Yarny Goodness!

Another super exciting fun knitblog

  • November Knit Goals

    I'm prone to being a scatterbrain, so I try to make a short list of things to accomplish each month (lest I have 27 different non matching socks).

    Same as last month: Sleep more. Study more. Knit more. Sleep more.

  • Sweater-a-Month 2008

    Cabled Hoodie: Cascade 220 - Needs seams

    Urban Aran

    Mariah: Ella Rae Classic


    Tubesque: Noro Garden + ???

    CeCe: Silky Wool

    Lucy in the Sky

    Rogue: Handspun - Needs seams

    Elizabeth Zimmermann's Bog Jacket

    Ribbi Cardi: Cotton Ease (Blue/White)

    Ruffled Surplice (spring 07 Interweave): Yard TBD

    Red Carpet Convertible

    Silk Corset Top: Alchemy Synchronicity

    Eyelet Rib Cardi (inspired by Spring 07 Interweave)

    Bella Paquita: Shelridge? Karabella? Sublime?

    A top down set in sleeve sweater (a la Barbara Walker)


    Vintage Pink (Raspberry) Cardigan - FINISHED!!

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Archive for December, 2008

My birthday present to myself: A new sweater!

Posted by Amber on December 30, 2008

I guess doing the same thing for two years in a row makes a tradition, right?  So my new tradition is to have a new sweater for my birthday!

It still needs a good name.  I have it in ravelry as “Lucy planted firmly on the ground” (there’s a story, there’s always a story)

The yarn is Shelridge Farms W4 in “Pink Lemonade” – I’m worried it’s a little too pink, in the “I’m 5 and I love princesses and I want a pony for my birthday!” sort of way.  But Judy says that with my new haircut [hair: here/here; I couldn’t turn 27 with bad hair] it just looks very preppy).  I like preppy.  I’m not usually preppy, but I’m also not 5 and I don’t love princesses (but a pony would rock).  I thought about trying to overdye to get a darker raspberry, but I don’t have enough yarn to really make test swatches.  Prep wins.

Needles: US 7; gauge 4.75 st/inch, 6 rows/inch.

The name story: I LOVE Laura Chau’s (CosmicPluto) “Lucy in the Sky” – I’m simply too stupid to knit it.  I’ve tried several times.  I can’t keep track of when I need to do a knit stitch on the wrong side.  I even tried doing it in the round with the intent to steek (looked much too big after about 3 inches).  There’s not a single thing wrong with the pattern, I just can’t count to save my life and couldn’t get the diamonds right.  So the yarn went back in the yarn closet for a while.

So then, I was knitting a pair “Diagonal Cross Rib Socks” [ravlink] in “Favorite Socks” and it had a twist stitch pattern, which had me thinking how if I did twist stitches going in two ways I could get diamonds.

And then, while looking for a motif for a hat in Barbara Walker’s Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns I found Knit-Twist Lattice” (page 149, original hardback printing), which is for a multiple of 16+2 (which, by the way, different from multiple of 18.  I’m a dumbass whether or not I’m following a pattern it seems!)  So I could do 16*11+2=178 (divide by 4.75 = 37.5 inches) or 16*12+2=194 divided by 4.75=40.8 inches.  I decided to do a little more ease than I’d originally planned, and went with 194.

I sort of followed the Elizabeth Zimmermann Percentage system … only not really, since I’ve never actually read anything beyond the picture with the percentages.   But it’s sort of intuitive.  I wanted little to no ease, so I went with a number very close to my bust.

Actually, I had wanted to make it all Barbara Walker, all the way – I was worried about running out of yarn and was going to do the sweater top down, so that I could make the sleeves shorter, if necessary.  But I couldn’t figure out how to start the pattern at the neck/shoulder edge, and have it expand out to where the edge of the lattice would be at the edge of the seed stitch button band.  So to get around this, I did a provisional cast on for the number of stitches to fit my bicep, and worked about one inch, then put those on a holder.  (In my case, 14″*4.75=66.5, and I rounded down to 66.)

(As close as I have to a picture of the sleeve – this was post join, pre-sleeve-down knitting)

Okay, so I cast on for the body (194 stitches), and working flat — worked seed stitch for one inch, then work the body until it’s as long as I want the sweater to be.  Even though it’s a cardigan, I can think of there being a front and a back – 97 stitches on each side.  97/2 = 48.5 – so 49 stitches for each of the fronts and 96 for the back.  I wanted 10 stitches at the underarm where the sleeve joins the body (I find this reduced bulk in the armpit – but I’ve seen lots of other patterns that have you just join straight across), so I knit over the first 44 stitches, put the next 10 on a holder, joined the sleeve, working 56 sleeve stitches and putting 10 sleeve stitches on a holder.  Worked 86 stitches on the back, next 10 on a holder, join the second sleeve, and then work the last 44 front stitches.

Now I had to decrease the sleeves and front neckline (I like deep, wide v-neck sweaters).  I had 44 front stitches and 56 sleeve stitches.  For a raglan you take away two sleeve stitches at a time, and I wanted them to be about 1.5 to 2 inches wide at the top (so, 8 to 10 stitches) – 46 stitches eliminated, or 23 decrease rows.  But every row will also eat one front stitch, and I want a few stitches at the neck edge when I finish, so I can’t decrease at the same rate on the neck edge and the sleeve edge.  I sat down with some graph paper and plotted a few different rates of decreasing, before settling on decrease every RS row 5 times, then do a plain (no neck-edge decrease) on the 6th RS row.  This way I’d decrease 20 stitches on the neck-edge, 23 stitches on the sleeve-edge, ending with 3 front stitches. (3 front stitches, 10 sleeve stitches and 40 back stitches; 66 stitches total, for 13.9 inches).

(As an aside – has I been a better planner, I’d have figured out a way to get the lattice to run along the very edge of the neck better.  Wasn’t worth ripping again.)

I could have easily decreased the sleeves and front at the same rate, and done 22 rows of decreases instead of 23 – the yoke would be a little shorter, and I’d have had 2 front stitches, 12 sleeve stitches and 42 back stitches — or 70 stitches total, which would be 14.7 inches).

(Also, the first time I was knitting the yoke, I realized I had cast on 66 stitches for one sleeve, and only 56 for the other sleeve.  I realized this after about 12 decreases in the yoke.  There was much cursing.)

So then I picked up stitches from the front edge, around the neck, and down the other edge, with 8 3-stitch button holes.  On the one hand, 8 button holes over 15 inches was probably too much.  On the other hand, it sort of pulls as it is, so fewer button holes would probably make that worse.  And I love the buttons I found (at G Street Fabrics; but I also found some awesome ones at ButtonDrawer.com)

This is where I feel so clever.  After finishing the button bands, I weighed my remaining yarn, split it into two equal balls, and unpicked my provisional cast on from the sleeve, and knit the sleeves until I was almost out of yarn, ending with another one inch (6 rows) of seed stitch to match the cast on and button band.  I had already knit one inch of plain stockinette, so I knit one more inch, then I began decreasing about every 6 rows (one inch) on either side of a center maker.  I did that 5 times (10 stitches decreased) which was just about right for a comfortable fit around my elbow (neither too tight and constricting nor too loose and breezy).  They ended up a very nice elbow length.  Which is sort of silly for a wool sweater, on the other hand I push my sleeves up all the time anyway, so now I just won’t have fabric bunches around my sleeves.


Posted in fo, lucy, sweaters | 2 Comments »

Still No Santa

Posted by Amber on December 25, 2008

11:33 here in DC; Still no sign of Santa.  But I’m keeping busy!  I finished the sleeves of my lattice sweater.  (It needs a name; suggest a name!)  Since photographing I wove in all the ends.  Next I have to reinforce the buttonholes; wash; sew on buttons.

Merry Christmas, or happy Thursay!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Do not cast on during pity party: a cautionary tale

Posted by Amber on December 14, 2008

My Lattice Sweater (Lucy Planted Firmly on the Ground / EZ+BW=OTP / whatever cutesy name I’m going to call it) was coming along really great tonight.  I started the sleeves (see below) last night and joined them and worked 24 rows (got confused earlier, 12 RS rows).  But it wasn’t looking quite right…

(Top view)

Oh no, of course I had to serious screw something up.  I managed to do a 66 stitch sleeve (correct) on one side, and a 56 stitch sleeve (incorrect) on the other side.

Yeah, now I get to thread a lifeline in 40 inches of all over lattice stitch.  WONDERFUL.

I maintain that my sleeve idea was brilliant though: I’m worried about running out of yarn, so I did a provisional cast on, and did about 6 rounds.  Then I put 10 stitches on a holder, and joined just like I was joining sleeves for a raglan (ala EZ).  When  I finished the body and button band, I was going to split the leftover yarn and knit the sleeves as long as possible.

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Planz: I haz them!

Posted by Amber on December 11, 2008

I know, you’d never guess I have a list of things I want to make if you say, looked at my ravelry queue.  But let me tell you about my plans!

Right now I’m working on a bottom up seamless raglan, ala Elizabeth Zimmerman:

It’s Shelridge Farm W4, in “Pink Lemonade.”  I loved this color a few years ago when I bought it, but now I’m finding it a little …pink.  I’ve started knitting a sweater with this very yarn twice before, and frogged twice before, so this time I’m thinking of overdying.  If I don’t have enough to make a few swatches with when I’m done (I’m concerned about running out, more on that later) I might buy one more ball in a different dye lot, and then do some experimentation with Kool Aid/food coloring … maybe even “real” dyes.  We’ll see.  Or maybe the …pink will grow on me.

As soon as that’s on the drying rack I have this:

Black Water Abbey Yarns‘ 2-ply worsted.  I’m going to make a Mariah, but top down, and with pockets (possibly pockets with zippers to replicate my favorite (but now dead) fleece from Eddie Bauer.  I loved being able to zip my pockets shut and not worry about my keys falling out.)  Need to chart that one.

Aurora 8 in gray, raspberry and white.  I need to wash the gray to get the kinks out, and also test to see if the red bleeds.  Then I’m going to make a top down raglan ala Marnie McClean’s Sam I Am cardigan (I’m thinking of doing corrugated ribbing though…I wonder if corrugated ribbing is hard to do flat).  Since I got the yarn at Stitch DC I think this will mostly be  an “at work” project.  I’m also going to experiment with increasing the sleeves at a different rate from the body.  I always wind up with more sleeve stitches than I need.

Maple Creek Farm Boucle and Yarn Love Charlotte Bronte (aran) to make a Cathode.  I’ve begun to worry the Boucle is too thin, so I might try and find a hank of their sock yarn in the same colorway (Pebbles).  I might then switch the contrast yarn over to something less overwhelming, like black.

(Also on my shelf, some pretty gray-silver yarn to make a raglan with some cables; some browny-gray yarn to make a Tangled Yoke; some purple tweed for a cabled vest; some blue tweed for something ala Kim Hargreaves’ Salina [ravlink]…)

…I think I may need to be taking some time off work to finish these before classes start up again (Jan 20th).

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Stash Club – A Rocking Friday Night

Posted by Amber on December 6, 2008

Friday night.  Had some delicious Thai at  Sweet Rice in Falls Church.  Went to the post office to mail out stash club.  Saw some panties by the front door.  I wonder if the post office is a cruising spot.  Why else would you take your panties off there?

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