Knitting the Light Fantastic

Knitting, spinning, dyeing and other crafty goodness

Archive for the ‘Dish Rag Tag’ Category

Dish Rags, Raglans, and Jumping off the Bandwagon

Posted by notthatkat on August 6, 2007

The Dish Rag Tag boxes were sent out on Wednesday last.  My team’s arrived in the mail on Friday.

Dish Rag Gppdies

Besides the ball of yarn I used for Nicole’s dishrag, the box contained a neat short row square dishcloth, a ball of cotton for me to keep, a recipe for shortbread, and a couple of cookie cutters.  I didn’t get a picture of Nicole’s dishcloth in yarn form, but here it is upon completion:

Dish Cloth for Nicole

I went for speed over substance, but I like how the cloth came out.  I really like garter stitch for dishcloths, as the texture gives good scrubbing action.  It’s a dishcloth…I came up with the pattern  (such as it is) on my own…  and it’s mitered!  Ann and Kay would be so proud.  Neither of the two yarns in my package did much for me (although both are pretty good neutrals – maybe that’s the problem – I like color in my dish rags!), but I used the one I liked best to make the cloth I sent on.  Wasn’t that selfless of me?

Alongside the dishcloth for Nicole, I sent two new balls of dishcloth cotton (purple and yellow, and a dark variegated – hope they work for her and Colleen), a box of SweetTarts (’cause sending chocolate through the mail in South Carolina in August is a Bad Idea) and a couple bars of my hand made soap.  The box was pretty much full to the brim with all that (in case any of my team mates are trying to gauge box capacity), but I didn’t get pictures of the extra goodies because I was rushing around like a mad woman trying to make it to the post office before they closed on Saturday.  All told, I had the box in my possession for all of about 20 hours.

Now my role is relegated to cheerleader and coordinator for my team, which suits me fine, as my workload to get ready for Dragon*Con is starting to pick up steam, and the last two weeks in August will probably be crazy beyond belief.  I’ve already started requesting necessary information knowing it might not be available yet, but I’ll probably have to push, prod, and nag to get what I need from some people.  Part of the problem is that much of what I need to get done before the convention other than “staff recruitment and management” cannot be done until the guest list and programming has been finalized (at least as finalized as they ever are, these things change up to and during the convention).  As long as I’m not wading through huge amounts of superfluous information to get the relevant stuff like last year, I’ll be happy.  And if I am… I won’t be happy, but I’ve done it before, I can do it again.

Christmas Dishrag Project

In keeping with the dish rag theme, I decided to make a bunch of dishcloths for  office Christmas presents.  The one on the left is a basic bias knit garter dishcloth. For the one on the right, I exercised my Google-Foo and found the pattern for the cloth Emily sent me.  It is done but for the grafting, and weaving in the ends.  Two down, tons to go.  I figure if I get a couple of these knocked out a week, I’ll have no problem making enough by early December.  These will also be gifted with handmade soap (they just seems to go together, ya know) with a holiday appropriate scent that I have yet to pick out, let alone procure (I’m thinking pine, but I might very well change my mind.  The only things I know for sure is I want something Christmas-y and it must be unisex.)

Cable-Down Raglan

I got a bit more done on my Cable-Down Raglan over the weekend between all the dish rag knitting.  I am about half way down the yoke, depending on what size I go with (either the 41 or the 44 – probably the 44 but I’m delaying making a decision until I get to the point where the sleeves separate from the body, then I’ll try it on and decide).  I still love the pattern, and think it’s coming out great, but at the moment, it’s a bit of a slog.  I have a lot of stitches on the needle, and am increasing by 8 every other round.  I get to the second sleeve after doing the back in stockinette, and I have to remind myself what pattern row I’m on, because it feels like it’s taking me forever to finish a round.  In reality it’s like 10-15 minutes depending on whether it’s a round with cabling or not.

Diamond Cable

I love the main cable motif.  I’ve done half a repeat of the other motifs on the sleeve sections, but they’re not complete enough to show up well yet.   There is published errata having to do with how to work the increases, but I think I’ve found an error in the chart that isn’t listed there.  See the four little crosses in the center of the diamond motif?  According to the chart, I should be knitting the stitch on either side of each of those crossings.  It doesn’t look like that was done on the actual garment, and I opted to purl those stitches to make the cable crossings pop more.  I’ve contacted Interweave to try to find out if this is indeed an error and if so try to get it added to the errata  Looking at the KAL site everyone else has done the same, at least of those I can clearly make out the cable.  If you back track through the older posts, there are references to errors in the charts, which IMO must be in reference to this, but no actual corrections are listed.  I’m going with my gut, which says this way is “right.”

Silk Socks

Why do plain old stockinette socks seem to take longer to get anywhere on than ones with a stitch pattern?  Or is it just me?  Realistically, I know these have only been on the needles since last Wednesday and didn’t get much love until the Hokie Jaywalkers were done.  I typically knit a pair of socks up in about 2 weeks, unless I am obsessively knitting nothing but the socks.  Still, it seems like I should have  more than 4 1/4 inches of leg done by now.  I think it’s the lack of landmarks on the way.  Sure, I have the stripe sequence, and I can always pull out a tape measure, but it’s not the same as 2 pattern repeats done, 3/4 of the way through the pattern repeat…  And maybe the lack of variety.  Even the Jaywalker socks, with their simple two row repeat and absence of milestones, seem to knit up quicker to me than stockinette.  I guess I should keep a pair of socks in a yarn best suited to stockinette (I’m trying to use up my stash of these and not add too many new ones) for times when I need dead simple portable knitting on top of my usual “in rotation” pair, but then, I’d have to buy another set of circulars and how many pairs of socks going at one time can I have before my head explodes and sock yarn comes pouring out.

Last, but not least, in the knitting quandary category, I am not so sure I’ll like the Mystery Stole as it was revealed on Friday.  It is asymmetrical, with the second end of the stole being wing shaped.  Now, I am not opposed to asymmetry on principle, and often find myself drawn to such items. But in this case, I’m not sure it is something I will like or use.  However, I’m not sure I want to just reject it out of hand.  To that end, my plan is to knit to the “put in a lifeline in case you want to rip back when you see where I’m going with this” point and then put it on hold until I see some finished shawls.  Plan B is to stop at that point and knit the exact same pattern again, then graft the two together.  This is how I’m leaning at the moment.

The corrollary to this is that once I get to my designated stopping point with this, and done with the yoke of my raglan, I’m casting on the Bee shawl.  The yarn is already wound and ready to go.

Posted in Cable-Down Raglan, Dish Rag Tag, mystery stole 3, summer of socks | 1 Comment »

Hokie Jaywalkers and Afterthought Heels

Posted by notthatkat on August 2, 2007

Hokie Jaywalkers

The Hokie Jaywalkers are finished!  They came out great, and I think they look really good in the Jaywalker chevron effect.

Hokie Jaywalkers

Didn’t Scout do  a great job with the colors?  Now I am all set for football season.

Specs:

Pattern: Jaywalker by Grumperina

Yarn: Scout’s Swag Superwash/Nylon custom dyed Hokies colorway

Needles:  2.75mm (US2) 16 inch circulars (2 socks/2 circs, per usual)

Started:  July 18

Finished: August 2

Mods: Worked toe up with afterthought heels.

Afterthought heels:

I wanted to say a little something about how to put in afterthought heels.  If you remember (or you just joined in) this:

Heel Placement

is where I set my heel placement by knitting a row of waste yarn.  Simply knit half the stitches onto waste yarn.  Do not knit around the front of the sock.  Re-knit those same heel stitches using your sock yarn.  Finish knitting the rest of the sock(s)

Picking up stitches

Pick up each loop in the row on either side of your waste yarn.  I try to pick them up so they will be oriented right on the needles once the waste yarn is removed, but you can fix it later if you pick up a stitch backwards.  Just make sure you have all the stitches picked up.

Heel Stitches on Needles

When all the stiches are done it looks something like this.

Remove Waste Yarn

The next step is to carefully remove the waste yarn.  I had tied the ends of my waste yarn into a loose knot inside the sock, which I carefully untied and then used my 5th dpn to pull out the stitches (a darning needle works good too).  This, for me, is the most tedious part of the process.

Heel Opened

Unfortunately, this is the best picture I could get at the time, but this (hopefully less washed out) is what you should be left with after the waste yarn is removed. The heel is open with the sole at the bottom and the leg to the top.  I attached yarn at the bottom of the sole, and worked around.  I picked up an extra stitch or two at each side of the heel to close any gaps and even out my stitch count.

Decrease like for toe

Again, sorry for the picture quality.  Not my day for photographic excellence.  From here, I just decreased as I would for a wedge toe.  Alternatives would be a centered decrease on each side (maybe I’ll show you that one the next time I do afterthought heels) or a short row heel that is then grafted closed with either the leg or the sole.

Ready to graft

I decrease 4 stitches every other round until the heel is as deep as I want it.  In this case, the foot was a bit loose, so I made the heel a bit shallow and grafted with 32 stitches left. Usually I will work down to 24 stitches before grafting, but you can decide what works best for you.  At this point, you graft (or Kitchener if you prefer) the heel closed and repeat for the other sock.

Afterthought Heel

This is what the finished heel looks like with this method.

Yesterday, I went to see HP5 with my mother and my nephew.  Patrick and I had already seen it, but Grandma wanted to go see it and since Grandma was paying, we went to see what she wanted (actually neither of us minded seeing it again)  I decided I needed movie theater sock knitting, so I did something I rarely do, and started a new pair of socks before the last ones were quite done (cast off, just needed heels)  I did a bit of stash diving and picked out a sock yarn I though would look best in simple stockinette:

Silk Socks

This is some Regia SilkColor in the Nairobi colorway I bought a while back to try.  I am liking it a lot, and may have to get some of the solids for patterned socks.  I had to pull out a fair bit of yarn for the sock on the left to match the stripes, but I figure if I run short (not usually a problem for me) I can use the tail for the toe if need be.  I love the colors in this sock – they are more muted than most of the others in this line.

That’s about all the knitting news I have to share.  I was tagged this morning, and our team’s Dish Rag Tag box is on its way to me.  I am hoping it arrives in tomorrow, or Saturday at the latest.  That way, I can get my dishcloth knitted and the bag out to the next team member on Monday.

Posted in Dish Rag Tag, socks, summer of socks | 1 Comment »

Foreign body is not another term for immigrant corpse

Posted by notthatkat on July 27, 2007

Knitting:

My Pehuén shell is off the needles, blocked and ready for seaming. I found some perle cotton that I think will work out great for seaming:

Seaming Yarn

Now I just have to sit down and seam it and crochet the edgings. This weekend, for sure.

Dishcloth

I will admit to being sidetracked by a practice run for Dish Rag Tag which starts on Wednesday. I’ve decided not to try anything fancy, just a simple bias knit garter dishcloth. This has the advantages of being quick and simple to knit and looking good with most any yarn that is sent to me.

My Jaywalkers are a bit longer, but 4 inches of leg doesn’t look much different than 2 1/2, so I’m not posting a picture.

Work: (skip if you’re not interested)

This morning a chihuahua came into my office with vomiting and the possibility that she might have swallowed something indigestible. After a thorough exam, we decided to take some x-rays.

Chihuahua X-ray

Do you see what’s wrong with this picture?

Chihuahua X-ray

How ’bout now?

Chihuahua X-ray

This is the same view with the problem area marked. After an unsuccessful attempt to make her vomit it up (longshot, but worth a try), I tried to get her seen at the referral center in town for endoscopy (flexible fiber optic instrument would be passed down into her stomach to retrieve visible foreign body without surgery), only to find out that both internists are out of town; the other vet in town with an endoscope was out of the office; and the referral surgeons couldn’t do the procedure I wanted. We were left with no good options but to go to surgery. Since the foreign body was still in her stomach, I could go in through a relatively small incision and get in and out fairly easily.

Suction Cup

This is what I removed from her stomach (quarter included for scale). The owners had found the metal piece from this suction cup on the floor, but were unable to find the rubber/plastic part. Found it!

I have a little file cabinet in the back of my brain full of stories and anecdotes entitled “If I ever write a book”. Sometimes I get a patient in and think almost immediately, “this is one for the book.” I think I’ve got a full chapter and then some worth of things I have removed from dog and cat (and occasional goose) digestive systems. This is not the oddest or funniest by far.

My patient is recovering well so far – she can only have water until mid-day tomorrow. If all goes well, I’ll send her home tomorrow evening or Sunday.

Kitten

In the midst of all this, and my two other (routine) surgeries of the morning, one of the guys from the boat place next door brought this guy they found under a boat. The theory is that there was a momma cat who moved her babies and this little guy got left behind. I estimate him at about 3-4 weeks old. He’s eating diluted canned food from a syringe and learning to eat from a plastic can lid (the bowl was a bit much for him). Anybody want a kitten? He is feline leukemia and FIV free and I’ll neuter him for you when he’s old enough.

Posted in animals, Dish Rag Tag, Pehuen Shell, socks, work | 1 Comment »

Dish Rag Tag

Posted by notthatkat on June 25, 2007

When I signed up for Dish Rag Tag, there was a box to click if you wanted to be a team captain. I clicked it, mostly because I know people willing to assume leadership roles in most any group activity can be hard to come by. Shortly before the teams were announced Friday, I found out that I have been named a team captain. I think this one will be a blast, and those members of my team who have shown up on the forum are already plotting strategies. Not everyone has shown up there, but it’s early yet. If you’re on my team, please stop by our team fourm (you should have gotten email with a link) and let us know you’re there and are still planning on racing with us.

My primary goal for this… exchange?… KAL?… race is to have fun with it. I will be test knitting a cloth to make sure my chosen pattern meets the required dimensions and to work out any glitches that might arise. Do you think my Sockapalooza pal might like a knitted wash/dish cloth as a wee extra giftie? If so, does her stated color preferences extend to housewares?

Pehuèn back

The back of my Pehuèn shell got a fair bit of attention last night. Soon I’ll be shaping the neck.

Embossed Leaves ribbing

The Embossed Leaves aren’t much further along than yesterday. One might assume they weren’t worked on at all. One would be wrong. In fact I finished the ribbing, started the lace pattern and got almost half way through the first repeat when I realized I had two extra stitches on one sock, hidden in what at that point was a stockinette section. As near as I figured, I must have cast on two extra stitches and not realized it. I could have continued on with the sock that had the right number of stitches and worked the other one later but… I didn’t like the cast on, which I now know was not what Mona used or intended. (She has a good tutorial for the correct tutorial on her blog. I was impatient and while I must learn it, now is not the time and these are not the socks. )

I had planned to pick out the tops of these socks and rework them after I was done. But since I had to frog one, I would be left with the choice of repeating the cast on that I knew was wrong and would have to be fixed later, casting on the second sock and hoping I could rig the first one to more or less match, or frog them both and start over. Guess which one I picked?

I am about 2/3 of the way through the ribbing for the second time. From what I got done of the lace before I frogged them, me like. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve counted stitches on both socks this time around.

New Knitting Bag

Shortly after Christmas, I bought myself a new knitting bag from a popular company who makes such bags. It was not a cheap bag, even on sale, but I was looking to treat myself, and hoping to get a good long life out of it. Imagine my disappointment when said bag started literally coming apart at the seams after less than 6 months usage. I’m not naming names, as I feel my dissatisfaction should be conveyed directly and privately. This is my new knitting bag. It was bought on clearance ($20) at the local craft store. It is made of heavy canvas and was manufactured by the same company that made the backpack/bookbag that got me through 4 years of undergrad, 4 years of veterinary school and countless craft shows, festivals, and conventions before finally being retired a few years ago. I’m hoping this one will last me a while.

Posted in Dish Rag Tag, Pehuen Shell, socks, summer of socks | 2 Comments »