Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Work in Progress - Boring Knitting

All of my projects are boring right now.  I am definitely not going to keep up my finished object a week  streak.  I'm still pushing through it though because I want to finish them.  First is a simple scarf.  The interesting thing is the yarn - it is 100% mink.  It is from Lotus yarns and I don't see it listed on Ravelry, the name on the label is Mimi.  I bought it at the summer TKGA show; a friend and great knitter was an enabler on this one.  This is a simple diagonal rib pattern with two strands.  The sample had been put in the dryer to make it fluffy.  It was a dream.  It is pretty nice now but I'm hoping that finishing will help.

Bigger project is a skirt.  I'm halfway through - hmm, hadn't thought of it that way before.  More encouraging.  But it is boring and a rather slow project.  I'm not even going to put up the picture because it is not very interesting at this stage - it looks like tweed, which is what I was trying to do.

I haven't been feeling well lately, allergies, stomach issues, etc…  My husband's recovery has been slower than we were hoping.  He started therapy yesterday and today is the first day that he can drive so hopefully that will make it better.  I have struggled to get back into my daily routine and it all leaves me feeling a little down.  It occurred to me yesterday that I need a more exciting knitting project and that would make me feel better.  So, that hasn't translated yet into the energy to go upstairs to my yarn closet and figure out what to start swatching.  Hopefully today.  

Our guild has Chris Bylsma coming in this weekend for a one day workshop.  She is doing the mornings on necklines and the afternoon on edgings.  I may have that reversed.  I have taken her Design in a Day class before and she is a very good teacher.  I don't feel that worried about necklines but I honestly struggle with edgings.  I have come to hate ribbing.  Just tired of always doing it.  I go out of my way to find other things to do.  So these workshops should be good.

I promise to try to perk up today.  Checking out the great WIP's at Tami's will be a help.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Finished Object Friday - Second Custom Fit Sweater

Happy Friday!  Here is my second finished CustomFit sweater.    I am really happy with it.  It is a modification of Dansez by Amy Herzog.  Much thinner yarn and using the CustomFit software to customize to my measurements.  It fits very well, especially under the arms which is always a tricky part for me.  It does have more fitted sleeves than I would normally do - I have pretty thin arms so no commercial pattern would be as close fitting as these or even the right amount of ease that I would like. I could have modified that in the software but didn't catch it in time.  The yarn is soft so it is fine.  

CustomFit software is getting closer to being ready for release.  Amy and team have been working like banshees on it.  I want to do a cardigan but haven't started swatting or thinking about it yet.  I have three very boring projects going on and I'm trying to stay focused to finish one of them.  At least one.  Actually I have more than three projects on the needles because I have a pair of socks that I always forget about and I have the Bee Keeper's Quilt that I go in stops and starts on.  I really do need to finish one thing, don't I?

Head over to Tami's and Wisdom Begins in Wonder to see all the great projects.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday

We're back to the regular school year routine.  Back to school has been smooth - hard to believe that next year will be college not high school.  Guild started last night for the year.  I have the honor of being the president this year and it is more hectic than I expected, even after being on the board last year.  But we had a great meeting, good turn out and we're in good shape on membership - lots of new members, several previous members who have come back, and people just getting their renewals in faster than last year.

Our program was the first part of a KAL for an Elizabeth Zimmermann set in sleeve pattern using EPS.  I'm just going to do the doll sized sweater to get the techniques.  This is how much I got done in the doctor's waiting room this morning.  My husband has the green light to start physical therapy Monday, which means he is then cleared to drive and won't have to wear the sling/contraption he is in. Good News!  I will be very glad when he can drive, he definitely has cabin fever.

My major project right now is a skirt, top down.  You can see the black waistband and the body of the skirt coming out.  I'm probably three inches further on this now.  Very mindless knitting which is good but I might be bored quickly.

Head over to Tami's to see the other projects.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Almost Finished Object Friday

I came very close to extending my streak.  Sleeves are done and blocking.  I'll do the shoulder seams and neckline today and then sew in the arms this weekend.

So close.  Hope you have a great weekend and Labor Day holiday in the US.  Check out the truly finished objects and great projects at Tami's and Wisdom Begins in Wonder.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday - Blocking

Hi there.  All my knitting lately has been on my Dansez Custom Fit sweater.  I was really hoping to get it done for this Friday, but reality is contriving against that.  The front and back are done and I'm almost done one sleeve.  With lots on my schedule, finishing another sleeve, blocking and finishing are not happening by early Friday - maybe late Friday.  Who am I kidding?

I'm happy with how this is turning out.  The lace edging blocked out well.  I'm a bit concerned about the sleeves, may be tighter than what I like but this is a wool cotton blend, so I can probably be able to get a bit more width from it.

I came up with a great change to my blocking routine.  This may be old news to everyone else but it was a revelation to me.  I always wet block - I don't work with fibers that can't have that done.  I do the soaking - many times not as long as I should.  I confess, I'm impatient and I don't rinse as much as I should, frequently skip the roll in towels step.  I used to just take the dripping pieces, head to the guest room bedroom (it has guests two weeks a year and
is a blocking station the other 50), and lay out the pieces, pin, measure, pin again.
My new way starts the same.  Soak the pieces.  While they are soaking I pin out the outline based on the schematic and measurements (Amy Herzog is great about giving measurements of the finished pieces).  I pin the corners and the center line and various spots that look right.  By the time I finish doing that, the pieces have soaked for twenty minutes.  Then I rinse and squeeze out the excess water.  Then I gently lay out the piece to the pre-pinned outline, starting by pinning the corners and then going in.  Then I know it fits the measurements and I can smooth it out.  This has been a great change - especially since my last two projects have had a large cotton percentage and that can grow on you if you are not careful.
Maybe everyone does this and I was just slow figuring this out.  It does make it faster and less stressful to pin out.  I did add additional pins for the lace points after the rest was pinned out.  What other tips do you use for blocking?
It's Wednesday but Tami hadn't posted as of a few minutes ago.  Hope she is okay and just running late.  Head over there later and check it out.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Finished Object Friday

I think this is a record for the most Friday's in a row with a finished object.  I'm not jinxing it by going back to count how many weeks.  My Plaits and Links cardigan is finished!  I did enjoy the process of knitting this.  I was worried about the fit, my first full sized saddle shoulder sweater and it was practically a raglan shaped sleeve.  It does fit well, though the pictures are not all that I would like.  Honestly, it will be four to five months before I can wear this here and I was dying just trying this on yesterday.  100 degrees here yesterday!

The pattern calls for small buttons and just using the holes in the cables as buttonholes.  I hate button holes so I'm all for that, but I'm just thinking that this doesn't need buttons.  Maybe clasps.  If I had planned ahead it would have been perfect for a zipper, but I didn't plan ahead.
The other happy surprise of this was that blocking took care of the rolling of the cast on edges.  I was thinking I would have to use grosgrain ribbon but I don't think that will be necessary.  Our final class on this is tomorrow and the others may have good ideas on finishing ends and button holes.  But for now I'm calling it done!

Thank you all for your good thoughts about my husband's recovery.  I've had two nights of sleep without interruption and that is a great feeling.  He is getting better but sleeping a lot.  Healing takes a lot of energy.

Have a great weekend and head over to Tami's and Wisdom Begins in Wonder to see the great Fiber projects.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Work in progress Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!  Things are getting back to normal here.  We're able to sleep through the night without having to get up for medicine or changing dressings.  Sleep makes a huge difference.  My husband continues to improve, so all is good at home.

I've been working on my second Custom Fit Sweater.  For this one, I started with the Dansez pattern from Amy Herzog's book.  It has a lace pattern around the bottom edge, a scoop neck and elbow length sleeves.  I am using a DK weight, much lighter than what the pattern used.  So I used the software to recalculate based on my yarn and my measurements.  I'm up to the armholes of the back.  Doesn't look like much until you block the lace.
Her sweaters have a lot of shaping.  I have started marking decreases and increases with tiny rubber bands (my son's braces are off and we have tons of these around the house, you do have to cut them off later but they are easy to find and basically free until I run out of his stash).  You can see that there are vertical darts.
This one gives a close up on it.  You can see that there are actually three vertical darts for decreases - starting first with the one that is closest to the middle of the back, then going to the next out and just two decreases closer to the edge.  I had never seen this before (well my last sweater had two darts for decreases - but three?!?).  Amy's explanation for this is that when you have a big difference between hips and waist and have to do a lot of decreases in a short amount of space, it is best to do two or three vertical darts.  This way it will fit better, not pucker or gap in weird ways.  Since I have almost four inches of lace border, all the decreases before the waist have to be crammed in to a small space, therefore more vertical darts.  The top marker is actually where the increases start so you can see that it is just a small vertical area for the waist.  I'll keep you posted on how this works out and how it fits finally.

Last night was Night Knitting for our guild.  We didn't have a great turn out - time of year, people getting ready for school to start, etc… but we had a few.  I was helping someone with a pattern which was really poorly written.  They didn't want to use more than two pages so they skimped on the instructions.  It makes you really appreciate when designers put the time into writing clear instructions.  Especially when you are doing something for the first time like three sets of darts.

Head over to Tami's to see all the great projects.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Custom Fit Sweater - FInished Object Friday!

Happy Friday!
I'm feeling much better, not necessarily getting more sleep, just adjusting to it.  My husband continues to improve but we have 4 - 6 months of recovery/physical therapy to go through.  I promise to not complain for that long.  I'm also very happy to have had so many finished objects in a row!  Feeling very productive.  But this will probably be the last for a week or two.

This is a sweater that came from Amy Herzog's Custom Fit software.  I'm in the second group of beta testers.  You input your swatch details - row and stitch gauges and your measurements.  Then you choose what type of style and some other factors - this is a crew neck pullover with short sleeves and 0" of ease.  You select the hem lengths and depth of the neck opening.  You get a pattern for a bottoms up, set in sleeve that has the waist and bust shaping to fit you perfectly.

I'm very happy with it!  This is a cotton blend that I will get to wear a lot.  I'm planning my second sweater with the beta software now.  The software hopefully will be released this fall.  You don't pay for the software just for the patterns that you create and want to use.

This picture helps you see the vertical darts that are used for the shaping.  The patterns are very well written and give you detailed instructions for the shaping.  There is also a guide for taking your measurements so that you know where and how to measure.  I will keep you posted on how the software is coming and when it will be released.

Have a great weekend, make time for yarn and check out the other great projects at Tami's and Wisdom Begins in Wonder.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday - feeling fuzzy and out of focus

Lots of knitting going on here.  I have blocked the Plaits and Links Cable sweater body and have one sleeve finished.  I want to try the fit of one sleeve before committing on the second.

My Custom Fit sweater is just about finished, hoping to show it on Friday.  I've had a lot of time to knit lately.  My husband is on the mend but can't be left alone right now which means lots of time at home knitting.  I'm starting to swatch for the next project, because at this rate, I will need it.  Honestly, what I need is sleep.  I'm getting 3 - 4 hours per night between changing ice pack dressings and handing out medicine.  Last night I had almost 5 hours but I feel a bit fuzzy and out of focus, like the picture here.  I really thought it was in focus when I took it.  Oh well, this too shall pass.

So head over to Tami's to check out the projects there.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Finished Object Friday

Happy Friday.  Thank you all for the good wishes on my husband's surgery.  It went better than expected and he's responding to the pain medicine well.  Not too groggy or grumpy.  I'm tired because his ice packs have to be changed every 2 - 3 hours.  Our teenage son has been a big help through it all so I'll get a nap later.

I did manage to get the buttons on my Antonia sweater.  It has the top down set in sleeve method that the pattern I was using was calling English Tailoring.  Christina from A Baby Smiles Knits mentioned that it is also called Contiguous.  I hadn't heard that before but there is a Ravelry group that gives a lot of information about it - and the pullover that Tami is working on is in this method.  Funny how all these things show up at once.

I'll hope for better pictures later but wasn't able to do much without my photographer.  It fits very well and I think that I will get a lot of wear out of it - went it isn't 104F outside!

Head over to Tami's and Wisdom Begins in Wonder so you can see the other great projects.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday - Started the CustomFit Sweater

Happy Wednesday.  I'm back to lots of projects.  The newest one is my CustomFit Beta Sweater.  I mentioned last week that I am a beta tester for Amy Herzog's soon to be released CustomFit software.  Using the software, you put in your measurements and gauge information from a swatch.  You can make style choices around neckline, pullover or cardigan, length, sleeve type and length.  After you input that, it generates a pattern sized for your body.

I started on Monday.  I had the swatch done on Sunday and thought I had measurements done then as well but had to redo one.  Measuring yourself is not always the easiest, and as wonderful as my husband is, he wasn't always measuring right.  So I am almost to the back armholes.

Amy is big on vertical darts - see her blog for why.  I like waist shaping but until I read Amy's book I always did it on the sides.  One of the last sweaters I did, I used her method of vertical darts and it did fit really well.  In this case, the software is putting in two pairs of vertical darts on the back to get the amount of decreases I need without puckering.

I also cast on socks just to have a pair on hand when easy portable projects are needed.  These are Dead Simple Lace Socks by Wendy Johnson.  Red is my favorite color, though it hasn't shown up in my knitting in the last six months to a year.

Tomorrow my husband is having shoulder surgery, so I'm going to have about five hours of waiting time.  Knitting will help keep my mind off of all of it.  Recovery is supposed to be long and painful so it will probably be a difficult couple of weeks.

To see lots of great projects, head to Tami's.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Finished Object Friday

Happy Friday!  Believe it or not I have not one but two items to share today.  I know it is a shock but I have finally finished the unending socks!

I am very happy with them.  They fit perfectly.  I had planned to make them longer ( they are toe up), but I hated making these so finally decided to call it quits.  Some combination of the stitch pattern, needle and yarn was just a bear to work with.  And I love all three individually.  The combination was not happy.
Here is a detail of the toe and the stitch pattern.  I have never had a pair of socks that fit so well.  The pattern is Mock Cable by Wendy Johnson.  And I have already cast on for another pair of socks.  I don't plan to finish them quickly but it is handy to have a very portable project to carry around.

 My other item is the Twined Mitts from Beth Brown-Reinsel's workshop.  I really enjoyed these and will definitely use them.  They are really warm.  I may do a pair of mittens that are similar to these.
Here is the back side, just to see how the twining looks.  It is definitely different than stranding.

Since it is Friday, head over to Tami's and Wisdom Begins in Wonder to see the great projects.  Have a great weekend and hope you have lots of time for fiber.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!  I've been knitting away on my lavender cardigan.  I started it a week ago Tuesday and mentioned it in last week's WIPW.  It's amazing how much you can get done when you focus on one project and are on vacation.  Here is where it was a week ago.

I mentioned that it was a top down set in sleeve construction called English Tailoring.  I had heard it mentioned by JC Briar in a class once but had never seen instructions for it until seeing Julie Weisenberger's ebook on it.  You start with the back neck, then do the back shoulders by doing increases (knit front and back) and then holding the back stitches on waste yarn, pick up for the front shoulders, knit three inches straight down.  Then knit across a front, pick up for arm stitches and knit across the back.  That is where I was last Wednesday.

Here's where I am now.  Body is complete including the ribbing at the bottom.  One sleeve is done and second is maybe halfway.  I  picked out buttons yesterday - I have learned that it is better to pick the buttons first and make the buttonholes match them than be stuck with buttonholes that aren't size to the buttons you like.

Here are some more pictures with the details.

 Here is a close up of the shoulder join.  Basically this shoulder seam sits behind the top of the shoulder, on the back.  You can see that it makes a nice tailored looking join.
I will confess that I wanted to do this pattern very badly - it is the last and most advanced in her ebook.  I did not bother doing the intro lessons of course, nor was I deterred by the fact that the pattern was for worsted weight and I had DK weight yarn (Cestari Island Collection - have I mentioned how much I love this yarn!!!).  So I redid the calculations for my gauge - perhaps a bit ambitious.  Laying flat like this you can see that the front shoulder is a bit gathered.  It looks great on, but you can see it laying flat.

Here is a better picture of the arm cap.  The flat section across the top basically becomes the top of the shoulder - you can see the trapezoidal shape of the sleeve cap.

It looks great on and molds to the shoulder well.  Now I did other modifications to match my shape (broad shoulders, small bust, bigger hips).  I added vertical darts (a la Amy Herzog Knit to Flatter) but those pictures didn't come out well.

Here are some other shots.  Shoulder, arm and front with v neck.  That dimple at the shoulder/arm/body join doesn't show up when wearing it.  Well, not as much.
Detail of the underarm shaping.  In general, I'm very happy with this type of tailoring.  I know want to go back and do the intro lesson baby sweater and there is a top down coat pattern I really like.  The instructions for the pattern are a little bit confusing and the schematic is not even close to matching the pictures for sweater length but that is a minor problem.  With luck, I'll have this finished and blocked in a week or so to show on a Friday.

In the meantime, happy knitting.  Check out all the great projects at Tami's.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Finished Object Friday - Custom Fit

Happy Friday!  This is our last week at the beach and it has been great - great weather and lots of time to knit.  I should have finished objects for awhile.

Today, I have this grey sweater - which is astonishingly hard to photograph.  I made it to go with the skirt I knit this spring and it matches perfectly - even though the skirt is hand painted linen and this is a pima cotton.  I designed it with this great plan to have asymmetrical button bands with cute big buttons and crochet button loops.  I even have the really cute buttons.  The button loops were not successful.  I ended up with clasps that work really well.

This is typical of me.  I explain to you first the things that don't work on the sweater.  Now let me tell you why I'm happy with it.  It is made in pieces bottom up.  There is an inch seed stitch border at the bottom and the sleeves.  The cardigan border is seed stitch too and knitted in.  The square neck is also in seed stitch.

To get the sweater to fit - it is basically zero ease through the bust - I used vertical darts above and below the waist detailing.  This is the back shown here but it is similar on the fronts.  Color is much more true here as well.  I don't recall ever using vertical darts before - I like waist shaping but typically put it by the side seams.  It does work better in the body like this - as long as you can make it fit with the stitch pattern and you aren't bothered by the appearance of the vertical darts.  Here they worked out well.  So how did I learn to do this?

If you haven't seen Amy Herzog's book Knit to Flatter, I can't recommend it enough.  She does a great job talking about shaping but also a way to figure out your body type and adjust sweaters to FIT YOU!  I used the principles in her book to design the sweater to fit me and it does!

I had taken a class on altering patterns to fit about two years ago and it was a revelation.  I found out that my shape is not even close to what the fashion industry thinks it should be.  I have a relatively small bust but very wide shoulders and small arms.  So while I have always thought of myself as bottom heavy, pear shaped, my shoulders are basically balanced to my hip size.  I learned in that class that shoulder measurement is so critical on sweaters - it is the point where sweaters are supported.  Since then, my sweaters fit much better, but I adjust and customize everything.

But back to Amy and her mission to have everyone's sweaters fit them.  Her blog  is great and every Friday she does a mini lesson on fit with lots of pictures.  Can't recommend it enough.  She is working on a website/software program where you put in your gauge, sweater design choices (cardigan/pullover, neck shape, sleeve length, etc…) and measurements and it spits out a pattern customized to you that you can then purchase and download.  She is hoping to launch it this fall.  Several weeks ago she put out a call for beta testers and I was lucky enough to see it and be selected.  I'm in group two which starts next week so you be hearing more about it here as it goes on.  That has been part of my mad swatching this week.  And I'm trying to finish a project before starting my beta sweater.

So lots more knitting over the weekend.  Hope you have a great one too and have time to check out Tami's and Wisdom Begins in Wonder to see lots of great projects.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday - Can't make up my mind

 The last few days have been confusing on the knitting side.  Lots of projects have ended and being on vacation, I don't have access to my stash.  Of course I did buy lots of yarn last week at the Knit and Crochet Show - which was fabulous by the way.  So I've been swatching like mad to figure out what to make now.  A friend told me it is always best to start swatting and planning your next project before the last one is done.

These are some of them.  There are several more but they are in the room where my DH is sleeping now.  Yes, blocking is more difficult when you don't have your pins with you.

My cable sweater is not going great.  The sleeves are moving right along but the gauge is giving me fits.  I'm far off on row gauge.  I can keep knitting to make it the right length but I'm just not sure how this is going to work.  So I could be done in three days if I worked at it but doubt is causing me not to want to work on.  Therefore the need to have another project.

I started this sweater last night.  It is a top down, V neck cardigan sweater with set in sleeves with an unusual construction.  It is from Julie Weisenberger (CocoKnits Designs) ebook on English tailoring.    The construction technique is one I've heard of in passing but not seen in a pattern.  You shape the back shoulders for a steeper slope and then do the front shoulders straight and they wrap over the shoulder line.  When I heard of it before, they did the sleeves just like normal set in sleeves, but she does them differently.  This should be a good challenge.  I got this yarn at the show, it is a cotton, wool, silk blend from a rancher in Virginia with his own mill.  Great color and feel.  Of course it is not the same gauge as the pattern so I'm changing the pattern to suit it, because there wasn't enough of a challenge.

At the show I took a class on Magic Loop, which was timely because it is needed in this.  It also covered Judy's magic cast on - which I use for toe up socks, but they were using it for double knitting - brilliant - and also provisional cast on.  Very interesting.  I also took Gwen Bortner's class on skirts.  Gwen is terrific.  Just a great class.  I can't wait to have the time to put it to use.  I also took Twined Knitting with Beth Brown Reinsel, another of my favorite teachers and just loved that as well.  So a great knitting week - learned new techniques and construction methods and bought great yarn with lots of possibilities.

Head over to Tami's to see all the great projects.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Work in progress - from the Knit and Crochet Show

Happy Wednesday.  I'm in Indianapolis for the Knit and Crochet Show. Today is Masters Day which is great fun.  Committee members don't get together that often so it is great to catchup with people we don't see often and also to meet knitters working on their Masters. The day is jam packed but really worthwhile for those working on their Masters.

My sweater is coming along. I did it in one piece bottom up for the body and that piece is done. The sleeves are saddle sleeves. I don't think I have ever done that type before and I'm not sure if it will fit well without modifications so I'm going on faith. So the fronts and backs are done and the sleeves are about 1/3 of the way done.

Head over to tami's to see all the great projects.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Finished Object Friday

Yeah!  I finished my sweater in time.  I will not have to put it in the suitcase wet or unblocked.  Unfortunately i am by myself right now so pictures are not that great.  I experimented with my camera timer for the first time but without a tripod, it is difficult.  So then I went to the camera in front of face in the mirror trick.  Not ideal but you get the gist of it.

It fits well and I am very happy with it.  I do need to wear a cami under it but that just could because of my age and upbringing.  I'll also be the last woman in the world wearing pantyhose.

I will try to get better pictures next week.   Now I can focus on figuring out what to bring to the Knit and Crochet Show next week.  My homework is done but what to bring is always a big deal.  What to wear and what to work on.

A few close ups of the details.  This is beading and horizontal welts at the waist line.  The welts show up above almost looking like bumps.  I don't know that they would always work but they provide the transition from the vertical pin tucks to the body.

I'm also very happy with the neck line.  Two rows of applied I cord - one rolled forward and exposed the pick up stitches.  Two laid flat.

Head over to Tami's and Wisdom Begins in Wonder to see what everyone else is doing.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday

The pictures don't show much progress.
The unending socks are at least recognizable as socks.

My cable sweater has been in time out for a few days.  Cables were just not behaving themselves.  I'll probably start up in a few days on it and it is the time to divide for the armholes.

And while it doesn't look like it, I think that I will finish the blue sweater in time to wear it at the Knit and Crochet show next week.  Just a little bit left to go on the neck line.  The good thing about top down construction is there is no finishing to speak of.  A few ends to weave in and blocking but this is so thin it should dry quickly.  I'll just show the neckline and with luck have it to show on Friday.

Head over to Tami's to see lots of great projects.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday

It has been a few weeks since I posted on a Wednesday.  My unending socks are still in progress, though for a week or so I did do a minimum of one round per day.  Things do progress if you work on them.  Imagine that.  My pink cable sweater got to the armholes and since it is part of a class I am taking, I set it aside when I got to that point per the homework instructions.  Class is on Saturday so I'll start working on it again this weekend probably.

I think I hadn't started this sweater when I last blogged.  It is an experiment.  Oh, by the way I want to be wearing it at the TKGA show two weeks from today.  Yes I am delusional.  Here are the challenges I gave myself.
1.  This is a great tencel/merino wool lace weight hand dyed yarn from BuenaSuerta, a great independent dyer from near Austin.  I loved the yarn at a fiber show last fall, but I am tired of making lace shawls that I don't wear much.  So, how could I do a sweater from the lace weight - challenge 1.
2.  I have a shirt that I love that has pin tucks down the bodice.  I wanted to get that look from knitting.
3.  I wanted to emphasis the waist with horizontal welts - meaning have the knitting stitches go across the bodice not in the direction of the knitting.
4.  I wanted to put beads in it - not sure why, I just did.
5.  I wanted to try top down construction with set in sleeves.

 Other than being done in two weeks, I'm pleased with my progress.  Not great pictures but here is a peek.  One sleeve is done - 3/4 length with a hem.    It came out pretty well - could have been a bit narrower at the underarm but this is the area I struggle with to fit properly.
The yarn is working out great.  This is on size 2 needles and the drape is wonderful.  I thought it might be too see through and I'd have to wear a cami under it but I don't think I will have to.
The pin tucks worked out great - these are twisted knit stitches on the right side and slipped on the wrong side.

Here is a close up of the pin tucks.  The horizontal welts worked out too - attached I cord!  takes forever but worked out great.  Those are beads between the welts emphasizing the waist.  So in general, I feel good about all these challenges.  I probably have about 4 more inches on the body and then another sleeve and the neck finishing.  That is the great thing about top down construction, you can try it on as you go.  Cross your fingers that I can get it done.  The socks will certainly not see any action any time soon.

Head over to Tami's to see lots of great projects.

Friday, June 14, 2013

FInished Object Friday and 2nd Blogiversary!

It's true, today is the second anniversary of this blog.  A lot has happened in two years.  Why is it that the older we get, the faster time seems to go.  I'm very grateful that you stop by and read this, post comments, and offer encouragement.  I feel like I have made friends through Tami's and Wisdom Begins in Wonder, even though I may not know there names.  And whenever I have a knitting dilemma you all have an answer.  Thank you so much for that.

Today I have a finished object for a little girl.  This will be published in November in Cast On, they don't get excited about you putting things on blogs in advance.  I'm doing an article on set in sleeves and had to have a pattern as an example.  Honestly I'm way ahead of their schedule but with doing the article as well, I needed it.  The normal deadlines are pretty stressful.  This was much less so.

The only stressful thing was that I almost ran out of yarn.  This is in Liberty Wool super wash.  I'm not usually a big fan of super wash but I love how this yarn turns out after washed.  And for kids it has to be washable, right?  I have about 3 yards of yarn left!  As a result I just did a crab stitch edging and crocheted button loops.  I hate ribbed buttonhole bands, so even if I had more yarn, it is doubtful I would have done more.  The ruffled edges are from a Frilled Cast on.

You know the drill.  Go to Tami's and Wisdom Begins in Wonder to check out all the great fiber projects.  Have a great weekend with lots of yarn.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Work in progress Wednesday

Hey there.  I started a new project this weekend, Kathy Zimmerman's Plaits and Links Cardigan.  It is a great aran pattern with saddle sleeves.  I'm doing it as part of a class with some members of my guild.
I'm using Louisa Harding's Grace Silk and Wool.  Really great yarn, holds color great and isn't itchy (I'm sensitive to itchy).  It is a single ply so it may pill badly but we'll see.  I've had it in my stash for years and got it on sale for 50% off.  We're doing it in one piece up to the armholes, so a row takes forever.

Other projects are just about complete - buttons and buttonholes - so hopefully I will have something to share on Friday.  Of course my never ending socks are still in the same place as usual.

Head over to Tami's to see the great projects there.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Finished Object Friday

Happy Friday!  Beautiful weather here, not too hot or humid yet, but still to warm for my finished object.  Why do we always finish things off season?

I designed this tunic myself.  It was a pretty challenging design.  I don't think I will ever write up the pattern because it took four tries to get the sleeves right so that the stripes matched at the armhole.  The thought of sizing that four times is not exciting.

A little on how I did this.  I bought this yarn, Berroco's Remix, during the yarn crawl last fall at a great price at Holley's Yarn shop.  I loved the color combination and I like how the mix of silk, cotton, and synthetics work together.  It is comfortable, plush but not too hot.  Since it was on sale, there wasn't enough to get one color for a sweater.  That made me think of stripes.  I was thinking of how Missoni does the chevron stripes and I wanted a tunic with three quarter sleeves.

First I had to figure out the color sequence.  I used a ruler and wound samples of different sequences to see what I liked.
 I didn't want the stripes to be the same size but wanted to vary their size.  I had read an article years ago about using Fibonacci series to come up with stripes.  The series is 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, etc..  you add the last two numbers together to get the next number in the sequence.  To make it easier to knit I used 2, 2, 4, 6, 10.
First try didn't speak to me on color order.

 Actually this might have been the first try when I would actually do stripes one row high - in flat knitting, what was I thinking?
Third try.  This is what I went with.  So there are four colors and five stripes so you get a more complex looking design.

Then I thought about the actual stitch pattern.  After research, I found two ways that chevron stitches are made.  The first is with yarn front and back for the increases and the other uses yarn overs for a lacy effect.  I decided to use both.  The 10 row stripe is in yarn overs.  The others have the yarn front and back to make chevron - except the second stripe of two rows.  That stripe I did in a two garter row stitch.  I had seen that combined with chevrons on some pillows and really liked the addition of texture.
Might be hard to see all the texture but i like how the second two row stripes stand out in garter and the biggest stripe that is ten rows is lacier from the yarn overs.

Construction wise I did it bottom up, flat in tunic length with a v neck and ribbing around the neck.  The body and 3/4 sleeves don't have ribbing at the bottom.  I just blocked the points so they would stay.

All in all, I'm very satisfied with it.  It was a long project but worth it.

Head over to Tami's and Wisdom begins in Wonder to see other great projects.