elizabeth_mn: (Default)

Dry enough to take photos!


I think I bound off the bottom ribbing a little too tightly.  Oh well, I'm not going to go back and do it again.  I am nervous about how tightly I can tie the ties; I hope they do not wear out from being knotted in the same place all the time.

Overall, I like it very much!  I'm glad I can wear this right away instead of having to wait until I get my waist back.  And it was so cheap to make with the Knit Picks Cot-lin.  Now I want to make another one: same yarn, different color, with some kind of allover eyelet pattern instead of plain stockinette.  And maybe with a button instead of ties.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Yesterday I bound off sleeve #1 and picked up sleeve #2.  This morning I knit the sleeve, wove in all the ends, and blocked the sweater.

So, yay! it's done!  I ended up using only 3 full skeins and a smidge of the 4th of my yarn.  I ordered 5 based on the pattern's yardage, so I can't figure out why I have so much left over.  By the math, I ought to have less than half of one skien.  So, more leftovers to figure out a purpose for.

Anyway, I can't wait until it dries so I can wear it (and take photos)!
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I finished my red cotton sweater's bottom band and ties, then I picked up a sleeve. I made the sleeve a little longer than the pattern's short sleeve, just so I could have a little more coverage from the cold. I'm about to start the ribbing, then I'll pick up the second sleeve. Someone on Ravelry led me to a lovely article on avoiding the jog at a circular bind-off edge which I plan to use when I get to the sleeve end.

The weekend weather was so nice and cool! Very autumnal. I baked an apple pie and offhandedly remarked to my husband that the weather really made me want to knit him a sweater. His response? "Maybe we should go buy that wool today, then." Yay!!

We went out to the Yarnery and got 3 skiens of Cascade Ecological Wool in a beautiful undyed brownish-grey color (#8025). It's a plain, honest wool: not super soft, but not scratchy either; it feels very minimally processed; it smells (in the best possible way!) like sheep and grass and outdoors. I like it a lot. The skiens are HUGE; 478 yards (for only $15 - a bargain) so 3 is more than enough for a sweater for my man, at least according to the pattern. They were so huge, though, that we had massive tangles trying to wind them up into balls, and the balls are about the size of a cantaloupe.

It got so annoying that I made up my mind to buy a swift the next day. I found a really simple one for only $20 on Etsy. I found similar styles for about $50 and collapsable ones for $70 and up, either of which are way too much for me right now, so I don't mind that the one I got has a sort of DIY/hardware store look to it. I'm not going to bother about getting a ball winder because I don't mind winding by hand (as long as things don't get too tangly), and I really prefer the look of a hand-wound ball. Besides, I'm not into the whole center-pull thing. Halfway through the ball just collapses and then you have another mess. But hopefully the swift will keep things tidier while I wind.

The pattern is Knitting Pure and Simple's Neckdown Pullover For Men #991. The plan is for me to knit it until the raglan shaping is completed, then my HB wants to knit the plain stockinette body. He's made a few hats and things but doesn't feel up to taking on the whole sweater himself, and I dreaded the idea of knitting a plain boring tube forever. I'm hoping that we don't knit so differently that gauge differences will be a problem.

We're doing the rolled collar/cuffs/hem variation instead of the ribbing. I got gauge on sz. 10 needles (which is nice, because I already have 29" circs, 16" circs, and dpns in sz 10) and started yesterday. Just knitted about 3" from the neck so far. I think this will make a nice mindless, in-between project.

elizabeth_mn: (needlecraft)

I finished the front/neckline ribbing on this and wanted to try it on.

(The colors in these photos are a bit off - too bright in my sewing room.  And I will only spend so long fiddling with the balance of a project-in-progress photo.)

Back and Flat Views )

I'm so, so glad I added the extra length.  It fits perfectly now.  Just the way I wanted it.  The seeded ribbing was a fun change from plain ribbing and I like the way it looks.  I ended up doing only 6 rows of the ribbing, then I bound off on a wrong side row.

Next up: pick up bottom ribbing/ties, then short sleeves.


Aug. 22nd, 2009 02:57 pm
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

Made one and a half of these yesterday and finished the remianing half this morning. I really don't know yet how practical they will be, but they sure are cute!

I used Malabrigo merino leftover from a hat I made a couple years ago. The pattern is Saartje's Booties (from www.saartjeknits.nl) but I omitted the buttons and just sewed the straps down to the bootie.

I also worked on the ribbing on my red cotton sweater.  The pattern says to do 9 rows, but I think 7 looks like quite enough, so I'm going to do one more row and then bind off.  Then I'll pick up the bottom band/ties, and then the sleeves last.

elizabeth_mn: (telescope)

I've knitted to the bottom of my Yogini Bolero. I made it about 1" longer to accomodate my low bust. Then I picked up and started the front band. Phew! Picking up stitches on a finished edge is so, so tedious. When I do it, I need to get my Serious Face on and do math over and over and stick pins everywhere to make sure I'm doing it right.

I like the seeded rib pattern so far. It's not quite at the point where it looks like something yet, but I'm enjoying it.  And the cotton/linen yarn feels really nice knitted up.

Bought a bunch of fall knitting magazines the other day, and I've spent about a hour today adding a bajillion new sweaters and things to my Ravelry queue. I also took some old stuff off my queue. I had to face reality and be practical and honest about what I'll actually knit and wear (yes, another one of those 'face reality' moments).

- After working on the bolero, I am a bit tired of stockinette. I need my next project(s) to have some kind of stitch pattern, if only a little.

- My sweaters need to be fitted. I spend enough time feeling frumpy. After baby is out, hopefully I will get my waist back, and since I will probably have the current bust for a while, there's a large ratio to account for. Yes, I can add waist shaping to most patterns but I'd kind of prefer not to have to.

- I cannot wear high necklines. I just can't. They choke me. If it's not a cardigan, it needs to have a V or a scoop. This one is the hardest to accept because there are just so many cute sweaters with too-high necklines.

So, now I've got a few sweaters with cables or lace in mind.  Not sure which one will be next.  I also found a pattern for a horizontally-knit ribbed hoodie for the man, which he actually approved of (!!!) so that might be coming up soon.  But after I finish the bolero, and before I start another big project, I will probably knit a couple more toys and small things.


Jul. 16th, 2009 10:10 am
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I just went through a ridiculous ordeal with the stupid sweater.  I was working on it last night, and I noticed that one of the front raglan increase lines was crooked.  I counted stitches and found I had too many on one front.

I remembered I dropped a marker and replaced it a few rows ago, and realized I must have put it back in the wrong place, which shifted my increase line a stitch or two over and threw off my stitch count.  I put the thing down and decided to fix it later.

Later being this morning.

I feel stupid admitting this now, but I thought the best (read: easiest) way to fix it would be to drop the few stitches along the increase line, let them run a few rows, and pick them back up in the right places with a crochet hook.  Ha!  After about half an hour of trying to pick the stitches back up properly, I gave up.  I just could not pick up the kfb to make it look normal.

So then I inserted my needle in each stitch about 4 rows down, along the whole piece, and ripped back.  Of course, I suck at this; every time I try to rip back by inserting the needle first, no matter how careful I am, I still always waver between rows.  So it didn't rip back evenly.  Somehow my needle was 4 rows down on one side and 6 rows down on another side, and in between it was all over the place.

So I just pulled the needle out and ripped (and ripped and ripped) until it was even.  Then I put all the stitches back on the needles.  (This is the scary way.)  I only got two runners, and only one mysterious wtf-moment: the edge stitch on one side was huge and loose and I could not figure out why.  I counted all the stitches to figure out where I was, replaced all the markers, and worked a couple rows to make sure everything was going right.  I lost about 8 rows.

I suppose I could have avoided having to rip back if I had just ignored the slight jog in the raglan line, but I know that would have really bugged me.  And I also could have avoided most of the trouble if I had just ripped back the scary way the first thing instead of trying to avoid it.  Reminder to self: it's easier to do it the right way the first time!

Also, I hate circular needles.  I hate them.  Mostly because I drop stitches off the ends a lot.  I guess I must like keeping my stitches close to the tips, and when I need to scoot them down, I just brace the end of my (straight) needle against my body or the table to assist in the scooting.  But with circs, there's nothing to brace.  Just a length of floppy cable.  So I try to scoot the stitches down it, but the cable just bends, and then they fall off the end.  But I wouldn't want to do a whole seamless sweater on straights, I guess. 

Aaaaanyway. . . the sweater is back on track now and I only lost a few hours.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)

Okay, I know I've been dismissive about cotton sweaters in the past, but I'm getting excited about this project!

I got the yarn on saturday and had a gauge swatch on the needles within about 2 minutes of ripping open the package.  Too tight; bought new sz 7 needles that afternoon; got gauge on the 7s; started the sweater today.

I've been nervous about the cotton/linen yarn being difficult to work with, and while it's certainly not merino, it's not so bad.  Mostly I have to remind myself to keep my stitches loose.  Especially on purl rows.  I'm using bamboo needles (because I like them) and while metal ones would probably be less grabby on the cotton, I can't stand the feel of them, so I'm content to go slow and keep repeating 'loose, loose, loose,' to myself.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I've been waiting for it to hit me, and it has. Finished my sweater, and I MUST start another sweater NOW!

I waffled for a while between a few patterns, evauluating their relative cheapness to knit and sizing versatility (e.g.will it fit me after I deliver?). I've had Cherie Amour in my queue forever, and the wide V neckline would be forgiving to bust size changes, but in the end, I decided it just requires too much yarn for right now.

So I ordered the Yogini Bolero pattern. There were a couple free patterns that were similar, but I just like this one better. It's worth the $6, I think. The hemp and flax yarns it's done in looked absolutely delicious, but also way out of my impulse-buying price range.

I checked out various yarns that people had done it in on Ravelry and I just couldn't look away from the super-cheap Knit Picks. So I got 5 skeins of Knit Picks Cot Lin in Morrocan Red. I had a really hard time deciding on the color; I am always more drawn toward green and blue, but how many green and blue sweaters do I need?  I have a warm-color wardrobe gap.  A lot of people commented on fuzz-shedding issues, but lots of others didn't have a problem, and it was cheap enough that I won't really feel like I've lost much if it ends up sucking. 

I also feel a little uneasy about buying cotton yarn.  The only cotton I've ever knit with is Sugar & Cream, and, well, ick.  I think it will be nice to wear, I just hope it doesn't hurt my hands.

Total cost of project (so far): about $23. Not so bad.  Now I just need to be productive with sewing for the next week so when the yarn arrives, I can feel okay just diving right into it.

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