Saturday, September 29, 2007

Rogue update

About 2 years ago, dear Tech Support Gal wanted a sweater. And the one she ended up choosing was Rogue, from The Girl from Auntie . We ordered several different wool yarns in a couple of colorways and after much mulling and hemming and hawing, chose a purple heathered superwash wool from Brown Sheep Co. in Plum Crazy. Then began the swatching phase. 4 swatches and washing and blocking of these swatches later, the proper size needles for flat and circular knitting and hems and such was all worked out. Then Josie decided she needed to become part of the family, so I put Rogue on the back-burner. After all, I saw no reason to knit Rogue for Techie while she went around in maternity clothes and by the time she'd be out of them, it would be too hot for Rogue. Plus Josie needed her own little baby outfits.

Fast forward to this past March. I pulled out all the materials and cast on Rogue. Techie chose the biased hem option and I worked steadily through it and all the cabling and the hoodie on the front and up to the middle of the hood. It hit the first of July. And the temperatures soared above 100F. Even with the a/c on, I could no longer continue with this lapful of wool. This will be one nice, warm sweater, let me vouch for that.

The weather has finally broken, though we contine in drought (rain, please, if anyone would like to wish their's our way, we'd sure appreciate it. Let's put it this way: we haven't done a full mow job on the lawn since July.) So I've picked Rogue back up and it's back in the rotation. The love for it is still there.

Here's a "Dementor" type shot of the hood. Love that all around cabling. But kitchenering those 38 stitches on the border band let my eyes twitching, hands trembling, and courage ebbing. My own fault for doing it at 11 pm at night. I actually like the kitchener grafting and use it alot but it's not something you should do with a lot of stitches without being well-rested and having good light. And no potential interruptions. Ay yi yi.

Here's a close up shot of the left side and hood edge. I love the way the cabling shows when it's worn and helps make this curve so nicely to fit a woman. And the hood edge does itself while you knit it. Neat trick.

The current state of Rogue. Lacking sleeves. And needing hemming and blocking. But giving a good idea of how gorgeous a design it is. This is my first cable project and I was able to navigate all through it with no problem. The Girl from Auntie is one genius designer in my book and I'm looking forward to tackling more of her designs. I give her 5 stars and do hope I've properly linked you to her site, not stolen bandwidth, and properly credited all these images.

I will admit to having not yet cast on the sleeves. This I blame on Techie, who got me hooked on a series of truly trashy vampire-related novels that honestly have no redeemable literary value other than they're fun to read. I just got the newest one and am only taking a break from it because my eyesight has blurred from having my nose stuck in it for the past few hours. I promise it will soon be on it's way to Maryland for Techie to get her next fix, too, since she let me borrow her's for the first few installments, it's only fair I spring for the next few.

This has allowed me to get over part of the grief caused by making some really lousy choices in the college football pool this week (good grief, whatever happened to thoe highly rated teams? West VA, you let me down bad. Oregon, I can't believe you failed me. I never give my heart to West Coast teams and this was the first time I let my guard down and look what happens. Quacked. Totally quacked.) This is made worse by the fact that my SIL decided to throw logic to the wind (which he NEVER does) and just made random picks, thus beating the 3 of us badly. I will just have to console myself by frequently repeating "The Red Sox won the division. The Red Sox won the division."
Our twin deer visited this evening. Back in the spring, we were delighted when a doe kept showing up in the evenings with twin fawns. They've visited more or less regularly throughout the summer but the doe has gone missing the past few weeks. The fawns are now all grown up and both does themselves. They still hang together and come browse in the open area between our woods late in the afternoon. I wish I could get a photo of them calmly grazing while Nuisance, our black lab, lays snoozing on the bank, completely oblivious. I hope they manage to survive hunting season and the winter and bring their own babies to visit next spring. The chances of this will be increased depending on whether or not Techie brings her hubby with her for the holidays, since they view them as supper on the hoof. Gaaa. Everytime I mention them, Techie starts spouting venison recipes. Shudder. Eat the Maryland deer but leave the twins alone, okay?
I leave this installment with a pic of one of my last roses of the year:

Not just because it's pretty but because I'm trying to improve those photography skills. I had to stand in a raised bed on one foot, pull thorny branches back with one hand, and properly focus all at the same time to get this shot. The only Photoshopping done to it was some cropping. So I rather like it.
Back to the trashy novel now. The sooner I finish it, the sooner I can start those sleeves, after all.


It seems my dear Tech Support has insinuated that I am one of the world's worst bloggers since I managed to disappear from the blogosphere for so long. However, I have been doing other things. To wit, knitting. Some spinning. A bit of weaving. Warping, un-warping, re-warping. Getting my started-to-be-woven piece cut off the loom and called a sampler by my friend and instructor and re-warping yet again. (I swear, this weaving business can kick your butt like you wouldn't believe.)
I did manage several knitting finishes in amongst all the weaving agony.

Behold, the Horcrux socks:

I also finished the christening gown/dressy dress set for my friend Angela's baby girl, Ella. Alas, I didn't have enough sense to take a picture before packing it off to her. The booties turned out too small but I've been assured the rest of the outfit does fit and I will get to see Ella modeling it in person at her baptism this Sunday. I will try to beg a good photo then.

I have finished up a sweater for Bridget, the Merry sweater from Elsebeth Lavold's Designer's Choice no. 11 in Hempathy (the green is not showing well in the pic. I tried Photoshopping it but I do not have the luck and experience Dear Tech Support has with this so imagine that the green stripe actually accentuates the other color stripes and doesn't really look all weird, washed out and blue-green in tone. It doesn't in Real Life). I also finished Josie's sweater, a cute little pattern from Plymouth.

Merry. In all it's strange green-striped glory. Honest, it's not that much blue in that green yarn.

Josie's cardigan. The little buttons will go on the front. The yarn is Cotton Classic from Tahki Stacy Charles and is the first cotton I've ever knitted with. I quite liked the feel of it. And the orange color is much brighter in person. (Yes, I know I need to improve my photography skills. Techie is working hard on that, too. Yet another reason I fall behind blogging. I have so much on my list, I seem to keep putting the blogging at the bottom.)

I've done a bit of spinning lately. I'm continually amazed at how much I enjoy spinning, either with my spindle or on my wheel. I did finish another pair of plain Regia socks in blues and a skein of homespun but they went off to be part of our local fiber guild's (the Indigo Guild) exhibit at a local library. I do hope I get the socks back soon. I don't want cold toes.

Spinning exhibit no. 1:

100% African wool, hand-dyed from Black Bunny Fibers. I think it looks like a Creamsicle being spun up. It has a very nice, soft hand and is keeping it's loft and letting me control it very well. (I haven't any delusions regarding my spinning abilities. I'm still the veriest beginner and I thank the roving for cooperating.)
Spinning exhibit no. 2:

Blue faced Leicester. My fave roving. I love BFL better than any other I've tried so far, including my merino/silk combo, though it WAS a close call there. This was also snatched from Black Bunny Fibers before anyone else could get it. Now this roving decided to play a prank on me. It took a hike halfway through it's spinning. I almost filled this bobbin and put it and my wheel away when Tech Support arrived the last of August with the hubby and kids for a visit. Afterwards, I couldn't find the other half of the roving to finish my spinning. I was pretty devastated. First, because several people asked me if I was certain I actually had another 4 ounces of this roving (in that tone reserved for people whose memory and senility is being questioned. As if I'd forget what roving I have stashed. I've not been spinning long enough to lose roving, people. Yarn, yes. Roving, no. I'm still working on that.) Second, because it was actually spinning up to a gauge I wanted. And I had a project picked out for it that it would work for. My first time for that to occur as a spinner! Of course, I knew there was more of this somewhere in this house!
Now the strange thing is that I searched everywhere 3 different times. Through every bin, every box, every huge ziplock storage bag solution container I owned, the closets and the shelves. Nowhere to be found. So I pulled the bobbin off the Louet and started the Creamsicle yarn.
Guess what I found in the roving bin the next morning? And now don't you think the roving bin was the first, second, and third place I checked during all this frantic searching. Oh, yeah. This roving may think I don't know it went time-travelling or slipped into an alternate dimension for 3 weeks but I do. That's the only explanation for it's disappearance and re-appearance in a place that had been thoroughly and completely searched 3 times. It's now safely ensconced in the WIP bin on the bookshelf where I can keep it in sight at most times until it's all spun, plied, knitted, and felted into baby booties. No more slip-sliding away.
The only other great news is that I finally got my Ravelry invite. I'm HokieKnitter and I've managed to actually make more progress getting stuff on there than here. Which isn't to say much but hey, I'm trying. After all, the month of October doesn't include a trip to Richmond for a Human Right's Seminar (left me foaming at the mouth a bit. The war between civil rights for those with mental disorders and their civil liberties and the prevention of violence has become the Hot Topic after April 16th. My contention is why is there even a label "mental illness" still existing? Medical science has proven these diseases are neurochemical. You can't take your brain out of your body so why isn't it all under "physical diseases". It's in your brain, after all. Let's get out of the 15th century. See what a rant I could go on?) It also hopefully won't include me falling ill with a nasty bug and taking 9 days to recover, thus losing 9 days I could have being doing something useful with.
So my October resolution to Techie Support Gal is to attempt to be a better blogger. You may have noted though, amongst all the photos I included, that all those sweaters are knitted but not seamed together. Er, I seem to have developed a following-through problem. So we'll see how this goes.
Next update: Rogue progess. I promise. :-)