Sunday, September 28, 2008

Brown Sweater Update

This is all I've been knitting. I could be halfway done a sweater by now. But I'm picky and I want it to be just so, so I'm still swatching. These swatches are big, the smaller ones are about 4" square. They are for the sweater that will have a large cable down the front with ribbing for the rest of the body. I'm planning raglan sleeves, knit in the round, probably from the bottom up.

My first pick, the Drunken Cable.

My first swatch, the little one is the cable as written in the Vogue Stitchionary 2. The bigger one is my attempt at enlarging it. Not so good. To me it looks like a big messy blob of knitting.

See, a close up of the original, much nicer.

Attempt number two the Pie Crust Cable.

Again, the smaller is the cable as written, the larger, my attempt at rewriting on a bigger scale. I also tried out different needle sizes, as well as different amounts of rows between repeats of the cable. Not too fond of this swatch either. I don't seem to have taken a close up of the small swatch, but it's very nice, with clean looking cables crossing at regular intervals, and laying flat.

One of the things I like the least about my attempts is that they get really tight where I cable the stitches. Then the knitting between gets bunchy and the whole thing looks like a mess.

Try three, the Drunken Cable bordering Pie Crust.

So then I tried this. I enlarged the patterns a bit, but not as much as my original swatches. I also used both, figuring that it could give enough width to be the center panel of a design. I'm not sure which border cable I like best. The left one is composed of 12 stitches, the right one 8. I think I like the bigger one, especially since I want the pie crust segment to be bigger than it is in this swatch. Here there are only two repeats of the pattern (width wise). I'd probably do four to eight repeats.

Anyway, moral of the story is that I've a bunch more swatching to do.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The last week (or so)

This is what I've been working on for the past week.

Actually the past year. It was supposed to be Josh's birthday present last year, and it didn't get done in time, or anywhere near time. One thing after another would go just a tiny bit wrong and it made me want to forget the bike existed for a long while. Then Josh kindly offered to help with his own present, and it's done! Well, mostly, bikes are in that class of object where something can always be done, improved, tweaked, upgraded, swapped out, etc. But it's complete enough to be considered done. We still have to adjust the bottom bracket's set screws (hopefully a five minute job) and next weekend I'll most likely be teaching Josh how to true the wheels (teach a man to fish and maybe he'll fix your bike while he's at it, actually I really like truing so we might have to fight over it). But we can both look at it and be proud and happy now. Yay!

Next post, back to the knitting.

I'm working on a brown ribbed cable front sweater. Right now I'm trying to design the cable, with mixed success and much grumpyness. I'll have photos of the swatches soon.

I'm also bouncing another cabled sweater around in my head, out of that red/purple Happy Feet sock yarn that I purchased a sweater's worth of. I haven't been swatching anymore of that though.

I bought new needles to knit Josh's gloves on. The yarn I bought and the sock needles I have were not playing nice. Their slick metal-ness would slide right out of the stitches at inopportune moments (not that any moment would really be a great time to drop stitches). I marched over to Loopy yarns Thursday after work and bought some nice pointy little bamboo needles. They should be much stickier, relatively speaking, and not give me the same trouble. I really want to take them out and play, but the brown cables are sucking up all my attention.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Even More Bear!

They just dont stop!

Melissa's bear, with team spirit.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bleated Birthday?

A little birthday sheep (doesn't everyone need a birthday sheep?) inspired by a typo.

About baseball sized, knit from mystery gray (natural undyed) stash wool and some dark brown wool nylon blend sock yarn. Bobbles for the ears, legs, and tail.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

More Bear!

Another guy for a coworker. No name yet.
Photo taken with my iPhone instead of a real camera.

Monday, September 1, 2008


An idea of what to do with my Happy Feet Superwash Merino sock yarn, that I'm going to knit a sweater out of.  

Plain stockinette with a seed stitch border?  We'll see.  I want something that won't compete with the yarn's color shifts, although those don't seem so very drastic.  Maybe I can do something more intricate.  Then again I only bought four skeins, I might have to stick to stockinette.  Time for some math!

Peanut Update

How much I've spun so far, with some clean unfluffed Peanut in the background.  I've been fluffing the fibers with a dog comb to make them more spinnable.  It's not the same as carding, but it works.  

And again, the money shot (quite literally!)  You can see the slight halo that will make my Peanut yarn super warm.  

Brown/Pink Three Ply

I'm making this into this...
My weekend was mostly spent on it.  

The first single of my planned three ply yarn from the Stitches roving.  And yes, I made a new little drop spindle. The two I already own have singles in progress that I didn't want to remove or finish first.  
See how much I have!  That wool rat is longer than my palm.  The wire is coat hanger and the whorl is about a 2" diameter (for scale).  I don't know how much more I can fit on the spindle.  My stubborn nature wants to spin it all as one continuous single, I'm thinking that won't happen though.   

Or this for scale!  You can see it's a bit thick-thin, not bad though.  

I pulled off the dyed mohair, then I split the brown wool down the middle, for three separate singles.  The only thing is that the ball of brown I've been spinning from doesn't seem any smaller (it's the bottom left ball).  In this photo it seems larger than the untouched brown ball, go figure.  

I'm pretty excited about this stuff.  

Sunrise Circle!

So I've been working on this one since Easter.  I started it (knit about an inch) just before flying east for my grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary.  I got stuck in O'Hare for eleven hours during a blizzard on Good Friday, and knit the entire back.  Luckily I had this project and several audio books on my phone.  Then it languished.  I seamed it up a month or two ago and realized that the sleeves were ridiculously long.  It was demoralizing.  I gave it another break.  I hemmed the body at Stitches, and had mom mark the proper sleeve length while she was in town.  I ripped back ( a huge pain when they've been knit from the cuff up), re-knit the purled turning row, and re-knit the cuff hem.  Then I stitched those up and it is as done as you see it here.  I need to sew on the buttons and crochet loops to hook over them.  I have buttons I think I like, I'll need to look at them again.  Soon this jacket will be ready, good thing it's pretty warm here and I haven't wanted it yet.