Friday, November 20, 2009

What's a woman to do?

I've been running crazy lately.

You ask, "So, what's new with that?" in that oh, so sarcastic tone.

Well, there has to be a good reason why I've reacted in such an uncalled for manner to the discovery that I've actually finished 10 sweaters in the past 9 months.

You think, "I would nave never been so blind to my own knitting output. I would have KNOWN I was knitting 10 sweaters this year."

Because, you know, it would be entirely reasonable to be kind of enthused about finishing the last two sweaters, one which is 80% done and the other is nearly 30% done, before December 31. An even dozen, one per month, that's kind of impressive, you know.

You mutter, "Here it comes. I know what's coming now."

The stress of Hockeyman's tryout for the High School Varsity/Junior Varsity really shouldn't have affected me, seeing as we've been going through this process every year for the past 10 years . . . well, not for high school but for team placements for our local youth hockey association.

You grind your teeth, "Quit stalling, lady. Just spit it out!"

The fact that Dancing Diva tried out for Speech Team at High School also shouldn't have been such a big deal, although I was on the speech team in high school and college myself and was only the teensy-weensyest bit thrilled with the thought of DD following in my elocutionary footsteps.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah . . . AAAANNNNDDDD?"

Well . . . Actually it WAS my birthday this week . . .


So, I started a new project.

"Uh-huh! Like we didn't see that one coming."

It's the Every Way Wrap from Interweave Knits Fall 2009. The good news is that I'm using stash yarn for it. After all, shopping for new yarn would have been really silly. What excuse do I have to go out and spend money on new yarn when I have so much stash built up already.

Really, how stressed out do you think I am?

"Whoa, DIDN'T see THAT one coming!"

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Drive by posting

It's been a couple of very busy days here at Sweater Knitting Central. I've spent most of the past 2 days in the car and have several trips in store tonight. So just a quick update on the newest stash acquisitions.

I've decided to give stranded colorwork another shot. I did the tam for Peeps back in January as part of the Hat Trick KAL for Ravelry's Puck This group. It was not a pleasant experience, due to a number of critical mistakes on my part, which were previously enumerated here.

This time, I plan on following the directions perfectly. No arrogance about working it out my own way to avoid buying the right needles or avoiding dpns. I will read every tip and hint and be diligent to implement everything that is written and suggested. I'll expect all of you to hold me accountable for this. Really. Please do!

On a side note, if you haven't heard about the Upper Midwest Alpaca Fall/Holiday Fiber Fair at the Hopkins High School on Saturday, November 7 from 9 - 5 pm, you can check out the info here. I plan to get there at 9 and to browse to my hearts content. After all, I deserve a little break from chauffeuring. It's been a very busy week.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Number 12 - really?

I am totally lovin' this whole design-as-you-go (DAYG) sweater making thing. I was exceedingly pleased with Bubbles Chickenpox Sweater, which was loosely modeled after the Design 26 I rewrote as a top-down pattern. Now I'm incorporating about 4 different pattern ideas into a new DAYG project.

It is Peeps turn to get a hand knit sweater from Mom. After a little consultation time with a generally indecisive Peeps, I came away with an order for a "hoodie." Now, after the great Halloween Horror of a Black Ballet Wrap for Dancing Diva, I was not about to start another bland, stockinette project, even in lovely green leftover yarn from this project. So I was on the hunt for something new, something exciting, something WONDERFUL.

A search at Ravelry turned up this lovely pattern (Ravelry link). Although it was a raglan, it was worked from the bottom up. I did some mulling and some calculations and some general imaginary knitting (my way of figuring out potential problems with my ideas) and discovered that by working from the bottom up, you could incorporate the cables without interruption as you knit. However, I decided to be stubborn about my new obsession with top-down knitting and came up with my own game plan.

I've decided to work top down, without the cable bands. I plan on knitting the cable band separately and adding it later. I've also added a faux cable on each raglan "seam", ala Mason-Dixon's Daily Sweater (Ravelry link). I also used a provisional cast on method, like that used in the Orange Blobbette sweater, so that I can pick up and knit the hood up from the neckline later.

Oh, and just to complicate things further, I picked up a new book yesterday at my favorite LYS (along with enough yarn for at least 2 more sweaters and several magazines - a total breakdown of my self-control occurred, which is fodder for a totally different blog post. Stay tuned.) which utilizes beautiful picot hems. So I'm hoping to figure out how to properly work a perfect picot hem from this book to finish Arwen for Peeps' hem.

To my utter amazement, I discovered this week that the Orange Blobbette and Arwen for Peeps are the #11 and #12 sweaters I've made in 2009. I had no idea that my latest obessession had resulted in 10 completed sweaters, with two more that could probably be finished before the end of the year. Honestly, who'd a thunk it? I was so wrapped up in the frenzy that I totally didn't have a clue how many sweaters I'd made until I looked at my Ravelry page of projects and physically counted them.

Oh, and with the new yarn I bought yesterday, I have stash for at least 4 more sweaters marinating. Really, when will the madness end?

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Ding, Dong, the Beast is Done!

Yes, there is rampant rejoicing and delirious dancing in the streets tonight. The Black Beast has been conquered!

No more black stockinette. No more black i-cord. No more black anything!

It is done, has been tried on and approved by Dancing Diva, and it's washed and blocking as we speak.

Granted, such a momentous occasion deserves a much better photograph but it is dusk here in Minnesota, not to mention a bit cloudy and grey. All the fiddling with settings and adjusting brightness could not make my amateur photographic skills any less apparent.

But I don't care! It is done and I'm ready to move on to some bright, colorful knitting. Stay tuned for for bright green and pumpkin orange cable-ishousness in the very near future.

Woot! (Now back to the regularly scheduled rejoicing and jigging!)