Knitting in 2008

Jill P,

We had a good time knitting as the ball dropped, ending 2007.  Granted I wasn’t very productive and just forced you to stay up until what was about 4am for you.  It’s too bad you had all the travel problems and we couldn’t do a big knitting event for the night.  It was nice to catch up after our long absence from each other (and to see your yarn purchases).  Here you are, around midnight:

I knit pretty steadily over the vacation.  I didn’t do a whole lot at my parents’ house, so plenty of time for knitting.  I was kidding myself that I could use Patagonia Nature Cotton for my Baby Surprise Jacket.  My Mom kindly pointed this out to me and gave me some Paton’s Look at Me! yarn to use instead.  It had a gauge of about 5 stitches/inch in garter stitch.  It’s bigger than the BSJ in EZ’s book, but it still seems pretty small.  I need to get buttons for it still.  Here’s a few in progress pics, even though it’s pretty much complete now:

Here’s the crazy mess of fabric you get after doing all the knitting:

Well, actually it looks like it’s still on the needles there.  But it’ll look something like that before seaming.  I didn’t take a more finished picture, so you’ll have to wait until I get the buttons for a better one.  I just hope this sweater isn’t too small.  I found out that my cousin already had the baby in October (I’m just really behind the times) so it needs to fit a two month old baby.  Hmm.

I made the herringbone mittens I talked about last post.  They turned out pretty good and were pretty fun to make.  The cuff is a little loose, but I suppose that’s okay.  The pattern has a pompom on the wrist, but I’m not sure about it.  So far I just made little bows with the ties at the wrist instead.  I could change my mind later.  Here they are in Cascade 220.  I swatched ( in the round and everything!) but I kept having to go up in needle sizes.  I knew that was messed up because I’m a loose knitter and usually have to go down needle sizes.  Unless things were that different for me in stranded knitting.  My Mom agreed that I should just use the needles called for, and I did.  And my gauge came out right on.  I think that swatching in the round thing was messing me up.  It is annoying that I spent all the time swatching just to be like, “screw this”.  (I also didn’t have any DPNS in the size I needed to go up a size.)  Here are the completed mittens:

Close-up:

Since getting back in town, I’ve gone crazy working on the Kooch sweater coat.  Last night I sewed my final seam on it.  I still need buttons.  It’s a little tight in the upper body, which is what I get for going down a size.  But I like the fit of it.  I didn’t want a baggy sweater.  In the pictures of it, the bottom of the coat kind of flares open a bit, which is okay.  But for some reason the bottom of my coat looks really sloppy.  I am so far blaming the seed stitch borders at the bottom of the pieces.  I used a smaller needle and everything, but it still kind of poofs out from the rest of the stockinette fabric.  Here’s a picture of the bottom edge:

 

I’m not sure if I can correct this with blocking.  If it can’t be blocked out, my other option is to cut off the borders (!!) and knit new ones down.  I’ll have to grab all the existing stitches and either decrease to fewer stitches or use an even smaller needle to knit them back on.  I really hope blocking works.  In the pattern they tell you to pick up a specific number of stitches for the buttonbands.  I used the number of stitches they said, even though I knit more rows than they do in the pattern (me and my short stitches!).  But even then it was a little much.  I decided to go for it on the buttonbands, but did my own thing on the pocket borders and back vent borders.  I’m accustomed to picking up 3 out of every 4 stitches, and this was like 4 out of 5.  I may also have too big of hips to be knitting a size small.  One thing that I thought might be an issue, is that when I added more length in the body, I just added it to the waist area instead of throughout the hip shaping and waist.  I didn’t really think about this until I had already completed the back and refused to go back.  Maybe I needed more ease throughout the waist.  Not sure what to do next. 

Here’s some pictures.  Instead of buttons I’m using some little bamboo seaming pins that Jill bought for me. 

(Flickr was being uncooperative and I couldn’t rotate this picture.  Sorry.  Turn your head instead =( ).  See what I’m saying about the wonky bottom?  Makes me look all lumpy.

Here’s just the top half, which I like a lot better:

I also blocked the Ram’s Horn Jacket collar this weekend.  And… it stopped rolling!  I can’t believe.  So I’m now calling it officially done!  Here’s another self-portrait in my dirty bathroom mirror.  Ignore the fact that I look kind of blah and my camera arm obscures the collar.:

Next on the agenda are some knitted/crocheted toys I think.  I’m feeling overwhelmed with garments right now. 

In the mail today I received the most awesome knitting book.  “The Popeye and Friends Knitting Book”  copyright 1989 by Melinda Coss.  It is amazing.  I may be forced to make a Betty Boop sweater.  Just maybe.  Sean’s sister-in-law collects Betty Boop stuff and I thought that was really funny.  So I kept noticing Betty Boop everywhere.  And now it’s turned into one of those things where I made fun of it so much that now I kind of like it.  I’m not sure what’s happening.  All I know is that I really want to make an elaborate intarsia sweater featuring a Fleischer cartoon character.  Maybe I could just make it into a throw or pillow or something.  But even then… I don’t know.  Right now I’m trying to decide if I should buy “Cat Knits” by the same author off of ebay.  It’ll be pretty cheap.  And all the patterns have motifs with cats in them.  Sounds great!

We had a good holiday party at the GLASG meeting.  It was my first meeting as Membership chair, which means I had to sit at the front table most of the time.  But still had enough time to spin up about an ounce of singles.  I plied them the other night and just need to spin up the other half of the fiber.  I set the twist on a few yarns I’ve been holding on to as well.  The 3-ply sock yarn in aqua (Which wouldn’t rinse clear.  I finally gave up after about 8 tries.), my tussah silk 2-ply and my sample bobbin from the Spinning Exotics class I took at OFFF.  No pictures of those though.

Oh, and in crazy news, Paquito fell out of the bedroom window!  I thought he was just hiding in the apartment, but in the afternoon I got worried and realized the screen in Adrienne’s window had torn.  I ran out like a crazy person, half expecting to find a body outside the window (we’re on the second floor).  I called for him and heard him squeaking in the bushes.  He was pretty dirty but seemed to be okay.  I’m keeping an eye on him for any changes.  I don’t know how long he’d been out there until I found him.  He was in the apartment at 2am that night and I didn’t find him until 1pm.  But he didn’t come to my room for his usual snuggling at 7am.  Anyway, everything seems okay but it was very scary.  It makes me feel like a horrible pet owner.  Adrienne came home yesterday which is good because the cats were acting all weird with only one person at home.  She left for New Year’s right after I got home from Christmas.

See you soon!

Jill B.

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