knitpicking

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

exhausted!

Well, yes I am exhausted, but I am also almost done moving, which is really the important part. All that's left at the old apartment is a hand towel I keep forgetting and a few things that I'm going to take home - and my car, because I don't have a parking permit at the new place yet. It really is very silly, when I moved my last batch of stuff yesterday I had to drive over to the new apartment, unload everything, drive back to the old apartment, and then walk 40 minutes to the new place. Hopefully I won't have to do that anymore... just waiting to get my new license in the mail. The new place, in case I haven't mentioned it enough yet, is FABULOUS. I like the apartment itself, but more importantly, the location cannot be beat. I guess to truly appreciate it, you'd have to see my old apartment. I couldn't get anywhere from there without walking at least 20 minutes - that's to the nearest restaurant, the nearest coffee shop, the nearest stores, the nearest T stop. There was literally NOTHING there. But the new place? I can leave the apartment, go across the street to the convenience store, and be back in the apartment 5 minutes later. There's a pizza place that's open until 3:30am on weekends half a block away, and a few nicer restaurants on the same block. Getting to the drug store, the supermarket, or the T stop is a little harder - I actually have to cross the big street. But all are still within 5 minutes of the apartment. It's all just SO CLOSE and I can't get over it! And, um, have I mentioned how excited I am? Add in the fact that I now live with someone I am friends with, and who likes to cook... and I have a living room separate from my bedroom... well I'll just say this is a huuuuge step up. I think the only time I've had a more dramatic move was when I started college and moved from New York to Los Angeles all by myself.

Of course, with all the packing and moving and unpacking, knitting has most definitely taken a back seat. I've knit maybe 10 rows on the front of Sizzle in the past 4 days, and I have to rip about 8 of them out. I also need to write up the pattern for the Secret Thing. And somewhere in there, I should probably do some research or something... sigh. At least I have somewhere great to go home to at the end of the day.

Friday, July 21, 2006

they're gonna make a movie from the things they find crawling 'round my brain

I had a dream last night where I was hanging out with Bill Clinton and Adam Duritz, and we were in some sort of theater, watching a shuttle launch that was sending dogs into space.

Seriously, I couldn't make this up if I tried.

Also, the back of Sizzle is done, and I'm very glad to have a nice simple stockinette project to work on during this move. I haven't been able to work more than a few rows at a time, but when I get the chance those few rows provide a nice break. Tonight I have to pack up all my kitchen stuff and my clean clothes, then Saturday we're renting a Uhaul for the big things. This means that starting Saturday night, I can sleep at the new place, and maybe it will finally feel like I live there! Woohoo! I'll probably still need another trip or two back to the old apartment (my lease there is good until August 1) but those will be on a much smaller scale. Oh I cannot wait.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

relief!

Just a quick note to say that being able to step outside and not be covered in a layer of sweat 2 seconds later is AWESOME.

And the heat wave broke just in time for an evening of Ikea furniture assembly in comfort... yesssssss. (The move is going well, but I won't really be living in the new place until this coming weekend, and I just wish it was done with already. Ah well... soon enough...)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

so much for that idea

Well, my attempted ribbon xback is now a tidy stack of yarn cakes. Ribbon yarn really does make a nice cake - very firm, not at all mushy. Bakers take note!

... or not. I thought I was doing okay - I knit the first strap to a length where the top seemed to fit well, and then I knit the second strap to the same length... and suddenly, the whole thing seemed gappy and weird. I think I didn't knit the straps long enough to match the fit of the body, if that makes any sense. So there's a chance that I could have just knit the straps longer and it would have been okay, but not great. I liked the way the top fit with the shorter straps - the problem was really that the body was too loose.

How did that happen? I'm really not sure. I was getting a gauge of 13sts/4" and I was working on 89 stitches. That's 27.4" around. At its largest point, my bust is just under 32", so we're talking 4.5" of negative ease here... and I felt like I was swimming in it. It's interesting because the yarn itself has absolutely no give, but when it's worked in seed stitch, the damn fabric could stretch to fit an elephant.

I pulled the too-loose version of it tight on my body and figured that I could easily cut out 14 stitches, so version #2 is going to have 75 stitches, which is... um... 23" around. Can that be right? Am I really about to attempt knitting a top with 9" negative ease?? At least it will go faster, if it's so small... I guess I'll just have to try it and see.

In the meantime, I wanted a break from seed stitch, so I cast on for Sizzle, which of course begins with... seed stitch. But I pushed my way past that border and I'm maybe 5.5" in, and I love the combination of yarn and pattern together. I find myself stealing a moment here and there to work another row, and it isn't often that I feel so motivated to work in stockinette stitch. So I'm hoping for a success with this one.

I really should not be knitting at all, or even blogging, because I need to start packing in preparation for moving this weekend. I am incredibly excited about the new apartment, it's in a great location and I'll be living with a roommate I actually talk to. My hope now is that the excitement will push me through the so-not-fun process of packing and moving and unpacking. Must... push... through...

Friday, July 07, 2006

new new new

For the first time in... a while, I cast on for a new project 2 days ago that I can actually talk about. It's the ribbon xback from last spring's issue of Knitty. I've liked this top a lot since the pattern first came out, but I was fresh off a not-so-pleasant ribbon yarn experience, so I kind of overlooked it. When Rachel posted hers a week or 2 ago, though, I knew I had to have one of my own. She sent me 4 balls of the Moda Dea Ticker Tape that she had bought on clearance from Michael's, and I went to work - so far I'm about 4 1/2" in.

I've already made some modifications. First, I'm working it in a tighter gauge than recommended, because I remember a lot of horror stories from people who's tops came out way too big. My version should have 3-4" of negative ease, I hope that works out well. Second, I started with an odd number of stitches, because that way you can avoid the jog you'd normally get from knitting seed stitch in the round. I swatched flat even though my tension is usually different when it's flat vs. in the round, but I figured that for seed stitch it would be close enough. What's interesting is that my gauge is still dead on (well, compared to my swatch anyway) but there's a subtle effect that I had never considered before. I knit a little tighter than I purl. And in seed stitch, the little bumps are created by purling a stitch that was knit on the previous row. So what's happening is that my RS and WS look different from each other; even though the gauge is obviously the same on both sides, the WS has bigger bumps because they were made by knitting a stitch that was purled on the previous row, and like I said my purls are a little looser. I'm still not sure which side I like better - I may flip the whole thing inside out at some point - but it's an interesting flaw feature.

I've also picked out my next 2 projects (and I can knit them both from my stash) - Sizzle from Knit and Tonic and Baudelaire from the new Knitty. I have a boring Regia sock waiting for a mate, but the lacey pattern is so pretty, and I've been looking for the perfect pattern for the hand-dyed merino/tencel blend I got from the Mind's Eye Yarns anniversary sale. For Sizzle, I'm going to use the dark green Luxor DK from this failed cardigan, if I can find the rest of it. So nice to finally get some light, non-wooly yarns on the needles.