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March 25, 2007

Manos Four Seasons Throw

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I've finished ONE square so far (out of the twelve I will eventually need) for the Manos del Uruguay Four Seasons Throw. I love the idea of a no-pressure knit and eleven more take-along squares -- that is, knitting I can do at Sit & Knit or while waiting to pick up kids at school.

And from this:

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I'm still excited about the idea of knitting a Block Stripe Afghan from Sarah Dallas Knitting.

It occurred to me this morning that I haven't done much in the way of blogging Project Spectrum 2007 and we're nearing the end of March (Blue, White, Gray). However, I did get out of my comfort zone (rut?) yesterday and bought and wore vibrant blue eyeshadow. My original plan involved knitting and an intention to finish and/or start something with blue, white or gray yarn from my stash. It looks like I used everything BUT those colors -- with a continued focus on brights. Obviously, others did a better job than I did.

Stash Release 2007 has gone well and I'm happy with my progress in evaluating my projects and plans. I mentioned on my Flickr something I was struggling with releasing:

GGH Mystik

and I think the struggle stems from my uncertainty about the project for which the yarn was intended. It's not me. It's too short and too low-cut. So I feel good about keeping the yarn but need a new project possibility. Mystik is the suggested yarn for the Honeymoon Cami and I have enough for that. Of course, there's also the ChicKami, which I've been wanting to knit for a while now.

Thank you all for the feedback on my loose purls entry. I generally feel good about the things I knit and the way they turn out, but the little pink sundress was really bothering me. It bugged me enough to rip out the entire thing and start over yesterday morning. I've since made up my anti-progress and will probably finish the jumper this evening. I love it now. The tipping point was reading the pattern at the height of my dissatisfaction and seeing this sentence: "The gauge needs to be quite loose." Mine wasn't. My gauge was considerably off -- and the top and bottom portion of the sundress differed by more than 1 stitch per inch. Yesterday I found this cute little number knit with Noro Silk Garden. Guess what I have in my stash? Enough Silk Garden to knit another jumper.

February 25, 2007

Knitting Project Journal

Using Eunny's notebook as inspiration, I am in the process of putting together my own permanent project journal to use in conjunction with my carry-along journal. I already have the binder rings, the paper, chipboard (for the covers) and a 3-hole punch.

I decided that like Eunny's, I wanted half-pages (5.5" x 8.5") so I put together something I could run through my printer and cut in half then 3-hole punch. I have a ton of paper with printed designs on the front and blank on the back (think scrapbook paper). I'll use the blank side for the project journal notes. However, if I use plain paper (blank on the front and back), I'll print the grid on the reverse. If you decide to try out what I'm sharing here, be sure to print the FIRST page only if you don't want the grid. It's here if you want it (it's a .pdf, so you'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open it and print it).

How does a knitting journal help me? When I start knitting something (anything), whether it's a swatch or beginning a new project, I put it in my notebook with the start date along with details about my yarn and needles used. Even if my knitting gets sidetracked, I'll be able to refer to my notebooks to pick up where I left off and it's also helping when it's time to blog my projects. Your mileage may vary, but this works well for me. The project spreadsheet I started in 2004 was NOT working well. I kept forgetting to update it and it wasn't portable. I'm rep-purposing a lot of supplies I already have around the house, so I'm not suggesting you do your own notebook the same way, but I am recommending that you write things down. If you knit a lot, you can't trust your memory for the details and someday, either you or somebody else will want to know that little tidbit you didn't think was important.

Thank you all for the get well wishes -- most of us are feeling better since starting the antibiotics. I worked yesterday so I didn't get to knit much on the throw/afghan square, but I thought I'd share what I've done since I blogged last:

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I'd mentioned the tiny bit of frustration I am having with the thick/thin nature of Manos and while it's not an ideal knitting situation, I am admiring the deep brick color and the texture of this square. I think that when it's finished, I'll love it - the color makes it all worthwhile for me.

And Friday's progress on a baby hat for a preemie:

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The yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock (Happy Valley colorway) knit on Size 1 Crystal Palace bamboo DPNs. I'm using Knitting Rules as a guide for knitting the preemie hat. For more information about knitting for preemies in general, go visit The Preemie Project.

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February 22, 2007

Knitting with a side of strep

Would you like fries with that?

I hate that I feel like I'm becoming a strep expert, but we've had enough of it around here and 66.666666667% of us are on antibiotics and some of us are on steroids. Although I have the mildest symptoms and very little discomfort, I agreed to start the antibiotic regimen as well because I don't want to get it any worse than I have it and I KNOW I've been exposed and am in danger of exposing others.

My knitting is manic right now and it's helping. Reading about knitting is helping. Reading knitting blogs is helping most of all. Keep knitting, y'all, because I am tired of hearing and reading about Anna Nicole Smith and Britney Spears (and OH YEAH, I have an opinion about both of them and the drama involved along with some inside scoop, but this is a knitting blog).

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(Unwashed, unblocked swatch)

OMIGOSH I love this yarn more every time I use it. I'm swatching for when I receive my Sarah Dallas book so I can knit a throw similar to Alison's and I want this Fuchsia to be the predominant color.

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Manos del Uruguay Brick; washed and blocked

I've also already started knitting a throw/afghan consisting of 12 patterned blocks. I decided to do this in one color - the Brick color instead of twelve different colors (too much thinking). I got the required gauge with Size 8 Clover Bamboo circulars. My plan is to try to average a block a month in order to have a finished throw in December. It's not a project I'll hurry to finish but it's something I can pick up and work on when I'm watching television.

For some reason, the thick- and thin-ness of Manos is bothering me a little bit this time. It blocks out fine, but while I'm knitting, it irks me . . . just a bit. I'm halfway through the first block, the Textured Rib, and then I'll try to finish another block before the end of the month. If you're paying attention, you'll notice that I've abandoned the Santa Fe Ruana I started last year. I exchanged all my unused Manos for the Brick colorway and frogged the half panel that I'd already knit on my ruana.

I've been on a mission to organize my project notes as well. More on that tomorrow (along with a freebie I'll share). But if you've been reading this far (proving you have the time on your hands), go read this entry that just popped up in my Bloglines notifier. "Don't overthink."