covert knitting

I probably shouldn't be knitting. My shoulder still hurts. It's gotten slightly better, but it's not 100% yet. But I can't help it. I must knit. So I did. Bic had another birthday party to go to, so I knit a quick hat as a gift for Eliza who turned 5 years old. Here it is modeled on Gigi who's just 21 months old.

Earflap Hat

Don't worry, it fit Eliza fine, it's a stretchy hat. It took me about 3 hours to knit, and I was sewing in the ends up to the very last minute before the party. I had wanted to have it be more interesting, like with different colors, or pompoms, but I just didn't have the time. Oh well. Next time I'll give myself 5 hours.

The pattern was from Knitscene's premiere issue. Very easy top down earflap hat, written for any yarn, any needles, any gauge. I used some old 100purewool worsted merino I had lying around. Just about half a skein for the hat in the child/woman's size.

Now I'm just working on finishing the Clapotis scarf I've been working on. It's sooooo slow going, seeing as it's in laceweight yarn. I can't wait till I finish it and can start on something new.


not knitting sucks

I hate not knitting. I feel like I'm wasting my life away when I'm not knitting. Problem is, my shoulder still kills. I guess it's good and bad. Since I stopped knitting, the pain hasn't improved (it's actually worse now), so I guess the knitting wasn't the problem (more likely it's all the Guitar Hero I was playing) and I could probably knit still. But it hurts so much. :( Wah! I'm a crybaby. It's most likely a nerve issue, as the pain has spread all the way down my arm to my elbow and hand. The chiro appointments haven't shown any sign of helping, so it might just have to be physical therapy next. I'm a mess.

In the meantime, I'll share some knit fixing I did a few weeks ago.

Cleaning out the girls' closet, I found this gorgeous purple raglan roll neck sweater that Auntie Marya had knit for Bic when she was about 1 year old. Meaning it was a long time ago. Marya had knit and cast off the roll neck too tight, so it couldn't fit over Bic's head, so it was never worn. Marya had attempted to fix it once, but it still was too tight, and by then Bic had outgrown it anyways, so it languished. Having found it, I realized it was now or never to get it worn, as it looked just about the perfect size for Nys now. I just ripped back the neck almost all the way, put the stitches on much larger needles, knit just a few rounds, and cast off super duper loose. Now it fits over Nys' head. :)

Purple Raglan Roll Neck

Feeling victorious, I thought I'd tackle a much harder knit fix challenge. Remember this? The adorable little purple hoodie I made for Nys got snagged on something and cut clear through, not just one stitch, but 2 stitches, in 2 different rows. I had it lying around forever, meaning to fix it. I finally did.

Purple  Hoodie

Fixing it wasn't nearly so hard as I thought it would be, but it wasn't easy. I undid several stitches either side of each cut, and put the cut ends plus new yarn on a tapestry needle together. Then sewed the stitches back in. That means in the area of the cut, the yarn is now doubled, but it's not too noticeable.

I totally love this sweater, despite the fact that the hood is ENORMOUS. The yarn is amazing. JaggerSpun Zephyr in the DK weight, it's 50% merino wool and 50% silk. I wasn't especially impressed while I was knitting it, and when Nys wore the sweater the first few times, but after this fix, I finally washed it, and the yarn totally blossomed. It's so soft and silky and shiney and pretty. :)


time for a time out

This has come up before. Sometimes I get neck and back pain, not necessarily caused by knitting, but certainly not helped by it. :( Sunday morning I woke up, laying in bed I turned my head, and tweaked something in my neck so bad I was bawling in pain for half an hour. The pain shot down my back into my right shoulder. It's been three days now, and I'm still megadosing on Advil trying to alleviate the pain. :( I went to the chiropractor yesterday, who loosened things up some. This morning feels slightly better? I'm not sure. I knit sparingly the last three days, but now I think I need to stop altogether for a bit. Last night while I was working on the Clapotis scarf, my right shoulder kept spasming, these little fluttering type twitches that weren't painful, but weren't fun either. :(

Oh well, here's a shot of how far along in the mini-Clap I am.

Clapotis Scarf

I think I have about a third of the skein left. I can't decide whether to just use the one skein for this, or make it a normal length scarf using the second skein. If I do that, it'll take FOREVER. Well, it might take forever anyways, if I can never knit again. :(

So what am I going to do in the meantime if I can't knit? I think I'll read a book. A book about something other than knitting. A novel. Ever since I seriously started knitting 4 years ago I've barely cracked a book. I used to be the most avid reader.


yet more gift knitting

There's nothing like an upcoming birthday party to kick my knitting into overdrive. The one tomorrow is for a 5 year old boy, so I wasn't quite sure what to make. But after the success of the fingerless mitts I made for a male teacher at Bic's school, I thought I'd go all the way and make a pair of full mittens for Ben. I searched around for a good, basic mitten pattern, and started in with some of the 100% wool worsted I had picked up on my last trip to New Zealand. But even though I got gauge, my mitten proportions were pretty off. Not horribly, but bad enough that I didn't want to give it as a gift. I think it was my problem, and not the pattern's, because I was doing it without my handy tape measure, and was just estimating the lengths. It's not a total loss, because Bic totally wants them for herself, after I made her try them on a million times while I was knitting them. I'll post a pic when the set is done.

Having determined that the mittens were a no go, I decided a hat would suffice. I settled on Center Square over at Knitty. I've been wanting to try stranded knitting anyways, having never done any Fair Isle before ever, and thought it would be a good first color knitting pattern.

Stranded Hat

Stranded Hat

It turned out pretty well. Here's Bic modeling. I didn't knit a gauge swatch, since it's such a small item, and my gauge was WAY off. Luckily, the circumference was still good (fits me perfectly, is roomy on my Bic's 4 year old head), so I just started the decreases way early, halfway through the second row of circles. Instead of doing a square top, I decreased evenly 8 times each row, right in the middle of each circle, so it looks kinda nice even though I'm decreasing in the pattern. This is going to be a warm as hat, because it's knit with 2 strands for each color, with 2 colors, meaning it's 4 times the thickness of a single strand.

The other gift knitting I've been working on is my first Clapotis. Back in June Indu gave me this lace weight yarn, and I've been meaning to knit something with it. Now a friend of ours is undergoing chemo for breast cancer, and I thought a scarf for her would be a good use of Indu's yarn. I'd been wanting to try the famous Clapotis pattern for awhile, since I think I'm the only knitter online who's ever NOT made one. But it's written for a much heavier weight yarn. That's okay, I'm making it a scarf instead, and it's working out really nicely, though really slowly. I've been knitting it nonstop (besides the break for the Center Square hat) for over a week, and I only have about 2 feet so far. So not even a third done yet. Good thing it's a fun, easy knit that I can do while watching TV.

Lace weight Clapotis

Lace weight Clapotis

This is how far I was about a week ago. I'd just dropped the second stitch. I'm going through and pulling the drops all the way down each time I hit one, because the wool yarn is already having a tendency to felt to itself, and I don't want to finish the whole thing and then try to drop the stitches and find that they're all stuck. You may also notice that I'm only using one stitch marker, the first one. The additional ones were all just a waste of time, as it's easy enough to see which stitches to twist. I haven't even bothered to purl the stitches to be dropped, as I've seen suggested as an alternative to stitch markers. Again, just an extra step that makes the knitting that little bit slower, which I don't need. Really, does anyone want to knit slower?