Saturday, May 9, 2015

K'done: Tenney Park pullover

Oh. Ehm. Gee.

It. Is. DONE.

Pattern: Tenney Park, by Elizabeth Morrison
Yarn: madelinetosh tosh sport, in Nebula
Needles: 4 mm / US 6

Oh man. This sweater. This yarn. We haz history.

I think the yarn was ordered in 2011, or 2010, or maybe even 2009? I didn't record the acquisition date. (Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.) My sister fell in love with the colour, and we ordered a whopping 5 skeins of it so she could have a very nice lacy cardigan - a Poplar + Elm. (Now that I've consulted the archived Rav page for that initial plan, I'm pretty sure the yarn was purchased in 2011.) I started, and, well, eventually stopped, without having even completed a single piece of that sweater. The pattern and I were not buds. After a long period of avoidance, I had a little chat with my sister, and the partial piece was frogged and the yarn was set aside to wait for a new plan.

Then I stumbled upon Tenney Park - probably Rav pattern database surfing. I liked the shape of it, I liked the detail of the entrelac panel. I showed the sample images to my sister, and then told her that I didn't have any long colour change yarn, but the big batch of madtosh in Nebula should do the trick - it just wouldn't be a multicoloured entrelac panel. She was sold on the idea of a monochromatic Tenney Park, and so I excitedly cast on in October 2013 and blitzed through the entrelac panel, and then moved on to the actual body of the sweater as the Mister started playing Grand Theft Auto V.

Now, GTA V is a pretty epic game, but a sweater knit at 24 sts to 4" is also a pretty epic knit, and so when the gameplay was done, I had most of the body done, but nowhere near a completed sweater. Since new games mean new knits, and I am easily distracted, I set this one aside and moved on to other projects. At some point, I picked this up again, finished off the sweater body (except for the bottom hem ribbing, which is done at the end), and picked up stitches for the first sleeve.

And entered sleeve purgatory.

I don't know what it is about sleeves. Sometimes I don't mind them, sometimes it's as if each row or round is some fresh layer of torment I must endure to achieve complete-sweater nirvana. Either way, my progress ground to a halt about two thirds of the way down the first sleeve, and I bounced off to other projects again.

Then, earlier this year, once my stash had been all packed up and hauled off to the new house, where it still sits, waiting for me to be there too, I decided it was time to just get 'er done. I finished the first sleeve, did the second sleeve, blocked the bits, seamed in the entrelac panel, and then did the last bit of ribbing at the neckline and bottom hem. The blocking part and all that followed all happened within the past week. Boom.

I must say, I am really pleased with how it all came together, and I sure hope it meets sister's expectations when I present it to her later today. Because this one had such a long gestation period, I'm not too sure which size I made anymore - I'm guessing I went with the 37.5" bust since I was working at a slightly smaller gauge than called for. I suspect it will fit my sister with an inch or two of positive ease in the body (which she likes), and half an inch of positive ease or maybe zero ease in the sleeves. I laid out the shirt I'm wearing today over top of the sweater before I got dressed, and the sweater is definitely bigger in the body than my shirt, but the sleeves seem to be about the same. I think it should be good! Right now the neckline and bottom hem ribbing are unblocked, so not as refined looking as the ribbing on the sleeves, but it should be okay.

Mods: Other than the whole monochromatic thing, I changed a few other things too. I worked all the ribbing as 2x2, just because. I lengthened the sleeves, largely to make the most of the abundance of yarn, and also because my sister likes longer sleeves. I started the ribbing once the the sleeve decreases were done (which is earlier than the pattern directions state), and then carried on with ribbing until the sleeves were long enough that they looked as if they would cover my hand bones (but not my finger bones) in their entirety. The sleeves ended up about 22" long from armpit to end! I may have overshot a little. I debated putting in thumbholes, but decided against it since that part of the sleeve is ribbed and will cling to the arm and hand, negating the need for the thumbholes to keep the sleeve from riding up or flopping about. If sister needs sleeves out of the way and hands exposed, she can fold the cuffs over to the desired length, and it won't look wacky.

Tech specs: Chinese waitress COs, neckline and bottom hem were bound off using Jeny Staiman's stretchy bind off, while the sleeves were bound off using a double chain bind off. I have no good reason for not being consistent with my bind offs.

So now, my sister will finally have this sweater, the weight of the unfinished project has been lifted - I'm free!

What's next? Well, there are two other sister knits on the go around here, but nothing else - all my yarn is out of reach. That should change very soon, though.

And hey - TdS 2015 starts soon! Yeah yeah yeah.

Monday, May 4, 2015


Yesterday, I finished up my MKAL scrappy wrappy thing, and wove in the ends. I want to block it somewhat promptly, so I can show my sister - she may want one too, and it was pretty darn entertaining to work up, and she has tons of sock yarn remnants eating up space, so I am on board with making one for her.

We still haven't moved, and I thought with a sigh that I didn't really want to wait until after the move to block this.

Which drew my eye to the pile of sister sweater pieces that need to be blocked before I can finish it off - seam in the centre panel and work up the neckline and hem ribbing.

And then I reflected on the fact that my sister's birthday is this coming Sunday. This sweater isn't really her gift, but it's been a long anticipated piece, and it sure would be nice to present it to her on her day.

Bingo. Challenge accepted. This morning I gave the sink a quick cleanaroo, then dumped the sweater pieces into Soak-y water. They marinated like that for 45 minutes, then I squeezed them out by hand and laid them out on the not-a-table. (Yes, I skipped the step where you roll your pieces up in a towel and then walk on them. I always skip this step. It's dry in Calgary. Also, I'm lazy.)

Tomorrow (or, you know, Wednesday - I did skip the towel step) I'll seam in that centre panel, and then I'll be off and running knitting again to try and wrap it all up by Sunday.

We need to move soon. I'm running out of stuff to knit with!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Stripier, stripiest

Are those even words?

The latest MKAL clue had me add that on to my growing piece of fabric. Once again, I find myself impatiently waiting for the next clue, due out next Monday. (I finished up with clue 3 on Saturday.)

I suppose this means I should clean the sink so I can block the pieces of my sister's sweater that is out of sleeve purgatory.

Or maybe it just frees me up to do some more packing. And marking. Blech.

I sure wish I could just keep going with the mystery object. It's getting pretty big. I'm awfully curious about how it's going to come together.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Who'd a thunk it

I can scarcely believe it.

I'm out of sleeve purgatory on one of my sister's sweaters.

I just bound off the second sleeve today. The body is now ready to be blocked, and then I can seam in the centre entrelac panel, and then do the bottom ribbing and neckband, and that's it. Off to sister it goes.

No pictures for now, mostly because it's now a bit late in the day for decent natural light. Also, the waste yarn holding the stitches at the hem is a bit of a snarl, and the whole thing doesn't lay very nicely because it's unblocked stockinette, and I am vain, so I'm not showing you that.

I also finally cut the yarn and wove the ends in on a washcloth experiment I've made for myself. I feel so liberated.

Turns out, when you actually put in the knitting time, knitting happens. Who knew.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Curiouser and curiouser

On Saturday night - so, four days ago - I finished up with the second clue in the MKAL.

I had to switch to different scraps at the very end of the first clue, and continued with the new scraps for the second clue. The transition point is pretty obvious:

The colour transition is nearly aligned with a structural transition point, though, so maybe it won't leap out at the eye so obviously when I have more knitted object? We'll see.

Once again, two yarns that I thought were really different when looking at the cakes had more similarities than anticipated, so the resulting fabric isn't super stripy.

Still, I'm having a good time.

The only problem? I want to keep going, but the next clue isn't out yet - it's due out on 13 April.

And all my stash is packed and moved.

What's that? Sister sweater sleeves? Oh yeah. Those. My destiny. In perpetuum.

Never mind. I'm on it.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A little intrigue

A while back, I noticed an announcement for a mystery knit-along, run by Jenny Faifel, that promised to use up sock yarn scraps to make a shawl-cowl-thing. Well. I have a pretty decent collection of sock yarn scraps. Most of them I figure I'll use to play with colourwork socks, but there are some odds and ends in there that are 100% merino, and I have since developed a rather strong preference for socks made using sock yarn that has some nylon spun in there for added toughness. So the 100% merino leftovers are just sitting with no end game in mind. This MKAL seemed a good way to use them. Plus, she was offering folks a chance to join in for free, so I took it.

Now, I've packed up all my stash yarn and moved the boxes over to the basement of the new house, but my remnant stash was still here, lurking in the linen closet. So I pulled it out, sorted through what was there, and came out with this little pile:

Um. That's way too much - the pattern calls for roughly 200 g, and that's closer to 300 or 350, I think - I couldn't manage to get it all on the scale without some of the balls running away. That's okay, though - just means I have options as I go.

So the first clue was released on 23 March. Recent days have been not so much with the knitting time, so I just plugged away a bit here and there, and last night, I finished the first clue and found this in my lap:

That bit is mostly done using some Shibui Knits Sock (the burgundy-gold-brown-cream stripes) and some Madelinetosh Tosh Sock (the beige stripes). The cream bits of the Shibui are a bit close to the beige of the MadTosh, so the stripes aren't as vivid and clear as they might have been had I used different colours.

Still, I'm pleased with the result thus far, and am anxiously awaiting the release of clue #2 - tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A great big plan

I'm still here. In the chaos of an unpacked and super cluttered house, waiting for the new-to-me house to be ready for us to move in. Trying very hard not to remember that the original estimates for moving in were for December of last year. (Well, honestly, the guys figured end of November, but even I could see that that was a pipe dream.)

And I have so far successfully not cast on something new - all my yarn is still contained within the cabinet. And, um, its boxes. In fact, I'm even thinking of taping up the boxes, moving the cabinet yarn into more boxes, and then taking it all over to the new house and just sticking it in the basement for the time being. The idea is to try to move as much of our stuff as we can in small trips, and the yarn is sort of the most pleasant stuff to consider doing this with, since everything else will require some sorting and organizing.

I haven't yet finished up the two sweaters for my sister, though. Largely because I've been spending more time surfing the Rav pattern database looking for things I want to make with the yarn I already have, because the budget constraints of our current housing situation mean I really should avoid buying more for a little while, and one of the Mister's friends came by last weekend and happened to see the yarn cabinet and exclaimed, "That's a LOT of yarn!" Which means I caught a bit of grief from the Mister. I better knit the stash down a bit.

So, I've firmly told myself that once we've moved, and the semester has wound up - which might happen at about the same time - I'm going to treat myself to a lot of knitting time. There are many things I'd like to make.

1. Oblique, by Veronik Avery

2. Atelier, by Heidi Kirrmaier

3. Forest Park Cowl, by Liz Abinante

4. Winter Sea Shawl, by Liz Abinante

5. Morrígan, by Beata Jezek

6. Windward, by Heidi Kirrmaier

7. A yet-to-be-determined laceweight shawl, to be a Christmas gift for the Mister's mother

8. Six pairs of socks - TdS 2015!

9. A couple of sock design ideas I've had that I want to play with.

Phew. Now that I've written it all out, it's quite the list. With no items for my sister. Probably a couple of those will get added at some point.

Getting through all of this in one summer is most likely a pipe dream, too.

Ahem. Challenge accepted.