Sunday, March 27, 2011


Finished knitting on Fylingdales.  Added a little extra ribbing on the front bands and got a zipper to install rather than buttons to help cover up my tummy.  Still need to weave in the ends, sew in zipper, and wash but the main part is done!  Woo-hoo!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I Wonder

Have you ever started knitting yourself a nice, cozy, complicated sweater and then realize by the time you've finished that you've gained weight and the thing no longer fits properly?  Yup, me too.  Wonder how much extra ribbing I can add to the front bands of the cardigan before it looks really strange... 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

You Can't Eat a Mandarin Without Your Thumbs

A friend of mine (Stephanie) sent me an email saying, "You can't eat a mandarin (orange) without thumbs." 

I'm pretty sure she meant it literally, but it got me to thinking.  First it was, "Huh?"  Then I got a little bit more philosophical. 

What would happen if we didn't have thumbs?  How would that have changed us as a cultural whole?  Could we knit? Would we ever have "A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"?  Would opossums have jumped to the top of the evolutionary totem pole? How do folks that really don't have thumbs function?   (Yes, it was a slow work day.)

Bach didn't use thumbs for his keyboard - it wasn't fashionable at the time to do so.  (A little side trivia: Bach didn't use a piano - they weren't invented yet.  They used harpsichords at that time, which pluck - rather than strike - the wire.)  They played just using the four fingers of each hand.    How genteel.

Lady-like knitting is not supposed to show the thumbs.  It's all hands in.   You can't get much done that way but you look good doing it!  You also don't want someone to be "all thumbs", especially if that someone is your dentist.   It sure makes it sound like thumbs are bad.

But without our thumbs we wouldn't have the tools we have, open ketchup bottles, tie ties, or knit comfortably.  I like my thumbs.  They're useful little things to have, especially for knitting.   

So I agree, Steph - you can't eat a mandarin without your thumbs. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Gauge Can Be a Killer

I figured out what happened. The sweater was too snug because my gauge was off.

I thought I had gauge that was right on, but that's because I thought it was 18 stitches per 4 inches (4.25 stitches per inch), which is what I got.


It is supposed to be 16 stitches per 4 inches (4 stitches per inch). That means that I was making a sweater much smaller than what the pattern stated.

Confusing?  I know, it seems it should be the other way around, doesn't it?  It feels like it should be when you get more stitches per inch, then the size should be larger. NOT!  Lemme put it this way - 10 inches for a 4.25 gauge = 42.5 stitches. The same size for a 4 stitches per inch = 40.0.

But that doesn't sound like too much of a difference, right? And it really doesn't make that big of a difference at 10 inches. But when you talk about something that is 46" around it's the difference between 184 stitches and 195.5 stitches, or about 4 inches smaller than it should be. For me that equals negative ease, and that's just not a pretty site on me.

So I tried a gauge swatch on a larger needle (a 10). Got gauge but I didn't like the fabric as much - preferred the way it looked on a size 9 needle. Sooo, to make things more interesting, I decided to stay with the size 9 and do a bit of math to make it fit properly and then I frogged it the rest of the way and started fresh.

I’m gonna be knitting my brains out for the rest of my life….

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I had a cookie while I was at work today.  One, single, little chocolate chip cookie.  I ended up with chocolate all over my hands, my face, my clothes, my desk, and papers on my desk.  Isn't this a talent only a 2-year-old is supposed to have?  

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

This Little Frog

I ripped it last night.  Right up to the arm holes. 

I took out one of my favorite sweaters last night after posting - the one that has the best fit - and measured the diameter.  Then I measured the purple sweater.  4.5 inch difference.  No wonder I didn't like the way it fit!  So I made like a frog a ripped it.

Got my gauge.  Now all I need to do the math to figure out how many stitches I need to put on before continuing the main body.  Unfortunately, that involves math - something I'm not the best at even on a good day, let alone after a long day at work.  Should get interesting...keep you posted!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Got the purple top-down raglan done to the bottom of the main section. Tried it on to check the length and realized that it was a bit...umm...well, snug.

Isn't this a pickle? I plan to wear this with a shirt underneath and don't like clingy clothes (I figure if it shows muffin top then it's too tight).   I'm just not happy with the fit.  So, I figure I've got two choices here:
  1. Keep it as is and hope I lose weight, or
  2. Unravel to the armpits and cast on additional stitches before knitting my brains out again.
My choice: Indecision has ruled the day - I decided to put it on 'hold' until I could either drop 10 pounds or work up the gumption to unravel the thing. Grrr....