Unhealthy Obsession

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

Monday, May 16, 2005

Blocking BO

Waiting for my Branching Out to finish blocking.. this is the first time I have ever blocked anything! Not exactly the most fun process, but I think the final result will be worth the effort. Will post pictures later! I finished my BO last night, hoorah!

Monday, May 09, 2005

X-Back Shrinkage, Branching Out Progress

I finally did laundry today, and got to send my swatch for X-Back through the full wash and dry cycle. I wish I had done this before I started my X-Back, b/c my calculations indicate quite a bit of expected shrinkage:

Unwashed Swatch: 3.5" x 5.5"
Washed and Dried Swatch: 3.375" x 5.3125"

% Shrinkage Lengthwise: 0.125/3.5 = 0.0357 = 3.57%
% Shrinkage Width-wise: 0.1875/5.5 = 0.0341 = 3.41%

Expected Lengthwise Shrinkage: 0.0357 * 20" = 0.714" = about 11/16 of an inch
Expected Width-wise Shrinkage: 0.1875 * 10.5" = 0.35805" = about 6/16 of an inch

Actually, the shrinkage isn't so terrible, I guess, presuming my calculations are correct.

As for my BO.. it is taking much longer than expected. There has been a lot of negative progress lately. I am at a point where I have reached a break in the yarn, and I am reluctant to continue.. Ugh. When will I finish this thing?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

WIP: Branching Out, 14.5 inches!

Ugh. I have been working on Branching Out nonstop since I started and I am only a third of the way done. I've got 14.5 inches (roughly 9 repeats) completed. There is no way I can finish this by Mother's Day.

Talk about frustration. As someone on the BO KAL said, I've been making "negative progress." I'll be knitting along swimmingly, no problems in several sittings, and then one sitting will have me completely fluxxomed for hours.

A missing stitch somewhere, or an extra stitch somewhere.. I will have to knit and reknit the same row several times, diagnosing along the way, still unable to find the problem.

The infamous "Row 7" used to give me the most problems, but lately it has migrated more to row 5.

This is going to be a fabulous scarf, I will post more pictures when I get further along (is it really that interesting to see me add 10 inches every couple of days?). It's so soft, I wish I was making this for myself.

I just got this book from the library today - it's called Beautiful Knitting Patterns, by Klopper. There are some nice lace patterns in there that I would like to incorporate into a scarf of my own design.

This sudden interest in lace can all be attributed to my foray into Branching Out, kudos to the designer! ;)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

FO: Ribbon X-Back

I completed my Ribbon X-Back tank top on Saturday, and wore it out on Sunday :) Despite all my frustrations with knitting it, I am very pleased with the actual garment. I hope that after washing it will still fit well, I wish I had washed a swatch before hand ;)

I did end up knitting a swatch the other day, it's 3.5" x 5.5". I'm going to throw it in the wash to see how it fares.

X-Back 050205 006 Edit

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I am contemplating making another one, actually, with the Ola yarn used in the pattern, but I have a bunch of other projects on deck and no money for new yarn, so I am not sure if this will happen anytime soon.

Also see my post in the Ribbon X-Back KAL for more details.

WIP: Branching Out Beginnings

I started Branching Out yesterday. I bought 1.2 oz of a coned laceweight yarn called Zephyr at my LYS. It's 50% merino, 50% silk, lightweight, a bit shimmery, and unbelievably soft! I got a dark pink since I am making it for my mom for Mother's Day. My mom, as best as I can tell, would prefer pink. Best of all, this yarn was only $3.75/oz, so I only spent about $4 on this - what a deal!

Branching Out 050205 002 Edit

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In fact, I am thinking of getting this yarn again because I like it so much and because it is so affordable, to make more lace items..

I lost several hours yesterday trying to start this scarf. It's my first lace project, and my first project using a yarn this skinny. I double stranded it because I liked the corresponding swatch at the store. After several hours of frustration, I put the project down. The first attempt had too many mistakes and a dropped stitch.

I picked it up again hours later, and it was surprisingly easy to knit correctly, so my frustration was not a total loss. I switched from Clover 8 circs to Brittany Birch 7 DPNs, which contributed to the better handling. The Clovers were too blunt, and the cord was just getting in the way. I love my Brittany Birches, and they too were somewhat blunt.. I thought about using the Denises which are often too pointy for me, but I figured the Densises needed a rest after many continuous projects.

I also pulled tight on all the border stitches (so basically the knit stitches on every row) and I followed along with a row counter. I knit the purl row much more loosely, and I counted stitches after every knit row to make sure that I was on target. All this led to a much better knitting experience :)

Today there were several hours of knitting. I am about 4? repeats into the scarf. Hopefully I can finish and block before Friday, but I am doubtful, especially with a midterm this week. I have about 5.5 inches completed and it is divine:

Branching Out 050205 011 Edit

There is at least one mistake, but it is not too terrible in the grand scheme of things.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Branching Out (Figuratively and Literally)

Just joined the Branching Out KAL. I said I wouldn't start any new projects, so theoretically Honeymoon is still the next slated for completion, but I wanted to make my mom something for Mother's Day, and Branching Out seemed interesting. Would be my first lace project, now to choose a yarn...

Email Post

Apparently you can post to Blogger via email. This is an email post! Neat, huh?

Flickr, Yarn Stash, X-Back Update: LONG POST

I apologize, I haven't updated in a while. I finished my Ribbon X-Back last night after much frustration and two nights of really plunking down to get it done. I'll update more here, but for now, check out my not so great pictures in the X-Back KAL.

I am very pleased with it, despite all the mistakes that were made. I didn't think I would want to make another one, but it is just so comfortable and well-fitting and cute that I am seriously contemplating trying another with the recommended yarn, Katia Ola.

After some well-deserved frustration with Photobucket, I decided to give Flickr a test drive, upon Adam's and someone else's suggestions. I had contemplated using Hello!, but the website did not convince me that I would actually find it useful, and I am always weary of any program that requires me to download it. Flickr is substantially better than Photobucket, definitely check it out if you want to serve up photos on the web.

I spent a couple hours taking, editing, and uploading pictures of my yarn stash to Flickr, to give everyone some colorful photos to look at and to give Flickr a whirl.

Here is some Tahki Donegal Tweed in color 848 (Adam says it looks like potatoes). This is the crown jewel of my stash. Ever since I laid eyes on this and Tahki Soho, I have dreamt of living in a sweater knit out of this! 100% wool.

Tahki Donegal Tweed

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Some Jo Sharp Soho Summer - 100% silky smooth cotton. I used the white to make what will be the Honeymoon Cami, and I am thinking of using the blue to make a skirt or the Citrus Moon Cami.

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Artful Yarns Vaudeville ribbon yarn - 100% merino wool. I used three balls to make a drop stitch scarf that I love, but I don't know if I should make another of the same as a gift?

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Goodwill finds: sport weight acrylic. Don't have any clue what to do with this. I used some of the blue to make lightweight fingerless gloves.

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Manos Cotton Stria - 100% cotton. It's a flat wave. Unsurpassed softness and beautiful rich colors. I fell in love with this cotton the first time I felt it. I started the Everyday Cardigan, but started questioning the pattern, and turns out it's way too big. Haven't picked it up in a while.

Stash 050105 007 Edit

Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece - 80% cotton, 20% wool. I originally started the Everyday Cardigan in this, but I didn't like the weight relative to the Manos. I may or may not pick it up again.

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Random yarns, mostly remainders. Yellow: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride. Green: Skye Tweed. Red and sparkly grey: acrylic. Natural tweed: random Japanese brand. Peach: Tahki Chat.

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My Cascade 220 collection! All earnmarked for sweaters. Some is superwash. 100% Peruvian wool.

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Finally, the bag that I store all my WIPs, needles, and notions in. Makes a decent carrying bag too.

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Hopefully will post more later. Hope you enjoyed the photos :)