Updates from July, 2008 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • knitting1105 5:00 pm on July 31, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    After all these years 

    I finally finished a beautiful baby Dale pullover that I actually knit up years ago. I can’t even remember when I started it, I did all of the knitting and then put it into the steek pile. Last winter, when I realized that I had knit an entire back to a sweater at the wrong gauge (and since it was 3 yarns stranded and changed every 6 rows, it would not unwind), I set down to steek 3 different sweaters. Now I am finally getting around to sewing them up. I am just trying to finish up a few things to clear my plate for the Ravelympics.

    For this pattern, I modified the body, as my gauge in length did not match the pattern. No big deal. I also put a large expanse of stockinette in pink on the sleeves (the pattern showed them matching the body). I think that this helped to show off the body of the sweater better. When I was sewing it up, the one change that I would have made is at the bottom of the sleeves and sweater. For some reason, the Dale pattern had you carrying 3 yarns in stead of 2 at a time for about 8 rows. That was okay, but then the facing was designed to go over that area. It is a bit bulky. If I were to knit another one, I would put an expanse of stockinette to have the facing sew onto. But, since there are so many beautiful baby Dale sweaters to knit, I probably won’t repeat this one.

    I fell in love with this pattern when I saw it, and obviously had no specific recipient in mind. Now it is sitting in my give-away pile waiting for a baby girl born to parents who would appreciate my efforts. I have given sweaters to all of my siblings when they had a baby, and not always gotten even a thank-you. One commented to his wife that I probably only spent a week on the sweater. My sister-in-law thanked my husband, not me. I was unaware that he knew how to knit. Some of my best received gifts have been to friends and not family. I will say that my mom, sisters Janice, Jill and Diane are the most wonderful to knit for. Jill and Janice still have (and wear) a sweater each that I gave them over 20 years ago. That is truly appreciation.

    • Miss 376 1:42 am on August 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      These look gorgeous and I’m sure they’ll be loved by whoever is lucky enough to receive them. I also have a pile of baby and toddler jumpers to give away as necessary. It’s horrible when people don’t appreciate what you do. My boys love me knitting for them-they haven’t grown out of that yet and are always asking for more.


  • knitting1105 11:29 am on July 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    The finishing race 

    Ravelry is having a knitting Olympics paired with the actual Beijing Olympics. I have a project that I have been dying to make that I will work on for that (more later). So, instead of starting something new, I am on a big finishing kick to get long knitted, but not sewn up projects done.

    This has been my project for this past weekend. My “Poems of Color” fair isle sweater that I made. I bought the yarn as a kit, so all of the colors and weights were correct. The yarn is 100% wool. It breaks fairly easily if pulled on, and it is a bit scratchy. I am hoping that it will soften up when washed. The pattern was fun to knit, and I worked it up fairly quickly. THEN IT SAT FOR YEARS. I had this fear of sewing the steek. I got my courage up this past winter when I had totally messed up a sweater, and thought, why not do all of my steeks now. So, I steeked 3 sweaters that had been sitting. And now I am working on sewing them up. Over the weekend I worked on the front bands and the collar. When I did this project, I did not have Ravelry to help keep my projects in order. So, while I had the pattern with me, I neglected to write down what needle size I used, and minor changes that I made. My gauge on the bands is much tighter, which I think is okay. For the bottom of the sleeves and the sweater, I had added a turning row in reverse stockinette stitch. I did this also, on the bands, but knit one less row by mistake. I have decided to leave it, as it is a definite difference, doesn’t look like I was trying to match. With my gauge difference anyways, I would have never been the same, so just as well to be a bit off.

    When looking at the sweater critically now, I wish that I had gone down a needle size for the main body. I think that I had done the famous test swatch and thought that my sweater needed to be a bit bigger. The definition on the colorwork is not as crisp as I would like. I know that I also knit this up with wooden circular needles, and I wonder if that impacted it a bit also. I knit the band up on metal circulars, and it is much tighter. Hope to finish this up in the next day or so, and then find the perfect buttons.

    • Miss 376 1:51 pm on July 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I admire anyone that can do fair isle. I have had one attempt a very long time ago, I was 18, and it was not a massive success. I seemed to get tighter and tighter as I knit. Haven’t had the courage to give it another go yet, but I love it


    • Alex 3:14 pm on August 15, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Your blog is interesting!

      Keep up the good work!


  • knitting1105 10:31 am on July 25, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Just when I thought I was caught up… 

    Just when I thought I was caught up, in the mail arrives a new package from STR. I suspect I was one of a few not looking to have this yet. I started working on the Lenore socks from last November. While the pattern is simplistic, I am finding that I like it, and I like the color. The irony is that that shipment totally turned me off to the sock club and the projects. Just goes to show that you can’t judge a sock by it’s pattern leaflet. When I went on Ravelry to look at the Lenore sock, I found that those pictures were much better than what was on the pattern, and the color was more intriguing. So, I am on my way on the first sock, and it is going nicely. I think that I might save it for travel and the more mindless times.

    The package that arrived yesterday contained a wonderfully colored palate of light brights. They called it pastel, but I am not sure that I agree. I think that this may be a yarn that I like in the hank better than knit up. it seems that they sometimes loose the look that I love when knitted up. We also got 2 patterns, one a more complicated one, with this shipment. I think that I will knit up the more complex one with this yarn. but I will use the easier pattern to make a pair of socks for my daughter. She does not like socks coming up high on her legs, so that might be perfect for her.

    I have been playing with how to best photograph my projects and yarn. When I zoom in on the items, I seem to loose detail, it is much better when I simply bring the lens closer. I have also discovered that all of my yarn and projects seem to look the best when photographed on the grass outside. I don’t get the reflection that I get off of wood inside, and have the beauty of the natural light. The color seem more accurate and saturated.

  • knitting1105 3:59 pm on July 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    A Cautionary Tale 

    Don’t wash hand knit socks with bras. Even on gentle.

  • knitting1105 11:05 pm on July 21, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    “Wonky” socks 

    Wonky socks was a description that I saw for these socks on Ravelry, and I think that it fits perfectly. This is the January STR 2008 socks (I think). In my quest to knit all of these up, this was next on the list. The pattern was easy, almost mindless in fact. That made for good car knitting while we took my son to register for college. I finished one sock, measuring as directed, and checking gauge. When I was done, I felt I needed to rip it out. I kept trying to justify keeping it, and who could wear it. But then, I finally came to the realization that I did not know any NBA basketball players, I ripped it out. THEN I checked on Ravelry, and found that most everyone was having the same problem. Luckily they reknit fairly quickly. Seems like they are not test knitting their patterns very well.

    I did learn a couple of new techniques. Most interesting Judy’s Magic Cast-On (www.persistentillusion.com). I liked the way that it was applied to the toe, and think that it would make the perfect top for a hat. To review how to cast-on, I watched Cat Bordhi’s video on YouTube. I guess that it might be amusing if I were 3 or 4 years old. Personally, my needles don’t talk to each other while I am knitting.

    Cat Borhdi did have an improvement on the W&T that I blogged about earlier. She wrote it as follows:For a knit st, bring yarn to front between needles, slip next st knitwise, move yarn to back between needles, slip st back to left needle, and turn. For a purl st, bring yarn to back between needles, slip next st purlwise, move yarn to front between needles, slip st back to left needle, and turn. To conceal the wrap on a subsequent row, move it to the WS before knitting or purling it together with the st it wrapped. On the RS for a knit st, lift the front of the wrap over the st it wrapped, and drop it behind the needle on the left st. Now knit the st and the moved wrap st through the back loop (if you forgot to slip the st knitwise when wrapping, simply turn it around prior to this maneuver). On the WS, for a purl st, lift the back of the wrap over the st it wrapped, and drop it in the front of that st on the left needle. Now purl the st and the moved wrap together.

    I am not particularly fond of the rounded toe. I do not know anyone who has a foot shaped quite like that. All the same, when I did finally finish up the socks (with the ripping back I knit enough for 2 pairs) they were comfortable. Just kind of boring, not really worth the effort. Cat did an elaborate explanation of the waves on the sea as her inspiration for the socks. It really doesn’t come out at all.

    Another gift pair of socks.

  • knitting1105 8:21 pm on July 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    A knitting Closer 

    My 18 year old son eplained to me the other day the importance of a Closer in baseball, and their special skills. They do not have much stamina for the long haul of an entire game, but are accurate and quick to throw good pitches and finish up the game. Too many pitches and they loose their skills and get tired. Well, I decided that would be the perfect thing for me with my knitting projects. I really can handle the long haul and work very quickly and diligently to knit up a project. I just get tired at the end and need someone who is good with detail and accurate to do the last inning of my sweater. My knitting Closer. And I would pay dearly for it. It would mean that I had “won” my project, in that it would be finished and either used or given away rather than languishing in my knitting drawer (well drawers actually as there are many), waiting for the special person to finish it up.

    These Selbu mittens sat with only the thumbs to finish up since last winter. It was a bit embarrassing to myself that it took all of about an hour to finish them up and they were done. If I had had that Closer I would have been able to give them to my daughter to keep her mitts warm all the last cold winter in Iowa. Now, they will sit and wait to give her for Xmas to keep her hands warm on the El in Chicago.

    Notice how the thumb flows neatly on the backside from the palm up in the same pattern, while the public side of the thumb is decorative. These knit up very nicely with Debbie Bliss’ Cashmerino. They are so soft to put on and very warm. I want to make myself a pair, but I will need to use a man’s size pattern as I have very large hands. Even larger than my husband’s. At our wedding, I had to tell the minister that the large ring was mine (no joke)!

  • knitting1105 3:03 pm on July 15, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Cleopatra is finished 

    I finally finished Cleopatra’s socks!!! I felt like it took me 2 months do knit them up. Was it that my life has been so hectic lately, or was it because I had so many problems with the pattern, and the way that it was written?  I did discover a couple of new techniques that I had not used before, in particular the way that the instep was created. One of my problems with the toe-up sock is that the instep is usually very tight and it is difficult to extend it. I also like the structure of a top-down instep, it feels very tailored. This sock gave that feeling. I did have trouble with the left leaning lace section. No matter what I did, it was always noticeably looser than the right-leaning one. I finally came upon the solution. I the traveling stitch and the K2tbl, but did not do the yarn over. On the next row, I picked up the loose yarn between where the YO was suppose to be and created it just prior to using it. This allowed for a tighter cinch than I was able to get otherwise.

    Then the cuff…. The first problem is in the instructions, no photo and very obtuse directions. I do not understand why this could not have been charted also. Thank goodness for Ravelry where I could see what the back of the sock looked like. If you followed the instructions and not the photo, you would have ended up with a very short sock. Up to the point of the twisted rib cable for the cuff, the sock was fitting very nice. The instructions stated that if you wanted a loose cuff to go up a size, and since it was fitting well, I stayed with the same size needle. I finished off with a tubular cast-off to give lots of stretch. And, the cuff is way too tight. I have to pull to get them over my heel. I did knit the second sock before casting off the first, and was able to use almost every inch of yarn. I am not sure that I want to rip back and redo the cuff, I think that I will just find a recipient with thin ankles.

    Not a pattern that I would recommend or knit again.

  • knitting1105 4:59 pm on July 11, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Farosese shawls 

    This is a photo of a shawl that I finally finished this past winter. I bought the yarn while in Colorado 4 years earlier. I love making these shawls, as they are quick to make, easy to remember the pattern, and there is no finishing or worrying about the fit. Well, my word of caution is to always purchase more yarn than you need, especially when it is out-of-state, discontinued yarn. I was short by about 1/4 skein. And so it sat. I looked at yarn stores, and online (even ordered twice from eBay thinking that I had found it), but nothing. So, I took out the favored (by me) lace cast-off, and did a few rows of seed stitch, and had enough yarn. At the time of purchase, I was reluctant to buy an extra skein or 2, as it was 40% off in groups of 10, and full-price otherwise. I do prefer to knit these shawls with either cone yarn, or thin lace yarn that is in long lengths without a join. There were a lot of ends to finish in. With this yarn when I was joining a new skein, I knit 3 or 4 stitches with 2 plys of the old skein and 2 plys of the new skein. This makes it almost impossible for the yarn to unravel. Then I wove each of the ends in place. It was a bit more weaving in, as I had 4 ends at each join instead of the normal 2 (and they were not woven together as they naturally were going in opposite directions). I think that it works well.

    The Lana d’oro yarn used is not my favorite. Still seems a bit scratchy even after a washing. I am not sure who I will give this to yet. Photographing it makes me want to start another one. My daughter is the model, after coming home from the Day Camp that she works at. She specifically told me not to photograph her head. I think that it was because some of the campers had been “styling” her hair.

  • knitting1105 11:03 am on July 8, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Dale of Norway 

    Dale of Norway classic designs are among my favorite, as I have stated before. I wanted to show a sweater that I put up recently on Ravelry. I really can’t wait to start a new one, I want to do the polar bear sweater (and yes I have the pattern secretly stashed away in a locked place). Just have to finish my Viking Boat sweater first. It is so hot that I have been working only on socks. I need to get another Faroese shawl going to have as a take-along project. Almost finished with my Cleopatra’s socks. The pattern was OK. Did learn a few new things.

    This is a sweater that I made a few years ago for my husband’s birthday. It is a classic Dale of Norway design made with Heilo yarn. I made this sweater start to finish—from picking the yarn to having it wrapped up for his birthday (Feb 27th) all in the same month. It was an urban legend at the yarn shop, and my husband was less than impressed with my abilities when he opened it (I think he said something like: “oh, nice”). Time has proven otherwise, as he wears it all of the time, and loves it’s warmth and colors.

    I would do the cast on’s differently given a second chance. I did not pick the correct one to work with the corrregated rib. I used the colors reccomended in the book, but changed one of the medium blues to a teal. It adds just that extra bit of punch and pizzaz.

    I LOVE Dale of Norway!

  • knitting1105 12:18 pm on July 7, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Ode to Abner 

    last Thursday I wrote that Abner was at the Vets. I got a call in the late afternoon that he had multiple issues, from dehydrated and anemic to heart murmur, liver failure, some issue with his pancreas, and others that I cannot remember. We decided that it was not appropriate to seek further treatment (he would have had to go to a specialist for an operation to determine what was wrong, and then not sure if he would even survive the operation with his heart issues). Dan and I decided to have him put to sleep. He seemed to be suffering. Ethan would not go with us, but to my surprise, Sofia did. We said goodbye to him, and couldn’t even get a purr out of him. He looked so beaten down and thin. Not the way he should have to go.

    Here’s my tribute to Abner, the kitten I brought home from the farmer’s market. The cat who followed the kids from neighbors house to neighbors house when they were little and playing, he would just place himself on the couch and wait with the kids. The cat who brought home a mouse for Misha the kitten to learn with and was then stolen by Lloyd (and rescued by Dan). The cat who put up with Lloyd for a full year, letting him chase him and be a puppy, then set him straight. The cat who woke us up in the middle of the night to eat by coming on our bed and purring in our ear. He had his crankly moments, but I really miss him, and I think that Lloyd does also.

    And to the cat that took care of Ethan when he was sick and not feeling well.

    • MrsPeterson 9:58 am on July 8, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Oh Frances, I’m so sorry. He was one cool cat. That’s a sweet photo with Ethan.


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