Irritation can lead to a lack of updates…

…and I was irritated in spades by my latest project. So it’s been awhile since I’ve felt like blogging about knitting–though I have been keeping myself busy with small projects I haven’t been overly into. I will get into my irritation in just a bit.

First, happier things: FOs!

My Voodoo Wristwarmers have technically been done since the beginning of September, however, I was lazy and didn’t feel like weaving the tails in before moving on. I finally finished that small detail the other day so I can declare them finished. To knit these, I used the dual circular method, not dpns. I rather enjoyed knitting them that way and I later used the same technique for my Foliage hat rather then try dpns at that time. I also learned how to make a multiple stitch button hole with a twisted purl cast-on, which caused me much confusion and I cursed it several times before figuring it out. In the end, the only thing I don’t like about these is the thumb holes made by that method: six stitches is just a bit tight on my thumbs, should have increased it to 7 or even 8. Oh well, you live, you learn. They’re still wearable and match my first hat I made. Still have enough of the yarn left over for more wristwarmers, or possible even another hat. I never realized I’d get so much mileage out of that yarn.

My newest FO is a Punkin hat I made for my son on a whim. They don’t really do trick or treating in Texas, but we may go to a pizza party on the base, so I thought I’d pick up some cheap acrylic and get a hat made really quick so my son has a costume if we decide to go. Learned to do i-cord from this–had a good giggle when I found out the “i” stands for “idiot.” Also learned I refuse to use cheap acrylic in the future except for toys; it was so splitty and kept tangling on itself. Icky all around. It was so distasteful, I stretched the project out 3-4 times as long as I should have because I couldn’t stand to knit with it for more then a couple of rounds at time. The leaf, on the other hand, went very fast and was fun. I’m glad I did that part first or I may never have finished the hat. Didn’t stick to the pattern at all. Used sport weight yarn instead of worsted, and knit on size 4 dpns. Cast on for the child size and it ended up perfect for a toddler. Didn’t follow the length recommendations either, just stopped when I felt like it and tried it on him. Went well, I think.

But onto the vexing part. Weeks ago, I cast on a sweater for my husband, “The Manly Maze” from No Sheep for You. I decided to use the recommended yarn, sight unseen, never touched. Splurged a bit on it. I will say this: I hate working with hemp. I wasted time and money on that endevor. Finally gave up when after several sittings, countless restarts, I realized that no matter what I did, that fiber did not want to be happy and was going to cause me nothing but heartache. So I frogged the sweater and ordered some nice superwash wool from knit picks instead. It arrived the other day. The colors are different then I thought they’d be, but after one sitting, I’m already as far as I was on the other sweater and it looks so much nicer. And my blood pressure is not going through the roof just thinking of it anymore. Lesson learned: Hemp is not a beginner’s fiber. It will sit in my yarn tub until I decide what to do with it as my son destroyed the receipt before I could learn I didn’t like it. So I can’t even return it. Thus is life. Oh well, with some experience and given time to forget how much it hurt my hands to work with, and how tricky it is to gauge, and its unforgiving nature, I have enough I could eventually make myself an Eiffel out of it. If not, the maker’s site claims it makes fantastic dishrags. Or I have enough to make a couple of Market bags. I have options, I just need experience and time.

Not far enough on the Maze to justify posting pictures, should be next time I blog. (Unless for some reason unknown to man, wool decides to turn on me as well and then I guess we’re all doomed.)

Of FOs and Ravelry…

After months of waiting, I was invited to join the ranks of Ravelry (http://www.ravelry.com/) on the first of the month. I about jumped out of my chair and danced with excitement. I’ve spent a few days uploading projects and checking it out; I have to say, it’s pretty spiffy and I think after they put everything up they want to, it will be even better. How exciting that I can keep track of everything in one place: my stash, needles, FOs, WIPs…and I can see other people who have done the same projects or have similar yarn. Very cool site. I’m Wit over there. So shocked that this late in the game, I was able to get a name with no numbers or silly spellings! Clean, simple, brief. Love it.
So there was the Ravelry part of my entry. Onto Finished projects! Nothing makes me happier then a finished project…except perhaps petting the yarn and dreaming of what a pretty thing it will become–now that I know I am able to do it.

The sweater for my son was completed on the Second. I’ve been having quite the week! Overall, I am so happy with how it turned out. The bottom still rolls despite the garter stitch, but that’s so minor that I’m not going to try and fix it. I’ll just have to keep it in mind the next time I make this pattern. For the only thing I love better then a hoodie for myself is a hoodie for my son. (That would be his hand in the picture, by the way, on its way to reign Toddler Doom upon the poor thing!)

And a quick close-up of the hood. I think there is something so sweet about toddlers in hoodies.
The next project was supposed to be a sweater for Hubby, but I realized too late that I lacked both the dpns for the project and needles to get the sweater to scale. So I am now waiting on my second shipment from KnitPicks. In the meantime, I decided to keep myself busy making my Foliage (http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall07/PATTfoliage.html), since I already had the Malabrigo to make it. (Another birthday gift when I went shopping with my MIL; just so happy I could finally use it! For awhile, I was worried I wouldn’t find a project fitting for it and I’d have to pet it and keep it in my yarn tub.) Started on the Fourth and finished today. Very quick but lovely knit. Can’t see the leaf motif so well because of the colorway, but it’s still lovely and I’m so happy with it. Wisconsin, you better be cold so I can wear my hats!
The only real change I made to the pattern was to start it on 2 circular needles instead of dpns. I didn’t have the right size and trying to use such a soft wool on nickel-plated needles was a disaster.
Playing with some acrylic while the wait for my needles continues. Ah, the joys of being without an LYS.