WIP: slogging along


Lovely lighting in my home around 5 pm yesterday… I finally spent some quality time with my blackberry cozy sweater.  I’ve been stuck on this sleeve since December, mostly because I refocused on a making christmas gifts.

First I knit a couple of inches and discovered that my new skein was visibly different.  So I ripped that out as well as a few inches of the body of the sweater.  I restarted the sleeve alternating rounds with the body yarn and the new skein.  The color has been fixed but around 4 inches in I realize that my gauge has changed (from 4.33 sts/inch to 4.5 sts/inch).  I decided to plod on anyway and cross my fingers that it will wash out.  Yesterday I finally made it through all of my decreases and a good bit of the ‘work plain’ portion of the sleeve.  Only today I count my stitches before starting my decreases for the ribbed cuff and discover my stitch count is off.  Now I’m very tempted to rip the whole sleeve and try again.  But I also really thought I’d be wearing this sweater by now and I’m not ready to stomach that sort of set back.

February 23, 2012. Tags: , , . Knitting. 2 comments.

WIP Blackberry Cozy

When September hit I knew I wanted to start my long overdue second sweater.  I bought the yarn two summers ago and had the pattern picked out since 2007 (but then I reconsidered and decided to make Indigo Playmate instead, same designer, different pattern).  So I started swatching, of course the first swatch was off so I swatched again, did a bit of math and finally cast on September 21.  Two weeks later I was finally ready to divide my sleeves off of the cardigan.


But then I realized that the v-neck, when worked according to pattern was incredibly shallow, and it didn’t follow what the pattern image showed (though it did follow the pattern diagram, I was swayed by the pattern image showing a deep, wide v-neck).  And so I snapped this photo right before I ripped the whole thing out.  Luckily I was at knit nite at my LYS and so I was able to use their ball winder to rip and re-cake the yarn in one step.

Since I was reknitting anyway, since my careful calculations weren’t working, I decided to follow my knitting gut.  The fabric I was creating with US 5 (yes 5 when the recommended needle was a 7 and I was still a smidge too big in gauge) felt a bit stiff so I decided to cast on with a US 6.  I figured that since I had picked the smaller size that would give me negative-ease as written (the next size up had too much positive ease) it would work out.  Oddly enough my gauge (pre-wash measurement) is now closer to pattern (and yarn ball band) than before.

And I did a little perusing of other v-neck, top-down raglan rates of increase for the neckline and decided to modify my cardigan to increase at a slower rate (every 6th row), thus creating a slightly deeper v-neck.  And now two weeks later, I’m ready to divide my sleeves and work on the body of the cardigan.  Which means my knitting looks exactly like it did two weeks ago in the picture above.

October 19, 2011. Tags: , , . Knitting. 1 comment.


I started knitting a Tomten at the end of December.  It took a couple years for this pattern to grow on me, the pictures in Knitting Without Tears are just not all that appealing, but then I found the Zimmermania blog and started seeing gorgeous cute Tomtens on gorgeous cute toddlers and decided that I had to knit it.  I decided to knit it for one of my fellow alums' toddlers (not really sure who yet, as I can think of 6 fellow alums with toddlers) in our school colors.  I don't think any of us were really big on the whole dress with school spirit thing, but the maize and off-black cotton-ease yarns appealed to me and are sort of spirit-ish without screaming "I've got school spirit yes I do, I've got school spirit how 'bout you?"  So I bought 3 skeins of Cotton-ease in maize and one skein in the off-black.  880 yards should be enough for a toddler sweater right? [cue ominous music]

The tomten is a really fun pattern when it isn't completely boring.  I knit a rectangle with just over 1-220 yard skein in garter stitch before I got to any of the interesting bits of the pattern.  And last week, I finished the hood (don't try to graft/kitchener after 11 pm is my advice) with 7 inches of the second skein to spare.  But this is where I ran into a problem: my vision for the tomten involved knitting the entire body and hood in the muted yellow and then finishing it with an attached i-cord in the off-black.  And if one skein of yarn gave me 24 1/2" by 8 1/4" (or 4,256 square garter ridge stitches*) I didn't think I was going to get two sleeves that start out 6 1/2" deep (or approximately 2,380 square garter ridge stitches each).  So I had a dilemma.  How should I knit the sleeves? 

All off-black (letter jacket-eh)?  Black and maize stripes (bumble-bee)?  Neither option appealed to me so I took the third route: hunt like crazy for another skein of maize in the same dye-lot as the 3 skeins I already have.  The crazy, one-in-a-million route (well, thanks to Ravelry I did have slightly better odds if I stash-stalked). 

Before I started digging through the mountainous number of cotton-ease owners on Ravelry (2164 entries in "stash") I checked at a fabric store I happened to be at that also carried yarn, no luck.  And as we headed home from dinner tonight I asked The Husband to stop by Michael's, I mean it is where I bought the yarn four months ago.  The bin with maize cotton-ease was pretty full and I pulled each one out to check the dye lot number and stashed them in other bins, they had between 15 and 20 skeins of this color.  The very last skein, when I was convinced I was going to knit the Tomten sleeves in a contrasting color, ended up being my dye-lot number – it was the only one of that dye-lot.  Hurray!  In disbelief I checked the number again.  And then I put the rest of those skeins back in their bin and headed to the register (5 minutes to closing no less) and then I triple checked that number while waiting to check-out.  But silly me decided to tell you more happy ending instead of actually knitting.

*garter ridges stitches are a completely fake unit of measure that I made up for purposes of figuring out if I had enough yarn.  I simply calculated the area of the primary body rectangle and the area of the sleeve trapezoid using stitches and garter ridges as though they were inches/feet/your preferred measurement unit for length.

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February 3, 2008. Tags: , , , , . Thoughts. 1 comment.

FO: the 2007 sweater

Remember last January when I was planning my first sweater?  No, that's okay, I forgot too.  Well I bought the pattern (in February I think) and I did a couple swatches (in June or July) but then I never actually cast-on.  The first two swatches didn't come out to gauge, and I had other projects on the needles so I kept getting put off swatch #3 and suddenly 2007 was practically over; I hadn't even cast-on and I still had finished this baby toddler bolero that I started in March and that had to be done before the child would outgrow it.

In April I lost one of the straight needles I was using for this project, but that had a happy ending when I discovered the joy of Bryspun circular needles.  In July I finally finished knitting the sleeves,which felt like behemoths compared to the short bolero fronts and back pieces.  Then in September (I think) I went out and bought Nancie Wiseman's Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques to help me get over my fear of seaming knits (fabulous book btw, it now lives in my knitting bag).  Sometime after that I got up the nerve to pick up all 225 stitches along the collar.  And then in December, while flying to visit our family over christmas I ran out of yarn while casting off (a picot cast-off) the shawl collar on the plane.  About 40 stitches from the end!  And I had no other knitting with me and a few more hours stuck in a plane.

Luckily I still had a bit more yarn packed in my luggage and the airline did not loose that luggage.  So I was able to finish casting-off the morning we arrived at my MIL's house, I started seaming up the arms and sides that night at my mom's and then the next day in the car on the way to visit S&E.  I was weaving in the ends just minutes before we met up with S&E and "Ladybug".  But luckily the sweater fit 🙂

I didn't talk about this sweater much during the knitting process because I discovered E's blog and she discovered my blog (thanks Ravelry).  I wanted it to be a surprise, not a christmas suprise, but such is life.

Pattern: #1646 Bolero and Hat by Sirdar [double knitting], it is sized 0-3 months up to 5-6 years; I knit the 3-4 year size and Ladybug turned 3 a week ago.
Yarn: Sirdar Snuggly DK, 3-50 gram balls around 191 yards each, nylon/acrylic blend, (25 grams leftover, including the swatch)
Time: late March to late December with a lot of "zzzzz" time

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January 24, 2008. Tags: , , , . Knitting. Leave a comment.