Archive for July, 2007

ribbed lace shrug

I thought I was out of my shrug phase, but this pattern appealed to me for some reason. And now, after finishing it up, I think I will get a lot of use out of this little shrug. The free pattern is by Kelly Maher and uses the same simple, clever construction as the Craftster Circular Shrug. You could really add almost any stitch pattern between the sections of ribbing. I tried to make mine a bit roomier than the pattern intends, so I did 14″ of lace, and it worked out just as I had hoped. I also wanted to make sure that the shawl collar had enough length to fold over nicely, so I did 4″ of ribbing on each end. As I mentioned in my previous post, I really did like knitting with the Lion Brand Cotton-Ease, and can definitely see myself using it again in the future. This was a great summer knitting project! (More pictures here.)

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so far, so good

I started both the Ribbed Lace Bolero, and the Wide Cable Sweater before leaving for vacation. Due to some flight delays and several hours of riding in the car, I got quite a bit accomplished! The lace shrug was a fun, quick knit and just has to be seamed now. I’m using Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in taupe and I have to say I really like this yarn! It’s nice and soft and the acrylic gives it just enough squishiness without making it feel like squeaky acrylic. And it comes in some really beautiful Debbie Bliss-esque colors.

I finally got around to doing some crazy math for the Gedifra sweater. I really think the pattern is off (even the knits and purls are mixed up!), and since it’s a raglan design anyway, I decided it would be best to knit the whole thing top-down. I used my gauge to figure out my CO number, adding extra stitches to account for the amount of shrinkage that would be caused by the wide cable, and estimated the placement of the sleeves. I just have to read the cable chart top to bottom, left to right and it does what it’s supposed to. So far, so good.

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not much

I’ve made some (boring) progress on the Summertime Tunic. The knitting is going just fine, but I do think I’ll wind up trying to dye it. It’s a cute pattern and I’ve chosen a rather uncute color.

I’m still deciding what to do about the Gedifra pattern. I haven’t been able to muster the strength to actually swatch the entire 42 stitch, 99 row cable chart…if you can imagine that.

And I’m definitely ripping the Ruffled Surplice. Ugh. I hope the yarn will one day become Girlfriend’s Swing Coat Sweater, a gift for a friend’s daughter.

In non-knitting news, my Etsy shop was featured on Anything Indie! 🙂

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Am I crazy?

I swatched for the Gedifra cabled sweater and my gauge is a little smaller than what the pattern calls for. But I don’t want to go up another needle size because I really like the way the Rowan Cashsoft DK knits up on size 4’s. However, the pattern only offers sizes 32″/34″ and 36″/38″ and since I’m smack in between those two sizes, I figured I’d knit the larger size, knowing that it would come out a bit smaller. And I’m knitting the body in the round because the front and back pieces are exactly the same. I cast on, and after a couple of rounds I noticed that I had a lot of excess fabric bunched onto the needles, even though I was using 32″ circulars. So I took the knitting off the needles and it was HUGE. It was only after all this time and knitting that I decided to take a good, hard look at the pattern, because that’s how I roll.

The gauge for this pattern is 5.25 st per 1″. And for a size 32″/34″ it tells you to cast on 120 st., which will wind up being the number of stitches across the chest, as well. Is my calculator (or my brain) broken or does that come out to a whole heck of a lotta stitches?? That will knit up to almost a 46″ chest, won’t it? Wouldn’t one need 84 stitches on both the front and back pieces to knit a 32″ chest? Are the cables going to pull in the sweater that much?

It entirely possible that I’ve overlooked something. (I do begin most of my knitting projects by panicking.) But if my math is correct, how do I fix this problem? I don’t want to have to rework the entire pattern, because the sleeves are bound to be a major pain in the neck. I was thinking…what if I just knit this thing top-down? Would I knit the cable chart upside down? Upside down and backwards? Or should I knit bottom-up and…isn’t there a way to knit the raglan sleeves and top portion of the sweater simultaneously?

It’s past my bedtime. Someone please set me straight.

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Well, in light of my one year blogiversary, it makes sense that I’d enter my Terrible Two’s all angry and frustrated and wanting to throw things. Stupid ruffled surplice. Thank you so much for all of your fantastic suggestions! I guess I could fix some of the problems if I really wanted to, but I think there’s just too much wrong with this pattern. I can already tell I wouldn’t wear it very much, so I think I’ll be ripping this one. There are a lot of cut ends, but I may be able to salvage some of the yarn for some kind of smaller project. I’m also trying to see this as a learning experience… Lesson #1: Size 8 needles are just too big for something that’s supposed to be a rather delicate style. (Although I thought I already learned that lesson once…or twice.) Lesson #2: I am too old to wear ruffles.

So I ordered yarn for my next big project. Model 509, from Gedifra Highlights 033. I’ll be using Rowan Cashsoft DK in misty gray and I have high hopes for this one! I don’t know if I’ll be ready to dive right in when the yarn gets here or not. If not, I’ll continue to occupy myself with the Summertime Tunic.

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I just noticed that Knits and Pieces turned one year old on Sunday! Although I started this blog as a way to keep track of my own knitting progress, I am so appreciative of the support and assistance I have received through the comments as well as how it has allowed me to become a more active member of the online knitting community. Knitters are just the best. 🙂

Happy Blogiversary to me!

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what to do?

The only thing left to do is weave in all those ends on the Ruffled Surplice and maybe block it again. But I don’t know if it’s worth it. I decided that I like the color. I remember now why I chose it in the first place. And I really like the length and how it’s longer in the back. Although it’s got some cuteness, I swear this thing feels like a damp beach towel when I pick it up! It’s adding bulk where I don’t need it to, the shoulders are way too big, and I feel like the ruffles (especially on the sleeves) are crossing the line from “cute” to “cutesy.” The shoulders are the worst part, I guess. If anyone has suggestions on what to do about the shoulders and sleeves, I’d love to hear all about it.

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