Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mod Squad

Edited to add: Pic after Best Friend Cardigan is drying and shaping up a bit. Still waiting on my buttons...

Arm seams are a bit funky... A pic with the first two buttons on the Best Friend Cardigan. And a pic of it as I am beginning to shape it and do the blocking. In the blocking process, I am able to even out the cables a bit.
Cleaning out our storage unit, I discovered my childhood craft creation of a paper mache pig....I see that at one point I did love lilac. Indeed I did love this pig. Lilac isn't so very bad after all. The cat seems to really like this color. She has never tried to play with my yarn until now, believe it or not. She wanted to lay on my bag of it.

Ok, here's the preview after many "mods." I am part of the "Mod Squad". I torture myself with "mods." I did the called for neckline, it was floppy. So I ripped it out and put in a K2 P2 neckline with fewer picked up stitches.

Due to my smaller gauge and guesswork on the sleeves, I had too many stitches at the shoulder and will need to rip this out and reduce the amout of stitches for the sleeve cap.

Here's the "changed" neckline in the K2 P2 ribbing.

And again a "mod": I knit the called for K2 P2 on the hem, but it pulled in weirdly with my gauge yarn, so I took out and knit on a garter stitch band on instead. Definitely needs some TLC and some blocking help.

Lots of mods for the "Mod Squad". Why must I torture myself when I could've done the pattern on bulkier weight to start with? Just to use the stash and take on the challenge I guess. Either I am nuts, or I am a fearless knitter!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friends Can Be Fickle

So I started the Best Friend Cardigan out of Wenlan Chia's book. It is a free pattern on Ravelry. I just got the book from the library for fun...and then I went off with another project for awhile. And now I'm back again. Just like a fickle friend I guess. Now it isn't so hot outside, so it's back to knitting with wool. I am not really sure about this project yet, ....not sure about the color. The color lilac is so...lilac. But the pattern is sort of funky and fun. So it deserves a fun color. I am considering this my "test knit". I have gotten some other chunky yarn to use to make another one if I like how this turns out. So I figure this is my practice run. I have heavily modified this pattern to fit my yarn gauge and my needle size was dropped down from pattern recommended size. So now it doesn't resemble the original pattern a whole lot. As in, the original only has maybe 4 cable repeats up the front and is on way chunkier yarn and huge needles, but this is good practice! Upside down -not sure why?-photo (above) of one side or front of the sweater. Lower photo shows how this pattern was written. It is knit from the bottom up and side to side, then you leave the sides on holders, knit the back upwards, and then put the neck on a holder. Then you go back to put the front pieces on the needles and knit upward, keeping the pattern going, as well as buttonholes. I did mine so I'll end up with six buttonholes up the front. I have many more cable pattern repeats than the pattern, again, due to my yarn, gauge and needle size.

See how it looks all opened up? (above) Now I will fold it in so you can see what it might look like for real. (below)

I am now knitting up the other front side, then I will bind off at the neck. Then I think it will be time to do the sleeves. Some other people who have knit this pattern have done the sleeves in the round. They are written in the pattern to have a cap and be knit in with seams. I'll see what I feel like doing when I get to it. This is an experiment for me in gauge and stitch count and fudging.

After the sleeves will be time to finish off the neck and do some buttons and blocking. I could buy buttons or make them by doing a crochet-covered button, depending on what I want to do at the time. Hm...not sure if I can commit to this Best Friend yet. My daughter said, "It's very PURPLE." Thank you, honey. I know. It is. Maybe purple is the season's "new black". I have nothing against purple. I look good in purple. Many friends of mine love purple. (Julie or perhaps Christine?) It's just not my all-time favorite, not my very bestest friend color. Not yet, not this week. Maybe next week.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ocean Knitting

Edited to add pics: Another ribbed bolero is born at the ocean. Ribbed Lace Bolero, by Kelly Maher. It's a great, free pattern on Ravelry. Knit on size 8 and 10 needles with Cotton Ease, 2 skeins in "stone".

Since I was taking these by myself with a timer, I see I had it on a bit crooked, but you get the idea.
When you see all this sandy beauty and the colors of nature....
it just makes you want to knit something with the name "stone" or "sand" in it.

Knitting on the beach is the ultimate!
It was a lovely getaway in the RV with my folks staying nearby at a Bed 'n Breakfast at Pacific Beach, WA.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Best Friend Cardigan

I am going to make this Best Friend Cardigan for fun! I liked the funky, chunky look of it.
It's by Wenlan Chia from her book: Twinkle's Big City Knits. I was trying to import the photo of the actual sweater up there, but it is a link to Ravelry instead. (Tiny picture of it below)
The pattern calls for size 19 needles and a super chunky yarn made by Classic Elite, which I cannot find. Also some reviewers' comments made me want to substitute a different yarn. I am using Louet -Riverstone bulky/chunky weight in lilac with size 15 circs, and am trying for a size 38/40. So I have had to calculate my gauge and adjust accordingly. My yarn is not as chunky, and the pattern is written for very small sizes.

The pattern calls for bobbles, which I am omitting. All the while laughing at other's comments about how they thought the bobbles were similar to bovine body parts! It is started from the bottom up, has a cable pattern repeat running up the front, which I will be repeating more times due to my gauge. There are buttonholes every 8th row. It has reverse stockinette showing on the right side. Many Ravelry users have commented on the pattern so I am getting some tips there. The sleeves are meant to be knit separately and flat, then attached with a sleeve cap, however many have done them in the round and seamlessly. Why lilac? No particular reason, other than I got it on sale, and it was bulky. And I thought I would have enough yardage to give it a whirl. We shall see if it is indeed my Best Friend when I am through!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ribbed Bolero!

Ribbed Lace Bolero by Kelly Maher. A free pattern on Ravelry. Used two skeins of Cotton Ease in taupe. Size needles: 8 and 10.
It is done! Not blocked, but done! A few glitches -a boo boo in the lace, I am hoping to be able to tweak on it and then block. And shown hanging on a hanger. Not quite the same as on a real body...

I learned a new technique. The Elizabeth Zimmerman sewn bind off. This is to mirror the cast on edge and to provide a stretchy bind off. I watched a good U-Tube tutorial to get the hang of it. Here is my version. After last row of ribbing, leave 4 x the width of your piece in a tail of yarn and then thread it through a tapestry needle. Insert into the front of first two stitches purlwise and pull your yarn through.

Then insert needle knitwise into first stitch and pull through to the back.

Then slip that first stitch off the left needle.

Voila! You have cast off one. Now continue to do this all the way to the end.

Once you have gotten to the end, you are left with one loop. Just thread through it and weave in the end into your side seam. Your finished piece before seaming:

Mattress stitch the top and bottom ribbed edges together on the side edge for 3 1/4" to make your armholes.

After seaming it looks sort of like this:

Weave in your ends and try on. You can decide which ribbed edge you like the best for your collar. You can wear it either way. Instructions say you may sew down your collar to keep in place. It is cute! I wore it up to Lake Samish and it was nice for the cool evening air.