14 July 2007

yes there's been knitting.

Jon + Sylvain + socks., originally uploaded by bunnieprops.

Before I left on holidays to Western Canada, I had a rash couple of days where I started a whole bunch of projects. I've cast on for another pair of socks (toe up, Harry Potter style Ravenclaw knee socks), started planning for a cardigan out of some handpainted cashmere blend. I'm part way through the first chart of the Deep V Argyle vest and was this close to ripping out the Adult Surprise Jacket to bring it with me.

But now that I'm here and on holiday, I'm not knitting nearly as much as I thought.

The Meg Swansen knee socks that I made for my brother were very well received. Nearly everyone at the dinner party I had earlier this week HAD to try them out. The striped foot looks SO MUCH better on a real foot than when it's flat. I think my favourite part about knitting for other people is their reaction and appreciation when the final product is received. And socks are the perfect thing to make for someone else. The average non-knitter is so impressed that it's possible to knit socks that it really doesn't matter how well they fit, what they look like or if they are a colour that they don't really like much.

4 July 2007

a conundrum

Exhibit A, originally uploaded by bunnieprops.

I finished the second sleeve. They are way too baggy for my liking. Now should I take out the sleeves, readjust the shoulder seams and (dare I say it) cut out the extra fabric or do I reknit the entire sweater?

The top part of the arm is determined at the very beginning with how many stitches are initially cast on and allotted to the different parts of the sweater. I figured out the proportions that I'd like (initially cast on 8 x K instead of 9 and mark off 1.5 x K sections from either end and work according to the rest of the directions).

I've just been knitting this sweater for so long and it's done (even if it's not perfect). But because it's not perfect, I probably won't wear it. That's the fate that has befallen my first sweater.

Because I'm such a crazy perfectionist, I'll probably rip it all out and reknit the entire thing. Sigh. But in the meantime I think I'm going to leave it sit for a while and work on some other knitting projects. I've got some fun Fair Isle* going on and a knitted shark to figure out.

So close to being done!

Okay. I'll most likely reknit the whole thing again. Mostly because my Great-Grandma always used to say, if it's worth doing something, it's worth doing it well. And I'm working with some supremely quality yarn, so no point in doing a halfway decent job. And if (really, when) I start over, I think I'll use a crochet provisional cast on to be sure to have a nice even tension for the loops to pick up later. I used waste yarn the first time and ended up with some loops that are just too loose which is quite troubling.

* I know Fair Isle refers to specific colour patterning, but calling it 'two colour stranded knitting' takes too long and sounds WAY dorkier.

sticky needles.

In progress front view, originally uploaded by bunnieprops.

It's almost done. So close I can taste it.

I've worked the button band, sewed up the shoulders and am finishing up the sleeves. I reknit one sleeve a few times to figure out the proper proportion of decreases for garter stitch and am now fussing with sticky double points.

I am a needle snob. I love to knit, but for years fought the utter dislike of how it felt to knit with metal needles. The odd squeak of needle against yarn, the finger-on-chalkboard like shudder of needle against needle makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Since discovering that wood and bamboo needles existed, I have built up my own personal arsenal, but alas, my collection is far from complete.

So I'm working with my brother's stash of Inox needles. I worked the body with metal circulars (made me a little edgy) and now am working with plastic double points. They are driving me nuts!

I worked the early parts of the sleeves with a short circular and have had to switch to the double points due to the reduced number of stitches. The rubbery-ness of the plastic makes the needles stick to each other as I knit and is throwing off my tension. I'm getting ladders and they are making me quite cranky.

I should have known better and gone to get some piece of mind by way of bamboo.