More knitting nonsense

October 27th, 2009 | Tags: , , ,

About a year ago, I was first informed about sock clubs. Being the avid “must have everything” person that I am, I applied to get in on The Loopy Ewe sock club lottery. I was not picked and was desperately looking for one to join. I went on plurk and asked my knitting friends if they knew of any sock clubs that were still open, or were willing to take late adds. Lalaranel was the first to point me in the right direction.

I emailed Jennifer over at Woolgirl.com and she was very kind to take me into her sock club at the very last minute. I paid my dues and waited with anticipation for the first shipment to arrive. I think there have been 4 shipments already received (the October one should be coming soon), and they’ve all been lovely. They have all had the best things for goodies and the yarn has been lovely. I’ve been a lazy bum and have not actually knit a single pair of socks, but lemme tell you, there’ll be a day when I will, and I will enjoy the hell out of it.

** Note: There are these groups on Ravelry where you can sell kits that you didn’t love to someone who didn’t get a chance to join the club, etc. For some reason, this idea has not occurred to me. In any way.

In the last kit I received (The Ladybug kit) I also got a Fibersphere ball. Now, in the past I picked up a Yarntainer on sale from Joann‘s. I loved the idea. I really did. Until I went to use it for an actual project. Then I was frustrated and annoyed with the fact that I either had to finish my project or cut the yarn to get the ball out and use it for another project.

I love the Fibersphere ball. I really do. Except I wish it were just a little bit flat at the bottom so that it wouldn’t roll around when placed on a table. Otherwise… It’s pretty damn awesome and I’m glad Jennifer included it in one of the kits.

In other news, the sweater is coming along (finally!!).

The Sweater From Hell

October 26th, 2009 | Tags: , ,

No really. I mean. I’m all about things that are challenging and a learning experience. When I worked on the Girasole I knew it was going to be difficult for me. Not only was I working in the round (on something other than socks) but that it was a lace piece, and something so massively big that it was going to be about the most challenging thing imaginable. And it was. I frogged the damn thing a handful of times. I was such a noob with regard to understanding the lace and the increases and decreases and wtf is going on right now with stitching moving and dropping and “Ah fuck, now I have to start all over again.” I sure wish someone had told me what a lifeline was with regard to knitting. It probably would have spared me a lot of time and energy.

See, I was this way with crochet too. I made one simple thing to get the gist of understanding patterns and then I jumped right into making my own stuff and hard things like making amigurumi dolls and the like. I like the challenge. I like forcing myself to learn things that I didn’t otherwise know. It’s good for me and good for my craft.

This sweater, however, is testing my patience. The different between this pattern and the Girasole pattern was simply a matter of knowledge. I didn’t know a lot of the terminology so it was lost on me. The pattern was clear and once I learned my lesson, it all came together quite nicely (there is still not a photo of this item on the net. Mostly because I’m lazy and can’t be bothered with that camera nonsense… or I’m just lazy).

I’m having issues with the sweater pattern. There are decreases with no explanation on how to do lace decreases. Hell, there’s no explanation to the fact that the repeat lace part, each time you do decrease, your starting stitch moves one. And you lose that permanently. So when you do the lace pattern, it’s now altered. Each time. Over and over again. Oh no, you have to learn this the hard way, because knitter’s are all born with this knowledge innately, and since I’m technically a crocheter, I didn’t get this mental memo.

So then, though I’ve worked with doing lace on the increase, to make decreases I was lost. And the Girasole was carefully graphed and made perfect sense. Don’t get me wrong. This sweater is absolutely beautiful. I know that when it’s done I will love it and wear it with much pride. But the process can be kind of hell. To spare myself a whole lot of other grief, I’ve also decided to work it in the round rather than two halves. This is my fault, sure.

I have still had to frog the thing multiple times. 3 times in the last week to be exact. I’ve finally made some progress and it’s all correct and good. I am, however, going to make it longer than the pattern calls. Mostly because I know how traditional clothes fit on my body and I’d rather have a sweater that actually comes to my hips, rather than a boob cover that cost me a lot of money (and time). I’m hoping to snag a photo of the new progress on the sweater, since I’ve been so tired of starting over that I’ve powerhoused through the majority of the beginning. I’m actually passed the furthest point I’ve ever gotten to.

I’m thinking, as much as I love the feel and weight of sock weight yarn, I might reconsider making another sweater outta this stuff. This is just too much work.

Sweater Progress - 1

And now for some photos!

October 5th, 2009 | Tags: , , , , , ,

So… I’ve been having some issues with getting some of the WordPress plugins to work. Particularly The WordPress Flickr Manager. For all intents and purposes, it absolutely looked like it was working properly. Except when I tried desperately to add a photo to an entry. Then it would just reload the lightbox pop-up (used for inserting into the entry) and do nothing. I thought it was the browser (Chrome) but it was happening in Firefox too! So I went looking for a working plugin, and had to do all this crazy nonsense to get that one to work. Only, it wasn’t for what I wanted, which was to be able to include just one or two (or 4) specific images to a post. I didn’t want to have to link and entire set/gallery. This isn’t a photo blog (and let’s face it, I’m not the best photographer anyway).

The “other” flickr manager thing required me to do all of this high tech mySQL database conversion stuff. It was kind of terrifying. Mostly because it’s been years since I’ve done that kind of stuff, and I don’t know all the in’s and out’s of how WordPress does it’s thing. Dreamhost ends up doing all of the updates for me automatically anyway, so it’s not really me that looks all high tech and fancy. It’s them. No joke. Not me. So I ended up getting the databases all converted from latin1 to UTF-8. Sounds exciting, but now my little Flickr widget is broken. *sigh* Ah well.

So of course, I’ve been doing all of this and getting no where. Getting frustrated was inevitable, but really? I can’t just put A photo in my blog? Just one? I don’t want to have to upload the same damn photo eleventy-billion times in fourteen different places. I use Flickr almost exclusively for my photos. It’s because I can email them from my iPhone and share. It’s just easier that way. So why all this running around (on the internet) and backwards nonsense to share A single photo?

Oh well. It seems there was some kind of weird change when WordPress updated to 2.8. The author submitted  a fix for the lovely Flickr Manager plugin I already had installed, but it hadn’t been approved yet and you could download it directly. So I did. I could have saved myself a ton of headache and confusion and database backup-ing and terrified I’m going to break something to beyond fixing. Y’know how it goes.

And so here I go with the photo sharing. Because after all this nonsense I better start sharing some damn photos, right??

Sweater Hoodie Thing

Here is the first attempt at Sweater Hoodie thing. It’s technically called theApres Surf Hoodie, but I like my name better. It’s easier for me to say outloud when I talk to myself while knitting/blogging. The pattern calls for you to make two halves, the back and the front, and piece them together. I started the back (which is what you see pictured here) when I found some blog posts somewhere on the internet regarding doing it in the round (I cannot for my life find the link where the girl mentioned how she did this, but if I ever do, I’ll link it!). So I frogged (took the whole thing apart, for you non-knitting/crocheting folks) and started again. And started again. And again. And again. And again. No really. I started it over 5 different times before I finally decided on starting it on DPNs (double pointed needles; usually used for making socks and other items in the round) and after a few rows transferred it to the circular. The “invisible” start cause some issues with starting ON the circular needle (aka frustration!). I’m about 2 rows away from starting the lace part (the body), which took me DAYS to do.

Side note: Because I can now work this all in Stockinette Stitch, I can continental stitch all of it, meaning that I knit 4 times faster. Having to “throw over” all of the purl rows (when going back and forth) meant I got the first 26 rows (of both the front AND back) done in less than a day and a half (of knitting in between Wintergrasps (WoW speak ftw!) this weekend). This should technically take me a whole helluva lot less time to finish. Yay!

Tribal Skein - White Background

Also to share, because I’m in a slightly obsessed phase, is some yarn I dyed. Because, like I said, I’m slightly obsessed. This one is called Tribal. It’s Brown, Teal and Orange. I used Kool-Aid and Wilton’s Cake dye. This one makes me happy and I love it.

Odyssey - Skein

I call this one Odyssey. No reason for the name, but it’s Kool-Aid and Wilton’s Cake dye as well. I love the colors on this one.

And thus concludes my photo sharing entry of the day.

In other knitting news

October 2nd, 2009 | Tags: , , ,

I’ve never been one to share what I’ve been working on. All of my projects are “stealthy” and thus non-sharable. They’re really not that secret so I’m not really sure why I act this way. Mostly because I am a horrible project finisher. I love starting new projects. The idea of picking a yarn and deciding what to do with it and starting is the best part. The finishing part is something I’m not always so good at.

I have not suffered (as of yet) from the OSS (aka One Sock Syndrome). All of my socks have been paired. But I have a million things I want to do.

There’s the blanket project, which I started with no clear giftee in mind. I think I now have one in mind, which means I cannot share the project until after giftee has received the blanket.

I have some sock ideas in mind (mostly WendyKnits patterns with current yarn on hand) but haven’t started any. I’m still debating on who’s getting what. I live in hell people, I don’t need wool or mostly wool socks. Surely not 50 pair (which I probably have enough yarn for).

I have a scarf I’m working on in a lovely green and olive green colorway from Brianna (who loves me because I spend mad amounts of cashola for her to do my dirty work), but that’s also a gift for someone.

Damn these gifts.

I am, however, also working on my first wearable piece. Yes, you wear scarves and hats and gloves and socks, but those are accessories and not part of the wardrobe. I’m working on a sock weight sweater hoodie thing. The pattern is fabulous and I am definitely in love with yet some more of Brianna’s yarn (which she died special for moi!).

I still have a crochet gift for Zannah, that I will have to break out and finish one of these days (maybe before she’s 50 years old??). And I have ideas for amigurumi stuff as well that I’d like to pattern up.

I’ll see if I can’t figure out how to get my Flickr plugin to work with WordPress and share some Sweater Hoodie Thing photos. Though right now it looks like a tube.