Thursday, April 24, 2008

Developments

First, I've decided that setting in sleeves once a month is enough - The Koigu cardi, which will henceforth to be referred to as The Big Swatch, is going to be a drop shoulder affair with gussets like a gansey, but open in front. I'll use the Fleurette pattern all over but may intersperse some seed stitch to give the eye a rest. My hope is that it will drape nicely and look elegant. I think the challenge will be to knit it the right size. I'm worried that the lace will stretch out and I don't want it to end up looking like a dressing gown.

Secondly, I've given in and cast on for another project - the Hemlock Ring Blanket. I saw it blocking, here, looking like a big chocolate cookie. That did it. Time to cast on. I've had this pattern in my queue for a while. Doesn't it look like a relaxing knit with all that feather and fan? Plus, since I cannibalized my own grey lap robe to finish the Grey Amusement, my office chair has been naked. I know, this isn't very summery, but cold weather will be back before we know it. Forgive me for mentioning this.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Seven skeins and seven swatches: no. 3

Here is English Mesh Lace. Pretty colours. Nice stitch for a shawl methinks.

Done on 3.5 mm needles over 25 stitches. Barbara Walker, First Treasury, page 193.

English Mesh

And her sillouette...

English Mesh

Saturday, April 19, 2008

FO: North Sea Jacket

As explained in an earlier post, this cotton jacket consists of two basic stitches, Abbey's Herringbone Lace and Walker's Seaweed, thus leading to the name. Under dull or artificial lights, the colour is a dark, black green, but in bright sunlight, it acquires a blue green hue. The textured stitches add interest but more importantly give the garment, which is knit in a cotton DK yarn, added structure. I knit it without a pattern.

The next time I make this jacket, I will knit the fronts and back as separate pieces and make sure to adjust the Seaweed pattern so that the fronts mirror each other rather than having the Seaweed stitches facing all in one direction. Also, I might lower the profile of the neckline. Otherwise, I am very satisfied with this project. I will try to get a decent pic taken on a person, but for now, here it is on a hanger:

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And here's the shore of the North Sea itself, taken from the Northumberland coast.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Down the garden path, in which I finally read the ball band and get lost in VK

Had a look at the ball band for the Koigu KPPPM and realized that I was using a needle size bigger than recommended so no wonder it seemed too loose. In any case, as Marjorie wisely points out, what's important is how it looks. I've reswatched Fleurette in 3mm (3 US?, or 4?, I'm not sure) and I like it much better.

In the news - I finished the North Sea Jacket and wore it to work on Monday. It fits very nicely and is comfortable. I need to to reinforce the buttonholes a bit. Photos soon.

Monday night was the annual yarn auction at our Guild at which time all sorts of discontinued yarns are brought out of people's attics an closets and put up on the block. I successfully bid on 6 skeins of a mohair called Sabre ("Made in Israel") in shades red and green (they actually work well together, believe me) as well as 6 skeins of Pingouin Corrida 3 (60% cotton/60% acrylic) in Cerulean blue ("Made in Belgium"). Remember Meryl Streep in the Devil Wears Prada? Ceruuulean! The local newspaper was there taking photos for the Saturday edition. That should be interesting.

Also in the news - rumour has it that Knit-n-Purl is actually going to close and NOT reopen like we all hoped! Time will tell.

Feeling virtuous, I immediately started swatching my purchases. I swatched my way through the Barbaras (Abbey and Walker) and onto VK Spring/Summer 2008. And I quote from page 89, - "Placid in Periwinkle." !!!!

Do they think that nobody is reading? Are they testing us? I mean, Placid? In Periwinkle? Poor Gayle Bunn! She's the designer of "Placid" - perhaps someone is trying to get at her. In the pattern section, it's simply called "Medallion Top." I actually swatched the lace section, even though I could hear my sisters saying, "Helen, what are you thinking - you're too big for that pattern!" What eventually stopped me, however was the weird cable in row 7 - you have to put 1 stitch on a cable needle in front and 6 on another cable needle behind. Simultaneously. Seems like that could be accomplished more simply. Maybe. Well, I like the way the sweater looks on the model even though the writers must have been absolutely staring mad when they wrote that section - "Cobalt from the Blue," "The Lapis Luxury..."

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Seven skeins and seven swatches: no. 2

This is Fleurette. Isn't she lovely?

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And here's a profile...

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This pattern is detailed on page 221 of Barbara Walker's First Treasury. This swatch has 29 stitches and I forgot how many rows and measures exactly 5 inches by 5 inches (about 13x13 cm). It was done on 3.5 mm needles.

This is my favorite so far for a cardigan. It lies flat and I think I will get more for my yardage than if I used a bumpier pattern.

This morning Rhiannon and I were talking about how we have to go down several needle sizes when we knit a pattern due to our loose gauge. I think I'll try going down a needle size with this yarn. Just to see.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Seven skeins and seven swatches: no. 1

In conversation with Ms M the other day, I raised the issue of ufo's. I reported something that I've noticed about myself. I like to get right near the end of a project and then leave it aside and do something else for a while. Later, I'll come back and finish it up. I earned myself a funny look with that. For a long time I thought this had to do with savouring a project, not wanting it to end, or liking variety or some such nonsense. Of course, it's actually nervousness about the thing not working out. Sweaters not fitting, for example. So there. Nothing more to say about that.

My current distraction is swatching the seven skeins of Koigu that I purchased the other week. Here's the first...

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Madeira Mesh from Barbara Walker's First Treasury, page 151.

25 stitches, no. of rows uncertain. 4.25x4,25" (11x11 cm)
3.25 mm needles

Don't you think it would be beautiful for a scarf or shawl? Not for a cardigan though, which is what I have in mind, although perhaps in a tighter gauge it might work. It consists of two rows, each of which you repeat 6 times. A drawback is that you have a p3tog every 6 stitches in every row. That's asking for trouble if you want my opinion. You have to watch carefully to make sure you're really purling through all 3 stitches and if you don't, well - big holes appear later on. Not that easy to recover from.

And here it is hanging...

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Maybe tomorrow

I meant to finish the sleeve caps on the North Sea Jacket this evening, but the ball faucet in the bathroom sink was leaking. Turned off the water, took it apart and replaced two springs and two little washers. By my calculation, I saved $80 on not having the plumber come. Promptly spent $10 of it on Dahlia roots. Spring is here!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

First Friday: a monthly citywide gallery night in rochester ny

It was all about the car. Where is the car? No, let's take the bus. Where is the bus? We should never have left the car! I feel naked without the car (not me!). When will the bus come? The fog and the lights were very beautiful though...

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Fickle

After rough blocking the body of the North Sea Jacket and sewing the shoulders together, I am once enthusiastic about this garment. It is possible that it will turn out to be smaller size than anticipated. The writer sighs deeply. The sleeves are coming along slowly. No photos of it today, however.

In fact, this photo business is generally slowing me down. I am waiting for the scannable camera that will automatically transfer the photos into my computer. That plus more free space on Flickr. I have reached my 200 photo limit and am too stingy to purchase storage space. I could pay the 3 bucks on Ravelry for slurping privileges, but then I'd either have to put my credit card info online or get a Paypal account. You can see what I'm like.

Heavens. I would rather investigate Picasa and other free sites. I have been combing through my Flickr photos and deleting some. Anyone got any ideas? Other than, like get a life?

On a totally different topic, before I started the North Sea Jacket, I knit a little curtain out of the Soho Summer for the light booth at the dermatologist's office. What is this light booth?

The light booth is a tiny closet-like affair papered all around with a reflective covering. It has special floor to ceiling tubular light bulbs in the corners. Light therapy is used to treat patients with conditions like psoriasis. You put on protective eye wear and stand in the booth for a short period of time several times a week. You can knit or read or just think about things while you're in the booth. The purpose of the window, I suppose, is to allow you to wave at the nurse or maybe just to help people who might feel claustrophic.

Here's a picture of the curtain. You can see that I knit the Little Pyramid stitch (Walker, Second Treasury, page 8-9) into it. Just the thing for cotton. Another nice aspect of this stitch is that imparts a kind of vertical undulation to the fabric. Makes it wavy. Very suitable for a curtain.

You can just see the two choices of dark glasses hanging on the white rod at the bottom of the photo:

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Koigu possibilities

Marjorie asked in the comments what am I going to do with the Koigu? The photo of the swatch I posted on Friday (in a pitiful attempt to inject colour into the blog) is "something" from Walker's Second Treasury. Can't remember what just now. I picked three small open work stitches from the Treasury to swatch. I thought I'd do a fairly simple short cardigan with an all-over textured pattern. I think I'll swatch a bit more. I'd like a stitch that lies flatter than the one in the photo. This yarn i so beautiful.

I'm looking forward to being done with the cotton jacket. I've started the sleeves, two at a time to keep them even looking. Attending work every day is holding me back on my knitting gosh darn it!

The weather roils on outside, now wind and rain finally to bring the gardens back to life.