Sunday, June 29, 2014

It's an arm!

Well, I have one arm of my Que SerĂ¡ knitted, washed and dried — when I'm knitting a sweater I find that an entire arm makes a good serious gauge swatch once I've tested for approximate gauge on a smaller bit. I also need to check my arm length modifications to see if they're right. I made the arm in a larger size for width (because comments on this cardi indicate the arms are tight, and I'm plump) and about an inch shorter than called for (because I have shrimpy arms). It's a close-fitting arm, but it's not too tight.

The yarn is the gorgeous Tahki Willow, a discontinued blend of 2/3 linen and 1/3 cotton. Terribly terribly splitty, but a cold-water wash and a stint in the dryer on low yields a gorgeous look and feel. I am doing the edges and button bands in a soft pearl grey color and the body in a tan/khaki color. I need a tan/khaki cardi for work and this will be ideal if I can make it fit.

I'm not 100% sure I'm okay with the way I increased the lace on this — only starting a new repeat once I had sufficient stitches for a full repeat, which is what the instructions suggest but which is kind of abrupt. As you can see, it makes the middle part of the arm have lace nearly all the way around, but the beginning and end parts don't. I could redo it with more careful counting to increase gradually, but I think I'm going to stick with what the pattern called for as I don't think people will be examining the inside of my arm all that often. At least, I hope not...

Buoyed by that success, I decided to tackle the emotional project of ripping back more than half of a knitted pullover:

I've put this off for THREE YEARS and I think that's long enough.

I am frogging from the bottom, and I need to rip back to approximately the level of the purple pen. The base of the ribbing is supposed to hit just above the point of the breasts; it's hitting below, on me. This is one of those articles that I need to knit at the correct width for my chest but shorten to a size or two lower throughout. It's also my first round-yoke sweater, so I need to find a sweet spot between too-low ribbing and too-tight arms (as these correspond). There may be some fiddling.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


I entered 4 items in the county fair this year, first time I've tried. And two got ribbons!

The one above is these socks:

Even better than the honorable mention in socks, I got a blue ribbon in child's sweaters!


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Why I'm casting on for the 14th project.

Shall we review?

Nothing wrong with the socks on the top left. They are my go-to project for waiting room knitting and I'm in the waiting room at least once a week (allergy shots), so I always keep some socks going.

The little corgi is all knitted — it just needs seams. Seams & seams & seams. It's tiny, it's fiddly, and I hate it. I started it several years ago for a corgi-loving friend. I love her dearly, so someday I will finish this, but. Ugh.

The Joanie pullover needs to be ripped back by 1/3 and redone with different measurements.

I ran out of yarn and heart for the cotton reels mitts. I like the pattern but need to not do it with scrap yarn. So it just needs to be ripped, but I haven't gotten around to it.

The Jaywalkers are actually missing. I'll finish them if I ever find them.

The catkin stole is a tangled mess.

The Noro bag requires yarn lengths to be separated out, clipped and sorted.

The Ljod cardi is beautiful but I'm knitting it in too large a size (same with the Mariner) and should probably rip everything. Er.

The Vandyke Cardi I was designing as I went, and I got lazy.

I've lost my pattern notes for Rob's socks.

I need to do a lot of careful math for Rob's gansey.

The pattern for Elinor's Spring Garden Cardi is full of errors, and there have been no errata published, so I will need to rewrite the pattern for the arms and armholes. Lazy.

And I need a beige cardigan for work. I really do.

Am I excused? ;-)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Waiting room knitting

These aren't going to be socks to wear in waiting rooms — they are socks to knit there.

I spend at least an hour a week at a doctor's office (at minimum, allergy shots). Waiting room knitting requires fairly simple projects that meet these criteria:
  1. Don't need me to keep track of where I am in a complex pattern
  2. Can be interrupted and set down at any point by the nurse calling me
  3. Don't take up too much space (elbow room can be at a premium)
  4. Are quite washable (you know. Because yuck.)
I recently finished the simple lace scarf that was my go-to, so even though I had 12 (count 'em!) other things on the needles, I started these socks last week. Why two at once? Because when I get to the gusset, I have to think, and so I saved the gusset on the first sock for the weekend and started a fresh sock. Fortunately I have a bunch of size 0 DPNs!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Finally this little bear cub has buttons!

I've been working on this little bear cub cardigan for a year now. I meant it for my husband's cousin, but Toby has now grown too big for this to fit, so I will find another toddler on whom to bestow it. This was fiddly to knit, and I had to talk myself through the colorwork (which I still don't love) and the confusing ears (which turn out to do a great job of standing up by themselves, but I had no idea what I was doing during the knitting and various sewing parts!). And then I had to sew on the pockets. Finally, I had to get the buttons selected, purchased, and sewn on. I can be SO lazy.

I used a half-acrylic, half-wool yarn for this, Filati's Oslo, and I really enjoyed working with it. Has the feel of a soft, high-quality yarn, but the acrylic adds washability and durability which is a must in a child's garment. I liked the nature-oriented color selection too. It's saturated without being garish, and it's a bit different than the usual child's primaries or pastels.

I selected orange buttons for this, and I'm happy with them. They have a small toggle-closure motif, which didn't particularly capture me, but the color is perfect, and they're washable (again, super important in a child's garment).

I have a bag where I put finished objects for which I haven't yet got a recipient selected. I'll put this in there along with the green socks I posted a couple weeks back. Yes, I know I could frog back the socks, stop the pattern earlier and close off the toes, but it wouldn't have the graceful pattern ending it does now, and I'm lazy. I think I could make a new pair of socks just as fast :-)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Finished some secret yarnination!

Happy to finally have these done so that I can show you. These are the Wood Elves Gloves I knit for my friend Nikki (of Everything and the Kitchen Sink podcast fame). They're knit in some lovely Sundara sock yarn in colorway "Cedars" which I adore. The yarn itself is so soft and squishy (washable merino) and the colors are so perfectly woodland.

I enjoyed this knit, but the pattern has a lot of errors. Some are translation errors (I think), but some are just error errors. I need to try to write them all up for my Ravelry notes. If you can work past the errors, the knitting is quite pleasant and the pattern very satisfying. I particularly like the unusual slip-stitch ribbing and the way the motif angles up the back of the hand.

The pattern is for full gloves, but I made half-fingers, as you see. I tried to calculate them so they'd hit just under the first knuckle of a normal length woman's finger (my fingers are quite short) and I think I did all right. Each fingers is a slightly different length for this reason.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Always tough when there's secrets

I'm working on some secret yarnination lately, so I haven't been able to show much on here, but while I was working on those two secret projects I did have this little pair of socks going out of Sundara yarn (colorway Grasshopper):

It's Mona Schmidt's Embossed Leaves pattern, a pretty little pattern with some clever touches, but either I didn't get row gauge or hers is off (probably me!) – this thing turned out about a woman's size 10-11, and the cuffs are tall enough that they are tight where they hit me in the calf. They're neither narrow nor wide otherwise — I did get stitch gauge. Hopefully I'll find someone that they fit. I'm sad because green is my favorite color and this is such a pretty one, but it's not like I need more socks really.

I will have two secret projects to show you SOON. I've finished one (blocking tomorrow) and the other is just a few weeks away. But I have to be sneaky because the recipients might read the blog, so…

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Let's study some more naughty UFOs

I've ripped the Airplane Sock, so we're all set there… just need to find something else to knit with that yarn. I'm not all that keen on the yarn, to be honest. Ordered it by mail and it's a bit scratchy. I have a lot of sock yarn so it can go in the back of the bin.

Years back, I ordered yarn for two Mosaic Tees and I thought I'd start with the least pleasing color combo first. Why do I do these things? The problem with this is that the green and lavender were too close in value, so there's insufficient contrast. I either needed to get some white instead of pale green for the background, or get a kickier color in place of the lavender. The yarn I chose (Cascade Cotton Club) isn't made anymore because I waited too long — but a little Googling showed me that Rowan All Seasons Cotton was pretty similar. So I tried ordering a kind of coral pink in place of the lavendar — loud, but something exciting was needed.
I can't quite decide if this is the right amount of exciting, or whether the contrast between the green and warmish pink is too great. Will have a think (and finish swatching).

Rob's socks really make me sad. I made the first sock, it fit like a dream, I knit the leg of the second one. And then I lost my notes. And I was making changes to the pattern, so the notes were kind of important, at least in a world where you want two vaguely identical socks. I tried a couple of times to figure it out, but failed (to the point of having to rip a messed-up gusset back), even though I'm half-decent at reading my own knitting. I need to spend some more time poring over the two socks until I can understand what needs to be done to line this pattern up properly and knit a decent gusset.

And these Jaywalkers... pretty pretty Jaywalkers... I can't tell whether I've messed up the pattern or what, but the stitch count is off. I should just rip them back and start over at this point. But I might need a stiff drink first.

Of course, staring at all these messed up socks made me have to cast on socks again. Embossed Leaves pattern this time....

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Best FO of 2014. Seriously.

No matter how many other things I knit this year, these (Morehouse Design) hedgehog mitts I finished for my dear friend Kathryn cannot be topped. They took me two months to finish (wasn't working on them non-stop) and they were very annoying to knit, so do not ask me to knit you a pair because I shan't.

Seriously, though. I squee just looking at them. This Morehouse Designs original is available as a kit, as I bought it, and I recommend it even though it is a total pain in the rump to knit.

So yeah. Best FO of 2014, except maybe for this baby one that I made for a friend's daughter...

Monday, February 17, 2014

Good patterns ennoble bad yarn

It doesn't always work, but it did this time.
 I had a skein of very strange yarn (apologies if it was a gift from anyone reading this!). It was laceweight, grey, clearly wool, with tweedy flecks of gold, warm pinky-red, white, and warm green. I felt I should use it for something but I just didn't love it — I do like grey, but my taste runs to cooler-toned colors. And I thought tweed was a bit odd in lace.

Then I saw Anne Kuo Lukito's Weekend Shawl pattern, and thought, why not? It looked like a pretty simple pattern which wouldn't overwhelm the tweedy yarn — and I could always use a little wrap. I had no idea how much yarn I had, so I chose the Medium Lace size. As it turned out, I could have knit the large size and still had yarn left over, but who knew?

I discovered towards the end of the Saturday Lace section that I had tons of yarn, so I knit a few extra repeats of each of the lace patterns. I bound off last night, basically when I got tired. I still have a lot of yarn left, but I wasn't going to rip back and knit more stockinette, so it's done :-) And very warm and cozy indeed.