12 December 2005

Foray into swatching

Ok, I am trying to develop good habits and will start swatching from now on. That said, I made a swatch for my shawl project, the Domovi Shawl from the Folk Shawls pattern book. It also gave me an excuse to practice the crochet on invisible cast on method which I had never done before. I used the recommended needle size and got this:

I got more than the recommended 12 sts per row, so I decided that the smart thing to do would be to try the next size needle up, right? Here's the comparison:

Although the number of stitches is about right, the length of the rows is off by almost an inch. Looks like I should stick with the recommended needle size and just make sure to block the finished product. Like with swatching, I had never really bothered to block anything before. Now, as I've been reading up on proper procedures for blocking, I have realized that I am lacking some important accessories: wool wash (I know there are those of you cringing in horror right now that I have never owned any wool wash) and rustproof straight pins. The one time I blocked a finished object, I used my ironing board (which I have been told was acceptable) and safety pins from the clothes I got back from the dry cleaners. I know, I know, I'm working on changing my ways.

If anyone can provide a way to avoid having the yarn get all twisted as in the picture below, I would greatly appreciate it!

08 December 2005

One project done, many more to go

Well, I finally finished my Clapotis. I photographed it on an unmade bed which may not have been the smartest idea since it makes the silver color look dull. It actually has a very nice sheen to it and I think it will look even better after some light blocking. Since I know this has come up on the Knitty message board, I did only use 3 skeins but has to stop after the 7th straight row repeat because I was at the end of my second skein. I was able to finish with about 2 yards of yarn to spare.

I have been working on my honey's sweater off and on for a couple of months now. (More off than on, unfortunately.) It will be a wonderful cabled sweater one day. However, there are four-row repeats, 12-row repeats, and one 110+ diamond repeat so I can't ever seem to get the rhythm of the cabling and have to refer to the pattern for every row. Since it was taking so long just to get a few rows done, I decided to skip doing the a swatch--it called for a full diamond repeat and I just couldn't bring myself to knit over one hundred rows just to check that I'm getting the right number of rows/stitches per inch. I keep a fairly even stitch and don't usually have any problems with gauge so I figured I would chance it and just check after I'd done the diamond in the actual piece. However, after reading some horror stories of sweaters gone wrong because people didn't take the time to knit a swatch, I'm thinking about going back to do one. I also liked someone's suggestion that you could use the swatch to test how to wash the finished piece without possibling ruining it.

29 November 2005

My dog, Genny (nickname for Genevieve) is very happy now that she has a backyard to run around during the day. She's a German Shepherd mix and is very sweet although people often think she looks menacing. Little do they know that she is probably more scared of them than they are of her.
Well, it was just a matter of time before I joined the rest of the blogging community...

We (my husband, dog, and me) just moved to Indialantic, Florida. Where, apparently, the nearest local yarn store is about 30 miles away. (pout) Not that I should really be complaining considering that I have a number of projects I need to finish before I should even think about buying more yarn. I'm mostly self-taught and have done about 10 projects total in my life. However, I have been very inspired by my friend, Pam (Katydid Knits), to do more and really improve my knitting skills. I'll really miss being able to hang out and ask for her help when I don't understand the instructions or if I just want to knit with someone.

I grew up in NYC and never tended so much as a houseplant until after I left home for college. Now we have this great back yard (and front yard and side yard) that needs to be kept under control. I know enough to realize that the plants need to be weeded and everything needs to be pruned but I don't know the first thing about it--I'm afraid I might kill the plants if I start hacking away with gardening shears. Do they make a gardening for dummies book? Luckily for me, this is the "winter" in Florida so things are not growing as fast and I've got time to figure out what I'm doing...