Saturday, January 23, 2010


Finishing the third skein (100 gr. Cascade220) for the sweater, and so-far I've knitted the sleeves and about 11 inches of the body. This yarn sure goes a long way.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Yarn Cupboard

Yarn Cupboard
Originally uploaded by rajnos.

I had the first week of January off from work. One of the things I did was to organize my yarn cupboard a little bit better. Since it looked half-descent, I took a picture of it and put in on You can put your mouse over the picture to learn more about what is there.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

On knitting a sweater

After I started the body I realized that this will take longer than I anticipated.

Number of projects

I was going over my projects on Ravelry. Last year (2009) I completed 30 projects. The year before that (2008) I completed 44 projects!!! Quite a difference. I did knit less in 2009, but I was also working on bigger projects, such as the yellow blanket.

In 2007 it was 44, with a lot of small projects. In 2006 it was 39 (including about 10 ballband dishcloths). In 2005, it was 15 projects. In 2004 it was one. In 2003, it was 2. The list is pretty extensive. I can't help setting this up in a table (just be glad I don't make a graph ;)

2009 30
2008 44
2007 44
2006 39
2005 15
2004 1
2003 2
Undated in Ravelry/not listed in Ravelry 7

In 2010 I will not be setting any records in number of projects. Instead, I'll be knitting bigger, slower projects. This is my prediction anyways, we'll see what happens. Maybe I'll get into dishcloth mania again :o For 2010, I'm very excited about sweaters and shawls and also about using the yarn I already have. Can't wait :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sweater progress

Both the sleeves are done. Made good progress on the second one while on a road trip to Parkersburg, WV with my knitting buddies, Nancy and Stephanie. The first stop was the fabulous yarn shop, Market Street Yarn, then lunch and Old Navy. All excellent and the company no less so.

I started the main body yesterday and finished the garter stitch (in-the-round) section at the bottom. So tonight I can start the lace pattern.

My older daughter reminds me not to forget about Sophie, who now has head, body and one leg.

I've been on vacation for the last week and today I'm going back to work again. Oddly enough I didn't knit as much as I thought I would. Maybe it has something to do with the kids only going to school last Monday, the rest of the weekdays were snowdays, so no school. The timing was good though, I could spend more time with the kids. Plus the house is half-decent. Some organizing got done ;) but more is still left.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

February Sweater Update

I've finished one sleeve of the February Fitted Pullover. I've knit two sleeves worth but only have one to show for it. In last post I talked about how I was using the sleeve as a gauge swatch and started over on smaller needles. The smaller needles gave me 19 sts/4inches, so that the piece is smaller than it's supposed to be (17 sts). Smaller is better in this case. I can block the sleeve (and the rest of the sweater out more) and I'm hoping to be smaller myself. I lost 40 pounds in 2009, which explains why I have not been knitting much for myself lately. I never wanted to knit for the bigger me because it was harder (bigger sweaters, few (and unflattering) designs) and I didn't want to put the effort in it and then end up with a too large garment in the long run.

In the beginning of the post I said I knitted the sleeve twice. First I ripped out half the sleeve due to gauge issues. Then I knit through the decreases on top only to find that my stitch count was off. What I was doing wrong was to continue in the lace pattern without taking care to pair every increase with a decrease. The second time around I kept a tally of the decreases on paper (see photo) as well as what the stitch count was supposed to be and counted the stitches regularly, at least after every decrease row.

It was well worth the extra effort. It made things simpler and more 'Zen'. I really enjoyed the process. Much more than when I was just knitting and hoping it would all add up in the end.

Monday, January 04, 2010

A New Year - New Beginnings

I never actually finished my Christmas knitting.

While my older daughter got a little knitted elephant (Elijah by Ysolde Teague) in her stocking, the younger daughter only got a skein of yarn and a pattern (Sophie by Ysolde Teague). The patterns are a joy to make. Well written and clear and you fill them up as you go so there is not a lot of finishing to do in the end.

They are both knitted out of Louet Gems Sport wt. yarn. This yarn is a pure pleasure to knit. Elijah (renamed Ellie) is knit out of a colorway called 'Cloud Grey', while Sophie is being knit out of a hideously pink color aptly named 'Pink Panther'. I love my daughter so much, I'm willing to handle this horribly pink yarn long enought to knit the thing :)

The gray yarn I purchased from a fellow Raveller (from It was marked 'For sale or trade' and I recommend you to look at Ravelry stashes for yarn. The yarn is both economical (compared to buying on-line, or even at a LYS) and since I don't have a lot of yarn shops near by and the ones that are here are not very big. Therefore this is especially nice for me to get yarn I would have to order anyways. Of course you are not guarantied exactly what you want and in the quantities you want, but this is a good place to look. I didn't find a skein of a pink yarn, but instead my LYS owner got the pink yarn from another yarn store for me. They sell yarn for each other if a customer is looking for something they don't stock, sort of a co-op.

The other Christmas present I'm not done with it a pair of mittens. They are knit on 2mm (US0) needles and somehow I managed to lose the needles, all 5 of them! I have no idea how I did it.

Sophie is also on hold right now because I also managed to lose my little red purse with knitting knit-knacks, including my tapestry needles. I need a needle to finish off the body of Sophie so I can start the legs.

Beside UFOs, I have one other project on the go. I had a big report to finish before the end of the year and I was working long hours, especially in the end. I ended up finishing it and sending it out on Dec.31st. As a reward for a job well done (or at least for a job finished in time ;) I cast on that evening a sweater for me.

I heard about this sweater from Jessica, a knitting friend of mine. She mentioned it on her blog, provided a link and I was enchanted. It is called February Fitted Pullover and is a version of the famous February Lady Sweater, which in return is a grown-up version of an Elizabeth Zimmermann pattern for babies.

I got the yarn for the February Lady Sweater last spring, with the best intentions to knit it. It never even came close to my needles but when I saw the new version, I was smitten.

Taking a cue from another fellow Wednesday Library knitter, Stephanie. I started knitting a sleeve as a huge swatch. The gauge is measured in a blocked piece, so I wet-blocked the sleeve (still on the needles, a circular) and measured it. It had 15 sts per 4 inches instead of 17. I decided to rip it back and start over on smaller needles (4mm instead of 4.5mm - US6 and 7 or 7 and 8, not sure). The picture is off the sleeve as it is now, started over on the smaller needle.

I've been wanting to knit more wearable items for me. I think that's the big knitting emphasis I'm bringing into the new year. Hopefully, a year from now I will boast a few sweaters, cardigans and such that I can wear.