Mid-Term Review

Lovely hand made schematic card by Sharon.

It’s been a while since University and (I think) we’re kind of in Reading Week right? That seems like it could be true. Thanks for all the Yarn/Birth Day wishes! It’s going to be a great year. I can already tell. 25 is SO 2007. Anyways. Knitting. That’s what I write about here.

When last we left off, I was test knitting some items for Mona. That’s all done (and before the deadline too). And really it was a pleasant experience. No sarcasm needed. Honestly, I enjoyed it! Well believe me or not, it was good times. Working on a couple of not-so complicated projects with good patterns (though I did spot an error in one, yay me) with none of that pesky angst de sweater that I’ve been experiencing lately. It does continue to plague. The test knitting was like a like holiday from my troublesome projects and I got to knit without consequence.

Yes, I did manage to get gauge on the first try which I totally take to be a total fluke. To be honest, I never really pay attention to the gauge in patterns except as a guide for yarn substitutions. This is obviously where I get into trouble with the making of sweaters. It’s nice to know that I got gauge. Plus I got to knit with some nice yarns. One of which I have been wanting to use and had no possible way of justifying the purchase of (ie. a pattern in mind).

The only downside was all the ‘You’re knitting with Acrylic?!?!??!??’ I had to deal with. Yes. Acrylic. It’s like for money. People still buy it. Deal already. The worst offender was of course Mr. Peabody. He’s such a yarn snob. Sylvain and him (he and Sylvain?) kept going EEEIGH EEEIGH EEEIGH when I was working with it.

In conclusion: test knitting = all the fun of knitting – any possible angst trying to customise for the ‘perfect fit’ + time for mental review of current projects (yes, I’m weird. Can only think about knitting while I’m knitting. Hence the knit, angst, rip, repeat that you hear so much about)
ergo I would be quite happy to test knit again.

Did someone mention sweater angst? Why yes, there is in fact a Pink Lopi Raglan kicking around that hasn’t been dealt with for a whiles. It’s ‘done’ again. But there’s some funny business with the neck going on. Not too sure if short row magic will fix that or if some actual waist shaping is needed. Yes, that would mean reknitting the body for like the 4th time. But we like to get these things right here chez crazĂ©. At the moment I’m working up the mental energy to steam block and see if indeed a reworking of the entire body is needed (at which point I will probably require beer).

sox Sox SOX!

By popular demand I bring you a schematic of the Squid Sucks Cuttlefish Socks’ progress (pre Pro Knitter status). Apparently schematics are going to be my thing. I can dig that. They’re fun to make and don’t require good lighting. Though a decent memory and some mad Bezier skillz are required.

Right. So here the sock kind of looks like some sort of biker tatooish sort of thing. I think that the black outlines don’t help. But you get a general idea. Squid on the leg that wraps around the entire sock. Depths of ocean background with ‘brackish’ water changes every 3.5 inches or so. I’m kind of fudging so that there isn’t a huge medium blue section from foot to leg over the heel. And the colour changes are a nice way to break up the monotony of knitting 9.5 inches of straight stockinette foot. Much more digestible in 3.5 in increments.

Generally I’m reconsidering my lukewarm sentiments towards socks. Mostly I blame the Knitting Philistine for knitting such fabulous socks out of the yummiest of yarns. I’m planning to expand my knowledge of such schmancy artisan yarns and try out all those patterns that the internets keep going crazy for.

I have no monkeys, no jaywalkers, no pomatomus, no giottos, no charades, etc. I haven’t Jitterbugged, Trekking XXLed, Noro Sock yarned, Socks that Rocked, Cherry Tree Hilled, Lorna’s Laced, Hello Yarned. I have treated myself to some Cherry Tree and Lorna’s, they remain uncaked waiting for me to progress on other projects as well as a bunch of fab patterns provided during SP11 that demand to be knitted. I have however picoted and Fleece Artist Sea Wooled which was quite nice.

I generally feel like I am behind with my following of the knitterly trends, what with the not being ‘out’ and online with my knitting until quite recently. I’m generally not one to follow, but I feel that in knitland, where there’s a trend, there’s a fabu project to be had.

I have to add the challenge that I have yet to knit myself a pair of socks that actually fit. That’s right. I’ve made myself 3 pairs and all three end up on the slouchy side. Two have been passed up to my mom and her slightly larger feets. The funniest part is that I am able to knit socks for others without issue. Maybe it’s a gauge thing. Maybe it’s a stitch count thing. But it definitely warrants further experimentation and study. Could be that the Continental skillz may make things better. Hard to say at this point. Socks might become my lunch time knitting thing in future.

Any other sock yarns I should add to the menu?

But back to the Professional Knitterly tasks at hand. Yes Mona, I’m making progress. I’m just about on gauge with the one (like a stitch off) and on gauge with the other. I’m going to finish the second gauge swatch today and make my evaluations this evening. Because I’m a smarty pantz knitter, the gauge is the same size as the project, so depending on gauge, I’ll rip out some garter rows and keep chugging until I run out of the yarn.

No Longer Eligible for Knitting Olympics

I have left the ranks of amateur and there’s no turning back. Yup, I’m now officially a Knitter (emphasis on the capital K). I’ve gone Pro.

I’m test knitting a couple of patterns for Mona soooooo progress on the Squid Sux Cuttlfish Sox will be postponed for a while as my Professional Needles are occupied. She sent me an email out of the blue to ask for my help. She answered my secret desire to be a test knitter, but was too shy to actually ask (I’m weird like that).

So other people in need of test knitters, let it be known: I’ve gone Pro and am now a Knitting Mercenary (I’m at your disposal).

I appreciate the compliments and suggestions that I should make the Squid Sox into a pattern for Knitty (or something). I’m taking it under advisement for the moment. While it would (of course) be awesome to have a published pattern, I’m not sure about turning my hobby into something more than just a hobby.

Yes I’m now Professional Knitter, but it’s like a big deal to write patterns. It’s a lot more work than just coming up with something on my own. I have to explain all my crazy made upness in a way that other people understand. I’m not always so good at that. Then there’s coming up with proper yarns to use. I don’t think it would be swell to suggest that people buy a 7 skiens from 3 different companies to reproduce what I came up with.

I have written a couple of felted purse patterns once upon a time for Miss Virginia van Santen to sell with her fabulous hand painted Carstairs Lopi that she sold and it was a lot more work than coming up with the knitting of the thing. One ended up really not how I wanted and the other was kind of ok.

So I very much appreciate and respect Knitwear Designers and the amount of effort they put in to come up with something that we can follow, is interesting, works well with the yarns and looks fabulous. That’s why I don’t feel bad about spending money on a pattern and let myself buy more magazines than I probably should.

So not a definite ‘No’ to designing at the moment, but a hesitant ‘Uh, maybe?’ for the moment. And besides, I’ve got my Professional Knitting Career to consider here!

As a quickie update on the sox: Sylvain has tried on the socks thus far and they fit perfectly (and look awesome thus far I must add).