Monday, June 26, 2006

Ten things I learned this weekend

1. Some designers don't update their free patterns with known errata and expect you to email them instead.

2. A good Google search will always find said errata because someone has been there.

3. Counting to 240 is apparently beyond my skill level. (I think I forgot some lessons from elementary school.)

4. Using stitch markers every 100 stitches when you're picking up 480 stitches would have been a good idea.

5. Throwing a shawl knit on metal needles across the room solves nothing. In fact, a dozen or more stitches will fly off your needle as it sails across the room.

6. Yelling at your husband to shut up because you're counting accomplishes nothing. Neither does crying.

7. No matter what you are watching on television, some stupid character will start counting 1, 2, 3 right when you're at 234. You will start re-counting many, many times.

8. Realizing that somehow you're 15 stitches short of 240 is not a cause for panic. No one will notice if you locate the area with too few stitches picked up and kfb at fairly regular intervals.

9. When you realize that you and the designer apparently speak a different knitting language, causing you to perform acts of laceknitting heroism (i.e., drop down 4 stitches at each corner and create k2togs and YOs three rows down while maintaining the correct stitch count), do not curse her.

10. The edging will start to work out, and then you'll see two dropped stitches five 16-row repeats down. Safety pins are your friends!

As you can tell, there were a few problems encountered on the Print o' the Wave stole. I think there are errors on the inner border, or at least a large lack of clarity. If you need help, email me and I will tell you what worked for me. There are definite errors on rows 9, 11, 13, and 15 of the edging chart. The next to last knit stitch should be a k2tog on all these rows. I have no idea why a corrected version has not been posted. I'm very, very pleased with how it is turning out, though, despite the numerous problems I had this weekend.

In other news, I braved the laundromat to wash the Aran throw, and it turned out beautifully. As Laura has already told me, I'm sure the Cestari is going to pill, but it washes up into a really lovely fabric with just a bit of a halo. The cables relaxed, much of the vegetable matter came out, and the fabric is amazingly soft. I can't wait to take it to the wedding this weekend!

Since we are going to Vermont this weekend (and staying at an inn with a fiber farm and wool shop, I've decided to take a new project along. Because I have to be just like Laura (witness the Lady Eleanor Entrelac stole in SWTC Karaoke), I will be making the Go With the Flow tank from Inspired Cable Knits. Yes, the gauge is 29sts/4". Yes, I'm insane. But so is Laura. I will be picking up the Rowan 4-ply Cotton from The Yarn Connection this week.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Finally, A Throw!

So, remember that Aran throw I started way back when? Here it is! It's not yet washed/blocked, but I plan to do that this weekend.

Pattern: Cabled Throw, from Debbie Bliss Simple Living
Yarn: Cestari by Chester Farms, Natural Light Gray, 12 skeins
Needles: Crystal Palace Bamboo, US size 9

I believe I started this in February, and I let it languish for awhile and worked on other projects for a time. It took roughly three months, start to finish. I hit a wall so many times, and it didn't seem like I would ever finish at times. But I did. And it was worth it.

This is my first handspun baby alpaca--approximately 200 yards of 2-ply. I'm not crazy about the barber pole effect, but the finished product is extremely soft. I found alpaca more difficult to spin because it is so slippery, but other people find that quality a plus.

And, finally, here is my birthday present to myself. An Ashford Joy DT, for travelling to spinning guild meetings and further abroad. I love this wheel. I started spinning a beautifully dyed wool/mohair mix on it this weekend, and it looks gorgeous so far. I just wound a smallish skein of two unknown wools off the Schacht, and I plan to start spinning up one of my Maryland Sheep & Wool purchases soon.

An Anniversary (Knitting and Spinning Content Later)

Today is my second wedding anniversary. This morning, two years ago, my parents' house was filled with activity--putting last-minute touches on the tables outside for the reception, wondering how everyone would get to and from the church that morning, endless photographs and stress and emotion. But it was worth it. The wedding was amazing, and the marriage has been even better.