plans for tonight

(ps the story of my absence will come tomorrow…I’ve been on the computer non-stop all day and don’t want to sit here much longer).

My Linden is so close to being done- I’ve only got about a 1/2 inch to go on the lower border, and then I’ll probably end up lengthening the sleeves.  The problem, totally my fault, is that I modified the sweater kinda…knitting a smaller size than my bust to have a narrower lower edge…and while I lengthened the sleeves to the length in my actual size, I forgot to take into account their width.  So my sleeves fit, but actually fit at 3/4 length sleeves instead of having open, slightly oversized 3/4 length sleeves.  I had asked around for opinions on if I should lengthen the sleeves to full length and the general consensus was that the baggier sleeves at full length would probably get annoying, but at 3/4 were perfect.  So I did 3/4…and forgot to account for them to be oversized…so they’re not.  They are just normal, 3/4 length sleeves that don’t seem to make sense with the jacket.  Again- NOT a design issue, TOTALLY me.  I should have cast on for the sleeves in my actual size and then finagled to make them come out to the same by the sleeve cap.  I can block them a bit wider, but they will look better at full length I think.

The problem?

This is how much yarn I have left.  Well, I have more yarn, but it’s in single skeins, and this is knit with the yarn held doubled, actually spun into a doubled skein by Maaike.  I’ll wind 2 balls into cakes later this week, and sometime soon Maaike should be able to spin and set one more b.a.b. (big a$$ ball) for me.

This means that in the meantime I can’t finish Linden.

I deliberately didn’t seek out any chances to publish any designs over the next few months, because I’m going to be off work for a bit after my surgery, and while it would give me ample knitting time, I’m going to take advantage and for the first time…ever?…am going to only knit for me during that time.  And for my kids.  Maybe finish the spidey blanket.  Maybe work on the sock yarn blankies.  Maybe knit myself a sweater.  Ahh the possibilities!

And speaking of possibilities: my plans for tonight.

I plan to swatch.

Exciting, huh?

I’m at least halfway done a 5″ swatch of plain stockinette in laceweight, so I want to finish that and free up my little “purse knitting” bag to tuck in a new pair of socks (March/April needs a pair).  I think I can get the rest of it done tonight, and then I plan to swatch up some fun ribbon yarn.


It’s not purple like it appears, the yarn is actually varying shades of blue, from a silverish hue through medium down to indigo/navy.  My mom had knit it up into a long, wide garter scarf which was lovely- if it were a shawl.  As a scarf it was huge and heavy and I showed her how to use her ball winder and meter counter this weekend and we ripped it back into cakes.  (FYI- ribbon yarn and meter counters don’t play nice together.  I ran through 4 other random yarns with no problem, but every time I tried to put the ribbon through it would stop counting).

Anyways, I had admired the yarn and Mom gave it to me.  I want to make it into some kind of summer top, either an open-knit loose tee to wear over a tank, or a no-closure cardigan with short sleeves.  I only have these 4 balls, and there is only about 250 yards total, with no ball band so I can’t try to find more.  So I know whatever it is, it will have to be open-knit, on larger needles, to give me more area while using up less yarn.

For fun, here are my current nails, done last night.  That was all I did.  I did my nails then went into bed and played video games.  (And you wonder why I don’t blog more LOL).  Anyways, it looked better in my head.

There’s this style…the reverse French…you do one color then another one just inside leaving a border.  And I loved the combo of the hot pink and the nude…but now that I have it on all I can think of is zombies.  It looks like my cuticles are bleeding.  And yet…it’s one of the smoothest, most even polishes I’ve ever applied, so I can’t bear to take it off yet!  (It looks worse in the photo)

(I swear).


broken streak

I’m giving up on having daily posts. I’d rather only write when I want to, then force myself to find something interesting to share.

Truthfully, until this past week I didn’t have much to share. Not much going on around here. We had some family dinners, I bought some lovely new clothes and costume jewelry, picked up more nail polish, and squeezed in knitting and studying whenever I could.

Our final test for this year is due on Tuesday, and then we have our final exam on April 22nd. I hope to have all our written stuff done by then too so we can have a true summer vacation…or as much as possible with a full-time job.

I’ve blocked and seamed my Linden and am in the process of knitting the lower garter band. I want it 2.5″ long, and am about halfway there. Each row just takes so long! I should only have ends to weave in afterwards but I might lengthen the sleeves first so I don’t know yet how soon it will be done.

I’m also working on my stockinette stitch swatch for my current design. I had a bit of time to work on it this week but I just couldn’t bring myself to knit.

More on that tomorrow.


that yarn from the other day

My arms are in great shape after a week of winding.

I turned Veronik‘s 2 cones of St. Denis Nordique, last seen looking like this:

Into this:

That’s 2 swatches, and 40 mini cakes, ready for our November MKG meeting.  I copied the gauge for a sample pattern using this yarn (Agathe, from the Spring/Summer 2010 issue of the St. Denis magazine), and knit 2 swatches using the required yarn and needles (with a moss stitch border). Our guild project will be to have everyone knit up the same swatches, and then to compare and see what a (presumably) vast array of actual swatch sizes we end up with, as a means to illustrating the importance of swatching.  You know, that just because you use the yarn and needles called for in the pattern, doesn’t mean you’ll end up with anything near the pattern’s gauge.

Each guild member who attends will get a little cake of yarn and a copy of instructions that I printed earlier.  It took me roughly 100 feet of yarn for my swatches, so I wound each cake to 120 feet to account for looser tensions eating more yarn.  (My yarn meter works in feet, and I’m too lazy to do the math right now.  Divide by 3 for yards).

My swatches will be used as examples by Veronik, who is bringing along her trusty steamer to show what a difference blocking makes.  One swatch will be steamed and become the “after”, while the other will remain as-is, as the “before”, and silently simmer and fume.

I also wound up the yarn that Maaike wound for me so I can finish my Linden.  I set up her ginormous wooden cake winder (because it winds ginormous cakes, not that it takes up a large desk footprint) and wound up (heh) with 2 BABs.

Yes, Maaike and I often speak in Three Letter Acronyms.  These babies?  They’re some Big A$$ Balls.


this new year is broken, i want a new one

I didn’t mean to let so much time go by between posts, but the (Jewish) new year has been rather unkind around here.  Starting the week between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, health and other issues around here went haywire.

There were some good moments, though, and some bust-a-gut, laughing-out-loud moments, like the night I went to check on the boys and walked in to find Henri asleep like this:

He stayed that way while I took the requisite pictures (a mommy’s right) and even slept through me cracking up.

This weekend brought these smiles, when we had a rare day all together as a family and spent some time at the park.

I’ve finished the back and both fronts of my Linden, and that bit up at the top is my first sleeve-in-progress.  That was also all the yarn I had left, so I took a break while Maaike used her spinning wheel to spin up the single cakes into double-stranded skeins, and then hung them to dry.  They’re currently in my basement, nice and dry, and I plan to spin them up tonight.

The break in Linden came at an opportune time, though, as my aunt had a hernia operation last Monday and I wanted to make something for her, so I’ve spent the last week knitting her a pair of cushy slippers.  I’ve just got about 7 more rows on the cuff and weaving in a few ends to go, and I hope to finish that tonight.

I also hope to knit a swatch from one of these babies tonight too.  Next month’s Montreal Knitting Guild meeting is going to be a swatching challenge, and Veronik Avery graciously donated these two cones of Nordique (in Carrot) for our use.  I need to knit up a swatch to know how much yardage one would take, then wind off about 40 mini-cakes- one for each member at the meeting.

Luckily I’ve finished my studying for the night so I can devote the next few hours to knitting.

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linden’s left front – done

Last night I finished the left front of my Linden jacket.  I remember reading on Ravelry that people said to not continue the cables in the collar shaping, so when I got to that part I was careful to pay attention, looking to see why so many made mention of the collar directions being difficult or to avoid the cable crossings within the shaping, etc.

End result?  I have no idea why so many people had problems with it.  The directions are all there, nothing is omitted or unsaid, if only you know how to read it properly.

Here’s how it works, and hopefully this will help others who haven’t knit this yet but wanted to, and maybe were nervous they wouldn’t “get it”.

After the majority of the front is complete, the st st portion of the front is decreased away  then bound off completely, and the cable is worked on alone until it is long enough to reach up around the back of your neck.  There are short rows worked 4 times to make the collar curve nicely over your shoulder and around your neck.

I don’t want to write out the actual directions here, because it’s part of pattern copyright.  But I think I can be vague enough to not infringe, while still being helpful.

The cables are on a 16-row repeat, with the cable crossings themselves on rows 7 and 15.

The collar shaping instructs you to work 5 rows of short row shaping, then 7 rows in est pattern, and then to repeat these 12 rows 3 more times.  Only the first 4 of the collar shaping rows are partial (short) rows, the 5th row (a ws row) has you working back across the complete row.  The pattern also has you only start the collar shaping once you’ve done a cable cross row, either row 7  or 15, depending on the size you are knitting.

For my size, I started the collar shaping after working a row 7 cable row.

I think what’s throwing people off is that they are looking at the 12 rows you work 4 times, and are thinking it doesn’t work out within the cable crosses.  What’s being overlooked is that you’re not working 12 COMPLETE rows in the cable.  You can ignore the first 4, and only count the 5th row, because that’s the only one that is actually worked across the whole row.


Collar Shaping Row 1 – WS – doesn’t count with cable rows

Collar Shaping Row 2 – RS – doesn’t count with cable rows

Collar Shaping Row 3 – WS – doesn’t count with cable rows

Collar Shaping Row 4 – RS – doesn’t count with cable rows

Collar Shaping Row 5 – WS – counts as cable row 8 (or 16, but I’m working with my size here.  You can adjust the row numbers for where you ended before “Shape Collar”).

Work 7 Rows in Est Patt:

Row 1 – RS – counts as cable row 9

Row 2 – WS – counts as cable row 10

Row 3 – RS – counts as cable row 11

Row 4 – WS – counts as cable row 12

Row 5 – RS – counts as cable row 13

Row 6 – WS – counts as cable row 14

Row 7 – RS – counts as cable row 15 – cable crossing row

And that’s the first repeat.  Then you do it 3 more times.

How this works out is that you have some short row shaping (the first 4 partial rows), then 7 full rows of stockinette stitch, then a cable crossing row, 4 times total.

It’s actually really smart how the short-row shaping was worked into the cables without actually affecting them at all, and hopefully this will help anyone having trouble figuring it out.

My mother-in-law called this weekend to say that we’d be celebrating Thanksgiving next Monday at my sister-in-law’s place, and wouldn’t it be nice if I were to surprise B with her long-awaited  pillows?  Hmmm.  Subtle.  So unfortunately I’m going to have to put Linden on partial hold while I work on the pillows.  It’s frustrating because I’m seeing it progress so fast, but I think I’ve figured out a way to work on both, by bringing Linden as my “take-along-knitting” for the appointment I’ve got later this week, but keeping the pillows (and their accompanying “designing”) as my night-time knitting.