Monday, July 23, 2012

K'done: Parcel Pullover

Another unmodelled sweater. Yes, I am ashamed. But not of the sweater itself.

Pattern: Parcel, by Carol Feller
Yarn: Monikadesign Cashmerino Soft, in Cypress Shade
Needles: 4.5 mm / US 7

This was fun. The cables break up stockinette in the round nicely - then again, I have nothing against stockinette anyway. Very pleasant to knit.

This sweater design also has you knit the set-in sleeves top down, starting by picking up stitches all around the armscye and then working short rows for the sleeve cap. This is a clever technique - though I did wind up with enlarged stitches at the edges of the short rows that I had to cinch shut later. I'm pretty sure that's my own technique failing, not a failing of the method, though. I didn't even really mind doing the cinching - it didn't take boatloads of time.

That puckering, by the way, is just a consequence of how the sweater lay when I put it down to photograph it. It's not truly that puckery.

Another sweater that I'm looking forward to wearing this fall.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

K'done: Tangled Yoke Cardigan Pullover

It's too hot for modelled shots. I apologize in advance.

Pattern: Tangled Yoke Cardigan, by Eunny Jang
Yarn: Naturally Merino et Soie 8 Ply, in Tamarind
Needles: 4 mm / US 6; 3.5 mm / US 4 for neckband ribbing

I fell in love with this sweater ages ago - I no longer remember when, probably at some point in 2009 when I was really getting the hang of cruising the pattern database at Ravelry - but my love went on unfulfilled as I didn't have the magazine in which the pattern appears. Fast forward to early 2011, when I finally got my hands on a copy, and vowed that the sweater would be mine.

Except. At the time, I didn't have 4 mm DPNs with which to work the sleeves. I decided to try it out on two circulars, having already worked some sleeves using Magic Loop and determining that if I could avoid it I would prefer that. Turned out, using two circulars was also more cumbersome and fussy than I really have patience for, and after working most of the first sleeve, I got fed up and set it aside.

For a really long time.

I got DPNs in my usual sweater sizes, but played with other yarns in other projects, not yet ready to return to this. Earlier this year - in February or March, I think - I decided to return to this sweater.

And it zoomed along once I did. I actually finished it up in early May.

Once I was able to use my preferred small-circumference-in-the-round-on-DPNs technique, all animosity I might have been harbouring against this sweater dissolved. I found the pattern to be well written and clear - at least, I don't remember having any whiskey-tango-foxtrot moments. The Merino et Soie yarn was a good choice, I think - it worked up fairly densely at this gauge, 24 sts to 4 inches, but the resulting fabric isn't stiff or bunchy.

I only really made one major modification to the pattern - instead of knitting this piece as a cardigan, I pulloverized it. All I needed to do was join for in-the-round knitting right from the get go, and then I switched to flat knitting at the point where I believed I wanted the deepest point of the neckline to hit, based largely on how the V-neck would split the cabled pattern on the yoke. I have yet to really wear it, so I'm not sure if I ended up placing it a touch too deep - in which case I may go back and stitch the gap up a bit. I had initially planned on working the button bands along the neckline, but ended up deciding against it at the very end - mostly because I couldn't figure a way to make them meet up neatly in the notch at the base of the neckline.

I'm looking forward to wearing this one.

You know, in two or three months' time.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Good thing I like it

On Friday, I cast on for a sock.

I had a good long time to sit and just crank away on it, so I worked some ribbing, and then switched into what I was doing for the leg - mostly stockinette, but with some fanciness worked in for interest - and managed to get as much leg as I think I want, and started in on the heel flap. I worked a handful of rows back and forth, and then I had to set it aside.

Then the weekend got busy, and I didn't manage to pick it up again until today. At which point I looked at what I'd done previously, and I paused.

On Friday, I had pondered the type of heel flap I wanted - your standard slipped stitch heel flap - and had arranged things so that the flap would be worked over 31 stitches, which is one less than half of the total stitches (64). I had done this to achieve symmetry in the faux-ribbing of the slipped stitch pattern. When I picked up the sock today, however, I couldn't for the life of me figure out why I had felt that that was necessary. It seemed that if I was working sl1, k1 over 32 stitches, I should end with a k1, which is perfect for when I turn and slip the first stitch before purling back. Worked over an odd number of stitches, I needed to end each row with a k2.

I pulled the heel flap out, rearranged my stitches to get 32 for the heel flap, and started over.

On the third row, I realized what I'm sure I knew on Friday. Working this pattern over an even number of stitches gets you an asymmetry in the faux ribs - you end up with two sets of slipped stitches right beside each other, as one is slipped on each side. Working over an odd number of stitches with the k2 at the end of the right side rows fixes this - it gives you the appropriate ditch between columns of slipped stitches, since that last knit stitch is slipped at the beginning of the wrong side rows.

Out the heel flap came again - not as much as before, but still - and I had another crack at it. I'm now back to where I was when I stopped on Friday.

In other news, it's way too freaking hot to put on a handknit DK-weight pullover, so I'm fixing to take some unmodeled shots of my latest two sweater adventures - one is soaking in the sink, the other waits in a dresser drawer. I also have a couple of other items to block and move once and for all into the Finished pile.

And I need a new sweater project. I think I might actually get over myself and start my Geodesic Cardigan. Lace weight yarn sounds just about right - I considered winding up some worsted and had a brief existential crisis upon realizing that the notion didn't get me obsessively excited. I think maybe I should stay away from thicker yarns for just a bit. I think these fingers want to play with some skinny yarns for a while. Maybe another shawlette is in my immediate future.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

K'done: Damson x Sewanee Shawlette

Does this make me a shawlette breeder?

Pattern: a combination of Sewanee, by Beth Bradford, and Damson, by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: The Unique Sheep Tinsel Toes, in Crush
Needles: 3.5 mm / US 4

As you can see from the above photo, which is the only one I have, it smoothed out nicely with a blocking. I did try to get a couple of modelled shots, but my photo mojo is on the fritz today, and the two attempts were both consigned to the digital abyss, meaning I deleted them. Maybe I'll try again another day.

As you can also see from the above photo, I did some hybridizing with this one, because I rather liked the lace on the Sewanee, but I had some doubts about a straight-up triangular shape - because, you see, I really like the Damson shape. So I stared at the Sewanee pattern for a bit, and figured I could change up the shaping and keep the lace.

It took a bit of finagling. First off, I changed up the cast on to start with a garter tab, since you have a garter border throughout the shawl save the final edging. In order to make the stitch counts work, I also worked eight twelve rows on the garter tab, which meant that I would then be picking up four six stitches along the side edge, giving me a total of ten twelve stitches once I'd done all the pick up and knitting. (Edited because I originally wrote this from memory, and the numbers I came up with don't match my notes in Ravelry. I'm guessing that those are accurate.) I then placed two increase points instead of one, and used paired yarnovers to do the increases. I then chugged away in garter stitch, increasing as per Damson, and once I hit 212 stitches, I switched over to the lace.

The resulting shawlette is likely shallower than the sample - I haven't measured it, but it's a size to my liking, and that's all that I really care about at the moment. The final lace edging was really fun to work, and since I don't block severely - no pins - it settled into a scalloped edge, rather than points.

I like it, but honestly? Every now and then, I look at it, and I see a row of eyes staring back at me unseeingly. A bit unsettling, perhaps.

Now. A sweater is also done, but waiting for a block, and, well, I'm behind in posting about another sweater that's been done for months now. Okay, fine, two months. I still stand by that plural. I will need better photo mojo for the sweaters though. I mean, I'm happy with this shawlette and all, but I feel no strong attachment to it. The sweaters deserve good photos.

Of course, that's what I said about my Twinings sweater, and look how it got treated.

I suppose time will tell here.