Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Knitting Goals

Even though I'm not doing any knitting for Christmas (the stress just kills me, and Christmas is quite stressful enough), I do have some goals for this winter:

1. I intend to finish the sweater I started three years ago for my dad. Yep, it's true, this thing pre-dates the boyfriend. I only have the sleeves and collar, so I am very confident. My sub-goal is to have the first sleeve finished and the second sleeve picked up by Christmas.

2. Finish fixing two pairs of socks. I actually already finished one pair, but they are too small, so I need to take the toes out and add few more rounds to each.

3. Hat for Len. For some reason, the man who only ever wants things in solid green, blue or gray wants a hat made out of scraps of yarn. He seems to understand that this means crazy colors, crazy stripes and the whole bit, so I guess I will do it. For him. The freak.

4. A scarf for myself. I have to finish it, I'm so sick of it I could cry. I hate knitting scarves.

5. A project which I will not go into.

I also have yarn for socks for both myself and for Len. I might start those, but I very seriously doubt I will finish them. When I finish the scarf, I will start playing with yarn for an Alice Starmore sweater (Fulmar), but god knows when I will actually start the knitting for that one, and I probably will never finish it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Kinzel's "Chrysanthemum"

This is Marianne Kinzel's "Chrysanthemum" from her first book of lace knitting. It was much easier to knit than spell! I used #30 DMC crochet thread on size 2 needles.

I always tell newish knitters not to tell me about the mistakes they made in their knitting (unless they want to know how to fix them), but I am about to do exactly that, in hopes that a more experienced knitter can tell me what might help.

First, it's kind of wonky, which I know can be fixed with better blocking, but it also does not lay completely flat. Maybe if I stretched it more in blocking it would be flat?

But what really annoys me is the crochet cast-off. The hook was too big to begin with, but I followed Kinzel's directions exactly, which might have been ok if the hook had been smaller. I don't know crochet well enough to match hook to thread. So the loops are too big and look sort of stupid, crowded and messy.

Don't get me wrong. I love this pattern, I love that it looks so complicated and difficult but it is so easy and fast. I will certainly do this one again as a tablecloth (for someone with a round table, which I don't have). This summer I was working on another Kinzel pattern, "Daffodil", which is quite a lot harder, mainly because the repeats get to be very long. I need to figure out the crochet bind off before I get to the end of that one.