Monday, December 29, 2008

ah crap...

I was almost 2/3 done the front (or back, whatever, the other bit) for Rowan's dress when I counted the stitches to see how many more decreases I had to do... and found that I'd managed to cast on 10 extra stitches. BUGGER.

So I unravelled it all. I'm not a happy camper today.

Monday, December 22, 2008

back of dress: finished

I finished the back of Rowan's "christmas" dress today, and did the most beautiful casting-off I've done yet, which was even more impressive since it was accomplished in between toddler mini-fits.

I don't know if I should block it now or wait til it's all done - does it matter? Because the whole dress will take a lot of towel/ironing board space, it would be nice to do it one piece at a time, but if it gets gibbled up again in between blocking and sewing I'd have to do it again. Anyone? Help?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

that pillow thing

The pillow cover turned out somewhat larger than I'd envisioned. It's exactly the same size as the cushions on the back of our couch, so I could attach it to one of those, and it would look pretty cool - except the couch is covered by a large quilt because it is a cheap Ikea couch and vulnerable to children and pets, so nobody would ever see it.

Also, the child rather likes it as a cape. I hope this is not the fate of ALL the knitwear I produce.

Friday, December 5, 2008


I finished the knitting portion of the pillow and am blocking it. I seem to have 4 identically sized squares of knitting, although secretly in my heart I know that two of them have one more row than the other two. So I will join the same-sized ones together across, and then join those two wide pieces together up-and-down, and hopefully it will work. I don't think the height difference will be visible.

If all goes well, there will be pictures of the finished pillow tomorrow!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

slightly frustrated

I started on one of the beige blocks for my pillow last week and it's going rather slowly. Mostly because I keep messing it up. I've unraveled good big sections a couple of times now, so at this point it's about 1/3 done. Still. Again.

But, I am getting practiced at unravelling and fixing stuff, and I now know that the ONLY thing I can do while knitting is listen to the radio. TV, or actual other humans in the vicinity are bad news, and cause me to perl excessively. (Why? I don't know.)

It's ok, and I've now subscribed to a whole pile of CBC podcasts, which is probably a good thing since I no longer TRY to listen to Quirks & Quarks or Ideas when they're actually on, which is much better for family harmony because apparently I'm really good at tuning out the child and the husband when I'm listening to the radio.

But back to the knitting. I actually don't like the feel of the yarn I'm using for the pillow project. It feels nice when it's knitted, but not while it's knitting. It's reeeeally cheap acrylic, and I think I will never attempt to knit anything with cheap acrylic again. (Like, $2.49 a ball cheap. Yeah.) I am looking forward to the 100% wool (washable!) for Rowan's dress.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

No, the internet DIDN'T need another one, but...

Whee, I'm starting a knitting blog!!!!

I know, I know, the internet is already overflowing with knitting and craft blogs. But this one is MIIIINE. And I want to be able to show my progress from "uh, how do you cast on again???" to knitting goddess on par with my mum (which should take about 20 years, so don't be all expecting fantastic stuff on here anytime soon. If I can do socks by this time next year I'll be amazed.)

I've tried to knit off and on for the past, oh, 20 years. It never really clicked, I always had mucked up tension and I'd knit seven or eight rows of garter stitch, decide that I sucked, and put it away for another few years. But now all the cool kids are doing it, and I was feeling ever more pathetic and dictatorial because every time my mum came to visit I would strap her to the couch and make her knit me or my husband some socks. She never complained, but I'm sure she had better things to do. Or make. But it's a bit pathetic, being 3o-something and whining "Mummy, can you please make my husband some socks???"

Plus I loooove knitted stuff generally. Yarn stores send me into fits of wanting. I was in Boutique de Laine in Estevan Village this morning and they had this little toddler hoodie made up - it's made with self-striping sock yarn - OMG SO CUTE!!! And now I can actually foresee a day in the not-too-distant future in which I will be able to actually make that. (It had better be in the not-too-distant future because the largest size the pattern comes in is 4T, which means I have about a year, max, unless I pop out another kid.)

Anyway. To date I have taken the introductory knitting classes at Monterey Centre through Oak Bay Rec. (Look, I'm even on the cover of their latest course catalog!) The instructor, Patricia, was FANTASTIC. She teaches the continental method and it just completely clicked in my head and all of a sudden I was knitting at a decent speed, my tension was good, it all made SENSE, I didn't forget how to cast on two days after I learned... WOW. And my very first practice bit actually turned into a real scarf for Rowan, and it doesn't look half bad! I'm not ashamed to stick it on her and go out in public. (It's not happening, because according to her it's not a scarf, it's a superhero cape, and she doesn't need it outside.) But here it is on her, contrasting beautifully with her pajamas. It's just garter stitch, about 30 stitches per row I think. I'll try to post a close-up pic soon, but it went to Grandma's house today.

My next project is a pillow - I had some yarn that a friend gave me YEARS ago, but it's not enough for an adult scarf and I wanted to try out a different stitch pattern, so I started a 40-stitch wide piece of k2p2 (alternate every other row). It looks nice, so I'm going to make 4 squares and sew them together to make a nice big poofy pillow - like a decor pillow, not a bed pillow. I'll just do the knit piece on one side and make the other side fleece or something cuddly like that, and I'll have to line the knit side because it's a really loose knit and it definitely wouldn't hold stuffing. As you can see the first square is nearly done - I am going to knit another in that blue and then 2 more in a nice beige, and I have some dark red fleece stashed somewhere for the back.

And yeah I know the cast-on row is a little tight. It's a learning project, and I think it will end up hidden in a seam somewhere.

Then after that I am going to make this dress for Rowan. It looks super-easy, and it's adorable. I went and bought the wool today:

The variegated yarn is for the sleeves, the navy is the contrast colour and the purple is for the skirt. I think I can get it done by Christmas - that's the good thing about having a small kid, right?

If I don't have the pillow finished in 2 weeks when I do my increasing & decreasing workshop (and then feel equipped to start the dress) I will put it on hold because I reeeeally want to do the dress.