Recently in Oriole Vest Category

Done in By Dr. Seuss

dr seuss

I love, love, love Gray's Anatomy. I look forward to it every week, and I love having a DVR (like Tivo) so that on a night like last night, I can click a single button and record it so that in 15 or 20 minutes once both boys have settled, I can start watching it and skip commercials. Nice. Last night's episode caught me off guard. I cried unabashedly when the mother with cancer was trying to give her daughter years' worth of advice crammed into a few minutes (and on the night before the girl's birthday). I don't know why it hit me so hard, but it did. One boy was sleeping on the couch next to me. The other was nursing to sleep in my lap. And I sat and cried.

Then, this morning, they picked out books to read after getting out of bed. In their matching jammies (I love that!), they sat next to me and on my lap, and I read Dr. Seuss's Oh the Places You'll Go. I got totally choked up reading them that book. And, again, I cried, though trying hard to hide it and keep the overwhelming love and sadness and realization that I can't always protect them from scary, confusing, and frustrating paths out of my voice. (I can, I know, try hard to give them all the tools they need to deal with those paths, avoiding them where possible and finding a way out if they end up somewhere they shouldn't be. It's an amazing responsibility and challenge parents undertake, and somehow, this morning, my heart was bursting, which is both a good and a bad feeling, as I read to them.) It really is a beautiful and profound book, and parents understand it in such a totally different way than the kids.

Oriole Eo Eo Eo Eo


(Read that title sort of as if you're yodeling!)

Yes, I want to shout and dance and announce that the Oriole vest is finally finished. I think it feels like such a big deal partly because I haven't finished that many things for myself other than accessories, partly because it's the biggest fair isle project I've finished (something to cheer about even if it is a really simple repetitive pattern and a cropped one at that!), and partly because it feels like an accomplishment to have started and finished this with a baby in the house. As you can see from the photo below, I've done a lot of knitting while holding a sleeping baby late at night.

So, finally the vest is done. Am I thrilled to be done? Yes. Am I thrilled with the vest? Well, not really. It was a cropped vest to begin with. But it is seriously short. The shortness added to the overall fit make it a little boxier than I was hoping for. But, still, it's really adorable. I spent a lot of time pondering the measurements before beginning, but I think I had to actually see a finished object that short to realize it's too short for me.

sleeping baby
Even though I loved the colors I ended up with (yes, the third time I cast it on), there were so many problems with the pattern (which only increased as I got to the finishing) that the vest was a frustrating project overall. And, picking up around the armholes and neck was a real chore for some unexplainable reason. I think I picked up the armholes three times each, and still wasn't thrilled with what I had on the needles each time.

But, it's finished. It's adorable. And, if I try it with a different shirt than I had on this morning and jeans (rather than pink velour sweats!), maybe it will have the look I was hoping for.

Now, if I can just finish the Cascade Skye cardigan I'm working on in the next three weeks, I'll have made my goal of finishing both by my birthday!

Charlotte Poncho

Wow, I stopped in at SavannahChic Knits today and found a link to SequinK's Ponchofication of Charlotte. It's a very cool adaptation of the Charlotte's Web shawl. Since I've been putting off giving into Charlotte's Web (though I think it's probably inevitable that I have to make it because I love the colors so much) because I'm not a shawl wearer intrinsically, I had thought it would be an awesome poncho. The reality is though that it'll be at least another year before I'm done Bjorning the baby around, so a poncho isn't practical to knit right now. Still, it was exciting seeing SequinK's finished project!

I also found the Charlotte's Web shawl she finished really beautiful. It's a great combination of colors.

I didn't get Oriole (vest) finished last night as I'd hoped. Having a baby with reflux often makes knitting really tough - lots of throwing up, near constant holding, and so on. I did manage to pick up the neck stitches this morning, so hopefully today heralds the end of this project.

Front Done

Well, no photos yet (it's been a long Friday in babyville), but I did finish the front of the Oriole vest last night. There are a ton of ends to be tucked in, which I hate. But I'm excited to have the fair isle part done. Oriole is interesting not because it's a complicated or even traditional fair isle. It's interesting somehow in its simplicity and repetition. I think it's going to be cute. The back is all solid, so that's easy. I went ahead and cast it on earlier when holding the sleepster.

I also am ready to start neck shaping on the first front of the Cascade Skye cardigan I've been working on.

My goal is to finish both of the above before my birthday in June. Definitely is doable. I've got a number of other things to finish, too. And I was thinking even today of a raglan that I've never sewn togther for Matthew. The problem is that he hates sweaters that go over his head. I've never actually tried sewing and cutting (steeking), but I'm wondering if it would be a way to salvage an otherwise cool sweater. I'm thinking about it. I'll probably need lots of support if I decide to do it!

New Project Itch

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Well, I have to admit I have the "start something new" itch. I'm notorious for not finishing things, unfortunately. This time though, I'm trying to be really good and finish the Oriole vest and the Cascade Skye cardigan before I start something else big. I've got a whole stack of other things I'm hoping to finish up, too, many of them just needing to be seamed, and two scarves that there is no real excuse not to have finished already.

I worked on the vest last night a bit, and the first side after the split for the v-neck is speeding along. It's amazing how mentally satisfying it is to work on these steadily decreasing rows that seem to just zip by. Several times, I'd find myself "surprised" that I was already ready to change yarns again to do the next stripe sequence.

I found myself at Quixotic Musings the other day and thought the picture of Claire smiling was so adorable. It's comforting somehow to stumble over blogs of other knitters in similar positions - with a newborn, in this case.

Here are a few photos of Spencer, my 13-week old, and Matthew, my 3-year old.

By the way, I was so excited to get my first blog "comment" the other day from SavannahChik Knits. It was exciting to find that someone had stumbled across my blog. And it was ironic that it was her because I love the photograph she's used in her site banner and had been meaning to send her a message to tell her so.

I've been feeling pretty lonely here in blogland, especially since I don't already have a circle of knitting friends flocking to my site. So, thanks!

Making Progress

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orioleGot some time to work on the oriole vest last night while I held a sleeping baby. I'm still not sure about the color switch. (The new colorway is shown at left.) The original colors were so bright, and it made the main pink (used in the ribbing and solid stripe as well as in one of the two-color rows) sort of icy. The original colorway is shown here at right.
orioleWith the change, the new colorway is really muted, and oddly enough, the pink that looked icy before is really toned down now.

I do like it. I'm just not sure I didn't also like the other one! The good thing is that the tension is much better now.

I'm pretty close to the section where you bind off for the underarms. Then it will almost seem home free.

Hands Full

Well, I've got a baby asleep in my arms (and the other one sitting next to me playing a game on his computer), so I'm finally able to sit and do some blogwork.

Vogue Knitting
I picked up the new issue of Vogue last week on a quick trip to the bookstore with the kids. It's not always a magazine I buy, but as I've noted many times in this blog, I'm liking different styles and sizes right now, so I feel like a new knitting dimension has been opened up before me. It's exciting.

(Not, of course, that the smaller sized items I've started are going particularly fast!)

Anyway, I figured with Matthew carrying a truck book, a Bob book, airplane stickers, and two new and very cuddly stuffed animals, I deserved a quick peak at magazines. So, I picked up Vogue and thumbed through it just enough to see two things - a really really cute tank top and a great hooded jacket made out of Koigu.

That's all I needed to see! I knew I had to have it, especially for the hooded jacket. So, not wanting to take the fun out of flipping through it later and savoring each page, even the ads, I headed for the checkout counter.

Later, when I got time to flip through it (I think it was actually a day or so later), I discovered that the Koigu pattern uses Kersti, a worsted weight Koigu - not the sock yarn that I'd expected. I haven't seen the Kersti in person yet, so I'm going to keep my eyes out for it. The variegated doesn't come in quite the range of colors of the dk weight Koigu (at least not yet), but I'm still interested in seeing and feeling it. I'd like to do the pattern in multiple colorways to have a progression of colors sort of like Charlotte's Web. (I'm working on plotting a design that does this right now, in fact.)

Oriole Vest
The vest is coming along. Tension looks better this time, but after the color swap, it looks so different than it did the first time. In my head, I keep seeing the bright palette of the first attempt. Now, it's so much more muted and pale. My partner likes it better. I'm not 100% sure, but I am sure that I won't start it again! (That would be 4 times, and even I am not that compulsive.)

Third Time's a Charm

Well, last week I blogged that I was having some question about the tension on my Oriole vest. It was really bothering me, so I did go ahead and take it off the needles to start over. In doing so, I discovered that my tension had loosened up a bit as I'd gone on, and while the fair isle looked flatter, the vest was also growing in width. Frustrating! So, I frogged the whole thing and spent a lot of time pondering the pattern (which has so many mathematical errors that it makes me want to scream) to decide how to compensate.

I also decided to change the colors - tone them down a bit. I'll post pictures of the original colorway and the new one later this week.

Sleeve On

I'm frustrated with my Oriole vest. I'm using the two-handed method of fair isle that I learned from Philosopher's Wool, and that's working fine - even though I'm working back and forth because the vest has a solid back so is not in the round. The problem is that I seem to have "ridges" in the knitting. Every other stitch appears to be a raised row, creating vertical lines. I can't figure out what's wrong - unless it's somehow related to my two-handed purling technique.

I was out looking for some insight into what's wrong, because I'm thinking it must be a tension issue. (Geez, I can't imagine having to frog this and start over again!)

I ended up looking at Wendy's site and found some discussion of floating versus weaving. Maybe I should give floating a try. I just don't know how to do that two-handed and I hate have to drop the yarn each time and then deal with the tangled mess of yarns I end up with. Can someone help!?!?!

At any rate, I'm really disheartened by how it looks up close.

So, last night I picked up the Cascade Skye cardigan and cast on the second sleeve and did a few rows of that to get it going so that it's ready to be picked up and knitted on whenever I've got a minute.

Here are a few pics of the finished sleeve close-up:

sleeve detail    sleeve detail

The thicker yarn at the cuff is Apollo from Colinette.

Vest Redo

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A dissapointing weekend for the Oriole vest. Somehow, my gague ended up way off base. The pattern has one gague in fair isle on 7's and one in stockinette on 6's. I did swatch first in stockinette to ensure that the gague was okay, and it was fine. So I started off without worrying about it. And I kept not worrying as I went through the first 17 rows of the pattern in fair isle. But it was clear at that point that the vest front was far too wide. A tape measure proved it. A whole stitch too wide, basically. The only thing I can figure is that it's because my gague is so much looser on metals (Addis in this case). So, I had to take the whole thing out and start again on bamboo. The tension is looking better this time.

I'm a little worried about my color choices. The pinks are really bright. But, sometimes I glance over at it lying on the end table and think, "If I'd seen that in a store, I'd definitely have bought it!" I guess that's testament to the fact that it's the right mix for me right now.

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.

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!


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.

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