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May 10, 2007

Thursdays are for very tightly held knitting...

I finished up the knitting portion of both the easy felted bracelet bags I'm making: a red one (two strands of Patons Classic Wool in red plus one strand of some shiny Patons) and one bag out of Patons Soy Wool Stripes (yarn pics here).

I intended to photograph both bags before stitching up the sides and felting them, so I said to the cats:

"Ok, get off the bed now, I'm going to take pictures of some knitting and I don't need you cats up here helping. Oh, man, I better do some lint rolling before I sit the knitting on this bed!"

What the cats heard:

"Ok, blah blah bed now, I'm going to take pictures of blah blah knitting and blah blahcats. Oh, cats, blah blah roll blah blah sit blah on the knitting blah!"

braceletbags1.jpg

braceletbags2.jpg

braceletbags3.jpg


So, anyway, I'll take pictures some other day when the feline assistants are off shedding on the sofa or thowing up on something expensive in the other room.

While I was finishing up the knitting portion of these two bags, I was reminded once again what a psychotically insanely pathologically TIGHT knitter I am. Faith was gracious enough to do most of the knitting on the bracelet bag made of Patons SWS, and as I began to do the finishing (knitting the final decreases and tab) I immediately noticed her gauge was far more airy and light than mine ever is. I struggled to hold the yarn super lightly in my hands, with lots of looseness, and still I ended up with one stitch to every two of hers.

And since I was knitting on the bus, each time we hit a bump my "loosely held" stitches jumped off the needles, so I had many swearing events, once even prompting the entire five rows of passengers ahead of me to turn and stare at me ("Hi! Just knitting here! Got to the infamous shit stitch, you know that one, right? Right? Don't mind me!") So not only is my tension wonky on this bag but there are also some precariously knitted areas. Hopefully it won't matter after it's felted.

When we were at brunch a few weeks back one of the girls made a joke that she'd work up a pattern for me -- all on Size Giant needles so folks would know it's a Laurie-approved-pattern. I know I get teased for using larger needles but the truth is my gauge is always two needle sizes away from the recommended gauge (at least). What other knitters get on a size 8 needle, I get on a size 10.5 or 11. I think this is one of the reasons sometimes folks find my roll-brim hat pattern still a bit too large, and I need to update it to talk about my clearly Freudian usage of yarn in dealing with my personal challenges. Hello, crazy, we would like our gauge back now please!

Even though I was having knitting issues, I still loved that stripey soft lopi-esque Patons SWS, so I dug around in my stash and found that one ball of SWS I had purchased back in December when I was pre-shopping for my upcoming three-month shopping moratorium. (The secret to success is to always, always pre-shop.) This ball of yarn is in a colorway called "Natural Geranium" and it is SO BEAUTIFUL. I clipped my 40% off coupon for Michael's so that on Saturday I can stock up on more, I love it. Right now I'm making the aforementioned simple roll-brim hat:

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Yes, Doctor, we have seen her cramped little stitches! Give her wine, STAT!

That is 72 stitches cast on using a size 10.5 needle and featuring one knitter with a clearly snug grip on those baby bamboos. After the hat is done, I'd like to make a matching scarf in this same yarn but can't decide between a magic scarf, or maybe a simple 3x3 rib, or something new. I like modified seed stitch (using two knits and two purls instead of 1x1) but I haven't decided yet. I do think I want to trim the scarf, whatever it ends up being, with three or four small pompoms. This yarn is lofty enough to make even the most exacting pompom enthusiast very, very happy.

And that is why I knit really. For the happy and for the pompoms.


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Posted by laurie at May 10, 2007 9:56 AM