January Month in Review

Happy monthiversary to my knit blog! :-)

In January, I completed a scarf, two hats, a pair of fingerless gloves, and a pair of cabled armwarmers. I discovered a plethora of awesome knit blogs and communities. And I learned that I adore SWS and despise Silk Garden.

In non-knitting events, several dozen birds decided to die outside my office, disrupting the local economy and downtown traffic. A massive ice storm made me very glad that I knit. I was robbed for the very first time ever, hopefully for the last time ever, because it wasn’t all that much fun. My faith in law enforcement was restored upon learning yesterday that they caught the robber. (She was in Missouri. Who knew?) And I got a raise at the Day Job.

Next month … hmm. I have the yarn for Snow Devil, so I should probably tackle that. Everything I did this month was a quick knit, so it would be a nice change to work through something that’s more involved. It would also give me a chance to learn Magic Loop, as I don’t have the size 9 DPNs that are needed for the horns …


Scrunchie Hat and Silk Garden Beanie

Not the best photos ever (that's what I look like after a loooooong Monday at work), but c'est la vie. I followed the Scrunchie Hat pattern pretty exactly, but the Silk Garden Beanie got all switched around -- mostly because I skipped the ribbing and did it all in stockinette.

Pattern: Scrunchie Hat
Source: One-Skein Wonders
Yarn: Patons SWS, 2 skeins Natural Denim

Pattern: Adapted Silk Garden Beanie
Source: And She Knits Too!
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden, 1 skein #205

(The ferret is Houdini. The skull belongs to Mr. Fury.)


Silk Garden, I Hate Every Inch of You

I don't care how pretty it is, I am never working with this stuff again.

Yesterday I posted about how the Noro Silk Garden snapped when I gently pulled the yarn tail from my cast-on. Well, yesterday afternoon I started a modified version of this hat. I ignored the wild variations in thickness. I ignored the ugly gray slubs sprinkled liberally throughout. But when I finished the last decrease row and pulled the yarn through to close the hat ... it snapped. Again! What is wrong with this damn yarn? For eleven bucks a skein, I expect better.

Also, my ferrets were attracted to this yarn like no other. Our big boy, Illiogor, threw himself on the skein at every opportunity.

On the bright side, the hat is complete and I'm satisfied with it (although it's not my favorite thing I've ever made). I'm going to cast on some plain black worsted from my stash and start some mindless, easy, armwarmers for a friend.

p.s. Today's title is a paraphrase of a Johnny Cash song ("San Quentin, I hate every inch of you/You've cut me and you've scarred me through and through"). I use the expression "[blank], I hate every inch of you" quite frequently.


Why do I do this again?

Last night I experienced the unique joy of being simultaneously frustrated with a pattern and frustrated with a yarn.

I exchanged my leftover Cashmerino ball for one skein of Noro Silk Garden. There is a simple rolled-brim hat in One-Skein Wonders which uses one skein, so I figured I was set. I cast on, using the cable cast on I picked up from Fetching. I knit three rows and realized I hated the cast-on and wanted my beloved long-tail cast on instead. So I frogged. When I joined the row, the tail of the cast on snapped. Right at the slipknot. I have never broken yarn before. WTF? I did the déclassé thing and spit-spliced it.

After reknitting the first four rows (switching to smaller needles per the pattern), I realized that the hat would not fit me the way I want it to fit. Bleh. So I frogged again. I started another pattern from the book, cast on, and did a few rows. By then it was after 11 and I was hating the pattern. I gave up.

I'm not sure where I'm going with the yarn now. It's gorgeous, I want to use it. Perhaps I will wait until I find my zen at yoga this afternoon, before I try to tackle it again. Maybe this as a Plan B (or am I at Plan C by now?).


Finished Fetching!!

Last night I finished Fetching #2, so the pair is complete! I will get a better photo of these later -- this is the best I could do in the dawn's early light with my ancient camera. The color is a very pale spring green. Overall I'm very happy with them, although the thumbs are sort of wonky where I picked up the stitches. They're a little loose around my wrists, but that's because I have unnaturally thin wrists. I did an elastic bind-off instead of the picot, because I'm just damn fond of the elastic bind-off these days.

They clocked in at four evenings of diligent knitting.

Pattern: Fetching
Source: Knitty.com Summer 2006
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, 1 ball


On the Street

My Day Job is located in downtown Austin; most days, I walk over to the gym on my lunch hour. On Tuesday a coworker and I were walking to yoga class when I spotted a girl wearing something familiar. I blurted out, “One Skein Scarf, Happy Hooker?” while pointing at her neck. My coworker stared at me. The girl smiled and nodded assent. As we walked away, my coworker said, “Did you just call her a hooker?” :-) I love recognizing patterns on the street. While I’m not a big crocheter, I’m fond of that pattern – I have two for myself and made another as an Xmas gift for my sister.

I’m getting many compliments from strangers on the scrunchie blue SWS hat from last week – I’ll do a FO post on that at some point soon, really. I like the hat more and more as I wear it.


50% Completed Fetching (Well, 48% ... )

I’m not sure why I thought that Rowan Cashsoft had more yardage than Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, but I’m glad I figured it out before I bought Cashsoft and ran short.

I “finished” one Fetching wristwarmer last night, after starting it late Monday evening – I say “finished” because I didn’t do the thumb yet (although I did weave in the ends). I want to finish the second one before I go back and do the thumbs; that way I can do fewer thumb rows if I’m running low on yarn. I did buy a second ball of Cashmerino, but I’m hoping I won’t need it. Perhaps it’s hubris talking, but I think I can probably get by with one ball.

Normally I’m skeptical of so-called quick-to-knit patterns (I’m looking at you, Last Minute Knitted Gifts – last minute, my ass!), but Fetching really is fast. I am hoping to have the pair done by the weekend, depending on how much time I have to knit over the next few evenings. It took me a little while to get used to doing cables Continental, but I think I’ve got the hang of it. Cables rule!


The best-made plans

I got it into my head that I needed to make the Snow Devil hat from DomiKNITrix. I ordered the yarn from Knitpicks, which took more than three weeks to arrive -- I know there was a mail holiday and a deceased President holiday and a day or two of bad weather, but come ON people.

Unfortunately, I was robbed on Monday while getting into my car at the supermarket. As a result, I am less enthused about making something hooded which impedes my peripheral vision -- and the hoodless Devil Hat version doesn't butter my parsnips. I will probably end up making it, but I think it's a project or two away.

So Wednesday I picked up a couple more skeins of SWS to make a hat, to coordinate with my newest scarf. I finished it yesterday, and despite its resemblance to a blue jello mold, I like it. There will be a FO post on that one once a) I find my camera charger and take an unflattering self-portrait, or b) my husband returns home from Syracuse and takes a photo for me.

Since I am reluctant to start Snow Devil, I am projectless. I thought about making another pair of Knucks for myself, but since I just finished a pair, I'm ready for a change. I might jaunt on over to the LYS and get a ball of Rowan Cashsoft to make
Fetching ...


Finished Knucks!!

Huzzah! Thanks to work being cancelled due to Ice Blitz 2007, I was actually able to finish the MotherKnuckers before Mr. Fury heads to Syracuse tomorrow morning. (The funny thing is, the weather is better in Syracuse than it is here in Austin.) Last night I finished the fingers but hadn't yet started the joining row on Knuck #2. The aforementioned Ice Blitz prevented me from obtaining the fabric paint to add SIDE SHOW to the knuckles, but I can do that when Mr. Fury returns home.

Pattern: Knucks
Source: Knitty.com Summer 2006
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed, 1 ball Carbon
Stats: size Large


Halfway Through the Knucks!

One Knuck down, one to go! Knuck #1 is all sewn up and the ends are woven in and everything. I made some mistakes, but nothing obvious -- and I definitely learned for the next time I make gloves. I'm pretty satisfied with it, and Mr. Fury seems to approve.


Plugging Away ...

I'm making slow but steady progress on the Knucks ... well, Knuck #1, anyway. I've had a lot less knitting time than I thought I would this week. I joined the fingers earlier this week, which resulted in much cussing and snarling. Last night I joined the thumb and got almost halfway through the gusset rows. I have a show tonight, so I won't have time to work on it, but I am hoping to finish Knuck #1 tomorrow. While this first expedition into glove-knitting has been challenging, it's very cool to see it take shape.


Knitting for Mr. Fury

I do not knit for my husband often. He doesn't wear handknits and I'm smart enough not to foist them upon him -- though we were already married when I started knitting, so the sweater curse does not apply. But a few days ago he asked me if I'd ever made gloves; I haven't, but there's no reason I can't. Turns out that his existing store-bought fingerless gloves are too baggy, and he wants a nice snug-fitting pair. Which is where I come in. Because I love him and he's awesome, I'm thrilled to knit a pair of gloves for him.

I had the idea to make gloves with faux knuckle tats some time ago, because the band I dance with has a habit of thinking up four-letter word combos. (JACK RUBY is a favorite.) When I first saw the Knucks pattern, I was pretty sure the designer had crawled into my brain and looked through all the drawers ... then I realized it's not such a novel idea and hundreds of people probably also thought of it.

The pattern calls for Rowan Felted Tweed, which I initially scoffed at when reading the pattern. Tweed? Bah! But it knits up less tweedy than most tweeds, and I found a ball in a suitably reptilian color for my husband (who is most assuredly reptilian). And it was on sale at the LYS when I stopped in last night. So Rowan Felted Tweed it is. I should contact the designer and tell her that I have accepted the tweed.

I'd have started the fingers last night, except I discovered that I only have two size 4 DPNs. I don't know how that happened. I have eight size 3s, and no, none of them are 4s in disguise. I checked. So I contented myself with
a gauge swatch and will pick up more DPNs today.



My copy of Naughty Needles arrived today! I admit I'm a bit biased as far as the book is concerned, because I was lucky enough to model for it (the author is a friend-of-a-friend). On the site, that's me posed in the furry brown cave girl bikini.

But even if I hadn't posed as Cave Girl, I'd still be all about this book. The patterns are fun and sexy, but not overly flouncy or complicated. I think I might lose my sock virginity on the Kinderwhore pattern ...


One-Skein Scarf

My first FO of 2007 ... although to be fair, I started it on 12/30/06. But still, it's the first thing I've finished this year! It's also an auspicious project because it's the first thing I've knitted Continental. When I initially learned, I learned English, but I've decided to switch teams.
Pattern: One-Skein Scarf
Source: One-Skein Wonders by Judith Durant
Yarn: Patons SWS, 2 balls Natural Denim
Stats: 42" by 5"

This was my first time using SWS, and overall I'm pretty happy with it. It's very soft and has a nice halo without shedding too terribly much (I'm looking at you, Lamb's Pride). It does vary a lot in terms of tightness -- sometimes the ply is very loose, and that tends to cause some gauge variation. Not that gauge matters much for a scarf, but I'd not make a sweater out of the stuff.

I changed the pattern a bit -- I did the ends in garter stitch rather than ribbing. It looks a little wonky at the tail end, where the last pattern row ends and the garter begins. But I think the ribbing would've bothered me far more.

The photo isn't the greatest, but it shows the stripes and the stitch pattern. I haven't blocked it yet, but I think that will make the ridges less defined and give it a tad more length.

Introducing ...

I've been toying with the idea of a knitting blog for some time ... someone asked me recently how many things I've made in the two years since I first picked up needles, and I had no idea how to answer the question. I intended to keep track of my finished objects when I started knitting, but I guess the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Whoops.

I do know that I have made many, many scarves. (What can I say? I like scarves.)

At any rate, it's the first day of a new year, so I'm starting my records fresh. Huzzah!

On my needles now: I started the one-skein scarf from One-Skein Wonders on Saturday, using two skeins of Paton's SWS -- admittedly defeating the one-skein concept. It's the first-ever project I've done entirely Continental (I learned English).