Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Jean-Luc Picard Appreciates A Hand-Knit Garment

There's good news and bad news this week.

First the good.  I finished both sleeves of my shrug and blocked it.  Yahoo!

The bad news - there is a mystery stain.  A massive tiny red stain on one sleeve.  I'm pretty devastated and I've tried getting it out with what limited tools one has when washing cashmere and silk.  *sigh*  Any life saving advice on that front would be incredibly welcome.

So that was a downer.

But wait!  There is more good news.  I am so close to being finished my KAL sweater I can almost taste it; and it tastes kinda like mutton.  I finished off the sleeves after starting my second skein - which, by the way, wouldn't have been possible without every knitters' dream: A man, woman or child who is willing to hold his or her arms shoulder width apart for up to 30 minutes while you wind your ball.

True Love
So I was knitting like crazy and watching episode after episode of Star Trek: TNG and then my shoulder started to get all complainy and I started having all these weird Star Trekky/Knitty dreams.  So I've taken a few days off and I hope to be back at it over the next few days and have a FINISHED PRODUCT to show you next week!  Huzzah!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Today's Episode: In Which Lindsay Saves Herself From A Mangled Fist

I've been knitting like a madwoman!  I currently have two sweaters on the go and I am loving working on both because they're so different.

There's my vanilla wedding shrug in a cashmere/merino/silk blend and DK weight:

Geez can someone turn the lights on?

And then there's my dark purple KAL sweater in 100% peruvian wool and bulky weight:

That's better.

Because they're so different I can switch to the other when I get tired of the first and vise versa - this results in pretty much non-stop knitting.  The only problem is - I'm getting hand cramps, finger cramps, and twinges all in my arms.

I know all about over-use injuries.  I've had them before.  But in the past the injury was from something I didn't want to do like working, so this is a whole new feeling because basically I'm a knitting addict and I will knit through the pain just on principle.

So I'm going to try and change my "grasp" (read: mangled claw of death) because I know the one I'm using is an ergonomic nightmare - this is what it looks like:

"I am not an animal!"

I use the crease between my first and second knuckle to hold the yarn and maintain tension.  My middle finger pretty much does all of the knitting and now does the majority of the complaining as well.

My new technique looks more like this:

What's that tingling sensation?  Oh it's my proprioceptors turning back on.

As you can see there are a lot less kinks going on in my hand in general and I'm going to try to minimize my throw as well - keep it as small as possible.

So far this has helped quite a bit in terms of pain, but I'm concerned that the new technique will change my gauge.  A frightening prospect when you're 2/3 of the way through a beautiful sweater.  Wish me luck!

Anyways, I'm really curious how others hold their yarn and maintain tension.  Let me know in the comments if you have a particular technique that works well for marathon knitting sessions.  Or like stretches or yogi chants or anything else keeping you comfortable while you knit for hours on end.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

I See Umbrellas When I Close My Eyes

Of the 30 days in June, it rained for 19.  Nineteen!  So I see a lot of these:

And to make matters worse, it seems like an unusually large number of knitters in my KAL are doing this pattern:

Is anyone doing something sunshiney?!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Knitting Chores: A Lamentation

I got my yarn - yay!

It's exactly the colour I wanted and it came packaged with receipts for me!  Which was uber professional-like considering I bought it from a lady on Ravelry.  I recommend looking at the stashes on Ravelry as a way to satisfy yarn needs - I had a really great experience.  One piece of advice is to make sure that the user you buy from is fairly prominent - my seller had over 100 projects completed and seemed fairly active in the Ravelry community.  I felt quite confident that she wasn't some scam artist and it worked out well.

Anyways, pre-cast on always feels like chores.  Balling up yarn is ick.  And Cascade Eco comes in a GIANT skein - I mean look at the size of my hand-wound center-pull ball:

I know, there's no frame of reference, but trust me it's huge.  And ugly too!
That thing probably weighs about 5lbs.  And of course near the end of winding a skein I always end up with something that looks like this:
Giant Mess of Yarn
And that was taken after I'd already spent 15 minutes untangling.  I don't know why I don't just get one of those magical ball winding dealies.

So then I made my gauge swatch.  More chores.  Honestly - getting started on a knitting project is pretty much the longest process ever.

But in the spirit of trying to do things by the book, I knew that I would need to knit my gauge swatch in the round because the pattern is in the round and everyone knows that your purl stitch is a different gauge from your knit stitch so my swatch is more like a tube.  If anyone knows how to knit a gauge swatch "in the round" without actually knitting in the round, you would save me exactly 1/2 of a tube's worth of time and yarn.

And so the casting on must wait another day!  Or two because it seems like I may not have the right size needle to do the cowl and that's the first part.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Knit Along: Day 1

Well today is officially the first day of the sweater knit along I am doing over at luvinthemommyhood and so far not so good.

That is, I haven't got my yarn yet!  As I mentioned earlier, I ordered it from a lady on Ravelry who was getting rid of some in her stash.  It seemed like a good way to get what I needed, reduce someone else's clutter and not create more of something in the world that doesn't need to be created.  Unfortunately, it meant I had to deal with Canada Post.

According to Canada Post parcel tracking, my yarn spent 5 days in Montreal (WTF?) and then arrived this morning.  "Attempted Delivery" it said.  Anyone who has dealt with Canada Post knows that this means "We saw that the parcel was too big for the mailbox but didn't bother checking if you were home so here's a delivery notice".

Your parcel was right here!  But you missed it.  So now you need to follow it to a new location.

In my case, I didn't actually see the delivery notice because there is only one mail key and it's on DFs keychain with him at his workplace so I have no way of getting it.  But I figured it had been a few hours since the infamous delivery attempt and I have picked parcels up without a delivery notice before so it shouldn't be a problem.

So I walked all the way there, tied the dog up outside, told her "Be quiet while I'm inside!" and walked up to the counter only to be told "Our computer is down, so unless you have a delivery notice, we can't get it for you".

"But it just came in today, so shouldn't it be in that not so substantial pile of parcels that you haven't put away yet?"
"Yes.  But without the delivery notice we can't find it"
"But couldn't you just look in the pile really quickly?"
"Well, what about that girl with the drawn-on eyebrows scowling behind you with her arms crossed doing nothing? Surely she must be good for something!"
"She's busy."
"I see . . ."
"You'll have to come back tomorrow when you have your delivery notice with you"

And so I'll be starting my knit along one day late.

New Name, New Addy, Same Dorky Writer

In my day-to-day life I sign in and out of no less than four Gmail accounts. This is not an easy thing to juggle! So I am doing all of my blog updates from this new address because it is linked to the gmail account I use most often. If you are interested in the last five (count 'em - FIVE) blog updates from my previous blog you can find them here:

 A Year Late and a Dollar Short 
Dirty Dogs and Unmarked Papers 
Zucchini, Curry and Easter Candy 
C.O.M. Complains About: Birthdays 
How I Lost 10lbs

Okay so the name - The Frogging Turtle.  I think it has a nice ring to it because it's all reptiley and amphibiany which is AWESOME!  Plus it's got a knitting reference - and not just any knitting reference, but one that invokes "ribbits" in the mind of the reader - well the knitting savvy ones anyway.  For those who don't know "Frogging" is a knitting term for tearing out a bunch of stitches because you screwed up and have to go back.  It got it's name because you "rip it, rip it, rip it".

The Turtle thing is, well - a dorkier reference than a late-twenty-something female should be alluding to.  I'm sort of a collector of The Ninja Turtles - so I have a bunch of toys and other memorabilia in a box somewhere.  I always just thought they were cool.  And when I couldn't get my full name as a gmail address, I went with Lindsay Turtle instead and have been sort of using it as a moniker ever since.

So there we have it - now you know what this blog is about.  Knitting and being a dork.