Monday, May 31, 2010

Green Silk Happiness lives on.

Here's a project you haven't seen for a while: Green Silk Happiness, aka the Simple Knitted Bodice, in green silk by Tilli Tomas. I had a sudden burst of activity on this top-down sweater last night, cast off the bottom edge, and I'm calling it 50% done.

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

Sooper Seekrit Project #1

There is a Seekrit Project. I will occasionally show photos, but the finished product is a seekrit until the end. Here's the first snap.

Silky orange bamboo, thank you Phildar

Sometimes you can have too much pink. The eyes grow tired. That's when it's time for some orange. Orange bamboo! That feels like silk! I heart Phildar.

What we are making:

CPH photos

Photos! The Central Park Hoodie blocked to the right size without any problems, and now I've finally photographed the evidence, I can sew it up.

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

Blocking the cabled CPH

Okay, I have it pinned out. That cabled fabric opens out a lot when you get it wet. The cables double in size. I am no longer worried about the front parts not covering my boobs. The size is perfectly fine. The sleeves are the size they should be, and I could easily have made the wet knitting go a lot larger, they are not stretched, if anything, I had to smoosh the stitches together. So the only thing I have left to worry about now is this rumour about the sleeve caps not fitting. Stay tuned for news on that when all this wet wool is dry.

Wool jumpers, just in time for summer!

There has been sudden knitting progress. I eventually found the rest of the pink yarn for my Central Park Hoodie, and set to work. Astonishingly, I have finished all the knitting, except for the button bands. I have done the back, both fronts, both sleeves and the hood. It is in a warm bath right now, awaiting blocking. I am full of trepidation. Here's why.

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.