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The Hat Again

September 28, 2006 Leave a comment

It was taunting me – the lovely alpaca/wool blend, the rich colors, the bamboo circulars that were sitting there abandoned, the unfrogged “swatch” of too small hat.  All of it.

So.  I took the advice of SaraKate of Let Me ExplaiKnit, who whowed me how to measure gauge on ribbing.  I marked (with a five inch US0 dpn, which I’m finding to be very useful for all sorts of non-sock reasons*) the beginning of where I wanted to measure and then stretched the swatch until it looked more or less how I thought it should on a head.  I put another dpn where the stretched fabric equalled 4″ and let it relax.

I then counted stitches and divided,and came up with 4.25st/inch.  I multiplied that by 25 and got 106.25, which is awkward in so many ways.  Even after droping the 1/4 stitch, well 106 is the product of two squares (53×2) which would make it hard to decrease evenly.  Also, my husband of the giant head assures me that one size fits all knit caps fit him, *plus* all the patterns I could find called for 100 stitches.  And I’m knitting loosely on purpose.

So, 100 stitches it is.  And if it’s too small this time – it’ll fit my brother.  Or my father-in-law. Or my niece.  🙂

*I’ve used them as emergency stitch holders, as fast cable needles (I cable without a cable needle, but it helps to see where you’re going first) and, at least with worsted or dk weight yarn,they’re great for picking that stitch that fell of the needle and is nearly pulled out, and you can’t get to it with the working needles, but the tiny dpn?  Perfect.  So one lives in my knitting tool bag now.

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Categories: knitting

Charting is fun

September 26, 2006 Leave a comment

I have a couple of skeins of Koigu waiting to become socks – and they have to wait another sock and a half to be finished, but now that I have the hang of lace, of Hedera and of Magic Loop, it probably won’t take that long – or it wouldn’t but I have all these holidays this month.

(Digression – this is the Jewish month of Tishrei, which is basically one holiday after another. This year, all but Yom Kippur are Saturday-Sunday, and Y”K is Monday. Jewish days are nightfall to nightfall, and all preparations for Yom Kippur must be completed before dark, including the prefast meal. So, in effect, I have no weekends this month, and I’m not permitted to knit on holidays anymore than I can knit on the Sabbath. Although I’d be knitting the wrap anyway, since that’s the at-home project.)

Anyway, I got bit with the idea for a pattern for the leg of the Koigu socks. It’s handpainted, so I don’t want to do anything lacy or where the pattern would be obscured. Instead, I’m going to do what I hope will be a subtle cable pattern. I’ll increase the leg from 64 to 70 stitches (since I’m doing Magic Loop, I don’t need it divisible by four) to both accomodate the pattern and to make up for the pulling of the cables. Anyway – Row one will be c2f k6 all the way round, then plain knit for three rows, then row five will start with k5 and then continue with the pattern all the way round. Knit three rows and repeat R1. I charted it out, and the math works. I’m hoping to get a spiral out of it, but even if I just get neat offset rows of tiny twists, it’ll be pretty and subtle but not too subtle.

I’m also thinking about finishing with a picot bindoff.

On another note – I got Knit Fix and I’ve already used it to help out, but the most important thing I got from it was the line “Don’t fight your knitting. If you’re having trouble with increases, knit looser.” I’ve been trying to knit tighter, but now I’m conscioiusly relaxing my hands, and it’s going far, far better and more comfortably.

Categories: knitting

Just a little news

September 25, 2006 1 comment

A cooking essay of mine was just published in Kashrus Magazine, and I believe this will be a column.

I got the news (three copies of the magazine and a *check*) Friday afternoon. What a wondeful way to start the New Year!

Categories: cooking

Stash

September 20, 2006 1 comment

I don’t have one. I can understand why people do. I do have piles of books and comics around my apartment, after all. Not to mention the piles of stuffed animals and the tapes and the vinyl records we can’t even play, and even the spices and such I don’t use often enough. And so I understand falling in love with skeins of yarn and buying them to just. Have. I do that with books. And I have a nice collection of knitting books now for that reason.

But somehow, at least so far, that hasn’t happened to me. Perhaps it’s because I’m aware of how much space our other collections take up – in fact, that’s a big one. Perhaps I just don’t want to make the investment just yet. And, well, the two yarn shops most accessible to me do not have the best collections of yarn, so I haven’t felt an urge to buy something that I don’t have at least semi-definite plans for.

And I just don’t get that urge from catalogs or websites. I think you’d need to touch it. At this point, I have two skeins of Koigu that will be socks when I finish the current pair, and two skeins of alpaca that will eventually become husband’s hat now that I’ve figured out the gauge. And that, plus the yarn used in the current project and the leftover yarns from the previous ones (including an entire extra skein of Regia) is IT.

Categories: knitting

Ah, well

September 19, 2006 Leave a comment

I made a lovely heel last night. I truly did. I had no problems at all with the wraps for the short rows, there were no holes or anything. It was a heel to be proud of – certainly one of the best ones I’ve made. This is especially good considering I spent much of the time I was making it taking part in an online convention committee meeting, so I had to do a lot of typing and paying attention and such. I assume I’ve gotten more skillful, and perhaps the Addis helped – it’s a lot easier to poke into the wraps with the slicker needle.

And then, after knitting a couple of rows to get the lace all set, I tried it on.

And it didn’t fit – the foot was too short by at least an inch. So, it’s gone now, as if it had never been. Ah, well.

Or, rather, in the spirit of Talk Like a Pirate Day, ARRRRRRRRRR

Categories: knitting

Knitting in public

September 18, 2006 4 comments

I don’t mean Knitting in Public – doing it as a deliberate act for whatever reasons.  I mean – you’re in public and you have your knitting with you, and you don’t feel like reading or something, so you knit.  Or, as I did the other night, you’re at a lecture or a party and you just want something to do with your hands. 

My friend who exclaimed at me on Saturday night was not just amazed that I knit.  She was also jealous, because she had considered bringing her knitting and decided it would be too distracting.  This was something I’d considered, so I sat in such a way that I was mostly hidden from the speakers.  Even so, when Rabbi Sokol talked about “knitting yourself with the world”, Leah looked at me and laughed (I was distracted by the amazing talks, so I ended up doing some tinking. Tinking lace is not easy.)

I also took my sock to a family party last week – partially so I could do it on the subway, and partially because it would be something to do at the party.  I don’t do well at “normal” parties – at fannish events, I would have no compunction about pulling out needlework – they’re often impromptu needlework circles anyway.  Or I could take out a book and the conversation itself will likely be interesting (not always, but it’s likely.)  At normal parties, I can greet people and hug if it’s called for, and then I’ll probably either stand with my husband or someone else I know, or just sort of stand around bored.  At family events…it’s not that different but I can play with the kids sometimes.  Because taking out books is not good.  But knitting – knitting is a conversation starter -“How long?  What is it?  Isn’t it too narrow?” – since the current sock is lace, it looks very narrow, but the lace pulls it in and it’s very stretchy.  I’ve tried it on.  It fits fine, and my feet are wide.

I’m only taking my sock places, of course.  The wrap is up to its fourth ball of yarn, and it’s getting too large and heavy.  I meant it to be the home project, except when I need to do something to the sock – turn a heel or bind off.  It’s also long term, whereas socks are about a month of travel knitting.  And I already have the yarn for the next pair, too.  It’s a variegated  yarn, so I’m thinking of something very simple – or maybe just plain stockinette.  Or a 4×4 rib.  I’ll figure it out.

Categories: knitting

“You’re so talented!”

September 17, 2006 1 comment

This is a bit of brag, okay?

As I said elsewhere, my husband ran a Shabbaton, a religious retreat, this past Shabbat.  Friday night there was a dinner with a speech by Michah, other organizer (he also led the evening service.)  Shabbos morning, after morning services, there was a nice kiddush and then a “Vaad” – a presentation by a speaker, after which we divided into male and female groups and discussed the issue presented (in this case, how to define and manage hatred.)  Then we went for lunch at our various homes – I had three guests myself, one of whom we asked as we were all leaving. I had more than enough food, so that wasn’t a problem.

We met again before afternoon services for another Vaad. This time it was “keeping Gd before us;”  which the presenter took as visualizing the Tetragrammaton. Then there was afternoon services and the ritual third meal, with a class by our own rabbi,and then I went home.  Jonathan and Micha came home after evening services and about 90 minutes later, we went back for a malave malkah, a post-Shabbat meal and a panel discussion by our rabbi and two others.  (Poor Micha.  He was doing *everything*).

But as this was after Shabbat, I could bring knitting with me.  So, I did.  I brought my sock, of course.  Everyone was impressed by the lacy design (I’m doing a toe-up version of Knitty’s Hedera.) And one woman was…”You KNIT!”  Since we only really see each other on  Shabbat, there was no way for Lean to know I knit – *she’s* doing Fair Isle, and *she* was impressed by me.  I know I’ve only been at it a short time, but I’m not doing anything difficult. We’re going to find a time when we can get together.

Later on, though, it was time for selichot – penitential prayers we start saying the week before Rosh Hashanah (other groups start at the beginning of this month, which is Elul on our lunar calendar).  The earliest possible time to say them was at 1AM, so we just hung around the shul until then.  My rabbi’s wife saw the sock and thought it was a great idea – she understands how keeping one’s hands busy helps with concentration.  She doesn’t knit herself.

It was successful and tiring and my husband right now doesn’t want to ever do one again.  🙂

Categories: knitting