Monday, June 22, 2015
But I brought a long a quick grab and go project that didn't require a lot of attention - the Figure 8 Headscarf from the latest Interweave Knits - to work on the few times I got to sit down and relax.
As luck would have it a friend of mine had gifted me with a random ball of yarn in pinks and purples with no identifying band. It felt like an acrylic blend, definitely not a cotton or wool, and looked to be about the right weight, so I decided to cast it on. I didn't gauge swatch for a headband but it doesn't really matter for this type of pattern, IMO.
Decided to shorten the number of repeats before and after the twist to fourteen instead of seventeen. I didn't care for how long it was in the magazine's picture. The pattern is incredibly easy to memorize, after one or two times of repeating the eight rows all I had to do was remember what row I was on and the stitch pattern came to me. And I finished it in one weekend!
Thanks for the aforementioned horrible time camping I was exhausted today for work so I just threw my hair up in a bun and tied the scarf around my head to cover my greasy hair. Et voila!
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
I haven't had a lot of luck finding people to test knit my patterns for me. It's frustrating because I'd like to be able to share my designs more widely but don't want to publish patterns that haven't been proofed. My most recent piece is a simple pullover sweater knit in a bulky yarn. The design is knit in the round from an i-cord cast on, then you divide for front and back. My inspiration will come in the next post, for now, anyone want to test knit? :)
Here's a picture of the finished piece, modeled by my adorable son;
I'm doing something new and have posted it on ravelry to a test knitters group, too, but no one is responding. Maybe people don't like the design? No clue *shrug*
It'd be nice to get some feedback, though- D
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
A year or two ago a LYS, Needleworks Unlimited, offered a groupon. Needless to say, I snatched it up even though the store is a good drive across town. I went one afternoon with a friend who enables me in my yarn habit and picked up this gorgeous yarn - Sublime Lustrous Extrafine Merino - soft with a metallic sheen - but had no idea what to make with it. I wanted a pattern that would show off the yarn's sheen, but due to the yarn's weight a lot of the patterns that were appropriate were too lacy/open to do that effectively. So it sat in my stash for over a year. Until I found the Driftwood Tee in Interweave Knit's Summer 2014 issue.
The open work panels at the side provided interest, but the larger section of straight stitch would show off the yarn. So I cast it on. First, the gauge is really tight! It grew tedious to knit that tight after a while. Since I got gauge on size 4's I didn't go down a size for the hem the way the pattern suggested.
Second, it's knit front and back, then you cast on using M1's and then the cable method to increase for the sleeves. After having knit it I wonder why it wasn't knit in the round, then divided to knit the front and back. It would have saved finishing time, and aligning the open-work panels when seaming was a real pain. After you complete the side panels it's an awful lot of straight stitch, there are no increases or shaping through the waist or bust.
Because of this, I was afraid the tee would end up too boxy to be flattering. Laid flat, it doesn't look like much.
But once I'd blocked and tried it on the drape of the yarn really came out. It hugs my curves nicely but isn't too revealing. Of course it has to be worn over a camisole, but I knew that going into it.
I've already worn it twice, it's very comfortable and the perfect lighterweight spring piece. I think I'm going to get a lot of use out of it. Here's a close-up of the side section.
And the neck, where you pick up and knit, then purl, then knit three rows.
I'm pleased with how it turned out and I think the pattern accomplished my goal of showing off the yarn.- D
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
I found the pattern easy to follow until I got to the short row shaping along the yoke. I've done short rows many times before but for some reason the instructions really threw me. I actually had to email the designer with questions - a first. She was very helpful and nice, and responded right away with additional instructions and a tutorial. I think a simple re-write of the short row section would help immensely.
As written, it says;
Work the back and shoulders longer to lower front neckline: work 8(8,10,10)10,12,12 short rows over the shoulder and back sts between front markers as follows: k to left front marker, turn, yo, p to right front marker, turn, yo, *k to 3 sts (2 sts and 1 yo) before gap, turn, yo, p to 3 sts before gap, turn, yo* 3(3,4,4)4,5,5 times.
So I knit ten of the first rows, then started the rows between asterixes. That didn't work, needless to say. Ripped it out, really thought about it, and realized I needed to knit two rows, then six of the rows between the asterix, to make a total of ten rows. Voila! Problem solved.
So I think simply re-writing the instructions to say;
Work the back and shoulders longer to lower front neckline: k to left front marker, turn, yo, p to right front marker, turn yo *k to 3 std (2 sts and 1 yo) before gap, turn, yo, p to 3 std before gap, turn, yo* 3 (3, etc) times for a total of 8 (8, 8, 10, etc) short rows.
Would have been much clearer. Hopefully my re-write spares someone else the pain of ripping out ten rows.
Once I had the short rows done, it was time to work on the flowers in the magenta. The pattern is beautiful, in my opinion, but there were some really long floats where I struggled to keep the yarn tension even, particularly across the center section. I think adding another cross shape at the bottom of the flowers, like at the top, would have helped with that.
I'd wanted extra room in the cardigan, so I knitted a medium even though my bust size fit a small. But when I tried it on before steeking it was tight enough to be worrisome.
So I decided to try steeking, then blocking it. It turned out to be a disaster. The neckline ended up too stretched out, the cardigan is still too small, and two attempts to re-block and fix it have failed. At the moment, I'm very discouraged. I'll keep you guys posted if I manage to fix it. Until then, this trying something new was an abject failure.
Friday, March 13, 2015
The first issue I bought of Interweave Knits was Spring 2009. I poured over the pages and analyzed each project, fascinated by the potential of what I could create. I finally decided to challenge myself with the Sprout Tee. I’ve always loved cables, but they also intimidated me. I’d only done one project with cables prior to the tee. I picked a tweed Patons yarn, which I ended up really liking. The stitch definition was lovely and my cables stood out in sharp relief.
However…I didn’t know how to finish it. I watched videos of mattress stitch online, and did my best, but the seams came out lumpy and exposed. The sleeves weren’t set in right, and had weird bumps from where I’d tried to gather up the excess knitting. Frustrated after my third attempt to get it right, I tossed the sweater in my UFO pile and hadn’t touched it since.
Until last weekend, when I decided it was time. I picked out the side seams and the sleeves seams and set to work. All told, it took me over two hours to fix the sweater. I wore it on Tuesday and received several compliments!
I still struggled with the sleeves – they’re supposed to be a little ‘poofy’ like a puff sleeve, but I think that it doesn’t quite work with this pattern and yarn. While I like the idea of the cables on the sleeves, it made sewing them into the armholes very difficult.
I'm glad that I took the time to fix the project, and I think it'll be a nice lightweight spring sweater. It was nice to take something off the UFO pile, I think I'm going to continue to tackle it over the next month and see what progress I can make. Happy knitting!- D