mother, who used them in the 1960's. Hoo boy.

No shaping through the body has made for a really quick knit! It's a beatiful thing.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Curl up and dye

That's actually the name of a salon.

But that's how I felt when I discovered this:

30.60 grams. That's all that remains after about 7 inches of knitting Henrietta. At that rate, I'll knit myself out of yarn. And I bought up the last of that dye lot (hence the significance of the homonym)! A quick trip to the LYS remedied that--I bought a dye lot differing only in the last number. I can't tell the difference, can you?? (My lab mates must have thought me odd to weigh my yarn in the lab, the only place I could find an accurate scale. Well, that's me, just odd.)

Uh, what's that? Uh, yeah. Great. I forgot the other purl row in there. Eight rows of tinking! Another reason to curl up and die.

Problem solved.

I started another project:

You can probably figure out what it is from this photo. If you know of any errata, give me a heads up! I love the color combinations of the yarn with the needles (purple = US3, green = US4). True to form, I substituted yarns and didn't swatch.

Will I make it???

Perfect! It has a little negative ease, which is how I prefer it. I prefer zero ease, perhaps slight positive ease, through the torso though. Hmmm, this may require some strategic undergarments. We shall see.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Up and Running

I'm baaaaack!

In a flash of grit and determination several weeks ago, I managed to get the entire front panel done on a Saturday .

I promptly started in on the sleeves.

They were a bit more slow-going. And they are still going, despite my valiant efforts to the contrary.

So, Jaws, what was the exciting news, you ask?


I know, I know--it's nothing terribly special, but it's my first legitimate foray into the world of natural fibers. I *did* buy a ball of Omega Sinfonia mercerized cotton once, and made a cheesy 1x1 rib scarf, but it doesn't really count. I bought enough to make the sweaters from the Spring and Summer IK magazines (sweater under the associated yarn). The rose/lavender is pretty true to color here, but the "peacock" looks like it's electric (otherwise true to color).

I started the "Aran Rose" sweater (the lavender one) but discovered I can't figure out the rice stitch. Purl through back loop? What the heck?!? It wasn't in any of my reference books, and I browsed Borders hoping to find something illuminating, but alas, Aran Rose was bypassed for something simpler but perhaps more exotic. Meet Henrietta.

I love the slits and panels at the bottom. They remind me of something medieval, but I can't put my finger on it.

It deviates from my MO in 2 respects:
1. No turtleneck. I think my entire winter wardrobe consists of turtleneck sweaters.
2. No cables. All of my projects except the No. 4 from Vogue's KnitSimple have had them. This one is just K and P, pure and simple.

3. (Yes, I know, I said 2 respects, but this is an afterthought) The slouch factor. Looser and more relaxed, yet refined (I think, at least).

More pictures soon. I obviously made it to Staples today.

Monday, June 05, 2006


I checked with our in-lab computer guru today, and the problem is likely not as serious (translate: expensive) as I was dreading. The problem is most likely in the cable, since I cannot upload photos onto my work computer, and my laptop's USB port recognizes my flash drive. I still could have burnt out something in the camera, but it still takes pics and I can circumnavigate it all with a memory card.

So tomorrow I'm going out to find a memory card. Which is probably a good thing anyway, because my little cousin is getting married in a couple of weeks and I'll be taking more pics than the internal memory holds. I should have gone out tonight, but I started a new project. . . which I can't show you 'CAUSE I DON'T HAVE A FUNCTIONAL CAMERA. Oy.

I also can't show it because I frogged it. I was burning through the yarn and then discovered despite my calculations that my gauge was off. A lot. How do these things happen?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Still out

Hi ho there. . .

I guess the title says it all.

I *did* learn that I did NOT blow up the USB ports as previously suspected. (yay! woo-hoo!) Last night I was able to upload my powerpoint presentation on cholangiocarcinoma (cancer of the bile ducts going to and from the gall bladder) to practice for today. I'm a bit nervous to present my research today, but fortunately for my first presentation the group is relatively small and informal.

In other news, if anyone is looking for a good read, check out "Another Day in the Frontal Lobe" by Katrina Firlik, MD ( I could not put that sucker down.

And if anyone is looking for a good CD, check out "Harem" by Sarah Brightman.

Ok, I'll keep trouble-shooting this and hopefully have pix soon (I did have some exciting news, but it's about 2 weeks old now, kind of anti-climactic. . .)