Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Tale of Two Cast Ons

I shared here that I had my annual "cast on all the yarn!" fest after Christmas, and by now I know what is actually going to stick. I only ripped the cast on of one project (probably a record for me) and it was the Rocky Coast Cardigan. I will definitely make that cardigan in the near-ish future, this is just not a good cable-y time for me. I'm not really a great cable knitter even though I love the idea of cables and favorite many a cabled pattern.

I still need a cardigan though, so I cast on the Shapely Boyfriend by Stefanie Japel.

Actually, I cast it on twice.

The first time in an act of hilarity I just kind of grabbed needles and yarn and got going with my usual size, telling myself that I've worked with this particular yarn so frequently that I totally know my size and gauge and all the other lies knitters tell themselves when they just want to get to the knitting.

And about 3 inches down I thought, "Huh. Something about this just isn't right" but I brushed it off and put on another inch.

Then something struck me and I actually read more of the pattern. The word ARAN jumped off the page at me this time.

NOT worsted, like I had originally thought.

So I checked the gauge in the middle of the back section and got smacked in the face with 4.5 stitches per inch, rather than 4.

But of course, that couldn't be right so I measured in 3 other places, only to find that stinking 4.5 st. per inch appearing again and I actually told myself that I must be measuring wrong.

I almost started knitting again, but something came over me involving the word math and how math proves all sorts of things right and this time I'd use math to prove that 4.5 st per inch would totally still work on me and I wouldn't have to frog a thing.

Did I mention that math also proves things wrong?

Whatever it was that tried to convince me that that tiny little 1/2 stitch per inch wouldn't be a big deal was trying to take about 6 inches off my already moderately sized bust. It would be a kid sized sweater, and I am no kid.

I ended up putting the original cast on aside as if it didn't exist and started over with a new skein. The funny thing is that Ender noticed the two different skeins but same color the next day and asked if I was making "something matching" and I made the mistake of telling Ender what had happened.

And this boy, being as hilarious as he is said, "so you're telling me if you would have just read the directions you could have saved a lot of time?"

{I may have told him just the day before that he could have saved himself a lot of time by actually reading the directions in his math book that told him to subtract rather than to add... so you see now where he gets that from...}

I'm already beyond where the original cast on left off and I finally brought myself to rip back the original cast on so I can use the yarn.

And now it's like it never happened.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Red Yarn Along

{Yarning along with Ginny
to share the current project on the needles and the books we are reading.}

It is so very hard to get great pictures right now- between frigid temps and gloomy days outside and the baby wanting to be everywhere the camera is, it just hasn't made for great knitting photography these past few weeks.

This knit is Annis by Susanna IC and was remarkably fast to knit. I got through the 18 rows of lace work in about 3 evenings and then those short rows were so quick and easy that I found myself saying, "just one more". I started it in my cast-on frenzy right after Christmas and worked the bind off on January 3.

She still needs a really good blocking, which I'm hoping to get to this weekend, and then she will be wonderfully and officially done. And hopefully some better pictures of her too.

We started reading Ramona the Pest on Monday- it's such a scream! It was one of my favorite books as a little girl (in fact we're reading from that same tremendously abused copy) but I haven't read it in probably 20 years. The boys are enjoying it so far.

What are you knitting/making/reading this week?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Knitting Goals 2013

I really love setting goals each year for a few areas in life. It helps me to keep my focus where I want it to be so that I don't forget where I'm going and why. It can also be a really great marker for how far I've come in a year. Like last year, for example- I felt like the year had been a total loss as far as finishing knitting projects until a few days ago when I actually added them all up and found out I'd finished 19. What??? I expected it to be more like 5.

I try to make realistic achievable goals, and at the same time remember that there is nothing concrete here. If it doesn't happen it doesn't happen- and that's totally okay. It gives me direction, and that's the important part.

1. Finish 15 Knits this year. I'm trying to be a bit conservative here. I knit a lot of baby and kid things- between my own children and the niece/nephew total expanding from 6 to at least 9 this year that is about half of my knitting. I'm making a serious point of knitting for myself this year too, though. I was pregnant or postpartum all of 2012, so I didn't knit garments considering my wonky body shape(s) for the year.

2. Make at least 2 cardigans for myself. The cardigan queue is ridiculously long, I would wear them constantly... just need to get at it. (I cast on the Rocky Coast Cardigan in my annual post-Christmas bout of start-itis)

3. Refuse to feel guilty when I hardly knit for several weeks in the spring and fall. All my time and energy goes into the garden and canning at those times, so I just need to go with it. I'm still producing quite a bit, just not things to wear.

4. Make the annual pair of socks. I've come to terms with the fact that I probably won't ever be the knitter that churns out a pair a month. And that's okay. I'll settle for my 1-2 pairs per year.

5. Experiment with some alternate knitting styles. I'm really interested in Irish Cottage Knitting, most especially since it's still a right hand guided style. Left hand just isn't an option for me- I'm a violinist by profession and adding any more repetitive motion in that arm would just lead to injury I can't afford to sustain.

6. Keep adding to my cast-on/bind-off repertoire. I mentioned in my last post that I learned a few new things as called for in patterns this year, but I want to continue to learn more in this area.

7. Take a few knitting/fiber classes. I'm planning to take a spinning class at a yarn shop a little ways from here and I'm checking out a few Craftsy classes as possibilities too.

What are your fiber-related goals for this year?

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