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A tale of two sleeves.

Sleeves for Leah's Cardigan

Any knitter whose done their fair share of knitting in the round has probably had a chance to learn more about the technique called Magic Loop. It's something every knitter should have in their arsenal whether or not they use it all the time. (Cabling without a cable needle is another!) What makes it "magic" is that with one long cable needle you can manipulate many small circumferences. Brilliant if you ask me.

Why I love it:

It's convienient. You don't have to worry about losing one of your DPNs. Plus, after you get over the first few rows – which is always fiddly regardless of what you're using – you don't have to juggle through all these different needles and worry about four different "jogs" on your sleeve, hat, or whatever you're knitting.

Why I don't like it:

Let's talk about those "jogs" shall we? Take a close look at the two sleeves for my Leah's Cardigan. Do you notice anything funny with the left sleeve?  A distince channel perhaps?

Do you see what I see?

While knitting the first sleeve, noticed that the last stitch before the join was always coming out a little bit looser than the rest. It wasn't your normal ladder because it wasn't that the two stitches weren't flush next to each other it's was that the last stitch on the needle was stretched out and big.

What was this crazy knitter to do? I could not have been the only one with this ML problem. Off to the Ravelry Forums!

Enter the I heart Magic Loop Group.  A-ha!  It was the way I was holding my needle and cable at the beginning of the join that affected that last stitch.  

The way I was holding it:

Wrong ML technique

The way I am now holding it:

Correct ML technique

By holding the cord flush with my working needle it takes the stress off that last stitch on the cord and therefore it doesn't stretch!  Creating a beautiful jogless 2nd sleeve! Huzzah!

Hopefully if you were having troubles with your magic loop this helped you out a bit or if you're just about to learn it give this a try!

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From the long lost WIP files

Reason #129,209,209 why I love Ravelry: It keeps all the projects I save in a neat place. Plus, the way my page is organized it has my WIPs right on top. Every once in a while I'll browse those little photos and imagine them saying to me, "Hey! What'd ya forget me? You casted me on like two years ago! You're working on THAT now? I'm so much cooler than THAT. Whatever."

Ok, so it's turned into a bit of a guilty reminder but also serves as a nice place to turn to if your current knitting project gets boring. It shows you have options.

Zickzack Tunic

This one option is by far my favorite. I have had it seperated from the normal WIP pile for a while in hopes that will make it all the more enticing for me to knit.

Pattern: Zickzack Tunic by Melissa Wherle
Yarn: Rowan Wool Cotton
First Began May 21, 2009

Why stopped?  Who knows.  I probably fell in love with another project and dropped it like a bad prom date. It's not that I don't LOVE the pattern and LOVE the yarn – it's just so many other things have been vying for my attention.

Do you have any half finished projects out there you love but simply got lost in the WIP pile?

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A knitted gift.

While I may be knitting the longest and biggest non-gift from LMKG 2, it's already lived up to its namesake.

knitted basket from LMKG 2

My dear friend Jackie and I were destined to be friends.  Her husband, Terry, and I were admissions collegues and concidentally went to the same conference in Boston a few years back.  While there Terry had generously offered me a ride home with his family which I ended up declining having already purchased a ticket on the Acela. We said our good byes and headed off to the train ready for my long ride home armed with a half finished Clapotis.

A few days later I meet this amazing woman at Patricia's Yarns.  She is full of energy, funny, opinionated and flat out amazing.  I ask for her name.  She tells me. I think, "Huh, that's funny I know a guy with that last name" and I begin to tell her about my collegue, Terry. Sure enough she looks me dead in the eye and says, "Babe, that's my husband!"

We both flip out realizing that we could have had this seredipidous meeting in her mini van those few days before.  We probably would have been kicked out of her car by her husband and sons from our ranting and raving. In the end it seems all the more fitting that we met in a yarn shop!

Jackie has been a wonderful friend and knitter. She has gone through so much and still remains amazingly generous.  

What's funny about Jackie's gift is that I had saved these baskets on pinterest not really knowing where they came from. Little did I know it was in the 2nd Last Minute Knitted Gifts book!  She also adorned the basket with stitch markers that she got from our trip to Rheinbeck!   

Of course, right after she gifted the baskets I did what any neruotic knitter would do. I bought a copy of the book and enough Koigu to make Leah's Cardigan. 

Cranberry Cardigan

Since taking the picture above I am about four inches away from the armholes. I got gauge using Addi US2s (3mm) needles and decided to use them for the whole sweater instead of switching to smaller needles for the ribbing.  All the simple stockinette for the body has been great therapy for my first days in my new city.

I miss Jackie and my Hoboken knitters so much and I think of them often. The basket and stitch markers will no doubtedly always keep her and them close in my thoughts.

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Free-for-all Tuesday

Fireside Knitting

A few random links for today.

– While I may not want to make pantone mini magnets, I am now itching to buy Paper Glaze.

– A group of alumna from my high school just started a non-profit, their first mission – giving aid to Japan.

– Speaking of aiding Japan, check out this new blanket pattern from Mason Dixon.

– I cannot stop thinking about making this sweater

Using newspapers to map out a wall collage of frames or simply using newspaper to "map out" where to put frames in general – GENIUS.

– In thinking of things I want to hang in my new apartment how about a few of these please.

I am thinking of heading to the CA DMV to get my new licence with the sweater above (how I wish I was by that fire on the beach right now).  It's the one from the 2nd Last Minute Knitted Gifts book. It's neither Last Minute or a Gift and yes I'm knitting with US 2s.

Perfect DMV knitting if you ask me.

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Super Moon? More like Super Meetup!

AMAZING!!

While the rest of the world was holding their breath (and cameras) waiting for the Super Moon to rise, I was already reveling in how AWESOME it was to finally meet my old blog friend Nonnahs!

The moment I knew I was heading to San Diego for the weekend I emailed her in the hopes of finally meeting. She came back with a swift yes and our date was set!  As the day got closer I still couldn't believe I was going to finally meet the girl who I call my "SFAM" – sister from another mother!

I can't deny that the morning of our meeting I had that feeling in my stomach. You know, that flutter, it’s what you feel when you’re about to meet someone you admire. In there somewhere there’s also a tinge of worry – will we like each other like we do via our blogs??  What if this idea I have of her and her of me doesn’t pan out? What if it is a major Fail? 

I will never forget pacing the hotel lobby waiting for her to arrive only to watch her walk through the door and forgetting all the “play it cool” talk I had tried to coach myself with.

Screw it! I knew that she, just like me, was beyond excited about this moment!

The whole afternoon was full of WIN and then some. I even joked at lunch that a unicorn was likely to gallop by since this was such an amazing fantasy! We laughed and talked as if we were old friends. We ordered the same dish at the italian restaurant, shared in a glass of wine and topped it off with a flight of 3 different cobblers… YUM!

What's maybe ironic in all of this – we didn't knit a stitch! 

Trying to make her stay

I tried my best to make her stay (note huge gripping hug above) but knew like all fun things we had to say our goodbyes.  One thing is certain, this is the beginning of many epic meetups!

When most scientists look back on Saturday and write their articles on the path of the moon and how it’s orbital trajectory is why it came so close to Earth, you and I will all know the Real reason the moon came so close today – it wanted to witness the epic awesomeness of a Nonnahs and Tentenknits afternoon.  We don’t blame you, moon, not one bit.

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Bramble Hat

Hi!

Well hello there! I'm so happy to get back to knitting and blogging here at 1010!

Talk about an exciting first week in San Fran! I arrived on the 4th, my stuff arrived on the 6th, my parents got here on the 9th, earthquake/tsunami warning on the 10/11th, a trip to Sausalito on the 12th and unpacking boxes. SO. many. boxes. Today is the first day I have had to myself.

Bramble Beret

So let's get right to it with my first Cali FO, the Bramble Hat from Vintage Modern Knits.

Needles: US 5 & US 7
Yarn: Canopy Worsted, 2 skeins, colorway: Kaffir Plum 
Ravelry Link 

I actually finished this hat in Jersey a few days before I flew out. I had hoped to have it done by the book tour but had seriously no time to myself.

Turns out all you need to do for "spare time" is go to the NJ DMV. I was given a few extra knit minutes while waiting in line to get a new title. The process should have taken 10 mins max but since I didn't come prepared it took a little over an hour and a 2nd trip. The hat was done way before I could hear the counter lady yell, "next!"

Flower

I don't know what I love more about this beret, the color of the canopy, texture of the pattern or the feel of the yarn. 

In true knit confession, I had to read through the notes a few times before I casted on in order to understand what was going on with the beginning of the round marker. It moves every other row to either the left or the right depending on the type of cable you're working. Trust me you're going to want to read through it before you begin – it can get a little tricky.  I also made a mistake and did seed stitch instead of moss stitch.  I didn't realize it until I was halfway through the chart but I liked how it looked so I kept it.

I am loving San Francisco so far although it still feels like I'm on vacation. It hasn't hit me that I'm here "for good" – for now. Plus, I feel as if I've only scratched the surface of this gorgeous city.  I haven't met any locals yet but tonight will be my first knit night nearby and I am excited to meet some new people!

Bramble Beret

Maybe I'll rock the beret there! 😉

xox,