Sunday, February 28, 2010

Setbacks and progress

Setback number 1382934:

I found a mistake where I accidentally crossed the purl stitches in front of the knit stitches right at that point that I dropped the sixteen pattern stitches to. It took me three hours on Wednesday night to fix it.

I have made more progress in the last two days than I had in the last two weeks. Don't believe me? Look at this:

Okay, last two days may be an exaggeration, and looking at the photo, I realize that the back and one front piece were completed by Thursday (2/25) and the other front and that one sleeve you can see were finished Friday and today, respectively.

I was thinking that the sleeves might be too short, but I think that since the shoulders will be slightly oversized the sleeves should be fine. At least, I hope they will.

Also, there's almost no hope of me finishing this sucker by tonight. It won't stop me from trying, but I'm not holding out too much hope. I still have the other sleeve, sewing together, knitting the collar and button bands. Plus I never bought the four 1 1/2" buttons I will need to crochet covers for. Did I mention I don't really know how to crochet? I can make foundation chains no problem, it's the rest that gives me trouble.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

So far behind schedule...

... that it's not even funny. See this photo? I took it just a few minutes ago. If you look at my schedule, that front panel that's a quarter done was supposed to be finished Friday, and the other (currently nonexistent) front panel was supposed to be done yesterday.

What's the problem? Laziness. And my mom (hi Mom!) came into town yesterday so we went shopping. I'm either going to have to knit like crazy (starting tomorrow afternoon, since I have a paper due tomorrow morning that I need to finish) or admit defeat.

But you know, it is the Knitting Olympics. Maybe I can pull an Ohno and come from behind for the win (or bronze, in Ohno's case)...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Knitting Olympics Event Schedule

In my head, I have a loosely formed plan for my Knitting Olympics sweater. It mostly goes like this: Finish the back by Wednesday 2/17. That's pretty much it. I guess, outlining the rest of it, this is what it looks like:

Wednesday 2/17: Finish the back. (Possible, but unlikely, as I haven't even started shaping the armholes yet.)
Friday 2/19: Finish one front panel (with a pocket)
Saturday 2/20: Finish the other front panel (with another pocket - details below)
Monday 2/22: First sleeve finished
Thursday 2/25: Second sleeve finished, block finished pieces
Friday 2/26: If the pieces aren't finished, dry them in the oven. Stitch together as instructed. Start collar
Saturday 2/27: Finish collar and one button band.
Sunday 2/28: Finish other button band, make crochet button covers. Wear my lovely new coat for the closing ceremonies.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Progress Report

This is a slightly out-dated photo from my Knitting Olympics progress:

Isn't it purty? I took this photo Saturday night after spending almost all day Saturday knitting (not really. I spent half of Saturday reading, the other half knitting.). This is the back of the pattern I'm knitting, and I'm delighted to report that I have yet to notice any screw-ups.

Since that photo was taken, I have made this much progress:

(Yes, it is the same ball of yarn as in the previous picture.) I didn't work on the sweater much yesterday, since I was sick and tired and reading and doing homework and cleaning the apartment and grocery shopping. I'm rather pleased with my progress nonetheless, and will continue knitting after I do my homework for tomorrow.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Christmas Yarn Fund

Okay, that's not REALLY the name of the savings account (though maybe it should be). The savings account itself is called Short-Term Savings, of which Christmas is one of those things that needs saving for in the short term.

Anyway. I decided after last Christmas that I should save up about $400 for Christmas for this year (which, retrospectively, seems a tad excessive, BUT better safe than sorry). By "after last Christmas," I mean literally the day after Christmas. I also decided that I wanted to have all that money in place by November 1, so any shopping that needed to be done (for non-knit presents) could be done at my leisure.

There are only two people (currently) on my Christmas present who don't want/deserve knitted presents. (By deserve, I mean that they appreciate the present upon receipt, but then I never ever see them wear it, so why waste my time and yarn?) These two people have agreed that non-knitted items will be under the tree for them, so don't go feeling sorry for them. That leaves nine people (family members and my best friend) who will be getting knit Christmas presents. As you mathematically-minded people might have realized, $400 for 11 people is kind of INSANE - at least for a college student. Which is why I used some of the money for my Knitting Olympics project.

The nice thing about knowing what I'll be making for people for Christmas 2010 is that I can do things like save up a little at a time for presents, and I have lots and lots of time in which to MAKE those presents, which is really the more important thing. (Fun fact: I didn't finish Christmas 2009 presents until... ah crap, I still have one more present! Ah geez. Hopefully by the end of February.)

The whole point of this post is that by thinking ahead (way, way ahead), you too can get a handle on Christmas 2010 presents. I'm currently saving $33.33/month for Christmas presents, and I am free to withdraw that money any time I'm ready to start another present. Also, I have a schedule in place for making stuff, and I have to make only one present a month from March through November to have everything done on time. See? Nice and relaxed.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Waiting for the torch...

I got my Knitting Olympics yarn in today, thank goodness. I spent the last hour watching the pre-show, I suppose, and the Opening Ceremony while swatching furiously, trying to get the right size needles. I managed 15 stitches per 4 inches on size 10 US (6 mm) and 19 stitches per 4 inches on size 9 US (5.5 mm). The gauge given on the pattern is 17 stitches per 4 inches. Since I tend to cheat on my swatches and only knit a few rows, I decided to play it safe and go with the size 10, since cables pull in knitting. Now I'm just waiting for the torch to be lit, and since they've only made it to China in the parade of athletes, I think I might go wind more yarn. Or clean my room.

Knitting Olympics Yarn

If I don't get my yarn today, there's no guaranteeing the mailman's safety.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Knitting Olympics

The Knitting Olympics start tomorrow. I am knitting this:

It's called Double Cream and was published in the January 2009 edition of Simply Knitting (which is a British knitting magazine. I have no idea where I got it. I would guess JoAnn Fabrics or some such.).

I am knitting it in this beautiful emerald green Wool of the Andes. (Something I have never seen on knitting blogs: No one ever bitches about how friggin' expensive it can be to knit. Even with the WotA, which is $3.99/100g hank, I paid $47.88 for the yarn for this project. I AM A COLLEGE STUDENT. The money for this project came out of my Christmas yarn fund (which I will explain later). Now, granted, I will end up with something that NO ONE else in the world will have, BUT holy crap that's a lot of money for one project.)

I just had a small panic attack about not ordering enough yarn, so I had to go through figuring out the number of meters of yarn necessary, convert meters to yards, then divide the number of yards necessary by the yardage per hank of yarn in order to confirm that yes, 12 hanks of yarn really is enough. (Really 11.4 hanks, but fractional orders apparently don't work.)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Hat to Start Me Off

I got this hat pattern from Ravelry, of course. You can find it here. Picture quality is crappy because I took the photo while wearing it... which means, of course, that I couldn't see the tiny display on my camera.

I LOVE this hat. I had to leave out one cable repeat because I was using leftover yarn and ran out in the middle of the decreases (so I ripped back and removed a cable repeat). The only objection I have to that method is that the brim stretches out very easily, but I think I can block it back into shape. Which is, of course, a terrible thing to say.

This is one of the few things I have knit for myself. Probably 90% of everything I make is given away. I feel like I've forgotten half the things I've knit already. I should really update my Ravelry account... (bibliophibian, if you're wondering). But not until I do my homework, which is what I'm currently avoiding.