Author Archives: daisy

Bloglines hates me

Hmm. Twenty-four hours later, Bloglines has still not listed my last post. Wonder what’s up with that.

I just bound off the first gauge swatch for the tank top, need to wash it, block it a bit, measure it. This is possibly a bit of a farce—I’m sure I need to use bigger needles—but I don’t know if anything weird is going to happen when I wash it.

It will also delay me from beginning the second gauge swatch on bigger needles, which will prevent me from slacking off at the things I’m supposed to be doing. Like unpacking all my stuff and writing that resume.


First things first. I got tagged by Cetta: List five things you are obsessed with, then tag five people to do the same.

  1. Crafts of various kinds. Lately I’m most obsessed with knitting because I’m still learning and I feel like if I stop I’ll forget how, but I have a longstanding obsession with crochet.
  2. Music, mainly bluegrass, punk, country, folk, that sort of thing.
  3. Writing
  4. Reading
  5. Learning new technogeeky stuff

Am I a terrible person for being incommunicado for so long and then tagging people when I’ve probably not responded to other taggings while I was busy packing and moving? (I saved them in Bloglines, I promise!)

Or, y’know, if you feel like doing it, consider yourself tagged. I’m flexible that way.

In other news: I’ve been holding off on the lace knitting attempts until my life is slightly more settled because knitting for five minutes here and five minutes there is not conducive to reading a chart or complicated instructions.

But since I have new-project-itis and since I have a bunch of DK wool blend I got the other day with my yarn store gift certificate, I’m spending my bits of knitting time today doing a gauge swatch for this top. Isn’t that cute? Given the yarn I’m using, it’ll probably be more of a chilly evening thing or for layering under other clothes in fall—I can’t picture wearing it on a summer day. But it’ll likely take till fall before I finish it, anyhoo. I’m a little slow with the knitting.

That’s all for now—gotta run.

How not to learn to use double-pointed needles

[I wrote most of this on paper two days ago while I was away from a computer, but as it turns out, it is very inefficient to write blog entries on paper and then transcribe them onto the computer.]

I have put myself in a bit of a bind. My knitting/crochet bag seems to be at work. I, however, am at home. All my current projects are in that bag, as are the giant, big-as-baseball-bats size 11 dpns I thought I might try out.

In a desperate search for something crafty to do, I discovered a ball of worsted-weight wool that hadn’t yet been packed or moved.

I have not yet got the hang of dpns, but hope springs eternal. The size 11’s are for a project that uses a double strand of laceweight. I thought this might be helpful in figuring it out since I’ve only tried size 3’s before and they were so tiny and kept flying across the room unexpectedly, to the point where I was afraid I’d end up putting someone’s eye out.

It may have been the booze, but the size 11 dpns did the same thing the other night when I first tried with the laceweight. See, it came to pass that a half-full bottle of Bailey’s was found in a cupboard while packing up the kitchen, and it was decided by all present that this bottle was both bulky and breakable and therefore the only thing to do was for us to drink it, all of it, right then and there, rather than pack it, move it, unpack it and then drink it some other time.

It will not be disclosed how much of the Bailey’s I had to drink. Suffice to say a little while later I found myself trying to cast on 8 stitches, divide them between 4 dpns, and then arrange the resulting mess into a square so as to be able to figure out what order the needles were supposed to go in. While I was doing this, one needle shot right out of the middle. I cast on again, divided the stitches again, joined and started knitting—and then another needle went rogue on me.

Third time’s the charm, right? I got a whole round done, then started the second round, putting yarn-overs in places that were really not the same places dictated by the pattern. Then I looked at it and realized (a little late, maybe) that I was not really sober enough to be doing this, not by a long shot. At that exact moment Don looked over and asked me, “What the hell is that? Isn’t that way too many needles?” whereupon I collapsed in a fit of giggles. (I was actually accused of snorting, but that would be unladylike and totally uncharacteristic of a delicate flower such as myself, so clearly that never happened.)

Next thing I knew most of the needles were no longer holding any of the stitches.

That right there is how not to learn to use double-pointed needles.

So here I am this evening, perfectly sober and capable of anything (ha) but without any of my projects with me. I do have lots of crochet hooks, assorted straight needles, a set of size 5 dpns. Some other laceweight in my backpack—I’ve been carrying it around in there in a plastic bag and petting it in secret every so often. But no patterns handy, and no energy with which to figure out something to do without a pattern.

But I have those size 5 dpns. And that ball of wool I found. Maybe I can get the hang of this circular knitting thing once and for all.

[This picture was taken this afternoon, two days after I wrote all that. I finally figured it out.]

It ain’t perfect, but I think I got it. Coincidentally enough, it turns out that little tube fits around my wrist exactly, which tempts me more than I can say to keep on with it and make some fingerless gloves. But since the whole thing’s in stockinette, it wants to curl something awful, and I am not yet clever enough to know how to go about picking up stitches on the edge afterward to add some ribbing or something to keep it flat.

No photos, just me and some string

I don’t have any photos of yarn today. The ribbed scarf is getting close to done. Hey, just in time for spring—it was 65° yesterday! I could take photos, but it’s a scarf. 2×2 rib. In grey/black/white yarn. You really don’t want to see more photos of that, do you?

I didn’t think so.

The other thing I’m working on, sorta, is that lace wrap, and to say it’s not going well would be the understatement of the millenium. I frogged it again a few rows into the lace pattern. It turns out I don’t know how to count. Or read instructions.

Not much else new here. I’m in the middle of moving, which is why I have no time to do anything fun and am so scarce these days. Things will settle down in a few weeks, I hope.

FO: Rolled brim hat

A finished object in the Project Spectrum department. About 220 yards of Paton’s classic merino in new denim, size H/5.00mm hook. (Maybe this way I’ll remember next time.)

rolled brim hat photo

That is all. I could’ve had some really cool photos of the sunlight glittering through ice-coated trees, but it was cold and snowing (yes, snowing while the sun was out) and I chickened out on pulling the truck over to the side of the road since I didn’t want to get stuck.

It’s Wednesday, right?

It’s Wednesday, right? So here are the works-in-progress. (I am working on the photography thing. Clearly I’m not there yet. I’m not sure if this is just a talent that one either possesses or does not possess or if it’s something that can be fixed by reading a book about it. A simple book that does not go completely over my head.)

Both projects are in the current Project Spectrum colors, even.

The search for Woolease in blue mist, in a clash with my general inability to delay gratification of most kinds, led me in the end to the yarn aisle at Meijer, where I called Vicki up and was told that no, the hat really does not at all need to be made of the precise same yarn as the scarf, and I bought Paton’s Classic Merino in new denim instead.

I’m using the rolled-brim hat pattern I always use, the one from that seventies edition of the Reader’s Digest Guide to Needlework. I thought about knitting the hat—I am enthralled with knitting lately, as if you couldn’t tell—but it would be spring by the time I finished a knit hat. Also I was slightly curious to see whether I still in fact know how to crochet. (I do.)

It’s just getting to the point where it’s starting to look less like a yarmulke and more like it will grow up to be a full-size hat. It’ll probably be done in a day or so. Wonkiness in the increases will theoretically be removed by blocking later.
rolled brim hat progress photo

And the ribbed scarf continues to aspire to be worn before the weather warms up. I’m getting a bit faster at knitting, but I’m still much slower at it than crochet.

Do you not just want to snuggle up with that ball of alpaca and love it and squeeze it and call it George? Or is that just me? Maybe it would be going faster if I did more knitting and less fondling of the ball of yarn.
ribbed scarf progress photo

I’m losing my mind here looking for a few skeins of Wool-Ease worsted in the same color I made a scarf out of a while back. I’ve been asked for a hat to go along with said scarf, but I used up the last of it making the scarf.

Hobby Lobby: Looks like it besieged by fun fur faeries since I last visited it. They currently have very little yarn that isn’t furry, fuzzy or nubbly. They do have a little bit of Woolease in the bulky and mega-super-bulky weights, but no worsted or sport, and none in blue mist even in the bulky sizes.

I did not have the good sense to go to the good Joann’s while I was in Columbus, so looking in the only two places around here:

Walmart: Does not appear to sell Woolease of any kind.

Joann’s: I don’t know why I go to the Joann’s that’s closest to me for any reason involving yarn. Suffice to say that they don’t have any either, and furthermore when I tried to buy a skein of rainbow bouclĂ© with my 50% off coupon, I was informed that since it was already on sale, I could only buy it at the sale price of $6 rather than the 50%-off-original-price which would’ve been $4. I am calling bullshit on that. The Joann’s in Pickerington lets me use coupons on sale stuff all the time by just taking the coupon off the original price, and they have about ten times as much yarn as the non-coupon-taking Joann’s does.

I’ve considered using some other yarn entirely, but then it won’t match the scarf. I just can’t find a blue that’s close enough. I looked at the Lion web site and they do still make it in that color and weight, and I’m sure the Joann’s in Pickerington will have it. I’m going to have to hold out until Sunday before I can get over that way, though, which is a bummer because my 50% off coupon expires tomorrow. (I still have one for 40% off, though.)

In other news, I’ve cast on, started, made a mess of and then frogged the candle flame shawl about three times so far. This is notable mainly because I have not gotten to the actual lace pattern yet. I keep screwing up the garter stitch. Dear god. What is up with garter stitch? It should be easy, but it makes me completely insane because it never, ever changes.

I’m going to go home now and, after about four hours of sleep and a twelve-hour shift, do some highly ill-advised knitting. I think I’ll stick to the ribbed scarf, though. It’s very forgiving.

Project Spectrum – ribbed scarf

The February/March Project Spectrum colors being blue, white and gray combined with my having gotten a skein of lovely, warm, soft alpaca from Santa have led to this so far:

ribbed scarf progress photo

It may look a bit unexciting—it’s a 2×2 rib—but the yarn is so soft and fuzzy and cozy that it just begged to have something nice and simple done with it. (Yes, I talk to my yarn, and it talks back.)

Red hearts, yellow moons, green…triangles

This is take three of the Dreaded Practice Swatch. I’m no longer actually trying to work in pattern and instead trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong with the ssks:

decrease swatch

See there, how on the left side all the k2togs are pretty much neat and even(ish, once I stopped splitting the yarn)? And how on the right side the ssks seem like they’ve had a real rough night? And how neither really looks anything at all like the photo here?

What’s up with that?