Friday, November 21, 2008

My current complicated project somewhat explained.

It's the Late Friday Edition of All Things Shea!

I'm still knitting, but the pics don't look that much different than I showed you last time. Dividing my time between the two sweaters is not helping progress.

The waffle stitch vest is just tedious, but the Zara Cabled Pullover is something else.

It's quite complicated. I'm doing the cables without a cable needle which is indeed faster, but the pattern can be a little daunting. It's extremely easy to get lost if you don't have a good method of marking it. For those of you planning on making it, perhaps my method of doing this will help you.

I would encourage anyone making this to make good use of a pencil. Let me give an example of how I'm doing it. I'll explain it first and then show you a diagram after. Due to copyright stuff, I'll only show you a part of the pattern, enough to make my point.

I started with the sleeve portion (I dread starting the second on, by the way) to make sure my gauge was right without investing too much time in the project (yeah, right).

There are several places where I am having to place tick marks currently.

1. Small cable
  • The pattern is only four rows long. So I place a tick mark as I finish each row. However, I group the tick marks in fours so I can just glance down at the sheet to know which one to do next.
  • The tick marks are done in this section not to know which row I'm on specifically, but to know which part of the stitch pattern to do next.
The diagram here combines the small cable and large cable stitches. I've drawn a line between them. You can see how the small cables are grouped in fours and the large grouped by fives.

2. Large cable - I group these by fives to make counting where I am (which row #)in the pattern easier. ( See above.)

Separate marks are placed by each group below on the pattern.
Like so:
  • Sleeve row a (where a denotes rows 1-58)
  • Sleeve row b (where b denotes rows 59 - 85)
  • Sleeve row c (where c denotes 86-108)
  • Sleeve row d (where d denotes 109-137)
3. Sleeves - general
  • I place a tick mark for each row number that I'm on in general, also grouped by fives:
And guess what? I get to start all over when moving to the next sleeve and then again every time I move to another section of the sweater.

I told you it was complicated. But if you don't mark the pattern somehow? Oh Boy.

I hope this helps someone else with this pattern. Just know that there is always madness in my methods! :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Day Labor

I've been a busy bee today. I did a little spinning in the a.m., but for most of the day I've been working on the kitchen walls.

This was a project that began in the summer and is still dragging on, mainly because my husband refuses to help me with it. But that's okay. It's my project and I'll have to do the work and I can do it in my own time. If he was helping he would demand that we get it all finished in a weekend. Doing it this way, I can do a little here and a little there as time permits. Well, today it permitted.

I've already gotten the two layers of wallpaper that I'm going to do off. So today I sanded and patched up the rough spots, getting ready for a coat of primer.

But. I ran into a major (for me) snag. See the crap below the outlet in the pic? That's where a rubbery caulking has been laid over the wallpaper. I cannot get this out. This is a place where the hubby is going to have to get up off his bum and help me.

Our 5 in 1 tool has walked off and that left me to cobble together a bunch of useless tools to get this job done. It didn't work of course. I used a flathead screwdriver, box cutters and this wicked looking saw thing that I found in the drywall supplies in the garage. Nope. I really needed the 5 in 1.

I spent most of my day sanding and trying to pick out nasty caulk. yuck. Then I wiped everything down and started spackling. I think I dropped more on the floor than I got pushed into the small holes in the walls.

See that nasty blue counter? We're planning on getting rid of it too, but it will be a while before it goes.

I'm pooped now. Might go knit, might go fall into the bed. We'll see what happens first once the kiddies are sent off to bed. Whew!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Why yes, those are my children

I was a bad girl today. This is the time of year when you are supposed to buy things for others than yourself, right? Well...

I might have let my van take me to the yarn shop today. And I might have unzipped my purse and let my wallet jump out while I was there.

Look what came home with me:
Cascade 220 Heathers in colorway 9452 - a beautiful turquoise and gray combo

And this dove headlong into the shopping bag as well:
Noro Silk Garden - colorway 211


Why yes, those are my children. Why do you ask?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fraternal Twin Mittens

Pattern: EZ's Mitered Mittens
Author: Elizabeth Zimmerman
Book: Knitter's Almanac

Yarn: Noro Silk Garden #270
Needles: Size 6 circular


Cast on 40 sts. instead of the recommended 48 (for a size women’s small) on two circs. instead of dpns.

It's very simple to convert this pattern from using dpns to circs. I you don’t know how, here's how I did it:

First, split your cast on stitches between two circs. Then, On one circ. do the part where EZ says needle 1 and then follow that immediately with the needle 2 section of the pattern (do all of this on the same circular needle). Repeat the whole process that was done on the first needle for the second circ. Then follow up with the knit for one round of the pattern.


  1. 5 rows of garter stitch instead of ribbing.
  2. Did 17 rows of pattern before beginning gusset.
  3. Gusset Section:
  4. Used instructions for the gusset from
  5. Increased to 14 gusset sts. instead of 15.
  6. After Gussett:
  7. Stopped when 12 sts. remained to reduce the pointy-ness of the fingertips.
  8. Thumbs:
  9. Picked up two stitches where thumb meets the palm. 16 gusset sts total.

Next time instead of doing M1s in the pattern, I’ll do kfbl to eliminate the holes that the m1 makes. They bug me no end.

This pattern was the first pattern by EZ that I have actually liked. Of course, there were changes, but even still. These were fun and really quick to knit. Took me two days to do them and that was with constant interruptions. I could've had them done in a day if I didn't have children. :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cuteness Overload

This weekend was just overloaded with disgusting cuteness.

First, we were baby sitting my parent's dog, Minnie Pearl. I caught her sound asleep with a toy in her mouth:

And if that wasn't enough, look who I caught trying to spin yarn:

He was honestly trying to get the roving attached so that he could work the pedals and make yarn like Mommy. It was so freakin' cute.

And here's the new project that jumped on the needles this weekend:

This is just the first half of the Mitered Mittens. I'll hopefully have the other half finished (I've probably just jinxed myself) by tomorrow and can give you all the details then.