Sunday, November 25, 2007

Placed Cable Aran

Pattern: Placed Cable Aran by Cathy Payson in Fall IK 2007
Materials: K1C2 Angora Soft ( ) 6 balls in color Dove. US8 Addi Turbo Circulars 24, 32".
Gauge: about 18 sts and 24 rounds per 4"
Finished size: 32" bust

Started: September 7, 2007
Finished: November 18, 2007

Plenty. I didn't care for the boxy look of the original pattern, especially the modified drop shoulder sleeves. I'm petite, so I thought that this would look silly on me and overwhelm me. I'm also lazy, so I knit the thing in the round using a column of purl sts to create a faux seam and threw in some waist shaping for good measure. Then I knit flat after dividing for the arm holes and decreased out another inch or so of stitches at the armhole so that the shoulder seam would lie on my shoulders instead of below them. I may have decreased a bit too much, but oh well.

I knit the cowl as directed, but then I picked up stitches for the sleeves around the armhole, 1 st for every 2 rounds because I wanted narrower sleeves. See my previous post on how I wrestled with this. I decreased every 6th round to about the elbows then decided that I didn't like the deep ribbing at the cuffs in the original pattern since I didn't think it matched the rolled hem or rolled cowl neck. So I decided to increase every 10 rounds or so to the cuffs to mirror the shaping through the body and just left the cuffs with a natural roll. I found that a sewn bind off gave a nice roll here.

This should have been a very fast knit, but I ran into knit lethargy. I didn't use the pattern all that much except as a reference point for sizing and for the cable pattern placement and cowl neck shaping. I found on Ravelry that some people didn't much like the cowl, but I think it can work nicely, especially since I don't exactly live in a climate where a turtleneck is really an option. Also, since I think I might be a bit sensitive to angora, the looseness of the neck is a blessing.

The yarn did absolutely nothing for me as it had a tendency to be a bit thick and thin which is not what this yarn should have been. I chalk it up to bad manufacturing. It did however cost a whopping $18 for the whole sweater, so I can't complain that much, and the drape suits the cowl neck well. So the yarn it served its purpose and now I still have 7 balls of the stuff left over. I'll have to find it a new home.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pushing the rock off...

And emerging from underneath to say hello! I didn't want the few of you who still check back every now and then to think I'd died or anything. Actually, I've been focusing on other things like


Yes, we took the plunge and are officially homeowners. Well, not exactly officially since we don't close escrow for another few weeks, but official enough to be feeling really poor. Once we move in, I'll share better pictures with you, but for now, here's the highlight of the place for me and likely where you'll find me for the month of January after we move in (yes, those are jets):

But apparently, buying a home made something click inside because I finally finished two projects that have been looming for the last two months. I only have pictures of one, the socks, but I'll save the Placed Cable Aran sweater for another post.

Fan Panel Socks

Pattern: Based on Fan Panel stitch pattern in Vogue Stitchionary Vol 1
Materials: Mind's Eye Merino/Tencel hand-dyed sock yarn (about 400 yards per skein - no specifics available as this yarn came with no ball band)
Gauge: about 10 sts/in
Finished size: fit my US6 women's feet

Started: September 24, 2007
Finished: November 12, 2007

I wanted a better heel than I'd been using for heel flap, toe-up socks. Previous attempts had me using short rows on half of the total number of stitches. After working short rows, I'd then pick up all of the wraps on one side, knit back to the other side and pick up all of those wraps. This yielded a very shallow heel flap determined by the number of increases I added for the gusset.

I liked how a top-down heel flap extends almost to the bottom of the foot. I decided to try working the heel turn as a triangle starting with only 1/4 of the total number of stitches and working enough rows so that if I picked up 1 st for every row, I'd end up with a heel flap comprised of 1/2 the total number of stitches. Okay, I can't describe what I did, but at any rate, I like how it turned out. Well, except for the tiny hole at the top of the heel flap, but I'll get over it. If I were to make these again, I'd omit the patterning on the bottom of the foot and across the toe as it really doesn't add anything. In fact, it creates unsightly little peaks on the toe since the toe increases are on the top and bottom instead of the sides. I'll let it go and chalk it up to a design element. This time.

Also, check out this finished ruffled cable cardigan... makes me want to finish mine and hope it turns out half as nice!

Friday, November 02, 2007

You guessed it...

I still haven't gotten back my mojo. Oh well, that's okay. This is probably the longest I've gone since I started knitting without producing any FO's - over two months! And I haven't even started anything new.

But in other news, I did get a chance to visit with BB again a couple of weekends ago. He's too cute for words, and one big boy! At 3 months he weighs 16 pounds already. I'm looking at my brother and his wife and wondering if this kid is alien spawn because honestly, we're just not big people round here. Well, except for maybe DH, whom BB looks at with complete puzzlement because DH just doesn't look the same as the rest of us. Anyway, for lack of any better pics to show, I'll post some my brother took of my favorite nephew.

Geez, if I'm this incessant with someone else's kid, I can only guess what you people will have to suffer through if I ever take that plunge. BTW, that's the baby bolero from One Skein by Leigh Radford. It's sized for newborns, but as we've already established, he's a large 3 month old, so it can apparently be worn for a while if you don't mind the abnormally short sleeves in comparison to the sleeve width.

And one more thing before I sign off for who knows how long - we're looking at buying condos. It's super scary, especially in the LA market. Any thoughts?

Monday, October 08, 2007

No mojo

Somehow I've lost it. My mojo. Knitting and otherwise. You know what I mean, right? Just kind of a case of the blahs and you just can't shake it? Well, I've taken to cheering myself up with video of BB doing nothing but hiccuping or lying there looking cute (what else do 2 month olds do?) and my worst guilty pleasure of all, Gossip Girl.

And somehow, my anniversary is already coming up. It's been almost a year since I've become Mrs. McSpazzitron, and I still don't have wedding pictures printed out and sent to my parents or in-laws. Or even a wedding picture on my or DH's desk at work. Maybe for our anniversary, I'll get my butt in gear and finally get my album approved and prints ordered. There's just not much hope of it happening by Sunday, our actual anniversary. We're celebrating in style by whipping out the frozen year old cake and popping open some brachetto.

Anyway, knit-wise, I have for whatever reason, managed to have the most projects on my needles than ever before. A few pictures:
My placed cable aran is slowly growing sleeves. I changed my method of adding sleeves from the top down because my short row wraps look all kinds of ugly. Instead I picked up only the top 20% of stitches around the armhole and then turned, worked back, and at the end of the row, I just picked up another stitch, turned, and slipped the stitch just picked up and worked to the end of the row. Repeat until all stitches are picked up and voila, a sleeve cap with no math involved. Lazy, I know, but I still think it looks better than my old way.
I cast on for new socks because I don't have the heart to rip back the others that have been on the needles for months being too big for their recipient. The toe on these socks have a bit of n*pple going on with them because I moved the toe increases around from where they normally are. But I like the fan panel stitch pattern, and I have ideas in my head of a different to me toe up heel flap sock, so we'll see if it works out. I'm sure this heel is out there somewhere, but I'm too lazy to find it and wouldn't even know what it's called. Also, my picture taking skills are on full display here - the yarn is really more brown than red. If only my red sweaters looked this red.

Lastly, I'm working on a Vogue Knitting pattern now. I had some Berroco Pleasure sitting in my stash originally intended for Blaze, but then I discovered something called gauge and realized that this yarn just wouldn't work for that sweater. Two years later and here we are finally. Big gauge, small jacket, sounds like instant gratification, right? Well, not when there's as much seaming as is involved with this pattern. So far, I'm ignoring that part and just knitting the pieces. We'll see if I lose all my hair when it comes time to seam not one, but two borders all the way around this sweater.

The purple jacket, by the way, has an error in the chart - or at least I'm convinced it does, though I haven't yet received any sort of official confirmation as such. The first picture is the cable panel as published. The second picture has the modification thrown in (changed the center 16 stitches to 4 repeats of k1, p2, k1 - all credit for this mod goes to Veronique). Not much difference, but enough in person to make it worth ripping the whole back and starting over.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Some progress

I have been knitting, really! Just not blogging much about it. I started the Placed Cable Aran from Fall 2007 IK a couple of weeks ago. It's progressing nicely. Above you can see the cable detail which I think is looking lovely. The yarn I'm using for this was a heavily discounted and discontinued yarn I picked up from WEBS for something like $2 a ball. It's Knit One, Crochet Too Angora Soft. The yarn has a cabled construction to it, or at least I think that's what it is since I can't seem to figure out how to coax the plies back together once I stab the yarn and random bits of it come undone.

And yes, there are lots of modifications afoot. I won't bore you with details yet - that's for a later post. But what I AM worried about right now is the cowl neck. Given the fit of the rest of the sweater, is it looking a bit, um, large? Guh... this picture could just as well be my pre-booking mug shot.
I went to see the Yarn Harlot speak at the central library over the weekend. Good good stuff. I failed at taking any pictures at all, so for more pictures and write-ups, go check out Teresa - who modelled a very cute and very new FO for the event, Mary - please go tell her she does NOT have a whale stomach, or Jillian - who for some reason I had expected to see bring about 30 FO's with her given the dizzying speed with which she seems to be finishing projects these days.

That's all for now! Before you go though, BB sends farewell kisses to all who visit chez Spaz. Have a great week!