More Finished Objects

I squeezed a little knitting in around Christmas and Boxing Day gatherings and finally finished the Inca Vest yesterday:

(Terrible photo, I know. I’ll try to get a better one later.)

Well, I finished the knitting bit. I was going to sew buttons on (there are buttonholes hidden in behind the cable twists) but when I pinned the fronts together while trying it on there was a fair bit of gaping between the pins. I suspect only a zipper will do, and that’ll have to wait until I can get to Spotlight or Lincraft.

Amazing how you can have a great tangle of zippers in your sewing box – some new, some recycled – but still never seem to have the right kind in the right length or colour.

Last night I finished another chocolate sock. I still need to make the pair to this one, but I had to model it next to some mighty fine chocolates we also finished last night.

Good chocolate makers, Droste. These had no fancy fillings, they were just shapes and pastilles made from good quality dark and milk chocolate.

Interesting how finishing knitting something make you feel good, but finishing a chocolate something makes you feel sad.

The Great Incan Frogging Rebellion of ’06

Before hand/shoulder pain stopped me, this was where I got to with the Inca Vest:

Even if I hadn’t had good reason to stop knitting for a bit, I think I would have put this aside anyway. There was something wrong, and I knew it, but I was still in denial. Today I picked it up and pinned it onto me. The problem was obvious and I couldn’t reason it away:

The cuddly, ribby goodness was all very nice around the body, but above the armholes there was nothing to hold the fabric stretched out, so it shrank into itself all the way up to the shoulders.

I’d reknitted it once already, but no widening of the knitting above the bust was going to stop it from drawing in and looking different to the rib all stretched out over the front. I’m not adverse to a bit of bust-enhancing emphasis, not being a particulary robust girl in that region, but not to this degree.

The solution, I decided, was to de-rib it. This involved dropping purl stitches, letting them run down to the cast on row, then picking them up as knit stitches with a crochet hook:

Which took several hours, but nowhere near as long as it would have taken if I’d frogged and reknit from scratch. And I got to play around with how many ribbed columns I’d take out and how many I’d leave in. I decided I must at least get rid of every second purl column.

Then I accidentally dropped the stitches of one of the ones I was going to keep, and it occurred to me that I could turn half the stitches into knits, but leave 20 stitches at the waist area purls, then swap back to knit, and give it a bit of waist shaping.

When I had done all this, I pinned it on me again. It was fitting nicely, but there was a purl column groove right over the centre of where the bust ‘bulges’ are. That looked a little too exciting – like I might bust out any moment. (Bust out. Ha ha. Sorry.)

So I did the opposite to before – I ‘filled in’ the purl column over the bust with knit stitches. Here’s how it looks now, with the purl columns of one half marked in red:

I think I can safely get stuck into working out the armhole and front decreases now.

Rosebud Socks Finished!

The osteo worked his magic on my shoulder so over the last week I was able to increase the amount of knitting (and crochet) I did. Yesterday I finished the Rosebud Socks:

Here’s a close-up of the lace pattern (right side up):

And this is how much yarn was left over:

Lots! I have small (well, narrow) feet so I often end up with leftovers. Even so, this is an amazing amount to have left. Maybe that’s because the socks had a lacy pattern.

These socks were a fun knit. I used my own basic toe-up pattern, with the flower buds stitch pattern from The Harmony Guide to Knitting Stitches. I’ve thought about writing the pattern up, but to be honest I’m still too inexperienced in knitting lace to know how to write a pattern properly for it. If you do have the book above, remember that the socks have to be done toe-up so the buds don’t end up upside down. But I suppose if they were done top-down then they’d look right to whoever wore them!


The Have It Your Way crochet hat from Yarn magazine:

It’ll look much nicer on Mum’s head, I’m sure.

(I can safely post pics of presents for Mum on this site. She makes Dad keep the ‘ugly, whirring box thing’ out in his shed.)


Yesterday I decided I ought to add some features to this blog. The first one I wanted, was a doovy that showed me statistics for the site. Visitors, traffic, that sort of thing. I went to Blogger’s help section and typed ‘statistics’ into the search engine.

It came up with a list of sites that have free hit counters and such. I figured that this means Blogger doesn’t provide a statistice service itself. (Correct me if I’m wrong, please!) So I looked at a few of these recommended sites, and since they all look the same to me I signed up to the one that presented the info in the clearest, easy-to-understand way.

Unfortunately, it runs on someplace-else’s time. And there’s no way to change it to EST. This is confusing and makes the whole exercise mostly pointless.

So, can anyone recommend a statistics site/program?

(Later – I’ve changed to StatCounter, which I noticed See Eunny Knits has on her page.)

Booky goodness

Okay. Enough stash diet silliness. On to more serious things.

I was happy to see the new issue of Yarn magazine in my local newsagent/post office yesterday – happy despite all the frumpatrocious patterns in the last issue. I had my fingers crossed the bad issue was a one-off, and even if the patterns were awful in this one I was desperately in need of some knit articles to keep me occupied and away from the needles.

The articles are good, though some seemed rather short. Among them there’s a nice interview with Mel Clark, a good piece on yarn weight terminology, some tips on cotton and pockets (these did seem a tad short), and a fun one in which designers tart up a t-shirt or two with added knitty goodness.

The patterns are good, too. There is a ‘simple gifts’ section with nice homewares and a pair of socks. Then there’s some garments: a interesting skirt reminiscent of Nora Gaugan’s style that isn’t ‘interesting’, a top for larger sizes that is tasteful and flattering, a couple of shawls, a camisole, a halter top, a bag a belt and a choker. The halter top uses nice colours, but looks a bit potatoe-sacky. That’s fine. I never like every pattern in a magazine issue.

I like most of these. So, all in all, a good issue.

I picked up The Harmony Guide to Knitting Stitches unexpectedly in an op shop earlier this year, and I’ve really come to love that book. Today I discovered that there’s a Borders outlet in Brand Smart, in the next suburb, and the first thing I laid eyes on when I walked in was 220 Aran Stitches and Patterns, also a Harmony Guide, on sale. It says it’s Volume 5 so I’m wondering if there are another four of these I could pick up.

Lots of socky, vesty inspiration here.

Tips for KFYS Participants

While managing a four month stash diet, from October 2005 to January 2006, I came up with a few tricks that might help fellow stash knitters, and I thought I should share them here:

1. Set goals. It might be “I will knit at least one sock, one sweater, one shawl and one accessory in this time”. It could be “I will knit one pattern from each magazine I read (though not necessarily every issue), or “I will knit one green project, one red, one blue and one purple (substitute colours for those of your preference/contained in your stash). “You could even try “I will reduce the stash enough to actually fit into the stash’s storage boxes/room (without buying more storage boxes/starting major house renovations)”.

2. Take photos of any yarn you have a use in mind for, with the intended pattern, required tools, etc, and place wherever you will see them whenever a) you have an idle moment (the tv, the bedside table, the toilet) or b) are tempted to buy more yarn (in the handbag, next to the computer, glued to the front of your credit card or onto the screen of your computer).

3. Fondle your stash at regular intervals. How can you get inspired to knit from it if you don’t examine, daydream over and play with it often? If anyone questions this behavior, tell them you’re checking for moths.

4. Buy a program that prevents children accessing inappropriate websites and get someone else to set it to block terms such as “cotton blend”, “handpainted” and “sale”.

5. If you live in a hot climate, buy an airconditioner and set it to ‘high’.

That Could Be a Problem…

I realised today that my planned yarn crawl around New Zealand next year might constitute more than just ‘falling off the wagon once’, so I’ve added a new rule to my KFYS rules:

2.f. Yarn bought on international holidays is exempt.