Wednesday, December 09, 2009

My brain hurts

It could be the cold, but I don't think so.

So, I had this fun idea of using up some leftover Fangasia yarn to make some fingerless mitts in a pattern that will echo the fang motif in the Love Bites scarf.  I planned to alternate rows of the Fangasia colorway with rows of plain black silver sock yarn (if you can call "silver sock yarn" plain).  This may be the worst idea ever!  Not because the colors aren't working out.  Nope.  They look fine.  Not even because I can only knit one at a time.  I have gotten used to doing two things (socks & mitts, not sweaters or hats!) at the same time, but these should go quickly. Right?  Little mitts?

Gah!  I'm doing the mitts on two circs, as usual.  But the pattern has all these YOs and K2tog right where the stitches start or stop on my needles.  A yarn over at the end of one row, then switch yarns for the next row is very challenging in the round.  At least, it is for me, and I'm worried that there will be a big, gaping hole in one spot of the glove.  That would not be pretty.  The K2togs keep happening when I have one stitch left on the end of the needle, so I keep moving them around every other row. Pfffffft.  I'm not enjoying this at all.

Yes, I know.  No one is making me do them.  But I want the mitts in this colorway.  This is the only way to get them.  I suppose I could hurt my brain further by seriously moving stitches around to try to adjust where the starts and stops are, but, hey do you smell smoke?  I don't know.  It is just rare for me to get off to such a very bad start with a project (deliberately ignores the disasterous Pi Shawl start). 

Perhaps starting the project while the girls were at dance class wasn't the best idea.  I was seriously distracted by the number of kids going in and out of the room leaving the door open with the music blasting and the teacher counting!  How was I supposed to count independently of her?  That doesn't usually happen, though, and I have spent many, many hours knitting there without any problems at all.  No.  It is just this pattern/project.  I actually started out thinking I could manage to do both mitts at the same time.  That would be FOUR bits of yarn to track , keep in the correct order, etc.  See?  Flat. Out. Crazy.

As it is, I will undoubtedly rip out the four completed rows and give it another go at home in relative quiet.  If it is still such a struggle, I'll reconsider the pattern, or my alternating yarn.  I could just try to do one in the yarn I have left and see if it is enough. I know it will be very, very close, but which side of completion is the sticky bit.  Will I have just enough, or barely not enough?  Is it worth the effort and time to knit it with the one yarn and see how far I get?  Will I rip it all and do it again with two yarns if it doesn't work? 

Yeah.  I don't know, so I thought I'd just make it "easy" on myself by using both yarns from the start.  Mitts are usually a traveling sort of project.  I can work on them anywhere.  Perhaps not this time.  I'll have to find something else to carry around.

I'm also working on a cross stitch quilt square.  Still.  I have never, EVER, had this much trouble with a simple cross stitch square in my life.  E.V.E.R.  I have had to re-work 3 out of 4 major motifs, not just once, but multiple times. Each.  Then I get to the "easy" part (should be) and find that one of the motifs is short by a stitch, and I had to rip the whole thing (single motif) out and re-work it.  Again.  sigh  Perhaps I'm just distracted, or something.  I don't know.  The due date for the square was last Sunday, but we had an unoffical extension to this Sunday.  Good thing.  It will take me that long to correct all the errors in this puppy.  (And, yes, you could tell that there was an error in all instances.) 

I'm trying not to let myself work on much else until I get this thing finished.  However, I have been doing lots of Pi Shawl work before bed (on the nights where there's time for that).  I'm halfway through the last pattern repeat!  I find it ironic that after struggling so long with this project, it is now the easiest thing I'm working on. 

Oh, well.  Nothing like uncertainty to keep you on your toes, right?

And now, after all that whining, some yummy, happy fiber!  This is locally dyed BFL in the colorway Dawn In Paris by Auntie Karen & Co.  I picked up 8 oz at the LYS and can't wait to get to it.  The dyer does not seem to have her own website or anything, just a local who sells through the LYS.  That's fine with me.  I also picked up 4 oz of this nice bit of BFL in Black Forest Cake.  Same artist, same store.  Black Friday sales can be good. I wasn't expecting to be out shopping, but Himself had me helping with a project of his and we ended up right around the corner from the LYS, so there was no real reason not to go.  I have no idea what I'll do with either of them, though I'm thinking a scarf for the Dawn in Paris.  Maybe a hat for the Black Forest I want these colors very, very visible!  Too yummy!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Caught Up On The Wrong Things

Well, not wrong-wrong, just not the stuff I should probably be spending my time on right now.  Isn't that just the way some of us work, though?  I just spent the past hour taking and uploading photos of projects and fiber, updating Ravelry, etc.  pffft!  I should have been doing something more useful, like going to the grocery store.  Or, maybe working with eldest instead of letting her have an extra long lunch today. lol Like she's complaining.

Still, that means I have way too many pics to post now, so I'll try to break it a bit, posting the oldest things first, with the exception of my newly finished Love Bites scarf.  This was knit up in Fresh From the Caudron's Silver Sock base in the Fangtasia colorway (Sept. shipment in the yarn club, didn't even get that one posted yet).  The pattern was fun, simple to memorize and seem to take for-stinking-ever to finish.  Of course, I could have stopped any time I wanted to, I just wanted a longer scarf.  As it is, I think I went a bit too far, I don't have quite enough left for mitts.  So I'm thinking I'll use some black silver sock from my stash and alternate rows with Fangtasia/Black and see if some work out. Anyway, you can see the two little holes in the wider knitted bands, like fang marks/bites.  Love Bites?  Ha Ha?  I think it is cute, but probably won't explain it to very many people.  They think I'm weird enough as it is.

On the idea of getting things done late, do you see that nice picture up there of the nice brew with the blue yarn?  I took that baby two years ago, and I've been looking for it ever since.  Seriously.  I've searched on every thumb drive in the house, every computer (we have, ahem, more than two) and everywhere else I could think of (at 2 am, sometimes).  WhenI finally embraced the fact that it was lost, gone forever and not-reproduceable (not exactly, anyway), after Himself updated all the software, etc. poof!, there it is. 

Seriously.  In His photo collection, which I thought was in the whole Picture folder (he didn't even know he had one of his own).  Moral of the story?  Never say die!  Or dye, or something like that. lol

This yarn is Michael, for Michael Corvin in the Underworld movie.  Actually, not a vamp, either.  This pair of lovely blue/black Merino / Silk skeins are destined to become a Clapotis.  At least, that's why I got two of them.  I hope they don't demand to be something else once I get started knitting on them.  The blues shade from very light to a rich, deep blue then bits of black as well.  So very pretty!  The yarn is huggably soft, and slippery with all the silk.  I'm sure it will be lovely to knit with! 

I can't wait to get started, but I'm also not sure if I'm ready for another big-ish project.  I might do the fingerless mitts in the leftover fangtasia first.  I just can't decide, but I'm freezing right now.  I have not adjusted to our current temps outside.  Pathetic.  I know.  I always need a couple of weeks to settle in, though, then I'm pretty good.

This guy is The Eccentric.  He is named in honor of a character from a series who's author is very, very, happy to sue anything that even breathes the name of her characters.  Once the dyer got wind of that, she modified the names and made the all exclusives to the club.  Paranoid?  Maybe, but better safe than sorry. 

The picture is not good, but I just don't seem to be able to grab the turquoise and plums in this one.  They are quite lovely and the yarn is BFL.

This yarn is an acquaintance to the character above.  He is The Antiquated. Rich plums and browns make up this fellow's pallete, and are absolutely scruptious!  Also BFL, very yummy.  As was the character, IMO, but I'll stop. lol

I'm a bit alarmed at how much fiber has found its way into my home over the past several months.  I was doing an excellent job of not buying anything (other than what came in the clubs), and then BAM!  I seem to have forgotten what it is to think calmly through all purchases, considering the likelihood that a yarn will be used. Soon.  sigh. 

Although, I suppose my most fevered stashing seems to be in fiber.  Since I added that jumbo flyer, I seem to think I'll be doing all this spinning. lol  I am trying to keep it in the loop, at least once a week at minimum.  I'm about 3 oz into a 4 oz braid of the Frabjous Fiber in Atlantis I've already posted (bad) pics of.  It is turning out very lovely, but it is a slow thing. 

If I pre-draft the fiber, I spin it too thin, if I don't pre-draft, it is pretty uneven.  I rather like the thick/thin (within reason), so don't mind too much, but it'll be nice when I get a better handle on this new flyer and thicker yarn.  I don't want everything I spin to come out sport weight.  I was hoping for something worsted-to-bulky in this yarn, but I knew it would be sort of random at this stage.  I just wanted to keep spinning.  Still, I'm hopeful that I can do a nice sweater or something out of this yarn.  Though I'm not delusional enough to think that will happen in the next month or so. lol