>>>your diet needs more fiber<<<

Sunday, February 26, 2006

c'est le temps pour de l'or


Saturday, February 25, 2006

and soon to be blocking...

Well. It's done (except for the blocking and weaving in of ends - which will happen in the morning). I was going to block it tonight but see, this stole is warm and soft and so what if it has a few ends lolling around? I'm wearing it as I write. I'll post a pic apres blocking. I'll also write about what I learned during the olympic knitting process.

In my last post I mentioned that I was using bamboo needles. I also said that I thought I could do it (it=knit with kidsilk haze) on addis. I did indeed get a chance to try, at least for a few rows. Note this pic of a normal needle tip.

Now, just what would happen if such a needle tip went exploring, say, a feline oral cavity?

Not so pretty, eh?

What I would normally do ... sulk for a day or two and then buy a new needle.

Ah, but... this knitting is olympic knitting and little time was remaining.

What I did instead ... found a sz 8 addi and went for it. It actually wasn't too bad and I was reminded to not have knitter's anxiety about a process, technique, needle/yarn combination, etc., that I haven't tried. Yup, I'm an occasional member of KAA (knitter's anxiety anonymous). Hi, my name is asterpurl and I was once afraid of double-pointed needles.

What I did next ... after a few rows, I started wondering if the clover needle was salvagable. I proved to myself that I could do it addi-style, but, really, the bamboo was much more soothing with this yarn. I sanded the needle tip and, voila, got back to work, in full stride and full comfort.


Best of luck (and speed) to all the olympic knitters out there!

Monday, February 20, 2006

featherly lace stole progress

So... I was scanning the knit blog ring a few days after I posted about team alternates and came across a recent post by Kris . She posted that she needed a replacement for her position on Team Lace. A few emails... and *poof*! Here I am...

My Olympic challenge is the featherly lace stole I am knitting out of kidsilk haze (heaven color) from Exquisite Little Knits. I am a bit over half-way.

It has been a quick knit so far and a great introduction to kidsilk haze. The pattern is quickly memorized. I am using bamboo sz 8 needles (24" Clover circular) and understand now why bamboo needles are often suggested when working with this yarn. I could do it with addis but it definitely feels more secure with bamboo.

I joined in the second (of 2) balls last night. As this project is my first time knitting with kidsilk haze and one of my first lace expeditions, I was unsure what would be the best technique to use for the join. Google turned up little help. I ended up going with knitting with the old and new yarns together for a few stitches. I left the tails long and will make them disappear after the blocking. If you have knit with this yarn, what join did you use? I'd love to hear any and all suggestions as I envision more expeditions with this yarn in the future.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Team Alternates?

I was reading yesterday about how Michelle Kwan might be unable to skate, thus opening up her spot to Emily Hughes (her alternate). Made me think - what about alternates for the knitting olympics? Is there anybody out there who didn't think they would get the chance (read = have the time, etc.) to compete (and so didn't sign up with Stephanie) but now is thinking that they just might be able to gun for the gold? Did anybody sign up who now needs to bow out and let their alternate click the needles?

I'm just asking, is all. So far, the path to glory has not opened up here in asterpurl-ville. But... you never know. You just never know.

Until then...

Edited to add: Michelle Kwan did indeed gracefully bow out of the Olympics.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

it's easy to be odd

Yesterday my MIL got her main Christmas present from us. Yup, coulda been an early V-Day present. {just shush}

She told me that wool (and even wool blends) can be irritating, so we picked out a very soft yarn - Richesse et Soie by Knit One, Crochet Too. I highly recommend this yarn. It is 65% cashmere 35 % silk and each ball is 25 grams - approx 146 yards/132 meters according to the label.

Onward to project details...
The color we picked is 9918 - a light pewter gray called Fog. In typical asterpurl fashion, I bought a bit more than needed. Okay, so I bought 4 and ended up needing only a bit over 2.5 balls. It goes a long way, yes sirree, especially as it gets all drapey after (steam) blocking.
The stitch pattern is double seed stitch on sz 4 needles. I don't recall how many stitches exactly - somewhere in the 40s or 50s, I think. It ended up being a bit over 6 ft. long.

Working on this scarf has led me to reflect on this simple yet dynamic stitch. Seed stitch can be tricky for newish knitters because you have to first be able to read your stitches and then do the opposite of what you would normally do (e.g., I see a knit stitch so I think I need to knit. No, wait, I'm doing seed stitch. I need to purl instead. ) The remembering doesn't always happen. {Trust me, I know!}

My mom recently started a seed stitch project and through chatting with her about it I've noticed that some online help guides and free patterns instruct knitters to do seed stitch by casting on an even number of stitches. In this way, row 1 is *k1, p1* and row 2 is *p1, k1*. Why why why complicate it this way? It is so much easier to cast on an odd number (or multiple of your repeat + 1/2 repeat - for example - double seed stitch - multiple of 4 +2) and then every row is *k1, p1* k1 (or *k2, p2* k2, etc.). Every row is the same.

Every row.

(caveat - The main and perhaps only justification I can imagine for using an even stitch count would be in a garment. How about you?)

Be odd. It's easier that way.