November 16, 2008

Poll: Pointed vs. Rounded Hoods

Do you like pointy or round hoods?

I like a pointed hood. But, they can look, well, too pointy.

Since I'm writing a pattern for the hoodie pictured, I thought I'd ask my readers. So, to my few and cherished readers, please make your voices heard and take the poll to the right. Leave a comment if you need more room to expound.

I did a few decreases to make the hood a little less angular. I like the way it looks here. Still, I can't decide if a round hood might not be better. I could easily rip out a few rows and rework the top.

When I write that part of the pattern, I could include instructions for both a pointy and a round hood. Maybe that's the best solution.

November 10, 2008

Birdie: free hat pattern

I like my running hat so much I decided to design a knitterly version of it.

Birdie is a trim hat with a petite brim. It is knit in the round from the bottom. On top, the cables twirl together in a sunburst design. Just like the classic baseball caps which inspired it, Birdie is topped off with a button.

Made from lightweight yarn, you won’t have to wait for cold weather to wear Birdie. Knit it in a luxurious silk and merino blend, or choose an affordable soft acrylic. Birdie also looks great as a beanie. Instructions for a brimless version are included at the end of the pattern.

Yarn: 150 yds (135 m) of dk/sport weight yarn. The orange-red hat was knit in Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend, 30% silk, 70% wool, in color 3069. The purple hat is in Bernat Satin Sport, acrylic, in plum. Choose substitute yarns that have some elasticity, and that will meet the gauge below.
Needles: U.S. 4 (3.5 mm), 16” circular and 4 dpns
Crochet hook: U.S. D (3.25 mm)
Cable needle, stitch markers, tapestry needle
Gauge: 23 sts, 38 rws per 4 in. in st st. One 16 st pattern rep at cast on edge, where it is stretched, is 2.5 in. One pattern repeat, relaxed, is 2 in.
Size: One size fits most teens and adults. Finished hat at bottom band, before brim is attached, is 14.25 in, after brim is attached, 17.5 in. Hat will comfortably stretch up to about 23 in. The brim is 1.75 in deep by 5.5 in wide.

Crochet Button Tutorial

Crochet buttons are easy to make, and they're cute as a, uh, button.

You can make the button smaller or bigger by changing the number of single crochets in step 4. If you need a firm button for a garment closure, insert a hard plastic or wood button into the center. Since I used this as a decorative topper for a hat, I just stuffed the yarn tail into the center.

Gauge: not important
Hook: size that works with your yarn

There are a couple of different ways to start the initial circle, but my favorite method starts off with a big loop. A big loop is easy to crochet into, and it feels very satisfying when you pull it shut after completing the the first round.

This tutorial assumes you know how to chain, slip into a stitch, and single crochet.

1. Make a large loop by placing the yarn tail behind the working yarn. Leave a 6 inch tail.

2. Insert the hook through the front of the loop and pull the working yarn through.

3. Chain 1.

4. Make 5 single crochets into loop. Pull tail to close loop.

5. Complete the circle by slipping into 1st single crochet. Chain 1.

6. Single crochet into same single crochet as slipped into. Single crochet twice into each stitch. Close the circle by slipping into 1st single crochet. Chain 1.

7. Single crochet into each stitch. Close the circle by slipping into 1st single crochet. Chain 1.

8. Decrease round: Insert hook into next stitch and pull through a loop (2 loops on hook). Insert hook into next stitch and pull through a loop (3 loops on hook). Yarn over, and pull through all loops. Repeat to end of round.

9. Leaving about 12 inches, cut yarn and fasten off. Stuff all (for a fat button), or some (for a flatter button), of the 1st tail into center of button.

10. With 2nd tail, sew closed and attach to your project.

Here's the button atop the Birdie hat.

November 9, 2008

My Lucky Hat

The field in today’s Vancouver Fall 5 Miler was lucky; the rain poured down before the race and picked up again afterwards. Conditions during the run were good, no real rain, no real wind, just lots of wet leaves cushioning the path.

I had a bit of extra luck today, too. I got a blue ribbon. That’s always fun.

The course was flat, two loops through Marine Park and out along the riverfront past zillion-dollar condos with zillion-dollar views of the Columbia R.

I started too fast and drooped the last couple of miles. I’m still learning to pace. “Still learning” means I stink at it.

Last night, I reread the chapter called “Mental Training” in the racing book Don gave me. After reading this, I was determined to have a steely enough mind to make up for my lack of speed conditioning and running talent. This really didn’t work.

It did succeed in giving me monkey mind for the rest of the night. I tossed and turned, trying to come up with affirmations and anything else that might help with the discomfort of trying to run fast. Finally, I gave up on that and switched to inventing affirmations for falling asleep.

I’m still learning how to suffer (see above definition of “still learning.”) I’m getting a little better, I think. I tried to push through the discomfort and not let fatigue take too much of a toll. Don calls this “paying the price.”

For what it’s worth, I have a raw throat from gasping for breath. At one point, I thought I would puke. I told myself, unless I really did puke, I wouldn’t slow down. I think the imagery of that distracted me for a couple of seconds. Probably lost some time there.

I finished in an OK time, though. My pace was about the same as my 10k pr from a few months ago. A bug got lodged in my eye.

I’m always freezing after I run, so I piled on my sweats, parka, and a hat I knit last fall. I think it's just fine to wear stupid-looking hats. The stupider, the better, really. I feel satisfied that I’m able to combine a running post with a knitting FO post.

November 2, 2008

2 Hats and a Hoodie

I finished a hoodie, pattern to follow shortly. (Update: no pattern. I'm not really happy with how this hoodie turned out.)

And, a hat, free pattern to follow very shortly.
And, another hat, knit from sock yarn. It's light enough to wear running and to get stuffed into a pocket if the runner's head starts overheating. Notes and photos to follow shortly.

October 10, 2008

I'd like to apologize for the following boring post

Tomorrow, I’m set to run in a 15k. Yesterday, I hurt my back. As of today, I’m too sore to sit for more than 30 minutes at a time or to even attempt running.

The funny thing is, my stiff back may be a knitting injury. There’s nothing more unhealthy than sitting. It not only makes your hips large and flabby but stiff and tight. I haven’t figured out how to knit without sitting, though. And, I’m eager to finish my current project, the cabled hoodie.

Then again, I may have done damage to myself by running fast on pavement Wednesday. I just felt so good; the air was crisp, the sun was shining.

All I know is that Thursday, I woke up crippled and crimped and thought to straighten myself out with a cautious walk/jog on the treadmill. As I felt better, I sped up, ignored the twinges in my back, and did a few short strides of 30 to 60 seconds. This was a mistake.

Sometimes the runner’s high is a bad thing; you don’t notice the impending catastrophe. If I feel OK, I’ll run tomorrow. It’s going to be a mild October day in a park by a lake, so even if I don’t run, I’ll be on the sidelines cheering Don. It’ll be fun.

October 4, 2008

Calm after the storm

Last night and today the first of the season’s big storms blew through. I love to run after a night of wind and rain. The ground is soft and the air is fresh. Less hardy walkers and runners are scared off by the prospect of more rain.

The empty trails are especially welcome on a Saturday morning when running on a narrow track can be more like dodging and weaving. On sunny days, the trails are crowded with baby-strollers, dogs, and the obliviati with headphones and cell phones (did I just make-up a word?).

Autumn really is the most beautiful time for both running and knitting: it’s warm enough to run in shorts and cold enough to anticipate sweater weather.

I ran six miles between systems. (I’m not so hardy that I like to run during a storm.) Then, I settled in for an afternoon of knitting.

I think I’ll use these clasps instead of the wood buttons I originally planned on. I love moss stitch for its texture and simplicity. It adds depth and sheen to otherwise matte yarn (Cascade 220, cranberry). But, now that I’m nearing the end of this moss-stitch-heavy project, I’m looking forward to knitting something more involved. Something lacy, or cabled, or both.

October 1, 2008

My hometown

I few weeks ago Don and I took a trip to Port Townsend, WA, where I grew up. Half my childhood was spent walking on this beach. I've no idea who that mystery guy is in the black, but the seagull and rock are old, old friends. The other half of my time was spent wandering around downtown among those old buildings pictured in the header. (The third half was wasted parked in front of the T.V. watching bad 70's shows.)
Here's the inside of one those old buildings, the Palace Hotel. The hotel was great, but didn't have a hairdryer, therefore, my head is lumpy. I think I'll start carrying a fan as a prop during photo shoots. The thumb-hooked-in-pocket is getting really old.
Here's the paper mill where my father and grandfather worked. It's not as smelly as it used to be. If I ever run for public office, this mill will figure heavily in my self-narrative: "I'm the son of a mill worker. I know what it means to work long, hard days, to come home at night stinking of pulp and paper and grease, to ache from the never-ending, backbreaking labor that sucks the life out of a man before he's 30!!!...or, at least my father does..."

After drifting away from P.T. on the Keystone Ferry, we headed to Bellingham for a couple of days. I found a used copy of E.Z.'s Knitter's Almanac for $3.75 at Michael's Books. Very satisfying.

And, we ran in the Fairhaven Runners Waterfront 15k. I didn't feel prepared for the distance, but ran better than I thought I would. I finished in 1:17:51, by my watch. The chip-time added 9 seconds. Screw the chip! Don's watch agreed with mine.
Even though I tried my best not to die on this hill around mile 9, an older man passed me on the way up. That's his elbow in the foreground. Later, when his name and age were called out as the winner for his age group, I learned he was 70. (Do you think I should buy a 5x7 print of this photo for $10?)

Here's my latest project. Someday soon it will be a hoodie. But right now, it's mainly just a thorn in my side because of my tendency knit slower than rust.

August 26, 2008

Kelso Lace Cardigan Pattern

This pattern has been discontinued.

The Kelso Cardigan features an allover horseshoe lace pattern with eyelet trim at the front and raglans. It is knit seamlessly from the bottom up, with body and sleeves worked in one piece from the yoke. The drape and stretch of lace gives the Kelso a close, flattering fit.

The pattern includes detailed instructions for shaping in lace. If you're new to lace knitting, it will sound more confusing than it is! It all makes sense once you start knitting and becoming familiar with the lace repeats.

I wrote the pattern at the request of several knitters who saw the original sweater on ravelry. Here's the post, with a couple more pictures, written before I knew I'd attempt a pattern. Thanks, ravelers, for motivating me to publish the pattern.

Finished chest measurements: 30 (33, 35, 37.5, 40, 42, 44.5) in / 76 (84, 89, 95, 102, 107, 113) cm
Sweater is designed to fit with 0-3 inches negative ease. Cardigan pictured is worn with 3 inches negative ease. Finished measurements are after blocking, with sweater slightly stretched.

Worsted weight yarn, approximately 590 (650, 690, 740, 788, 827, 876) yards or 540 (595, 631, 677, 721, 757, 802) meters. Use yarn with moderate elasticity, such as cotton and acrylic blends, cotton and wool blends, or wool. Sample shown is in Lion Brand Cotton-Ease, Lake (#110).

US 7 / 4.5 mm 24 in. or longer circular needles
US 8 / 5 mm 24 in. or longer circular needles and dpns
US 6 / 4 mm 24 in. or longer circular needles for optional waist shaping.
If necessary, change needle sizes to get gauge.
5 mm (H) crochet hook
Stitch markers
Tapestry needle

17 sts and 24 rws over 4 inches, in lace pattern after blocked.

Click image for larger schematic.

August 25, 2008

Woodland creatures

At last, at long, long last, I've finished the pattern for the Kelso Cardigan. I loaded the file into my ravelry store and....nothing showed up. So, I'll give it a day to see if the problem is resolved. If not, I'll have to go the email-pdf-after-payment route.

To celebrate, I went for a run. The trail was wet, and it was lovely to run on. As I rounded a corner, a doe was stepping lightly along the edge of the woods. She was used to people and didn't start at the sight of me, just walked off to meet her friend among the trees.  His rust-colored velvety horns were just emerging. Autumn is almost here.

August 5, 2008

Status Report

I'm on the 7th revision of the Kelso pattern. It's nearly done. My test knitter has really helped me clear up confusing sections. The final version will be much easier to follow than the original version.

In other news, I discovered today that kneecaps can sweat heavily. I never noticed this before. Today, after a short run in hot and humid conditions, I was standing in the yard checking out some bumblebees on the lavender. I felt something on my leg, which I assumed was a bee. When I looked down, there were my knees with beads of sweat rolling down my shins. What's up with that!

August 2, 2008

Rough Stuff

I have a rough draft of the Kelso pattern! The pattern needs some heavy editing. Then it will go to my two test knitters, then more editing, before I can finally say "TADAH!" and publish it.

Now that I've turned the corner, I think I'll go for a refreshing run. I need to clear my mind since there's more math ahead.

Thanks for all the encouraging comments. You've kept me motivated.

July 30, 2008

Crap-free pattern writing is difficult

I miss knitting. Lately, I've been spending my knitting time writing a pattern for the Kelso Lace Cardigan, aka Horseshoe Corset Cardigan.

Pattern writing is a high-anxiety activity. My brow is furrowed. The stressful part is trying to make sure I don't publish something that's a piece of crap! No one likes crap.

Thanks for all the queries and compliments, both here and on ravelry. I hope to complete the pattern in August. I hope it will be sooner rather than later. I hope you will like it.

July 17, 2008

Horseshoe Corset Cardigan

I made this sweater from scratch. It’s a bottom up raglan, knit in one piece to the arms. I knit the sleeves individually and joined all the pieces on one circular, decreasing at the raglans and front neck until the yoke was okey-dokey.

I eyeballed the decreases and adjusted as I went. I was aiming for a shoulder and sleeve that are fitted but not tight. I hate it when my armpits are strangled.

The stitch pattern is horseshoe lace. I threw in a few rows of straight stitch at each “side seam” to give me the right width. The front edges are a 4-stitch eyelet pattern. I picked up stitches around the front and bound off purl-wise. This gives the edges a firm, neat finish. I thought the neck might stretch out, but on its test-drive, it was fine.

Horseshoe lace is very easy and looks cool. It doesn’t look much like horseshoes to me. The curves bisected by the ridged spine remind me of a fossilized something or other.

I didn’t want to think about waist shaping and interrupting the stitch pattern, so I went down one needle size in the midsection. This, along with negative ease, gives the cardigan shape. The width is 2” narrower than my chest measurement. Lace is stretchy, and looks good when it’s “opened.” So, I figured negative ease was the way to go.

I also wanted the look of an A-line without the extra width at the bottom. Leaving the bottom half of the front open, gives me that nice triangular shape. The lacing was an afterthought. It's a crocheted chain.

Pattern: My own.
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in Lake (#110), about 3 skeins
Needle: Size 7 & 8 circulars and a crochet hook.

June 28, 2008

Junuary becomes June

Wasn't there once a transitional period between winter and summer? I think it was called spring. Anyway, after months of wet, cool weather, this week it got hot.

Today was 101 F. The heat is making me dream weird.

Dream #1: Someone bludgeons Ziggy. I'm running around with him in my arms trying to staunch the bleeding and get him to the hospital.

Dream #2: Another cat, who looks just like Ziggy except that he is black, tries to pass himself off as the real Ziggy. I am tipped off to the scheme when I see both cats in the same room, and by the the fact that Ziggy is a Seal Point Siamese not a black cat. Alarmed, I try to chase the black cat out the back door. Then I realize I'm not sure which cat is the impostor.

What kind of lame dreams are those? If I have to wake up hot and bothered, why do I also have to feel ashamed at the ridiculousness of my dreaming. I blame Ziggy. He was sleeping next to my shins the whole time I dreamt, hooking me with his after-stretching retracting claws. Why can't he stay on his side of the bed?

Knitting update: I'm working on my first pair of socks. I started with a lacey pattern, but decided what I really wanted was a plain, straight-stitch footie. I finally got past the heel on the first one after 4 false starts.

June 23, 2008

Honeycomb Vest

My sister realized that knitting and tendonitis don’t mix, so she gave me some yarn from her stash. Included in the bag were four skeins of Silky Wool. When I saw the Honeycomb vest pattern calling for four skeins of Silky Wool, it seemed like an omen.

I’m the model in the picture (note to self: in future, find something less weird to do with hands), but the vest was a b-day present for my sister.

I’ll always remember this project as the one that inspired me to walk to Walgreens and purchase reading glasses. I also learned to cable without a needle. I’m glad I did.

Pattern: Honeycomb by Sarah Caster, size small. Published on
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, four skeins
Needle: size 4 circulars
Modifications: Increased the length by .5.” Knit front and back in the round. Omitted waist shaping since the vest has several inches of negative ease.
Notes: This yarn should come with a warning label. It is very stretchy. I’m not sure if I’ll ever want to knit with it again. It requires careful blocking and reshaping after washing, and I’m lazy about those kinds of things. It also took a couple days to dry even after a run through the spin cycle.

June 6, 2008

Love sees what it wants to see

Why is it, I wonder, that I never remember to avoid projects that have a lot of stitches to pick up, especially when those stitches are for ribbing? I guess, if you fall in love with a pattern, you dismiss potential complications.

It usually takes me a couple tries before I pick up the right number, at the right tension, so that everything lies flat. (Or is it "lays flat"... another thing I can't get right.)

The Honeycomb vest has ribbing around the neck and armholes. Ribbing around the neck and arms is either perfect or it's crap. There's no middle ground. I like to eyeball things and improvise, but that usually doesn't work for ribbing...I'm going to have to rip out the first armhole's ribbing. Sigh. I wonder if icing one's head is as effective as icing one's feet?

I hope the Honeycomb will be a success and that the recipient will like wearing it. I hope she won't mind if it's a day or two late. I hope she looks on it with the eyes of love.

June 2, 2008

Why today was great

I ran 53 minutes, including some pretty nice hills, and nothing hurt that wasn't supposed to hurt. Running down a hill, I felt a twinge on the ball of my right foot, but it went away after I adjusted my stride. I tried to soak in a bath of cold water after, but I'm too wimpy to go deeper than my ankles.

My remedy for sore feet is still ice, elevation, and knitting.

June 1, 2008

5 reasons to whine

  1. The Honeycomb vest is nearing completion, and I may run out of yarn. There’s no chance of matching the dye lot since my sister purchased the yarn years ago.
  2. I’ve had flu-like symptoms today and didn’t run. Last week I had a foot issue which kept me from my scheduled 10-mile day.
  3. Ziggy puked twice.
  4. Will the sun ever come out? I don’t want to live in a world of perpetual gloom.
  5. Medical coverage in this country totally stinks.

May 21, 2008

Two swatches and a cat

It's pink, and it's lacy, but so far that's all I know. Here's a swatch with a few stitch patterns, but no clear favorite. I bought this cotton yarn (Reynolds Saucy) a year ago after I learned to crochet. My intention was to make a lacy jacket thing. But, then I learned to knit. I haven't really crocheted since.

This is the beginning of the Honeycomb vest. It's pretty. The cable twist is kind of a pain in the gluteus maximus, though. The yarn (Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool) is thin and much darker than in these pictures. I'm having a hard time seeing the stitches. I'm getting used to it. And, since it's not for me, I can congratulate myself on what a self-sacrificing martyr I am when the irritation starts building.

It kind of looks like Ziggy is genuflecting to me in this pic. That'll be the day. He's playing on the bed. Like Oprah, he prefers fresh sheets daily, or at least every other day (I heard her say that on her show once). Clean bedding makes him frisky (don't know what effect they have on Oprah). As soon as the sheets hit the mattress, he starts prancing around, arching his back, hissing and acting tough. He does not deign to frolic on unclean sheets. He thinks they're...unclean.

May 17, 2008

Help save a Sun Bear

Hand Knit Bear MittenPerhaps you are thinking, given the photographic evidence, that I’m peculiarly untalented when it comes to knitting socks. It’s true; I have yet to knit a single pair of real socks. I started a pair about a year ago and haven’t progressed beyond the first 2 inches of cuff. However, this particular sock is humongous because it is for a Sun Bear. (It’s a bear bootie, sock or mitten, depending on your preference.)

Malayan Sun Bear at the Oregon ZooMalay Sun Bear at Oregon Zoo. Photo by Stuart Seeger

A couple months ago, Animals Asia Foundation and Oregon Zoo requested help from knitters. Sun Bears need mittens to keep them warm after surgery. The bears need surgery to repair damage from years of living on bear farms in China. The farms are in the business of extracting bile from the animals’ gallbladders. The bile is used in traditional medicine.

It’s not a nice practice. Animals Asia Foundation has been rescuing and rehabilitating bears since 1998. Twisted, a yarn store in Portland, designed a pattern for the bear mittens/booties/socks. Any knitter who has a little time, some machine-washable yarn, and a love of bears, should knit some booties.

Cat and Mitten
Ziggy says, "Be nice to bears...and isn't it past time for my 8pm feeding?"

May 7, 2008

Minimalist Raglan

Although I love Dobby the House Elf in the Harry Potter books, I’ve decided to give up dressing like him. I never meant to become an eyesore. Slovenliness snuck up on me. But, in my defense, it seems like a waste of valuable knitting time to put together a coordinated look in order to sit at home knitting.

Still, one doesn’t want to let these things get out of hand, so I compromised by knitting a house sweater. I’m happy with how it turned out. It’s roomy, comfortable, and looks better than lots of things I wear. It was also fun to knit because I made up the design as I went.

I started only with the intention of knitting a simple sweater with minimal shaping. I determined my gauge and my desired neck width and decided on everything else as things progressed. That’s the beauty of a top-down raglan. You can try it on and adjust things as you go.

I didn’t want any pattern or embellishments on the sweater, but I did add visible decreases on the front and back. I like the rolled hem at the neck, but chose a bumpy garter stitch hem for the bottom and cuffs. On the raglan seams, I increased every other row for the first and last couple of inches, and every third row for the main section. That gave me a roomy but neat looking armhole.

I’m calling this sweater a success even though it’s not gorgeous, and it’s made from yarn of questionable quality. That’s all OK, because the yarn and the design were perfect for my plan of a hanging-around-the-house-doing-dishes-and grooming-the-cat kind of sweater.

Pattern: My version of a basic top-down raglan. Finished chest is about 36".
Needles: size 10 for the body
Yarn: A little less than 6 skeins (750 yards) of Patons Shetland Chunky Tweeds, in Beige. 25% wool, 75% acrylic.

May 5, 2008

What would Ricardo Montalbán do?

Ricardo Montalbán as Khan Noonien Singh in the Star Trek episode "Space Seed."*

As a kid, I watched more episodes of the Merv Griffin show than was healthy. It was there, I think, that I heard Ricardo Montalbán say, he had long ago given up on hopes and dreams because they led to disappointment. He tried to be happy with the roles that came his way.

He was probably playing Mr. Roarke on “Fantasy Island” at the time. I can see how, under the circumstances, his was a healthy attitude. I myself, have, for several decades, enthusiastically been living a life of low expectations. For me, fatalism leads to serenity. Whenever I temporarily get ambitious and try for something better, I go mad.

So, I hope it is more a paradox and less a sign of impending insanity, that I’ve lately been engaged in activities that require a good amount of striving and a fair degree of hope for a happy ending.

I’m over-dramatizing. Here are my two modest dreams.

1) To design a good sweater and share the pattern with the blogosphere,
2) To finish a half marathon without walking, crying, or swearing-off running (swearing and cursing during the race will be allowed when warranted).

To make my dreams come true, I’m in training. The half marathon training is predictable: more mileage, strength workouts, etc. It’s too boring, really, to write about here.

I’ve also completed my first totally-from-scratch sweater. It’s not the “good sweater” I’m working towards, but, more like a useful experiment. I’ll have more details and a photo as soon as it’s blocked.

Facts about Ricardo Montalbán that I learned from Wikipedia and Don:
  1. Ricardo Montalbán’s full name is, Ricardo Gonzálo Pedro Montalbán Merino. Merino? Cool!

  2. It’s been rumored that to achieve a buff look, Mr. Montalbán wore a prosthetic chest during the filming of “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” These rumors were denied by Leonard Nimoy in his book “I am Spock.” To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, Don and I rented Star Trek II. If Mr. Montalbán’s chest was enhanced, in my opinion, it was only with bronzer and strategically placed duct tape.

  3. In 1984, Mr. Montalbán visited the restaurant, La Pinata (or something like that), in Bellingham, WA, while filming a commercial for the Chyrsler Cordoba. He ordered a chimichanga. Don, who was then a fresh-faced reporter, interviewed the perfectly coifed star on location. Mr. Montalbán was exceedingly gracious.

* Paramount Pictures and/or CBS Studios This image is copyrighted, but used here under Fair Use guidelines.

April 22, 2008

Dude, I needed more coffee

Yesterday was a rest day from running. I used the time to knit. I’m calling it “The Minimalist Raglan.” That name could change later.

I’m not using a pattern, just making it up as I go and keeping the numbers and measurements in my head. Except, my head is failing me.

I was happily knitting and watching a recording of the Boston Marathon, and I made a lot of progress on the sweater. I was in a great mood, sitting with my feet up, knitting and eating banana bread.

I got past the waist decreases and on to the hip increases. I felt kind of smug that everything was going so well. Then, I realized I had miscalculated the decreases.

Even without the help of a calculator, I know that 2 decreases x 2 sides does not = 2 decreases. I know, for a fact, that it = 4 decreases. It has always been 4. It always will be 4. 2 x 2 = 4. It does not equal 2. And, of course I did several decrease rounds, so the mistake was multiplied each time.

Does that mean the error grew exponentially? Well, anyway, I need a calculator for anything beyond 2 x 2 (which = 4).

My sweater was 2 inches narrower than I had planned. I could have worn it that way. It would have looked fine as long as I was always sucking in my stomach and standing at a certain angle. But, that's more work than just re-knitting.

I ripped it back and started again. After four rows, I noticed I was increasing instead of decreasing. And, it’s been that kind of a knitting day today, too. I have a picture of the sweater before I ripped it, but why waste the bandwidth posting it.

When I told this story to my mom, she laughed and laughed. She’s also a knitter.

April 2, 2008

Sweet Knittin' Cat

Free Pattern: Amineko Crocheted Cat by Nekoyama
Yarn: worsted weight acrylic in tangerine and camel
Needles: Size D and E crochet hooks
Modifications: Made him more petite