Tag Archive | knitting

I Don’t Like Short Rows

Seriously, I’ve never liked short rows. At first, when I was a new knitter, I was scared of them. Turn your knitting in the middle of a row? What madness is that? Like knitting socks, I thought they were complicated and hard and a sure way to mess up your knitting if you didn’t do them right. But they’re also hard to avoid completely.

I think my first project with short rows was Martina Behm’s Fractal Danger. Like a lot of patterns, I bought it because it was pretty without looking too closely, and it wasn’t until I was partway in and invested that I found the short rows. Fine. I’d do them just this once. And it was fine, they weren’t hard, but a bit fiddly, and I’ll be darned if that shawl didn’t come out as one of the most wearable pieces I’ve made.

Then I knit my first sock, and realized the magic of turning heels is due to short rows. But those are super easy, and it’s just a few stitches, and it’s like they don’t even count as short rows.

Oh, but then came Wonder Woman. How many of you have knit the Wonder Woman wrap? It’s gorgeous, isn’t it? I had to make it, regardless of what it took. Well, as you can guess, it took short rows. And not the simple short rows I’d done in the past, but wrap and turn short rows. These short rows actually lived up to my expectations: they were tricky, and it was hard to find the wrapped stitch you were supposed to knit into. But for Wonder Woman, I pushed through it, and it’s one of my favorite shawls to wear. Now, I don’t think I’d want to make another one, but I learned I can do short rows if I have to.

Guess what else? Lots of sweater patterns use short rows for neck shaping, to make the back of the sweater a little bit bigger than the front. Both sweaters I’ve made did that; I guess I was getting used to short rows because they weren’t a big deal.

And now, here I am again, knitting short rows. I picked Martina Behm’s Easy shawl because of course, it has Easy in the name and when you want mindless knitting, easy is good. I floated through Part I, doing so much garter stitch in a haze of happiness. But then came Part II. The second triangle was made from…short rows? Dang it. I don’t like short rows. Except…maybe I do? Because look at this:

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They’re not hard at all, and there’s that beautiful little seam going in between the two triangles, and they’re coming together so neatly and magically and I kind of love it.

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So there you have it. I actually do like short rows after all.

Except wrap and turn short rows. Those still suck a little.

Uninspired Knitting

I’ve been knitting, of course. You’ve seen my Hitchhiker and that was a super fun project. But I’m not doing any exciting knitting. I’m kind of stuck in this rut of finishing WIPs, which is great, except it’s not that interesting. Now that I think about it, though, I think my knitting is acting as my therapy, my comfort, my peace. I think I need that balance to the rest of life right now.

Work is fine, but you know, work can just be a little stressful at times, especially when you’re learning tricky new things. The house, well, it’s up in the air right now. We don’t know if we’re staying or selling or when so I’m just muddling along there. The girl leaves for college in three weeks and there’s much still to do before then and I’m starting to feel that little knot in my chest when I think about it but it’s fine, it’ll be fine. Just fine. The husband is stressed out like crazy. Thankfully, the boy is the easy one right now, rather stubborn (I can’t complain too much; he got it from me) but overall easy to please. And the dogs. They’re such good dogs, really. They make me happy.

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Sitting with them with some garter stitch or a vanilla sock in my hands is the happiest, most relaxing thing right now. So that’s what I do. I know I’ll get back to sweaters and lace and all kinds of fun knitting things, but it’ll have to wait a while, apparently. Hills and valleys, right?

I finished the last of these socks last night. The yarn is Indigo Boulevards 2-ply sock in the color Lost Diadem, purchased from the Yarn Charm when the girl and I were on the college visit in Lincoln, Nebraska. I decided we each needed a pair of souvenir socks, and I had plenty of yarn with a bit left over!

With that done, I felt the urge for more garter stitch, so I pulled out my hibernating Easy shawl for some movie knitting last night. I’m almost to the end of the first skein, which means I’m almost halfway through. The yarn is Madtosh DK in the color Gosla and it’s so so so gorgeous and I definitely want this to wear as soon as it cools down around here. (So, like, maybe November, at this rate.)

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One more sign that my knitting is uninspired right now: I’m not buying yarn right now. I haven’t bought yarn since late April. Three months, guys! And we drove near a yarn store over the weekend and I wasn’t even tempted to stop! Now that’s crazy. But I’m happy with all my beautiful yarn in my stash…and okay, I confess, I know I’ll be going to the Loopy Ewe next month, so maybe I’m just biding my time.

Visiting the Frog Pond

For you non-knitters out there, frogging is ripping back your knitting. It’s called frogging because you “rip it, rip it”. It’s pretty common during the knitting process to frog when you’ve completely messed up several rows or a big section. But to frog a completed project? That’s less common, and always seemed crazy to me, until recently.

When I started my most recent Hitchhiker, it made me think about the Hitchhikers I’ve made in the past. Two were for other people and two were for me, and I rarely wear mine. One gave me hives the last time I wore it, so yeah, haven’t worn that again. But the other is a gorgeous rainbow shawl in Done Roving Frolicking Feet yarn, which is amazing yarn.

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This isn’t even a good photo and still, you can see how pretty the colors are! The problem is that it was my first Hitchhiker and I thought I could get away with using just one skein of DK weight instead of fingering and not making any other modifications. I ended up with a shawl so short it was hard to wear. Thus, I never wore it. Thus, I frogged it. And now I have a beautiful cake of rainbow yarn that I get to knit all over again!

That made me so happy that honestly, I’m thinking of frogging this big cowl I made last winter.

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I still love the yarn so much, but when I wear this, it rolls a lot and I’m not crazy about it. I think I want to try knitting a tube scarf. I could leave the ends plain and let them roll a little bit, but on a longer scarf, that wouldn’t be a problem. I just need to figure out if I have enough yarn to make a scarf that’s long enough to make me happy, and I’m not convinced yet. But I know I want to wear the yarn, and I didn’t wear it like this, so it needs to become something else and that’s that.

Have you ever frogged a completed project?

 

FO: NGY Hitchhiker

Thanks to two weekends of great Wimbledon tennis, I finished my Hitchhiker this morning! I cast on the Hitchhiker Beyond last Saturday and most of the knitting was done over the two weekends, with a few teeth here and there during the week. This was for a Nerd Girl Yarns KAL, and I chose a NGY in her Mutiny base, which is 80/20 merino/silk. Yep, the drape is as amazing as you’d imagine. Perfect with garter stitch on my size 3 needles. I love this one so much!

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The first section says to use a third of your yarn, or about 20/21 teeth. The first time I made it, I used 30 grams and had 21 teeth, and ran out of yarn too soon, so this time I was conservative and used around 25 grams I think, and only 20 teeth. I had 8 grams leftover and a gorgeous scarf in a very wearable length. I do think I’ll block it out a bit longer, but not so much that I lose the yummy squish of garter stitch.

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The color is called The Wise Build Bridges, inspired by Black Panther, and these are totally my colors so I’ll be wearing this a lot once the weather cools off.

The KAL is still going on through August 5th, so check out the Nerd Girl Yarns group on Ravelry if you want to join. I’m tempted to do another!

I miss knitting

It feels like I haven’t been knitting at all the last three weeks. We’re pondering the idea of stepping away from the fixer-upper life that we’re immersed in, so I’ve been spending most of my spare time doing a lot of heavy cleaning in preparation for listing it. I swear, this house hasn’t been this clean since we moved in, and it’s nice to see it all pretty and shiny. But man, I’m tired. Tired of cleaning and tired of not knitting. I get to do a tooth on my NGY Hitchhiker here and there, but most of my knitting has consisted of a little bit of sock knitting during lunch breaks at work. As a result, my second Jungle Boogie sock is looking pretty good.

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Yarn: Bootheel by Show Me Yarn in Jungle Boogie. Pattern: Vanilla Latte Socks.

If you haven’t already entered, you’ve got a little over four hours to enter my Appalachian Baby Organic cotton giveaway! Go now before it’s too late!

 

NGY Hitchhiker KAL

Don’t Panic! Nerd Girl Yarns is hosting a Hitchhiker KAL/CAL this month, hoping to inspire those who have lost some crafting mojo, or need some inspiration to branch out of their comfort zone. If I’m being honest, I’m not sure I fit into either of those categories, but it is at least making me knit something other than socks, so that counts, right? I love Hitchhikers for the soothing garter stitch and the fun teeth, so I knew I’d be knitting another Hitchhiker Beyond. And you get bonus points for using Nerd Girl Yarns yarn, which narrowed it down to these two choices:

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At first I was convinced I’d be using the bottom, called Queen of the Amazons, but the more I looked at them, the more I knew I’d wear the purple color more. (Shocker, I know.) The color is called The Wise Build Bridges, inspired by Black Panther. I wound it this morning, the first official day of the KAL, while I was watching Breakfast at Wimbledon.

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See that sneaky pup? That’s Grace!

I couldn’t start it while Rafa was playing, because that match needed close attention and I have to count rows when I make Hitchhikers, but as soon as Rafa won, I cast on, and that was my project for the next few hours of tennis.

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I’m loving it so much. This yarn is perfect for this pattern, or maybe this pattern is just perfect, I don’t know.  Do you want to play along? Check out the Nerd Girls Yarns group on Ravelry for more details!

Jungle Boogie!

These socks are practically knitting themselves, I swear. I can’t believe how fast they’re going, and it’s all because of the awesome gorgeous fabulous yarn by Show Me Yarn! I started these on Sunday, as soon as I finished my last pair of socks, and I’m already very close to the toe.

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The yarn is their Bootheel base in a color called Jungle Boogie, which I snagged at Knitting in the Heartland this year, totally drawn in by the colors. It’s not currently available on their Etsy site, but this new colorway is similar. I’m pretty sure I’ll finish this sock while watching Wimbledon this weekend, and maybe even get a start on the second sock.

And now I thought I’d share a photo that perfectly captures what life is like with dogs and teenagers.

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Grace loves to sit on the dining room chairs, and apparently the table as well. Had I been there, I would have shooed her off the table immediately. But I was not, and the boy thought it would be more fun to take photos and encourage her naughtiness.

Fine. Yes. I thought it was pretty cute too.