18 February 2008

Rip it, rip it

The lovely Licorice Whip is going to have to take a trip to the frog pond. Although I actually knit a gauge swatch, I am doing something different and the sweater is too big by about 6 inches in the bust. OK, so I knit the swatch flat and knit the sweater in the round, so this was probably my first mistake. However, when I hold a tape measure across the back of the sweater (all stockinette) to measure my actual gauge, I get the same thing: 19st/4 inches. The lace might be affecting my gauge but enough to wind up with 6 inches more in the bust? I don't think so. Most likely user error.

I hate to think of ripping all this work out but it really is too big.

See the bunching at the shoulder?

Yeah, those couple of inches of positive ease on the sides can only lead to unhappiness later.

Better to face the reality now than to make it and hate it later. On the bright side, it means that I may actually have enough yarn to finish the whole sweater.

Since I thought I was getting 19st/4 inches, I followed the directions for the XXL. The reality is that I'm getting more like 16st/4 inches, so I should be following the directions for the S. However, for the life of me, I can't figure out how I'm getting the wrong counts for the actual gauge. Oh well, either way it has to be re-done. bummer.

06 February 2008


I finally took a picture of Licorice Whip. Hubby is impressed at how it seems to be flying along.

Gotta say, I'm pretty happy with it. I put it on scrap yarn and think it will have some positive ease but not too much. Now lets just hope that I have enough yarn to finish.

The pest control guy came yesterday and sprayed the crap out of the house. Even though I kept the dogs out all day while the stuff dried, Genny has been acting weird--every once in a while she'll start licking (like when she's got peanut butter stuck on the roof of her mouth) and she starts making that sound that dogs make before they puke (no dry heaving, just that staccato breathing). She was just doing it and then started to whine so I took her out and she started eating the grass like it was going out of style. She'll definitely be puking later. Lovely. Although, I hope it makes her feel better.

A picture of the doggies visiting with their cousin, Stella, when the house was not tick-infested.

On yet another non-knitting note, hubby and I have joined Team in Training which works with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to raise awareness and help fund research. If you feel so inclined, you can contribute to my fundraising efforts here.

04 February 2008

In which we discuss knitting and dog-related drama

The sockee for hubby still needs a new toe. I was going to do it this weekend, really I was but...um, I get distracted easily. Maybe this week will be the one where he gets his finished socks.

As I mentioned, I'm trying to resist the lure of buying new yarn. My stash is modest, but there is still plenty of it. Its only January and I'm already starting to think of ways I can skirt this self-imposed yarn diet. SweetGeorgia is talking about opening her shop again. Hel-lo! If any of those Joss Whedon-related colors come back, I will have to break down. (Sock yarn doesn't count, right?)

Having been inspired to think about a small project that would involve steeks, I looked through my stash (thanks to Ravelry that no longer leads to yarn all over the floor) and realized that I have very little wool. Makes sense, I'm in Florida and I rarely have a need for anything warmer than a light cotton sweater. But now with the new job and the occasional trips back to the DC area, surely I need at least a couple of wool sweaters? at the very least some accessories, no? Surely, I need some wool yarn to try out my first steeking project?

Did you know about Blue Moon Fibers' Raven Clan? I want them all. I love black and dark colors in general, so those are right up my alley. Sure, it would probably help if I just stopped looking at all the beautiful yarn and stopped clicking on all the yarn sale links but I just can't help myself.

On the other hand, the other day when I was looking for a new travel project I went stash diving instead of buying some great new yarn and a corresponding pattern. Good for the bank account. After looking at some of the patterns in my queue, taking into account I was in the mood for something that would be mostly stockinette, and what yarn I have on hand, I came up with Licorice Whip. Its coming along fairly quickly (for me anyway). Unfortunately, I wasn't paying attention to the fact that because my yarn has less yardage per ball and knits at a smaller gauge, I'm going to need more of it than if I used the pattern yarn. I'm starting to worry that I'll run out before I finish the sleeves. So now I'm thinking, it doesn't count if I buy yarn to finish a project, right?

We'll see how long I can hold out. At least I'm getting a yarn fix every so often with my sock club yarn from Neighborhood Fiber Co. This month's colors are some of my favorites--blues and grays. I think I may restart socks for my FIL from this yarn.

Now for the dog-related drama. For those of you cursing me for living in sunny, warm Florida, think again. Year-round warmth means year-round flea and tick control for the doggies. (Do you see where this is going?) When we got our first dog, we were told that we only needed to worry about flea and tick control during spring and summer but that in the cooler months not to put it on them. That stuff is actually some poison that in low doses doesn't usually do any harm to the dog. But I'm thinking, why do that to them if its not necessary, right? Well, in Oct. I quit putting the stuff on them. By late Oct. I noticed they were getting more ticks than normal. No worries, I just needed to check them every time I brought them in from a walk. Well, come mid-Nov. I start noticing ticks just walking around on my floor. eww! I call the pest control guy and due to scheduling issues they can't come right away. I vacuum the crap out of the house and hubby buys some over the counter stuff to kill the ticks. Needless to say, the dogs were back on flea and tick control ASAP. Things seemed to quickly improve.

Fast forward a few months, the dogs still seemed to have an inordinate amount of ticks on them but the ticks no longer seemed to be all over the house. That sense of security was short-lived. First, what looked like dirt on one of our walls this weekend turned out to be many (possibly hundreds?) of little baby ticks. They were removed and flushed. Then, when we were removing our old rug from our bedroom we found more. To add insult to injury, I found a tick last night actually stuck to my stomach, right at my waistband so that sucker probably crawled up my leg. (eww - that is so disturbing, I kept search for ticks on my body for a good 30 mins after) The pest control guy has been called and he better be coming later this week. (Oh yeah, the joys of living in a small town: although the pest control company is centralized, the workers are independent so they pass along the message and then get back to me.)

So for those of you in cold climates, be glad it gets below freezing so that ticks die. I'm trying to remain calm and not think about how many more are hiding in my walls.