Knittin' Gal
trials & tribulations
of a newbie knitter

Good Grief!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Dearie dearie me...
I can't believe that it's been over TWO years since I last posted!!! How time flies!! I haven't posted in so long that I literally forgot my username and password to get into this blog editor *mumble grumble* I MUST make it a point to write and update more often.

On the knitting front, well, much has happened. I've discovered the joys of on-line purchases and I have to say, eBay is THE most wonderful invention... I've purchased no less than THREE sets of bamboo knitting needles, yarn and THE must have for any knitter -- a ball winder!! Oh oh oh... how I LOVE my ball winder.

Let me think, in the past two years, what HAVE I knitted... hmmm... a few baby sets i.e. blankets, matching mittens, booties and caps. Those were kinda fun. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures (camera died and I have yet to buy a new one), a wrap for an aunt of mine, a poncho which I am going to frog... it didn't turn out right and that yarn is just too pretty to waste, a vest for my dad which I have yet to complete and a kimono type top.

The variety of yarn available on the Net is unbelievable. I'm currently obsessed with hand painted yarn... I bought some from
handpainted wool but the colours came out darker than what I expected... not exactly what I wanted for a baby's blanket but pretty nonetheless and I've got another excuse to buy more.

I'll try to borrow a camera shortly and post some pictures, if I remember how to post them. Stay tuned!!

The World Wide Knitting In Public Day (WWKIP) is coming up and we are trying to organise a meetup but so far, the response hasn't been too fantastic. I don't know what's happening. We used to meet up every other month or so and now, it's died down. That's pretty sad I think. IF anyone still visits this sadly neglected blog of mine and you are in KL, Malaysia, please go to the Malaysian section in the
Knit Forum and sign up. We are meeting up on 9 June 2007, probably somewhere in Bangsar or something.

Anyways, back to work. Will update this blog more often...
10:38 am :: 1 comments ::

Knittin Gal :: permalink

Fair Isle...

Friday, August 19, 2005
It's been a while since I last wrote... what can I say? Life got in the way and has a strange way of turning in the blink of an eye. So here is a short update of what I've been doing on the knitting front.

Well, my hodge podge blankie is finally done AND in time for my dad's birthday. Unfortunately, I haven't seen the final product yet (will definitely take a picture when I do). My mum got a lady friend of hers to do the backing and apparently, it turned out very well. It was supposed to be ready by the 13th, heaps of time for my dad's birthday but it was only completed on the 16th... the day itself. Mum picked it up and snuck it into the house and spread it out on their bed when dad was getting ready for his birthday dinner. It was a nice surprise and very sweet of her!!

Since all the drama with the blankie i.e. only knitting and purling, I was in the mood to so some lace knitting!! So, I started the Cozy for my friend. I'd done one for her birthday in April but she didn't really care too much for the colour and I loved it (plus I was a little sad about giving away my first ever lace project) so I offered to do her another one. She picked the colour herself this time.

It was a breeze doing the Cozy this time round and truth be told, it was a little boring after a while. Well, I've almost finished it... just need to weave in the ends and send it to the cleaners before I hand it over.

After the Cozy, I started my Fair Isle Rug and progress on this hasn't been as quick as I had hoped it would be. I knew that it was going to be a challenge but how much of a challenge, I had NO IDEA! Believe you me, my left hand wasn't built to follow specific instructions from my brain. I KNOW what I am supposed to do but my left hand just doesn't seem to understand the signals coming from my brain. Knitting in continental style is a challenge and I can no longer watch telly whilst knitting... I am now listening to the telly as my eyes can't leave the knitting.

So, the BF got me the yarn for the rug when he was in NZ. As they didn't have the stock, they posted it to me and I recently realised that they stuffed my up order. They gave me two extra balls. Whether this was an honest mistake or they just wanted more business, I have no idea. But the fact that they forgot to send me the package until after I emailed them doesn't really work well in their favour. But on the other hand of things, they didn't have the needles I wanted but they gave me an extra pair to make up for it.

So anyways, I started my rug a few days ago. It took me a good two days to work out what I was supposed to do. I used three reference books to get an idea of what to do but that still didn't help. Thank gawd for Amy of knittinghelp.com. Laura pointed me to it. The knitting videos helped a lot! Learning how to knit from books isn't easy!!!

I tried a couple of times using some extra yarn I had and frustrating is an understatement!! My hands just wouldn't do what my brain was telling me. But after HEAPS of false starts, my "swatch" started taking shape:

Admittedly, it is a little short but by the time I got the hang of:

1. Knitting in the round and
2. Fair Isle knitting

I was sick of it! So I casted on for real and I am real glad that I did! The yarn I used for my swatch was just a little too soft and thin. The yarn that I am using for the rug is a little stiffer and thicker so it is heaps easier to work with.

So, my Fair Isle Rug is supposed to look like this:

It now looks like this:

A close up:

Knitting in the round... apparently, Fair Isle knitting was meant to be knitted in the round. This rug is being knitted in the round. To finish off the project, after I bind off, I am to cut the cords in the middle, to make the fringe. Interesting huh? But it is a pain to work with and is so easy to forget to wind the yarn around the needles on every row. Here's a look at the mess that is growing on my needles:

I've finished the first colour repeat and for some strange reason, I have heaps of extra yarn left over. I am using smaller needles though (7mm as opposed to the recommended 8mm) but I didn't think it would make THAT much of a difference. The pattern suggests that I should have finished 2 balls of yarn per colour repeat. After finishing the first repeat, I still have 1.25 balls of the blue left over. I might have enough for two rugs! Or I may just rip it out and make the rug wider. It is a little smaller than I had pictured it to be. Decisions, decisions, decisions... *sigh*.


Tuesday, July 26, 2005
the FINISHED hodge podge blankie!!!

I think I am going to take a rest now...

7:15 pm :: 4 comments ::

Knittin Gal :: permalink

Seaming Party

Monday, July 25, 2005
A BIG BIG BIG THANK YOU to the gals who came over on Saturday night to help me seam my blankie.

So, on Saturday night, Mona, Lyn and Vanessa came over for a seaming party. I'd let out a LOUD SOS for my blankie as I am running out of time to finish it for my dad's birthday in August. So, in the true spirit of all knitters, they answered my call for help. I had promise nourishment in exchange for their seaming services.

As I can't cook to save my life, I managed to convince the BF to cook and cook he did. Well, it wasn't hard to convince him to cook as I think that he is as sick of the blankie as I am. I started it last September and almost a year later, it still isn't finished. As it is getting rather large, I have no place to store it so I've been keeping it in the living room whilst I work on it and being a neat freak, he absolutely HATES it there!

He fed us all really well, too well I think as progress after we were fed was rather slow as everyone was trying to digest the chicken lasagne, salad and sticky date pudding he made. I know that I am biased but I thought that he did a great job so a big THANK YOU to him as well *MUAH*.

Unfortunately, by the time dinner was served, we were all too hungry to even think of taking pictures of the food but here are some pictures from the night:

sprawled out on the living room floor... note: we realised that we are not as flexible as we used to be. Our backs started to give way before our spirit did!!

hard at work

group shot...

a close up of seams ... I LOVE how it looks like with the borders as it just "completes" it

Try as I could, I simply could NOT finish all the knitting on time i.e. before the gals arrived. Thank gawd for Vanessa as she managed two squares for me. Thanks to her squares, I had enough squares. As backup, Mona arrived with some of her crocheted squares. But then, I stuffed up the length of the border.

I had knitted 4 long, LONG rows of the borders i.e. 12 stitches wide and about 6 feet long of plain knitting. No purl mind you, just knit and it wasn't long enough! I had thought it was long enough and believe you me, after all that mindless and BORRRRING knitting, I was ready to chuck it all (it didn't help that my work project is due to be completed soon and I wasn't in the best of moods). I thought that I could simply stretch it out but thanks to the wisdom of
Mona, we didn't. The blanket would have curled if we did. I never thought about that. It pays to listen to more experienced knitters :o) .

So, after the seaming party, my blankie still isn't finished. The gals stayed till close to midnight and did HEAPS but there was just too much to do.
Vanessa is a WHIZ with the needle we can tell you... she was seaming along like Speedy Gonzales on speed. The woman can sew and she does it WELL!!

Once again, a BIG BIG THANK YOU to everyone who helped. At the time of writing, I still have 1.25 sides and a few more squares to sew on and then I will be DONE DONE DONE!! Lace... need to knit lace... need lace... need lace...
4:03 pm :: 5 comments ::

Knittin Gal :: permalink

The Finger "Yarn"

Monday, July 18, 2005
A big thank you to everyone who wrote me regarding my finger. Well, suffice to say, I didn't break it. A good friend of mine dragged me off to the doc's after seeing it and the doc sent me to get an x-ray. I now have conclusive proof that it isn't broken. Turns out I strained the ligament and it became worse as I didn't treat it. FYI, for strained ligaments, it is best to keep it immobilised and to take anti inflammatory meds. This I have learnt.

Unfortunately, I had my fingers in a splint (which is a fancy word for a broken ice cream stick thingy, wrapped with a yucky, easy to unravel bandage) which limited my mobility in my right hand and made it virtually impossible to type, draw flowcharts, sign cheques and knit! GRRR!! I am so way behind on my blankie right now that it isn't funny. Anyone out there care to donate a square or two?

Right now, I need about 5 more squares and 2.95 more borders. I hope I can finish it on time for this weekend as I plan on having my seaming party then. If I don't finish it, there won't be much to seam!!

Thankfully my finger is heaps better. It still hurts but I was told that it would take time to heal and after me almost gauging my eye out with the ice cream stick thingy, I took the splint off. It is so easy to forget to not rub your eyes when one's fingers in encased in a splint. At least I can now knit... albeit slowly but I can knit! JOY JOY JOY!!!
11:27 am :: 2 comments ::

Knittin Gal :: permalink