Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Changing Lanes

I changed projects dramatically yesterday.  I started Hun.

This is going to go one of two ways.  It is going to be a very fast knit or it is going to get set aside and will take forever. 

I am veering from the pattern in one significant way.  I am knitting it top down using Need a Circular Yoke  from Cabin Fever.  I cannot tell a lie.  I struggled.  It took me almost an hour to sort out just how the book worked.   It's a very different kettle of fish than the Ann Budd book, but then, I have worked with more than one of her books before and this is the first time I worked from a Cabin Fever book.

I got lost in transitions and pattern bands and pattern bands and transitions and I kept wanting it just to tell me how often to increase.  I started to wish I had a real book in hand (I have a digital version) where I could turn the pages, indeed where I could see the whole page at once, and toss it on the corner if needed.  I was starting to worry that it wasn't going to work how I wanted it to work, as a free wheeling design tool, seeing how it seemed to rely on specific stitch designs and patterns in transition bands and pattern bands.

But that just didn't make sense.  Its knitting.  Its wool.  A stitch is still a stitch.  The increases were not part of any of the patterning and I understood what she meant by pattern bands and that the increases were all in the basic knitting transition bands and yet the language kept leading me away. I took a while but I did sort out that the transitions and the patterns are really only suggestions, and figured out what would be critical to me and the sweater I was planning to make.  It would have been much easier had I been knitting just a plain sweater using the book first and I have to admit, I do like the direction she is going with this. In fact, in a lot of ways, now that I know what to look for, I think I prefer the extremely simple construction process laid out here.

Anyway, once I got started knitting and knitting confidently,  it was  hard to put down.

I only stopped because there is one more round and I'm will be at the first of the colourwork patterns.  I wanted to be fresh for that.  

It was after 11 till I put it down and that is saying something.  I never stay up that late.  I think this sweater is going to be a wild ride and a lot of fun.

Monday, 26 January 2015

The choices we make.

There was not much knitting at all this weekend.  I played with  babies and kids all day on Saturday and that was lovely. What little knitting there was was decision knitting.

I took out the brilliantly coloured Icarus shawl and worked on that.  According to the book and the markers I had there, I was on chart three, about midway.  I looked and looked for the error that I referred to in my Ravelry notes and could not find it.  I pinned out the lace edge all along.  Nada, no error but I couldn't sort out where I was in the pattern either.

I also took a good long look at what was going on.  When I started knitting this shawl, I was drawn to the strong lines radiating out from the neckline.  I liked the way that would play against the strong lines of colour that formed as the Zauberballs long colour changes played out.  That was still what drew me.

That is still what I liked.  I was not so fond of the way the lace was looking in the strong colours.  Now that it is a large shawl, the colour changes are much shorter.  There were 3 colour changes in the two pattern elements I had completed already and the lace just wasn't doing it for me.  It was falling afoul of the perennial trouble with colour changing lace.  The work gets lost.

I made an executive decision.  Keep what works.  I pulled back the lace and and am finishing it with the long columns.  I haven't decided what I will do to finish it off, a crochet bind off might be a nice edge, bu there is some merit in a garter stitch edge too.  I might slip in a different edging pattern yet too.

Its not quite boring knitting these columns.  It is however just the smallest bit tedious.  It's a good set up for the exciting knitting of Hun.    


Thursday, 22 January 2015

A task for a friend.

My office workmate had a thing she loves to wear but it had a small problem and she was scared that if she didn't do something soon, she was going to lose it.

It is a beautiful sweater that she picked up for a song at a second hand store.  One sleeve seam was coming apart and not being a sewer, she was afraid to try to repair it.

I asked if she could bring it in and I would take a look.  I was concerned that it would have been made with cut seams, as these things sometimes are.  I was thrilled to find regular edges and a perfectly ordinary sewn seam, machine sewn , mind, but otherwise ordinary.  So, job one, carefully pull back just a few more stitches, to the point where both of the original threads are in really good shape.  Job two, check the edges on both sides to be sure that there were no weak spots on the last or second last stitches.  All was good.  

A nice mattress stitch did the trick.  Move along.  Nothing to see here.  All seams, A Okay, but it was nice that I could do a simple little thing like this to brighten someone's day. 

What with all the finishing

What with all the finishing on the weekend, I did a fair bit of digging in the WIP boxes.  I have become reacquainted with what was in there. All the Viajante knitting lately and the pleasure I am having working on that, made me wonder about and take a look at the lace weight projects that have been sitting for a very long time.

My very lovely and still much coveted Bridgewater.  I worked so hard to find enough yarn.  I did a search for dyelots and found a source in the very sweet wheatfran who happened to have the lot I needed.  It really is the perfect colour.  

I worked on this shawl and then had a problem with the garter stitch.  I kept dozing off as I was knitting and you can screw up garter stitch badly if you knit when you are sleeping.  Funny that.  I have a couple of inches I have to take back because of multiple errors.  I started this in November of 2012, whole lifetimes ago.  I need to pull this out and work on it again.

And then this brilliant lacy thing.  Zauberball lacewieght and a casual Icarus, one of a pair I started in 2010. February to be precise.  5 years.  

I had mentally put this one to my frog it pile, but now that I look at it, I wonder why.  In my head, it was small and knit on needles that were too fine.  I had the idea that it wasn't even going to be wearable as a small shawl.  Boy is that ever wrong.  Once I finish it and block it, it is going to be truly stunning. And plenty large!  I do have to rip back to the start of the second chart to fix an error, according to my notes, but that isn't any biggie.  This joyful thing is going to be worked on and finished very soon.

I think I once said that knitting these colours in the middle of winter, was the perfect antidote to the dark and it is.