Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Latest FO, a few news and a rant

I've been working on my latest FO on and off ever since March.  I don't know why it took me so long to finish it, usually when things go wrong after 4 or 5 tries, I give up and move on, knowing there is some flaw in the design itself and no matter what I do at that moment, it won't work.

Knitting PPaola was an interesting experience because, even though I had all kinds of things going wrong with it - there were at least 4 false starts due to me not being pleased with the yarn and or needles I'd chosen, another maybe 3 times I had to frog because I was cocky and didn't use st markers...

When the idea for PPaola began to take shape in my head, I had an specific yarn weight I wanted to use with it.  I wanted it to be a stole, not a scarf and had a horrible time getting the elements to work out to the width I wanted.  After tweaking around for a while, I made a sample and sent a pic to a yarnie I thought would be interested in it.  The yarnie declined the idea.  No big deal, I know I won't be able to please everybody all the time, but it did slow me down on the knitting because now I had no plans to stick to.

The odd thing is, not being limited to one yarn weight should have the effect of liberating me, yet I kind of lost interest in this project for some time.  Maybe because I knew, I'd eventually go with a different yarn and had to go back to the drawing board with this design.

I eventually got back to it, because I knew the pattern would work.  After many failed attempts with different yarns and needles and many mistakes when counting sts, I finally got the center right and hit another bump on the road.  I had to fit the other stitch pattern, but it took me a long, long time to get it just the way I wanted.
Then, I started over again, because I didn't like the way the increases looked...

Long story short, I think I'm beginning to have enough confidence in my skills to the point that I know I can make something exactly like I saw it in my mind.  Which is good, I think, but will make me slow down, since I tend to go with tried and true before venturing into the "let me try this crazy thing which I think will look better".

Anyway, here is PPaola.  This is a stole started from the center, knit in the round and then knit back and forth for the "arms".  It is heavily inspired by MMario's Quinn's Star Stole.
PPaola  I have yet to write it down, and will probably knit it again using a different weight yarn, but right now I have yet another new design on the needles and want to finish that one first.  Besides, my test knitters have their hands full right now, so I have to wait anyway.

On other news, August has been a very annoying month, to say the least.  We had AC problems at the beginning of the month, which lead to a yelling dispute over the phone with the management firm so I could get it fixed. 
A few days after that, we had a visit from the electrical company and I found out we've been living in a old, very dry wooden house with none of the electrical parts grounded!  Can you say fire hazard?
On the next week we had some serious family problems - not health issues, but still.  Sadly, aside from being there, there is nothing I can do.  I told my mother once, when she was complaining about something a family member said or did that family is only nice in photos and to lend you the beach house.
To end the month of a "high note", we had our wireless connection hacked over the last weekend (to tell the truth, I think it had been happening for longer) and someone managed to get access to our iTunes account and buy a bunch of songs .>:-(

If you do have iTunes installed in your computer and used it to buy something, I urge you to go to your account info and change the payment option to none.  We've only used iTunes to buy something 3 years ago and guess what?  Even after all this time, we were still signed in and they can bypass Paypal's safety protocols with ease.

I promise to stop the whining.  The month that is ending has kept me going on overdrive for the most part of it and it did affect my knitting - as in I didn't feel like doing it.  I'm slowly winding down and hopefully will be able to settle a bit and knit faster.

General, better newsI got some BFL roving when I was at the fiber fest.  I love it!  It's all spun up and ready to knit, but I have yet to take pictures of it.  I've also spun some of the alpaca I got there, with no signs of allergy :).
I need to try new techniques on the spinning front as I'm getting very thin yarn and it's getting to a point where I won't knit with what I'm spinning.

The weather is finally cooling down so I can sit outside and spin and K can go out and do a little exploring - she has been hunting cicadas all day today.  The nicer weather also means I can open the windows and let fresh air in.  ACs are good and all, but nothing beats fresh air.

There will be a Sheep Fest and Fiber Arts Festival in Bethel, MO going on during Labor Day weekend and we're thinking about going.  It's on the same weekend as the Pow Wow and we have to come up with a way to attend both.

P.S.: as for the eureka moment I had a few weeks ago regarding PPaola...well, guess what?  I didn't work.  I still want to work that idea into some design, but right now I want to design something in the round.

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