Thursday, June 22, 2017

Shaggy Thinking

Shaggy sleeves are finished and I am working on the body.

The picture shows almost six pattern repeats and two button holes. I cast on using a provisional cast on and a crocheted base. That is the green yarn at the bottom. The edge is a bit curly so it will need a few rows of something to stabilize.

My scanner is not co-operating. If it was I would scan the pattern I wrote to document how my mind works. Instead, here is a description of what I plan:

My gauge is 5 stitches/inch and one ten-row pattern repeat per inch. The stitch pattern is from the "Furrow" pattern in the Jamieson's Shetland Knitting Book 2.

After the sleeves were finished, I have better than 65% of all my yarn with the exception of the milk chocolate. That makes sort of makes sense because the  chocolate was used a bit more since it was used for the edging of the sleeve.

I will want to weigh the yarn again when I get to the armhole. I'm pretty sure I have enough to finish. The point was to take a pile of leftovers and make something wonderful, not something unfinished an useless. I find that the 1/3 sleeves, 1/3 front, 1/3 back rule works pretty well. Thus, I should have just enough for the sweater. A cropped length and the "V" neck should help. It will be close.

My initial thought was to use the chocolate to edge the body in garter stitch with mitered corners at the bottom openings. This plan needs to change because it now is unlikely there will be enough of the chocolate. I think either a striped garter edge or a crocheted edge will work. I will have to wait and see what I have left when the body is done.

I want a somewhat cropped jacket with a V neck and three buttons. I want the waist to be smaller than the bust.

Cast on 212 stitches using a provisional method
. 55 for left front/1/100 for the back/1/55 for right front. The single stitches are to be knit stitches all the way up to define the side seam.

Increase on stitch on each side of the seam stitches on row 1 of the pattern on repeat 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 for a total of 20 stitches.

Make a button hole on the second row of the pattern on repeats 2, 6, and 10.

Begin armhole decreases and "V" neck decreases on row 6 of repeat 10.  Use armhole directions from the "Grand Plan" pullover by Ann Budd. V neck decreases 1 stitch each side every row 1 and 6 until the armhole measures 9.5". There should be 24 stitches left for the shoulder.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Just now Finished

The brocade sweater is finished and is taking a bath.

I did pull apart the collar and redo it and I am happy with that. I then stared at it for a week because I did not feel like setting in the sleeves. Today, I had to wait for the pest control service to come by, so I sat down and did the final finishing.

I love the way the set in sleeves fit.

I still have just over two skeins of this color left, so the project did not demolish the difficult to deal with coral yarn.

In the mean time, I had a blinding flash of the obvious regarding the Shaggy project. Since I am only working one color at at time, there is no reason to break the yarns that end on the wrong side of the work. Since I use double ended needles, I can just slide the work and work on the wrong side. So this Shaggy sleeve is considerable less shaggy.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Almost finished.

Well, the brocade knitting is complete. I admit that the back and forth for the front and back were tedious, but that is over now.  I like to add the collar before sewing on the arms because there is less to throw around as I knit around the neck. I tend to pick up too many stitches so right now the collar stands up like a mock turtleneck.

I'm not sure I like that. I'll sew the arms on and if I decide to change those arms will swing around as the new collar goes on.

So it goes...

When the tedium became too much I continued on with the new slip stitch project. The garter ridges and nubs work well for this combination of yarns. The first sleeve went fast and I was enchanted with the resulting fabric.

So enchanted that I did not fully realize the number of ends involved. I truly considered pulling this apart and throwing it all away. Shame on the professional designer and shame on me for not figuring out a better solution to this.

Still, it's awfully nice is a woodsy sort of way. It is much nicer looking in person.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Brocade Continues

Well, the brocade flowers pullover continues. I cast off for the armhole openings and am  now back to back and forth fair isle. Not my idea of a good time but the result is generally worth the effort. I considered doing a steek but with the shaping involved I decided that route was about as troublesome and added more effort when finishing.

This is the point of the project where my mind wanders. My goal this year is to work through as much of my worsted stash as possible and I have made a considerable dent. While working on the front of this project I began thinking of my single and partial skeins. I've been putting them into bags according to color family. My neutral/brown sack had almost enough for a sweater. The skeins are interesting. Some very vintage Harris tweed and Lambs Pride. Also, some no-name knitting worsted bits.

I'm using weight to estimate what I need for a project. Most of the stash is vintage worsted and the labels do not show yardage as a rule. I  weighed them and found that the collection was a bit light for an entire sweater. I find that 26-28 ounces or more than 6 and less than 7 four-ounce skeins is enough for a medium/large pullover.

I had another vintage Harris skein and another vintage Lambs Pride in colors that seemed like they could work in. The Harris is a bit cranberry and the Lambs Pride is sort of pistachio.This got me to 27 ounces so critical mass is attained.

I've been browsing some slip-stitch patterns and Furrow caught my eye as a potential choice. The pattern uses four colors but looking at how the colors are used, I found that it was a ten row repeat using three colors. Then, one color is removed, the two remaining shift and the fourth color is added. It seemed that this could be used for more than four colors, so I tried seven.

I'm pretty pleased with the result with respect to the color. The repeat is fifty rows, but because it is about half garter the fabric is pretty dense. So, it is asking to be more of a casual jacket rather than a pullover.

I'm thinking of V-neck cardigan with sleeves that sit just below the elbow. The fabric is busy and there is enough garter that it does not curl much so a narrow-ish garter stitch on the edge for the cuffs and waist and button band will be nice.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Brocade Progress

The body is coming along. Some car knitting over the weekend.

Not too many rows before the armhole decreases and I will be knitting back and forth again.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Brocade Leaves Sleeves

We have sleeves. The kitchen scale says they weigh just shy of 8 ounces so one skein of each color was used.
That suggests that I will need two more skeins of each color, leaving me with an extra of the multi-color Cascade and two skeins of the coral.  I would like to have gone through more of the coral but it is more important to me to make something that pleases me.

Often, once I start working with a color I find troublesome I begin to like it and then miss it when it is gone.

I think this looks great and I especially like the linen stitch edging. I'm not sure why we don't see it more often in hand knitting designs.  Perhaps because it is less elastic than ribbing, but hemmed edges are also not elastic.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Coral Development

This stash yarn has been eating into my brain. I probably acquired it during an eBay yarn binge.

I don't do that anymore.

It is not quite orange, not quite pink, not quite coral and very very bright. I have about five four-ounce skeins, so not quite enough for a sweater.

 I tried it with turquoise, but that did not make me happy. The idea was to make it the main color for a Catherine Parr, but it was clear part-way up the sleeve that there was not enough of the coral for the project..

Then, I tried with white and Barbara Walker. French weave. French weave, colors reversed, Florentine.  Good exercise, but still not happy.

I cruised by a local yarn shop, and found this lovely and coordinating  beauty in the 50% off bin. Enough for 1/2 of a sweater.
I tried some slip stitch patterns first. I liked the cuff, but the rest did not interest me.  Several others were tried and ripped. ...
Time for a time out while I browsed Ravelry projects for a while.

Well, Hello, beautiful:

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Canyonville Complete

This is the result of a weekend Breaking Bad binge.

And it fits.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Progress on Canyonville

Canyonville is starting to look like a real sweater. Between the beginning of April and now the body has progressed to the armhole decreases and sleeves have been attached.

This body picture was from last week.

That was a lot of stitches so vertical progress seemed slow.   I am taking out eight stitches every round now, so soon we will have a neck-sized opening.

I'm a bit puzzled about why the cables at the bottom edge want to curl. I expect they will settle down when blocked.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Canyonville Progress

Two sleeves completed. Better yet, the measure properly to actually fit.

The body is on the needles and I'm working my way through the cable edge section.

This one is slow going compared to the fast and friendly slip stitch sweater. I do like it and it not only keeps my interest, I collect complements from other knitters.

Enough for now.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Turquoise Swatches

I remember now how fussy the Canyonville pattern is. Many 1x1 cables to make those nice wavy ribs. I enjoy the result and am improving on the process as my hands learn the pattern again. After a week of work I am most of the way up the first sleeve.

While creeping up the arm, I thought a bit too much about the stash yarn I am working through. Some skeins irritate me. Too bright, too much, but not enough. I have quite a lot of turquoise in two dye lots that got under my skin. One lot started as 16 ounces and can be about a half of a sweater. The other is 8 ounces and is close, but not close enough.

So I swatched. I know this turquoise. It defeated me a few years ago when I was playing with brioche type stitches. Over the weekend, I tried again.

My first thought was to use the larger lot in a sweater like the Great Missowski. It is a fun false flame stitch zigzag. An extra bonus is that the three minor colors require a single 4 ounce skein. Great opportunity for my single skein stash items.

After some fiddling I came to this combination. The purple, magenta, and teal are single skeins and the orange was last seen in the recently completed Sunset Kiyomi.

I was happy with how the colors played with each other but I didn't see a sweater that I liked. This felt like "using up", which is not my goal.

Out came the Barbara Walker books and after some trials, I ended up with some combinations that make me happy.

The plan is to use either the honeycomb or the flame stitch for the body up to the armhole. The Swiss check will be on the sleeves and upper body. I'm still thinking about the edges, but will probably opt for a simple 2x2 rib.

The normal end game for this color exercise is that the irritating color becomes my very favorite. I want to put it everywhere. The orange here is an example of that evolution. It was an irritating color a few years ago and there was so much of it. Who wears orange?  I used it in the Hedera Jacket a few years ago, and I am happy with how it plays here and in the Kiyomi. This project will be the end of of it and I will miss my orange.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Sunset Colors Kiyomi Done

I started fiddling with Canyonville for a few days and put off finishing the Kiyomi inspired pullover.

I got to finishing Wednesday, and Thursday she was done and ready for a wash.

Final usage numbers are:
Dark Rose - 336 grams
Orange - 134 grams
Pink - 132 grams

A total of 602 grams, and about 1170 yards using the Bernat Sesame 4 measurements for all yarns.

I love the Ann Budd Grand Plan charts. As you can see, this one fits perfectly.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Canyonville Crash and Burn.

I am baffled.

I put this project aside because I knew there was a problem with the width of the sleeve. About a 6" problem as it turns out. Looking at the cuff, I find that it is 6" wide. Usually cuffs for adults are about 9.5 to 10 inches.

What was I thinking, then, when I continued on and knit on the second sleeve for about 9"?

This knitting cannot be salvaged, and all must be torn out.

I still want to work the project, so I will begin again with a new sleeve. Casting on 10" will go a long way towards having enough width at the end. The plan is still to modify the construction to make a knit-in-one-piece raglan.

Time to recalculate and cast on again.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Kiyomi Body Done

I've been a bit obsessed. I cast on this project last weekend and a week later I have this.

Perhaps I was a bit concerned about having enough of the pink. There was less of it than the other colors ~180 grams. I weighed the remaining skein and find I used just about half for the body. I have 94 grams left. Thus, I have plenty for the sleeves and collar.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Silk Shell

Pictures of the newly finished silk shell.

I started with the pattern for the Purl Soho Pebble tank using a two color brioche stockinette stitch. I went rogue around the arm decreases. After some trial and error I decided to go with the slanted two stitch brioche decreases.

I used a braided edging that looks more complicated than it really is. I like how it worked out.

The original measurements for the body looked odd before I blocked the piece. I probably should have taken a picture, as it looked like a crop top. We know that silk and cotton will stretch lengthwise, so I counted on that to make the proportions work.

After a wash, I hung it on a skirt hanger by the shoulder seams and let gravity do the blocking job for me.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Slip Stitch Swatches

If I adhere to my goals list, Canyonville should be the next up. But, I don't feel like cables right now. I did go find a cable needle, so I will count that as progress. 

Instead, I did a stash dive. 

I struggle with the notion of doing a project to use up yarn stash versus creating a project that I enjoy and want to make.

I first looked at some blue yarns. I have about 300 grams of two colors and figured I could add a brown or tan sort of like Jeanie on the Berroco free pattern site. After looking at the yarns for a few days I concluded they were nice but I wasn't excited enough about the pattern. It felt like a "use up" project instead of something I really wanted to do. 

I tried a slip stitch pattern with the chosen yarns to see how they played together. I was surprised how bright the two blues read. The tan was meh, and made me think about orange. I liked the nubby texture. I liked slip stitch.
This is the next try. It is the Kiyomi pattern which I have admired. The light orange was OK, but the choices in the model worked because they were closer in shade and tone.

Well, hello, this works.  

Oh, and the color is more representative of the true color than the previous picture.

The Kiyomi model features a wide center welt of the main color yarn. I do not think I have enough yarn for that and I don't wear cardigans much anyway. So, a pullover, probably using the Ann Budd Grand Plan pattern. 

I like the slip stitch pattern from the failed blue/tan swatch for the bottom, wrist and neck edging but I will fiddle with the color order.

For the record, I am starting with 434 grams of the dark rose, 324 grams of the orange and 178 grams of the pink.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Done and Done

I'm so pleased that the Winter garden sweater is finished. She waited so long for me to find the patience to pick out the flubs and put her together. The knitting part was entertaining, and I may try the design again.

I finished the knitting on Dream bird over the weekend. I fiddled with the edge finishing as I did not always remember to carry the feather yarn down the cast of edge. I ended up with an I-cord that covers up the boo-boos. I encountered a suggestion to old the interior cast off stitches for an I-chord edging too late to implement, but I think that is an outstanding idea. I don't wear shawls much, so this will likely be a one and done design.

So, this project is next up. When visiting yarn shops I have a habit of picking up luxury yarn from the bargain bin with no idea what I will do with it. This is Urban Silk. I have four skeins of the tan and the chocolate. I tried a number of projects, but the aran weight and slippery nature did not comply.

Some research indicated that I have enough yardage for a sleeveless top. I'm using a brioche stitch, and am pleased with the way the yarn is holding together. It is a little heavy, and I'm expecting it to stretch lengthwise. I started with the Pebble Tank as a guide, but brioche stitch needs double decreases to keep in pattern for the shaping. I'm pretty sure that I can work out the rest.

So far, I've used 2 1/2 skeins of each color. I'm feeling confident that there will be plenty of yarn to complete the project.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Wintergarden - Forever Finishing

Well, we are coming along with this project. The second sleeve is now 8 1/2 repeats and attached.

I pulled out the hem and we spent some quality time with the steam iron. It seems better now.

The sleeve edges need to be redone, as one has a broken thread right at the picot, and I do not see a lot of value fixing over picking it out and knitting the edge again. This time I will work from the edge out, and try to bind off back where I picked up the stitches. We will see how well that goes.

So edges, and some ends to work in on the inside, and this one is done.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Wintergarden, What Happened?

Oh dear. I started this project in 2011, I believe. It has been sitting about since late 2012, almost done. I remember that I was in a funk about the picot edge around the hem. It was too flippy. So I cut it, knit it again, and was planning to graft it back to the body.

I picked up the project last week and discovered what must have tipped. First, I started grafting in blue, and about a quarter way around realized it should be a white stripe. Then I really looked at the piece being grafted and discovered that the last row of the pattern was missing two rows below.

URG. So, more picking than a banjo player, and not a lot of smiling.

Then, I redid the picot hem and it still curls. I'm not sure there is enough steam in the world to make it lie flat. I'm puzzled because I've done this sort of hem before with no problem whatsoever.

Check out the chevrons. Can you see the graft?  At least that went well.

Then, I looked at the sleeves. Picot edges there too. One sleeve had 8 1/2 pattern repeats and the other had 6 1/2 pattern repeats. Some knitting to be done to finish then. The body already had the steeks sewn up, and the longer sleeve seemed ready to go, so on it went.

So, here we are.

I'm not so happy with the way the collar sits either. Maybe I will remove all the picot edges and the collar and replacing them all with a rolled hem.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017


So, we find Dreambird almost done. There are 19 feather repeats. I think I have enough of the multicolored yarn for one or two more. I started this a while ago and have picked it up and put it down several times. Not sure why it gets put down, as I enjoy working on it.

I think that many on Ravelry have suggested that the pattern could be improved. I certainly agree but I am feeling far to lazy and uninterested to do so.

Between finishing Hues in Horizontal, this happened. I purchased these yarns for hat projects. Neither project worked out. The skeins popped out during a recent stash review. I'm not really sure why. I needed a quick hat during a cold snap in January so I made one with the brighter color. It is some sort of micro-fiber like polar fleece. It was OK, but not really great. So, Monday, I pulled it apart and over Monday and Tuesday did this. It is brioche for the body until I ran out of the black/green novelty yarn. Then I went to ribbing until I ran out of the fleece. I like it much better.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Hues Complete

Hues in Horizontal is Complete

After several sessions dedicated to weaving in the ends, resulting in a pile of ends. Then setting in sleeves and sewing the seams. Last, ribbing around the "V" neck. Great fit, great project.

To recap, the stitch/texture pattern followed "Hues in Horizontal" from Knitters Fall 2000. The yarns were vintage worsted gathered during a many year eBay yarn binge. The patter/shape used the "Grand Plan Pullover" published in Interweave Knits in 2002.

Next up is DreamBird.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Hues Progresses

The body is finished, so time to strap in for some end weaving.

I am pleased with the two substitutions I used to cover for running out of yarn. In this picture you can see the original blue on the left and the substitute yarn on the right.

The original lighter green is in the two stripes on the left, and the substitute color is on the right.

I ended up with about 6" of the yellow yarn.

So, stash-busting success.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Hues in Horizontal

Hues in Horizontal from Knitters Magazine, Fall 2000 seemed to be an interesting stash buster. As I remember, I had two four ounce skeins of the dark green and magenta that make the main colors and single four ounce skeins of the rest. These were vintage worsted wool skeins that I had aquired during my eBay yarn rampage days.

I worked most of the first sleeve on a road trip to somewhere. Probably a Christmas or Thanksgiving to North Carolina to see the FIL. Then, I went into a several year knitting funk.

Finishing something is my attempt at crawling out, and I suppose I'm doing reasonably well. Both sleeves are complete and the body to the front is done.

I recognized that I was running low on the light green and blue mid-way up the body. I had been considering a V neck rather than the round neck in the model and making a deep V seemed to be a choice that allows at least the front to complete before running out of yarn. I've finished one side and here is what is left:

:I have managed to find another 2 ounces of the light green. This ball had been set aside as it had serious sun damage, but it will do for the back.
I also managed to find some contemporary yarns, which, in combination look quite like the light blue.

It would be a shame to get this far and not be able to finish, so I am mushing along.  Wishing myself luck.