Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Knitting’

I’m not normally a particularly tenacious person. I’ve got a lazy streak, and can walk away from something if it’s proving too frustrating or difficult. It appears the one time in my life this does not apply is knitting.

Last year I started knitting what looked like a fairly innocuous top in the beloved knitting book “Fitted Knits” by Stefanie Japel. (It was all the rage among young knitters about a year ago. She’s got a new book out now.) I fell in love with the very first pattern in the book – a split-neckline cap-sleeved tee – and as I have limited experience knitting sweaters and tops and it was ranked as an easy one, I thought it would be a good place to start.

It’s a top-down construction, knit in the round which is not the traditional sweater construction, and I was excited to give the circular method a try, especially since I don’t like sewing much. 

Attempt #1 – I got about 80% through the top when I tried it on and found I had knit the wrong size. That is, I knit for a 38″ bust (I’m a 37″) and it was huge in the neck, and a little loose in the bust. I decided to frog it and cast on again one size down (36″ bust). I also didn’t like the fact there was no waist shaping, so decided to add some.

Attempt #2 – I got about 50% of the way through when I found the neck opening was still huge, but the bust fit quite well. The keyhole in particular seemed to be a problem. The fabric was puckering at the hole, and not a little bit. You could fit a hand in there, and get a pretty nice view of my bra without much effort. Time to frog again. This time I decided to cast on for the smallest size and increase to the medium size in the same amount of rows.

Attempt #3 – I got about 30% of the way through (finally learning my lesson) and tried it on only to find there was still a large pucker at the keyhole, though the bust was still fitting great. At this point, I have invested countless hours into and nearly $100 into a pile of cotton that simply will not be made into a wearable top. This, and the fact that I am beginning to hate the yarn I’ve chosen (the colours are starting to make we nauseous) lead me to nearly throw the entire project off my 10th floor balcony.

Attempt #4 – I say, Screw the keyhole! I cast on the for smallest size, increase only minimally for the first few rows so that I can join the yarn on my circular needle, then proceed to increase to the medium bust size. I knit to just below the bust and try it on – looks ok, but I need to knit the edging on the collar before I know for sure. Try it on again – not bad. Still a little wonky around the neckline, but totally wearable. 

I am now nearly finished Attempt #4. I have to knit and sew the edging on the sleeves, then block it and sew on the little clasp at the neck. Have a look.

 

The collar isn't standing up - hopefully the block will correct that.

The collar isn't standing up - hopefully the block will correct that.

Just need to knit the edging on the sleeves.

Just need to knit the edging on the sleeves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m still not sure this is actually something I’ll wear in public. It’s pink, for christ’s sake! I never wear pink. At least this has been a valuable learning experience: Keyholes suck!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Knitting update

So after teasing the knitters out there with photos of half-finished socks and scarves, I figured I should show the finished (or near-finished) objects. So . . .

Ta-dah! The Jaywalker socks (finished) and the Hasty Scarf (unfinished):

JaywalkersThe hasty scarf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The scarf just needs fringe on both ends. I’m halfway there, though I’ve had some fringe-length issues. (And yes, that’s me in an old, dirty T-shirt and my pyjama bottoms.) The socks are done, and nearly perfect. There’s a little flaw in the toe of the second one, but I love them anyway. It’s the perfect marriage of yarn and pattern, which makes them pretty special, I think.

Once the scarf is finished, I will be devoting my knitting hours to my financé’s (fiancé! I’m still not used to that word) sweater. Here’s a sneak peak:

Fiancé sweater  It’s my own striping design based on a simple set-in sleeve sweater pattern. Problem is, I want to   insert a 7″ zipper at the neck. Which is not in the simple sweater pattern. I’ll be looking for help     in Ravelry for this one, I think.

Read Full Post »

A Little Yarn Porn

Yarn orgy on my kitchen table.

Yarn orgy on my kitchen table.

The Love of My Life and I went yarn shopping on Saturday. No, this isn’t the reason she’s The Love of My Life (though it certainly helps). She’s been wanting me to knit her a sweater, so we headed over to Yarn Forward and Sew On to pick some out. We came home with yarn for the sweater, and for a scarf for her, and a scarf for me, and a toque for her dad. We bought all this yarn (see left) and my love threw in an extra ball of black because, she said, “it’s always good to have some black yarn around the house.” See? How could she NOT be The Love of My Life? 

 

 

 

The hasty scarf

The hasty scarf

Of course, as soon as we arrived home with the large bags full of new yarn, I couldn’t contain myself. I immediately pulled out the two greens I had selected for my scarf, and a 9 mm that I estimated would handle the double strand. Thing was, we were heading out to a friend’s house for dinner. Luckily, it was a 30-minute drive. I cast on in the truck and had a good couple inches done by the time we got there. I put down the needles for dinner, and picked them up again as we played games after the meal – at the host’s suggestion! (I have the greatest friends!)  

 

 

 

My first Lopi.

My first Lopi.

 

Besides my lovely scarf, I’m very excited about buying my first Lopi. I’ve wanted to experiment with this scratchy but gorgeous yarn for a long time now. I’m going to try to incorporate it into MC’s sweater along with the Cascades Ecological Wool. Hopefully this will work.

Read Full Post »

Lovely colours, but too big.

Lovely colours, but too big.

I am not the most accomplished knitter. I am, at best, a fair-weather knitter. Or rather a poor-weather knitter: I prefer to knit during the long, cold, dark winters in Canada, and spend my summers outdoors.

But this summer I bucked the trend and undertook some major projects (at least for me) all at once. One of the last to be cast on was the Jaywalker sock. I bought some colourful yarn from KnitPicks (Felici in Provence, to be exact) whose stripes I thought would show off the zig-zag pattern beautifully.

Now, as I said, I’m not a very accomplished knitter, but if there’s one thing I can knit, it’s socks. Toe-up or top-down, I can churn out plain old socks like nobody’s business. But this pattern looked a little tricker. And from what my fellow Ravelers had to say about the pattern’s lack of elasticity, I thought I’d better do the test swatch. (I have since paid for this. When I told the story to my far more accomplished knitting friend Tam, she looked at me incredulously, then laughed and said, “What a nerd! Who does a test swatch for socks?”)

The test swatch told me to knit these suckers on 3 mm needles in the large size, while the pattern itself (as well as the yarn, really) calls for 2.25 mm needles. Contrary to every natural instinct I had, and despite the fact I rarely knit socks on anything larger than 2.5 mm, I did as the test swatch bid. And here I am, two inches down the leg with a sock that would fit a small elephant’s leg. 

While I know test swatches can be crucial to a successful project, there is also something to be said for trusting your inner knitting instincts.

This from the woman who knit two other failed projects this summer: a tank top that is so big around it would fit two of me, and a Stefanie Japel pattern (Split-neckline cap-sleeve tee) whose neckline simply will not lie flat no matter how many times I start over . . . from scratch . . . Which looks like what I’ll have to do with the Jaywalkers. Good thing the winters are long up here.

Read Full Post »