Wednesday, September 26, 2018

K'done: wychwood cardi-shrug

Another Ah, summer, how I miss thee knit.

Pattern: wychwood, by Jenny Faifel
Yarn: Fyberspates Scrumptious 4 ply/sport, in Oyster
Needles: 4 mm / US 6

This was a test, and wow what a test! I thoroughly enjoyed knitting this one, and when it was done I regretted not having made it for myself - my sister liked the preview pictures, and so selected the yarn from her not-so-mini stash. I done goofed! It could have been mine!

Ah, well, I'll just have to knit one for me.

The construction of this piece is intriguing, and I must confess that my brain still hasn't fully worked out how it works. It's worked from end to end - you cast on something like five stitches, at one of the armholes, knit your way across, and somehow end up on the other side, but not at an armhole, and there wasn't as much even knitting as I was expecting. While the pattern's description claims there's no long cast on or bind off, it should be noted that if you want to add ribbing around the neck/hemline (which the sample shows, and the pattern directs you to do), then there's going to be a pretty big bind off there.

I also ran out of yarn - there was supposed to be some ribbing on the sleeves as well, but clearly mine lacks that touch. I'm not terribly clear on why my yarn supply fell short - yardage wise, it should have been fine, as the pattern calls for 1200 yards and I had 1197, and I'm pretty sure it would take more than three yards to do the sleeve edge ribbing. I also cut the neck/hem edging a bit short, working only five rounds instead of the prescribed seven. The resulting piece is still plenty cozy and cocoon-y - exactly what the pattern promised.

Yep. I need one too.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

K'done: the ridge cardigan

And now back into catching up mode!

Pattern: the ridge, by Jenny Faifel
Yarn: Jojoland Splatter Dash, in, um, blue (sorry, the colour name was a numeric code, and the ballbands are long gone now)
Needles: 5 mm / US 8

Oh man. I bound this one off in June. June. Hello, delinquent knitblogger.

This was a great knit. Then again, I've developed a deep fondness for stockinette and knit-purl texture, which is what this sweater is all about. The pattern is beautifully clear and well-written, so you pretty well cruise through the project. There are some embellishment details that add to the piece's unique character, like the sleeves, which have a sort of scoop-shaped asymmetrical elongation to them, perfect for people like my sister who like for their sweater sleeves to double as hand covers.

There's also a hem cutout detail on both the sleeve cuffs and the bottom hems at the sides that I didn't think to take close pictures of when my sister was wearing it earlier this summer. So, um, here's another shot of the hand covering goodness of the sleeve cuffs.

For reasons that I no longer remember - likely having something to do with yarn chicken - I didn't do as many rows of ribbing at the bottom hem as the pattern instructed. My notes only say that I did "only six", but I didn't think to write down how many I was supposed to do, so I'm not sure how short of the mark that is. I also didn't do buttonholes, since I never planned to put buttons on the piece. My sister was completely on board with this change.

And yes, the blue colour does indeed signal that my sister was the recipient of this knit. She was indeed pleased, and has been wearing it (like in the pictures, which I actually took in August while we were out on Vancouver Island). Let the record show that this sweater is knitted item #5 that she has received this year. And we're not done yet.

Pretty sure this means I'm firmly in the good-sister book.

Tech specs: Chinese waitress COs throughout, double chain BOs throughout. My gauge was actually a bit bigger than called for (20 sts to 4", as opposed to the pattern's 21), so there's a touch more positive ease than the designer intended.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Goodbye, summer

Oh hi there.

I looked at the date today and realized that somehow the entire month of August just sort of slipped away from me. Don't get me wrong - I was doing things, fun enjoyable things even, knitting included. But it feels as though I should still have another month of summer. Maybe that's just wishful thinking.

So, what have I been up to? Well, in July there was some vacation time with my parents and siblings.

That's my TdS stage two sock, in progress during our trip. That is the only in progress photo I took of those socks. I don't even have modelled shots of the finished socks - hopefully I'll be able to correct that soonish.

Then, we were home for a week, which saw me barge through stage three of TdS:

Pattern: Bicycle Race, by Heidi Nick
Yarn: Yummy Yarn Studio 80/20 Merino Nylon Superwash Sock, in Rhubarb (sadly discontinued)
Needles: 2.25 mm / US 1

Then we threw some clothes into the suitcases again to fly out to Vancouver Island for a couple of weeks with Mister's parents. While we were there, I skipped stage four of le Tour in favour of a test knit, which I'll blog separately since I'm really pleased with how that worked out. I did, however, do stage five:

Pattern: Flibbertigibbet, by Lisa K. Ross
Yarn: Yummy Yarn Studio 80/20 Merino Nylon Superwash Sock, in Mature Romance

Needles: 2.25 mm / US 1

Oh, and I also visited my first fibre arts festival, and, um, may have done some stash enhancement.

Don't look at me like that - it's not all mine, actually, some of them were sister purchases, one skein is destined to be socks as a gift for Mum, and a few skeins are destined for Mister - one for a hat, and two for socks. (He came around to the idea of handknit socks while we were wandering the booths at the festival. I better get on it before he changes his mind!)

And then we came home, and now I'm nearly caught up with the laundry that we accumulated while we were gone, and getting myself ready to be back at work for a new semester next week. I've started another test knit, and stage six of TdS is going to drop tomorrow morning.

Hello, fall.

Friday, July 13, 2018

TdS 2018: stage 1 timelapse

Days 1 & 2.

Day 3.

Day 4.

Day 5.

Et fini!

Pattern: Plan A, by Adrienne Fong
Yarn: Sweet Georgia Yarns Tough Love Sock, in Bouquet
Needles: 2.25 mm / US 1

Size knitted: pattern size L, because I ignored pattern gauge.
Tour rank: #282 (I got 6 points!)

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

K'done: Dory cardigan

At long last, let there be pictures.

Pattern: Dory, by Amy Christoffers
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy, in Tokyo Creme (old Classy)
Needles: 5.5 mm / US 9

For someone who used to turn up her nose at cardigans, I've developed a real soft spot for them - I actually prefer them to pullovers by a really wide margin. I love the way I can toss one on over a plain shirt and suddenly have a top half that is presentable in a professional context. Yes, this means that my wardrobe has become amply populated with plain comfy tees, which I then spruce up for work with a cardi, instead of splitting my shirt inventory between work shirts and not-for-work shirts.

I don't remember the specifics of how I came across this pattern in my searches, but I stumbled across it last summer, I guess - my Rav project page has a (system-generated) note saying that I queued it on 6 June 2017. I didn't actually start it until September, when I wanted something to chug along with as low-key bedtime knitting in the background of the academic year. Also, I wanted another sweater - because I seem to perpetually want more sweaters.

I quite like the texture pattern on this, and am thinking about ramming it into some socks for my father, and maybe some socks for my mother too. Just knits and purls, but deeply satisfying, somehow. The astute will have noticed the lack of buttons, because I know I won't bother buttoning this, so I just left them off entirely. This way I don't get stuck in the pit of needing to go button shopping.

The knitting of this sweater was uneventful, but not in a boring sort of way - it's mostly stockinette, which makes it great for when you're mentally too tired to bother with real thought. Not that this past academic year has been particularly demanding or anything, it's just that after using your brain at work, you kind of want a break from that once you're off the clock. This is not to be taken as a counterargument to those who have suggested a like-cures-like approach for picking projects, wherein people who find themselves in a trying situation find they want particularly demanding, challenging knits to go with them. I suspect the like-cures-like approach works for those scenarios where you're trying to escape from some difficulty - you need something that will more fully engage your mind, to prevent it from worrying or fretting or panicking about whatever it is that is causing you stress. That's not what I needed, I wasn't in any sort of state of emergency or panic. I wanted an unwinding knit - something that would soothe my mind, but not really demand much from it, since I didn't need a distraction from being stuck in panic. A meditation knit, perhaps?

Tech specs: all pieces are knit from the bottom up, so the hem and sleeves are edged by Chinese waitress COs; the neckband and buttonbands are edged with a double-chain BO. The neckband is ever-so-slightly strange at the ends, blocking mostly made them lie flat, but it must be something about the way I pick up stitches (or which strands I used in doing this), because I've seen similar ruffling on other pieces I've done. Despite embarking on this project with some yarn chicken fears, I have plenty of leftovers - at least 50 g, probably enough to do a hat, but since this is the scratchier 'old' Classy, I may not actually bother trying.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

K'done: Leyburn(ish) socks

I'm still not really sure how I feel about these socks.

Pattern: Leyburn Socks (sort of), by MintyFresh
Yarn: Sweet Georgia Yarns Tough Love Sock, in Humminbird
Needles: 2.25 mm / US 1

I swing back and forth between thinking they're completely awesome and thinking they're so eye-searingly wild that the stitch motif doesn't really show. I'm pretty sure this yarn was going to give me singed retinas no matter what I did with it, and I ended up with sort of vague stripes that have blurred edges thanks to the faux quilting, which is close to my probably insane and unrealistic goal of having the colours scattered together throughout the socks, so I think that's supposed to count as a win?

Despite my apparent ambivalence, I really am pleased with how they turned out, and will be happily wearing them - well, probably not for several weeks, really, since it's now sandal season, but you know, maybe sooner rather then later if it gets rainy again.

It should be noted that these socks should not be used to gauge how one feels about the Leyburn pattern, because I didn't follow it - I just yoinked the quilted stitch motif from it. I plonked the quilted stitch in as panels worked over the front and back of the leg, with plain stockinette in between, and because I didn't think things through I didn't properly centre those panels - I should have split the leg into front and back so that there was an odd number of stitches on each, and then I would have been able to truly centre the quilted panels. I also used my own stitch counts, working the legs over 68 sts, and the feet over 64 sts, and I worked these top down, whereas the pattern would have you do them bottom up.

I've knit the pattern in the past, a very long time ago, and had completely forgotten that it's a pretty fun one to work up, and it seems to just fly by. There is some compression of row gauge thanks to the slipped stitch rounds, but you only do that once every four rounds (as opposed to the every other round system typical of slipped stitch patterns), so I didn't get the major pooching out of the sole of the foot that apparently offends my sensibilities. There is a slight rippling of the stockinette panels at the sides of the legs due to the difference in row gauge, but it's entirely possible that blocking will smooth that out.

There may be a plan in the back of my head to make more of these. Like I said, it's fun.

Tech specs: I started with an Italian tubular CO, slammed in an eye of partridge heel flap worked over half the stitches, and finished it off with a rounded wedge toe (decrease every other round six times, then decrease every round five times) and grafted the toes shut with Kitchener stitch, with the two edge stitches on both sides worked together.

In other news - 11 days until TdS 2018!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Screeching halt

This morning, I did a tiny bit of work, and then to reward myself I figured I'd put in a few rounds on my crazy Leyburn socks before moving on to some more work.

I'm nearly done the second sock now, and I picked it up to cruise along a bit. Often I will sort of mentally count off stitches in my head as I go with socks - it's definitely not a careful count, and there are lots of times where I'll be one short or have one extra in my count because I apparently don't count that well if I'm not really paying close attention. If I'm working a motif that could have gone awry in a way that would show up in stitch counts (missed increases or decreases), then I'll quickly double check to make sure that the problem isn't something beyond my casual counting carelessness. If I'm working a motif that is all 'straight' knitting (no increases or decreases needed), then I usually just chalk the wonky numbers up to careless counting and continue motoring along, but start paying a little more attention, and if the same counting error pops up again on the same needle in next round (or, um, the one after), then I'll check more carefully.

Today I got suspicious about a short count on one needle, and investigation revealed I'd dropped a stitch two rounds prior. I briefly considered taking a picture, but then figured no one cares about the fix, which was just to ladder up the dropped stitch. Turned out the fix was a little more complex, because it had happened on a round that involved picking up strands from below to create the quilting effect of the stitch motif, and when I dropped the stitch, that shifted the rest of the pick up points on that needle. (There were three of them.) At that point, however, I had already fixed the dropped stitch, so I just corrected the rest of them with no photographic evidence, and then carried on.

A little while later, it occurred to me that maybe I should check how many pattern repeats I'd done.

I'm not sure how well you can see in that picture, but the answer is (very nearly) seven. The next question is how many repeats were on the foot of sock #1, and the answer there is six. That round that I needed to fix was the second last round I needed to work before starting the toe decreases.

Once I'd ripped back to the right spot, I realized that it's now probably too late for me to be able to finish the work stuff I was going to do (and it's the sort of thing that I like to do all in one shot, to help keep me consistent) before I have to walk out the door, so I guess I'll just get a start on those toe decreases instead.