Archive for August, 2006

i have so much to learn

The front and back pieces of the cabled turtleneck are complete. As soon as I finished them I realized I did the armhole decreases incorrectly. (And I had vowed to be SO meticulous on this one!) Eh, well. It’s probably not the end of the world. I obviously had some issues getting going on the back piece, but I completed the front piece pretty quickly due to a Real Housewives of Orange County marathon on Bravo yesterday afternoon. (I’m not bragging, I’m shamefully confessing.) I just have the sleeves left, which should be pretty straightforward, but I’m planning on taking a finishing workshop before I try to seam this thing. Seaming is something I’ve had little experience with, and even less success with. There’s a session on October 5th at one of the yarn shops that I think I’m going to sign up for.

I think my tight sock problem has been resolved by going up a needle size, and one of the Chicks with Sticks has offered to give a magic loop mini-lesson at knitting club Thursday night. Hopefully I’ll like the magic loop method and my sock will be well on its way to becoming sockS.

The UPS delivery person, who I accidentally referred to as “the yarn guy” in front of my sister (Yipe. I might have a problem.) is supposed to be arriving any day with my shipment from Handpainted Yarn. I ordered some handspun bulky wool in reds and purples which will hopefully become Lady Eleanor from Scarf Style. Now…just gotta learn entrelac…

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I’ve definitely got my share of body image issues, but I never worried about my ankles…until now. I was concerned that my sock was going to be too tight, so I put it on a piece of scrap yarn to try it on. It’s too tight. Here you can see the lace pattern stretched within an inch of its life:

I took it down to my LYS (who told me to “come back if I had trouble with the sock”) and explained the problem. When I told them it was too tight around the ankle, their response was, “it shouldn’t be.”

I decided to try going up a needle size around my gigantic cankles. It cost me a new pair of dpn’s, but I figure it’s cheaper than reconstructive ankle surgery.

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sizing things up

I think I’ve finally got a handle on the cabled sweater…but it looks a little long…
I’m trying to decide whether or not to trust the pattern. I know it’ll be different after blocking and seaming, and I do like my tops to be a little longer, but I don’t want it to look like I should be wearing it with stirrup stretch pants tucked into ankle boots.

After an intense night of struggling with the sock at knitting club, and some kind advice from my fellow knitters, AND referring to this pattern AND this website, I think I have the sock under control, too. Now I’m worried that the ankle will be too tight. But I know the lace pattern will be a bit stretchy. I tried to do some measuring and some math-ish calculations, but I still can’t tell if it’s going to be too tight or not. I might go up a needle size after the skinny part of the ankle, just to be safe.

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knitting to relax?!

Do people really knit to relax? I think I need a weekend getaway to a place that puts cucumbers on your eyes and I’m only 30 rows into this *&$!#@% sweater! (Grrr…) I fought with the sweater and the math and the yarn and the counting all last night and got nowhere. I finally had to throw the whole mess in the knitting basket and watch the Food Network to take the edge off. This pattern isn’t that hard, but the way it’s written makes me want to track down Rebecca herself and give her what for! However, with many, many thanks to Jane and Karin for getting me back on track, I think the cabled turtleneck sweater and I have kissed and made up and we look forward to many cozy winter evenings together.

I remember the time (4 days ago) when I thought that knitting socks using the toe-up method was the hardest thing I ever tried. Ha! The sock that I was having such a hard time with might as well have been a garter stitch pot holder compared to that sweater. I started working on both projects simultaneously, and fortunately I had gotten past the toe shaping and the feeling that I was knitting dental floss on toothpicks before I discovered I was in Cable Chart Hell and coming dangerously close to committing fiber abuse. As it turns out, the little sock isn’t so bad, and served as a welcome respite from the sweater this week.

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knitting is hard

This sweater has been nothing but a pain in the neck. The stupid cable chart makes me feel like I don’t even know how to knit. To add insult to injury (or irony to frustration…or something) this thing would really knit up quick if I didn’t keep screwing up!

Thanks to Jane’s and Saun’s comments and to some kind and helpful knitters on Craftster, I see that I am supposed to repeat rows 1-8 to include the basic cable on the sides. Since Rebecca could not find it in its heart to actually print these stitches on the chart via Technology, I went in and modified the chart myself using Ye Olde Pencil. However, the “instructions” (which are scattered throughout the booklet like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel) tell me to “Work rows 1-2 (with incs) once, then rep rows 3-8 or 3-30 throughout for patt.” So…if I’m repeating rows 1-8 ON rows 9-30, I should put the basic cable on rows 11, 19, and 27, right? But then when I get around to repeating rows 3-30, the cable will not land on row 3, as it should. So I thought I might undo the cable using the Yarn Harlot’s instructions, rework the cables, and knit them back up without ripping the whole thing back. Then I realized that I have NO IDEA which rows the basic cable should go on, if they are to be both evenly spaced and wind up landing on row 3 again. Anybody know math? Or how to knit? ‘Cause I’m exhausted. And the sweater? It’s in trouble…

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cable confusion

I’ve done cables before and I’ve read charts before and never had much of a problem with it, but when I compare this chart to what’s coming out on my needles, to the photo of what’s supposed to come out on my needles, something doesn’t seem right.

Here’s the chart for Sweater With Cabled Pattern from Rebecca 28. Why are there chunks missing? I wasn’t supposed to do any decreases that would eliminate 8 stitches on either side of the chart.

So I thought maybe I was supposed to just continue with the same knits and purls that are above and below the missing chunks of the chart, but then I’m not going to get the small basic cables that are shown on the sides of the cable pattern in the picture, I’ll just get a big rib.

What’s going on? I searched for pattern errata, but couldn’t find anything online. I’m wondering if I should modify the pattern myself to make it look more like the photo or if I’m making some kind of bonehead mistake. Maybe I’ll head to my LYS, since I don’t see my Chicks with Sticks for another 5 days!

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socks? seriously?!

Ok…this was hard. I don’t even know if it’s right.

Look at this mess. I mean, really.

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lace panel jacket

Having finished another project so soon after the Prairie Tunic, I feel almost like a real knitter! Well, I actually started this back in December or January (whatever), but here’s my sort-of-self-designed Lace Panel Jacket. I used the top-down method and sleeve shaping recommended by Cosmicpluto and modified it to include the lace pattern from this shawl, that I knit for my grandmother this Christmas. I was going to stop it at a regular cardigan length, but I’m glad I made it into more of a jacket. Although I’d been working on this jacket since last winter, I was well into the Prairie Tunic this spring before I realized that the two designs were VERY similar. Apparently I have a thing for garments with two lace panels in the front and one in the back.

But now that my summer projects are finished, I can get crackin’ on my cabled turtleneck. I had a heck of a time finding size 10.75 needles, and the plastic ones I purchased are too slow and they’re driving me nuts. I ordered a different set, which I hope will be better. Until then I will continue to fight with my first pair of socks. Although at this point, a “pair” of socks might be wishful thinking.

Edited to add TUTORIAL:

This really isn’t a pattern…but here’s what I did to create my Lace Panel Jacket…

I followed Cosmicpluto’s top-down raglan cardi pattern, using her gauge, sizing, etc., but I’m sure you could modify this tutorial to work with any top-down cardigan pattern.

I used 10 balls of Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora and size 8, 24” circular needles.

I cast on for the neckband and worked in seed stitch for 1 inch.

I then started placing markers for the seed stitch border, the 3 lace panels, and the sleeves. I worked 5 st in seed stitch on each end for the border, 12 st for each lace panel on the fronts of the jacket, and 24 st for the larger lace panel on the back of the jacket. On the fronts, I placed the 12 st lace panels right next to the seed stitch border, but you’ll have to do a little math in order to center the 24 st lace panel on the back, depending on how many stitches you cast on.

The lace pattern I used is from Classic Elite Yarns free Temptation Wrap pattern.

Row 1 (WS): purl
Row 2 (RS): k1, *yo, k2tog; rep from * across.
Row 3 (WS): purl
Row 4 (RS): *ssk, yo; rep from * across to last st, k1

Make sure you’re only working the lace pattern within the markers you placed for the lace panels. Whenever you’re not working the lace pattern, you’re working in stockinette st, while following the top-down directions for increasing the raglan sleeves.

Continue this way, trying on as you go, until it’s time to join the sweater under the arms. After joining under the arms, I continued knitting the lace panels and stockinette for 17”, then switched back to seed st to create a 1” border at the bottom, so my total length was 18” from under the arm. I omitted the buttonholes and side shaping, but compensated by increasing the length of the cardigan and tying it with a belt.

I wanted ¾ length sleeves, so I followed Cosmicpluto’s directions for picking up stitches and knitting the sleeves, decreasing every 5th row until I had 48 st left. I then knit straight until the sleeve was 12” from under the arm, then switched to seed st for 1” for the cuff, resulting in a total of 13” from under the arm.

For the belt, I cast on 9 st and knit in seed st until I had 56”.

After finishing and blocking, I realized I also needed to add belt loops, which will probably be short seed st strips that I’ll tack onto the outside of the jacket. And I will also probably sew in a hidden hook and eye closure in the front, just to make sure it stays closed.

If anyone actually decides to try this, leave me a comment and let me know!

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new projects

The lace panel jacket/cardigan is blocking, so it’s time to get something else on the sticks! It took 2 trips to the yarn store today, but I now have yarn and needles for 2 new projects! I started swatching for the Cabled Turtleneck form Rebecca 28. I decided to use Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky…and just happened to find it for 50% off! I had to order 2 extra balls online, but didn’t much care after getting 12 balls of the stuff for FIFTY PERCENT off. I won’t be knitting this one during my Thursday night knitting club, lest I spill beer or coffee or rhubarb pie on my soft white yarn, so I needed something else to keep my hands busy. I’ve been wanting to knit socks—not because they interest me that much, but just to see what all the fuss is about. I do like having a small project going at the same time as a larger one, anyway. I bought some Koigu sock yarn in a dark raspberry colorway, and I think I’m going to try this toe-up pattern .

(Also, after wearing the Prairie Tunic for a solid 6 hours, I think I might kinda like it. I also gave the Razor Cami another night out and I might be digging that one a little more, too. I guess I won’t avoid lacey cami patterns altogether…)

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on a mission

I’m trying to decide what my next project will be. I still have my lace panel cardigan/jacket to finish, so I’m telling myself I’ll do that before I start something brand new. (One sleeve to go, so no excuses!) Although I haven’t really worn the Prairie Tunic yet, (still hoping that maybe I’ll fall in like with it) I am becoming increasingly determined to knit something that I LOVE. I think I’ve been making a couple mistakes when choosing patterns. I’ve found that I’m easily intimidated by certain sweater patterns so I used to wimp out and knit shugs, instead. Turns out, I don’t wear shrugs! I think I also need to start considering what types of garments should actually be made out of yarn. Little lacey cami? Eh, maybe not so much. Cabled turtleneck sweater? Now that might make more sense. I purchased Rebecca 28 quite a long time ago, specifically for this cabled turtleneck pattern. The seaming scares the heck out of me, but if I’m very brave, and if I knit it in off-white, I don’t see how I could go wrong. (Famous last words…?)

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