Saturday, April 21, 2012

How does your Hubby spell Knitting?

My husband thinks that knitting is spelled like this... K n i t t i n g S t o r e.  Or maybe he thinks it is spelled like this... m o n e y.  Poor guy really does know how to spell but every time I start a new project it usually involves running off to some knitting store.
Today was no exception! I've been working on the sweater vest for Wild Thing the last few days and am so ready to start the finishing, but.... darnitall!  My stitch marker box has been AWOL (absent without leave) for about a week.  I can't use regular old yarn stitch markers, I have to have the locking kind! That meant it was off to the knitting store for Big & Schi-Schu today!!  Go me!!
 I really didn't want to spend our 'date' day at the yarn store and honestly, I didn't think I could talk him in to it either, so I casually suggested that we stop at Joann's as we were driving by.  It wasn't out of the way or anything!  Joke really was on Big though because I 'let' him talk me into stopping at Ikea! Which is really funny but that's what he chose to do!   I did try to play nice and do one of those "it's okay Honey. Really. You don't have to go in with me, I will just zip in, pick up what I need and be back out in like 5 minutes."  I don't think he believed me because he went in with me!  Probably just to make sure that none of the yarn grabbed me and made me stay more than those promised five minutes!  It was  one of the fastest trips in and out of Joann's in my recorded history, but.... I did manage to grab a skein of yarn (shh) as well as my stitch markers!  Gee... you gonna give me a hard time about one measly skein of yarn too?  It's not even for me!  It's for my friend G!  She wants to make a ruffly scarf and I've never seen this particular kind of yarn for less than $10 so of course I had to grab her some!
Anyway... back on track.....
Why do you need more locking stitch markers asks my hubby? To finish this vest for Wild Thing of course!  I thought you were almost done with that and besides his birthday isn't until October... yeah. I shut him down pretty fast on that one..... well... we did go to Ikea after all!  LOL  He doesn't really mind going to the knitting store, he just likes to give me a hard time!
In case you are wondering why I needed more stitch markers.....
I've decided to once again try something new! A little pre-planning for picking up stitches along the arm edges and the neck facing! Just to make sure that it all comes out even (AND I don't have to do it 12 times!)
I'm supposed to pick up 72 stitches along each arm edge, starting at the middle of the bottom. Thinking that this should all be sort of even (it may look better!) I'm taking the stitch markers and placing them at regular(ish) intervals all along where I'm supposed to pick up those 72 stitches.
See? Evenly spaced out (sorta)!  I'm hoping that this way I can evenly space the stitches out and not have big gaps.  I hate gaps.  I always rip them out and start over and I've been known to do it multiple times!  The plan this time is to just avoid it!  So keep your fingers crossed and stay tuned! I will let you know how my plan goes!~

Friday, April 20, 2012

Something New!

I learned something new today!!
I've been putting off working on Wild Thing's sweater vest because the thought of the Three Needle Bind Off was a little daunting.  Ha ha!  I didn't learn that I put stuff off... I learned that the three needle bind off is super simple!
Ha!  Once again it was me putting my knitting on a pedestal!  (Yes CS... insert whatever noun you like there!)  I do this kind of stuff all the time.  I think too much about it, I worry about it and think I can't.  Cables?  Um... yeah... did that with those as well!
Three needle bind off is just that.  A bind off using more needles than usual! That was the scary part!  You just use 3 needles instead of 2!  It's a way of grafting stuff together without Kitchener stitching and it's really pretty cool!  The seam is practically invisible. IF you make sure all of your stitches are going the same way when you bind them off! Sigh.... don't ask how I know this. Just don't.
It starts out a lot like grafting using the kitchener stitch. You have 2 sets of live stitches (the ends of WT's sweater vest!) and you put them onto needles. *I used DPN's because I didn't have to move from my chair to go get them!*  Face the needles and the stitches the same way and then bind off using a third needle.  See?  3 needles to bind off.  Duh.  What's so hard about that?!   Absolutely NOTHING!
The left side is bound off... the right side is waiting!  Just need to slip the front 7 stitches onto a needle, slip the back stitches onto another. Grab a third needle and...

knit one from the front needle and one from the back AT THE SAME TIME!

Now I have 2 stitches on the right needle....

Just do a regular ol' bind off stitch now!  Slip the first stitch over the second ..

AND DO IT AGAIN!!  All the way to the end!

This is what it looks like on the inside!

And this is what it looks like on the outside!
Doing the left side (as you are looking at my picture!) took less than 5 minutes! So... 5 minutes for the other side and then all I have to do is pick up stitches along the neck edge and each arm opening!  Then a few rows of ribbing and this little baby should be all ready for Wild Thing and his birthday in October!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Vest for Wild Thing

My little buddy 'Wild Thing' turns 4 at the end of October. Why I felt I needed to start a birthday present for him now.... I'll never probably know, but start it I did!
I actually cast on the bottom edge last week (Wednesday at Royal Knitting!) and made it almost all the way up to the armpits. This is where I realized that I had not only made a size too large for this kid but somehow I had ended up with enough stitches that made it huge! I don't think it would have ever fit this kid!   Wow. I have no idea what I did, but seriously I think I was in the neighborhood of making a size 10 ~ for a much larger animal!  I was shooting for a  boy animal size 4! 
I love how I find out things when I knit. How to do stuff, how to make stuff work, how to NOT do something and well... just  loads of interesting things become apparent when I knit! Yeah, so most of the things I realize are from mistakes, but.... learning from mistakes is a good thing! Right?
This is what I've learned from this little sweater vest!   Frogging! Frogging is so much easier if I use my ball winder! It goes so much faster if I just pay attention to what the heck I'm doing, but sigh! The ball winder to frog the vest was really kind of fun!!
Starting over on this little vest was a really good idea so after ball winder/frogging I started over on Sunday and now that  today is Thursday,  I'm almost done!!  I just have to do a 3 needle bind off at the top of the shoulders (another new thing for me!) and then pick up stitches along the arm holes and neck edging and then complete a ribbed edge!  Woot!!  I even got a little adventerous and deviated from the pattern (who? Me? Never would have thought that now would ya?!) and added a little stripe on the front! The V neck with a ribbed edge will come from the top to the top white stripe. It's a little hard to see in the picture, but there are 2 top straps on each end of that gold stitch holder. They run in a v point down to the stripey section! I don't normally stray off the pattern path but in this case, the pattern is super simple and I wanted to have a little bit of Wild Thing's sister's dress in here! Just because I'm sure their Mom would totally smirk at the 'matchy matchy' thing!!
* Miss Butter's dress was made from the same yarn - Berroco Remix
Here are the pattern particulars:
#256 Simple Vest
#266 Little Girls Sundress
Berroco Remix - 100% recycled fibers and WASHABLE!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rippin' It

Don't you just hate it when you are happily knitting away and then all of a sudden... (insert ominous music) darn it all!  A mistake!  *Insert Pirate expletive*   Grrr.
 I hate when that happens.  Because it means that I either have to chuck it all and start over (shh sometimes I start with another ball of yarn) or just start ripping out my knitting.   Rip it, rip it, rip it!
Have I ever told you how much I hate rippin' it?  Yeah.  I do.  Almost as much as I hate socks.  LOL
IF it's just one or two stitches that I've dropped somewhere along the way, that's no big deal.  I'm a whiz at picking those babies up.  I just grab a crochet hook, stick it into the dropped stitches and wait until I get back around to where they are.  I then just 'hook' them back up all the way to the top.  Wa-la!  No big deal.  BUT if it's a bigger problem than that... I just have to rip it.  Grrr.
I've been working on a little vest for my 3 year old buddy 'Wild Thing'.  It's really cute (LINK) and 'WT' is really cute so I figured it was going to be one of those no brainer, easy peasy projects.  Um... yeah... that's what I get for thinkin'!  I'm making it for his birthday (not until October) so I planned on making a bigger size for him than what he is wearing right now.  *Insert sighing and eye rolling here please*
What I didn't plan on was that the size I was making would magically make itself 2 sizes bigger than what I had circled on the pattern.  I did count!  I DID!  I double checked myself all the way through until I got up to the point where I needed to divide and bind off for the arm pits........ what?!  That's where I discovered that I obviously either counted wrong, or just cast on way too many stitches in the first place.  I tried decreasing but.... still.... this vest might have fit 'WT' when he was much (much) older.  So... what's left?  What else can I try now?
Let's rip.
Whoop.   Not.
So I start ripping out my work, *yes you may insert pirate expletives here*.   I'm ripping away and Big comes up and says.... "Hey!  Why don't you use your ball winder to wind that up?"   What?!
A guy (and a non knitting guy at that!) suggests a really helpful and why this never occurred to me until right now... idea.   Okay, okay... it didn't occur to me UNTIL after he suggested it.   DUH!! USE YOUR BALL WINDER to rip stuff out.

So that's just what I'm doing.  Wow.  It really isn't bad, this ripping out stuff... with a ball winder!!
It makes perfect sense and it really does work.  Why it never occurred to me before I will never know, but from now on.... this is exactly what I'm going to do when I rip it!!
Now the only thing I have to do is NEVER (ever) let Big know that I hadn't thought to use the ball winder for this before.  Shh.