Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Knittin' At The Yard Sale

Saturday, my Sis-In-Law and I had a combined yard sale over at her place.  This may have been the most comfortable yard sale that I've ever been involved in.  If they were all like that, I'd have them way more often.

First off, we set up a big tailgating tent.  A tailgating tent is open on all sides, just a roof over your head basically.  Then, I brought in some fabric drop cloths to be our floor.  Grass is too itchy to have your feet in on a hot summer day and there are too many crawly things that would like to take a bite out of me.  The floor helped.  We also set up a great big box fan and a smaller camping fan.  We clipped the camping fan to the tent.  We also had one really long table to put some of our wares on.  Oh, and we also had two camp chairs to sit and relax in.

With all that and the overcast morning, we were cool, comfy and sunburn free!

I made about $85 dollars in the sale.  Which was pretty good considering I only sold five things.  But, even more importantly, I made progress!  On this:


I'm right at the halfway point on this stole.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Knitting Disasters That Happen To Us All

Let's talk today about what really gets under our skin as knitters.  The knitting disasters whether small or large.  Really, size doesn't matter, each of the common mistakes all equally get to me.  Is there a reason for this discussion?  Why yes, there is and I'll show you it in a moment.

1.  Dropped stitches.   There's a fun one for you.  When you first start knitting, every dropped stitch causes a tear or two.  As you progress, you get the hang of fixing them and you feel like a pro.  Until that is, you start a complicated lace project that has multiple yarn overs, lots of ktogs and maybe a few twists.  The same can be applied to complicated cables as well.  Once the stitch has been dropped in these situations, well, it reduces the pro to a sniveling, boohooing baby.  I actually frogged a pretty lace piece due to this very thing happening.  Did it happen this weekend?  Nope.

2.  Gauge issues.  How many times have you assumed that your gauge was correct just because your swatch said it was?  You knit and wash the swatch.  It's perfect!  The gauge is spot on, now I can start my new sweater!  Yippee!  So you knit and you knit and you knit some more with an occasional purl thrown in for good measure until it's complete.  You try it on.  Ummm.  You take it off, wash it and try to block it to the correct size.  Does it work?  Nope.  Looks like a potato sack.  All because you didn't check your gauge (both row and stitch) as you knit along.  Were you so relaxed that your stitch gauge was way too small due to larger stitches?  Were you so stressed out by your kids that your hands tightened up into knots and you got at least three extra stitches in your stitch gauge?  And, no.  This didn't happen this weekend either.  Doesn't matter, it still ticks me off.

3.  Pattern problems.  You found the perfect pattern.  A sweater that will look so amazing on you that the folks in Hollywood will be begging you to stand on the red carpet for no reason whatsoever other than to just look gorgeous next to George Clooney.  Yeah, that sweater.  You know the one?  So again,  you knit and you knit and you knit some more with an occasional purl thrown in for good measure until it's almost complete.  Wait, is that a mistake?   Is there a section missing?  How the heck are you supposed to finish this thing if the directions are wrong and incomplete?  So you toss it onto the wip pile and then it eventually makes it's way on to the frog pile.  Your dreams of standing there with your hand on Clooney's arm are frogged as well.  Sad.  Isn't it?  This also didn't happen this weekend.

4.  Wrong Yarn Yardage.  We've all been through this one at some point or another.  You wade through the local yarn shop, petting each adorable skein of so incredibly soft yarn and you buy a whole bag full to make the (again) perfect sweater.  You go home, after having them wind all those skeins into balls for you, and begin knitting.  You knit the front, the back, the collar, the first sleeve and then, the sec-   oops.  Yep, ran out of yarn and guess what?  The lys has no more yarn in that dye lot.  That totally sucks.  But wow, doesn't that new sweater vest look nice!  No, I had plenty of yarn this week.

There are plenty more things that get under my skin,  losing stitch markers or needles, "rowing out" due to stupidly mixing up your needle sizes where one needle is a 7 and the other a 7.5, your dog eating your project, your cat eating your project, your toddler... etc.  There are so many issues that will slap you upside the head when you least expect it in the hobby of knitting.  But, for time's sake, let's skip ahead to number 10.  You know, just for fun.

10.  The mobius.  How often do you pick up a pattern and it says, and I quote, "Be sure to make sure that none of your stitches are twisted" as you cast on?  So how much of an idiot does that make me, the one who is WRITING the d@mned pattern?  Would you believe that I checked to make sure the stitches were not turned the wrong way at least four or five times?  Oh, and I also re-cast on the 200 or so stitches for this very same reason.  Would you believe that it didn't freakin' matter cause I missed one anyway?

Four inches into this sweater.  Four.  I carefully moved the stitches to a scrap piece of string to place it on the dress makers dummy to double check the fit and whammo!  It's a Mobius sweater!  Twisting around and in on itself and making me feel physically sick to my stomach.

Wanna see it?


Did you miss it?  Look closer, I've outlined the twist for you:


There ya go.  Can I go punch somebody now or at least throw up on them?  This really, really burnt my muffins.  I'm Not.  Happy.  A.  Bit.

So go ahead and admit that some of these have happened to you too.

I'm waiting.

Don't leave me out here in the cold alone.