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April 2004 Archives

April 25, 2004

Cascade/Skye Cardigan

I'm working diligently on the purple Cascade cardigan I plotted in Sweater Wizard. I started it when I was pregnant, thinking somehow to stave off early labor by working on a long project. But, Spencer was born at 36 weeks regardless. My knitting was tossed in the rocker as we scurried about trying to get ready to go to the hospital when my water broke mid-sleeve.

Home again now, and knitting when he's in a position napping in my arms that allows me to pick up circular needles easily, I have been wishing I'd approached the sweater differently. I was thinking I'd rather have made a raglan with a simple neckline instead of a set-in sleeve with a collar. So, I plotted out several additional patterns with the same general specs to see if I could turn it into a raglan. And, I could, provided I do it in pieces and then seam it. I'm just not sure that I could seam raglan sleeves and make them look right (or neat). I much prefer making something in one piece if I'm doing a raglan - though it always seems that patterns for that approach are hard to come by, and I haven't wrapped my brain around the raglan design well enough to understand "technically" what I need to do even when that's what I'd like to do.

This sweater wouldn't work in the round, anyway. Not easily at least. The striping I'm doing on the sleeves with the Cascade, two skeins of Collinette's Skye that I picked up at my very first trip to Stitches West several years ago, and some Alice Starmore chenille would mean that I'd be carrying lots of yarn to enable working on the striped sleeves and solid fronts and back at the same time - sleeve yarn and a new ball of Cascade for each other section. So, probably not worth it. Doable, but probably not enjoyable.

But, the real clincher was when I thought about the way I used a really bulky Collinette yarn for the cuffs of the sleeves. It's a great complimentary colorway, and I've been wanting to use it forever. (It's another I bought at Stitches but didn't buy in quantity so have had trouble deciding how to integrate it in a project.) I did the cuffs of the sleeve in it, and I'm planning to do the collar in it to tie it all together. I still think that's a good idea. If I switched over to a raglan design, it might be that the cuffs would get lost and look a bit out of place.

Next, maybe I'll do a raglan.

Probably not! I've got a bag of lavendar and light purples that I pulled from stash when I was trying to decide what to start. I'm hoping to make a cardigan out of Hip to Knit. I opted against it originally because I wasn't sure of the sizing. I was hoping to make something smaller than I normally would have - I have a history of wearing/making things WAY too big. But I was also 8 months pregnant, so it was hard to decide what size to make - and hard to convince myself that I'd be able to wear whatever size I made. So, I decided to wait on that and opted for plotting a pattern myself. Now, ironically, I'm worried it will be bigger than I hoped.

I guess it's a mid-life crisis I'm going through. I suddenly want my clothes to "fit"!

April 26, 2004

WIP Meters

I'm still in progress setting up house here on the blog. And I'm definitely not sure I'm liking "pink" overall. Traditionally, pink is so not me, but I got in a real pink rut when pregnant, and I haven't jolted out of it yet. So, I thought maybe a pink site. But I doubt it will last!

At any rate, I've added in the dynamic progress bars from Anna Knits. They're very cool. I noticed them on a blog a week or so. When I was setting up my own files, however, it took me forever to find them again. Searching on "progress meters," "WIP meters," and so on didn't turn anything up. I just happened to be on yet another blog yesterday that used them and had a link to her site.

April 27, 2004

Self-Patterning

This morning, up early with the baby, I flipped through the copy of Woolworks catalaog that came yesterday. I didn't see much that I really liked, but I had just been on their site recently looking at Opal and Regia yarns because the copy of Devan that I printed out from the current issue of Knitty keeps staring up at me from the top of my printer. I just love it, and it would be a great project to work on for Spencer (the baby). If it came big enough, I'd make a matching one for big brother Matthew. But, even so, I could take the general idea and make him one.

I've got a bunch of sock yarn, and even some Opal in the tiger pattern, but I really like how the Regia fair isle shown in the photos with the Knitty pattern look. So, this morning I was again looking at the various yarns that might work for this in Woolworks and trying to decide what to try.

April 28, 2004

Sleeve Done!

I finished the first sleeve for the striped Cascade Skye cardigan last night. I've only had a few rows to do on it for days now, but I've not had a lot of time to knit - Spencer is a very fussy baby for the most part still. Plus, it's hard to do stripes and carry multiple tangling yarns behind and knit with him asleep on my shoulder. It's easier to work on something straightforward and single-yarned, like the back, which is why I stopped on the sleeves a few weeks ago, started the back, and finished it. I've got one of the front pieces on the needles, too, for the same reason. But, I kept thinking that I really should finish the sleeves so that I can see how much Skye I end up with. I'm not planning on integrating it on the front (because I didn't think I'd have enough left). But I'd like to see what remains before I make a final decision on that.

I've been thinking that at least adding striped pockets would be cute - they would be "afterthought" pockets so to speak, tacked onto the top of the knitted piece rather than worked into the piece. I'm still thinking about it.

April 29, 2004

Progress and a New Beginning

I'm notorious for starting projects - I love to start things. I'm not so good on completion. So I hate to detract from my good and steady progress on the Cascade Skye Cardigan to start the vest, but I've just been itching to start it. I did get to the armholes on the left front of the cardigan today, so that feels like a big accomplishment. The end is in sight! And, given that, I might as well get something else going.

With Spencer sleeping in my lap during the late afternoon, I rolled two of the balls of yarn I needed to roll for the Jo Sharp Oriole vest. The one pink yarn is amazingly soft, but what I discovered when I rolled it is that it's very sticky. I kept having to manually pull apart the yarns as I tried to roll it up. I don't think I've ever rolled anything so sticky before!

Later, with my hands free, I went ahead and cast on for the front using the pink Galway. It's yarn that my partner bought soon after the baby was born to go with black for a backpack I've got in my head that I want to make. But, it turns out it's the perfect color for the vest - since I decided last minute I'd rather do it all in pink instead of taupe, brown, and pink. So, I'm using it. I can always buy more for the bag when I get to it.

Casting on while holding the baby is too hard, so I took advantage of the time to get it on the needles so that I can work on it if I want to. In the middle of the night, I was able to do the first handful of rows of ribbing, and it's working up really nicely. The color is just beautiful. There's something about working with "pink" right now that is really satisfying!


Group Jealousy

I'm jealous. I keep seeing references to the ChicKnits KIP meetings in Chicago, and I'm jealous. I'd love to find a cool, hip, modern, group of young to semi-young knitters to hook up with on a regular basis and talk about yarn, knitting, projects, design, and so on. Or just to talk while we knit. I'm in San Francisco, so it seems like I should be able to find something like this. But so far, I haven't. I tried teaching a few friends, but neither of them really latched onto knitting in the way I'd hoped. Luckily, my partner knits, too, so I get to share my passion with yarn and my endless "I want to make that" list with her - probably much more than she'd like!


Onde

Was out at the Keyboard Biologist's site and saw her new photo of her progress on the Phil'Onde sweater. It's very cool. The gradations in color are wonderful.

I also really like the cuff she shows from the Lucy Neatby Mermaid Socks she's started.

April 30, 2004

Frustrated with Faulty Pattern

Really got started on the Jo Sharp Oriole vest last night. But ran into trouble more than once. The pattern is frustratingly wrong in relation to the transition from ribbing to the fair isle. For my size, I cast on 122, and then on the last row of ribbing, it said to increase 14 stitches.

First, I forgot to increase. I'm so used to increasing on a knit row, that it slipped my mind that I needed to increase in the ribbing rather than in the first row of stockinette. So, I decided to just go ahead and do two extra rows. That's okay. The chunkier ribbing wouldn't bother me.

And then I got started on the fair isle row, only to realize in rereading the pattern that I was supposed to have 137 stitches after the increase - an odd number.

My math may be shaky at times, but it's clear that the 122 cast on plus the 14 increased would only be 136.

It's also clear that given that it's a v-neck vest, an odd-number of stitches would be right, since you almost always have to center the v on the odd stitch in the middle.

I got to looking, and all of the sizes are wrong. Looks like the pattern should state that you need to increase 15.

I frogged the extra two rows as well as the row where I should have increased originally, and then did it again.

Back to starting the fair isle. Quickly I run into two things. First, with the number of stitches I have, the pattern won't be centered or symetrical as written, which seems odd. And, the repeat of 6 doesn't work properly with the number of stitches I have since they aren't divisible by 6.

So, you can't just read the pattern left to right on the purl side.

Not a big deal to me. I was paying attention, and I knew what needed to line up in the patterning, despite what the chart shows. But, still frustrating.

I'm a big fan of Jo Sharp's designs. But I was not happy last night to see so many flaws (or so it seems) in the pattern itself.

Charlotte's Web

When I started running into blogger after blogger talking about Charlotte's Web, I felt like I'd missed some critical hip knitting project. Boy am I feeling old. I'm not, really. But sometimes, blog reading makes me feel ancient, a Rip Van Winkle of knitters. So, I started tracking down Charlotte's Web info. I'm a Koigu fan to begin with, so the concept of it fascinates me, and it's so beautiful when finished. I don't know that I'm a shawl wearer, however. So, I can't decide if it's really a practical thing for me to make. I do have to admit, however, to having spent far too much time searching for a compelling shawl pattern after getting hooked on the yellow one Jessica Simpson wears in The Newleyweds all the time. It just looked cozy and sort of cool on the comfy level. So, Charlotte's Web fell into my life on the heels of that.

Now there's even a CW knitalong getting started, and blog after blog led me to Threadbearfiberarts.com, where I was stunned to see that they were offering color consultation for CW projects and were two weeks out in providing help. That suggests a lot of knitters out there are jumping on the CW bandwagon and that it's not a "been there done that" project, as I saw it referenced on some blogger's site last week.

So, today, I notice IndiGirl has started another one, and from her blog, I found my way to Rob's blog where he's showing color combinations that they've come up with. Wow. Just looking at all those combos was exciting. I'm not sure the kind of colorway I was thinking of is on that page, but I'm definitely going to spend some time looking. (Well, actually, the one named Blimey really jumps out at me. But I was thinking of wanting one in more pinks and greens, based on color P105.

(I've been hinting about this shawl a lot. It would have made a great Mother's Day kit for me - or good for my upcoming birthday, a day on which I'll of course feel even older. But, then again, I'm not sure I don't want to pick my own colors. That's always the problem! Maybe I should pick my colors, or a few options, blog them here, and then direct some strong hints to the site!)

Quick Clicks

Out visiting at Fred's House, and I got caught up in looking at Gene's photo collections, most recently snapped from a mobile phone. This set from a trip to the UK contains some really great shots.

I've always maintained that despite my high-tech life, I don't really need a camera phone because I wouldn't be happy with it's low-res images. But Gene's shots could change my mind!

www.flickr.com

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