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September 2005 Archives

September 7, 2005

Sweater Underway

m's sweater

The "requested" holiday sweater is underway! I'm a little iffy on the size - afraid it might be a tad too big, but the next smallest size would be too little. But, it could be that my gauge will run just a slight bit off, making it perfect. I swatched originally on 10 3/4's, which is what the pattern called for, and the tension was a bit loose. I ended up dropping to 10's. (Hmmm. Now I'm feeling like I should go recheck the gauge carefully since I can't remember why I went to 10's and not a 10 1/2! I know I thought it through at the time. I know I did a swatch on the 10's and it worked. But as I typed it in here and realized I'd taken a jump, my heart started beating too fast. It does look little bunched up on the needle, but I think this is a rib/cable combo that really will need some blocking at the end to keep its shape.)

I got started and immediately ran into a problem. The pattern, from the British Knitting magazine was wrong for the two row ribbing pattern. It's wrong for both the left and right front. Neither is right, and neither is wrong in the same way. I compensated, and set off knitting. But, alas, I didn't think far enough ahead and figure out how the ribbing needed to line up with the panels above it that make up the body of the sweater. So, after 4 inches of ribbing, it seemed clear the flow was off.

I grabbed some graph paper and plotted things out. Indeed, my correction for the ribbing had caused problems. So, I had to start over. But, the plotting of the first 21 rows was really helpful. There's not a good photo of the front of the sweater, so I didn't realize there is only one cable on each front, a few columns of ribbing, and then a large stockinette portion (much like Ribby). Plotting helped me get an overall sense of what was going on, which was a good feeling since I'd been feeling like I was knitting a mystery sweater trying to sort out some of the directions.

Now, I'm off and running. It's knitting up super fast, and the big bulky cable is just that - big and bulky, but cool. The rose colored Rowan Chunky (that's been sitting in our stash for at least 5 years) is working up beautifully. I'm hopeful all will go well from here on out! So far, it's going so smoothly and seems to be one of those patterns that your mind keeps saying, "Just one more row." So I've been knitting it instead of the other project I had been working on in the evenings. I told M this morning that the good thing about it going so quickly is that if it's too small, I'll know. I can have it, and I'll have to regroup and replan my holiday knitting. Of course, the bad thing about it going so quickly is that I'm not good about saving things, particularly when the recipient already knows so it's not a 'surprise' that's coming. I'm hoping to not let her get a good look at it from here on out so that there will be some level of surprise.)

In other bags... I've been working on the sleeves for my Must Have Cardigan. They're coming along, although I feel they've got a long way to go! My Ribby Cardi is languishing waiting for me to give it a steam and then piece it together before tackling the bands, collar, and zipper insertion. (I am going to try to sew it in by machine. Any strong warnings against it?) And, I have two shawls in the closet still waiting to block... the Flower Basket Shawl and my Falling Leaves from first of the year. Ahhh, it's all about process for me. I'm trying to get more into "product," but once I'm done with the knitting, it's easy for me to let something lie for weeks or even months before taking care of the final details. After all, my Oriole Vest that I made last year has been hanging on a hook on my closet door ever sense. I have maybe three ends to tuck in... Crazy.

September 9, 2005

Multi-D for Me

multi-d scarf

I'm almost through the first (left) side of the holiday sweater for M. It's going great and proving to be a really speedy knit, which I didn't expect. I should finish the first piece tonight, but I may have to switch gears and work on a felted project I started a while back as I was working on a particular timeline for it and just got sidetracked with this new sweater and the re-focusing on my Must Have. I hate to lose momentum on the sweater though. I'll probably end up working on both and switching back and forth a lot.

Obviously, the photo above isn't relevant to anything I'm working on! Instead, it's a picture of the multi-directional scarf my mom made for me. She brought it with her this summer on a trip. I think it turned out great. It's a real "rainbow" scarf, and the nubby texture of the yarn is a real switch for this scarf (which you often see worked in Kureyon). I'm pretty sure it's knit from Elaine by Schaefer Yarn in a rainbow colorway. We've had a bit of a September cold-snap here in foggy San Fran, so I got to wear it the other day for the first time and thought I'd show it off.

September 22, 2005

Here and There Clapotis

For days now, I've been planning to show you pictures of my Ribby Cardi. (We're fighting a bug that's making its way through the house. The preschool crowd is the worst when it comes to sharing viruses, and my toddler happily picks up every one it seems and then is more than willing to share it with mama!) Over the weekend, I got a bug up my pants to finish it and spent time attempting to block it and then sewing it together.

The blocking didn't go so well, and that may be a function of the fiber content of the Andean Silk (alpaca/silk/wool). I did a steam block (as shown at in the ChicKnits notes), but as soon as the piece dried post-steaming, it shrunk back down again. Strange. It just didn't hold the blocking at all.

(By the way, if you're starting a Ribby, read those notes. If I make another, I need to check back with them about the last few rows on the fronts. I know mine were a bit wonky, and I think the problem is explained there. But I finished the piece before seeing those!)

I think I blogged in my head about a hundred times about how much I dislike the process of "finishing" projects. I'm not bad at it, it's just not a task I love. M. had told me she'd put it together for me, but I got tired of waiting! So, I buckled down and did my seaming.

I did have one major moment of panic after sewing in the first sleeve when I tried it on and saw little ends sticking out. I was convinced I'd sewn the sleeve on (and together) inside out even though I knew I'd carefully checked before seaming it. In the process of showing M. the problem (and freaking out), I thought it through and realized it couldn't possibly be inside out. I tuck my ends a very specific way, through purl columns in this case, so that the ends were poking out through knit columns made clear that the sleeve wasn't inside out. But, the ends I'd so carefully tucked in were poking through on the right side. That's odd, and a pain, but at least I didn't have to re-seam!

I've been a bit stumped as to what collar treatment to do, and I need to order a zipper. After reading Sharlene's experience with Zippersource, I'm going to try Zipperstop (assuming that the local Joanne's doesn't have one that will work if I manage to run by there this weekend). The issue is that my front measures 19 1/2". I haven't inserted a zipper before, so I'm not 100% clear if I'm better going with a 20" zipper and slightly stretching my front or going with the 18" zipper and having it not completely reach the ends. Thoughts? (I don't think I want to cut off/alter a sized zipper this go-around.)

As for the collar, I've finally decided to do the roll-neck. M. kept pushing for the regular collar, but somehow it just doesn't seem like what I want on this one. I like the casual look of the roll, though I'm going to do it in the color of the body rather than the contrasting color of the sleeves. It's shown in the contrast on the sample/pattern, but all along I was thinking of doing it the other way. Then, I saw Nathania's Ribby while blog surfing yesterday. I love her pink/grey combination, by the way. But I also love how it looks with the pink roll collar. So, lettuce (light) roll it will be.

I tried to pick up the stitches last night in the bedroom but ended up with not enough so put it down to try again today. I'm feeling very lucky that when the little one woke up coughing early this a.m. and sat up and gagged (mostly snot) all over me and the bed that it didn't fly just over the bed to where I'd laid it in the floor!

Hopefully, pics (zipperless) tomorrow.

In the meantime, I figured my Rayon Chenille Clapotis should make its on-the-needles debut. My knitting is fairly sporadic these days. I pick up whatever happens to be closest to me when I get some time. (This may mean that I'll finish several things in close proximity to each other. We'll see.) I've picked the Clapotis up a number of times recently. The colors are just so pretty (and a bit unusual for me with the vibrant streak of turquoise that runs throughout) that I hate to have it sit unfinished and not get worn this season.

I sent my Secret Pal (Vicki, who had me) some hand-dyed chenille, and we were talking about her possibly doing a thinner Clapotis out of it. I love the idea of Clapotis as something more traditionally scarflike. (If you recall, my first turned out more blanketlike!)

September 26, 2005

A Ribby in Green

ribby done

Well, the photo on the white hanger probably isn't the best way to capture the essence of the raglan Ribby Cardi, but I figured if I didn't post a pic soon, no one would believe I really have finished it! Zipper still to be ordered (I struck out at Joanne's), but otherwise, it's a wrap. I did have to do the collar twice. I picked up too many stitches the first time and thought, "ahh, well, it won't matter."


When I got all done, the roll collar was just a bit floppy and didn't look quite right. So, out it came.

Because this yarn is so soft and somehow doesn't have a lot of structure when knit, the fronts of the cardi simply won't stay open in any reasonable way, so the zipper is likely going to make a big difference here.

September 29, 2005

Kid Catalog

mag image

The photo speaks for itself, doesn't it? As I was thumbing through the next (of the many) kid catalogs that have started coming (and come through the holiday season), the typo in the heading here jumped out at me. Pretty funny. Spell check doesn't help with context!


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