Friday, April 18, 2008

FO: VK Block and Cable Throw...with a slightly different meaning

While you've always known 'FO" to be an acronym for 'finished object', there exists a slightly different meaning that applies to projects of a certain caliber: 'Finally Over'.

I've finally done with the Block and Cable throw and I couldn't be more pleased--and excited to be able to start something new! I cast off Tuesday evening but there were still dozens of ends to weave in.
All in all, this baby took me 8 months to complete. Eight! Mind, that's 8 months of knitting mainly on the weekends, sitting at my desk at work all day, answering the phone and the like. Sheesh, that's almost as long as it takes to make an actual baby.

But before I show glorious photos of this thing, a few tidbits about the previously hinted-at shenanigans.

About 20 or so rows before finishing it, I realized that I was going to run out of yarn! Now, I was sure that I'd bought the right amount but I wasn't about to give up any length. As luck would have it, Knit Picks has discontinued their superwash worsted weight yarn so I turned to Ravelry and found 2 skeins for sale! Thanks Christine!! (As if one needed more reasons to love Ravelry). I ended up needing only about 3/4 of one, which is okay by me.

The second shenanigan was really my fault, but I'm in a diffusion-of-responsibility kind of mood, so let's just chalk this one up to the afghan, shall we?
This blanket has a 5-stitch knit border, which is sometimes preceded by 2 knit stitches. Sometimes I'd space out and purl those 5 stitches when they followed 2 knit stitches--I guess it made sense to me somehow. I'd usually catch the mistake as I knit the next row and rip back to fix it, but not this time. When I caught this one, I had 4 or 5 rows of stockinette stitch, meaning that I'd made the mistake more than once!
Like before, I tried undoing just those 5 stitches but for some reason it didn't work and I ended up with a bigger mess than before! In the end, I threaded a lifeline 9 rows above and frogged. I'm one of those knitters who doesn't mind ripping back at all; in fact, I find it satisfying. There's something about undoing something you've just done, and the knowledge that you're fixing a mistake. But it really surprised me how fast 9 rows, each consisting of 200 stitches, could be frogged. In less than a minute I had undone hours' worth of work. Kind of humbling, in a way.

After that, things progressed smoothly. I bound off and then took a couple days to weave in the many, many ends. Sheesh, I ran out of yarn despite using every last morsel! My gauge must be abysmally off...or it's just of of VK's mistakes.

I'm SO excited to finally give this to Paul!

Pattern Specs

Block and Cable Throw #29, Vogue Knitting Magazine
Yarn: KnitPicks Swish Superwash Wool in Sand Dune(18 balls)
Needles: #9 circulars
Started: September 2007
Finished: April 15, 2008
Total Time: about 7.5 months
Cost: $58.93 (not including needles)
Satisfaction (1-10): 9.5

I was going to hang it out in the sun for a few hours after blocking it but then got lazy and decided that I've kept it clean while I knit it as it is.

It looks like the length is about right--60"--since it reaches all the way up to my chin! KnitPicks' Superwash wool is soft and springy, so it shows off the cables and texture very well. It's amazingly warm, too! All I have left is to make a card with care instructions and it'll be ready to be gifted.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

A little undeserved hedonism...

Despite my better judgment, after finishing class last Friday, I made a beeline for my favorite downtown haunts: the LYS and the thrift store. It's no so much that I needed a reward as much as a morale boost. I ended up dropping my physics class a few weeks ago since only a miracle would've made me get a passing grade; serves me right for taking 3 science/math classes in one semester. So while I still don't have time to knit during the week, I now have time to study for my remaining classes!

I wanted the new issues of IK and VK badly and since they've been out for a while now, I knew my best bet was my LYS rather than the bookstore. While I love this store's atmosphere and selection, their customer service isn't famous for being great; some people have gotten ignored, others talked-down to. I usually feel like I don't belong and that the sales person isn't giving me her complete attention. But that's no big tragedy, at least not to me. I get most of my yarn online, anyhow (shame, shame).
So after the saleslady laboriously finishes typing my info into the computer ("to let you know about sales") she hands me a notice on a pink slip of paper: the store is moving! Whaa?! It's not moving very far, but I'll no longer have my favorite places in the same same area--so much for my bank-LYS-thrift store triangle. But I'm glad I found this out before showing up to find an empty store!

The next stop was the thrift store where I scored some pretty good loot, as always:

A few books to satisfy the bibliophile within

A few records to add to the already sizable collection

And lastly, my most favorite find...

Maybe I'm the only one who can't help giggling over this. I don't know when this was published in relation to, oh, everything else she's famous for, but I'll definitely look it up. The book's actually not bad at all, content-wise. I'm actually going to use this book.

As for the VK Block and Cable afghan, it's still in progress but so, so close to being finished.

Its latest shenanigans will be explained in a later post. I'm really looking forward to getting it done and gifting it.

I can't believe how big it's gotten!

A happy weekend to you! Now stretch!