Monday, October 28, 2013

I do knit, it turns out

 I just don't have as much time for it as I wish I did!

As you can see, though, I did finish the Side Impact Sweater this weekend.  Or, at least, I finished it once. Then I finished it again.  And wearing it to work today, I realize that I need to finish it one more time.  (I can't be the only knitter who needs to fuss with things after "finishing" them, right?)

So, you may remember that I saw this sweater at the Yarnover Truck during the San Diego Yarn Crawl, and fell instantly in love with it.  Then I saw this yarn (Indigodragonfly in the 20,000 Lawyers Under the Sea colorway), and fell in love with it, too, and decided that the two were meant to be together.  The only problem (because there always is one) is that this is a fingering weight yarn, and the pattern calls for something more like DK.  But I fussed around, and got something just a bit tighter than the gauge called for, which made a fabric that I liked, so I did some maths and decided that if I knitted it one size up from my planned size, everything would work out fine.  And, from a size perspective, it did, indeed.
(Bad photos, I know - but it's this or nothing right now.)

I knitted it several inches longer than called for, because I knew I wanted a fitted sweater that wouldn't ride up.  It took a whole skein (plus a bit of the swatch) to finish the body (whew!), but I got the sleeves and funnel neck done with plenty to spare from the second skein.

Then I realized that the real problem with knitting a sweater that was designed for DK weight with a fingering weight yarn is that fingering weight knit at a looseish gauge isn't going to have the body that a DK weight yarn knit at a tight gauge is going to have.  That doesn't matter for the body of the sweater (and, in fact, I like it), but for a funnel neck...

You can see in the first picture that I knitted the neck just a titch longer than the 2.5 inches called for in the pattern; I also decreased about 12 stitches over those three inches, to try to help the neck stand up a bit.  Well, it just rolled up like a roller shade and left me with nothing.  So, I took out the cast-off edge, picked up the stitches again with a needle a size smaller (three, instead of four), and set off again.  I knitted it to 8 inches, and I have this.
It's only sitting like that (which I consider to be medium-nicely) because I fussed with it.  It's not doing that generally speaking.  That still isn't quite what I'd hoped for.  (I was wanting something like the cowl neck on the Easy Folded Poncho, with which I am lately obsessed - thanks, Ellen.)  So I think the plan for tonight is to pick up the stitches from the cast-off, and create an i-cord edging.  That messes a bit with the raw edge of the lace, which is part of the charm of the sleeves and bottom hem, but since those edges aren't currently showing (what with the rolling up of the edge and all), I would rather see if I can give it some structure so it will slump becomingly, rather than rolling up.  We'll see, and any thoughts and suggestions are welcome.
Other than that, I am very happy with the whole thing (barring one glitch in the arm lace on the side you can't see here that I only noticed today.  But as I'd have to rip the entire sweater apart to get to it, I'm going to decide that the fact that I didn't see it before now means that it's not glaringly obvious.).  I love the color (which is truer in the blocking photo than the others - a very nice seafoam green), and the lace makes me happy.  It's also a lovely light weight while still being warm (hooray for that touch of cashmere!), and I think I'll wear it a lot here in San Diego.  I would knit another one (and may keep an eye out for some yarn to do it in; come to think of it, I have two skeins of Malabrigo sock that might work, hmmm...), especially if I can get this neck thing figured out.

But before I can do that, I have a few other things to get to.  Whilst in the Yarnover Truck, I also picked up a skein of Indigodragonfly in the Tardis colorway, for my Dr. Who-obsessed older daughter.  She wanted Tardis mitts.  I poked around online and wasn't really happy with any of the options.  I wanted to do a cable and lace version of the Tardis, but she was charmed by some of the colorwork versions, and I happened to remember a stray skein of white sock yarn in the stash, so I spent some time looking at pictures of the Tardis and playing with my knitting notebook, and came up with this for the backs of the mitts:
(The darker bits will be the white, actually, and the slashes are 1x1 cables.)  Older Daughter thought she might like a Dalek on the palm, so I fiddled around:
But she decided that simplest was best, so it looks like the final palm will be this, with some white flecks.

I'll be casting on for these as soon as I finish fiddling with my sweater neck.

I also have become a fan of cowls, out of the clear blue, and recently saw a pattern for one that I must have: Song of the Sea.  It turns out that the long version needs exactly as much yarn as is in a skein of SeaSilk, and that I have a skein of lovely gray SeaSilk that's been sitting in stash, calling to me, for quite some time.  Some things are meant to be...

ETA: And this is why it is so lovely to have knitting friends.  One such friend who works here as well popped up to my office to admire the sweater.  She suggested turning the neck under, and lo and behold:
It is exactly as I had wanted it!  I am still going to put the icord edging on, to help it stay where I want it, but I am now content.

Saturday, October 5, 2013


This is a quick drive-by post, because I actually have two (!!) finished objects to show, and because after this bit of time, the rest of the weekend is going to be a bit busy (play this afternoon, followed by office party in San Diego; tomorrow, Younger Daughter has a feis in Burbank, which is a schlep away).

First, the finished projects.  I got the rest of the Jade Sapphire Sylph cowl finished, ends woven in, and blocked.  The longest part of the finishing was actually the one thing the pattern didn't call for - grafting the two ends together.  But I just couldn't see seaming it, so I altered the pattern a little by using a provisional cast-on, then grafting to finish.  I blocked it, and it turned into a lovely little piece that I think I'll use a lot once it cools off (again - more on that). 
  This is an interesting yarn, being a linen cashmere blend.  It is fairly loosely spun, with the linen forming a strong strand around the fluffier cashmere.  The linen also picks up the dye differently (almost not at all), which makes for a subtle tonality in the yarn.  All in all, I quite liked it, and would knit with it again (of course, the price point makes it a special treat kind of yarn, rather than a regular go-to yarn, as is true of all the Jade Sapphire yarns I've seen). 

The weather was, for a while, on a cooling trend, cool enough that I could see Tilly's breath on our morning walk last week; cool enough that the hills are heading towards sepias and reds (that's 7:30 am at one of my two happy trails).
And cool enough that, with the sun setting earlier, it's starting to be downright chilly by the end of our Thursday evening riding lessons.  So I decided that our fabulous trainer, Heather, needs mitts to keep her hands warm (we, after all, have the horse).  I had a sneaking suspicion that I had begun a pair of mitts some time ago, and then stopped, not knowing quite whom they were for.  Knowing now, I dug them out.  I was right - one all the way done except for the thumb, hooray!  So I cast on for mitt #2 Thursday night and banged away at it.  Last night, I looked at mitt #2, and compared it to mitt #1, and realized that I must have used smaller needles than the pattern called for on the first mitt, because they were not the same size at all.  Upon careful consideration, I liked the second one better, so I ended up knitting a third to match.  There is now a finished pair (and a little ball of frogged yarn), and I am reminded of why it is so useful to take notes, when one changes something about a pattern (doh). 
These are the One Cable Mitts, knitted out of Classic Elite Waterlily (a truly fabulous yarn that I have heard has been discontinued - if that's true, it's tragic).  I used size nine needles (for the record), and followed the pattern as written.  So these will go to their new owner on Thursday.

Of course, now that there are new warm things to wear, a Santa Ana has blown through.  Humidity is in single digits, and it is warm warm warm.  (Except when the sun goes down and it gets cold, since there's no moisture in the air to hold the heat.) (Please think flame retardant thoughts for us - this is fire weather here.)
The chickens think it's a little hot, too.