Sunday, April 13, 2014

Scorpius - Baghdad Screen Chart (Chart 1) Done

I finished up this section of the shawl last night, but it was too dark to get a decent picture.  I started out in the center with Judy Becker's magic cast and have been working my way out from there.  On each side I worked rows 1-20 of the Baghdad Chart, then rows 9-20 three times, then rows 21-28.  I actually cropped the chart three times in my KnitCompanion App to correspond with the three steps, which made it so easy to remember what part I was working on.  I also finished each piece on both sides before continuing on to the next.  Given that I started in the middle of the skein and am working the same pattern in both directions, I find the difference in the color pooling between the two sides interesting.  The stitch count changes between this chart and the next, so it will be interesting to see how that affects the color pooling.

Project:  Scorpius by Trish vanKuyk
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Luxe in Scorpio
Needle:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Scorpius

When I finished up the Mayan Garden Cape I thought about starting Peter Pan, but I really want to wait until the complete pattern comes out so I don't have to import all of the clues into KnitCompanion.  Then the latest shipment from the Zodiac Shawl Club came and I decided I really needed to work on those so I pulled out Scorpius.  This one presents a little bit of a challenge because of the construction (so does Peter Pan, but I have a plan for that one).  This is one of those shawls that is knit from the center out.  Well, not quite the center.  The first chart forms the center panel, and then you work charts 2, 3 and 4 before going back to the cast on edge (provisionally cast on) and work charts 2, 3 and 4 again.

My first issue with the construction is the fact that the yarn is variegated and if I just work the pattern as written the yarn colors may not look right - there might be an obvious break where I start the second part of the shawl.  The second issue with the construction is the provisional cast on.  I'm just not a fan of those, especially the ones where you use a crochet chain to pick up the stitches and then unravel the crochet chain to get the other side.  I learned on the Wavelettes shawl what a pain that can be.  Originally I thought I would just do a long tail cast on and pick up stitches from that for the other side.  I figured that with fingering weight yarn the ridge formed by the cast on wouldn't be too noticeable.  I even started the shawl out that way and worked a few rows of the pattern, and as I worked them a plan started to form.

I frogged that first start and took my scale and my cake of yarn downstairs to my studio and put the yarn cake on the scale and started winding another cake from it using my left hand to tension the yarn and my right hand to wind.  When I had wound off half of the cake I grabbed another US 4 needle out of my needle stash and headed back upstairs.  Then, starting in the middle of the skein and holding the two needles together I cast on 77 stitches using Judy Becker's magic cast on that was invented for toe up socks.  And then I started knitting.  I have knitted rows 1-20 of the first chart in both directions and now I'll knit rows 9-20 of the first chart 3 times on each side, instead of 6 times, finishing off with rows 21-28.  It will make the central motif a little bit bigger, but I have a very generous skein so I'm not worried about running out of yarn.  The picture is not the best - it has been a gray and rainy day.

Project:  Scorpius by Trish vanKuyk
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Luxe in Scorpio
Needle:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Willow Cardigan - Finished!

I finished up the body almost a month ago, and then it sat until last weekend when I pulled it out and finished the neck band and sewed it to the body.  Once that was done I started on the sleeves.  I did top-down set in sleeves, and it always seems to take me a couple of tries before I get it right.  This is for throwing over a tank top when you just need a little extra warmth and don't feel like dealing with a shawl.


Pattern:  Tahki Stacy Charles Willow Cardigan
Yarn:  Tahki Stacy Charles Tandem in Ocean Deep
Needles:  US 7 (4.5 mm)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Twisted Rib Pullover II

After I finished my first Twisted Rib Pullover, I cast on a second one.  This time I should have enough yarn to finish the neck band.  I got through the ribbing and then set it aside for a little while because I knew that I would need some mindless airport and airplane knitting.  I don't really like traveling, especially alone, but as long as I have my Kindle and my knitting I can get through anything.

So all of last weekend I worked on Mayan Garden and stressed about my upcoming trip, until it was time to do the on-line check in and I discovered that I could upgrade my ticket to First Class for a mere $225!  Apparently the price was deeply discounted because they didn't think they were going to sell those seats.  Unfortunately, it would have cost me $1000 to upgrade on the trip back.  Let me tell you, it was pretty cool to be sitting in first class knitting away on this pullover and reading on my Kindle.

Pattern:  Design 1835 from Moments No. 005
Yarn:  SMC Select Extra Soft Merino Fino in Malachite
Needles:  US 3 (3.25 mm)

Mayan Garden - Beauty Shots


And here it is, off the blocking mats.


Pattern:  Mayan Garden by Kitman Figueroa, modified to be a cape
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Luxe in custom colorway Mayan Garden
Needles:  US 4 (3.5 mm), US 5 (3.75 mm)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Mayan Garden Cape - Finished!

All done and blocking!  Blocking circular shawls, or capes, is always challenging, but I try not to get too obsessive about it.  I lay out the shawl as closely as I can and start pinning, always listening to the fabric and not forcing it to do anything it really doesn't want to.  Take that keyhole where the front edges don't meet - I believe that is a result of the way the increases are done in this pattern and perhaps also partly due to the fact that I did not increase my needle size until the last couple of charts.

Pattern:  Mayan Garden by Kitman Figueroa, modified to be a cape
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Luxe in custom colorway Mayan Garden
Needles:  US 4 (3.5 mm), US 5 (3.75 mm)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mayan Garden Cape - Chart 14 Done

I made it part way through the 4th row of Chart 14 before I had to switch to skein 5 - row 174.  Just one more chart.  This time next week it should be done and blocked.

Pattern:  Mayan Garden by Kitman Figueroa, modified to be a cape
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Luxe in custom colorway Mayan Garden
Needles:  US 4 (3.5 mm), US 5 (3.75 mm)