26 October 2006

Progress thwarted...

I had made some good progress on the ribbed section for the back of Colchique. Then realized that I knit where I was supposed to purl and purled where I was supposed to knit. In other words, despite having translated the pattern correctly, I still read the chart wrong while doing the actual knitting. The piece has been frogged, the yarn re-wound, and the project put away for a later date.

In the sidebar you'll see that while Colchique is back to 0%, a new project has moved up to the top of the list: Brilliant Retro by Teva Durham from the Winter 2005 Interweave. I found a bunch of Patons Brilliant on clearance at the LYS recently and thought, what the heck? I do need another cardigan. There were two colors left, "Crystal Cream" and "Radiant Red." I really liked the red but opted for the cream instead because it is more wearable on an everyday basis.

I also got a bit of sock knitting done on a recent trip to the Bay Area. I'm trying get around to finishing them at home but it's been a little difficult. Sock knitting is usually travel/commute/transport knitting for me, but I won't be getting any of that for a while. Besides, the shininess of the Brilliant is hard to say "no" to.

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17 October 2006

FO: Deep V Argyle Vest...

Pattern: Deep V Argyle Vest by Eunny Jang
Yarn: KnitPicks Merino Style in Moss (3.5 balls) and Nutmeg (2.5 balls)
Needles: US4/3.5mm (24"/60cm) Addi Turbos and US4/3.5mm (32"/80cm) Clover Bamboo circs
Time: ~2.5 weeks
Mods: Adjusted for row gauge difference; wider waist.


This seemed to fly by fairly quickly. The Argyle pattern is easy to remember, and the pattern was well-written and detailed. I matched the stitch gauge but my row gauge was about four rows off, so I had to go over the chart and make the proper adjustments.

I knitted the smallest size knowing that the fit up top was most important for this vest. However, my waist is not nearly as narrow as the given measurements. I figured I may as well adjust the waist shaping to my own measurements while I was doing the math for the different row gauge. I'm glad I did this because the fit around the waist is still snug (but in a good way) with an additional two inches. If I had gone ahead with the given measurement...Well, let's just say it wouldn't have been pretty.

I did make a couple teeny mistakes. They didn't really affect the garment and were easy to work around. I accidentally picked up two extra stitches on the first armband I knit. Since it was only two stitches and not even noticeable, I just fixed the rib pattern under the arm by purling four over the side seam. I also cast-on 11 stitches instead of 9 when setting the front neck steek. I didn't notice this until I was almost done knitting the whole thing. I ended up just securing the relevent stitches of the steek were it 9 stitches wide and cut out the entire middle section I didn't need. I probably would have just left it alone and not done anything "fixing" except the extra fabric I had to fold inside would have been too wide.

The fabric is really thick and would have taken forever to dry so I cheated. My parents have a rack you can put in the dryer plus an air fluff (no heat) setting. In fact, now that I think about it, I think the rack is called a sweater rack. Anyway, after soaking the vest I reshaped to the proper dimensions, lay it on the sweater rack, and let the dryer do the work. Normally if I have pieces or lace I pin them out. If I have an entire garment, I just take advantage of the fancy dryer. ;)


I just started on Colchique. I'm using some Rowan Felted Tweed from the stash that my mom got me. I'm a little concerned that the cables won't show up well in this yarn but it's not a big deal for me. I mostly just want to get the yarn out of my stash but I have no idea what else I'd make with it. I'd also been wanting to make Colchique for a while but it's never been enough of a priority for me to buy yarn for it.

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15 October 2006

How I spent Friday night...

1) Finished knitting the Argyle Vest.

2) Secured steeks.

3) Cut steeks.

4) Voila!

I found securing the steeks to be a little tedious since I have trouble working the hook. Plus I was impatient to get to the cutting. =P I don't own any small, sharp scissors but my sharpest pair, which are also my largest, worked just fine. Just have to be a bit more careful. Other than that, steeking is fairly painless.

Now on to the bands!


10 October 2006

FO: Button-up sleeves...

Pattern: My own; Based on a couple sweaters I've seen and a top from Phildar Tendances (Printemps 1, no. 443)
Yarn: Wendy Supreme Luxury Cotton DK in shade 1857 "Lilac"; ~3.5 balls (770yds/700m)
Needles: US4/3.5mm Clover bamboo circ and US3/3.25mm Susan Bates Silverado circ
Other: 8x23mm washable buttons
Time: < Four weeks of knitting.


Since the aforementioned Phildar top was the only pattern in that issue that I really wanted to knit, I decided to knit the top without a pattern rather than buy the magazine.

There isn't much more really I need to say about the construction in addition to my previous post. I knitted a folded hem with a purl row at the fold so it wouldn't look so rounded. I also used a bit of short row shaping for the front neck and shoulders. Originally I had buttonholes in the front band but that wasn't stable enough for this type of top. Since they aren't meant to be functional, anyway, I re-knit the band without the buttonholes, sewed in the buttons, and tacked the bottom band to the sleeve on the inside for extra stability.

The most difficult thing to work out on this top was the upper arm and raglan shaping. I'd originally wanted the top to have a slightly loose fit but the sleeves ended up being fitted (although not too tight, fortunately). The math and measurements of the sleeves are probably the only thing I would tweak were I to make this again. Other than that, I am very pleased with my first stab at knitting a sweater sans pattern.


Right now I'm mostly concentrating on the Argyle Vest. I did swatch for the Colchique but since the vest is moving along rather quickly, I probably won't start on it until the vest is finished.

From swatch to WIP...

I swatched for this in the round on DPNs and created an alternating vertical stripe for a few stitches. I cut down the center of the striped stitches, washed the swatch, blocked, and measured. I found that my row gauge was pretty off so I've been re-calculating the pattern to make up for it. I also knit fewer waist decreases because the original waist measurement for the size I'm working is actually too tight for me.

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06 October 2006

Simplicity with a twist...

I'm a fan of simple items with an interesting twist such as my current WIP, which I'm calling the buttoned sleeve top (at least until I figure out a more grammatically pleasing name). Basically, it's a seamless raglan knit in stockinette from the bottom up. The twist? The tops of the sleeves are button-up. The main problem I encountered was how to actually do the sleeves. The solution was to knit the body in the round, divide for front and back, then knit the sleeves "backwards" (i.e. the edges would be the top and the center would be the inner arm "seam"), join the sleeves to the body, and knit the front and back yokes separately flat.

Hopefully this diagram helps show the construction details better. The sleeves would be divided lenth-wise into front and back with the fold being at the bottom. The blue line marks how the front would be worked and the red line for the back.

Then a 2x2 ribbed button band will be picked up and knit along the neck and outer arm edges.

So what does this all look like in reality?

Left: The front completed. Right: The back.

Kind of funky at the moment. I had to take into account the button band so the circumference of the sleeves and the height of the yoke needed to be a bit smaller or shorter for the main part of the knitting.

And in case anyone is curious, the sleeve:

It's basically a rectangle (er...trapezoid, actually) with a few increases going up the center for some shaping. It also helps mark the inner arm "seam".


01 October 2006

FO: Antoinette...

I just moved back to the US and have been busy so posting has been rather slow. In the meantime, I have another FO!

Pattern: Antoinette from Rowan 39
Yarn: Rowan Cotton Rope in shade 063 "parma"; 12 balls
Needles: US10/6mm and US9/5.5mm Denise Interchangeables
Time: ≤ 3 weeks


This was a very simple cardigan to knit--mostly stockinette with just a bit of mock cable rib for interest. I wasn't a huge fan of the yarn, though. I like the feel of the knitted fabric but it wasn't fun to work with. The plies were easily split, and I found it difficult to weave in ends without making it noticeable. The latter might just be due to the thickness of the yarn, though.

I knit the smallest size, which called for 12 balls and I pretty must used it all up. I had two feet left. I bought a couple extra balls just in case that I didn't use in the end, but I probably would have used a bit of one extra if I hadn't have used the Russian join for adding new balls of yarn.

Overall I'm pretty satisfied with this cardi. I just need to go back and fix a couple spots where the joins between balls of yarn is quite visible but that shouldn't be a huge problem.


Next up: a cotton top with buttoned sleeves. I've been working on the sketches and pattern for a while now and finally got around to starting it a couple weeks ago. Another nice, simple knit but with a fun little twist.

I also just started the Deep V Argyle Vest because I can't seem to stay away from colorwork or new (to me) techniques. This time, steeking! I'm looking forward to it. (Note: I have a mildly destructive side to me so the idea of cutting my knitting and getting away with it intrigues me.)

More pending fall knits include Sarcelle by Kristi from Knitters Anonymous, a thick wrap sweater that I've been sketching, and this Phildar pullover (a.k.a. "Colchique") that I've been thinking about for months. The Colchique will depend on how the Rowan Felted Tweed I have in my stash looks in the stitch pattern, though.

I'm also thinking about the Embellished V-Neck from this fall's issue of Vogue Knitting.

However, I'm hoping to find photos other than the magazine before I decide to do it.

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