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Molly's Needles

My adventures in knitting... and a few other things thrown in for fun.

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Location: Massachusetts, United States

I got back into knitting because of the Harry Potter scarves and sweaters. Although I knit other items, replicating HP-wear remains my first love.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Wool Peddler's Shawl update

I am roughly halfway through the lace section of the shawl. About 25 rows left and then the outer border- I think it's 6 or 8 rows. Either way, I'm very close to done.

And I am really loving this pattern. To make life easier on myself so I didn't have to keep the book open at all times, I wrote each line out on an index card. There have been a few bobbles here and there on stitch count, but it was easily fixed and I have a hard time finding where they were now, so I don't think anyone looking at it when I'm wearing it will be able to see.

I'm hoping to finish this in the next week or so and then block Thursday if it's nice out.

Once that is done I can concentrate on my sweaters, Hush-hush and the Polarspun baby blanket. I still haven't settled on a pattern for the blanket. Need to go hunting for that so I can cast on once WP comes off the needles.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Look what I got!

This was the capper to an already wonderful day. Not only did I get a Borders gift card from my boss for Administrative Professional's Day (formerly known as Secretary's Day), but I came home and found this in the mail. My own personalized stitch markers! I had to show a picture because describing them didn't do them justice. Secret Pal, thank you so very much! I just love them and will think of you every time I use them. It's such a clever and cute idea. *squees* Posted by Hello

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Charting unknown waters

I've said before that it is discouraging to pick up a magazine or book and see that the patterns are written for women smaller than me. I've also said that I should bite the bullet and learn to create my own garments so I know they fit. Well, I am now putting my money where my mouth is; which explains why I have been a bit quiet the last week.

Rather than make another Hourglass from the Cotton-Ease I picked up (not that I don't love the sweater!) I decided to use the yarn to create my own design. I figure that this way I'll have something in a weight that can be worn now and if it doesn't turn out well the yarn didn't cost me an arm and a leg.

So. I have two designs running around my head. One of which is making its way to paper and is about to be tested. It is a pullover with waist shaping and a square neckline. I also found a panel I like to run down the center. Stacked hearts on a reverse stockinette ground. Rather than rib I am planning to do an edging around the waistline and cuffs. The whole thing will be done in Cherry Red and I'm calling it Rochester. Well, it's sort of a romantic look (or, I hope it will be) so I needed a name that evokes romance. I've been scribbling and crossing out and cursing my inadequacies, but I think I may actually have something. Whether it will look like a sweater when I'm done or not remains to be seen but I'm going to give it a try.

The other design? A short sleeved scoop neck in a checkerboard design on the body. Sleeves in stockinette. That will be in Candy Blue. Because of the pattern I'm calling that Alice. OK. Yeah, I'm a bookworm and a geek.

So if you don't see me about for a bit, that would be why. And if you see mushroom clouds in the area of Eastern Massachusetts, that would also be why.

Monday, April 18, 2005

I love when something comes together quickly

I started the lace portion of WPS last night. Only 50 rows to bind-off. All right, it will take a bit of time because it's the lace portion and there are so many blasted stitches, but still. I did have a minor heart attack with it. I had gotten to 219 stitches (out of 231) of the center section and laid it aside to have dinner. When I picked it up I found that the connector for my cables had come undone and about 20 stitches were floating in mid-air. I did manage to pick them all up without losing anything but it was a nervous minute or so.

I really do think that this will be bigger than the model is. I may get 85-90 inches across the top and 40-42 inches down to the tip. Should be perfect for wrapping up in all snuggly.

Hush-hush has been set aside for the moment. I've finished the lace band at the bottom and need to wait for my size 2 needles to be shipped before I can move on. I don't think that will take too long once I get them. After all, it's just knit in the round with a few decreases thrown in. I can't wait to be able to try it on. I think it will be pretty.

I made some more markers last night, too. Most of them have a jump ring at the top to slip onto a needle but I also have some lobster claw clasps so that they can be used as row markers. I think they came out rather nicely, if I do say so myself. And much cheaper than buying premades.

Well, I'm at work and it's starting to get a bit busy. Better wind up and go earn some money to support my yarn habit. ;)

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Busy, busy, busy

I've been busily working away at BN, Lucky and Hush-hush. I had a bit of a brain freeze over the pattern of Hush-hush when I read through and saw the decreases. Silly me originally read it as decreasing in each section and I couldn't understand how a 20-stitch repeat would evenly fit into 70 stitches. Dragging out the calculator, I realized that the decreases are only on the two side sections, so the finished count is 80 stitches each in the front and back and 60 on the sides (medium size). That's much better. Of course, I'm so far from that but I hate having a question on a pattern coming at me.

I'm just about ready to start the Wool Peddler Shawl, too. The yarn is a bit rough right now but I think it will soften up considerably once it is washed. At least, the swatch did. This one should go much quicker than BN, both because of the larger yarn/needles and the garter stitch center.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Holy Guacamole!

I have to sing the praises of Halcyon Yarn for a moment. As noted yesterday, I placed an order for yarn and needles to make Hush-hush on Tuesday morning. I received an e-mail from them yesterday saying that the size 2 needles were backordered but they would send the rest of the order out now. Great. I figured I'd see it Friday or Saturday, right? Nope. The package was waiting at the mailbox when I got home yesterday! And this was the postal service, too, not UPS or FedEx. Thank you so much for the beyond prompt service!

Oh, and my lace books will be arriving today and the other yarn shipment from Discount Yarn Sale should be here Tuesday. Yay for fun new yarn to play with!

Trish, I checked out that site, as you asked. I think I like this one, if it isn't too difficult. Would it be asking too much to request white? You very much rock! :D

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

How happy am I?

Several reasons. First, my yarn was shipped yesterday for the Polarspun baby blanket and my Spring sweaters. Now that things are starting to get warmer I am very much looking forward to making some non-wool items.

Second, the two new lace books I ordered from Amazon should be delivered tomorrow. Yes, I have developed a mania for lace. I also have a specific person in mind for a project and am hoping to find something suitable in these books. I'd say more but she has been known to pop in here and it really needs to be a suprise.

Third, when I was at Halcyon's site yesterday ordering yarn and needles for Hush-hush (yes, I'll be starting that soon. The BF came across the picture I had of it the other night and was...very persuasive...about asking me to make it. Well, I was always going to do it anyway.) I saw that they also carry the Inox dpns I've been wanting. I didn't get them just yet because I don't have circs below size 5, so was getting the needles, too, and the order was already getting large. But I now know where to get them.

And, finally, the Folk Shawl Knitalong had a poll to determine the next shawl to do. And the winner is... The Wool Peddler's Shawl. Yay! I have a 2 1/2 pound cone of Brora Softspun in a lovely shade of red that I've been wanting to make up into this shawl. Now I have a knitalong to do it in. Mine will be a bit more rustic-looking than the model due to the difference in yarn but it will be warm. And I do think that a shawl named for, and inspired by, wool peddlers should be made from wool. Silly me.

I've also gotten through the first repeat of BN without mishap. Not wanting to tempt fate, I am using a lifeline this time around.

Today, Lucky has travelled to work with me. I'll try to get a bit of work done on her, too.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Rescue work

Well, more like "dismember and reassemble" but that doesn't sound as nice. I am talking about Bird's Nest, of course. Got it frogged and the yarns separated without too much grumbling. Then I cast on last night and have 5 rows of the garter border done. I'm hoping to get the rest done today/tonight and start the lace portion either tomorrow or over the weekend. And yes, lifelines will be used extensively this time. I do learn my lessons even if it does take dropping a brick on my head occasionally.

And, I did the dummy thing again. Remember how I said I was finished with the first repeat of Lucky? That's been redone in the next size down. After looking at the schematic again I realized that it would be gigantic. So, a-froggin' we went and redid the section. I'm almost done with the decreases now and I think it will be much better. Yay for wool that will block nicely!

Almost ready to turn the heel for the second sock. I'm just praying that my needles hold out for it. You should see the bow that is occurring it these puppies. They almost won't fit in their pouch anymore. *reminds self to go shopping for the Inox needles this weekend*

I have my package ready to go to my Secret Pal. I hope she likes it. I'll likely send it out tomorrow after work.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

So much for monagamy

Yes, I know I said I wouldn't work on anything else until the Slouch Socks (aka the Donny Osmond Tribute Socks) were finished but... I lied.

The socks are perfect for work because the pattern is very easy to remember without having to look at the pattern all the time. I don't like doing things that require any real attention at work because I pick up and put down so much.

Anyway, last night I cast on and worked on Lucky. I got through the first pattern repeat. Now I'll string a lifeline and try to get some progress on it. I'm a bit of an idiot sometimes so the decreases were throwing me slightly. I know it isn't rocket science but I can be a bit stupid about these things once in a while. Hence the lifelines. One eyelet is smaller than the others in each cluster but I think that should even out once I block. Either way, I'm really beginning to enjoy this now that I figured out what I was doing! I should have it to wear for the warmer weather and as protection from the air conditioner at work.

I've also decided to try my hand at designing something. Nothing fancy, just a basic Spring sweater. Despite my professed love for the sweaters I've done (or am doing) it is discouraging to pick up a book or magazine and see that a large is a 36" bust. Or worse, the designs only go up in size to a 34". I'm beginning to think that if I want something to fit my more well-endowed figure I'll have to do it myself. So wish me luck.

Monday, April 04, 2005

More Hourglass sweaters!

Well, not right this moment, but soon. I had a friend who wanted me to make a baby blanket for them so I went searching for yarn. Gotta love Discount Yarn Sales. I got some LB Polarspun in Tropical Sherbet for the blankie and, while I was there, I figured I'd look for some cotton blend yarn to make some warm weather versions of Hourglass. I decided on some LB Cotton Ease in Cherry Red and Candy Blue. Hey, for $18 a sweater (two bags of each color) I figure I can't go wrong. And the machine wash/dry feature is nice for the crazy spring/summer months. I think I'm going to do the sleeves in the next size down on these so they aren't quite so roomy. Other than that, I love this sweater.

Not much else. Still working on the Slouch Socks. I'm into the leg of the second one; two repeats done, 3 more before I start turning the heel. Then 5 repeats on the foot and do the toe. Doesn't sound like that much, right? So why does it seem to take so long?!?