Saturday, March 25, 2017

Watermelon Shrug - Almost Done

This project has been mostly done since February 4, but I realized after I wore it that the sleeves were different lengths, so I set it aside while I worked on a couple of other projects knowing that I would have to come back and fix it.  I finally got around to fixing it today.  I undid the bind off on the central opening, raveled back and picked up the stitches, then I undid the sleeves, one at a time.  I had done a three needle bind off, which I had decided was too tight, so I decided to replace that with grafting.  Once I got both of the sleeves done I redid the knitting around the opening and did the final bind off.  I'm probably going to work some cuffs to add a little length to the sleeves.  This one did not come out as long as the Gazania Shrug.

Pattern:  Traveling Zebra by Louise Robert modified to be a shrug
Yarn:  Bis-sock by Biscotte & Cie
Needle:  US 2.5 (3 mm) & US 4 (3.5 mm)

Morphology - Nothing Left But The Blues

Having finished my test knit, my sample knit, and putting together the first 6 of the 12 clues for the latest Unique Sheep MKAL (The House at Pooh Corner) I picked this project back up.  It is pretty mindless and I don't even need to use a counter - just count the bars from slipping with the yarn in front.  With a little steady work I've made it through the section that alternates the two colors and am in the home stretch - 28 rows of the blues.  I'm not entirely happy with the color switches (they aren't horrible, but they aren't perfect), but I'm hoping that once the piece is blocked they won't be too noticeable.

Pattern:  Morphology by A. Karen Alfke
Yarn:  Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight in Sprinkles and Shannanogins
Needle:  US 6 (4 mm)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Basic Toe Up Socks 6 - One Sock Done

I keep a small project bag in my work bag for emergency knitting.  I've been keeping a sock project in there because it is easy to pick up and put down.  I started this one on the drive back from our annual Christmas trip to Florida.  I finished up the foot on December 28 and it has taken me all this time to finish the rest of the sock and then snap a quick picture (not the best, I know, but you get the idea).  I haven't had much knitting at work time - no endless telecons to knit to, but I have been doing some reading of technical documents, and knitting while I read always helps me stay focused.  I finished up the knitting on Monday and did the bind off tonight.  I haven't posted much this past month, but I've been working on a test knit, which I couldn't post about, and a sample knit, which I somehow never got around to posting about.  It's been one of those months.   But we should get back to our regularly scheduled program.

There are some exciting things on the horizon.  Biscotte has asked me to write up my shrug modification to the Traveling Zebra pattern, and they are even paying me for it!  They sent me a beautiful yarn pack to knit the sample in.  More on that later.  I've also been playing around with some design ideas, and I need to start my next Tudor Roses project.  So stay tuned - much yarny goodness to come.

Pattern:  Basic Toe-Up Sock from Custom Socks by Kate Atherley
Yarn:  Biscotte & Cie Felix
Needle:  US 1 (2.25 mm)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Hale-Bopp MKAL - Done!

All done.  I took a blocking picture this morning before unpinning it.  I did not put any pins along the top edge, just at the top corners, and in each of the picots.
I worked the last wrong side row in the main color (the Truffle) and then did the bind off in the Arctic.  I used a different color bead for the picots, one that went with the Arctic colorway - blue lined aqua AB.

Pattern:  Hale-Bopp MKAL by Ambah O'Brien
Yarn:  Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hale-Bopp Clue 4

It's been a little while, but I've been busy finishing up a test knit, and also working on a sample knit (more about that later).  The final clue for the Hale-Bopp MKAL came out last week. As most predicted, it involved picking up stitches and working the lace motif.  If you recall, at the end of Clue 3 we were left in this configuration.
With 280 stitches still on the needle on the right, and the comet tail going off to the left and it was along that comet tail that the stitches had to be picked up.  My usual method of picking up stitches is 2 stitches for every 3 rows.  The pattern called for picking up 3 stitches for every 4 rows.  Okay, I could work with that, easy enough on the sections that are lace - those are done in stockinette - but what about the sections done in garter stitch?  Typically, when I pick up stitches on garter stitch, I pick them up every other row.  The first time I picked up the stitches, I did it that way, but then got nervous about not having enough fabric in the edging to block without overly stretching the edging.  So, I ripped back and tried to do it per the pattern.  I got seven rows into the lace and noticed this happening.
It was really noticeable on the slip stitch section.
Ugh.  I didn't like that at all.  So I thought about it, and slept on it, and decided to rip back and try again this morning.  On the lace sections I picked up as I normally would, but on the garter and slip stitch sections (which is worked on a garter stitch base, with the addition of slipping stitches to pull the fabric in even more) I picked up a stitch every other row.  Then, on the purl row back I increased by purling into the front and back of stitches to get to the right number in each section (based on the 3 stitches for 4 rows rule).  I am much happier with the result.
And here is the slip stitch section.
Much neater.  Oh, and I won a prize in the clue 3 thread - a free pattern - way cool and very exciting.  Now, I just need to complete clue 4 before the end of the weekend.

Pattern:  Hale-Bopp MKAL by Ambah O'Brien
Yarn:  Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Hale-Bopp - Clue 3

I flew through clue 3.  I worked the first garter section Friday night, but then was trying to figure out how I was going to stay on track for the other garter and slip stitch sections because each distinct row was only given once, and then the other rows would be "Rep row x", and then there were repeats, and some of them were partial repeats.  When I woke up Saturday morning I had the solution.  I created tables for each of the garter and slip stitch sections in Excel, copying and pasting the full instructions for each row and also for each repeat.  I also include the stitch counts for each row.  In the end I had complete tables that I could just work through without having to try to remember where I was, or mark something on the paper, or flip counters backwards and forwards.  I put the tables into a Word file, where they conveniently each fit on one page, and exported that to PDF.  Then I pulled the PDF into my knitCompanion Hale-Bopp project and created Text Objects of each of the tables and used the Text Overlay feature so each row would be highlighted in turn.  It made knitting the clue carefree.  I still had to refer to the clue file to make sure I had the order of each of the sections right.  The lace chart I also pulled into knitCompanion.

I was a little nervous as I neared the end of the clue that I would run out of the Main Color (the brown) and the Contrast Color 1 (the variegated), but I made it through with 6.1 grams and 7.7 grams left, respectfully.

Here are a couple more beauty shots.
The comet tail wraps all the way around.

Pattern:  Hale-Bopp MKAL by Ambah O'Brien
Yarn:  Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Hale Bopp - Clue 2

I really wanted to get Clue 2 done before Clue 3 came out so last week I ignored my other projects and focused on this one.  I will admit that it is a bit addictive.  I like the colors and textures and how they work together and on the garter and slip stitch sections I can actually read while knitting.  Once again I figured out the stitch counts for all of the sections so I could make sure that I stayed on track.

Pattern:  Hale-Bopp MKAL by Ambah O'Brien
Yarn:  Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)