Monday, July 13, 2009

Wait! I thought I was a loose knitter...

After gauge issues on a few previous projects convinced me that I'm a loose knitter, 2 more recent projects have me totally confused. First, the Greenery Hat. A fun hat to knit, the cables keeping me interested throughout. I used Knit Picks Superwash Merino that I dyed a few years ago--kelly green over royal blue.

Greenery hat

This yarn is excellent--so soft! And I love how the color came out. The problem with this hat? Well, there's no modeled shot because I cannot get it onto my head. The author of the pattern said that it fit her big head so she thought it would fit anyone. And since I don't like gauge swatching, I didn't. Well, now I have a hat for small-headed person. :/ I want to make again, but I'll have to go up at least 1 needle size, maybe 2.

The next project that's made me wonder about my knitting tension: Columbine Peak socks from Cat Bhordi's book Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles. I feel like factors have conspired against me to make these socks a bit on the tight side. First, I'm using Zitron Trekking XXL Pro Natura, which I don't particularly like for sock knitting because it's finer than I like (why did I choose to use it? because it wouldn't require me to set up the swift/yarn ball winder--aka laziness). Then there's the needle I chose to go with this fine yarn: my US1.5 Addi Turbo Lace. Now I chose both of these things, no one forced them on me, but reading the pattern, I didn't anticipate these socks being too tight--it calls for casting on 72 stitches! 8 more than I usually have for a sock. I thought this would be sufficient to make the socks appropriately sized for me. But no, this will be a pair of socks for a smaller-footed person.

Columbine peaks sock in progress

I like the way this pattern has some 1x1 ribbing down the foot, keeping it snug--just too snug for me. :/

I'm wondering if I'm taking my stress out on my knitting. A few months ago, when I was plagued by the loose knitting, I was much more relaxed than I am now (still unemployed, savings slowing dwindling). And I wonder how small and tight the lace shawl I'm working on will end up.

Purple pangea shawl progress

That purple blog is my Pangea shawl. I'm using some lovely alpaca laceweight by J. Knits that I bought somewhere in NYC, maybe Downtown Yarns on Ave A? It's a little bit halo-y, but I haven't any problems with it. And the color is quite lovely. However. I chose to use a smaller-than-usual needle size--3.0mm. The author includes options for working an additional repeat of one of the charts to increase size, so I did that, but I'm nearing the end of the pattern and it's still pretty darn small looking. Of course it will be bigger after blocking, but still, I'm thinking this is going to be more like a shawlette/scarf. :/

Let's see if I an redeem this blog post with one good knitting project to report on! My Noro Kureyon Sock FBS turned out great!

Baby Sweater of Many Colors

It still needs a soak to open up the lace and some buttons, but I'm in no rush to finish it, since it has no destination as of yet. As with most Noro colorways I've encountered, there's a section that looks like puke--in this case, it's the peach/gray business happening around the chest, but whatever, I obviously didn't object enough to remove it from the sweater. I did, however, avoid using these awful colors on the sleeves, instead working the yarn in the reverse direction than the body, going from yellow to green instead of yellow to puke. One sleeve turned out a bit tighter than the other, but I'm just going to block it a bit more severely and then not worry about it.

A quick note about books: I recently finished reading Persepolis 2 and really enjoyed it. As with Persepolis 1, it was interesting to read a memoir in graphic novel format, and also interesting to hear about life in Iran 10-20 years ago. I also liked the movie, which goes part way into book 2, if I recall. As I said to my mom the other day, it's a great "subtitled cartoon musical"--you don't seem many of those, especially of the autobiographical variety.. Now I'm reading The Reader, which is a good, quick read, though I'm not sure how I'd rate the book if I had to. Maybe 3 stars out of 5?

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