Monday, December 13, 2010
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Monday, December 06, 2010
Here are some details.
The pattern: Nancy, from the Rowan Ribbon Twist pattern book.
The main yarn. Yay for stash-busting! I have had 10 balls of purple Ribbon Twist in my stash for a long time, and 10 balls is how many this pattern uses. Hooray for making yarn into a sweater that you can wear instead of keeping it in a plastic bag in the hall.
The pattern for Nancy suggests a kind of loopy frilled effect on the front edge/neck border and on the cuffs. Frankly, I could not quite understand the pattern. So I took some balls of Sirdar Wow (a synthetic, velvety chenille) and held the yarn together with the Ribbon Twist for the borders. It is creating a heavy smoking-jacket effect. I had to partially unravel a chenille scarf I was making to accomplish this, but that is okay, I want a really warm, luxurious sweater and I can make a scarf out of something else.
Progress. First I knit the back. That seemed to take no time at all and made me feel very ambitious.
Then I knit the fronts. You can see the Wow yarn here and how it is working with the Ribbon Twist.
Here's how it was looking by Sunday morning. Fronts done, both sleeves done, started the cuffs.
Almost there! Finish knitting the cuffs and sew up.
I have given some thought as to how this is going to hang together. See that big safety pin in the pattern picture? There's no joining mechanism on this cardigan, even though it has a generous wrapover front and is made in heavy yarn. Other bloggers have complained about this, and one person was even threatening to send her beautifully knitted Nancy to the frog pond! I have a plan. I once knitted the famous Baby Yoda Sweater which is a wrapover, and that has i-cord ties that hold it together. One inside, keeping the underneath flap supported and in the correct place, and one on the outside, to hold the upper flap closed. Hope that works out as I want it to! More news soon.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Here's the Impulsive Winter Sweater, complete and modelled by step-dad, its new owner. As I came near to finishing the sweater, I sort of knew it was for him. I think it looks great on him, and it is as warm as toast so hopefully it'll come in handy.
How's that for impulsive. Now I have to knit another for myself. I'll have another look in my (tidy, organised) stash. Maybe I can find something with a teeny bit more drape. I like drape.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I have never knit a sweater in the round before, apart from Green Silk Frustration, which is a top-down number. This one is bottom-up and I am loving it! Firstly, no seams to sew! A complete sweater is coming off my needles! Secondly, it is hilariously like knitting a large sock. Wish me luck for a speedy finish.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Here's a pair of socks with an unexpected history. I promised a pair to a friend, and picked this Colinette yarn out of my stash. I wanted them to be extra-special socks, so with the help of Cool Socks, Warm Feet, I went for the following options: toe-up (I usually knit top-down, and choosing toe-up proved to be a mistake, but at the time I was concerned about not running out of yarn); Bosnian square toe; Turkish heel; garter stitch turnover cuff.
As you can see, they turned out rather well. The Bosnian square toe is where you knit a square of garter stitch, and then pick up stitches all around to start knitting the foot. It was fun. The Turkish heel is just basically a wedge toe knitted at the heel end. That was fun too, and so was the cuff. The thick Colinette yarn made for quick progress and I finished these ahead of my gift deadline with about a day to spare.
Which was a good job, because it turns out I'd misjudged the length of the foot. My friend takes a size 4 shoe. These socks are a size 7. Because I'd knit them toe-up, there was nothing I could do to correct the foot length within the time available. Gah! What to do? I took my beautiful silk Jaywalkers out of the drawer, where they have been nestling all this time among scented paper, unpicked the toes and altered them to fit a small foot. My friend was delighted. A good save, I think. Now I know why we keep virgin pairs of handknit socks around the house.
My gauge must be slightly off because for a start the orange sleeve is an inch longer than the pattern suggests, and 1.5" longer than my black sweater. Also you will notice that orange sleeve is much narrower than the black one. It is at this point that I need to realise that these two sweaters are not the same, no matter how much I might imagine they are related.
- The black one is made of very old and threadbare chenille: it is limp and floppy. The orange one is made of new, sturdy and thick wool with lots of depth and spring. A sleeve as wide as the black one in that orange wool would be too big and heavy to wear, I think.
- The black one has set-in sleeves but the orange one is going to be a raglan. I think you have to plan extra armhole depth with set-in sleeves, which could account for the underarm depth difference.
So I shall not worry that they don't look the same. However, that orange sleeve is still an inch longer than the pattern says, which is a problem.
- I could reknit the whole sleeve, resetting all the inreases, which would allow me to have the full 48 sts when I reach the new, shorter length.
- I could reknit the whole sleeve on smaller needles to correct my row gauge.
- I could just rip the sleeve back to the right length and suffer having a narrower circumference and fewer stitches at the point of the sleeve reaching the underarm. I haven't thought this through yet and need to check the pattern to understand the likely implications.
- I could leave it the length it is and turn the cuffs back.
- I could put it on a length of waste yarn and try knitting the body to see if that helps me know what to do about the sleeves.
I'll let you know how I get on.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I've also just measured my ratty old black sweater and discovered that it is a massive 44" chest circumference! No wonder it is cosy. It would never have occurred to me to plan a sweater with that much ease, so I'm glad I measured! I think I will make a swatch which hopefully will also be the first sleeve. Unless I decide to knit in the round from the bottom up.
However. I recklessly promised a friend of mine a pair of socks, which are newly complete (kind of, it's a long story) and which I will show you a photo of next time, so knitting forced its way back into my busy schedule. I finished the socks ahead of the deadline and ever since I cast off the last stitch I've had itchy, twitchy fingers. Today I found myself reading a knitting book on the bus and fantasising about a sweater that I want to make.
So here we are. I had quite forgotten that it is supposed to be the year of finishing the UFO, and that I was making a doll sweater. What I want right now is a jumper to replace the one I'm wearing, which is utterly threadbare. It is such a simple and comfy shape. Winter cold is setting in here, and I want a jumper this shape, in a soft, cosy yarn, in a nice colour. I'm thinking cornflower blue. It's a generously-propotioned garment, so I think we're looking for a chunky yarn otherwise it'll take forever to knit. I might go and have a look in my stash now, actually.
Hooray! A new sweater is coming!
Monday, September 20, 2010
In other news, I'm making a doll sweater for Clara.
And Sven wants winter socks. I am thinking of making the Retro Rib socks, from the book Favorite Socks, by Interweave Knits. I'll show you a pic next time.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Thursday, September 09, 2010
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Monday, September 06, 2010
Sunday, September 05, 2010
I'm very concerned about the size. I have ostensibly knitted the size for a 38" chest, according to the pattern. I had to block it to death to make it this large. I am very worried that it is too short, even though I added an extra repeat of the lace pattern on the bottom edge. I know it is wide enough to go around me, but I had to block it quite hard to make it that wide, and it is supposed to loosely drape, not stretch.
I think it will have to be frogged. I hope this yarn is okay and I haven't wrecked it. It is going to need re-knitting in the next size up. Same as Rosa. Sigh.
Cups of tea:
Apples and bananas:
Somebody else is making the other half of this knitted ensemble. Then we will gift it to the recipient. I look forward to showing you the rest of my photos and the complete set of tea-time-related knitted items then. For now, my part is done!
Sunday, July 18, 2010
I think this is a truer colour, although it does change in the light. Aren't those sleeves just so cute. Like angel wings. I also like the way the buttons are set in pairs, rather than evenly spaced. Adds a bit of interest, seems quite a 1930s touch.
In other news, Sooper Seekrit Project #1 is coming along well. I have done a lot of knitting that I cannot show you. Also, some of the worst sewing of my entire life. What I can show you is these little items:
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Photos tomorrow, hopefully. I've tried it on and it fits like a dream. I am happy.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
1. Central Park Hoodie is done. Central Park Hoodie is what I was using to procrastinate and keep from finishing Joe's Edan sweater. Shit. Plus, Joe returns from college in a matter of days.
2. I bet I knit the front of Rosa in a size 36". I'm going to have to rip the entire thing.
3. Ooh, I think I have a good idea. Back in 2007, when I was buying Rowan Soft Lux, just as it was being discontinued, I acquired some in blue that I haven't used yet. I had in mind to make a hoodie. Something like the Central Park Hoodie. I could make a blue one, in size 38". I could. Why not.
I still need to weave in all the ends, but otherwise it is a finished garment. Here it is glimpsed at dusk. We'll do a final photoshoot in daylight soon.
It is a perfect size 36". It is a great pity *I* am no longer a perfect size 36", but nonetheless, it fits well enough, and I am actually thrilled with how it's turned out. I can't wait to show it off to you properly.
update to the update: It's done. I sewed in 60 ends. It is officially a finished object.
A new, low-engagement project was in order, and quickly. Knitting magazine (issue 77, June 2010) showed this little sweater by Pat Menchini on its front cover:
Reasons why this is a low-engagement project.
- It is a weird colour.
- It is VERY frilly and dainty. I honestly don't know if I'll wear it.
However, I *want* to make it. The main body is an interesting textured pattern, where you alternate two rows of moss stitch with two rows of stocking stitch. The sleeves look like great fun to knit: I love their shapes and the way they hang. I very much want to make a nice example of this garment, this project will be entirely about the process. So I ordered the exact yarn specified (King Cole Bamboo Cotton: 50% bamboo/50% cotton, in Lime Green, knit 22sts/10cm) and set to work. I am making it to fit size 38", as this is the magnificent girth I have recently achieved.
The bamboo/cotton yarn is soft and cool to knit with, just as I'd hoped, and the textured pattern helps the rows fly by. Here's where we are up to:
I'm knitting on this quite assiduously, hoping it will be a quick one because of the short sleeves. It is terrific fun.
Monday, May 31, 2010
I have had terrible sizing angst since this project was born in 2007. At first I knit it way too large, and had to unravel, which the yarn did not like at all. Then I couldn't be bothered to unravel the bust, so I re-knit it from the bust down in a size smaller and left the top part big. Then I had angst about the top being too big, and finally I let it sit in the UFO pile for a good long time, about two years.
Anyways. In the extremely long time that this sweater was in the UFO pile, I apparently have put some weight on. Because when I tried on this sweater again, quite recently, it seemed to fit. So I am just going to finish it. It has awaited completion long enough. I am just going to do the sleeves and wear the damn thing.
I'll let you know how I get on.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
As you can see, the front pieces are in no way too small, or smaller than the back. They just look tiny when they are still on the needles.
I decided to knit the button bands separately, so I could block them to the right length before attaching them.
Even the button holes are being blocked! I did the classic cast-off 2/cast-on 2 button holes and of course they looked classically ugly. So when the button bands were wet, I found some egg-shaped glass beads and wedged one into each button hole, to block it into a more attractive shape. They are now perfectly round.
I dried this sweater with the hood already on. I pinned out the front and back of the wet sweater, then I arranged the hood facing to the back and left it until it was dry, and then I flipped the hood so it faced the front, and dried the other side. It worked out okay. You can see how I've put paper and whatnot inside the hood to keep it from collapsing on itself while it was still wet.
Yay! All blocked! Now to ruin it by sewing it up.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
This is a heavily cabled pattern, and that means the freshly-knitted fabric that comes off your needles pulls in a lot. It looks impossibly narrow. It is super-difficult to believe that the fronts are going to cover your boobs, and that the sleeves are not going to cut off the blood supply in your arms. But the fabric is stretchy. So when you flatten out your knitted pieces, the size can be whatever you want. So this is a bit disconcerting for the average knitter. The size the cabled fabric wants to be just seems impossibly small.
Anyway, the CPH is an immensely popular pattern, so I knit on. As I came close to finishing the hood last night, I had a read of the Central Park Hoodie group's forums on Ravelry. Crikey. People were worried about size. It is just impossible to tell how many people had some sort of problem, compared to how many people followed the pattern and had it turn out fine (of which there are a lot).
- Some people said they knit the body and it came out 4" smaller than the schematic predicted. This, I am not too worried about. The back is fine. It easily measures 18", and I am trying to achieve a 36" circumference with zero ease, so that's okay. The fronts do scare me, they are about the width of pencils, or so it appears in their unblocked state. So we will pin it out wet and see.
- Some people said their body was okay but their sleeves turned out too tight and had to be re-knit in the next size up. Relatedly, some people complained that the sleeve caps are too small for the armholes, resulting in tight sleeves. But did they block? People never tell you this stuff. I am a bit concerned about the sleeves now I've read all this, so I'm blocking the sleeves too.
I will let you know how we get on.
In other news, I have completed the entire front piece of my Rosa sweater, which is a clingy, sexy little number in 4ply. Next to the CPH, it looks tiny, and now I am disturbed about that too, even though the tape measure says it will be okay. Wish me luck. Photos next time.
Saturday, April 03, 2010
The yarn is Lorna's Laces hand-dyed Shepherd Sock yarn in colourway 58, Valentine. I bought it ages ago and saved it in my stash for something special. A couple of weeks ago, I was looking for a knitting treat, found a pattern I wanted to try, and fished the yarn out of my stash.
The pattern is Embossed Leaves Socks, published in the book Favorite Socks, by Interweave Knits. You can see the model version on the cover here.
It's a moderately complicated lace pattern that you more or less have to do on dpns if you don't want to lose count the whole time. I used the same short, 4" wooden dpns that I used on my Jaywalkers, and it was a lovely marriage of pattern with needles, until I inevitably lost one and had to substitute a 6" blue metallic monster by Susan Bates instead.
Here's how it's turning out in the Valentine yarn. I'm liking the results a lot, although I think the socks would be even better if I had picked a plain yarn. So I am going to finish these and then I might just knit a second pair, with a solid colour, and without making any alterations to the pattern (the ones you see here have an extra-long leg, and I omitted the decorative aspects of the ribbing, which I now wish I'd included).
And here's my finished project. The reason my short dpns were available for Embossed Leaves is because I actually finished my Jaywalkers. Yes, really. Look.
In other news: I restarted my Central Park Hoodie, knitted confidently to the end of the ball and then discovered that I can't find the rest of the yarn. I have also had another go at Joe's Edan sweater. The third version of the hood is going to be good enough, I think. It will have to be. It's done, except I don't like the way I reduced at the top, it's gathering a bit, so I'm going to undo the final couple of rows and see if I can make it neater. Then he is getting his jumper, whether he likes it or not.
That's all for now! I might go and have another look for my CPH yarn. See you soon.