Saturday, August 29, 2009

Why Knitting is Better Than Sewing

Ok, before I make people mad I'll just say maybe it's not better. I just tend to like it a WHOLE lot more.

1. It takes less brain power. Once your hands get into the rhythm, you really don't have to think about it unless you're doing serious lace or color work.

2. You don't have to look at it. Again, once you get going it's so easy to watch other things than your hands. Especially if you're doing garter stitch.

3. You can start right away. No washing your fabric first. No cutting out patterns with annoying tissue paper that gets blown away when you turn on the fan.

4. It's easier to rip out. Let's not get into how many times I had to rip out my sewing - stitch by tiny, stupid little stitch - in the last few days. All you have to do with knitting is take out the needles and pull.

5. It's cheaper. Ok, that's a flat out lie. But let's just pretend so I can feel better.

The boys and I are going to be pirates for Halloween this year. I've made my own costume before and I used to be a pretty decent seamstress. Not great, but decent. However, I have apparently lost any and all ability to correctly follow directions or sew in a straight line. I blame nursing.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Seeing Red

I think I need to find a project that is worked using a different color. My two most current projects are both red. And even the GKA shawl that's on the back burner is red.

I have begun working again on the red alpaca beast that is my sister's sweater.

I have just finished the waist shaping and have 1 1/2" until I work the armholes. I haven't worked on the CTS much lately, but I did get to the first cable cross.

This is the first section spread out. Finishing this is going to get harder as it goes. Since I'm working the pieces all together it is knitting up like a shawl. The rows get longer and longer the farther I get. I have 4 months. I hope that will be long enough...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tutorial: Dividing for Armholes

I had a question from my sis-in-law on how to divide for armholes when working a sweater in the round. Here I will show, using pictures, on how to do it. The swatch I'm using is flat, but the idea is the same.

Work across the front to last 2 stitches from side. Here I have used markers to indicate where the "sides" are.

Bind off 3 stitches. (This will eat up 2 stitches before the marker, and 2 stitches after the marker.)

Work across back to last 2 stitches from side. Bind off 3 stitches.

Here you can see where the two armholes have begun. You will now have to work the front and back separately, and flat (back and forth).

Working on the "front" of your sweater, turn piece around (to the wrong side, or "inside"). Purl for stockinette stitch or knit for garter across to the armhole edge. Here I am 2 stitches before the armhole. Turn piece to right side.

Decrease at sides of armholes by working SSK (left leaning decrease) at the beginning of row, and K2Tog (right leaning decrease) at the end of row. By doing this, you will be shaping both armholes at once on the front piece. In this picture you can see the armhole with shaping on the left side. The stitches on the right side of the hole are the "back" of my sweater.

Usually, you will decrease a few times, then work straight (no decreases) to the shoulder. When the front is completed, attach yarn to back and work in the same way.

3 bind off stitches is just what I used for this tutorial - use the number your pattern calls for.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

FO: Josh's Blanket

Woohoo! I finally finished it last night, and now I have pictures to show you! Hopefully this will make up for being so picture-less the last few posts.

Pattern: Josh's Blanket by Meg

Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun in "Colonial" and "Waterfall" (98% Acrylic, 2% Polyester) - 3 and 4 balls, respectively

Needles: US 10.5/6.5mm Circular

Variations: Can you have variations in garter stitch? Well, I did add one of the dark blue stripes onto the cast on edge by picking up the stitches and continuing in the opposite direction.

Easy garter stitch using one ball of dark blue and two balls of light blue for each stripe. I decided not to put an edging on it since I felt that the stripes created enough interest. It turned out so comfy and warm that I'm not sure I want to give it up. But alas, I shall. It wound up being a lot longer than I had planned, but that's actually good because my brother is turning out to be really tall. So this way it will last him awhile.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Woohoo! Done with work, aside from the occasional day I might need to go in and help Rachel settle. So today, it's back to being home! Which I enjoy immensely. And apparently, so does Ben.

Today is house cleaning day since I didn't have a chance to do it at the beginning of the week. Then after that, back to knitting! While we've been immersing ourselves in Stargate I cast off Josh's blanket and rejoiced in being done... until I lay it out and saw that it was a bit shorter width-wise than I would like. So I picked up another ball of Homespun yesterday and have been adding that on. After that I should be done.

I also picked up some Lion Brand Lion Cotton while I was at the store. I am planning to make some things for the boys and some wash cloths with it. I had made a wash cloth with some cotton I had lying around and Ben liked it for cleaning things. It's scrubby and durable, so I will make more.

I also need to get back to the Christmas Tree Skirt - This will be my non- Stargate knitting, since it takes some concentration. But now, I need to go vacuum.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Work and Nerdness

Long time no post! Life's been kind of crazy here the last few days. My dad fired his Office Manager for... well, let's just say she didn't fill the position as well as she should have. So I've been in fixing up the mess she left behind and preparing everything for my sister to take over tomorrow. I will be training her in office tomorrow and possibly Thursday, then I can get back to life as normal. At first it was kind of nice being back to work, but now I've gotten it out of my system and want to be done with it.

I haven't gotten much knitting done the last few days because of said work. But I have been doing a bit at night while we're relaxing. Ben and I have been watching Stargate SG-1 on Hulu for the past few nights, and I'm caught up in it enough that I need knitting that I don't need to look at. Actually I'm caught up in it a lot. I always saw my mom watching it when I was younger, but always kind of scoffed and blew it off as nerdness. I was wrong. Man, it's a good show. Really addicting! So I've been working on Josh's blanket, which is plain garter stitch. I got to the cast off edge last night and once I finish that I'm done! I'm debating putting an edging on it. I'm not sure about that yet, will have to see when it's all finished and lain out.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dragonflies And Knitting

For the past few days I have noticed a very large number of dragonflies hovering around our back fence:
I'm not sure if you can see them very well in the picture, but there are 4 in that shot. This morning I saw about 10 just in the same area. I think it is because of the pool in the yard behind us. I've had fun sitting in the kitchen and knitting while watching the dragonflies. They've always fascinated me I'm starting to get an idea of incorporating dragonflies into a sweater somehow.

I've been knitting along on the Christmas Tree Skirt. I re-cast on yesterday by combining the number of stitches per section and working it all together. I'm creating pseudo-seams by placing a purl stitch in between each section. I'm thinking I will add some decorative stitches in the sections that are supposed to be just plain stockinette, but we'll see how it works out.

Work on Rachel's sweater has paused (again). Don't ask me about it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Random Monday

Happy Monday! And happy August! Today is nice and overcast here in hell - Er, I mean southern California - and has thus screwed my idea of laying out and tanning. Oh well. Just as long as I can get that done before it gets cold. Which it won't be for probably 3 more months. Plus I will never really argue with clouds. I just prefer them to be dropping large amounts of water.

My favorite part about Ben building the pool fence for his parents is that I get to go over there and relax, knit and talk to my mom-in-law while everyone runs after the munchkins. It is so nice. I got all but one row of a repeat done while I was there yesterday. I got home and felt so much better because I had gotten out of the house and relaxed, but was still around Ben so I didn't miss him.

Speaking of Ben - he decided that he wanted to buzz his head. Not sure why, but he said he just wanted to and asked if I would do it. So... Last night we started by buzzing it short, but the stupid razor wasn't working very well. So we wound up just shaving it. While I was doing it I was thinking that it would be kind of weird, but when we got done... HOLY FREAKING COW he is hot. I mean damn. (Well, he's always been hot, but you know what I mean). I've always kind of had a thing for guys with shaved heads and always wondered what Ben would look like. Now I know and I like it!

Doing any kind of exercise in the morning when I first get up is really nice. It kind of "starts my engine" and gets me going for the rest of the day. I've already got most of the house cleaned and I feel great. I'm cooking spaghetti squash now and will have that for lunch. We got a ton from Ben's mom and I'm so happy because I'm trying to lose weight without going on a diet since I'm nursing the little man. So eating lots more fruits and veggies comes into play. I needed to start eating better anyways.

I have been reading EZ's Opinionated Knitter. I have really enjoyed it and want to get the rest of her books. Maybe I will order them soon while Knit Picks is still having their book sale. I think that runs until the 17th.

I'm thinking maybe this afternoon I will start redoing the Christmas Tree skirt. It's only 4 months until Christmas so I need to get it done. I have a great idea for Christmas presents this year and am hoping to get them started soon, also.

All three kids are asleep, so I'm off to finish cleaning and then relax while I have the chance!