knit-termission

I had to take a break from the sweater that's inching along row by row. Millimetering would be a better description. I needed something fast and mildly challenging enough to make me appreciate the droning hours of stockingette the sweater requires.

Fun at ArtFibers

I've read of people spending three hours in a yarn store and now I, I'm happy to say, am one of those people.

I have been dreaming of double-pointed needles for the past few days. I'm ready to makes hats and gloves! Having been to Imagiknit, I decided to spread my wings and try a new store - ArtFibers.

ArtFibers is awesome! I spoke with Roxanne on the phone prior to going and when I got to the store, both she and Kira were a big help. Roxanne took a look at my pattern and showed me their yarns which would achieve that guage. I sat in the "Yarn Tasting Area" and, with Kira's help, worked on a few swatches until we found the right yarn/needle combination. She told me I knit "really, really, really tight" but I'm not sure how to knit more loosely... The yarn specs at 19s=4" with some #8's, but I got 21s=4" with #9's. Look out!

Blocking

Does anyone have a good resource for information about blocking? I know that blocking only works on natural fiber. I understand the principal, but would love detailed information before I start soaking and stretching something I've invested hours in creating. With my luck, my 7" x 60" basket-weave scarf will turn out 2" x 300"!

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Women's Scarf Patterns? Other online pattern repositories?

I'm planning to make a scarf for my wife (once my current project is finished... no, I don't have an attention span ;), but I'm having a heck of a time finding decent patterns online. I've come across a few here and there (in particular, this simple cabled scarf), but not that many, otherwise. So, any suggestions? Any online pattern repositories that people recommend (preferably with pictures of the final product :)?

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recipe for road rage

Forgive the text-only entry, I will post images of my new scarf. It was finished last Tuesday night as I watched the election returns. I try to comfort myself by thinking that as I was weaving in the ends (it's a striped scarf), that I was weaving hope for the future. The thing looks great, and will keep my neck and soul plenty warm for the next four years.

On my way to work, I found a new use for red traffic lights. [Kids, don't try this at home. What follows is completely reckless and should not be condoned.] I've started my first sweater and after casting on 189 freaking stitches, not to mention hours spent gaining only an inch in rows, I realize this thing is gonna take a  L O N G  time. In order to avoid freeway traffic to cross over the Bay Bridge, I wind my way through San Francisco to get on on 8th Street.