Not starting and not finishing

I wanted to swatch for Demi even though this is too warm a project to be working on just now – the AC isn’t on yet in my apartment so scratchy wool is definitely not the material of choice. But there’s no harm in swatching, right? I love the texture in this sweater, and I thought my swatch would look something like this:

Instead, the gauge was given over stockinette. So. I did stockinette. Yes I am deflated.

But. I did get to use the method that TECHKnitter mentioned the other day of remembering which needle my swatch was knit on – it’s ingenius, I tell you. Just tie knots in the end of your yarn to equal the number of the size. Eight knots = 8US. This will come in handy when I pick up that swatch months from now and think about casting on.

As for the not finishing, I was making great strides toward getting this cardigan off my plate, from Sarah Dallas and Yesterknits’ Vintage Knits.

Only mine is not made from Rowan yarn, it’s made from some orange cotton that was demoted to $1/skein in the huge sale that the Garden District Needlework Shop had when they first converted to a knitting and embroidery shop from an antique dealer. And it’s edged with a bit of Classic Elite Provence.

So each piece was done and seamed except the neckband and the button bands. I’ll do the neck band last since I’m eliminating the bow and I’ll have to remeasure the length.

But. Uh, have any of you ever had this problem with your button bands?

I sewed on the one on the right in this photo first. It was uneven. I tried to compensate. I made it worse. I thought, I’ll leave it on till I see if I can correct the other one. The left one, the button hole band, is worse than worse! I was told to knit the button bands shorter than the cardigan front edges, such that when pulled slightly, they lined up correctly. I’d say I cut off about 3/4″ or 1″ from the length of the front pieces. But seaming screwed me up. I think it’s that the bands are knit on 2US and the body is knit on 6US. So I have to readjust my laddering in kitchener stitch.

Other advice?

I will say that this will probably stand alone as my one and only effort on separately knitted button bands…

Swatching in Lanas Puras and not finishing anything

Dear everyone,

So sorry to leave you without any new photos recently! There is something funky with my blog – the Dashboard isn’t working properly, and the Gallery doesn’t seem to work. Are any of you having trouble? My other excuses for not blogging include work and my class and for some reason being sleepy ALL THE TIME. Spring may be in the air down here, but it’s all pollen in my head.

I am having the finishing blues again – or, more accurately, the finishing procrastinations. I left off after the cuff of Sock No. 2 on the lace argyle jobbies. Haven’t progressed beyond heels of the toe-up cable numbers. I have made tracks on the Manly Sweater because the knitting is so easy, which I love, but there’s still a long way to go and it’s not a priority.

These past few weeks, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the arrival of some yarn for some samples that I am supposed to knit up, and I’m getting worried because I’m also making plans to leave the country for work again. I finally got the yarn, and it is luscious – feels like Malabrigo for those of you who are familiar. The yarn is Lanas Puras from One Planet Yarn and Fiber in Orchid and Cornflower. Here are the swatches – in different needle sizes, not just because I have two colors!

I also received yarn for a shawl that I plan to knit for the Averasboro Fiber Festival (sorry, no link – neither of the two links has any info), but again – worried about finishing before leaving the country.

This photo was taken on Saturday and it’s already Thursday. The shawl now has about twelve leaf repeats rather than three, and I’m well into the second ball of yarn. I don’t leave till March 19th, so I think I might make it!

The shawl pattern is free online – Kiri from All Tangled Up, and is a nice diamond-leaf repeat that is easy to memorize, so I’ve been flying along. At least, that is, till the rows got so long that now purling back seems to take a week.

Progress

I’ve made some progress on the items in the work basket lately (see previous entry). One brown sock is finished, and I’ve turned the heel on the second.

Andrea asked about the Wyvern sock(s), a valid question as we had planned a knitalong. Oops. Well, here is as far as I got – one toe of a toe-up sock. The problem is obvious in the second photo, the problem being that not following the tutorial, never a good idea, may lead to unexpected eyelets. I considered continuing, and then thought – nope, this mistake does not qualify as a happy accident. It’s getting unraveled!

wyvern toe

And my plans for a new pair of socks, knee socks I think, are coming along, although I’ve got about 3 pairs to complete before I can embark on that. Around Christmas, I asked my grandmother if I should knit her socks. Of course, she said yes, even though I doubt she has plans to wear them. I liked the idea of designing some for her anyway, even if I’m the one to model them later on. I chose Gems Opal yarn in French Blue, into which I am going to incorporate this Bellflowers design.

blue bellflower

Some progress also on the baby pullover. I decided to go the extra mile and use a separate small needle to knit what will be the bottom edge, designed to roll.

garter

And, oh yes, forgot all about that backordered yarn that magically appeared on my doorstep the other day. I swatched this teal Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed for Interweave’s Blissful Jacket. The teal is not as bright as I anticipated, but it will still work out nicely for this piece. I haven’t chosen a contrast color yet.

aran tweed blissful jacket

Just because I swatch other projects doesn’t mean I’m cheating

Oh my poor little Bobble Cardigan,

It’s not you, it’s me. I’m just not the same person as when I started knitting you. I have loved the time we spent together. Your fiber is strong yet soft. You are lithe and attractive. There is nothing wrong with you. It’s just that I am in a different place now.

No, it’s not only that I’ve been spending time with Bjerk, and I truly wish that you’d stop saying “that B-Jerk.” I’m fairly certain it’s pronounced like Bjork but with an “erk.”

I spend time with Bjerk because I don’t want to hang around the house all the time anymore – I’ve been enjoying getting out and I can’t take you anywhere these days, what with your being in pieces and your ends all hanging out. When we were spending all that time at home in front of the TV, that was one thing. But I want to be free to move around!

I’ve worked hard on this relationship, and I’m not giving up now. You know that I’m committed: We’ve been through thick and thin, unraveling, bumps, twists, and 190 dang bobbles! But something has to change. You can’t accuse me of cheating just because I swatched Bjerk when I should have been working on your shoulders, or every time I knit a couple of rows with Bjerk in my hands. Yes, Bjerk is beautiful, with all those pretty colors

But so are you, in a different way. Neither of you is better or worse. I love your bobbles, Bjerk doesn’t have any of those. And you have such a lovely drape (no, I did NOT say droop!). Just because Bjerk is slightly more youthful and elastic doesn’t mean anything.

OK, you’re right, maybe I don’t know how to handle your edgy crochet, but I’m willing to learn! I can improve, I know I can! Once we work through that, I’ll be able to take you with me everywhere.

It’s just that. Well. You’re right. I probably will never be able to be completely exclusive.

Just set me free and I will come back to you. Stop with the guilt trips. Wait patiently and the novelty of Bjerk will wear off (at about 2 3/4 inches, when Bjerk tells me to use #4 circulars, and I say no because I don’t have any on me).

Reinventing the herringbone.

I had this idea that I wanted to use herringbone in a design. In one of my magazines, there was a photo of a model wearing a herringbone jacket, a regular blazer-type jacket, not knitted or anything.

So I had a vision in my head.

I got out my pencil and paper, made a rude graph, and came up with a couple of potential designs.

Last weekend, I bought two balls of Rowan Yorkshire Tweed 4-ply, a light and a dark, to use in my experiments. I like the colors a lot, and I really enjoy the yarn — a bit of elasticity, soft enough that I don’t have to use those weird leather thimbles I bought to protect my left middle finger:

But my sketches definitely did not equal herringbone when knitted up:

This is a swatch of three different designs, since I was too impatient to do one for each, particularly when I wasn’t getting the intended effect. But something interesting is happening in the transition between the first and second designs, so this piece will be filed for potential future use…

In development work, we talk a lot about reinventing the wheel and ways to avoid it.

In knitting, however, we talk a lot about respecting copyright. So, I wanted to come up with my own pattern, then realized that I would just have to suck it up and google, which yielded this:

Last night, my 48-stitch swatch was almost big enough to go around my wrist, and knitting fairisle flat is a pain, so today I’m trying the herringbone pattern in the round, one needle size down, with a few stitches added, to try turning it into a wrislet.