dusktreader knits

January 12, 2011

Getting Comfy with Cables

Filed under: Notions — Tags: , — dusktreader @ 5:30 pm

Before this year, I think I did about three cable projects:

  • A scarf that was too short and that I never wear.
  • An owl hat that is too short and that I never wear. (I should try blocking it properly. Or make another one. Or, I could even rip out to before the decreases and make it longer. Maybe I should do that. It’s an awesome hat, I don’t even know what my problem is.)
  • The Hurry Up Spring Armwarmers from Stitch ‘N Bitch Nation. (I wish I had a digital photo of these. They were my first cable project.)

I had nothing against cables, I just found them slow and I didn’t really understand them. When I read left-leaning cable, I couldn’t figure out which way to hold the stitches to make it lean left. When I read C4B (cable four back) I couldn’t picture which direction it would cause the cable to lean.

Then I went on a cabling binge. I did some armwarmers and incorporated a pattern from the Vogue Cable Stitchionary. I did a cabled beret. And now I’m working on another cabled beret. And it finally clicked, and now I know that if I want to make a left-leaning cable, I should hold stitches to the back of the work, and if I want a right-leaning cable, I should hold stitches to the front. So now I can check against a photograph of what I’m knitting to make sure I’m going the right way, and it all makes sense, and I don’t have to constantly double check. Knitting cables goes a lot faster.

I also learned to knit without a cable needle. My learning process went like this:

  • 4 years ago: Look up how to cable without a needle. See that it means taking live stitches completely off the needle and just letting them hang there. Freak the heck out.
  • 1 month ago: (Having completely forgotten the above.) Decide I don’t feel like using a tedious cable needle. Wonder what could possibly go wrong if I just, you know, drop the stitches off and just, sort of, let them hang there while I knit the next few stitches, and then pick them back up. Experience moderate success, albeit having to fix a few unravelled stitches.
  • 1 week ago: Decide to look up proper instructions for how to cable without a needle , find out I’ve been doing it right, but that if I pinch the base of the dropped off stitches they don’t unravel. Experience great success, and much faster cable knitting.

I am much less afraid of fixing unravelled stitches than I used to be. And now I want to see if I can design my own cable patterns.

February 20, 2010

Knitting goals 2010 check in

Filed under: Projects — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — dusktreader @ 11:55 am

So, um, yeah… when I set knitting goals for myself, I mostly treat them as a loose structure for my knitting year, not hard and fast rules. If I get excited about something that’s not on the list I will probably just make it. I find it’s best to just go with the flow rather resist: more knitting gets done in the end. The goals serve as something for me to return to when I don’t know what to knit or am feeling extra ambitious.

Naturally I’ve already tinkered with them. I want to knit a tam. I have avoided knitting them in the past because I just assumed they would look funny on me, but I see them a lot in Halifax and I changed my mind. They look good on all kinds of people, and they especially look good paired with the kind of long coat I have. Tams ahoy.

Also, I need to knit a case for my poor little ipod. When I got it OVER A YEAR AGO I named it “Knit Me A Case” to remind me to DO IT and so far I haven’t. And it would take me, I don’t know, maybe two hours tops, probably less. So I should JUST DO IT.*

The mitten: just need to knit a few more thumb rows.

The thumb in progress.

I have been working toward some of the goals though. Today I finished the hand on the first Deep in the Forest Mitten, and am now on the thumb. I have been working on another scarf in the scarf series, but I can’t say much about that because I am submitting it for publication (!) and it wouldn’t be eligible if I blogged about it (if it doesn’t get published I will of course share it with you). I have been working on the Crazy Cat Cave, and I just need to bind off and knit the i-cord which will be the case for the wire.

I’ve been feeling a little scattered lately. Too many projects on the go, too many that I’m itching to start. I have a bit more time on my hands in the next week or so, so I’m going to use it to get refocused, finish the projects that are just about done, and not start any new ones. It’s normal for this time of year. In January I get so excited to start new things after finishing all my Christmas gifts that I usually get fibre myopia and only knit for the whole month. In February it tapers off a bit. (The mittens above were started toward the end of last January when I was in a similiar transition between OMG KNITTING YAY and HEY MAYBE OTHER THINGS EXIST).

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*No sports allusions intended. Stop thinking about sports!

February 2, 2010

2010 Knitting Goals: Out With the Old

Filed under: Projects — Tags: , , , , , , , — dusktreader @ 9:41 am

It’s February 2nd! Time to pull a hog out of the ground and ask it to make you some resolutions.

Something like that?

I’m a little late on my knitting resolutions, but that’s allowed. I don’t believe in making them arbitrarily, and at the beginnng of January, I just wasn’t ready. But I’ve figured out what I want over the next year or so. And if I write them down and then publish them on the Internet*, and bury some yarn under a crossroads at the full moon, they come true right?

Something like that.

Part 1: Out With the Old

I have… rather a lot of projects currently on the go. Especially if by “on the go” we can interpret “in my closet, in a suitcase,” or “I’m not sure where it is but I know I’ve seen it since we moved.” I have so many that I am not even going to try to finish all of them in 2010. But I’ve carefully selected a few achievable goals that won’t put too much of a damper on my excitement to start new projects:

  • Finish the cardigan I’ve been working on for 2+ years. All I have left is the hood, side seams and zipper. And I had a revelation the other day while I was at the bus stop, staring at someone else’s hood and noting the construction. I don’t need a hood. I’ve never liked hoods, they interfere with my peripheral vision. (Boo!) I’ll just knit a few inches to make one of those collars that folds over, it’ll be fine. And with that resolution, I can face dragging it out again! Finished by fall.
  • Finish my Deep in the Forest mittens. They’re beautiful, and I’m looking forward to wearing them, but I can only work on them a little bit at a time. The stitch pattern doesn’t repeat, so it’s hard to get a rhythm going, and I have to constantly check my work against the chart instead of the row I just knit. But they will be beautiful and I will finish in time to wear them next winter.*
  • Remember that handmade items facebook meme? Where you post something promising to make handmade items for the first 5 people who comment on your post? I posted it last March. I will finish the items by this March.
  • Bind off and weave in the ends of the travelling scarf project I did. Because it was an awesome fun project (you knit a section of a scarf, send it to the next person in your group, they knit a section, etc. At the end you’ve knit 13 sections of 13 scarves and you have one of your very own, the one you started.
  • Okay, this is a big one and I think doing it will show my maturity as a knitter. Frog the cotton tank top that I started in 2004. Cotton was not the right yarn for the project, there are a few holes where I didn’t join the new ball in properly, and I am nowhere near the same size as I was back then. I could be using that yarn for something else. Or trading it for something good. FROG IT. FROG IT I SAY.

Part 2 coming soon!

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*I read somewhere that you capitalize Internet not because it’s a novelty but because it’s a place. Makes sense to me.

**note the wishy-washy loophole I left there: I don’t have to finish ther by the beginning of next winter as long as I can still wear them at some point next winter. The last day of winter is March 20th. I have over a year.

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