Thursday, May 24, 2007

Spring frogged the crabapple

I've been thinking about frogging. It is not always necessary, but it is not the tragedy it sometimes seems. Last month, nature frogged our crabapple tree. Twice. I had just read about Alex's crabapple, how it was budding, then blooming. I didn't expect ours to follow immediately. After all, we are a couple of thousand feet higher in elevation. It is simply colder here, and spring comes later. But she does come. A week later, there were buds on our crabapple. Then it snowed.


Oh, woe to me and the crabapple. I sent K out with a broom to flog the snow off the branches. Besides being cold, the wet snow weighed the branches down a good bit. Then I left for MDSW. I spoke with K on the phone while I was there. It had snowed again. org!! Poor crabapple. K repeated the flogging, hoping a little snow wouldn't faze the crabapple. Just like a knitter with a pile of frogged knitting, it could begin again, right?


Right!
I'm looking at this post, trying to reassure myself, because I think I have a 3 sleeve curse. First, there were the 3 sleeves of Tivoli. Then, there were the 3 sleeves of CPC.
I knit the first sleeve of the Cabled Points Cardigan (from Knitting Beyond the Edge) as a swatch, but I was kidding myself. I didn't really think it was a swatch. I thought it was going to be a sleeve. Even when I was guessing it was too small, I still was hoping for a sleeve. Then I noticed a change in color. There was a knot in the skein and I never imagined that the yarn after the knot, in the middle of the skein, would be different shade. But it was. I didn't notice until the sleeve was almost complete, and I looked at it in good light. So I frogged the first sleeve and knit two more sleeves--a total of three sleeves for that cardigan.

I could chalk that up to experience, but to add insult to injury, one of the six skeins I had was a different shade, so the right side of the cardigan is slightly brighter colored than the rest. This is aggravating, but I had no idea that color variations within a dyelot were anything but just a slip-up, a sport, a very rare thing.

Until now. I mean, I should have been catching on. After all, when I decided I didn't have enough Encore for the cardigan I wanted to make, I ordered more in a different dyelot. When they came in, they looked like a different color altogether. Instead of blue and tan, there were blue and bright orange, and the blue was a different blue altogether. I didn't even like the new version, though I love the old. I returned the ugly yarn, changed the pattern, and set about knitting a simple cardigan for which I thought I would have just enough yarn, all the same dyelot.

It is all the same dyelot, but it isn't the same color. There's one skein I have used so far that is much brighter than the others. What did I knit with it? You guessed it, the second sleeve. Luckily, I was wrong on the yarn amount, so I have an extra skein. All I have to do is knit--ta dum de dum dum--a third sleeve.

I am NOT making this up, folks.

I can say that I am glad I have extra yarn to fix this problem, that the sleeve is a quick knit, and that Encore is nice to knit. However, I think I'll sew the sweater together to "check the fit". Maybe I'll decide I can live with the off-color sleeve. It would be nice to knit something with only two sleeves.



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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Bonita Lilac

I had no idea what was growing in my own yard. We bought this house in November, and I noticed some sorry looking shrubs outside the fence at the corner. They had been invaded by an aspen, which was looking even sorrier and trying to take over the space right next to the fence. There were a lot of dead branches and some spotty leaves. K would trim it periodically, and I kept saying, 'trim it more; cut that dead stuff out; get rid of the aspen.' Spring came, and the shrub leafed out. I thought it was tolerable, and was mildly pleased when it sprouted pinkish flowers. (I'm not a real big fan of pink.)
Then earlier this week, May 15, I walked out in the driveway and thought "I smell lilacs." I had no idea where the smell was coming from, but I know lilac when I smell it. I have had a lot of lilac hand soaps, lotions, etc. This smell, however, was wayyy better than any commercial product. It was arresting.
Of course, you are way ahead of me--it was the shrub. It is still a little scraggly-looking, but the flowers, o my the flowers. So wonderful, and such a scent--I think I can smell it through the closed window as I sit here and type this. The whole town is covered in the scent, as almost every corner is home to a lilac bush. No wonder I've read so much about lilac bushes and memories of home. I just never knew what one looked like until now.
How appropriate, though, that the lilacs bloom at the same time that I was struck with inspiration on what to do with the Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere I impulse-bought at the Knit Happens sale.  After all, it is purple yarn. I didn't even want purple, but the color choices were limited by the mad rush of the sale. I mean, half-price yarn? It is understandable. I think it will work out nicely, and am hoping that I have just enough to knit Bonita.
I've decided to change the hem, and perhaps the sleeve edges. I picked an edging from Knitting on the Edge, swatched, adjusted the gauge (I'm off a stitch or two), and cast on for the size 34.5. It should work out to the size 37 considering the different gauge. That might be a bit large, so I'll be sure to check it a lot and decrease as I need to.
I decided to go with 18 points, erring on the too-large side. I don't want it tight over my hips, and I think the middle point of the nine on the front and back will line up nicely with the diamonds on the front of the shirt. I am thinking of building in decreases on the last row of edging. See how it blooms out when it changes to stockinette? Well, some of that is caused by the tight cast-on. I can fix that. However, I'm not sure if zapping in a bunch of decreases might not make the lace edging flare out, so I might just decrease gradually up the sides. Frankly, although my measurements are a uniform 36" in bust and hips right now, I know myself well enough to want to provide a little ease in the hips. I'm not always this trim.
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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Tagged!

I've been tagged on the 7 random things meme, and I'm happy about it. (Pretty random, huh?)

I'm happy because it gives me motivation to pimp this new blog by tagging 7 others.

7 Things:

1. I can move my little toes without moving my other toes--I learned this from an old movie (anybody know which one?)
2. I grew up on a cattle farm.
3. Although I'm only 5' 6" tall, I have a "wingspan" of 6' 1", which means I can easily reach things on the top shelf of my kitchen cabinets.
4. I'm right-left dyslexic.
5. I've been on the front page of a major newspaper (large color picture, above the fold).
6. I once worked for the U. S. Census Bureau, but resigned after a week. Not that I didn't want to be a Census taker, but the job was part-time, and I got offered a full-time job.
7. I was once addicted to olives and pistachios, and ate them by the handfuls every day for over a year. (No, I wasn't preggers.)

Now, I've got to bounce around and tag 7 other people by commenting in their blogs, which will give me a chance to tell them about this blog. I'll probably take my time doing that, but I'll try to remember to add them here once I've tagged them.

'Sok, here they are, bless them, because I'm afraid I shouldn't have...but they are my favorite blogs to read:
Rosemary Knits
The Virginia Purl
Purls and Murmers
The YoYo Knits
The Quiet Knitter
Minx Knits

The rules:
Once tagged, you are supposed to list 7 random things about yourself in your blog, then tag 7 others.
That's the rules. I say rules are made to be broken. At least you've made it to my new blog. Welcome.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Finished Objects

There's been a complaint lodged about the lack of finished objects in this knitting blog. A valid complaint, but one that I can remedy immediately. A quick consult with the wayback machine has turned up this:



These are a few of the objects I finished in my second year of knitting. Most of them are fairly mundane, but those familar with current knitting magazines will notice Bianca's Jacket (the little bolero at the top left) from Interweave Knits and Sonnet (that bright red/orange over-photoshopped thing on the bottom left) from Knitty, and the often rendered Flower Basket Shawl (now available from FiberTrends).


The year before, I was mostly crocheting my FOs, but were are some knits.





The more recognizable items are Clapotis from Knitty (in an unfortunate orange), Cape Mod from Stitch and Bitch (the poncho), Tie One On from Knitty (in pink), and Alien Illusion from Stitch and Bitch (in bright green and black). The large wooden object is a yarn swift, which I made from an umbrella stand and a lazy susan. It works very well.

I feel the need to apologize for the poor photo quality and composition of some of these oldies. However, I can forgive myself a bit since my equipment and skills were less than they are today. I only hope the coming years see continued improvement in both the equipment and my skills.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The obvious--MDSW

It is spring. Most normal people are enjoying the flowers.

Not me. Thanks to knitting, I am doing crazy things. How crazy? Flying across the country to go to a fairground filled with thousands of knitters, tons of yarn, and farm animals.
Wooly farm animals.
That produce beautiful yarn.
Will I knit this yarn, or just store it away?

Stay tuned.
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Saturday, May 5, 2007

Why the title? (An intro)

I changed the title for this blog so many times, I finally just deleted the blog and started over. The new blog, 3sleeves, and the new title, 3 Sleeves to the Wind, comes from a sweater-knitting fiasco I committed last year:

I started knitting Tivoli, the original version of Picovoli. [If you've knit this before, you can skip the explanation below.]

This sweater is knit top-down and has raglan sleeves. Basically, you cast on the appropriate number of stitches for your size, placing a marker at the end of the round. Then you count out stitches for the sleeves, and place 4 more markers, two for each sleeve seam (where the sleeves join the body, at the front and back). You increase each time you come to one of the sleeve markers, resulting in the sleeves growing larger as you knit down the sweater from the top.

After a week of knitting Tivoli each night for an hour or so as I watched TV, I looked at it in the daylight. I had increased at each marker, INCLUDING the end-of-round marker. I had five sets of raglan seams. At first, I couldn't figure it out, and I thought I was just looking at it wrong. I kept turning it around and around, counting, "one sleeve, the front, another sleeve, the back, another sleeve, the first sleeve again...." I finally had to face it--my Tivoli looked as though it had three sleeves.

I had to admit that knitting after dinner, having had wine with dinner, and watching tv, had taken its toll. I was knitting in an uncontrolled fashion, and dubbed such knitting "knitting three sleeves to the wind." The term made it easier to smile about my embarrassing mistake.

Since then, I've knit many things, and learned how to avoid such mistakes, though I do still make some. I've used this meme to provide a list of my experiences:

Mark with bold the things you have knit at least once, with italics the ones you plan to do sometime, and leave the rest.

Afghan
I-cord

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Shawl
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn

Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Top-down
Hat
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Sweater
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn

Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Cardigan
Toy/doll clothing

Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Slippers
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments

Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Scarf
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)

Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting

Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with DPNs
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Bobbles
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Steeks
Knitting art
Knitting two socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars simultaneously
Fulling/felting
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Purses/bags
Knitting with beads
Swatching
Long Tail CO
Entrelac
Knitting and purling backwards

Machine knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Darning
Jewelry
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Gloves
Intarsia
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers
Pillows
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Rug
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Shrug/bolero/poncho
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public


Ok, there you have an explanation of the blog title and a list of my knitting experiences. Oh, I forgot to finish telling you about the Tivoli. I ripped it out, of course. Then I reknitted the sweater, tried it on, and found out it was about 6 inches too big around. So I ripped out the entire sweater and reknitted it for the third time. It was wearable, but a bit tight. I gave it away.