Monday, February 19, 2007

In stitches

Looks like I'll be burning the midnight oil tonight. I'm determined to finish my second ribbed hat this evening. I suspect that may mean staying up until 2 a.m. Who needs sleep, right?

I got a late start on it tonight, although if I had more backbone, I might have worked on it in my office while waiting to tape the show delayed from last week's snow days. Late this afternoon the place was a dead zone and an icebox. (There's a vent in my office that blows cold air nonstop.) It's probably best, though, that my knitting remains secret from co-workers and students. I'd never hear the end of the jokes.

I lost an inch and a half from frogging. That doesn't sound like much, so let me put it in numbers that will let you understand why I was ready to turn into a quivering heap on the floor. There are ninety stitches per row. Eight rows equal an inch, so I ripped out twelve rows, plus two that I knitted and frogged again because of the dropped stitches. That comes to a grand total of 1260 frogged stitches. Granted, that's better than restarting from scratch but still...

I'm shaping the top, so I'm in the home stretch now. Knitting and purling two together is difficult, but it's been a little easier than the first time I made this toque. Since Donna got such terrific results with her first knitted hat, I checked with her about a couple things that didn't work for me. I know that I need to do the mattress stitch to seam the hat. My mistake is that when I hear "sewing", I think of something that you take through one side and bring back through. No wonder my seam was so hideous. The same goes for weaving in ends. I've been doing that all wrong, no thanks to help site instructions that tell you to sew in the tails but don't get more specific.

She also helped clear up this right side/wrong side business. You know those slippers I made? I turned them inside out tonight, and they look a lot better. Yep, I've been wearing them with the wrong side facing. Before I was afraid that turning them inside out would cause them to come apart. The first one I made has a hole in the toes and a tail that won't stay hidden. I guess that gives me an excuse to make more, doesn't it?

Thanks for the tips on the circs. I'll be working in earnest on the baby blanket once I get this hat finished. We'll see how it goes with them. February is the shortest month, but I think I'm going to have more FOs these 28 days than I did in January's 31. Go figure.


At 6:02 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Glad to hear that you are back on track w/ the hat - too bad you had to frog so much to get there, but it happens. Good job w/ all the FO's...I wish I could say the same...I made an entire ski hat yesterday and ended up frogging the entire thing because the gauge was off and it turned out HUGE. Oh and hopefully learn, right?

At 8:33 AM, Blogger the secret knitter said...

I'm very pleased with my knitting, but I'm stuck on the seam. I've looked at how to do the mattress stitch, but I'm getting conflicting info on if I should seam it on the right side or wrong side. I don't know what to do at this point.

At 9:25 AM, Blogger Jenn said...

Have you tried checking out the Stitch n'Bitch book? I avoided it for a while, but then read her instructions--she's very thorough and gives great images to see how things are supposed to be (like which direction stitches should lay when you have to pick them back up). I'd recommend seeing if your local library has a copy you can check out.

Good luck with the mattress stitch!

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Donna said...

Second Jenn's recommendation of the SNB books, which, though they didn't make me a confident first time weaver/sewer, did not lead me wrong.

Here's what I figured out doing the seam in Cady Gray's mini-hat last night: The side that's facing you when you do your seaming WILL TURN OUT TO BE THE RIGHT SIDE. The seam will "bunch" on the OTHER SIDE from the one where you are sewing with the mattress stitch. (Or maybe I'm just stitching too tight ...) I did not notice which side I was on when I seamed the first hat, but this time I made a conscious decision to seam with wrong-side out, and it was the wrong one. The seam is neat on that side, seam-y on the other. (No problem -- I just passed all the tails through to the seam-y, now-officially-wrong side, and wove them in with that side facing out.)


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