Thursday, April 29, 2004

Sleeves sleeves sleeves

In knitting news: I finished up my Salt Peanuts sleeve, and have begun the Dread Left Front. Lucky for me, Jen has already written it up all clear and understandably HERE.

I will put together an SP tips and tricks page after the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival THIS WEEKEND~woooo! (OK, I am a little excited, the only shame is that I will be on my own at the fest, so if you see me, encourage me to buy more yarn.)

I have also cast on (and ripped and cast on and ripped and cast on) the first sleeve for the Sitcom Chic Redux over at Theresa's place. I had a bit of trouble understanding Bonne's intent, and instead was actually following the pattern too closely! (Can you imagine?) I think I got the hang of it....

Salt Peanuts sleeve and Eyelet Cardi cast on

I promised a stash enhancement shot awhile back, so here you go:

Included in the above is some Colinette Prism, Allagash, some lovely assorted cottons (for xmas gifts, most likely), some GGH Goa destined to be a baby sweater, and some GGH Aspen destined to become a me sweater (I am thinking possibly the UltraCool Boogie from the latest Knitty.)

Obviously, the last thing I need is more fiber... But life shouldn't always be about need, so Wool Fest here I come!

I will be taking a class on Continental Knitting from Anna Zilboorg (who has designed some WILD socks!) and a class on Innovative Finishing from Heather Winslow. I can't wait. I hope to see some of you there!

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Spot the Blogger

[Well, BGB is still experiencing relocation hiccups, but we at small hands (w.a.s.h.) are resourceful! Today's images will be brought to you by the Verizon servers. I will not be moving any other images over, as I have full faith that BGB will be back in biz in no time, so you will see some little red x's on the page.]

Now it is Time for Spot the Blogger!™
If you will be at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival this weekend (and I hope you are), be prepared to Spot the Blogger! Ann at PurlingSwine will have several folks carrying her blogger button on totes. And finally (ta-da) I will have mine! Huge thanks to my Sweet Baboo. He crafted the images, AND ironed 'em on while I was away as a surprise...(w.a.s.h. get all swoony over that kind of thing.)

Bag one: blue and white crocheted, big enough for Lots of Loot
Bag two: Blogger Bag! Click here for a closer look.

Here is the other side of the Blogger Bag

The small hands image uses my very own hands while knitting Salt Peanuts.

Speaking of which, I only have a couple of rows left on my sleeve, and am just in time to start the Dreaded Fronts! Jen, bless her for all her frustrations in the name of Getting This Sweater Finished, found that Michelle at the Dye Pot had documented her notes on all of the short row/decrease collar business (with the multitude of "at the same time"s).

I am thinking it would be nice to incorporate all of the great notes folks have made on this pattern in their very own Salt Peanuts page. Stay tuned.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Salt Peanuts Help

Thank gawd for knit-alongs. For those of you languishing in Salt Peanuts Left or Right Front (or, apparently the third circle of pattern hell), you should know that our intrepid knitters Jen and Jessie are doing their part to help you Find Your Way Out.

Jessie's take on the pattern (we at small hands love pictures!)

Jen's longhand version of the left front (and we love following directions!)

BGB's servers are still incommunicado, so no pics today either. I had a rough weekend with my teeth, which kept me from the March, which made me feel like a bad feminist. [insert more mumbly self pity here]

I am working one of the Salt Peanut sleeves (since I am a little scared of the fronts). It is a little over half done, as I spent a large portion of this weekend organizing the stash into tidy tupperware boxes (sadly, three 50 qt and around 8 or 9 shoebox and "larger than shoe box" sized boxes). I tend to organize in very small, controlled ways when I am distraught. I think it is a case of finding control where I can.

Also, inspired by Jen's mountain of FOs, I picked up two of my WIPs and finished one (a bag for wool-loot at MS&WF) and added several inches to the longest scarf ever.

I hope this week to get back on track with Salt Peanuts and get some pics of my Blogger Bag™ (all rights reserved) so you will know me when ya see me at the Fest.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

No Images?!?

Just a note to say, do not adjust your monitor, no need to de-gauss—my image server is likely down. The good people at BGB consulting host my shtuff, and are in the process of relocating their hardware, soooo come back later to see alla great pics I have lined up for you.

Now get back to your knitting!

Thursday, April 22, 2004

not quite back in the saddle

My jaw is killing me. What is it about tooth pain that is so... PRESENT? Is it because of the proximity of the pain to one's brain? But then again, neck pain can often be ignored for whole minutes on end while this refuses to let a freakin' moment pass without a twinge or a throb to remind me that I have four new holes in my head.

Anyway on to better news. I will have pictures tomorrow of my recent stash enhancements. (Pay no mind to any previous comments about no more yarn... Thanks to Kerstin I am overcoming my guilt about yarn and WIPs.)

Yesterday on the worst work day ever (not really, but it is very hard to concentrate with the tooth pain) I received my prize from Teresa! WOO! I won a lovely set of stitch markers (little sheep, no less!) and a beautiful gauge and needle sizer. If you haven't seen it yet, check out her lovely Rogue.

I also got pictures of the Finished Stash Buster (very loosely based on Debbie Bliss' Child's Guernsey in Learn to Knit)....

And a picture of the finished back of Salt Peanuts...

click here for some rib action

Amber (Happy Birthday!) asked me about my row gauge issues. Once the piece got a little longer, it became clear that some of the extra length was due to the knitting being "smooshed" on my straight needles. The ribbing is now only a little more than a quarter inch longer than it should be. The rest of the pattern relies heavily on knitting lengths, not rows, so that little bit doesn't seem to affect the finished back. There is a lot of shaping on this sweater though, so I hope all the pieces fit together at the end!

Thank you all who wished me well with my teeth. I don't know many people in this town yet, and it really helped a lot knowing I had warm wishes out in blogland.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Brief note

Thank you for the well wishes!

I am slowly recovering. (The dentist had to cut into my jaw a bit, and that is slowing me down.) The pain pills are keeping me from getting as much knitting done as I would like.

But I have still managed to get some stuff done (ends are woven in on the stash buster, swatch for Eyelet, back of Salt Peanuts is almost done). My hosting server seems to be down right now, so you may not see any images on the blog. Once that is fixed, I will show and tell more. For now, I am going back to sleep.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

The nerve of some people...

Stupid Elann sent me yarn samples *tch!* can you believe that?! As if I needed ANY further encouragement... And then, to top it off Rock Chick...[sputters] actually posted news of a sale on amazing yarns at Patternworks... I mean Point 5 in a grab bag?! Ugh. I... Must... resist... Must... Save... Money... For MS&WF...

Have you made your blog buttons yet? Ann and I want to know who the other bloggers are! Represent with a real button of your blog button... Or make a groovy iron-on transfer and put it on a shirt or a tote bag (mine is *so* goin' on a tote bag). If I still had my BeDazzler, I could seriously rock the fest.

In progress news, I am a done with a quarter of SP's back. It is boring, so no pics. Also, aforementioned yarn samples came in a box with a new batch of needles for the Eyelet Cardi. I don't want to slow the run I am on with Peanuts, so I will wait a couple more days to reswatch that one.

Also, I have finished Critter Knit Number Two, and they will both be in the mail tomorrow!

Here is a new segment I would like to introduce to small hands, called Why I love the knit blogs! There are about a zillion reasons why the knit blogs are cool, including the charity projects that get us involved in our communities, the compassionate support that folks give to each other, heck, the FOLKS THEMSELVES! But today, one reason stands out: contests! I mean how cool is it that knitters out there have contests for their neighbors? And with cool prizes!

Recent cool contests I have seen:
  • Guess what tank top Mom liked, vs. which DD liked (over at Kerstin's)

  • Wendy has 'em every month—For April, you just had to send an email! How easy is that?

  • How about this one from David over at the Sweater Project: Guess what food I am? (I am really sorry to have missed this one, but probably would have guessed cocoa puffs.)

  • And last but not least, Teresa, over at Knitting the Blues, posted a query about Kitchener stitches... this has been my favorite so far... Mostly 'cause I won it! WOO! I, who never win anything.

I would like to give a superlative RightON to all you awesome Contest Hosts and Hostesses. Thank you for your part in making the block a neighborhood.

I may miss a few posts over the weekend as I am getting all four wisdom teeth pulled on Friday... Wish me luck and no dry sockets! Knit on.

Monday, April 12, 2004

the good, bad, and ugly...

The good:
  • One animal for Abby's lovely Zoo-Along - DONE!

  • Swatch for Eyelet Cardi at (gulp) 5.5/st. inch... MOSTLY done

  • Salt Peanuts swatch - DONE!

  • Salt Peanuts Back lace pattern - MOSTLY done

  • I got to have dinner with one of my oldest and best friends who just happened to be in the neighborhood (which considering that I am in Maryland, and he lives in Oregon, was pretty damn cool).

The bad:
  • The Eyelet Cardi swatch appears to be a consistant 5.625 st/in. and I am sure this will add up unflatteringly... so the cardi is on hold pending a trip to Ye Olde LYS for another set of AddiTs. If I am going to cripple my hands, they will go holding the finest knitting engineering available.

  • The Salt Peanuts lace took 3 tries on one row and 2 tries on another to get the yarn overs right. Turns out I have been doing the wrong yo before a knit forever. My whole afghan... I thought the lack of prominence of the yos was due to my inexperience... but NO! It was due to INCORRECT instructions in one of my books. I was all ready to post a big complaint about the IK directions not being clear, but everywhere else I looked gave correct yo instructions. Just not the one book I use as a regular reference. [sigh] The book in question is the The Yarn Girl's Guide to Simple Knits (which has otherwise been a good book, and helped me through my first adult sweater) and the instructions they give for a YO before a K seem to be the same instructions that gives for a M1 with Backward Loop. Essentially, the wrap they illustrate is twisted, so that the purl on the next row closes up the hole in all but the loosest of knitting. I kept frogging the row and doing it over, thinking that I was making a mistake when I had no holes...

  • My gauge for Salt Peanuts is right on width-wise... but as you can likely tell in the pic below, it is WAY off heighth wise for the lace pattern (it is just barely a half a row short in st stitch). My plan is to make up for this in the body, it is only a half inch or so. If by any chance, anyone has made it this far and can help me with this new quandry: How do I control the height of my stitches without affecting their width? I already know that if I go down a needle size it puts my spi off.

  • The yo issue is also why the eyelets on my eyelet cardi look more like mistakes than eyelets.

{finally, holes on the right and left...}

The ugly:
I have two TVs. In the last two weeks, both... that's right folks BOTH have died. The first has been at the shop pending a repair estimate. The second died peacefully on Friday, right after BD and I opened a new account at Hollyweird Video and rented 3 cool movies. So, I have no movie reviews for you today.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Happy Friday, FOs, and swatching...

First things first, thank you to both Nancy, and Teresa for the short row advice after the last post. I will be trying it out on my next neckline. I found fabulous instructions on short rowing here (knitty is a big favorite here at small hands)

My first critter knit is done, I did the diagonal garter binkie... somehow my stitches were actually tighter on the *second* skein of yarn than the first (this is in direct opposition to my normal M.O.) So not only is it not a square blanket, it isn't even a rectangle but a sort of rumpled kite-shape. Luckily, it is still gooshy and warm and I am consoling myself with the notion that a scared, cold puppy won't notice.

still life with critter knit and a weekend of movie watchin'

I also started another CK, this time a crocheted circle... I may try to make it a square by giving it corners, I'm not sure yet.

In SALT PEANUT news: I heard folks were having trouble with making the 17st/in gauge, and I tend to knit loose, so I thought I would be uber proactive and knitted my first swatch on US 9 (5.5cm).

Result: a beautifully consistent 18 stitches per inch. [riiiipppp] Tonight I will try my 10/6.0s (not to be confused w/ my other 10s that are apparently 5.75cms... what's up with that??)

Oh, the movies? Bend it Like Beckham, American Splendor, and Autumn Spring. I'll let you know Monday if any of them really rock my world.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

back to the neckline problems

This just in: Look at the lovely roses from an old friend (that my sweet Baboo just emailed me):

If that doesn't just scream springiness, I dunno what does... They make me smile so much, I can almost forget the knitterly doldrums I feel.

So, I am almost finished w/ my critter knit, I have yet to tackle the weaving in of all those ends, and my Salt Peanut yarn is not yet in.


I want to start a summer vest! I want to cast on the Eyelet Cardi Redux! I want more yarn and more patterns! I get really antsy at the end of a project/season, always.

My plan, and goal... is to fight the "flight of fancy" instinct. I really need to finish the binkie and the wee's sweater before anything else. Really. One or the other will be done tonight and posted by morning.

On to necklines: If anyone has any words of wisdom about this, I would really dig them. Here's what I did with the sweater, and what went wrong:

A poster on the Knitter's Review forums responded to someone's question about picking up stitches by saying something to the effect of "if you haven't started to bind of the neck stitches, like it probably says to in the pattern, don't. (With my luck I am remembering this totally out of context...) She said to put the stitches that one would bind off on hold on a circ, so that fewer stitches would need to be picked up later.

But when I tried that, I ended up with larger than average holes at the "steps" (i.e., the 15 center stitches were fine, then the next row of "bind off 2" left a hole between the rows, as well as the next row where I bound off two more). The holes didn't seem so big at the last two bind off 1s...
(Yes, yes, I should have pictures here, if I expect helpful help... but my camera is not so great, and I really need to buy a couch first and a camera second so bear with me and use your imagination...)

My question: did the helpful poster likely just mean the 15 center stitches? Or did I interpret this advice correctly, it just that the holes were caused by the phenomenon of newer knitters whereby the last stitch is always sort of stretched--so my stitches (that would have been bound off) were a little looser resulting in holes?

Any thoughts on this are greatly appreciated!

P.S. My solution, which I know was not the best, was to darn the holes--They weren't that big and the recipient lives in Phoenix Arizona and will likely get only two chances to wear the thing before he outgrows it.

Monday, April 05, 2004

a little time waster...

Take the quiz: "Which American City Are You?"
{image removed on account of it taking up too much space}
Your dark exterior masks a caffeine driven activism. You'll take up a cause and you'll get ugly to advance it.

I wish I was in Seattle right now.

Also, someone out there has a great little test about Which Weird Latin Phrase Are You?... while I didn't take the test, I am now in love with the following "weird Latin phrase":
Non curo. Si metrum non habet, non est poema.
(I don't care. If it doesn't rhyme, it isn't a poem.) Although, I would change the punctuation as such: Non curo si metrum non habet--non est poema.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

"salt peanuts... salt peanuts... salt peanuts"

...we sang, on the way to the line for government cheese. Yes. I broke down and bought the Bergamo. In the lovely Olivewood colorway. I will eat Top Ramen for the rest of the month and is now off limits until I knit a (grown-up) sweater to completion. I have about 7 piles of yarn from which to choose.

In the meantime, I will finish the critter blanket, and the baby sweater. Possibly the super long scarf.

Other news: I added a Salt Peanuts button (this is a WIP itself, so you might wanna wait for v2.0) and my lil blogroll.

It looks like a sweater, no? (a terribly photographed sweater, mind you, with about a zillion ends to weave in and that still to be finished, but a full-fledged SWEATER!)

Friday, April 02, 2004

next in line

ok. I decided I want to do Salt Peanuts in my beautiful periwinkle fleece. I know it is supposed to be made with that wild Muench Bergamo tape, but I just can't spend that much on a sweater yet. I gotta save my pennies for the MS&W fest!! Plus, I have heard mixed reviews about the knitting feel of the yarn, and I really love this purple for spring.

I am going to try to talk jen or la into joining me. Just a wee knitalong, mind you. I don't need too much pressure right now!

The swatch buster sleeves are about half way done (doing both at the same time to fend off boredom. Pics to follow.

Also got some great cotton on deck for some cardis. Some Apple Green Bernat and some Burnt Orange Endless Summer Sonata. (Thank you crafty crafty Liz! for the Endless Summer tip, I LOVE the feel of this cotton, even though the gauge is kinda freakin me out right now.)