Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Oddballs


So, what is an oddball project? Does this one qualify? Did the last three qualify?

This one is easy. I have enough of the light blue for about a half of an adult sweater. I collected the other colors and chose a graphic that while not stripey is essentially stripes.

The previous grey required a few more choices. I did not have enough of any of the colors to make a whole sweater. I did not quite have enough background grey for the sweater and the edgings. I've learned that just that bit is 70-80 grams. Thus, the cuff, neck and waist edges are yarns other than the body yarns selected so that there is enough of the main color to work the body sections.

The brown and read sweater was the victim of Hurricane Harvey. I was messing with the skeins and some of them were drowned in the flood. I probably could have made a full length sweater if I had chosen a more balanced graphic. My intention was to flip the background colors, but I did not like how that looked. Rather than frog and redesign, I forged ahead and then cropped the body.


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Another Project Completed

 The vintage graphic sweater made with vintage yarn is finished and blocked. In general I am pleased with the result.

I do need to watch out for gauge differences when I use a slip stitch though. I make increases on the sleeve cuffs as a matter of procedure, but not normally on the hem. Here, you see a bit of flare, but when it is being worn it is not noticeable.

Then again, there are so many details I should be more careful about in my knitting. I received my TKGA Level 2 box back, and well, I will be doing a lot of the work again. It is a well timed and deserved bash on the head. On the bright side, I'm learning about issues I either did not know I had or had decided to overlook. Like seed stitch. Even better, I am learning how to fix those issues.

Level 2 is mostly about seaming and finishing skills. I'm a whole lot better than I was, and I actually understand the differences in seaming stockinette and reverse stockinette. Honestly, I did not realize there was a difference. Now, I am much wiser, but still sloppy.

Here is a peek at the next sweater. Please tell me if it looks like an odd-ball sweater to you. It will be going on semi-hold as I work through TKGA Level 2 again.
I suppose that would mean that I think people are reading this and they actually consider hitting the comment button. 

Sigh.


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Evolution of Stash Management

All the knitting is done except for the collar. I have several hours of working ends first.

While I was defiantly confident about having enough grey yarn, I became anxious just before the armhole decreases. As it turned out, I was right the first time. I finished with about 25 grams left. It was a good idea to not use the main color for the cuffs and welts as I would have surely run short.

Two of the color bands represent one-skein (four ounce)  members of the stash. I had eight ounces of the light yellow and used six. Would you consider this to be an odd-ball project?

I'm getting close to the bottom of the worsted stash. It is causing me to ruminate on what an odd ball actually is, and how to identify that I am finished with this self-imposed quest.

One could say that the last eight or so projects were odd ball projects. I did not have enough yarn for any single project and I did not collect the yarn with projects in mind. Instead, I trolled eBay accumulating the discards of others. I figured then that at about 50 cents/ounce it was a good deal. I suppose it was until I realized that I had a lot of wonderful lots but no real plan and no real projects.

After trying to organize what I had again and again I finally came to a strategy that I have been following the past few years. I found that I resisted using yarns where I had twelve or more ounces. I felt that that was enough for part of a sweater. Once I figured that out, I focused only on one weight and grouped the yarns into sweater sized projects. For some I bought a color to blend them together. The challenge was to use only stash.

I learned that sixteen ounces of vintage worsted was enough for half a 40" adult sweater. This is important as many multi-color sweaters depend upon a background color to provide continuity and a harmonious look. The sweater above used 13 ounces. I figure about 1.5 ounces for the welts (cuff, collar, waist), so an easy modification is to substitute something for the edges if I find myself a few ounces short of half.

The next two projects are true odd-ball projects, and represent the easiest approach to oddballs: Enough of one color for background and bands of coordinating color. The goal is to make them look intentional, like the one above.


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Circles and Squares

Two sleeves - just like that. The slightly larger gauge sure speeds the progress. Woe to me when I beat through all the worsted and tackle the lighter gauges.

As far as quantities, I was a bit worried about the background color. I began the body with 9 ounces, or 4 1/2 two ounce balls. Paper and head trip calculations drove me to knit like a mad person through the first ball. After measuring and recalculating, I am now confidant that I WILL HAVE ENOUGH!

Whew.

That also means that I am past the first pattern repeat on the body. Photo of that next week.

Seems like I have had quantity issues the last few projects, and it is nice to not have to go there this time.

I'm finding this pattern more difficult than many. The shapes are mostly different, and different by just a little bit. I must pay attention on each row all the way to the middle. Sometimes I get distracted, and have to pull a row or two out. I filled in a circle that should be open or made a solid shape instead of a hollow space, or that one is a stitch off.

I also learned from the sleeves that the pattern is not symmetrical, so I decided to mirror the back and the front. That way the patterns will match at the shoulders. This means I read the pattern front to back, then back to front. Another source of confusion and mistakes.

I do like how it is turning out. It is a lovely mix of organized and slightly off, modern and dated.


Tuesday, June 04, 2019

RetroVogue

Next up on the worsted weight work list is this number from Vogue, 1997. It was designed for DK weight and a 24 stitches/4 inches gauge, but it's looking fine in worsted at 22 stitches/4 inches. I loved the graphics since the magazine came out and I'm happy to finally be working it. Of the written pattern, again, I am simply using the graphic. I have 30 ounces of the light grey, which should be OK even though the background color is a bit more than half of the stitches. I am using  linen stitch with three odd balls of grey for the cuffs, collar and waist welt to save the background color for the graphic sections.

I like the way it is turning out.

I'm also trying this thing from Arenda Holliday's blog. She marks every increase and decrease while she is knitting. I think she does it so that she can write the pattern later off of the markers. My situation is that I am somewhat haphazard when it comes to sleeve increases. I go for every forth row, but if I forget, I just put them in when I remember. Eventually I get the the right stitch count, but the sleeves are not exactly the same. Most people do not notice, but I'm trying to up my technique and skills to the next level. That means the sleeves should match. I'm about 40 rows into the second sleeve and so far, so good.

I finished up the KidLin scarf over the weekend. It was exactly the fill in project I was hoping. Not too hard, but busy enough to keep my attention. I would have liked it a little longer, but not a whole skein longer. It is light and floaty and will make a nice accessory in the winter or a gift for someone.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Something Different

I finished the suitable fair isle jacket over the weekend. All the knitting and some of the finishing was done by Friday. There was a bit of a glitch in easing in the sleeves as I misread a pattern that I have used at least ten times. There was always 9" between the beginning of the armhole and the beginning of the shoulder bind offs. For some reason I read 7.5" which is where the neck should begin if one is making a crew neck. I ended up with 8" and figured I could ease in the extra 1/2 inch, but discovered that I really was an inch short.

By this time I had already cut open the work and attached the button bands, so no going back. I tried the sleeveless piece on and was grateful for the generous armhole that the pattern provided, so missing an inch did not cause a fit problem. It did create a sleeve cap problem as I was not going to smash that much fabric into the resulting space. So, I pulled out the sleeve cap a few inches and reworked that part. Success. A complete project that fits.

As far as new projects, my brain rejected jumping into yet another worsted sweater. Yes, that is my stated goal for now until the worsted stash is reduced to oddballs. But I've been cleaning and re-organizing and longing to work with something else.

So I did.

I acquired this KidLin years ago on a half price shelf. Two skeins of pink and five of a very light grey. I wanted something not too complicated that would be airy and light and smooshy. A free pattern on Ravelry named tumbling blocks suited those requirements and is the sort of pattern that can be worked until the yarn runs out then cast off.

 Perfect.

It was good timing to start that on Tuesday because my husband had a medical scare that took us to the emergency room for five hours on Wednesday. Working on finishing would have been too messy, so it was nice to have already established the pattern for this project. Now, a week later, I have worked through one skein and started the second. It looks like it will finish up between 48 and 50 inches.

Perfect.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Much Suitable Progress

We took a car trip this weekend so there was considerable car knitting. Yesterday, my husband had a mohs procedure, hopefully his last for a wile, so there was some doctors waiting room knitting. Now that I think about it, most of the first sleeve was made while he was getting a minor knee surgery. So, this is a car and doctor's office knit. 

Funny how projects can be associated with major events. The Drops squares sleeves were knit while visiting my FiL in the hospital. The Dale Inverness sleeves were knit on the trip to his memorial. 
Needless to say, it's been a weird year so far with all the minor medical stuff for my husband and the huge emotional slap when his dad passed.

In any event, here is a weekly progress picture. The front is done. The photo sort of shows the steek for the cardigan opening and the slant of the neck on the left. 
I may have enough yarn to make this a full length jacket after all. I started the body with 180 grams of the brown. 80 grams lasted past the half way point of the central motif. Seem is I end with over 45 grams I should be able to make it work. It would not be that hard to again, snip off the ribbing, knit up the band I left off, then graft it back together. 

I'll weigh what I have left when I finish the back before making any decision. In the current configuration the ribbing lands just at my natural waist, which is fine.