Knittingdodo’s knit rants

Yarn, Needles, An Extinct Bird……What More Do You Need?

FO: Dragon Melody Shawl November 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 8:14 pm

Now, this is one FO that I’m really proud of. I’m getting a bit of a reputation at the shop. People are starting to ask me to make things that they want to have, but not necessarily want to make. Such is the case with this shawl.

Cathy at the at the shop comissioned me to make this shawl for her. I was in the middle of making that devil tank, so the yarn and pattern sat on my vanity for a few weeks before I even looked at it. Then, it took me a while to get into it after I started because it has a large stockinette bit at the begining and, as you all know, stockinette can get really boring pretty fast.

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Then, after increasing in stockinette to over 300 stitches, I got to the fun lacey bit. I enjoyed that. It was an easy enough lace panel that I could read what I was kntting and know what was to come next without having to look much at the chart. The lace part went quickly and I thought I was close to being done.

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Boy was I wrong. I didn’t realize until I got there that the lace border was knitted on. It was 35 stitches per row. The pattern was a 12 row repeat. I had to do the pattern repeat 93 times. Yeah, that’s 1116 rows total. When I scaned over the pattern at the begining, I olny saw this little 12 row chart and thought it would be a quick easy finish.

Not so much.

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For at least the first 10 repeats I had to count and really pay attention to the pattern to remember where I was, and I was hating life. By repeat 30 or so, I could read the knitting pretty well and find my place a little quicker, bit it was still awkward. Boy, though, when I got up to repeat 50 or so, I was a master at the pattern and could knit it with my eyes closed. By that time, I was flying through the repeats and feeling fine.

And this is what I ended up with:

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I was almost sad to give it to Cathy, because it came out so pretty! And the sucker’s big! I never realized how big it actually was going to be until I cast off. I knit the thing on 40″ circs, so I couldn’t ever really spread it out. But it’ll keep anyone nice and warm.

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And the lace pattern, even that pesky border, came out so pretty. You know, I knit lace socks all the time, and I’ve done other lace things, but never something this big. In fact, this is my first ever shawl, so I double proud of it for that.

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Project: Dragon Melody Shawl by Mary Young Smith (Rav Me!)
Yarn: Jojoland Melody
Needles: US6
Date Started: September 21, 2009
Date Completed: October 30 2009
Mods: None

I’m really glad I made this shawl, and the gals at the shop raved about it. In fact, I’ve got orders to make 2 more shawls now. Good work pays off. But those other shawls have to wait until I get my Christmas knitting done. I’m too far behind to pick up any other projects.

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FO: Eton’s Scarf November 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 2:26 am

Well, prepare yourself, most of the next FO posts will be Christmas gifts.  That means that, in an effort to make everything in time, they may not be anything structurally spectacular.  They’re not going to be garter stitch washclothes, mind you, but they aren’t going to be fingering weight fair isle sweaters either.  And  a perfect example of this is the scarf I’d made for my FIL.

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Last year, you may recall, I made my FIL a pair of fingerless gloves. I figured he could use them while driving truck in Oregon. He really seemed to like them, which made me feel good, of course. I had a hard time figuring what to make him this year. I knew I didn’t have to resources for a sweater, though I know he’d be very grateful if I made him one. So, it had to be something small, but also manly. That cut down a lot of things…like purses. ;o)

Finally, I settled on a scarf. I had some really nice blue cascade 220 and some leftover black from the dog sweater. But, I didn’t have very much, so I had to pick out a pattern that would be manly, interesting, and not need more than 400 yards of yarn. I found that in the Eton Scarf.

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It’s really fairly simple, just a doubled moss stitch, but it changed things up enough that I wasn’t bored to tears to make it. Also, it was easy enough that I could knit it at the hospital with my MIL. It helped to have something that had rows that were short and no chart, so that I could just drop it if I was needed.

(BTW, for those of you wondering, my MIL made through surgery fine and, after spending 6 weeks in the hospital, finally got released about 2 weeks ago. She’s doing very well, amazingly well, actually. She’s living at home, on her own, and only needs us to drive her for errands. It’s a realy answer to prayer, I tell you, and I really appreciated all your prayers.)

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Project: Eton Scarf by Jennifer Refat (Rav Me!)
Yarn:Cascade 220
Date Started:October 12, 2009
Date Completed:October 18, 2009
Mods: Um, well, I guess you could say that using two colors was a mod, but it’s not much of one, really.

I’m thinking that if I get all my other gifts done in time, I may make a quick hat for him too. Not out of this same yarn, though. I used every little bit of it on the scarf.

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FO: Chihuahua Sweater November 7, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 7:31 pm

I have a neighbor, Peggy, who’s been a realy help to me. She’s a stay at home mom also and has been there to watch my girls in an emergency. And, as you kow, emergencies come all too often in my world.

Anyway, I wanted to do a little something to show my gratitude, and, being on the poor side, it needed to be something small. (are you catching the tiny refrences?)

Well, Peggy’s got an itty bitty Chihuahua. He’s a bitty teeny one too. His name is Thor and he’s adorable. I thought a dog sweater would be the perfect thing.

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Thankfully, Peggy thought so too. Thor wasn’t too thrilled about putting the sweater on, but once we got it on, he seemed ok with the whole thing.

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The pattern is almost more of a recipe, in that you can add whatever you want to it. I chose to do it in two colors and add a cable to the back. I wish I’d made it a bigger cable, but this works too. And, bonus, it only took a few hours to make.

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Project: Chihuahua Sweater by Staceyjoy Elkin (Rav Me!)
Yarn: Cascade 220 for the black and Knitpicks Swish worsted for the red. (The red was left over from the Hemlock Blanket)
Needles: US 5 and US 7
Date Started: October 5, 2009
Date Completed: October 6 2009
Mods: Not really a mod, but I did add the cable to the back and did it all in moss stitch instead of stockinette.


FO: Wrenna

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 7:13 pm

Remember in the last post when I told you that I knit another porject out of French Girl Knits and totally loved it?

Well, this is it.

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Meet Wrenna. My loverly orange cardigan. I love it. It’s perfect. And, it’s very, very orange.

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The yarn is Lamb’s Pride Bulky. The shop got a few discontinued colors in for dirt cheap and sold them to use for $3 a skein. Well, how could I pass that up? This whole thing took only 4 skeins. You can’t say no to a $12 sweater, you just can’t.

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Now, those of you with the book or who are familiar with the pattern will see that I made some minor changes….like sleeves. Well, I had extra yarn and thought sleeves would be good.

Just for the record, I think I was right.

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Project: Wrenna: Leather-Laced Cardigan by Kristeen Griffin-Grimes (Rav Me!)
Yarn: Nature Spun Lamb’s Pride Bulky in Pumpkin
Needles: US17, yeah, one row was nearly an inch!
Date Started: September 23, 2009
Date Completed: October 1 2009
Mods: Well, as stated earlier, I added long sleeves, putting the lace bit on the sleeves. I also decided against the leather lacing and added a button band and buttons. I’ve got my mods for the sleeves on my Raverly page, feel free to steal them for your own Wrenna.

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FO: Nadine

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 6:54 pm

Back in September I met my archnemesis. My total enemy. The bane of my existence. Wanna see it?


This is Nadine. Nadine is one of the patterns from the book, French Girl Knits. Now, I don’t want you to get a wrong impression of the book. The book is full of beautiful patterns and I would suggest that everyone buy it and use it. Just to prove that, I’ll tell you that, after Nadine, I made another pattern out of the book and totally LOVED it. So, definately, buy the book.

Just don’t knit Nadine.

I had thought that it would be interesting to make when the shop asked me to do it. I was even excited. But, as I got further and further along in the pattern, I realized that I would not be enjoying this particular knit.

I think it has to do with the kitchnering. I had to kitchner all the pieces together. In the front, that was 80+ stitches on each side. Now, we all know that I love to kitchner a toe. Love it, I do. But, that’s only 11 stitches on average and this was quite a bit more. And I had to do it four times! And, on a toe, all the stitches were on the needle. This I had to pick up half the stitches and I had to pick it up on the lace, so it wasn’t as straight forward as it would be on, say, stockinette. And, again, I had to do it four times!

And it wasn’t even that I could have just knit the pattern in the round, like I would do for most other patterns. I don’t know if you can tell in the photo, but the stockinette bits? Yeah, they’re knit sideways. Yup, sidways. So, I had to knit the whole thing in pieces and then

Not fun.

Not fun at all.

I do have to give some of the credit for my utter loathing of this project to the yarn. It’s linen. And it really, truly, honestly felt like I was knitting with twine. It even split like twine. Not fun for the hands.

I was so angry at this project that I only took one decent shot of it. And I’ve already showed it to you. Oh well, you don’t mind seeing it again, do you?


Project: Nadine: Tunic Tank by Kristeen Griffin-Grimes
Yarn: Louet Euroflax Geneva
Needles: US 7
Started: August 21, 2009
Completed: September 23 2009
Mods: None, but I seriously thought about throwing the whole thing away. Does that count as a mod?

As much as I disliked the making of this tank, I will have to say this. After it was washed and blocked, it did look pretty alright and the shop likes it.


FO: Lace Cardigan November 6, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 9:11 pm

A few months ago, the shop came up to me and asked if I’d like to make another sample. They wanted to highlight a yarn that hadn’t been selling well and wondered if I’d make something out of it for myself and, when they were done using the sample, I’d get to keep it. It sounded like a good idea to me, I mean, this is bamboo yarn we’re talking about and it’s not cheap. But, I couldn’t think of anything I wanted out of the colors they had in stock. So, I thought instead I could make something for T. I mean, her birthday is coming up soon, so I could kill two birds with one stone.

So, I took 6 balls home and got started on this:

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(She’s acting cold, you see, to show the need for a sweater)

The yarn was really nice to work with. It’s very soft and showed the stitch pattern really well. The pattern, however, didn’t make me a happy Cristi.

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It wasn’t that it was hard, it wasn’t. I think that there was a language barrier or something. It just didn’t read out right. Let’s just say that it was a good thing I’m an experienced knitter. There was lots of stuff the pattern just assumed you’d know, and they went about things in the hardest way. If I’d tried this a few years ago, it would’ve probably put me off knitting. Needless to say, I won’t be making this again.

But, T liked it:

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Project: Design B – Lace Cardigan by Sirdar Spinning Ltd.
Yarn: Schulana Sojabama
Needles: US 6
Date Started: August 26, 2009
Date Completed: September 2 2009
Mods: Well, I didn’t make any, but if I were forced to make it again, there’d be plenty…

You may be asking yourself why, if I was gifting it to T for her birthday, I would have her wear it for the picutres. Well, that’s the nice thing about 4 year old brains. Since I made this in September and it hung in the shop for 2 months, she’s forgotten all about it. And I got it back in perfect time for her birthday on the 28th. And, a bonus, in the past month T has decided that purple is her favorite color. Good thing I didn’t make it out of blue, huh?

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I Promised Myself I Wasn’t Going To Do This…

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 8:51 pm

I told myslef that this year I’d be more prepared, I’d start earlier, I’d plan things out better. But, I didn’t.

Yes, I’m talking about my Christmas gift knitting. Last year, when I knit like a mad woman in odrer to get 14 gifts knit in time after starting in mid-October; I swore next year I’d do it differently.

Here it is November and when do you think I started knitting my gifts? That’s right, 2 weeks ago. Now, I don’t have quite the large number of gifts to do this year, I think I only have 10 or so, but I’ve got a full lace shawl as one of the gifts. And, you know, that’s like 2 or 3 gifts put together.

And it’s not like I couldn’t have started the shawl months ago. I knew I was making it for Christmas. I’ve had that planned since January. I’ve even had the yarn since late Spring, so I totally could have started it. But, no, I was a dunderhead and worked on other things, thinking I still had plenty of time.

And, now, Christmas is less than two months away. And me? Well, I’m back to knitting like a mad woman.

I’m such a glutton for punishment…