Monday, January 30, 2012

Almost Too Short - Or Just Long Enough?

It was eighty degrees here last week.  That is nigh on to summer and a good thing that the new cotton is almost completed.  A bit of weaving of ends and a good soak to hopefully remove the hard evidence of row gauge shift from flat to in the round and I'll be looking good.  

The sleeves decided to go against my plan.  These are not 3/4 length.  That was just going to look odd and out of proportion.  So, a very fast thirty-five rounds and one repeat of the slip stitch garter work from the hem and voila!  Task completed.

For these sleeves, I tried something new.  New for me, that is.  Typically I enjoy working sleeves on two circs - ala socks.    Click on this photo to enlarge and take a look at this short 12" wonder of a circular needle.

It took some time to get the hang of the thing.  Especially with this "no stretch" cotton.  The bent angle of the needles is vital to being able to work such a tight space.   After working both sleeves, I am fairly OK with the knit part.  For some reason I really struggled with the purl bind off.  

The final decision is still up in the air on using such a short circumference.   Since I own the little bugger, it will be used again.   When next it holds stitches, it will probably be a nice stretchy and bouncy wool. 


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Again? Why Not?

Four days away from the needles, due to a wonderful working committee experience,  and I was itching to return home and dig in the bag to complete the cotton pullover.  Alas and alack - no such luck.

What greeted me was the realization that I had agreed (aka -  offered in a moment of weakness that was manipulated by a sly and sneaky personage who shall remain nameless) to frog a Dragon Scarf that was one third complete and re-knit the whole thing.  This would be my third Dragon Scarf and suddenly there was much fretting that I was tired of the repetition of the thing.

Adding a bead to each tip along the tail is not an issue.   Honestly, it is fun to look forward to that little bit of celebration at the end of each section.  Each small accomplishment (the bead followed by a few bind off stitches) builds to the final big accomplishment of handing this back to that sneaky personage who shall remain nameless.

It did not take much to re-knit this scarf.  Working with linen is no bother.  Doing this one again means I don't even need to consult the pattern - it is that repetitious and predictable.  Already the thing could be ready to bind off.   There are still plenty of beads remaining and enough linen for several more repeats. 

And owing to the height of "she who..."  it is appropriate to add length.  So, I shall.

I shall do this again even though my feet keep kicking the four projects of my own that languish under the table whilst I make a dragon tail again.  Why not - it is for a dear friend.  And she has offered to drive me to a new yarn store today.   Me thinks she is driving so that I can finish her scarf.  Did I happen to mention that she is a sly and sneaky personage?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Interlocking Pieces

Don't start reading expecting some great universal insight into the yarn-o-sphere.  This is a quick and simple post to remind both you, gentle reader, and moi that life is not all about the sticks and string.  For into each life much enjoyment must fall from many avenues of pleasure.

Sometimes I fret that due to my passion for colorful lengths of fiber and how those lengths can be twined into uniqueness with no two ever being exactly alike, the outside world (aka family, friends and foes) see me as one dimensional.

Here, for all to see and witness, is proof that I am multi-dimensional.   Enough said.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Theme On!

Never let it be said that I don't carry a theme beyond its logical conclusion.  The slipped stitch hem is so lovely, if I do say so myself, that incorporating that reverse stockinette contrast elsewhere required no brain power at all.

And - somewhat with respect to the original pattern that must be hiding around her somewhere - this is a rolled edge. 

A very short six rows of stockinette around the v-neck just happen to roll into a reverse stockinette neckline that matches perfectly with the hem theme.  Adding in this contrast yarn in a very casual style has turned the raglan pullover into a casual top.  That is exactly what my goal was from the beginning.  A casual, wear anytime, Springtime cotton pullover.   I must admit, that when the whole thing was very solid jade, it had a tendency to want to go dressy.  It was begging for a leather flower embellishment or a bit a sparkle filling up the neckline.

As you can see, sleeves are still required.  I'm thinking that you can easily figure out how I might be planning to edge the sleeves.  Only issue left on the design table is the sleeve length.   I'm leaning toward 3/4 length, but given that this top has changed directions several times during the making, the old knitting muse might have a swift turn to make before blocking occurs.

And speaking of blocking, do you notice the extreme change in row gauge when I moved from back & forth to in the round (after the v-neck join)?  It is almost as stark in person as in the photos.  [insert huge sigh here]

Monday, January 16, 2012

A New Ending

It came to me in a flash of boredom.  Since I have my own roll right about where most tops end, I know that following the pattern and ending this pullover with a rolled edge is just wrong - wrong for me to wear and wrong for the rest of the world to gaze upon.

At first, something open or lacy was swirling about in my mind.  Books were consulted.  Online resources were perused.  Nothing just right jumped forth to proclaim, "pick me!"

So, I knit another boring round of stockinette and suddenly it was clear.  I could pull out the coordinating colorway and slip a few stitches with success. 

So simple.  I wonder why it took so long to come to mind?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Swiftly Go The Hands That Knit

Lest you think that my recent absence from the blog sphere indicates an absence from the needles, work is moving swiftly on the new cotton raglan.

Not much to say about miles of stockinette now that no increases are being worked.  Y'all missed the fun part.

I am checking through my library for something of interest to add to the hem and/or sleeves.  The final weight of this piece (aran weight 100% mercerized cotton) has me concerned.  This one pullover, when completed, just might put my luggage overweight for air travel.  Rather than the expected ribbing, the hunt is on for a bit of open work that will add both length and visual interest while using less yarn and thereby saving that last ounce of weight when packing.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

To The Swift. . .

Many a race does indeed go to the swift.  Many a yarnaholic is in a race, swiftly, to use up the stash thereby making space for the new.  I am that person.

To the swift go I.

Plymouth Fantasy Naturale is an aran yarn of 100% mercerized cotton.

How could I have forgotten it was safely stored in the dark under layers of the stash?  Well, given that Mother Nature thinks it is summer in this southland, cotton is about the only thing that is comfortable this week.  This is just a tad over 1200 yards.   When purchasing (whenever that was) I had the foresight to acquire both the jade and enough contrasting yardage to allow a lot of flexibility in the project selection. 

After standing at the swift and winding though all the hanks, this stuff has decided to be a nice comfy loose summer tee.  Raglan sleeves will help in the comfort department so I'm planning a basic, no frills top down so that the finishing is minimized.

Sure do hope that the making goes swiftly.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Wrapping Along

The tulip panels are all done.  The whole wrap is completed.  Even the ends have been woven with care.  There is absolutely nothing wrong that a good blocking could not solve.  

All in all, this was a quick crochet.  But that is probably owing to the fact that it is holiday season with lots of time devoted to staying close to friends and family and college football.  There were a few days when I worked a lot - meaning that I think I have crochet shoulder.  Does that malady even exist?

This Lapis Wrap, which is not lapis but closer to garnet/ruby, is crocheted in a swing style.  The one piece construction means that after ends are secured it is finished.  Gotta love the no sewing.

Click on the photo and check out those tulip panels.  The four row pattern is very easy and could transfer into many other projects.  But the star is definitely the collar.  Well, it is a collar on the back and just extends down the front as luscious lapels.

Beautiful design work.   And my execution is not shabby.  The puffy work for the collar panel is easy to memorize - one row at a time.  But this is not beginner stitching.  Some experience in the intermediate or advanced levels will help things along.

I found it fascinating that the eight rows of the collar are so much wider than eight rows of double crochet.  That is the way that lace goes.  Once blocked, the scalloped edge will really stand out.
Please understand that this is not a fitted vest.  It is a loose and swingy wrap (with armholes) that flows according to the whim of the yarn.

Speaking of which:

Frog Tree sport alpaca - eight balls
Pattern specifies using a 'H' hook
Lenora is a bit loosey goosey and had to work with a 'G'

PS - clearly, I am not the model.  Thanks to Sarah for so willingly posing in the winter sunshine.