The Raven's Mutterings Wherein Carl Cravens talks about geeky stuff

26Jan/10

Knitting FO teaser

FO = "Finished Object". As opposed to UFO = "UnFinished Object".

In fact, as we speak (so to speak), I (sorta) have no UFOs. This must be remedied.

I call this a teaser because... I don't have pics, but I promised you an update, didn't I?

Last night, I completed The Hat. The Hat is the first project I started in this round of knitting... four years previous, I knit a chunky scarf. During the knitting of The Hat, I completed the Rainbow Hat (seen earlier, to match the scarf), the Inappropriate Yarn Hairband, and one Giant Boot (of Indoor Felted Boot KAL fame). (KAL = "Knit ALong", remember?) During all this time, I have started completely over on the hat twice... I think I've knit enough rows to make the hat twice over. (I'll tell you about all that ordeal when I have pictures. Now I owe you two stories of woe about knitting. With circles and arrows on the back of each one to be used as evidence against me.) The hat has a couple flaws (I was not going to back up twelve rows to fix that mistake when I noticed it), but all in all I'm happy with it. It's warm on my head and just the right weight for wearing in my basement office, which is currently 66 degrees, something of a high point when the space heater isn't on.

Anyway, I'm caught up with this week's knitting on the felted boot (to keep pace (It's a "knit ALONG," get it?) I can't start knitting the next one until next Monday), but I've joined in a Beer Cozy swap... nice little circular work, shouldn't take long, and I figure I'll make at least two or three with different stitch patterns. And somewhere in there, I want to make some fingerless gloves/mittens out of the same yarn I knit The Hat (baby alpaca... nothing like spoiling oneself).

Maybe tomorrow I'll get out the camera and the sun and take some pics of the current projects. (You wouldn't know that I have a dual-light indoor strobe setup. Too dang much trouble to get it out, set stuff up, etc. Soon, I'm going to clear out the other half of my storage-room-turning-office and set up a permanent light tent to shoot this stuff. Then shooting decent pics won't be such an ordeal.)

13Jan/10

1Q-2010 Men’s Knit-Along

Felted Indoor Boot KAL - in progress So last Thursday night, a friend and I joined a men's Knit-Along (KAL) online. The project is the "Indoor Felted Boot" from Cat Bordhi's "Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles", sized-up to fit a guy's foot.

This project is cool for me in several ways… I'd like to learn to knit socks, and this is basically a fluffy sock that then gets felted, so minor mistakes get covered up. Not wanting to learn a technique that requires buying two circular needles, I learned the "magic-loop" technique that lets me do it on one circular. I get to participate in my first KAL, and I get to work on a project with another local guy who knits that I've been wanting to know better.

I picked a new yarn that had recently come in at Twist, and later discovered that it is self-striping and basically meant for felted slippers. It's a little pricey (I need $24 worth), but it is coming out pretty neat so far.

If you have a Ravelry account, this is what I'm knitting. And this is my project page.

The KAL is here. (on Google Groups). The organizer has made it private, and there was a deadline for joining, but I joined well after the deadline, and the project has just gotten started and is set to move pretty slowly, to be friendly to beginners.

We'd love to have more Wichita men participate, and you don't have to join the online group to particpate locally.

6Jan/10

Knitting progress

Rainbow Hat

Boy, lots to catch up on here…

There's the hat I knit on the loom to match Nathan's scarf. It came out pretty nice, though it's a little small. That the variegation in the yarn lined up to make a rainbow stripe around most of the hat was a bonus. The loom knitting is really fast, and you can do a lot of fancy stuff with it, but the fancy stuff is more time-consuming. Making a simple purl stitch (say, for ribbing the edge of a hat so it doesn't roll up like this one) is a very different operation than a knit stitch. I prefer knitting on needles.

Nate's getting bored with row after row of knit stitches. He knit an infant hat (he wanted a toddler hat, but I couldn't convince him he'd chosen too small a loom), and not having someone to give it to took the wind out of his sails. I'm not sure if introducing him something like cables or Fair Isle color patterns would help that or not. It requires more concentration and provides more chances of mistakes.

After that, I knit a hair band for my wife for Christmas at the last minute (and finished it a few days after Christmas). I'll talk about that project in the next post.

And then I got back to the hat that started all of this. I finally got into a rhythm, knit 2, purl 2 ribbing… but I discovered I'd made a major mistake. The pattern calls for K1P1 ribbing, and I'd started out that way… and somewhere in between projects, I'd misremembered and started K2P2. No wonder it didn't look right at all. So I frogged the whole thing on Sunday, and last night I cast on, more loosely this time since the tight cast-on gave me fits, and with ten extra stitches 'cause I think the original was going to be a tad small. Fortunately, the decrease counts on groups of ten stitches, because I didn't think to check the math before I'd cast on and knit an entire row. So I feel better about that one.

And before that's done, I looks like I'm going to start a Felted Indoor Boot as part of a men's Knit-Along (KAL). I bought pretty wool, and someone at Twist has offered to teach me to spin. I bought way too much expensive yarn at Twist's recent sale, but it was buy-3-get-1-free, and it's darned pretty. I needed some of it for a new hair band, and I think I'll make some fingerless gloves for myself. Plenty more unaccounted for, though.

Spending time down at Twist more, but not quite as much as I'd like, and it's slow getting to know people because I'm not the "walk up and introduce myself" type.

Maybe going to the Wamego Winter Woolfest this weekend. But it looks like everyone I know is bailing, and I might be going alone. I'd invite my mom (she crochets), but she's recovering from pnemonia.

Whew.