Wednesday, July 30, 2008

In Which I Prove That I Have Arms

Now, I know that in the past I have talked about my progress on the sleeves of my aran cardigan, but until now I have offered up no evidence to support all of my blabbing about said theoretical sleeves.  For all you know, I could have been making it up, but behold: The Sleeve.

(I twisted the sleeve on my arm so you could see all the cables)

Let me tell you a bit about this sleeve.  It all began when I was happily knitting around and around on the body until I thought I could no longer stand it and decided that I had reached the underarms.  (I still think a may need to add some more length before I attach the sleeves, but for now I am still in denial.)  I was then all set to start knitting around and around on my sleeves until I realized - I hadn't designed them yet.  Details schmetials.  (Hmmm... it doesn't really work for that one does it.)  This is the crazy part, so pay attention.  I decided that I wanted my sleeve to be 9" around on the cuff, so I referred to my trusted gauge swatch and figured out that I needed to cast on 41 stitches for the garter cuff and then increase to 56 stitches when I started the cable pattern to make up for the way the cables pull the knitting in.  Ok, so now I have 56 stitches just waiting to be assigned a role.  I arbitrarily chose some cables that I had used on the body and placed them around the sleeve with 3 divider stitches in between each one (paying no attention to my stitch count) and guess what?  It added up to 56!!  Wow is right.

I wasn't done yet.  I wanted to knit straight until the sleeve measured 5" and then I would increase two stitches every 5 rounds until I reached 90 stitches.  Simple enough.  I also knew that I wanted the sleeve to be 21" long when I was done.  I went back to my trusty swatch, did a little math (using my row gauge this time) and figured out that at this rate, when I was done doing all of my increasing, my sleeve should measure about 19.5" long.  PERFECT!  I would just knit straight for 1.5" and my sleeve would be done.  And so I knit following everything I just told you and I ended up with...

...a perfect sleeve.  Thank you gauge.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Body Check

I don't have any photos for this post (mainly because it is 9:30pm and the sun has gone to bed), but I wanted to pop in and say that I have successfully completed the body of my cardigan up to the underarms and have started my second, yes second sleeve already.

I'm beginning to like this project monogamy thing.  I may actually finish a project!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I Need a Change

A change from changing, that is.

Over the past week I did a little sweep through my (tiny, yet massively cluttered) room and found that I, at this moment, have six WIPs and, well, no FOs in sight.  How does this happen to me?  Just because I tend to get bored when I knit the same thing for too long doesn't mean that the knitting gods should punish me with projects that are never ending, right?  Sure, these little squares take only a few hours to make, but when am I going to see the end result?  My estimates say never because I can't seem to stop myself from starting more projects, one after another.

When I got sick on knitting squares (which, I have to tell you, are SO fun to make because you can cast on and cast off in an afternoon.  You have no time to get sick of it! - but I somehow have), I thought it would be a wonderful idea to... knit a square.

This one however is going to be... an afghan.  Strangely familiar, I know.  Why do I think that I can start knitting these massive projects while I also have an aran cardigan and a lace shawl in the works?  I don't know what has gotten into me these days.  In any case, the project is started and there's no turning back.  My brother has been requesting that one of his knitting-obsessed siblings knit him a blanket for quite some time now.  I finally gave in and chose this pattern to knit for him, because I thought he would like the way that it is mathematical as well as functional.  Turns out when he was asking for an afghan, he really only expected a plain one, and when I say plain I mean something like a big sheet of stockinette fabric.  I'm not even going to venture into that area.  He also wanted me to knit this out of the colors of the Irish Flag.  Let's play a game and see how long it takes me to finish, shall we?

Throughout all of this time spent knitting several projects, I have grown frustrated that I don't have any FOs to show for it, so I decided yesterday that I am going to try to be as monogamous as I can with my projects until I get a few of them off the needles and into Finishedland.  My first victim will be my aran cardigan.

I know it's not the best quality picture, but that there is a good 11 inches of the body.  You may notice that I have given myself a very generous seven stitches up the middle in which to do my steek - who knows, I may need every last one of them.  Because I am later on going to go around the bottom of the cardigan and attach a two inch border, I only have a few more inches to go before I can attach the sleeves (which have yet to be designed) and then it's only a matter of time!  I'm cruising along at a pretty steady pace on this thing and I hope to be finished before school begins again.  (I'm not going to mention the fact that school doesn't begin again for me until late September.)

Wish me luck!  How much do you want to bet that my next FO will be something I haven't started yet?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Greetings from Californ-I-A

This two hour difference thing is really getting to me.  All day long I feel like it is so extremely early, which then transfers to the evenings when I am exhausted well before I should be.  I suppose it's a small price to pay in order to spend this time in beautiful San Diego.

This is roughly how long my flight was from Chicago to San Diego on Monday, with a half-cuff delay before we took off:

No, you're right, it isn't much.  This is not because it was a quick flight, but because I am a slow knitter (and also using size 0 needles).  I have dubbed these my Pebble Beach Socks, because I am hoping to knit on them (it) while here in California, and the name of the colorway just happens to be "Pebble."  Fitting, right?  Oh, I was so sad because before I even knit one row on the plane, I dropped my needle and it was lost forever.  I never did find that thing.  Thank god the knitpicks harmony DPN set comes with six needles for each size, otherwise I would have had to... well, I would have had to knit on one of the other several projects I brought with me.  You didn't think I would have just brought one lousy sock with me, did you?

I have been in The Weatherless State now for a few days and have only gotten a few rows done on the sock.  I'm not complaining of course because my time has been consumed by other enjoyable experiences such as seeing the ocean for the first time and gazing up at my first mountain.  We'll see how much knitting I'll actually get done while on this trip.

My friend and I went to the beach today for a picnic in La Jolla and there just happened to be a yarn shop not even a block away from where we parked (I was tipped off by my sister before I left) and I couldn't resist.  I didn't buy anything, but it was fun to look around.  They do this strange thing where they don't have the prices on any of their yarn, but they have lists placed around the store that have every yarn and the price per skein.  I don't quite understand why, but maybe it works for them.  I found the shop to be very cramped and somewhat messy looking, but they did have some nice yarn.  Tomorrow (later today) my sister and I are going to get together and hit up a bunch of yarn shops around San Diego.  It's going to be loads of fun, I haven't seen her in about a year now!  San Diego, here we come!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Hmmm... I guess I haven't been blogging in a while.  I have been a little bit preoccupied as of late - I had a Canadian friend come visit for the past week and a half.  It was so much fun!

I started this a few days before The Canadian flew in and worked on it a bit while he was here.

It's based on Elizabeth Zimmermann's Saddle-Shoulder Aran Cardigan, with many modifications of course.  I had posted about my swatch and charts months ago, but just now got around to actually knitting on it.  I kept tweaking my plans with miniscule details and finally told myself that I just needed to start knitting.  I now have a good 6 or 7 inches of the body and I'm very happy with the way it's turning out.

I have also finished my stranded mittens, but they're all the way at home so I can't take a picture of them just yet.  Did I mention that I am spending the next week and a half in San Diego?!  I flew in two days ago.  More about that in my next post.  :)