Unhealthy Obsession

Evidence of how one college student's obsession with knitting has completely driven her nuts.

Sunday, September 04, 2005


I keep meaning to post something substantial, but quite honestly, I am uninspired to do so. I have pictures, I have finished projects.. but I hate this blog.

I keep meaning to start a new non-Blogger blog but haven't gotten around to it. Don't know the logistics, don't know quite think I have the programming know-how. We'll see.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

WIP Update

What else is there to finish?

  • Socks

  • Tivoli Tee

  • Pink Cardigan

  • Lace Poncho

  • Cascade 220 Sweater

  • Kittyville Hat (modifications to FO)

I finished the scarf for my brother after about a week of knitting. I made some errors in judgement in the blocking process, and let's just say there's some irreversible damage and I want to cut my losses. Next time, I'll wet block.

Projects I'd like to start soon:

  • Hourglass Sweater

  • Argyle Slippers

  • Fingerless Mitts

The knitting never ends! The madness! As the end of August nears too, I am finally getting around to setting up my knitting group.. hopefully I can get people to show up after months of inactivity ;)

Two Circ Socks, Pakucho Cotton, Lace Poncho Update

In my latest grand master plan, I had vowed to return to my socks and finish them before starting anything else. I started these socks in January, during my return to knitting after.. maybe 15 years since I last knit. Amazing how long it's been.

The socks have mock cables, they're a Mountain Colors pattern. My first socks, ever. I will take this moment to say that I absolutely hate knitting socks on dpns, and I especially hate knitting this particular sock pattern on dpns. It took me 45 mins to knit two rows. I knew something had to be done.

Soooo, yesterday I went to the Weaving Works and got myself some size 1 Inox circs in 16" and 24". Stacy helped me with the basic concept of two-circ sock knitting. I had my doubts about the 16" needle, thinking it would be too short, and I was right.. my personal preference is for the 24".

Today I returned and exchanged it for a 29" since I don't like to have duplicate needles, but it's a bit on the long side. The 24" really is the perfect length. Either way, presuming I am inspired enough to knit another pair of socks, the 24" is long enough knit both socks simultaneously (at least, according to the Toe-Up Two Circ Sock pattern on KnitPicks' website).

I think the next pair of socks will go by substantially faster, given that they will be simpler and that I will have mastered the two circ method ;)

In other news, I got my order of Pakucho organic cotton in avocado and vanilla recently. It was a beautiful sight. Wonderfully packaged. I am so antsy, I cannot wait to start knitting with it, but alas.. I must finish all WIPs before I can move on.

I also scored a heck of a deal on some Jo Sharp Aran Tweed.. it was in the bargain bin at $2 at WW, supposedly b/c the ball became unwound somehow, with no loss of yardage. Either way, it's beautiful and soft stuff. I am thinking of making a pair of fingerless mitts, but I doubt I can get a pair in with one ball. Wow, I love this yarn.

I'm near completion on the lace poncho. Waiting for the final skein of Andean Silk to arrive from KnitPicks (along with my skein of Essential.. yes, a sock yarn!). I've been blocking as I go just for the heck of it.. I can see the design and it's quite attractive :) I wish I had made the poncho smaller though, since I intended to use it as a wrap, and it really is more like a poncho.

Even though it's lace, it's rather boring to knit. I've found lately that I am incredibly bored knitting almost everything.. time for a change of pace?

More details, updates, pictures to arrive.. eventually.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Cashmere Scarf - Done!

Today I wove in the remaining ends of my brother's mock cashmere scarf (well, it's 12% cashmere) and finally blocked it.

I am sad actually.. I really messed it up during blocking. It totally flattened at one end and stretched out too much. The edges still curl in some parts. Overall, it's just really uneven and disappointing :(

I hate weaving in ends, and I hate blocking. I didn't want to wet block b/c it didn't seem necessary but steam blocking just didn't do the trick. My iron has a really tempermental steam function, sadly. Next time, I will wet block. It just seems easier.

I tried to weave in ends using a duplicate stitch method (as mentioned in this Knitty article), but I am not sure how successful I was.

It took about a week from start to finish, which isn't bad. I had a little yarn left over, I could have extended the scarf, but it seemed to be at a good length, I hope.

Pictures, measurements, etc to come.

For now, I am back to the lace poncho. I may have to order another skein of yarn, drat. I thought I could get away with it. I may also try some of the new Knitpicks solid sock yarns.. too bad the colors are so dark.. maybe they will expand the line soon.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Project Updates

Apologies again for another picture-less post! It's been busy in my neck of the woods, so I've been hard pressed to make time to post, let alone prepare pictures.

This list of WIPs is as much for my organizational benefit as it is for your (whomever you may be) knowledge:

1) 1st priority: birthday scarf for my brother

I scoured the internet and the Weaving Works for the perfect cashmere yarn (i.e. moderately priced, high cashmere content, masculine colors, worsted or heavier), and ended up walking away with three balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in 300617 (a plum / purple-red shade) from WW. Price was right, and softness was very good. Would have liked more cashmere (because my brother is easily impressed with cashmere ;) but this works.

I'm making the (highly erroneous) Men's Cashmere Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. Another blogger said it best when she said the pattern was completely online in the book corrections section of Purl's website. It appears to be the WS of moss stitch become the RS.

2) Tivoli tee

After much frustration and mathematical modifications, I came to the conclusion that if I were to knit the pattern as written at a smaller gauge, I would probably end up with a shirt that was the right size. Kate, the girl at WW, came to the same conclusion. So, 6 sts/in it is! I'll keep everyone posted on whether this experiment works ;)

3) Socks!

Yes, I finally returned the cabled socks that I started back in January! I think I am ready to give it the final push and crank out that second sock, and finally call it quits on this project.

4) Pink Cardigan

I learned much from this disaster. I am abandoning the Everyday Cardigan pattern, instead favoring a modified One Button Cardigan pattern with button bands, and going back to 5 sts/in instead of 4. Hopefully this will produce better results.

5) Lace Poncho

This is my lace project for Summer of Lace. Still waiting for my remaining yarn to arrive, I hope the dye lots aren't too different! I didn't even take that into consideration when I only ordered one skein to start. Unfortunately, one of my roommates lost/has been hoarding the key to our mailbox for two days, and I have no way of checking whether my yarn has arrived!

6) Cascade 220 sweater

Today I swapped in my brown for some purple-blue. I'm making a complete color reversal on this striped sweater. I have also put this on the back burner because of some modifications I want to make - mostly waist shaping and reduction in number of rows for each color stripe. It'll be a blue and orange striped "off the shoulders" type of sweater - I'm hoping it'll look good fall-winter-spring.

Lastly, I've been searching vigilantly for the perfect yarn to use for the Union Square sweater from the Fall 05 IK. I don't know if I mentioned that I joined the KAL. There are a couple other Seattle knitters there, so that's pretty exciting ;)

I'm playing catch up in class, so I might be absent for a while. Ciao for now!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Tivoli tee solved!

Kathy, the pattern creator, emailed me back after my crisis email with a very pleasant attitude :) Turns out, I misinterpreted the sizing for the pattern - it's actually meant for someone with a 34" bust.. no wonder it's huge!

What doesn't make sense to me though, is why a garment that is 31" at the bust is supposed to fit someone with a 34" bust. Can someone explain that to me? I am totally confused.

Well, looks like it's back to the beginning on this project, plus some math :P Hope my Andean Silk arrives soon so I can get back to my lace poncho instead of facing this mistake ;)

Tivoli Tee Problems :(

I just tried on my Tivoli tee, and it is huge! I don't understand :( I am getting the exact gauge, and I have the same measurements as the pattern, if anything I am an inch or two bigger than the person the pattern is written for.

The length can be easily resolved by putting it through the dryer, but the width.. I don't know if that can be fixed, in which case, I don't know if I should keep working on this :(

The thing is, I'm afraid to start decreasing without knowing fully what is going on. I can decrease and hopefully reduce width problems from this point forth, but what if it turns out this is right later? Or what if the length shrinks so much that the decreases move too high?

Etc.. I am too tired to deal with this.

Monday, July 04, 2005

More more more!

As if I didn't have enough to do.. I started another project today :P

Someone posted their Tivoli tee earlier today. I checked out the pattern and was impressed.. it looked easy, perfect for year round wear, attractive, and I had just the yarn lying around to make it!

In fact, I am already on the 9th row.. using Jo Sharp Soho Summer in 218 (cloudless - a light blue). So happy I found the perfect use for this yarn that's been sitting around in my stash for the last six months or so. It's much easier to knit with this yarn the second time around - knitting the Honeymoon Cami as my first project ever, with this yarn, was such a nightmare. Splitting everywhere, no elasticity, etc.

But, the pattern calls for 22 sts/inch and 30 rows/inch, and Soho Summer is supposed to get 22.5 sts and 30 rows.. could not ask for a more perfect fit.

I'm hoping to crank out this top in a week :) I've been a knitting machine! I am the master of stockinette, everything I've knit so far has been endless row after row of st st but frankly, that's the kind of stuff I like to wear.. so even though it can get boring, at least I get a finished product I like.

I also joined the Union Square KAL today.. not planning on making it anytime soon, since I have so many other projects on the needles, but am planning on making it eventually.

That's all for now, more later!

Short Update

It's been a while since I posted, but for good reason! I've been really busy knitting! I'll provide more details later, but here's a short summary of what I've been up to:

1) June 19-25 (ish): Started and finished the One Button Cardigan from Hollywood Knits using Reynolds Lopi in color 9981.

2) June 28 (ish): Finally finished the Honeymoon Cami I started back in Feb! What a relief :P Ends still need to be weaved in. Jo Sharp Soho Summer in a cream color.

3) June 30-July 2: Started and hastily finished the Flower Washcloth from Weekend Knitting in Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille, lime green. Was a birthday gift for a friend, who turns out, was also a fellow knitter (of less experience). A total pain to knit, and the pattern was rather poorly written.

4) July 1-July 4: Started the Lace Poncho from the Fall IK (instructions online) using KnitPicks Andean Silk in Barn Red. Since I only ordered one skein, I've knit exactly one skein's worth so far.. will need to order more later.

Pictures, details, all the good stuff to follow!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

WIPs: One Button Cardigan, Everyday Cardigan

It's been a while since I updated. I've taken some pictures but have yet to modify or upload any of them, so I've held off on posting..

I just finished the right front panel for my One Button Cardigan (from Hollywood Knits). I have only the sleeves left. This has been the quickest project I've made to date. An entire cardigan.. so far, the back and both front panels have taken me less than a week to complete. I've already seamed the left shoulder too.

I'm learning a lot from making mistakes. I never finished my Everyday Cardigan.. it's sitting on my desk, pinned together but unwearable. Every single piece is too large - too wide. Sometimes it is due to getting the wrong gauge, other times it is due to the weird properties of cotton, other times it is just due to the pattern itself - I suspected it would be too large for my liking even if my pieces did meet dimension.

It's really frustrating, I've been working on the Everyday Cardigan for over a month nonstop and I am at the point where I have to essentially take it apart for the second time. It is going to be gorgeous and comfortable when it is done, based on what I can tell from trying on the pinned version, but until I can modify it to the point where it is wearable, there is no cardigan :(

The dropped sleeves are too wide. I am going to have to go back and totally hack off several inches in the width. I don't know what I will do about the fronts.. probably redo those to be skinnier. The back, b/c it takes the longest, I will probably leave as is, and just seam further in.

On the up side though, the One Button Cardigan has been a breeze, b/c I knew what problem areas to stay aware of after the whole Everyday Cardigan fiasco. I feel like I can almost confidently knit any plain stst cardigan correctly now. The other pro is that the yarn is bulky (Reynolds Lopi in 9981, a variegated red grey), so it knits quite quickly. This is my first bulky project - I am usually very anti-bulky yarns, I just don't like how they look and feel as garments - but this particular yarn and this particular patten spoke to me.

I had to modify the pattern b/c I couldn't get gauge (the pattern calls for an unusually bulky yarn), and it's been working pretty well. I am quite pleased with myself. The calculations are not as difficult as I originally thought they would be.

Also doing some experimental seaming, I am terrible at seaming. I've been consulting Nancy Wiseman's Knitters Guide to Finishing Techniques (or something to that extent). It isn't immediately clear what I should be doing, but I think if I read over the sections again I'll eventually get it.

That's all for now, I'll post when more progress gets made.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Procrastination and De-stashing

Trying to work on my take home final for my numerical analysis class, but it's slow progress.

I've been thinking a lot about getting rid of my Cascade 220 stash. I know I just recently acquired it, but I can't really think of anything I'd like to knit out of it. In an ideal world, I would swap someone all my 220 for 220 superwash (again, trying perpetuate my goal of 100% machine washable), but I see that as unlikely.

Cost-wise, I concluded that 4 skeins of 220 would be equivalent to 3 skeins of 220 superwash..

I'm trying to figure out the best way to get a good swap out of this though. I need to find someone who has a lot of the superwash they want to unload, hopefully in the colors that I want, OR find someone who wants the lot for some lump sum that will allow me to get some reasonable number of skeins of the superwash.

If anyone out there is interested in making a swap or a sale, feel free to comment :) I have a bunch of darker colors, some oranges, etc.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Cardigan/Bolero - Sucked In

I just gave in and bought the pattern for the Karabella Round Shaped Cardigan at the Weaving Works. Darnit.

It's a very cute pattern. Looks like it has a dropped shoulder though :P And I'm not sure if I like the ribbed sleeves.. may have to remove that.

To perpetuate my goal of knitting only machine-washable items, I anticipate this cardigan to be yet another item knit out of KnitPicks Shine. Why not? It's a really nice yarn, very soft, good stitch definition, decent colors, good price, gets gauge on almost everything I want to make, and machine washable. Biggest sellers being good price, gets gauge, and machine washable ;)

Last night I purchased a color card for Shine, since I figured with my eventual purchasing of practically every single color, I might as well just own them all so I can compare. Hope it arrives soon so I can start figuring out what colors to get for my brother.

What's terrible is that I went on a tea diet to save money, and I ended up spending all the money on yarn and knitting related items instead :P

Swatch Washing: Shine, Manos Cotton Stria

I sent my swatches through the wash again today. The Manos Cotton Stria went through a second machine wash and dry cycle (after having gone through two hand washes prior to that), and the Shine went through its first wash and dry ever.

The Manos is taking it pretty hard. After just two machine washes, it is already starting to pill (or is it giving off what people call a "halo"?). Definitely showing some wear and tear. The tag says to hand wash, partially dry in the dryer, remove while damp and let completely dry flat. I am going to take their word on the hand washing based on what I have seen with the swatch. It did not shrink any further after the first wash.

The Shine swatch shrunk 1/4 of an inch (of its original 3.5 inches) lengthwise after wash and dry. Still looks very good after just one cycle. You can see the marginal beginnings of pilling/a halo. Shine is supposed to be machine washable, so I am going to hope it doesn't get any worse. It didn't shrink at all widthwise.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Patterns On My Mind

I have been consumed with thoughts of potential projects for the near future. I don't know how I will finish them all.

1) Sweater for my brother
2) Debbie Bliss cable cardigan
3) Karabella bolero
4) Zillions of socks (at least one pair for my grandma)
5) Another X-Back
6) Short sleeved cardigan from Vogue Knitting
7) Greek Pullover and possibly other patterns from the upcoming fall Interweave Knits
8) Tweed pullover (to use my Donegal Tweed)
9) Semi-chunky tweed cardigan/bolero

And more..