that's the Star Spangled Banner and Olympic theme playing for little ol' me! And for all to see~~my medal.....my gold medal courtesy of the Harlot. What a woman! What an event!!!! I'm one of those who underestimated my skills. Next time I'll be more aware of my capabilities and plan accordingly. Until then I am, and always shall be, a gold medal winner in the First Knitting Olympics (2006)!
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Before I settle into my update on post-Olympic knitting, please visit 1870 Pearl for an excellent summary of the odyssey of the 2006 Knitting Olympics. Very well done! Tell her I sent ya! (Of course, if you haven't been there already you also need to read our fearless leader's Monday update to find out if she got the gold.)
Things are going along very well on my FLAK sleeve. I finally decided to add two wave cables~~one on either side of the saddle. I like the look I'm getting, and maybe even regretting a bit that I didn't get a little more daring by adding additional cables to the sleeve. I don't want to overpower the body of the sweater though, and what I have so far doesn't. Currently the decrease rate is pretty quick~~ 2 stitches every 4 rows as I like my sleeves fairly close fitting. The aran sweater that I am using for measurement because it fits so well is 6 inches in circumference right above the ribbing. The present plan is to take the sleeve down to 48 stitches prior to the ribbing, keep the same number but drop down a needle size for the ribbing. The cool thing about knitting the sleeve in the round is that I can try it on at anytime to see how the decreases are going. I can quit the decreasing when I'm satisified with the size of the sleeve and how it fits.
Sock class went well on Friday. Everyone is doing great, although I couldn't convince the two sisters to let me get the heel stitches on a needle and cut the scrap yarn. They needed a week to prepare for taking scissors to their knitting. Little do they know that I have to work myself up to it, too. One day I'll be ready for steeks.....that day is not today.....but I do know that it will come.
Speaking of socks.....I have none on the needles at the moment! Can you believe it!?!?! Well, that's not totally true. I did start some STR Jaywalkers toe-up, two at a time on the Magic Loop last week, but I think they are too big! I'm using size 1 needles, but I may have to go down to 0s to get them to fit. I need to double check that needle size though..... make sure I'm not using the 2s. Hard to tell those two apart, as the markings that were on the Addi cables has worn off. I guess I need to get one of those needle gauge thingys.
I'm feeling Olympic withdrawal symptoms already starting to kick in. I don't get it~~all dh's sports shows were talking about how low the ratings were for the Olympics. I actually enjoyed watching them~~even, or especially, curling. However, I absolutely did not like having to wait until 11pm est to see the featured sport. (Let's fix this for the next time, okay? I understand the reasoning behind it, when it's 11pm here, the prime time viewing hour has just been hit on the left coast. Understanding does not make it any easier to stay awake.) I'd love to see more of the events live~~there was plenty of time in the morning and/or afternoon to accomodate this for the two weeks. (C'mon, you can give up your soaps for a lousy 10 days every 4 years!) But, for the most part I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to the next Olympics. To fill the void left by the dousing of the Olympic flame, I am reading The Second Mark by Joy Goodwin. The book is an expose of the fiasco in couples figure skating at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. The backstory of each of the top three couples and coaches is covered, as well as the scandal. I'm just a little way into the story, but it is weaning me off the Olympics gradually~~no shakes here.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Whoo Hooo!!!! I finished the neck shaping for my FLAK cardigan last night!!!! It's taken me a while to reach this point, first, because I've been concentrating on the Knitting Olympics (see previous posts), and second, because I have been considering just what to do with the neckline of my sweater. Between knitting sessions I've been dipping in and out of Maggie Righetti's Sweater Design in Plain English and have really been learning a lot. It's a nice tool to use along with the wonderful instructions that Janet (note the new webpage design~~it looks great, Janet!) has been giving us with each new part of the FLAK. I started out the project knowing that I wanted a cardigan, but as time has progressed, I began leaning more and more to a v-neck rather than a crew neck cardigan. Thing is, I don't like a deep vee--especially one even with the armhole. So, while knitting my socks and then a pair of mittens I've been thinking and debating and planning. When the mittens came off the needles on Monday night, I was free, ready to launch into FLAK again. Tuesday I sat down at the computer and came up with this:
My chart, for the first 40-some rows of the front of my cardi. I decided that I wanted a v-neck that ended about halfway to the armholes, so I increased a stitch every other row until I had all 34 stitches (42 minus the 8 for the buttonband) added back in. I figured this would take about 4.7 inches--when I measured last night I got 5 inches (didn't account for the pickup row and row of purl) but nevertheless--just what I wanted! After measuring the back, I found that I'm getting about 7.34 rows per inch, and I knit 55 rows on the back to bring me just about to 9 inches from the center of the saddle. I wrote down all my information in my knitting journal, so I wouldn't forget--been there, done that!
Yesterday afternoon I picked up the actual knitting and got the front on the needles. Yes! Both sides at once! I couldn't go to bed last night until I had the neck shaping finished (including one selvedge stitch on each side of the neck opening). I think I finally dragged myself to bed around 1:30am. Here is the front so far:
I still have a couple of inches left of knitting the entire front pattern before I reach my armhole depth, but should be able to knock that out today. The armhole depth is based on an aran raglan sweater I have--I measured from the shoulder to a horizontal line even with the armhole and came out with 8.75 inches--I threw in an extra 1/4in for good measure and will hope for the best. Once the fronts and back are even I will try it on to see what I've got, but it should be very close. This has been so much fun! I love the planning and charting. I can't wait to take what I've learned and apply it to the redesign I want to do to the Crossed in Translation sweater, Am Kamin.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
NO SOCKS?!?!?!? Nope....no socks today......BUT I do have a completed pair of mittens! Aren't they yummy??????? Yesterday when I walked I just wore my fleece gloves, and while they were perfectly serviceable, I wanted something bright that would also look good with my black wool Gap pea coat. I had to make a trip to the lys to pick up some Mountain Colors Bearfoot Bitterroot Rainbow they ordered for me back in November (It is gorgeous, btw. Forgot to take a photo. I'll try to remember later. Just hope it doesn't bleed when washed as I've heard some have had trouble with the MC yarn doing that.) At the yarn store I have been admiring (read: coveting) the Manos for a while now. Yesterday I couldn't stand it anymore, particularly when I saw the colors in the skein. I could use it for mittens--less than a skein--won't break the bank~~SOLD to the fiber fanatic in the front row! The Manos was nice to work with, a little coarse on, but I'm hoping the bath they are taking right now will take care of it.
Yarn: Manos #106
Pattern: Combination of Claudia's Easy Mittens and Joan Hamer's Mittens Cast on 24 stitches and increased to 28. I have small hands and these fit me perfectly.
Needles: sz 8 Brittany dpns for cuff, sz 9 circ (2) for body of mitt
Started and Finished February 20, 2006
Comments: These were my first pair of mittens and were quick, fun, and easy. The Manos pooled a bit on one of the mitts, leaving me with a largish brown splotch, so I just changed the hand I was wearing the mitt on, and the splotch wasn't so visible. I wore them for the first part of my walk this morning, but it was much warmer today, so I shed them halfway through. Looks like it will be warming up the next few days, so I hope to ride rather than walk. But I know these bright, warm mitts will be waiting for me on those days I need them. Makes me want winter last longer so I can get some more use out of them before December!
Monday, February 20, 2006
Walked this am with snow flurries falling around me (just a dusting fell overnight)! Air temp was in the 20s~~no breeze to speak of. Wore my A.R.A.N. (no coat) and cabled hat in matching wool, scarf around my neck and gloves. Quite toasty when I returned home an hour later ready to face the rest of the day.
My Torino Jaywalkers are complete~~ends woven in, washed, and ready to wear. Definitely fraternal twins. I tried and tried and couldn't get them to match. The sock on the right is the one I finished first. I'm very pleased with that one--the leg striping is great. The one on the left, not so much. I just don't get it~~same needles, same size, same # of stitches. What gives!?! The only thing different was the skein of yarn. I thought about ripping it out and starting over, but just couldn't bring myself to do it. So, like some of the ice dancers last night, my performance fell a little short. Next time I do Jaywalkers, I'll use a yarn with more colors and shorter repeats of the color. I'm thinking my STR will fit the bill nicely~~it's what was originally planned for this project.
Now, onto the next project(s) ...........I really need to get going on the front of my FLAK. I've pretty much settled on a cardigan, but am seriously considering a shallow v-neck rather than a crew, so this decision has me putting off actually starting the front. I have to make the neck shaping decision first. Any input?
In light of FLAK undergoing some design decisions, I've picked up a sock pattern for swatching. I'm enchanted with the Wyvern Woman's Sock Pattern. I love the look of the "scales". I am considering this in the LL poppy from an earlier post for my Sockapaloooza pal, as it is easily adapted for size. Last night during the ice dancing competition I swatched using some LL shepherd sport Gold Hill and am unsure about the results. I'm thinking this pattern will probably do best in a solid or near solid, but I have enough Gold Hill for one sock (for me) and could get one skein to finish the pair. Do you think the pattern gets too lost in the striping of the sock? Let me know what you think!
Sock class went very well on Friday~~everyone is catching on very quickly. I'm really proud of them, they're doing great work. I'll post a photo of their finished socks in the next couple of weeks~~this week is sewn bind off!
Friday, February 17, 2006
Today is the second meeting of my sock knitting class. I now have 3 adults and 4 kids, I think. Last week we learned Turkish Cast on, M1L and M1R increasing, measuring the foot, and generally how to use the Magic Loop. This week we'll be talking more indepth about gauge~~why it's important, what can happen if you skip finding gauge, and how it all applies to knitting socks. In addition, we'll be putting in the scrap yarn for the afterthought heel, and starting to knit the leg ribbing. Some of the kids have been quick studies--in fact, two taught their mom what to do up to the point they had reached. A couple of kids dropped out, but their knitting skills were weak to begin with, or they don't do well learning a skill like this in a group. This is my trial run with teaching how to knit a basic pair of socks toe-up using the Magic Loop. If it works out, I'll open it up to other folks in the church. I'm doing this as much for me, as to teach the girls (and moms) a skill they can use for the rest of their lives. Ideally, I'd like to see a knitting group form out of this core group of kids and moms. We'll see.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
What a gorgeous day in the Commonwealth!!! I was able to get out and ride today (17 miles, ghastly time, but I got the heart pumping and broke a sweat, so it's all good.) See the cute little icon over there on the left. That's to keep me accountable about exercising. I've been letting it fall by the wayside this winter and the results are becoming quite visible. So, I hope to exercise each day~~cycling outdoors, walking, or the dreaded and hated stationary. I have an icon for each, so I won't be posting about the exercising--just a little picture at the beginning of a post to show what I did that day. Just realized I don't have one for weights~~I'll find one later.
Knitting front~~hands are still funny, but I plan on working through it a bit today. I'm progressing up the foot of my second Jaywalker, I'll just limit the amount of time I spend knitting. Dd has ortho appt in 35 min--so we need to head out the door soon. Knitting will occupy me while I wait.
Posted by Jenny Raye at 2/16/2006 12:49:00 PM
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Yes, that is one completed Olympic Jaywalker sock (think I'll be real original and call them Torino)! Ends woven in and everything! Right again, that is the Olympics on in the background--hockey, although I couldn't tell you which teams were playing. I have enjoyed the women playing, so I may take in a men's game or two. Curling has been the most conducive to knitting. That American team of women really goes in spurts, but did win this morning.
The mate is on the needles, but is pouting in the knitting bag due to lack of attention. My hands are bothering me a bit.....well, my right hand......so I may go easy on the knitting today. Yet another reason I gave myself extra time to do this project. The smaller knitting needles must press on a nerve in my right ring finger, as the tip feels funny most of the time. Not numb....tingly. This has been going on since I started knitting socks in November '05. My heart says knit, my mind says, Nope, not today. Ugh...... I hate the logical side of myself!
Here's another view of the sock in which you can see a little more of the top of the sock. You can also see the looseness in the heel--I think I made the sock foot too long before putting in the scrap yarn for the afterthought heel. I'll adjust this on the next one. This picture was taken this morning after wearing the sock all last night while making crabcakes for our Valentine's dinner and during TV/Olympic knitting, so slight stretching could also account for the looseness. It's not bad and the socks are so soft and comfy. Hmmmm....it'd probably be better to knit the second the same as the first--even with that looseness, it is tight pulling it over the heel/ankle area.
Since I can't knit today, I am working on some patterns for knitting in the near future. One is the Glad Ragg socks for my Sockapalooza pal--making adjustments so that they fit him/her well. The second item on the agenda for today is getting the charts set up for my FLAK front. I need to get them in Excel and marked where I want the neck increases. Janet has been wonderful with this--giving options for crew or v-neck, as well as pullover or cardigan. Mine is a cardigan, so I have to take into account removing a panel of cables and replacing that with the buttonband. Need to sit down when it's nice and quiet (read: 3 yo in bed) and just work it out, so I can get knitting on it! I'm getting left behind~~lots in the group are already done with the front to the armhole!!!! Ughhhhh. The competitor in me can't stand not being left in the dust!!!
Edited to add some answers: Laura, yes, I bought it at my lys, Knitting Sisters--they have tons of Lorna's Laces in the various weights of yarn. I just love the sport weight. For sock weight yarn, I'm really into Trekking XXL--oh, and Socks that Rock top that list, how could I forget that?!?!
Sonya, I'm with you on the FLAK! I'm so glad she said it'd be at least a week before the next installment. I'd be happy with a little longer, but I know some are already salivating for more.
Tiff--so sorry you seem stalled with your socks. Can you do another pattern rather than Jaywalkers with your yarn?
Chris, Norah, et al--thanks for the well wishes on the hand. I'm starting to wonder if the computer time isn't aggravating it a bit.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Just as the athletes in Torino, we knitters can also experience setbacks, even those imposed upon ourselves. For the US team in Torino, it was a day of glory for speed skater Chad Hedrick, who received a gold medal in the 5000m event. This is a man who had never competed in skates on ice until three years ago! Disappointment reigned for the US women on the moguls, as well, as for skating icon, Michelle Kwan who was forced to withdraw from the women's figure skating event due to aggravating the groin injury she suffered earlier in the season. This one cuts me to the heart. I love Michelle--have watched her grow up on the ice. With her decision she showed the maturity and sportsmanship that has been her hallmark since bursting onto the skating scene more than 12 years ago. She leaves the Olympic stage with silver and bronze medals to her credit, and as arguably one of the best, if not the best skater to never win Olympic gold. I truly hope that that will not be her legacy as a figure skater. She will be replaced on Olympic ice by Emily Hughes, sister of the 2002 Olympic figure skating champion, Sarah Hughes.
In the Knitting Olympics, I faced my first hurdle yesterday when the sock I was knitting did not look the way I wanted. Upon consultation, the decision was made to start the second sock on different needles to see how the larger needle with fewer stitches changed the look of the sock. I gotta say, I am quite pleased. The lower portion of the sock was knit pretty tightly, as I like my sock snug through the foot. Where the red striping widens at the top portion is where I started to loosen up on the gauge a bit as I approached the area where I put in my afterthought heel. That's right, I am yet again modifying a pattern. I will be using my old standby, the afterthought heel. I find that it fits perfectly and avoids those pesky holes along the gusset. I hope to get into the leg portion of this sock by this evening~~Sunday is a busy day for us: church, chemistry lab for the homeschool kids this afternoon (I am in charge of this, so no knitting during that time), and lesson plans to write for next week. The previous sock will be frogged and restarted on the size 2 Addis I used for this version. I'll post any updates for this tomorrow. If I can finish this pair of Jaywalkers by next weekend, I will be starting another pair of Jaywalkers, possibly with my STR, as an addition to my Olympics entry.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
After teaching my basic sock knitting class using the Magic Loop to the girls and moms yesterday, dh and I went out to dinner at a local Chinese restaurant. Then we headed home, and I was able to cast on my toe-up Jaywalkers around 7pm. At 8pm we tuned in the Opening Ceremonies and I knit, and knit, and knit. I'm not sure I'm satisfied with the results so far. I don't like the flashing I'm getting in the white--the blue and red herringbone/zig zag look is cool, though. I'm seriously contemplating ripping this out and trying again. This is why I gave myself two weeks to finish a pair of Jaywalkers--I've never knit the pattern before and want them to be just right. So far.....not so much.
Now, about the Opening Ceremonies. They were......different. I didn't mind the costumes so much (a very late 20th century look, which unfortunately was a portent of things to come)--thought the ski jumper made from hundreds of human bodies was cool. But the music during the Parade of Nations..... I mean, c'mon......late '70s early '80s American pop. Even though I was in my teens and early 20s during that period, I am still embarrassed by that whole era of music. Excuse me......but The Village People.......Y.M.C.A..........as a country proudly bearing its flag enters the Olympic stadium?!?!?! Good grief. Brian Williams and Bob Costas were equally as bemused by the music choice. Most of the participants in this Olympics weren't even born when this music was popular!!!!! I fell asleep after the US entered the stadium, so I didn't see the end of the ceremonies. I sure hope things picked up after that for those who did stay up.
Well, it's almost 11 am here, and I need to get to my knitting. I think I'll start the second skein on another pair of needles and see what happens. Good luck everyone in your knitting endeavors. I'll check in tomorrow with my progress.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Whew! Another weekend of mad knitting. The result: two more pairs of socks are off the needles!!! That leaves just FLAK and St. Ciaran otn, but since both are longterm projects I am not concerned. I am right where I wanted to be with T-minus 64 hours and counting until the start of the Knitting Olympics.
Let's go with the finished projects first and then move on to those in various stages of planning for after the KO.
First off the needles was the pair of socks for my swap pal, Linda. Linda--if you are reading I'm giving you fair warning, do not scroll down any further unless you want to see your sock. I was a bit under the weather Wednesday through Friday of last week, so by the time Saturday rolled around I was itching to get out of the house. After a trip to Wally World for the requisite Super Bowl munchies, I packed up the knitting and headed for Knitting Sisters, my lys. I curled up in one of their wonderful chairs and pulled out Linda's socks. Conversations ebbed and flowed with various knitters who came and went over the two hours I was there. One led to the purchase of IK Winter 2004 for the fair isle sampler stocking cap pattern. Once I get around to it, it will be my first foray into fair isle knitting. I'd like to knit it for dd for Christmas '06. I also met two couples--an interesting group. The wife of one couple and husband of the other are knitters, their respective spouses are into cooking. They came to the area for the Super Bowl for a weekend of knitting, eating, and watching football at a local resort (I suppose, since we're nowhere near Detroit.)
Oh yeah, Linda's socks:
Pattern: MIL Socks (AKA Mother-in-Law Socks) at knitaddicted
Yarn: Silja in a pine green
Needles: size 3 Addi Turbo--Magic Loop--two at a time, toe-up baaabeeeee!
Modifications: afterthought heel with Dawn Brocco's star heel rather than 4 decrease points.
This is my first pair of socks that isn't just plain stockinette with ribbing. I'm pleased with the results and hope Linda likes them.
The second pair is the one for dd in Trekking XXL. She is pleased as punch that they turned out identical twins (with the exception of the heels.) Turns out the heel of the first sock was too tight, so I snipped the end and pulled out the yarn and reknit the heel--gotta love those afterthoughts! The heel fits much better now.
Pattern: Basic stockinette with 3x2 ribbing
Yarn: Trekking XXL #40 (I'll need to check that from a previous posting)
Needles: size 1 Addi Turbo using Magic Loop, one sock at a time
This time I used the afterthought heel with the four decrease points, just like I did on ds's. I much prefer the star heel--I think it makes a better fitting sock.
To give myself a break from all the sock knitting over the last couple of weeks, I actually pulled out my FLAK and knit several 12 row repeats on the back. I still have a ways to go to finish the back to the underarms, but that's okay. I should have that portion finished, but I don't plan on getting the front on the needles prior to KO. I glanced at Part 5 that Janet posted yesterday, but was not ready yet to sit down and study what I need to do for my cardigan. There has been a definite uptick in the number of postings to the FLAK list, but I haven't even opened them yet, as I know most will pertain to the front of the sweater. Once I'm ready to tackle it, I'll read the mail and get some pointers. I think the back is looking pretty good so far, and my gauge seems to be right on. I'm shooting for a cross-shoulder measure of 17", and right now I'm slightly less than that with room for growth after the garment is washed/blocked when complete.
As you can see over there on the sidebar, I'm in Sockapalooza, and we received our secret swap pals on the 1st. I bought some Opal solid in a beautiful teal over the weekend, but almost immediately began debating whether it was the way to go. My pal's foot is larger than the pattern I want to use for her sock, so I figured if I used sport weight yarn rather than the sock weight called for I could upsize it that way without fiddling with the math and stitch count. So, the yarn went back to the store today, and I replaced it with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in a yummy poppy. The pattern is the February/March sock in the Six Sox KAL. It's called Gladd Ragg and is beaded in the original. I will be knitting this in a solid color to better show off the lace and without beads. The plan now is to start this after my KO entry is complete.
I admitted in a previous post that I am a joiner, and just to drive that point home, I've joined a couple more knitalongs. The first is the Townsend Knitalong group, which knits beautiful socks designed by Jeanie Townsend. The current sock is Spring Twists--a beautiful cable that would look good in spring colored Socks that Rock or a solid like the poppy above. It's on my list. The second is the Knitting on the Road KAL . This group picks a specific sock from the book and knits it over a two month period. The current sock is New England. It's on my list, too.
The project that will actually make it to the needles next is the Jaywalker socks for my Knitting Olympics entry. I had planned on knitting this in my Socks that Rock Farmhouse, but I reconsidered that last night. I decided I wanted some socks in red, white, and blue to be knit while rooting on the USA in Torino, so I headed to the lys again--that makes 3 trips in one 7 day period. I bought some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Liberty for my Jaywalkers and am looking forward to knitting with the patriotic colors while enjoying the Winter Games. I'll swatch using some leftover LL SSport from my mom's Christmas socks over the next couple of days, just to see how the pattern knits up--I've heard it's snug. I want them to be wearable after all that work!
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life, and bade thee feed
By the stream and o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, wooly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Little Lamb, I'll tell thee;
Little Lamb, I'll tell thee;
He is called by thy name,
For He calls Himself a Lamb.
He is meek, and He is mild,
He became a little child.
I a child, and thou a lamb,
We are called by His name.
Little Lamb, God bless thee!
Little Lamb, God bless thee!
Posted by Jenny Raye at 2/02/2006 09:15:00 AM