The Knitting Journeyman

Gathering Up One Thread At A Time As I Weave This Web Of Mine.....

Monday, July 19, 2010

Knitting Update

Roxie of our wonderful knittingparents yahoo group (a very friendly group too—you should check them out) set out to start up a KAL (knit along) for small projects.  Originally, it was for a small toy kal…and although I have dolls to crochet and knit, and although Flo caught my eye and entangled my heart (enough so that I plan to knit it up later on), my heart has been set elsewhere.
I have stalled on the seaming up of the Captain America sweater for my dear darling boy…only because I am very afraid that if I sew the thing together, the boy will want to wear it all the time…in 90 degree and higher heat…so…of course I am stalling.  This is also the reason I have not yet knit him his hat out of red red yarn either…he picked such a nice warm thick yarn…and the kid is bozo enough (so like his mother) to wear the darn thing all summer.  At least I do know a simple hat (which is all he requested, a simple red hat) will only take me a couple hours to whip up.
 I decided my first project, for the kal project, would be another attempt at the ribby tank…only this time in a fiber that I could actually wear in the current weather.  Although it was made during some uncertain times where arguing with the 9yo over life and death issues occurred, the green ribby tank turned out well enough that I put it on as soon as it was finished and I wore it the rest of the day.  Next time I make this one, and I will more than likely will, I hope I remember how I bound off the middle stitches to divide for the cups…because that part I really like.  I do say that I will not be making another one of these for awhile though…I prefer to make something more Suss Cousins inspired

So, ribby tank out of the way, as I watched and re-watched A Knitter’s Workshop with Elizabeth Zimmerman on dvd, I finally got up the courage…to order yarn to make myself a seamless yoke sweater.  The yarn arrived a couple weeks ago. Coward that I am, I oohed and ahhed over it, found a bag specific for the sweater project…and I hung it up in the closet (I keep my current about to knit projects hanging in an open closet until…we organize things better…)  Then I left the yarn all alone…until I started re-watching these dvds again…and I finally I had found my copy of the Knitting Workshop book (and all my other EZ books as well).  Watching EZ work, I could not just SIT there and watch…I had to grab my yarn, my book and my needles and set out to work.
My first sweater gauge swatch hat-and my first color work project—started out with two lovely, but utterly too dark to be put together to make it really gorgeous, but together they made the most subtle hat.
I so must bow to EZ.  It was her influence, via the dvd, that got me to learn continental style knitting…there are so many things I have learned from this dvd alone.  AND, best of all, by watching the dvd, over and over and over, I am better able to understand and comprehend what EZ means when she says something in her books.  I get her work now, in a way I never did before. 
The first hat was done on size 9 US needles…and I wanted to see what a size 8 US needle could do…plus I wanted to play w the colorwork again…so I did a second gauge swatch hat, using a skein of the actual sweater color of the yarn, not just the yarn I was contemplating maybe using on the colorwork part of the yoke.  I was less enthusiastic about the colorwork, but at least it did show up better. 
Since this is a gauge swatch test, and I really do hate to do gauge swatches, but I like to make hats, I decided I would use the remaining yarns from the other 2 hats …and allow myself to play a bit more…and on size 7 US needles as well.  Third time was a charm on the colorwork…I am really proud of this hat.  My continental knitting control was far better on this one.  I like the patterns I used more.  The whole nine.  However, it is the smallest of all three hats, of course.  It’s more of a shortie than a full sized hat, which given some of our activities in the winter may be a positive thing.
All together, the three hat gauge swatching was actually a terrific experiment.  I am very happy with the results.  And we now have three pretty cool hats too. 
Did you think I was actually finished?  I had one more project yet to pick up and complete…Saturday evening we received a call informing us of a niece’s birthday party the very next day.  Now, we’d been expecting it, but we’d been expecting a bit more fore-warning.  We were in the middle of dinner when we got the call…and we had quite a bit of errands to complete before we made it home that night.
For our niece’s birthday, I knit her up what I am affectionately calling her Zombie doll.  I used this pattern.  Since we were in such a big hurry to have it done, I cut the pattern down as much as I could.  I finished one leg and cast on and worked a little bit of the second leg before I had to crash for the night.  The next morning, I was up, bright and early, working on that doll.  I stopped only when my hands cramped…that’s when I ran outside to play in the rain with my kids, and my boyfriend.  I even enlisted the help of my 9yo daughter and my boyfriend to help…but, alas, the doll was not done by the time we were late leaving to go to the party.  We had one arm done and one arm partially done.  So, the doll became the zombie doll.  The lack of arms is only one reason…she has these HUGE (like 15 or 17 mm) yellow safety eyes.  That’s all I did for the face.  This doll pattern is so very easy, but I don’t really like it.  I think the head needs a great deal more shaping than the pattern gives.  However, as something quick and so simple, it’s a wonderful thing for a beginner.  This pattern certainly saved our butt.  Now, I did tell our niece that should she wish it, we would bring the completed arms and sew them on for her.  AND I also pointed out I had not entirely forgotten her last doll request (Christmas—you remember—the last time we moved—now here’s her birthday and we are still swamped w unpacking from this last move…)
Pictures of zombie doll will be coming, once we get the picture from R’s phone onto the computer.  The doll was so unfinished that I attached her hair while we were driving to the party.  We were about two streets away when I put the last strands in and called her adequate.

So…where am I now?  Well, I borrowed way too many books from the library about knitting and knit pattern designing and …other things.  I have my mohair shawl cast on, but am, as yet, so intimidated by the actually not so difficult pattern that I have it sitting on the table, waiting for me to come pick it up.
I am still very excited about my seamless yoke sweater…although after today and the Zombie doll, I don’t really want to knit all that much at the moment.  I do have a copy of Ann Budd’s The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns (thank you, local library).  I am reading that and reading EZ’s Knitting Workshop book and trying to find the middle ground where I think I might be able to trust myself.
All this because my Noro book with my Klaralund pattern in it is in a box stacked up with a bunch of other boxes, sitting in the basement, waiting for me to be able to unpack the books and find it so I can start that sweater…
Pictures are forthcoming.  Please be patient.