Wasn’t that Just a Week Ago?

I have been working on my microfiber ribbon top a lot. I just bound off the edge today at lunch and I would have seamed the shoulders if I had more time. As it was I only had five minutes and I didn’t want to be rushed while doing this. I am super excited about getting this top done and off the needles.

Microfibre Ribbon Tank-3597

The way that it is designed, you end up with a lot more stitches than you cast on. Near the end I almost had 400 stitches on the needles, which is a problem when you’re used to saying, ‘just one more row.’ It was great autopilot knitting though, a few stitch markers helped me remember the increases and the other side was plain purling. Since this shirt was oddly shaped, while on the needles, I couldn’t try it on at all. My gauge was sketchy at best when I started this shirt. I did my swatch and all the math to figure out the gauge, but this pattern wasn’t written for microfiber ribbon yarn so it was incredibly difficult to know exactly how the pattern was going to turn out.

 

Microfibre Ribbon Tank-3599

I adjusted the neckline to be a bit deeper and did everything in stockinette stitch instead of adding garder accents. I think this yarn was best suited to stockinette stitch, the wrong side of the stitch looks great as well, but I prefer the smoothness of the stockinette.

Microfibre Ribbon Tank-3595

I thought I was going to get away with only using one ball of yarn but those long rows are really deceptive. I ended up using almost the entire second ball of yarn before it was time to bind off. I am not going to lie to you; I was super excited to bind this off. With close to 400 stitches, it took a while and I felt really relieved to be done. It’s a long time to walk the fine line between binding off fast and keeping the perfect tension.

Microfibre Ribbon Tank-3591

I am excessively sorry that I can’t post a finished object photo today, but rest assured, I am probably going to finish this tonight and post about it next week. Blocking and everything! Too excited to finish and wear!

Sweaters, Socks and Setbacks

Miracle of miracles Wednesday has come again! This week is going entirely, really, very not well; so I am glad we’re over the halfway point. On a positive note, this week is my blogging week for KNITmuch. I’ve done five articles for them about Red Heart’s new yarn Scrubby. It’s made special for dish cloths and is ah-mazing, head on over to check out those posts.

05 27 2015 Sweaters Socks and Setbacks-2019

This week I managed to finally finish Paul’s Socks of a Different Colour! Yaaaaay! It’s nice to have them off my pate and get into something new. Of course by something new, I mean continue working on my Grandmother’s Sweater! I am on the last sleeve. I am actually scared to start working on the body again, but, maybe I’ve built it up in my mind as really tedious and hard work? Right? Right?
I think having all the sleeves done will help to motivate me into getting the second back and both fonts done. There are four pieces to each sweater, total of eight for both, if four sleeves are done and one back that means I’m more than half way? Right?!

05 27 2015 Sweaters Socks and Setbacks-2028

I’ve written before about how I keep a pair of socks in the car to knit on, and I had an interesting surprise when I went to knit them yesterday. One of my dpn’s was broken in half! I had thought one of them felt a little bendy as I was knitting with them, but that could have been a figment of my imagination. I probably kicked it or dropped something on it at some point.

05 27 2015 Sweaters Socks and Setbacks-2027

I usually align all my needles parallel to each other to prevent things like this from happening, but I guess something got jostled in the bag. Luckily I usually only use four needles but they come in packs of five or six. There are a couple spares floating around.
Hopefully next week I’ll be able to show you some updated progress on my Grandmother’s sweater! I need to have this one off my mind! If you haven’t heard about it in a while, keep me honest and BUG ME ABOUT IT!!! This sweater is going down!

Snow in the Spring

Finally time to reveal my super-secret project that I have been working on for so long! It was a baby blanket for Liane. I normally don’t knit things for people, especially not for events, but I saw this blanket and couldn’t resist. It was so beautiful I had to grab the pattern and cast on. It is really hard to work on something so intricate without the recipient seeing it. I had to be quite judicious with my knitting time.

Blanket Snow

I bought the actual yarn itself while I was with Liane, we were looking at the Purple Purl for gender neutral yarn so she could make some booties. I looked at it and thought it would be really good for this particular blanket, because it was gender neutral, but on it’s own it was too dark. However paired with white for the snowflakes… it would be perfect.

Snowflake Closeup

I did try to find a white yarn that had a little bit of a sparkle to it, but nothing presented itself to me in a timely manner. The best thing I could find was a fine thread of sparkly yarn that was to be held double with your working yarn. It wasn’t too bad, but the sparkly thread could have been a bit softer; as it is for a baby I thought softness and super wash were very high priorities.

Steek Snowflake

If you’ve checked my Ravelry page for this project you will notice I started this in January. That is 100% correct. It wasn’t too bad to knit because I love colour work, but hooooooly cow, do not knit if you’re not on the ball. The chart is 80 rows and something like 150 stitches and it isn’t a memorable pattern. When I tried to print out the chart it came out as two pages and way too small to read. I had to open it on my computer and put two overlays on the chart. I just added a line above and below the row I was working on. After a while, I ended up moving the second overlay down a little bit so I could partially see the row I had already worked; this way I could tell when I was getting off pattern. I also zoomed way in so I could only see ten stitches at a time, then I would scroll to the left. It was nice and big and much less confusing than looking at the whole chart itself.

Blanket Snow Full

I really enjoyed this blanket, but the knitting gods preserve you if you lose your place or get off pattern. I was really lucky because I only knit the chart from my laptop and those overlays didn’t move unless I moved them. If it were a post it note situation, I don’t know what would have happened.
Now that I am done this blanket, I am going to work pretty hard core on my grandmother’s sweaters; I have one back and two sleeves done. That is 3/8 of the way there… someone remind me not to write out a fraction of how far along I am until I finish the next two sleeves. As I typed it I felt like, ‘what?!?! I’ve been working on them for so long!!! This can’t be right! I have to be further along than this!’ At which point I went to lay down with a cold cloth over my face.

Grandma's Sweater 02252015

I am going to get through this sweater! It might be the middle of summer by the time I finish it, but I will get it done!!! A few rows here and there add up to quite a bit!

My Name isn’t Alice

I have fallen down the rabbit-hole of knitting pretty hardcore the past week and a half. I haven’t been feeling all too well, so I’ve been taking it easy and doing a little more knitting than normal! I’ve gotten a lot done including my Valentine’s Day Socks!

Valentines Socks 02252015

I was planning to get them done by Valentine’s Day, not for the specific reason of wearing them, but simply to have an insane self imposed goal. I didn’t get them done before V-day, but it wasn’t too long after that they were complete. I really wasn’t too far from finished, I just needed some time to dedicate to them. I polished them off and immediately cast on another pair. I am knitting these ones from the colour way Lazer Lemon. I am part of a sock KAL where you can only knit from things from your stash and it has to be spring themed. I was originally going to knit a pair of socks from Cotton Candy, but I reorganized my stash this weekend and found this skein of Lazer Lemon. If there is something that says spring, it is a bright yellow ball of yarn; brighter than the sun!

Lemon Waffle Sock 02252015

I’ve also decided that I am going to knit the socks in a pattern too! I have knit so many pairs of the knit three, purl one, ribbed socks that I am kind of getting sick of them. I never thought that would happen, but crazier things have been known to happen! This pattern isn’t much harder, but it requires me to do a K2P2 pattern. I know this ribbing is where most people live, but I can never get the hang of it. I don’t know what the deal is, but I’ve never been able to get into a 2×2-ribbing pattern.
I managed to finish two sleeves for my grandmother’s sweater. I feel like I am trucking along on that as well! I should have made each piece of the sweater it’s own Ravelry project; that way I would feel la greater sense of accomplishment every time I finished a piece.

Grandma's Sweater 02252015

I am really trying to intersperse knitting these sweaters with other projects that I like. I am hoping this is going to motivate me to finish it. It’s one of those things that weighs on my mind and makes my anxious. I would really love to get these sweaters to my grandparents while it is still cold outside, but we will have to see how it goes. I really need to get this done and out of area 51.

Ultra Purple Square 02252015

I also added another square to my sock yarn blanket. I was doing some tests on sock yarn and instead of knitting a little swatch, I just made a square for this blanket. I have been thinking about how to organize the blanket and I think I would like to attempt to group the colours together and have them flow across the colour wheel. Have it go from yellow, green, blue, purple, red and orange. I know not all my sock yarns will fit perfectly into those categories, but they will be relatively close to one or two. I have decided to make all the squares first and lay them out to see how I would like them to come together after I’ve finished them all.

Holy Moly, there is Progress

I got so much done this week! It was a long weekend here so I caught up on a lot of things I had been letting fall behind; such as cleaning, meal prep…. Etc. I also got quite a bit of knitting done. I managed to finish a sleeve from my grandmother’s sweater, finished a hat and may or may not have started something new.

Seed Stitch Sleeve

First thing is first! I decided the body was going really slowly and I felt kind of discouraged about the sheer amount of work I had left to do, so I started on the sleeves. I am not going to lie to you. I changed them. The sleeves were also meant to be covered in cables, but most of that work is hidden under the arms and I think it makes the whole sweater look very very busy. I looked at just making a stockinet sleeve, but I thought that would be too plain. A row of seed stitch up the arm fits with the rest of the pattern and is very easy to do.

Seed Stitch Sleeve Two

When I started this sleeve, I was modifying the pattern as I went and I figured that the pattern would have needed me to do a double increase on seven rows. That is an increase of 14 stitches over 47cm of knitting. Kids play right? Actually, because the sweater is an older style, the sleeves are very baggy, so there was actually an increase of 44 stitches over 47cm. When I realized this, I was almost at 47 cm and there was no way to gracefully fit 30 extra stitches into 10cm. I had to rip it back and start again. The second time went much better though! I managed to not mess things up and got the sleeve done this weekend!

Purple Pleasures Hat 1

The hat I started and finished this weekend was from a kit I bought at Vogue Knitting Live Chicago 2013. I remember grabbing it very last and I’ve been saving it for some strange and unknowable reason. I meant to start it a while ago, but never managed to get it caked up in time. I finally started it Friday night and finished it by Saturday. It is the Simple Pleasures Hat pattern from Purl Soho, a free pattern on Ravelry and the handout that came with this kit. It’s a good thing the pattern is free on Ravelry because I completely lost the pattern that came with the hat itself. I had to look up the yarn on Ravelry and check the patterns that other people had done.

Purple Pleasures Hat 2

The main yarn is 100% Mongolian cashmere. I don’t use cashmere a whole lot so I am not totally sure if this is normal, but the ribbing on the hat is made with the cashmere held double and when I wear it the ribbing grows. It was okay in the beginning but now the hat is slipping down my forehead. It’s not totally unwearable or anything, but I wish I had gone down one more needle size when I was working on the ribbing.
The project I started is something that had been kicking around in my head for a while. I was reading the blog My Sister’s Knitter when Andi said she was working on a mitered square project from left over sock yarn. I had been thinking about doing a blanket with my leftover sock yarns, for a while, but never really got a pattern that suited me. The plain garder stitch ones made me think they would be like knitting a BILLION TINY SWATCHES FOREVER. Which really didn’t appeal to me… Anything that had more of a pattern seemed like something that would require brain power and that is something I am sorely short of these days.

Sock Blanket

When Andi linked to this pattern I had to check it out and it is perfect. Thanks enabler Andi!! I tried out one square of this already and it looks pretty awesome!!
I feel as though I had really productive weekend! I am going to go continue knitting all the things, because, apparently, I am just on a roll.

Technical Tuesday: Challenges

Today I am going to talk about something that is a little more of a softer science when it comes to knitting; design choices. I have RARELY made a garment to the exact specifications of the pattern. There is always something small we change, be it the length, putting in waist shaping or we could just use a pattern chart from that pattern and knit a whole other sweater. Regardless if these choices are big or small, they need to be made and it can be really hard to make them.

Sweater Bad 1

When I was first learning to knit, I didn’t have any kind of mentor. My mother and grandmother did not knit, none of my friends were into knitting, I was really quite alone. I had met a couple yarn store owners, but I generally felt that they were condescending and didn’t have time for anyone so new to knitting; almost like I was not worth the time. I continued to knit, but not buy yarn at those specific stores.
The point I am getting to is, I knit a lot of things; I also ripped a lot of things out because they were not going the way I wanted or didn’t look like I had imagined them. I made mistakes, I made A LOT of mistakes. Sometimes it was heart breaking or serendipity found me, but I learned SO MUCH from these mistakes. That is why I continue to write the Monday Mishaps segment. It’s easy to get stuck in your comfort zone and not try new things, so writing the Monday Mishaps keeps me honest.

Sweater Bad 2

By now, I have taught quite a few of my friends to knit and some of them take more risks than others, but they all learn from their mistakes. I usually tell them about some catastrophic failure of my own so they don’t feel too bad.
But now to give you something useful! If you are knitting a pattern and you really don’t know how it is going to turn out, use Ravelry! On the pattern page, there is a tab at the top that says ‘Projects’. This is where you can look at this particular pattern when knit by another person. If they used different yarn and really liked it… or not. There are a thousand different things you can do with pattern and on Ravelry someone might have tried it. You can see how things turned out and sometimes, if you get a very diligent Raveler, they may have taken notes about the changes they have made.

Projects

I use this a lot when I am looking to substitute a yarn and I am not sure how it is going to work out. If you find someone who has made a change, but it doesn’t say what they ended up doing. Personal message them, usually everyone is extremely friendly on Ravelry and they’re more flattered than anything when you admire their handy work.