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Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

Here for the duration

It’s midterm time here at Late Night Knitting. Fall recess to be exact. Two exams next Tuesday and Wednesday. Had my Lab Practical on Thursday 4 October. 95%, thankyouverymuch. I was so depressed leaving the lab after the exam, I hung my head and scuffed my feet, believing for the world that I had bombed, and would have to drop the course, pick another major and live with me Mom for the rest of my life. A little dramatic, but I really felt that badly about it. Then, Friday evening after a day of hard labor standing around like a twat, I viewed my score and did a happy little dance. HUZZAH!

So, these next few days I need to FOCUS. I have to slog through the rest of the gas laws for Respiration. I missed three classes during my black period (in which I sat around in my nightie eating cereal and ice cream watching reruns of “The Nanny” and “Scrubs”) and I desperately need to get a 95% or better on this exam. 17 October is Exam II in Chem., over, coincidentally, gas laws, states of matter, and solutions, chemical reactions and hydrocarbons. Christ, am I behind. I have only read 50% of the material.

Knitting has been slow. On the Cascade cardigan, I am 50% done with the second sleeve, then I need to block, steek and knit applied i-cord along the opening, then attach either a zipper or hooks and eyes. I was going through my stash the other day, and the only yarn I have a sweater amount for is Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora that I bought during my NOOB period of manic buying. I have 20 balls of the stuff! Knowing what I know now (hindsight and all that), Cotton-Angora is such a bad choice for a plus-sized woman. The cotton sags and is terribly heavy, especially on a 48″ frame, and the angora is hot and itchy. I think I paid $4/ball for it, and now that is about what it is going for on sale. So, I don’t know what to do- I don’t really want to make a sweater out of it, because my arms hurt when I knit with it, it will pill badly, and I’ll look dumpy in a saggy, heavy sweater. But, I wouldn’t get a profit off of selling it.

My stash is such a mess. Why do I have so much sock and lace yarn? I have enough yarn for 10 pair of socks, and a dozen shawls. I suck at finishing socks- I always knit one and then find some reason to not knit the other- the heel flap is too long, the leg too tight, etc. And shawls, well, I get bored and move on to worsted weight. And lets not talk about all the odd balls I have roaming around! Apparently I can’t leave the sale bin without buying the lonely skein of this or that.

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Don’t Hem Me In

I am 23 rows into the hem. At 17.5″ I cast off the center eight stitches of the body’s front (the eight stitch bridge for the cardigan’s steek) and began working back and forth on the hem. I’m using US5’s and I purled the turning row three rows ago, making the hem 1 1/2″ long. My whole left arm is killing me, and my right wrist clicks when I purl. I don’t think I can knit anymore for a few days- knitting worsted weight yarn on DK weight needles puts a strain on muscles I didn’t even know were involved in knitting. Hopefully I will have completed the hem and have it tacked down early next week, and begin contemplating steekage.

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Summer Knitting

I am nearly done with my Cascade cardigan. Two years ago, I purchased 17 (!!!) hanks of Cascade 220 to knit Mariah for a friend. No, my friend isn’t some freak of nature who requires 3,740 yards of wool to clothe her quivering body- I found a fantastic sale. After knitting said friend a few things as gifts (a pair of socks knit with 00 needles, an entrelac scarf, an Amelia Earhart cap in the Cascade to test whether she liked the color) and NEVER seeing her wear the items, I decided to save myself the PAIN of committing hours of my life to a sweater she’d probably never wear, and thus, the Cascade became mine.

Last August, I started bouncing ideas around in my head to design myself a cabled cardigan, using a few stitch dictionaries like Vogue’s new stitchionary series, Barbara Walker, and the Harmony Guides. I knit up a back and a front after lots of swatching (something I rarely do). I even washed the swatches and lovingly remeasured. So, of course the back and front were too small. Dammit. I cast the Cascade aside in favor of some more immediate Christmas knitting, but that’s another story.

So, in wint’ry January, when Indiana is its’ coldest and I said in a shivering heap under an acrylic blanket, clothed in the one sweater I had knit for myself (lovely, lovely wool), I remember the neglected sweater. I fished it out of my cedar chest, examined the stitches and determined…it was still too small. I hadn’t magically lost eight inches from my hips, and the sweater hadn’t magically stretched to accommodate my burgeoning form. I ripped out the neat little stitches, wound the wool into neat little cakes, and viciously began knitting the one fool-proof sweater I know how to knit: a raglan from the top down, no cables, all stockinette all the time. And it was glorious! At least, for a while.

It is so much fun increasing stitches, spiraling your way wider and wider, getting to a little climax: the armhole division. I carefully reserved the sleeve stitches, provisionally cast-on the underarm stitches and started cycling my way around and around the body. Only…stockinette can be a little boring, and the Cascade sweater became a bit of a slog. As Spring grew nearer, I cast aside my well-used sweater and my friend Cascade. New knits awaited me!

Now it is nearly August again, a year after our adventure began. I am one inch away from beginning the the bottom hem after gaining six fast inches in just one week. Will I cast off and steek this little cardigan? Will it ever gain sleeves and a well deserved blocking? Will I ever install a zipper, or will this sweater be doomed to forever be closed by two clasping hands?!?! Only time will tell…

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