Great Class & Frustrating WIPs

I feel badly that I am not knitting and blogging more but my days are quite full with my “new” job and life after work. So, the blogging and knitting have taken a back seat for now.

I had a great sock class at The Black Sheep this morning. Five students took on the “Lesser Evil” socks pattern, learning the Magic Loop technique and a Turkish cast on at the toe. Two of the five left class with two toes all ready for knitting the foot. The other three were also well on their way to success with this pattern. I do love teaching knitting and I love sharing new ideas and ways of thinking about knitting with people. It’s supposed to be fun, too!

Noro Shawl

Noro Shawl

My knitting projects (WIP=work in progress), however, are far from satisfying. I have decided to frog the Noro shawl and use that beautiful Noro yarn to knit up a Bermuda shawl. I am not thrilled with the pattern from the Noro magazine after all and would rather have a light colored, colorful shawl/scarf that I love. So, I’ll be frogging later today.

I have all the pieces knitted for the French Press Knits Felted Slippers. And when I use all my seaming experience it still looks awful.  I know, intuitively, that the felting will make all sorts of flaws disappear. But, for goodness sake, it shouldn’t be such a battle. For today, I’ve set the pieces and the pattern aside and I’m going to tackle it again another day.

I am waiting for yarn to come from Knit Picks (duh! I somehow sent the yarn to the house in Maine instead of the house in Florida where we actually live most of the time … and where we are now!) Fortunately, I caught it and Knit Picks has re-routed the yarn to Florida (think it was Freudian?) I am looking forward to making the Gaptastic Cowl for my daughter in Chicago.

I have signed up for the 30-day Sweater Challenge. Not sure how I really feel about the project considering my time constraints BUT I may have a look and see what I can come up with.

And lastly, I have the fingerless gloves, Composed Mitts, that I found on Facebook and happened to have the pattern in a 2007 issue of Interweave Knits. The yarn is beautiful and if I could decide that I like the bobbles on the cuff edge of the mitts, we’d be in good shape. I have already tried starting the pattern twice: once knitting the pattern as written and once knitting the pattern using Annie Modesitt’s bobbles. I didn’t really like either one. Perhaps a picot cuff edge?

I have N’s slippers to be felted, too … since mine are being set aside, perhaps I should go ahead and felt his rather than waiting for mine. Or maybe not. 🙂

Gone knitting.

Frustration Strikes!

Yes, it did strike today … and on more than one level. Kind of like the s#%t that hit the fan a couple of days/posts ago. Many little annoyances … placed carefully in one day so that I’ll appreciate the easier days, perhaps?

I had gotten pretty close to done with the back of my Dropps tunic. Only to realize today that I was making the XXL size rather than the XL. I’m simply not an XXL. So … without further ado, I had to frog it. Had to. There was no way to finagle it to be right without a battle. I’ve pulled my beautiful green Signature needles out again and have cast on the proper number of stitches for the XL tunic and will get back to where I need to be!

I did finish the fingerless mitts that have been languishing in my project bag for ages. I think they were started way back before Christmas when I was making oodles of fingerless mitts for an order. These were made with Lana Bamboo by Cascade and they’re really pretty – will go well with denim as they’re a lovely mottled blue color way. I am pleased with the pattern even though I didn’t care for the needles that I used (at least for the second one). Nor did I mark the pattern well when I knitted up the first mitt so that I made a couple of matching errors on mitt number two. No matter, I frogged a few rows and started again so they were “right” and they matched each other.

The “throne” at our Maine house has been malfunctioning this summer. It’s been “out of service” for several days. Today I was told it was finished and ready to be used again. Discovered that it’s not really and will have to wait until Thursday … in the meantime, I guess I’m grateful for the upstairs bathroom!

Company arrives Thursday and we still haven’t gotten a new vacuum – well, we did but it didn’t suck. Literally. It’s been returned but the house needs vacuuming NOW! 🙂 Maybe we can get a new vacuum with suction included tomorrow. I don’t think our blankets will be back from the dry cleaner in time for their beds. Sure hope the weekend is warmer than it’s been so they don’t miss them. Antique wool blankets are wonderful but they do have to be cleaned once every decade or so. LOL!

Please don’t notice the dirty/old stove! Thanks!

I did make a successful breakfast food – pull-apart cinnamon bread. It looks pretty good and I hope it tastes equally good. I was in the way in the kitchen but dinner was also on the table at a decent hour. With construction and dogs and all that has been happening in this house over the last few days, it’s a miracle that I can get anything accomplished.

If I could see in the dark, I’d be going for a bit of a walk tonight to walk off the frustration. For now, I’m not knitting. I’m just done. Maybe it’s time for bed.


Knit twice, Frog twice

I. Can’t. Knit.

I seriously can’t knit a stitch. Well, I can knit but I can’t follow a pattern and I can’t count stitches. This is a new disease. I’m sure that someone infected me. Where’s the drug to fix this? Quickly!

I am going to apologize to the people of Japan now and then state that I hate Noro yarn. There, I’ve said it.

Well, at least I hate the skein that I’ve been working with. I’ve worked with angora, fun fur, wool, alpaca, and all sorts of other fibers but this is the stickiest skein of yarn that I’ve ever had the dis-pleasure of untangling. It gets tangled up on itself for no reason at all in the middle of a (maybe) yard of fiber as I pull it out of the skein. I’ve been working with Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn. It’s wool and nylon (70/30) and I can’t figure out why it’s such a demon yarn!

Then there are my needles. I don’t know whose they are, they’re so old that the name is worn off and I admit they’re one of the first sets of circs that I owned and may be 20 years old but they may be the most INFLEXIBLE needles in the world. No, I’ve rethought this, they absolutely ARE the most inflexible needles in the world. Must be replacing them today – and think I’ll buy them at my LYS so I can have some immediate gratification. Shopping therapy almost always works for me when I’m in this mindset.

Third, the pattern. A free Ravelry download … simple lace pattern. I could recite the pattern by heart. But can I count the stitches?! Nope. Not a single one. One side was nine, YES NINE, stitches longer than the other side … and I’d already fixed this problem once! (And frogged and reknit once, to boot!)

Frogged again! Enough already – stop the bleeding! I’m giving up for now; and this Irish lass doesn’t give up easily. I’ll see you later Gaia Shoulder Hug … I’ll sneak up on you from behind one day and tie you around my new needles and make you mine.

So, dear reader (of which there may be one or two), I’m going shopping.

While I’m at the Knitting Patch I may see if the divine Laura can help me with the mess on the needles of project #2 … Cousin Lisa’s cowl. “It should have been done by now.” Thanks, oh, critical one! Self talk doesn’t do us any good … merely raises the level of frustration.

Frustration Point

I have hit my frustration point.

Two projects are getting the better of me and (fortunately or unfortunately) I’m so stubborn that I keep frogging and starting again. I bought some Noro sock yarn and got a free pattern up in Maine last summer. The sample shawl that was in the store was so cute! As I got going with the pattern, nothing was right. I didn’t like my needles (old plastic ones) and I didn’t like the yarn (too sticky, but could have been the needles) and didn’t like the pattern (reverse stockinette stitch, you’ve got to be kidding!) I’ve frogged it now twice and have started it the third time with the same needles, yarn and pattern and maybe this time I’ve got it right. We’ll see!

And then I’m having a problem with re-knitting the Senorita Lolita sweater. I started it twice with some beautiful alpaca yarn that I bought at an alpaca farm visit. My Tuesday night knitting group went on a field trip to Southern Oaks Alpacas (Here’s a link to their Web site!) The first iteration was not working the way I wanted it to because I wanted to make a couple of simple changes. So, I frogged it and restarted it and frogged it again. After a couple of days, I decided to use some old pink sock yarn to mess with the pattern changes. So far (despite the fact that I can’t count!) it’s going better and I’ve made it up to the legs part … and we’ll see how the next section knits up! I so love the first iteration of the Senorita Lolita sweater and I really want to be happy with the second one – and I’ll never design another garment without taking copious notes and writing it down!

I’ve decided this frustration must have something to do with the alignment of the moon and the stars … or maybe it’s simply the crummy needles. I guess I have to do some more shopping!