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Monday, February 27, 2006

Tivoli is done!

Finished today. Well, finished knitting that is. I still need to figure out how to block it, as well as weave in the loose ends. 21.5 inches long from mid neck to the bottom and 23 inches from shoulder to bottom (measured flat - I can't locate my measuring tape, and am using a rigid ruler). I had one full skein and a tension swatch left.

This is actually my first completed garment (as compared to scarves, mits, etc). I did learn a few things; like the imporance of counting stitches intermittently, using a marker to keep track of the first stitch when knitting in the round, that I need to buy extra yarn because most things need to be lengthened.
Also, using the tip of your thumb/finger to advance stitches over the needle leads to chapped skin.
I'm not thrilled with how this castoff worked - the only other thing I knit on circs before was a hat, so I didn't need to cast off - just strung thread thru the loops.

It's a bit of a letdown to have the "Knitting Olympics" over and done with. I have my basketweave tank and Danica scarf to finish off. Not sure what the next project will be - I might just cast on 2 of them. Probably the chevron tank as well as the 2 button cardigan. The tank is fingering yarn, and the cardigan is a bulky fabric, so working on one will be a definite break from the other.

Friday, February 24, 2006

yarn gift!!

A patient gave this to me today:

And when I opened it up:

It's wool! Handspun by his wife from fleece from their own sheep!

Not to mention the great card complete with a photo of sheep. I am guessing that it is worsted weight. I have no idea what the yardage is - using the kitchen scale, it weighs about 600 grams.

This is so cool!

Thursday, February 23, 2006


I'm now partway through the waist decrease section. At least another 40 rows to go. If I kept it as a crop top, I might finish it by the end of the closing ceremonies.

There was a new participant in tonight's Knit at Blenz session; we had quite a few laughs talking about death and dating disasters; that's what happens when you hang out with people who work at a Cancer Centre.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

More math

I timed a round on Tivoli today - I am still working on the bust, so am at 190+ stitches. It took 13 minutes. And from looking at the pattern, I have about 120 rows left. So 13 x 120 = 560 minutes. 560 / 60 = 26 hours. With 7 days left, that means it will take 3.7 hours per day to finish this before the Olympics end. Which is not entirely outside the realm of possibility. Of course, that doesn't account for the time it will take to thread it onto scrap yarn to try it on, etc. But I plan to give it my best shot.

Better put down the computer and pick up the needles. Hopefully it will be a short day at the hospital today. Camera comes home tomorrow (as well as hubby), so I can start to post some photos of progress.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The ongoing Tivoli Saga

This was yesterday morning:

"Argh! I just finished the yoke, and didn't have the foresight to count my stitiches intermittently. I should have 284 sts, and I have 299 - I think I did one too many repeats of the "knit 1 round even, work 2 inc rounds",because that would explain 16 extra stitches (and dropping one stitch somewhere would make for 15 extra stitches).

When I get home from work I will try it on to get some sense of if it's too big - I am about to castoff for the armholes, so it will be a very rought guess, I suspect. As I see it, my 2 options are - rip it back 3 rounds ( almost 600 stitches - sigh!), or cast on a few less stitches for each armhole and throw in a few k2togs and ssk to get rid of the excess."

I tried it on, and it didn't seem overly huge - in fact, trying it on reminded me that my upper arms are muscular, and that I shouldn't sacrifice armhole dimension. I also learned that it takes a bit of time to get it off the needles and onto scrap yarn and then back onto the needles again - seriously cut into last night's knitting time (so I of course stayed up knitting until 1 AM to make up for it)With some "k2tog"s at the beginning and the end of the armholes, I now have the requisite 198 stitches on the needle. However, I am now supposed to place a marker after knitting 50 stitches, but I'm not exactly sure where the starting point is supposed to be - it looks like it's supposed to be the beginning of the round. It dawns on me that maybe I was supposed to have a stitch marker to mark the beginning of the round. When I get home from the hospital today, I will make a diagram and try to figure out where in the garment the 4 new stitch markers are supposed to go, and if the starting point actually IS the beginning of the round, I will just start from the midway point of the back. Although come to think of it, the 2 wonky patches may both be in the front, so I may flip the garment around. I will have to take a read through the pattern, because I admit that I don't know if the back and front are different (presumably it would be because of the bust effect, but who knows?)

I can't wait until our digital camera comes back from the trip it took my husband on so that I can post some photos.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006



I realized last night that I dropped a stitch about 6 rounds ago. It will mean that there is a small hole on the arm - I will post a photo once my camera gets back from the trip it took my husband along on. It may have happened when I ripped back to correct a mistake I made by either k-f/b when I wasn't supposed to, or vise versa. I have also run into problems with the needle becoming detached from the cord (I am using Denise convertible needles) when I am trying to move bunched up stitches along the needles (it's happened both times while ripping out mistakes, to add insult to injury!) I haven't used circular needles for a few years, and because this cord is almost the same thickness as the needle, I have problems with stitches getting hung up right at the connection between the needle and cord. If I twist the stitches around to try to manipulate them, I have to be careful not to twist the needle and disconnect it.

I am not sure whether or not it will be on the front or back of the arm. I don't have the heart to rip 140+ x 6 stitches, so I will leave it as is. I still have some concerns that the 36 inch may be too big; it will have to wait until I get to the bust before I find out if I should just start over.

Knitting is so relaxing

Sunday, February 12, 2006

picovoli KAL

Originally uploaded by lux2night.
OK, I am trying to figure out how to get this button on here

I have decided to be a late entry into the knitting Olympics. I am working on Tivoli. I ecided to work on it while riding to and from the ski hill today. On my way up, I flipped the work around and didn't realize until I had put all of the stitch markers on that I had done so - my first clue should have been the fact that the ends weren't joined (actually, before that, I did a few stitches but realized that it was twisted into a mobius strip). So the first part of the ride down the hill consisted of me ripping out the first row and starting over again. And getting nauseated - I think that knitting while riding on a windy highway might have been a bit much to ask of my vestibular system.

I'm kind of wary about this project - I'm doing the 36 inch size, because my bust measurement is 37 inches. I'm rationalizing that I should err on the side of being a bit larger because my bra band measurement is 31 inches - since most people have a much greater differential between their bra band and their bustline, a smaller size might be a bit too tight across my rib cage. At least I can try it on when it is partly done. I swear by all that it holy that I will frog it and start over if it seems like the size I am doing is too large. I'm also going to add onto the length, because it is almost guaranteed to be too short for me.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Customs declaration

We returned to Canada via Calgary, and had the shorted interaction with Customs known to man. We said "hello", handed the Customs agent our passports, and he said "Welcome back", and we were on our way.

So I missed out on my opportunity to answer the question "What did you purchase while you were outside Canada?" with a one word answer:


4 skeins of Enigma (morocco colourway) at 50% off

3 skeins of Tartelette at 50% off

8 skeins of Filatura di Crosa adhoc Sandalo (100% silk) at 50% (or more) off - I think she miscalculated and gave me an even bigger discount - it was less than $4 US per 50g skein

8 skeins of Berroco Lang Zeta at $4US/50g (regular price $8.75US). I am currently swatching it for Picovili. I am using my brand new Denise interchangeable needles. [Purchased from my LYS here at home. For more $$ than they would cost on ebay, but no wait, and I'm helping to keep them in business.]

5 skeins of Naturally Colourworks at 30% off. Very similar in colour to the first skein that I bought some time back on sale from my LYS - in fact, I think it was my very first purchase from that shop. It signalled the start of my return to knitting.

And this is why it is very very important to check dye lots:

No, there's not something wrong with your screen - the top skein really does look like the yarn sat out in the sun for a year or so. Same yarn, same colourway. I guess after the first 6,000 lots, the dye gets a bit watered down!! Guess which batch the 16 skeins that are going to be made into a sweater come from.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Flying without a knit

I took my red tank top project out of the bag, and discovered that I did not have the complete set of needles!! The front (which is near completion) is currently on a smaller needle than the ones I used to knit it - so I have a 4mm and a 3.25 mm needle. I will have to fly without knitting.

Perhaps I will use the time to take the various skeins of yarn that I purchased and wind them into balls.

Of course, this is what happens when you wind yarn on a plane - damned high altitude induced hypoxia! Well, that and the fact that this skein started out as a big loop, and was meant to be held in that loop while wound. Not like I am impatient, or anything.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Moving on from Clapotis

Clap for me

I finished Clapotis last night, and wove in the ends this morning. Somehow, I ended up needing to buy not 1 but 2 more skeins of ribbon yarn to finish it. I think I used less than 1/3 of the final skein. I would have bet large sums of money that I had enough to finish it if I hadn't done the 3 extra repeats, but now I am not so sure. Alternately, there is a skein of yarn that is visiting with all of those lost socks - or, less romantically, I left one behind at home when I packed my knitting up for this trip.
We head back home tomorrow, so I will probably just work on the Basketweave tank top en route. Now the question is which of my many projects to be should become the next WIP (because of course I can't just be working on the tank top, can I?).
I bought some yarn on sale at a yarn shop in Encino for the purpose of making Picovili. Since I plan to knit a Skullvoli at some point, it might be wise to learn the ropes of Picovili. I also have my chevron tank top to start - very fine yarn, so it won't be screamingly fast. My lack of circular needles may force my hand.

I have to admit, that I am starting to have illicit thoughts about learning how to knit socks...Damn you Turtlegirl, with your cereal-matching socks!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Knitting in lalaland

I knitted on the Los Angeles MTA today.
avoided potential catastrophe when another rider kicked my errant ball of wool back to me when it went off on a little expedition.

This was my first time riding in a dedicated bus lane; I have to wonder whether or not the land it was built on was vacant, or if they just took a street full of houses and got rid of them all.

This is not the MTA - this is the sofa in the guesthouse

Friday, February 03, 2006

I heart Maidenform

I have accepted the fact that I am a 36A, and do realize that there are some benefits associated with it (although I have yet to understand what is so great about sleeping on your stomach). I can buy a sports bra without having to worry about what impact level of activity it will be worn for. I can also go without a bra without it being a big deal. However, there are 2 drawbacks to going bra-less: the "headlight" factor, and the lack of underwire. It's not the lack of suport, it's the fact that gravity makes me look even flatter - with an underwire bra on, that bit of lift makes a difference in the silhouette. So, when wearing a top that either has wee skinny straps, or something that is off the shoulder/boatneck, there would be benefits to wearing a strapless bra.

However, the companies that manufacture bras seem to believe that anyone who is an "A" cup wants to look like a "B" or even a "C" cup, especially when wearing a strapless bra. So small cup strapless bras have big time padding, often in the form of a "shelf" at the bottom of the cup. Now the padding on it's own isn't a problem, it's the fact that these bras have an outer contour to them. My experience is that the slope of the outer contour of the bra is totally different from the way I am built - so what happens is that once you get above the top of the cup, there is a noticable change in the angle, which makes for a very unnatural look.

I stopped by a Maidenform store in an outlet mall a few days ago, and was thrilled to find that they sell strapless bras that have minimal padding, and which have an outer contour that has some basis in nature. Plus they have a super duper no slip band, which means that the underwire can actually hold things up. Even the one that is supposed to be for "Full Figures" works well for me. I bought one of each, but in retrospect, I should have bought a couple more.