Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Plenty Of Time?

At first it seemed there was plenty of time.  Suddenly it is mid-September and a deadline looms. 
  • Are my needles flying?  No.
  • Is any piece completed? No.
  • Is it the only thing in the project bag? No.
  • Did I start another cap for Knots of Love?  Yep.
  • Do I have time to write a blog post?  Yep.
  • Is there plenty of time to finish the bolero commission?  Sure!

 At least the two fronts are exactly the same and mirrored perfectly.  But the pieces are not completed.  The back isn't finished either.  That is hanging out on waste yarn so that I can absolutely make the upper arm hole row counts be precise.

Don't even ask about the sleeves.  Normally, one might choose to knit the sleeves before the fronts - owing to how big sleeves tend to be and the amount of yarn they chew up and how boring it can be, etc., etc., etc.  I'll do these sleeves last because they really are not sleeves per se.  More like little short caps that barely meet at the under arm seam.  The eventual wearer of this bolero wants a bit more length and I await her final (as in final) decision.

So the sleeves will be knit last and veer from the pattern.  Oh,  I changed the stitch pattern as well.  After all that Moss stitch on the vest for moi, an entire little sweater/bolero in Seed stitch was just too much. 

I'm using gauge  from a real published pattern so that should count for something.  Yarn substitution, stitch substitution, sleeve re-design, and eventually a different edging but it will be close to the original. 

Sorta.  Kinda.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Spread The Love

The local yarn shops are abuzz with folks planning their holiday knitting.  I, too, am caught up in the thrill of the hunt for that "requested" shade of lilac.  Yes, it is that time of the year when so many of us start to focus our loving hands creations on others.

Take the good folks at Knots of Love.  They focus on others all year round.  And you can help them do the goodness!

Look at this nice squishy and comfortable hat.  It is a very quick knit and will bring joy to someone I do not know.  Hopefully as much joy as I received in the knitting.  

The pattern is available on the Knots of Love website - along with all of the specifics on yarn selection.  I'm not one to twist arms - but if you have a little appropriate softness in your stash and your heart, please consider casting on for someone in need.

Scarves, hats, lap blankets, baby blankets, toys - - - just search out a local organization near you and spend a few evenings thinking outside your circle.

These hats are so quick and easy, that I doubled up on the love.  You can too.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pike's Peak Vest

'Tis done.


Free pattern from Berroco

Madelinetosh Tosh Merino in the Mare colorway

 Inverting the back triangle pleases me greatly.  I just can't vision that center section protruding outward.

All of the work grafting the collar was worth it.  Nice smooth rolls that are squishy when the head tilts back in laughter and glee.

 Now, if it would only be a little cooler. 

Thanks to daughter #1 (she being the elder) for once again serving as model.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Roll, Collar, Roll

The vest, which is now dubbed Pike's Peak, was almost a breeze to sew together.  The pattern, as I have probably already mentioned, includes a seam right down the center back of the collar.  There is nothing wrong with a center seam.  Go check out the racks of ready-to-wear and without too much effort, you'll find such a design.

Maybe if I were height enhanced and graced with an elongated swan like ballerina style neck, a seam - which would tend to make the collar stand up tall and stretched - could look good.  But people!  My proportions just can't work with that design. 

 A bit of grafty work was just the ticket.  I'll not give away the whole of the Berroco pattern design, but will let you know that the two chunky cables and the RSS edging (which is purposely designed to roll to the right side) continue up the vest fronts to wrap around the neck. 

All that was required was to sit in the kitchen and use the kitchener stitch to make it all work out for moi.  Since I don't do fancy stuff like graft purl stitches, all that I did was work the normal KPPK across the RSS from the wrong side (where the knit stitches look like knit stitches), move the yarn with needle to the right side (where the cables are looking like cables), flip the work and continue onward grafting across the cable work.  Low and behold!  Smooth stitch work, no bulky seam and a fully squishy collar around my neck.

Now that I have your attention, it is important to remember that the kitchener stitch actually adds in a row of stitches.  For my row count (yours might be different) the result is a longer "space" between the crossed cables.

Because I wanted this to become a squishy collar, the final result is that the RSS and elongated space between cables both have the same appearance.  It's like a little miracle. 

And, because I know that some where at a knit group in the future someone will ask to see the underside, here is a photo of how the wrong side looks once grafted. 

At first, it did not look this good.  There was a bit of a do over until I was able to get the tension of the grafted stitches to match the actual knit gauge.  Turns out that a soft collar of worsted merino worked on a US #10 does not need to be yanked tight like the toe of a sock knitted down on a US #1.

Pesky gauge. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Block, Sew, Wear?

The needles have been quite busy as the summer calendar turned to post Labor Day thinking about autumnal temperatures.  There was a cool breeze one evening and that was all that I needed to finish up "stuff."

 Here are the pieces of the vest that first hit the needles a month ago.   Notice that the back piece has no arm hole shaping.  The entire arm hole is created by an extension of the front piece. 

It was hard for me to conceptualize during the actual knitting.  Then, in what can only be described as a flash of brilliance, I looked at the schematic.  There is a reason that designers provide that little measured drawing.  Just sayin'

The front pieces also include collar extensions that bring the cable work around to the back.  This is all fine and dandy and I do understand how to sew it all together.  But I'm just not sure that I want to sew it all together.  According to the pattern, I am to bind off the cables and then sew a seam.  A seam - right in the middle of the back collar.   A seam - that tends to make a firm line right where the reverse stockinette section is designed to curl and roll toward to big fat chunky cable.

Seems that a seam will cause all manner of havoc on that nice rolling part and make what should be soft into something not soft and and not so curly.  HMM.

Even in this photo of the unblocked front, it is easy to see how that reverse stockinette curls toward the cable. 

Me thinks a bit of grafting across the RSS and then across the cable will be much more pleasing.  So, the plan for this morning is to graft first, sew second, wash third and finally wear on the next cool evening.